BigWind is NOT Cheaper than Coal: Obama ignores facts

Share this everywhere and educate others!!!….

Wind advocates frequently argue that wind power has competitive prices. Recently, PolitiFact even granted a rating of “True”—its highest rating—to President Obama’s claim that “in Texas, wind power is already cheaper than dirty fossil fuels.” Let’s ignore for a moment that the word “dirty” could be ascribed to nearly any industrial process, including the process used to mine materials for and manufacture wind turbines. On the question of wind power being cheaper than coal, Obama’s statement could easily have received a rating of “mostly false” under Politifact’s rating system because, as Politifact defines that rating, “[t]he statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.”

Obama’s statement and Politifact’s ruling both ignore three critical facts that would give a different impression:

1.) the cost of unreliable (intermittent) sources of electricity like wind cannot be compared directly against the cost of reliable sources like coal (also called “dispatchable” sources by industry insiders),

2.) intermittent wind power actually imposes costs on dispatchable sources by robbing them of production without replacing their generating capacity (which is critically important to grid reliability), and

3.) the evidence shows that the all-in cost of wind power, including the costs imposed on reliable power plants—as opposed to subsidized prices wind producers receive—is significantly higher than the cost of electricity from existing nuclear, hydroelectric, coal, and natural gas plants.

In short, the idea that wind power is cheaper than coal power falls somewhere between a meaningless statement and a myth.

Intermittent Resources Like Wind Are a Separate, Lower Class of Electricity Generation

Wind turbines only generate electricity when the wind is blowing, and it is a fact of life that the wind is an inherently unreliable source of energy. Wind power’s intermittency is a well-known limitation and a significant drawback, especially because the large-scale battery storage required to make wind a reliable resource isn’t commercially viable.

Nevertheless, wind advocates breeze through the fundamental problems of intermittent, unreliable energy and attempt to sell the idea of a wind-fueled future on the fiction that wind power can compete head-to-head with reliable sources of power like coal, nuclear power, or natural gas. In fact, the Politifact piece specifically mentions the argument that “wind-generated electricity can’t (or shouldn’t) be price-compared to electricity generated by fossil fuels or nuclear sources.” However, it appears that critical point did not sway Politifact, given the “true” rating it assigned Obama’s comment. We should note that the argument was put forth by the co-author of a groundbreaking IER study on the cost of electricity, Tom Stacy, who was involved in a lengthy email conversation with the Politifact author attempting to convince him such a comparison (of wind to coal) is bogus.

IER is not alone on this point. The Energy Information Administration (EIA)—a fair referee in this arena—has issued the same warning for years. EIA actually separates dispatchable and non-dispatchable resources in its LCOE calculations and warns that “caution should be used when comparing them to one another.” In essence, dispatchable plants “whose output can be varied to follow demand” (e.g., coal, natural gas, nuclear, etc.) are more valuable than wind turbines “whose operation is tied to the availability of an intermittent resource.”[1]

Because wind cannot dispatch power in response to demand, the electricity it produces is less valuable, and its cost should not be compared directly against dispatchable resources like coal, nuclear power, or natural gas without serious caveats or significant adjustments to factor in the cost of battery storage.

Wind Power Imposes Costs on Reliable Power Plants

Last year, IER released a report on the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from existing generation resources, a first-ever look at the LCOE of the existing sources on the grid as opposed to new resources. Crucially, the report also introduced the concept of the “imposed costs” created by intermittent resources. The report went one step further and estimated those costs under modeled scenarios to find that one megawatt-hour of wind production imposes a cost of $29 on dispatchable generation from natural gas plants.

The concept of imposed costs is not intuitive, so here’s an example. Suppose a power grid consists of only combined cycle natural gas plants that are allowed to operate freely and satisfy the second-by-second electricity demand on the system. Then, even though the system has enough dispatchable capacity from the natural gas fleet to meet demand, we decide to introduce new, intermittent power from wind turbines.

The natural gas fleet is still needed for those frequent times when wind output is low or zero,[2] but it has to back down to accommodate the intermittent wind generation. In other words, its production is crowded out by the intermittent wind generation. Lower production from the same capital-intense facility is the source of “imposed costs”—wind generation significantly raises the LCOE of the dispatchable resources on the system. By decreasing a reliable power plant’s run time without also reducing its fixed costs, wind power makes it more expensive to generate electricity from existing and new dispatchable resources. [3]

The phenomenon is shown graphically below. New wind production causes the natural gas fleet’s capacity factor to drop from 87 percent to below 60 percent. The imposed cost of wind power in this scenario is nearly $30/MWh, a cost that should be attributed to wind.

LCOE Chart 2
Source: http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ier_lcoe_2015.pdf

Analysis of the Full Levelized Cost of Electricity Shows Wind is Not Cheap

The summary table of our LCOE report shows that, when the imposed costs of intermittent resources are taken into account, the LCOE of wind is not competitive with other new sources—especially combined cycle natural gas—and is nowhere near competitive with existing coal, nuclear, hydro, and natural gas resources.

LCOE-Chart
Source: http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/wind-lobbyists-critique-of-ier-study-fails-on-all-fronts/

By accounting for imposed costs and adding them to the LCOE for wind power, IER’s report allows for more accurate comparisons between dispatchable and non-dispatchable sources.[4] Under a true apples-to-apples comparison, new wind resources are nearly three times more expensive than existing coal resources.

The article also overemphasizes the importance of wholesale prices for wind power. Wholesale prices don’t take into account the lifetime costs of building and operating a generation resource, nor do they factor in the multiple subsidies that wind producers receive (e.g., federal wind PTC, accelerated depreciation rules, federal loan guarantees, Renewable Energy Certificates, state and local utility property tax rebates).

Conclusion

PolitiFact’s assessment of wind power’s affordability ignores critical facts that would give readers a different impression. By its own standards, we rate Politifact’s conclusion regarding Obama’s statement “mostly false.”…

Source: News Flash: Wind Power is Not Cheaper than Coal – IER

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What is the True Cost of Electricity? More thanks to the EPA

This data substantiates what we have been saying for years. BigWind will make our electricity rates skyrocket, which destroys jobs, families, and our way of life.  Americans need to stand up to this administration, this EPA, and this liberal agenda before it is too late….and it is almost too late!!! What will the Ohio study mandate committee decide to do with our renewable portfolio standard? Let us hope they use common sense. 

Today, the Institute for Energy Research released a first-of-its-kind study calculating the levelized cost of electricity from existing generation sources. Our study shows that on average, electricity from new wind resources is nearly four times more expensive than from existing nuclear and nearly three times more expensive than from existing coal. These are dramatic increases in the cost of generating electricity. This means that the premature closures of existing plants will unavoidably increase electricity rates for American families….

The LCOE-E framework allows for cost comparisons that are relevant for today’s energy policymakers. For example, when all known costs are accurately included in the LCOE calculations, we find that existing coal ($38.4), nuclear ($29.6), and hydroelectric resources ($34.2) are about one-third of the cost of new wind resources ($112.8) on average. By increasing the transparency of the costs associated with policies favoring new resources over existing conventional resources, we hope to inform policymakers with the best available data and raise the level of the electricity policy debate….

What is the True Cost of Electricity? – IER.

BigWind attacks Newsweek. Did they divert attention FROM the facts

Newsweek created quite a stir this week when AWEA ‘called them out’ for not vetting a college prof who wrote an op-ed piece about problems with wind energy. The attacks thrown at them, along with the defensive position that Newsweek has, subsequently , taken the story away from the facts. But isn’t this what BigWind is all about? Diverting you AWAY from the facts? The comments below this article are enlightening and chock full of facts. We have share some with you…

Texas prides itself on being a national leader, whether it be in barbecue, football or wind energy. That’s why when someone misguidedly attacks one of our strengths—as Randy Simmons did in an opinion article republished by Newsweek last week—as a Texan, I can’t remain silent.

Simmons’ op-ed on the “true cost of wind power” is the same tired slant we have heard from fossil fuel interests time and time again, which should come as no surprise when you learn who’s really behind the piece. Simmons lists his title as professor of political economy at Utah State University, but he doesn’t mention he is the Charles G. Koch professor of political economy. He’s also a senior fellow at the Koch– and ExxonMobil-funded Property and Environment Research Center. In other words, he works for oil companies.

So let’s expose this op-ed for what it really is: a fraudulent attempt to discredit clean, affordable wind energy and protect polluting coal plants….

Comment thread:

Kevon Martis: The author also disingenuously paints a false either/or scenario with respect to wind and fossil fuels. The truth is far different: wind energy binds ratepayers to fossil fuel generation in perpetuity, particularly gas-fired generation like that the produces more than 50% of Texas’ electricity. AWEA board member GE made that clear in testimony to the Obama White House: 

“Energy generation from renewable sources like wind and solar have zero
emissions and very low variable cost of generation. However, if flexible
generation assets, such as gas turbines, are not available, these renewable
technologies will not be deployed. In other words, gas turbines are an essential
component of renewable energy sources’ ability to penetrate the market.”

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/oira_2060/2060_07232013-1.pdf

And no one knows this better than the “fossil fuel front men” that inhabit the board of the American Wind Energy Association: http://www.awea.org/About/content.aspx?ItemNumber=779

Duke, E.On, AEP, Invenergy, FPL/NextEra: wall to wall fossil fuel.

That’s at least 3 strikes against this totally deceptive author….

Bruce Morgan Williams: FALSE. Recent studies by NREL, LBL, PJM, GE, and several universities have proven that we can integrate large amount of renewables and reduce fuel consumption significantly. It’s already happening. You post some political editorial BS that ignores real world data, and I post links to in-depth industry studies by grid operators.
You are either a Rube of a Shill (If you’re not sure, you’re a Rube)

http://www.pjm.com/committees-and-groups/subcommittees/irs/pris.aspx

Kevon Martis: Bruce Morgan Williams Actually the quote is from GE. You do know they are the biggest US wind turbine manufacturer and an AWEA board member? And the PJM study stipulates billions of dollars of new gas-fired generation right up front.


And it was done by GE as well.

The NEWIS study for ISO-NE (also by GE) says the same thing: gas is needed to integrate wind.

And NERC is saying the same thing about CAISO: nerc.com/pa/RAPA/ra/Reliability Assessments DL/NERC-CAISO_VG_Assessment_Final.pdf

Now show me where I posted editorial BS Bruce.

“Generating electricity from renewable energy rather than fossil fuels offers significant public health benefits. The air and water pollution emitted by coal plants is linked to breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, and cancer. Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy has been found to reduce premature mortality and lost workdays, and it reduces overall healthcare costs.”

Here is another whopper.

Notice how this quote conflates “coal” with “fossil fuels” and health impacts?

Here is the deceptive part: the alleged health impacts from coal emissions are derived from PM2.5 and/or Hg emissions. But natural gas-a fossil fuel- emits essentially none of those.

This author appears to be determined to deceive his audience at every turn….

Interesting that the wind promoters have decided to talk about water use in the generation sector as if reducing that use would end droughts.

Consider:

“When talking about water for power generation, two important terms must be explained and understood: water use and water consumption, said Dr. Susan Stuver, research scientist with the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) and Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI).

“If you’re using water and putting it back where it came from, it’s water use,” Stuver said. “A power plant is not consuming millions of gallons; it just needs (the water) once and then puts it back, and keeps using the same water over and over again.

“Water is drawn from the reservoir, used to cool the power plant and is then returned to the reservoir where it can therefore be used for other activities such as habitat for wildlife or recreation.”...

The problem is that wind energy costs at least $80/MWh to produce and often much more in many markets yet can only save $25-35/MWh of coal or gas fuel costs. In the meantime it is reducing the profitability of existing dispatchable power plants which normally would be fine if wind were a replacement technology for coal or gas generators. But it is not. Wind energy has a parasite/host relationship with primarily gas fired generators and when the parasite siphons off enough of the revenue stream of it’s requisite host it either dies-thus killing wind too-or the host demands new revenue removed from energy sales to keep it alive and the grid stable. That is a poor economic construct.

John Thomas Jordan Jr: Sorry not buying in. I don’t have a problem subsidizing renewable resources of any kind, we already subsidize traditional energy directly and indirectly. I also don’t have a problem with using all the above. As we develop more and better means of storage which won’t happen if there is no demand the reliance on other types of energy will shrink and the market will determine who is the ultimate winner.

Kevon Martis: John Thomas Jordan Jr. I see you are a union guy. Consider this: the steel industry spends $18 billion per year on electricity. They employ 100,000 people who are largely union. A 10% increase in the price of electricity takes $18,000/employee/year off the table for fringes and benefits. Wind energy’s wholesale PPA price is typically 80-120% higher than the wholesale value of electricity in most markets. Good luck with that next pay raise…

David Davila:  live in the Banning Pass, where wind power has been for decades. I really wish those that support it take a very close look at the existing farms here. Many are obsolete and don’t even work. They can’t be upgraded easily, all foundations, structures and wiring must be removed before an upgrade, that’s why many owners just walk away and abandon them. Many leak oil like a sieve that blows all over the desert. I also read these articles and wonder whether the authors ever calculate the energy deficit that they start with. +/- 5 tons of copper, +/- 80 tons of steel and +/- 150 gallons of oil and there are many other materials need as well that increase that consumption of energy before they produce a single watt. These materials were not mined, created or smelted using wind power. The authors do not even mentioning scraping vast amounts of pristine desert, local wildlife be damned. Want a permit for a large construction project? Good luck. Want one for a wind or solar farm and they can’t write them fast enough. Nice job looking at numbers and linking to them, horrible job taking all factors into account…

The True Benefits of Wind Power.

BigWind LOVES Tax Day in America!

Fed subsidies to BigWind13

 

The wind industry often peddles the false claim that conventional energy sources like natural gas, coal, and nuclear receive more subsidies than wind power. Industry lobbyists at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) use this myth as a talking point to push for more subsidies, including the federal Production Tax Credit. In reality, the exact opposite is true—wind energy requires massive subsidies to compete with conventional fuels—and new data (once again) prove it.

Recently, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a new report on federal energy subsidies. An analysis of EIA’s data by the Institute for Energy Research found that despite the wind lobby’s claims, wind energy is by far the most heavily subsidized fuel source, receiving more subsidies to produce less energy than conventional fuels. Moreover, even the data AWEA cites to bolster its case shows that wind is a bad deal for taxpayers….

On Tax Day, Big Wind Gets A Windfall – American Energy Alliance.

Natural Gas Says to Wind Energy: You’re Nothing Without Me!

Many are misinformed and believe that BigWind can survive INdependent from fossil fuels. The reality has been stated by the largest wind turbine company in the USA, GE, “Energy generation from renewable sources like wind and solar have zero emissions and very low variable cost of generation. However, if flexible generation assets, such as gas turbines, are not available, these renewable technologies will NOT be deployed.  In other words, gas turbines are an essential component of renewable energy sources ability to penetrate the market”  https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/oira_2060/2060_07232013-1.pdf

…The idea here is that wind energy should be seen as a hedge against the possibility that natural gas prices could increase. It is basically an attempt to use the old “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” analogy. This is persuasive only when one ignores the fact that wind energy is 65 percent natural gas, which is precisely what the model does.

For those who understand that a dependable blend which includes wind energy must contain mostly natural gas, the analogy of “not putting all your eggs in one basket” used to promote the study is ludicrous.

“The operative word is ‘or,’” said Tom Stacy, an electricity generation analyst and independent regulatory and policy consultant who signs his correspondence “Ohioan for Afford Electricity.” He explains that the “eggs in one basket” warning doesn’t make sense. “There is no ‘or.’ It is either 100 percent gas or 65 percent gas plus 35 percent wind.”

“The catch,” he continued, “is that compared to the cost of the natural gas basket, consumers are forced to pay triple for baskets because the wind basket costs twice what the gas basket does, yet the gas basket is still required to hold 65 percent of the eggs.” He continued, “The end result: For our dozen eggs, we pay for three baskets when we could have paid for one. In exchange we get four free eggs. The problem is the extra baskets cost far more than the eggs.”

… At one point the study report reveals its imaginary basis with the following statement: “If we choose the natural gas path and natural gas prices rise, we may regret that we are stuck using expensive natural gas when we could have had free wind or solar fuel.”

Free wind? That phrase alone seems contrived to deceive the uninitiated and validate the green faithful. Again, since wind is so unreliable, wind energy has to be backed up by natural gas 65 percent of the time. Under that circumstance — obviously — the cost of wind energy will always largely reflect the price of natural gas. What’s more, the impact of any natural gas price change on wind energy is really more that 65 percent, because natural gas, when hooked up to wind energy, is put to a less efficient use. This is due to the requirement that it be constantly adjusted for when the wind is or is not blowing or not blowing enough. It is exactly the same dynamic that takes place with an automobile’s use of gasoline when driving in city traffic as compared to coasting down the open highway.

In the real “power pool,” wind is not physically paired with just natural gas; it is also paired with coal. The example used in this article gives wind the benefit of the doubt by only using natural gas, and not coal, as the balancing source in the hybrid. The average emissions intensity of coal plus wind is far higher than for gas plus wind. In other words, coal gets terrible “city mileage MPG” compared to natural gas and the pairing of wind with coal results in the excessive inefficiency of stop and go traffic.

The flawed and dishonest premise of the 5 Lakes Energy Study marks it as just the latest attempt by wind energy advocates to promote their product by masking wind energy’s true nature. Wind energy is a less than 30 percent add-on to natural gas. Its effect on emissions, as compared to just natural gas alone, is debatable and at best minimal. The failure of the study to acknowledge this spoils all of its conclusions and suggestions….

A glance at a list of 5 Lakes Energy principle founders reveals more than one official from the administration of former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Michigan Capitol Confidential emailed the following questions to Douglas Jester, the author of the report on the study, and later to other 5 Lakes Energy officials. They were: Are you denying that wind energy is primarily fueled by natural gas? Why does your study appear to have not accounted for this reality? Is there something we are missing here that you should make us aware of?…

Natural Gas to Wind Energy: Youre Nothing Without Me [Michigan Capitol Confidential].

BigWind is subsidized >52x more than fossil fuels. Fair????

The next time someone tells you they support BigWind subsidies because fossil fuels receive them, too, remember this information. BigWind loves to tell the public that they only want what is fair- an equal opportunity. Is BigWind really being treated, equally? Is it fair when BigWind is being subsidized over 52 times more than the more conventional fossil fuels on a unit of production basis? It seems to us, that our tax dollars are subsidizing failure, not success, since BigWind produces less than 5% of our nation’s electricity…

At the request of Congress, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), an independent agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, evaluated the amount of subsidies that the federal government provides energy producers for fiscal year 2013, updating a study that it did for fiscal year 2010.[i] Over a 3-year period, from fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2013, total federal electricity-related subsidies increased from $11.7 billion to $16.1 billion, an increase of 38 percent over the 3-year period. The largest increases in federal energy subsidies were in electricity-related renewable energy, which increased 54 percent over the 3-year period, from $8.6 billion to $13.2 billion. Fossil fuel subsidies declined by 15 percent, from $4.0 billion to $3.4 billion. Total federal energy subsidies declined 23 percent, from $38 billion to $29 billion due to the expiration of tax incentives for biofuels, the depletion of stimulus funds, and a decrease in energy assistance funds

On a per dollar basis, government policies have led to solar generation being subsidized by over 345 times more than coal and oil and natural gas electricity production, and wind is being subsidized over 52 times more than the more conventional fossil fuels on a unit of production basis.

Over the 3-year period, electricity-related renewable subsidies increased, while conservation, end-use, and biofuels subsidies declined:

  • Renewable electricity-related subsidies increased by 54 percent from $8.6 billion to $13.2 billion. Electricity-related renewables saw the largest increase in federal benefits. Of the $13.2 billion in fiscal year 2013, $8.6 billion (65 percent) was related to the Obama administration’s economic stimulus law.
  • Solar led the various renewables with almost a 5-fold increase in subsidy (both electricity-related and non-electricity related) from $1.1 billion to $5.3 billion and led electricity sector subsidies on a unit of production basis.
  • Wind subsidies increased by 9 percent from $5.4 billion to $5.9 billion
  • Subsidies for biofuels declined by 74 percent, from $7 billion to $1.8 billion.
  • Conservation and end-use subsidies declined by half from $15.6 billion to $7.9 billion. Conservation subsidies declined from $7.1 billion to just under $2 billion (72 percent). End-use subsidies declined from $8.5 billion to just under $6 billion (30 percent).

Over the 3-year period, fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies declined:

  • Federal subsidies for coal declined by almost 3 percent from $1,116 million to $1,085 million.
  • Federal subsidies for oil and natural gas declined 20 percent from $2,918 million to $2,346 million.
  • Federal subsidies for nuclear energy declined 12 percent from $1,893 million to $1,660 million….

EIA Report: Subsidies Continue to Roll In For Wind and Solar – IER.

The road to American electrical blackouts is paved with wind turbines

Even though this article was written in April of 2014, it is still incredibly pertinent today.  This administration is heavily pushing renewable energy on the American citizen, through EPA rules and regulations- spoken about just last week by our President. Congress is, again, considering the renewal of the Wind Production Tax Credit.  The assaults on our energy grid are endless. Please educate yourselves and share your knowledge with friends and your legislators. We must now allow this to happen.  We do not want to someday say, “I told you so!”….

Last winter, bitterly cold weather placed massive stress on the US electrical system ― and the system almost broke. On January 7 in the midst of the polar vortex, PJM Interconnection, the Regional Transmission Organization serving the heart of America from New Jersey to Illinois, experienced a new all-time peak winter load of almost 142,000 megawatts.

Eight of the top ten of PJM’s all-time winter peaks occurred in January 2014. Heroic efforts by grid operators saved large parts of the nation’s heartland from blackouts during record-cold temperature days. Nicholas Akins, CEO of American Electric Power, stated in Congressional testimony, “This country did not just dodge a bullet ― we dodged a cannon ball.”

Environmental policies established by Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are moving us toward electrical grid failure. The capacity reserve margin for hot or cold weather events is shrinking in many regions.

What industry pays customers to take its product? The answer is the U.S. wind industry. Wind-generated electricity is typically bid in electrical wholesale markets at negative prices. But how can wind systems operate at negative prices?

The answer is that the vast majority of U.S. wind systems receive a federal production tax credit (PTC) of up to 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for produced electricity. Some states add an additional credit, such as Iowa, which provides a corporate tax credit of 1.5 cents per kw-hr. So wind operators can supply electricity at a pre-tax price of a negative 3 or 4 cents per kw-hr and still make an after-tax profit from subsidies, courtesy of the taxpayer….

Capacity shortages are beginning to appear. A reserve margin deficit of two gigawatts is projected for the summer of 2016 for the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), serving the northern plains states. Reserve shortages are also projected for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) by as early as this summer.

The United States has the finest electricity system in the world, with prices half those of Europe. But this system is under attack from foolish energy policies. Coal-fired power plants are closing, unable to meet EPA environmental guidelines. Nuclear plants are aging and beset by mounting losses, driven by negative pricing from subsidized wind systems. Without a return to sensible energy policies, prepare for higher prices and electrical grid failures.

Americas power grid at the limit: The road to electrical blackouts | The Daily Caller.