Why BigWind DOESN’T work

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Unfortunately, the Climate enthusiasts and BigWind have successfully persuaded a lot of the American public that Wind and Solar are Green, Clean, and Free. If only, we had more of it all over America, our climate problems would be solved. WARNING: THIS IS FALSE! 

Renewable energy must ALWAYS be backed up with fossil fuels and if it is not, then it must require massive, environmentally toxic (and cost prohibitive) batteries to function. Do you know someone who needs proof? This is easy. Just ask them to look up any of the dozens of articles about Georgetown, TX. This is a community that chose to ‘attempt’ to go 100% renewable and they are now going bankrupt. The Green New Deal is only Green for the companies who will line their pockets with cash….

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Georgetown, Texas – population 75,000 – was to be the new poster child of the green movement.

Environmental interest in Georgetown’s big push to generate all of its electricity from wind and solar power was amplified by three factors: the town and its mayor were nominally Republican; Georgetown is in an oil- and natural gas-rich state; and that state is deep-red Texas.

Former Vice President Al Gore and other climate change luminaries feted Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross, and Ross was featured prominently at renewable energy conventions.

TEXAS TOWN’S ENVIRONMENTAL NARCISSISM MAKES AL GORE HAPPY WHILE STICKING ITS CITIZENS WITH THE BILL

Last October, while the green dream was still in full flower, the city applied for a $1 million grant from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s nonprofit, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and won it.

Ostensibly to be used for energy storage innovation in batteries, the grant’s only real requirement was that the city serve as a public relations platform in Bloomberg’s push to convince Americas to abandon affordable fossil fuels and switch to more costly renewable energy.

Trouble started when politicians’ promise of cheaper renewable energy was mugged by reality.

Georgetown’s electric bills went up as more wind and solar power displaced cheaper natural gas in the power portfolio of the Georgetown’s municipal utility. Politicians scrambled for cover. And the bloom came off Georgetown’s renewable rose.

Now, largely embarrassed members of the City Council are trying to figure out how to unwind the renewable mess they and their predecessors voted themselves into.

With their municipal utility facing a $7 million shortfall – money that has to be made up by the city residents through higher electricity costs – the City Council voted 5-1 in July to instruct the staff to figure out how to wriggle out of the Bloomberg PR deal…..

Chuck DeVore link

And in another article…In justifying making his city 100% renewable (it’s really not, but more on that later), Ross has said, “This is a fact-based decision we made in Georgetown, and first and foremost it was an economic decision…” Ross went on to tout to the German television show, “…we are paying the same amount per kilowatt hour in year one than we are in year 25 with no cost escalation, so that meets the objective of cost certainty. And then in terms of regulatory risk — the knuckleheads in D.C. — what’s there to regulate with wind and solar? It’s clean energy. So this as the perfect solution for the citizens we were elected to serve.”

But there are two big problems with Ross’ statements.

First, Georgetown just announced that it is renegotiatingits wind and solar energy contracts after energy costs came in about $23.1 million over budget in 2016 and 2017. This year, the city—meaning the city’s taxpayers—paid $8.6 million more for electricity than expected due to falling electricity prices. The city made up $1.8 million of the shortfall by not spending as much as budgeted on investments in electric infrastructure. So much for getting a good deal for the taxpayer.

Second, wind and solar aren’t without risk from government policy, regulatory or otherwise. In fact, a huge part of the renewable market is entirely artificial—propped up by government subsidies and mandates as well as policies that allow periodic renewable power sources to send electricity to the grid whenever they produce it while the cost of maintaining the grid’s reliability are levied upon others: consumers and reliable baseload generators that pay for fuel in exchange for being able to produce power whenever it’s needed….

Forbes description link

“Paying” a BigPrice for BigWind

We have, over the years, repeatedly blogged about how renewables will RAISE electricity prices, NOT lower them, as BigWind touts. Unfortunately, our words are clouded by the loud mouths of BigWind…an industry that has now received Bigpaychecks from the US taxpayers for more than 30 years! Proof of OUR claims are below, right here in the USA. Texas electricity rates are HIGHER, not lower, with BigWind. Is this truth being shared? Not nearly enough. If you read the entire article, you will find that this community is now well known, among the renewable world, for its success in becoming 100% renewable.  Unfortunately, the same renewable world is not being 100% honest, in its reporting…
Georgetown, Texas, just 30-miles north of Austin, earned international acclaim after announcing its transition to a 100% renewable energy portfolio. Since mid-2018, all electricity consumed by the City, its residents and businesses, is sourced from a combination of wind and solar plants operating in the state. Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross, a CPA, touted the decision as a “no-brainer” grounded in economics and long-term strategic planning. For Ross, wind and solar were cheaper, more reliable, and the way of the future.
The shift to renewables put Georgetown on the green energy map and raised Mayor Ross’ public profile leading to national media interviews and a coveted spot in Al Gore’s sequel to “An Inconvenient Truth.” Plaudits aside, Georgetown ratepayers were promised measureable reductions in their power expenses. The City’s 2016 annual budget anticipated an overall 10.8% decrease in electric utility expenses from the prior year’s projections owing largely to renewables.
But now that Georgetown is ‘running’ on wind and solar, its officials are facing a harsh reality.
Actual power purchases for 2016 were 22% over budget coming in at $42.6 million against an expected cost of $35 million. In 2017, costs surged again to $52.5 million and all indications are Georgetown electricity customers will take another bath this year. (See table 2)
TABLE 2
Georgetown, Texas Budget/Cost Data
(all figures taken from City budgets posted online)
Year Demand (MWh) Initial
Budget ($)
Amended
Budget ($)
Actual
Costs ($)
2011 547,476 37,448,760 35,018,526 37,455,227
2012 537,986 39,149,279 36,880,197 36,278,168
2013 544,340 34,550,709  29,020,574 27,689,893
2014 565,518 36,768,008 33,012,132 38,384,323
2015 590,029 37,073,038 37,073,038 40,538,526
2016 605,020 34,000,000 35,000,000 42,622,904
2017 621,464  38,000,000 44,000,000 52,526,535
2018 640,108*  44,000,000 52,000,000  tbd
2019 659,311*  48,000,000 tbd
…It’s no secret that renewable energy is flooding the Texas power market and depressing prices, especially during off-peak, off-season periods. ERCOT regularly reports real-time energy prices so the information was there for the City and everyone else to see. Power contracts and federal subsidies further encourage drops as wind and solar resources become immune to market signals and can afford to generate even when prices go negative.