How much are Texans paying for BigWind? And, what are the future risks?

Texas is the most productive state for wind power. The Lone Star State pumps out 18,000 MW of wind generation capacity. And that’s not counting an additional 5,500 MW of possible further capacity, which is equal to California’s entire installed wind capacity.
The West Texas oilfields have an energy problem. Reliance on wind power in West Texas — a unreliable energy source that is itself too reliant on massive government subsidies — has threatened the reliability of the energy market in that region and statewide.
The problem is the renewable energy industry hasn’t yet built the infrastructure needed to deliver the power where it’s needed. In Texas, it’s mostly generated by an $8 billion transmission system built to bring electricity from West Texas to the state’s big cities in the south and east. But this relatively new transmission system is already reaching capacity.
And Texas is learning how costly it can be to harness the wind. The current transmission system isn’t enough to handle the Lone Star State’s needs. And now the state is being forced to spend hundreds of millions more to upgrade the system. 4,000 MW of new generation are expected in the Panhandle over the next several years. But those projects could be curtailed if capacity isn’t increased- Raphael Telis PhD

Wind turbines are pushing Texas’s power grid to the limit, despite more than $8 billion invested in green infrastructure, according to a report published Friday in the Technology Review, by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Texas is learning just how costly it is to wrangle the wind,” MIT researchers found.

Texas is already spending $8 billion, but the state’s utilities and transmission companies will have to spend hundreds of millions more to upgrade the system enough to transport electricity from wind-rich West Texas to market in East Texas, the report found. Texas’ new wind turbines also place dangerous stress on the power grid, potentially leading to blackouts.

“Wind power suffers from two fatal flaws: unfortunate geography and unreliable output,” Travis Fisher, an economist at the Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “In Texas, much of the wind generation is in regions where relatively few people live. To get that electricity to more densely populated regions it took an $8 billion dollar transmission buildout.”…

…grid operators have to keep excess conventional power reserves running. Power demand is relatively predictable over time and conventional power plans, like nuclear plants and natural gas, can easily adjust output.

“However, even with new transmission lines in place, there is no way around the intermittent nature of wind production,” Fisher continued….

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is currently investigating how green energy undermines the reliability of the electrical grid. FERC believe there is a ‘significant risk’ of electricity in the United States becoming unreliable because “wind and solar don’t offer the services the shuttered coal plants provided.”…

This type of damage has already occurred in Germany and in other grids that rely too much on solar and wind power- like California.

Germany has been minimizing the damage by paying consumers to take excess power and asking wind and solar producers to switch off when they’re not needed. Germany paid wind farms $548 million last year to switch off…

Due to the damaging effects green energy has had on Germany’s grid, the government plans to cap the total amount of wind energy at 40-50% of national capacity…By 2019, Germany will get rid of 6.000 MW of wind power capacity…

 

Source: Costly Wind Turbines Are Damaging Texas Power Grid, MIT Study Finds Via @dailycaller

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Do Ohioans want to spend 3.5X MORE $$ for electricity from BigWind? Say NO!

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 3.33.30 PM

A new study from the Institute for Energy Research finds that electricity from new wind and solar power is 2.5 to 5 times more expensive than electricity from existing coal and nuclear power.

This innovative study relies on data from the Energy Information Administration and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to find the levelized cost of electricity from existing plants, not just the cost of electricity from new power plants as is typical with many studies.

In addition, IER’s study estimates the costs imposed on the grid by the intermittent nature of wind and solar power. Factoring in these “imposed costs” provides a more realistic estimate of what electricity from new wind and solar power costs. In fact, solar power’s imposed costs actually increase as more capacity is added to the system.

A chart, in this study, shows the stark contrast between the cost of electricity from existing and new sources.

It indicates:
Electricity from new solar is nearly 5 times more expensive than from existing nuclear and over 3.5 times more expensive than from existing coal.
Electricity from new wind is over 3.5 times more expensive than from existing nuclear and over 2.5 times more expensive than from existing coal.
“Much of our existing coal and nuclear fleet could continue to provide affordable, reliable electricity for decades to come if not for policies like the Obama administration’s carbon regulations or the deal struck in California to shut down Diablo Canyon,” said IER President Thomas Pyle.

“Unnecessarily shutting down our existing generation in favor of expensive and intermittent wind and solar power means Americans will be left with higher electricity bills and less money in their pockets. This will have the harshest impact on poor and middle class families who spend more of their hard-earned money on energy costs. This study adds a much-needed reality check to the debate over our nation’s electricity policy.”

Click below to read the full study. Thank you to Tom Stacy, one of the authors, from the Great Buckeye State!!

via: http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/IER_LCOE_2016-2.pdf

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

Big Wind’s Windfall (again) from the Taxpayer

Institute for Energy Research President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement on the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to double the “commence construction” period for wind power projects from two to four years:

“This is nothing short of theft from American taxpayers. The IRS is far more concerned about providing special interest handouts through the wind PTC than protecting the American families who actually pay taxes. This is a travesty, but it is par for the course for an administration that has no concern for the economic well being of everyday Americans.

“This is just another example of the Obama administration circumventing the will of Congress, which began the process of phasing out this wasteful subsidy in December of last year. It now falls to Congress to clean up the taxpayer-funded mess this administration has made.”

 

Source: Big Wind’s Windfall – IER

Are you willing to pay more taxes to support BigWind? See what MIT thinks

I don’t know about you, but I think I pay enough in taxes. Particularly, when I read the ’50 examples of government waste’ by the Heritage Foundation. Enough is enough. MIT has a tremendous reputation of graduating and recruiting some of the brightest minds in America. It is no surprise, then, that they have confirmed what so many of us have been screaming for years.  Now, if you live in Ohio, know that BigWind is pushing our legislature to reduce our wind turbine setbacks, so they can plant MORE turbines across our state!! What happens if the rug is pulled out from under this renewable technology? What will happen to the structures that will dot our landscape? They will deteriorate and then become dangerous, as maintenance will be cost-prohibitive. Who is then at risk? Everyone below…

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have confirmed what many in the energy world already knew: Without government support or high taxes, green energy will never be able to compete with conventional, more reliable power plants.

The study, announced by MIT’s News Office Wednesday, determined that conventional energy would be consistently less expensive than green energy over the next 10 years. The study concludes that the government could make green energy competitive by offering enormous amounts of taxpayer support.

The study confirms that green energy can only work when energy prices are extremely high and require government support. Projections from the International Energy Agency estimate that developing wind and solar power enough to substantially impact global warming could cost up to $16.5 trillion by 2030….

The MIT study also noted that solar and wind power are more than twice as expensive as natural gas, and tax on carbon dioxide emissions could increase electricity prices enough for green sources to compete. Even environmental groups such as The Sierra Club worry increasingly cheap energy will make the case for green power weaker.

“Wind and solar can’t compete with conventional sources on their own merits,” Chris Warren, a spokesperson for the Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “That’s why the national environmental lobby and their allies are peddling the idea of a carbon tax. They want to punish the use of natural gas, oil and, coal to make their preferred sources appear more profitable. In practice, a carbon tax would have a devastating impact on American families already struggling in the Obama economy–hurting the poor and middle class the most.”

Critics have said carbon taxation disproportionately harms the poorest members of society….

 

Source: MIT: Green Energy Can’t Work Unless You Tax Everything Via @dailycaller

Will Amazon be on Santa’s ‘naughty’ list?

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, many Americans look to Amazon to deliver their Christmas gifts. But, will Amazon be on Santa’s naught list this year? The company is not being truthful with the American taxpayers. The industrial wind energy produced in North Carolina, by Iberdrola, will never fully power their data centers. In fact, historically, with capacity factors well below 40% and capacity value worth even less, it is a flat-out lie to claim it. What do they claim? Well, earlier in the year, Amazon reported a goal to power 100% of their operations with renewable energy and stated that the NC site should improve the goal to nearly 40%. Seriously?  Americans should demand proof and ask them to operate their data centers with wind power for a week. What would happen? All of us would have to shop in the wee hours of the night (when it is most windy) and expect the ordering process and delivery to take significantly longer…because their website would constantly go down, when the wind doesn’t blow….

When Amazon Web Services, a division of online retailer Amazon, announced in July its involvement in North Carolina’s first major wind farm, the company stated the power would be used for its data centers in Northern Virginia, but the centers will continue to purchase electricity entirely from Dominion Virginia Power, the public utility that currently supplies the Amazon data centers.

While AWS has agreed to buy all the power from the 208-megawatt wind farm being built and operated in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties by Iberdrola Renewables, the power will be connected to the grid locally and cannot be plugged into the data centers, which are 200 miles away….

The centers will continue to operate with the same mix of fuel types that power other Dominion customers; in 2013, that mix was 41 percent nuclear, 37 percent coal, and 20 percent natural gas. Renewables including solar, wind, hydro, and biomass constituted the remaining 2 percent.

“Amazon is one of many companies making misleading claims about how their facilities and operations are powered,” said Travis Fisher, an economist with the nonprofit Institute for Energy Research in Washington, D.C. “These companies are connected to the grid, which receives 86 percent of its power from coal, natural gas, and nuclear. Wind and solar power are expensive and unreliable energy sources and can’t be counted on to supply on-demand electricity. That’s why these sources require costly mandates and subsidies to prop them up. It’s fortunate for Amazon’s customers that they’re connected to reliable sources of electricity and aren’t subject to wind energy’s fickle output.”

Amazon’s contention that the wind farm will make its data center operations “green” also may run afoul of Federal Trade Commission guidelines governing the use of such claims in corporate promotions. “It is deceptive to misrepresent, directly or by implication, that a product or package is made with renewable energy or that a service uses renewable energy,” the FTC’s Green Guides state. (See related story here.)

Amazon not talking

CJ attempted to discuss the wind farm project with Amazon’s Global Communications operations manager Mary Camarata, who asked for written questions. Among the questions CJ submitted include: How much power is currently consumed at the Virginia data centers? How much would AWS be paying Iberdrola for power? And, what is the net cost to AWS for the project?

“We don’t disclose that level of detail. Sorry,” Camarata responded….

BigWind’s Dirty Little Secrets they they don’t want you to know

Neodymium-in every wind turbine

Continuing with the theme from the prior blog post, Wind Turbines are NOT good for the earth! This information is also worth sharing with friends who believe that industrial wind turbines are ‘renewable and green’ for the environment. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the info below, even tells us that it INcreases our dependence on China….

The wind industry promotes itself as better for the environment than traditional energy sources such as coal and natural gas. For example, the industry claims that wind energy reduces carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming….

Another environmental trade-off concerns the materials necessary to construct wind turbines. Modern wind turbines depend on rare earth minerals mined primarily from China. Unfortunately, given federal regulations in the U.S. that restrict rare earth mineral development and China’s poor record of environmental stewardship, the process of extracting these minerals imposes wretched environmental and public health impacts on local communities. It’s a story Big Wind doesn’t want you to hear.

Rare Earth Horrors

Manufacturing wind turbines is a resource-intensive process. A typical wind turbine contains more than 8,000 different components, many of which are made from steel, cast iron, and concrete. One such component are magnets made from neodymium and dysprosium, rare earth minerals mined almost exclusively in China, which controls 95 percent of the world’s supply of rare earth minerals.

Simon Parry from the Daily Mail traveled to Baotou, China, to see the mines, factories, and dumping grounds associated with China’s rare-earths industry. What he found was truly haunting:

As more factories sprang up, the banks grew higher, the lake grew larger and the stench and fumes grew more overwhelming.

‘It turned into a mountain that towered over us,’ says Mr Su. ‘Anything we planted just withered, then our animals started to sicken and die.’

People too began to suffer. Dalahai villagers say their teeth began to fall out, their hair turned white at unusually young ages, and they suffered from severe skin and respiratory diseases. Children were born with soft bones and cancer rates rocketed.

Official studies carried out five years ago in Dalahai village confirmed there were unusually high rates of cancer along with high rates of osteoporosis and skin and respiratory diseases. The lake’s radiation levels are ten times higher than in the surrounding countryside, the studies found.

As the wind industry grows, these horrors will likely only get worse. Growth in the wind industry could raise demand for neodymium by as much as 700 percent over the next 25 years, while demand for dysprosium could increase by 2,600 percent, according to a recent MIT study. The more wind turbines pop up in America, the more people in China are likely to suffer due to China’s policies. Or as the Daily Mail put it, every turbine we erect contributes to “a vast man-made lake of poison in northern China.”

Big Wind’s Dependence on China’s “Toxic Lakes”

The wind industry requires an astounding amount of rare earth minerals, primarily neodymium and dysprosium, which are key components of the magnets used in modern wind turbines. Developed by GE in 1982, neodymium magnets are manufactured in many shapes and sizes for numerous purposes. One of their most common uses is in the generators of wind turbines.

Estimates of the exact amount of rare earth minerals in wind turbines vary, but in any case the numbers are staggering. According to the Bulletin of Atomic Sciences, a 2 megawatt (MW) wind turbine contains about 800 pounds of neodymium and 130 pounds of dysprosium. The MIT study cited above estimates that a 2 MW wind turbine contains about 752 pounds of rare earth minerals.

To quantify this in terms of environmental damages, consider that mining one ton of rare earth minerals produces about one ton of radioactive waste, according to the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security. In 2012, the U.S. added a record 13,131 MW of wind generating capacity. That means that between 4.9 million pounds (using MIT’s estimate) and 6.1 million pounds (using the Bulletin of Atomic Science’s estimate) of rare earths were used in wind turbines installed in 2012. It also means that between 4.9 million and 6.1 million pounds of radioactive waste were created to make these wind turbines.

…America may not have a perfect solution to nuclear storage, but it sure beats disposing of radioactive material in toxic lakes like near Baotou, China.

Not only do rare earths create radioactive waste residue, but according to the Chinese Society for Rare Earths, “one ton of calcined rare earth ore generates 9,600 to 12,000 cubic meters (339,021 to 423,776 cubic feet) of waste gas containing dust concentrate, hydrofluoric acid, sulfur dioxide, and sulfuric acid, [and] approximately 75 cubic meters (2,649 cubic feet) of acidic wastewater.”…

Source: Big Wind’s Dirty Little Secret: Toxic Lakes and Radioactive Waste – IER