Are there Billionaires against BigWind? turning tides…

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Should the government have mandated ‘the horse and buggy’? No, and it should not mandate BigWind!!!

Bill Gates offered some surprisingly critical comments about environmental activists who believe the proliferation of renewable energy is the only answer to climate change.

Gates is no stranger to environmental activism. The founder of Microsoft — and a man worth almost $100 billion — has used his wealth to propel a number of climate change initiatives. He currently leads a coalition of billionaires who are investing in clean energy technologies. The philanthropy organization he founded, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is focusing on the adaptation to climate change.

Gates has also invested in the development of advanced nuclear reactors, and a company, Carbon Engineering, that uses technology to capture carbon right out of the sky….

While he has devoted an enormous amount of money and personal time to helping curb carbon emissions, Gates isn’t afraid to level criticism at environmental activists. The billionaire philanthropist told Axios that people who believe solar and wind development is the sole solution to stopping climate change are just as bad as people who block progress.

“That general impression that ‘Oh, it’s just about solar and wind,’ that I think is as dangerous to us as the fact that in one country, the U.S., there’s a faction that associates with ‘Hey, let’s not make any trade-offs to go in and solve this problem,’” he said.

“A lot of people think, OK, renewable energy, wind and solar, has gotten a lot cheaper, isn’t that it?” Gates explained. “Well, electricity is only a quarter of the problem. In fact, we’ve got to solve the entire 100 percent…

Gates’ comments come when wind and solar proponents are increasingly pushing state governments to increase their renewable energy standards. Numerous efforts — much of them funded by billionaire activist Tom Steyer — have sought to increase the renewable energy mandates in varying states.

Bill Gates

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Will the Renewable Energy ‘house of cards’ FALL in the USA?

The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently released a report agreeing with the renewable industries’ dual claim that even though technologies like wind and solar power are now cost-competitive with conventional energy sources, governments should continue to subsidize them(say what??). This rhetoric suggests that American taxpayer dollars should continue to prop up the profitability of select companies compared with what the free market would objectively and more efficiently determine.

In other words, the IEA implicitly confirms that by removing government support, many renewable energy companies would collapse like a house of cards because they aren’t competitive without it. Further, the report concludes that without government subsidies for renewable companies, investors would not be comfortable investing private capital.

Why then would the U.S. government want America to put all of her eggs in a renewables basket? Warren Buffet, billionaire and major investor in wind energy, has admitted that wind isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. “The only reason to build them [wind farms]” is the subsidies; “They don’t make sense without” them….

The IEA report confirms that renewable energy technologies depend more on government action than fossil-fuel based investments. Unlike renewables, coal and natural gas producers can respond to market signals by adjusting their output and operating costs. Texas is at the center of this debate over preserving renewable subsidies because the state leads the nation with 18.2 GW of combined installed wind and solar capacity. The Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard’s (RPS) goal of reaching 10,000 MW by 2025 was met in 2010, 15 years ahead of schedule. The Texas Legislature now faces a dilemma of whether to increase the costly RPS after long meeting its goal…

Since the RPS was not increased or made voluntary, renewable energy credits for new projects have become even more scarce than they were during the boom of projects in the early 2000s. Despite this, Texas has reached 16 GW of installed wind capacity since the boom and now produces roughly 20 percent of the nation’s wind-powered electricity generation.

Given the scarcity of renewable energy credits, how did Texas renewables achieve this growth?

According to the IEA, about one-third of the 4.8 GW of wind power installed in Texas in 2014 was financed using “synthetic power purchase agreements,” also known as hedges. Under these agreements, the power producer sells its electricity directly into the wholesale spot market and receives the prevailing market price. To compensate for the unpredictability of market prices, however, the power producer signs a contract for a financial product known as a “hedge” to provide protection against volatility and increase the stability of future cash flows.

These agreements effectively enable project developers, in combination with federal tax incentives, to secure debt and equity financing required to finance their projects.* …

Regarding renewables, producers are hedging their bets on production with synthetic power purchase agreements to ensure profitability despite receiving government subsidies. All this to finance energy that cannot be produced when it’s not windy or sunny outside…

It’s time for Texas to take a closer look at the effect of increasing renewable generation and steer the competitive electricity market away from growing subsidies for unreliable energy sources. Once Texas, the nation’s leading energy producer, starts to move the dial, other states and the federal government should follow to allow free markets to work instead of contributing to a boom and bust cycle.

Source: The Renewable Energy House of Cards | RealClearEnergy