Clean Energy’s Dirty Secrets and Hidden Costs to USA!

Are you confused as to why renewables can COST us $? And how can anyone say that they DON’T reduce our carbon emissions? Read below, and you will find excellent analyses of why they do NOT belong on our grid and how they will cost all of us in our pocketbook.  Thank you Governor Kasich and our legislators for passing SB 310 to ‘freeze’ our renewable mandates while their effects are studied!…

…In May of this year, President Obama declared the shift to clean energy a “fight” that was about shaping the sector “that is probably going to have more to do with how well our economy succeeds than just about any other.” At least on that, the president was right. If we get energy wrong, America will throw away the world-leading energy advantages bestowed on it by geology, technology, and capitalism….

Presenting the administration’s Clean Power Plan, EPA administrator Gina McCarthy admitted it was not about pollution control. “It’s about investments inrenewables and clean energy,” she told the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in July. “This is an investment strategy.” The president’s favorite corporate-tax inverter has a different take on the nature of the investment opportunity. “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms,” Warren Buffett told Berkshire Hathaway’s investors. “That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” While wind investors hoover up the $23 production tax credit per megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity produced, the real costs of intermittent renewables such as wind and solar are many times greater. And they’re not even good at what they’re meant to do — reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Deriving a large proportion of energy from renewables is proving extremely costly for Germany…Despite lower economic growth in Germany than in the U.S., German emissions have been rising seven times faster — up 9.3 percent between 2009 and 2013 compared with 1.3 percent for the United States….

The closure of a nuclear-power station shows that something is amiss. Nuclear-power stations emit no carbon dioxide. Their running costs are low and much of the costs are unavoidable whether the stations are kept open or closed — construction and commissioning at the front-end, de-commissioning at the back. Since 2008, the output of America’s nuclear-power stations has fallen by 0.480 billion MWh, a decline of 6 percent. In a properly functioning market, this shouldn’t be happening….

To the life-cycle cost of renewables must be added short-term balancing and longer-term-capacity adequacy to match supply to demand. Because renewables output depends on the weather, an electricity system with a high proportion of renewables needs much more generating capacity. Without renewables, Britain would need 22GW of new capacity to replace aging coal and nuclear-power stations. With renewables, Britain will need 50GW, i.e., 28 GW extra to deal with the intermittency problem. And the more renewables in the system, the worse the problem is…

Levelized costs also ignore extra spending on grid infrastructure. Texas is the leading wind state, accounting for nearly 22 percent of the nation’s wind-generated electricity.  Transmitting electricity from wind farms in the rural north and west of the state to cities such as Dallas and Houston caused grid congestion. The state decided to have consumers back the inaptly named Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) grid program to give wind investors a windfall subsidy in the form of access to nearly 3,600 miles of transmission lines. Subsidies via grid infrastructure spending can be more costly than overt plant-level subsidies. Bill Peacock and Josiah Neeley of the Texas Public Policy Foundation reckon that CREZ costs attributable to wind amount to $6.8 billion. This compares to plant-level subsidies of $4.14 billion in the ten years between 2005 and 2015.

Perhaps the dirtiest secret of renewables is how ineffective they are at displacing carbon dioxide emissions. Brookings senior fellow Charles Frank has calculated that replacing coal with modern combined-cycle gas turbines cuts 2.6 times more emissions than using wind does, and cuts four times as many emissions as solar.  If anything, these figures are likely to be too generous to renewables…

The most insidious and destructive effect of renewables, however, is on the wholesale electricity markets. Intermittent renewables, particularly wind, can flood the market at random times of day with zero marginal-cost electricity. The production tax credit means that renewable investors make money from negative prices down to minus $23 per MWh. Episodes of negative prices are evidence of an electricity market that isn’t working. They imply that what is being produced is garbage — someone has to be paid to take the electricity away.

Negative prices crush incentives to invest in the conventional capacity needed to keep the power on when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. The OECD report warns that gas, coal, and nuclear-power stations would experience lower electricity prices, reduced load factors, and higher costs because of intermittent renewables. To avoid the risk of “green outs” caused by inadequate investment in conventional and nuclear capacity, governments and regulators have to intervene and construct capacity markets to redress the distortion created by renewables. These don’t come cheap. In the case of Texas, the Brattle Group estimates that a capacity market would cost Texans an extra $3.2 billion a year….

Across the Atlantic, the calamity of renewable energy is becoming more visible each day. It will not be only good economists who see that imitating Europe would be a colossal blunder….

via Clean Energy’s Dirty Secrets | National Review Online.

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German OFFshore BigWind humiliates their country

As BigWind eyes our sea shores, with particular focus off the New England coasts, we should learn from the mistakes of other countries. Germans now pay approximately 36 cents/kWh of energy. What do you, in America, pay? Look at your bill.  It is probably LESS than 9 cents. Thank you, Ohio legislators, for passing SB 310 which ‘freezes’ our mandates for this expensive energy. BigWind does NOT deserve our generous subsidies or tax breaks…

Germany’s flagship Bard 1 offshore wind farm has been described as “a faulty total system” as technical problems continue to plague the project, casting major doubts on the feasibility of large scale offshore projects.

The wind farm was officially turned on in August last year but was shut down again almost immediately due to technical difficulties that have still not been resolved – and now lawyers are getting involved.

The wind farm comprises 80 5MW turbines situated 100 km off the north German coastline. The difficulty facing engineers is how to get the electricity generated back to shore. So far, every attempt to turn on the turbines has resulted in overloaded and “gently smouldering” offshore converter stations.

Built at a cost of hundreds of millions and costing between €1 and €2 million a day to service, the project is estimated to have cost €340 million in lost power generation over the last year alone. And if the problems with the technology are deemed not to be the fault of the operator, German taxpayers will be on the hook for the running and repair costs, thanks to the German Energy Act 2012….

Germany already has amongst the highest energy bills in the world, not helped by the EU’s commitment to carbon reduction measures at the behest of an increasingly hysterical climate change industry, and the rest of Europe fares no better. British and European climate change policies already add an extra ten percent to British householders’ energy bills, at a time when fuel poverty affects one in four people….

However, with the Bild 1 turbines are already being tagged “white elephants in the North Sea” by sources such as the Economist, and with costs mounting and no end in sight, the question being asked, in Germany at least, is “Is the wind boom over before it even really began?”

via Flagship German Offshore Wind Farm Project Humiliated by Technical Faults.

Kentucky moving BigWind 1 MILE from Property Lines

A Kentucky county moves toward a 1 MILE setback for wind turbines from PROPERTY LINES. Once again, it makes our new Ohio setback of approximately 1250 feet look mighty small.  Kentucky has awoken to the realities of living near these industrial sites and we thank our legislators for trying to protect our citizens with passage of Ohio Senate Bill 310….

The first step has been taken by county officials to ban industrial wind turbines from Mason County.

After months of discussion and listening to concerned citizens, Wind Energy Ordinance 14-09 had its first reading Tuesday during Mason County Fiscal Court…

The recommendations were the culmination of months of discussion, public meetings and a trip to an Indiana wind farm by JPC board members…

Restrictions on large industrial wind turbines include: turbines can only be located in areas of the county zoned rural industrial (I3); one mile set back distances without any waivers whatsoever, from the following: property lines, public roads and right-of-ways, community zones, incorporated cities/towns, platted subdivisions, public or semi-public structures such as schools and/or churches, historical landmarks, cell towers, electric transmission lines, railroads, and to strictly follow any regulations as set out by the Kentucky Airport Zoning Commission; noise restrictions not to exceed 30 dB(A) scale at any non-participating property line and less than 50 dB(C) scale….

via Wind energy ordinance moves forward.

Are Kansans tired of BigWind raising their electricity rates?

According to a Forbes article, which highlights data from the EIA, Kansas electricity rates have risen 29% since 2008…more than 4x the national average.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2014/02/27/wind-industry-study-electricity-prices-skyrocketing-in-largest-wind-power-states/

Kansas is one of the largest wind powered states. Their governor has said it right, ‘the wind industry is now strong’. How strong? BigWind is now one of the strongest lobbying groups in DC.  They will fiercely fight this change, just as they are fighting hard to extend their federal handout, the Wind Production Tax Credit.  Remember, we have commented on this truth before…that tax credit makes it worthwhile for foreign companies to build wind sites that are UNprofiittable; in other words, they can lose money generating electricity because the tax credit is so generous! Do you like having your tax dollars wasted like this?

Thank you Ohio Governor Kasich and our legislators, for passing SB 310 to ‘freeze’ our similar mandates. We don’t want to end up with skyrocketing electricity rates here. That policy is not good for our residents, our manufacturers or our job producers….

Gov. Sam Brownback says he’s open to proposals for phasing out a renewable energy requirement for Kansas utilities because policies aimed at nurturing the wind industry shouldn’t remain in place forever.

The Republican governor said Wednesday that he’s not developing a proposal of his own and wants wind energy companies, critics of the requirement and other interested parties to negotiate a new policy.

But Brownback said he has supported the policy because it helped develop the wind industry in Kansas but said the industry is now strong….

via Brownback Open to Phasing Out Kansas Energy Rule – KSAL.com.

Winds of change blow Everpower out of Ohio…

More than a month ago, we learned that Everpower intended to close its Bellefontaine, Ohio office on or about August 1st.  At the time, the Bellefontaine Examiner called to verify the story and Jason Dagger denied it.  On July 22nd, Everpower’s Dagger and Mike Pullins sent a letter to Buckeye Wind Leaseholders advising them that the local office is indeed closing and the Pittsburgh office will handle any related business.  The letter goes on to say Dagger and Pullins will continue to be available locally and that an ‘operations and maintenance facility’ will open when construction begins.  In the meantime, they express concern over the ‘uncertainty’ caused by the renewable energy freeze and the elimination of the in-state mandate (SB310) as well as the threat of new setback requirements.  Everpower believes the change in setback language was enacted without any ‘qualified experts’ like the wind industry.  They assert that the language implementing new setbacks is ‘unclear’ but could impact Buckeye I and II and Scioto Ridge.  Notwithstanding, Dagger and Pullins remain optimistic that the projects will go forward but warn that “Landowners and community support is more critical than ever.”  They as for a demonstration of “Strong community support” and state:

“The more that is demonstrated by public officials, the better the investment environment for Everpower.  We encourage you, your family and friends to reach out to your local officials and share your support of the projects and ask that they take a public stand in support of the projects.”

We do not know what this plea for support means.  We do know that Pullins and Dagger have asked the Union, Urbana, and Goshen township trustees to withdraw their lawsuit filed in the Ohio Supreme court on July 16th.  They have attended Township Trustee meetings recently to vigorously argue for a negotiation rather than a court action.  The County and the Townships current appeal to the supreme court makes the case that Everpower was unlawfully granted amendments to their certificate withOUT a hearing.  Thie is important to understand because it appears they are trying to do it again by filing a motion to extend the deadline of the their certificate of approval.  Under the current certificate of approval, Everpower must dommence construction by March 22, 2015.  By attempting to obtain an extension by motion INSTEAD of an application, Everpower eliminats the opportunity for the public to comment.  If Everpower is required to file and APPLICATION seeking an extension, the public would have an opportunity to comment.  More important, if the Ohio Power Siting Board were required to hold a hearing on the request for an extension, it likely would not hold the hearing before the new setbacks become effective September 15th.

Please take this opportunity to let the Township Trustees and County Commissioners know you support their appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.  If you believe and application should be required for Everpower’s certificate extension, please let them know NOW.  If you would like to write to the Ohio Power Siting Board to request a hearing on the extension of Everpower’s certificate, you can email the OPSB at contactOPSB@puc.state.oh.us  and you must reference this case no:  08-0666-EL-BGN.  Written comments can be mailed to OPSB 180 E Broad St, Columbus, Ohio  43215 and you must also include the case number.

 

Watch out for the newest BigWind visitor in Ohio, APEX

There has been a somewhat quiet consolidation of wind developments in Ohio and Indiana this year and we are just now beginning to see the bigger picture.  Wind projects in various stages of development across Ohio have been sold to Apex. Below we list what we know thus far.  We will be seeing and hearing more about Apex in the days to come.  Could they have been surprised by the change in property line setbacks and the renewable mandate freeze?    If not, they may become buyers for other projects in Ohio as other developers threaten to leave the state.   Who is Apex?  Our research indicates they are a subsidiary of Greenlight Energy Resources which, in turn, appears to be connected to BP Alternative Energy.  (BP owns leases in Southern VW county and wants to utilize the Spencerville-Elgin railroad to build a transmission line)

It is often difficult to sort through ownership of wind facilities/leases.   In the case of Apex, there seems to have been little publicity.  The “press releases” quoted below are the complete texts we could find.  It seems the announcements may not have even been sent to the media in the areas where the acquired projects are located.  Lack of transparency is nothing new in the world of industrial wind but a new law in Kentucky may begin to change that.  Earlier this year the Kentucky legislature passed a law that requires a wind developer to announce when they intend to work in an area and, in some cases, send letters to property owners advising them of their interest in the area.   We understand that that the public notice must be given before wind leases are signed.  In addition, prior to submitting an application to the state, the local community can request a public meeting to review the proposed application. Remember this company name, as you may hear more about it in Ohio, soon…..

APEX PROJECTS IN OHIO

Erie & Huron (Firelands Wind)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, March 25, 2014 – Apex Clean Energy has acquired the wind energy assets of Firelands Wind Farm, a subsidiary of juwi Wind. These assets have the potential to support approximately 100 MW of wind energy capacity in Ohio.

Seneca & Huron (Emerson Creek I and Emerson Creek II)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, April 18, 2013 – Apex Wind Energy has acquired certain wind development assets from Citizens Wind, L.L.C. These assets have the potential to support approximately 100 MW of capacity in Ohio.    [Ed. Note: We believe this was Exelon’s Seneca Wind]

Van Wert & Mercer (Long Prairie)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – May 29, 2014 – Apex Clean Energy has acquired six wind energy development projects from BP Wind Energy, North America, Inc. These projects have the potential to support approximately 710 MW of wind energy capacity in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and Tennessee.

Seneca & Sandusky  (Republic Wind)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, March 27, 2014 – Apex Clean Energy has acquired certain wind energy assets from Nordex USA, Inc. These assets have the potential to support approximately 450 MW of wind energy capacity in Indiana, Ohio, and Kansas.

By going to http://www.apexcleanenergy.com/project-map  you can see more information about the Apex projects.

Apex Wind Energy Inc. engages in the development of wind energy facilities that deliver renewable energy. It provides facility layout, turbulence, wake, development cycle, pre-development, construction contracting, interconnection design, transmission system design, site civil design, systems engineering, geotechnical, turbine selection and procurement, project financing, interconnection agreement, and power purchase agreement services. The company provides its services in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, New York, and Texas, as well as in the Netherlands. Apex Wind Energy Inc. was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia.Apex Wind Energy Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Greenlight Energy Resources, Inc.

Greenlight Energy Resources, Inc., through its subsidiaries, produces clean energy and fuels from renewable sources. It develops, builds, owns, and operates biofuel facilities, solar energy facilities, wind energy facilities, and utility-scale wind energy development projects. Greenlight Energy Resources, Inc. was formerly known as Greenlight Energy, Inc. and changed its name to Greenlight Energy Resources, Inc. in 2006. The company was founded in 2000 and is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. It has offices/locations/projects in Charlottesville, Virginia; Columbia and Anne, Maryland; Laurens County, South Carolina; Beaumont, Kansas; Grover, Colorado; San Juan Capistrano, California; Kingston, Canada; and Corvallis, Oregon. As of August 15, 2006, Greenlight Energy, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of BP Alternative Energy.

visit  Our Projects | Apex Clean Energy.

Is BigWind using group to ‘investigate’ Gov.Kasich for signing SB310?

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BigWind just won’t let this decision go and they are working every angle possible to change the outcome of Gov. Kasich’s energy bills. The comment, below, makes us believe that Mr. Tom Stacy is Ohio’s Superman. Let’s keep the Kryptonite away from him!

Gov. John Kasich has signed a measure that freezes Ohio’s popular renewable-energy standards. Although the freeze attracted most of the attention, the new law also calls for a two-year study of the standards impact on the state.

While the General Assembly conducts this review, the process that led Gov. Kasich to suspend the standards deserves scrutiny as well. That’s why I have filed a request for information about communication Mr. Kasich and his senior staff may have had with fossil-fuel interests before he decided to repeal clean-energy expansion in Ohio.

My organization, a government watchdog group called the Checks and Balances Project, seeks documentation of written and email communications from the governor and his staff to representatives of Koch Industries Inc., and the lobbying organizations they are known to support financially, as well as communicatons between the governor’s office and Ohio’s investor-owned utilities…

 

Comment from Tom Stacy, an Ohioan for affordable electricity:

The author states: “Ohioans deserve and honest accounting of what freezing the clean-energy and energy-efficiancy standards will mean to the state.” This is one statement where we agree. And this is why the members of the study committee that SB310 creates will be inundated with tons of information from all sides.

Unfortunately, much of that information will come from parties with a vested interest in skewing the reality by providing only some of the facts.  That is not where I and those I work with are coming from.  We are neither utility-centric, perfect-planet centric nor politically motivated.  Like the author’s group claims to be, we are seeking openness and truth and a complete picture that the American and Ohio public (taxpayers, electricity ratepayers, air breathers and water drinkers) can rely on.  But unlike the “Checks and Balances Project” (nice official sounding name, by the way), we do not try to magnify the trivial in the minds of the public by claiming things like a $12,000 political donation from David Koch could change the law.

We concentrate on the meaningful things like the cost per unit of net environmental improvement differnt electricity choices offer, how intermittent generators cause the utilization rates and patterns of dependable generators to become less efficient, and teaching the public that if we don’t use the power plants we have already built for as long as possible, higher electricity costs will drive jobs and manufacturing offshore to places where electricity is cheaper and dirtier.  There is no legislating around that, and since we already have a cleaner electricity system than other growing manufacturing economies like China and India, we are all better off keeping electricity costs as low as possible here.  It’s cleaner than leaking electricity use to dirtier nations, and better for our economy by reducing unemployment, increasing tax revenues, lowering national debt, improving our trade balance, etc.

Don’t be fooled by the political rants of Peterson and others.  Stick to those who analyze complex situations without the political baggage.  But if a FOIA needs to be brought to your attention to shed light on why certain people tell certain frantic stories like the one in the op-ed above, perhaps you should ask Mr. Peterson if his group has received donations anyone affiliated with the wind energy industry.

via: ToledoBlade.com 7/23/14 ‘On Energy Bill, Kasich owes Ohioans an explanation’ by Scott Peterson (sorry, problems providing you with the link)