What do Blackouts and BigWind have in common?

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More than you think! As BigWind increases its presence, on our electrical grid, so do the blackouts. Why? Read below to learn how this nightmare is becoming more of a reality…

It is too often assumed that making maximum use of renewables is the answer to addressing environmental goals.  So easy is it to buy into this assumption that intermittent wind power is pulling ahead of coal in Texas.

Energy analysts forecast that wind turbines in Texas will generate about 87,000 megawatt-hours of electricity next year, eclipsing the anticipated output from coal.  Coal power is falling in Texas and nationally, while wind power is on a rapid upward climb.  Wind power already supplies 20% of the Lone Star state’s power and it’s expected to reach 24% in 2020, second only to natural gas, while coal plants continue to close.

If you think those trends don’t come with a downside, think again.  The economy in Texas and nationally demands full-time electricity.  Wind only generates part-time electricity.  In West Texas this summer, on some hot and humid days it was so still there wasn’t enough of a breeze to stir a leaf.  Hundreds of wind turbines stopped spinning.  When the Texas grid needed wind power the most, it was nowhere to be found. The Texas electric power grid came perilously close to collapsing.  

Electricity prices spiked from their normal range of $20 to $30 per megawatt-hour to $9,000 not once but twice. The state teetered on the edge of rolling blackouts and no air conditioning for millions of families during triple digit temperatures. Operators of the Texas grid issued alert after alert asking consumers to turn off devices and conserve power.

Texas is unlikely to be the only state that comes perilously close to electricity shortages.  Federal and state subsidies have made wind and solar power so cheap that they are displacing essential baseload sources of power that are capable of running when needed…

All of this is ominous not only for Texas but also other parts of the country.  The rapid shift toward wind power is an opportunity for a reality check in the debate over the deployment of renewables, which benefit from federal tax credits and generous state mandates.

According to the Joint Congressional Committee on Taxation, wind and solar power will have received $36.5 billion in federal tax credits between 2016 and 2020.  It’s an imposing number but it doesn’t even touch the subsidies provided for solar and wind at the state level.State renewable portfolio standards that mandate ever-increasing amounts of wind and solar power have been just as disruptive to electricity markets and perhaps even more costly.

It brings into sharp focus the most urgent challenge: How will the United States scale back the use of fossil fuels, yet maintain an adequate energy supply?  …

Instead of indifference, we need to regain our balance and encourage investment in advanced energy technology of all kinds – coal, natural gas, nuclear power, and renewables, along with improvements in energy efficiency – if we hope to avoid future havoc in electricity markets and ensure the availability of reliable and affordable power.

Reliability Gone with the Wind

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

Taxpayer handouts to BigWind = good or bad? Let’s review…

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Do we, the USA taxpayers, benefit by supporting BigWind with massive subsidies? Well, you know our opinion, but look at what these experts from Texas say…TEACH your neighbors and friends. The argument against BigWind cannot not be won by merely c/o sound, noise,flicker etc.  The biggest argument should be about the finances. It is the finances that keep them coming back for more acreage!!!…..

Wind energy is a $14 billion industry made up of wind facilities, turbine manufacturers, and financiers. While the industry grew over the past few decades, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and its corporate members pushed for new and continued subsidies that would en- able large energy corporations to profit at the expense of taxpayers.

This study investigates the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the corporate beneficiaries of billions of taxpayer dollars. The PTC is a federal subsidy for the commercial production of wind energy that provides a $24 tax credit for each megawatt- hour of energy sold. It is scheduled to phase out and expire at the end of 2019.

This report finds:

  • The PTC costs taxpayers billions of dollars in revenue. In 2017 the PTC cost $4.2 billion. The PTC will cost at least an additional $48 billion before it fully phases out as currently scheduled.
  • The PTC is a subsidy that benefits a few energy corporations. Only 15 parent companies account for more than three-fourths of all PTC eligibility—more than $19 billion in 10 years (2007-2016).
  • The PTC distorts electricity markets. The PTC encourages wind energy producers to accept negative prices. The negative prices in- crease costs for other energy producers and electricity suppliers.
  • The PTC operates within a web of wind energy incentives that increase costs to taxpayers, further distort electricity markets, and benefit large corporations.
  • Providing subsidies for wind energy benefits large corporations while distorting electricity markets. To further simplify the tax code, federal legislators should resist calls to renew the PTC and instead allow it to fully expire at the end of 2019.

Link to full publication

“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.

Van Wert blade shear gets NO media attention? Help us change this!

Against the backdrop of an upcoming election and a diminishing legislative calendar, the wind lobby is working overtime to press its case for reduced setbacks.   President Trump is a broken record on fake news but what about “no news”?   A blade failure occurred at Avangrid’s Van Wert County Blue Creek project on August 26th.    The turbines in the project are 476’ and a 10-foot section was documented by the local people via use of a drone to have flown approximately 825’.    Neither a 1.1x turbine height from the property line nor a 1.2x distance as suggested in H.B. 114 would have protected the neighbors, children or livestock from the thrown fragment.   

 

In this recent case, it appears the “systems” designed to stop the turbine did not work.  The rotor continued to spin for at least ten minutes after the blade fragment was thrown.  Neighbors called 911.  The Avangrid representative arrived two hours after the failure.  As far as we know, there has been NO media report or statement from the Blue Creek operator. 

 

Likewise, in Texas where a blade failure caused an overspeed situation and possibility of fire, a family of five was evacuated from their home.   There has been almost no press coverage of this event which occurred on the same day as Blue Creek   Lack of access to timely, actual  failure reports is one more compelling reason for statutory protective setbacks measured from property lines.  As seen in the story below, the mechanical safeguards intended to prevent the Texas overspeed situation, did not work.  ….

Texas family forced to leave home

BigWind FIRE…Will Ohio Senators support us or them?

Senator Cliff Hite has introduced an amendment in the Ohio budget, which will allow BigWind to plant an industrial wind energy turbine very close to the home of Ohioans.  By looking at this picture (and the others at the source website), does ANYONE think this is a good idea? If you do, you need your brain examined. Senator Hite has been brainwashed by BigWind lobbyists.  Maybe it’s time for Senator Hite to take a hike!….

A wind turbine caught fire Wednesday afternoon in the Texas panhandle, but officials are still working to determine what caused it….

Source: Wind turbine catches fire in Texas panhandle – KTXS

4 windy states pull the rug out from under BigWind

It is time for BigWind to stand on its own 2 feet! Last week was a sad week for renewables. The four leading US wind states, Oklahoma, California, Texas and Iowa are all cutting back on subsidies for wind.  “The wind industry feels betrayed.” The Oklahoma Gov. wants to go a step further an impose a tax on wind while in Texas there is movement to get rid of 10 year PILOT payment/tax abatement programs. California’s issues concern land use because no one wants the turbines near them.  In Iowa, transmission needed to carry the power out of the state is facing regulatory hurdles.   The wind industry is doing their expected “woe is me” theatrics while “Industry opponents call such talk largely hot air, arguing that the federal $24/MWh production tax credit will enable developers to continue generating healthy profits for years to come as all projects under construction and many of those in their pipelines will have qualified for it. They contend that Oklahoma will continue to lure investment because of its world-class wind resource and lower corporate tax burden compared with many states.  The windies are blaming the oil and gas industry lobbyists for their “problems’. Will Ohio politicians pay attention to these realities and PROTECT our citizens from these problems? Don’t expect Ohio Senator Hite to care about these truths.  He supports BigWind, irregardless of the facts. Wave some cash in his district and he goes blind to the truth.  If you reside near him, would you please educate?…

A stinging political setback in Oklahoma and problems brewing elsewhere could short-circuit future wind industry growth, writes Richard A Kessler in Fort Worth…

10 May 2017

Back in November, the US wind sector could never have imagined that four of its leading wind states would be a greater source of industry uncertainty than President Donald Trump.

Events in Oklahoma have raised concerns over states’ readiness to continue subsidy support in an era of budget cutbacks and fiscal constraints, while potential trouble is also brewing in California, Iowa and Texas, suggesting that the industry’s ability to lobby effectively on crucial issues will soon be put to the test.

In March and April, by an overwhelming margin, Oklahoma’s Republican-dominated Senate and House voted to roll back the remaining state tax incentive for wind energy to 1 July, breaking an earlier pledge to preserve it until the end of 2020. It was signed into law by Republican Governor Mary Fallin on 17 April.

The wind industry feels betrayed. “Changing the investment rules in the middle of the game sends a message to every investor in America that Oklahoma can’t be expected to honor its economic development commitments,” says Jeff Clark, executive director of regional advocacy group The Wind Coalition.

Facing large budget shortfalls, Republican Governor Mary Fallin is in no mood to debate the issue, saying the sector was “incentivized sufficiently to now be a major player in the Oklahoma energy industry”. She also wants to also slap a $5/MWh tax on wind energy production — five times what Wyoming collects, the only other state to do so….

In neighbouring Texas, the leading wind state, the industry is under attack from lawmakers who want to limit or prohibit counties and school districts from using a popular ten-year property tax abatement scheme known as Chapter 313 to attract new wind projects…

Meanwhile, in California, zoning boards and other regulatory bodies are, for various reasons, restricting land use so much that wind activity has slowed to a crawl.  The number-four wind state did not install a single megawatt in 2016 and had only 131MW under construction this year.

Analysts warn that if this trend continues, California could have to import 80% of the estimated 10GW of new wind capacity it may need to meet a 50% renewables mandate by 2030.

And in Iowa, the second-ranking wind state, merchant transmission developer Clean Line Energy Partners is struggling to obtain necessary regulatory approvals for its $2bn Rock Island project that it says would lead to $7bn in new wind farm investments…

Without it, the industry will not be able to continue all its planned massive wind expansion there, as future supply will exceed domestic needs. Iowa already generates more of its electricity from wind power — 36.6% in 2016 — than any state.

Lessons from Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s early sunset of the $5/MWh Zero-Emissions Facilities Tax Credit is particularly troubling for the wind industry, as it represented a high-profile political setback in one of its fastest-growing markets. The move will also be financially painful for developers.

“This is the type of thing the industry doesn’t want to have happen. It sets a precedent and empowers other states to pursue similar legislation,” says Luke Lewandowski, research manager at MAKE Consulting…

The independent, non-partisan think tank estimates this would be an increase from an estimated $460.5m year earlier — a huge chunk of lost revenue considering the entire state budget is less than $7bn. By comparison, latest official data shows wind energy producers claimed $59.7m in zero-emission credits and $29.6m in for an exemption on local property taxes in the 2016-17 financial year. Wind investment in Oklahoma over the last decade exceeds $12bn…

Oklahoma wind developers currently use the zero-emission incentive to reduce their tax liability during the initial decade a wind farm generates power. Unused credits are also refundable in cash for 85% of face value. So developers stand to lose millions of dollars if they cannot bring under-construction projects into operation by 1 July…

Industry opponents call such talk largely hot air, arguing that the federal $24/MWh production tax credit will enable developers to continue generating healthy profits for years to come as all projects under construction and many of those in their pipelines will have qualified for it. They contend that Oklahoma will continue to lure investment because of its world-class wind resource and lower corporate tax burden compared with many states.

Byron Schlomach, director of the 1889 Institute, a public policy group in the state capital that favours limited government, disputes the notion that Oklahoma is turning against the wind industry or engaging in discrimination. He says the industry no longer needs incentives as the state did what it could to help it grow. Oklahoma also met its voluntary 15% renewables mandate by 2015.

“I think everybody feels like we’ve done our part,” he says. “We’ve done enough for them at this point and they need to stand on their own two feet.”…

 

 

Source: The coming threat from US wind states | Recharge

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