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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Will the freeloading end for BigWind in Texas?

Transmission lines are and extremely expensive cost to this energy that few usually consider.  It is part of the reason that wind energy is MORE expensive than you have probably been told.  Texas is a prime example of this and it should also highlight the ridiculous notion that we should plant wind turbines in the ocean. If Texas can’t afford transmission lines for their own state, how can our country support them off our coasts? 

Texas has more wind power generation than any other state, so it’s only fitting that Texas regulators are starting to ask some tough questions about wind power subsidies. The head of the state’s Public Utility Commission, Donna Nelson, is calling for a study to consider whether wind generators should start paying their share of transmission costs.

Texas already invested $7 billion in high-capacity power lines that the state built to connect West Texas wind farms with the more populous cities in the east — such as Dallas and Houston. But wind power, as an intermittent resource, can create additional transmission costs, and those costs are borne by all the electricity customers in the deregulated market, which is about 85 percent of the state…

In fact, Texas may actually have a greater supply of wind energy than the new transmission lines can handle, so it may be the perfect time to consider a little pruning. Already, other alternative energy supplies, such as solar power generators, have had difficulty accessing the publicly financed lines

As a result, consumers in Texas are getting something of a double-whammy from wind. They pay the cost of maintaining the system in their bills, while paying part of their taxes to subsidize the construction of the additional lines to the wind farms….

via Is Texas Souring On Wind Power?

Farmers’ coalition warning us about BigWind !!!

Please share with your neighbors and family members. The $ offered to farmers is very enticing….

The Informed Farmers Coalition IFC was formed five years ago to study the impacts of wind turbines on our agricultural and residential community. The group consists of past or present union iron workers, school teachers, township officials, lawyers, a farm manager, a plumber, a fireman, a mechanic, school board members, county board member, union truck drivers, a dentist, retail workers, construction workers, nurses, union equipment operators, hospital workers, a social worker, bookkeepers, a school administrator, salesmen, an electrical engineer for Com Ed, an EMT, numerous local business owners, large/small landowners, homeowners, and of course, farmers – many of whom are the third and fourth generation on that farm. Many are lifetime residents of this agricultural community.

They have discovered, through sworn testimony throughout the state, that people are suffering from the same health issues, noise disturbances, untruthful wind company promises, property value losses, etc. The ongoing research brings the discovery our local landowners may be responsible for the property taxes and decommissioning of the wind turbine should the wind company walk away from the project. The turbine property tax bill stays in the name of the landowner with the bill being listed c/o of the wind company. So ultimately if the wind company doesn’t pay, it will be sent to the landowner.

IFC became aware some of our local landowners with signed contracts had never seen a map where their turbines were projected to be placed. The map presented with the petition to the county also shows underground transmission lines. Some landowners were not aware transmission lines would go through their property and did not think they had signed up for that. One landowner agreed to a contract but for only 80 acres of his property. But when IFC was researching at the county, they discovered his contract was filed containing all 560 acres of his property.

The real experts about wind turbines are the citizens living among them. IFC has attended numerous county meetings across the state of Illinois only to realize the people testifying under oath all have the same story – homes where they can no longer live or sell due to noise and health issues; wind companies that townships must sue to collect their rightful money; trespassing of heavy equipment on non-participating land that compact the soil for years as well as damage crops and tile; crop dusting problems; GPS systems that no longer get a signal; cell phones and TV reception problems; etc.  IFC is aware that Lifeline helicopters may not choose to land in a turbine area; this was needed this spring for a local farm accident. A letter from a school superintendent states the children in his school district are suffering from the effects of the turbines, since they went online.

IFC also became aware that once a person signs a contract they have agreed to a gag order that restricts them from talking about the wind company…

via Guest Commentary | BCRNews.com.

Wind energy is anything BUT free

The truth speaks for itself below…

Various promoters maintain the cost of wind energy is competitive with other sources of energy. As shown below, this is not the case. The EIA calculates the levelized cost of NEW onshore wind turbine plants place in service in 2018, capacity factor 0.34, 30-yr life, at $86.6/MWh, including transmission of $3.2/MWh. NOTE: CFs of 0.34, and greater, are obtainable only in windy areas, such as west of Chicago, and offshore. Elsewhere, CFs are significantly less, based on published wind turbine production data from various areas in the world. See URL.

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/pdf/electricity_generation.pdfhttp://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/169521/wind-turbine-energy-capacity-less-estimated

Assuming a realistic 20-year life of a wind turbine increases the levelized cost to $93/MWh.  After backing out the effect of accelerated depreciation for wind turbine plants, the levelized cost increases to $101/MWh. Adding the cost of increased frequency of start/stop operation, AND keeping gas and coal plants available in cold standby or synchronous standby mode in case of too little wind to turn the rotors, i.e., about 7.5 mph, AND operating more hours in inefficient, part-load-ramping mode extra Btu/kWh, extra CO2/kWh to balance the variable wind energy, is $17/MWh for natural gas, $55/MWh for coal.  Extra balancing NG adds $6.00/MWh, extra balancing coal adds $9.00/MWh  Transmission system investments to get wind energy to the grid adds $27/MWh.  Thus, the total levelized cost of wind energy averages $151/MWh with NG back-up/balancing and $192/MWh with coal back-up/balancing.  

NOTE: Levelized costs are the net present value of the total cost of new construction including finance charges during and after construction, maintenance, and operation of a generating plant over its lifetime, expressed in dollars per unit of output, i.e. dollars/MWh. They are used to compare various generating sources to see which sources are the most cost-effective when constructing new plants. The source of the above data is the American Tradition Institute, The Hidden Costs of Wind Electricity, December 2012, http://www.atinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Hidden-Cost.pdf

via Wind Energy and Examining Cost | The Energy Collective.