Personally, I'd love to have a big windmill generator in my back yard, since there is plenty of wind in this part of the country. It would help take the edge off my electric bill even if the windmill only supplied power to my hot water heater. But the wind doesn't blow constantly or even predictably, so I would be unable to depend on it. To run my kitchen appliances on a calm day, I would have to have an enormous battery bank and a very large inverter. (See the commentary about locomotive batteries at the top of this page). And even if the wind blew all day and all night, I'd have a hard time generating power as cheaply as I could buy it from the local electric utility.
I am astonished to hear lately that many liberal environmentalists are opposed to windmills because they are unsightly or because they sometimes kill birds. But if they can be used to reduce your electric bill, wouldn't they look really good? Isn't this the "renewable energy" the environmentalists are so excited about?
The use of windmills as an alternative to petroleum and nuclear power is utterly futile, considering that the total amount of electricity generated by solar and wind power is equivalent to the energy output of only one medium-sized coal mine, or the equivalent of about 76,000 barrels of oil a day.  
Germany's Energy Goals Backfire. Germany's radical initiative to subsidize renewable electricity generation has resulted in higher carbon dioxide emissions and the most expensive electricity in Europe, with the poor disproportionately bearing the burden.
Kansas Renewable Mandates Causing Skyrocketing Electricity Prices. In 2009 the Kansas legislature passed legislation creating the mandates, which require Kansans to purchase 20 percent of their electricity from designated renewable sources by the year 2020. Since 2009, U.S. electricity prices have risen merely 2.4 percent, from 9.89 cents per kilowatt hour to 10.13 cents per kilowatt hour (data through October 2013, the most recent month for which the U.S. Energy Information Administration published data when this paper went to press). In Kansas, by contrast, electricity prices have risen 19.4 percent since 2009, from 8.07 cents per kilowatt hour to 9.64 cents per kilowatt hour.
Green Energy [is] Not Fit for the Grid. Germany's wind and solar power generation came to a standstill in late 2013. More than 23,000 wind turbines ran out of wind and most of the one million photovoltaic systems ran out of sunlight. For a whole week, coal nuclear and gas-powered plants generated an estimated 95 percent of Germany's electricity. Britain has 3,500 wind turbines, but during a period of extreme cold they produced just 1.8% of UK's electricity. But, gluttons for punishment, politicians intend building more.
It's not just the windmills...
Ohio wind turbine project stopped near Lake Erie. A group of birding enthusiasts hopes a decision to halt plans for a wind turbine at an Ohio National Guard base will send a message to developers proposing other wind power projects along Lake Erie.
Windfarm blades may go to landfill. Unlike other parts of wind turbines — such as the foundations, tower and generator — the blades are made of complex materials which cannot be recycled.
It's time for wind power to stand or fall on its own. Federal subsidies for wind are so lavish, that generators in places like west Texas (where wind is plentiful) have been known to bid electricity onto the grid at negative prices, just so it can collect the larger subsidy amount and pocket the difference. Negative pricing is a great deal for whoever owns the generator, but can play havoc with electrical reliability, by undercutting other power sources and discouraging investment in new capacity.
Electricity Prices Rise Dramatically Under Ohio Renewable Mandates. Electricity prices in Ohio have risen approximately triple the national average since Ohio enacted renewable power mandates in 2008. The sharp rise in electricity prices occurred despite promises during 2008 legislative hearings that renewable power mandates would have little or no impact on electricity prices. In 2008 the Ohio legislature passed legislation creating the state's renewable power mandates. Under the mandates, Ohioans must purchase 25 percent of their electricity from designated renewable sources by the year 2025.
Native Americans Protest Eagle Deaths at Wind Farms. In the face of continued raptor deaths and the Obama administration's ongoing efforts to encourage new industrial wind farm developments, American Indian tribes are becoming increasingly vocal opponents of new wind farms. From the Osage Nation of northern Oklahoma to the Hopis and more than a dozen other tribes in Arizona, American Indians are urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to abandon plans to permit wind farms to kill bald and golden eagles, which many tribes regard as culturally and spiritually important.
OK to kill endangered birds? Yes if you are a windfarm. If a coal plant was wiping out thousands of birds and bats you can be sure Greenpeace would be launching a campaign. But when an industrial turbine with blade-tips travelling at 180 mph does the killing, who cares?
Wind Company Destroys Trees, Environmental Group Sues Over Settlement. A conservation group is suing the State of Connecticut to force it to throw out a settlement between state officials and a wind-power company that clear-cut 2.5 acres of state forest. The Berkshire-Litchfield Environmental Council is suing the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and officials within that agency for settling out of court with the offender. According to BLEC's complaint, the 111 largest trees that were cut down are worth more than $1.1 million.
Report: Turbines Kill Up To 328,000 Birds Annually. Findings from the report include that mortality increases as the height of the turbines increases, and also that mortality rates are lower in the Great Plains regions relative to other regions in the United States.
Administration close to finalizing rule to give wind farms a pass on killing eagles for decades. The Obama administration is moving toward finalizing a rule that would give alternative energy farms a pass for killing bald and golden eagles for decades, just weeks after it took legal action for the first time against a company for doing so. The rule by the Interior Department extends the length of the permits that allow farms to unintentionally kill the eagles without penalty from five to 30 years, according to department records.
Obama to Sign Rule Allowing Death of Eagles. The Obama administration is about to approve a rule that will ensure the death of golden and bald eagles for the next 30 more years. Hundreds of thousands of birds die each year flying into the deadly turbine blades atop the soaring towers that compose wind farms. The rule will give wind farms thirty year permits for the "non purposeful take of eagles — that is where the take is associated with but not the purpose of, the activity." The take of eagles is also a euphemism for the slaughter of them.
Wind company pays fine over eagle deaths. A renewable power company has agreed to pay $1 million over the deaths of more than a dozen protected eagles and other birds at its wind farms. The settlement with Duke Energy is the first time the Obama administration, which has been a strong backer of wind power, has penalized a wind energy company for killing eagles.
Wind energy company pleads guilty to eagle deaths. The government for the first time has enforced environmental laws protecting birds against wind energy facilities, winning a $1 million settlement Friday [11/22/2013] from a power company that pleaded guilty to killing 14 eagles and 149 other birds at two Wyoming wind farms.
Guilty plea in bird deaths at wind farms a first. A major U.S. power company has pleaded guilty to killing eagles and other birds at two Wyoming wind farms and agreed to pay $1 million as part of the first enforcement of environmental laws protecting birds against wind energy facilities.
Wind farms creating 'dead zones' for military radar, report warns. The construction of large wind farms could drive up the cost of air travel and cause delays in launching fighter aircraft on missions to protect Canada, Canadian Air Force officers are warning in a newly released report. [...] Wind farms are sprouting up around the world, but aviation specialists are raising concerns that the giant turbines are creating blackout zones for air-traffic control radar. The spinning blades of the turbines are being detected by the radar, presenting false images or generating so much clutter on radar screens that controllers are losing track of airplanes as they fly near the wind farm sites.
Stagnating U.S. Wind. The U.S. wind power market has staggered this year, adding less than seventy (70) megawatts of new wind in the first three quarters. This is down from 4,743 megawatts installed during the same period in 2012. Only three states reported wind expansions: [California, Colorado, and Alaska].
Congress May Let Tax Credit for Wind Industry Expire. The wind PTC faces opposition from fiscal hawks in Congress, free market groups, and an array of energy interests who argue the wind industry should be able to stand on its own after more than two decades of federal support. Benjamin Cole, the communications director of the American Energy Alliance, an advocacy arm of the Institute for Energy Research, said it was time to take the federal training wheels off. "It's not an infant industry," Cole said in an interview. "It's a mature industry. I don't know any start-up that has the resources to commit to permanent lobbying for mandates and subsidies. [AWEA] is playing a big lobbying game at the highest level of power politics."
Wind turbines killed 600,000 bats in 2012. Rough estimates point to nearly 600,000 bats being killed by wind turbines at wind energy facilities across the U.S., a new study suggests. While it may be assumed that these bats died due to collisions with the wind turbines, they also died from trauma linked to sudden changes in air pressure caused by the moving of the high-speed blades.
£48,000 wind turbine in sheltered valley surrounded by buildings generates just £5 electricity a month. A wind turbine built with £48,000 of taxpayers' money has been producing so little electricity it will take more than 400 years to repay the bill, it emerged yesterday [11/6/2013]. Despite being in a windy, coastal town, the 60ft structure was built in a sheltered valley and managed to generate only an average of £5 worth of electricity a month.
Dozens of families in a Cape Cod town sue over 'wind turbine syndrome'. Dozens of residents of a small community in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, have filed lawsuits claiming that a trio of large wind turbines located near their homes have been harming their health.
'Wind Turbine Syndrome' Blamed for Mysterious Symptoms in Cape Cod Town. The wind turbines have blown up a political storm in Falmouth that has resonated throughout the wind energy industry. Are these plaintiffs just "whiners," or do they have a legitimate illness?
'Mini-nukes' beat monster wind farms on every count. As the shambles of Britain's energy policy and soaring bills continues to make shock headlines, many in the south-west of England are staring in angry amazement at plans by foreign-owned firms to build two of the largest offshore wind farms in the world just off their coastlines. The German power company RWE hopes to spend £4 billion on its "Atlantic Array", covering 125 square miles of sea between Devon and South Wales with 240 vast 5 MW turbines, more than 600 ft high.
Delight as four wind turbines in the Yorkshire Dales become the first in Britain to be torn down. It is a sight that will cheer campaigners across the land. After blighting the Yorkshire Dales for more than two decades, four giant turbines have been removed from the stunning landscape — the first ever windfarm in Britain to be scrapped. To the delight of residents and walkers there are once again unspoilt views across the rolling hills and deep blue waters of Chelker Reservoir, near Ilkley.
At last, a move to curb the wind farms. The drive to build wind farms will no longer automatically trump protecting the landscape, and from today ministers will be able to step in on the side of residents. In a major boost for anti-wind farm campaigners, Eric Pickles announced new measures to make sure their concerns about the visual and environmental impact must be taken into account.
Global Warming Alarmism Wrecks European Economy. Many Europeans complain about their high energy costs, largely due to their increasing dependence on renewables — the most costly energy sources. But European political parties as well as a majority of people still want government to promote costly options, especially wind and solar power. This is killing European economies. Electricity costs in Europe are more than double the cost of electricity in the U.S. High electricity costs make it difficult for businesses to operate if they need a lot of electricity.
Blowin' in the Wind. Today's wind turbines aren't the picturesque, gentle windmills that one associates with, say, the Dutch countryside. They're more like something out of Blade Runner: monstrous, dystopian-looking things that can stand as tall as a 20-story building and carry 200-foot-long blades, utterly dominating their typically bucolic surroundings. They're murder on birds, killing more than a half-million each year in the United States alone, according to an Associated Press analysis.
How Europe's Economy Is Being Devastated By Global Warming Orthodoxy. Many Europeans complain about their high energy costs, largely due to their increasing dependence on renewables — the most costly energy sources. But European political parties as well as a majority of people still want government to promote costly options, especially wind and solar power. This is killing European economies. Electricity costs in Europe are more than double the cost of electricity in the U.S.
Time for Solar Energy and Wind Farm Supporters to Stop Living in the Stone Age. We've done wind and solar already. They don't work too well. Solar is great if you're sending a satellite into space outside the atmosphere. If you want to power a modern home, it doesn't work unless you raise the price of electricity so sharply that solar suddenly becomes competitive. And that's the environmentalist tactic.
Wind farms and renewable energy: a modern version of a medieval scam. It is not the opponents of wind farms that are backward looking and atavistic, but those who champion them. It is difficult to think of a more medieval technology than wind mills. They were cutting edge when Henry II was king and Richard the Lionheart was launching crusades. The first certain reference to a wind mill in Europe dates from 1185 AD Yorkshire, apparently. Of course, the climate was warmer back then, as even the UN's International Panel on Climate Change now accepts.
Obama in center of fight over bald eagle deaths. Wildlife conservationists are battling an Obama administration rule that would give wind energy companies lengthy permits for wind farms that end up killing bald and golden eagles. Hundreds of thousands of birds are killed every year after they fly into gigantic wind turbine blades.
Study: Wind farms killed 67 eagles in 5 years. The research represents one of the first tallies of eagle deaths attributed to the nation's growing wind energy industry, which has been a pillar of President Barack Obama's plans to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming.
Sequestration nation: DoD doles out $7 billion in wind-energy contracts. Why the Obama administration insists upon using the military as a sponsor of what they, rather than the free market, have arbitrarily and falsely deemed to be practical and cost-effective sources of energy, it pains me to think on — but the point is that the U.S. military is currently choosing to spend big money on energy sources that do not offer them the biggest bang for their buck. Even better, the Pentagon dished out a similarly sized set of contracts for solar energy companies last month; and this is all on top the Navy's push to outfit a number of cruisers, destroyers, and fighter jets with biofuel-blended gas.
We could soon be paying billions for this wind back-up. Occasionally, one comes across a story so mind-blowingly unexpected and out-of-left-field that it seems hard for readers to take on board that it is true. Such is the story I first reported here last month, under the heading, "Our lights will stay on, but it'll cost us a fortune", about the scheme being devised by the National Grid to solve what has long been the most intractable problem created by the Government's plan to see the best part of £110 billion spent in seven years on building tens of thousands more wind turbines — namely, how to keep our national grid "balanced" when it has to cope with all those unpredictably wild fluctuations in the speed of the wind.
The constantly varying output power from wind and solar facilities puts a physical strain on Plan B.
How 40 mph winds wrecked this turbine. A single crooked blade dangling precariously from its rotor is all that remains of this wind turbine, which was left badly damaged as gusts reached 40 mph. Two blades of the turbine were torn off altogether following storms last week, with one piece of debris estimated to have been thrown about 60 yards, after a suspected technical fault was 'magnified' by the wind. The incident has prompted calls for similar structures to be removed from nearby schools.
California's Smoke Signals. Like so many other emergencies in California, this one is government-made and a warning about its green political obsessions. [...] To hit the renewable mandate, utilities are building long transmission lines to deliver power from distant solar and wind projects to population centers. Most large-scale solar plants in California are being built in dry, sunny desert and valley regions. Wind farms are concentrated in the mountains. Both are fire-prone.
The Wind Farms That Generate Enough Power to make a Few Cups of Tea. One wind farm Trysglwyn, which is in Anglesey in Wales, was producing a total of 6 kilowatts (KW) — just enough to boil two kettles each with 3 KW of power. The wind farm has 14 turbines and a theoretical capacity of 5.6 megawatts (MW). In other words, the wind farm was producing just 0.001 percent of its maximum capacity. Little Cheyne Court wind farm, which consists of 26 turbines each of them 377 ft high, was producing 129 KW of electricity last Thursday afternoon. The wind farm, which was hugely controversial when it was built at a cost of £50 million on the site of Romney Marsh in Kent, is the largest in the south east of England.
The Editor says...
Wind farms are a breach of human rights says UN. No, really. The United Nations, as we know, is the very belly of the beast; the onlie begetter of almost all the world's most far-reaching and dangerous environmental policies. It was under the auspices of two UN organisations — the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation — that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established.
Official: wind turbines are an iniquitous assault on property rights. As I have reported before, rural estate agents (and the poor [chumps] trying to sell their turbine-blighted homes) have long known about the deleterious effects of wind turbines on property values. Price drops of 25 percent are not uncommon and there have been cases where houses located near wind turbines have been rendered simply unsellable. This ought to have been a major national scandal years ago.
Secret wind farm report into house price blight. Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, has commissioned a consultancy to investigate whether renewable technologies — including wind turbines — lower house prices in the countryside. Coalition sources said the report is being blocked by officials at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), run by Ed Davey, a Liberal Democrat, amid fears it will conclude that turbines harm property prices. Mr Paterson has made clear that he intends to make the document public as soon as it is completed.
Obama's Climate Plan: Kill Birds and Bats by the Hundreds of Millions. A newly published peer-reviewed study reports U.S. wind turbines kill 1.4 million birds and bats every year, even while producing just 3 percent of U.S. electricity. The numbers in the study from Wildlife Society Bulletin reveal President Obama's global warming plan will kill hundreds of millions of birds and bats while doing little if anything to reduce global temperatures.
Alternative, Green ("Clean") Solar and Wind. Only recently, the offshore wind industry was seen as an opportunity to regenerate Germany's coast. But amid changing political attitudes and spiraling costs, several companies are struggling to survive. Is the wind boom over before it even really began?
Dangerous Negawatts. A distributed generation system is needed for wind and solar, especially where individuals can sell power back to the grid. It's also behind the drive for combined heat and power (CHP). It has also spawned an effort for greater demand management, which is where negawatts enter the picture: Demand management is for dropping load when the grid is operating near its peak.
Shepherds Flat developers took full advantage of taxpayer subsidies. For Shepherds Flat wind farm, the $30 million in tax credits that received final approval from Oregon Department of Energy last month were frosting on a multi-layered cake of federal, state and local subsidies. Its developers gorged themselves on hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers, and government officials were well aware it was over-subsidized.
Wind Farm Rotor Failures. There is a wind farm in western New York State consisting of 67 turbines that have been in operation for around three years. Recently there have been several units shut down while 10 blades were repaired. If each came from a different turbine it would mean the wind farm was producing 10% less electricity than planned while the turbines were out of service. It could also support the contention that the life of wind farms will be less than planned.
Wind farm bird deaths. A new study just published in the United States has estimated that around 573,000 birds were killed by wind turbines in 2012 (including 83,000 birds of prey), an increase of 30 percent on a previous estimate by the US fish and Wildlife Service in 2009. Bats are even worse hit, says author K Shawn Smallwood, and probably top 888,000 killed per year.
Comparing bird and bat fatality-rate estimates among North American wind-energy projects. Estimates of bird and bat fatalities are often made at wind-energy projects to assess impacts by comparing them with other fatality estimates. Many fatality estimates have been made across North America, but they have varied greatly in field and analytical methods, monitoring duration, and in the size and height of the wind turbines monitored for fatalities, and few benefited from scientific peer review.
Global warming scare is dying. It's been a tough week for the global warming purists. They are getting blowback in Germany, where people are not only getting sick and tired of paying more for electricity — the same strategy that has been destroying the morale of Ontarians paying higher bills — but because people in rural parts of the country are getting increasingly restless as the government insists on building more of those wind energy monstrosities.
Wind farms [are being] paid £30 million a year to stand idle. Wind farms are being given around £30million a year in compensation to switch off or slow down their turbines because nearly half the electricity they make is not needed. The cash, which comes from household bills, is paid when the National Grid is unable to cope with the extra power produced during high winds or periods of low demand. Known as "balancing", the arrangement is intended to compensate firms for energy they are unable to sell.
Scots 'face world's biggest energy bills' from wind power. The unreliability of wind power could mean an independent Scotland would have to import energy from England — leaving it with the highest household bills in the world, it was claimed yesterday [8/3/2013]. In an interview with Scotland on Sunday, Sir Donald Miller, former chairman of both the South of Scotland Electricity Board and of ScottishPower, has described the SNP's current energy policy on producing 100 per cent of Scotland's needs from renewables as "disastrous".
Property owners file suit over planned wind project. A group of property owners who voiced concern about the proposed wind farm on Lookout Mountain have filed suit against the two companies involved in the project and some of their neighbors who allegedly have agreed to have wind turbines placed on their property.
Eco-Blowback: Mutiny in the Land of Wind Turbines. Germany plans to build 60,000 new wind turbines — in forests, in the foothills of the Alps and even in protected environmental areas. But local residents are up in arms, costs are skyrocketing and Germany's determination to phase out nuclear power is in danger.
Wind turbines ARE a human health hazard: the smoking gun. How much more dirt needs to come out before the wind industry gets the thorough investigation it has long deserved? The reason I ask is that it has now become clear that the industry has known for at least 25 years about the potentially damaging impact on human health of the impulsive infrasound (inaudible intermittent noise) produced by wind turbines. Yet instead of dealing with the problem it has, on the most generous interpretation, swept the issue under the carpet — or worse, been involved in a concerted cover-up operation.
Fleming Amendment Ends Another Taxpayer Bailout. The Obama 2009 stimulus bill cost taxpayers about $830 billion, and much of it was wasted on growing government and administration giveaways, like a $3.25 billion loan program that put taxpayers on the hook for failed green energy projects. A company could take a government loan and walk away from a project without paying taxpayers back, even if the company remained in business.
Green Energy's Too Expensive. While Republicans realize the embarrassing failure of the stimulus bill's green energy programs, Democrats want to keep spending — often in the face of opposition from their usual supporters. One of the most controversial commercial green energy projects, Cape Wind, provides a case in point.
Massachusetts Town Bans Use of Wind Turbines at Night. The Fairhaven, Massachusetts Board of Health voted to shut down the town's two wind turbines each night between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. after dozens of residents filed more than 400 complaints against the turbines. Testing showed the turbines exceeded state noise regulations and the noise limitations specified in their operating permits. Residents in 56 households filed 486 complaints with the Fairhaven Board of Health. Complaints included excessive noise and vibrations causing headaches and other symptoms in area residents.
The Editor says...
Feds Give Wind Producers Free Pass to Kill Condors. Federal wildlife officials announced they will allow wind producers in California's Tehachapi Mountains to kill endangered California condors without fear of prosecution. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the free pass will apply only when wind power companies inadvertently kill or harass the large and highly endangered birds, but such harassment and deaths are a foreseeable and unavoidable consequence of "green" wind power.
Maryland Wind Farm Threatens Bald Eagles. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials report a proposed wind energy project in Maryland would pose a "significant risk to eagles" and the developer should trim back its construction plans. The U.S. Navy has also expressed concern about the project, noting the turbines might skew nearby radar readings.
Osage Tribe Opposes Wind Turbines, Seeks Eagle Protections. The Osage Native American Nation is protesting proposed wind turbines that will kill bald eagles and other birds the nation holds sacred. The Wind Capital Group plans to place 94 wind turbines in Osage County, Oklahoma. The turbines would be in the heart of historical Osage Nation lands where many Osage still live and honor tribal traditions. According to Osage lore, the eagle is the only creature than can look God in the eye, but the proposed wind turbines would likely kill several of the scarce and protected eagles each year.
The Editor says...
Another day, another wind farm scandal . [T]he National Grid has been secretly forking out millions on diesel-generated power in order to stop the lights going out. And why does the National Grid need this hugely expensive, dirty energy available on standby? For all those occasions when the wind isn't blowing, is why. The greater the proportion of our total energy capacity taken up by wind, the more unstable our grid becomes. But rather than admit the scale of the problem (already causing havoc in places like Germany), the Coalition has had to persist in the charade that renewables are an essential part of our energy mix.
Green Vandalism: Historic City Of York Threatened By A Circle Of 40 Wind Farms. One of Britain's most historic cities is being threatened by a circle of 40 wind farms under plans drawn-up by its Labour-led authority.
Rare bird last seen in Britain 22 years ago killed by wind turbine in front of crowd. There had been only eight recorded sightings of the white-throated needletail in the UK since 1846. So when one popped up again on British shores this week, twitchers were understandably excited. A group of 40 enthusiasts dashed to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse of the brown, black and blue bird, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia. But instead of being treated to a wildlife spectacle they were left with a horror show when it flew into a wind turbine and was killed.
This bird rare enough for you, greenies? If it weren't so sad and unnecessary it would almost be funny: "It is tragic. More than 80 people had already arrived on the island and others were coming from all over the country. But it just flew into the turbine. It was killed instantly." You can imagine it in a Mike Leigh movie: the twitchers with their anoraks and their long lenses; the cries of jubilation at the sighting; then, "thud".
The 'Great Renewables Scam' unravels. Energy insiders have long known that the notion of 'renewable energy' is a romantic proposition — and an economic bust. But it is amazing what the lure of guaranteed 'few strings attached' government subsidies can achieve. Even the Big Oil companies bought into the renewables revolution, albeit mostly for PR reasons. Like Shell, however, many quickly abandoned their fledgling renewable arms. Post-2008, they knew, the subsidy regimes could not last. Neither was the public buying into the new PR message.
Wind power has failed to deliver what it promised. The wind-power industry is expensive, passes costs on to the consumer and does not create many jobs in return.
Hazy, Lazy Reporting. The nameplate rating is in Megawatts, which is 1,000 Kilowatts, but it's the amount of electricity generated over a year, in KWh, that's important. A typical 1.5 MW wind turbine has the potential to generate 3.9 million KWh of electricity, but it doesn't. The wind doesn't blow all the time, and it's always changing its speed. Therefore, the output of a wind turbine is measured over one year to determine how much electricity is actually generated, and this is then compared with the amount that could theoretically be generated based on its nameplate rating, to arrive at a capacity factor. The average capacity factor for land based wind turbines is less than 30%, which means that a wind turbine actually produces less than one third of its nameplate rating.
The Rationale for Wind Power Won't Fly. To understand the folly that drives too much of the nation's energy policies, consider these basic facts about wind energy. After decades of federal subsidies — almost $24 billion according to a recent estimate by former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm — nowhere in the United States, or anywhere else, has an array of wind turbines replaced a single conventional power plant. Nowhere. [...] The promise that wind and solar power could replace conventional electricity production never really made sense. It's known to everybody in the industry that a wind turbine will generate electricity 30% of the time — but it's impossible to predict when that time will be. A true believer might be willing to do without electricity when the wind is not blowing, but most people will not.
Why do I call them bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco crucifixes? [Scroll down] Consider the plight of the communities in Canada, where the wind industry is even more aggressive than it is here. One Ontario resident, Esther Wrightman, so objected to the Golgotha of 400 foot wind turbines being planned for her area that she created a satirical website mocking the wind developer NextEra energy. She even filmed them chopping down a tree with an eagle's nest in it in order to make way for the turbines. How did NextEra — market capitalisation $32 billion — respond to her not exactly unreasonable objections? Why by suing the pants off her, of course.
Indiana man faces possible jail time for nursing bald eagle back to health. This reminds me of a 2011 story in which an 11-year-old Virginia girl rescued a woodpecker from the family cat only to be approached by a Fish & Wildlife agent flanked by an armed state trooper informing them of a court date and a $500 fee.
True cost of Britain's wind farm industry revealed. A new analysis of government and industry figures shows that wind turbine owners received £1.2 billion in the form of a consumer subsidy, paid by a supplement on electricity bills last year. They employed 12,000 people, to produce an effective £100,000 subsidy on each job. The disclosure is potentially embarrassing for the wind industry, which claims it is an economically dynamic sector that creates jobs. It was described by critics as proof the sector was not economically viable, with one calling it evidence of "soft jobs" that depended on the taxpayer.
Administration Doubles Down on Expensive Offshore Wind. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), offshore wind is 2.6 times more expensive as onshore wind power and is 3.4 times more expensive than power produced by a natural gas combined cycle plant. On a kilowatt hour basis, offshore wind power is estimated to cost 22.15 cents per kilowatt hour, while onshore wind is estimated to cost 8.66 cents per kilowatt hour, and natural gas combined cycle is estimated to cost 6.56 [cents] per kilowatt hour.
Big Wind's Trail of Wings. One eagle was found lying lifeless with a hole in its neck that exposed the bone. Another was found starving and near death with limbs that appeared to be twisted off. Struck down by wind turbines, these eagles were victims of a federal crime. The government prosecutes individuals and companies that kill birds in violation of federal law, yet a recent Associated Press investigation revealed that the Obama administration has never taken legal action against a wind energy company for killing birds, even though wind turbines kill more than 573,000 birds annually.
Wind-Power's Fundamental Flaw. A study by Jonathan A. Lesser at Continental Economics shows the fundamental problem of wind power: it's not there when you need it. In Wind Intermittency and the Production Tax Credit: a High Cost Subsidy for Low Value Power, Lesser shows that wind turbines fail to produce power when it's most needed: during the peak daytime hours, and during the summer, when air conditioning demand soars.
Story Ideas for a Press Turning Against Obama. Last week the Associated Press ran an astonishing story about how America's windmills have been killing thousands of rare birds, including golden eagles, while getting a free pass from the Obama administration. [...] How did the mainstream press manage to ignore this story for four years? And did its final emergence have something to do with the discovery that the administration had been reading the AP's phone records?
Wind farms get pass on eagle deaths. Killing these iconic birds is not just an irreplaceable loss for a vulnerable species. It's also a federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits, and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines. But the administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind-energy company, even those that flout the law repeatedly. Instead, the government is shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret.
Don't expect Big Green to save Falmouth. It slaughters eagles by the dozen, uses tons of fossil fuels every day, emits a greenhouse gas that's like CO2 on steroids, can't do the job it's made for, costs taxpayers exorbitant fees, and makes the federal government look mentally ill for giving it outrageous subsidies. Oh, it also chops up the scenery with roads and tall machines. The "it" is wind power, of course.
14,000 Idle Wind Turbines [are] a Testament to Failed Energy Policies. When Element Power announced on April 10 the closing of a deal to build wind turbines for Blackrock in Ireland, nothing was said about the more than 14,000 other wind turbines lying idle around the world. [...] Nothing was said about Element's recent termination of another deal to build 40 wind turbines over 4,000 acres on top of Black Lava Butte and Flat Top Mesa in California, citing in its "request to relinquish" that there were "insufficient wind resources" to make that project viable.
Renewable Energy: Bringing Blackouts Back to California? The epidemic of power outages and "rolling blackouts" which nearly shut down California in the early 2000s may be returning. Back then, the culprits were unscrupulous energy providers like Enron and a poorly-thought out process of deregulation. This time, renewable energy would be to blame, as the state has pushed to increase the use of solar and wind energy without ensuring that there is enough traditional power generation to keep the grid stable on cloudy, windless days.
Wind Farms Deliver Less Electricity than Promised. Wind farms do not produce as much electricity as claimed by renewable energy lobbyists, energy economist Donn Dears reports in an excellent article on his Power For USA website. Dears expertly summarized a report, The Performance of Wind Farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark, finding wind turbine output drops dramatically just a few years after wind turbines go online. According to Dears, "These results are amazing, in that the literature usually indicates a consistent capacity factor of 30%, which is what financial projections are typically based on. The report holds even worse news for off-shore wind farms.
Minnesota Wind Farm Seeks Permit to Kill Bald Eagles. A wind energy company is seeking federal approval to kill several bald eagles each year within the Mississippi River Flyway in southeastern Minnesota in the process of providing intermittent wind power for local electricity consumers. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials report the proposed New Era Wind Farm will likely kill between eight and 14 bald eagles each year in addition to numerous other protected birds and bats.
Mass. delegation pushes for Energy Dept. loan for Cape Wind. The Department of Energy has identified a goal for the United States to develop 54 gigawatts of offshore wind power, which would create 40,000 American jobs and a robust domestic supply chain that would economically revitalize several U.S. ports.
The Editor says...
Maryland's "Wind Powered Welfare". Offshore wind is, by far, the most expensive source of electricity. An offshore wind farm would have to receive 34¢/kWh, wholesale, just to break even over a typical 30-yr plant lifetime. 34¢/kWh is almost three times the average retail residential electricity rate in the U.S. The much ballyhooed Cape Wind project, off Cape Cod, is projected to have a 454 MW installed capacity. It will cost approximately $2.5 billion to build. This works out to $5,506,608 per MW. A natural gas plant generally costs less than $900,000 per MW.
BP to Sell Entire U.S. Wind Power Business for Long-Term Financial Growth of Company. BP will sell its entire American wind power business in an effort to "position the company for sustainable growth" and return to its core business of oil and gas production. [...] BP operates 16 wind farms in nine states that together produce about 2,600 megawatts of power. It is also selling undeveloped projects that could produce an additional 2,000 megawatts.
Renewable Energy Myths. Miskelly and Quirk found 3 types of power output; the first is Installed Capacity which is the power which would be produced if the plant were running all the time. The second is Capacity Factor which is what is actually produced averaged over a year; and the third is the Reliability Point which is the probability of the Capacity Factor occurring at any one time. They found wind's Capacity Factor is about 30% but wind's Reliability Point is between 2 and 6% at any wind farm. That means there is only a small chance that a wind farm can be relied upon to be producing power at any time.
Wind Industry: Killing 200,000 birds per year is 'most benign'. ExxonMobil paid $3.1 million for the deaths of 85 birds in 2009. On that scale, the wind industry should pay $7.3 billion annually.
Some basic facts about wind energy, It doesn't work. If only wind energy worked, it would be great. But it does not — at least not that well. [...] Wind turbines do not last as long as promised. They do not produce as much energy as hoped. Moreover, they require more maintenance than anyone imagined. Wind energy turns out to be a lot like solar energy.
Hiding the slaughter. Since the early 1980s, the industry has known there is no way its propeller-style turbines could ever be safe for raptors. With exposed blade tips spinning in open space at speeds up to 200 mph, it was impossible. Wind developers also knew they would have a public relations nightmare if people ever learned how many eagles are actually being cut in half — or left with a smashed wing, to stumble around for days before dying.
Energy gap leaves Britain freezing in the dark. "It's payback time for our insane energy policy," snarled London's Sunday Telegraph newspaper. Hypothermia has killed thousands, losses to the economy have soared into the billions, and the wintry spring has wrought mayhem on the roads, closed businesses and smashed power lines. [...] Why? Because instead of developing its vast natural gas resources to fuel gas-fired generators, Britain has been building wind turbines, which provide almost no electricity during frigid weather.
Nevada wind farm could face fine over eagle death. An eastern Nevada wind farm could face a fine of up to $200,000 over the death of a golden eagle.
Eco madness and how our future is going up in smoke. [Scroll down] Germany, which already has five times as many wind turbines as Britain, is now desperately building 20 new coal-fired stations in the hope of keeping its lights on. The first, opened last September, is already generating 2,200 megawatts; nearly as much as the average output of all of Britain's wind farms combined.
The Dream of a World Without Oil. [Mark Z.] Jacobsen's article provides a thorough assessment of the future of WWS [wind, water and solar]. Unfortunately, rather than buttress his argument, his figures undermine the conclusion that we don't need fossil fuels.
Rethinking wind power. [T]he latest research in mesoscale atmospheric modeling, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, suggests that the generating capacity of large-scale wind farms has been overestimated.
Bad News for Wind Energy. It's generally been recognized that using wind to generate electricity is inefficient, costly and unreliable. Now the news is getting out that it's even worse than previously thought. The report, The Performance of Wind Farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark, issued by the Renewable Energy Foundation, London, UK, established that capacity factors for on-shore wind farms decline from 24% in the first year of operation, to 15% in year ten, and 11% in year 15. These results are amazing, in that the literature usually indicates a consistent capacity factor of 30%, which is what financial projections are typically based on. The report holds even worse news for off-shore wind farms.
Texas Wind Power: New Record, Bad Economics. Last month, a cold front propelled Texas to a new record for wind power, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Wind-generated electricity provided 9,481 MW on Feb. 9, almost 28 percent of the power generated in ERCOT at that time. This surpassed the previous record of 8,667 MW set only two weeks earlier. Hold the applause. [...] Before the wind started blowing heavily on Feb. 9, the electricity that was soon to be replaced by wind power was being supplied by gas turbines. Once the wind began blowing, the gas turbines had to stop generating electricity to accommodate wind electricity.
When will this green madness cease? When is a bird not a bird? When it's one of the millions of avian species splattered, decapitated, clunked, winged, brained or otherwise condemned to death by a wind turbine. Mysteriously, in the eyes of environmentalists — and bird conservation bodies such as the Audubon Society and the RSPB — all those deaths, no matter how rare the species involved, are acceptable collateral damage in the great war to save the world from the unproven threat of "man-made global warming."
The wind industry has a de facto grant of immunity from
federal prosecution under some of America's oldest wildlife laws.
Kelsey Grammer blew 6 figures investing in windmills. Former Frasier star Kelsey Grammer told TMZ on Tuesday [3/12/2013] that wind technology was the worst investment he's ever made. Grammer told the tabloid that though his finances are good, he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on a small wind investment. "I'm OK, but I didn't make up for it. It's just one of those things that's just a straight loss," he said. "You'd think it would be lucrative, but it's not really a friendly environment for new technology, it really isn't."
Big wind just got smaller. A new paper by Amanda Adams and David Keith reports that once deployed on a large scale wind farms may generate even less power than previously thought.
Renewable Energy Investment Goes Up in Smoke. The Spanish Parliament approved a law on Thursday [2/14/2013] that cuts subsidies for alternative energy technologies, backtracking on its push for green power. That measure, along with other recent laws including a tax on power generation that hit green energy investments especially hard, will virtually wipe out profits for photovoltaic, solar thermal and wind plants, sector lobbyists say.
Windpower propaganda: At a School Near You? Any parent involved with their children's homework or school knows that "green" is in. But too often more than that, "green" notions are presented as self-evident truths where there should be critical thinking and discussion. Also too often, federal and state funds are being dispensed to create the 'greenest' possible hearts and minds for tomorrow. Such is the case with an industry that is economically useless and environmentally destructive: industrial wind power.
Green Energy Has A Brownout Problem. How do you keep the power on when the wind won't blow and the sun won't shine? As California has discovered, it's a problem that's neither easy nor cheap to solve in the brave new world of renewables.
Energy bills could hit £3,500 a year because of windfarm costs. In countries where industrial wind power has been added to the grid in any volume, consumer costs have rocketed. The two countries with the highest numbers of installed commercial wind turbines, Germany and Denmark, now have the highest electricity bills in Europe.
California is "greening" itself toward a third world electrical grid. Alas, California's ecotwits have forced most of the state's fossil fueled power plants into mothballs. The ones that are still limping along will likely be shuttered by 2020 thanks to onerous and prohibitively expensive upgrades required under the Clean Air Act. So what will happen on cloudy, windless days?
Say, Why Doesn't America Have Any Off-shore Wind Farms? [O]ver time we've learned that the electricity from Cape Wind is going to be quite a bit more expensive than originally proposed, and will increase the costs for the islands who would receive the electricity. It can also reduce property values, hurt tourism, and cost jobs.
Surplus wind power costs verified: Fedeli. [Ontario's] Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) says unless market rules change, surplus wind power will cost electricity ratepayers up to $200 million a year.
Wind farms will create more carbon dioxide, say scientists. Thousands of Britain's wind turbines will create more greenhouse gases than they save, according to potentially devastating scientific research to be published later this year.
The Corruption of Wind Energy. We always knew that wind power came with a heavy 'social levy'. That social levy was the accepted high price that would 'underpin' the true initial cost of wind power until the industry 'matured'. We would suffer its unreliability, its intermittence, its aesthetic impact on the landscape, the "shockingly high" number of bird deaths and the noise and strobe effects that torment the lives of residents. "Trust us", the wind industry intoned, "the enormous public investment is just seed-funding. It will be well worth it as costs fall in the cause of saving Mother Gaia".
Windpower Propaganda: At A School Near You? Any parent involved with their children's homework or school knows that "green" is in. But too often more than that, "green" notions are presented as self-evident truths where there should be critical thinking and discussion. Also too often, federal and state funds are being dispensed to create the 'greenest' possible hearts and minds for tomorrow. Such is the case with an industry that is economically useless and environmentally destructive: industrial wind power.
Lomborg: Electricity prices for German households have increased 61% since 2000 — renewables blamed. Real German electricity prices for households have increased 61% since 2000. One quarter of household costs now stems directly from renewable energy. Also, the increase is *not* because of increasing production costs (which have actually slightly declined since 1978). The increase is due to dramatically increasing taxes, most noticeably from the Renewable Energy Act (EEG). In 2013 the EEG will increase 50% to 6.28 euro-cent (5.28 cents plus 19% VAT).
BC Hydro's Billion Dollar Climate Bill. BC Hydro is highly regulated with respect to rates and operations and traditionally operated as an independent, apolitical entity. That changed when politicians from all parties, driven by the media and statist intellectuals, recognized the increased revenue potential from surcharges and "green" taxes based on the notion of CO2-induced climate change. BC Hydro became an instrument for public policy, and a new way for government indirectly fund green energy initiatives. BC Hydro is forecast to lose one billion dollars over the next four years, as a result of the pursuit of green electricity.
So Called Wind Farms Dominate List of Bangor Hydro's Top Electricity Consumers. While dominating the Top Ten is somewhat surprising, we have heard before that wind plants are large users of electricity from the outside grid. That alone renders inaccurate that wind turbines do not put carbon in the air.
Energy consumption in wind facilities. Large wind turbines require a large amount of energy to operate. Other electricity plants generally use their own electricity, and the difference between the amount they generate and the amount delivered to the grid is readily determined. Wind plants, however, use electricity from the grid, which does not appear to be accounted for in their output figures. At the facility in Searsburg, Vermont, for example, it is apparently not even metered and is completely unknown. The manufacturers of large turbines — for example, Vestas, GE, and NEG Micon — do not include electricity consumption in the specifications they provide.ve: industrial wind power.
Cape Wind hopes loan not blown. Cape Wind is back in line for a big loan from the Obama administration, over the objections of project opponents and Republican congressmen who are sounding the alarm about investing taxpayer cash in another potential Solyndra. The U.S. Department of Energy shelved the offshore wind developer's request for $2 billion in federal aid in 2011 because of a lack of progress, but recently reconsidered the application — although reportedly for a smaller amount.
Thousands of wind turbines to go up as subsidies cut. Already there are 4,366 turbines in operation in the UK providing 8.2GW of power, enough to power 4.5 million homes for a year. There are a further 7,843 turbines that have been approved but are yet to be built, bringing the total due to go up in the UK to more than 10,000.
Without Subsidies, the Wind Industry Is Over. When the [Fish and Wildlife] regulations interfere with a favored project of the Obama administration, well, they didn't really mean it about regulations. It's all relative, you see. There are no permanent standards. What difference, at this point, does it make? Relativity as a philosophy is convenient, because you can use it anywhere, whenever it's needed.
There's always too little wind at a wind farm, except when there's way too much.
Wind farms vs wildlife: The shocking environmental cost of renewable energy. Wind turbines only last for 'half as long as previously thought', according to a new study. But even in their short lifespans, those turbines can do a lot of damage. Wind farms are devastating populations of rare birds and bats across the world, driving some to the point of extinction. Most environmentalists just don't want to know. Because they're so desperate to believe in renewable energy, they're in a state of denial. But the evidence suggests that, this century at least, renewables pose a far greater threat to wildlife than climate change.
Wind Power's Negative Externalities: Here Come the Lawsuits (Part II). The damage of industrial wind turbines is also an international issue. Denmark worked with premeditation and created a "loss of value" clause, 2008, passed to compensate property values depreciated by proximity to turbine arrays, but this has turned out to be a double-edged sword. People may be awarded for a portion of projected losses, but of the 551 claims from persons living next to wind turbines, the average compensated value was only 57,000 kroner ($8,478 US), nothing even close to the actual property losses of upwards of 20%.
Ontario's Liberals get an "F". The fuse is very short now; people cannot continue to be forced from homes, have livelihoods, homesteads, and legacies squashed as a willfully blind government continues to jam more turbines, transmission lines and substations into rural residential communities, areas of tourism, pristine wildlife habitat and migratory bird paths. We have no sense that government is working for the best interest of the people.
Wind farms can interfere with forecasts says Met Office. The Met Office has objected to the construction of a giant wind farm — claiming its turbines could affect the accuracy of its weather forecasts. It says interference from dozens of giant blades would result in 'false warnings of severe and hazardous weather being issued', while heavy rainfall and flood alerts could be missed.
Big Wind Spends Big. The wind energy sector spent big money in 2012 to protect its federal tax credits, lobbying disclosure reports released this week show. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) spent more than $2.1 million in 2012, a 61 percent increase from the $1.5 million it spent the previous year. The dramatic increase came as the AWEA was fighting to protect the wind energy production tax credit (PTC), a lucrative tax-break set to expire at the end of the year.
Sting operations reveal Mafia involvement in renewable energy. Inside a midnight-blue BMW, a Sicilian entrepreneur delivered his pitch to the accused mafia boss. A new business was blowing into Italy that could spin wind and sunlight into gold, ensuring the future of the Earth as well as the Cosa Nostra: renewable energy.
Financially Troubled Iberdrola Sells Off Some Assets, But Retains Tule Wind Project. The Thousand Islands Sun, a small local newspaper with no online edition, reportedly published that Iberdrola Business Development Manager Jenny Briot has stated that the company is canceling 100 projects in the United States, according to leaseholder James Pitcher. Copleman denies that 100 projects are being cancelled. He told ECM that the company has shut down some meteorological towers as part of "right-sizing" but declined to state how many.
Iberdrola Renewables withdraws from Hammond wind leases. "We are removing the meteorological towers and no longer developing the project." Mr. Copleman said regulatory uncertainty and the wind energy market were factors in the company's decision. He could not immediately say how many lease holders were affected.
Tracking NH's relationship with wind energy. Hundreds of residents at various meetings have expressed opposition to the wind turbines, he said. "They're ruining the aesthetics of the area here with these wind mills. The only thing they're benefiting is some foreign company to come in here" and hurt the views, [Rep. Harold] Reilly said. "It's not giving New Hampshire anything but a headache."
Voters to decide on solar farm moratorium; Special town meeting set tonight. A moratorium on solar farms, a restrictive bylaw on solar farms, renovations to the library's children's room and the establishment of a veteran's volunteer service program will be in the hands of voters at tonight's [1/7/2013] special town meeting.
Fire Chief shuts down overcrowded Health Board meeting. Fire Chief Timothy Francis shut down a meeting of the Board of Health Monday night [1/7/2013] after the room where the meeting was being held was overcrowded by members of the anti-turbine group Windwise.
Gamesa denies blade responsibility. Spanish wind turbine maker Gamesa has denied any knowledge of or responsibility for a rotor blade that snapped off one of its 2MW G87 machines at the Allegheny Ridge wind farm in Pennsylvania over the weekend. [...] While no injuries or further damage occurred, Infigen shut down all 40 turbines as a temporary precaution.
Wind industry big lies no 3: wind turbines are eco-friendly. Of all the many lies put out by the subsidy-troughing scum-suckers of the wind industry and their greenie fellow travellers, the biggest porkie of the lot is this: that wind turbines are eco-friendly. In order to believe this tosh, you'd first have to accept the warped view that being eco-friendly can legitimately entail wiping out millions of bats and birds.
Congress Extends Eagle-Killing Wind Incentive. Congress extended wind energy tax credits worth billions of dollars in the last-minute deal hammered out by Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff, a move decried by free market organizations as corporate welfare. The wind energy production tax credit (PTC) will be extended until the end of 2013 and dole out an estimated $12.1 billion in tax credits to the wind energy industry over the next decade.
Offshore wind found under-performing. The performance of offshore wind is below expectations in the world's leading market, Britain, suggesting the emerging technology may deliver slightly less power than planned at least in its early stages.
Wind turbines 'only lasting for half as long as previously thought'. Wind farms have just half the useful lifespan which has been claimed, according to new research which found they start to wear out after just 12 years. A study of almost 3,000 turbines in Britain — the largest of its kind — sheds doubt on manufacturers claims that they generate clean energy for up to 25 years, which is used by the Government to calculate subsidies.
Big Wind Meets an Ill Wind. [Scroll down] Increasingly, this seems to be the fate of Big Wind, one of the two mainstays of President Obama's "alternative energy" plan. The other is solar energy where the Obama Administration's record is one mostly of failures. For the federal government to subsidize research and development of promising technologies is one thing, but acting as a venture capitalist is quite another. It thought it picked winners, but got losers by throwing dollars at several failing solar panel manufacturers. The wind farm business is now feeling the cumulative effects of opposition by neighbors and potential neighbors, bird lovers and people who oppose inefficient, uneconomical government projects.
Let's Be Gone With the Wind. President Obama likes to talk about making sure "the biggest corporations pay their fair share." Treasury secretary Tim Geithner calls for tax reform to close loopholes and subsidies. Budget hawks say federal spending must be curbed. Congress and federal environmental regulators claim they are doing everything they can to save endangered species. By doing nothing and waiting for December 31 to pass, all of those folks could strike a blow in support of each of these policies. All they have to do is let the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy expire on schedule this coming Monday.
Replace expensive, unreliable wind power with natural gas. Industrial wind facilities are similar to that disappointing Christmas toy, the one that says "batteries not included" — only worse. While our parents could scramble to purchase batteries necessary to restore household tranquility, no practical means exists to store wind energy's volatile energy production.
Wind farms no match for nuclear power plants. Just look at the situation in India's state of Tamil Nadu, which at one time allocated huge tracts of land to accommodate wind farms. India has been perennially suffering from power shortages, with its appetite for electricity rising by the year as its economy grows. So, several wind generators dot the Western Ghat mountain range. The idea was for them to constantly generate very cheap electricity, except that, after the winds suddenly changed direction, most of the power plants simply grounded to a halt.
PTC: Costly Climate Policy Dud. The wind energy production tax credit (PTC) expires at the stroke of midnight, Dec. 31, unless Congress votes to renew the tax break. A one-year extension would add an estimated $12.1 billion to deficit spending over 10 years. A six-year extension, advocated by the wind industry, could add $50 billion. The fiscal cliff looms and the national debt already exceeds GDP, but if Congress cared more about the general interest of taxpayers than about the special interests of campaign contributors, the nation would not be sliding towards insolvency.
Harvard Needs Remedial Energy Math. Wind and solar power cannot possibly meet the world's growing need for more electricity.
The Multiple Distortions of Wind Subsidies. Federal subsidies for new wind-power generation will end on Dec. 31 unless they are renewed by Congress. For the sake of our economy and the smooth operation of the energy market, Congress should let the subsidies lapse. They waste taxpayer money, subvert the allocation of capital, and generate a social cost many times the price tag of the subsides themselves.
Wind-worn. If the lifetime of a wind turbine is 15 years rather than 25, that presumably means that the electricity it generates is going to be much, much more expensive.
Wear and Tear Hits Wind Farm Output and Economic Lifetime. The results show that after allowing for variations in wind speed and site characteristics the average load factor of wind farms declines substantially as they get older, probably due to wear and tear. By 10 years of age the contribution of an average UK wind farm to meeting electricity demand has declined by a third.
Driessen: Big Wind tax credit exterminates endangered species. "New studies reveal that these appalling [bird kill] estimates are frightfully low and based on misleading or even fraudulent data."
Feds look other way as wind farms kill birds — but haul oil and gas firms to court. Lights left on during a foggy night last year at a West Virginia wind farm are thought to be behind the grizzly deaths of nearly 500 songbirds. It was the third time it happened — and each time, the federal government looked the other way. Fast forward to last week. Following the deaths of a dozen migratory birds in Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska several years back, a Denver-based oil company was fined $22,500. The company was also ordered to make an additional $7,500 payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Under Siege. The Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind power expires at the end of this year unless Congress takes affirmative action to renew the law. This expire-renew cycle has occurred seven times since the PTC was first put into effect in 1992. However, unique events are in play this year that signal waning support for its renewal. [...] Forgotten by many proponents is the justification for the PTC in the first place: to reduce CO2 emissions. When the PTC was originally enacted, this justification was blindly accepted by many states without independently confirming CO2 reduction claims.
Is the wind industry entering panic mode? The wind lobby is working like their livelihoods depend on it — which is mainly because, they do — to convince Congress to extend the production tax credit, set to expire at the start of the new year, that has diverted taxpayer money their way for decades now. Without the guarantee of continued federal assistance, the wind industry is already starting to bleed jobs [...]
Wind Turbine Projects at Long-Range Radar Sites in Alaska Were Not Adequately Planned. Completing a wind study would have provided 611th CES personnel the information necessary to determine the most advantageous location at which to build the turbine. Because 611th CES personnel did not complete a wind study at Tin City before construction, the turbine is located in an area with turbulent winds, and therefore, according to 611th CES personnel, produces sporadic, unusable power.
So, how's your green energy stock doing? RENIXX® World, the Renewable Energy Industrial Index of the world's top green energy companies, hit an all-time low below 146 on November 21, down more than 90 percent from the December 2007 peak. The RENIXX index was established in 2006. It's composed of the world's 30 largest renewable energy companies with more than 50 percent of revenues coming from wind, solar, biofuel, or geothermal energy, or the hydropower or fuel cell sector.
Wind Energy Policy. America needs an energy policy that embraces the nation's abundant natural resources. Yet the government's continues to push wind energy, which has done little to create more affordable or reliable energy. After 20 years of government subsidies for the wind industry spearheaded by the Production Tax Credit (PTC), wind energy remains unreliable, economically disastrous, and harmful to the environment.
Windmills Overload East Europe's Grid Risking Blackout: Energy. Germany is dumping electricity on its unwilling neighbors and by wintertime the feud should come to a head. Central and Eastern European countries are moving to disconnect their power lines from Germany's during the windiest days. That's when they get flooded with energy, echoing struggles seen from China to Texas over accommodating the world's 200,000 windmills.
Installing Windmills Doesn't Make the Wind Blow. For years, wind advocates have been bragging about the growth of installed wind-power capacity, which they compare to other energy sources. What they rarely (if ever) talk about is production.
After Sandy, No One Lined Up for Wind Turbines. The greens want to go 'beyond oil,' but without it we'd freeze in the dark.
$14 Billion in Stimulus Spending Generates Just 1.2 Percent of Electricity. Despite more than $14 billion in cash payments to solar, wind, and other renewable energy project developers since 2009, just 48 terawatt hours of additional annual electricity generation were expected to be added through funds authorized by the stimulus, according to documents released by the Department of Treasury. The more than 45,000 projects brought online through 2012 would represent less than 1.2 percent of overall electricity generation, according to figures provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration for 2011.
Wind Power Fiasco: Call Your Congressman. Windmills don't work when the wind isn't blowing. The wind power lobbyists don't emphasize that point. There are very few places where the wind always blows, and, not surprisingly, hardly anybody lives near those mostly unpleasant places. Somehow, the environmentalist love of windmills is seemingly without limit. If you bother an eagle — even pluck a feather from a dead eagle — you are looking at hard time in the federal pen. But if you operate wind turbines that kill eagles on an industrial scale, you don't have to worry. Eagle-killing windmills are specifically exempted from liability.
Big Wind: the most corrupt and corrupting industry in the world. The reason the industry is so corrupt is quite simply that without the lies it tells as a matter of course and without the cosy stitch-ups it arranges with regulators and politicians at taxpayers' expense, it simply would not exist. Take the noise regulations which are currently the subject of an enquiry by the Institute of Acoustics. The reason these noise regulations so badly need re-examining is that the original parameters for noise limits were set by people working for the wind industry with a vested interest in making it as easy as possible for wind farms to be built in as many places as possible.
Maine DEP Rejects Passadumkeag Wind Project. The Maine Department of Environment Protection has denied a 14-turbine industrial wind site atop Passadumkeag Mountain.
What AWEA Doesn't Want You To Know About Wind Power: [I]n 2010, wind power produced just 2.3 percent of our generation, making wind energy subsidies cost $56.29 per megawatt hour, while coal subsidies were just $0.64 per megawatt hour and natural gas and petroleum subsidies were the same as coal on a per megawatt hour basis. That is, wind subsidies were 88 times higher than those for coal or natural gas and petroleum on a unit of production basis.Environmentalists Say Wyoming Wind Farm Will Devastate Eagle Populations. A new wind farm proposed for federal land in Wyoming will inflict a devastating toll on threatened bird species, including sage grouse and eagles, environmentalists report. Opponents are hoping to persuade the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reconsider its preliminary support for the project, planned as the largest in the world.
Wind farm noise does harm sleep and health, say scientists. Wind farm noise causes "clear and significant" damage to people's sleep and mental health, according to the first full peer-reviewed scientific study of the problem. American and British researchers compared two groups of residents in the US state of Maine. One group lived within a mile of a wind farm and the second group did not. Both sets of people were demographically and socially similar, but the researchers found major differences in the quality of sleep the two groups enjoyed.
Wind energy claims are just a lot of hot air. The good news came yesterday [10/30/2012] in the form of some very forthright words from John Hayes, the Coalition's new minister at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. "We can no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities. I can't single-handedly build a new Jerusalem but I can protect our green and pleasant land," he stirringly declared, adding: "I'm saying enough is enough."
Death knell for wind farms: 'Enough is Enough' says minister. Wind farms have been "peppered" across Britain without enough consideration for the countryside and people's homes, a senior Conservative energy minister admitted last night as he warned "enough is enough".
Good riddance to wind farms — one of the most dangerous delusions of our age. The significance of yesterday's [10/29/2012] shock announcement by our Energy Minister John Hayes that the Government plans to put a firm limit on the building of any more onshore windfarms is hard to exaggerate. On the face of it, this promises to be the beginning of an end to one of the greatest and most dangerous political delusions of our time.
Wind Intermittency And The Production Tax Credit. The United States has subsidized the wind industry for 35 years. The subsidies began with the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA) and Energy Tax Act (ETA) of 1978. Subsequently, with passage of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) wind subsidies were increased through a variety of programs, most prominently the federal production tax credit (PTC). In many electric markets, the value of the PTC tax subsidy is greater than the price of electricity itself.
Six Green Lies Threatening to Starve You. Solar and wind are "clean" we're told, because they do not produce offensive byproducts like carbon dioxide. However, in order to be considered a true alternative, a power generation method must be capable of meeting the needs served by the method it is replacing. You would not replace a cold family's wood-burning stove with a sun-warmed rock just to reduce their smoke emissions. Yet that is a model of the methodology behind the subsidization of highly inefficient green energy technologies and the arbitrary restriction of methods known to work.
Is Wind Energy Dangerous? Last summer the Northeast, Southeast and Texas experienced higher than usual temperatures, which caused peaks in demand for electricity that grid operators could just barely manage. Grid operators couldn't rely on wind because wind doesn't generate electricity on hot summer afternoons. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas says that less than 10% of total wind capacity is "available" during peak summer days. In the UK a similar event nearly caused the lights to go out — in the winter.
Study: Wind Generates Electricity When We Need It Least Wind. Like a bar that's only open weekday mornings, wind subsidies only give us what we want when we need it least. Most people understand the basic limitation of wind power: you only get electricity when the wind is blowing. Any first-time kite-flier can attest to the fact that wind speed is highly variable. Because there is no cheap way to store energy for later usage, wind variability is one of the biggest reasons wind power is not more widely-embraced as an effective method of electricity generation.
Twenty Bad Things About Wind Energy, and Three Reasons Why. [#1] — Wind energy was abandoned well over a hundred years ago, as even in the late 1800s it was totally inconsistent with our burgeoning, more modern needs for power. When we throw the switch, we expect that the lights will go on — 100% of the time. It's not possible for wind energy, by itself, to ever do this, which is one of the main reasons it was relegated to the dust bin of antiquated technologies (along with such other inadequate energy sources as horse and oxen power).
The Wind Industry's Preferences Include Exemptions From Federal Prosecution for Killing Wildlife. No other part of the energy industry receives as much preferential treatment as the wind-energy business. Indeed, perhaps no other sector in all of American business gets such preferential treatment. The wind industry not only has the production tax credit, it also has mandates covering about two thirds of the US population, and a de facto grant of immunity from federal prosecution under some of America's oldest wildlife laws.
Wind and solar: the ethical investments to avoid. Renewable energy has turned sour for ethical investors, with wind and solar among the worst-performing stocks.
Subsidizing Big Wind: The Real Costs to Taxpayers. Findings:
• On a per-unit-of-energy-produced basis, the PTC provides a subsidy to the wind industry that is at least 12 times greater than that provided to the oil and gas sector and 6.5 times greater than that provided to the nuclear industry.
• More than two-thirds of the American population live in states that have mandated the use of renewable electricity, and those mandates are imposing significant costs on ratepayers.
• If viewed solely as a job-saving measure, a one-year extension of the PTC will cost about $329,000 per job.
• Despite numerous violations, the Obama administration — like the Bush administration before it — has unofficially exempted the wind industry from prosecution under the Eagle Protection and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts. If Congress extends the PTC, federal taxpayers will, in effect, be subsidizing the killing of federally protected birds.
[...] Using the BP and CBO data, we find that the tax preferences for wind energy total $1,540 per barrel of oil equivalent per day. At $1,540 per barrel of oil equivalent per day, the wind sector is getting subsidies about 12 times greater than the amount of tax preferences provided to the oil and gas sector.
The sickening truth about wind farm syndrome. New technology has long attracted "modern health worries". Microwave ovens, television and computer screens and even early telephony all caused anxiety in their time. More recently, cellphones and towers, Wi-Fi and smart electricity meters have followed suit. Another is gathering attention; the very modern malaise known as wind turbine syndrome.
Get orf our land! Every time I went for a walk I couldn't help glancing up at that hill, wondering how it would look when the wind turbine came. I thought of the sunrises it would blight, the low-frequency noise, the birds and bats it would slice and dice, and the hundreds of thousands of pounds going into the landowner's pocket while the neighbours had their landscape ruined. A fortnight ago, our worst fears came true.
Foreign Wind Company Laying Off 800 Workers, Despite $50 Million 'Investment' By Taxpayers. Another day, another failed government funded green energy project. This one, Vestas, isn't even an American company.
Proud NIMBYISM Against Windpower. I am not anti-windpower per se; I am, however, anti-bad ideas and anti-wasteful government spending of taxpayer money. I am a NIMBY, but so is just about everyone. There are 314 million people in the U.S., virtually all of whom care about protecting their private property against intrusion, particularly unnecessary, wasteful, government-enabled intrusion.
Three years until the lights go out. Ofgem, the UK's energy regulator, has apparently announced that the UK should expect power outages to begin in the winter of 2015-16. [...] The government really thinks that throwing money into the wind is going to make things better.
What Is the Sound of 130 Wind Turbines Turning? Unlike light, sound travels far and fast through water, so "in the ocean, one of the main ways animals perceive their environment is by using sound," said WHOI biologist Aran Mooney. "We know that sound is important in the ocean. We also know that sounds we make in the ocean influence animals, and loud sounds may detrimentally affect animals."
Danish Wind Turbine Company That Received Over $50 Million In Stimulus Lays Off 800 Workers. A Danish wind turbine company whose subsidiaries received over $50 million in U.S. stimulus dollars announced on Friday [10/12/2012] it has cut more than 800 jobs in the United States and Canada this year and may be forced to lay off another 800 employees in North America. This is yet another green energy company that received wasteful stimulus funds and does not even have anything to show for it.
Do We Need Subsidies for Solar and Wind Power? At a time of intense debate over the federal budget, government subsidies for wind and solar power are more contentious than ever.
Is the Government at last seeing sense on wind farms? [Scroll down] I simply cannot exaggerate the despair, the heartbreak, the fury, the bewilderment and the misery which government renewables policy is spreading across the countryside.
Wind Energy Half Truths and Double Talk. Opponents say clean energy efforts in the US are expensive and ineffective at reducing climate. Of all the things opponents rail against, they rail loudest against wind, complaining that output is greatly exaggerated and that its costs are grossly understated.
The Limits of Wind Power. Very high wind penetrations are not achievable in practice due to the increased need for power storage, the decrease in grid reliability, and the increased operating costs.
Wind Power Can't Cost-Effectively Be a Large Grid's Main Source of Electricity. Wind energy, because of its variable nature, is not suited to be the lone or primary source of a grid's total electricity, according to a new Reason Foundation study. If it is used to produce more than 10-to-20 percent of a system's electricity, wind power increases operating costs due to the need for expensive storage facilities or continuously available CO2-emitting backup power generation facilities.
Windpower: Ancient, Not Infant. Energy history explodes the fallacy that wind energy is something new and futuristic, while fossil fuels are ... so yesterday.
The real cost of turbine savings. In sworn testimony to the Adams County Board in Illinois, Michael S. McCann, a state certified property appraiser who has studied the impact of turbines on property value across the country, reported that the value of properties within two miles of industrial turbines will decline by 25 to 40 percent. The homes closest to turbines often become unsellable at any price.
Wind farms given £34 million to switch off in bad weather. Wind farm operators were paid £34 million last year to switch the turbines off in gales. Two days last week saw householders effectively hand £400,000 to energy firms for doing nothing. The arrangement compensates wind farms for the National Grid's inability to cope with the extra energy produced during high winds.
George Osborne's CO2 tax will double UK electricity bills. Fast approaching, if largely unnoticed, is yet another massive shock the Government has in store for us with its weirdly distorted energy policy. It is surprising to see what an abnormally high proportion of the electricity needed to keep our lights on has lately been coming from coal-fired power stations. Last Wednesday evening [9/26/2012], for instance, this was over 50 percent, with only 1.3 percent coming from wind power. Yet by next March, we learn, five of our largest coal-fired plants, capable of supplying a fifth of our average power needs, are to be shut down, much earlier than expected, under an EU anti-pollution directive.
Obama champions wind tax credit favored by campaign donors.
The Wind Lobby and American Domestic Policy. A wind energy tax credit championed by President Barack Obama will benefit financially a group of large American corporations that have donated overwhelmingly to Democratic candidates and committees. [...] Scott Walter, executive vice president of the Capital Research Center, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that tracks political donations, said it was not surprising to see large corporations attempting to cash in on federal subsidies for green energy. "There are few bigger corporate welfare scams than wind power," he told the Washington Free Beacon. The companies' political donations, he said, gave the appearance of "payback run amok."
More accurate wind energy forecasts. To run a wind farm as efficiently as possible, planners must know in advance precisely what wind speeds predominate at the site, and what kind of turbulence is to be expected. The problem: "With conventional methods, it is almost impossible, or possible only at great effort and expense, to measure projected power when planning modern, large-scale facilities," says [Tobias] Klaas.
Barack Obama blocks Chinese bid for US windfarm on national security grounds. President Barack Obama has blocked a privately-owned Chinese company from building wind turbines close to a Navy military site in Oregon due to national security concerns.
The Editor says...
It is very unlike Barack Obama to oppose the communist Chinese or the environmentalists, so there must be some truth to the notion that American military radar can't tell the difference between windmills and enemy aircraft.
Chinese-Owned Company Sues Obama Over Wind Farm Project. A Chinese-owned company sued President Barack Obama for barring its Oregon wind-farm project as a national security risk, claiming the order violates its constitutional rights. Ralls Corp., a Delaware-based company owned by two executives of China's biggest machinery manufacturer, added the president yesterday [10/1/2012] to a lawsuit filed Sept. 12 that challenged a ruling by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., known as CFIUS, blocking the project.
Wind industry big lies no. 2: your property values will not be affected. [Scroll down] There's not an estate agent dealing with rural properties anywhere in the land that isn't aware of the issue. "The majority of homebuyers don't want to live anywhere near a wind farm — it's as simple as that," one tells me. And if they don't broadcast the fact too loudly, he says, it's for two reasons: first they want to get the highest possible price for their sellers; second because often these same rural agents represent landowners who are making money out of wind farms and they don't want to upset their clients.
Germany's new "renewable" energy policy. It is amazing how biased the international media is when it comes to reporting on energy generation, specifically electricity. In mid-August, Germany opened a new 2200MW coal-fired power station near Cologne, and virtually not a word has been said about it. This dearth of reporting is even more surprising when one considers that Germany has said building new coal plants is necessary because electricity produced by wind and solar has turned out to be unaffordably expensive and unreliable.
AWEA Behind the Green Curtain of Wind Energy. Big Wind, disguised in "green-mindedness", has been crushing anyone and everyone who happens to be in its way. Residents in towns and farm areas across this country, Canada, Great Britain, Sweden, Holland, Spain, China, Australia and New Zealand are feeling the boot and suffering the torture and pain of having to either, succumb to the awful illnesses that the spinning wind turbine blades cause, or flee, if they are fortunate enough to be able to afford it, so that their families might simply be well. There are now numerous reported stories of the so-called wind farms having followed the refugees to their new home places. Schoolchildren are being hammered right in their schools.
Sierra Club Energy: Beyond Affordable. The irony is that an honest Sierra Club executive back in the 1980s gave windpower its most infamous nickname, the Cuisinarts of the Air. Sierra Club members have resigned over the organization's pro-wind policy, and grassroot environmentalists have tasted wind only to spit it out.
A database of 959 wind farms. For what it's worth.
A big bird kill. An estimated 12 million migratory birds will be put at risk if two large offshore wind turbine projects are built in Lake Ontario, according to a report released this week by the Kingston Field Naturalists. Three members of the volunteer organization who conducted a year-long, unpaid study are particularly concerned about two offshore projects that would see the a total of 268 turbines planted to the north and south of Main Duck Island, a natural stopping off point for hundreds of species.
Arguments for wind power are just hot air. [N]ever in my life have I come across a political issue that makes me quite so cross. Normally in politics there are two sides to every argument. What's unique about this one is that proponents of wind simply haven't a leg to stand on. It's bad enough that a handful of wealthy landowners, mostly foreign-owned energy companies and their hangers on, are getting vastly rich at the expense of the British public by building monstrosities that drive up fuel bills, kill wildlife, blight views, destroy property prices, hurt the economy and make people sick with their low-frequency noise. But the real scandal is that it's being done with the connivance and encouragement of our elected representatives.
Disinherit the Wind. The federal wind production tax credit (PTC) is scheduled to expire at the end of this year, offering the country a real chance to end the failed 20-year experiment of propping up a favored industry. Not surprisingly, proponents of the special tax break are working mightily to have it renewed. Conservatives and free-market advocates across the country are mobilizing to end this special tax treatment, and thus begin to restore an even playing field in energy markets. Americans for Prosperity is just one member of a coalition of 64 organizations that is calling on Congress to let the wind PTC expire.
Are wind farms saving or killing us? Here is what the official trade body RenewableUK has to say on its website: 'In over 25 years and with more than 68,000 machines installed around the world, no member of the public has ever been harmed by the normal operation of wind farms.' But in order to believe that, you would have to discount the testimony of the thousands of people just like Aileen [Jackson] around the world who claim their health has been damaged by wind farms. You would have to ignore the reports of doctors such as Australia's Sarah Laurie, Canada's Nina Pierpont and Britain's Amanda Harry who have collated hundreds of such cases of Wind Turbine Syndrome.
Obama sells old ideas as new. [Scroll down] Oh, but what about all his innovative ideas for green energy: faster trains local governments don't want and electric cars consumers won't buy? The New York Times reports that the electric car "has long been recognized as the ideal solution" because it is "cleaner and quieter" and "much more economical." The Times reported that in 1911. Obama has turned his back on nuclear power while investing massively in a technological breakthrough pioneered by Heron of Alexandria in the first century: the windmill.
David Cameron's greatest crime. There's a snake in the Garden and almost everyone who lives in the country knows what it is and fears it like the Devil. I'm talking, of course, about the wind farm menace. It divides once-happy communities; it blights cherished views; it wipes between 25 percent and 50 percent off property values; it causes insomnia, depression, palpitations, anxiety, sickness of all kinds; it enriches the cynical, greedy few at the expense of the many; it drives up energy prices; it kills birdlife and bats; it destroys jobs (creating only fake, taxpayer-subsidised ones), it does nothing whatsoever to benefit the environment, let alone arrest "climate change."
Wind Turbines can be Hazardous to Human Health. Large wind turbines generate very low frequency sounds and infrasound (below 20 Hz) when the wind driving them is turbulent. The amount of infrasound depends on many factors, including the turbine manufacturer, wind speed, power output, local topography, and the presence of nearby turbines (increasing when the wake from one turbine enters the blades of another). The infrasound cannot be heard and is unrelated to the loudness of the sound that you hear.
Golden Eagles Fall Prey to Wind Industry. The controversy surrounding wind farms in America has been brewing for over 25 years. The debate centers around the use of the deadly propeller style wind turbines and the large death toll to what are supposedly protected species. One of these species, the federally protected golden eagle, has been at the forefront of this debate from the beginning.
West Virginia wind farm seeks permit for some bat kills. The operator of a southern West Virginia wind farm has asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a permit that would allow the "incidental take," or killing, of endangered bats that might fly into its turbine blades. To comply with the terms of a lawsuit settlement, Maryland-based Beech Ridge Energy is seeking a 25-year permit for its wind farm in Greenbrier and Nicholas counties. The existing 67 turbines and another 33 that are planned could harm Virginia big-eared and Indiana bats.
The Editor says...
I see a red flag flying already. Nobody should ever get a 25-year permit to operate anything with new untested technology — especially a system to which objections have already been raised.
Grid Instability Has Industry Scrambling for Solutions. Sudden fluctuations in Germany's power grid are causing major damage to a number of industrial companies. While many of them have responded by getting their own power generators and regulators to help minimize the risks, they warn that companies might be forced to leave if the government doesn't deal with the issues fast.
Outgoing legislator calls wind energy production tax a big mistake. In 2007, the Idaho Legislature unanimously passed and the governor approved House Bill 189 removing the property tax for wind projects, replacing it with a 3 percent production tax. The legislation was a huge mistake, according to outgoing Rep. Erik Simpson, R-Idaho Falls. In fact, subsidized wind energy projects are now under fire in the state from a number of individuals and groups. Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, sponsored HB 189, telling the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee that it was a needed bill, citing that the cost of turbines over the last year had resulted in decreased incentives for the development of wind farms.
Wind turbine maker Vestas announces 1,400 job cuts. Vestas Wind Systems A/S officials said Thursday [8/23/2012] the company would cut 1,400 jobs, on top of 2,300 in layoffs announced earlier this year. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the move would bring the Denmark-based company's total workforce to about 19,000 by year-end, down from an earlier estimate of 20,400. It's unclear how the cuts will affect Vestas' North American headquarters in Portland.
Obama uses green pork to push the swing states:
Nuclear's Dilemma: Few Jobs, Just Energy. Last week, Environmental Entrepreneurs, a trade group, announced that wind and solar projects around the country had created 34,409 new jobs around the country in the second quarter of 2012, with high concentrations in California, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, and Colorado. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney immediately countered this by visiting Ohio's coal country, promising to protect the industry from the Obama Administration' "War on Coal."
Facts About the Wind Production Tax Credit. In brief, the PTC is a tax that is collected from all U.S. taxpayers, and provided as a federal subsidy to all qualifying wind developers (typically owned by foreign conglomerates). These substantial cash payments amount to 2.2¢ per kWh of electricity produced, and last for ten (10) years after a qualifying project goes online. This handout has been in effect for most of the last twenty years, but the eligibility for new projects is currently set to expire on 12/31/12. The fundamental question is: should taxpayers continue to fund the wind business?
Our famous scenery and landmarks blighted forever by turbines. They are famous Scottish landmarks which have withstood wars, weather and centuries of change — but they could not escape the Scottish Government's green agenda. Many of Scotland's most important tourist attractions now stand in the shadow of towering wind farms, as developers target every inch of the country for their turbines.
Green energy firm sacks two-thirds of American workforce days after receiving $32 million government loan.
Gone with the Wind. Just days after the Export-Import Bank approved a multi-million dollar federal loan guarantee to benefit a mostly foreign-based wind-energy outfit, the company pink-slipped more than 200 American workers. The Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that promotes and finances sales of U.S. exports to foreign buyers, approved a $32 million loan guarantee on Aug. 2 for a Brazilian firm to purchase wind turbines from LM Wind Power. According to its website, LM Wind Power is headquartered in Denmark.
Local Wind Subsidies: New York State's Money-Road to Nowhere. Special political favor at the local, state, and federal levels have created an artificial industry: industrial windpower. Massive turbines have resulted in negative ecological and economic effects. Rural towns and countryside across the USA have become the dumping grounds for massive infrastructure producing a paltry amount of remote, unreliable energy. For many enjoying rural life, in particular, an invasion by industrial wind installations has turned environmentalism on its head.
Wind PTC Already Phasing Out. So far this year, the wholesale prices of electricity in the different U.S. markets average from less than three cents per kilowatt hour (kW-h) to about 4.5 cents per kW-h. The PTC [production tax credit] provides a subsidy of 2.2 cents per kW-h to wind energy producers. So this PTC subsidy is equivalent to 50 percent to 70 percent of the wholesale price of electricity. (Note: It is the wholesale market into which the wind producers are selling their energy.) That's a big subsidy. Though you would not know it from wailing and gnashing of teeth over the expiration of the PTC, many states also have renewable energy standards that force ratepayers to buy wind, solar, and biomass produced electricity regardless of how much it costs.
Wind-energy tax credits fund bird murder. If an energy option makes sense — technically, economically and environmentally — it should be implemented. If it flunks, it should be scrapped. Industrial wind energy fails every test. It requires perpetual subsidies to survive. By taking tax revenues from productive sectors of the economy to provide expensive, unreliable electricity, it kills two to four jobs for every "green" job it creates.
The Impact of Wind Power on Household Energy Bills. When wind power is available, its low operating cost and market arrangements mean that it displaces other forms of generation. Market prices are lower, so that other generators require higher prices during periods of low wind availability to cover their operating and capital costs. It is expensive and inefficient to run large nuclear or coal plants to match fluctuations in demand or wind availability, so that their operating and maintenance costs will be higher.
Get Dense. [Scroll down] Wind projects defy density in a second way, eating up not just huge tracts of land, relative to their poor performance, but enormous quantities of steel as well. Installing a single wind turbine requires about 200 tons of steel. The newest turbines have capacities of about 4 megawatts. Divide four by 200, and you'll find that such a turbine can produce about 0.02 megawatts of electricity per ton of steel. Compare that with a conventional natural-gas-fired turbine — say, General Electric's LM6000. The LM6000 weighs nine tons and can generate nearly 43 megawatts, meaning that it produces about 4.7 megawatts per ton of steel — more than 230 times as many as the wind turbine does.
Do Greens Have A None-Of-The-Above Energy Policy? Two environmental groups in April filed suit to block an energy project they said would seriously harm the local ecosystem. It wasn't a coal plant, or an oil refinery, or a nuclear reactor. It was a wind farm — the very sort of "clean" energy environmentalists champion as an alternative to dirty traditional supplies. But the Portland Audubon Society and Oregon Natural Desert Association say a wind farm on Oregon's Steens Mountain, along with needed access roads and transmission lines, would threaten eagles, sage grouse and bighorn sheep and call it the "antithesis" of "responsible renewable energy development."
House Wants Info on Obama's Involvement in Green Energy Subsidies. New government e-mails show stark division among top White House and Obama administration officials regarding federal subsidies to green energy companies, prompting Congress to seek more information about what President Barack Obama knew and how involved he was regarding the largely failed strategy of doling out money to wind, solar and other alternative energy companies.
The great wind delusion has hijacked our energy policy. Anyone impressed by the efficient way in which Britain has organised the Olympic Games might consider the stark contrast provided by the shambles of our national energy policy — wholly focused as it is on the belief that we can somehow keep our lights on by building tens of thousands more wind turbines within eight years. At one point last week, Britain's 3,500 turbines were contributing 12 megawatts (MW) to the 38,000MW of electricity we were using. (The Neta website, which carries official electricity statistics, registered this as "0.0 per cent").
"Well as you know, wind has to blow for wind power to be effective."
Wind power not coming through for California. The graph from CAISO tells the story, wind power has tumbled when it is most needed.
Obama fast-tracks federal wind, solar energy projects. President Obama is fast-tracking seven federal wind and solar projects as the administration touts its energy policies amid GOP criticism over green investments and rising gas prices. The projects in Arizona, California, Nevada and Wyoming will produce 5,000 megawatts of power, enough to run 1.5 million homes, the White House said in a statement announcing the decision.
Wind Energy Is Extraordinarily Expensive And Inefficient. The Global Warming Policy Foundations has warned policy makers that wind energy is an extraordinarily expensive and inefficient way of reducing CO2 emissions. In fact, there is a significant likelihood that annual CO2 emissions could be greater under the Government's current wind strategy than under an alternative Gas scenario. Professor Gordon Hughes (University of Edinburgh), on behalf of the GWPF, has also assessed the likely impact of wind power on household energy bills.
Wind farms do bring down property values. The decisions by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to move certain houses close to wind farms into lower council tax bands are the first official recognition that the turbines can lower the value of nearby homes. Although property experts have long acknowledged the harmful effect of wind farms on property prices, the association has until now been dismissed by the wind industry as conjecture.
The wind farm myths are finally nailed. One by one the great truths deployed by lobbyists in favour of onshore wind farms are being revealed to be no such thing. For example, we have been told for some time by government, energy companies, chartered surveyors and estate agents that a house may be a few hundred yards away from a moving, noisy structure the height of the London Eye but there will be no discernible effect on its value. That idea has just been blown out of the water by the Valuation Office, which has lowered the council tax band of affected houses because their market value has plummeted.
Cape Wind probe grounded. The FAA found in May 2010 that it did not pose a risk, despite local air-traffic controllers' concerns that the turbines would interfere with radar and ensnare low-flying planes. A federal appeals court vacated that finding and ordered the FAA to redo its evaluation. That decision is forthcoming, but the agency has repeatedly refused to say when.
Wind Power Faces Taxing Headwind. Acciona Windpower's generator-assembly plant here in the heart of the corn belt is down to its last domestic order as the U.S. wind energy industry faces a sharp slowdown. Demand for the school bus-size pods it assembles to house the guts of a wind turbine is drying up as a key federal tax credit nears expiration. Acciona is now banking on foreign orders to keep the plant going next year, while hoping the credit will be extended.
U.S. piles more duties on Chinese wind towers. The United States slapped on Friday [7/27/2012] a second round of duties on wind turbine towers from China, ratcheting up tensions between the two countries in the renewable energy sector. The U.S. Commerce Department said it was imposing preliminary anti-dumping duties of about 20 percent to 73 percent on Chinese-made steel towers.
Wind Energy Jobs: Mysterious Numbers from AWEA. The numero uno goal of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is extending the Production Tax Credit (PTC) beyond its current expiration date of December 31, 2012. Documents available on the trade group's website show that about $4 million of AWEA's 2012 budget ($30 million) was directed toward PTC lobbying. With job growth the top political issue in this election season, AWEA's strategic plan calls for rebranding of the wind industry as an economic engine that will produce steady job growth, particularly in the manufacturing sector. But therein lies a problem: the wind industry's own record on job growth lacks credibility.
Windy Disinformation. Even though a recent article of mine discussed numerous examples of the global backlash against the wind industry, [Jimmy] Glotfelty seems to believe that protesters like those in Vermont, Wales, Ontario, Maine, Wales again, Australia, Massachusetts, Maine again, Denmark, and Ontario again simply don't matter. Mr. Glotfelty completely ignores the global backlash, despite the fact that National Wind Watch has compiled a list of more than 700 anti-wind groups in some 28 different countries.
Gone with the wind: Our famous scenery and landmarks blighted forever by turbines. They are famous Scottish landmarks which have withstood wars, weather and centuries of change — but they could not escape the Scottish Government's green agenda. Many of Scotland's most important tourist attractions now stand in the shadow of towering wind farms, as developers target every inch of the country for their turbines. Even Stirling Castle, recaptured by the Scots from the English after the Battle of Bannockburn, has been sacrificed to the SNP's green obsession.
An ill wind blows over Church of England's windfarm proposals. As the Church of England considers planting yet more lucrative wind turbines on its land, parishioners are banding together to halt the eco-bishops.
Renewable Energy's Incurable Scale Problem. A simple bit of math shows that even with the rapid expansion that solar and wind-energy capacity have had in the past few years, those two sources cannot even meet incremental global demand for electricity, much less make a dent in the world's insatiable thirst for coal, oil, and natural gas.
Greenwashing cannot go unchallenged. Since gas-fired power stations — whether in Scotland or south of the Border — will be needed to provide electricity on the frequent occasions when wind farms cannot, the suggestion that more use of renewable energy would improve security and offset gas price volatility is simply pie in the sky.
Rep who led Solyndra charge wants probe into Massachusetts wind farm. After more than a decade of push and pull, the nation's first offshore wind farm got the green light — but longtime opponents of Massachusetts' Cape Wind claim they have a smoking gun that shows the Obama administration applied "pressure" to get the project approved. Now the same congressman who led the investigation into failed solar panel firm Solyndra is calling for a probe into Cape Wind. "The emails that came from the FAA that I have seen obviously shows the White House is pushing the FAA for political reasons," said Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla.
Job creation numbers exclude job losses due to higher energy prices.
Wind energy jobs: Are the numbers pulled from thin air. The American Wind Energy Association has made extending the Production Tax Credit ('PTC') its primary focus this year. Documents available on the trade group's website show that about $4 million of its 2012 budget ($30 million) was directed toward securing extension of the PTC. With job growth the number one political issue in the United States, AWEA's strategic plan calls for rebranding of the wind industry as an economic engine that will produce steady job growth, particularly in the manufacturing sector. The problem for AWEA is that the industry's own record on job growth lacks credibility. Accurate information available in the public suggests the industry has inflated its overall job numbers.
The Wind Lobby Is Powered by Fossil Fuels. AWEA's biggest member companies may be promoting wind energy — and in the process they are reaping lucrative subsidies — but they are also among the world's biggest users and/or producers of fossil fuels. Many of those very same fossil-fuel companies have garnered billions of dollars in tax-free cash grants and/or loan guarantees from the US government to deploy "clean" energy.
Environmentalists Oppose Wind Power Line in Idaho, Wyoming. Idaho and Wyoming residents and environmental groups are expressing opposition to a proposed 1,100-mile long high-voltage power line designed to transmit 3,000 megawatts of mostly wind-generated electricity to fast-growing areas in the West. [...] Among the many issues that have been raised by residents and environmental groups are concerns about the power line's effect on the habitat of the imperiled sage grouse.
Environmentalists Sue to Block Oregon Wind Project. In the suit, the Audubon Society of Portland and the Oregon Natural Desert Association say "energy speculators willing to game the system and take advantage of the state's strong renewable energy mandates" threaten to "radically transform significant portions of terrestrial landscape."
Environmentalists Sue over Proposed California Wind Farm. Three influential environmental activist groups are suing the federal government over plans to build a 100-turbine wind farm on federal land in Kern County, California. The suit, filed by the Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), alleges the proposed North Sky River project poses a threat to the endangered condor, the protected golden eagle, and other birds. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, the suit says the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to account for the wind farm's negative impact on the birds.
Aussies drive another stake into the heart of the wind-farm vampire. The great wind-farm scam is by no means a problem peculiar to Britain. All over the world, families are being driven out of their homes, electricity prices being driven sky high, jobs being killed, eagles being sliced and diced, cherished views being blighted, rent-seeking scuzzballs being rewarded. Some countries have proved better at fighting back against the menace than others. Right now, probably the most vigorous opposition is coming from Australia.
Leave 'em both to twist in the wind. The Cape Wind battle really boils down to this: on one side, some well-heeled NIMBYs worried about the views from their seafront mansions. On the other side, greedy green con men who don't care how high electric rates go as long as they can make a bundle that they'll then whack up with local Democrat hacks. Isn't there some way they could both lose?
Another, even better letter to the Bishop of Exeter on the subject of wind farms. Last week I wrote a letter to the Bishop of Exeter on the subject of his foiled plan to plonk half a dozen bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco crucifixes on church land in three pretty North Devon villages. This letter from Rupert Wyndham — reproduced by Jo Nova — is even better.
Solyndra foe trains sights on Cape Wind. The congressman who led the Capitol Hill probe into the collapse of taxpayer-backed Solyndra is calling for an investigation of Cape Wind amid accusations federal air-safety officials caved under political pressure — saying both projects bear the mark of an overbearing White House pushing green power at all costs.
Ruling on wind farm says the countryside is as important as climate change targets. The Coalition's renewable energy targets do not outweigh value of the beauty of the English countryside, a High Court judge said yesterday [5/298/2012] as she rejected planning permission for a wind farm.
Wind Energy Subversion: Fact or Fiction? The Guardian recently reported a billionaire-funded vast right-wing conspiracy to sabotage President Obama's energy agenda and defeat him in the upcoming elections. [...] The problem with the story "is that it is about 90 percent false and the reporter knew it." So says physicist and environmental advocate John Droz, Jr., who spearheaded the February meeting.
Newton (MA) saves money by going green. Sort of. Not really. New England produces almost no green energy — and, in fact, the story dominating the front pages last week was the ruling of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection responding to noise complaints ordering windmills to shut down. Reliant therefore has to work out an exchange on paper with a wind farm in Texas.
Canadians squall about Vermont wind energy project. Quebec requires wind turbines to be at least 1,640 feet from homes, and the Canadian homeowners are demanding those rules be followed [in Vermont].
The Greying of Green? The much-ballyhooed T. Boone Pickens strategy of introducing large-scale windmill technology is now proving to be a similarly quixotic project, unsightly, land-consuming, bird-killing, neurosis-inducing, expensive and totally inadequate to its declared purpose of meeting even a fraction of our electricity needs. Alex Alexiev of the Hudson Institute has laid the cards on the table for all to read: green electricity bills are rising exponentially; Europe is gradually abandoning many of its green energy programs as cost-ineffective and injurious to both wildlife and human health; and, as of the end of 2008, American solar and wind-power stocks had lost 80% of their value (FrontPage Magazine, March 31, 2009).
Welcome to the Renewable Energy Future: A Lesson From Germany. Blogger P. Gosselin credits this transformation of "Germany's once impeccably stable world-class power grid" with its "reckless and uncontrolled rush to renewable energies, wind and sun, all spurred on by a blind environmental movement and hysteria with respect to nuclear power." He quotes Steffen Hentrick of the Liberal Institute: ["]This shows not only how the replacement of conventional energy capacity through renewable energy is an illusion, but also how expensive the forced energy transition to renewable will be for citizens.["]
Obama's War on Bald Eagles. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service is proposing to loosen regulations prohibiting the killing of bald eagles for the benefit of renewable energy companies.
Time to terminate Big Wind subsidies. This "emerging industry" is "vitally important" to our energy future, supporters insisted. It provides "clean energy" and "over 37,000" jobs that "states can't afford to lose." It helps prevent global warming. None of these sales pitches holds up under objective scrutiny, and their growing awareness of this basic reality has finally made many in Congress inclined to eliminate this wasteful spending on wind power.
Environmentalists Oppose Wind Power Line in Idaho, Wyoming. Idaho and Wyoming residents and environmental groups are expressing opposition to a proposed 1,100-mile long high-voltage power line designed to transmit 3,000 megawatts of mostly wind-generated electricity to fast-growing areas in the West. [...] Among the many issues that have been raised by residents and environmental groups are concerns about the power line's effect on the habitat of the imperiled sage grouse.
Destroy the economy, save the planet. Socialists hate the idea that individuals acting through the free market would be allowed to improve their living conditions as a result of a process lacking centralized direction. The leftist impulse is to entrust government with the responsibility of making decisions and imposing order. That's why today's liberals remain enthralled with green technologies like wind and solar. Though these are promoted as if they were forward-looking alternatives to fossil fuels, they're really throwbacks to pre-industrial times. [...] Forcing adoption of expensive and inefficient sources of power only drags down the economy, which is exactly what global warming's believers want.
Film by Upstate New Yorker Documents Wind Power Impacts. Meredith, New York seems like an idyllic place—patchwork farms roll tranquilly along the western foothills of the Catskill Mountains, interspersed with small ponds and temperate woodlands. Gentle breezes blow through the tall grasses, symbolizing the town's serene lifestyle. That same breeze, however, has divided Meredith's 1,529 residents over whether to embrace the industrial wind development that has come knocking on their door. Director Laura Israel, herself a resident of Meredith, documents this internal struggle in Windfall, her beautifully crafted debut work.
Gouged by the Wind. Politicians keep promising to reduce energy prices, but they keep ignoring one easy step: repeal renewal energy standards. Twenty-nine states have these rules requiring local utilities to purchase between 20% and 33% of their electric power from renewable sources. They were enacted over the past decade when lawmakers bought into the fad about cheap "clean energy." Their real effect has been to force utilities to pay above-market prices for electricity, which means higher electric bills for consumers.
Restructuring Electric Power Grid for 'Clean Energy'. In a Mar. 16 memorandum, Energy Secretary Steven Chu outlined plans to change the long-standing public-private management of the nation's hydroelectric distribution operations in an effort to advance the Obama administration's green energy agenda, critics charged on Thursday [4/26/2012]. The memo was the focus of a hearing of the House Committee on Natural Resources to examine Chu's plan, which includes centralizing oversight of the electric power grid to the federal government and setting rates based on criteria that would benefit wind, solar and other "renewable" energies.
Wind Farms Warming Texas. New research finds that wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night, a phenomena [sic] that could put a damper on efforts to expand wind energy as a green energy solution. Researchers used satellite data from 2003 to 2011 to examine surface temperatures across as wide swath of west Texas, which has built four of the world's largest wind farms.
The Answer Really Isn't Blowing in the Wind. In the natural world, 90 billion goes a long way. But as we've discovered, a $90-billion investment to subsidize renewable energy sources in the natural world does surprisingly little. This amount, allocated in 2009's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to subsidize green energy initiatives, has thus far yielded today's bustling "renewable-energy sector" that employs roughly 140,000 Americans. And even that dismal figure is wildly inflated.
The Editor says...
I'll save you a trip to your calculator. $90 billion divided by 140,000 jobs equals $642,857 per job.
China slows solar, wind expansion undermining White House green PR strategy. The Chinese government dealt the public relations strategy of green technology advocates in the Obama administration a blow last month when Premier Wen Jiabao announced that the state-run economy would stop expanding its wind and solar industries, choosing instead to focus on nuclear, hydroelectric and shale — or fracking — as the energies of the future.
RIP wind power: Minister blows away plans for more turbines. It looks as though the wind energy boom is over. UK energy minister Greg Barker has hinted at a significant change in government strategy — cutting subsidies for the deployment and operation of environmentalists' favoured technologies. The climate change minister hinted that R&D handouts would continue, but for the wind lobby the party appears to be over.
The Editor's jaw drops, and then he says...
They have a "climate change minister"? And he still has a job?
A new dark age for Germany? If they're wise, American voters and congressmen will pay extra careful attention to the awful dilemma of German climate and energy policy, as exemplified by recent events, and make sure their country doesn't make the same "green" mistakes that Germany did. Barely two months after the inauguration ceremony for Germany's first pilot offshore wind farm, "Alpha Ventus" in the North Sea, all six of the newly installed wind turbines were completely idle, due to gearbox damage. Two turbines must be replaced entirely; the other four repaired.
Litchfield [NY] passes local law banning industrial wind turbines. The Town Board Thursday night [3/22/2012] passed in a 4-1 vote a local law that will ban construction of industrial wind turbines. Councilman Mark O'Sullivan, who headed the committee that drafted the Wind Energy Facilities Law, said the council wants to keep the residential community the way it is, while keeping industrial turbines for industrial areas.
Natural gas and nuclear are better clean energy sources. Pursuing offshore wind power will introduce additional risk to Maryland's economy. This is characteristic of the economic challenges inherent in electricity-generating technology. The economic challenges come from the high direct and indirect costs associated with wind power. The high costs can be attributed to two distinct, yet related, characteristics. The first is intermittency. Wind power only works when the wind blows. This requires a significant increase in reserve generating capacity. The second characteristic is the high construction costs which are related to the small scale of the individual wind turbines.
NV Energy windmill program generates rebates, little electricity. A year ago, a Reno clean energy businessman warned the Public Utilities Commission that if it didn't set a few standards for NV Energy's wind rebate program, its customers could end up footing the bill for turbines that rarely produce electricity. One reason behind his concern: To be eligible for rebates, customers didn't need to prove that the wind actually blows enough to justify installing a turbine on their property.
Wind power is too costly, inefficient, and won't stop climate change. While wind energy is cheaper than other, more ineffective renewables, such as solar, tidal, and ethanol, it is nowhere near competitive. If it were, we wouldn't have to keep spending significant sums to subsidize it. In the United Kingdom, for example, wind remains significantly more costly than other energy sources. Using the U.K. Electricity Generation Costs 2010 update and measuring in cost per produced kilowatt-hour, wind is still 20 percent to 200 percent more expensive than the cheapest fossil-fuel options. And even this is a significant underestimate.
Ontario's green dream was just a fantasy. Across the countryside outside Toronto, wind turbines are spreading like a plague. They are being built over the strenuous objections of folks who live in rural towns, whose rights have been stomped on by the province. They're chewing up birds. Worst of all, they're chewing up billions of taxpayer dollars in the name of a green dream that's nothing but a fantasy.
Midwest Power Prices Surge as Wind Production Drops. Midwest wholesale power prices doubled in less than an hour [on 3/21/2012] to top $100 in an hour across the major hubs as wind generation fell below forecasts.
New Voluntary Wind Guidelines Will Fail to Protect Birds. American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the nation's leading bird conservation organization, has called the final, voluntary wind guidelines released today by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) unenforceable, and charged that they will do little to protect millions of birds from the negative impacts of wind energy. "ABC supports wind power when it is 'bird-smart.' Unfortunately, voluntary guidelines will result in more lawsuits, more bird deaths, and more government subsidies for bad projects, instead of what America needs: true green and bird-safe wind energy," said Kelly Fuller, Wind Campaign Coordinator for ABC.
Backlash Against Wind Coming From Left. [Scroll down] And now, the wind industry is facing yet another massive headache: increasing resistance from environmental groups who are concerned about the effect that unrestrained construction of wind turbines is having on birds and bats. Ninety environmental groups, led by the American Bird Conservancy, have signed onto the "bird-smart wind petition" which has been submitted to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Maine Adopts Better Standards for Wind Turbine Noise Emissions. The major change is that of a night time sound limit of 42 decibels instead of the prior 45 decibels. The new rule also improves protection relative to Short Duration Repetitive Sounds (SDRS), which are best defined as high and low undulating sounds.
How sustainable is wind power? When looking at a wind powered electric generator, many people see a permanent source of renewable electricity. The problem with this image is that wind generators have shorter life spans than the term "sustainable" would imply. Wooden windmills in Holland that used to power industrial machinery before the invention of steam engines were more durable than these picket lines of propellers along our Columbia Gorge. The composite material and rare earth chemicals they require are both perishable and costly to replace.
Audubon Official Calls for Moratorium on Altamont Solar Arrays. An official with the Audubon Society has called for a five-year moratorium on permitting new solar arrays near the nation's largest wind farm, at Altamont Pass, California. Rich Cimino, conservation director for the Ohlone Audubon Society, says new solar arrays near Altamont Pass will worsen serious environmental impacts already being imposed by existing wind turbines. Ohlone is an Alameda County community near Altamont Pass that is experiencing firsthand the negative environmental impacts of wind power. Wind turbines at Altamont Pass kill approximately 5,000 birds each year. Cimino reports raptors in particular are feeling the negative impact of Altamont wind turbines. As a result, Cimino is urging Alameda County to create a raptor refuge in the Altamont area.
Bird Conservancy Seeks Enforceable Wind Turbine Standards. The American Bird Conservancy has filed a 100-page petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) requesting replacement of FWS's proposed voluntary guidelines for operating wind farms with mandatory, enforceable standards designed to protect birds and bats from turbines' deadly blades. If FWS accepts the arguments laid out in the Bird Conservancy's petition, wind farms will be subject to a mandatory permitting system and required to mitigate harm to birds and bats.
Wind Power: Environmental Concerns. Grassroots environmental groups, such as Save Western Ohio, are expressing serious concerns about the negative environmental impacts of wind power. The groups emphasize several worries:
• According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wind turbines in the United States annually kill 440,000 birds, including many protected and endangered species.
• Wind turbines kill a prodigious number of bats, though the actual number of kills is hard to quantify.
• Wind farms require 300 square miles or more of land to produce as much power as a single conventional power plant.
• Wind turbines are most efficient in aesthetically and environmentally important places such as mountain ridges and coastlines.
Agreement on plan to develop offshore Great Lakes wind farms. New York and four other Great Lakes states have struck a deal with the Obama administration to more quickly develop offshore wind farms, a state official said this morning [3/30/2012]. The agreement comes just five months after New York state shelved a massive wind turbine project in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Huge offshore wind-power project sparks backlash from Fukushima fishing community. The government-sponsored project to build a huge, floating wind-power installation in waters off Fukushima Prefecture has sparked a fierce backlash from local fishermen already hit hard by the ongoing crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Wind, timber and hypocrisy in the Pacific Northwest. Writing in yesterday's [3/8/2012] Wall Street Journal, Robert Bryce described the toll that the nation's burgeoning wind farms have taken on endangered birds. At one site alone — Altamont in Alameda County, California — 2,400 raptors, including 70 golden eagles, have been killed by the giant whirling blades. In 2009 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated the national death toll from wind turbines at 440,000 birds that year alone. That seems like a lot of birds, particularly for those of us in the Pacific Northwest, where a once-vibrant timber economy has been devastated in a failing effort to save the spotted owl.
USDA researching bald eagle death-by-wind-turbines. Bald eagle deaths resulting from collisions with wind turbines has prompted U.S. Forest Service researchers to capture and outfit half-a-dozen of the birds with GPS transmitters that will allow the scientists to study bald eagle behavior.
Government Using GPS to Track Bald Eagles — Right Into Wind Turbines? The U.S. Forest Service plans to outfit six bald eagles with GPS devices to track their "interactions with wind farms." The problem: Eagles and many other birds are smacking into wind turbines and dying. "Despite the many benefits which come from clean wind energy, one of the most majestic birds of prey, the eagle, is itself falling prey to the blades of wind-energy facilities," a Forest Service employee wrote Monday on the Agriculture Department blog.
Wind farms: even worse than we thought. Not only do the Bat Chomping Eco-Crucifixes (TM) ruin views, kill birds, cause bats to implode, destroy the British film industry, frighten horses, enrich rent-seeking toffs like David Cameron's father-in-law Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt, drive up electricity bills, kill jobs, create fuel poverty, cause old people to die of hypothermia, wipe out property values, drive people mad with strobing and noise pollution and enable smug liberal idiots to spout rubbish like "Oh, I don't mind them. Actually I think they're rather beautiful", but also by 2020 they're set to drive up consumer bills in the UK alone by £120 billion.
Wind-power companies lose luster with investors. The weather's getting worse for wind-power companies, which are finding it increasingly difficult to attract venture backers. U.S. investments in turbine farms and wind-energy businesses tumbled 38 percent last year to $9.7 billion, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Wind farms in Pacific Northwest paid to not produce. Wind farms in the Pacific Northwest — built with government subsidies and maintained with tax credits for every megawatt produced — are now getting paid to shut down as the federal agency charged with managing the region's electricity grid says there's an oversupply of renewable power at certain times of the year.
Wind Turbine Ban Proposed in Virginia. Floyd County, Virginia is considering banning structures taller than 40 feet on ridges within the county. Although the ordinance would apply to most structures, with several narrow exceptions, the proposed ban has been drafted in response to local concerns about potential siting of wind farms.
Dutch Pull the Plug on Offshore Wind Subsidies. The nation known for its iconic windmills is throwing in the towel on offshore wind power, as Dutch officials have determined the Netherlands no longer can afford large-scale subsidies for expensive wind turbines that cannot produce electricity at economically competitive prices. The decision is a powerful blow against renewable power advocates who long have asserted Holland proves renewable power can be practical and economical.
Wind Spin: Misdirection and Fluff by a Taxpayer-enabled Industry. Wind energy was abandoned well over a hundred years ago, as even in the late 1800s it was totally inconsistent with our burgeoning, more modern needs for power. When we throw the switch, we expect that the lights will go on — 100% of the time. It's not possible for wind energy, by itself, to ever do this, which is one of the main reasons it was relegated to the dust bin of antiquated technologies (along with such other inadequate sources as horse and oxen power). ... Conventional sources (like nuclear) have a Capacity Value of nearly 100%. Wind has a Capacity Value of about 0%. Big difference!
Dying to be Green. In Scotland, the perennially deranged Scottish National Party has called for generating 100 percent of the country's electricity from wind, wave and tidal power by 2020. He may have only left out the fairies. This plan would add 900 pounds to the average fuel bill. Which is how fuel poverty gets started. Wales, which has the highest fuel poverty rate in the UK, is working on one of Europe's largest wind farms and has a plan for total clean energy by 2025, if anyone is still alive and hasn't frozen to death. Wind farms don't tend to do too well in the cold, and human beings don't tend to do too well without heat.
Mean Green Killing Machines. Wind turbines are decapitating golden eagles in California while federally financed solar projects threaten to kill hundreds of baby tortoises, disrupt protected kit fox populations, and potentially desecrate a Native American burial site — consequences that could have been avoided, experts say. Advocacy groups claim the federal government's rush to promote renewable energy projects — to which the Obama administration has steered billions in taxpayer funding — has led it to ignore long-standing guidelines and processes designed to safeguard protected species and cultural artifacts.
The Blowback Against Big Wind. After years of successful marketing and lavish subsidies from taxpayers, the global wind industry now finds itself facing an unprecedented backlash. And that backlash — largely coming from rural landowners — combined with low natural gas prices, and a Congress unwilling to extend more subsidies, has left the American and Canadian wind sectors gasping for breath. A new and thoughtful look at the fight against Big Wind is Laura Israel's new film, Windfall, a documentary that focuses on the fight over the siting of wind turbines in the small town of Meredith, New York.
Hurricanes deliver fatal blows to wind turbines. The US Department of Energy set a goal for the country to generate 20 percent of its electricity from wind by 2030. One-sixth is to come from shallow offshore turbines that sit in the path of hurricanes. Stephen Rose and colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, modelled the risk hurricanes might pose to turbines at four proposed wind farm sites. They found that nearly half of the planned turbines are likely to be destroyed over the 20-year life of the farms. Turbines shut down in high winds, but hurricane-force winds can topple them.
Wind energy is clean, but wind energy systems are not. Last year, Gov.Martin O'Malley proposed to build 500 megawatts of offshore wind. The debate centered around how much this would really cost, and the proposal died. This year, the proposal is to spend a fixed amount of money by capping the amount by which Maryland electric bills can increase. The state would be saying, essentially: Give us a billion dollars so we can build some offshore wind. Like most Marylanders, I want electric power that is cheap and clean. However, I oppose offshore wind — because it is not cheap, and wind systems are not clean.
Denmark is no model for the United States. On multiple occasions, President Obama has cited Denmark's energy policy as a model for the United States. This is in line with President Obama's statement that "under my plan ... electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket." After all, residential electricity prices in Denmark are the highest in Europe — 41.2 cents (€ 0.3078) per kWh compared to 11.82 cents per kWh in the U.S. One of the main drivers of Denmark's high residential electricity prices is their promotion of wind power.
Against the wind. Even before they threatened my property, I was opposed to wind farms. They fail on all counts. They are grossly inefficient, extremely expensive, socially inequitable, a danger to human health, environmentally harmful, divisive for communities, a blot on the landscape, and don't even achieve the purpose for which they were designed, namely the reliable generation of electricity and the reduction of CO2 emissions.
National Wind Watch. Large-scale wind is known to cause significant harm to wildlife, people, and the environment. It is also known to do next to nothing for reducing dependence on other fuels or carbon and other emissions, due to the wind's intermittency and high variability.
Chasing the green tail. Recent advances in the production of natural gas mean greater supply and lower prices for this competitive source of electrical generation, further weakening the competitive positions of solar and wind. Official projections are for slow growth at best.
On the Cusp of a Natural Gas Bonanza, Massachusetts Bets on Wind Power. You'd have to be a dim bulb — perhaps one of those 13-watt compact fluorescents — to believe that forcing utilities to purchase expensive offshore wind power will lead to economic prosperity. Yet this is precisely the reaction of the Boston press to a recent deal brokered by Gov. Deval Patrick.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture speaks out agains wind energy. Wind power is not dispatchable power. That means it is available only when the wind blows with it being highly unlikely this coincides with peak power usage at any time, let alone on a regular basis. The Ontario Auditor General's 2011 Annual Report highlighted this significant weakness in the developing green energy system. Data in the report indicates IWT operate at a power capacity factor of 28% but have only 11% availability at peak demand due to lower wind output during the summer months.
National Trust says Turbines are a 'Public Menace'. Wind turbines are a 'public menace', the chairman of the National Trust chairman has said. Sir Simon Jenkins dismissed wind as the 'least efficient' renewable power. The honest admission is surprising coming from the the head of the charity, as it champions green energy as part of its conservation work. 'We are doing masses of renewables but wind is probably the least efficient and wrecks the countryside,' he said.
The Musselroe Wind Farm Travesty In Tasmania. Why is it that some of the most pristinely beautiful sites are the ones chosen for those new eyesores, Wind Towers. Such is the case for a proposed new Wind Power Plant, euphemistically called 'Wind Farms'. How I hate that term 'Wind Farm', and they use that term to make them sound like they are doing something constructive, associating it with the land somehow.
Wind Power Could Kill Millions of Birds Per Year by 2030. American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the nation's leading bird conservation organization, said today that the build-out of wind energy proposed by the federal government to meet a Department of Energy target of generating 20% of the nation's electricity through wind power is expected to kill at least one million birds per year by 2030, and probably significantly more.
Golden Eagles Face Extinction In U.S. As Numbers Plummet, New Studies Reveal. San Diego County's 48 pairs of nesting golden eagles and even rarer bald eagles could be in peril if proposed industrial-scale wind farms are built. In a press release issued today [1/6/2012], Save the Eagles International (STEI) issued a dire warning, providing detailed documentation proving that golden eagles and their nests are disappearing rapidly near wind farms across the U.S.
Killer Energy. All Americans hope condors will not be sliced and diced by giant Cuisinarts. But most of us are puzzled that so few "environmentalists" and FWS "caretakers" express concern about the countless bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, ducks, geese, bats, and other rare, threatened, endangered and common flying creatures imperiled by turbine blades. And many of us get downright angry at the selective way endangered species and other wildlife laws are applied — leaving wind turbine operators free to exact their carnage, while harassing and punishing oil companies and citizens.
Uncooperative reality. Renewable electricity — wind and solar power, in particular — receives very large direct and indirect subsidies from the federal and state governments. This policy support is far larger than that enjoyed by such conventional electric generation technologies as coal, natural gas, nuclear fuels, or hydroelectric facilities. Moreover, a majority of states have mandated some form of guaranteed market shares for renewable electricity. This political support for renewable power is substantial, broad-based, bipartisan, and long-standing. Nonetheless, renewable electricity — particularly, wind and solar power — has very high costs, and this is likely to remain true for the foreseeable future.
Toppling Tax Dollars for Turbines. The wind energy industry has reason for concern. America's appetite for subsidies has waned. Congress is looking for any way it can to make cuts and the twenty-year old Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy is in prime position for a cut — it naturally expires at the end of 2012. Without action, it will go away.
Why I Turned Against 'Green' Windpower: Existing solely to save the planet by generating clean, affordable and environmentally friendly electricity, you can be sure that any addition to the plant owner's bank account is purely accidental.
New Documentary Illustrates Global Backlash Against Big Wind. After years of successful marketing and lavish subsidies from taxpayers, the global wind industry now finds itself facing an unprecedented backlash. And that backlash — largely coming from rural landowners — combined with low natural gas prices, and a Congress unwilling to extend more subsidies, has left the American and Canadian wind sectors gasping for breath.
NJ State Agency Urged to Turn Down Proposal for First Offshore Wind Farm. [Scroll down] Many details of the project were kept confidential in his testimony and an accompanying report, including the overall cost of building six wind turbines and what Fishermen's Energy would expect to get for the electricity the wind farm produces. Daniel Cohen, president of Fishermen's Energy, dismissed the consultant's report, saying it contains many statements that are factually inaccurate, including the second sentence of its executive summary. The report said Fishermen's wind turbine manufacturer, XEMC, a Chinese-based vendor, had not produced any direct-drive wind turbines. Cohen said it has produced 1,300 turbines since 2006.
The Folly of Wind power. Wind-power is an inefficient way of cutting CO2 emissions, once allowance is made for the CO2 emissions involved in the construction of the turbines and the deployment of conventional back-up generation. Nuclear power and gas-fired CCGT, replacing coal-fired plant, are the preferred technologies for reducing CO2 emissions. Wind-power is therefore expensive and ineffective in cutting CO2 emissions. If it were not for the renewables targets set by the Renewables Directive, wind-power would not even be entertained as a cost-effective way of generating electricity and/or cutting emissions.
Wind Energy, Noise Pollution. In his State of the Union address last week, President Barack Obama touted renewable energy and declared that he would "not walk away from workers" such as Bryan Ritterby, who is employed by a wind-turbine manufacturer in Michigan. But in their rush to embrace the wind-energy business, Obama and numerous other politicians are walking away from rural residents such as David Enz and his wife, Rose. A year ago, the couple abandoned their home near Denmark, Wis., because of the unbearable low-frequency noise produced by a half-dozen 495-foot-high wind turbines that were built near the home they've owned since 1978. The closest was installed about 3,200 feet from their house.
Danish Regulations on Wind Noise. There has been considerable international interest in new Danish regulations for noise from wind turbines, as well as in the involvement (or otherwise) of researchers from Aalborg University during its preparation.
All Those Billions, Blowing in the Wind. [The twenty-year old Production Tax Credit] is part of a push for renewables that began in the Carter era. Enacted in 1992, the twenty-year old wind energy PTC was designed to get the fledgling industry going. However, after all this time, wind energy is still not a viable option.
Big Wind's Inconvenient Truth. By siting large turbine facilities close to population centers, the industry hopes to minimize the cost of expensive new transmission lines, but it faces a whirlwind of resistance from citizens objecting to the destruction of mountains, seascapes, wilderness areas, and natural quiet.
Texas Wind Power. Texas is currently one of the world's largest producers of wind energy, and home to the largest single wind facility in the world, the 781-MW Roscoe Industrial Wind Park. In practice, Texas windpower offers much less energy than first appears. Texas's wind farms are concentrated in the Texas Panhandle, far from the focus of the state's electricity demand along the I-35 corridor.
Wind power to nuclear power infographic comparison. Wind power is dilute and variable so some may argue this isn't a fair comparison. Yet, we often read in news stories about a wind turbine being built that "can supply energy for 300 homes". This limited information creates a misleading impression that one turbine will produce that power continuously. If wind power is compared to a yearly megawatt hour (MWh) figure that a nuclear plant can produce, the impression of what wind can power dramatically shifts. The numbers cannot be fully appreciated until they are fully visualized.
Renewable Electricity Generation. What is the outlook for renewable energy in electricity generation — particularly wind and solar power — as a substitute for such conventional fuels as coal and natural gas? Economist Benjamin Zycher evaluates the central arguments in favor of policies that would expand the use of renewables and concludes that all are deeply problematic.
Bonneville Power agrees to pay wind developers for electricity not received. The Bonneville Power Administration proposed Tuesday [2/7/2012] to cover half the cost of wind farms' lost revenue when it curtails their output because too much hydropower already is being generated in the region. BPA's proposal is the latest bid to end a dispute that began last spring. At the time, the federal power marketing agency dealt with a huge runoff and resulting surge in power production by cutting off wind farms' transmission and substituting free hydropower to satisfy their scheduled energy deliveries.
The 1,000-foot Set-Back Standard. In Indiana and elsewhere, many counties are falling all over themselves to adopt the so-called "1,000-foot voluntary industry setback" between large wind turbines and residences. In some states, it has become part of "model" wind ordinances created by wind developers and energy agencies. This buffer zone (who said these structures were environmental?) is starkly smaller than those mandated in several countries widely touted by industry proponents as wind "success" stories. In Denmark, for example, the setback is four times total turbine height (or about 2,000 feet for a large turbine), along with a built-in mechanism for compensating abutters for property-value losses.
Vestas Cuts 2,335 Jobs With More at Risk This Year in U.S.. Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), the world's biggest wind turbine maker, said it will halt production at one factory and cut 2,335 jobs, or 10 percent of its staff, to become more competitive with Chinese suppliers. The changes are aimed at saving more than 150 million euros ($191 million) by the end of 2012, the company based in Aarhus, Denmark, said today in a statement. Vestas said another 1,600 jobs in the U.S. are at risk as a tax credit supporting the industry expires at year-end.
We need wind subsidies like we need VHS subsidies. With enough taxpayer dollars, you can prop up just about any industry. But it doesn't mean those jobs are adding value and growing the economy. Still, politicians use this nonsensical thinking to justify projects that benefit them at the expense of the rest of America. The latest is the push to extend wind energy's subsidies through 2016.
The Obama Budget and Wind Power. In the 1970s and 1980s, the proponents of wind power claimed that renewables would be cost-competitive in a few years if they just received some subsidies for a few years. But thirty years later, renewables proponents are still clamoring for subsidies from U.S. taxpayers. Despite a trillion dollar deficit, President Obama is once again responding to the renewable promoters and asking Congress to approve his budget with billions of dollars in energy subsidies.
Wind power plug pulled in Illinois. The wind power industry is predicting massive layoffs and stalled or abandoned projects after a deal to renew a tax credit failed Thursday [2/16/2012] in Washington. The move is expected to have major ramifications in states such as Illinois, where 13,892 megawatts of planned wind projects — enough to power 3.3 million homes per year — are seeking to be connected to the electric grid. Many of those projects will be abandoned or significantly delayed without federal subsidies.
Wind power industry hits setback. The wind power industry is predicting massive layoffs and stalled or abandoned projects after a deal to renew a tax credit failed Thursday [2/16/2012] in Washington. The move is expected to have major ramifications in states such as Illinois, where 13,892 megawatts of wind projects — enough to power 3.3 million homes per year — wait to be connected to the electric grid. Many of those projects will be abandoned or significantly delayed without federal subsidies.
Environmentalists' Dilemma: "Green" Wind Farms Threaten Endangered Species. One dilemma faced by environmentalists pushing the use of wind farms to generate electricity is that the machines are actually a deadly environmental hazard — to birds. For instance, the huge turbines of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains north of Los Angeles have recently killed two more golden eagles — bringing the total of these endangered birds killed by the turbines' blades at the Pine Tree facility to eight.
Experts predict half of proposed turbines will be ruined in 20 years.
Could hurricanes wreck $700m offshore wind farms in U.S.? Academic experts at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, say half of the turbines at four proposed offshore wind farms are likely to be destroyed by hurricanes in their 20-year life. The proposed wind farms at Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Texas could cost $175 million each, but the researchers believe current designs of turbines mean many will not survive.
Blowing Away the Windmill Lies. It turns out that the wind turbines are 400 feet tall — the height of a good-sized Manhattan skyscraper placed incongruously in the sprawling countryside. A single blade weighs seven tons. The diameter of the cement base of the windmills can be 250 feet. Once erected, they spoil the natural beauty of the nearby mountains, they cast giant shadows, they throw off dangerous quantities of ice. People living under them complain of health problems, difficulty sleeping, and strange pressure in their ears, and the low, intense thudding noises of the turbines are compared to the effect of living next door to a disco that never closes, or being under a plane that never lands.
Turbines are a 'public menace' and wind is the 'least efficient' renewable power, National Trust says. Wind turbines are a 'public menace', the chairman of the National Trust chairman has said. Sir Simon Jenkins dismissed wind as the 'least efficient' renewable power. The honest admission is surprising coming from the head of the charity, as it champions green energy as part of its conservation work. 'We are doing masses of renewables but wind is probably the least efficient and wrecks the countryside,' he said.
Wind Power Not Reliable. Over the past decade, California's 1,500 MW of windmills have averaged 25 percent of their 'nameplate' capacity. During peak summer demand it was only 9 percent. Germany has found its windmills producing only 6 percent of its installed capacity.
The best article on wind farms you will ever read. What I love about [Kevin] Myers's piece is the concentrated rage — and the Swiftian disgust with all those who have been pushing the renewables scam or benefiting from it. It chimes perfectly with how I feel. Of all the miserable specimens on this planet, no category repels me quite so much as those parasites involved with the great renewables boondoggle.
Energy policy based on renewables won't protect us from frostbite. We all know that windmills are a self-indulgent and sanctimonious luxury whose purpose is to make us feel good. Had Europe genuinely depended on green energy on Friday [2/3/2012], by Sunday thousands would be dead from frostbite and exposure, and the EU would have suffered an economic body blow to match that of Japan's tsunami a year ago. No electricity means no water, no trams, no trains, no airports, no traffic lights, no phone systems, no sewerage, no factories, no service stations, no office lifts, no central heating and even no hospitals, once their generators run out of fuel.
Wind farm subsidy cut urged by MPs. More than 100 Conservative MPs have written to the prime minister urging him to cut subsidies for wind turbines. They also want planning rules changed to make it easier for local people to object to their construction.
101 Tories revolt over wind farms. A total of 101 Tory MPs have written to the Prime Minister demanding that the £400 million-a-year subsidies paid to the "inefficient" onshore wind turbine industry are "dramatically cut". The backbenchers, joined by some MPs from other parties, have also called on Mr Cameron to tighten up planning laws so local people have a better chance of stopping new farms being developed and protecting the countryside.
Wind Farms Cause Global Warming, some Scientists Say. While President Barack Obama is touting clean energy such as wind farms, a group of American scientists are raising alarm bells that wind turbines increase the effects of global warming, as well as killing birds that fall prey to the deadly spinning blades.
Texas Wind Power Costs Climb. The cost of building transmission lines for expensive wind power in Texas is coming in nearly 40 percent higher than initially promised. Instead of $4.9 billion, as estimated in 2008, the transmission lines are now expected to cost $6.8 billion, according to a report prepared by the RS&H infrastructure consulting firm for the Texas Public Utility Commission. That amounts to approximately $800 per household in the state.
Dodo of the Year. The Justice Department prosecutes oil companies for the death of 7 non-endangered birds, but does nothing about the death of endangered eagles and hundreds of thousands of other birds from wind turbines.
[Synopsis from SEPP]
Wind-Power Firms on Edge. Wind power is facing a make-or-break moment in Congress, with renewable-energy firms' projects on hold as lawmakers debate whether to extend subsidies for new wind farms this month. Currently U.S. tax credits are available only for facilities that come online before the end of 2012.
Obama boosts Mid-Atlantic offshore wind-farm plans. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said federal environmental reviews for "wind energy areas" off Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia are now complete and find "no significant environmental impacts" from their development. That finding clears the way for companies to seek leases. A similar announcement for the Massachusetts coast is expected today [2/3/2012].
The Week That Was. [At the bottom of Page 2:] Slowly, information is leaking from nations that have spent heavily on wind and solar, such as Germany. This information should give pause to those touting solar and wind, including politicians. England is pulling back from wind, Germany has announced drastic cut-backs on its subsidies to solar, and Spain has announced the elimination of subsidies for renewable power. These actions are not the result of success.
Supervisors knock down Antelope Valley wind turbine study. Efforts to build large electrical wind turbines in the Antelope Valley suffered a defeat Tuesday, when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors sided with a coalition of residents and environmentalists who opposed the project. Opponents of the turbines feared the project could blight the view from the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, kill eagles, falcons and raptors and damage property values for people who live in that rural part of L.A. County, north of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Why the Wind Industry Is Full Hot Air and Costing You Big Bucks. The American Wind Energy Association has begun a major lobbying effort in Congress to extend some soon-to-expire renewable-energy tax credits. And to bolster that effort, the lobby group's CEO, Denise Bode, is calling the wind industry "a tremendous American success story." But the wind lobby's success has largely been the result of its ability to garner subsidies. And those subsidies are coming with a big price tag for American taxpayers.
Electricity Costs: The folly of wind power. Excluding carbon costs, coal-fired power stations are the least expensive technology for generating electricity for both near-term and medium-term projects. Including carbon costs, gas-fired power stations are the cheapest option for near-term projects, but nuclear power is the least expensive in the medium-term. Other things being equal this would suggest that investment should be concentrated in gas and nuclear technologies. ... Nuclear power and gas-fired CCGT are therefore the preferred technologies for generating reliable and affordable electricity.
Making Sense of Levelized Costs. Intermittent technologies, like wind and solar, can only generate electricity when their resources are available, i.e. when the wind blows or the sun shines. While such technologies do supply electricity, they do not supply capacity because they cannot be relied upon to provide power when it is demanded. In fact, they need to be backed-up by technologies that can provide power upon demand. Technologies that provide capacity when demanded are essential to the electric grid because electricity cannot be stored practically at the volume that is transmitted over the national grid.
A sustainable depression. As in other depressions, scads of real money has been lost, sustained by the snake oil that global warming is such a threat to us all that we should not just encourage, but legally compel, people to install the most economically inefficient form of electrical generation on the planet — solar photovoltaic, and its sibling in inconstancy, wind power. In various states and around the world, these are legislated by "renewable portfolio standards." What we get is a sustainable depression.
The Hype Surrounding Renewable Energy. [Scroll down] First consider that even gargantuan wind installations covering thousands of acres generate only small amounts of expensive and unreliable power. Even those relatively anemic outputs can't be sustained without fossil-fueled turbines (typically natural gas) that provide "spinning reserves" to balance out power grids as wind levels fluctuate. ... Advocates often grossly exaggerate the capacity of wind power to make a significant impact on our electrical needs through a failure to differentiate between maximum total capacities, rated in megawatts (MW) — vs. actual predicted kilowatt hours (kWh) determined by annual average wind conditions at a particular site. Seasonal and daily velocities are often out of synch with power needs, such as during hot summer days when demands for air-conditioning are highest.
Wind farms blasted. Dr. Patrick Moore told more than 1,000 area farmers the industry destroys more jobs than it creates, and causes energy prices to climb for all users. "The industry is a destroyer of wealth and negative to the economy," said Moore, speaking at the 19th annual Southwest Agricultural Conference at Ridgetown campus of the University of Guelph. Moore, who now refers to himself as the "sensible environmentalist," said the solar bubble has burst and thinks the wind bubble is about to burst.
NSW unveils tough new wind farm guidelines. The New South Wales state Planning Minister is proposing what he calls the "toughest wind farm guidelines in Australia and possibly the world". There'll be a new assessment process for wind farms proposed within two kilometres of existing homes and the noise levels for new wind farms won't be able to exceed 35 decibels.
Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) Wind Issue. While many system operators have been forced to draw upon fossil fuel back-up units when power is most needed because wind was not available, BPA has had to deal with too much wind power conflicting with its hydroelectric generation of renewable electricity. To balance supply and demand, BPA displaced nearly 100,000 megawatt hours of wind energy between May 18 and July 10 of this year  (over 5 percent of the amount produced by wind power connected to its grid) in favor of hydroelectric power in order to protect the salmon in the Columbia River. While BPA could have reduced the power output of its hydroelectric dams by routing excess water through a spillway, it chose not to because BPA believed it would have violated the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Water passing over a spillway picks up nitrogen gas, which is harmful to salmon.
Three more wind turbines are blown to pieces. The impact of the devastating weather which has swept the country is shown by the state of these wind turbines — which couldn't withstand the strength of the gales. The huge blades — 15ft long — flew off three turbines including one on the aptly-named Windmill Lane in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
Perdue Bringing "Solyndra" Politics to North Carolina. In a political power-play to reward big business reminiscent of the handling of the Solyndra debacle that embarrassed the Obama administration, Perdue is urging for special treatment that would secure a $200 million federal government subsidy for a multi-billion dollar Spanish company. Perdue recently sent a letter to the heads of Duke, Dominion, and Progress Energy stressing the importance of the proposed Desert Wind Power Project in Elizabeth City to be built by Iberdrola Renewables. The Project involves the development of a 300 megawatt wind energy farm.
County Commissioners hear more about the proposed wind farm. [Scroll down] The problem with wind generated electricity is that it costs more than oil, coal or nuclear-generated electricity. Moreover, the variability in the current generated due to fluctuations in wind speeds causes problems for the electrical grid because stable backup generation capacity is required to compensate for variations in wind generated current. So the power generated by wind turbines costs more to begin with but the utility still has to have as much backup generation capacity as it would have to have without wind generated power.
US Fish & Wildlife Service objects to Pantego wind farm. In what could be a potentially significant obstacle to the plans to build a windfarm near Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Beaufort County the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service filed a position with the N. C. Utilities Commission Monday [12/5/2011] raising concerns about the impact the huge windmills would have on migratory birds in the area. ... Proponents argue that wind is an alternative to fossil fuels but studies have shown that wind power would only reduce CO2 emissions by a miniscule amount over twenty years.
Senator Downing Tables WESRA. At an energy forum in Great Barrington on December 14th, Senator Ben Downing announced that he is tabling the controversial wind siting bill. The surprise announcement came a little over a week after Senate President Therese Murray changed her position on the bill. She said she was persuaded by her constituents, who have testified to the adverse impacts of wind turbines on health as well as property values.
Myths of Wind Energy. Governor Patrick has set a goal for 2,000 megawatts of wind generation capacity to power 800,000 homes by the year 2020. The reasons generally given are that it would reduce cost, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and create green jobs. There is mounting evidence from around the world that these claims, promoted by the wind industry, are based on assumptions that cannot be substantiated by studies using production data from wind installations here and abroad.
Epidemiologic Evidence for Health Effects from Wind Turbines. There is overwhelming evidence that wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder type diseases, at a nontrivial rate. The bulk of the evidence takes the form of thousands of adverse event reports. There is also a small amount of systematically-gathered data. The adverse event reports provide compelling evidence of the seriousness of the problems and of causation in this case because of their volume, the ease of observing exposure and outcome incidence, and case-crossover data.
Chris Horner Testifies on the Folly of Green Energy Policy. [Scroll down] One distraction has proved persistent within the repertoire even as others get tried out. It is a new utilitarian "green" talking point, applied so far to the entire suite of folly, from electric cars to windmills, and thus deserves response. This is that we must make bold moves on this front or face the prospect of falling behind China in the great [insert green scheme here] race. Steven Chu, the federal Secretary of Energy, speaks regularly of the "clean energy race", specifically focusing on China and fears that they will "win" it. ... The truth is that China's edge is in mass producing commodities. Not innovating.
The high cost of wind. If built, the Desert Wind Power Project — named for the flat, agricultural region in the area — would be on about 20,000 acres of private land near Elizabeth City. ... Now the project has hit a glitch — no utility company, i.e., Progress Energy, Duke Power or Old Dominion, wants to buy the power Iberdrola might produce because it is more expensive than they're paying for conventional power now.
Leading Bird Conservation Group Formally Petitions Feds. The government estimates that a minimum of 440,000 birds are currently killed each year by collisions with wind turbines. In the absence of clear, legally enforceable regulations, the massive expansion of wind power in the United States will likely result in the deaths of more than one million birds each year by 2020. Further, wind energy projects are also expected to adversely impact almost 20,000 square miles of terrestrial habitat, and another 4,000 square miles of marine habitat.
Bird Slaughterhouse. These vast, deadly installations not only destroy hundreds of acres of sensitive and critical habitats for wildlife, but they guillotine birds by the millions, and the change in air-pressure around the whirling blades actually causes the lungs of bats to explode.
Wildlife Slows Wind Power. New federal rules on how wind-power operators must manage threats to wildlife could create another challenge for the fast-growing industry as it seeks more footholds in the U.S. energy landscape. The death of an endangered bat in September at a wind farm in Pennsylvania was the latest in a series of incidents that have caught the attention of regulators and conservation-minded scientists, who worry that large numbers of bats, bald eagles and other birds are being killed by wind turbines' spinning blades.
1,500 accidents and incidents on UK wind farms over the past five years. The figures — released by RenewableUK, the industry's trade body — include four deaths and a further 300 injuries to workers. The scale of incidents — equivalent to almost one a day — emerges following the publication of dramatic photographs showing one turbine which had crashed to the ground in a field near a road and another exploding into flames, caused by 150 mph winds which buffeted Scotland and northern England last week.
Wind energy concerns: There are some problems with wind energy which need more attention, and are not much discussed among wind promoters. [A recent] article emphasized the role of transmission of wind energy, but failed to mention that wind energy is an inefficient user of transmission capacity. The transmission lines, substations, etc., must be built with the capacity for the nameplate capacity of the generators, but in operation only about 35 to 45 percent of that capacity is used over an annual basis. The rest of the capacity cannot be used by other generation; it must be reserved for the infrequent times when the wind generation needs it all.
The collapse of the green-energy bubble. The parallel-energy universe known as renewables, a place where dollars and economic theory know no bounds and make no sense, looks increasingly like a bubble set to collapse.
Wind Turbines & "Green" Subsidies Under Fire. Despite billions in taxpayer subsidies pumped into the so-called "green-energy" industry, almost 15,000 windmills — maybe more — have been left to rot across America. And while the turbines have been abandoned over a period of decades, the growing amount of "green junk" littering the American landscape is back in the headlines again this week. Across the country, subsidized wind farms are meeting increasing resistance — and not just from taxpayers and electricity consumers forced to foot the bill.
Wind turbine Explodes as Northern Britain hit with hurricane-force gusts. In one spectacular incident yesterday a 300ft wind turbine exploded in flames as it was buffeted by the high winds. Another wind turbine was completely blown down on Wednesday [12/7/2011], raising questions about the ability of wind farms to cope with the weather. The flaming £2million wind turbine was in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, Scotland. Witnesses said its blades were locked at the time, because the National Grid would be unable to cope with a sudden power surge.
The people of England have had enough of the windmills.
An e-Petition: Reforming the Subsidies for Wind Farms. Electricity bills have soared, and more increases are in the pipeline. This punishes the 6 million people already in fuel poverty, restricts economic growth, and makes British industry less competitive. A key factor in this increase is the Renewables Obligation, which indirectly provides more than 40% of the income of wind-farms. These complex and covert subsidies (most of which go to foreign companies) are paid not by the government, but instead are ENTIRELY financed by increasing the price of our electricity bills.
Dutch fall out of love with windmills. When the Netherlands built its first sea-based wind turbines in 2006, they were seen as symbols of a greener future. Towering over the waves of the North Sea like an army of giants, blades whipping through the wind, the turbines were the country's best hope to curb carbon emissions and meet growing demand for electricity.
Wind power truly in the realm of mysticism. Wind power paranoia has bypassed science logic and is well and truly in the realm of mysticism. Let me state categorically that, as a physicist, I am in favour of wind power that is genuinely economically viable. The problem is that large-scale wind power fed into a national grid is just not viable — either economically or practically — from an engineering stand point. The dream of some enthusiasts that there is some major technological leap just waiting in the wings that will make wind power viable is extremely unlikely to take place.
Washington wind farm canceled due to seabird. Energy Northwest and four southwest Washington utilities have canceled the Radar Ridge wind power project, which had been proposed as the first major wind farm in Western Washington. ... At issue was habitat for marbled murrelets, a seabird listed in 1992 as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
What wind energy can do to a formerly peaceful and friendly community:
The casualties of wind development. To wind proponents, here is the gift wind brought you sealed in the belly of the Trojan horse you let through the gates: a longtime supervisor overturned, the Planning Board chairman and three Planning Board members gone, three councilmen removed or resigned, a long-time town justice removed, a local wind-conflicted state senator removed, and worst, a town socially torn apart. All brought to you courtesy of your clean, green wind energy.
The myth of renewable energy. Renewable energy sounds so much more natural and believable than a perpetual-motion machine, but there's one big problem: Unless you're planning to live without electricity and motorized transportation, you need more than just wind, water, sunlight, and plants for energy. You need raw materials, real estate, and other things that will run out one day. You need stuff that has to be mined, drilled, transported, and bulldozed — not simply harvested or farmed. You need non-renewable resources.
National Follies. Windfarms don't work. They produce a trickle of electricity at vast cost to the consumer. They desecrate the landscape and make people's lives a misery. And they don't even cut carbon emissions. They are literally a waste of space.
The Misuse of Infrasound: Industry, military, and now the cops. Of course, the military industrial crowd has been [ecstatic] over infrasonic weaponry ("acoustic weapons") for decades. Do a Google search to find titillating reading of varying degrees of credibility. Now New York City cops are using it. ... The issue is not so much what the cochlea "hears," but the sound pressure that messes up the vestibular organs — the sound pressure that, as others have put it, "kills us softly with its torture." Or not so softly, depending on intensity, duration of exposure, and pulse of the infrasound.
Why "Big Wind's" noise measurements are a big fat lie. The reason the wind industry experts can claim that wind turbines produce insignificant levels of infrasound and low frequency sound is not because there isn't any, but because the instruments and methods they use cannot detect it. In effect, they go hunting for a needle in the haystack using a magnet, when the problem is the needle is made of plastic. When analyzed using a tool that can detect it, we find that infrasound and low frequency noise are there and they are there at Sound Pressure Levels (SPL's) much higher than previously considered likely.
Wind energy bullies — and a burning barn. Green Mountain Power (GMP) is offering to buy Don & Shirley Nelson's hillside farm at the asking price, to prove that real estate values do not decline due to noisy, 460-ft tall wind turbines on 2,000 ft high ridge lines, and to get the Nelson's invited guests off the Nelson's land so GMPs dynamite blasters can proceed with the partial destruction of Lowell Mountain. If the Nelsons do not agree to sell and do not agree to remove their guests from their land, GMP will take the Nelsons to court and sue them for about $1,000,000. (The Nelson's are an elderly couple.) This is a public relations disaster for Vermont's wind energy oligarchy, that will be heard all over the world during Vermont's foliage season.
Smoke, mirrors and public deceit: The [Australian] National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) was questioned about its decision to wait to correct its statement "There is currently no published scientific evidence to positively link wind turbines with adverse health effects," to the public until May 2012. Senator Madigan said the council's lack of urgency on matters of public health was nothing short of abuse. "The Government is knowingly doing harm to its citizens by ignoring recent findings. This is against public policy." "There is plenty of published scientific evidence and recent health reports that link industrial wind turbines and the serious health effects of living too close to them. This evidence is being ignored as it does not sit with the current political agenda."
Universal Rules for the Public Approval of Wind Energy Projects. Rural residents plagued by turbines, yet currently forced to live with them, consider that they have suffered a government-mandated theft by the developer of the value and amenity of their property, the health and wellbeing of their family and even the workability and profitability of their land. This situation simply cannot continue.
Hurrah for Philip! Wind power is the most ruinous folly of our age. Once again, Prince Philip has performed an invaluable national service by tilting at windmills — or to be more precise in this case, wind turbines. In private remarks that found their way into the Press, he apparently said wind turbines were 'absolutely useless', completely reliant on subsidies and that those who claimed they were one of the most cost-effective forms of renewable energy believed in 'fairytales'.
Duke of Edinburgh Calls Wind Farms Useless. Perhaps peeved by his son's struggle to carve out a public role for himself as the Green Prince, the Duke of Edinburgh summoned up the spirit of Don Quixote to let fly at the windmills that, in his view are polluting the British countryside to no good purpose. They will never work he said, and "are a disgrace." They are inefficient and cannot work without huge subsidies, and because they do not supply constant energy, traditional power plants must continue to be built to back them up. As the Daily Telegraph notes in its story, the Duke's frank dismissal of wind farms as absolutely useless subsidy hogs can easily be construed as an attack on government policy. As the Telegraph points out, it is the current policy of the duke's wife's government to throw up as many windfarms as possible.
Prince Philip: Only tickling the nose of our energy crisis. You have to hand it to the Duke of Edinburgh. At 90, he is still as incisive as ever. Once again, the Royal family has articulated what ordinary people, without the ear of the media, have long felt. His son might have called the wind farms that are besmirching our mountains and waving their giant arms inanely out at sea "a monstrous carbuncle". Prince Philip chose "disgrace". So they are. The politicians who foisted them upon us should be put in the stocks.
14,000 abandoned wind turbines. Minnesotans for Global Warming report that in the last 30 years, the United States has had 14,000 wind turbines abandoned. Apparently, once the subsidies and the wind run out, these 20-story high Cuisinarts are de-bladed and retired. This means more bats and migratory birds will live.
Wind turbines 'a waste of space' says MEP. In a hard-hitting keynote address to the National Windfarm Conference in Ayr, Conservative MEP Mr Stevenson will attack the use of wind farms to generate power in Scotland. He will describe the SNP's veto on nuclear power as "sheer madness", label the target of generating the equivalent of 100 percent of Scotland's electricity demand from renewables by 2020 as "ludicrous" and argue that rich landowners are raking in profits from wind farms at the expense of consumers.
Scrapping wind farms in favour of nuclear and gas will save each of us £550. Shelving expensive wind farms in favour of cheaper nuclear and gas-fired power stations would save every Briton almost £550, it is claimed. Government plans to cut pollution by a third by 2020 rely heavily on wind power and will cost £108 billion to implement, an accountancy firm has calculated. But shifting the emphasis away from turbines and towards nuclear and gas-fired power stations would slash the bill by £34 billion, according to KPMG.
Wind Farms Disrupting Radar, Scientists Say. Wind farms, along with solar power and other alternative energy sources, are supposed to produce the energy of tomorrow. Evidence indicates that their countless whirring fan blades produce something else: "blank spots" that distort radar readings. Now government agencies that depend on radar — such as the Department of Defense and the National Weather Service — are spending millions in a scramble to preserve their detection capabilities. A four-star Air Force general recently spelled out the problem to Dave Beloite, the director of the Department of Defense's Energy Siting Clearinghouse.
Alaska's Billion Dollar Mountain. There are 17 rare earth metals on the periodic table, divided between "heavy" and "light" based on their atomic weight, the heavies being far more rare and expensive. Together they're referred to as technology metals. In the 1980s research in rare earths led to the revolution in electronic miniaturization. ... They're also an important part of the green revolution. The gearbox of a 300-foot-tall, two-megawatt wind turbine contains 372 kilograms of neodymium and 60 kilograms of dysprosium. At today's prices, those rare earths alone cost $301,680.
Second Energy Department-backed company goes bankrupt. A Massachusetts company that received a $43 million Energy Department loan guarantee last year filed for bankruptcy Sunday [10/30/2011], a step certain to fuel criticism of federal green energy financing in the wake of the solar company Solyndra's collapse. Beacon Power Corp., which develops energy storage systems, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
The Editor says...
Name one government office in your area that's open on Sunday. If you were to file for bankruptcy, wouldn't you have to wait until Monday morning?
Wind farms shut because it's too windy. National Grid has been forced to ask wind farms to shut down for the second time in a month — because it's too windy. Seven wind farm operators switched off their turbines on Monday night [10/24/2011]. ... It leaves taxpayers with yet another bill. National Grid has to pay wind farm operators compensation when asking them to stop the turbines.
California's Green Power Crisis. Among the many difficulties that the state of California has been facing, one in particular is looming larger and larger: the power problem. The state is slowly coming to grips with the fact that its preferred sources of electric power — wind and solar — are neither cheap nor reliable. Yet, California is committed by law to increasing the use of wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy. The economics don't come close to supporting this model.
Scottish Wind Farms Paid to Shut Down Generation. In April , six Scottish wind farm companies were paid £300,000 (US$485,000) to shut down generation. The problem? Over a two-day period they were producing too much electricity. UK wind power groups were cock-a-hoop. At last, a good news wind energy story not built on the quicksand of fanciful claims to "free" energy, for once based on the hard math of actual production. Unfortunately, the apparent "success" story turns out instead merely to reinforce serious concerns over the volatility of base load supply to power grids from highly variable generation sources; not to mention highlighting yet another 'hidden' public subsidy necessary to cope with the problem.
The Bizarre World of Radical Climate Science. People who are ignorant concerning engineering or science may accept the notion that wind and solar are realistic sources of electricity. It is more difficult to explain why the government is dumping billions of dollars into these technologies, both in the form of cash and in the form of mandates that shift the cost to electricity users.
House GOP demands White House release Obama's emails on Solyndra. House Republicans are pushing forward with their request for all internal White House communications related to the now-bankrupt solar firm Solyndra, including President Obama's emails. In a letter to White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler on Tuesday [10/18/2011], top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee argue that the White House should turn over internal emails and documents related to the $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra. They rejected arguments from the White House that it has already turned over hundreds of documents, and said efforts by other administrative agencies are not enough.
Windmills stopped at night after bat death. Thirty-five windmills at a western Pennsylvania wind farm have been silenced at night since a bat that belongs to an endangered species was found dead under one of the turbines.
Windmills to shut at night following demise of rare bat. Night operation of the windmills in the North Allegheny Windpower Project has been halted following discovery of a dead Indiana bat under one of the turbines, an official with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday [10/17/2011]. The finding marks only the second location where an Indiana bat has been found dead under a wind turbine. Two Indiana bats were found under turbines in the Mid-west, said Clint Riley, supervisor for Fish and Wildlife's Pennsylvania field office.
Eco loons go bat crazy. The warped mentality that puts the (imaginary) needs of bats perfectly capable of looking after themselves before those of humans differs little from the warped mentality which demands that stretches of countryside be carpeted with environmentally unfriendly, economically ruinous wind farms... This mentality in turn causes real people — not fluttery, squeaky, nocturnal insectivores, but actual humans with families, friends, histories, consciousness, emotions etc — genuine suffering and distress. As this newspaper reports today, at least 2,700 people are dying every year because they can't afford to heat their homes in winter. And one of the main reasons they can't do so is because of the misguided policies of eco-zealots...
Turbine designer arrested for fraud. A series of wind turbines planned for the city of Jonestown is on hold after criminal charges were filed against one of the designers. Charlie Malouff, the founder of the C.M Energies, has been arrested on charges of securing execution of a document by deception. C.M. Energies is the Taylor-based company which produces the wind turbines.
Another Offshore Wind Project in Trouble Due to High Costs. Offshore wind is far more expensive than onshore wind and even pro-green states like New York are having second thoughts. General Electric is facing lower than expected offshore wind orders and is considering laying off some of its wind workers in Norway. And even with substantial federal subsidies, some utilities are fighting back against the offshore wind industry mainly because of its expense.
Federal Officials Investigate Wind Farm Eagle Deaths. [Scroll down to page 16] Federal wildlife officials are investigating the deaths of at least six golden eagles at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Pine Tree Wind project 100 miles north of the city. Bird deaths at Pine Tree are unusually high, even for wind farms, and conservationists are calling for measures to reduce the deaths of federally protected birds.
Rotten Wind in the State of Denmark. Denmark is yet another country that has made wind power a hallmark of its energy policy. But are the lofty claims about Danish wind true? No.
Scuttled wind farm project was a billion-dollar boondoogle. When the New York Power Authority formally pulled the plug Tuesday [7/27/2011] on the offshore wind farm project, NYPA officials said it wasn't "fiscally prudent" because even a 150-megawatt project — on the small side of the agency's guidelines — would require subsidies of $60 million to $100 million a year. That was two to four times the subsidy a similarly sized land-based wind farm would require to be economically feasible.
The Not-So-Green Mountains. Bulldozers arrived a couple of weeks ago at the base of the nearby Lowell Mountains and began clawing their way through the forest to the ridgeline, where Green Mountain Power plans to erect 21 wind turbines, each rising to 459 feet from the ground to the tip of the blades. ... Ironically, most of the state's environmental groups have not taken a stand on this ecologically disastrous project. Apparently, they are unwilling to stand in the way of "green" energy development, no matter how much destruction it wreaks upon Vermont's core asset: the landscape that has made us who we are.
A NH Solyndra? Wind farm gets fed loan. In the name of "green energy," the Obama administration is using taxpayer money to subsidize a New Hampshire wind farm that is a subsidiary of a hugely profitable company.
O'Malley's wind energy plan worse than hot air. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to build one of the nation's first offshore wind farms off the coast of Ocean City was wisely put on hold last year by state legislators, who said they needed more time to study the proposal. Key questions about the centerpiece of O'Malley's environmental policy have finally been answered, and they don't help the cause.
Wind Power's Political Payoff. Tom Carnahan, of the Missouri Carnahans, arguably that state's most prominent political family, is listed on President Obama's campaign website as a host of the St. Louis fundraising extravaganza amid widespread unemployment and tanking markets. Coincidentally, of course, Carnahan's energy development firm, Wind Capital Group, is the recipient of a $107 million federal tax credit to develop a wind power facility in his state.
Top 10 Green Job Fiascos. [#3] Spanish windmills: Spain's quixotic quest to create a green-jobs economy should have been a lesson for the United States. After Spain went crazy subsidizing windmills and solar farms, the result was higher utility bills for consumers, with a loss of 2.2 jobs in other industries for every green job created. And each green job came at a cost of $774,000 to Spanish taxpayers.
The Renewable Energy Boondoggle. Dominion [Virginia Power]'s entire generation portfolio produces about 28,000 megawatts of electricity. Its two reactors at the North Anna nuclear power station produce a combined 1,960 megawatts, or 7 percent of the total. The new hybrid-energy center in Wise, which will get up to 20 percent of its juice from burning biomass, will crank out 585 megawatts. Dominion also is working on a solar-energy unit in Halifax. Generation capacity? Four megawatts. Not 400. Four. Could Dominion produce more power from renewable sources? Sure it could — if you don't mind paying out the wazoo.
GE Guts Offshore Wind-Power Plans. General Electric, the U.S.-based industrial giant and leading manufacturer of wind-power turbines, is scaling back efforts to expand its presence in the offshore wind power market. The rationale: there is no meaningful offshore wind market to speak of — at least not yet.
We Spent Billions on Wind Power, and All I Got Was a Rolling Blackout. For a time, Texas was bragging about being the #1 state for "wind power" (it still is) and we were bombarded with TV commercials and newspaper editorial touting the "Pickens Plan" for massive spending on wind energy. Pickens himself was building a huge wind farm in northwest Texas. He has now ceased construction.
When the temperature rises, the wind slows down.
Texas Wind Energy Fails, Again. Wednesday [8/24/2011] brought yet another unspeakably hot day to Texas and, alas, it was yet another day when wind energy failed the state's consumers. Indeed, as record heat and drought continue to hammer the Lone Star State, the inanity of the state's multi-billion-dollar spending spree on wind energy becomes ever more apparent. On Wednesday afternoon, ERCOT, the state's grid operator, declared a power emergency as some of the state's generation units began to falter under the soaring demand for electricity.
Obama's Real Energy Policy. [Scroll down] Wind power has received a lot of press, but even there, the largest project planned for the country was canceled because of obstruction and a poor financial outlook. Wind power is subsidized at up to 10 times the cost of conventional energy and is unpredictable. In studies of the over 6,000 turbines in Denmark, it has been found that without heavy subsidies, wind power would rapidly fail. Germany and Spain have withdrawn subsidies for wind power installations not because the industry has grown more viable, but rather because the difficulties and costs associated with this source of power outweigh the benefits.
Federal Subsidies to Solar Up 626%, Subsidies to Wind Up 946%. While President Barack Obama wants to end subsidies that go to oil and natural gas companies, a new Department of Energy report shows that federal subsidies to clean energy are way up, with solar seeing a subsidy increase of 626 percent between FY 2007 and 2010 and wind getting a 946 percent increase.
Dead Birds are the Unintended Consequence of Wind Power Development. As California attempts to divorce itself from fossil-fueled electricity, it may be trading one environmental sin for another — although you don't hear state officials admitting it. Wind power is the fastest growing component in the state's green energy portfolio, but wildlife advocates say the marriage has an unintended consequence: dead birds, including protected species of eagles, hawks and owls.
Renewable energy running scared. The ethanol, wind and solar industries are running scared from a House proposal to reduce federal subsidies for renewable energy by 25 percent for fiscal 2012. A surefire sign of the trouble with big government is that you run out of other people's money.
Government Gluttony at the American Wind Energy Association. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is on a mission to keep its members fat and happy as they bloat up at the public trough.
Wind farms multiply, fueling clashes with nearby residents. Nearly 3,000 turbines, many of them bigger than Ferris wheels, were installed across the country last year. The growth is being propelled by federal incentives and state clean-energy mandates. In April, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that requires California utilities to get 33% of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2020. As of the first quarter of 2011, they're at 17.9%.
Wind farms blow up electricity cost. An investigation has revealed 29 wind farm projects could be operating across NSW by 2020. There are three active wind farms at Tarago, Upper Lachlan and Walwa running 113 turbines. A further nine major projects, ranging from 15 to 598 turbines, are under construction. Within a few years, the number of turbines could jump to 3011.
A New Study Takes The Wind Out Of Wind Energy. For years, it's been an article of faith among advocates of renewables that increased use of wind energy can provide a cost-effective method of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The reality: wind energy's carbon dioxide-cutting benefits are vastly overstated. Furthermore, if wind energy does help reduce carbon emissions, those reductions are too expensive to be used on any kind of scale.
The Blunder of Relying On Wind Power. Because wind does not blow all the time, wind power is an "intermittent" technology that needs other power as back-up to ensure that the lights stay on. Currently, wind capacity is backed up by existing fossil fuel capacity (natural gas or coal), but Britain has determined that it will need an additional 17 natural-gas powered plants to keep the lights on by 2020. The generators that will be used when the wind does not blow will cost UK consumers 10 billion pounds.
Wasteful energy. Self-proclaimed environmentalists dream of a future powered by wind and solar energy. The free market, of course, knows this isn't going to happen. Every windmill and solar farm on the planet would go bankrupt if the daily truckloads of taxpayer cash ever missed a delivery.
Proof that the Government is tilting at windmills. Centrica and other energy companies last week told DECC that, if Britain is to spend £100 billion on building thousands of wind turbines, it will require the building of 17 new gas-fired power stations simply to provide back-up for all those times when the wind drops and the windmills produce even less power than usual. We will thus be landed in the ludicrous position of having to spend an additional £10 billion on those 17 dedicated power stations, which will be kept running on "spinning reserve", 24 hours a day, just to make up for the fundamental problem of wind turbines. This is that their power continually fluctuates anywhere between full capacity to zero (where it often stood last winter, when national electricity demand was at a peak). So unless back-up power is instantly available to match any shortfall, the lights will go out.
Wind-Turbine Maker That Obama Praised Files for Bankruptcy. Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Co., a Cleveland-based manufacturer of screws and bolts for wind turbines, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday [6/30/2011].
Wind Farm Madness. The futility of squandering money on wind farms has been laid bare by the United Kingdom's new budget for windmill construction. Christopher Booker of the U.K. Telegraph in his column yesterday highlighted the folly that is ongoing in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Wind Power Generation Disappoints, Study Finds. [Scroll down to page 15] Wind turbines provide power less than 30 percent of the time, and the power is unpredictable on a day-by-day and even minute-by-minute basis. As a result, wind farms, no matter how large, can displace only a minor amount of conventional power. ... Using U.S. Energy Information Administration cost data, [George S.] Taylor showed the cumulative cost of wind power generation (comprised of wind power, backup natural gas power, and the construction of new transmission lines) would be five times as much as an all-gas option.
North Charleston may turn to wind turbines. City leaders this week will discuss a plan to put five wind turbines on the roof [of the City Hall] where they will capture the exhaust breezes coming off the building's air-conditioning system. As the turbines turn, the blades produce recycled energy to be carried back inside.
The Editor says...
I find it very difficult to believe that more than a few watts of power can be recovered using this method. The city hopes to save up to $5,000 per year, based on a utility rate of "between 9 and 10 cents per kilowatt hour." Suppose the rate is 10¢ per kWh, and the system generates power 24 hours a day. There are 8,760 hours in a year. That means they hope to save 57¢ per hour, which means their new system is expected to produce at least 5.7 kilowatts. According to the article, "the wind turbines that North Charleston is considering measure 6 feet in diameter...", and they look a lot like one of these, which produces about one-third of the projected power, at a constant wind velocity of 35 mph. If the "breeze" coming out of the air conditioning system is that strong, and there is enough wind to keep four or five of these windmills spinning, there's something fundamentally wrong with the air conditioning system's design.
More Enviro-Anomalies. Nationwide, wind farms kill an estimated 440,000 birds a year — and again, because that estimate is based on counts of the bodies of shredded birds, the estimate is very likely too low. But amazingly, not one wind farm operator has been sued by the gazillion federal agencies that supposedly enforce laws such as the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Act. Contrast this with the treatment of fossil fuel companies: should they even threaten an obscure lizard, the EPA or some other federal agency will pounce on them like a golden eagle on a rabbit. The recent report on the obscure dunes sagebrush lizard makes this much clear.
Industry begins to count the true cost of 'climate change'. [Scroll down] At one end of the scale, then, whole industries are protesting that the soaring costs of "climate change" measures will amount, in effect, to a colossal economic suicide note. At the other, we begin to see how the obsession with "climate change" will push our own household energy bills through the roof, driving millions more people into "fuel poverty". Apart from anything else, by 2020 our Government expects us to pay £100 billion for a further 10,000 useless, subsidised windmills, plus £40 billion to connect them to the National Grid. These costs alone would almost double our present electricity bills.
Why 'vote blue, go green' doesn't sound quite so clever any more. Onshore wind-power, which was built on the expectation of 33 per cent average capacity, has recently been coming in at nearer 22 per cent. Public resistance to the turbines has slowed construction. Offshore ones cost twice as much per gigawatt as nuclear or (if you include the carbon price) gas. Conversion on the scale, at the cost, and in the time demanded simply cannot be done. So one must add another prediction: our politicians will quite soon have to wriggle out of it.
Wind Energy's Overblown Prospects. Unfortunately, wind doesn't afford the benefits marketers promise. It isn't an abundant, reliable power source; doesn't appreciably reduce fossil dependence or CO2 emissions; isn't free, or even cheap; doesn't produce net job gains; nor does it cool brows of feverish environmental critics.
Solar energy plans pit green vs. green. Janine Blaeloch, executive director of the Western Lands Project, a non-profit group that examines the impacts of government land privatization, supports developing America's renewable energy sources but says fields of mirrors along miles of open desert isn't the way to do it. "These plants will introduce a huge amount of damage to our public land and habitat," she said.
Wind farms aren't just a blight, they're a folly. [Scroll down] The impression is given that since wind is free, plentiful and doesn't produce CO₂, then it must be the answer to our renewable-energy conundrum. If this were true, then it might be worth sacrificing a few views: but it isn't. To produce the same amount of electricity as one coal-fired power station, you'd need a wind farm the size of Greater London. And when there is no wind — or even when there is too much — the power produced is minuscule or the turbine has to be switched off while fossil-fuel stations take up the slack. They can be useful in powering a collection of farms, or a small industrial site, but that is about it. So to see remote tracts of countryside that, by and large, survived the industrialisation of the landscape now threatened with defilement for no good reason is scandalous.
Wind power turbines in Altamont Pass threaten protected birds. Scores of golden eagles have been killed after striking the thousands of wind turbines in the Bay Area, raising questions about California's move toward alternative power.
CO2 Mitigation: It's Dopey. In the first full year of the Oldbury White Elephant's 20-year life it generated a gratifying 209 KWh of electricity — enough to power a single 100W reading lamp for less than three months. The rest of the year you'll have to find something else to do in bed. Gross revenue for the year, at 11p/KWh, was, um ... almost £23. Assuming that there are no costs of finance, installation, insurance, or maintenance, and after subtracting 20 years' revenue at last year's rate, the net undiscounted and unamortized capital cost of the project, as we financiers call it, is U.S. $8935.
Wind farms: Britain is 'running out of wind'. According to government figures, 13 of the past 16 months have been calmer than normal — while 2010 was the "stillest" year of the past decade. Meteorologists believe that changes to the Atlantic jet stream could alter the pattern of winds over the next 40 years and leave much of the nation's growing army of power-generating turbines becalmed.
Northwest power surplus may halt wind energy. The manager of most of the electricity in the Pacific Northwest is running such a surplus of power from hydroelectric dams that it put wind farms on notice Friday [5/13/2011] that they may be shut down as early as this weekend.
No Wind Power Needed in the Pacific Northwest. What a waste of money.
Alternative Energy and the King Canute Strategy. Proponents of so-called "renewable energy" suffer from the delusion that it can replace a large share of our coal, oil, and nuclear energy. They ignore or deny the consequence: a decline in real income. ... The sun does not shine at high noon in a cloudless sky 24 hours a day, nor does the wind blow forever at designed speed. ... [Wind and solar power] are expensive in part because their installed capacity must be several times that of coal or nuclear plants to generate the same total output. They are idle much of the time, waiting for the sun or the wind. They also require more land.
Renewable Electricity Mandates Raise Prices and Kill Jobs. Renewable electricity mandates are causing electricity prices to rise and killing jobs in the states that have enacted them. "Electricity prices are already nearly 40 percent higher in states with an REM (renewable electricity mandate). While the renewable mandates may not be the only reason electricity prices are higher in those states, these mandates likely contribute to higher prices and certainly are not helping to decrease the price," reports a recent study from the Institute for Energy Research.
The folly of renewable electricity. The energy content of wind flows and sunlight is unconcentrated, which means that massive amounts of land and materials have to be employed to make renewable power even technically practical. A 1,000-megawatt gas plant needs about 10-15 acres; a 1,000-megawatt wind farm needs about 50,000 acres (78 square miles). A square meter of solar receiving capacity even in theory is only sufficient to power one 100-watt light bulb; a solar plant of only 100 megawatts would require about 1,250 acres (2 square miles). Unlike conventional power plants, wind and solar facilities have to be sited where the wind blows and the sun shines with sufficient intensity. The upshot: higher transmission costs, estimated by the California Public Utilities Commission at $12 billion for the 33 percent requirement.
Wind power: Even worse than you thought. A new analysis of wind energy supplied to the UK National Grid in recent years has shown that wind farms produce significantly less electricity than had been thought, and that they cause more problems for the Grid than had been believed. ... In general it tends to be assumed that a wind farm will generate an average of 30 per cent of its maximum capacity over time. However the new study shows that this is actually untrue...
Report Questions Wind Power's Ability to Deliver Electricity When Most Needed. Stuart Young Consulting, with support from the John Muir Trust, has released a report studying the ability of wind power to make a significant contribution to the UK's energy supply. It concludes that the average power output of wind turbines across Scotland is well below the rates often claimed by industry and government.
Official: Wind farms are totally useless. Normally the people most busily pushing these bird-chomping, bat-crunching, taxpayer-fleecing monstrosities on our magnificent landscape are those who claim, ludicrously, to be "green." Thank you, John Muir Trust, for reminding as that being "green" doesn't necessarily have to include economically suicidal schemes to destroy perhaps our greatest national asset: the British countryside.
Renewable-energy standards are unconstitutional. Colorado is widely recognized for its wind-power capabilities, but even there, wind power is inconsistent and undependable. Studies by Bentek Energy, which examined energy deployment in Texas and Colorado, found that emissions of pollutants actually increase with RES because wind requires backup generation by fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. When generators powered by those fuels are required to turn on and off constantly as backstops for wind, they burn more coal or gas than if those fossil-fuel generators ran consistently.
Wind turbines 'hit' bat populations. Scientists found the blades of wind turbines were a major threat to bats particularly when they are migrating. Bats are useful to farmers because they eat large numbers of crop damaging insects, reducing the amount that has to be spent on pesticides. Writing in the journal Science, the researchers estimated that bats could be worth billions to agriculture around the world.
Inconvenient Truth: Wind Energy Has Killed More Americans Than Nuclear. According to the Caithness Windfarm Information Forum, there were 35 fatalities associated with wind turbines in the United States from 1970 through 2010. Nuclear energy, by contrast, did not kill a single American in that time. The meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979 did not kill or injure anyone, since the power plant's cement containment apparatus did its job — the safety measures put in place were effective. Apparently the safety measures associated with wind energy are not adequate to prevent loss of life.
Wind Power Causes Gridlock. [Scroll down] In Britain alarm bells are already sounding over the potential detrimental effect to the power grid of power surges from amassing increasing volumes of highly variable renewable-sourced GW (gigawatts). Derek Birkett is a consultant UK National Grid control engineer. His new book When Will The Lights Go Out? has gained a deal of interest and makes for sober reading. Birkett has amassed a deal of grid expertise. He predicts that a UK grid with more than 6 GW of variable wind power attached will render the entire grid vulnerable to outages during severe weather conditions due to the uncontrollable stop-go nature of its generation.
Painful Lessons for Wind Power. Neil Anderson lives a quarter of a mile from the turbine. He's an avid supporter of alternative energy, having owned and operated a passive solar company on Cape Cod for the past 25 years. "It is dangerous," he told WGBH in Boston. "Headaches. Loss of sleep. And the ringing in my ears never goes away. I could look at it all day, and it does not bother me ... but it's way too close." Tired of the constant chopping sound, pained residents decided to lawyer up. This month a deal was struck with the town to disengage the turbine when winds exceed 23 miles an hour. This is problematic because giant windmills such as Wind One operate at optimum efficiency at about 30 miles an hour.
Wind farms kill whales: blubber on the green movement's hands. So wind farms don't just despoil countryside, frighten horses, chop up birds, spontaneously combust, drive down property prices, madden those who live nearby with their subsonic humming, drive up electricity prices, promote rentseeking, make rich landowners richer (and everyone else poorer), ruin views, buy more electric sports cars for that dreadful Dale Vince character, require rare earth minerals which cause enormous environmental damage, destroy 3.7 real jobs for every fake "green" job they "create", blight neighbourhoods, kill off tourism and ruin lives, but they also KILL WHALES!
Global Warming, R.I.P. [Scroll down] The current Prime Minister of Australia is busy trying to impose a carbon tax on that nation. The British have dug themselves a deep hole by embracing windmills instead of coal mines. Billions have been wasted by Spain and Germany on alternative energy sources. The anti-energy agenda will have devastating affects on life in the West. Electricity consumers in the United Kingdom were recently told by the CEO of the country's grid operation that, by 2020, they will have to get used to having no electricity for periods during the day and night. This will put the U.K. on par with North Korea.
Life Under The Blades. Standing on his home's porch, Neil Anderson points through the thicket of trees in his front yard and across Blacksmith Shop Road towards one of his closest neighbors: A wind turbine. "Right now we are 1,320 feet, which is one-quarter mile south of Wind One, which is Falmouth's first wind turbine. It's been online since April. And we've been trying to get it stopped since April," Anderson says.
Obama's green subsidies attract do-gooder bandits. President Obama's green energy push is rapidly proving to be a crooked racket. It works like this: Revolving-door political hires rev up subsidy programs that enrich their former employers. Then they cash out themselves, pocketing taxpayer loot while turning out energy products that range from inefficient technologies to total failures. Faster than the turbine on a subsidized wind mill, the "clean-tech" revolving door spins out green bandits who get rich off the subsidies they helped craft.
The real cost of 'global warming'. [Scroll down] When pressed on this, politicians talk airily of all the "Green jobs" which will ensue from "investment" (ie massive taxpayer subsidy) in renewables and of all the "energy security" which will result. The chutzpah required to come out with this guff is astonishing given that there is not a scintilla of real-world evidence to back up these claims. We already know that wind and solar power have proved a disaster in Germany, Denmark and Spain (where Dr Gabriel Calzada Alvarez calculated that for every "green job" the country had destroyed 2.2 jobs in the real economy). We also know that because of the unreliability of wind power, it has to be permanently backed up by conventional power.
Wind Power: Questionable Benefits, Concealed Impacts. Turbines require enormous quantities of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earth minerals — all of which involve substantial resource extraction, refining, smelting, manufacturing and shipping. Land and habitat impacts, rock removal and pulverizing, solid waste disposal, burning fossil fuels, air and water pollution, and carbon dioxide emissions occur on large scales during every step of the process. Over 95% of global rare earth production occurs in China and Mongolia, using their technology, coal-fired electricity generation facilities and environmental rules.
UK's most useless wind turbine. Passed by millions of drivers a year, it is one of England's best known wind turbines. It is also one of its most useless. According to latest figures, the 280ft generator towering over the M4 near Reading worked at just 15 per cent of its capacity last year. And although it generated electricity worth an estimated £100,000, it had to be subsidised with £130,000 of public money.
Our Don Quixote Energy Policy. Tilting once again at windmills, the Interior Department has announced that it's fast-tracking wind farms off four Atlantic states. Now, if they were oil rigs, we might actually get some real energy.
Kerry urges feds to OK loans for Cape Wind project. U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts is urging federal officials to approve a key portion of Cape Wind's financing plan.
The Editor says...
"Financing plan" = more government debt.
"Green" Wind Power Devastates Environment. Alternative energy production has often proven to be of dubious benefit to the overall economy, but it has served as an arena offering environmentalists the opportunity to feel better about living a modern lifestyle — at the cost of massive federal subsidies to less efficient forms of energy production. But an in-depth study of the horrific environmental costs associated with wind power generation is calling into question an entire branch of alternative energy.
The Failure of Green Energy. Yesterday Rush Limbaugh discussed a UK Telegraph story from early January, in which reporter Louise Gray details the sad underperformance of Britain's wind farms during the holiday season. Actually, "underperformance" is a very charitable word. The windmills were pretty much useless. ... Britons can rest assured their landscape will soon be marred by thousands more of these wind turbine albatrosses, as the government plans to double their number over the next ten years. No amount of miserable failure will change these plans, as they have been dictated by religious edict from the Church of Global Warming, not scientific reason or engineering reality.
Changing times in Wyoming: Wind turbines destroy at least as much environment as coal mines -- although the turbines do this by removing large circles of terrain (for the bases) and roads between turbines, rather than one large hole dug in the ground. They actually take out more land than a coal mine does. I am unsure how much maintenance is involved (some claim it's constant and that the turbines are not as well built as we are told). In any case, roads are cut between turbines, just like they are between oil derricks.
Going Broke by Going Green. [Scroll down] Wind and solar facilities work only 10-30 percent of the time, compared to 90-95 percent for coal, gas and nuclear power plants. Even worse, prolonged cold is almost invariably associated with high atmospheric pressure, and thus very little wind. On December 21, 2010 — one of the coldest days on record for Yorkshire, England — the region's coal, gas and nuclear power plants generated 53,000 megawatts of electricity; its wind turbines provided a measly 20 MW, or 0.04% of the total. The same high pressure, no wind scenario happens on the hottest summer days.
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Over the past three weeks, with demand for power at record levels because of the freezing weather, there have been days when the contribution of our forests of wind turbines has been precisely nothing. It gets better. As the temperature has plummeted, the turbines have had to be heated to prevent them seizing up. Consequently, they have been consuming more electricity than they generate.
The Midwest Wind Surtax. In Massachusetts, electricity from the Cape Wind project will cost two to three times more per kilowatt hour than electricity from coal or natural gas. The wind industry has essentially conceded that without the ability to socialize costs, its projects can't compete with coal, natural gas or nuclear power.
Electricity from wind plant so expensive, no one will buy it. Cape Wind has outlasted a decade of government review, a slew of court brawls and fierce opposition from mariners, fishermen, Indian tribes and Kennedys just to win the right to sell its wind-fueled electricity. Now, all it needs are customers.
Blown Away: Wind Energy Analyzed. [Scroll down] Wind turbines cannot be lined up in a row as the resulting turbulence would lower the downwind turbines to zero production if not destroy them from asymmetrical wind forces. So there is just so much power that can be generated per acre of wind farm. And remember, these will have to be sited in areas that some environmentalists will go to the wall for to prevent development, including the construction of transmission lines. The figure given by the EPA, assuming a 30-percent capacity factor, is 1.23 watts per square meter, or about 5 kW per acre.
The Wind-farm Eruption. Those of us who drive in the Midwest or Southwest are often startled to see a plethora of wind turbines sprouting like overnight mushrooms in an area we remember as farms or grazing lands. But unlike the fragile mushrooms that we kicked over when walking to school on spring mornings, these mushrooms have 700-ton concrete bases, are nearly 30 stories tall, and cost upwards of $3,570,000 each. What caused all this to happen since our last trip to the area? Who is footing the bill? And why? To find who is driving the construction of these massive fields of wind turbines, and who's paying for them, it behooves us to know who is not behind them, such as electricity consumers.
It's Always Blowing Somewhere. [Scroll down] As they say, "It sounds good in theory." Perhaps we could look around the world and see if this holds true. Fortunately, there is such a place to provide us an example. In Southeast Australia, there are 18 wind "projects" or "farms" interconnected within an area covering 40,000 square miles. ... Certainly most of us would consider 40,000 square miles sufficient for wind power to "average out." The Australian projects have the added benefit that they are all built near the coast where the winds are stronger and more constant than in the outlined area in the United States. But the graph here, which provides actual output data from hundreds of wind turbines, shows this to be another wind fiction.
Clean Energy: The Nuclear Solution. [Scroll down] The environmentalist lobby doesn't like nuclear any more than it does coal-fired generation, mainly because it works! The alternatives they give are non-solutions. Take wind turbines that require some kind of back-up — usually gas turbines with very high fuel costs. European studies show that when about 5-10 percent of grid electricity is generated by wind, the grid becomes unmanageable because of constant fluctuations. Fluctuations are a part of balancing the grid, but most can be anticipated. Not so with wind. Moreover, the peak electricity usage in most of the United States is on summer afternoons, the very time that wind is at its minimum.
Environmental groups sue to block wind farm. Some conservationists have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block the startup of Maryland's first industrial wind farm because it allegedly threatens federally protected Indiana bats.
Green Power generates Red Ink. The mindless green dream of producing serious base load power from whimsical breezes and intermittent sunbeams has caused a halt to new low-cost coal power, a boom in expensive gas power, a national debate about nuclear power and no effect at all on global climate. The frivolous wind and solar generators already installed have caused a surge in electricity prices, a bonanza for Chinese manufacturers and well founded doubts about our future ability to keep the lights on. Provision of cheap reliable energy is a basic requirement for modern civilisation and is the engine that lifts people from poverty. It is far too important to be left to green dreamers, anti-industrial zealots, vote-seeking politicians, engineering illiterates and guilt-ridden millionaires.
Hot Air From The Unsustainable Wind-Energy Industry. Wind energy; you hear a lot about how great it is. But what is the truth? Well, apparently this source of power which environmental activists tout as the solution to all of our problems is more unsustainable than it is sustainable. Right now the wind-energy industry is lobbying hard to get subsidies which have sustained it renewed. For all the bluster about how great this alternative source of energy is, apparently it is not very economically feasible and has become yet another government boondoggle along the lines of the whole ethanol industry.
Climate change: the warmist demands heat up as 'green' costs soar. [Scroll down] Mr Salmond's proudest boast is that, within 10 years, 80 per cent of all Scotland's electricity will come from renewable sources, most of it from thousands more wind turbines. Like many other politicians, Mr Salmond does not seem to have registered that the wind is not always blowing. Last Tuesday evening, when many places in Britain were registering their lowest temperatures on record, UK electricity demand was a staggering 60 gigawatts. But the amount coming from wind turbines was just 0.2 per cent -- one 500th of what we were using. Ten times as much was coming from nuclear reactors in France, through the interconnector under the Channel.
$450 Million in U.S. Stimulus Money Going To Chinese "Green" Company? It seems that some of that Obama-Reid-Pelosi stimulus money, which was supposed to be used to help create jobs here at home, may be helping to stimulate the Chinese economy instead. This would be on top of the help that the Chinese would get competitively if Obama's cap-and-trade proposals are ever enacted. As reported by MSNBC, top Democratic fundraisers, union supporters and lobbyists with links to the Obama White House are behind a proposed wind farm in Texas that stands to get $450 million in stimulus money.
Obama administration files WTO complaint against China over wind power subsidies. The Obama administration on Wednesday [12/22/2010] backed the United Steelworkers union in its accusation that China is giving an illegal boost to wind power manufacturers there.
Wind doesn't blow hard enough. In its quest for a "green" future, the Obama administration proposes to rely on wind power to generate 20 percent of U.S. electrical power by 2030. There are a number of problems with this proposal. First, the European experience illustrates that the hidden costs of wind-power generation require massive subsidies that are borne by taxpayers. Second, wind power is unsuitable for meeting "base load" power demand (as opposed to helping to meet peak power demand).
Orders for wind turbines to fall by 93%, energy experts predict. Orders for offshore wind turbines in Britain will slump next year, threatening to halt the industry's recent growth and the expected creation of up to 10,000 "green economy" jobs. Analysts are forecasting a 93% drop in the installation of new offshore windfarms in 2013 compared with the previous year.
Cost of Green Power Makes Projects Tougher Sell. Michael Polsky's wind farm company was doing so well in 2008 that banks were happy to lend millions for his effort to light up America with clean electricity. But two years later, Mr. Polsky has a product he is hard-pressed to sell. His company, Invenergy, had a contract to sell power to a utility in Virginia, but state regulators rejected the deal, citing the recession and the lower prices of natural gas and other fossil fuels.
Searching for Maine's wind. Supporters of wind development say wind is like a crop because you won't get a good yield everywhere. When utility costs increased dramatically in 2008 Saco and Kittery installed wind turbines. Unfortunately neither turbine produced the amount of electricity that was expected. According to leaders in both towns there just isn't enough wind.
Chris Huhne has a blueprint for a green, cold, dark Britain. As much of the northern hemisphere last week froze under the snows of the fourth unusually cold winter in a row, our ministers, led by David Cameron and Chris Huhne, the Climate Change Secretary, laid out a blueprint that promises to inflict on Britain a social and economic catastrophe unique in the world.
Obama jumps on natural gas bandwagon. A remark by President Obama at his postelection news conference Wednesday should send Iowa's wind energy advocates into full alert. When asked about environmental issues, the President suddenly started talking up natural gas, saying there are "terrific natural gas resources" in the United States.
The Wind-farm Eruption. wind farmThose of us who drive in the Midwest or Southwest are often startled to see a plethora of wind turbines sprouting like overnight mushrooms in an area we remember as farms or grazing lands. But unlike the fragile mushrooms that we kicked over when walking to school on spring mornings, these mushrooms have 700-ton concrete bases, are nearly 30 stories tall, and cost upwards of $3,570,000 each.
Should Ethanol Subsidies Be Gone (With the Wind)? Ultimately, [Ed] Hiserodt concludes that wind energy sounds "good in theory," but it "does not fit into normal generation plans, and the savings of fossil fuels is largely a myth." He explains, "The vagaries of the weather insure times of insufficient wind; therefore, all current generating assets must be kept available," virtually defeating the purpose of wind energy.
Wind power mirages. We Americans are often told we must end our "addiction" to oil and coal, because they harm the environment and Earth's climate. "Ecologically friendly" wind energy, some say, will generate 20% of America's energy in another decade, greatly reducing carbon dioxide emissions and land use impacts from mining and drilling. These claims are a driving force behind the cap-tax-and-trade and renewable energy bills that Congress may try to ram through during a "lame duck" session — as well as the Environmental Protection Agency's economy-threatening regulations under its ruling that carbon dioxide "endangers human health and welfare."
Droz says wind farms are a lot of hot air. [Scroll down] After applying a six-stage, scientific analysis of wind production, paralleled with other sources such as coal, gas, and nuclear, he now sees the wind option as impractical and lacking in proof of consistent power output. Green-oriented environmentalists look to wind as a clean source of energy and a solution to global warming. [John] Droz sees the Global Warming Theory as not scientific and unproven, one that appeals to the public good but remains a hypothesis.
For Those Near, the Miserable Hum of Clean Energy. Like nearly all of the residents on this island in Penobscot Bay, Art Lindgren and his wife, Cheryl, celebrated the arrival of three giant wind turbines late last year. That was before they were turned on. "In the first 10 minutes, our jaws dropped to the ground," Mr. Lindgren said. "Nobody in the area could believe it. They were so loud."
Obama's Costly Green Jobs Project. [Scroll down] Fortunately, the sun shines in the Mohave Desert during peak demand for air conditioning in Los Angeles, but the California Public Utilities Commission confesses that: ["]the State will face an increasing challenge to integrate the higher intermittent renewable penetration without decreasing system reliability [i.e., brownouts and blackouts].["] ... In other words, in order to avoid blackouts, they'll have to duplicate some of the capacity supplied by renewable energy with "ancillary resources" (coal, natural gas, nuclear) to cover the times when it's dark or the wind isn't blowing.
Gone with the Wind. Renewables like solar power and others can't fuel America's future.
Time Running Out for Big Wind. The case for wind energy is simply not being made. The latest example of this comes from Denmark. A September 12 article in the U.K. Telegraph entitled ["]An ill wind blows for Denmark's green energy revolution["] exposes this fact. It appears the Danish people aren't as enamored with their renewable experiment as Big Wind would like us to believe.
An ill wind blows for Denmark's green energy revolution. Denmark has long been a role model for green activists, but now it has become one of the first countries to turn against the turbines.
Britain's offshore windpower costs twice as much as coal and gas generated electricity. Off shore wind farms cost twice as much to produce electricity as gas and coal powered stations and will need subsidies for at least 20 years, a major report warns.
Wind Energy's House of Cards. The house of cards is a global industry based entirely on subsidies, price guarantees, and mandates. Wind generation systems are not deployed anywhere in the world without extensive government financial or mandated support. Fourteen of the 20 IEA member nations use feed-in tariffs (FITs) to force utility companies to buy electricity from wind farms at above market rates.
SJC ruling gives Cape Wind project green light to build. A divided Supreme Judicial Court ruled yesterday [8/31/2010] that a state board had the power to sidestep community opposition to grant the controversial Cape Wind energy project local and state permits it needs to start construction in the waters off Cape Cod.
Wind Power Won't Cool Down the Planet. The wind industry has achieved remarkable growth largely due to the claim that it will provide major reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. There's just one problem: It's not true. A slew of recent studies show that wind-generated electricity likely won't result in any reduction in carbon emissions — or that they'll be so small as to be almost meaningless.
Climate Profiteers. According to a recently released Center for Responsive Politics review of reports filed with the U.S. Senate and U.S. House, General Electric and its subsidiaries spent more than $9.5 million on federal lobbying from April to June — the most it's spent on lobbying since President Obama has been in office. Why? As the fight over cap-and-trade grows, so does lobbying. Since January, GE and its units have spent more than $17.6 million on lobbying — a jump of 50% over the first six months of 2009. GE is just one of many organizations and individuals that stand to make money if cap-and-trade makes it through Congress. GE makes wind turbines, not oil rigs, and has a vested interest in shutting down its fossil fuel competitors.
Wind Turbine Projects Run Into Resistance. The United States military has found a new menace hiding here in the vast emptiness of the Mojave Desert in California: wind turbines. Moving turbine blades can be indistinguishable from airplanes on many radar systems, and they can even cause blackout zones in which planes disappear from radar entirely.
An Ill Wind (Power) in New Jersey. Since his election, New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie has been remarkably successful in dealing with the Democrat controlled state legislature and has rocketed to national fame for simply being the real deal when it comes to conservative politics and policies. That is, until he signed a bill on August 19 that one columnist described as touting "the idea of raising your electric rates to place windmills in the ocean off New Jersey." In this case the windmill would be 75 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty! None of the residents of Union Beach want a windmill no matter how far out in the Atlantic it's built.
Somewhere over the wind farm. The oil patch has always had its ups and downs, but it has always provided well paying jobs to a wide array of employees. From divers to doodelbuggers, technicians to toolpushers, geoscientists to general counsel, cooks to .... You get the picture. While the oil patch has always been a scapegoat for greed, high gas prices, overall inflation, it is now under threat of extinction. Environmental fascists, and an ideological government, with help from an uninformed public, using overblown threats of planetary disaster, are the predatory warriors.
Obama's Green Energy Myth. Both wind power and solar power are more expensive — incredibly so in the case of solar — than either fossil power or nuclear power. Worse, you can't count on either wind or solar as a reliable source of energy, since the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine. Accordingly, for each megawatt of wind and solar capacity we develop, another megawatt of back-up power, typically powered by fossil fuels, has to be in place. This redundancy adds to the already unacceptable cost of "green energy."
We need to talk about wind farms.... "Energy prices may rise by a third," says our disastrous secretary of state of energy and climate change Chris Huhne. Rubbish. They're going to rise by ... a lot more than that before he is finished. Alternative energy, let us never forget, is just that: an alternative to energy. Wind power and solar power are so risibly inefficient that the only way they can ever be economically viable is with lashings and lashings of taxpayer subsidy. Nuclear power would be much more effective but Huhne has effectively ruled it out.
Myths Associated with the 'Smart' Electrical Grid. [Scroll down] The Bonneville Power Administration is a federal agency that operates a series of hydroelectric generators in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, they've added a substantial number of wind generators to the system, and they make the actual operating data available on their website. The data is very high time resolution, and includes aggregate wind production at 5-minute intervals. A sampling of this aggregate power production data at various times of year support BPA's statement that output from wind is "essentially random." "Essentially random" in this case means that the aggregate output can range anywhere from literally zero to almost two gigawatts, and typically switches between almost zero and over one gigawatt several times a week. It spends a rather large amount of time at close to zero output.
Clean Energy: The Nuclear Solution. [Scroll down] The environmentalist lobby doesn't like nuclear any more than it does coal-fired generation, mainly because it works! The alternatives they give are non-solutions. Take wind turbines that require some kind of back-up — usually gas turbines with very high fuel costs. European studies show that when about 5-10 percent of grid electricity is generated by wind, the grid becomes unmanageable because of constant fluctuations. Fluctuations are a part of balancing the grid, but most can be anticipated. Not so with wind. Moreover, the peak electricity usage in most of the United States is on summer afternoons, the very time that wind is at its minimum.
How High are Your State's Electricity Prices? Electricity prices are nearly 40 percent higher in states with renewable electricity mandates. Petroleum produces only 1 percent of our electricity. Using wind power or solar to produce electricity will do nothing to reduce our use of foreign oil.
Firms paid to shut down wind farms when the wind is blowing. Energy firms will receive thousands of pounds a day per wind farm to turn off their turbines because the National Grid cannot use the power they are producing. Critics of wind farms have seized on the revelation as evidence of the unsuitability of turbines to meet the UK's energy needs in the future. They claim that the 'intermittent' nature of wind makes such farms unreliable providers of electricity.
Levelized Cost of New Electricity Generating Technologies. Analysis shows wind and solar power are ridiculously expensive, compared to natural gas, coal and nuclear power.
Chortling At Chu. Subsidizing alternative energy fits the classic definition of insanity. Despite huge subsidies, it has proved to be neither cost-effective nor a reliable, significant contributor to our national power grid. Yet we keep subsidizing it, expecting a different result.
Emissions Targets & Electricity Generation. Touring politicians have a habit of making wild promises in international forums, leaving the difficult engineering consequences to overloaded power engineers and the unpalatable cost consequences to the suffering consumers.
Does money grow in wind farms? [Renewables UK] says that "every unit of electricity from a wind turbine displaces one from conventional power stations", and even the existing wind turbines have "the capacity to prevent the emission of 3.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum". The key weasel word in that last sentence is "capacity". The CO2 reduction figure assumes that all wind turbines are able to generate electricity to 100 per cent of their capacity, 100 per cent of the time. But the basic problem with wind power is that most of the time, the wind does not blow.
Shoddy Parts Trip Up Major North Sea Wind Farm. Germany's first offshore wind park was dealt a blow with the failure of two turbines due to inferior materials. The rough patch has energy executives scurrying to reassure Berlin and banks scrutinizing their billions in offshore wind energy investments.
Cape Wind to buy turbines from Germany-based Siemens. Cape Wind, the controversial wind power project proposed for Nantucket Sound, will purchase its 130 industrial turbines from Siemens Energy Inc., the developers said today [3/31/2010].
The Cost and Benefits of Offshore Wind Power in Massachusetts. In March 2004, we released a report entitled Free but Costly in which we estimated the costs and benefits of building an offshore wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts. Since then, a number of factors have changed: the cost of energy has risen, the price of wind turbine generators (WTGs) has increased, and more is known about how to run a large wind farm. To take account of these and other changes, we have revised and updated our cost-benefit analysis.
Cape Wind project spins on generous public subsidy. A study released today [5/15/2006] by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University finds that a proposed wind energy plant for Nantucket Sound would confer above-average profits on its developer thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars in public subsidies. In its analysis, the institute found that the developer, Cape Wind Associates, would receive a 25% return on equity, 2.5 times the historical average for all corporations.
Concessions to Kennedys in Wind Farm Approval. After 46 years in the U.S. Senate, the late Edward M. Kennedy now appears to be influencing government decisions from the grave. ... "In a nod to the concerns of the Kennedys — and presumably other property owners in the area," the New York Times reported today [4/30/2010], "Mr. Salazar said he had ordered Cape Wind to limit the number of turbines to 130 instead of the initial 170, to move the farm farther away from Nantucket and to reduce its breadth to make it less visible from the Nantucket Historic District."
Interior Department Approves Construction of Controversial Offshore Wind Farm. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Wednesday [4/28/2010] approved the construction of a controversial wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod that puts the Obama administration at odds with one of the president's biggest supporters: the Kennedy family.
US approves first offshore wind farm despite Kennedy opposition. America's first offshore wind farm has been approved by the Obama administration despite years of opposition from local Indian tribes and the Kennedy family.
A Windy Day in Camelot. First they lose the family throne, ... and finally — and most ignominiously — the feds have approved a permit for a giant wind farm that will, horror of horrors, mar the ocean view at the Kennedy's Hyannis Port compound.
The Wind Farm Scam. I never thought I'd agree with a member of the Kennedy clan, but Bobby Kennedy's son got it right when he dismissed the much-hyped Cape Wind project that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved last week. "It's a boondoggle of the worst kind," Kennedy said. "It's going to cost the people of Massachusetts $4 billion over the next 20 years in extra costs."
Interior Dept Approves Cape Wind Project; Kennedy Blasts High Costs of Wind Power. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar yesterday [4/28/2010] approved the construction of a controversial wind farm in Nantucket Sound off the coast of Massachusetts. Towering wind turbines will soon be visible from the Kennedy family compound on Martha's Vineyard, and global warming activist Robert F. Kennedy responded by blasting the high cost of wind power. ... Kennedy claims his opposition to the Cape Wind project has nothing to do with its location within view of the multi-million dollar Kennedy estate. His opposition, he claims, is purely economic.
Cape Wind finds buyer for offshore wind power. At a press conference on Friday, National Grid U.S. president Tom King said that National Grid will pay 20.7 cents per kilowatt-hour for the electricity from Cape Wind starting in 2013. Currently, comparable prices are about 8 to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, King said.
Cape Wind rate shock. The controversial Cape Wind project will cost taxpayers and ratepayers more than $2 billion to build — three times its original estimate. That colossal cost is the driving force behind the sky-high electric rates it plans to charge Massachusetts customers in coming years.
The Editor says...
Let this be a lesson to the rest of the country. Wind is free, but electricity is not.
Billions for Big Wind. The highly touted Cape Wind project is already stoking fears of an open-ended ratepayer burden and lack of accountability reminiscent of the state's Big Dig nightmare.
Did someone mention The Big Dig?
Wind Power Contract Rejected by R.I. Public Utilities Commission. The R.I. Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday rejected a contract that would have allowed Rhode Island's largest electric utility to buy power from a wind farm that's planned for the waters off the R.I. coast. It would have been the first project of its kind in the United States, the Providence Journal reported.
DeKalb County wind farm lawsuit moves forward. A Circuit Court judge cleared the way this week for a lawsuit filed by a group of DeKalb County residents who claim 126 wind turbines are there illegally and want them torn down.
Final Decision Expected Soon on Building Major Wind Farm Off Cape Cod. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar will decide in coming weeks whether a Boston company may proceed with plans to build a major wind farm off Cape Cod, in Nantucket Sound. Environmentalists, Native American tribes, fishermen and historic preservationists are among those fighting the plan, which has the support of Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, who wants to expand the state's "clean energy" industry.
Against the Wind: Some Promising Developments in New England. While the reasons for the two decisions were quite different (preservation in Massachusetts and high electricity rates in Rhode Island), the results were similar — to slow down the drive to build unsightly and costly electric generating facilities off the US coast. Both projects, if completed, would represent the triumph of green-energy hype over anything that might go for rational thought on the matter of energy policy.
The Economics of Nuclear Power: As David Schlageter pointed out in EnergyPulse (2008),"Renewable energy sources only supplement the electric grid with intermittent power that rarely matches the daily electrical demand." He continues by saying that "In order for an electric system to remain stable, it needs large generators running 24/7 to create voltage stability. Wind and solar generation are not on-line when needed to meet energy demand, and therefore to help decrease system losses." In the promised land of wind energy, Denmark, voltage stability is attained by drawing on the energy resources of Sweden and Germany (and perhaps Norway).
Kansas Court Considers Wind Farm Ban. Wabaunsee County, Kansas acted reasonably in determining that aesthetics and ecological concerns justified banning commercial wind farms, the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled. Having made that decision, the court is now considering whether such a ban constitutes an unconstitutional taking of property rights without compensation, and that the county's decision to carve out an exemption for personal windmills improperly discriminates against interstate commerce.
DOE E-Mails To Wind Energy Lobbyists Cast Cloud Over Green Jobs Proposals. The Energy Department worked closely with the wind industry lobby to discredit a Spanish report that criticized wind power as a job killer, internal DOE e-mails reveal. The e-mails obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request show how, starting last April, lobbyists at the American Wind Energy Association became alarmed that lawmakers were citing a study by Spain's King Juan Carlos University. The study found that Spain's massive investments in wind power cost 2.2 jobs for every "green" job created.
The Big Wind-Power Cover-Up: Spain exposed the boondoggle of wind power in 2009, discrediting an idea touted by the Obama administration. In response, U.S. officials banded with trade lobbyists to hide the facts.
Wind farms failing to produce enough power. Some of Britain's most beautiful landscapes have been blighted by wind farms for only small returns in energy, research shows. The analysis of power output found that more than 20 wind farms are operating at less than one-fifth of their full capacity.
Wind turbines stir up bad feelings, health concerns in DeKalb County. Months have passed since anyone has waved hello to one another in Waterman or Shabbona in rural DeKalb County. Some people claim they've even stopped going to church to avoid having to talk to former friends. "It's gone. The country way of living is gone," declares Susan Flex, who lives in Waterman with her husband and their nine children. The animosity stems from the greenest of energy sources: a wind farm.
'Anti-Lobbyist' Obama Administration Recruited Left-Wing Lobbyists to Sell Bogus 'Green Jobs'. A FOIA [request] reveals the Department of Energy turned to George Soros and to wind industry lobbyists to help cover up two economic studies pointing to the failure of European wind energy programs.
Did someone mention "green jobs"?
Released Emails Show Wind Lobby, Soros Group Helped with White House PR. Emails recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act — seen here for the first time — show how political influence and lobbyists are shaping Obama administration policy and public relations. The emails show that the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coordinated their response to a damning Spanish report on "green jobs" with wind industry lobbyists and the Center for American Progress (the progressive think tank founded by John Podesta and funded by George Soros).
Noisy wind farms face crackdown. At least one in six of the 255 wind farms in Britain have received noise complaints according to figures obtained by the Daily Telegraph. But local authorities have never managed to prosecute on the grounds of noise nuisance because it is so difficult to prove. The main problem is the intermittent nature of noise from wind farms that makes it difficult to measure.
Maine wind farm not soothing to all ears. "That noise is so insidious that you can feel it," said David Wylie, 62, a transplant from Concord, Mass., who has owned property on the island since 1992. "I didn't come up to Vinalhaven to live next to a dishwasher." Instead of a win-win mix of green power and continued tranquility, Wylie and other critics said, the turbines have brought chest-thumping noise, questionable cost savings, and frustrating stonewalling from wind farm managers who reject their claims of night-rattling sound.
The wind-energy cover-up: Barack Obama promised many things on his way into office. Key among these was transparency and a vow to banish lobbyists from insider roles in the policy process. Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Competitive Enterprise Institute has confirmed that both promises are being aggressively violated.
Wind turbines: 'Eco-friendly' — but not to eagles. In all my scores of items over the years on why the obsession with wind turbines will be seen as one of the major follies of our age, there is one issue I haven't touched on. The main practical objection to turbines, of course, is that they are useless, producing derisory amounts of electricity at colossal cost. A feature of these supposedly environment-friendly machines that I haven't mentioned, however, is their devastating effect on wildlife, notably on large birds of prey, such as eagles and red kites.
Rare red kite found dead at wind farm 'harmless to wildlife'. Experts believe an endangered bird of prey found dead at a wind farm in the Highlands was killed after colliding with a turbine, despite assurances that the devices are harmless to wildlife. The carcass of the rare red kite was discovered at the Fairburn wind farm in Ross-shire. It was examined by a Scottish Agricultural College vet and was found to have suffered bruising and fractures consistent with an impact.
Obama Admin. Caught Red-Handed Working with Big Wind Energy Lobbyists. Despite calls for increased transparency and openness, recent U.S. Energy Department documents obtained through FOIA requests and reported by The Chicago Tribune show significant collusion among Energy Department officials and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), as well as other third party special-interest groups, including the left-of-center Center for American Progress.
Cost and Quantity of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Avoided by Wind Generation. Wind power does not avoid significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Wind power is a very high cost way to avoid greenhouse gas emissions. Wind power, even with high capacity penetration, can not make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Windy Wyoming debates excise tax for wind energy. A proposal in Wyoming to impose the nation's first state excise tax on wind energy production is generating debate over how the state should handle the arrival of massive wind farms to its wind-swept plains and plateaus.
Energy Suicide: Unplugging America. Under the cold conditions of recent winter events, some wind turbines simply froze and ceased to function. In more temperate conditions, there is always the likelihood that the wind will not blow, thus necessitating the constant maintenance of back-up facilities that require coal or natural gas. This raises the obvious question, why bother with wind?
Our Wrong-Headed Approach to Utilizing Alternative Energy Sources. Carefully consider this challenge: "Compared to our other alternatives, name one consequential benefit that wind energy provides to our electrical grid". I am aware of some serious grid liabilities of adding wind energy to the grid, but zero benefits — but please correct me if I'm wrong.
New Wind Farms in the U.S. Do Not Bring Jobs. Nearly $2 billion in money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been spent on wind power, funding the creation of enough new wind farms to power 2.4 million homes over the past year. But [a recent] study found that nearly 80 percent of that money has gone to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines.
Minnesota's No-Spin Zone. First came news that energy saving LED traffic lights can't be seen after a snowstorm, a condition that caused at least one fatal accident and which has resulted in additional costs to municipalities who have to pay maintenance crews to remove the snow. Now comes news of wind turbines that are going to need to be retro fitted with heaters if they are to keep spinning when the temperatures get really cold.
Tribes reject wind-fall. Cape Wind developer Jim Gordon has offered two Native American tribes millions to halt their opposition as the clock runs down on the review period for the controversial wind power project slated for Nantucket Sound. Sources told the Herald that Gordon, through a middleman, offered to pay the two tribes a total of $50,000 a year for 20 years if they would support the project.
Wind Energy's Ghosts: The sound floats on the winds of Ka Le, this southernmost tip of Hawaii's Big Island, where Polynesian colonists first landed some 1,500 years ago. Some say that Ka Le is haunted — and it is. But it's haunted not by Hawaii's legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are "Na leo o Kamaoa" — the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm.
Wind turbines make their own clouds. An offshore wind farm has been creating its own 'micro-climate' by stirring up air to create low-level clouds around its giant, spinning blades.
Wind turbines fail in Minnesota's cold weather. President Obama is telling Americans to count on the creation of "green jobs" to help ease the rising unemployment in the country. These green energy failures only further the concern that pinning the country's economic salvation on the hopes of an industry still facing performance issues hardly makes any sense.
When Windmills Don't Spin, People Expect Some Answers. Turbines, more than 100 feet tall, were installed last year in 11 Minnesota cities to provide power, and also to serve as educational symbols in a state that has mandated that a quarter of its electricity come from renewable resources by 2025. One problem, though: The windmills, supposed to go online this winter, mostly just sat still, people in cities like North St. Paul and Chaska said, rarely if ever budging. Residents took note. Schoolchildren asked questions. Complaints accumulated.
The Editor says...
Maybe they should have "mandated" some wind, too.
Wind power takes a blow around Minnesota. Just as they are being touted as a green, economical and job-producing energy source, wind farms in Minnesota are starting to get serious blowback. Across the state, people are opposing projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Opposition is also rising in other states. It's not likely to blow over quickly in Minnesota, which is the nation's fourth-largest producer of wind power and on track to double its 1,805-megawatt capacity in the next couple of years.
Wind's Chill Factor: The government says wind power could supply the eastern half of the U.S. with a fifth of its electricity by 2024. Just don't try building wind farms where someone might see them. A claim is contained in a new study released by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and technically it might be true. But we've heard these overblown predictions before, and experience around the world with heavily subsidized alternative energy has not worked out well.
Pickens Shelves Texas Wind Project. T. Boone Pickens, the oilman and clean-energy booster, shelved his massive wind-power project in Texas even as he stepped up his push to increase the use of natural gas for transportation. Cheap natural gas, the lack of electricity-transmission lines and the lingering credit crunch have combined to take the shine off large-scale renewable-energy projects...
Public gasps at Lake Michigan wind farm images. A collective gasp was heard when computer enhanced photographs depicting numerous wind turbine generators were shown in Lake Michigan off Pentwater harbor and Little Point Sable at informational meeting in Scottville Tuesday night [12/15/2009].
Windfarms? We might as well use hamsters on treadmills. The 'Man-made Climate Change' fanatics are applauded and praised, even as they force us to abandon perfectly sensible electric lights, and instead subject ourselves to strange, flickering substitutes, simultaneously worse and more costly than the ones they replace. There is worse to come. The same people wish to compel us to rely for our power on windmills, million upon million of them, as if we had never discovered more efficient and reliable ways of generating electricity.
Unscientific American. [Scroll down slowly] Windmills may only offline for maintenance 2 percent of the time but the wind only blows about 30 percent of the time. Solar power is available even less. Neither is "dispatchable," as the electrical engineers say, and therefore require constant back-up from other sources. Storage techniques may eventually solve this problem but the storage facilities will take up as much room as the generators themselves.
The thinking on climate is frozen solid. The vast programme of wind turbines for which the bills are now coming in will not, by the way, avert the energy cut-offs declared last week by the national grid. Quite the opposite: as is often the case, the recent icy temperatures have been accompanied by negligible amounts of wind. If we had already decommissioned any of our fossil-fuel power stations and replaced them with wind power, we would now be facing a genuine civil emergency rather than merely inconvenience.
GE wins $1.4 billion wind farm contract. Power company Caithness Energy has given General Electric a $1.4 billion contract to supply wind turbines and 10 years' worth of maintenance for an Oregon wind farm, GE announced Thursday [12/10/2009]. The massive 845-megawatt wind farm, Shepherds Flat, will be located near Arlington, Oregon, but span approximately 30 square miles and cover parts of Oregon's Gilliam and Morrow Counties.
The Editor says...
That's 44 kilowatts per acre — if the wind is blowing at just the right speed.
North Carolina Senate Rejects Mountaintop Wind Farms. The North Carolina Senate has voted overwhelmingly to ban commercial wind farms from the state's picturesque western mountain ranges. With its 42 to 1 vote, the Senate appears to have dealt a near-fatal blow to prospects for commercial generation of wind energy in the Tar Heel State.
Alternative Energy Sources Offer Minimal Promise. The Nature Conservancy predicts by 2030 "eco-friendly" wind, solar, and biofuel projects will require the development of land equivalent in size to the state of Minnesota, simply to replace the energy we now get from oil, gas, and coal. U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's proposal to have offshore wind turbines replace those power sources would require 336,000 gigantic, migratory bird-killing wind turbines off our coasts producing power 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Far more wind turbines would be required under more realistic production conditions.
Chinese-Made Turbines to Fill U.S. Wind Farm. A Chinese wind-turbine company, with financing help from Beijing, has struck a deal to be the exclusive supplier to one of the largest wind-farm developments in the U.S., a sign of how Chinese firms are aggressively capitalizing on America's clean-energy push.
The Editor says...
How is this helping our "energy independence"?
Wind power: Obama's promises just hot air so far. President Barack Obama is still at least a year away from seeing wind turbines take root anywhere off the U.S. coast, even though his administration has promised to make offshore wind a priority, and even though developers are lining up to string wind farms up and down the Atlantic seaboard.
Are America's Winds Taking a Breather? It's easy to take the wind for granted. We count on it for all kinds of things, like propelling sailboats, turning giant power-producing turbine blades and keeping kites aloft. But what if the wind doesn't blow as hard as it used to?
Tiny bat pits green against green. Workers atop mountain ridges are putting together 389-foot windmills with massive blades that will turn Appalachian breezes into energy. Retiree David Cowan is fighting to stop them. Because of the bats.
Judge Halts West Virginia Wind Farm to Save Bats. The wind power industry has suffered a setback as U.S. District Judge Roger Titus has ruled wind turbines under construction on a mountain ridge in West Virginia would kill and injure thousands of endangered Indiana bats.
Funding sought to turn Detroit into wind turbine hub. NextEnergy, an alternative energy business incubator, is seeking $45 million in federal funding that, if awarded, could turn downtown Detroit into a hub for testing wind turbine equipment.
Global Warming Blues: Green electric power from windmills and solar energy is impracticable. Its expensive and due to the erratic nature of sunshine and wind, solar and wind power must be backed up by duplicate power plants or by energy storage systems that are as expensive as duplicate power plants. It sometimes seems that the advocates of solar power don't realize that the sun does not shine at night.
Windfarm Britain means (very) expensive electricity. A recent industry study into the UK energy sector of 2030 — which according to government plans will use a hugely increased amount of wind power — suggests that massive electricity price rises will be required, and some form of additional government action in order to avoid power cuts. This could have a negative impact on plans for electrification of transport and domestic energy use.
Wind farms: a mad mix of grandiosity and greed. I have yet to see any argument that this gigantic land grab will effectively deliver us from 'dirty' energy or make an iota of difference to [England]'s carbon emissions. On the contrary, wind farms are not replacing any conventional power stations, and their enormous cost in public subsidies and environmental destructiveness is in no way matched by efficient output or appropriate contribution to future needs. ... The wind may be 'free', but there is nothing renewable about devastated landscapes and ecosystems.
Windmills Are Killing Our Birds. A July 2008 study of the wind farm at Altamont Pass, Calif., estimated that its turbines kill an average of 80 golden eagles per year. The study, funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency, also estimated that about 10,000 birds — nearly all protected by the migratory bird act — are being whacked every year at Altamont.
How Wishful Thinkers Are Forced To Reconnect With Energy Reality: You couldn't make it up even if you tried: One day Energy Secretary Ed Milliband sets out his proposed expansion of the U.K.'s wind power-led alternative energy revolution; the next day, Vestas, the U.K.'s largest wind turbine manufacturer, shuts down a big part of its British operations citing "low demand" and public opposition to onshore wind farms.
The Alice in Wonderland World of the Greens. Wind power is the flagship green energy industry if renewables are to become a serious player in the global energy mix. Wind farms are already a reality and allow green ideologues to provide a romantic picture of endless 'free' energy from natural sources as easy enough with the right political will. What they play down is the massive high investment and maintenance costs that make wind power such an extremely unattractive proposition to capitalist business investors, requiring constant public finance shots in the arm to maintain itself. Wind power's inherently low energy returns requires significant further investment in high maintenance gas turbine back-up facilities to cope with its unreliability.
Obama and the Alternative Energy Fiasco: Forbes recently detailed the problems with windmills. First, they depend upon a two-cent-per-kilowatt taxpayer subsidy to remain competitive. They also require backup gas generators (in case the wind isn't blowing when needed) and new transmission lines running from windy places to population centers. And while new technologies to store wind-generated electricity are in the works, they have so far proven uneconomical.
Indiana's emerging wind farms whip up controversy. More and more critics say windmills aren't that green, aren't a great source of energy — and can be harmful to people's health.
Is wind the next ethanol? Repeating past mistakes has long been a part of Washington's energy policy, but Congress used to wait a while before making the same blunder again. Not anymore. New legislation requiring wind energy closely resembles the ethanol mandate that sparked a backlash just last year. For many years, wind has benefited from generous tax credits and subsidies, but it still provides less than two percent of the nation's electricity.
Interference to radar systems:
Wind Farms Skewing Weather Forecasts. Wind farms built close to Doppler radar sites are can create the appearance of a violent storm or tornado in some parts of the country.
Wind farms can appear sinister to weather forecasters. Wind farms have been blamed for disrupting the lives of birds, bats and, most recently, the land-bound sage grouse. Now the weather forecaster? The massive spinning blades affixed to towers 200 feet high can appear on Doppler radar like a violent storm or even a tornado.
Wind power growth limited by radar conflicts. The most well-known obstacles to installing wind turbines are complaints over their visual impact and the potential for bird and bat deaths. But conflict with radar systems have derailed over 9,000 megawatts worth of wind capacity — nearly as much as was installed in the U.S. last year.
Military officials say wind turbines can stir up problems for bases. Giant wind turbines dotting the Texas landscape have made the Lone Star State the nation's leader in the development of wind power, but they may also pose a hazard to military installations by interfering with crucial radar operations, state lawmakers were told Tuesday [4/27/2010].
Illinois senators hold up FAA nominee over wind farms. Illinois' senators are blocking President Bush's nominee for a Federal Aviation Administration post as they seek his administration's answer to whether wind farms interfere with military operations. … Before they release their hold, they want the FAA to issue a conclusive determination as to whether the operation of wind farms under construction in the Midwest in such places as Bloomington, Ill., will interfere with radar systems.
The Editor says...
Are military radar systems so crude that they can be spoofed by windmills? Of course not. The Senators' concerns are purely political.
Wind farms 'a threat to national security'. Ambitious plans to meet up to a third of Britain's energy needs from offshore wind farms are in jeopardy because the Ministry of Defence objects that the turbines interfere with its radar. The MoD has lodged last-minute objections to at least four onshore wind farms in the line of sight of its stations on the east coast because they make it impossible to spot aircraft, The Times has learnt.
The Editor says...
The British must be using really primitive radar equipment, if it can't tell the difference between a windmill and an airplane.
Radar to the rescue:
Wind farm's radar system stops birds getting the chop. It could be considered an air traffic control system for birds who have flown perilously off course. A wind farm in southern Texas, situated on a flight path used by millions of birds each autumn and spring, is pioneering the use of radar technology to avoid deadly collisions between a 2,500 lb rotating blade and bird. US wind farms kill about 7,000 birds a year, according to a recent study.
The Editor says...
The article above leaves several questions unanswered. How many birds does it take to trigger the radar and shut down a windmill? If one flock of birds flies past a dozen windmills, will all the windmills come to a stop? Does the word brownout come to mind?
Radar could save bats from wind turbines. Although bats use sound waves to steer in the dark by echolocation, radar employs radio waves, a form of light, so one might at first assume that radar would have no effect on bats. ... [But] the researchers discovered that radar helped keep bats away, reducing bat activity by 30 to 40 percent. The radar did not keep insects away, which suggests that however the radar works as a deterrent, it does so by influencing the bats directly and not just their food.
Wind turbine revolution is at the expense of natural beauty. Nobody ravages a landscape more devastatingly than an environmentalist. The crazed drive to promote wind farms has destroyed Scotland's natural beauty by peppering our rural wildernesses with Martian wind turbines — to no practical benefit.
Renewable Electricity Mandate: Pay More For Less. 34 states already have renewable electricity standards. Residential electricity rates are 38 percent higher and industrial rates are 50 percent higher in states with binding renewable mandates.
Gov reacts strongly to Salazar's wind power comment. Depending on where you stand, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's comment this week that wind energy could replace coal-fired power in the United States was either welcome news, or so much hot air. "The idea that wind energy has the potential to replace most of our coal-burning power today is a very real possibility," Salazar said, according to The Associated Press. "It is not technology that is pie-in-the sky; it is here and now." ... A spokesman for Salazar said Monday that the secretary does not expect wind power to be fully developed, but was speaking of its total potential if it were, according to the AP.
The Editor asks...
why would windmills necessarily replace coal-fired plants, Mr. Salazar? Why can't we have both? Then perhaps electricity will be cheap — at least on windy days.
Wind turbines 'killed goats' by depriving them of sleep. Late-night noise from spinning wind turbines on an outlying island of Taiwan may have killed 400 goats over the past three years by depriving them of sleep, an agricultural inspection official said on Thursday [5/21/2009].
Environmentalist Economic Strangulation. [Scroll down] Wind energy also runs into the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) syndrome. Besides the legitimate environmental concern about the way windmills slice up birds and create low-pressure zones that explode the lungs of bats, environmentalists have started to block transmission networks that would tie the energy generated by windmills to the power grid. ... This green agenda is more than absurd, it is sinister. The real goal of greens is not "clean energy" but less energy.
U.S. to clear way for offshore wind farms. The Interior Department has finalized sweeping rules that clear the way for the first offshore wind turbines to be erected along the Atlantic Coast, the most aggressive move yet from an administration that hopes to shift the nation's offshore energy goals from oil to wind power.
Eco Move Threatens Obama-Teddy Windstorm. The Obama administration yesterday released new environmental rules that could put offshore wind farms in Sen. Ted Kennedy's beloved sailing playground off Cape Cod. The move sets up a highly charged showdown between the new president and Sen. Kennedy, one of Obama's earliest and most powerful supporters.
US official says wind could replace coal for power. Windmills off the eastern U.S. coast could generate enough electricity to replace most, if not all, the coal-fired power plants in the United States, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday [4/6/2009]. But those numbers were challenged as "overly optimistic" by a coal industry group, which noted that half the nation's electricity currently comes from coal-fired power plants.
Modern Wind Turbines Generate Dangerously "Dirty" Electricity. Wind turbines generate a sine wave of variable frequency in order to be able to take advantage of the full range of wind speeds. However, the grid only operates at 60 Hz, so the variable frequency is converted to DC and then an inverter is used to convert the DC signal to 60 Hz AC. This is the signal that is put on the power line. Most inverters generate an extremely "dirty" signal, which is a 60Hz waveform polluted with a lot of high frequency transients.
Instead of drilling for oil, Obama tilts at windmills. [Interior Secretary Ken] Salazar claims wind turbines off the Atlantic can produce enough electricity to replace the 1 million megawatts currently being generated by coal, natural gas, nuclear, biomass and other energy sources. "Secretary Salazar is living in fantasy land," Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, told The Examiner. The wind currently generates less than 1 percent of our electricity needs, he said, adding that "we would need to install 309,587 giant turbines — about 172 turbines per mile of coast — and hope the wind blows 24 hours a day, seven days a week," while paying twice as much for electricity as we do now. This is the road to economic ruin.
Out of Thin Air. Large wind farms are only effective in certain locations and if those locations happen to have nice scenery around them, you can expect tremendous resistance to them. The great promise of wind energy currently depends on huge government subsidy. As soon as the subsidy dries up, these great twirling giants will suddenly look pretty stupid when they are no longer cost-effective to build and maintain.
Wind energy finds fix for exploding bats. Researchers think they are close to solving a problem that has slowed progress in meeting America's future electricity needs — The giant wind turbines that constitute one of the most promising alternative energy technologies also cause bats to explode. The problem is troubling to nature lovers, who have complained bitterly and delayed projects. The small, airborne creatures help maintain an ecological balance and make neighborhoods more livable by eating large numbers of insects.
Green energy plans in disarray as wind farm giant slashes investment. Britain's ambition to become a global leader in renewable energy suffered a major setback last night [3/25/2009] when the world's biggest investor in wind power said that it was slashing its investment programme.
Promoters overstated the environmental benefit of wind farms. The wind farm industry has been forced to admit that the environmental benefit of wind power in reducing carbon emissions is only half as big as it had previously claimed.
Obama's Looming Energy Disaster. Wind farms [are] sprouting up all over the country like 65-story mushrooms. The North American Reliability Council estimates we will have 175,000 megawatts of new capacity by 2017 (that's the equivalent of 175 major coal or nuclear plants). Unfortunately, it admits, "only approximately 23,000 MW ... is projected to be available on peak." That means these windmills will be idle most of the time.
The Nonsense of Global Warming: Windmills were the great invention of the early Middle Ages — man harnessing nature and using it to replace muscle power. When I was a boy more than 70 years ago there were still a few windmills, but nobody doubted they were on their way out. The thought of going back to wind power would have seemed preposterous. Nevertheless, under pressure from Greens this has happened. Wind power is a grotesquely expensive and inefficient form of energy, and the new windmills are hideous things, ruining the landscape and making an infernal noise.
Pitched as source of clean energy, ranchers say mills are an eyesore. Though embraced by state political leaders as a clean, renewable electricity source and welcomed by many rural landowners as newfound income, wind farms are gathering fresh opposition from Texas ranchers who say they are an ugly, noisy blight on the wide-open landscape. Opponents say the turbines, which extend up 400 feet to the tips of their blades, not only threaten birds and wildlife but devalue property in areas such as the distant outskirts of Dallas-Fort Worth, where ranchland is increasingly being used for recreation and second homes.
Who knew a "free" source of energy could be so expensive? For wind turbines to produce power, the wind must blow. Because the wind does not blow constantly, wind turbines produce a fraction of their potential generating capacities. Furthermore, winds blows the least during the summer months when power is needed the most. ERCOT relies on just 8.7% of wind power's capacity when determining available power during peak summer hours. Also, due to wind's intermittency, wind farms must rely on conventional power sources to back up their supply.
Blowin' in the Wind. Wind seems to be blowing in the mind of the politically correct and those on the recent environmentalist bandwagon but the cost is going to be huge, no companies will plunge into it without massive government subsidies and, if actually built, power reliability will take a nosedive.
Blown Away. How can I possibly claim that every kilowatt hour generated by wind power doesn't eliminate that much pollution from a coal-fired plant? Because it's true. Most of our country is tied together in electrical grid so that power can be routed from one area to another as demands change from place to place. Electricity is not stored on the grid. If a portion of the power comes from wind generation, there must always be a backup in the event this drops significantly — like perhaps to zero. These backup plants must be kept running as it requires hours if not days to bring them up to a level where they can provide power.
Wind Power Risks: It is now becoming more common to hear of wind power caused outages. The outages are either a loss of service because the wind has stopped blowing or, surprisingly, because there is too much wind. These problems were not so apparent when the percentage of wind power was low compared to the overall capacity, and in particular to rapid response generators such as hydro. It seems that wind power has become too successful and the engineering required to integrate it into different grids has lagged behind.
Wind turbines make bat lungs explode. "Beware: exploding lungs" is not a sign one would expect to see at a wind farm. But a new study suggests this is the main reason bats die in large numbers around wind turbines. The risk that wind turbines pose to birds is well known and has dogged debates over wind energy.
Wind Farms Trump Local Land-Use Laws, Washington Governor, Court Decide. Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy has proposed building a 100-megawatt industrial wind farm in Kittitas County, Washington. County officials rejected the proposal, determining Horizon would be placing its turbines too close to adjacent properties. A 2001 state law gives the governor the power to preempt local land-use laws for alternative energy projects.
Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid's Limits. Expansive dreams about renewable energy, like Al Gore's hope of replacing all fossil fuels in a decade, are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands. The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not.
Leader of Ohio Environmental Group Testifies Against Wind Power Proposal. Tom Stacy, managing director of the environmentalist group Save Western Ohio, presented compelling testimony to the Ohio House of Representatives Public Utilities Committee that a proposed renewable power mandate would substantially harm the environment and local communities. The mandate, Stacy noted, would cause the construction of a growing number of wind turbines, a poor source of energy that harms wildlife and takes up excessive amounts of land.
Loss of wind causes Texas power grid emergency. A drop in wind generation late on Tuesday [2/26/2008], coupled with colder weather, triggered an electric emergency that caused the Texas grid operator to cut service to some large customers, the grid agency said on Wednesday [2/27/2008]. Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said a decline in wind energy production in west Texas occurred at the same time evening electric demand was building as colder temperatures moved into the state.
Committee Acts to Doom New England Wind Farm. A Senate-House conference committee has approved a measure that would effectively kill a proposal for the first large offshore wind farm in the United States, in Nantucket Sound south of Cape Cod, Mass.
Democrats Lead the Fight Against West Virginia Wind Farms. U.S. Reps. Alan Mollohan and Nick Rahall, both West Virginia Democrats, are leading a high-profile fight against industrial wind farms on the state's mountaintop ridges.
Wind Turbines Kill Raptors, Lead to Rat Infestations. Predictions by bat experts that expanded industrial wind farms in West Virginia will increase numbers of disease-carrying mosquitoes and crop-destroying grasshoppers, locusts, and moths are not the only expected ecological consequences of expanded wind farms. Giant wind turbines take an even greater toll on birds, including many endangered species and birds of prey instrumental in controlling rodent populations.
Windfarms provide no useful electricity. Wind turbines provide power when the wind is strong enough and not too strong. It is very difficult to predict the precise moment when a windfarm will start to provide electricity to the grid. And the wind can change over a large area. Hence, the presence of many windfarms in a locality causes power surges.
Greenie alarmists miss the target. Electricity from wind farms costs double or more that from coal-fired power plants and is unreliable, adding further to power costs. The Victorian Government has admitted that the Green Power scheme to encourage consumers to use more expensive green power has been a less than resounding success.
California Wind Power Worries Environmentalists. Defenders of Wildlife contends any new wind farms should be required to comply with a long list of siting considerations in addition to the guidelines designed to prevent them from being built in roadless forest areas or avian flyways. … "Ground-disturbing activities, such as road construction and the clearing of forests for new power lines, also result from wind farm construction," [spokesperson Kim] Delfino said.
Wind Farms Costly for Kansans. Wind farms proposed for the state of Kansas would take money out of citizens' pockets, harm the Kansas economy, and provide few if any environmental benefits, a new study finds. The study, conducted by former New England Electric System Vice President Glenn Schleede and released on March 1, 2005, documents that Kansas consumers will pay higher taxes and higher electric bills if the state chooses to adopt wind power recommendations made by the Kansas Energy Council (KEC). The KEC, in its Kansas Energy Report 2005, recommends Kansas bestow special privileges on the wind power industry, such as tax exemptions, direct cash subsidies, and a mandate that all Kansas citizens purchase a certain percentage of their power from large wind farms.
Enviro Group Sues Wind Farm to Stop Bird Deaths. Giant wind turbines at Altamont Pass, California, are illegally killing more than 1,000 birds of prey each year, according to a lawsuit filed January 12 by the Center for Biological Diversity. The suit demands an injunction halting operation of the turbines until and unless protective measures are taken and highlights increasing concerns regarding a power source long hailed as environmentally friendly by environmental activist groups.
Wind turbines send wildlife diving for cover. Noisy wind farms in California are making squirrels edgy and prone to scurrying for cover. This change in behaviour could have knock-on effects on animals that depend upon the squirrel, such as the golden eagle, which feeds on the rodent, and the red-legged frog and California tiger salamander, which live in its burrows.
German Government Study Questions Value of Wind Power. Opposition spokesmen such as Klaus Lippold MP [say], "The problem with wind farms is that you have to build them in places where you don't need electricity. The electricity then has to be moved somewhere else. There is growing resistance in Germany to wind farms, not least because of the disastrous effect on our landscape."
Louisiana Wind Farm Economically Unviable. A proposed wind farm off the coast of Louisiana is economically unviable, wind farm supporters admit, and will fail unless the state forces its citizens to purchase the power at up to three times the cost of conventional power. Wind power supporters are seeking just such a requirement in a proposed renewable portfolio standard. (See page 10 of the January 2005 Environment & Climate News)
Comparing the costs of various methods of power generation. Electricity generated from new fossil fuel plants powered by natural gas or coal costs 4 to 5 cents per kilowatt hour. Wind power costs 6 cents per kilowatt hour — including federal subsidies amounting to 1.8 cents per kwh. Solar power costs 14 cents kwh for thermal processes and 19 cents kwh for photovoltaic generation.
Wind Power: Red Not Green. Renewable energy promoters claim that wind power is cheap, safe and "green." These claims are untrue. Wind power is expensive, doesn't deliver the environmental benefits it promises and imposes substantial environmental costs. Accordingly, it does not merit continued government promotion or funding.
Renewable Electricity 'Creating' Jobs, Destroying Wealth. All over the world, for several centuries, workers have become more productive and their services have risen in value. Renewable energy mandates, currently in force in 20 states, reverse this progress and require a cut in worker productivity and energy efficiency. Twenty states have set standards that require utilities to obtain some of their power from "renewable" resources such as wind turbines and solar panels.
Negawatts: The renewable resource best beloved of ecophiles is wind power. Despite decades of subsidies (amounting to more than $1,200 per installed kilowatt), wind power remains stubbornly uneconomic. One problem is that the wind usually refuses to blow hardest at times of peak demand for electricity, generating only about 7.5 megawatts per 50 MW of nameplate capacity at peak. "Wind farms" are thus sometimes called "tax farms."
British Studies Show Prohibitive Cost of "Renewable" Energy. A pair of British studies released in March and April 2004 show relying on wind power or other non-nuclear "renewables" to reduce air pollution or carbon dioxide emissions forces consumers to pay at least twice as much as they currently pay for electricity generated from fossil fuels or emissions-free nuclear power.
There's too little power in wind. The 83 existing and proposed windmills in Wisconsin generate very little electricity and cannot make a significant contribution in supplying Wisconsin's electricity or improving its reliability. The total output from the 35 windmills on four existing wind farms represented just 0.082 percent of the state's 1999 electricity production.
Map: United States Average Annual Wind Power.
Wind Power Prices Rising, Defying Predictions of Renewable Power Apologists. The price of wind turbines is rapidly rising, defying global warming alarmists who justify renewable power subsidies and mandates by claiming prices for the economically uncompetitive renewable power will fall as more industrial wind farms are built.
Awww... Windmills might spoil the view of Cape Cod.
Save Teddy Kennedy's view. Congress is about to decide whether a developer whom the Senate last year handed the exclusive right to build a 24-square-mile array of 417-foot-high windmills in the middle of the Nantucket Sound — off Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket — should be allowed to proceed. The area's most famous resident, Sen. Teddy Kennedy (D-Mass.), has teamed up with Alaska's Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young, both Republicans, to stop it.
Ted Kennedy: Build the 'Wind Farm' Elsewhere. Sen. Ted Kennedy has strongly opposed an environmentally friendly "wind farm" off the coast from the Kennedy compound in Hyannis. Now he supports building another wind farm — in somebody else's "backyard."
Foes of Cape Wind project see contributions drop sharply in 2006. Opponents of a planned wind farm off Cape Cod see a sharp drop in contributions. In 2006, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound raised about $2 million, according to federal tax filings submitted this month. That's less than half what the group raised in each of the prior two years.
Turbine plan brings whirlwind of questions. For years, environmental groups have viewed electricity-producing wind farms with a touch of reverence: energy from the natural rhythms of the air, without the need for fossil fuels or polluting greenhouse gases. But questions about the risk, cost and environmental impact of offshore wind threaten to slow what some call a headlong state rush to approve a $1.6 billion, 150-turbine wind farm off Rehoboth Beach, along with one of two on-land, backup natural gas-powered generating plants.
Texas Tops in Wind Energy Production. Long known as a top oil- and natural gas-producing state, Texas has gained new energy acclaim by becoming the nation's top producer of wind energy. Texas capacity stands at 2,370 megawatts, enough to power 600,000 average-sized homes a year, according to a midyear report released Tuesday [7/25/2006] by the American Wind Energy Association.
Cape Wind Has Powerful Critics, Supporters. The Cape Wind project has powerful opposition, including Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and the Bay State's senior Democrat senator, Edward M. Kennedy. An environmental group, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, also has worked against the plan. ... Supporters of the project argue the wind farm would generate 170 much-needed megawatts of electricity to a high-cost region. ... The project would generate about 2.5 percent of the electricity used by Massachusetts, or 1 percent of that used by all of New England.
Wind farms generate bird worries. The rapid expansion of wind energy farms in the Columbia River Gorge's shrub steppes could put hawks, eagles and other raptors on a collision course with fields of giant turbines and their 150-foot blades. By year's end, more than 1,500 turbines will be churning out electricity in the gorge, a windy corridor at the forefront of a nationwide effort to produce cleaner energy.
Questions Plague Efforts to Grow Wind Power Use. Interest in wind power production seems to be on the rise, with recent numbers from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) predicting a continuing boost in wind power production thanks to increasing government subsidies and mandates. But a verdict on the long-term viability of wind as an energy source has yet to be reached, and no hope is in sight for the scores of birds and bats meeting grisly fates among the turning turbine blades.
Wash Governor Forces Wind Farm Over Local Protest. Residents of Kittitas County, Washington are expressing their outrage at Gov. Christine Gregoire's (D) September 18 decision to overrule county officials and allow 65 new, towering wind turbines to be built on hillsides surrounding the town of Ellensburg. Kittitas County commissioners had rejected the proposed wind farm, noting local opposition to the 410-foot wind turbines that are expected to destroy scenic views, kill birds and bats, and create loud, reverberating noise in addition to generating a relatively small amount of electric power.
Wind Power Costs Continue to Rise. The U.S. Department of Energy reports the average cost of a turbine per megawatt of power generated rose 17 percent in 2006 and will likely rise by more than 14 percent this year. Because utilities have no control over these costs, ratepayers or taxpayers end up paying the final bill. In addition, wind farms have already been constructed in the most productive wind sites, leaving less-productive and less-reliable sites available for current and future wind farm construction.
Wind power pricier, emits more CO2 than thought. One of the most frequent criticisms levelled at wind power is variability. That is, when the wind drops (or blows too hard) the windmills stop spinning and you get no power.
Texas Approves a $4.93 Billion Wind-Power Project: Texas regulators have approved a $4.93 billion wind-power transmission project, providing a major lift to the development of wind energy in the state. The planned web of transmission lines will carry electricity from remote western parts of the state to major population centers like Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. The lines can handle 18,500 megawatts of power, enough for 3.7 million homes on a hot day when air-conditioners are running.
The Editor says...
That plan will only work on a hot and windy day. Transmission lines can carry the power to the big city, which is good, but they can't store power for use on a day when it's hot but not windy, which is very often the case.
Windmills split upstate NY town and families. [John] Yancey stares at them, his face contorted in anger and pain. He knows the futuristic towers are pumping clean electricity into the grid, knows they have been largely embraced by his community. But Yancey hates them.
Neighbors at odds over noise from wind turbines. Not long after the wind turbines began to spin in March near Gerry Meyer's home, his son Robert, 13, and wife, Cheryl, complained of headaches. They have trouble sleeping, and Cheryl Meyer, 55, sometimes feels a fluttering in her chest. Gerry is sometimes nauseated and hears crackling. The culprit, they say, is the whooshing sound from the five industrial wind turbines near the 6-acre spread where they have lived for 37 years.
Gone With The Wind. Dr. Nina Pierpont has conducted substantial research on what she calls "wind turbine syndrome," the clinical name she has given to the "constellation of symptoms experienced by many (though not all) who live near industrial wind turbines." These include sleep problems like insomnia; headaches; dizziness; unsteadiness and nausea; exhaustion; anxiety; anger and irritability; depression; memory loss; eye problems; problems with concentration and learning; and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Gone With the Wind. Mayor Bloomberg's idea to mount windmills atop city buildings and bridges is blowing nowhere fast — in fact, not even windmill manufacturers think it could work. Large turbines would put too much strain on skyscrapers or bridges, and small ones wouldn't generate enough electricity to be worth the expense, according to Siemens AG, one of the world's largest makers of wind turbines.
New York City Mayor Quickly Retracts Impractical Windmills-on-Bridges Plan. A day after attracting extensive positive press coverage and fanfare for announcing plans to place windmills atop bridges and buildings throughout the nation's largest city, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) conceded the plan is unrealistic.
Coal back-up for wind power 'will cost £100bn'. A leading power company has claimed wind energy is so unreliable that even if 13,000 turbines are built to meet EU renewable energy targets, they could be relied on to provide only 7 percent of the country's peak winter electricity demand. E.On has argued that, during the coldest days of winter, so little wind blows that 92 percent of installed wind capacity would have to be backed up by traditional power stations.
Canadian wind industry faces delay, rising debt costs: industry financiers. Independent wind producers are facing big hikes in debt costs, raising doubt on whether ambitious construction goals will be met over the next few years, say financing experts. Chris Gifford, a vice president with Allied Irish Banks in Toronto, says worrisome signs for the industry came recently when EarthFirst Canada Inc. — the proponent of a major wind farm in British Columbia — declared it was seeking creditor protection.
A land rush in Wyoming spurred by wind power. The man who came to Elsie Bacon's ranch house door in July asked the 71-year-old widow to grant access to a right of way across the dry hills and short grasses of her land here. Bacon remembered his insistence on a quick, secret deal. The man, a representative of the Little Rose Wind Farm of Boulder, Colorado, sought an easement for a transmission line to carry his company's wind-generated electricity to market. His offer: a fraction of the value of similar deals in the area.
New York State Investigates Wind Companies for Improper Business and Political Dealings. New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has opened an investigation into two companies developing and operating wind farms in the state. Cuomo, who announced the investigation July 15, said the focus will be on allegations of anti-competitive business practices and improper relationships between the companies and public officials.
Wind Farms Threaten Endangered Whooping Cranes. More than six decades of painstaking conservation efforts that have brought the majestic whooping crane back from the brink of extinction may come undone because of the proliferation of wind farms in the United States.
Federal agency gives Cape Cod wind farm environmental OK. Plans for the nation's first offshore wind farm got a boost Friday when a federal agency rejected high-profile opponents' arguments that the giant turbines would damage the environment off Cape Cod. A bitter fight over the proposed wind farm has lasted more than seven years. Its foes, including Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., argue the wind farm would kill birds and endanger sea life, and harm the scenic area's tourism and fishing industries.
Wind, Obama and the energy answer. It's the Obama hour, and for some that means the wind power hour, a time when this supposedly cheap source of endlessly abundant energy will have its non-polluting breakthrough, but just a minute. Let's visit with Ted Kennedy and learn how he feels about one particular instance of the new dawn. He's against it.
The New Dictator In Washington Will Change America. Wind turbines present Obama with a big problem with the environmentalists. They want the electricity from the windmills to power their hybrids, but don't want the transmission lines draped across the landscape to carry the power from the turbines to the grid. Some have complained about birds being killed by the spinning blades. Why aren't they complaining about the eyesore these monstrosities create on the pristine land, like they do about overhead power lines and oil derricks and pipelines in Alaska? It's simply more liberal agenda driven hypocrisy.
Minnesota Green Group Fights Wind Power Transmission Line. A Minnesota environmental activist group is fighting against the construction of power lines to deliver wind power to the state, shortly after environmental activist groups successfully pressured the state government into enacting renewable power mandates. Less than two years after the state legislature passed an aggressive renewable power mandate, the Citizens Energy Task Force has registered as a "legally intervening party" and is drafting legal arguments asserting the proposed wind power transmission lines unlawfully threaten regional wildlife.
The Editor says...
Environmentalists apparently thrive on problems rather than solutions. They want to replace reliable oil and gas with intermittent wind and solar power. They want us to use the power of the wind, but they oppose the construction of electric transmission lines. There is no way to satisfy environmentalists, other than to stop using energy altogether.
Wind Turbines in Europe Do Nothing for Emissions-Reduction Goals. Germany's renewable energy companies are a tremendous success story. Roughly 15 percent of the country's electricity comes from solar, wind or biomass facilities, almost 250,000 jobs have been created and the net worth of the business is €35 billion per year. But there's a catch: The climate hasn't in fact profited from these developments. As astonishing as it may sound, the new wind turbines and solar cells haven't prohibited the emission of even a single gram of CO2.
Blowhards. Green energy has been on the subsidy take for years, including in 2005 when [Congressman Bill] Delahunt was calling for "an Apollo project for alternative energy sources, for hybrid engines, for biodiesel, for wind and solar and everything else." The reality is that all such projects are only commercially viable because of political patronage.
Troubled wind? [Dr. Albert] Aniel says he, six other physicians and one family nurse practitioner believe the conditions they've found online — things called "acoustic radiation" and "wind turbine syndrome," among them — and the possible symptoms — nausea, back problems, mood disorders, seizures, even heart attack — are serious enough to stall new wind projects while medical researchers around the world gather more information.
Turbine complaints 'absurd'. Opponents of wind turbines off the Scarborough Bluffs have worked themselves into an "artificial lather" as the government prepares to force "green" energy projects on neighbourhoods, says Energy Minister George Smitherman. The proposed Toronto Hydro project would install up to 60 wind turbines "three or four" kilometres offshore, Smitherman noted, suggesting that should be far enough away from homes to ease fears.
Let's Get Real About Renewable Energy. [Scroll down] Solar and wind sources are providing the equivalent of 76,000 barrels of oil per day. ... It's approximately equal to the raw energy output of one average-sized coal mine. During his address to Congress, Mr. Obama did not mention coal — the fuel that provides nearly a quarter of total primary energy and about half of America's electricity — except to say that the U.S. should develop "clean coal."
'Bat' Men in Blow to Wind Power. Wind-energy programs in New York — including a developer's plan to build the city's first wind farm at Staten Island's mothballed Fresh Kills landfill — are tied up in red tape because their projects will endanger bats, birds and other wildlife, The Post has learned.
Map: Wind resource potential in the continental U.S. It's not that great -- at least not where a lot of people live.
Windmill power proposals by T. Boone Pickens:
Tilting Toward Windmills. In May, the U.S. Department of Energy released a report stating wind could provide 20 percent of national power needs by the year 2030. However, such an increase would offset only 11 percent of natural gas use, not 22 percent as [T. Boone] Pickens claims. Wind turbines only generate power during gusts, raising the question of what happens when the wind is not blowing. The windmills' life is one-quarter that of nuclear facilities, assuring the massive expenditure of erecting the system will be repeated on a regular basis.
Energy's Prevailing Winds: Last year, [T. Boone] Pickens correctly predicted that we would be seeing a $100 barrel of oil, and he recently announced plans to build a $10 billion, 150,000-acre wind farm in the Texas panhandle, which would be the biggest in the world.
Talk of wind power is just that: talk. In his commercials, T. Boone Pickens seems minted in Hollywood. He is the grizzled oilman who sagely tells the public that we can't drill our way out of this problem. Wind power is part of the answer to the total energy picture, he said. But here is what he told Newsweek about wind power: "There are no turbines on my ranch, because I think they are ugly."
A boon for Pickens, not for America. [T. Boone] Pickens is right to suggest that America's oil dependence is a source of economic ruin and that Congress must act to stop the biggest transfer of wealth in human history. But Pickens stands to benefit from his own campaign — and his proposal could do more damage than good to U.S. energy security.
Boone Doggle. Boone Pickens may be a fine man, and has played a colorful and useful role on the American stage for decades. But his "energy plan," which he's spending a fortune to promote on cable TV, is not a plan. Asserting that something would be good to do is not "a plan." Saying how to do it is "a plan." By this standard, what the legendary oil man is devoting $58 million to pitch hardly amounts to a decent slogan.
Windmill Plan Offers Slim Energy Pickens. While a net exporter twenty years ago, the United States today imports about 18% of its natural gas. So without a very substantial change in our electric power generation portfolio, shifting from gasoline to natural gas would just shift us from one imported fuel to another. Wind power is an improbable candidate for achieving such a shift.
Pickens' Windy Scheme Will Leave Taxpayers Holding the Bag. T. Boone Pickens is a smart businessman. In fact, he's a genius at it. The state of Texas's investment of $4.93 billion in wind technology is going to make wind farmers such as Pickens even wealthier. Pickens' good fortune overshadows the misfortune of Texas taxpayers who will have to pay for this losing endeavor. Like many states trying to cope with high energy prices, Texas is banking on wind as the next "big thing." Unfortunately, wind has had a poor history as an energy source.
Pelosi and Pickens, investment partners. It is difficult to imagine a more unlikely pair of investors than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens. Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat, is among the most liberal and pro-environmentalist politicians in Congress, while Pickens has long been associated with Republicans, hedge funds and the energy industry.
Pelosi Investment Shows Unlikely Energy Alliance. Mr. Pickens seized the moment provided by the recent run-up in oil prices to campaign for a national energy plan that would move the country toward 20% reliance on renewable energy, such as wind turbines, and gradually changing the nation's vehicle fleet so it can run on natural gas. Besides natural gas, Mr. Pickens has also invested billions in wind farms. Mr. Pickens's recent embrace of renewable energy has made him the darling of the Democrats.
Bait and switch: Natural gas is what he's really selling.
T Boone Pickens' cloak of green. Pickens uses wind power as his cloak of green to buy credibility and time to make natural gas the primary power for vehicles and develop nuclear and coal sources. He throws in other alternative energies as a lining to the cloak. ... So what concerns me about Pickens proposals? Initially it was the wind power proposal, which clearly demonstrates his lack of understanding of the severe limitations of that energy.
Testimony before a Texas Senate Hearing on Wind Turbines: Mr. Pickens says he will erect 1500 one to two megawatt capacity wind turbines on 400,000 acres in North Texas around Pampa, which is a remote and desolate land, and that's a beginning to the answer. Really? 1-2 million dollars a copy for the turbines, that are rated at 1-2 megawatts, but only produce 30 percent so that 1500 turbines would produce about one half of a normal coal plant? At what cost and given the remote area, what transmission line costs? But it sounds good, after all wind is free. But it's also inconsistent and very inefficient.
Pickens Plan Fails to Account for Serious Limitations on Wind Power. The Pickens solution sounds so simple: (1) Generate electricity with wind instead of natural gas. (2) Free up natural gas to use for transportation. (3) Voilá! We are now energy independent. Never mind that we get most of the "foreign oil" from Canada, and secondly from Mexico. Never mind that we get our natural gas by drilling, and that Pickens has said we can't drill our way out of the "crisis."
The Worst Predictions About 2008: [#7] "I think you'll see (oil prices at) $150 a barrel by the end of the year" — T. Boone Pickens, June 20, 2008. Oil was then around $135 a barrel. By late December it was below $40.
Pickens plan is hot air that may burn America. Radical environmentalists with the ear of Washington's new one-party political leadership oppose new domestic oil, natural gas and coal exploration and constructing new nuclear power plants. Nothing but "alternative" energy seems acceptable. One of the most prominent alternatives is the "Pickens Plan," trumpeted by Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens.
Pickens calls off massive wind farm in Texas. Plans for the world's largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle have been scrapped, energy baron T. Boone Pickens said Tuesday [7/7/2009], and he's looking for a home for 687 giant wind turbines. Pickens has already ordered the turbines, which can stand 400 feet tall — taller than most 30-story buildings.
Winds shifting for Pickens' wind farm plan. T. Boone Pickens' massive wind farm, planned for Texas, is looking for a new home. The energy tycoon and wind advocate told the Dallas Morning News that a project to install hundreds of wind turbines in the Texas panhandle will not work because of a lack of transmission lines. Instead, Pickens' wind company is looking for other locations in the Midwest and possibly Texas.
Bill would boost natural gas vehicles. Senate leaders, joined by Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens, unveiled a bill Wednesday to jumpstart the production of vehicles that run on natural gas. The legislation, dubbed the NAT-GAS bill, was introduced by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Robert Menendez, D-N.J. It would increase tax credits for buying a natural gas-powered vehicle from $5,000 to $12,500, boost grants to create additional natural gas filling stations and create grants for light- and heavy-duty natural gas engine development.
Congress gives your money to T. Boone Pickens. The Pickens Plan, in short, is this: We should get more electricity from windmills and power our cars with natural gas. Pickens happens to be a major investor in windmills and natural-gas cars. Both of these energy sources are heavily subsidized, but not enough for Pickens to profit from them, apparently. ... He used to make money through commerce and the power of the market, and for this he was abused. Now, he makes money through subsidy and the power of the government. Perversely, his recent shift — from selling oil that people want to buy, to selling stuff like gas cars and wind power that people buy only when it's subsidized or mandated — has elevated Pickens' reputation from greedy capitalist to world-saver.
Pickens tilts for windmills. Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens is a surprising convert to alternative energy and an unlikely wind-power proselytizer, but he is ramping up his campaign to cure the nation's energy dependence in the face of skeptics who say the effort is too ambitious. Worried by the massive transfer of wealth to foreign and often unfriendly nations, the Texan last July proposed the Pickens Plan, a rapid national move to wind energy, with a decade's detour to natural gas, which would serve as a clean "bridge fuel" until we reached the promised land of wind power.
Pickens' folly: Just last year, Pickens' rangy visage filled the television networks as he touted his giant Texas windmill farm as the solution to America's energy problems. Now it appears that his Texas farm is off the table, and Pickens' folly has been exposed.
Climate Madness and Electricity Realities. Imagine conditions in the once Great Britain. Ice laden wind turbines sit idle in the still air; solar panels covered in snow; gas reserves down to 8 days; pensioners burning books to keep warm, and a bankrupt government. This is happening because politicians have been conned by anti-industrial greens to neglect the UK's reliable and economical coal and nuclear generators, while wasting time and money on pointless climate crusades.
Save a mountain, build a windmill, freeze in the dark. Big Green environmentalists are pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to ban "mountaintop removal" coal mining. To that end, the enviros have organized a vintage politically correct national PR campaign dubbed "Music Saves Mountaintops" featuring part country music and part the usual Natural Resources Defense Council agitprop. The slogan of the campaign is "Save a Mountain, build a wind mill," referring to the contention of President Obama and his Big Green allies that alternative energy sources like wind can replace energy generated by fossil fuels.
Pickpocketing with the Pickens Plan. T. Boone Pickens is truly a piece of work. The Texas billionaire has been at various times a champion of free markets and a major backer of conservative causes and candidates, but he has morphed into an unapologetic advocate of government subsidies and mandates. His current obsession is natural gas and his belief that its abundance and current price advantage over gasoline and diesel fuel make it the perfect alternative to foreign oil. Being an investor as well as a visionary, Mr. Pickens has invested heavily in natural gas and wants the rest of us to get with the program.
A Case of Gas. T. Boone Pickins [sic], himself a backer of natural gas as an alternative to diesel-powered trucks, predicts that in seven years, a majority of long-haul trucks will be powered by natural gas because 70 percent of the fleet operate in "defined regional areas," and a natural gas truck can go 600 miles on one fill-up. As the driver of a truck that gets over 1,100 miles on a single fill-up, I respectfully submit that much work remains to be done and that the federal role should be minimized, unless we want the government do for natural gas trucks what the Education Department has done for scholastic achievement, or what the Energy Department has done for energy independence, or what the Transportation Department has done for road conditions, or what Obamacare is about to do for your access to a doctor.Back to Supposedly good ideas that may not be good at all
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Updated February 18, 2014.
©2014 by Andrew K. Dart