There would be no Green Energy Industry if there were no Green Energy Subsidies

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 15th, 2014

Week in Review

Green energy investments are a horrible investment.  The only reason why anyone is building green energy projects is because of taxpayer subsidies.  If you take away the subsidies the green energy industry is just going to stop building these bad energy projects.  Which is what’s happening now (see Here Are The 10 Best States For Clean Energy Jobs In 2013 by Aaron Tilley posted 3/12/2014 on Forbes).

Clean energy investments had it rough in 2013, and US job growth in that sector is having a bit of trouble too.

That’s at least according to evidence in a new report out today from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2),an environmental advocacy organization for businesses. While the clean energy industry made plans to add an additional 78,000 new jobs at 260 projects in 2013, that’s a 30% dip from the 110,000 job announcements in the previous year. (E2 has only been tracking clean energy job growth for the past two years…)

The biggest reason for the 30% drop in job growth over last year is due to ongoing regulatory uncertainty around federal tax credits and state renewable energy mandates, says E2 communications director Bob Keefe. Congress let the generous tax credits the wind energy industry had enjoyed for more than two decades expire in December–and it looks unlikely they’ll be reinstated in 2014. And four major energy efficiency tax credits and initiatives expired at the end of last year too. On top of that, several states, including North Carolina and Kansas, have attempted to roll back mandates on renewable energy requirements for their utility grids.

If anyone bemoans a cut in government spending in some government program don’t blame the Republicans.  Blame the Democrats.  And their green energy cronies.  The Democrats are taking money away from other programs to pay for these white elephants just so they and their crony friends can get rich.

These projects cost a fortune to build.  And the return on investment just isn’t there.  Which is why it takes hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies to build them.  That’s a lot of money to spend when these projects accomplish nothing. They don’t allow us to shut down one coal-fired power plant.  Because we’ll need those coal-fired power plants to provide electric power when the sun doesn’t shine and when the wind doesn’t blow.  And they take up so much real estate that they’re displacing wildlife from their natural habitat.  While wind farms are hacking American Bald Eagles and other birds to death.  So they’re not helping the environment.

And they’re not improving the reliability of our electric power.  Or lowering the cost.  Every time they shut down a coal-fired power plant they increase our electric bills.  And increase the brownouts and blackouts we have to endure when we have to rely on less reliable power that costs more (we have to pay more for our electric power to pay for those subsidies) than the more reliable power.  This is our government when Democrats are in power.  And just imagine how they will run our health care.  Who do you think they’ll make rich?  And how much will they increase our health care costs?  While giving us an inferior health care system?  It’s going to happen.  Because that’s what happens when Democrats are in power.

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President Obama allows Wind Farms to kill Federally Protected Eagles for 30 Years

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 8th, 2013

Week in Review

We’re killing the planet with all of our manmade carbon.  So we have to stop using coal to generate electric power.  And instead build these spinning killing machines (see Wind farms get extended leeway on eagle deaths by Maria L. La Ganga posted 12/6/2013 on the Los Angeles Times).

In a decision that highlights the clash between two cherished environmental goals — producing green energy and preserving protected wildlife — federal officials announced Friday that some wind power companies will be allowed to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty…

Kelley said the new regulations would “increase the protection of eagles and will help develop more wind farms, a leading solution to climate change, which is the No. 1 threat to all eagles and all wildlife…”

Kelley, of the American Wind Energy Assn., said that wind farms had had a negligible impact on bald eagles and that only 2% of the golden eagles killed by humans died because of wind farms. In addition, he said, the population of golden eagles in the West is stable or increasing slightly.

Hutchins, however, pointed to a recent study in the Wildlife Society Bulletin estimating that 573,000 birds and 888,000 bats are killed every year by wind farms.

Is it me or is there a contradiction here?  Global warming is the number one threat to eagles.  This is why we must build wind farms.  So we can shut down our coal-fired power plants.  But these very wind farms are killing these eagles.  But that’s okay because the eagle population is stable or increasing slightly.  Even though global warming is not chopping these eagles out of the sky.  The wind farms are.  So there would be more eagles alive today if it weren’t for these spinning killing machines.  Which would seem to make them a greater threat to the eagle population than global warming.

Something stinks here.  And it’s just not the rotting carcasses of the eagles these wind farms have killed.  You know what that stench in the air is?  Money.  Big money.  Going to the president’s friends in Green Energy.  This is why the president is allowing his friends to kill eagles.  So they can keep that money flowing from the taxpayers to Washington to the Green Energy firms and into the campaign coffers of the Democrat Party.

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Britons lose Interest in Saving the Planet thanks to rising Utility Bills and Green Levies to pay for Wind Farms

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 1st, 2013

Week in Review

Britain is green.  They have made the prevention of manmade global warming a national goal.  They’re gradually doing away with carbon-based energies.  Like coal-fired power plants.  And replacing them with green things like wind farms.  Although one large wind project just got derailed.  The £4bn ($6.6 billion US) Atlantic Array project in the Bristol Channel.  But just the fact that they were going to spend $6.6 billion to build an offshore wind farm shows you how committed they are in going green.  Of course one might ask where does one get $6.6 billion to build a wind farm?  Simple.  You just add a green levy to everyone’s utility bill (see Energy policies just rob Peter to pay Paul by Telegraph View posted 12/1/2013 on The Telegraph).

Yesterday morning, George Osborne and Ed Balls both graced the sofa of the Andrew Marr Show as part of a pre-Autumn Statement offensive to woo the voters. Perhaps the biggest issue of the day was the fate of the green levies on consumers’ bills – a policy that Ed Miliband began as energy secretary and which the Tories embraced in office as a way of proving their environmentalist credentials. Now the consensus that the consumer should be forced to pick up the tab for saving the planet is gone, thanks to sky-rocketing energy costs. But the solutions proposed by Mr Osborne and Mr Balls may not be enough to induce a warm glow in the heart of the hard-pressed voter.

Mr Balls had nothing compelling to say. He made some noises about “value for money” and said that anything the Government could do to reduce costs was welcome. But it was Labour, after all, that introduced the green levies and remains committed to unreasonable decarbonisation targets. The party’s core pledge now is to freeze prices after the 2015 election. It is, as Mr Osborne called it, “back of a fag packet” stuff. Labour can do nothing to control global energy prices; a price freeze could put smaller providers out of business; and the likely outcome is that companies will simply hike bills before the freeze comes into effect. This variety of socialist populism typically ends up hurting the economy in the long run.

However, there are serious flaws in Mr Osborne’s alternative. Although the average bill could fall by £50 under the Government’s plan, some bills are predicted to rise by £120.

First of all, “back of a fag packet” isn’t a gay slur.  A fag is slang for cigarette in the UK.  And a fag packet is a pack of cigarettes.  So “back of a fag packet” stuff is a plan with so little meaningful details that they can write it out on one side of a pack of cigarettes.  It’s sort of like us yanks writing out something on the back of a cocktail napkin.  It’s not detailed stuff.  And probably not stuff thought out well.  Hence the disparaging tone of George Osborne’s criticism of the Labour Party’s idea of a price freeze.

As interesting as this explanation was it’s what is in the following paragraph that is of note.  The rise in the average bill of £120.  This is the green levy on the people’s average utility bill.  Which comes to $197.16 in US dollars.  This is the cost of all those wind turbines they’re building.  A number so painful that Britons everywhere are saying that this manmade global warming?  It isn’t as bad as I once thought it was.  So we can stop building these silly windmills.  Especially those that cost $6.6 billion.  Let’s just leave those beautiful coal-fired power plants on line.  So I can afford to feed my family.  For I know my history.  And my Dickens.  England during the Industrial Revolution was a filthy place.  Where workers—and everything else—were covered in soot and ashes.  And despite all of this manmade carbon it was not warm and balmy during those times.  No.  People struggled to both eat.  And stay warm.  England is cleaner today and yet we are suffering from manmade global warming?  Right, pull the other.

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President Obama gives the Wind Energy Industry permission to Kill more Bald Eagles

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 14th, 2013

Week in Review

You want to cut a firebreak in a forest?  Sorry, you can’t do it.  Because it will disturb the habitat of a dirty, filthy rodent.  The kind that can transmit Hantaviruses to campers.  You want to irrigate your farm in California’s central valley?  Sorry, you can’t do it.  Because the pumps will suck in delta smelt which will upset the ecosystem.  But you say you want to kill golden and bald eagles with spinning death machines?  Not a problem.  At least with President Obama and his pals in the wind energy industry (see Study: Wind farms killed 67 eagles in 5 years by DINA CAPPIELLO, Associated Press, posted 9/11/2013 on Yahoo! News).

Wind energy facilities have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years, but the figure could be much higher, according to a new scientific study by government biologists.

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. Wind power releases no air pollution.

But at a minimum, the scientists wrote, wind farms in 10 states have killed at least 85 eagles since 1997, with most deaths occurring between 2008 and 2012, as the industry was greatly expanding. Most deaths — 79 — were golden eagles that struck wind turbines. One of the eagles counted in the study was electrocuted by a power line.

The vice president of the American Bird Conservancy, Mike Parr, said the tally was “an alarming and concerning finding…”

It’s unclear what toll the deaths could be having on local eagle populations. And while the golden eagle population is stable in the West, any additional mortality to a long-lived species such as an eagle can be a “tipping point,” Millsap said.

The research affirms an AP investigation in May, which revealed dozens of eagle deaths from wind energy facilities and described how the Obama administration was failing to fine or prosecute wind energy companies, even though each death is a violation of federal law…

Meanwhile, the wind energy industry has pushed for, and the White House is currently evaluating, giving companies permission to kill a set number of eagles for 30 years. The change extends by 25 years the permit length in place now, but it was not subjected to a full environmental review because the administration classified it as an administrative change.

Yet another example of the Obama administration not enforcing a law they don’t like.  Putting the Obama administration, and their cronies in the wind energy industry, above the law.  Making a mockery of the rule of law.  And turning the United States into a third-world banana republic.

The same people who say we can’t disturb the habitat of Hantavirus-carrying vermin or kill a smelt or two have no problem with killing the national bird/national animal of the United States.  The bald eagle is a distinguished and noble creature.  Which is why it is on the Great Seal of the United States.  Instead of a rodent or a smelt.  But it is those we can’t harm.  While we can kill the bald eagle.

President Obama destroys our economy with his abysmal economic policies.  Giving us unemployment that just won’t go away.  He gave the Middle East to Russia and Iran with his blundering foreign policy.  Creating a more dangerous world.  And diminished America’s place in that world.  And now he is encouraging the killing of America’s national symbol.  Perhaps to do to it what he’s doing to the nation.

One can’t help but get the impression that the United States of America isn’t President Obama’s favorite country.

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Building Wind Farms for a Quick Buck despite Public Opposition

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 17th, 2013

Week in Review

If you ever went hiking in a state park you’ve probably seen signs admonishing you to tread lightly.  To stay on paths only.  So as not to disturb the pristine environment.  Because environmentalists love this planet so much they will take all precaution to keep it pristine.  Except when it comes to putting these ugly things all over the place (see Locals get the wind up as turbines advance in Ireland by Geoffrey Lean posted 8/9/2013 on The Telegraph).

Some six per cent of the country’s electricity is now generated from the wind, and wind farms are a common sight in much of the country. In parts of inland West Cork, for example, it is rare to find a view that does not contain them, and there are places where four or five encircle you on surrounding hills. But so far there has been relatively little of the opposition to them that has become common on the other side of the Irish Sea.

Imagine that.  Only 6% of electricity comes from wind yet it’s rare to find a view without a wind turbine in it.  A much larger percentage of electricity comes from coal-fired power plants but it is a rare view indeed that includes a coal-fired power plant.  For they are much harder to find.

Angry scenes broke out last week at a “public information” meeting on plans to erect twelve 131 metre high turbines near the iconic mountain of Shehy More between the town and the upper Lee valley to the north. It would be visible for miles around in popular hiking territory and is, locals say, the third wind farm to be proposed in the last year for the hills around picturesque Loch Allua between the villages of Inchigeela and Ballingeary.

If everyone hates these turbines then why are they building so many?

Dave Edmond, of the appropriately named nearby alternative community of Coolmountain, led the revolt, accusing the wind industry of “just wanting a quick buck.” He added: “They have figured out how to get the grants and ‘shemoz’ the authorities” and predicted that the turbines would soon be “as obsolete and curious looking as the Easter island statues.”

Imagine that.  It’s greed.  In the form of fat government grants to build these white elephants to appease the global warming enthusiasts.  And they will become obsolete and curious.  As there are so many now that you can’t look in any direction without seeing one.  Yet they only provide 6% of their electricity.  Just imagine how many it will take to actually replace coal-fired power plants.  Probably so many that they will kill every living flying thing.  As no airspace will be free of these spinning killing machines.

Again, odd.  For someone who loves the environment so much to tread all over it.

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FT142: “Solar and wind power would take the longest to restore after a devastating weather event.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 2nd, 2012

Fundamental Truth

Neither Snow nor Rain nor Heat nor Gloom of Night Stays the Production of Electric Power from Coal

What’s the best way to generate electric power?  This is not a trick question.  There is an answer.  And there is only one correct answer.  Coal.  A coal-fired power plant is the best way to generate electric power.  Coal-fired power plants can run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  You never have to turn them off.  They can produce an enormous amount of power for the given infrastructure.  You can put these power plants anywhere.  Where it’s snowy and cold.  Where it’s bright and sunny.  Where it’s cloudy and rainy.  It doesn’t matter.  Coal-fired power plants are like the US Postal Service.  Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays the production of electric power from coal.

Coal is a highly concentrated form of energy.  Burning a little of it goes a long way.  This is why one coal-fired power plant can add over 2,000 megawatts to the electric grid.  And why about 600 coal-fired power plants can provide over half of our electric power needs.  Coal is one of the most abundant fuel sources in the world, too.  In fact, America has more coal than we can use.  This high domestic supply makes coal cheap.  Which is why coal-produced electric power is some of the cheapest electricity we have.

The only thing that will shut down a coal-fired power plant is running out of coal.  Which doesn’t happen easily.  Look around a power plant and you will see mountains of coal.  And conveyor systems that move that coal to the firebox that burns it.  You’ll probably see more coal arriving.  By unit train.  Trains with nothing but coal cars stretching a mile long.  By river barge.  Or Great Lakes freighter.  Making round-trip after round-trip from the coal mines to the power plants.  We’ve even built power plants near coal mines.  And fed those plants with coal on conveyor systems from the mines to the power plants.  Trains, barges and freighters use self-contained fuel to transport that coal.  And electric power energizes those conveyor systems.  Electric power that comes from the power plant.  Making it difficult to interrupt that flow of coal to our power plants.  Onsite stockpiles of coal can power the plant during brief interruptions in this coal flow.  When the lakes freeze they can get their coal via train.  And if there is a train wreck or a track washout they can reroute trains onto other tracks.  Finally, coal-fired power plants are least dependent on other systems.  Whereas a natural gas-fired power plant is dependent on the natural gas infrastructure (pipelines, pumps, valves, pressure regulators, etc.).  If that system fails so do the natural gas-fired power plants.

Solar Panels produce low DC Currents and Voltages that we have to Convert to AC to Connect them to the Electric Grid

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays the production of electric power from coal.  But they sure can interrupt solar power.  Which won’t produce much power if there is snow or rain or night.  Giving it one of the lowest capacity factors.  Meaning that you get a small fraction of useful power from the installed capacity.  Wind power is a little better.  But sometimes the wind doesn’t blow.  And sometimes it blows too strong.  So wind power is not all that reliable either.  Hydroelectric power is more reliable.  But sometimes the rains don’t come.  And if there isn’t enough water behind a hydroelectric dam they have to take some generators offline.  For if they draw down the water level too much the water level behind the dam will be below the inlet to the turbines.  Which would shut off all the generators.

Of course, hydroelectric dams often have reservoirs.  These fill with water when the rains come.  So they can release their water to raise the water level behind a dam when the rains don’t come.  These reservoirs are, then, stored electric power.  For a minimal cost these can store a lot of electric power.  But it’s not an endless supply.  If there is a prolonged draught (or less snow in the mountains to melt and run off) even the water level in the reservoirs can fall too low to raise the water level behind the dam high enough to reach the water inlets to the turbines.

Storing electric power is something they can do with solar power, too.  Only it’s a lot more complex.  And a lot more costly.  Solar panels produce low DC currents and voltages.  Like small batteries in our flashlights.  So they have to have massive arrays of these solar panels connected together.  Like multiple batteries in a large flashlight.  They have to convert the DC power to AC power to connect it to the grid.  With some complicated and costly electronics.  And any excess power these solar arrays produce that they don’t feed into the grid they can store in a battery of batteries.  And as we know from the news on our electric cars, current battery technology does not hold a lot of charge.  Barely enough to drive a 75 mile round-trip.  So you’d need a lot of batteries to hold enough useful power to release into the grid after the sun goes down.

Storms like Sandy would wipe out Solar Arrays and Wind Farms with their High Winds and Storm Surges

When a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan in 2011 the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant suffered no damage.  Then the storm surge came.  Flooding the electrical equipment with highly conductive and highly corrosive seawater.  Shorting out and destroying that electrical equipment.  Shutting down the reactor cooling pumps.  Leading to a partial reactor core meltdown.  Proving what great damage can result when you mix water and electric equipment.  Especially when that water is seawater.

Hurricane Sandy hammered the Northeastern seaboard.  High winds and a storm surge destroyed cities and neighborhoods, flooded subway tunnels and left tens of millions of people without power.  And they may be without power for a week or more.  Restoring that power will consist primarily of fixing the electric grid.  To reconnect these homes and businesses to the power plants serving the electric grid.  They don’t have to build new power plants.  Now if these areas were powered by solar and wind power it would be a different story.  First of all, they would have lost power a lot earlier as the driving rains and cloud cover would have blocked out most of the sun.  The high winds would have taken the windmills offline.  For they shut down automatically when the winds blow too hard to prevent any damage.  Of course, the high winds and the storm surge would probably have damaged these as well as the power lines.  While shorting out and destroying all of that electronic equipment (to convert the DC power to AC power) and the battery storage system

So instead of just installing new power lines they would have to install new windmills, solar arrays, electronic equipment and storage batteries.  Requiring long manufacturing times.  Then time to transport.  And then time to install.  At a far greater cost than just replacing downed wires.  Leaving people without electric power for weeks.  Perhaps months.  Or longer.  This is why using coal-fired power plants is the best way to generate electric power.  They’re less costly.  Less fragile.  And less complicated.  You just don’t need such a large generating infrastructure.  Whereas solar arrays and wind farms would cover acres of land.  And water (for the wind farms).  And storms like Sandy could wipe these out with their high winds and storm surges.

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Texas turns to Gas-Fired Power Plants to meet Peak Electric Demand their Wind Power cannot Meet

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 30th, 2012

Week in Review

Texas has more wind-generated electricity than any other state in the country.  According to the American Wind Energy Association’s U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2011 Market Report Texas has a total installed nameplate capacity of 10,377 Mega Watts (MW).  Meaning these wind turbines can produce 10, 377 MW under ideal wind conditions.  But as wind conditions are rarely ideal these Texas wind farms will struggle to produce half of that nameplate capacity.

Wind power has a capacity factor of about 20-40%.  Wind turbines will only produce electricity for a range of winds.  They have to spin fast enough to produce electric power at 60 cycles per second so they can connect this power to the electric grid.  But not so fast that they could damage the turbines.  For that range of winds variable pitch blades on the ‘propeller’ adjust their angle of attack to produce 60 cycles per second in that wind range.  The ‘propellers’ won’t spin that fast.  But a gear box will gear up that constant rotational motion to spin an electric generator (or alternator) at 60 cycles per second.  Thus creating electric power that we can connect to the grid.

So, of that 10,377 Mega Watts Texas nameplate capacity it will provide at most 4,151 MW (40% capacity factor) of power to add to the electric grid.  Which explains why the state with the greatest amount of wind-generated electric power is turning to coal and natural gas to meet peak electric loads (see Texas prepares for soaring power demand, urges conservation by Eileen O’Grady and Scott DiSavino posted 6/25/2012 on Reuters).

Power demand reached 65,047 megawatts in the hour between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. CDT (2200 GMT), surpassing the June record of 63,102 MW set last year, according to preliminary grid data…

ERCOT [Electric Reliability Council of Texas] said demand may top 66,000 MW on Tuesday. The state’s all-time peak use of 68,379 MW was set in August of last summer during a protracted heat wave and drought…

ERCOT warned that rolling outages could occur this summer given the state’s limited amount of surplus generation…

Several idled power plants have been returned to service to bolster the summer supply after a new coal-fired plant expected to be operational was delayed.

NRG Energy (NRG.N), the state’s second-largest power company, has more generation available this summer than last, after restarting a half dozen older, natural gas-fired units totaling 1,100 MW that were previously in mothball status.

The one thing conspicuous by its absence in the entire Reuter’s article is the mention of all that wind power in Texas.

Texas is the number one wind-power state.  Still, the useable power from all those windmills (about 4,000 turbines in total) is only 6.38% of that peak demand.  Some 4,000 wind turbines to produce about 4,151 MW.  The same amount of electric power some 23 older, moth-balled, gas-fired power plants can produce.  Which is probably why they’re talking about rolling outages.  Because they’ve been building wind farms instead of useful power generation plants.  Fueled by natural gas.  And coal. 

Incidentally the capacity factor for a coal-fired plant is about 90%.  Where the only thing limiting its output is maintenance or low demand.  A nuclear power plant can have a capacity factor exceeding 100%.  For these reasons coal and nuclear power provide a large percentage of reliable power.  During peak demands natural gas-fired ‘peaker plants’ come on line quickly to provide for the extra demand when people come home from work and turn up their air conditioners.  While wind and sun add into the mix as more a novelty than a reliable power source.  With the capacity factor of solar power coming in on average around 12-15%.  In the south they may attain as high a capacity factor as 20%.  Like wind.  Making both of these a poor choice to provide additional power during peak demand.  Which is why Texas is firing up gas-fired ‘peaker plants’ to meet that peak demand.  Because they can.  While they have no way to make the wind blow or the sun shine on demand.

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The Cost and Unreliability of Renewable Energy may give Nuclear Power a Reprieve in Germany

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 24th, 2012

Week in Review

Thanks to global warming the Germans have an expensive future ahead of them (see Don’t mention the atom posted 6/23/2012 on The Economist).

WHEN Germany decided a year ago, after the Fukushima disaster, to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, economists were worried. Would the country be able to replace its 17 nuclear plants, which supplied 23% of its electricity in 2010, with renewable forms of energy? Would electricity prices go through the roof? Would the move endanger Germany’s industry?

It will be years before the answers are known for sure. But the Energiewende, as Germans call the energy U-turn, has already produced one certainty: the country’s four giant power companies, which were already compelled last year to shut eight of their nuclear plants for good, are among the big losers. And their fate may revive heretical thoughts of a reprieve for atomic power…

In the meantime, thousands of subsidised wind farms and solar arrays are hobbling the earning-power of conventional power stations. The midday peak, when the giants used to command premium electricity prices, is undercut by solar power. Winter winds whip away the margins that big, inflexible plants used to enjoy.

To add insult to injury, consumers and power-hungry industries still expect the power utilities to take up the slack when sun and wind are idle. Last February, with all the active nuclear plants working at full capacity, Germany’s energy producers were only just able to keep the lights on…

Various estimates say the U-turn will push up consumer prices by between 20% and 60% by 2020. What is more, to encourage investment in new conventional power stations, extra subsidies may be needed to reward standby capacity or stored power reserves.

Subsidized wind farms and solar arrays are eating into the profits of the big power producers by providing power at peak times that the big power producers used to charge a premium for.  Yet in February with all active nuclear plants working at full capacity they were barely able to keep the lights on.  So wind farms and solar arrays are producing so much power that it reduces the amount of power the conventional plants can sell.  Yet these same plants working at full capacity can barely keep the lights on in February.  Interesting.

When 23% of their power production goes off line it will take an enormous expenditure to replace that power with clean renewable energy.  So much so that electric rates will increase between 20% and 60%.  Interesting.

Because of the unpredictable nature of the wind and the sun they will have to build standby power capacity and power storage facilities.  Presumably to produce and store a surplus of electricity when the wind blows and the sun shines so they can use it when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.  Interesting.

Poor Germany.  To save the planet they will have to reduce their citizens to serfs.  Their government will tax them so much for all of this renewable energy that they will leave little for the German taxpayer to bail out the Eurozone.  Let alone leaving anything for themselves.  The Germans are an industrious people used to sacrifice (they paid a heavy price to join East Germany with West Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall).  But there must be a limit to their self-sacrifice.  Just how much more will their government ask of them?

Even if they suck it up and pay most of their income in taxes they will have little left to engage in economic activity.  Which may result in a recession.  And growing budget deficits.  For as economic activity falls so does tax revenue.  Because there’s just less economic activity to tax. 

Energiewende.  This current path cannot end well for Germany.  Or Europe.

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Global Warming is Bad unless that Warming is the Byproduct of Efforts to Prevent Global Warming

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 29th, 2012

Week in Review

One of the solutions to global warming has one minor drawback.  Wind farms may cause global warming.  Talk about your ironies (see Wind farms can increase night time temperatures, research reveals by Damian Carrington posted 4/29/2012 on The Guardian).

Large windfarms can increase local night time temperatures by fanning warmer air onto the ground, new research has revealed. The study used satellite data to show that the building of huge wind farms in west Texas over the last decade has warmed the nights by up to 0.72C…

The scientists say the effect is due to the gentle turbulence caused by the wind turbines. After the sun has set, the land cools down more quickly than the air, leaving a cold blanket of air just above the ground. But the turbine wakes mix this cold layer with the warmer air above, raising the temperature. A previous study found a similar effect but was based on data from only two weather stations over just six weeks.

“The result looks pretty solid to me,” said Steven Sherwood at the climate change research centre at the University of New South Wales, Australia. “The same strategy is commonly used by fruit growers, who fly helicopters over the orchards rather than erect windmills, to combat early morning frosts…”

He told the Guardian that his results could not be used as an justification for blocking new wind farms. “The warming might have positive effects,” he said. “Furthermore, this study is focused only on one region and for only 9 years. Much more work is needed before we can draw any conclusion.”

For those outside the metric system, that 0.72 degrees Celsius temperature rise is almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit.  Which can be the difference between water and ice.  Or frost.

This warming might have positive effects?  As opposed to the kind of warming that wind farms are supposed to prevent?  Interesting.  Warming is bad.  So we need to build wind farms.  Wind farms may cause warming.  But, hang on, warming can now be beneficial (such as when it improves crop yields in orchards).  What is this?  Schrödinger’s Cat?  That is both alive and dead when sealed in a box.  And only do we know its true state when we open the box and observe what’s inside.  If so then why do the global warming alarmists, I mean scientists, always assume the cat is dead when it could very well be alive?

Of course it’s premature to draw any conclusions because it’s been barely a decade of study.  We don’t want to jump to any conclusions like they did when they said an ice age was coming.  Just before they changed their mind and said it was global warming.  And the science had always said it was global warming.  Despite what conclusions they jumped to back then.  Back to Schrödinger’s Cat we go.  Where apparently they observe what they want to observe to favor the prevailing political climate.  So I guess it’s climate science after all.  The science of political climate.

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Sir Tim Rice drops Support for Conservatives because they Support and Subsidize Wind Farms

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 25th, 2012

Week in Review

Sir Tim Rice is one of the greatest lyricists to ever write a lyric.  Yes, Lord Lloyd-Webber can write a catchy tune.  But it was Sir Tim’s lyrics that really made Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita come alive on stage.  Which is a very big reason why these shows still tour.  The man is brilliant.  And as it turns out, in more ways than one (see Sir Tim Rice on his new musical and working with Andrew Lloyd Webber by Roya Nikkhah posted 3/25/2012 on The Telegraph).

Falling out of love with the Conservatives, for starters. Once a stalwart party donor and fundraiser, his support has waned as the Tories’ enthusiasm has grown for “insane” policies such as supporting and subsidising wind farms.

“I recently declined to support a Conservative function because I’m so incensed about these wind turbines. Like all so-called climate-change doubters, I am very pro the environment, but I strongly believe that it is something that can only be cured locally. Some insane overall scheme isn’t going to cure all the problems. And the money that is wasted! As a landowner in Scotland [Sir Tim owns the 33,000-acre Dundonnell estate in Wester Ross on the west coast], I’ve been offered vast amounts of money to stick up wind turbines, which not only will make me richer, it will make less well-off people poorer, and will damage the environment. These schemes aren’t doing any good – just making rich people richer, and it’s depressing to see great areas of these useless objects up there.

“It’s a scam – a con – and until the Government has the brains to actually say, hang on, we’ve got it wrong, this is a total economic and environmental error, then I find it hard to give total support to them.”

It is so refreshing to hear someone in the arts community speak out against silly environmental policy.  Which is rather rare.  For people in the arts pursue their passions.  Their love of art leaves little room for much else.  So they don’t spend a whole lot of time studying the issues of the day.  Their industry as a whole has a position on these issues.  Which many artists simply endorse.  Thinking they are well thought out positions.  But they’re not.  And are usually guided by their desire for further government funding.  Requiring higher taxes on businesses.  And as a result artists tend to be anti-business.  Because they ‘take money away’ from the arts.  Even though they accept grants from them and will display their names prior to a performance.  But in general they don’t much care for business.  And tend to come down on the side in favor of environmental regulation and green energy.  But not Sir Tim.  Who apparently has studied the issues.  And has made an informed decision. 

The reason why we use coal, natural gas and nuclear power is because these sources of energy are highly concentrated sources of energy.  A little of them will produce a lot of electricity.  And they are reliable.  They’ll produce electricity rain or shine.  Day or night.  Wind or no wind.  Wind power is none of this.  It is not a concentrated source of energy.  So it takes a lot of windmills to produce a little electricity.  And if the wind doesn’t blow they don’t produce any electricity.  So this is a lot of money to produce a little electricity.  It is not cost-efficient.  A terrible waste of investment capital.  And taxpayer money.  Which is the point Sir Tim is making. 

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