Killing the Wind Industry: It’s a ‘Gas’
With subsidies for wind power being slashed around the Globe (or with that outcome inevitable where they remain) the wind industry is being given a chance to finally experience the opportunity to back up its endless (but empty) claims about being cheaper than gas and coal-fired power.
Until now, wind power outfits have wallowed in the massive subsidies and ideologically driven market perversion that sees them ‘earning’ guaranteed prices 3-4 times the price of conventional power, for a chaotic, weather-driven power source that – but for the subsidies it attracts – has NO commercial value.
Now, adding to their wows – and much to the horror of their parasites and spruikers – market forces are crushing what little hope they held of surviving in a world where subsidies have either disappeared or are about to. In short, it seems the wind industry is now suffering from a terminal case of ‘gas’.
Greens terrified cheap energy will kill wind and solar
23 February 2016
Cheap coal, oil and natural gas are outcompeting wind and solar power despite massive government support, and environmentalists are really upset about it.
“I believe low energy prices may complicate the transformation, to be very frank, and this is a very important issue for countries to note; all the strong renewables and energy efficiency policies therefore may be undermined with the low fossil fuel prices,” Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), told reporters in Brussels.
Americans are spending less on energy than they have at virtually any other point in recent history. Energy prices dropped by 41 percent in 2015 due to innovative new techniques to extract hydrocarbons, like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
Environmentalists are also terrified that the rise of cheap conventional energy will hurt wind and solar.
“Increasing reliance on natural gas displaces the market for clean energy,” reads The Sierra Club’s website. This concern notably did not impact The Sierra Club when it took $26 million from natural gas interests to oppose coal power.
Natural gas electricity, in particular, is so cheap that it’s already passing coal power as the most used source of electricity.
Projections from the IEA estimate that developing wind and solar power to substantially impact global warming could cost up to $16.5 trillion between now and 2030. To put such numbers in perspective, the U.S. government is just under $19 trillion in debt and only produced $17.4 trillion in gross domestic product in 2014.
American taxpayers spend an average of $39 billion a year financially supporting solar energy, according to a 2015 report by the Taxpayer Protection Alliance.
The same report shows President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus package contained $51 billion in spending for green energy projects, including funding for failed solar energy companies such as Solyndra and Abound Solar.
Here’s another take on the wind industry’s demise from Alan Moran.
Carbon abatement’s snake venom: diluted but still poisonous
25 February 2016
Motley events offer hope of a fraying of the policies stemming from climate change hysteria.
While the UN is trying to organise a reaffirmation meeting in April by national leaders of the sacred emission reduction pledges they made in Paris last December, reality is moving against it. The UN climate change agreement was engineered and negotiated by the Obama administration which pressured the (mainly willing) OECD nations to accept 26 per cent emission reductions and allowed developing countries to emit want they want as long as they paid lip service to them levelling out at some distant time.
The Supreme Court’s stay of execution on Obama’s attempt to by-pass Congress by using regulations on electricity generators to kill coal was a blow for sanity. The death of Antonin Scalia may still clear the way for the US to kill its coal by these means. But the Obama administration is taking no chances. Chief climate negotiator, Todd Stern, is touring the world proclaiming that even if that ruse by Obama fails he has other economy-crippling shots in his locker.
In this the US is faithfully supported by international appendages like the International Energy Agency (IEA). But the collapse of energy prices is undermining the policy and shifting still further into the future the mirage of competitive renewable energy. The disappointment of this to green advocates is a position shared by IEA chief Fatih Birol, who regrettedly said, “all the strong renewables and energy efficiency policies therefore may be undermined with the low fossil fuel prices.” Birol was recently in Australia promoting his economic poison to Ministers. Why do we finance such harmful bodies?
In the UK, success of fracking is also counteracting the cost impositionsof the government’s renewable energy requirements leading to disappointment on the part of those who prefer economic distress and their backers in the renewable energy field.
The unproductive expenditure on renewables in Australia and elsewhere is one of the reasons why we have such persistent low growth. To combat this the IMF is calling for yet another antidote of increased pump-priming. That would prove as counterproductive as all the previous ones – one appropriate solution of dismantling costly energy policy impositions on business and households would be plain sacrilege to the international bureaucrats.
While the American Interest view, that the Paris agreement is dead in the water, is a tad over-optimistic, boredom is setting in. There are far fewer media mentions and an absence of mass rallies. Moreover, aside from the innovation-driven cost reductions in fossil fuels, Japan has quietly moved to avert a self-enforced energy starvation by approving new coal fired power stations – 50 of them. These developments make it most unlikely that Japan can meet the obligations it made in December – as it did with Kyoto, Japan will readily welch on an agreement once it realises that its costs are too great.
Unfortunately accords, like the UN Climate Change Convention in Paris last December, develop their own momentum in Australia, where governments will engage in hidden economy-sapping expropriations to please rent-seekers and the international diplomatic community. The last time around the Howard Government cooperated with ALP state governments in a policy of regulating land use and curtailing irrigation in the Murray basin. These measures stopped the expansion of farming. Sadly, even the much vaunted new priority on agriculture to supply Chindia will likely prove unable to unravel the myriad environmental bulwarks that we have put in place to raise costs and limit the expansion of agriculture.