After the Paris Climate Jamboree, the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers are licking their chops at the prospect of having the rich world fund the construction of millions of these things in the dark corners of the Planet. Sensible first world economies have tumbled (albeit, belatedly) to the fact the wind power is patent nonsense.
Paris, aka ‘The City of Light’ has been lit up by nuclear power for over 50 years, and that’s not about to change any time soon.
Britain has seen the light and has scrapped subsidies to wind power, with the number of threatened wind farms going from a roar to a whimper:
UK Wind Industry Collapses as David Cameron Slashes Subsidies for Wind Power
The Spanish were beguiled for a while by the wind industry’s promises of millions of jobs and free power, in exchange for the €billions in subsidies thrown in hope at the four winds. But, funnily enough, reality has eventually caught up.
Spain slashed its massive wind power subsidy scam back in 2014, with retrospective and crushing effect. Since that change, during the whole of 2014 there was a piddling 27MW of wind power installed (think nine 3MW whirling wonders) and NO new wind power installed during 2015 at all:
Spain Puts its Economy Destroying Wind Industry to the Sword: ZERO MWs Installed in 2015
The wind industry’s Nordic ‘heroes’ have followed the same trend, with ‘investment’ in wind power collapsing this year; and the ‘trend’ means nothing short of inevitable doom:
Wind Power Investment Collapses in Sweden, Denmark, Finland & Norway
And the Germans, early and once eager wind voortrekkers, are back-pedalling fast, as this piece from the Australian shows.
German renewables revolution a ‘lesson in what not to do’
10 December 2015
As he pushes for Australia to rush towards a 90 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, Greens leader Richard Di Natale cites Germany as a “powerhouse” example.
Speaking from the Paris climate conference, his message was clear: Australia’s emissions reduction target is inadequate, coal is a fringe issue in terms of support for cutting poverty in developing countries, and renewable energy is the path to the future. Germany had “become a powerhouse because they’ve embraced the transition towards renewables. It’s jobs rich, it attracts international investment”.
Brett Hogan, the director of energy and innovation policy at the Institute of Public Affairs, says: “Yes, Australia should look to Germany — but as an example of what not to do in the electricity space.” He says Germany’s renewables revolution will cost at least €1 trillion by 2030 (after subsidies to solar and wind), but its electricity system is becoming more expensive and less reliable.
The Economist reported last week that in the first half of this year households in Germany paid €0.30 for a kilowatt hour of electricity whereas the French paid a mere €0.16. It cited a report from McKinsey that said Germany was likely to miss its self-imposed target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions because it had dropped a bid to regulate brown-coal-burning power stations out of existence.
Germany’s use of brown coal could well increase because it is phasing out nuclear power.
Other European countries that have embraced renewables are also less than economic powerhouses. Finland is finishing its fourth year of negative growth and Norway’s economy expanded its fastest pace in three years last quarter largely driven by higher petroleum exports.
One of the key problems faced by any large-scale move to renewables is wind and solar power are intermittent. This is why battery storage is a potential gamechanger. But after the cost of building them, which is subsidised by the government, the marginal cost of generating power is nearly free. This undercuts coal and gas power stations.
“Germany’s major energy companies are now losing billions of dollars each year as subsidised wind and solar power destroys returns on capital and the incentive to invest in more modern, less emissions intensive generators,” Hogan says. He also disagrees with Di Natalie on the future of coal.
“The consumption of coal, to make steel, and electricity, will continue to increase over the next 25 years,” he says.
“With 2.5 billion people expected to move from rural areas to cities in the developing world between now and 2050, coal will continue to be needed to build the homes, factories, roads, buildings and cars that these people are entitled to demand.”
Sid Maher’s talk about battery storage being a ‘gamechanger’ and with it, the cost of wind and solar power undercutting conventional generation is childish nonsense.
As we’ve pointed out before – the wind industry’s claims about cost-effective storage of bulk electricity is pure fantasy:
The Patent Nonsense of ‘Storing’ Wind Power Smashed
Even Bill Gates has pointed to the bleeding obvious:
“There’s no battery technology that’s even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewables,” he said, pointing out – aswe’ve noted on these pages before – that it’s necessary “to deal not only with the 24-hour cycle but also with long periods of time where it’s cloudy and you don’t have sun or you don’t have wind.”
Germany is re-commissioning coal-fired plant and constructing new coal-fired plant as fast as it can. And, the Germans too have slashed subsidies for wind, with the same halt on wind power ‘investment’ as elsewhere:
Rocketing Power Prices see Subsidies Slashed, Bringing Europe’s Wind Industry to its Knees
By no stretch of the imagination can wind power be called a ‘system’ – it’s ‘chaos’, pure and simple. Here’s the output of Australia’s wind farms connected to the Eastern Grid (a notional capacity of 3,669MW spread over NSW, VIC, TAS & SA) during June.
With Westerners a wake-up to the wind power fraud, the wind industry is praying on the Third World as its next gullible target.
The real story behind the Paris global warming hysteria is that the wind and solar industries are looking to feast on the $100 billion designed to be ripped from the rich; and purportedly destined for the poor.
But the catch is that the currently unlit homes of Africa and India are going to be stuck with “fake electricity” and deprived of “real electricity”.
Bjorn Lomborg made the point in a recent piece in The Australian, ‘Politicians in pursuit of the impossible‘, which included this tale about solar power being thrust upon unwilling Indians:
“[D]ishing out solar panels is a poor use of aid money. And it’s immoral that to make up the much-vaunted $US100bn fund, many governments, including Britain and Australia, are diverting money from existing development budgets.
Let’s look at a real-life example of climate aid in eastern India — not one involving governments but the international environmental group Greenpeace. On its website Dharnai Live, we see smiling people and solar-panel-covered roofs, and we’re told that after “30 years of darkness” green energy came to the rescue.
But here’s what really happened: last year, under the slogan “Energy access simplified”, Greenpeace supplied Dharnai with a solar-powered micro-grid — not connected to India’s central grid. Greenpeace writes that “Dharnai refused to give into the trap of the fossil fuel industry”. That is a somewhat loose paraphrasing of what the people who lived there wanted for themselves.
Back in 2010, Dharnai’s inhabitants had collected $US680 in the hope of buying their way into the power grid, which in most of India is supplied by coal-fired power plants. Four years later, still with no electricity, Greenpeace swooped to the rescue with a solar system.
The day the electricity was turned on, the batteries were drained of power within a few hours.
A boy from Dharnai remembers wanting to do his homework early in the morning before leaving to work in the fields, but there wasn’t enough power for the family’s one lamp.
Today, power from the solar system costs up to three times as much as power from the central power grid, and it also requires the use of energy-efficient light bulbs, that cost 66 times more than normal light bulbs.
But fortunately for the people of Dharnai — if not for the Greenpeace narrative — the town today is connected to the central power grid. You see, Greenpeace invited the state chief minister to the inauguration of the solar system so he could meet the grateful inhabitants. When he showed up, he was met by a large crowd of people, with signs and songs demanding “real electricity” (the kind you can use to run the stove and the refrigerator) and not “fake electricity” (meaning solar energy).
A week later, a 100kWh transformer was installed, and Dharnai received modern electricity.
Today, two-thirds of the original recipient households have opted out of the solar-panel scheme, and the rest use it primarily as a backup when the central power grid fails.
This is a part of the story you won’t hear from Greenpeace — but it shows why it’s necessary to question when well-meaning people tell us that dishing out solar panels is a good way to spend development money.
And it points to a broader problem with the state of green energy.
Here in Paris, there are many well-meaning people who argue that we need strong carbon cuts and green-energy production subsidies now and for many years to come, to get the world to move towards tackling climate change.
But at the same time, these same people argue that solar and wind is already competitive and effective, or that this moment is just around the corner. The strange thing is that those two arguments are incompatible.
We are often told that green energy is competitive in developing countries, and particularly Africa. Green energy, especially wind, can indeed help African countries, for example, to get electricity to remote, rural areas.
But that is only a small part of the big picture. As we saw in Dharnai, the grid will do by far the most good for the most people. According to a 2011 World Bank study, renewable energy “will be the lowest cost option for a minority of households in Africa, even when likely cost reductions over the next 20 years are considered”.
Popular solar lights cost almost $US2 per kilowatt hour. Using hydro, gas and oil, the grid cost for the main population centres in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Kenya will likely be US16c to US25c a kilowatt hour. In South Africa, where coal powers 90 per cent of electricity, the cost is just US9c a kilowatt hour.
Green energy costs $US168bn in subsidies right now each year, and by 2040 we’ll be paying even more at $US206bn a year.
However, it is also interesting — and surprising to many — to note that even with these massive subsidies and green policies, doing everything governments are now promising, we’ll get just 2.4 per cent of our energy from green sources in 2040, according to the International Energy Agency.
You really have to put on a pair of green-tinted spectacles to see a world in which renewable energy is about to become competitive or already is.
It is for that reason that the Paris Treaty — to be signed today, if all the talking has gone to plan — will cost a fortune and do very little. Until there is a breakthrough that makes green energy competitive on its own merits, massive carbon cuts are expensive and extremely unlikely to happen.
Greed and avarice among wind and solar power profiteers are driving the greatest wealth transfer in history. The concept of forcing electricity on impoverished nations of the kind that can’t be delivered on demand to millions of people, who have none, is not just cruel, it’s criminal.
To force taxpayers in developed Nations to fund such a monumental fiasco, only adds to the obscenity. For a handful of human-hating ideologues to determine that the poorest in the world will never have access to that which we take for granted can’t be explained as good intentions being lost in translation.
The West is abandoning wholly weather dependent wind power, for the obvious reason that it is meaningless as a power source; and, no matter how munificent the subsidies, will never have any commercial value simply because it cannot be delivered on demand.
And yet, the West’s leaders slap themselves on the back for a job well done: US Secretary of State, John Kerry calling what they’ve cynically conjured up “the most extraordinary market opportunity in the history of humankind”. Indeed it is, but for all the wrong reasons.
What Kerry and his ilk are crowing about is using other peoples’ money (ie yours) to enable wind turbine and solar panel manufacturers in America to profit to the tune of $billions, while delivering “fake electricity” to millions of people who are desperately crying out for the real stuff.