Wind Turbines Do NOT Reduce CO2….

Wind Industry’s CO2 Abatement Claims Go Up in Smoke

lies

The central, endlessly repeated lie upon which the wind industry seeks to ‘justify’ the colossal and endless subsidies upon which it critically depends; the destruction of wind farm neighbours’ health, wealth and happiness; and the slaughter of millions of birds and bats, is that wind power causes substantial reductions of CO2 emissions in the electricity sector.

STT has been slamming that myth since we cranked into gear nearly 3 years ago. It’s a topic that attracts plenty of interest.

Our post – How Much CO2 Gets Emitted to Build a Wind Turbine? – has clocked over 11,000 hits; and still attracts plenty of attention. But that story is limited to a back of the envelope calculation of the CO2 emissions that this so-called ‘fossil free’ power source clocks up before these things start spinning.

In this post we hand over to a pair of switched on energy experts, Alex Henney and Frank Udo, as they tackle the wind power CO2 abatement myth – in terms of its failure to reduce CO2 emissions to the degree claimed by the wind industry; or at all.

How Much CO2 Do Windmills Really Save?
Not a lot of people know that
Alex Henney
6 November 2015

WINDMILLS DO NOT MITIGATE CO2 AS CLAIMED ON THE TIN1

Alex Henney2 and Fred Udo3

“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir?”
J.M. Keynes

INTRODUCTION

Peter Lang posted a blog “Wind turbines’ CO2 and abatement cost” on 27 April 2015 based on his submission to the Australian Select Committee on Wind Turbines dated 23 March 2015. He advanced similar analyses to those which provided to the then Minister for Energy of the British government in September 2011. We drew on empirical experience from Ireland and the US.

IRELAND

In 2011 gas produced 66% of Irish electricity; coal 11%; peat 8%; wind 12%; hydro and pumped hydro 2.5%; other 1%. Most of the balancing or load following to respond to variations in wind and output is provided byCCGTs and OCGT’s and 3 hydro facilities including a pumped storage plant.

Eirgrid, the system operator, calculates the emissions of CO2 from the system as a whole using “static” heat rates for thermal plants (i.e. assuming they operate at a constant output). This approach overstates their efficiency and understates their CO2 emissions because when gas plant ramp-up and –down (i.e. “cycle”) their thermal efficiency reduces – hence their CO2 emissions/MWh increase (i).

The estimated average emissions using static heat rates for the period November 2010 to August 2011 was 451g/kWh while the average CO2emissions calculated from the carbon input from gas and coal was 528g/kWh, which is 17% higher. Part or all of this difference can be attributed to the static approach used in the CO2 calculation of Eirgrid.

The CO2 savings for the period November 2010 to August 2011 were analysed and the “efficiency” of wind in reducing CO2 emissions defined as (ii):-

The ratio of the measured reduction in CO2emissions, to the reduction inCO2emissions calculated as if every MWh of wind energy produced replaces a MWh of conventional electricity production without change in efficiency of the conventional plants.

The efficiency varies month by month, see exhibit 1.

image31

Exhibit 1 The efficiency of wind in reducing CO2 in Ireland

Why the difference from month to month? In particular what happened in April 2011? The answer might be the availability of hydro, see exhibit 2.

image32

Exhibit 2 The influence of hydro power on CO2 saving efficiency

In 2011 the pumped storage facility at Turlough Hill was being renovated; in consequence gas plants had to cycle more and thus produced more CO2. The result was that a 12% wind contribution saved only 4% CO2emissions4. A subsequent analysis found that when wind production averaged about 15% the thermal efficiency of the fleet of CCGTs was 40% compared with their nameplate efficiency of 55% (iii).

Another constraint on wind is the amount of must-run capacity, which is 1300MW. Thus when the demand is low and the wind is high, wind energy has to be spilled. This is demonstrated with the aid of a load duration curve constructed from all the daily load curves with the points sorted in order of decreasing demand. Exhibit 3 shows the load duration curve (iv) for November 2010 with the associated level of wind; once demand reduces below about 2500MW the wind is increasingly curtailed – in this case about 3% is lost.

image33

 

Exhibit 3 Wind is uncorrelated with demand so when demand is low it would have to be spilled

The Irish government has a target of three times the current level of wind by 2020, which would result in spilling 30% of the wind energy production, see exhibit 4.

image34

Exhibit 4 If the government target for wind in 2020 were met, 30% of the wind energy would have to be spilled

COLORADO AND ERCOT

Energy Consultant Bentek (v) undertook a study of the effect of wind on emissions of SOx, NOx and CO2 for two systems:-

  • The system of Colorado Public Service Company (PSCO), which in 2008 had 3.8GW of coal plant, 3.2GW of gas plant, 0.4GW of hydro and pump storage, and 1.1GW of wind, and
  • The ERCOT system in Texas, which is a virtually stand-alone system that manages about 85% of the capacity in Texas. In 2009 it had 17.5GW of coal plant, with 44.4GW of gas plant, 5.1GW of nuclear, 0.6GW of hydro, and 9.4GW of wind; the system produced 300TWh and met a maximum demand of 63GW. Wind provides between 5% and 8% of the average generation overall, depending on the season, but at night its contribution rises slightly from 6% (summer) to 10% (spring)

Both systems are predominantly thermal with significant wind relative to their size, and little hydro.

The studies used publicly available hourly data for boiler specific emissions and production which are provided to the Continuous Emissions Monitoring System of the Environmental Protection Agency and data provided to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

ERCOT also publishes wind, coal, nuclear, natural gas and hydro generation data on a 15-minute basis. The PSCO part of the report first examines in detail the impact of cycling for CO2 coal plants over a number of days when there are “wind events”.

The avoided generation from coal plants was calculated; the monthly and quarterly “stable day” emission rate was calculated; finally the difference between the actual emissions and the emissions that would have been generated if the avoided generation had been produced with the “stable day” emission rates was calculated.

The effect of cycling coal plant is shown by the operation of Cherokee Unit 4 located in Denver. Between 7:00 pm and 9:00 am on March 17 and 18, 2008, see exhibit 5. “Total generation from the plant is shown in blue; the heat rate – defined as the MMBtu of fuel per unit of generation – is shown in red.

Between 9:00 pm and 1:00 am, generation from the Cherokee 4 fell from 370 to 260 MW. It then increased to 373 MW by 4:00 am. During the period in which generation fell by 30%, heat rate rose by 38%. Heat rates are directly linked to cycling: as the generation from coal plants falls, the heat rate begins to climb. Initially, the heat rate climbs because generation of the plant is choked back and fewer MW are produced by the same amount of coal.

Later in the cycle, the heat rate climbs further because more coal is burned in order to bring the combustion temperature back up to the designed, steady-state rate. Additionally, for many hours after cycling, the heat rate is slightly higher than it was at the same generation level before cycling the plant.”

image35

Exhibit 5 Impact of generation decline on heat rate

In addition to the micro study of wind events on particular plants, the study also looked at the coal cycling impacts on PSCO’s territory emissions. The conclusion of the study was that:-

“…cycling of coal-fired facilities has increased significantly since 2007 as wind energy generation increased to its current levels … the increased incidence of cycling has led to emission of greater volumes of SO2, NOx and CO2. In 2008, depending on the method of calculation, cycling coal plants caused between 1.1 and 10.5 million pounds of SO2 to be produced that would not have been produced had the plants not been cycled…Cycling’s impact on CO2is more ambiguous as the range is between creating a saving of 164,000 tons and a penalty of 151,000 tons. In 2009, generation from PSCO’s coal-fired plants fell off by about 20%, but their emissions did not diminish proportionately. Again, cycling appears to be a central factor … between 94,000 and 147,000 pounds of CO2[was produced] more than would have been generated had the plants been run stably.”

The conclusion of the study of ERCOT, which was undertaken in a similar manner to their PSCO analysis, is:-

“Not only does wind generation not allow ERCOT utilities to save SO2, NOx and CO2 emissions, it is directly responsible for creating more SO2 and NOx emissions and CO2 emission savings are minimal at best.”

THE RESPONSE OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO THESE FINDINGS

Like the Irish system, the British system is predominantly thermal and balancing will largely depend on oldish frame CCGTs. The Irish system is the “canary in the mine”.

We recommended that before spending £ tens of billions more on windmills, the British government should commission an objective and empirical scientific study (vi) of how efficient windmills are at mitigating CO2 emissions.

We put these findings to the Minister of Energy and received a 3 page reply which was largely irrelevant or inaccurate. The letter incorrectly intimated that the Irish system was balanced by “old, relatively inefficient plant” – in fact the gas plants were relatively new.

The government did, however, agree:

“The Irish system is a better comparator to Britain as it is an island with wind being backed up predominantly by gas fired generation. Unfortunately we feel your otherwise very informative analysis falls into a trap of looking at a specific time period and trying to extrapolate from it. By looking at a period of time when pumped storage (which is a low carbon technology for balancing wind) was out of service you demonstrate a significant divergence between anticipated and actual emissions. It may be that the average intensity is significantly better than this, which is the danger inherent in taking short time periods in this way and using them to make a general point.”

Comment: This entirely misses our point. We looked at the time when the pumped storage was out of commission in order to see how the system performed when the wind was balanced by thermal plant, which is how the British system is balanced, and will increasingly be balanced if the government’s wind ambitions are achieved.

Colorado and ERCOT: In both these examples, unabated coal plant is being used to back up wind.

This is a helpful case study of why it is important for the British government to pursue the development of carbon capture storage (CCS) if we want coal to play a long term role in our energy mix, and also a helpful example of why the design of the Electric Market Reform (EMR) needs to incentivise the building and operation of the right kinds of balancing generation. This is the subject of ongoing work, also of ongoing dialogue with relevant industry players.”

COMMENTS

  1. Let us believe CCS when we see it tested and viable.
  2. Our paper was focused on 2020 and the technologies that are on the table. The electric industry has been bedeviled by dreams of technologies of the future…

“We can agree with you on the need for objective and scientific study of the issues. The government is engaging with the range of relevant industry players who have the data to inform this discussion, and will use this to inform our market design decisions as we finalise the operational details of EMR.”

Comment: Our concept of an “objective and scientific study” does not envisage either the government or industry having a lead role because neither have a record of either rigour or objectivity.

The British government has no interest in evidence based policy, only in policy based evidence. It has no interest in the cost of decarbonisation, because it is attempting to save the planet?

Never mind that the Chinese, Indians and Indonesians are not joining in and are increasing coal burn for generation at a great rate. Even the Germans and Dutch have just completed ten large new supercritical coal plants. The British government (like some others) does not live on planet earth when it comes to “climate change” and the policies flowing there from.

1 This blog is based on an article titled “Wind – Whitehall’s pointless profligacy” that was published in New Power, Issue 45, October, 2012.

2 Director EEE Ltd; once a director of London Electricity; the first person to propose in 1987 a competitive restructuring of the electric industry in England & Wales; advisor on electric systems from Norway to New Zealand; author of “The British Electric Industry 1990-2010: the rise and demise of competition”.

3 Retired Dutch physicist who worked at CERN Geneva, latterly on the Large Hadron Collider.

4 A detailed simulation by Joseph Wheatley, Quantifying CO2 Savings from Wind Power, 2012 (for the version submitted before peer review) concluded the effectiveness was only 53% during normal operations.

END NOTES

i) The topic of the significant loss of thermal efficiency of gas and coal plants cycling is dealt with in detail by Willem Post in “Wind Power and CO2 Emissions”,

www.coalitionforenergysolutions.org/research_and_reports.

ii) Wind energy and CO2 emissions – 2, F. Udo, 21 October 2011,www.clepair.net/udo_okt-e.html.

iii) http://euanmearns.com/the-balancing-capacity-issue-a-ticking-time-bomb-under-the-uks-energiewende/

iv) Wind turbines as a source of electricity. F. Udo, K de Groot and C. le Pair: http://www.clepair.net/windstroom e.html

v) How less became more: wind, power and unintended consequences in the Colorado Energy Market, Bentek Energy LLC, 16 April 2010,http://docs.wind-watch.org/BENTEK-How-Less-Became-More.pdf.

vi) While National Grid should be involved in the study, it should not lead it because it has a vested interest in claiming that windmills mitigate CO2because it wants as many windmills on the system as possible in order to justify bulking up its grids. An example of the reaction of vested interests is given by the response of Mr. Nick Winser to Mr. Udo’s analysis of Ireland was “Thanks. Interesting. I doubt that your point about part loaded fossil negating the carbon benefits of wind is well founded particularly with our huge advances in wind forecasting accuracy.” There is a basic flaw in his response, namely although the forecasts may be more accurate that per se will not alter the outturn variability – hence cycling of plant.

turbine fire 3

Not Often CNBC Allows an Article Like This….”How Mother Nature Helps prevent Climate Change!”

How Mother Nature helps prevent climate change

1 Hour Ago

Large floating contraptions, used by scientists to predict the acidity in the oceans, sit offshore the scientific outpost of Ny-Alesund. The cold water at the poles is able to absorb more carbon dioxide than tropical waters and therefore increases acidity quicker. Though it is a relatively small amount, the effects on the ocean's chemistry can be dramatic.

Martin Bureau | AFP | Getty Images
Large floating contraptions, used by scientists to predict the acidity in the oceans, sit offshore the scientific outpost of Ny-Alesund. The cold water at the poles is able to absorb more carbon dioxide than tropical waters and therefore increases acidity quicker. Though it is a relatively small amount, the effects on the ocean’s chemistry can be dramatic.

Humans worried about climate change are getting some help from Earth — for now.

Earth’s land and ocean currently absorb about half of all carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and other sources. But the amount of carbon entering the atmosphere may be changing nature in ways that leave scientists uncertain whether the planet can keep absorbing even that amount of carbon in the future.

Since the Industrial Revolution, carbon levels have increased 2.5 times to more than 400 parts per million at present, said Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, in a call with reporters Thursday. That is higher than it has been in the last 400,000 years.

He added that scientists know, from ice cores and other information, that carbon levels in the atmosphere hovered between 180 and 280 parts per million until about the 1800s.

Freilich and his colleagues at NASA and other institutions discussed the need for more research into how the planet absorbs greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. They also discussed new evidence taken from Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 — NASA’s first satellite designed to measure carbon dioxide “from the top of Earth’s atmosphere to its surface,” according to a NASA press release.

The data from space gives a significant advantage in getting an idea of the total carbon cycle around the entire planet, said Annmarie Eldering, OCO-2 deputy project scientist at NASA‘s jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, California.

On average about half of all of the carbon that enters the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean or by forests — though that can vary, and some evidence suggests the increased levels of carbon in the ocean may be creating conditions — such as raised acidity levels in seawater — that are making it more difficult to absorb carbon, said Scott Doney, chair of the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

“The land and the ocean are really doing us a big favor,” said Lesley Ott, an atmospheric scientist in the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA‘s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, in a press release. “Otherwise you would have carbon building up in the atmosphere twice as fast as it does now.”

Forests on land — increasingly prone to wildfires — may be emitting more carbon than they take in, as well. Wildfires were rampant across much of the western United States in 2015. Research released this year said wildfire seasons are lasting longer almost everywhere on the planet. Even Alaska saw an unusually high number of wildfires this year.

Warming is also causing permafrost on the world’s tundras to thaw, which is releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as well, according to research.

Even natural gas harvesting is leaking small amounts of methane into the air, and there are questions about whether that could be making any contribution to the total amounts of gases in the air, Doney said.

And natural processes — including weather patterns and periodic climate phenomena such as El Niño — have been seen to have some kind of effect on atmospheric carbon levels, but scientists need to study this further.

Added together, these factors may have considerable effects on the natural processes that absorb carbon, and on the effects of higher carbon levels in the atmosphere.

NASA has been working on several projects that are attempting to get an accurate assessment of the carbon cycle around the globe. They hope they will be able to provide policymakers with more accurate data in the future. Atmospheric carbon levels will be a major topic of discussion at the United Nations climate conference scheduled for Paris in a few weeks.

Government-induced Climaphobia….It’s a Huge Money-Grab!

Climate of intimidation

The idea only so-called ‘experts’ can debate global warming policies is an attack on free speech

lorrie-goldstein

BY , TORONTO SUN

FIRST POSTED: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2015 03:06 PM EDT | UPDATED: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2015 04:40 PM EDT

Climate Change protesters
A protester, wearing a Halloween mask, stands near a protest banner during a rally near the Presidential Palace to protest the country’s use of coal to power energy generation power plants which according to them has contributed to pollution Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. The protesters are urging the Government to do more to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions which allegedly contributes to global climate change. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

The easiest way to distinguish between a critical thinker and an ideological one is this.

When a critical thinker disagrees with you, he or she thinks you’re wrong.

When an ideologue disagrees with you, he or she thinks you’re evil.

When it comes to discussions about climate change, we have far too many ideologues and far too few critical thinkers.

Far too many self-proclaimed “environmentalists” who want to shut down all debate on the subject because their narrow and rigid ideological minds believe there is only one “correct” position — theirs — which saves them from having to think.

These are the folks who condemn anyone who disagrees with them as “climate change deniers”, a dogwhistle meant to smear anyone who deviates from climate change orthodoxy as the equivalent of a denier of the Holocaust.

I was reminded of this tactic Thursday in the lead-up to a discussion about political responses to climate change in which I was a panelist before a group of Ryerson University MBA students.

My fellow panelist was Andreas Souvaliotis, Executive Chairman of Social Change Rewards Inc. and we both appeared at the invitation of prominent Toronto lawyer Ralph Lean, who organizes a speaker series for Ryerson students.

The problem wasn’t with the students, who asked thoughtful and intelligent questions, nor with my fellow panelist, nor with Lean nor with the students’ professor, Dr. Asher Alkoby, a gracious and open-minded host.

Of course, open-mindedness should be expected in a university setting, but sadly, today that is decreasingly the case as more and more so-called institutions of higher learning replace critical thought with ideological thinking, intellectual laziness and academic decline.

Amusingly, the very mention of the idea on twitter by Ryerson’s MBA program that two non-scientists were about to discuss issues related to climate change was enough to freak out various and sundry self-proclaimed environmentalists, who have appointed themselves the arbiters of who can and who cannot discuss the issue.

Their attitudes, in and of themselves, are insignificant and unimportant.

But they speak to a wider concern that goes to the very heart of our fundamental notions of free speech, critical inquiry and indeed to the essence of the scientific method itself, which is built upon rational skepticism, not the unthinking acceptance of orthodoxy and received wisdom.

Far too often in the climate change debate, the people who will be most affected by government policies to deal with it — meaning all of us — are excluded on the basis that we are not “experts” on climate science.

I have seen this tactic used repeatedly over the years — most disgracefully by some politicians — to intimidate people into silence about expressing their views on climate change and its so-called “solutions” such as carbon taxes, cap-and-trade and wind and solar power.

This claim that climate change is the sole purview of “experts” is not only an attack on free speech and critical inquiry, it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding about what this debate is really all about.

Because it is not, at its essence, an environmental debate at all, but an economic one.

Governments in our own country and all over the world today are either implementing or contemplating a new tax they have never charged us for before — the emission of industrial greenhouse gases linked to climate change into the atmosphere.

It matters not whether they do it through a carbon tax or cap-and-trade, which is simply a carbon tax by another name, albeit less efficient and more open to political corruption.

What matters is that since we — all of us — are the ultimate polluters because we buy the goods and services that fossil fuel energy creates and transports, we will be the ultimate payers of what prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau vaguely refers to as “carbon pricing.”

In other words, what is actually being determined in the climate change debate is what will be our cost of living and our standard and quality of life.

Every citizen has the right to participate in that debate, without fear of being mocked or shouted down because they are not an “expert” on the science of global warming.

Which is why the dogwhistlers, with their specious comparisons of anyone who disagrees with them to Holocaust deniers and their disrespect for critical thinking, must be fought at every turn.

97% of Climate Scientists Do NOT Agree On AGW!

The claim of a 97% consensus on global warming does not stand up
Consensus is irrelevant in science. There are plenty of examples in history where everyone agreed and everyone was wrong

Richard Tol: ‘There is disagreement on the extent to which humans contributed to the observed warming. This is part and parcel of a healthy scientific debate.’ Photograph: Frank Augstein/AP

Dana Nuccitelli writes that I “accidentally confirm the results of last year’s 97% global warming consensus study”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I show that the 97% consensus claim does not stand up.

At best, Nuccitelli, John Cook and colleagues may have accidentally stumbled on the right number.

Cook and co selected some 12,000 papers from the scientific literature to test whether these papers support the hypothesis that humans played a substantial role in the observed warming of the Earth. 12,000 is a strange number. The climate literature is much larger. The number of papers on the detection and attribution of climate change is much, much smaller.

Cook’s sample is not representative. Any conclusion they draw is not about “the literature” but rather about the papers they happened to find.

Most of the papers they studied are not about climate change and its causes, but many were taken as evidence nonetheless. Papers on carbon taxes naturally assume that carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming – but assumptions are not conclusions. Cook’s claim of an increasing consensus over time is entirely due to an increase of the number of irrelevant papers that Cook and co mistook for evidence.

The abstracts of the 12,000 papers were rated, twice, by 24 volunteers. Twelve rapidly dropped out, leaving an enormous task for the rest. This shows. There are patterns in the data that suggest that raters may have fallen asleep with their nose on the keyboard. In July 2013, Mr Cook claimed to have data that showed this is not the case. In May 2014, he claimed that data never existed.

The data is also ridden with error. By Cook’s own calculations, 7% of the ratings are wrong. Spot checks suggest a much larger number of errors, up to one-third.

Cook tried to validate the results by having authors rate their own papers. In almost two out of three cases, the author disagreed with Cook’s team about the message of the paper in question.

Attempts to obtain Cook’s data for independent verification have been in vain. Cook sometimes claims that the raters are interviewees who are entitled to privacy – but the raters were never asked any personal detail. At other times, Cook claims that the raters are not interviewees but interviewers.

The 97% consensus paper rests on yet another claim: the raters are incidental, it is the rated papers that matter. If you measure temperature, you make sure that your thermometers are all properly and consistently calibrated. Unfortunately, although he does have the data, Cook does not test whether the raters judge the same paper in the same way.

Consensus is irrelevant in science. There are plenty of examples in history where everyone agreed and everyone was wrong. Cook’s consensus is also irrelevant in policy. They try to show that climate change is real and human-made. It is does not follow whether and by how much greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced.

The debate on climate policy is polarised, often using discussions about climate science as a proxy. People who want to argue that climate researchers are secretive and incompetent only have to point to the 97% consensus paper.

On 29 May, the Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the US House of Representatives examined the procedures of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Having been active in the IPCC since 1994, serving in various roles in all its three working groups, most recently as a convening lead author for the fifth assessment report of working group II, my testimony to the committee briefly reiterated some of the mistakes made in the fifth assessment report but focused on the structural faults in the IPCC, notably the selection of authors and staff, the weaknesses in the review process, and the competition for attention between chapters. I highlighted that the IPCC is a natural monopoly that is largely unregulated. I recommended that its assessment reports be replaced by an assessment journal.

In an article on 2 June, Nuccitelli ignores the subject matter of the hearing, focusing instead on a brief interaction about the 97% consensus paper co-authored by… Nuccitelli. He unfortunately missed the gist of my criticism of his work.

Successive literature reviews, including the ones by the IPCC, have time and again established that there has been substantial climate change over the last one and a half centuries and that humans caused a large share of that climate change.

There is disagreement, of course, particularly on the extent to which humans contributed to the observed warming. This is part and parcel of a healthy scientific debate. There is widespread agreement, though, that climate change is real and human-made.

I believe Nuccitelli and colleagues are wrong about a number of issues. Mistakenly thinking that agreement on the basic facts of climate change would induce agreement on climate policy, Nuccitelli and colleagues tried to quantify the consensus, and failed.

In his defence, Nuccitelli argues that I do not dispute their main result. Nuccitelli fundamentally misunderstands research. Science is not a set of results. Science is a method. If the method is wrong, the results are worthless.

Nuccitelli’s pieces are two of a series of articles published in the Guardian impugning my character and my work. Nuccitelli falsely accuses me of journal shopping, a despicable practice.

The theologist Michael Rosenberger has described climate protection as a new religion, based on a fear for the apocalypse, with dogmas, heretics and inquisitors like Nuccitelli. I prefer my politics secular and my science sound.

• Richard Tol is a professor of economics at the University of Sussex

The Pope Acts as a Shill for Climate Alarmists. No Regard for the Poor!

Written by PSI Staff on 21 Oct 2015

Outspoken Australian academic publishes telling new book exposing the Vatican for promoting junk science claims about man-global warming. heaven and hell The Encylical Letter of Pope Francis Laudato Si “care for our common home” was influenced by atheists, communists and green activists, claims Professor Ian Plimer, a world-renowned climate critic.

In Heaven and Hell Professor Plimer, a successful geologist and long-time critic of climate alarmists, takes Pope Francis to task, looking purely at the science rather than the theology.  Plimer shows the failure of the current Pope in his understanding of the real issues causing poverty, especially in Third World countries.

Plimer’s is a trusted voice in the heated climate debate and, as in his previous books, his new publication again shows that ‘anthropogenic global warming’ is a dangerous, ruinously expensive fiction, a ‘first-world luxury’ with no basis in scientific fact.

“The hypothesis that human activity can create global warming is extraordinary because it is contrary to validated knowledge from solar physics, astronomy, history, archaeology and geology,” says Plimer, and while his thesis is not new, you’re unlikely to have heard it expressed with quite such vigour, certitude or wide-ranging scientific authority.

Professor Plimer tells Principia Scientific International that he “hops into Naomi Klein in this book.” (Klein is a trumpeter for the alarmist movement and recently admitted that man-made climate change is not about the science). The book is on general release from October 23, 2015.

Plimer has previously warned that:

The Climate Change Authority and the Greens want more renewables because apparently, human emissions of CO2 drive global warming. I am a patient chap, was fabulously good looking in the long ago and have a dog that’s never bitten me but please, dear readers, can someone show me from basic science and mathematics that the human emissions (3% total) of plant food (CO2) drive climate change yet the 97% of natural emissions of CO2 do not. This has never been done and I’m still waiting for the proof. It’s easy to show that human emissions of CO2 don’t drive climate change and there are many scientific arguments to show that the total atmospheric CO2 does not drive climate change.

Why Wynne Pushes Wind…..Follow the Money Trail!

Wind Industry Welfare: How Crony Capitalism Drives the Great Wind Power Fraud

 crony-capitalism

‘Wind PTC Action Hub’: Time to End Energy Cronyism
Master Resource
Robert Bradley Jr.
9 October 2015

“Without the PTC, any mandated wind generation would be an even bigger political problem because its cost inflation would be exposed. The wind-is-competitive-with-fossil-fuels hyperbole would be refuted in real time.”

Congress enacted the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) in 1992 as a temporary measure for an “infant” industry.

Decades and nine extensions later, it is time to eliminate the PTC.

Subsidized wind power inflates electricity costs, compromises taxpayers, and destabilizes the electric grid (wind-generated electricity is intermittent).

The huge tax credit allows pricing that ruins the economics of steady, conventional generation sources. Wind power, indeed, is the perfect imperfect energy.

The PTC It is most beneficial to wealthy wind developers who are able to reduce their tax rate at the expense of the rest of us. It is past time to end corporate welfare for this mature, and in their own words,competitive, wind industry.

Obama Needs the PTC

President Obama and the EPA’s aggressive regulation of existing power plants amounts to a federal takeover of the electricity system. One of the goals of this regulation is to shift electricity from affordable and dependable sources like coal toward expensive and unreliable sources like wind. (On-grid solar does the same thing.)

Without the PTC, any mandated wind generation would be an even bigger political problem because its cost inflation would be exposed. The wind-is-competitive-with-fossil-fuels hyperbole would be refuted in real time.

Extending the Wind PTC helps Obama/EPA get away with this phase of their forced energy transformation. It is past time to let wind producers stand on their own merit.

In short, a vote for the PTC is a vote for the President’s federal energy takeover.

To this end, the American Energy Alliance has launched a Wind PTC Action Hub. Yesterday’s press release follows:

WASHINGTON — Today, the American Energy Alliance launchedwww.EndWindWelfare.org—a resource and activist hub aimed at eliminating the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC).

With this new tool, which includes a legislative tracker and an action center, AEA will encourage lawmakers to support efforts to end this taxpayer-funded handout. One feature of the hub is a video illustrating how the PTC is tied to President Obama’s new carbon dioxide regulation.

The goal of this regulation is to shift electricity generation from affordable and dependable sources like coal toward expensive and unreliable sources like wind. Obama’s plan will unavoidably raise electricity rates – hurting poor and middle class families the most. But without the PTC, mandating industrial wind power is a much more difficult task, as wind power needs handouts to survive.

Thus, Congress can take meaningful action against the Obama’s administration’s anti-energy agenda by eliminating the PTC. Watch the video below:

****

****

The hub’s legislative tracker shows which representatives have publicly taken a stand against the PTC, allowing Americans to thank their elected leaders for opposing this handout, or hold them accountable for supporting wind welfare.

Our action center will also serve as a resource for policymakers and activists by providing recent reports, blog posts and ongoing advocacy efforts on the PTC.
Master Resource

In Australia, exactly the same forces are at work, driven by wind industry plants inside Environment Minister, Greg Hunt’s office, like Patrick Gibbons – who just happens to be very best mates with Vesta’s little darling, Ken McAlpine.

One of STT’s operatives recently stumbled across a cache of documents – recording a mass of work done by Gibbons, McAlpine and Miles George – of near-bankrupt wind power outfit, Infigen – back then known as Babcock and Brown. This mountain of documents – including internal memos, emails, press releases and presentations given to their political targets, like then Labor leader, Mark Latham – detail efforts by the trio to downplay any likely obstacles to their plans; and to blow the claimed ‘benefits’ of Babcock and Brown’s wind farms – and a planned Vesta’s blade manufacturing plant – out of all proportion with the truth.

Babcock and Brown’s investors, shareholders and creditors all ended up more than just a little worse for wear (to the tune of about $10 billion) as a result of precisely that kind of spin-doctoring shenanigans (see our post here).

In recent times, Gibbons is still working overtime to protect the wind industry by, among other skulduggery, rigging the terms of reference for the new wind farm commissioner in his benefactors’ favour; and appointing one of their own – a former renewable industry crony – as the commissioner.

Gibbons was also in there stacking the expert panel on wind farm noise emissions with hand-picked wind industry pets, like Kym Burgermeister – a noise ‘expert’ who has been defending his wind industry clients in the usual way for years.

Gibbon’s efforts to ‘fix’ it for his wind industry mates, by derailing the work done by the Senators on the Inquiry into the great wind power fraud, has left the Senate Cross-benchers – including STT Champion, David Leyonhjelm – furious.

Wind farm watchdog’s powers ‘not enough’ for crossbench senators
The Australian
Graham Lloyd
10 October 2015

The federal government has been accused of “reneging” on its commitment to crossbench senators regarding the powers of a scientific panel established to monitor wind turbine noise and health.

Australia’s renewable energy industry has promised to co-operate with a new wind farm commissioner and independent scientific committee appointed yesterday to handle complaints, and provide advice on health concerns and low frequency noise monitoring.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the appointments honoured a deal between the government and crossbench senators after a long Senate committee investigation earlier this year.

But senator David Leyonhjelm, who was on the committee, said the government had fallen short of its promise made to ensure passage of its renewable energy target legislation.

“I welcome the appointments of both the wind commissioner and the members of the expert scientific panel,” Senator Leyonhjelm said. “However, Minister Hunt has substantially strayed from the commitment he gave to crossbench senators on 23 June in the terms of reference for the expert scientific panel released today.

“Mr Hunt has reneged on his commitment, and it is difficult to see how the crossbench will be able to believe any of his undertakings in future.”

Crossbench senators had expected the panel to have greater investigatory powers.

But under the terms of reference the committee’s role will be to “improve science and monitoring of the potential impacts of sound from wind turbines (including low frequency and infrasound) on health and the environment’’. It will provide advice on the development of Australian methodologies and frameworks in sound measure­ment and standards for wind farms, including in the field of infra­sound and low frequency sound.

Mr Hunt appointed Andrew Dyer as National Wind Farm Commissioner for three years. Mr Dyer is a former chairman of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Council and has worked in the renewable energy industry.

The independent scientific panel will be chaired by RMIT adjunct professor Jon Davy.
The Australian

Patrick Gibbons has been the captain of crony wind industry capitalism inside the (purportedly) Conservative Coalition; and has fought tooth-and-nail to ensure that the most colossal industry subsidy scheme in the history of the Commonwealth – that will cost all Australian power consumers $3 billion a year in higher power prices – all of which will be directed to Gibbon’s wind industry mates – is maintained:

Out to Save their Wind Industry Mates, Macfarlane & Hunt Lock-in $46 billion LRET Retail Power Tax

Thankfully, Australian banks and power retailers aren’t having a bar of it:

Let the Sun Shine In: Australia’s BIGGEST Power Retailer Determined to Kill Wind Power

Wind Industry Still Wailing About ‘Uncertainty’ as Australian Retailers Continue to Reject Wind Power ‘Deals’

Which means that Gibbons’ plans to destroy Australia’s economic future, on behalf of his mates at Infigen & Co, will eventually come to a shuddering halt:

Australia’s Most Notorious Wind Power Outfit – Infigen – Blames $304 Million Loss on the WIND

Wind Power ‘Investors’ Cut & Run from Australia as Ponzi Scheme Implodes

Any policy that is unsustainable – as America’s PTC and Australia’s LRET most clearly are – will inevitably collapse under its own weight; or be ignominiously scrapped by those that created it. And that is a fact of economic and political life.

turbine fintona 4jpg

Climate Change Money Should be Spent on Adaptation, not Eradication….

Help vulnerable adapt to climate change

A tragedy is unfolding because of the overconfidence of groups like Dr. Claire Herrick’s Citizens’ Climate Lobby (‘Harmful to your health,’ Daily Sun, Sept. 17) that we know the future of climate change and that we can control it merely by regulating our carbon dioxide emissions. Across the world people suffer due to climate change. Yet aid agencies are unable to secure sufficient funds to help them because, of the $1 billion spent globally every day on climate finance, only 6 percent of it is goes to helping vulnerable people adapt to climate change today. The remaining 94 percent is poured into mitigation, trying to stop phenomena that might someday happen.

This is immoral, valuing the lives of people yet to be born more than those in need today. Reports such as those of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change illustrate that there is no known consensus among scientists about what caused the past century’s modest warming or even whether warming or cooling lie ahead. Experts do agree, however, that climate always changes and people need help now. Let’s help them to the degree we can afford and stop pretending we have a crystal ball to the future.

TOM HARRIS

Executive Director

International Climate Science Coalition

Global Warming Alarmists Reject Science, by Trying to Shut Down Dissenters!

Climate Science Turned Monster

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

The public just doesn't seem to be afraid of the Global Warming scare tactics

Promoters of ‘official’ climate, which is defined as the works of the UN IPCC, are desperate. Twenty of them, including Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) members like Kevin Trenberth, asked the Obama administration to file Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges against climate deniers. All but two of the twenty are at Universities, and the two are career bureaucrats associated with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). They all live off the public purse, but somehow in the weird world of climate science that is untainted money. The RICO charge is ad hominem, not about the science. If Virtually all the research funding for global warming comes from government and goes to those supporting the unproven hypothesis. There is no comparison between the amounts of government money going to the ‘official’ side of the science and that going to skeptics.

Their RICO charge is so ridiculous it hardly warrants a response, but it does require scientific perspective. It is important to note that none of the authors of the academic peer reviewed papers and books, they claim provide the evidence for their charge, signed the letter. It is likely that most, if not all of them or their institutes, receive funding from a government beyond their academic or government salaries.

The RICO charge is a particularly nasty form of ad hominem attack. By applying it in the global warming case, it tries to make criminals out of people doing their job properly. The real criminal part of their enterprise is that skeptics are doing what scientists are supposed to do, that is disproving the AGW hypothesis. They accuse these properly named scientific skeptics of performing the scientific method, either through ignorance of the method or to silence them. The twenty, like the IPCC and its supporters, directly or indirectly thwart the scientific method by accepting the hypothesis as proven. They then deflect or ignore overwhelming evidence that the hypothesis is wrong including failed predictions (projections). They consistently refuse to consider the null hypothesis.

The attack is not surprising because the IPCC created a monster and were driven to keep it alive. Once you create the monster it becomes uncontrollable and even if it becomes a threat to society, the creator will resist its destruction; worse, you have to keep feeding the monster and will take extreme measures if necessary. This inevitability is the moral message of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Establishment of the IPCC through the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) put national weather office bureaucrats in control of national climate policy and most of the research funding. They appointed the members of the IPCC and used their offices to promote and perpetuate the unproven hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Extreme measures taken to keep the monster alive included adjusting the record to eliminate previous warm periods and lowering the historic instrumental record to increase the slope of the curve to create or accentuate warming. More recently it was the adjustments designed to offset the pause they directly contradicted the hypothesis. They were on a treadmill for two main reasons. By accepting the IPCC AGW hypothesis as proved, required ignoring or diverting from evidence. It was the destructive effect T.H. Huxley identified when he wrote,

“The great tragedy of science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”

By convincing politicians to establish policy based on their information, it became difficult to admit they were wrong.

The natural tendency of any bureaucracy is to perpetuate its existence. This includes expanding the scope and scale of the work, promoting speculative dangers and threats to society, emphasizing the urgency to resolve the problem, and involving as many other public and private agencies as possible. This list summarizes the claims of those making the RICO charge. The structure and involvement of people and agencies has become so large that reduction or elimination is virtually impossible. It parallels the idea of “too big to fail” but becomes, “too important to fail”.

Another challenge is that the numbers of people involved, directly or indirectly, becomes large enough to influence votes and keep the monster alive. For example, how many tax accountants, tax lawyers, IRS employees or anyone else in the taxation industry would vote for a flat tax? Other than those with a vested interest there are many others who Niccolo Machiavelli identified when he said,

One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.

It is also why Upton Sinclair said,

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

There is also the problem of admitting error that many find difficult. Tolstoi summarized their plight.

“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

In The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science, I identified some of the groups and agencies across the world involved in the promotion and opportunities that the global warming deception offered. They include

· Members of the cabal who chose climate and environment as vehicles for their political agenda.

· Academics attracted by the significant amounts of funding offered.

· Academics with political sympathies for the cabal’s objectives.

· Bureaucrats employed by the national weather offices that comprise the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) chosen as the vehicle for controlling the IPCC.

· Bureaucrats with political sympathies with the cabal objectives.

· Bureaucrats in other government agencies, such as Agriculture or Transport that are secondarily affected by weather and climate issues.

· Departments of Education who directed unbalanced teaching of only the ‘official’ science as Justice Burton UK court ruled.

· Politicians who saw an opportunity to “be green.”

· Politicians who saw an opportunity for more taxation.

· Businesses that saw an opportunity for a profitable business guaranteed by government policy and funding.

· Individuals who saw a career or business opportunity.

· Environmental groups who supported the political objectives of blaming humans for the world’s ills.

· Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). Maurice Strong reconstituted the term coined by the UN in 1945 for the Rio 1992 conference. It purportedly gave voice to organizations not part of a government or conventional for-profit businesses. At Conference of the Parties (COP) climate meetings, they constitute at least half of the attendees.

· Most of the media who actively supported the AGW hypothesis.

· National science academies persuaded by the British Royal Society to support the IPCC position.

There is one thing likely about most of these people, 97 percent of them know little or nothing about climate change.

The Climate Conference of the Parties (COP21) scheduled for Paris is clearly facing failure, which is pushing IPCC defenders, such as the twenty making the RICO request, to extremes. Their comparison of scientists trying to perform proper science to organized crime leaders is beyond outrageous. It is especially egregious because the people making the charges are guilty of scientific malfeasance. While not necessarily criminal, it is worse in the damage it has and will do to everyone. The monster they created using incorrect science became the justification for imposing destructive, expensive, and completely unnecessary policies on the world. These policies will do far more damage to the poor and the environment they claim to protect. As it was anonymously said,

If an honest man is wrong, after demonstrating that he is wrong, he either stops being wrong or he stops being honest.

We Must Fight Back Against Government-Induced Climaphobia! Our lives depend upon it…

OP/Ed: The climate scare’s ‘useful idiots’

firefighters-fire
Industry leaders must stop feeding the fires that are burning down their homes

By Tom Harris

A useful idiot is someone who supports one side of a philosophical debate while unaware of the overarching agenda driving the ideology they promote.

The term was used during the Cold War to describe communist sympathizers in the West. They were accused of viewing themselves as standing for benign socialism and allies of the Soviet Union, when they were actually scorned by the Soviets who used them as tools to help weaken democratic nations.

Climate activists undoubtedly regard many industry leaders as useful idiots on the climate front. Although seriously threatened by the global warming movement, most energy and manufacturing organizations try to appease campaigners by using biased and misleading language that unwittingly supports climate alarmism, destroys jobs, and impairs the well-being of millions.

Here are some examples.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation, sensibly opposes the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). Yet the Chamber inadvertently promotes it on its website, asserting, “We support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions through a comprehensive legislative solution that does not harm the economy, recogniz[ing] that the problem is international in scope…”

The Chamber cites findings by Cato Institute climate experts Chip Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels that the new EPA rule would result in “an estimated 0.018 degrees Centigrade reduction by the year 2100.” The Chamber correctly concludes, “it’s essentially undetectable.”

So why would it advocate “a comprehensive legislative solution” to GHG emissions? The CPP will have no discernible impact on climate and yet, according to Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue, will “impose tens of billions in annual compliance costs, and reduce our nation’s global competitiveness.” That means any carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction plan that might have significant climatic impact would almost certainly destroy the U.S. economy. A “solution that does not harm the economy” undoubtedly does not exist.

The Chamber’s contention that the “the problem is international in scope” is true only if climate change is being driven by humanity’s GHG emissions. If it isn’t—and the Chamber should do nothing to promote the idea that it is—then climate change is obviously a regional problem, and each region should adapt to whatever is happening in their area, independent of global trends.

Similarly, the 35,000-member United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) officially opposes the CPP but unintentionally supports it in the points they suggest mine workers bring up in their own letters to newspapers and government representatives. For example, the union suggests workers write, “No one can deny that greenhouse gas emissions represent a problem that needs to be addressed.”

The reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change demonstrate that thousands of climate experts dispute the idea that CO2 emissions are a serious problem. UMWA executives are not qualified to judge these scientists wrong, and it clearly sabotages their members’ interests to do so.

Duke Energy, the largest electric power company in the United States, says on its website that it is “committed to finding new ways to confront one of our industry’s biggest challenges – global climate change.” While regulations to restrict CO2 emissions present serious challenges to the industry, trends in an imaginary “global” climate have no impact on the sector.

Yet Lynn Good, Duke’s President and CEO, promised to work with state officials to keep moving toward “a lower carbon future” and said in her April 15 open letter to stakeholders that the company is “advocating for climate change policies that reduce emissions.”

While all corporations must follow applicable government regulations, they are under no obligation to encourage them. Considering that a significant fraction of the power Duke generates comes from natural gas and coal, both significant CO2 sources, it makes no sense for the company to urge tighter CO2 controls. While coal is the primary target of the EPA right now, gas will undoubtedly come under increasing attack as the new rules eliminate coal power.

Arch Coal, one of the world’s largest coal producers and marketers, also has clear reasons to fear the consequences of the global warming scare. Yet in its August 3 press release Senior Vice President of Strategy and Public Policy Deck Slone said, “To truly address the threat of climate change, these [developing] countries will need low-cost, low-carbon mitigation tools for fossil fuels.” Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

While these groups have obviously decided that it is not in their interests to contest the official excuse for the CPP—the supposed threat of CO2 emissions—it is a serious strategic mistake for them to promote it. Effective leaders know that you can never satisfy those whose ultimate agenda includes eliminating you.

Industry must stop acting as useful idiots who feed the fires burning down their homes.


Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.

– See more at: http://westmorelandtimes.com/news/17081/17/oped-the-climate-scares-useful-idiots/#sthash.WxjlfBS0.dpuf

Wind Weasels Whine, When Wind Welfare Threatened!

US Wind Industry Wilts as Wind Welfare Gets Slashed

subsidies

The wind industry exists – and ONLY exists – for one single purpose: to wallow in a massive subsidy stream that – in order to keep this monstrous Ponzi scheme alive – will need to outlast religion.

In Australia, the – already overflowing – wind power subsidy trough is designed to be refilled with $3 billion annually from 2019; and to continue being filled at that colossal rate, until 2031.

From hereon, the cost of the greatest subsidy rort in the history of the Commonwealth will exceed $45 billion – every last cent of which will be recovered from Australian power consumers through retail power bills.

But, with commercial retailers boycotting wind power – flatly refusing to sign up to long-term power purchase agreements – wind power outfits here are screaming ‘blue murder’. It’s still all about dreadful ‘uncertainty’ – or so we’re told:

Wind Industry Still Wailing About ‘Uncertainty’ as Australian Retailers Continue to Reject Wind Power ‘Deals’

Faced with a recommendation, made a month or so back, from the Senate Inquiry into the great wind power fraud, that the mandated subsidy – in the form of renewable energy certificates (RECs) – should be limited to a period of 5 years – rather than running from 2001 to 2031 – the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers started  howling like Banshees about their imminent “doom”.

The response has left STT just a little perplexed.

You see, the impression given by the wind industry and its worshippers is that wind power outfits are driven by a kind of ‘divine altruism’, under which their only objective is to power the world for free, while saving the planet from the ‘dreaded’ CO2 gas; and otherwise spreading health, wealth and happiness all over the planet.

But, truth be told, ‘altruism’ is running a poor second to the ‘main wind industry game’ – pocketing massive and endless subsidies:

The Wind Industry: Always and Everywhere the Result of Massive & Endless Subsidies (Part 1)

The Wind Industry: Always and Everywhere the Result of Massive & Endless Subsidies (Part 2)

It shouldn’t be so. You see, on the wind-worshippers’ ‘case’, wind power is the ‘perfect product’: it’s already “free” and, it’s getting cheaper by the day (see this piece of fantasy from ruin-economy).

Back in the real world, however, the ‘perfect product’ is having more than just a little trouble selling itself on its own merits.

Here’s a pair of pieces from the US, that simply confirm the bleeding obvious: THESE THINGS DON’T WORK – on any level.

Wind power growth faces sharp decline without federal aid, report says
Jordan Blum
Fuel Fix
9 September 2015

The growth of wind power projects could come screeching to a halt if Congress fails to extend the renewable energy Production Tax Credit by the end of the year, according to a new American Wind Energy Association report being released later this week.

While critics oppose the continuation of what they call “wind welfare,” Texas leads the nation in wind power, which makes up about 14 percent of the Texas grid’s generation capacity. Failing to extend the renewable energy tax credit could lead to a dramatic 70 percent to 90 percent drop off in new wind power installation projects, said Rob Gramlich, AWEA senior vice president.

“Wind is the unfortunate poster child for unstable government policy,” Gramlich said, adding that the tax credit’s past and current stops and starts “lead to disruption and layoffs.”

For instance, Dokka Fasteners recently said it is closing its Michigan wind power manufacturing plant largely because of uncertainty on U.S. energy policy and the tax credit, as well as congressional gridlock.

The argument for the tax credit is that wind power is becoming increasingly competitive with traditional coal and natural gas-fired power plants, but that cheap natural gas from U.S. shale and other factors are preventing an equal playing field for now. So the AWAE contends the competitive tax credit is needed until wind is truly equally competitive in the next decade as wind turbine costs keep coming down.

“America has been lulled into complacency during downturns in energy prices before, believing cheap energy would last forever, only to be hit harder each successive time when energy prices inevitably increased,” the report states. “Smart energy policy can help us avoid falling into this trap as we have before by ensuring that America maintains a diverse portfolio of energy options.”

Businesses and investors need “long-term clarity” on credits and public policy in order to make decisions on major wind projects that take years to complete, the report added. The AWEA said wind energy supports 73,000 direct jobs nationwide and enough energy to power 18 million homes. The association also argues the growth of wind power saves lives because of the decreased reliance on fossil fuel  power and its carbon emissions.

The Production Tax Credit is competitive and gives a 2.3 cents credit for every kilowatt-hour of electricity sold for the first 10 years of a project’s life. The tax break renewal was estimated to cost $6.4 billion over 10 years. Gramlich added that there are some federal incentives for every type of power generation and that wind is not being singled out. The tax credit still supports wind projects that were already in progress before the end of 2014, but the AWEA report stated that the policy uncertainty will slow the rate of cost reductions in wind power projects.

Still, opponents like the American Energy Alliance argue the AWEA and other groups are guilty of doublespeak for touting the vibrancy of wind power while begging for more government subsidies. The wind industry keeps pushing back the timeline on when it will become truly cost competitive, the alliance adds, so it is time for wind power to stand on its own two feet. Critics also contend wind power is unreliable because wind is intermittent.

Houston-based Calpine, which owns natural gas-fired power plants, opposes the tax credit under the argument that it limits a competitive market.

“Government should not pick winners and losers by subsidizing certain market participants,” Calpine spokesman Brett Kerr said in an email response. “The (tax credit) should not be renewed and market participants should all compete on the same level playing field. Additionally, if the policy goal is carbon reduction, the best approach is to put a price on it and let market sort out most efficient reductions, not having subsidies and set-asides.”

The tax credit is a partisan hot potato that is largely supported by Democrats but has limited GOP backing. The Senate Finance Committee recently approved a bundle of two-year, business tax credit extensions, including the Production Tax Credit, but the full Senate has not yet taken up the legislation. After an August recess, Congress is primarily focusing now on the Iran nuclear deal and government funding legislation.

Gramlich said Congress typically addresses tax credit extensions nearer to the end of the year.

In Texas, the state government requires utility companies to buy a certain amount of their electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar. An effort to dismantle the state program, called the Renewable Portfolio Standard, failed in the Legislature last spring.
Fuel fix

brat

****

Domestic market for distributed wind turbines faces several challenges
Owen Comstock
Today in Energy
27 August 2015

1

***

The domestic market for distributed wind turbines has weakened since the record capacity additions in 2012. Last year’s installations of mid-size and small wind turbines were the lowest in a decade. Relatively low electricity prices, competition from other distributed energy sources, and relatively high permitting and other nonmaterial costs have presented challenges to the distributed wind market in the United States.

Most distributed wind turbines installed in 2014 were connected directly to distribution lines to serve local loads. Distributed wind turbines can also be installed either off-grid or grid-connected at local sites to offset all or a portion of a site’s electricity consumption. Compared with electric utility wind facilities, distributed wind turbine installations are often smaller units, below 1 megawatt (MW), and thus may not appear on EIA’s survey of utility-scale electric generators, which has a 1-MW threshold at the project level. Although some large-scale turbines (1 MW or greater) are used in distributed generation applications, large-scale turbines are more often used at wind farms for wholesale power generation, which is sent through transmission lines to more distant customers.

Based on information in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Distributed Wind Market Report, most of the 2014 distributed wind capacity was installed on institutional sites, such as schools, universities, and electric cooperatives. Government installations on city, municipal, or military facilities made up more than one quarter of 2014 installed capacity. Other sectors (industrial, commercial, agricultural, and residential) were relatively small in terms of capacity, but larger in terms of number of installations, as the average turbine size on these sites is relatively small compared with institutional and government sites.

2

***

Some customers who install these turbines are eligible for federal tax credits, in particular the investment tax credit (ITC), which provides a 30% cost incentive for turbines with capacities of 100 kilowatts or less. The investment tax credit was one of the largest factors in both the increase in installations from 2010 to 2012 and the decline after 2012. In 2009, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. Treasury allowed projects to receive cash payments instead of tax credits. To qualify, projects had to be under construction or in service by the end of 2011 and must have applied for a grant by October 1, 2012.

Even though these tax credits are still available, the expiration of the cash payment option drastically reduced the installation of small and mid-size wind turbines. Further affecting the outlook for distributed wind is theU.S. Internal Revenue Service requirement, added this year, that small wind turbines meet performance and safety standards in order to qualify for the ITC.

Other factors cited in the recent decline in distributed wind installations are the relatively low price of grid electricity and lower cost of solar photovoltaic systems, which also receive the 30% ITC. Nonhardware costs associated with distributed wind, such as permitting, financing, installation, and supply chain costs, have not fallen as much as they have for solar photovoltaics. U.S.-based manufacturers and supply-chain vendors in the distributed wind market have been vulnerable to market downturns, preventing the market from growing at a faster rate. For these reasons, U.S.-based manufacturers may look to international opportunities, particularly in Japan and South Korea, to find more favorable markets.
Today in Energy

Money Wasted