Wind Turbines Do NOT Reduce CO2….

Trillion Dollar Irony: Europe’s Wind Rush Sends CO2 Emissions Soaring

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If “saving” the planet is – as we are repeatedly told – all about reducing man-made emissions of an odourless, colourless, naturally occurring trace gas, essential for all life on earth – then European energy/environmental policy has manifestly failed. And what an expensive failure it is.

In the following piece, the delicious term ‘irony’ springs to mind: a situation in which something which was intended to have a particular result has the opposite or a very different result.

The wind cult’s defence for crushing entire industries and whole economies, driving thousands insane with incessant turbine generatedlow-frequency noise and infrasound, and for the slaughter of millions ofbirds and bats has run out of puff: CO2 emissions are rising fastest in those places, like Europe, that have literally thrown $billions to the wind.

Europe’s CO2 Emissions INCREASE While America’s Fall
Andrew Follett
Daily Caller
21 May 2016

The EU’s 2015 CO2 emissions increased by 0.7 percent relative to 2014, while U.S. emissions fell to its lowest level in two decades. The EU has spent an estimated $1.2 trillion financially supporting wind, solar and bio-energy and an incalculable amount on a cap-and-trade scheme to specifically lower CO2 emissions.

The DCNF analyzed the increased CO2 emissions data from the the European Commission through Eurostat and CO2 emissions from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the last full year of state-level data. The use of older U.S. data predates much of the fracking boom, meaning an updated result would likely be even more significant.

The DCNF’s findings are displayed on the maps below.

1CO2-Decline-Europe-620x479

The biggest CO2 percent increases in Europe occurred in Slovakia and Portugal, where emissions rose by 9.5 and 8.6 percent respectively. Other big CO2 increases came from the EU’s capital country of Belgium, where emissions rose by 4.7 percent. Emissions from Germany, the EU’s largest economy, remained mostly flat.

The largest CO2 percent decrease in the EU came from the tiny country of Malta, where emissions fell by about 27 percent.

2CO2-Decline-USA-1-620x479

The DCNF’s analysis found that a majority of U.S. states, especially on the East Coast, saw CO2 emissions fall by more than 10 percent.

America’s overall CO2 emissions have fallen by 12 percent since their peak in 2000, according to the EIA. The U.S. has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than any other country, a fact even The Sierra Club acknowledges.

EU emissions are increasing even though it implemented a cap-and-trade system called the European Union Emission Trading Scheme. The program directly cost the European countries $287 billion to implement in 2011 and likely caused trillions of dollars in lost economic output.

Even worse, the scheme is widely acknowledge to have not worked, as CO2 emissions actually increased, according to a study by the Swiss banking firm UBS.

A similar scheme planned for America would have destroyed 2.5 million jobs and lost $9.4 trillion of economic output by 2035 if implemented,according to analysis by The Heritage Foundation.

Rising European CO2 emissions are likely due to failed EU policies, which actually increased emissions.

A study last month by environmental group Transport & Environment (T&E) determined the EU’s plans to fight global warming with biofuel actually ended up increasing CO2 emissions.

The U.S. spends far less than the EU supporting green energy, discounting the cap-and-trade schemes, but American CO2 emissions are falling thanks to the development of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which the EU has repeatedly slowed with regulations.

The EU has spent $1.2 trillion subsidizing green energy. EU regulations, financial support for green energy and taxes cause the average European to spend 26.9 cents per kilowatt-hour on electricity, according to calculations performed earlier this month by The DCNF. The average American only spends 10.4 cents.

The DCNF’s analysis concurs with a report published in early May by the EIA, which found the primary reason for the decline in CO2 emissions is increased natural gas production from fracking.

Fracked natural gas supplies much of the power in East Coast states, which saw CO2 emissions most rapidly fall. Previous analysis by TheDCNFfound a statistically significant correlation between the dependence of a state’s economy on natural gas and large reductions in CO2 emissions.

Natural gas emits about half the CO2 of coal power and is already cheaper than coal in many locations due to fracking. The EIA estimates roughly 68 percent of the falling CO2 emissions are due to the switch from coal to natural gas.

Fracking has cut more American CO2 emissions than solar or wind power, according to a study published last November by the Manhattan Institute. The study shows solar power is responsible for a mere one percent of the decline in American CO2 emissions, while natural gas is responsible for nearly 20 percent. For every ton of CO2 cut by solar power, fracking has cut 13 tons.
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Time for Windweasels to Pay for their Crimes!

The Great British Wind Farm Scandal: These Are The Heads That Should Roll

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Regular readers may be aware that I am not a fan of wind farms.

This is because, among other things, they kill birds and bats, hurt the environment, cause sleeplessness and sickness in humans, drive up fuel prices, enrich troughing rent-seeking crony capitalist scumbags, blight views, cause people to die in fuel poverty, harm property values, destabilise the grid, and inflate the cost of living – all while signally failing at the one thing they’re supposed to be good at, viz supplying us with the clean, abundant, eco-friendly energy which is going to save us all from “global warming.”

For anyone prepared to do their research – as opposed to take back handers from the renewable industry, mouth green platitudes or get frightened off by the wind industry’s super-aggressive lawyers – all this has been obvious for years.

Now, even the wind industry’s leading spokesmen have come half way to admitting how utterly crap and pointless wind energy is.

In England, we learned this week from the head of the wind energy lobby groupRenewable UK, the wind levels are so puny and unreliable that turbines cannot generate economically viable quantities of energy.

How about that all you idyllic villages from Cornwall through Northamptonshire to the Fens and thence up north to the humpy Howgills and beyond who’ve had your views blighted, your peace disturbed, your property values trashed, your avian wildlife sliced and diced, your livestock frightened and your community cohesion disrupted by wind projects you never wanted, which you fought hard to prevent, but which were dumped on your doorstep anyway?

How does it feel to know that – having wasted all that time, money and heartache trying unsuccessfully to fight those greedy developers and selfish landowners through the biased planning process only to be overruled by some sinister Inspector Blight figure from the Planning Inspectorate – you’ve belatedly been vindicated by the wind industry itself?

Yes, Big Wind has finally admitted: all those bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes dotted hither and thither over the choicest parts of the matchlessly beautiful English landscape were entirely unnecessary. They’re sitting on those hilltops, turning or not turning as the case may be, making so little difference to Britain’s “energy security” or power supplies or carbon emissions reductions or economy that really they might just as well not be there.

And the most stupid thing of all is we’re paying for it.

This is a disgrace. A national scandal. I’m racking my brain for some equivalents.

In terms of corruption combined with wanton vandalism, it’s akin to all those cities, especially in the North, whose town councillors – in league with developers – allowed perfectly decent Victorian housing stock to be destroyed and replaced by ugly, soul-destroying tower blocks.

In terms of abuse of state power, it is even worse. Property rights are one of the bedrocks of liberal democracy. Arbitrary confiscation – whether literally taking someone’s home and land or reducing its value through state-mandated blight – is something you associate with banana republics and communist tyrannies. Part of the social contract that electorates in Western liberal democracies enjoy is that, in return for their tax money the state will attempt to act in the interests of the people it serves.

Furthermore it is understood by all that the state will only act against its citizens’ individual interests in matters of overriding national importance, such as national security or the need to build infrastructure such as motorways.

Usually – and correctly – people are paid compensation by the government for any losses imposed on them in the “national interest”. But before any of this takes place, one more thing is naturally understood by all: that the government has submitted whatever mega-project it is about to undertake – be it depopulating a whole village in World War II for use as an urban warfare training centre or flattening a swathe of countryside to build the M1 – to a proper cost benefit analysis. That is, one fully – and again quite reasonably – expects that when the state undertakes to do bad and expensive things to its people, it will have first taken steps to ensure that these bad and expensive things will ultimately result in more good than harm.

In the case of the Great Wind Con this manifestly hasn’t happened. Billions of pounds have been squandered, lives blighted and swathes of countryside ruined for a generation because of the lies, greed or incompetence of a fairly small group of people, some of whom frankly ought to be facing criminal charges for corruption, all of whose names ought to live in infamy for the damage they have wantonly inflicted on Britain’s landscape, people and economy.

Unfortunately it is often the way of British politics to let people go scot free for the disastrous cock ups they make while in government. I really don’t think we should. These tossers should be harried to the end of their days and then have their crimes engraved on their headstones as a salutary warning: ruin your country and we’ll ruin you.

Here are some of the rogues whose involvement in this grotesque and unforgiveable scam should never be forgotten.

Ed Miliband – Britain’s first Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; failed Labour leader; unemployable gimp

Once said that opposing wind farms ought to be as “socially unacceptable as not wearing a seat belt”. As architect of the Climate Change Act – committing Britain to spending over £18 billion a year every year till 2050 pointlessly decarbonising her economy – he probably cost the British taxpayer more money, more pointlessly than any other politician in history.

The European Union

Not that we’re exactly short of reasons to loathe the EU but here’s another: it was responsible for the renewable energy targets – 20 per cent of energy to come from renewables by 2020 – that gave UK politicians like Ed Miliband the excuse they needed to railroad though the policy.

Bryony (now Baroness) Worthington – former Friends of the Earth activist; now in the House of Lords

Bryony effectively wrote the Climate Change Act for Miliband. It really is astonishing the leeway a minority interest campaigner from a hard left  lobby group was given to create legislation that held the whole of Britain hostage to the anti-capitalist fantasies of a small group of green zealots.

David Cameron – Prime Minister; leader of the “greenest government ever”

He could have put a stop to this. As a Conservative, he really should have done. Conservatives are not supposed to be the enemy of property rights nor of the countryside. But instead – perhaps under the influence of his hippy wife SamCam – he sold the pass and embraced green nonsense wholesale. During his Coalition government he handed over the Department of Energy and Climate Change to the fanatically green Lib Dems – the equivalent, as PJ O’Rourke might put it, of giving car keys and whisky to small boys.

Chris Huhne; Ed Davey; Nick Clegg; Lib Dems generally

Huhne’s a perjuring spiv and jailbird; Davey’s thick as pigshit; Clegg is a revoltingly entitled, Westminster educated slimeball of a Euro creep. But let’s not dwell on the nice distinctions: the point is they’re all Lib Dems and therefore so ideologically wedded to the green project that they were quite incapable of subjecting its details to proper scrutiny. Like Dr Johnson said, “there is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea.”

Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt

Of all the toffs with their snouts in the green trough why pick on Sir Reg? Well because he’s the Prime Minister’s father-in-law and because ultimately some of the £1000 a day he makes just to have eight wind turbines sitting doing bugger all on his Lincolnshire estates will end up in Dave and Sam Cam’s pockets – and I really don’t think it’s right that they should benefit financially, at taxpayers’ expense, from policies they helped engineer.

Toffs and landowners generally

Yes there are exceptions – the Duke of Northumberland, for one; my landlord in Northants being another. But generally the upper classes have behaved quite despicably in this matter. When the chips are down, it seems, they don’t give two hoots for the beauteous scenery they inherited by accident of birth. All that counts for them is the free money they get for having bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes on their estates. The Scottish toffs are by far the worst. But in England, special dishonourable mentions could go to Earl Spencer and the Duke of Gloucester, a member of the Royal Family no less: both have tried to host turbines on their lands, regardless of the protests of the poor sods who have to live with them.

That revolting man from Fisher German Estate Agents

I forget the awful creep’s name but he worked for Fisher German and his speciality was to travel the length and breadth of my county advising landowners of the cash bonanza that awaited them if only they didn’t mind totally ruining their neighbours views and peace. Naturally, he was a very passionate advocate for wind energy – and was totally deaf to its shortcomings. As Upton Sinclair said: “It is hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Obviously there are estate agents and land agents like that frightful man from Fisher German all over the country. May they all end up unemployed!

The RSPB

Not only has Europe’s largest wildlife charity promoted wind farms but actually benefited from them financially – despite copious evidence of the damage bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes to the very wildlife the RSPB is supposed to save. That’s why they call it the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds.

Greenpeace; Friends of the Earth; the WWF etc

These helped promote the climate change hysteria which lent policymakers the apparent moral justification for forcing renewable energy on their electorates. They have never apologised for the damage their junk-science propagandising has caused and they never will.

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

By no means is the RICS the only professional institution to have jumped on the green bandwagon regardless of all evidence. But let it stand for all those public and professional bodies which has been corrupted morally and intellectually in the green scam. My beef with the RICS is its complicity in playing down evidence that wind farms have a significant impact on property values. This was shameful.

Acousticians

Again there have been honourable exceptions. But certain sections of the acoustics industry – they know who they are but if I name them I dare say they’ll try to sue me – have quite deliberately gamed the system, covered up evidence, even lied at the behest of the renewable energy behemoth. Had these people done their job half the wind farms blighting our landscape would never have been permitted on health and safety grounds because they’re just too damned close to human habitations – and the damaging effects of infrasound and the noises caused by wind sheer have been known to the acoustics industry for years.

Ecologists

One of the more despicable aspects of this scam – and it just goes to show how corrupting money can be – is the way people who presumably got their various ecology and environmental sciences degrees because they loved nature ended up using their qualifications to help destroy it. You often encountered them at planning hearings, abusing their professional status by testifying that “Oh no, don’t worry. In our expert opinion this sensitively sited wind farm won’t remotely damage any wildlife” – thus undermining one of the main planks in the defence used by hapless local communities trying desperately to avoid having one of these monstrosities plonked in their neighbourhood.

Conservatives

Again not all of them. But it’s quite amazing how many of them acquiesced in this scam – only five of them, for example, voted against the Climate Change Act. Most loathsome of the bunch, though, are the ones who actively pushed for more stringent green or renewable energy policies and who have often ended up benefiting from their various green business interests. Former MP Tim Yeo; the slithy Lord Deben; Charles Hendry. Wherever it is these scumbags live I do hope that no one ever invites them to dinner and that everyone cuts them when they bump into them in the village Post Office or wherever. I certainly would. How they can live with themselves or indeed sleep at night is a mystery to me.

Tony Blair

Well obviously. Almost everything that is wrong with the world can be traced, ultimately, to Tony Blair.

Dale “Dog On A Rope” Vince

Let this deeply unpleasant man stand for all the rent-seeking troughers who have benefited from this Ponzi scheme of an industry which I’m quite sure Enron would dearly have loved to have invented. Dale Vince has made a multi-million pound fortune not by creating value but simply by being canny enough to milk the system. In an open market not one single wind turbine would have been erected in England (or anywhere else probably). They’re there purely because of the government’s regulatory fiat, which heavily incentivises people to build wind turbines not because they’re economically viable but because they’re politically useful. This is crony capitalism pure and simple. It’s ugly, it represents an abuse of government power and I have no sympathy whatsoever for people who make their money in this way. They don’t deserve a penny of it. I wish I could show my contempt by shorting shares in Vince’s company. But you can’t because he’s not publicly quoted. I wonder why.

The BBC

Never once – so far as I can recall – has the BBC ever called into question the viability of or the need for these industrial blights on our landscape. It’s supposed to be impartial and to represent the interests of the whole country. Yet it has allowed itself to be captured by a narrow establishment with a vested interest in promulgating the renewable lie. This represents a betrayal of trust, an abuse of the licence fee and a failure of journalism.

The media generally

Here is what ought to be – indeed is – one of the most scandalous wastes of public money in living memory. Why weren’t our journalists on top of this?

This list is by no means exhaustive. What it does, I hope, is show how easy it is for vocal minority groups – in this case green activists – to hold public policy hostage and also how depressingly easy it is to buy the support of theoretically reputable institutions and individuals with a flash of filthy lucre. Wind energy is so wrong in so many ways that it should have never been allowed past the planning stage. Unfortunately money talks.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that this is the most disgraceful public scandals of our age. And I think it makes a nonsense of our belief that we are a country of great probity with an effective, honest political system. If we were as high minded and decent as we kid ourselves, then some of the parties I have named above would be facing hefty fines or a stint in prison – and certainly the confiscation of their assets to compensate all the people who have lost out as a result of their dishonesty or, at best, grotesquely misguided high-mindedness. Green loons will always be with us. But the very least we ought to be able to expect our scientists, politicians, economists, businessmen and journalists to do is to hold their wild claims to account rather than indulging their fantasy and impoverishing ordinary people as a result.

And the scandal isn’t over yet, either.

As Paul Homewood reports, the Government is preparing to break its promise to put an end to the subsidies we are forced to pay this pointless and undeserving industry. Under pressure, clearly, from the powerful vested interests involved in the renewable energy scam, the Government plans to redefine the meaning of the word “subsidy” so that the troughers in the wind industry can carry on troughing. How sad to learn that Andrea Leadsom, the Conservative minister who acquitted herself so brilliantly in the Brexit debate on ITV the other night, should be playing a leading role in promulgating this duplicity.

If Cameron’s administration had a shred of moral integrity it would be distancing itself from this scandal as quickly as possible by apologising for its mistakes and making amends.

I hope this piece will be shared around the world by all those groups – I know there are lots of you – from Canada to Australia, from Scotland to Kenya, striving desperately to protect their own special stretch of countryside from this vile, mendacious, conscience-free industry. One day, sooner rather than later, you will be vindicated by history. Wind energy – people will come to recognize – was one of the greatest follies of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. If only the bottom-feeders who have promoted it or profited by it got the punishment they all deserve!

Tom Harris of ICSC Explains Damage Done by “Climaphobia”!

TRAGIC IMPACTS OF MISGUIDED CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION POLICY

May 16, 2016: “Ontario’s Green Energy Fiasco — A Cautionary Tale For The United States,” by Tom Harris, published in The Daily Caller, Washington D.C. The Daily Caller writes, “The Daily Caller readership has grown to more than 16.5 million unique visitors per month and draws more than 59 million monthly pageviews.”

“For an increasing fraction of the world’s population, the real climate crisis is not the possibility that dangerous human-caused global warming may someday occur. It is the damage being caused today by government policies to supposedly mitigate climate change.

“Ontario provides a tragic example.”

“Climate change activists might argue that it would be worthwhile to let millions of people suffer today to save billions in the future from climate change catastrophe they claim is right around the corner if we do not change the way we generate energy. But then they would be faced with providing convincing evidence that scientists are able to meaningfully forecast future climate states. They would have to show why the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was wrong when, in their 2001 Assessment Report, they wrote, “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

Read whole article.

 

Click here to see map of regions in Ontario that have come out opposed to the installation of industrial wind turbines (IWTs).

Click here to visit Mothers Against Wind Turbines, the Web site of Shellie Correia, the mother of 15 year old Joey who took the picture to the right.

Click here to watch a protest against IWTs in Toronto.

Click here to visit Save the Eagles International, “an organization regrouping bird lovers, ornithologists and associations from 14 countries, who think that we cannot count on mainstream ornithologists and bird societies to save bird life from the windfarm threat.”

Click on image above to enlarge!

 

Poland Calls for 2 km Setbacks Between Buildings & Wind Turbines!

March 8, 2016Poland

Position of the National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene on wind farms

The National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene is of the opinion that wind farms situated too close to buildings intended for permanent human occupation may have a negative impact on the comfort of living and health of the people living in their proximity.

The human health risk factors that the Institute has taken into consideration in its position are as follows:

  • the emitted noise level and its dependence on the technical specifications of turbines, wind speed as well as the landform and land use around the wind farm,
  • aerodynamic noise level including infrasound emissions and low-frequency noise components,
  • the nature of the noise emitted, taking into account its modulation/impulsive/tonal characteristics and the possibility of interference of waves emitted from multiple turbines,
  • the risk of ice being flung from rotors,
  • the risk of turbine failure with a rotor blade or its part falling,
  • the shadow flicker effect,
  • the electromagnetic radiation level (in the immediate vicinity of turbines),
  • the probability of sleep disruptions and noise propagation at night,
  • the level of nuisance and probability of stress and depression symptoms occurring (in consequence of long exposure), related both to noise emissions and to non-acceptance of the noise source.

In the Institute’s opinion, the laws and regulations currently in force in Poland (regarding risk factors which, in practice, include only the noise level) are not only inadequate to facilities such as wind turbines, but they also fail to guarantee a sufficient degree of public health protection. The methodology currently used for environmental impact assessment of wind farms (including human health) is not applicable to wind speeds exceeding 5 m/s. In addition, it does not take into account the full frequency range (in particular, low frequency) and the nuisance level.

In the Institute’s view , owing to the current lack of a comprehensive regulatory framework governing the assessment of health risks related to the operation of wind farms in Poland, an urgent need arises to develop and implement a comprehensive methodology according to which the sufficient distance of wind turbines from human habitation would be determined. The methodology should take into account all the above-mentioned potential risk factors, and its result should reflect the least favourable situation. In addition to landform and land use characteristics, the methodology should also take into consideration the category, type, height and number of turbines at a specific farm, and the location of other wind farms in the vicinity. Similar legislative arrangements aimed to provide for multi-criteria assessment, based on complex numerical algorithms, are currently used in the world.

The Institute is aware of the fact that owing to the diversity of factors and the complicated nature of such an algorithm, its development within a short time period may prove very difficult. Therefore, what seems to be an effective and simpler solution is the prescription of a minimum distance of wind turbines from buildings intended for permanent human occupation. Distance criteria are also a common standard-setting arrangement.

Having regard to the above, until a comprehensive methodology is developed for the assessment of the impact of industrial wind farms on human health, the Institute recommends 2 km as the minimum distance of wind farms from buildings. The recommended value results from a critical assessment of research results published in reviewed scientific periodicals with regard to all potential risk factors for average distance usually specified within the following limits:

  • 0.5-0.7 km, often obtained as a result of calculations, where the noise level (dBA) meets the currently acceptable values (without taking into account adjustments for the impulse/tonal/modulation features of the nose emitted),
  • 1.5-3.0 km, resulting from the noise level, taking into account modulation, low frequencies and infrasound levels,
  • 0.5-1.4 km, related to the risk of turbine failure with a broken rotor blade or its part falling (depending on the size of the piece and its flight profile, rotor speed and turbine type),
  • 0.5-0.8 km, where there is a risk of ice being flung from rotors (depending on the shape and mass of ice, rotor speed and turbine type),
  • 1.0-1.6 km, taking into account the noise nuisance level (between 4% and 35% of the population at 30-45 dBA) for people living in the vicinity of wind farms,
  • the distance of 1.4-2.5 km, related to the probability of sleep disruptions (on average, between 4% and 5% of the population at 30-45 dBA),
  • 2,0 km, related to the occurrence of potential psychological effects resulting from substantial landscape changes (based on the case where the wind turbine is a dominant landscape feature and the rotor movement is clearly visible and noticeable to people from any location),
  • 1.2-2.1 km, for the shadow flicker effect (for the average wind turbine height in Poland, including the rotor, of 120 to 210 m).

In its opinions. the Institute has also taken into account the recommended distances of wind farms from buildings, as specified by experts, scientists, as well as central and local government bodies around the world (usually 1.0-5.0 km).

Bibliography
(Position of the NIPH-PZH on wind farms)

Another Expose` on the Corrupt Wind Industry, and Their Government Enablers!

‘Follow the Money’: Hard-Hitting Danish Drama Documents Wind Industry Corruption, Australian Sequel Promised

follow the money

STT has just gorged on two episodes of what is presented as well crafted drama, but which to STT followers will play out like a hard-hitting documentary.

Australia’s SBS started screening ‘Follow the Money’ a couple of weeks ago, the plot-line for Episode 1 is described as follows:

Mads, a police detective, is called out to investigate a body washed ashore near a wind farm. At first, it merely looks like an industrial accident, but the case implicates the upper echelons of Energreen – one of Denmark’s most successful and leading energy companies. The CEO is charismatic Sander, and a young lawyer, Claudia, is working hard to advance in the company. Nicky, a former car thief and mechanic, has put his life of crime behind him for his girlfriend’s sake, but his new colleague Bimse tempts Nicky with a chance to make a quick buck.

From the creators of Borgen, Follow the Money is as slick as any of the recent crop of Nordic Noir crime dramas.  While the wind-cult Weekly,The Guardian gave it a critical pasting when the BBC aired it in Britain back in March (probably something to do with it being just a tad inconsistent with green-left groupthink) –  STT gives it five stars.

Indeed, Follow the Money comes with an STT consumer warning: “this TV series is more addictive than crack cocaine”.

For our Australian followers, Follow the Money screens on Thursday nights at 9:30pm.  For our many international followers, the series is available at SBS On Demand, which will also allow our local followers to catch up on the first two episodes: for episode one click here and episode two here. You can view it on a PC, Smart TV or iPad etc.

The site adds a new episode after it goes to air, so return to SBS On Demand to Follow the Money. For a taste, here’s the trailer:

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Without giving too much away, the company at the centre of the story, Energreen, is filled with cocksure and arrogant types, of the kind that you might find swanning around with wind power outfits like, Infigen andPacific Hydro.

follow the money peter

Keep an eye out for one character who STT is certain was modelled on Vesta’s Australian pinup boy, Ken McAlpine (the physical resemblance to Ken is good, but the character’s similarly channelled arrogance and narcissism is uncanny).

The lone wolf detective, Mads finds roadblocks being thrown up at every turn by his superior officers, which smack of wind industry corruption and interference.

Of course Denmark, the birthplace of Vestas, is no stranger to wind industry sleaze, corruption and fraud.

Vestas and its slick financial dealings have, no doubt, provided Follow the Money’s scriptwriters with plenty of material to work with.

The plot-line reads a whole lot like the trouble that Vesta’s Chief Financial Officer, Henrik Nørremark and a band of its executives found themselves in back in 2013, having engaged in a run of fraudulent transactions that cost the company around 140 million kroner.

Just like Follow the Money, the boys from Vestas found themselves under police scrutiny; and, thereafter, the company did everything it could to quarantine itself from a PR nightmare – cutting the former corporate heroes loose and leaving them for dead (see our post here).

Now, turning closer to home let’s take a sneak peek at Australia’s own Follow the Money documentary sequel.

The Pilot for the Series kicks off in Australia’s Federal Parliament during Senate Estimates held on 5 May 2016 (the last session of play before Parliament was dissolved ready for an election in July).

Chris Back

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WA Liberal Senator, Chris Back starts off with a little probing of the Clean Energy Regulator, Chloe Munro (keep a lookout for her doppelgänger in the Danish version of Follow the Money) on the topic of around $100 million worth of Renewable Energy Certificates pocketed by Babcock and Brown (aka Infigen or Energreen), which were paid out based on a signature that the CER has, despite some effort, been unable to verify. Here’s the Script for ‘Follow the Money, Downunder’, Scene 1 (taken from Hansard):

Senator BACK: Thanks Ms Munro and thank you for the information before lunch, it was very interesting. Again, I appreciate you correcting the answer—217, I think it was. At the end of stage 1 of your explanation you mentioned that on July 7 2004 Babcock and Brown lodged a new application for registry to accredit a power station showing Lake Bonney Wind Farm Pty Ltd as the applicant.

What concerned me, and I am asking for your response, is that you said it is not clear who signed the declaration on behalf of the company on that form; the signature is illegible. That is of enormous concern to me. The CER would have issued certificates to that organisation since then, probably of values—of what?—of $100 million?

Ms C Munro: I could not estimate that on the run.

Senator BACK: My guestimate is somewhere between $70 million and $160 million, based on a document the signature on which was not able to be verified. What action can be taken?

Ms C Munro: Perhaps to set your mind at rest with respect to that: first of all we were retrieving records from our predecessor organisation, the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator, so I cannot speak about the precise processes they would have followed at the time. But I think they would have been in a position to verify that the signature was the signature of somebody they had probably been dealing with, because usually there is an exchange of correspondence and so on before the actual accreditation. I think the fact that at this stage we cannot make out the signature does not mean to say that it was unknown to them.

To be honest, my own signature, on its own, is not always decipherable. What I think was missing was that the block where the person’s name was written separately had not been filled in. But taken with the other information that would have been there at the time, I do not think it suggests an impropriety in that regard.

Going to the question that you asked before, the point is that the legal person is the ‘entity’. This person is an authorised officer. Clearly, it is important to verify that the signature is from the authorised officer. But at this stage I do not think that we have any reason to believe there was a problem in that regard.

Senator BACK: Sure. Can I have an assurance then that as a result of the Renewable Energy Regulations regulation 3L coming into effect in December 2012 that an omission of that nature would not be repeated?

Ms C Munro: No. I think that generally we have tightened up a lot of our standing operating procedures. I think that in terms of verifying who signatories are and that the authorised officers are the appropriate people across all our schemes, we probably have some more consistent processes there.

Senator BACK: Thank you. I will just go back to question 222 from the previous estimates. I asked you about the membership of the Clean Energy Council. Are you able to give the committee an assurance—if not now, then take it on notice—that members of the board, when there has been a matter involving an organisation with which they have an association, have in fact excluded themselves from any decisions regarding that particular entity? I would imagine that, with good governance, the board minutes would indicate that a person has excluded themselves from the debate.

Ms C Munro: I cannot give you that assurance on behalf of the Clean Energy Council, although I absolutely agree with you that that is normal governance. What I can say for background is: the Clean Energy Council board is a representative body, as many industry associations are, and board members are drawn from amongst participants in the industry. The chair revolves fairly frequently. Until recently it was Michael Fraser, who was the predecessor of the current chief executive of AGL, for example.

But I think, more significantly, the co-regulation takes place between ourselves and the Clean Energy Council is on matters that relate to the small-scale scheme—things like accreditation of installers, listing of components like panels and so on. So, those matters I think, generally, would not be decided by the council; they would be decided at the executive level. The council members are more likely to be participants in the large-scale renewable energy targets, in which the Clean Energy Council does not have a regulatory role. That is a long way of saying: I cannot advise you on how the Clean Energy Council conducts its meetings, because we are not a member of it. I think it is unlikely that there are occasions in its deliberations for the kind of conflicts that you might be apprehensive about.
Hansard 5.5.16

Hmmm… a former wind industry exec turned government bureaucrat, brushing aside obvious conflicts of interests, deflecting enquiries about fictitious applicants for hundreds of $millions in REC Tax/Subsidy, paid to a wind power outfit that disintegrated in a $10 billion insolvency in 2009 and Phoenixed as Infigen, starts to sound very Danish Noir.

But the drama didn’t end there.

STT champion, John Madigan followed up on the story we covered back in September last year (see our posts here and here) about Pacific Hydro and Acciona presenting fabricated wind farm noise reports (claiming compliance at non-compliant wind farms – Waubra and Cape Bridgewater), allowing them to continue pocketing hundreds of $millions in RECs.

The CER is well aware that both outfits have been relying upon ‘made-to-measure’ noise reports from Marshall Day, but have steadfastly refused the act or investigate.

Now, in classic Follow the Money style, it appears that the Australian Federal Police are hot on the trail of Chloe and her gang.

sen john madigan close

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Senator MADIGAN: Thank you, Chair. Last year, Ms Munro, I met with the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General to alert them to my concerns surrounding false wind farm noise reporting. As a result of that meeting I was led to believe that the Attorney-General had referred these allegations to the Australian Federal Police for formal investigation. Are you able to confirm whether the AFP has held any discussions with anyone from the office of the Clean Energy Regulator in relation to the CER-accredited Cape Bridgewater and/or Waubra wind farms?

Ms C Munro: Yes, Senator, I am able to confirm that. We were approached in February by the Australian Federal Police, who were making initial inquiries relating to the matters that you put.

They had a meeting with members of my staff in order to understand the way that our schemes worked and how those entities would be accredited.

Following that, and on our advice, they made an information request. I authorised the disclosure of information relating specifically to Cape Bridgewater, and that was done. We have not heard anything further from them, so I am not aware whether they proceeded to a formal investigation—this was their preliminary information gathering. We have had no further contact from them since then.

Senator MADIGAN: Thank you, Ms Munro.

Stay tuned for Episode Two: ‘Feds Skewer CER’

chloe munro

Wind Energy…..VERY Little Bang, for your Buck!

The Colossal Cost of Intermittent & Unreliable Wind Power

yacht

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There are 3 electricity essentials – that the power source and its delivery to homes and businesses be: 1) reliable; 2) secure; and 3) affordable. Which means that wind power – a wholly weather dependent power source, that can’t be stored and costs 3-4 times the cost of conventional power – scores NIL on all three counts.

Here is a brilliant analysis of just why wind power cannot be (and will never amount to) a meaningful power generation source.

Renewable Energy: The Question Of Capacity
Principia Scientific
Ed Hoskins
5 April 2016

Introduction
This article is concerned with the two main forms of weather dependent Renewable Energy, Wind Power (Onshore and Offshore) and Photovoltaic solar power.  In the UK this amounts to ~75% of all installed Renewable Energy.  The other renewable energy  inputs are traditional Hydro power ~8% and the remainder are other sources such as biomass, waste and landfill gas amounting to ~17%.

Capacity1

The capacity percentage of any power generating installation is calculated as the actual electrical output achieved divided by the nominal Nameplate output.  This article uses both stated estimates from the USA  EIA and real measures of capacity in Europe as of 2014. It thus provides reasonably correct comparisons of the efficacy of Renewable installations.

When announcements are made about Renewable Energy developments they are presented as the full Name Plate capacity usually in Megawatts and also often disingenuously as the number of homes that could be supplied at the full level of electrical output.  So such announcements are always on the optimistic side, because they only state the maximum operating electrical output that can be achieved from the installation rather than the amount of useable energy that is actually produced.

In addition because Renewable Energy output is crucially dependent on the vagaries of the weather (for wind) and the weather in combination with the season and the time of day (for solar), the actual electrical output achieved by Renewables is inevitably substantially less that the Name Plate capacity of the installation.   Peak electricity demand usually occurs on winter evenings when Solar power is non-existent and weather patterns can reduce wind speeds to virtually nil across the country.  There can be no coordination between the timing to the wind energy production and a Nation’s demand for electricity.

Traditional methods of electricity generation using fossil fuels are not subject to these vagaries and can produce electricity whenever needed to match customer demand.

Crucially traditional forms of electricity generation are

  • non-intermittent
  • dispatchable

to meet demand when needed.

Reporting on Renewable Energy actually generated after installation is commonly presented as annual Gigawatt Hours (GWhrs), thus noting the amount of electrical power actually supplied to the grid by the installation over the previous year.

Annual Gigawatt hours are easily converted to the equivalent output in Gigawatts by dividing by the number of hours in the year (365*24)=8760.  This output value  can be compared with the original Nameplate capacity to calculate the capacity percentage of any generating installation for comparative purposes.  Thus the absolute efficacy of a Renewable Energy installation can be judged as the percentage ratio of actual electricity production divided by the stated Nameplate Capacity.

Importantly however this percentage factor does not account for the usefulness of the electrical power that is produced at any particular time to match electrical demand, because of the inevitable intermittency and non-dispatchability of Renewable Energy power sources.  It is therefore a generous measure when used here for comparative purposes of efficacy, capital and running costs, when comparing renewable and traditional forms off electricity generation.

The Renewable Energy industry could not exist without the Government mandated subsidies and preferential tariffs.  Without Government subsidies and consumption mandates the Renewable Energy industry is not a viable business.

Without its Government mandate, Government subsidies and Government interference weather dependent Renewable Energy would never be a chosen part of the generating mix, especially when viewed from the needs for the engineering viability of a nation’s electrical supply grid.

In summary weather based Renewable Energy is both very expensive and unreliable.

These substantial extra costs and the potential for supply failure, although mandated by Government, are in fact serious cost burdens on Electricity consumers, both domestic and industrial.  As the part played by Renewables grows in the Electrical grid so those cost burdens will increase.

Sources Of Renewable Capacity Measures

The following data sources are used here:

US government Energy Information Administration

www.eia.gov – see table 1

Table 1 above gives the following values for USA installations:

  • Natural Gas Advanced Combined Cycle     87%
  • Onshore Wind                                                     36%
  • Offshore Wind                                                     38%
  • Solar PV on grid                                                  25%
  • Advanced Coal                                                    85%
  • Advanced Nuclear                                              90%

Capacity2

EurObservER

EurObservER-Wind-Energy-Barometer-2015-EN-2.pdf

EurObservER-Photovoltaic-Barometer-2015-EN.pdf

These publications give an up to date indication of the current scale of Renewable installations in Europe country by country and overall for Europe.  The following capacity percentage for solar and wind power are reported in Europe.

Capacity3

So it can be seen that Renewable Energy performance throughout Europe is very substantially less that the published levels of achievement stated by the US  EIA.

Capacity4

When the effectiveness of Wind power and Solar are combined the comparison in effectiveness is clear.

Germany with a commitment to ~37% of all European Renewable installations by 2014 had the least performant Renewable industry in Europe, (an overall capacity 13.2%).  This is mainly because of the huge commitment in Germany to Solar power, 42% of all European installations.  This has to be driven by a misconception simply because Germany is a cloudy Northern European country.  Spain, the UK and Denmark have much better performance rates, but they have  much lower commitments to Solar power and in the case of the UK a higher commitment to Offshore wind power.

The impact of measured Renewable Energy capacity achievements can be seen in the EorObser’ER from data across Europe in 2014.

Capacity5

For more detailed analysis see:

European Renewable Energy performance and costs: 2014

The Renewable Energy Foundation time series data from the UK 

The Renewable Energy Foundation in the UK has provided comprehensive data on the progress of Renewable Installations in the UK since 2002.  This included Gigawatt Hour estimations of electrical output.  In addition it also provides a drill down database of all Renewable installations in the UK.

http://www.ref.org.uk/generators/group/index.php?group=yr

The UK progress in the development of Renewable installations since 2002 is shown below.

Capacity6

The capacity progress over time can be seen below.  It seems that 2015 was a particularly unproductive year for Renewables, especially Windpower.  For further comparative purposes the average percentage capacities achieved since 2002 are taken rather than the recent results.

Capacity7

The comparative outcome from these three sources of capacity information is set out below.

Capacity8

The USA data from EIA has more generous expectations of Renewable capacity than can be measured and reported both for Europe overall and for the UK.  Unfortunately  the EurObser’ER data does not distinguish currently between the values of electrical outputs from Onshore and Offshore Wind installations.  The overall capacity figure at 21.8% should have defined a higher efficacy for Offshore wind power.  The order of the differential can be seen in the UK data where there is a very substantial commitment to Offshore wind power.

There is an “urban legend” that Offshore wind power has a capacity value of ~45%.  This is entirely contradicted not only by the USA estimated data but also by the lower values measured from overall European data and the direct time series measurements from the UK.  The capacity values shown for the UK are the average values since Renewable installations started in 2002 rather than the current values from 2015.  In 2015 at 16.4% overall, this was a particularly non-performant year for weather based Renewables in the UK.

Comparative Renewable Costings And Effectiveness

The US EIA also publish comprehensive comparative costing data for different electrical generation technologies in the USA. The US EIA also provides percentage capacity estimates for the various generation technologies above.

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm (see table 1)

In summary this table assembled in 2013 can be condensed into the following graphic for comparative cost purposes showing the capital and running cost implications measured as $/MWhr.

Capacity9

However these costs contain estimate fuel costs as from 2013, since that time the prices of both natural gas and coal have dropped substantially and those prices are now expected to remain relatively low for the foreseeable future.   The US EIA also publishes indicative costs of different electrical generation technologies as Base Overnight Costs in 2014 at:

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/assumptions/pdf/table_8.2.pdf

This makes a realistic estimate of Gas Fired generation costs at approximately ~$1000,000,000/GW.  This value can be used for comparative valuations of the other generation technologies.  In addition it is important to note that the time taken to install a gas fired installation is only about 2 years from inception to production.

Capacity10

The capital costs are substantially higher ~7 times higher for  solar power more than 10 times higher for offshore wind power and even ~3.5 times higher for Onshore wind.  Gas Fired power running costs even accounting for fuel costs are about equivalent to Offshore power installations.  Solar and Onshore wind power installation cost about  60% of Gas fired electrical production even including current fuel costs.

Renewable comparative cost effectiveness

Using the following assumptions:

  • the US EIA levelled cost data is adjusted for current gas and coal prices
  • the assumption that the capital cost of a 1GW gas fired plant running with 90% capacity is about €1 billion, €1,000,000,000
  • that the US$ and the Euro provide roughly equivalent value in their respective continents.

Those estimated capital expenditures throughout Europe are as follows:

Capacity11

Conclusions

The combination of the capacity along with factors and the US  EIA costing comparisons, along with  the EurObseER data in the following table summarises the situation of Renewables in Europe.

Capacity12

Accordingly it can be seen that Solar energy can cost about 63 times as much as Gas Fired generation for the amount of power it is capable of generating.  Offshore Windpower is about 45 times as much.  Whereas Onshore Windpower is more effective at only about 16 times as much as gas fired generation for the power it can generate.

When the weather dependent Renewables across Europe are assessed in overall combination, their capital cost in-effectiveness is about 30 times more than conventional Gas Fired electricity generation.

These comparative ratios still do not account for the inevitable intermittency and non-dispatchability inherent in the poor performance of Renewables.

If the objectives of using Renewables were not confused with “saving the planet” from the output of Man-made CO2, their actual cost in-effectiveness and inherent unreliability would have always ruled them out of any consideration as means of electricity generation for any developed economy.
Principia Scientific

Here’s Ed Hoskin’s point in a nutshell: the chaos produced by South Australia’s 17 Wind Farms (nameplate capacity of 1,477MW) during November last year.

SA nov 15

Prof Sir David MacKay’s Last Interview, Tells of the Futility of Wind Turbines!

Prof Sir David MacKay
The late Prof Sir David MacKay ,  GEOFFREY SWAINE/REX SHUTTERSTOCK

Wind turbines and solar panels are a waste of money if Britain wants reliable low carbon electricity supplies through the winter, the late Professor Sir David MacKay said in his final interview.

Prof MacKay, who served as chief scientific advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change for five years until 2014, died from cancer last month.

In an interview with the science writer Mark Lynas, filmed 11 days before his death and released posthumously, Prof Mackay said the “sensible thing” for the UK to do was to focus on nuclear and on carbon capture and storage technology, which traps the emissions from power stations.

He criticised the “appalling delusion” that renewable sources of power could simply be scaled up and paired with battery storage to provide all the UK’s energy needs, citing the high costs and large areas of land that would be required.

Wind turbines
Prof Sir David MacKay said there was no point building wind turbines if the country had enough low-carbon energy to cope with periods of no wind  ADRIAN DENNIE/AFP/GETTY

Prof MacKay was renowned in the energy world for his bookSustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air, which examined the potential limitations of renewable power, but said he had “always tried to avoid advocating particular solutions”.

However in his final interview – in which he stressed he would be “content with any plan that adds up” – he set out for the first time his own recommendation for “the rational thing to do in the UK”, explaining: “Maybe [as] the time is getting thinner, I should call a spade a spade.”

“For the UK, I think we want a zero carbon solution and it has to work in the winter,” he said.

The British public also seemed to care about the cost of energy, he said, so “we should be looking for a low carbon solution that is low cost”.

Prof MacKay said: “If you just cost-optimise and say it has to keep working in the winter, even if there’s no wind for seven days at time and obviously no sun… the sensible thing to do for a country like the UK, I think, is to focus on carbon capture and storage (CCS), which the world needs anyway, and nuclear.

“Then if you ask, what is the optimal amount of wind and solar to add in as well? The answer is going to be almost zero.”

Prof MacKay said he loved wind turbines, describing them as “the cathedrals of the modern age”, but said that if the country managed to build enough low-carbon supplies to get it through periods of no wind or sun in winter, then there was “actually no point in having any wind or solar”.

Wind turbines were a “waste of money” in that scenario since “when the wind blows you are going to have to either turn those wind turbines down or something else down that you have already paid for like the nukes or the CCS”, he said.

While advocates of renewable technologies often cite the potential for electricity storage to deal with their intermittency, Prof MacKay said that balancing wind-based power supplies would require “hundreds of flooded valleys” for hydroelectric storage.

Powering the UK from solely solar and batteries would require “absurdly large” batteries, while the cost of battery technology would need to come down “by a factor of 100” for it to be a realistic option, he said.

He alleged that solar panels had been subsidised in the UK against the advice of civil servants, due to their popularity with MPs and the work of solar lobbyists.

However, Prof MacKay emphasised that the best energy solutions would vary from country to country depending on their demands and political priorities.

Solar panels were a “really good idea” in hot countries where solar power supplies correlated with times of high demand, he said, while a combination of wind and storage might make sense in a country where “price doesn’t matter”.

Professor Sir David MacKay, physicist – obituary