The Utterly Futile Experiment with Wind Power, is Showing Signs of Collapse.

Britain’s Insanely Expensive & Utterly Pointless Wind Power Fiasco Exposed

ICU Respiratory_therapist

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When it comes to their demand for electricity, the power consumer has a couple of basic needs: when they hit the light switch they assume illumination will shortly follow and that when the kettle is kicked into gear it’ll be boiling soon thereafter. And the power consumer assumes that these – and similar actions in a household or business – will be open to them at any time of the night or day, every day of the year.

For conventional generators, delivering power on the basic terms outlined above is a doddle: delivering base-load power around the clock, rain, hail or shine is just good business. It’s what the customer wants and is prepared to pay for, so it makes good sense to deliver on-demand.

But for wind power generators it’s never about how much the customer wants or when they want it, it’s always and everywhere about the vagaries of the wind. When the wind speed increases to 25 m/s, turbines are automatically shut-off to protect the blades and bearings; and below 6-7 m/s turbines are incapable of producing any power at all.

It’s no wonder that the Brits have noticed that wind power is nothing more than a sick joke.

Even with the most geographically widespread grid-connected set of wind farms in the world (the 3,669 MW of wind power capacity connected to Australia’s Eastern grid across SA, Victoria, Tasmania and NSW) there are dozens of occasions each year when total wind power output struggles to top 2% of installed capacity – and hundreds when it fails to muster even 5%:

The Wind Power Fraud (in pictures): Part 1 – the South Australian Wind Farm Fiasco

The Wind Power Fraud (in pictures): Part 2 – The Whole Eastern Grid Debacle

And see our posts here and here and here.

May 2015 National

Now, if the power consumer was given advance warning of when these total output failures were going to occur, they might simply reconsider their selfish demands of having illumination after dark or that hot cuppa in the morning. That way, they might still consider wind power as some kind of “alternative” for conventional power?

But, so far, power consumers remain stubbornly selfish; wedded to the idea that when they hit the switch, their power needs will be satisfied that very instant (the cheek, hey?).

And that’s where the myth about wind power being some kind of “alternative” falls in a heap.

Unless you’re prepared to live like stone-age hermits, power delivered at the whim of mother nature (which in practical terms means no power at all, hundreds of times each year) is NO alternative for power delivered on-demand; anytime of the day or night; every single day of the year – and in volumes sufficient to satisfy all consumers connected to the same network, at the same time.

It was only a matter of time before the data (you know, the stuff that ‘inconvenient’ facts are made of) came to light and exposed the great wind power fraud for what it is: Britain, no exception.

Derek Partington has been perusing the woeful numbers over the last few years and produced the dismal results in this paper: Intermittency of UK Wind Power Generation 2013 and 2014

Derek has a degree in Physics; was formerly a Chartered Engineer and a member of both the Institute of Physics and the Institute of Measurement and Control. He worked for British Steel for 30 years and Local Government for 10 years, in both cases as a Project Manager and Business Analyst; and has been undertaking research into wind turbines for over 6 years.

Here’s the thrust of Derek’s wind industry killing paper.

Intermittency of UK Wind Power Generation 2013 and 2014
Grid, UK
Derek Partington
April 2015

Executive Summary:

This summary covers the principal findings of an analysis of electricity generation from all the UK wind turbines farms which are metered by National Grid, covering the period from January 2013 to December 2014.

The analysis shows:

Monitored wind turbine output (as measured by the National Grid) increased from 5,894MW to 8,403MW over the period.

The average capacity factor of all monitored wind turbines, onshore and offshore, across the whole of the UK, was 29.4% in 2013 and 28.8% in 2014.

The monthly average capacity factor varied from 11.1% (June 2014) to 48.8% (February 2014).

The time during which the wind turbines produced less than 10% of their rated capacity totalled 3,278 hours or 136.6 days over the two year period.

The time during which the wind turbines produced less than 5% of their rated capacity totalled 1,172 hours or 48.8 days over the same period.

Minimum wind turbine outputs averaged 132MW (1.8% of capacity) in 2013 and 174MW (2.1%) in 2014 as measured over 30 minute intervals.

Variations in output of 75 to 1 have been observed in a single month.

Maximum rise and fall in output over a one hour period was about 1000MW at the end of 2014 with a trend increase of about 250MW per year as measured over four years.

There is no correlation between UK wind turbine output and total UK electricity demand, with output often falling as demand rises and vice-versa.

The conclusions to be drawn from the analysis are that the increase in nominal capacity:

Does not increase the average wind turbine capacity factor.

Does not reduce the periods of low (less than 10% of installed capacity) or very low (less than 5%) output.

Does not reduce intermittency as measured by average monthly minimum output.

Does not reduce intermittency or variability as measured by maximum rise and fall in output over one hour period.

Does not indicate any possibility of closing any conventional, fossil-fuel power stations as there is no correlation between variations in output from wind turbines and demand on the Grid.

Therefore, based on the above, there is no case for a continued increase in the number of wind turbines connected to the Grid, or for the associated subsidies for wind energy, since this is an ineffective route to lower carbon dioxide emissions.

In April 2013 The Scientific Alliance published my analysis of electricity generation from all the UK wind turbines which are metered by National Grid, covering the period from January 2011 to December 2012.

This analysis showed:

The average capacity factor of all monitored wind turbines, both onshore and offshore, across the UK was 33.2% in 2011 and 30.7% in 2012

The average capacity factor in any given month varied from 16.2% to 50.8%.

The time during which the wind turbines produced less than 10% of their rated capacity totalled 3,165 hours and the time during which the wind turbines produced less than 5% of their rated capacity totalled 1,200 hours.

The output from wind turbines was extremely intermittent with variations by a factor of 10 occurring over very short periods.

Despite the fact that wind turbines only operate at about 30% of rated capacity on average and are exceedingly variable in their output, leading to long periods of very low output, the wind turbine fleet in the UK has increased significantly since 2012, driven entirely by government policy.

On 5 January 2015 renewableUK (the organisation representing the wind industry) headlined “Electricity needs of more than a quarter of UK homes powered by wind in 2014”.

They said that official statistics from National Grid showed that record amounts of electricity were generated by wind power in 2014:

Wind generated enough electricity to supply the needs of more than 6.7 million UK households last year; a 15% increase on the amount generated in 2013 (up from 24.5 terawatt hours to 28.1TWh in 2014) – just over 25% of all UK homes all year round.

Wind farms feeding into the grid, as well as smaller sites connected to local networks, provided 9.3% of the UK’s total electricity supply in 2014, up from 7.8% in 2013.

Other records were broken in December, with a new monthly high of 14% of all UK electricity generated by wind, beating the previous record of 13% set in December 2013, as well as a new quarterly record of 12% of electricity from wind in the last 3 months of 2014, breaking the previous record of 11% set in Q1 of 2014.

renewableUK continue to state on the Onshore Wind page of their website, “Onshore wind farms reduce CO2 emissions, provide energy security, and contribute to the local and national economy.

“The page also states, “Onshore wind works well in the UK because of the excellent wind resource. It has also become one of the most cost effective forms of renewable energy, providing over 5,000MW of capacity. A modern 2.5MW (commercial scale) turbine, on a reasonable site, will generate 6.5 million units of electricity each year – enough to make 230 million cups of tea.”

On 12 January 2015, the renewableUK home page gave figures “Powered by Wind”: Energy Produced 29,190,769 MWh, powering the equivalent of 6,963,447 homes and giving CO2 reductions (pa) of 12,552,031 tonnes.

These are very impressive figures if taken at face value, but what are the facts behind these statements – can we rely on wind turbines to power our homes and offset the annual release of carbon dioxide from conventional coal and gas burning power stations?

My previous report showed that this could only be true if the wind blew constantly but it does not, it blows very intermittently.

I have continued to analyse the output from the UK wind turbine fleet during 2013 and 2014, as measured by the electricity fed into the grid, in order to determine whether more turbines being brought into operation:

Improves average capacity factors

Reduces the periods of low or very low output

Reduces intermittency

Makes it possible to close any conventional, fossil-fuel power stations by making up for additional demand on the grid at peak times and, based on the analysis, to conclude whether wind turbines in the UK are making any significant contribution to a reduction in CO2 emissions.

Installed and Monitored Capacity

The installed capacity of wind turbines in the UK was quoted as 11,978MW by renewableUK on 12 January 2015 (7,936MW onshore and 4,042MW offshore). By comparison, on the same date the NETA (New Electricity Trading Arrangements) website quoted a capacity connected to the grid of 8,403MW, i.e. only 70% of the total installed capacity quoted by renewableUK.

This ratio has not changed over the years – at the end of 2011 the installed capacity of wind turbines in the UK was quoted as 5,772 MW whereas the monitored capacity, i.e. that monitored by the National Grid, was 4,006 MW. The equivalent figures for the end of 2012 were installed 7,777 MW, monitored 5,705 MW.

This analysis uses the NETA data throughout – the capacity connected to and monitored by the grid.

From the data on the NETA website, it is not possible to distinguish between onshore or offshore wind generation, or that from different parts of the UK. However, as this report covers the overall generation picture across the UK and does not break it down by region, this is of no consequence.

Do more wind turbines improve average output?

The average monitored capacity in 2011 was 3,340MW and the average output was 1,109.5MW giving a 33.2% capacity factor. In 2012 the equivalent figures were 4,696MW monitored by the grid, with an average output of 1,439.5MW or a capacity factor of 30.7%. The data points for each 30-minute period as monitored by the grid are averaged over the full month and a figure for output as a percentage of monitored power is calculated.

DP1

The figures show a significant variation in the average monthly capacity factor. The July average was 13.7% and that of December 46.7%. So even monthly averages vary by a factor of more than 3, a similar figure to that noted for 2011 and 2012.

DP2

Again the figures show a significant variation from month to month, the June figure being the lowest at 11.1% and February the highest at 48.8% – an increase in variation from month to month of almost 4.4 to1. Therefore from the data analysed the answer is “No, more wind turbines do not, on average, improve the average output.”

This despite there being 2.5 times increase in the installed (average) capacity from 2011 to 2014.

In fact, month to month variation, even in output averaged over the month, has increased significantly in 2014 compared with the previous three years.

If this is to be expected, simply because the installed capacity has increased, then the variation in output may be expected to increase still further as more turbines are added to the Grid, although at this stage we could equally well assume that this is primarily an artifact of the inherent variability of the wind resource.

Do more wind turbines reduce periods of low or very low output?

I have taken low output as being less than 10% of installed capacity and very low output as being less than 5% of installed capacity. Any percentage could have been chosen, but I believe that these are reasonable figures if one is to place any reliance on a sustainable source of supply.

In 2011 there were a total of 485.5 hours, or 20.2 days when output from the total UK wind turbine fleet fell to less than 5% of monitored capacity. The equivalent figures for 2012 were 714.5 hours or 29.8 days.

In 2011 there were a total of 1,370 hours, or 57.1 days when output from the total UK wind turbine fleet fell to less than 10% of monitored capacity. The equivalent figures for 2012 were 1795.5 hours or 74.8 days.

The table below gives the same data for 2013 and 2014, i.e. the total hours per month and per year where total output fell to less than 5% and less than 10% of installed capacity.

DP3

The data show no significant difference between the 2011 and 2013 periods and the 2012 and 2014 periods.

It can be seen that there are significant deviations from month to month. In the “worst” month, September 2014, the output from the total UK turbine fleet was less than 5% of their installed capacity for almost 25% of the time. In the same month the turbines failed to reach 10% of their capacity for over 62% of the time.

The graph for September 2014 is given below.

DP4

Over the 2-year period there was a total of 1,172 hours, or 48.8 days, when the output was less than 5% of nominal installed capacity.

This compares with 50 days over 2011 and 2012.

Looking at where output was less than 10% of installed capacity, for the two year period this was 3,278 hours , or 136.6 days compared with 131.9 days over 2011 and 2012.

It should be noted that 136.6 days is well over 4 months in total over the 24 month period.

Therefore from the data analysed the answer is “No, more wind turbines do not reduce periods of low or very low output”. (Note: low output is a function of natural variation in the strength of the wind – which, of course, is not influenced by having more wind turbines).

Do more wind turbines reduce intermittency?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines intermittent as “occurring at irregular intervals; not continuous or steady”. It is obvious that wind in the UK intermittent. It is not steady – sometimes the wind blows strongly, sometimes weakly and sometimes not at all. But here we are not concerned with the strength of the wind but its effect on the output of the UK wind turbine fleet.

To demonstrate the intermittency I have plotted the total UK wind turbine output for every month over the 24 months studied.

The graph on the following page shows data from a typical month, from March 2014.

It can be seen that during March 2014, the wind was always blowing somewhere in the UK as the output from all the wind turbines feeding the National Grid never fell to zero. However, the output varied dramatically from day to day, with a minimum output of 75MW and a maximum of 5,582MW – a variation of almost 75-fold.

DP5

This graph is quite typical and detailed graphs, with additional data, are given for each of the 24 months analysed in the appendix.

Intermittency can also be presented as daily minima and maxima in any month as shown in the bar chart below for August 2014. This is again a typical month where the average capacity factor was 27.5%.

DP6

On a single day, 2nd August, the variation from minimum to maximum is almost 30-fold.

The following table gives the minimum output during each month over the 2 years for which the data was analysed.

DP7

Therefore the assumption that the wind is always blowing somewhere in the UK may be true, but at times it is barely blowing enough to generate any significant energy.

In 10 out of the 24 months monitored, the minimum output dropped to 1% of capacity or less at some time. It should also be noted that the minimum output levels have not significantly changed since 2011, even with more wind turbines being installed. The equivalent average minima for 2011 and 2012 were 2.1% and 1.5% respectively.

As can be seen the maximum rise and fall has increased significantly as operational capacity has increased. This is the variation which the grid has to cope with, bringing in conventional fossil fuelled stations when output falls and taking them off line when it rises.

The above data can be plotted to give a trend showing the year on year increase.

DP8

It can be seen that The National Grid is now having to cope with variations in output (intermittency) of over 1,100MW over one hour periods. It can also be seen that this variation is increasing by about 250MW per year.

It should also be noted that 1,100MW is 13% of the installed capacity and is over 40% of the average monthly output in 2014.

The peak fall over one hour was 2,153MW in March 2014, a figure which is likely to be exceeded as more turbines are connected to the grid.

Therefore, from the data analysed the answer is “No, more wind turbines do not reduce intermittency. In fact using two alternative measures, minimum output during the month and variation in output over 1 hour, then more turbines increase the impact of intermittency”.

Do more wind turbines make it possible to close any conventional, fossil-fuel power stations by making up for additional demand on the grid on peak times?

If the variation in output matched the increase or decrease in demand on the grid, then there would be no need for back-up in the form of conventional, fossil-fuel power stations.

In order to see if output from wind turbines in any way matches demand, the total output has been plotted against demand on the grid over the last seven months of 2014. In order to fit the graphs on the same scale, UK wind turbine output has been plotted alongside grid demand divided by ten.

A typical week, from October 2014, is shown below. As expected, there is no correlation between output and demand. The output varied over the week from a high of 6,000MW on 6 October to a low of 200MW on 12 October with no form of repetitive pattern in between.

DP9

The graph above does show a pattern on some days where output from wind turbines falls as demand rises and vice versa, which is not atypical. In fact over Christmas Day 2014, if wind were relied on to cook the turkey, then there would have been a public outcry as output dropped steadily from over 6,000MW on Christmas Eve to under 200MW on Boxing Day.

DP10

Therefore, from the data analysed the answer is “No, more wind turbines do not make it possible to close any conventional fossil fuel power stations”.

As expected, analysis shows that there is no correlation between variations in output from wind turbines and demand on the Grid. Often the opposite is true – when demand rises, output from wind turbines falls and vice versa. This has a significant negative effect as back-up has to be provided from conventional, fossil-fuel power stations not only to cater for increase in demand on the Grid at peak times but also to cover for any possible fall in output from the UK wind turbine fleet at the same time. (It is understood that fossil-fuel generators being run in stop-start mode to provide this back up are very inefficient and may be producing significant additional carbon dioxide than when operating in their designed steady state.) So, taking some of the renewableUK statements:

“Electricity needs of more than a quarter of UK homes powered by wind in 2014” – should this be “Electricity needs of more than a quarter of UK homes powered by wind in 2014 some of the time”?

“Wind farms feeding into the grid … provided 9.3% of the UK’s total electricity supply in 2014” – should this read “Wind farms feeding into the grid … provided 9.3% of the UK’s total electricity supply in 2014 when averaged over the year.”

“Other records were broken in December, with a new monthly high of 14% of all UK electricity generated by wind” – should this be counterbalanced by “but in June 2014 electricity generated by wind was only one quarter of this figure”.

“Onshore wind farms reduce CO2 emissions, provide energy security….”. Taking the analysis in this report, and the previous one, there is no basis for this statement.

There is patently a need to provide back-up for wind turbines which are feeding into the Grid and therefore CO2 emissions may possibly be increased rather than decreased as conventional, fossil-fuel power stations have to be operated inefficiently in order to provide this back up. Similarly there is no energy security if output can fall from over 6,000MW to under 200MW over a 42 hour period as it did over Christmas 2014.

Based on the above, I would like to see evidence that any conventional power station has been able to be closed down as a result of the introduction of over 8,000MW of wind turbine capacity feeding into the National Grid. Similarly I would like to see evidence of reductions in CO2 emissions through the introduction of wind turbines where a holistic approach to meeting the demand on the Grid is taken into consideration.

Conclusions

Over the period studied, January 2013 to December 2014 inclusive, wind turbine operational capacity connected to the UK Grid has increased from 5,894MW to 8,403MW. The operational capacity in January 2011 was 2,490MW; therefore there has been an increase of almost 3.4x over the four year period.

The conclusions to be drawn from the data analysis are:

An increase in the operational capacity does not improve average output. In fact the average monthly capacity factor has fallen over the periods studied, dropping from 33.2% in 2011 to 28.8% in 2014.

An increase in the operational capacity does not reduce the periods of low or very low output as measured by the number of hours per year when output was low (less than 10% of installed capacity) or very low (less than 5% of installed capacity). There is a variation from year to year but no pattern emerges. The mean low output over the four years was 1,617 hours/year with a standard deviation of 197 hours/year and the mean very low output was 599 hours with a standard deviation of 96 hours.

An increase in the operational capacity does not reduce intermittency. If taken as a measure of intermittency, the average monthly minimum expressed as a percentage of installed capacity was 1.9% with no significant variation from year to year.

Taking maximum rise and fall in output over one hour period as a further measure of intermittency, the National Grid is now having to cope with variations in output of over 1,100MW over one hour periods, with this variation increasing by about 250MW per year.

This is very significant as it represents the changes in output which the Grid has to cope with and which has to be compensated by conventional fossil fuelled power stations.

An increase in the operational capacity does not indicate any possibility of closing any conventional, fossil-fuel power stations as there is no correlation between variations in output from wind turbines and demand on the Grid. Often the opposite is true – when demand rises, output from wind turbines falls and vice versa.

This has a significant negative effect as back-up has to be provided from conventional, fossil-fuel power stations not only to cater for increase in demand on the Grid at peak times but also to cover for any possible fall in output from the UK wind turbine fleet at the same time.

Therefore, taking the four criteria above, there is no case for a continued increase in the number of wind turbines connected to the Grid.

As stated in my previous report, it is incumbent upon the Government to ensure that the British consumer is getting value for money from industrial wind turbine installations and that they are not just paying subsidies to developers and operators (through ROCs) whilst getting nothing back in return in terms of CO2 emission reductions through the supplanting of fossil-fuelled power generation.

Based on the results of this and my previous analysis I cannot see why any policy for the continued increase in the number of wind turbines connected to the Grid can be justified.
Derek Partington

Derek’s previous paper can be found here: Intermittency of UK Wind Power Generation 2011 and 2012

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Wind Power Shares Plummeting… “Green” Jobs Axed!

US Wind Power Outfits’ Shares Plummet – Hundreds of ‘Green’ Jobs Axed

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Remember all those stories about the wind industry providing millions of groovy, well-paid ‘green’ jobs – as secure as Fort Knox?

No?

Sure, you’ll hear mention of loads of promised wind industry jobs – in fictional retellings from wind industry spruikers – as they wail about dreaded ‘uncertainty’ – causing bankers to baulk and investors to flee; and as they demand (with menaces) that governments maintain essential, massive and endless subsidies until the end of time.

But, as is almost always the case with wind industry drivel, dreams and reality fast become an ugly amalgam, of what passes for wind industry ‘truth’.

When economists scroll through the books, however, claims about wind industry employment evaporate like snowflakes in summer – and, instead, the hard numbers show that the places where these things proliferate, are suffering from declining employment in real industries, particularly those with the tendency to use more than just a little power in the processes of production:

Wind Power Subsidies Crushing Families & Killing Thousands of Real Jobs

The Wind Industry’s Jobs Bonanza Myth Smashed, Again

It’s a confusing paradox, to be sure.

You see, on the one hand we’re told that the wind industry delivers a product, that customers can’t get enough of (at prices starting somewhere near “free” – and getting cheaper all the time), but, strangely, the merest mention or even hint that wind power subsidies might be trimmed or, heaven forbid, chopped, has wind industry parasites descending into a fixed state of apoplexy.

During their descent, wind industry spinners shout even louder about millions of new jobs, that are always just beyond the horizon; attainable – but if, and only if, the massive subsidies presently in place are set in stone. Here are a couple of pieces peppered with precisely that type of self-serving and deluded ranting.

Panel seeks to extend freeze on Ohio green energy targets
Associated Press
Julie Carr Smyth
1 October 2015

Government requirements for the use of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy by Ohio power companies would be suspended indefinitely under recommendations released Wednesday by a legislative panel. The Energy Mandates Study Committee’s report cites legal uncertainty and a need for “greater clarity” surrounding proposed federal clean power rules among reasons for the recommendation.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Government requirements for the use of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy by Ohio power companies would be suspended indefinitely under recommendations released Wednesday by a legislative panel.

The Energy Mandates Study Committee’s report cites legal uncertainty and a need for “greater clarity” surrounding proposed federal clean power rules among reasons for the recommendation. The suggestion drew swift criticism from environmental groups, alternative energy businesses, Democrats and Gov. John Kasich.

Committee chairman Troy Balderson, a Zanesville Republican, said the report represents a starting point for debate as legislation proposing changes to Ohio’s mandates is drafted.

“Look, I know what the headline on the report’s going to be. There’s more to it than that,” he said. “And there will continue to be more to it than that. Now we have to go through the legislative process.”

The panel’s additional recommendations include ultimately switching from mandates to an incentive system to encourage use of renewables and efforts toward energy efficiency; expediting the regulatory process for approving utilities’ energy-efficiency plans; and ensuring advanced-energy projects receive maximum credit.

The panel was charged with reviewing an Ohio law requiring utilities to generate 25 percent of electricity from alternative and advanced sources by 2025 and to meet certain energy efficiency targets.

The committee was created as part of a compromise brokered by Kasich amid efforts to repeal the targets outright. The deal placed a two-year freeze on phasing in existing mandates while the issue was studied. If legislators fail to act, the law would resume as planned in 2017.

The administration signaled dissatisfaction with extending the freeze any further.

“A continued freeze of Ohio’s energy standards is unacceptable and we stand willing to work with the Ohio General Assembly to craft a bill that supports a diverse mix of reliable, low-cost energy sources while preserving the gains we have made in the state’s economy,” Kasich spokesman Joe Andrews said.

Ohio is among states that have sued over the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which sets targets for carbon dioxide emissions for existing power plants as a means of reducing emissions from 2005 levels by 32 percent by 2030. Kasich has written to President Barack Obama asking him to hold off on implementing the plan until questions are resolved by the courts.

“The US EPA, by promulgation of the proposed CPP, seeks to change the energy landscape significantly across the United States,” the report states.

Senate President Keith Faber said lawmakers and the governor — who was represented in deliberations over the report — may have to “agree to disagree.”

“I know their EPA director has gone and urged everybody to be cautious until we see the implementation of what the president’s new proposals are,” he said. “And so at this point, I’d like to hear their proposal if they think what we’re putting forward is unacceptable.”

Proponents argue that Ohio’s targets were creating jobs and benefiting the environment before they were frozen, and that the state would continue to do so if allowed to proceed.

State Rep. Michael Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat who sat on the Republican-dominated study committee, said the report’s recommendations ignore expert testimony by a number of witnesses “who attested to the positive impacts these standards had on the state until frozen.”

Senate Democrats called on Kasich to fight for restoration of the mandates.

“Allowing the clean energy industry to prosper could result in better products, a healthier population, cheaper prices, and more jobs over time,” they wrote.

Samantha Williams, attorney and energy policy advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said Ohio’s momentum as “a clean energy trailblazer” has stalled.

“Any policies that block progress to regain Ohio’s leadership will only grow the mountain of missed opportunities and keep the state lagging behind its neighbors that are moving forward with clean energy to create jobs, boost their economy and protect public health,” she said in a statement.
Associated Press

The usual grab bag of nonsense is predictably pitched up by Samantha Williams – about wind power being a “clean energy” source; and a serious source of lasting jobs. Although, when the term “lasting” is used, we tend to think of jobs that don’t disappear with the merest hint of reining in a pointless subsidy.

Then there’s the claims about these things generating a “healthier population”!?!. Here’s a few from our archive that tend to suggest the opposite:

SA Farmers Paid $1 Million to Host 19 Turbines Tell Senate they “Would Never Do it Again” due to “Unbearable” Sleep-Destroying Noise

Labor’s Bill Shorten Publicly Ridicules Joanne Kermond – a Victim of Pacific Hydro’s Non-Compliant Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm

Wind Turbine Infrasound: What Drives Wind Farm Neighbours to Despair

Dr Bruce Rapley Slams Australian Medical Association as Totally Unqualified Wind Industry Propagandists

Audacity is the very essence of propaganda; taking patent nonsense, wrapping it in myth and pitching it up with a straight face, has been the core competence of the wind industry from the get go – it’s a skill that will follow it to its already dug and waiting grave.

Here’s another view of a panicked industry on the run, from Oklahoma.

Bill introduced to end wind tax credit
Washington Examiner
Kyle Feldscher
7 October 2015

A senator from the windswept state of Oklahoma wants to remove a tax credit for wind energy from the tax code.

Republican Sen. James Lankford introduced a bill Wednesday, titled the PTC Elimination Act, that would remove the Production Tax Credit from the tax code entirely. The credit expired at the end of 2014, but a renewal is attached to a tax extenders package making its way through Congress.

Lankford, echoing oil industry groups who spoke against the credit last month, said wind energy has become self-sustaining and no longer needs to be subsidized federally.

“I am a fan of an all-of-the-above energy strategy, and I certainly support wind as a large part of that goal,” he said.

“There is no need for the taxpayer to continue to subsidize a wind start-up tax credit.”

In addition to wind, the Production Tax Credit is tied to 11 other sources of renewable energy.

For wind, the tax credit is 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of a facility’s existence. Lankford estimates the tax credit would cost taxpayers $10.5 billion during the next 10 years.

Right now, projects that began before Jan. 1 still qualify for the tax credit. Under Lankford’s bill, the last day any company could receive funds from the credit would be Dec. 31, 2026.

Lankford has campaigned in the past on relying more on fossil fuels, such as natural gas, instead of renewable sources.

Observers say it’s unlikely the bill will make much progress.

Oklahoma is a major player in wind energy. In 2014, the state was ranked fourth for installed wind capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

There are 2,614 wind turbines in Oklahoma that produced about 17 percent of all electricity produced there in 2014, according to the association.

Lankford contends the tax credit has outlived its usefulness and is a redundancy since 37 states already provide incentives for wind energy production. He said wind generation has grown 5,000 percent since the tax credit was instituted in 1992.

Some business groups disagree.

On Monday, 580 companies working in clean energy from around the country signed a letter urging Congress to extend the credit. Meanwhile, 2,000 businessmen and women signed a letter that also called on Congress to extend the tax credit, according to the wind trade group.

The Senate Finance Committee passed the extension of the credit 23-3. That included yes votes from senators on both sides of the aisle.

Rob Gramlich, senior vice president of government and public affairs at the American Wind Energy Association, said he’s hopeful that, contrary to Lankford’s bill, the wind tax credit will be renewed by the end of 2015.

“Hundreds of American businesses employing American workers have also made it clear extending these incentives is critical to plan their business and keep their doors open,” he said. “We will continue to educate all members of Congress about all of wind energy’s benefits to our economy.”
Washington Examiner

Good to see that the same rubbish pitched up by Samantha Williams in Ohio, being recycled by the AWEA’s Rob Gramlich – eerily familiar stuff; as you’d expect from people chanting the same mantra, from the same playbook.

Now, why would wind industry parasites like Samantha Williams and Rob Gramlich be fighting tooth-and-nail to ensure that the wind power subsidy trough is replenished from now until Armageddon?

Here’s a little clue.

After buying binge, SunEdison to cut 15% of workforce
Energy Wire
David Ferris
6 October 2015

SunEdison Inc., the world’s largest renewable energy developer, plans to cut 15 percent of its personnel after a yearlong spending spree and a precipitous drop in its stock price.

The cuts among the company’s 7,300 staff are even deeper than what was originally reported yesterday by Greentech Media. The board of the company decided a week ago to carry out the layoffs in the face of a slowing market and to eliminate redundancies among its many new arms, according to a document filed yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SunEdison plans a phone call with investors tomorrow to provide more details.

In the past month, nervous investors have pushed two of the most ambitious and acquisitive clean-energy companies — SunEdison and NRG Energy Inc. — to trim their plans. Both companies have plowed their moneymaking assets into yieldcos, a new investment vehicle that Wall Street loved a few months ago but has now soured on.

The core business of U.S.-based SunEdison is putting together large, complex solar- and wind-energy projects around the world, with operations as far-flung as India, Brazil, England and Massachusetts. In the past year, those operations became more complicated as the company entered new markets and bought up competitors around the globe.

Last November, the company expanded from solar into wind energy with a $2.4 billion purchase of First Wind. In June it bought Continuum Wind Energy, a wind developer in India, for about $620 million, according to Livemint. That same month, SunEdison snapped up a leading wind and solar developer in Central America. In July, it acquired Vivint Solar, a major U.S rooftop solar developer, for $2.2 billion.

Also this year, SunEdison created two yieldcos, which are essentially holding companies for the company’s completed projects. Since those projects are contracted to last decades, yieldcos were meant to provide investors with a long-term, dependable payback in the unpredictable renewable energy business, while giving their parent companies a cheap supply of capital.

Since 2013, at least 10 yieldcos have been created in the renewable energy sphere and received enthusiastic investment until midsummer, when confidence ebbed.

“The business model for many yieldcos is to issue equity, acquire projects and pay out cash flow. When the equity prices go down, that raises their finance cost, which jeopardizes the business model,” said Travis Miller, director of utilities equity research at Morningstar, a research firm.

This week’s news echoes that of NRG Energy, a company with a portfolio that is both different from and similar to SunEdison’s.

NRG’s principal business is operating one of the country’s largest fleets of traditional power plants running on coal and natural gas. In the past several years, the firm has bought its way into a diverse portfolio of clean energy projects, including large wind and solar farms, a rooftop solar installation business and a network of electric vehicle chargers (EnergyWire, Sept. 9, 2014).

NRG has seen its stock drop from a 52-week high of $32 to $18 per share a few weeks ago and a corresponding slide in its yieldco, called NRG Yield.

Three weeks ago, CEO David Crane announced that the company’s clean energy holdings would be reshuffled into a “GreenCo” that stands apart from the company’s traditional businesses (EnergyWire, Sept. 21). NRG hoped its intentions would increase confidence, but the stock has dropped further, to $14.

Growth, abated

At the time of the Vivint acquisition, SunEdison’s CEO, Ahmad Chatila, told Bloomberg that adding a major rooftop solar installer to the portfolio would give the company “unabated growth for 20 years.”

The firm continued to express confidence in its strategy, even as it took on heavy debt from its new purchases and its stock prices sank.SunEdison stock plunged from a high of $31 in mid-July to $9 at market close yesterday. Its two yieldcos, TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global, have experienced similar declines.

One analyst suggested the company’s bold, deal-making approach to energy projects may have not prepared it for the level of financial restraint it needed when participating in financial markets with its yieldcos.

John Hempton of Bronte Capital wrote in a blog post last week that Chatila ought to step down in favor of “someone whose job it is to ensure — and be seen to ensure — that bad projects are not funded.”

“Mr Chatila has built an institution for which he is profoundly unsuitable to run,” Hempton wrote.

Also yesterday, the man at SunEdison who will presumably carry out the layoffs — head of human resources Stephen Cerrone — acquired stock options worth $360,000, according to an SEC document.
Energy Wire

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NRG the outfit that has seen “its stock drop from a 52-week high of $32 to $14” in a few weeks, is among a number of wind power outfits blaming its precarious finances on, of all things, the weather:

US Wind Power Outfits Curse ‘El Niño’ for Massive & Mounting Losses

Wind Power Ponzi Scheme Running Out of Puff

SunEdison – also suffering a “precipitous drop” in its share price, from $31 to $9 – is all set to lay off 15% of its 7,300 employees, which, on STT’s maths, translates to almost 1,100 people.

Now, what was all that talk from Samantha Williams and Rob Gramlich about the wind industry creating millions of well-paid, stable jobs that will outlast religion?

And what ever happened to the spruikers’ claims that, investing in wind power was not only groovy and ‘green’, but a solid, one-way bet?

There’s one thing for sure, and that’s that the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers will never be accused of consistency. But, internal inconsistency and blatant hypocrisy is precisely the stuff that wind industry propaganda is made of.

At its base level, this is all about separating fools from their money. As PT Barnum said: “every crowd has a silver lining”. Make sure you’re not part of this crowd.

dirtyrottenscoundrelsoriginal

Good News for Ontario!!!

TSP shuts Ontario tower plant

TSP shuts Ontario tower plant image

Chinese wind tower manufacturer TSP Canada Towers has closed its doors in Ontario.

TSP invested C$25m in a 450,000-square-foot facility in Thorold in the Niagara Region, which opened in June 2012.

The plant employed about 120 people, Thorold chief administrative officer Frank Fabiano told reNEWS. “It’s a tremendous loss for the community,” he said.

The company was a joint venture between Shanghai Taisheng Wind Power Equipment and British Columbia-based Top Renergy however the partnership dissolved about six months ago, said Fabiano. The most recent production run ended at the turn of the year and the staff have now been let go.

TSP has established its own team to look at options for restructuring the business. It is not known if the factory will reopen.

“Management hasn’t closed any door nor have they committed to anything,” said Fabiano. TSP could not be reached for comment.

The company was attracted to Ontario by the province’s Green Energy Act and feed-in tariff program. Wind projects were required to meet up to 50% domestic content, prompting several international manufacturers to establish plants and build local supply chains.

However several countries challenged the buy-local requirements and the World Trade Organization ruled they violated global trade rules. Ontario scrapped the requirement in 2013.

The province has scaled back its clean energy ambitions and replaced the FiT with a competitive large renewable procurement program.

Wind Weasels in Scotland, are Being Sent Packing! Way to Go, Scots!!

Scots Rejoice as Highland Fan Plan Canned & Wind Power Jobs Myth Exposed

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The Scots have been set upon by particularly rabid strain of wind weasel:

Got ‘Mercenary Sociopath’ on your CV? Then why not join the Wind Turbine ‘Taliban’

The wind power outfits that have set out to destroy Scotland are peopled by the usual type of bullies and thugs – that are quick to send in the muscle, in efforts to generate ‘community support’ for these things:

Scots Fight-back as Wind Power Outfit Aims to Thump its ‘Community Message’ Home

Faced with a brand of ‘corporate social responsibility’ that would have done the GDR’s Stasi proud, many might have given up and retreated to lick their wounds. But, the Scots are a tenacious bunch, who never say die:

Subsidies Scrapped: Scots Rejoice at Wind Industry’s Demise – Time for a Wee Highland Fling

And now – through their undying efforts to protect the heritage that is the rugged, unspoilt beauty of its majestic Uplands – Highlanders can raise a dram (or three) to celebrate a mighty victory for common sense and Scotland.

£120m Cairngorms wind farm plan blown out
The Scotsman
Alistair Munro
30 July 2015

A CONTROVERSIAL £120 million wind farm proposal has been thrown out by the Scottish Government who admitted that it would scar the Cairngorms National Park.

The 31-turbine Allt Duine development was to be sited within a designated Wild Land area in the Monadhliath mountains near Aviemore.

After a lengthy public inquiry, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has concluded the plan did not represent sustainable development, adding: “The Scottish Government’s policy on wind farms strikes a careful balance between maximising Scotland’s huge green energy potential and protecting some of our most scenic landscape and wild areas.

“We have been clear that wind farms can only be built in the right places and planning policy sets out rigorous steps to ensure wind farms are sited appropriately and sensitively. I have considered the Allt Duine application fully and have refused permission as the proposal would have a significant and unacceptable landscape and visual impacts in the local area, including on the Cairngorms National Park.”

The proposed turbines, which would have stood at 125 metres, would have been visible from nearly 26,000 hectares of the national park, including landmark high points such as popular Munros including Ben Macdui, Cairn Gorm and Braeriach.

The application, by RWE Innogy, was opposed by all statutory consultees, including the government’s own advisers Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Cairngorms National Park Authority and Highland Council.

But RWE Innogy UK has expressed disappointment, claiming it prevents a multi-million pound energy project from going ahead along with the creation of up to 100 jobs. Spokesman Mike Parker said: “We believe that we have designed a wind farm that is appropriate for the area in terms of the location, number and size of the turbines.

“At a time when the industry is under fire from the UK government it is increasingly damaging that this decision has been made. We would like to remain committed to investing in renewable energy projects in Scotland and to doing what we can to invest in the Scottish economy through jobs and community investments.

“However the result on this project has been discouraging. We will now consider the findings further before deciding next steps.”

Chris Townsend, a spokesman for the Save Monadhliath Mountains campaign, welcomed the decision, saying: “This is a victory for common sense, the safeguarding of the wild land in the Monadhliath Mountains and the absolute protection of the Cairngorms National Park. This scheme was the wrong development in the wrong location.”
The Scotsman

Monadhliath Mountains

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To our Scottish brothers and sisters, we raise one too, and wish the victors slàinte mhath!

But before we leave this bonnie tale, we can’t help but square up on the drivel in the piece above, that the project would have led to the “creation of up to 100 jobs”. No it wouldn’t.

Once the turbines had been planted, the project would have created less than a handful of full-time jobs, all involving maintenance or repairs.

Hubris and overstatement are, of course, the stock-in-trade for wind weasels, wherever they ply their trade – Scotland – no different.

Here’s a report on yet another wind industry jobs fantasy beat-up, being beaten down by …. you guessed it …. reality.

Tiny fraction of projected jobs bonanza for Scotland’s offshore wind industry becomes a reality
Scotland Herald
Mark Latham
5 July 2015

Only six per cent of the 30,020 jobs projected to be created in Scotland by 2015 through the growth of the offshore wind industry have actually materialised, the Sunday Herald can reveal.

A 2010 report on the future of the sector commissioned by industry body Scottish Renewables forecast that, under the most optimistic scenario, 30,020 full-time equivalent jobs would be in existence by 2015 and that this number would grow to 48,554 by 2020.

But the most recent figures show that in 2013 just 1,842 people were employed in the sector in 2013: a figure that is unlikely to have changed substantially as no offshore wind farms have been built in Scottish waters since then.

Those 1,842 created jobs are however more than twice the number of the study’s worst case scenario projection of 741 jobs by 2015, but far short of the 17,076 estimated under a second “more moderate” development scenario and considerably less than the 5,346 projected under the study’s third scenario of the number of jobs that would be created by 2015 “if Scotland fails to capture the economic benefits of offshore wind development.”

The gap between optimism and reality for Scotland’s offshore wind industry was laid bare last week when the South Korean multinational Samsung Heavy Industries said it would not be going ahead with a planned £100 million offshore wind turbine factory in Methil in Fife, which would have brought 500 jobs to one of Scotland’s most deprived areas.

The project was Scotland’s last remaining hope of creating hundreds of construction jobs in the offshore wind sector, after Spanish wind power firm Gamesa earlier this year dropped plans to build a wind turbine factory and servicing yard for the offshore energy sector in Leith, which would have seen the creation of 800 high-skilled engineering jobs.

In the end the Methil project – which received £6 million from Scottish Enterprise – only led to the creation of 20 research and development jobs following the installation of a 7MW test turbine in the Firth of Forth in 2013, which is now likely to be sold to the Glasgow-based Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.

If offshore wind finally takes off in Scotland (so far only one offshore wind farm, the 180MW Robin Rigg farm in the Solway Firth, has been installed in Scottish waters) Scottish Renewables believes that more jobs will be created through the operation and maintenance of wind farms than from the construction of turbines or components.

Lindsay Roberts, senior policy manager for offshore wind at the industry body, told the Sunday Herald that the 2010 report’s best case scenario prediction of 30,020 jobs by 2015 was predicated on an assumption that there would be 10GW of installed capacity in Scottish waters by 2020.

“That is clearly now unachievable,” she said. “We appear to be on track to deliver within the lower scenario ranges.”

“The industry across the UK, but particularly in Scotland, is adjusting to a markedly different policy and funding landscape to that envisaged just a few years ago.

“The visibility of a sustainable market throughout the 2020s is the single most important driver of cost reduction in offshore wind. This is partly due to the ability to create a market of sufficient size to drive competition between multiple turbine suppliers and that’s why clarity over the UK Government’s long term support for this sector is so important.”

Roberts disagreed with criticism from the anti-wind farm lobby that Scotland’s deeper waters and more extreme wind conditions make it less suitable for offshore wind farms than England.

“The shallower, more benign, waters found south of the border were a perfect place for a young offshore wind industry to start in the UK but our technology and experience has now developed to a level that makes exploiting more challenging sites around the UK and in Scotland, not just possible, but desirable,” she said.

Linda Holt, spokesperson for the campaign group Scotland Against Spin, said that Samsung’s decision to pull out of the Methil project was “inevitable because Scotland’s offshore wind industry is a dead duck” and that the estimates of 30,020 jobs coming to Scotland by 2015 were “hilarious”.

Holt points to the fact that generous public subsidies have spawned almost 20 wind farms off the coast of England and Wales over the last decade but during that time only one offshore farm has been built in Scottish waters.

“The main reason is that the technical and financial challenges of building and servicing wind farms off the Scottish coast are very much greater than for wind farms in England and Wales. These are located in shallower waters, with less harsh weather and closer to centres of demand for electricity than Scottish ones would be.”
Herald Scotland

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The Beginning of the End, for Australia’s Wind Weasels!

Senate Recommendations Spell ‘DOOM’ for the Australian Wind Industry

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The wind industry in Australia, already belted, battered and bruised, has just been delivered what STT considers the fatal blow.

On Friday just gone, the front page of The Australian carried the headline “Call to curb wind subsidies” in an “exclusive” penned by STT Champion, Graham Lloyd – the full report appeared on page 7 – in which Graham provides a sneak preview of the recommendations made in the final report of the Senate Inquiry into the great wind power fraud, due out next week.

Canberra urged to strip billions from windfarm subsidies
The Australian
Graham Lloyd
31 July 2015

A Senate committee says renewable energy subsidies for new wind farms should be limited to five years from more than 20.

The Abbott government is being urged to strip billions more from subsidies to wind farms in the final report of a Senate committee that has already pushed renewable energy investment to favour solar.

In its recommendations, the committee says renewable energy subsidies for new wind farms should be limited to five years from more than 20.

It also wants the issue of renewable energy certificates restricted to projects in states that adopt federal regulations on infrasound and low frequency noise.

The final report of the Senate investigation into wind farms and their possible health effects will be tabled in parliament on Monday.

The report has been circulated and details have been provided to The Australian.

The call for time limits on subsidies and federal noise oversight is likely to provoke a backlash from the wind industry, already reeling from a federal government directive to the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation that it stop lending to wind projects.

The lending freeze was agreed with crossbench senators after the federal government adopted the committee’s interim report recommendations.

The deal included crossbench support to include forest waste in the revised renewable energy target legislation.

In a letter tabled in the Senate, Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the federal government would respond “actively and in good faith” to the Senate committee findings.

The final report says a five-year limit on renewable energy certificates, down from more than 20 years, recognised that wind turbine technology was well developed and a “mature” industry.

A ban on issuing RECS to wind farms in states that do not adopt federal guidelines on infrasound is designed to force the hand of governments that rejected a national approach at the last Council of Australian Governments meeting.

At present, noise guidelines are administered by the states, but renewable energy certificates are issued by the commonwealth.

Renewable energy companies are issued RECS for the amount of power they generate.

The RECS are sold to power authorities, which must secure a set portion of their supply from renewable sources under the RET.

The cost of buying RECS is added to consumer electricity bills as a subsidy for renewable energy over other sources of power.

Crossbench senators are confident the federal government will accept the recommendations and the measures can be passed through both houses. Adoption will require legislative changes to the Clean Energy Act.

Legislation would require the support of six non-government senators in the upper house.

The Senate committee has been particularly concerned by complaints from people living near wind farms who believe low-frequency noise and infrasound is having an impact on their health.

The existence of health impacts from wind turbines has been rejected as unproven by health authorities, but as the number of complaints increases the issue is being investigated worldwide.

The final Senate report recommends the scientific committee have the power to provide “guidance, advice and oversight” to bodies funding and undertaking research into infrasound.
The Australian

Nice work, Graham!

As an aside, it’s the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 that would be amended (not the Clean Energy Act) – s40 of which sets the target.

However, no doubt due to his desire to be seen as objective, Graham slips a little when he suggests that the health impacts of low-frequency noise and infrasound are somehow a matter of “belief”.

When the next-door neighbour’s rooster fires up at 5 o’clock in the morning (every morning) – and wakes up the entire household, the interruption to decent sleep is viewed pretty dimly by those deprived of it: tempers start to fray over bleary-eyed breakfasts; and forced weariness takes its toll on the functional ability of Foghorn Leghorn’s victims as the day rolls on.

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The same goes for those with neighbours who love cranking up AC/DC at two in the morning – or the early rising gardener, who whips his lawn mower into action well before sun-up on Sunday.

The accepted right to unbroken sleep is the reason why there are strict rules to prohibit rowdy roosters residing in cities and towns; the curbs placed on firing up mowers and leaf blowers before breakfast; and shutting down live music venues in built up areas after midnight – sleep is sacrosanct – the consequences of depriving people of routine sleep are so obvious it goes without saying:

Wind Turbine Noise Deprives Farmers and Truckers of Essential Sleep & Creates Unnecessary Danger for All

As a contrast to the merciless, around-the-clock cacophony dished out by wind power outfits on their neighbours – which all levels of government expect them to tolerate without so much as a whimper – STT noticed this story from Western Australia a while back, where an argument between neighbours over late-night festivities resulted in the (alleged) murder of the party complaining about the noise interfering with his family’s right to a decent night’s sleep: Man, 45, dies after disturbance in Perth suburb of Seville Grove

If someone is complaining about losing sleep due to night-time noise – that complaint is taken as an accepted fact – and their “belief” in the cause has got nothing to do with it: prove that the noise was being generated and the rest follows.

For every other kind of noise source, the authorities take those complaints seriously – roosters get the chop; police get the noisy-neighbour to wind down their stereos; pubs allowing rock bands to rock-on past their curfews, face licensing penalties; and eager-beaver gardeners are told by EPAs or Councils to leave the lawn mowers and leaf blowers in the shed, until the neighbourhood has had a chance of a leisurely weekend lie in – or to expect to get whacked with fines if they don’t: for a few of the rules, see the Victorian EPA’s site here.

But, for some strange reason wind power outfits are permitted (or, rather, encouraged) to operate these things around the clock, with noise ‘rules’ so lax as to be risible.

The impact of incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound is well-known to the wind industry – its direct causal impact on sleep deprivation was documented in a decade’s worth of research by NASA – top-tier research that has been ignored by regulators and health authorities – like the disgraced NHMRC – and covered up by the wind industry ever since:

Three Decades of Wind Industry Deception: A Chronology of a Global Conspiracy of Silence and Subterfuge

When farmers being paid $200,000 a year to host these things complain bitterly about sleep deprivation as a regular event, then STT is pretty much satisfied that the noise and vibration generated by turbines is causing what the World Health Organisation has considered to be an adverse health effect in and of itself (for over 60 years):

SA Farmers Paid $1 Million to Host 19 Turbines Tell Senate they “Would Never Do it Again” due to “Unbearable” Sleep-Destroying Noise

Which brings us to the Senate’s recommendation to prevent Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs aka LGCs) being issued to wind power outfits operating in States that refuse to adopt federal regulations on infrasound and low-frequency noise – regulations that will be drawn up as another of the Senate’s recommendations.

The Federal Government has always taken the line that noise regulation is a matter for the States. A position which rudely ignores the fact that the wind industry would not exist in the absence of the massive federally mandated subsidies set up by the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET).

It’s a line that’s been spun by PM Tony Abbott who says that the “sites of these things is a matter for the state governments”.

STT has likened that pitch to the ‘defence’ run by the bloke who sells the sawn-off shotgun to an armed robber.

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Sure, the illegal firearm vendor didn’t actually pull the trigger and send a bank teller for an unscheduled trip to the morgue. However, in the absence of the weapon supplied, there may have been no robbery – certainly not an “armed” one – and no harm done to bank tellers, in any event.

In the criminal law, the concept of liability for those who provide the arms to known bandits is picked up in the concepts of accessorial liability – the ol’ chestnuts about aiding and abetting, accessory before the fact and all that.

In this case, though, the Coalition is not only providing the weapon, from now until 2031 it will be supplying the offenders with an endless stream of ammunition – in the form of around 500 million Renewable Energy Certificates; designed to be worth over $90 – as young Gregory Hunt calls them: “a massive $93 per tonne carbon tax” – the $46 billion cost of which will be borne by all Australian power consumers (as we detail below).

The Senators on the Inquiry have worked out that the only way to prevent wind power outfits from stealing any more Australian homes is to disarm the bandits by tying the ‘entitlement’ to wallow in millions of RECs to a meaningful noise standard.

The other “killer” recommendation is that the REC Tax/Subsidy paid to wind power outfits be limited to a period of five years.

There aren’t many people – outside of the parrots profiting from it – who actually understand the fact that the REC is designed as a perpetual subsidy to wind power outfits – recouped through retail power bills as a TAX on all Australian power consumers.

Outside of those engaged in the rort – or keen to aid and abet those involved – hardly anybody understands the quantum of the subsidy; who pays it; and its longevity. And that, until recently, included the Senators involved in the Inquiry.

STT hears that – at the very first hearing in Portland in Victoria on 30 March this year – a number of them were gobsmacked to learn that the REC subsidy is not limited to last for 2 or 3 years, say – but is designed to run for more than a generation – from 2001 to 2031.

STT has set it out before, and for the uninitiated, we’ll set out again.

A REC is issued for every MWh of wind power dispatched to the grid; and a shortfall penalty of $65 per MWh applies to a retailer for every MWh that they fall short of the LRET target – the target is meant to be met by retailers purchasing and surrendering RECs in an effort to avoid the penalty.

Under the latest 33,000 GWh ultimate annual target, assuming that RECs hit $93, as the penalty inevitably begins to apply (RECs are currently trading around $52), the total cost added to power consumers’ bills will top $46 billion (495,600,000 x $93).

The LRET ‘system’ was designed around RECs being worth $93, with the $65 per MWh shortfall charge setting the ‘floor price’ for RECs, and the tax treatment of RECs taking their value to over $90.

Power consumers pay the full cost of the RECs issued to wind power outfits – on top of the wholesale price paid by retailers – in relation to collecting the cost of the REC Subsidy from power consumers in what can only be described as a TAX on retail power bills, Origin Energy’s Grant King correctly puts it:

[T]he subsidy is the REC, and the REC certificate is acquitted at the retail level and is included in the retail price of electricity”.

It’s power consumers that get lumped with the “retail price of electricity” and, therefore, the cost of the REC Subsidy paid to wind power outfits. To call that arrangement anything other than a TAX is pure political and PR nonsense.

To give some idea of how ludicrously generous the REC Subsidy is, consider a single 3 MW turbine. If it operated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – its owner would receive 26,280 RECs (24 x 365 x 3). Assuming, generously, a capacity factor of 35% (the cowboys from wind power outfits often wildly claim more than that) that single turbine will receive 9,198 RECs annually. At $93 per REC, that single turbine will, in 12 months, rake in $855,414 in REC Subsidy.

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But wait, there’s more: that subsidy doesn’t last for a single year. Oh no.

A turbine that started operating this year will continue to receive the REC subsidy for 16 years, until 2031 – such that a single 3 MW turbine spinning today can pocket a total of $13,686,624 over the remaining life of the LRET.

Not a bad little rort – considering the machine and its installation costs less than $3 million; and that being able to spear it into some dimwit’s back paddock under a landholder agreement costs a piddling $10-15,000 per year. State-sponsored theft never looked easier or more lucrative! For a more detailed analysis on the impact of the shortfall penalty and the REC Tax/Subsidy see:

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

There has never been a subsidy scam like it in the history of the Commonwealth.

When General Motors Holden found itself in financial trouble a couple of years back, the Coalition – railing about ‘corporate welfare’ – decided to stump up a mere $100 million as a ‘rescue package’ – nowhere near enough to have salvaged the troubled carmaker, its 2,000 workers and the tens of thousands more working for the components manufacturers that supported it: Tony Abbott announces $100 million package for Holden workers

Starved of Federal support, and done in by over-generous Union ‘won’ wages and conditions, the last Holden will dribble off the production line early next year – and 10-20,000 South Australians will end up scrambling for manufacturing or mining jobs that simply do not exist:

SA – Australia’s ‘Wind Power Capital’ – Pays the World’s Highest Power Prices and Wonders Why it’s an Economic Basket Case

Now, consider the contrast with the Coalition’s Croesus-like corporate welfare directed at the wind industry.

The wind industry exists – and ONLY exists – to wallow in a subsidy stream which will hit $3 billion annually in 2019; and which continues at that colossal rate until 2031.

True it is, the PM is keen to R.E.D.U.C.E the LRET subsidy for these things, but plenty of other Coalition lightweights and wind industry shills – like Dan Tehan, Sarah Henderson and young Gregory Hunt (and the wind industry plants that work in his office) believe that the cost of the massive subsidies directed to wind power outfits under the LRET is magically picked up by fairies and pixies; and that the policy is a no-cost, family and business friendly vote winner.

However, the Senators on the Inquiry – including Coalition Members,Chris Back and Matt Canavan – have worked out that the truth is all the other way – which has led to the recommendation of a 5 year limit to the rort. That limit will kill the wind industry stone-dead: no ‘investor’ will stump up a penny from here-on, unless the subsidies are written in stone, to last indefinitely.

The wind industry, its parasites and spruikers didn’t see it coming – and have been reduced to wailing about their imminent demise. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

senate review

Death Knell for the Wind Industry! Subsidies being slashed!

Rocketing Power Prices see Subsidies Slashed, Bringing Europe’s Wind Industry to its Knees

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The Australian wind industry is copping a belting from all sides at the moment.

With the Senate Inquiry about to release its final report on the great wind power fraud; retailers flatly refusing to enter long-term Power Purchase Agreements – essential to obtain finance for new wind farms; and with an increasing number of farmers refusing to host these things and/or hell-bent on getting out of their contracts to do so, its parasites and spruikers have been reduced to making wild and unsubstantiated claims about the continued growth of wind power in European countries such as Germany, Denmark, Spain and the UK.

The only trouble with that story is the fact that all of them have slammed the bag on further subsidies; some of them have, in effect, set upmoratoriums against any more new wind farms; and all of them are facing a furious backlash from power consumers (read ‘voters’) fed up with escalating power bills.

The consequence of the European’s retreat from their respective wind power disasters is that investment in wind power has dropped off a cliff (see the graph above – which tends to suggest a little trend) – in the UK, with David Cameron’s election win, subsidies have been pulled to a halt and, as an inevitable result, hundreds of threatened projects have been blown to the four winds.

The unvarnished truth about the European wind power debacle isn’t something you’re likely to read in any of the struggling Fairfax mastheads; or hear about on your ABC. No, as has often been the case with the mainstream press, it’s down to Graham Lloyd from The Australian, to throw a little light on the subject.

Europe slashes subsidies for renewables as energy prices rise
The Australian
Graham Lloyd
25 July 2015

Shorten’s vow on green energy comes just as other governments scale back

More than three million people a week watch the heute-show, Germany’s answer to The Chaser, which cuts through the pretence to slaughter society’s holy cows.

Last year heute-show host, comedian and journalist Oliver Welke, sacrificed the holiest of them all, Germany’s multi-billion-euro renewable energy transformation that routinely is held up as green-friendly world’s best practice. “Could it be that the Grand Coalition has gone nuts?” Welke said.

His comments followed release of an expert panel report commissioned by the Merkel government that found the much lauded Renewable Energy Act (EEG) a failure.

“So she (Merkel) pays these academic eggheads and as a thank you they give her in writing that she’s dumber than a box of hair!” said Welke. “Her own experts write ‘the green energy policy makes energy prices go up up up … and leads to less climate protection’,” he said.

Cue the canned laughter. Increasingly, however, it is not funny. Particularly not for German electricity consumers whose power bills have risen to become the second highest in Europe, behind Denmark.

And not for German industry, which has threatened to shift manufacturing offshore because it cannot compete with lower energy prices in the US.

Proving that Welke’s quips were not all jest, the German government has since slashed subsidy support for new wind and solar projects after it was forced to face the economic reality of what had been promised.

The German experience is relevant for Australia given the ALP’s pledge this week to boost Australia’s renewable energy target to 50 per cent by 2030 without any real details on how this would be achieved and the possible cost.

Also relevant is the green energy subsidy train wreck unfolding in Britain since the national election. This week, the Cameron government’s Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd, cut the subsidies to small-scale solar projects following earlier cuts to subsidies for onshore wind, large-scale solar and energy efficiency schemes.

The newly re-elected government also has angered the renewable energy industry with the introduction of a tax on producers of green power.

But Britain and Germany are not alone.

Since the global financial crisis, renewable energy subsidies have been slashed across Europe including Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Denmark and elsewhere.

The lesson around the world is that while projections for future investment in renewables remain high, the free ride from electricity users in developed nations is coming to an end.

Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has estimated the cost of renewables in Britain could reach £9.1 billion ($19.3bn) a year by the 2020-21 tax year compared with a proposed budget of £7.6 bn.

“We can’t have the situation where industry has a blank cheque and that cheque is paid for by people’s bills,” Rudd told BBC radio.

“My priorities are clear,” she told the Financial Times. “We need to keep bills as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses while reducing our emissions in the most cost-effective way. Our support has driven down the cost of renewable energy significantly. As costs continue to fall it becomes easier for parts of the renewables industry to survive without subsidies.”

After all, isn’t that what the renewables industry had promised?

But Jim Watson, from the UK Energy Research Centre, has warned that if solar subsidies disappeared completely the government risks the industry “dropping off a cliff”.

The change of approach to renewables does not suggest that governments in Europe have weakened their concerns about climate change or resolve to cut carbon dioxide emissions as part of a grand compact due to be declared in Paris in December.

But the more tough-love approach being adopted reflects public anger at rising power prices and concerns that public support may stifle innovation rather than promote it.

This is one reading of the report at the centre of the German comedy skit.

The report was prepared by the Commission for Research and Innovation (EFI) and recommended the Merkel government abolish all subsidies for green energy. The EFI report concluded that the system of feed-in-tariffs, under which the green power producers were paid guaranteed above market prices, was fundamentally flawed.

Subsidy support was neither a cost-effective way to address climate change nor was it producing a measurable effect on innovation, when assessed by the registration of patents.

“For both these reasons, there is no justification for a continuation of the EEG,” the report said.

The findings were seized on by German industry, including the BDI Industry Association, which represents about one-quarter of the German economy.

BDI managing director Markus Kerber told Reuters all support for renewable technologies must be designed in a way to “help companies be competitive and to innovate”.

But the EFI report findings were rejected by Germany’s economy ministry and environment groups.

Since the report was released, however, the German government has radically overhauled its feed-in tariff structure and renewable energy subsidy schemes.

Caps have been put on the amount of new onshore wind and solar that can be added to supply and the rates paid for renewable energy supply have been cut.

Support for renewables continues to be granted for a 20-year period but at much lower rates after the first five years.

Except for small plants, most renewables power sales will be sold by “direct marketing”, with payments supplemented by premiums similar to the support rates. The new scheme replaces feed-in tariffs, which the EC has ordered to be phased out over 2016 to 2020.

The government also has pulled back from placing a promised levy on coal-fired power plants and baulked at ordering the immediate shutdown of the most highly polluting.

Coal producers also have been told they will be compensated if they participate in a new “capacity reserve” system where coal-fired plants are kept in reserve and brought online when needed.

The reserve system again highlights a key weakness of the renewables revolution to date, intermittency.

Despite expanding its coal-fired industry to help replace baseload power surrendered through the closure of nuclear plants in the wake of the Fuku­shima disaster in Japan, Germany is still forced to draw heavily on nuclear power from neighbouring countries to back up renewables when the wind fails to blow or sun to shine.

Supporters of the renewable transformation say these pur­chases are balanced by the sale of surplus renewable energy to neighbouring markets at other times.

But this misses the fundamental point that, unlike coal, gas and nuclear, exactly when renewable energy will be available cannot be guaranteed to match when it is needed.

The proof of intermittency in Australia is the extent to which South Australia draws on brown-coal fired generators in Victoria to secure its electricity supply during times of low wind.

The EU is pushing to greatly expand the trade of electricity between states to mirror Australia’s National Electricity Market.

In addition to guaranteed above-markets rates, intermittency helps explain why the addition of large scale renewables can lead to higher prices for electricity consumers.

“When you study the states of Australia that have had dramatic increases in their household power bills in recent years you will find a direct correlation to the number of wind turbines that have been connected to the grid in those states,” independent senator John Madigan told the Senate last month. “You will find the same correlation in European countries.

This is irrespective of whether wholesale electricity prices fall as a result of additional renewable energy forcing its way into an already oversupplied market.

Indeed, Germany has some of the lowest wholesale electricity prices in Europe but some of the highest retail prices.

This is because any money received on the spot market is of only secondary consideration for renewable energy suppliers who receive additional subsidy payments.

But an oversupply of electricity from renewables — and the depressing effect it has on spot prices — is potentially devastating for the economics of traditional generators.

This is why Germany is being forced to consider paying subsidies for coal and gas plants to keep them on standby.

Supporters of renewable energy argue many of these problems will be overcome as electricity grids develop through the take-up of new battery storage technology and more sophisticated monitoring and control systems.

The big generators, in Europe and Australia, are anticipating the change.

In a recent interview, former World Energy Council European chairman Johannes Teyssen said the energy world was diverging.

“On the one hand, the energy world of the future — characterised by renewables, intelligent networks and tailor-made customer-orientated energy solutions — is taking shape rapidly,” he said.

“On the other hand, the classical energy world — of the backbone systems characterised by high-volume production and trading structures for electricity, gas and other commodities — remains irreplaceable for the public good.”

But renewables will not simply replace conventional energy ­sources and, poorly handled, the transition carries grave risks to the security of once-stable electricity supplies.

More than anything, governments are learning that electricity consumers all around the world are becoming more wary of paying twice for power.

With the pullback of government subsidies, the renewable energy industry is challenged to innovate, both on cost of production and security of supply, and prove it is capable of standing on its own.
The Australian

Another solid effort from Graham Lloyd, but – as we’ve pointed out before – the wind industry’s claims about cost-effective storage of bulk electricity is little more than patent nonsense:

The Patent Nonsense of ‘Storing’ Wind Power Smashed

Even Bill Gates has pointed to the bleeding obvious:

“There’s no battery technology that’s even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewables,” he said, pointing out – aswe’ve noted on these pages before – that it’s necessary “to deal not only with the 24-hour cycle but also with long periods of time where it’s cloudy and you don’t have sun or you don’t have wind.”

And we’ve dealt with the ludicrous concept of an electricity grid somehow reaching a state of ‘Zen consciousness’ that will overcome the chaotic and only occasional delivery of wind power – on that score, the video of Andrew Dodson at the end of this post is well worth watching:

Germany’s Wind Power Debacle Escalates: Nation’s Grid on the Brink of Collapse

The video of the German skit Graham refers to appears in this post:

Friday Funnies: German Satirical Take on Renewables Disaster

And, for a properly detailed insight into the cost of Australia’s wind power debacle, here’s the speech by Senator John Madigan, referred to by Graham:

Wind Power Fraud Finally Exposed: Senator John Madigan Details LRET’s Astronomical 45 Billion Dollar Cost to Power Consumers

Slowly, but surely – thanks to efforts by journos like Graham – Australians are waking up to the fact that the wind power fraud is precisely the same, the world over.

Nightmare (1962) Jerry wakes up

Aussies Have Smartened Up….Will our Government Follow Suit?

Abbott bans more wind power funding: report

Updated: 6:26 am, Sunday, 12 July 2015

Prime Miniser Tony Abbott has reportedly ordered the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation not to finance new wind power projects.

According to Fairfax Media, Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Matthias Corman have issued a directive to the so-called ‘green bank’, prohibiting new wind power funding.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt was reportedly angered at being left out of the decision making process.

The corporation, set up by the former Gillard government, seeks to make investments in different types of renewable energy.

The government has twice failed to abolish the corporation in the Senate.

– See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/politics/national/2015/07/12/abbott-bans-more-wind-power-funding–report.html#sthash.GXkeim4X.j8foG04M.dpuf

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