Wind Industry Deserves to “Collapse”, just like one of it’s Useless Turbines!

UK Wind Industry Collapses as David Cameron Slashes Subsidies for Wind Power

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While the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers continue to wail like banshees about dreaded ‘uncertainty’ all over the globe, there seems to be another ‘certainty’ keen to muscle up alongside the usual pair cited as examples of dead-set certainties in life: “death and taxes”.

The newest absolute certainty is that, in the absence of massive and endless subsidies, the wind industry will die a sudden, natural and inevitable death.

When David Cameron romped to absolute control of the UK Parliament, earlier this year, he did so on a promise to end subsidies to wind power outfits. Seen by delusional wind worshippers as a mere idle threat, Cameron’s election manifesto has now been realised, as the necessary amendments wind their way through Westminster.

Best deal for bill payers and investors as subsidies for onshore wind end
Department of Energy & Climate Change, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth and The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP
8 October 2015

The Government is pushing ahead with its commitment to end public subsidies for onshore wind farms, by closing the Renewables Obligation across Great Britain from 1 April 2016.

The Government is pushing ahead with its commitment to end public subsidies for onshore wind farms, by closing the Renewables Obligation across Great Britain from 1 April 2016.

In amendments to the Energy Bill we have set out the grace period criteria, providing further certainty for investors. We estimate that around 2.9GW of onshore wind capacity will be eligible for the grace periods, meaning that bill payers will be protected.

The projects that are eligible for the grace period will need to demonstrate either that they had planning consent as at 18 June; that they have successfully appealed a planning refusal made on or before 18 June; or that they have successfully appealed after not receiving a planning decision due by 18 June. They will also need to show that they had a grid connection and land rights in place. Projects that have met all these criteria and can demonstrate that they have struggled to secure finance from lenders since 18 June will be allowed extra time but no longer than nine months.

In total, the amount of onshore wind capacity that could be deployed by 2020 is still 12.3GW and will ensure we meet our renewable energy commitments.

Energy Minister Lord Bourne said: “We have a long-term plan to keep the lights on and our homes warm, power the economy with cleaner energy, and keep bills as low as possible for hard-working families and businesses.

“To do this we will help technologies stand on their own two feet, not encourage a reliance on public subsidies. By bringing forward these amendments we are protecting bill payers whilst meeting our renewable energy commitments.”
Gov.uk

While wind worshippers continue to make wild claims about wind power already being “free” – and, apparently, getting cheaper all the time – it appears that selling a product with no commercial value is getting tougher all the time.

Even the merest mention of a cut to subsidies has the wind industry’s parasites quaking in their boots. Follow through on the threat and big talking wind farm developers head for the hills:

Deliverance for Brits: David Cameron Empties Subsidy Trough & 250 Wind Farms Get Scrapped

In a predictably waffly piece from a wind worship blog, here’s the story of another wind farm being scrapped: this time in Wales, due to “changing market conditions” – which is wind industry code for “the subsidies have gone”.

Vattenfall ditches North Wales wind farm project that was 10 years in the making
businessGreen
Jessica Shankleman
17 August 2015

Nant Bach project has failed to keep up with changing market conditions, says developer

Swedish energy giant Vattenfall has scrapped plans for an 11-turbine wind farm near Conwy in North Wales after 10 years in development, partially blaming a shift in government policy for the decision.

In a statement today, Vattenfall said the Nant Bach wind farm, which was granted planning consent four years ago, no longer fitted with its strategy of developing and operating the “very best wind energy sites capable of delivering low-cost, competitive green power that finds a route to market”.

The developer said the 100m-high wind turbines were no longer economically viable in current market conditions. In order to use larger turbines the company would have had to refile for planning permission.

Industry insiders suggested larger turbines may have struggled to secure consent now the government has announced changes to planning policies for onshore wind farms, which effectively give locals the final say over applications.

The lodging of a second planning application may have also compromised the project’s ability to access the current Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy scheme, which the government is preparing to close for new wind farm projects from next year.

A spokesman for Vattenfall said a range of policy changes had made the wind farm unviable, adding that the changes had created a “complex” situation for the developer.

Jonny Hewett, Vattenfall’s project manager for the Nant Bach scheme, said the market had moved on “and left Nant Bach behind”.

“It’s obviously disappointing to have to stop the Nant Bach wind energy project after 10 years of development,” he said in a statement. “We have had local support and the region’s economy would have benefited from any investment but the reality is that Nant Bach was a scheme conceived 10 years ago when energy policy encouraged the maturity of the new wind power industry.”

Vattenfall refused to disclose how much money it has spent developing Nant Bach.
businessGreen

turbine collapse 9

Investors Getting “Cold Feet”, When it Comes to Financing Wind Projects…

Banks Baulk at Lending to Wind Power Outfits as Brits Slash Subsidies & Communities Fight Back

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Our British counter-parts are on a roll.

Since David Cameron’s thumping election win, wind power outfits in the UK have been copping a belting on all fronts. And the same is true across the ditch in the Emerald Isle.

Furious communities from Armagh to Kerry; and John O’Groats to Cornwall are gathering strength and fighting back, like never before:

Forces Marshall in International Revolt Against the Great Wind Power Fraud

Communities Fight Back & Set the Wind Industry on Fire

In the post above the comment from Stop the Chislet Windfarm committee chairman Dr Ashley Lupin says it all really:

“We are determined this is not going to happen. We local people are not the handful of country bumpkins that you were expecting to walk all over. We are passionate, we are angry and we are organised”.

It’s that kind of ‘in-your-face’ community outrage that will bring the wind power fraud to a screaming halt. Fight; and they will flea.

The weakest links for the wind industry and its parasites are those with real ‘skin-in-the-game’; and that’s the Banks.

The slightest of hint of trouble for actual or would be lenders – be it the looming (or already realised) threat of governments forced by power consumers battling with escalating bills to slash subsidies – or the threat that their developer/customers will be sued for $millions in damages in nuisance and rendered insolvent (see our post here) – has the finance sector worried; VERY WORRIED, as this BBC lament shows.

Wind farm subsidy cut putting off lenders, research suggests
BBC News
14 September 2015

Investment in onshore wind energy is already being hit by the early withdrawal of government subsidies, according to a survey of lenders.

In June, UK ministers said new onshore wind farms would be excluded from a subsidy scheme from 1 April 2016.

Research for industry body Scottish Renewables suggests investors are now less willing to lend to projects.

The UK government said it was taking urgent action to address the projected overspend on subsidies.

It has previously said there are already enough subsidised wind energy projects in the pipeline.

The announcement that the Renewables Obligation (RO) – funded by levies added to household bills – would be withdrawn a year earlier than expected has been criticised by Scottish Renewables.

A survey, carried out on its behalf by EY, asked 10 major lenders about their willingness to provide investment.

Of the seven who responded, more than half said they were not prepared to lend until the UK Energy Bill had received Royal Assent, which is not expected until next year.

The political and regulatory risk concerning the RO was one of the key factors cited.

Michael Rieley, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said the expected loss of the subsidy “had a clear and negative impact on the ability of developers to attract finance to their projects”.

The UK government says there are already enough subsidised wind farms in the pipeline.

“Our members have already expressed concern that they were entering an investment hiatus and this survey of lenders would indicate their suspicions are well founded,” he said.

Mr Rieley added: “With the decision to end support a year earlier than planned, around 2GW of onshore wind projects in Scotland have been put at risk.

Matthew Yard, assistant director at EY, said: “The results of the survey indicate that raising project finance for UK onshore wind RO projects has become more complex, more expensive and increasingly difficult since the announcement of the early closure of the RO.

“Those banks that have indicated they are considering lending to UK onshore wind RO projects are now seeking better terms and some form of mitigation against a situation with no RO revenue.”
BBC News

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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it – the wind industry exists – and ONLY exists – for one single purpose: to wallow in a massive subsidy stream that – in order to keep this monstrous Ponzi scheme alive – will need to outlast religion:

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

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

The ‘product’ has no commercial value, apart from the subsidies that it generates – hence British Bankers baulking at lending to wind power outfits there.

Then there’s the growing problem of communities fighting back to take control of their rights and futures.

People power blows away bid for Sturton wind farm scheme
Retford Times
13 September 2015

Sturton-le-Steeple villagers are celebrating after the wind was taken out of the sails of plans for a towering turbine farm.

EDF Energy Renewables has abandoned plans for its Maumhill project, to the delight of residents nearby.

It made the move after the Government announced onshore wind farms will be left out of a subsidy scheme.

Villagers have fought the proposals for nine huge turbines for more than five years.

Dave Langmead, clerk to Sturton-le-Steeple Parish Council, said the rural location already “does its bit” for energy production.

“On behalf of the Association of Trentside Parish Councils and Wheatley Energy Forum, it is a huge relief,” he said.

“We’ve got to thank all the people who have put in so much work to ensure this didn’t go ahead.

“This area produces around 10 per cent of the country’s energy with two power stations.

“Coupled with a 7.5 million tonne sand and gravel quarry about to come on line, I think we’re doing our bit!

“It’s not nimbyism – our backyard is already full.”

Despite the news being celebrated, campaigners are not resting on their laurels.

“You can never relax with these things,” said Mr Langmead.

“Even though it was the reduction of a subsidy scheme that was the death knell for this site, without the community getting together and fighting it, it could have gone through sooner.”

EDF Energy Renewables explained its decision.

“After reviewing the scheme in the light of recent government announcements on onshore wind, the company has informed Bassetlaw District Council that it does not intend to develop its plans for the project any further,” a spokesman said.

“EDF Energy Renewables’ original application for a nine turbine wind farm on the Maumhill site was refused by the council’s planning committee in February 2013.

“A subsequent appeal by the company against this decision had to be withdrawn when the Planning Inspectorate refused to consider a number of proposed changes to the scheme, prompting work to be undertaken on an intended new planning application for a reduced number of turbines on the site.

“Proposals for a revised seven turbine development were publicised last year at a series of local public exhibitions, but those plans will now not be taken any further.”
Retford Times

It’s “outrage” when they’re proposed and “delight” when they’re scrapped: that says it all really ….

john anderson

Wind Weasels Whine, When Wind Welfare Threatened!

US Wind Industry Wilts as Wind Welfare Gets Slashed

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

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

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

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

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

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

The response has left STT just a little perplexed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Money Wasted

Stop the Subsidies for Novelty “Wind Energy”! It is a waste!

Wind Industry Pockets Lion’s Share of Subsidies for Commercially Generated Power

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STT followers are painfully aware that the wind industry exists – and ONLY exists – to wallow in an endless stream of subsidies filched from power consumers and/or taxpayers:

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

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

One of the sillier claims made by wind-worshippers is that to focus on the massive pile of cash added to power bills and directed to these things, is to overlook what are said to be ‘colossal subsidies’ paid to BIG COAL and BIG GAS.

However, like most eco-fascist fictions, scratch the surface of their fossil-fuel subsidy myth, and you’ll find that there’s nary a tad of subsidy directed to electricity producers using coal or gas (see above).

True it is that solar generation is well soaked in subsidy (see above), but that’s to limit the analysis to the cost per MWh delivered to the grid.

Wind power – provided the subsidies keep flowing – is (occasionally) delivered in commercial quantities. Wind farms connected to the Eastern Grid sometimes deliver around 75% of their 3,669MW installed capacity – at least for a few short hours – until the whole outfit completely downs tools, and produces a tiny fraction of that, or even next-to-nothing, for hours; and even days at a time:

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

June 2015 National

Solar, however, is, in the main, generated on the rooftops of domestic dwellings; and barely adds 1% to total power production in Australia – there is very little ‘large-scale’ solar in Australia, as yet.

So, while the subsidy per MWh for solar is colossal, its impact on retail power prices pales by comparison to what is pocketed by the wind industry. Here’s a little wrap-up from the Minerals Council on a report put together by Principal Economics.

The high cost of renewable energy subsidies
Minerals Council
Brendan Pearson
7 August 2015

A report, undertaken by economic consultancy Principal Economics, has found that Australia’s renewable energy sector received subsidies (including the Renewable Energy Target, feed in tariffs and other green policy costs) worth $2.8 billion in 2013-14.  This dwarfed the public support for research and demonstration projects for low emissions coal technologies being conducted by the CSIRO and other research bodies (and matched by the coal industry).

On an output basis, these renewable subsidies translated into almost $412 per megawatt hour (MWh) for solar technologies, $42 per MWh for wind and $18 per MWh for all other renewable sources (including hydro).

By comparison coal fired power received less than $1 per MWh and natural gas less than 1 cent per MWh delivered.

In 2013/14, these renewable energy subsidies added between 3 to 9 per cent to the average household bill and up to 20 per cent for some industrial users.

The report uses the World Trade Organisation’s definition of subsidies, an approach similar to the method used by the Productivity Commission in its annual Trade and Assistance Review.

At face value, increasing Australia’s share of renewable energy is a laudable goal.  The minerals industry is a user of renewable energy and hopes that it will provide a solution to provision of competitively priced energy, especially in remote areas.  And renewable energy depends on the minerals sector – after all, every off shore wind turbine contains 250 tonnes of metallurgical coal.

But renewable energy must win increased market share on its own merits, not be guaranteed it by expensive mandatory targets and feed-in tariffs, the cost of which is simply borne by householders and industrial users. For household consumers, the burden falls heaviest on low income households.  For industrial users, the burden shackles export and import-competing businesses in many sectors.
Minerals Council

You can read the report in full here: Electricity production subsidies in Australia.

Here’s an important little snippet from the report.

Implications for electricity customers
Principal Economics
2015

While the cost of public support financed through government budgets is recovered from taxpayers, the subsidies created by the RET and FiT schemes are levied on electricity customers.

Given the very large sums involved, the impacts on electricity bills for households and businesses have been substantial.

Estimates of the impacts of the RET and FiT schemes on customer bills vary. According to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC, 2014), an average household paid around $109 per annum in South East Queensland, $107 in New South Wales and $155 in South Australia for the combined LRET, SRES and FiT components of household bills in 2013-14. These payments are estimated by the AEMC to make up between 3 and 9 per cent of annual household bills. In contrast, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART, 2013) estimated the combined costs of the RET and FiT schemes for a typical residential customer in New South Wales at around $145 in 2013-14.

ROAM/Synergies Consulting (2014) considered the impacts of renewable schemes on electricity bills of households and businesses, and concluded that the RET accounts for a significant component of bills (Chart 1). ROAM/Synergies estimate that during 2013-14, the RET comprised 3 per cent of the typical household or small business electricity bill and 9.6 per cent for a large business that consumes more than 5 GWh of electricity per annum and is not eligible for partial exemption certificates. They conclude that, as is the case for other renewable schemes, the LRET and SRES contribute a relatively higher percentage of costs for large businesses.

According to ROAM/Synergies (2014), state-based energy policies – of which FiT schemes are by far the most costly – impose comparable or higher costs than the LRET and SRES combined. They estimate that these state-based schemes account for up to 12 per cent of the electricity bill for a large business.

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Overall, ROAM/Synergies highlight the proliferation of green energy policies over the last decade at both the federal and state level and the significant cumulative impacts of these policies:

  • For residential and small business customers, green energy policies (excluding a carbon price) represents 5 per cent of electricity bills
  • For large business customers, green energy policies represent around 20 per cent of electricity bills (with the RET up to 9.6 per cent and state-based schemes up to 12 per cent respectively) excluding carbon price.

Looking forward, the burden on electricity customers as a result of the RET and FiT schemes is unlikely to diminish:

  • While the most generous FiT schemes have now been closed to new applicants, the obligations entered into by state governments imply that considerable subsidies will continue to have to be paid to eligible households for many years into the future. For instance, the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA 2013) has estimated that Energex and Ergon Energy will incur accumulated feed-in tariff payments of around $2.9 billion by the end of the scheme in 2028, and that these costs will flow directly through to network charges and electricity bills.
  • The RET will similarly continue to represent a significant burden on customers. The LRET has been revised to achieve a target of 33,000 GWh in 2020 (Australian Government 2015), almost double the 2014 target of 16,950 GWh. No changes have been made to the SRES, which will continue to offer significant financial incentives for customers with PV installations by legislating demand for the corresponding certificates.

Principal Economics

Like most efforts to tally up the insane costs of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target, Principal Economics largely takes the “rear-view mirror” approach, by focusing on what’s been and gone. Although, in the very last dot point above its at least noted that the LRET target doubles – from its current annual target of 16,950 GWh – to 33,000 GWh by 2020 – at which poverty inducing and economy killing level it remains until 2031.

STT has, instead, had its eyes peeled on the road ahead, from the very beginning, as did Victorian Senator, John Madigan, when spelling out in his speech to the Senate, that the future cost of the LRET will add $45 billion to retail power bills, in terms of the REC Tax/Subsidy alone:

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

But even that horrifying prospect for Australian power punters, is to ignore the chaos that attempting to integrate a wholly weather dependent power generation system has on power markets, such as Australia’s so-called wind power capital – and resultant economic basket case – South Australia:

South Australia’s Unbridled Wind Power Insanity: Wind Power Collapses see Spot Prices Rocket from $70 to $13,800 per MWh

So, with the Coalition’s 33,000 GWh LRET target – and Labor’s plan for a 100,000 GWh target – Australia’s poorest and most vulnerable can look forward to eating tins of cold baked beans, while sitting freezing (or boiling) in the dark.

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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.

foghorn

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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.

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.

turbine collapse 9

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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

Windweasels and Windpushers….a Nasty Bunch, to say the Least!

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

sociopath

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The wind industry attracts a very ‘special’ kind of person, as James Delingpole details below.

The SNP has done for Scotland’s landscape what ISIS have done to Palmyra
Breitbart
James Delingpole
23 July 2015

Dear Mr Delingpole,

I am just completing my BA joint honours degree in Candy Crush and Rape Culture studies and wondered whether you could kindly advise me on my career options.

A bit about me: I’m a vicious sociopath looking for an utterly pointless job which pays me vast amounts of money while making the world an uglier place. Though I’ve considered applying to Goldman Sachs and various French arms manufacturers, they strike me as insufficiently evil for my purposes. Ideally this job should have a caring image so that hot chicks want to sleep with me. My skills include lying, puppy factory-farming, and burning ladybirds with a magnifying glass. I appreciate I might sound like a bit of a crazy mixed up kid. But I thought if anyone could solve my problem, it would be you….

Yours, etc

As you can imagine, I get this kind of letter from the younger generation all the time. And up until now I’ve had no hesitation in telling these future masters-of-the-universe where to go:

“Head for Scotland, my son,” I tell them. “And get your snout deep into the wind farm trough. If you have no conscience, no morals, no aesthetic sensibility, no understanding of free markets; if you hate wildlife, people and the natural landscape, if you loathe private property, if you want to show how much you despise the traditions of the nation that once yielded Adam Smith, James Watt, James Boswell, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the rest, then the Scottish wind industry is undoubtedly the place for you.”

But I think in the light of recent events I may have to reconsider my advice. Obviously the Scottish wind industry remains as evil and pointless as ever it was – and the destruction it has wrought on the landscape of what was formerly one of world’s more strikingly beautiful countries has been truly spectacular.

Only the Taliban at Bamiyan or ISIS at Palmyra can really come close to matching the wind industry’s scorched-earth zeal in places like Scotland, Ontario, Texas, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand.

This map, produced last year by the John Muir Trust, gives a good indication of how impressively these veritable Attilas of aeolian slaughter have done their work.

john_muir_trust_wind_farm_visibility_map

Scotland used to be a remarkably wild, unspoilt place. Not any more, though. There’s now only 40 per cent of Scotland left where wind turbines are not blighting the view. (And already that figure is out of date because lots more turbines have sprung up since like skeletons in Jason of the Argonauts, and many more are planned).

And let’s not forget the human cost: all those Scots whose rural tranquillity and health have been jeopardised by these bat-chomping, bird-slicing, subsidy-troughing eco crucifixes.

Sadly, though, it seems the golden age of renewable rapine may bedrawing to a close. Cameron’s “greenest government ever” has finally decided to call quits on the vast subsidies which have been drawing unscrupulous rent-seeking corporatists to Scotland like sharks to blood. The renewables troughers are shrieking like staked vampires.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said the decision risked undermining the development of the cheapest form of renewables in the country, and was “bad news” for Scotland’s clean energy ambitions.

Jeremy Sainsbury, director of Natural Power, a renewables consultancy which employs about 300 people, mainly in Scotland, said the firm has opportunities to deploy its workforce to projects overseas.

But he added: “It’s not very healthy that Westminster has come out with this, which is clearly based on the views of some Tory MPs from middle England without really assessing the impact on investment in jobs in Scotland, or Wales for that matter, and without properly dealing with the implications in relation to the plans of those countries for delivery of their 2020 targets or their environmental commitments.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon isn’t too happy either.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the decision was “wrong headed, perverse and downright outrageous.”

During First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, she said: “I think it severely undermines any Tory claims to be pro-business.”

She added: “This decision comes despite the UK energy secretary admitting on radio this very morning that onshore wind is one of the most cost-effective ways of developing renewable energy.”

Ms Sturgeon argued that the move would also send out the wrong message ahead of a conference in Paris later this year aimed at getting a new global agreement on climate change.

The Scottish government believes the decision would have a disproportionate impact on Scotland, as about 70% of onshore wind projects in the UK planning system were in the country.

But personally, methinks Lady Macbeth doth protest too much. After all, long after her own name and that of her predecessor Alex Salmond are but distant memories, visitors to the blighted industrial zone formerly known as rural Scotland will be able to view their handywork on every hill top. It will be like the final scene in Spartacus, only with wind turbines instead of crucifixes.

Si monumentum requires, circumspice, eh, Nicola, eh Alex?
Breitbart

Spartacus2

Corruption and Collusion in the Relationship, Between EPA and Faux-green Alarmist Groups.

Back to Square One: Unlawful Collusion with Green Pressure Groups Should Doom U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation

EPA_collusion
Washington, D.C. — Today, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), a 501 (c) (3) watchdog group, released an investigatory report, Back to Square One: Unlawful Collusion with Green Pressure Groups Should Doom U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation  and an appendix of source documents.  The report, which is based on e-mails and other documents obtained under numerous Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests and litigation, details illegal activities by EPA staff, colluding with certain environmental lobbyists to draft EPA’s greenhouse gas (GHG) rules behind the scenes, outside of public view, and to the exclusion of other parties.  More importantly, it clearly shows that EPA must start anew if it wishes to regulate GHGs. (A two-minute companion video is available for use.)
With EPA’s GHG rules going final any day, it is critical to inform the public of the emails detailed in this report for what they show about how EPA has developed these costly public policies with select, ideologically aligned outside interests, and its continuing efforts to obscure and even hide the content of discussions with those same lobbyists.
“E&E Legal has obtained proof that EPA’s GHG rules are the product of unlawful collusion and are themselves therefore unlawful,” said E&E Legal Senior Legal Fellow Chris Horner and author the report.  “Congress or the courts — or EPA, in a moment of rationality — should stop these rules from taking effect before the (intended) anticipatory harms of a sham rulemaking are imposed upon millions of Americans, without years of delay and devastation before the ultimately illegal agency rulemaking is overturned.”
EPA is a regulatory agency tasked with protecting the environment. EPA can regulate greenhouse gases thanks to the Supreme Court’s Massachusetts v. EPA decision. It is not compelled to do so, and it remains prohibited under the law from regulating with an “unalterably closed mind”, for the purposes of completing a “naked transfer of wealth”, or to do the bidding of ideologically aligned pressure groups.
“This pattern of conducting official business in secret and outside of the legal parameters is unfortunately a hallmark of this Administration,” said E&E Legal Executive Director Craig Richardson.  “In the case of the EPA, green groups led by the Sierra Club and NRDC set up shop at the EPA, even before Obama took office, with a plan to eliminate the U.S.’s most abundant source of electricity, coal-fired power plants.  Part of this was to shift the public’s wealth to renewable energy, where the large benefactors of these same green groups are now poised to make significant money.”
The report comes as President Obama prepares to announce these rules next week, and follows anE&E Legal interim report released last September which also showed that EPA was working with outside green lobby groups on a common regulatory agenda, often with deliberate secretiveness and unlawfully.   Since the 2014 report, E&E Legal has pried many hundreds of relevant emails out of EPA in several requests and lawsuits.  The record is not complete, of course, but reflects only those records responsive to E&E Legal’s search terms and that EPA, or its now-departed activist-staffers, decided to produce. EPA continues to improperly withhold certain obviously important information with no conceivable legal justification.

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The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is a 501(c)(3) organization engaged in strategic litigation, policy research, and public education on important energy and environmental issues. Primarily through its petition litigation and transparency practice areas, E&E Legal seeks to correct onerous federal and state policies that hinder the economy, increase the cost of energy, eliminate jobs, and do little or nothing to improve the environment.

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

More About the Lies the Windpushers Tell….

WIND FAIL: 20 QUOTES FOR 30 YEARS OF FALSE HOPES

Last week, news reports indicated the Senate Finance Committee will soon mark up legislation to retroactively extend a number of tax provisions that expired at the end of last year. Of note in this package is the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC). This would be the 10thextension of the PTC since it became law in 1992.

Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, one of the original authors of the wind PTC, made clear last week in a letter to Chairman Hatch that despite his past statements, he wants yet another extension of this damaging provision. He stated:

“But, I also know this credit won’t go on forever. It was never meant to, and it shouldn’t. In 2012, the wind industry was the only industry to put forward a phase out plan. I have expressed support in the past for a responsible, multi-year phase out of the wind tax credit. But, I believe any phase out should be done in the context of comprehensive tax reform, where all energy tax provisions are on the table.” Senator Grassley letter to Chairman Hatch, 7/7/15

Sen. Grassley admits the wind PTC should not last forever and indicated he supports a phase out. It is clear that today Sen. Grassley does not want to see the wind PTC expire on his watch. Of course, this is significantly different than what he said 12 years ago:

“I’d say we’re going to have to do it [keep the PTC] for at least another five years, maybe for 10 years. Sometime we’re going to reach that point where it’s competitive (with other forms of energy). I think the argument for any tax credit is to make the new source of energy economically competitive.” (“Wind Energy Rides Roller Coaster Year.” Electrical Wholesaling, 4/1/03)

Sen. Grassley now appears not to believe what he said in 2003. Not only has more than 10 years passed, but the American Wind Energy Association claims that wind is not only competitive, but cheaper than other sources. In fact, AWEA claims that “the current cost of wind energy of under $50/MWh.” To put that in perspective, the Energy Information Administration explains that new combined cycle natural gas plants will produce electricity for $72/MWh. It appears that Sen. Grassley either does not believe the wind lobbyists or he was not being truthful in 2003 when he spoke about the PTC.

It turns out that wind promoters like Sen. Grassley and AWEA have long made claims that wind would soon be cost competitive and that the PTC would not be needed forever. Here are of some of their claims over the years:

1983 – Booz, Allen & Hamilton did a study for the Solar Energy Industries Association, American Wind Energy Association, and Renewable Energy Institute. It stated: “The private sector can be expected to develop improved solar and wind technologies which will begin to become competitive and self-supporting on a national level by the end of the decade [i.e. by 1990] if assisted by tax credits and augmented by federally sponsored R&D.”(Renewable Energy Industry, Joint Hearing before the Subcommittees of the Committee on Energy and Commerce et al., House of Representatives, 98th Cong., 1st sess. 1983)

1984 – Christopher Flavin of the Worldwatch Institute: “Tax credits have been essential to the economic viability of wind farms so far, but will not be needed within a few years.” (Christopher Flavin, “Electricity’s Future: The Shift to Efficiency and Small-Scale Power,” Worldwatch Paper 61, Worldwatch Institute, 11/84)

1985 – Christopher Flavin of the Worldwatch Institute: “Although wind farms still depend on tax credits, they are likely to be economical without this support within a few years.” (Christopher Flavin and Cynthia Pollock, “Harnessing Renewable Energy,” in Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 1985)

1985 – “Wind Energy Cannot Only Become Competitive, But Will In The 1990’s Be One Of The Cheapest Sources Of New Power.” “While wind power cannot yet deliver electricity at costs competitive with other energy sources – some experts estimate that it may cost anywhere from 9 to 12 cents a kilowatt-hour, as opposed to the 7-cents-a-kilowatt-hour cost of oil and gas -proponents point to a recent study by the Electric Power Research Institute of Palo Alto, Calif., a research group financed by electric utilities. That study indicated that wind energy cannot only become competitive, but will in the 1990’s be one of the cheapest sources of new power.” (Barry Fisher, “The Threat To Wind Energy,” The New York Times, 10/26/85)

1986 – Christopher Flavin of the Worldwatch Institute: “Early evidence indicates that wind power will soon take its place as a decentralized power source that is economical in many areas…. Utility-sponsored studies show that the better wind farms can produce power at a cost of about 7¢ per kilowatt-hour, which is competitive with conventional power sources in the United States.” (Christopher Flavin, “Electricity for a Developing World: New Directions,”Worldwatch Paper 70, Worldwatch Institute, 6/86)

1986 – Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute lamented the untimely scale-back of tax breaks for renewable energy, since the competitive viability of wind and solar technologies was “one to three years away.” (Lovins, K. Wells, “As a National Goal, Renewable Energy Has An Uncertain Future.” Wall Street Journal, 2/13/86)

1986 – A representative of the American Wind Energy Association testified: “The U.S. wind industry has … demonstrated reliability and performance levels that make them very competitive. It has come to the point that the California Energy Commission has predicted windpower will be that State’s lowest cost source of energy in the 1990s, beating out even large-scale hydro.”(Statement of Michael L.S. Bergey, American Wind Energy Association inRenewable Energy Industries, Hearing before the Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Power of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, 99th Cong., 2nd sess. 1986)

1990 – In 1990, two energy analysts at the Worldwatch Institute predicted an almost complete displacement of fossil fuels in the electric generation market within a couple decades [i.e. 2010]: “Within a few decades, a geographically diverse country such as the United States might get 30 percent of its electricity from sunshine, 20 percent from hydropower, 20 percent from wind power, 10 percent from biomass, 10 percent from geothermal energy, and 10 percent from natural-gas-fired cogeneration.” (Christopher Flavin and Nicholas Lenssen, Beyond the Petroleum Age: Designing a Solar Economy, Worldwatch Institute, 1990)

1991 – Dale Osborn, Former AWEA President: “The Wind Industry Could Produce, At Competitive Prices, Up To One-Third Of The Nation’s Electricity Needs Within The Next 30 Years.” “‘Here we go again. Nuclear, coal and oil appear to be receiving all the benefits, while clean, proven energy technologies like wind are receiving little serious attention,’ said Dale Osborn, president of the California-based company, U.S. Windpower, and president of the American Wind Energy Association. ‘Given an equal opportunity to compete fairly, the wind industry could produce, at competitive prices, up to one-third of the nation’s electricity needs within the next 30 years.’” (“Bush Administration’s Energy Plan Represents Another Missed Opportunity For America, Says U.S. Windpower,” PR Newswire, 2/20/91)

1991 – “Wind Power Will Be Cheaper Than Conventional Power By 2000.” “’Wind power will be cheaper than conventional power by 2000 when strides in engineering will have made windmills even more economically competitive,’ said Paulus Soullie, a windmills engineer at Holland’s Energy Research Centre in Petten. A windmill with a record 1.3Mw output will be built later this year in Holland.” (Peter Spinks, “Charm Of The Farm Goes With The Wind,” The Observer, 1/13/91)

1996 – Christopher Flavin, President of WorldWatch Institute. “Following the laws of technological progress and large-scale manufacturing, the cost of wind-generated electricity has fallen by more than two-thirds over the past decade, to the point where it is lower than that of new coal plants in many regions. Within the next decade, it is projected to fall to 3 to 4 cents per kilowatt-hour, making wind the least expensive power source that can be developed on a large scale worldwide.” (“Power Shock: The Next Energy Revolution.”WorldWatch, January/February 1996)

1998 – Ken Lay, former CEO of Enron, to Gov. Bush in 1998. “The bill, H.R. 1401 (Thomas R-CA), extends for five years the existing wind production tax credit (PTC), which was passed by the Bush Administration in the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Wind is the fastest growing new electrical generation technology in the world today and has rapidly decreased its production costs until it is close to being competitive with conventional generation technologies.” (“Enron’s Ken Lay asks for Texas Gov. Bush’s help in securing tax credits for wind.” National Wind Watch, 9/10/2008)

1999 – A DOE Assistant Secretary Said Wind Power Is Getting Close To Being Competitive With Wholesale Power. ‘”Although wind power is not yet competitive with wholesale power, it’s getting close… ‘Of all the renewable technologies, wind power is the closest to market competitiveness today. When you consider the improved technology the opportunity for consumers to choose green power, and the concerns over climate change, it all adds up to a strong potential for wind to really take off over the next 20 years.’” (Taylor Moore, “Wind Power: Gaining Momentum,” EPRI Journal, 12/22/99)

2001 – Robert Boyd, Enron Wind Corp. VP: “With Additional R & D Funding And The Continuation Of The Production Tax Credit For The Next Five Years Wind Should Become Price Competitive With Conventional Generation Technologies.” “Wind energy is close to becoming competitive with conventional fuels. With additional R & D funding and the continuation of the Production Tax Credit for the next five years wind should become price competitive with conventional generation technologies.” (Robert T. Boyd, Committee On Finance, U.S. Senate, Testimony, 7/19/01)

2003 – Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on the PTC. “I’d say we’re going to have to do it for at least another five years, maybe for 10 years. Sometime we’re going to reach that point where it’s competitive (with other forms of energy). I think the argument for any tax credit is to make the new source of energy economically competitive.” (“Wind Energy Rides Roller Coaster Year.” Electrical Wholesaling, 4/1/03)

2004 – Experts Said in 2004 Wind Was “Getting Close” To Viability And “Very Nearly Competitive.” “Not long ago wind power was the domain of fringe scientists and environmentalists…. But the industry is maturing and growing quickly–and is beginning to find its place as one viable element in the energy puzzle. … Still, says Bob Thresher of the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab, ‘wind is the first renewable technology that is very nearly competitive in the market for bulk power generation.’ … [Wind pioneer Jim] Dehlsen says the cost of wind needs to fall below three cents per kilowatt hour–without tax credits–to truly break society’s addiction to fossil fuels. “It’s still not there, but we’re getting close,” he says.” (Brad Stone, “The Master of Wind,” Newsweek, 9/20/2004)

2004 – Edward Berkel, Senior VP Shell WindEnergy: “Cost Reductions Will Eventually Make Wind Fully Competitive With CCTG Power.” “Cost reductions will eventually make wind fully competitive with CCTG power. If PTCs are not replaced other mechanism might be used, i.e. green certificates. Driven by customer needs, overall world pressure to reduce GGEs.” (“Where’s The Bill?” Project Finance, 3/2004)

2006 – A Former FERC Chairman Said The Wind Industry Will Be Eventually Be Able To Survive Without Subsidies. “[Pat Wood, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)] said that the high price of fossil fuels make it a ‘pretty safe bet’ that the wind energy industry will eventually be able to survive without government subsidies in the form of the wind production tax credit.” (Suzanna Strangmeier, “Former FERC Chairman Pat Wood Sees Bright Future for Wind Power,” Oil Daily, 5/2/06)

2012 – Denise Bode, Former AWEA CEO on PTC Phase-out. “In coordination with any phase down of the credit, we would urge Congress to consider additional policy mechanisms to encourage a diverse portfolio that includes renewable energy. With the policy certainty that accompanies a stable extension, the industry believes it can achieve the greater economies of scale and technology improvements that it needs to become cost competitive without the PTC.” (AWEA letter to Congress. 12/12/12)

2012 – Secretary of Energy Steven Chu: “I think it’s something the wind industry sees: “As the technology gets better, there’s no need to be subsidizing a competitive industry once it’s competitive.” “So over a period of time, especially as — and no dates were discussed — but over a period of time, a road map of phasing out, you see where the prices are going and you can see” how to eliminate the credit…. Just as eventually VEETC and other things were eventually phased out, I think it’s something the wind industry sees: As the technology gets better, there’s no need to be subsidizing a competitive industry once it’s competitive,” (“Chu opens the door to phaseout of wind incentive.” Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, 3/15/12)

2014 – Warren Buffett on how wind isn’t profitable without subsidies. “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate,” Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” (U.S. News & World Report, 5/12/14)

2015 – Senator Chuck Grassley on (yet another) PTC extension. “But, I also know this credit won’t go on forever. It was never meant to, and it shouldn’t. In 2012, the wind industry was the only industry to put forward a phase out plan. I have expressed support in the past for a responsible, multi-year phase out of the wind tax credit. But, I believe any phase out should be done in the context of comprehensive tax reform, where all energy tax provisions are on the table.” (Senator Grassley letter to Chairman Hatch, 7/7/15)

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. For more than 30 years, wind promoters have claimed that wind would soon not need subsidies because it would be cost-competitive. But here we are in 2015, and despite claims from AWEA that wind is cost competitive, their actions suggest they don’t believe their own talking points. After all, if wind were competitive, the wind lobby would be greedy to insist on $6 billion from the taxpayer for the PTC.

AWEA certainly knows that their claims about wind truly being cost competitive are not true. New research by the Institute for Energy Research found that electricity from new wind is three times as expensive as electricity for the existing fleet of coal units. This is the real reason wind supporters need the wind PTC to be continually extended. Without the PTC, no one would build wind turbines. As Warren Buffet said, “On wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

Instead of looking towards Senator Grassley, Congress should heed the advice of another author of the wind PTC, former Rep. Phil Sharp from Indiana. He said in 2013 that the tax credit should have “a sunset provision to ensure that the temporary incentive does not become a permanent subsidy.”  (“Extending the wind tax credit.” Washington Times, 12/5/13)

Members like Senator Grassley want the wind PTC to be a permanent subsidy. It is time to break this cycle and allow this subsidy to phase out. Congress should embrace HR 1901, the PTC Elimination Act by Reps. Marchant and Pompeo, to accomplish this goal.

When Bill Gates Says Wind is A Waste of Time, and Money, He Knows What He’s Talking About!

Bill Gates says Subsidies for Wind Power a Pointless Waste: Time to Back Nuclear & R&D on Systems that Can Actually Work

Bill-Gates

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Gates: Renewable energy can’t do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D
‘Only way to a positive scenario is innovation’

The Register
Lewis Page
26 Jun 2015

Retired software kingpin and richest man in the world Bill Gates has given his opinion that today’s renewable-energy technologies aren’t a viable solution for reducing CO2 levels, and governments should divert their green subsidies into R&D aimed at better answers.

Gates expressed his views in an interview given to the Financial Timesyesterday, saying that the cost of using current renewables such as solar panels and windfarms to produce all or most power would be “beyond astronomical”. At present very little power comes from renewables: in the UK just 5.2 per cent, the majority of which is dubiously-green biofuel burning1 rather than renewable ‘leccy – and even so, energy bills havesurged and will surge further as a result.

In Bill Gates’ view, the answer is for governments to divert the massive sums of money which are currently funnelled to renewables owners to R&D instead. This would offer a chance of developing low-carbon technologies which actually can keep the lights on in the real world.

“The only way you can get to the very positive scenario is by great innovation,” he told the pink ‘un. “Innovation really does bend the curve.”

Gates says he’ll personally put his money where his mouth is. He’s apparently invested $1bn of his own cash in low-carbon energy R&D already, and “over the next five years, there’s a good chance that will double,” he said.

The ex-software overlord stated that the Guardian’s scheme of everyone refusing to invest in oil and gas companies would have “little impact”. He also poured scorn on another notion oft-touted as a way of making renewable energy more feasible, that of using batteries to store intermittent supplies from solar or wind.

“There’s no battery technology that’s even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewables,” he said, pointing out – as we’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.”

So what are the possible answers, in Gates’ view?

Gates is already well known as a proponent of improved nuclear power tech, and it seems he still is. He mentioned the travelling-wave reactors under development by his firm TerraPower, which are intended to run on depleted uranium stockpiled after use in conventional reactors. He also spoke of methods of using solar power to produce liquid hydrocarbons, which, unlike electricity, can be stored practicably in useful amounts: “one of the few energy storage things that works at scale”, as he put it.

Gates also spoke of the radical plan of high-altitude wind farming using kite-balloons flying high up in the jet stream – though he admitted that that one was something of a long shot.

In Gates’ view, decades from now a few of today’s new-energy companies will have become massive and early investors will have reaped the sort of rewards that he, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer have from Microsoft. But many others won’t be so lucky.

“Now there’s a tonne of software companies whose names will never be remembered,” he told the FT interviewers.

Analysis

Gates has said a lot of this before. The main new thing is the firm assertion that renewable energy technology as it now is has no chance of powering a reasonably numerous and well-off human race.

This is actually a very simple thing to work out, and just about anybody numerate who thinks about the subject honestly comes to the same conclusion – examples include your correspondent, Google renewables experts, global-warming daddy James Hansen, even your more honest hardline greens (they typically think that the answer is for the human race to become a lot less numerous and well-off).

Unfortunately a lot of people aren’t numerate and/or aren’t honest, so it’s far from sure that the colossal subsidies pumped into today’s useless renewables will get diverted into R&D which could produce something worthwhile.

In the UK at least this would be quite difficult, as the subsidies are not actually subsidies as such – no tax money is paid out to windfarmers and solar-panellists from the Treasury.

Rather, the system works by artificially pumping up the price of ‘leccy and gas and channelling the extra cash – minus various margins for various people involved – to the windfarmers and panel people, such that they get paid vastly more than the market price of the power they produce.

A lot of people – including the government at times – prefer to pretend that this isn’t happening at all: that prices are going up because of the gas market, or corporate profiteering, or something, and that green policy isactually saving people money in some way.

So given that officially nobody is paying any more money and therefore there aren’t any subsidies, they probably can’t be diverted to anywhere. The newly-reelected Chancellor is trying to stop them getting bigger, but he probably won’t manage to seriously reduce them overall, let alone re-purpose them.

Bootnote

1DUKES chapter 1 (pdf page 1) and chapter 6 (pdf page 4)
The Register

turbine collapse 9