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

Our “Bonnie” Friends in Scotland, Have Scrapped Wind Subsidies! Congratulations in Order!~

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

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The Scots are a tenacious bunch; and their history is a pungent mix of romance and tragedy.

Legendary characters like William Wallace – who – single-handed – raised a fearsome Highland revolt – muscled up against the English invaders, time and time again.

Wallace, with Andrew Moray gave a well-trained and drilled English army a drubbing at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in September 1297. However, Wallace, by then Guardian of Scotland, suffered an ignominious defeat in July 1298 at the Battle of Falkirk. Disunity was Wallace’s undoing: his Norman cavalry did a bunk as the battle began; the hero escaping by the skin of his teeth. Seven years later, and the Scots’ great defender was in English chains awaiting a fate worse than simple death.

With Wallace’s mortal remains carved up and spread across the English Realm, Robert de Bruce took up the mantle – giving his internal and external enemies hell, all over the Highlands, from Buchan to Galloway. De Bruce, like Wallace before him, was often a victim of internal intrigues and diabolical disunity. Quarrels with his archrival, John Comyn and his backers, and a defeat at the hands of the English, saw de Bruce relinquish his title as Guardian, flee to the Hebrides and later Ireland.

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Reacting to more betrayal by his brethren led to the murder of Comyn by de Bruce, who, having regrouped, went on to hammer Edward II in the battle for Stirling Castle, in June 1314. At the Battle of Bannockburn, de Bruce pulled off the defeat of an English army led by Edward – a force that heavily outnumbered his own: some 7,000 Scots (with a mere 500 mounted) faced 17,000 English troops: 2,000 heavy cavalry and 15,000 infantryman, bristling with longbows.

Victory for de Bruce at Bannockburn became his, and Scottish, legend.

For Scotland, the next four centuries brought a cycle of victories and defeats, as English monarchs variously sought to beguile or crush the Scots at their whim. The last romantic hoorah echoed at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite rebellion was ground into the heather and peat, near Inverness.

Through their history, in battle, the Scots were usually outnumbered, but rarely outwitted. However, the tragedy and the romance of that history was always tinged with double-dealing and betrayal. Wind the clock forward, and the same elements came to bear in the battle to keep the Highlands free of bat-chomping, bird slicing, blade-chucking, pyrotechnic,sonic-torture devices.

Sometime back, we likened the efforts to carpet the Highlands in tens of thousands of giant fans with the first waves of the Croft Clearances:

Giant Fans: the new Scottish “Croft Clearers”

Now, thanks to the Tories thumping election win, those North of the Border have won the prospect of respite.

David Cameron – a Scot in name and ancestry – has made it very clear that his government has no intention of advancing a single penny in subsidies to wind power outfits from here on:

Brits’ Wind Power Nightmare to End Soon: Tories Set to Take the Axe to Subsidies

The question is, how Cameron’s election manifesto will play out for Highlanders? Here’s The Telegraph heralding an age of deliverance, if not outright victory.

Rural Scotland’s delight at wind farm subsidy axe
The Telegraph
Simon Johnson
18 Jun 2015

Rural communities have reacted with relief and delight after David Cameron called time on the SNP’s wind farm march across Scotland’s countryside.

Anti-turbine campaigners praised the UK Government’s decision to exclude new onshore wind farms from claiming a key subsidy from April next year, 12 months earlier than expected.

They said the move, which is expected to stop the construction of many developments not yet given planning permission, was a welcome respite for communities “besieged by subsidy chasers” taking advantage of the SNP’s “open door” policy.

But they said it was to the “eternal shame” of the Scottish Government that it was only the Conservatives who had heeded the concerns of rural Scots, with one prominent campaigner stating: “Thank God for Westminster.”

SNP ministers were furious with the decision, even claiming they may challenge it in the courts, with Nicola Sturgeon describing it as “wrong-headed”, “perverse” and “downright outrageous”.

In a letter to Mr Cameron, she warned the wind farm companies may sue the taxpayer for compensation for planned schemes “rendered useless by this decision.” The industry claimed the move would cost consumers up to £3 billion.

However, the John Muir Trust, the eminent environmental protection group, said it was the “right time” to work out an energy mix that is affordable “without damaging our wild and natural landscapes.”

The funding for the subsidy comes from the Renewable Obligation (RO), which is funded by levies added to household bills. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said there will be grace period for projects already with planning permission.

Although energy policy is reserved to Westminster, the SNP government in Edinburgh has used its control over the planning system in Scotland to encourage the construction of thousands of turbines across the countryside.

Alex Salmond, the former First Minister, set a target of generating the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020, with the vast majority coming from onshore wind.

Amid growing opposition from local communities, Scotland’s most senior planning officials even warned that the countryside risked becoming a “wind farm landscape”.

But the Scottish Government told council planners they had set aside too little land for wind farms and Scotland now hosts more than half the UK’s onshore turbines.

Scotland Against Spin, a national alliance of groups and individuals which campaigns against turbines being built in unsuitable locations, said it was “delighted” the Tories had honoured an election manifesto promise to “end the ludicrously generous subsidies for onshore wind farms.”

Graham Lang, the group’s chairman, said: “Speculative developers from across the world have flocked to Scotland because of the SNP’s open door policy to the wind industry. Scottish communities besieged by subsidy-chasers can at last look forward to some respite.

“Yet to its eternal shame the Scottish Government has ignored the clamour for reform from its own people. There is a terrible irony that the Conservatives at Westminster, not the nationalists at Holyrood, have finally stood up to the wind speculators and put the interests of communities and consumers first.”

Lyndsey Ward said she hoped the decision would stop the construction of 25 turbines near her home just outside of Beauly, in the Scottish Highlands.

She said she was “fairly disgusted” with the Scottish Government as Fergus Ewing, the SNP Energy Minister, had “parroted wind industry propaganda”. She added: “They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Thank God for Westminster.”

Campaigners against a plan to erect 18 410ft-tall turbines in rural Angus, above the Blackwater Reservoir, also welcomed the announcement.

Sue Smith, a spokesman for the Friends of Backwater and Glenisla Against Turbines group, whose husband Maj Gen Martin Smith is Commandant General of the Royal Marines, said: “The removal of obscene levels of financial gain which these subsidies offer should discourage land owners and turbine developers from exploiting irresistible opportunities to make a fast buck, at the expense of local communities and their environments.”

She also praised the UK Government plans to give communities the final say on large wind farm developments south of the Border and attacked the SNP for failing to introduce this in Scotland.

But, speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon said the decision was “utterly wrong-headed” and her government would “do everything in our power” to get it changed.

Mr Ewing said repeated the wind farm companies’ claims the move could cost consumers £3 billion, adding: “We have warned the UK Government that the decision, which appears irrational, may well be the subject of a judicial review.”

But Murdo Fraser, Scottish Tory energy spokesman, said: “This is a Conservative Government standing up for communities that the central belt SNP couldn’t care less about.”

He added: “The latest figures show that, with all the wind projects already constructed, those under construction or given consent, we have already met the SNPs 100 per cent target for renewable electricity.”

A DECC spokesman said: “If we’d allowed the RO to stay open longer, we could have ended up with more projects than we can afford – which would have led to either higher bills, or other renewable technologies losing out on support.”
The Telegraph

As with our in-a-nutshell overview of Scottish history above, it will be internal forces, disunity and betrayal that stand as the only obstacle to outright victory for the Scots.

Claims by wind power outfits about suing the government, in order to ensure their ability to obtain massive subsidies until kingdom come, involve little more than the petulant rattling of Claymores.

Hopeful developers are not in any contractual relationship with the government; and have little more than an expectation that government (read taxpayer and power consumer, in their guise as voters) largesse is endless and immutable. Unfortunately for wind power outfits, mere “expectations” based on policy “promises” don’t provide the soundest basis to sue for “damages”.

And Nicola Sturgeon’s huffing and puffing is little more than, well, hot air.

STT’s Highland operatives have previously pointed out that there is absolutely no market for any more intermittent and unreliable wind power in Scotland: that ‘market’ is saturated.

The only hope for Sturgeon and her wind industry backers is to send Scottish sparks south of the Border – in huge volumes – whenever the wind is blowing. However, through quirks of history – some of which we’ve touched on – that’s an area still controlled by David Cameron.

Given Cameron’s resolve, and Sturgeon’s policy and legislative impotence, STT suggests that it would be far from premature for Highlanders to don their kilts and celebrate their victory with a wee Highland fling.

highland fling

Scotlands Conservative Politicians, Step Up To The Plate, & Stop Wind Subsidies!

Rural Scotland’s delight at wind farm subsidy axe

Campaigners say the SNP should be ashamed that only a Tory Government listened to their warnings about the impact of turbines on Scotland’s countryside.

Whitelee Windfarm on the outskirts of Glasgow

Whitelee Windfarm on the outskirts of Glasgow Photo: PA

Rural communities have reacted with relief and delight after David Cameron called time on the SNP’s wind farm march across Scotland’s countryside.

Anti-turbine campaigners praised the UK Government’s decision to exclude new onshore wind farms from claiming a key subsidy from April next year, 12 months earlier than expected.

They said the move, which is expected to stop the construction of many developments not yet given planning permission, was a welcome respite for communities “besieged by subsidy chasers” taking advantage of the SNP’s “open door” policy.

But they said it was to the “eternal shame” of the Scottish Government that it was only the Conservatives who had heeded the concerns of rural Scots, with one prominent campaigner stating: “Thank God for Westminster.”

SNP ministers were furious with the decision, even claiming they may challenge it in the courts, with Nicola Sturgeon describing it as “wrong-headed”, “perverse” and “downright outrageous”.

In a letter to Mr Cameron, she warned the wind farm companies may sue the taxpayer for compensation for planned schemes “rendered useless by this decision.” The industry claimed the move would cost consumers up to £3 billion.

However, the John Muir Trust, the eminent environmental protection group, said it was the “right time” to work out an energy mix that is affordable “without damaging our wild and natural landscapes.”

The funding for the subsidy comes from the Renewable Obligation (RO), which is funded by levies added to household bills. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said there will be grace period for projects already with planning permission.

Although energy policy is reserved to Westminster, the SNP government in Edinburgh has used its control over the planning system in Scotland to encourage the construction of thousands of turbines across the countryside.

Alex Salmond, the former First Minister, set a target of generating the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020, with the vast majority coming from onshore wind.

Amid growing opposition from local communities, Scotland’s most senior planning officials even warned that the countryside risked becoming a “wind farm landscape”.

But the Scottish Government told council planners they had set aside too little land for wind farms and Scotland now hosts more than half the UK’s onshore turbines.

Nicola Sturgeon was outraged at the UK Government’s decision

Scotland Against Spin, a national alliance of groups and individuals which campaigns against turbines being built in unsuitable locations, said it was “delighted” the Tories had honoured an election manifesto promise to “end the ludicrously generous subsidies for onshore wind farms.”

Graham Lang, the group’s chairman, said: “ Speculative developers from across the world have flocked to Scotland because of the SNP’s open door policy to the wind industry. Scottish communities besieged by subsidy-chasers can at last look forward to some respite.

“Yet to its eternal shame the Scottish Government has ignored the clamour for reform from its own people. There is a terrible irony that the Conservatives at Westminster, not the nationalists at Holyrood, have finally stood up to the wind speculators and put the interests of communities and consumers first.”

Lyndsey Ward said she hoped the decision would stop the construction of 25 turbines near her home just outside of Beauly, in the Scottish Highlands.

She said she was “fairly disgusted” with the Scottish Government as Fergus Ewing, the SNP Energy Minister, had “parroted wind industry propaganda”. She added: “They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Thank God for Westminster.”

Campaigners against a plan to erect 18 410ft-tall turbines in rural Angus, above the Blackwater Reservoir, also welcomed the announcement.

Sue Smith, a spokesman for the Friends of Backwater and Glenisla Against Turbines group, whose husband Maj Gen Martin Smith is Commandant General of the Royal Marines, said: “The removal of obscene levels of financial gain which these subsidies offer should discourage land owners and turbine developers from exploiting irresistible opportunities to make a fast buck, at the expense of local communities and their environments.”

She also praised the UK Government plans to give communities the final say on large wind farm developments south of the Border and attacked the SNP for failing to introduce this in Scotland.

But, speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon said the decision was “utterly wrong-headed” and her government would “do everything in our power” to get it changed.

Mr Ewing said repeated the wind farm companies’ claims the move could cost consumers £3 billion, adding: “We have warned the UK Government that the decision, which appears irrational, may well be the subject of a judicial review.”

But Murdo Fraser, Scottish Tory energy spokesman, said: “This is a Conservative Government standing up for communities that the central belt SNP couldn’t care less about.”

He added: “The latest figures show that, with all the wind projects already constructed, those under construction or given consent, we have already met the SNPs 100 per cent target for renewable electricity.”

A DECC spokesman said: “If we’d allowed the RO to stay open longer, we could have ended up with more projects than we can afford – which would have led to either higher bills, or other renewable technologies losing out on support.”

The Windweasels Scream in Agony, When Subsidy Tap is Shut Off!!!

Doomed UK Wind Power Outfits Reduced to Idle Legal Threats

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The Guardian (both in its home territory, the UK and in its doppelganger Australian version) is the ecofacists’ megaphone – and is duly lapped up with relish by the intellectual pygmies of the hard-‘green’-left or – as James Delingpole aptly dubbed them; “greentards”.

Both here and in the UK, The Guardian has been the preferred platform for the wind industry, its parasites and paid spruikers to run an endless stream of drivel propounding the magical properties of giant fans – you know, the usual twaddle about wind power being a serious alternative to conventional generation – despite the fact it can only be delivered at crazy, random intervals (see our post here); powering millions of homes around the clock for “free” (see our posts here and here); never harming so much as a bird’s feather (see our post here); and providing such a soothing and peaceful environment for humans that they – like our feathered friends – can’t help but flock towards the nearest wind farm to set up homes and raise their families (see our posts here and here).

No, The Guardian will never be among those accused of helping to bring the great wind power fraud to its inevitable end.

In the UK, The Guardian was caught out pumping clearly misleading and deceptive advertising, for yet another wind power fraud, profiteer – Dale Vince and his wind power outfit, the lamely tagged, “Ecotricity” – dropping all pretence of objective journalism in its quest to profit from spruiking wind industry propaganda:

The Guardian Caught Out Pumping Dale Vince’s Bogus Wind Power Propaganda

Now, The Guardian has stepped in again, in an effort to forestall the inevitable demise of the wind industry, in the face of David Cameron’s clear-as-crystal election pledge to bring the great wind power fraud to and end (see our posts here and here).

UK renewable energy industry warns of legal action over subsidies
The Guardian
Adam Vaughan
2 June 2015

Closing scheme a year earlier than due would amount to ‘wilful destruction’ by the government, climate secretary told

The UK renewable energy industry has warned the government’s new climate secretary that she will face a legal challenge if she oversees the “wilful destruction” of the industry by retrospectively curtailing subsidies.

Later this week, the Department of Energy and Climate Change will announce that the existing subsidy scheme for onshore wind power will be closed a year earlier than it was due to, according to a source close to the process.

Such a move would be a major blow to the industry and go further than the Conservative party had pledged in its manifesto. It had said that it would “end any new public subsidy” in a bid to “halt the spread of onshore windfarms”.

But writing in the Guardian on Monday, a lawyer for the trade body RenewableUK called on Amber Rudd to reconsider – or face legal challenges.

“Minister, please talk to us before you act. We recognise the pressures on you. There are solutions which need not damage confidence in the UK or in your government as one for all of us and not just for a few dangerous, ill-informed and visibly rabid party members,” wrote Marcus Trinick QC, a barrister for law firm Partner Eversheds LLP.

“Please be aware of the dangers of [EU] state aid discrimination and look at what is happening in international energy arbitration across Europe. In such a position we could not afford not to fight, especially if action is taken to interfere retrospectively,” he added.

If the Renewable Obligation (RO) subsidy scheme closes in April 2016 rather than April 2017, as is now expected, onshore windfarms will have to bid for public subsidy under a new subsidy regime known as Contracts for Difference (CfD).

But it is not yet clear if they will even be eligible for the CfD scheme, and Bloomberg Energy Finance has estimated that if onshore wind was not eligible then less than half the capacity of projects in advanced stages of planning would get subsidies.

Maf Smith, deputy chief executive of RenewableUK, vowed to fight the move which he said would appear to contradict the Tory pledge that cuts would only be to new, not existing, subsidies.

“The industry will fight against any attempts to bring in drastic and unfair changes utilising the full range of options open, including legal means if appropriate,” he said.

Ian Marchant, chairman of Infinis Energy Plc and former chief executive of Big Six energy company SSE, warned that closing the subsidy scheme early for onshore wind would have wider ramifications: “If the RO is terminated early without reasonable grace periods in place, not a single energy or large scale infrastructure project in the UK will be safe going forward.”

Dr Rob Gross, an energy expert at Imperial College, said that it was not fair to suggest the RO was hugely over-rewarding onshore wind with too much public subsidy.

“I think this is mainly about the manifesto commitment and being seen to do something to curtail the development of onshore wind. It’s primarily a politically-motivated change,” he told the Guardian.

Rudd said in statement that: “We promised people clean, affordable and secure energy supplies and that’s what I’m going to deliver. We’ll focus support on renewables when they’re starting up – getting a good deal for billpayers is the top priority.” A Decc spokeswoman added: “It’s premature to talk about retrospective changes [to subsidy regimes].”

The government has already laid out the other part of its crackdown on onshore windfarms, using the Queen’s speech to announce that the energy bill will give local communities an effective veto over new ones. Onshore wind is considered by most authorities to be the cheapest form of renewable power in the UK.
The Guardian

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The one thing the wind industry will never be pinned for is “consistency”.

Where The Guardian – parroting on behalf of its benefactors – chirps about “wind power being the cheapest form of renewable power available in the UK”, there are plenty from the wind industry’s more deluded fringes that run the claim that wind power is (now) actually cheaper than coal-fired power – see this piece of twaddle from ruin-economy, for example.

Way back in 1984, Christopher Flavin, the President emeritus of the Worldwatch Institute, ran a pitch that in a few years’ time wind energy would not need to be subsidised.

Over 30 years later, and the wind industry the world over still keeps talking itself into circles: one minute it’s ready to take on conventional generators head-to-head; the next it’s wailing about the need to keep the subsidy gravy train running just that little bit longer. The guff from The Guardian entirely true to that insipid form.

In Australia, the wind industry spin-cycle is just the same.

Here, the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers – like The Climate Speculator’s, Tristan Edis (see our post here) – keep telling us, over and over again, how cheap wind power is by comparison with conventional power sources – a story pitched up in order to counter the recent challenge to the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target and its insane cost to power consumers.

The wind industry’s standard pitch is, however, found to be tinged with a teeny, weeny little internal inconsistency.

Having boasted about the wonders of their product – and its ability to “compete” with the big boys – in the very next breath, these subsidy leeches start wailing – like crazed little brats – at the prospect of there being so much as the slightest interference with a stream of subsidies, so massive that their scale makes Croesus look like a penny-pinching pauper.

Either wind power is economically viable, or it isn’t? If the former, then there’s no need for mandated subsidies and/or massive penalties, at all.

Call us a tad cynical, but STT thinks it all boils down to the quality of the “product” on offer. Break down the terms on which wind power is “supplied”, and the “deal” reduces to this:

  • we (“the wind power generator”) will supply and you (“the hopeful punter at the end of the line”) will take every single watt we produce, whenever that might be;
  • except that this will occur less than 30% of the time; and, no, we can’t tell you when that might be – although it will probably be in the middle of the night when you don’t need it;
  • around 70% of the time – when the wind stops blowing altogether – we won’t be supplying anything at all;
  • in which event, it’s a case of “tough luck” sucker, you’re on your own, but you can try your luck with dreaded coal or gas-fired generators, they’re burning mountains of coal and gas anyway to cover our little daily output “hiccups” – so they’ll probably help you keep your home and business running; and
  • the price for the pleasure of our chaotic, unpredictable power “supply” will be fixed for 25 years at 4 times the price charged by those “evil” fossil fuel generators.

It’s little wonder that – in the absence of fines and penalties that force retailers to sign up to take wind power (see our post here) and/or massive subsidies (see our post here) – no retailer would ever bother to purchase wind power on the standard “irresistible” terms above.

There is NO market for electricity that cannot be delivered on demand – wind power has NO commercial value for that very obvious reason. The “demand” that exists is nothing more than legislated policy artifice – in the absence of mandated fines, penalties and/or endless subsidies the wind industry would have never got going at all.

Any policy that is unsustainable will either fail under its own steam; or its creators will eventually be forced to scrap it. Endless streams of massive subsidies for a meaningless power source fits the “unsustainable” tag to a T.

The wind industry has been telling the world it’s almost ready to stand on its own two feet for over 30 years (see our post here). Now, in Britain, David Cameron, Amber Rudd & Co will give it the chance to do so. We wish it the best of luck.

wind turbine Screggah-wind-turbine-Padraig-McNulty-5-460x345