A Breakdown on How Badly the Wind Fiasco is Hurting us…Financially.

Ontario electricity has never been cheaper, but bills have never been higher

The province signed long-term contracts with a handful of lucky firms, guaranteeing them 13.5 cents per kWh for electricity produced from wind, and even more from solar.

Tyler Brownbridge / Postmedia News files
 
The province signed long-term contracts with a handful of lucky firms, guaranteeing them 13.5 cents per kWh for electricity produced from wind, and even more from solar.  The more the wind blows, the bigger the losses and the higher the hit to consumers.

You may be surprised to learn that electricity is now cheaper to generate in Ontario than it has been for decades. The wholesale price, called the Hourly Ontario Electricity Price or HOEP, used to bounce around between five and eight cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), but over the last decade, thanks in large part to the shale gas revolution, it has trended down to below three cents, and on a typical day is now as low as two cents per kWh. Good news, right?

It would be, except that this is Ontario. A hidden tax on Ontario’s electricity has pushed the actual purchase price in the opposite direction, to the highest it’s ever been. The tax, called the Global Adjustment (GA), is levied on electricity purchases to cover a massive provincial slush fund for green energy, conservation programs, nuclear plant repairs and other central planning boondoggles. As these spending commitments soar, so does the GA.

In the latter part of the last decade when the HOEP was around five cents per kWh and the government had not yet begun tinkering, the GA was negligible, so it hardly affected the price. In 2009, when the Green Energy Act kicked in with massive revenue guarantees for wind and solar generators, the GA jumped to about 3.5 cents per kWh, and has been trending up since — now it is regularly above 9.5 cents. In April it even topped 11 cents, triple the average HOEP.

So while the marginal production cost for generation is the lowest in decades, electricity bills have never been higher. And the way the system is structured, costs will keep rising.

The province signed long-term contracts with a handful of lucky firms, guaranteeing them 13.5 cents per kWh for electricity produced from wind, and even more from solar. Obviously, if the wholesale price is around 2.5 cents, and the wind turbines are guaranteed 13.5 cents, someone has to kick in 11 cents to make up the difference. That’s where the GA comes in. The more the wind blows, and the more turbines get built, the bigger the losses and the higher the GA.

Just to make the story more exquisitely painful, if the HOEP goes down further, for instance through technological innovation, power rates won’t go down. A drop in the HOEP widens the gap between the market price and the wind farm’s guaranteed price, which means the GA has to go up to cover the losses.

Ontario’s policy disaster goes many layers further. If people conserve power and demand drops, the GA per kWh goes up, so if everyone tries to save money by cutting usage, the price will just increase, defeating the effort. Nor do Ontarians benefit through exports. Because the renewables sector is guaranteed the sale, Ontario often ends up exporting surplus power at a loss.

The story only gets worse if you try to find any benefits from all this spending. Ontario doesn’t get more electricity than before, it gets less.

Despite the hype, all this tinkering produced no special environmental benefits. The province said it needed to close its coal-fired power plants to reduce air pollution. But prior to 2005, these plants were responsible for less than two per cent of annual fine particulate emissions in Ontario, about the same as meat packing plants, and far less than construction or agriculture. Moreover, engineering studies showed that improvements in air quality equivalent to shutting the plants down could be obtained by simply completing the pollution control retrofit then underway, and at a fraction of the cost. Greenhouse gas emissions could have been netted to zero by purchasing carbon credits on the open market, again at a fraction of the cost. The environmental benefits exist only in provincial propaganda.

And on the subject of environmental protection, mention must be made of the ruin of so many scenic vistas in the province, especially long stretches of the Great Lakes shores, the once-pristine recreational areas of the central highlands, and the formerly pastoral landscapes of the southwestern farmlands; and we have not even mentioned yet the well-documented ordeal for people living with the noise and disturbance of wind turbines in their backyards. We will look in vain for benefits in Ontario even remotely commensurate to the damage that has been done.

The province likes to defend its disastrous electricity policy by saying it did it for the children. These are the same children who are now watching their parents struggle with unaffordable utility bills. And who in a few years will enter the workforce and discover how hard it has become to get full time jobs amid a shrinking industrial job market.

Electricity is cheaper to make than it’s been for a generation, yet Ontarians are paying more than ever. About the only upside is that nine other provinces now have a handbook on what not to do with their electricity sector.

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics at University of Guelph, is Research Chair, Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

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Global Warming Scam….Unraveling at the seams!

MONDAY, 4 JULY 2016

770 papers questioning AGW “consensus” since 2014

Source

Since January 2014, the last 2 and half years, 770 peer-reviewed scientific papers have been published in scholarly journals that call into question just how settled the “consensus” science is that says anthropogenic or CO2 forcing dominates weather and climate changes, or that non-anthropogenic factors play only a relatively minor and inconsequential role. (LINK)

Just a paragraph from a post on Pierre Gosselin’s great blog NoTricksZone.

It was written by Kenneth Richard who goes on to say:

Instead of supporting the “consensus” science, these 770 papers support the position that there are significant limitations and uncertainties apparent in climate modeling and the predictions of future climate catastrophes. Furthermore, these scientific papers strongly suggest that natural factors (the Sun, multi-decadal ocean oscillations [AMO/PDO, ENSO], cloud and aerosol albedo variations, etc.) have both in the past and present exerted a significant influence on weather and climate, which means an anthropogenic signal may be much more difficult to detect or distinguish as an “extremely likely” cause relative to natural variation.  Papers questioning the “common-knowledge” viewpoints on ocean acidification, glacier melt and advance, sea level rise, extreme weather events, past climate forcing mechanisms, the “danger” of high CO2 concentrations, etc., have also been included in this volume of 770 papers.

Mr Richard points out also that there are 240 papers supporting a Skeptical-of-the-Consensus Position for 2016 (here.)

Now, Question for Mainstream Media (MSM):

Will you still promote the Great Global Warming hoax? The hypothesis HAS been falsified. (seelink) (see Scientific Method Falsified) AND Pauline Hanson’s One Nation No2 Queensland candidate Malcolm Roberts looks like gaining an Australian Senate Seat.

Malcolm Roberts, with empirical evidence, can destroy the MSM’s support of the hoax.

The Windscam, built on O.P.M….

US Wind Industry ‘Built’ on $176 Billion of Other Peoples’ Money

burning-dollar

If recycling is an environmental ‘good’, then the wind industry can proudly wear its ability to recycle hundreds of $Billions of other peoples’ money as a badge of honour.

Take a product which – as it can only ever be delivered at crazy random intervals and can’t be economically stored – has NO commercial valueand you’ll tend to find willing buyers few and far between.

In Australia’s wind power capital, South Australia, thanks to REC subsidies worth more than double what conventional power costs to produce, wind power outfits actually pay the grid manager (up to $20 per MWh) to take their skittish wares (see our post here). That market perversity has left SA with the highest retail power prices in Australia (by a factor of 2) and a grid on the brink of collapse (see our post here).

But the wind industry’s ‘recycling’ efforts can only take effect where the useful idiots that pretend to govern us enshrine massive subsidy schemes as ‘immutable’ laws, that must necessarily outlast religion: even the merest hint of threat to which kills ‘investment’ in wind power stone dead (see our post here).

The cost of feeding the subsidy-sucking freak that is the wind industry has already cost taxpayers and power consumers hundreds of $Billions around the Globe; and, as Robert Bryce spells out, will – if left unchecked – cost Americans hundreds of $Billions more.

Wind-Energy Sector Gets $176 Billion Worth of Crony Capitalism
National Review
Robert Bryce
6 June 2016

It takes enormous amounts of taxpayer cash to make wind energy seem affordable.

Last month, during its annual conference, the American Wind Energy Association issued a press release trumpeting the growth of wind-energy capacity. It quoted the association’s CEO, Tom Kiernan, who declared that the wind business is “an American success story.”

There’s no doubt that wind-energy capacity has grown substantially in recent years. But that growth has been fueled not by consumer demand, but by billions of dollars’ worth of taxpayer money. According to data from Subsidy Tracker — a database maintained by Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.–based organization that promotes “corporate and government accountability in economic development and smart growth for working families” — the total value of the subsidies given to the biggest players in the U.S. wind industry is now $176 billion.

That sum includes all local, state, and federal subsidies as well as federal loans and loan guarantees received by companies on the American Wind Energy Association’s board of directors since 2000. (Most of the federal grants have been awarded since 2007.)

Of the $176 billion provided to the wind-energy sector, $2.9 billion came from local and state governments; $9.4 billion came from federal grants and tax credits; and $163.9 billion was provided in the form of federal loans or loan guarantees.

General Electric — the biggest wind-turbine maker in North America — has a seat on AWEA’s board. It has received $1.6 billion in local, state, and federal subsidies and $159 billion in federal loans and loan guarantees. (It’s worth noting that General Electric got into the wind business in 2002 after it bought Enron Wind, a company that helped pioneer the art of renewable-energy rent-seeking.)

NextEra Energy, the largest wind-energy producer in the U.S., has received about 50 grants and tax credits from local, state, and federal entities as well as federal loans and loan guarantees worth $5.5 billion.

That’s more than what the veteran crony capitalist Elon Musk has garnered. Last year the Los Angeles Times’s Jerry Hirsch reported that Musk’s companies — Tesla Motors, Solar City, and Space Exploration Technologies — have collected subsidies worth $4.9 billion. NextEra’s haul is also more than what was collected by such energy giants as BP ($315 million) and Chevron ($2.2 billion).

About $6.8 billion in subsidies, loans, and loan guarantees went to foreign corporations, including Iberdrola, Siemens, and E.On. Those three companies, and five other foreign companies, have seats on AWEA’s board of directors.

Many of the companies on the AWEA board will be collecting even more federal subsidies over the next few years. In December, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the latest renewal of the production tax credit will cost U.S. taxpayers about $3.1 billion per year from now until 2019. That subsidy pays wind-energy companies $23 for each megawatt-hour of electricity they produce.

That’s an astounding level of subsidy. In 2014 and 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration, during times of peak demand, the average wholesale price of electricity was about $50 per megawatt-hour.

Last winter in Texas, peak wholesale electricity prices averaged $21 per megawatt hour. Thus, on the national level, wind-energy subsidies are worth nearly half the cost of wholesale power, and in the Texas market, those subsidies can actually exceed the wholesale price of electricity.

Of course, wind-energy boosters like to claim that the oil-and-gas sector gets favorable tax treatment, too. That may be so, but those tax advantages are tiny when compared with the federal gravy being ladled on wind companies.

Recall that the production tax credit is $23 per megawatt-hour. A megawatt-hour of electricity contains 3.4 million Btu. That means wind-energy producers are getting a subsidy of $6.76 per million Btu. The current spot price of natural gas is about $2.40 per million Btu. Thus, on an energy-equivalent basis, wind energy’s subsidy is nearly three times the current market price of natural gas.

MidAmerican Energy Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, has a seat on AWEA’s board. Berkshire’s subsidy total: $1.5 billion — and it’s primed to collect lots more.

In April, the company announced plans to spend $3.6 billion on wind projects in Iowa. Two years ago, Berkshire’s CEO, Warren Buffett, explained why his companies are in the wind business. “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them,” he said. “They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

Keep in mind that the $176 billion figure in wind-energy subsidies is a minimum number. It counts only subsidies given to companies on AWEA’s board.

Not counted are subsidies handed out to companies like Google, which got part of a $490 million federal cash grant for investing in an Oregon wind project. Nor does it include the $1.5 billion in subsidies given to SunEdison, the now-bankrupt company that used to have a seat on AWEA’s board. (To download the full list of subsidies garnered by AWEA’s board members, click here.)

Nor does that figure include federal money given to J. P. Morgan and Bank of America, both of which have a seat on AWEA’s board. The two banks received federal loans or loan guarantees worth $1.29 trillion and $3.49 trillion, respectively.

In an e-mail, Phil Mattera, the research director for Good Jobs First, told me that the loan and loan-guarantee figures for the banks include the federal bailout package known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program as well as “programs instituted by the Federal Reserve in the wake of the financial meltdown.”

When all of the subsidies, loans, and loan guarantees given to the companies on AWEA’s board are counted, the grand total comes to a staggering $5.1 trillion.

According to Wikipedia, crony capitalism “may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state interventionism.” Wind-energy companies are getting favoritism on every count.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to give those companies permits allowing them to legally kill bald and golden eagles with their turbines for up to 30 years.

The industry is getting grants, tax breaks, and loans worth billions. And thanks to federal mandates like the Clean Power Plan and state renewable-energy requirements — nearly all of which are predicated on the specious claim that paving vast swaths of the countryside with wind turbines is going to save us from catastrophic climate change — the industry is surfing a wave of state interventionism.

AWEA’s Kiernan likely has it right. In a country where having a profitable business increasingly requires getting favors from government, the U.S. wind industry is definitely a “success.”
National Review

other peoples money

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

The Colossal Cost of Intermittent & Unreliable Wind Power

yacht

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

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

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

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

Capacity1

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

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

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

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

Crucially traditional forms of electricity generation are

  • non-intermittent
  • dispatchable

to meet demand when needed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources Of Renewable Capacity Measures

The following data sources are used here:

US government Energy Information Administration

www.eia.gov – see table 1

Table 1 above gives the following values for USA installations:

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

Capacity2

EurObservER

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

EurObservER-Photovoltaic-Barometer-2015-EN.pdf

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

Capacity3

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

Capacity4

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

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

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

Capacity5

For more detailed analysis see:

European Renewable Energy performance and costs: 2014

The Renewable Energy Foundation time series data from the UK 

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

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

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

Capacity6

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

Capacity7

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

Capacity8

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

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

Comparative Renewable Costings And Effectiveness

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

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

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

Capacity9

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

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

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

Capacity10

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

Renewable comparative cost effectiveness

Using the following assumptions:

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

Those estimated capital expenditures throughout Europe are as follows:

Capacity11

Conclusions

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

Capacity12

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

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

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

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

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

SA nov 15

Testimony of a Wind Turbine Sufferer…

It is finally time

This very sad, but now all too common letter discussing wind turbine impacts is published here with the permission of the author.

After being awakened for the ump-teenth time by these grinding, screeching, humming, squealing, house vibrating, jet sounding, phone interrupting, television disturbing, internet interfering, shadow flickering, environmental impacting, property value lowering, aesthetic degrading, red light blaring obtrusive monsters, known as Industrial wind  turbines, (IWT),  thrust upon us without our permission.

It is finally time to thank the uninformed, seemingly uncaring, self-serving, publicly elected officials, for having the audacity to vote in favor of a project that they knew so little about which would forever change the lives of so many people that they are supposed to work to protect, all because a smooth tongued, representative from a less than ethical company, (which person admitted he would not live near turbines), was able to pull the wool over their eyes by making promises of untold booty with undoubtedly, falsified studies of sound, resident acceptance and environmental impact.

I would hope that these publicly elected officials are realizing how their actions have affected the residents of northeastern Tipton County, IN. Thanks to them our lives have changed forever, not for the better but for a lifetime of interruptions, inconveniences not only in the daytime but 24 hours a day. This is not an issue that you can spend an hour or two or a day in the area and comprehend the negative impact it is having upon our lives.

You have to be here for extended periods of time because there will be instances that the wind doesn’t blow yet the humming and screeching will continue as the IWTs search for wind. It was stated that residents would adjust, getting used to these monsters but alas this is not happening when you are awakened at two or three AM by something that sounds as if it is in your house and upon investigating you find that it is an IWT. It has been suggested that we move, however finding anyone to purchase our property for the true value it had before the IWTs were present is impossible.

As I realize this will serve no purpose to alleviate the situation in Tipton County, IN

I would hope it could inform others of the irritating intrusions of IWTs, these monsters have absolutely no place in a community as populated as Tipton County.

Also hoping it would lead elected officials to better investigative procedures before signing on the dotted line.

Although I have not read nor have I seen it, I understand that one of those responsible officials has written some form of apology or regret about their actions. This would show the great character and respect of that person to the citizenry, however it does nothing to alleviate the intrusions.

Respectfully,
Fred McCorkle
Windfall, IN

 

APR212016

Not a Tear is Shed, When Windweasels Bite the Dust!

Ponzi Power: US Wind Power Company – Sun Edison – Implodes

share traders

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STT has likened it to the great corporate Ponzi schemes, pointing out, just once or twice, that the wind industry is little more than the most recent and elaborate effort to fleece gullible investors, in a list that dates back to “corporateinvestment classics”, like the South-Sea Bubble and Dutch tulip mania.

In the wind industry, the scam is all about pitching bogus projected returns (based on overblown wind “forecasts”) (see our posts here andhere and here and here); claiming that wind turbines will run for 25 years, without the need for so much as an oil change (see our posts hereand here and here); and telling investors that massive government mandated subsidy schemes will outlast religion (see our posts here andhere and here).

In Britain, Wind Prospect Group stopped paying dividends to its bond holders and prevented them from cashing them in to recover their capital outlay:

Got Money in the Great Wind Power Ponzi Scheme? Then, Grab it & Get Out Now!

In Australia, one of the wind industry’s BIG players – Pacific Hydro – managed to rack up an annual loss of $700 million, in 2014; in circumstances where the subsidy scheme – on which its profits depend – hadn’t changed at all (see our post here).

Following that well-established trend is US wind power outfit, Sun Edison; whose shares have plummeted from US$32 to a faction of a single greenback, is on the verge ofbankruptcy. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

Share Price Plunges for Operator of Maine Wind Farms Amid Bankruptcy Concerns
MPBN News
Fred Bever
29 March 2016

sunedison2

The operator of several wind energy facilities in Maine could be headed for bankruptcy. But Sun Edison officials say the turbines will keepspinning, and providing taxes and other benefits [read misery ed.] to host communities.

Since hitting a high of $32 per share last June, Sun Edison’s stock has been on a downward spiral, and has now dipped well below $1 a share following reports that it faces a substantial risk ofbankruptcy while securities regulators investigate itsbusiness practices.

But even if Sun Edison does file for bankruptcy or is restructured, company spokesman John LaMontagne says that does not pose a risk for host communities in Maine.

That’s because the plants themselves are actually owned by separate entities.

“All of those projects have existing contracts to deliver wind energy to utilities around New England,” he says. “So therefore they have certain revenues which ensure the projects will be able to meet their obligations in terms of community benefits, taxes and whatever else.”

Sun Edison operates six wind plants in Maine, including one under construction in Bingham. It has also proposed two new big projects as part of a major effort to ship new renewable energy to southern New England.

But LaMontagne said he could not comment on how those might be affected by Sun Edison’s financial issues.
MPBN News

Sun edison strengths

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SunEdison’s Subsidy-Fueled Collapse
National Review
Robert Bryce
4 April 2016

The company burned no fossil fuels but plenty of taxpayer dollars.

Even $1.5 billion in subsidies andloan guarantees can’t save a “clean” energy company frombankruptcy.

That’s the takeaway from the looming failure of SunEdison, a company that touts itself as the “largest global renewable energy development company.” Once a darling of Wall Street and the green Left because of SunEdison’s portfolio of wind and solar projects, the company’s stock is now in free fall. Furthermore, two related companies that were spun off from SunEdison — TerraForm Global and TerraForm Power — also appear to be in financial distress. On March 30, Brian Wuebbels, the CEO of both TerraForm companies, resigned effective immediately. If all that weren’t enough, the company is also under investigation by both the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission about its finances and the disclosures it made to investors.

Last summer, SunEdison’s shares were selling for more than $30, and famous Wall Street investors, including David Einhorn and Daniel Loeb, were holding the stock. But by Friday afternoon, the company’s shares were trading for about 49 cents apiece, and Bloomberg writer Brian Eckhouse was reporting that the company was “teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.”

Why is SunEdison on the verge of failure? The short explanation is simple: It tried to grow too big, too fast. Over a 19-month period it went on a $2.6 billion acquisition binge. It paid too much for the companies it bought and now it can’t pay back its creditors. SunEdison has twice delayed the release of its 2015 annual report and appears to be intechnical default on at least $1.4 billion inloans and credit facilities.

To be sure, this isn’t a new story. The annals ofbusiness history are filled with companies that failed because they borrowed too heavily and didn’t have enough cash to pay back their creditors. But the remarkable thing about SunEdison is how much cash it was able to get from state and federal taxpayers during its low-emissions trip to bankruptcy court.

Before getting to the subsidies, a quick history. SunEdison was founded in 2003 by solar-energy promoter Jigar Shah, who is no longer an officer or board member at SunEdison. Shah was an early entrant in the domestic solar market, which has since grown at an astonishing rate. In 2003 the U.S. had about 73 megawatts of solar-energy capacity. By 2014, that figure had increased to 18,280 megawatts. During his time at SunEdison, Shah helped the company grow through the implementation of 20-year power-purchase deals that assured investors and buyers of long-term electricity delivery from renewable-energy projects.

Shah deserves some credit as a promoter. He also deserves a smidgen of credit for his new-found belief that solar subsidies should be eliminated. That said, it’s abundantly obvious that his company’s growth was fueled by hefty federal and state subsidies. That can be seen by looking at Subsidy Tracker, a project of Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit that promotes “corporate and government accountability in economic development.” According to Subsidy Tracker, SunEdison has garnered some $650 million in federalgrants and tax credits. SunEdison ranks number 13 on Good Jobs First’s list of the top 100 recipients of grants and tax credits doled out by federal authorities since 2000.

The biggest federal handouts — two of them totaling $200 million — were made in 2010 and 2011 to a subsidiary of SunEdison, First Wind, for the Milford Wind project in Utah. In addition to the federal subsidies, SunEdison got $30 million in subsidies from various state authorities, including $21 million from governmental entities in New York. On top of that, SunEdison also received $846 million in federal loans,loanguarantees, tax-exempt federal bonds, and federal insurance. The total government support for SunEdison comes out to $1.5 billion.

That’s a figure worth considering, given that on Friday, the market capitalization of SunEdison — that is, the value of all of its outstanding stock — was about $176 million. Thus, federal and state taxpayers have shelled out roughly eight times as much money in subsidies andloanguarantees as SunEdison is now worth.

Alas, SunEdison isn’t the only example of how federal taxpayers have helped prop up poor management in the “clean energy” sector. Earlier this week, the Spanish energy company Abengoa SA filed for Chapter 15 protection in U.S.bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Del., claiming some $16.5 billion in debt. Like SunEdison, Abengoa has been a leading promoter of solar projects in the U.S. According to Subsidy Tracker, Abengoa has received $986 million in federalgrants and tax credits, as well as another $7.8 million in state and local subsidies. The bulk of that sum — about $841 million — was for solar projects. But the company has also collected about $122 million in federal grants for biofuel projects in Kansas, Illinois, and Nebraska. Several of Abengoa’s biofuel plants have already been shuttered, including a plant in Hugoton, Kans., that was supposed to be making cellulosic ethanol (that is, alcohol made with non-food feedstocks). Abengoa was able to build the Hugoton plant thanks to a $97 million federal grant and a $132 million federal loan guarantee.

In all, Abengoa got some $2.6 billion in federal loans and loan guarantees as well as $986 million in federal grants and tax credits. Thus, between the collapse of Abengoa and the looming bankruptcy of SunEdison, federal taxpayers have shelled out some $5 billion in direct grants and loan guarantees to lousy management teams in subsidy-dependent businesses that would never have grown to their current size had they not been able to binge on taxpayer cash.

Critics of the federal government’s support for “clean energy” companies have repeatedly claimed that the government shouldn’t be “pickingwinners.” To that, I can only say that the evidence — from the failed solar company Solyndra and failed battery companies like Ener1 and A123 to SunEdison and Abengoa — proves that the government hasn’t in fact, been pickingwinners. Quite the opposite.
National Review

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Energy Poverty Killing Thousands in Europe…

Europe’s Wind Power Suicide Pact Killing 40,000 a Year

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Green Europe is killing 40,000 poor a year
Breitbart
Jame Delingpole
30 March 2016

Europe’s suicidal green energy policies are killing at least 40,000 people a year.

That’s just the number estimated to have died in the winter of 2014 because they were unable to afford fuel bills driven artificially high by renewable energy tariffs.

But the real death toll will certainly be much higher when you take into account the air pollution caused when Germany decided to abandon nuclear power after Fukushima and ramp up its coal-burning instead; and also when you consider the massive increase in diesel pollution –  the result of EU-driven anti-CO2 policies – which may be responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths a year.

But even that 40,000 figure is disgraceful enough, given that greenies are always trying to take the moral high ground and tell us that people who oppose their policies are uncaring and selfish.

It comes from an article in the German online magazine FOCUS aboutEnergiewende (Energy Transition) – the disastrous policy I mentioned earlier this week whereby Germany is committed to abandoning cheap, effective fossil fuel power and converting its economy to expensive, inefficient renewables (aka unreliables) instead.

According to FOCUS around ten percent of the European population are now living in ‘energy poverty’ because electricity prices have risen, on average, by 42 percent in the last eight years. In Germany alone this amounts to seven million households.

The article is titled: The grand electricity lie: why electricity is becoming a luxury.

The reason, of course, is that green energy policies have made it that way. Many of these have emanated from the European Union, which in turn has taken its cue from the most Green-infested nation in Europe – Germany.

Germany has long been obsessed with all things environmental. Besides having invented the dodgy ‘science’ of ecology in the 1880s it was also, of course, between 1933 and 1945 the home of Europe’s official “Greenest government ever” – the first to ban smoking on public transport, an enthusiastic supporter of organic food, national parks and population control.

The Greens have also since the early Eighties been arguably the most influential party in Germany. Though their percentage of the vote has rarely risen above the 10 percent mark, they have punched above their weight either as a coalition partner in government or as a pressure group outside it.

For example, the reason that after Fukushima, Chancellor Angela Merkel completely changed Germany’s policy on nuclear power was her terror of the Greens who were suddenly polling 25 percent of the national vote.

It was the Greens too who were responsible for Energiewende – the policy which is turning Germany into the opposite of what most of us imagine it to be: not the economic powerhouse we’ve been taught to admire all these years, but a gibbering basket case.

This becomes clear in an investigation by the German newspaperHandelsblatt, which reports the horrendous industrial decline brought about by green energy policies.

Hit hardest, of course, are the traditional utilities. After all, the energy transition was designed to seal their coffin. Once the proverbial investment for widows and orphans because their revenue streams were considered rock-solid — these companies have been nothing short of decimated. With 77 nuclear and fossil-fuel power plants taken off the grid in recent years, Germany’s four big utilities — E.ON, RWE, Vattenfall and EnBW — have had to write off a total of €46.2 billion since 2011.

RWE and E.ON alone have debt piles of €28.2 billion and €25.8 billion, respectively, according to the latest company data. Losses at Düsseldorf-based E.ON rose to €6.1 billion for the first three quarters of 2015. Both companies have slashed the dividends on their shares, which have lost up to 76 percent of their value. Regional municipalities, which hold 24 percent of RWE’s shares, are scrambling to plug the holes left in their budgets by the missing dividends.

Thousands of workers have already been let go, disproportionately hitting communities in Germany‘s rust belt that are already struggling with blight. RWE has cut 7,000 jobs since 2011. At E.ON, the work force has shrunk by a third, a loss of over 25,000 jobs. Just as banks spun off their toxic assets and unprofitable operations into “bad banks” during the financial crisis, Germany’s utilities are reorganizing to cut their losses.

Why are the Germans enacting such lunacy? Aren’t they supposed to be the sensible ones?

Well yes, up to a point.

As a seasoned German-watcher explains to me, it’s with good reason that one of Germany’s greatest contributions to the world’s vocabulary is the word Angst.

The Germans are absolutely riddled with it – always have been – and it explains the two otherwise inexplicable policies with which Germany is currently destroying itself.

One, of course, is Energiewende caused by a misplaced, but deeply-held neurosis about stuff like diminishing scarce resources and “global warming” and the evils of Atomkraft (Nuclear power).

The other are its similarly insane immigration policies – the result of the neurosis that if it doesn’t replace its declining population with a supposedly healthy influx of immigrant workers, then it will wither and cease to be the great force it was under people like Frederick the Great, Bismarck and that chap in the 1930s and that no one will know or care where Germany is any more.

Ironically, though, if national decline is what the Germans most fear then the two policies they are pursuing to avoid it happening to be the ones most likely to hasten it.

This is sad. Sad for Germany which, for all its faults, has produced some pretty impressive things over the years: Beethoven; Kraftwerk; Goethe; Porsche; autobahns; those two girls on Deutschland 83.

And even sadder for those of us who, through absolutely no fault of our own happen to be shackled politically and economically to a socialistic superstate called the European Union, most of whose rules are decided by Germans over whom we have no democratic control.

Oh and by the way, Greenies: as I never tire of reminding you, you insufferable tossers, not a single one of the “future generations” you constantly cite in your mantras as justification for your disgusting, immoral and anti-free-market environmental policies actually exists.

But the people you’re killing now as a result of those environmental policies DO exist.

Or rather they did, till you choked or froze them to death, you vile, evil, eco-Nazi scumbags.
Breitbart

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