Enough Trees Cut Down in Niagara Region , to Do Damage, Irreparable for Decades…

Niagara Region Wind won’t say how many trees they are cutting down

Niagara Region Wind Farm project co-ordinator Shiloh Berriman wouldn’t say how many trees would be cut on along the 45 km route laid out for the transmission lines.

 

“That’s not public information that we’re willing to give out. We haven’t finished out tree clearing yet, so I don’t actually have a number. And it’s not something public that we would like to give out,” she said.

1297813168809_ORIGINALBy Allan Benner, The Tribune
Andy Koopal frowned as he looked down at the freshly cut metre-wide tree trunk, recalling the majestic oak that it once supported. “That tree was over 150 years old,” he said. “It was a perfect healthy tree. There was no need for it.”

He said the tree – likely a sapling when Canada became a country – was one of eight old growth oaks that border his 10 hectares of farmland on Concession 6 in Wellandport, near Side Road 42. When the Fort Erie resident drove into Wainfleet recently, he said he was shocked to see that all of the trees were cut down and removed. “I came by here Saturday. Then I saw the damage they did,” he said.

Along with Koopal’s trees, likely hundreds more were cut throughout rural west Niagara to make room for transmission lines feeding into new industrial wind turbines being built near by Niagara Region Wind Farm, said Wainfleet’s engineering manager Richard Nan. The company is building a 230 Megawatt industrial wind farm, with wind turbines located in Wainfleet, West Lincoln and Lincoln. Read article

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Wind & Solar….Not More than “Novelty Energy”!

Wind & Solar Power can NEVER Replace Conventional Power Generation

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The death of the wind industry didn’t come about because BIG Coal felt ‘threatened‘ and set out in some kind of John Grisham conspiracy to wreck it by fair means or foul. No. What kills it is the fact that a growing band of ‘eco-travellers’ – of the kind who once placed their faith in the Wind Gods – have woken up to the scale and scope of the great wind power fraud.

For the climate change Chicken Littles, their quest to rid the planet of dreaded CO2 gas (query how plants and every other living thing survive without it?) has seen the more sensible of their number turn their backs on the wind; and to nuzzle up to nukes, instead.

Dr. Alan Carlin has, despite his background with America’s top environmental lobby, the Sierra Club, not only reached the obvious conclusion (viz, that wind power will never replace conventional generation sources), but has repeatedly determined to put pen to paper, to make sure his peers know all about it.

Alan received an undergraduate degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He then entered the PhD program in economics at MIT, with two summers spent at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA. His MIT major was in economic development; his thesis research was carried out in India under a Ford Foundation Foreign Area Fellowship. He then took a position as an economist at RAND, where he pursued primarily economic development and transportation economics.

In the mid-1960s he became active in the environmental movement as a result of his outdoor interests, and co-authored economic analyses of proposed dams proposed for the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The dams were turned down by the Federal Government in 1968 after a nationwide campaign by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups. In 1970 he was elected Chairman of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, then the Club’s second largest Chapter.

Soon after Richard Nixon created the US Environmental Protection Agency in late 1970, he followed his increasing environmental interest by taking a position as a manager in their new Office of Research and Development in Washington, DC, for multidisciplinary research on implementation of environmental pollution control. In the late 1970s he worked for about 7 years primarily as a physical scientist managing the development of criteria documents assessing pollutants for possible regulation by EPA. After Reagan institutionalized the economic analysis of Federal regulations in 1981, he transferred to the EPA Policy Office, where he was a senior analyst and economic research manager.

In the mid-2000s he realized that climate would become the major environmental issue of the decade, and undertook a voyage of personal discovery to understand the issue, including both its economic and scientific aspects. With the advent of the strongly environmentalist Obama Administration in 2009 he found himself at odds with EPA’s misguided attempts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, which led to considerable media attention and his retirement in early 2010.

He has authored or co-authored over 35 professional publications in his career to date, mostly in economics and energy/climate. Seventeen of these have been published in journals and 8 as part of books.

Now, here’s Alan’s message to the dwindling band of wind-cultists.

The Total Unreality of Substituting Wind and Solar for Fossil Fuel Electricity
Carlin Economics and Science
Alan Carlin
26 February 2016

One of the crucial unrealistic assumptions of the climate alarmist narrative is the belief that non-hydro renewable sources of energy can be easily substituted for fossil fuels for the generation of electricity.

Proponents pretend that this substitution is simple and mainly involves political will for governments to impose the changes, and occasionally that subsidies must also be provided to encourage it. But the technical problems are actually very daunting for extensive substitution as well as expensive.

As substitution increases, the technical problems become increasingly difficult and with attempted full substitution they become impossible except under special circumstances. This has not prevented advocates from pursuing their campaigns against the use of fossil fuel, nuclear, and hydro power at all levels of American government.

Electric Grids Must Balance Supply and Demand

Electricity grids collapse if supply does not exactly balance demand at all times. Using intermittent and largely unpredictable sources of supply such as wind and solar to meet demand is very difficult, particularly at a modest cost that users can afford.

Grid collapse can be monumentally expensive, as can arbitrary reductions in demand known as load shedding which force users to halt all electricity use, usually on an arbitrary rolling basis between various regional areas. Traffic lights, hospitals, and manufacturing cannot do their jobs without reliable, continuous electric power.

Solar and Wind Cannot Provide Power During Some Periods

There are periods when both solar and wind provide little or no useful electric power because the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining. These periods can and have lasted for as much as a week in Germany.

Without other sources of supply the grid will collapse during these periods unless demand is arbitrarily reduced–even if the periods are only for a few minutes. Rapid response fossil fuel or hydro backup is required in order to meet demand during these periods.

Many regions have little hydroelectric capacity and the abundant water required to make it productive. In the US only the Pacific Northwest has abundant hydroelectric resources.

Attempts to build enough wind/solar capacity to meet demand during these periods is not practicable and would be extremely expensive if it were practical. During these periods of little sunlight and low wind, solar and wind will produce little power no matter how large or how numerous these facilities may be.

Meeting demand during such periods without huge load shedding would require building huge wind/solar capacity which would almost never be used in order to slightly reduce the chances of grid collapse. And even then full assurance would never actually be achieved because of the high probability that there will be periods when there will be very little or no wind and solar generation.

Alternatives Require Rapid Response Fossil Fuel or Abundant Hydro Capabilities

The alternative is to build and maintain enough fossil fuel capacity which must be in “spinning reserve” in order to respond instantly to fluctuations in demand and wind/solar supplies.

This effectively doubles the cost of supplying electricity since two generating and even transmission fleets must be built and maintained rather than only one–fossil fuel and nuclear generation–except where abundant hydro capacity is available.

In areas where abundant hydro capacity and water to power it are not available, the only way to solve this problem is to build very extensive pumped storage facilities to generate “artificial” hydro power. This is very expensive since power must be used to pump water uphill during off peak periods and the construction of artificial lakes that is often required at two different elevations is quite expensive and is usually opposed by environmental groups.

Adding unreliable, unpredictable electricity sources such as wind and solar will inevitably decrease system reliability–which means increased risks of system collapse with its monumental costs even if every practical safeguard is used.

These problems are not just theoretical. Germany and Great Britain have experienced them in recent years as their percentage of wind/solar has increased, and they have responded by increasing their investment in fossil fueled plants, just the opposite of what they have tried to do.

Like Germany and Great Britain, Denmark also has increasing electricity costs but has solved the wind/solar substitution problem by entering into very high cost arrangements with their Nordic neighbors to supply hydro power when needed.

Despite all these very real problems, the Climate-Industrial Complex (as explained in my book Environmentalism Gone Mad) continues to promote wind and solar, sometimes with the active support of some prominent politicians.
Carlin Economics and Science

Alan Carlin

Wind Turbines are Novelty Energy. NOT Fit for Prime Time!

MIT Study Shows Wind Power Can NEVER Compete with Conventional Sources

mythbusters2

In their sillier moments, the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers pitch the line that their pointless product is not only getting cheaper all the time, but go so far as to claim that wind power is already cheaperthan gas and coal-fired power. Risible PR antics aside, the wind industry has always had a troubled relationship with the facts.

Now, coming to their aid in that regard is a study pulled together by the heavy-hitters hailing from the hallowed halls of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

When pressed on the facts, the wind-cultist resorts to personal attacks on their challenger’s academic cred. Up against the best and brightest that America has to offer, STT is not so sure that strategy will offer any hope to the wind industry’s already panicked spin kings in resisting the bleeding obvious.

MIT: Green Energy Can’t Work Unless You Tax Everything
The Daily Caller
Andrew Follett
25 February 2016

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have confirmed what many in the energy world already knew: Without government support or high taxes, green energy will never be able to compete with conventional, more reliable power plants.

The study, announced by MIT’s News Office Wednesday, determined that conventional energy would be consistently less expensive than green energy over the next 10 years. The study concludes that the government could make green energy competitive by offering enormous amounts of taxpayer support.

The study confirms that green energy can only work when energy prices are extremely high and require government support. Projections from the International Energy Agency estimate that developing wind and solar power enough to substantially impact global warming could cost up to $16.5 trillion by 2030.

“Windmills, solar panels, and ethanol could not compete with coal, natural gas, and oil without mandates and subsidies even when the price of the conventional fuels was relatively high,” Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Now that prices for fossil fuels have plummeted, very little new renewable energy capacity will be installed unless the mandates and the subsidies are raised even higher.  The bankruptcy this week of Abengoa’s U. S. solar unit with up to $10 billion in debt is a sign of things to come.”

The MIT study also noted that solar and wind power are more than twice as expensive as natural gas, and tax on carbon dioxide emissions could increase electricity prices enough for green sources to compete. Even environmental groups such as The Sierra Club worry increasingly cheap energy will make the case for green power weaker.

“Wind and solar can’t compete with conventional sources on their own merits,” Chris Warren, a spokesperson for the Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “That’s why the national environmental lobby and their allies are peddling the idea of a carbon tax. They want to punish the use of natural gas, oil and, coal to make their preferred sources appear more profitable. In practice, a carbon tax would have a devastating impact on American families already struggling in the Obama economy–hurting the poor and middle class the most.”

Critics have said carbon taxation disproportionately harms the poorest members of society. A 2009 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that a carbon tax would double the tax burden of the poorest households, making it effectively impossible to have both a carbon tax and a living wage. A tax on all man-made greenhouse gas emissions would make the tax burden of the poorest households three times greater than the richest households, according to the study.

Only four nations  — Ireland, Sweden, Chile, and Finland — actually have carbon taxation today. The largest economy to ever have a carbon tax, Australia, repealed it in 2014 over concerns it was harming the economy. No country taxes carbon dioxide emissions at the levels deemed necessary to substantially mitigate global warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“You often hear, when fossil fuel prices are going up, that if we just leave the market alone we’ll wean ourselves off fossil fuels,” Christopher Knittel, an MIT energy economist who co-authored the study, said in a press release. “But the message from the data is clear: That’s not going to happen any time soon.”

Innovative new drilling techniques such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have made conventional energy cheaper and reduced dependence on foreign oil and natural gas. America surpassed Russia last year as the world’s largest and fastest-growing producer of oil and natural gas.

High prices aren’t green energy’s only issue. Green energy sources tend to be unreliable as the amount of electricity they generate cannot be predicted in advanced. The output of a wind or solar power plant is quite variable over time. The times when green energy sources generate the most electricity don’t coincide with the times when power is most needed. Peak power demand also occurs in the evenings, when solar power is going offline.

“Cheap gas is inimical to the green energy business (and all other competitors),” William Yeatman, an economist at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “But even if gas prices were through the roof, like in early 2008, intermittent wind and solar power still couldn’t compete without subsidies and mandates, for the simple reason that you can’t rely on them.”

Since the output of wind turbines or solar farms cannot be predicted with high accuracy, grid operators have to keep excess conventional reserves running just in case. Adding power plants that only provide power at intermittent and unpredictable times makes the power grid more fragile.
The Daily Caller

turbine collapse michigan3

Turn off the Money Tap, and the Wind Scam will “Dry UP”!

Doomed & Desperate: UK Wind Industry Attempts to Engineer Backdoor Subsidies

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David Cameron’s Conservatives strode to outright power on the back of a ‘crystal clear’ manifesto to cut subsidies to wind power and to give locals the right to veto wind farm projects at the planning stage.

But, in a ‘never-say-die’ last ditch attempt to obtain ‘backdoor’ access to the perpetual subsidies that are the only reason it exists at all (see our posts here and here), the wind industry – along with its plants in the Department of Energy and Climate Change – have hatched a plan to get around Cameron’s pledge to permanently cut its lifeline.

Humpty Dumpty was famously (and rightly) challenged by a scornful and quizzical Alice for haughtily claiming that he – as ‘Master’ in a ‘Looking Glass’ World – could make words mean whatever he chose them to mean.

Taking its cue from that pompous and brittle egg, the wind industry – in pitching a panicked salvation package – has primed its DECC’s puppets to call a “government guaranteed fixed price for wind power” a “subsidy-free contract”, in what can be fairly described as very scrambled logic.

Revealed: the great wind farm tax ‘con’
The Telegraph
Emily Gosden
13 February 2016

Ministers may break pledge to stop funding onshore turbines with consumer subsidies

Ministers have been accused of planning a U-turn that would see consumersFUND new onshore wind farms through green levies.

The Government confirmed it was “looking carefully” at a wind industry proposal to continue public financial support for new turbines, despite a manifesto pledge to halt expansion.

Critics described the proposal as a con, and said the Conservatives’ policy had been “crystal clear” that the subsidies would stop.

Under the plan, households would still be forced to pay millions of pounds on their energy bills to fund new wind farms – but the payments would no longer be defined as subsidies.

The wind industry’s plan hinges on the fact that no new power plants are commercially viable to build at the moment without extra financial support from bill-payers.

If wind farms can be built at lower cost to consumers than alternatives, such as new gas plants, then payments toFUND them should no longer be classed as “subsidy”, the industry argues.

Andrea Leadsom, the energy minister, admitted that the proposal for so-called “subsidy-free” contracts would not in fact be “cost free” for bill-payers, but said the Government was “listening carefully to industry on how it can be delivered”.

Opponents called the plan “outrageous” and said that the proposals under consideration would still constitute subsidies.

Owen Paterson, the Tory MP and former environment secretary, said: “Hard-working energy consumers will not be conned by a change in name. The Conservative manifesto was crystal clear that public subsidies for onshore wind will stop.

“There is absolutely no place for subsidising wind – a failed medieval technology which during the coldest day of the year so far produced only 0.75 per cent of the electricity load.”

The Conservatives pledged in their 2015 manifesto to “halt the spread of onshore wind farms” and vowed to “end any new public subsidy” for the turbines.

More than 5,000 wind turbines have so far been built onshore in the UK under efforts to hit renewable energy and climate change targets.

Consumers are already estimated to pay in excess of £800 million a year in subsidies for the turbines, adding about £10 to an annual household energy bill.

David Cameron has said that Britain does not “need to have more of these subsidised onshore”.

But the proposal being considered by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) would see onshore wind farms continue to qualify for an existing subsidy scheme that guarantees developers a fixed price for electricity generated.

The most recent onshore wind farm contracts awarded under the scheme, early last year, were at prices of about £80 per megawatt hour (MWh) – more than double current market prices of about £35/MWh. Consumers willFUND the difference through green levies on their energy bills.

Under the proposals being looked at by DECC, prices of between £60/MWh and £80/MWh would be regarded as “subsidy-free” by 2020.

John Constable, of the Renewable Energy Foundation, a group critical of renewable energy costs, said it would be “outrageous” to regard the proposal DECC was considering as “subsidy free”. “It is justSPIN doctor stuff, it’s playing with words,” he said.

Glyn Davies, the Tory MP, a member of the energy select committee, said: “I don’t think we should be introducing mechanisms that continue with subsidy – just to say there’s no subsidy when there actually is.”

He said he would be “very concerned” if ministers continued payouts to new onshore wind farms.

Fellow Tory Peter Lilley said the wind industry’s proposal “wouldn’t be subsidy-free” and that wind farms should not receive the same support as gas plants, because the power they produced was not reliable and was therefore worth less.

Mr Paterson added: “If we must support energy, we should help develop combined heat and power which increases efficiency from 50 per cent to 80 per cent or we should develop new technologies which actually work.”

A DECC source insisted energy secretary Amber Rudd was “crystal clear that the manifesto commitment to end new public subsidies for onshore wind and give local people the final say is delivered to the letter”.

“Any idea that doesn’t do this is simply not going to get the green light,” the source said.

The influential think-tank Policy Exchange has said that “subsidy-free” contracts should be offered to support the construction of new onshore wind farms in Scotland and Wales, as well as replacing old turbines with new, far bigger ones.

Maf Smith, deputy chief executive of Renewable UK, said it would be “anti-competitive” to bar any technology from competing for the financial support being offered for new power plants.

A DECC spokesman said: “There is no change to our commitment to end new onshore wind subsidies. Our actions have shown that we will be tough on subsidies, in order to keep bills down for our families and businesses.”
The Telegraph

Maf-Smith

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Maf Smith has a somewhat confused take on ‘competition’. It’s precisely what David Cameron has given the wind industry a chance to finally experience; with an opportunity toBACK UP its endless (but empty) claims about being cheaper than gas and coal-fired power. Well, Maf? What are you and your paymasters waiting for?

The only reason the UK has to offer any financial support to conventional generators is thanks to the perverse policy that, until now, has guaranteed prices 3-4 times the price of conventional power, for the chaotic, weather-driven delivery of a source that – but for the subsidies it attracts – has NO commercial value.

A rebranded wind farm subsidy is still a subsidy
The Telegraph
Telegraph View
24 February 2016

The public aren’t fools. If the Government wants them to pay for the construction of inefficient wind farms, let it admit to it

The 2015 Conservative Party manifesto took a clear and sensible stance on the issue of wind farms. It stated that while they can form part of the “energy mix”, they are “unable by themselves to provide the firm capacity that a stable energySYSTEM REQUIRES”. The manifesto pledged to “end any new public subsidy for them”. So it is more than a surprise and a disappointment to discover that the Government is considering a reversal – keeping the subsidies and simply rebranding them.

Popular opposition to wind farms is practical, not ideological. Most people recognise that we need to develop sustainable technologies and reduce pollution. But Britain also needs cheap, plentiful energy – to fuel its economic growth and provide a highQUALITY OF LIFE for all its citizens.

Wind farms often fail to meet these criteria. Some people complain that they despoil the environment by being ugly, loud and deadly to birds. Others point out that they can be desperately inefficient. Britain demands energy most in the winter, to heat our homes. But at this time of the year it is often windless, despite recent storms. The turbines stand still and useless – a complete waste of the generous subsidies that come from levies on consumers’ energy bills. To make matters worse, when the wind blows too hard, the Government actually pays the industry to turn the turbines off. Strong wind conditions in late January threatened to overwhelmTHE GRID with more power than was needed – so the National Grid offered lucrative payouts of between £58 and £115 per MWh to shut down the supply.

If the Government believes there is a case to be made for continuing to subsidise the industry then it should make it openly and honestly. What the public does not want to hear isSPIN – which is what the proposal of redefining a subsidy amounts to. Lobbyists say that any new onshore wind farms will cost less to build than the old, non-renewable plants they are replacing, so they are a fair deal. Yet not only will the new turbines be less efficient than gas or coal, but there is also no escaping the conclusion that hard-pressed consumers will still be bank-rolling the expansion of a controversial energy source through their domestic bills. We sincerely hope that the Government rejects any advice to rebrand this arrangement as subsidy-free. The public deserves transparency in this debate.
The Telegraph

SWITZERLAND-WEF-DAVOS-CAMERON

Wind Contracts….Dancing with the Devil!

The Anatomy of a Wind Farm Contract – Part 2

noisy turbines

 

In my previous blog I explained how a typical wind farm contract consists of two divisible parts, an Option and a Lease. When looking at an Option, I came to the inescapable conclusion that by selling the wind farm developer an Option, the landowner essentially gave up any control over his own land for extended (potentially endless) periods, in return for often trifling sums of money.

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In this blog I want to start looking at the second part of the contract – the Lease. This part forms the majority of the contract document, and we may need more than one blog to cover it all.

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These contracts are about money, and clearly we need to know just how much a landowner can make, how quickly he or she can make it, and whether on a purely monetary basis it is a worthwhile exercise for a landowner to consider.

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So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Once the wind farm is up and generating, what sort of money can a landowner make? Remember that as this is now a lease; the landowner is now the “Landlord”, and the wind farm developer is now the “Tenant”:

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“… the Tenant from the Commencement Date for the Term YIELDING AND PAYING therefore to the Landlord during the first ten years of the Term the Rent of three per cent (3.0 %) of the Gross Operating Proceeds per annum and after the first ten years the Rent of three and a half per cent (3.5%) of the Gross Operating Proceeds subject to the provisions for review as hereinafter contained or €5,000.00 per Megawatt of capacityINSTALLED on the Premises or proportionately in respect of any part of a Megawatt of capacity so installed whichever of (i) or (ii) shall be the higher;

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The first thing to realise is that the payments made by the developer (the Tenant) to the landowner (the Landlord) are now called ‘Rent’. As the term of contract in my contract is 25 years, what the landowner receives in cold cash is three percent of the Gross Operating Proceeds for ten years, and thereafter three-and-a-half percent of the Gross Operating Proceeds for fifteen years. However, 25 years is actually one of the shorter periods you will find on one of these contracts, so look very carefully at the definition of “Operating Period” when faced with one of these contracts.

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The first question obviously is: what is meant by ‘Gross Operating Proceeds’? Well, I am not a bookkeeper but I do remember my lessons which told me that “Gross” means all your money as you make it, whilst “Nett” means the money you have left after you have paid what you owe (your “take home”).
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Wind developers clearly speak a different language compared with the rest of us. Their definition of “Gross Operating Proceeds” is this:

“x-y:
Where x = the gross receipts (excluding VAT or any substituted or similar tax) from electricity sold by the Tenant and generated by the Wind Turbine(s) on the Premises excluding any together with the receipts if any that may arise from the sale of green credits or other similar environmental scheme and;
y = such costs as the Tenant may have to pay in respect of the electricity generated by the Wind Turbine(s) on the Premises but limited to (i) the costs and charges to join and remain a member of the Pooling and Settlement System, if any and; (ii) any non-capital costs or charges associated with the purchase from the Electricity Supply Board or any third party purchaser of electricity for the provision of auxiliary power to the Accommodation Works or the Wind Turbine(s) as certified from time to time by the Auditors Certificate and; (iii) any transmission, metering or distribution costs.”

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Now that is a different meaning to the “gross” as ordinary people understand it.

“Gross = x-y”.     What?

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And then when looking at “x”, which is the amount of the so-called “gross receipts”, that is the money received by the developer for electricity actually sold by the developer. If the developer does not sell any electricity, or is forced to dump electricity, that means there is no receipt. And even these ‘receipts’ have deductions made from them, namely tax, green credits, and subsidy payments.

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And once we reach the nett value of the “gross receipts”, we now have to subtract “y” from those. The value of “y” is essentially all and any operating costs, including the IWEA membership fees, and the cost of electricity to run the back-up power when the wind turbines are not generating their own electricity, which in winter is most of the time as the wind blows too hard and the turbines are shut down, whilst in summer there is little wind.

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As there is no electricity sold, the landowner loses out. Of course, the developer does not lose out, as it is getting the subsidies (money paid by electricity customers in the form of the PSO Levy) and curtailment payments (money paid to the developer by the taxpayer for not generating). However, as these payments are not for electricity sold, the developer does not have to share that with the landowner. No wonder IWEA are always asking for increased subsidies, and no wonder, in countries other than Ireland, when the subsidies have been withdrawn, the “green” developers have vanished into thin air.

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Wow! Is there anything left of this “gross” after that? And the landowner gets a measly 3% for the first ten years, at which stage the turbines are probably burnt out and need to be replaced (given what we now know about the life cycle of these giant turbines – you are lucky if you get ten years out of them – more likely three to six years), which in turn means massive operating costs = more money taken off the so-called “gross” amount.

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I would guess that because of this creative bookkeeping, most landowners will be plumping for the €5000.00 per MWINSTALLED option.

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Interestingly enough, the word INSTALLED” is not defined in the contract. If something is not specifically defined in a contract, it is given its ordinary meaning. I would suggest thatINSTALLED means up and running and connected to the grid (as opposed to ‘erected’), which might mean more delays before the landowner actually sees some of that cold hard cash.

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“… and where no turbines are installed on the Premises the following payments will be made:
10,000EURO per annum for a site sub-station and ancillary equipment;
5,000EURO per annum for a Grant of Deed of Right of Way and Wayleave;
2,500EURO per annum for a consent to erect turbines on neighbouring premises and where such consent is needed because of reduced distance to neighbouring boundaries only;
all of which payments shall be exclusive of any Value Added Tax which may from time to time be properly chargeable and charged thereon by the Landlord clear of all deductions save those required by law.”

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This clause confused me. If these payment options do apply to the landowner that is actually hosting the wind farm, one would think that the host-landowner wouldMAKE MORE MONEY by not having the turbines built, as the Gross Operating Proceeds don’t seem to be enough to feed the dog, let alone make a nice living without all the hard work that constitutes farming (assuming that most landowners that host wind farms will be farmers or at least owners of rural land / farm land).

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However, It is doubtful that the wind developer is going to enter into the Lease before the wind farm is up and running – that is what the Option is for, and the developer will rather pay you your tenEURO (a year, hopefully) for the Option for as long as the developer can stretch that Option out.

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One would imagine that the developer will only enter into the Lease with the landowner who is accommodating the actual wind farm when the wind farm is definitely going up, and the Option is exhausted. Otherwise the landowner will be strung along, essentially at the mercy of the developer.

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I am therefore guessing that these other forms of payment are for landowners with land adjoining the wind farm premises. This might be the landowner hosting the wind farm, where their land is big enough to also take a sub-station, or where the wind farm is situated in the middle of the property, in which case a right of way might be necessary. I am guessing that this contract is a ‘one-size-fits-all’, and can accommodate those landowners who agree to have a wind farm built on their land, but can also be used to bind those landowners that own land adjoining the host property, assuming that they are willing to contract. Of course they might have no choice if their opposition to planning permission was fruitless, and the wind farm is now destroying their health and their livelihood. These secondary payments will only need to occur once the wind farm is built and operating, and not before.

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€2500.00 per year as compensation for being driven crazy by the noise and flicker from the neighbouring wind farm? Count me out.

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print money

The final sting in the tail concerning payment?

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Well, going back to the assumption that theVAST majority of landowners that host wind farms will be farmers or owners of agricultural land, there is the issue of the effect on the zoning of that land.

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After waiting for ten years, the Option is exhausted and the farmer is now looking to cash in on these larger payments of €5000.00 perINSTALLED MW.

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Firstly, these payments are fully taxable as rental income, which cannot be set off against ordinary agricultural costs.

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Secondly, there is the question of agricultural land tax-reliefs. Some lease agreements do say that the wind-farm company will compensate farmers for the loss of certain farm reliefs. These are usually written in such a way that they cover the farm reliefs that exist at the time of signing. They do not cover subsequent or amended farm reliefs that may be introduced in the future. Again, when we consider that I have seen wind farm lease agreements lasting 60 years, many farmers that have entered into these agreements with wind developers must now accept that the loss of future farm reliefs and payments, coupled with the fully taxable nature of the wind-farm payments that they will receive, will mean that they will be in a financially worse position than they are at the moment. Many struggling farmers grabbed the wind farm option with both hands (encouraged all the way by the IFA). Some of these stories might have very sad endings.

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Thirdly, Revenue has made it clear that farmers may no longer qualify for the significant agricultural tax-relief on their lands should they wish to transfer their lands by gift or inheritance. A wind farm turns your land into an industrial site, which means that you are no longer a ‘farmer’ as defined byTAX LAW, and your lands may fail to satisfy the definition of ‘agricultural land’ under the capital acquisitions tax legislation.

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While you might getTAX RELIEF as a business, this is a more restricted capital acquisitions tax relief, as the family home does not qualify for business relief. When we consider that most farms and homes are passed through generations of farming families, using the vehicle of the substantial agricultural reliefs available, farmers face a scary future prospect of not being able to afford to remain on their farms if these taxation reliefs are jeopardised. That means that unless the wind developer is paying you more money than you were getting when you qualified for all the agricultural tax relief that is currently available, you are making a nett loss. When the wind farm leaves, it will be a long time before you can have your land rezoned as agricultural land so as to restore those tax reliefs.

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It is for that reason that I would plead with farmers to obtain good and sound legal advice before entering into one of these wind farm contracts.

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All that glitters is most definitely not gold.

the Harsh Reality Of Wind Turbines, as an Electricity Source….

SA’s Wind Farm Fiasco: $Millions in Subsidies Thrown at GDF Suez to Reopen Mothballed Gas-Fired Power Plant

May 2015 SA

South Australia has the dubious honour of being referred to as “Australia’s wind farm capital”. That ‘accolade’ has brought with itrocketing power prices, an unstable grid and routine blackouts.

As to the latter, South Australians are learning to live with daily ‘load-shedding’, that even its premier academic institutions have to suffer, along with thousands of other businesses and households.

This telling little email from UniSA’s management was flicked to us by one of our SA operatives (who just happens to be an engineer):

email ML

The source of the “failure to the incoming electricity supply” is, as our engineer contact informs us, all about ‘grid instability’, caused by SA’s chaotic, intermittent and unreliable wind power supply.

Our contact also tells us that UniSA’s Mawson Lakes campus (located north of Adelaide and south of Salisbury) has been experiencing frequent supply ‘interruptions’ and wholesale blackouts for months now. Air-conditioners no longer function; lectures get cancelled; the campus goes into “lock-down”; and the power surges and erratic supply have damaged electrical equipment and appliances, as well as distribution systems on campus.

The cost of repairing or replacing appliances, equipment or electrical systems – due to erratic wind power supplies (and the power surges, grid instability and consequent grid management chaos that comes with intermittent wind power) – is just another cost that gets brushed aside by one-eyed wind-worshippers. Wind power blackouts are, of course, a little harder for the wind-cultist to hide.

On 1 November last year, a sudden and total collapse in SA’s wind power output saw almost the entire State plunged into Stone Age darkness:110,000 homes and businesses were left without power for hours, with their owners in the dark and operators fuming.

SA 1 Nov 15

Business operators, like Port Pirie’s Nyrstar smelter went on the war path and dragged Labor’s Energy Minister, Tom Koutsantonis into a crisis meeting about average spot power prices that are now double those of neighbouring Victoria; and the fact that, no matter how much generators chisel out of householders and businesses, SA’s power supply will never again be called reliable or secure.

Having given up on the idea of ever having affordable power again, SA’s hapless Labor government has been reduced to throwing $millions of taxpayers dollars at the French owner of a mothballed Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power plant in an effort to ensure the lights stay on (at least for now).

Here’s the AFR’s Ben Potter (who’s fast gaining a grip on the scale and scope of the wind power fraud) detailing Labor’s costly, panicked – throw $millions of taxpayers’ money at it – response to SA’s wind farm fiasco.

Gas-fired power station bids for SA ‘low carbon’ contract
Australian Financial Review
Ben Potter
10 February 2016

Adelaide wants to become the world’s first carbon-free city, but the South Australian government is open to giving a gas-fired power station a “low carbon”ELECTRICITY CONTRACT.

The bid by GDF Suez, French owner of the partly mothballed Pelican Point gas power station, angered renewable energy advocates. The contract is worth about $50 million a year.

“If the government was serious about limiting carbon dioxide emissions, the tender would be limited to renewable energy projects only,” said Mark Parnell, Greens energy spokesman and leader in the SA Parliament.

GDF Suez confirmed Pelican Point was a bidder for the contract to supply up to 481 megawatt hours of low-carbon electricity a year to the government. Gas-fired power stations have roughly half the carbon dioxide emissions of coal-fired power stations, while wind and solar power have virtually zero emissions.

The SA Labor government sought expressions of interest for the contract in November as industry alarm mounted at soaring electricity prices in the struggling state.

Treasurer and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis this week emailed industry participants at a December 15 crisis meeting on the electricity market, saying the government aimed to ensure a smooth transition to a low-energy future by inviting a broad range of energy technologies to bid for the contract, and stipulating that bids should not harm energy security or push up prices.

Price spikes

The SA government has celebrated the state’s nation-leading penetration of wind and solar power. But large industrial energy users blame its spasmodic weather-dependent supply patterns for sharp spikes inSPOT MARKET prices and contract prices to levels far above neighbouring Victoria and NSW.

Although described as a “low-carbon electricity supply” contract, the document specified that electricity with an average CO2 emissions intensity of up to 400 kilograms per megawatt hour would be considered.

This is just above the level of a relatively efficient gas-fired power station like Pelican Point. GDF Suez withdrew half of Pelican Point’s 479-megawatt capacity two years ago as SA’s rapidly increasing share of renewable power pushed more costly “mid-market” suppliers to the sidelines.

This and other withdrawals left the stateVULNERABLE to sharp electricity price spikes to more than $2000 an hour when the wind didn’t blow and the sun didn’t shine, and heavily reliant on Victorian brown coal power delivered via high-transmission interconnectors.

“The state is primarily interested in wholesale electricity supply solutions which reduce the emissions associated with the state’s energy use. In the past, the state has sought proposals for GreenPower to achieve this objective,” the document says.

“In this process, however, the state is focused on solutions which maximise economic benefits for South Australia.”

Mr Parnell said Mr Koutsantonis “is very wedded to the future of gas, so it doesn’t surprise me that they are trying to place a gas-fired power station in the low-carbon category”.
Australian Financial Review

How delicious! The SA Green’s Muppet-in-Chief, Mark Parnell accusing Tom Koutsantonis of being “very wedded to the future of gas”, whereas Parnell is simply “wedded” to the delusion that a wholly weather dependent power source – that requires 100% of its capacity to beBACKED UP 100% of the time by conventional generation sources – provides for a reliable and secure electricity supply, delivered at an affordable price.

Always keen to express his sweaty-palmed, adolescent love of these things, Parnell has been known to bunk up in a tent underneath one of these things with SA’s other high-priest of the dwindling wind-worship cult, Crystal Brook’s favourite ‘fan-tasist’, Dave Clarke.

Throwing $50 million a year of South Australian taxpayers’ money at GDF Suez to keep its Pelican Point CCGT plant running around the clock, is like a dog chasing its tail.

GDF Suez stopped operating its Pelican Point plant as a direct consequence of the market perversion caused by the Federal Government’s Large-Scale RET.

Wind power is already heavily subsidised under the LRET, which, as we detail below, allows wind power outfits to flood the market when the wind is blowing, literally payingTHE GRID manager to take it – which knocks conventional generators out of the market, leaving them burning coal or gas (and incurring constant expense), but with little revenue (or no revenue whatsoever) to offset that cost (let alone turn a profit).

In short, wind power outfits collect the same amount of revenue, irrespective of theSPOT PRICE. However, conventional generators receive the prevailing price – and, unlike wind power outfits, do not receive any form of subsidy for what they dispatch: the market perversion driven by the LRET and subsidies for wind power is what has caused SA’s conventional generators to become unprofitable; and it’s that lack of profitability that led to Alinta’s decision to close its Port Augusta plant; and led to GDF Suez mothballing half of its Pelican Point CCGT plant 2 years ago (until now, due to the market distortions caused by wind power subsidies, its working half still only gets a return when wind power isn’t being given away).

The Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) struck between wind power outfits and retailers (which you’ll never see the likes of Infigen or Trustpower talk about publicly) are built around the massive stream of subsidies established by the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) – which is directed to wind power generators in the form ofRENEWABLE ENERGY CERTIFICATES (RECs aka LGCs).

Under PPAs, the prices set guarantee a return to the generator of between $90 to $120 per MWh for every MWh delivered toTHE GRID.

In a company report last year, AGL (in its capacity as a wind power retailer) complained about the fact that it is bound to pay $112 per MWh under PPAs with wind power generators: these PPAs run for at least 15 years and many run for 25 years.

Wind power generators can and do (happily) dispatch power toTHE GRID at prices approaching zero – when the wind is blowing and wind power output is high; at night-time, when demand is low, wind power generators will even payTHE GRID manager to take their power (ie the dispatch price becomes negative)(see our post here). In recent times, wind power outfits in SA have been paying the grid operator up to $20 per MWh to take power with, quite obviously, no commercial value.

However, the retailer still pays the wind power generator the same guaranteed price under their PPA – irrespective of the dispatch price: in AGL’s case, $112 per MWh.

PPA prices are 3-4 times the cost that retailers pay to conventional generators; retailers can purchase coal-fired power from Victoria’s Latrobe Valley for around $25-35 per MWh.

Underlying the PPA is the value of the RECs that are issued to wind power generators and handed to retailers as part of the deal.

The issue and transfer of RECs under the LRET sets up the greatest government mandated wealth transfer seen in Australian history: the LRET is – without a shadow of a doubt – the largest industry subsidy scheme in the history of the Commonwealth. That transfer – which comes at the expense of the poorest and mostVULNERABLE; struggling businesses; and cash-strapped families – is effected by the issue, sale and surrender of RECs. As Origin Energy chief executive Grant King correctly puts it:

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

It’s power consumers that get lumped with the “retail price of electricity” and, therefore, the cost of the REC Subsidy paid to wind power outfits. The REC Tax/Subsidy has already added $9 billion to Australian power bills, so far.

Between 2015 and 2031, the mandatory LRET requires power consumers to pay the cost of issuing 490 million RECs to wind power generators. With the REC price currently $82 – and tipped toTRADE around $93 as retailers get hit with the shortfall penalty set by the LRET – the wealth transfer from power consumers to the Federal Government (as retailer penalties) and/or to the wind industry (as REC Subsidy) will be somewhere between $40 billion and $50 billion, over the next 16 years:

What Kills the Australian Wind Industry: A $45 Billion Federal Power Tax

With more wind power capacity per head than any other State, South Australians are going to be lumbered with a disproportionate share of the ludicrous cost of the REC Tax/Subsidy, set by the LRET.

A cost that is already forcing major employers like Nyrstar to consider shutting up shop – with the immediate loss of 750 jobs in economically depressed Port Pirie. And that has already led to more than 50,000 SA households suffering along without any power at all (see our post here).

Now, adding State-subsidy-insult to Federal-subsidy-injury, South Australians are about to be Royally screwed twice: once by being forced to throw $93 per MWh (in REC Tax/Subsidy) at wind power outfits (whenever the wind blows); and, on top of that, being forced to stump up $50 million a year to cover the fact that the former will never amount to a meaningful power source. And then there is all of the commercial and domestic electrical repairs required as a result of such a high penetration of intermittent power sources.

South Australians have Premier Jay Weatherill and his merry band of Labor lunatics to thank for, what can only be described as, an ‘energy debacle’.

Notwithstanding the scale and scope of SA’s brewing economic disaster – and its latest move to subsidise its way out of trouble – Labor still seems wedded to pushing the wind industry’s barrow.

Having directed planning panels all over the State to keeprubberstamping wind farm applications – and otherwise encouraging more of these things to be speared into the heart of thriving rural communities; like those situated in the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges and on Yorke Peninsula – Labor seems simply incapable of retreating from the brink.

Albert Einstein’s definition of “insanity” springs to mind: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

Backing the likes of New Zealand’s Trustpower or the cowboys behindSenvion (aka REPower, aka Suzlon) in their bids to carpet South Australia’s most agriculturally productive regions with hundreds more of these whirling wonders beggars belief.

What South Australians need is reliable, secure and affordable power – of the kind to be delivered by GDF Suez’s Pelican Point CCGT plant, that – but for the power market perversion caused by the LRET’s massive REC Tax/Subsidy for wind power – would have been happily delivered without costing SA’s taxpayers a red cent.

The very last thing South Australians need is any more of the same.

Not that Weatherill, Koutsantonis & Co will admit it publicly, but the deal done with GDF Suez (using other peoples’ money) to guarantee the 24/365 availability of 479MW of dispatchable (ie ‘controllable’) power, is a monumental concession that SA’s too-long held dream of being powered by the wind has just gone up in smoke.

turbine fire 6

The Wind Turbine Disaster in South Australia…

Wind Power Disaster: South Australians Grapple with Rocketing Power Prices, an Unstable Grid & Rolling Blackouts

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In Australia’s wind farm capital, South Australia the terms ‘chaos’ and ‘crisis’ are used to describe the aftermath of an energy policy ‘designed’ on desktops by dimwits, who haven’t got the faintest clue about how power generation works (or much else, for that matter).

Wind power collapses and blackouts are now part of South Australian life: Wind Industry’s Armageddon: Wind Farm Output Collapse Leaves 110,000 South Australian Homes & Businesses Powerless

The Genesis of the wind power debacle was pretty well captured by Leo Smith in our recent post – Why Weather Dependent, Intermittent & Unreliable Wind Power is as ‘Useful as a Chocolate Teapot’ – and summed up as follows:

There is, above all, one salient feature that emerges across the board. Sanity and rationalism have been cast aside, and the whole arena is now a political and ideological battleground whose main protagonists understand little or nothing about the industry they seek to bend to suit their ideological (and possibly commercial) needs.

In short the world is full of people who have an opinion about power generation, who understand nothing about how it actually works or even what actually works. …

Rational scientific analysis shows conclusively that renewable energy cannot ever deliver on the very basis that it has been sold to the public. It’s not cheap, it’s anything but free, it’s not environmentally desirable, it offers no energy security, and it cannot exist in isolation from other technologies that are either even more costly than it itself is or have grave risks associated with them.

What we find when we analyse the intermittency problem, is that intermittent non-dispatchable power actually carries very little value at all. What society requires, is dispatchable power – power that can be on tap when it’s required, and turned off when it’s not, and it requires in addition a large component of cheap baseload power, that never needs to be turned off. What it does not require is wilful power that’s here today and gone tomorrow.

Just like SA’s 17 wind farms’ ‘efforts’ during May 2015:

May 2015 SA

And it’s the erratic delivery of ludicrously expensive wind power ($110 per MWh versus $40 per MWh for the reliable stuff) – and the insane cost of paying operators of highly inefficient Open Cycle Gas Turbines that their owners refuse to fire up until the spot price rockets to over $2,000 per MWh, when the wind drops – that has journos using ‘chaos’ to describe SA’s power market and ‘crisis’ to describe the economic aftermath meted out on struggling business, like Nyrstar’s Port Pirie Smelter.

The thing that kills the wind industry is the cost of attempting to integrate a wholly weather dependent power source (abandoned in the 19th Century, for obvious reasons) into a modern power system – where that cost, as it manifests in ever-rocketing power prices, simply can’t be hidden from the voting public.

Here’s another take on the South Australian wind power debacle from Richard Blandy (Adjunct Professor of Economics in the School of Management at the University of South Australia Business School) who – unlike the hacks at Adelaide’s The Advertiser – has a very solid head for numbers, due his background in that dismal science.

Oh, and to help illustrate Richard’s piece we’ve added a few pics courtesy of the boys over at Aneroid Energy – showing the output from SA’s 17 wind farms (with a notional capacity of 1,477MW) on the occasions referred to.

Crunching the numbers on SA’s high electricity prices
InDaily
Richard Blandy
19 January 2016

South Australia has set its energy sights on a renewable future but, asks Richard Blandy, at what cost?

On Christmas Day, according to the average price tables published by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the Regional Reference Price (average spot price) for a megawatt hour of electricity in South Australia was $91.67.

SA 25 Dec 15

The corresponding prices in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland were $37.33, $20.38 and $36.20.

SA DEC 15

The average daily spot price for a megawatt hour of electricity in December 2015 was $62.19 in South Australia, $43.37 in New South Wales, $46.84 in Victoria and $42.08 in Queensland.

SA 17 Dec 15

On December 17, the average spot price for a megawatt hour of electricity in South Australia was $259.59, while on December 26 it was only $5.06.

SA 26 Dec 15

It is clear that South Australia has the most expensive and most variable power on the eastern states grid.

The reason for the high (and extremely variable) price of electricity in South Australia is our very high dependence on solar and wind generation compared with the other states.

This results from the rapid expansion of renewable energy generation in South Australia.

According to a Deloitte Access Economics study recently released by the Energy Supply Association of Australia, South Australia’s solar and wind generation capacity per head of population is already more than three times that of any other state or territory.

A new Climate Change Strategy for South Australia was released by Premier Jay Weatherill and Minister for Climate Change, Ian Hunter, on November 29. The strategy was conveniently (if implausibly) rebadged as an economic development initiative.

In it they said to realise the benefits, we need to be bold. That is why we have said that by 2050 our state will have net zero emissions. We want to send a clear signal to businesses around the world: if you want to innovate, if you want to perfect low carbon technologies necessary to halt global warming – come to South Australia.

South Australia can be a low carbon electricity powerhouse. We have the ability to produce almost all of our energy from clean and renewable sources and export this energy to the rest of Australia.

But people want electricity to be available when they want it, and for it to stay on, with a steady current, while they want it – not just when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining.

The trouble with solar and wind generation is that it only generates electricity intermittently. Covering this intermittency is expensive in terms of idling standby plant.

Generators with the required flexibility (peaking generators using natural gas) produce expensive electricity, but are becoming more and more needed as the penetration of wind and solar in our energy generation mix increases. This is why electricity prices have risen in South Australia.

Wind farms and other renewable-energy generators also undercut the prices offered by efficient, base-load, coal and gas power plants, because they receive guaranteed, non-market, returns from selling Generation Certificates to electricity retailers under the Commonwealth Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) Scheme.

Under RET, electricity retailers must buy enough certificates to demonstrate their compliance with the RET scheme’s ever-increasing annual targets.

The revenue earned by each wind farm from the sale of certificates is additional to the revenue received, if any, from its sale of electricity to the electricity market.

The yearly RET targets imply significant annual investment in wind farms, while the sale of certificates to retailers is designed to guarantee a return to wind farms sufficient to justify the required investment, irrespective of the return they receive from actually selling electricity to the market. Well done, wind farm lobby.

If sales of electricity are growing only slowly (as they are in South Australia’s slow-growing economy), the subsidised market share of wind farms and other renewables will rise and the sale of electricity from conventional base-load power plants will fall.

At some point the coal and gas-fired conventional power plants will become unable to contribute towards their fixed costs, and they will go out of business. This is what has happened in South Australia.

But this is the whole point of renewables in climate change terms – to knock off CO2-producing coal and gas-fired power plants, thereby helping to save the planet from climate change.

The Port Augusta power station is closing because of Commonwealth and South Australian Government policy to expand renewable energy generation. This is not an accident. To save the planet, it was always intended to have this effect, but maybe not next year. Leigh Creek is shutting down as an unintended consequence.

Pelican Point has been mothballed and Torrens Island is also slated for closure.

If the demand for electricity is low – on a public holiday, say – while the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, the price of electricity in South Australia will be low. Conventional generators will make losses, while the market losses of the renewable generators will be covered by their sale of Generation Certificates.

If the demand for electricity is high – a heat wave on a working day, say – and it is a still, overcast day, the price of electricity in South Australia will be high, because it will be mostly produced by high-cost, back-up, peaking generators.

The high cost of maintaining back-up generation capacity (sufficient, essentially, to duplicate the generation capacity of the renewables) means that the average price of electricity produced in a system dominated by renewables will always be expensive without strong interconnection, such as in Denmark, to large, inexpensive, electricity-producing regions nearby, that produce most of their electricity from coal, gas or nuclear sources.

We are not in that fortunate position. According to Deloitte, South Australia’s interconnectors with Victoria are able to supply only 23 per cent of South Australia’s peak demand (although their capacity is presently being increased).

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review in December, South Australian Treasurer and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis called a meeting of energy users and suppliers to deal with the sharp rises and falls in wholesale electricity prices that, in particular, threaten the economics of the lead and zinc smelter at Port Pirie operated by Dutch company, Nyrstar.

South Australian businesses face electricity prices in 2016-18 of between $87 and $90 per megawatt hour, compared with $37-$41 in Victoria and $43-$48 in New South Wales.

South Australian irrigators are said to be facing electricity price increases of more than 100 per cent next year.

According to the AFR, forward electricity prices in South Australia are far higher than when Nyrstar signed up in May.

Further, the threat of disruption of supplies if the inter-connectors to Victoria fail, or become inadequate to meet the demand for electricity in South Australia on peak days, are of understandable concern to the company. Nyrstar is scheduled to start operations in mid-2016.

Options for the Government to stop Nyrstar quitting all look expensive.

In the short run, the Government’s main option could be to cover the extra anticipated cost of electricity and the cost of any supply disruptions with a further subsidy to Nyrstar over and above the $291 million it has already promised. This subsidy could be substantial.

In the long run, the Government’s main option could be to pay for even more interconnection to Victorian, New South Wales or Queensland coal or gas-powered electricity generators.

It will have to do so to protect the stability of the electricity grid in South Australia soon, anyway, as well as to put a cap on wholesale prices (the price of base load electricity interstate plus the cost of shipping it here through an interconnector). This will also be costly.

The high price of electricity in South Australia is eating away at our economic competitiveness. The probability that we will become, sometime in the distant future, a “low carbon electricity powerhouse” looks extremely low.

As often happens with Government initiatives in South Australia, significant Government subsidies are likely to be offered to appropriate companies to locate here, so that the Government’s aspirations appear to be vindicated.

Richard Blandy is an Adjunct Professor of Economics in the Business School at the University of South Australia.
In Daily

nyrstar port pirie

Novelty Energy Like Wind Turbines, NOT Fit for “Prime Time”!

Disintegrating Wind Turbines & Mass ‘Planned’ Blackouts in Germany: What’s Not to Like About Wind Power?

claudia schiffer

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The wind industry, its parasites and spruikers, around the globe, hail Germany as THE wind power ‘Super Model’. Trouble is, in Germany – as elsewhere – the ‘gloss’ has well-and-truly worn off – and the ‘Model’ is looking more than just a little worse for wear.

The Germans went into wind power harder and faster than anyone else – and the cost of doing so is catching up with a vengeance. The subsidies have been colossal, the impacts on the electricity market chaotic and – contrary to the environmental purpose of the policy – CO2 emissions are rising fast: if “saving” the planet is – as we are repeatedly told – all about reducing man-made emissions of an odourless, colourless, naturally occurring trace gas, essential for all life on earth – then German energy/environmental policy has manifestly failed (see our post here).

Some 800,000 German homes have been disconnected from the grid – victims of what is euphemistically called “fuel poverty”. In response, Germans picked up their axes and headed into their forests in order to improve their sense of energy security – although foresters apparently take the view that this self-help measure is nothing more than blatant timber theft (see our post here).

And the economics are so bizarre, that you’d think its “Energiewende” policy had been put together by the GDR’s ‘brains trust’, before the Berlin Wall took its tumble in 1989.

In Germany, around €100 billion has already been burnt on renewable subsidies; currently the green energy levy costs €56 million every day. And, the level of subsidy for wind and solar sees Germans paying €20 billion a year for power that gets sold on the power exchange for around €2 billion.

Squandering €18 billion on power – which Germans have in abundance from meaningful sources – has them asking the fair and reasonable question: just how much power are they getting for the €billions that they’ve thrown – and continue to throw at wind and solar?

The answer at 3.3% is – NOT MUCH.

But beyond the economy destroying costs of subsidising a meaningless power source, with NO commercial value – apart from the subsidies it attracts – there’s also the (not insignificant) issue of turbines flinging their 10 tonne blades to the four winds and/or yielding to gravity and allowing their entire 290 tonne bulk to crash back to Earth.

The increasing number of self-destructing turbines and ‘component liberation’ events might almost be forgiven if the power produced were even a tad reliable. But, that source of potential mitigation has dried up in Germany, too.

Due the intermittent and chaotic delivery of wind power, the Germans are now coming to terms with deliberate ‘targeted blackouts’ – where grid mangers are chopping power to major consumers and even whole cities in response to wild and unpredictable wind power collapses (just like Adelaide, in South Australia).

Catastrophic Turbine Failures, Targeted Blackouts Plague German Power As Wind, Solar Energy Increase
NoTricksZone
Pierre Gosselin
31 December 2015

Thanks in large part to wind and solar energy, not only have German electricity prices paid by consumers skyrocketed over the past years, thus casting a large number of homes into home fuel poverty, but also the supply itself is rapidly becoming precarious and unreliable.

One problem is the stabilization of the power grid in the face of wildly fluctuating wind and solar energy feed-in. The other problem is the mechanical integrity associated the wind turbines themselves.

Catastrophic wind turbine failures

Increasingly it is becoming apparent that wind turbines have a way of just collapsing – often without notice – due to mysterious causes. One might suspect mechanical fatigue due to the complex cyclic loading that wind turbines are subjected to.

Consequently wind parks are becoming hazardous zones for persons and property in the vicinity – never mind the proven detrimental health effects of infrasound.

One example (of many) of a recent catastrophic turbine failure is reported by the North German Ostesee Zeitung here. According to the article, just 2 days ago, the blade of a wind turbine snapped off unexpectedly, boring itself into the ground.

turbine blade germany

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The Ostsee Zeitung writes that local residents were “shocked” and the reason for the collapse is unknown. The online news site writes:

“At the time of the accident there was neither a storm nor unusual weather conditions. ‘We are baffled as well,’ says Carlo Schmidt, Managing Director of Windprojekt company, which operates the turbine in question.”

Luckily no one was injured, or killed.

Wind turbine in Sweden fails with “incredible bang”

vestas v112

Another recent catastrophic failure occurred in Sweden, so reports the Swedish online svt.se news site here.

Forestry machinery operator Erik Karlsson of the Vetlanda municipality heard an “incredible bang” while working on Christmas Eve, but thought nothing of it. Later as went home he discovered that a nearby wind turbine had fallen to the ground across the road.

Vestas_V112-Collapse-1_preview

The huge turbine mast had snapped some 15 meters up and the unit came crashing down, the SVT writes. Authorities quickly cordoned off the wind park area. Here as well the cause of the failure is unknown. The wind park has since been designated as a hazardous area: “The public has been asked to keep away.”

Vestas_V112-Collapse_preview

These are just two recent examples of many of wind turbine collapses.

Blackouts to prevent blackouts

studying candle

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In addition to catastrophic mechanical failures, wind and solar energy are wreaking havoc on power grid stability, so writes the German onlinemittelhessen.de here.

The online newssite reports that the future for the residents of Wetzlar may be looking bleak. Why?

“If in the future the power goes out, the reason maybe rooted in the energy management act. In order to eliminate the possibility of widespread blackouts, grid operators such as Enwag are obligated to switch off consumers or even entire parts of the city.”

These targeted blackouts are necessary, mittelhessen.de writes, because it is the only way left to keep the power grid from over or under-loading. The site tells readers:

“The probability of large blackouts is increasing with the strongly growing power generation from wind and sun. Experts have long seen the power grid threatened by this.”

Unfortunately grid operators will have to react very quickly to the power grid fluctuations. The mittelhessen.de reports that “there won’t be any time for operators to make long calculations” and that “there will be only an hour to react”. Just how vulnerable is the power grid in the Wetzlar region? Mittelhessen.de writes:

“A chain of seemingly harmless single incidents can in the worst case lead to a domino effect and lead to outages in all connected power networks.”

In plain English: one small problem could lead to a widespread blackout.

To keep this from happening, the solution is now to conduct targeted blackouts in an attempt to keep the grid balanced. If you are running a company, or merely working on an important document at your PC, then it’ll just be tough luck. Just use paper and pen, and light up a candle.

Junk energy at a high price. Other countries may wish to think twice before copying the model.
NoTricksZone

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Common Law Being Used to Fight Wind Turbine Noise

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Bourne health board seeks injunction against Plymouth wind farm
Cape Cod Wicked Local
Paul Gately
19 November 2015

BOURNE

The Future Generation wind turbine project at cranberry grower Keith Mann’s Head of the Bay tract in South Plymouth may be hauled into superior court, likely in Barnstable.

The Bourne Board of Health is asking selectmen to authorize Town Counsel Robert S. Troy to request a court injunction — expressly to halt wind-farm construction.

The request comes from neighboring Morning Mist Lane residents in Buzzards Bay. They say they will be “directly impacted” by at least one of four turbines now going up.

The residents cite concerns related to flicker, noise, harmonics and low-frequency impacts and the health board has listened, even as Future Generation attorney Jon Fitch of Sandwich argues the Bourne board cannot apply its turbine review bylaw to a Plymouth project.

If there is an enemy for the group, it is time. One turbine can already be seen from the Route 25 connector and Head of the Bay Road.

Bourne Health Board Chairman Kathy Peterson said members are “following the best option left open to us,” notably a court injunction ordering turbine construction to cease and desist while possible impacts are sorted out.

Peterson said Future Generation has sidestepped all board requests to file for Bourne variance review under the town’s turbine bylaw. “We’ve asked repeatedly for sound data to review about what’s being put up but we haven’t received it,” she said Nov. 18.

Peterson told the Buzzards Bay residents that, even if Troy is directed to seek injunctive relief against Future Generation, it would still take time to prepare a case and “get before a judge.” Meanwhile, construction continues.

“They have an attorney guiding everything they do,” Peterson said. “We don’t have that.”

Fitch attended the Nov. 18 discussion with the health board but he did not comment on unfolding developments.

It was unclear when selectmen might meet again to discuss the health board request. An injunction to the extremely spending-conscious board may not seem so modest an objective. The health panel will continue its wind farm discussions Dec. 9.

The Mann-tract wind farm plan has caused a stir in Bourne to an extent that the selectmen’s vote to permit nightly turbine-equipment transport through Buzzards Bay Village via trucks was 3-2, with board members Peter Meier and Michael Blanton opposed to what was a detailed and straightforward – if not routine – special permit application.

In another respect, an injunction — should it be granted — might serve to shift some Cape Cod anti-turbine sentiment from Falmouth to Bourne. Indeed, a Falmouth resident urged the Bourne health board on Nov. 18 not to let the Head of the Bay wind farm happen.
Cape Cod Wicked Local

Good to see Future Generation playing the role of responsible corporate citizen there! Obviously falling over itself to cooperate with the body charged with looking after the health of citizens.

Deliberately withholding evidence that unequivocally demonstrates their guilt, is only one part of the wind industry’s arsenal, when it comes to destroying neighbour’s rights to live in, use, sleep in and otherwise enjoy the comfort of their very own homes. Although, when the evidence is about to sink them, they’re usually pretty quick to get their pet acoustic consultants to rewrite their (unhelpful) reports; and to ‘replace’ them with completely fabricated versions – in order to avoid pesky planning controls and having their subsidy entitlements revoked:

Pacific Hydro & Acciona’s Acoustic ‘Consultant’ Fakes ‘Compliance’ Reports for Non-Compliant Wind Farms

The wind industry, its parasites and spruikers have known all about the problem of incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound over 30 years and have been lying about it and covering it up ever since:

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

The ‘standards’ written by the wind industry hold all the integrity of VW’s diesel emissions control ‘technology’ – and will end with the same raft of litigation against those responsible:

VW Mk II: Wind Industry’s Acoustic Consultants Caught In Noise ‘Standard’ Scandal

What the wind industry fears most are actions like those being taken by the Bourne Board of Health and individuals out to protect their common law rights to live free of interference from turbine noise and vibration.

What is fairly obvious to any human being gifted with our good friends ‘logic’ and ‘reason’ is that if you deprive someone of sleep over an extended period, their health will suffer.

Even after one ‘rough night’, you don’t ever hear the sufferer bubbling about how much better they felt in the morning. No, the usual response is about telling those around them to keep out of their way for the day, or there’ll be trouble (often in terms too ‘blue’ to print). However, that ‘trouble’ manifests as a danger not just to the sufferer and his nearest and dearest, but to a range of others who might end up tangling with the insomniac, as their sleep-deprived day draws on:

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

Alive to the critical importance of regular, quality sleep to health, the common law has recognised a person’s right to a decent night’s sleep in their own home for over two centuries.

STT’s Nuisance “In-a-Nutshell”

Nuisance is a long recognised tort (civil wrong) at common law based on the wrongful interference with a landowner’s rights to the reasonable use and enjoyment of their land.

Negligence is not an element of nuisance, although aspects of the former may overlap with the latter.  Where, as here, the conduct is intentional (ie the operation of the wind turbines is a deliberate act) liability is strict and will not be avoided by the defendant showing that it has taken all reasonable steps to avoid the nuisance created.  Indeed, the conduct of the defendant is largely irrelevant (unless malice is alleged); the emphasis is on the defendant’s invasion of the neighbouring landowner’s interests.

A defendant will have committed the tort of nuisance when they are held to be responsible for an act indirectly causing physical injury to land or substantially interfering with the use or enjoyment of land or of an interest in land, where, in the light of all the surrounding circumstances, this injury or interference is held to be unreasonable.

The usual remedy for nuisance is an injunction restraining the defendant from the further creation or continuance of the nuisance.  Injunctions are discretionary, in all cases, and will not be granted unless the nuisance caused is significant.

Where interference with the enjoyment of land is alleged, the interference must be “substantial” and not trivial.

Interference from noise will be substantial, even if only temporary in duration, if it causes any interference with the plaintiff’s sleep.

The loss of even one night’s sleep through excessive noise has been repeatedly held to be substantial and not trivial in this sense (seeAndreae v Selfridge & Co [1937] 3 All ER 255 at 261, quoted with approval in Munro v Dairies Ltd [1955] VLR 332 at 335; Kidman v Page [1959] St R Qd 53 at 59; see also Halsey v Esso Petroleum Co Ltd [1961] 1 WLR 683 at 701: “a man is entitled to sleep during the night in his own house”).

It is not a defence for the party creating the nuisance to claim that he is merely making a reasonable use of his property.  The defendant’s conduct may well be otherwise lawful, but still constitute actionable nuisance.  The activity engaged in by the defendant may be of great social utility or benefit, but that has been repeatedly held as being “insufficient to justify what otherwise would be a nuisance” (see For example, Munro v Dairies Ltd [1955] VLR 332 at 335; see also Halsey v Esso Petroleum Co Ltd [1961] 1 WLR 683)

Halsey’s case is well worth a read – a real “David and Goliath” battle, as described by the trial Judge: “This is a case, if ever there was one, of the little man asking for the protection of the law against the activities of a large and powerful neighbour.”  And just like David’s epic battle with a thuggish giant, the little bloke won!

Here’s a link to the case: Halsey v Esso Petroleum [1961] 1 WLR 683

Precisely the same principles were at work in the case pursued by Julian and Jane Davis, who successfully obtained a £2 million out of court settlement from a wind farm operator, for noise nuisance; and the resultant loss of property value (the home became uninhabitable due to low-frequency noise, infrasound and vibration).

The Particulars of Julian and Jane Davis’ Claim are available here: Davis Complaint Particulars of Claim

And Jane Davis’ Statement (detailing their unsettling experiences and entirely unnecessary suffering) is available here: davis-noise-statement

The common law also recognises the ability to prevent a neighbour from building a noise generation source that will inevitably cause nuisance (with what is called a quia timet injunction). The rule is based on the common sense principle that it’s easier and fairer to keep wild horses corralled, than it is to round them up once they’ve bolted.

One pertinent example is Grasso v Love [1980] VR 163 (available here).

The Full Court of the Supreme Court of Victoria upheld the trial judge’s decision to grant a quia timet injunction to prevent the construction of a Drive-in Theatre which a developer was planning to build right next to the plaintiffs’ home. The injunction was granted on the basis that the noise created by the Drive-in at night-time (noise from the speakers, loud voices, banging car doors, engines starting and tooting horns) would be heard within the plaintiffs’ home and, therefore, cause a very substantial degree of interference with the use and enjoyment of their home. On the basis of the noise likely to be created, the threat of nuisance to the plaintiffs was substantial and, accordingly, they were entitled to an injunction stopping the developer from building his Drive-in, as proposed.

What the growing band of individuals – like Julian and Jane Davis – are relying upon to protect their health, wealth and happiness are the rights that citizens of civilised societies have fought over centuries to establish and maintain (think Magna Carta and all that).

STT is heartened that outfits like the Bourne Board of Health are in there fighting to protect those very same rights. As an observer of the manner in which governments and those within its organs who are paid handsomely to do just that have, instead, sided with the wind industry in wantonly destroying those rights and, worse still, derided its victims, STT says about jolly time.

But don’t expect the venal who supp from the same subsidy trough to take up the cudgels on your behalf any time soon. Oh no, the only guaranteed defender of your own rights is you.

Freedom from noise nuisance (and the ability to sleep in your own home) isn’t a “concern”; it’s a hard-won legal “right” – that’s been upheld against the mighty, rich and powerful for close to 200 hundred years.

The wind industry is – with knowing assistance from your very own governments – more than prepared to simply trample on those rights and, in doing so, to literally steal what’s yours from under you. Don’t let them take what’s rightfully yours without a fight; and don’t sit back and leave it to someone else. These are your homes, your families and your rights – fight for them. There’s a judge just waiting to hear from you.

judges-gavel

More Proof that Wind Energy is a SCAM! It’s NOT About the Environment!!!

UK’s Wind ‘Powered’ Disaster: Britain to Roll Out Thousands of Diesel Generators for 1.5GW of Wind Farm ‘Back-Up’

diesel generators UK

It’s either spending £billions on 1.5GW worth of these, or …..

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Thanks to its ludicrous wind rush, Britain is reeling with a combination of skyrocketing power prices and a grid on the brink of total collapse:

Another Wind Power Collapse has Britain Scrambling to Keep its Lights On (Again)

Now, in the mother of all ironies, Brits are turning to the most inefficient and costly to run source of commercial power generation there is: diesel generators. Not, as it turns out, that they have much choice in the matter.

UK turns to diesel to meet power supply crunch
Financial Times
Kiran Stacey
3 November 2015

Britain is set to grant hundreds of millions of pounds in subsidies to highly polluting diesel generators as a way to help solve the energy supply crunch facing the country over the next 15 years.

Analysis of publicly available figures shows that companies have registered to build a total of about 1.5 gigawatts of diesel power under a government scheme to encourage back-up energy for the grid. The figures have been analysed by the Financial Times and experts at both the Institute of Public Policy Research and Sandbag, an environmental think-tank.

If all of those registered are successful in their bids — which analysts believe is likely — it could cost the taxpayer £436m, provide enough energy to power more than 1m homes and emit several million tonnes of carbon a year.

The subsidies on offer are so appealing that even solar-power developers, which have recently had their own subsidies cut, are building diesel generation on their sites as a way of maximising their returns. Lark Energy, a solar-power developer, is bidding for subsidies to build 18MW of diesel generation on its Ellough project in Suffolk, for example.

The UK is facing serious energy-supply difficulties over the next few years as old coal plants are taken offline without new power plants being built to replace them. National Grid, which runs the country’s power network, has predicted that the gap between electricity supply and demand this winter could get as close as 5 per cent — the tightest in a decade.

As part of the solution to that problem, ministers last year decided to start paying electricity providers extra money to make additional capacity available at short notice should the need arise.

They did so by holding an auction where companies bid for those subsidies, which they hoped would encourage gas plants to be built. Instead, it was more successful in giving incentives to other forms of generation such as nuclear power.

This year diesel looks to be one of the main beneficiaries of the process, with 1.5GW of generation having successfully registered for the bidding process.

The collapse in the oil price over the past year has driven down the price of electricity supply, making it uneconomic for companies to build capacity with high capital costs, such as new gas plant.

Dave Jones, power sector expert at Sandbag, said: “All diesel operators have to do is buy in diesel units in shipping containers from China and plug them into a grid connection.

“The low capital cost means that they can undercut things like gas.”

If all of those schemes secure government funding at the same level as last year, it would cost the taxpayer £436m.

According to the International Energy Agency, diesel electricity production emits only slightly less carbon than burning coal, and if the power plants were to run full-time for a year, they would emit 10m tonnes of carbon. They will avoid having to pay for their carbon pollution under the European emissions trading scheme, however, because they are too small to do so.

They would also emit a significant amount of nitrous oxide, though the exact figure is unknown. As a comparison, 1.5GW of power is equivalent to that used by 24,000 Volkswagen Golfs.

Ed Davey, the former energy secretary who set up the scheme, known as the “capacity market auction”, said the problem arose because of EU rules that forbid discriminating against any one type of generation.

Mr Davey told the FT: “At no time when I was secretary of state did people say we were going to get flexible diesel, but I have now heard about large amounts of diesel being preregistered for the auction.

“The government has got to take measures to stop it, because it is extraordinarily counterproductive and absolutely was not what was intended by the capacity auction. We don’t want diesel plants being built anywhere.”

Until last week, many diesel operators expected to be eligible for two types of subsidy: through the capacity auction and via tax breaks granted through a separate enterprise investment scheme.

But ministers have recently decided to close this loophole, writing a clause into the finance bill passing through parliament to ban companies participating in the capacity auction from also claiming these tax advantages.

A wider boom in diesel is also being driven by measures taken by National Grid to encourage industry to cut its power usage. In an attempt to widen the gap between supply and demand this winter, the company has agreed to pay large energy users, such as factories and hospitals, to switch over to back-up generation — much of which is diesel-powered — when necessary.

Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace, said: “Ministers claim to be helping consumers by cutting support for the cleanest energy sources but are about to force them to pay millions to one of the dirtiest.”

Tim Emrich, chief executive of UK Power Reserve, which owns existing diesel-power generation but now concentrates on gas, called on ministers to halt the auction altogether.

He said: “The only way to avoid this happening is to delay or cancel the 2015 capacity market auction. The government needs to ensure that we as taxpayers are buying the right kind of generation for the future . . .  not wasting Treasury incentives on the diesel generation of the past.”

A spokesperson for the energy department said: “Small-scale flexible generation, such as diesel, has a small but important role to play in securing our electricity system. It responds quickly, doesn’t have to warm up and is run for short periods, so emission impacts are limited.”
Financial Times

ed davey DECC

Ed Davey: about as bright as an energy saving 5 watt globe …

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There’s only one reason that Britain is about to spend 100s of £millions on diesel generation; and that’s to cover routine, total and totally unpredictable wind power output collapses.

ukgrid_19jan_2015

On that score, STT notes a particularly valiant effort from former wind industry front man, Ed Davey – with his suggestion that “At no time when I was secretary of state did people say we were going to get flexible diesel” and that diesel generation “was not what was intended by the capacity auction. We don’t want diesel plants being built anywhere”.

You see, Ed is well and truly on the hook for the debacle that is Britain’s energy ‘policy’; and the claim that he didn’t see the need for diesel coming is utter bunkum.

James Delingpole was all over it more than 2 years ago, at a time when Davey was top banana at the DECC, and fully aware of the diesel roll-out that was on in earnest, way back then:

Delingpole On Fire: Exposes $Billions Spent on Diesel Generators for Wind Power Backup

No, Ed’s political legacy has left Britain facing the choice between millions of highly inefficient diesel generators, costing taxpayers and power consumers £billions to subsidise, set up and run; or a whole lot more candlelit, cold baked bean dinners.

baked beans in the dark

or … tucking into cold baked beans every other night, with
the enforced ‘romance’ of a few flickering candles.