The Windscam, built on O.P.M….

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

burning-dollar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

other peoples money

Kathleen Wynne and the Wind Industry… Hand in Hand, Corruption!

Wind Industry Corruption Leaves Ontario with Nothing But Misery & a Whopping Bill

wynne

Ontario has been destroyed by a band of lunatics, headed up by Kathleen Wynne.

Rocketing power priceskilling its manufacturers – and tens of thousands of these things killing rural communities, as to their peace,prosperity and cohesion are just some of the consequences of being over-run by wind-cultists.

But, behind every political puppet, there’s a band of mercenaries paid $millions to allow their clients to pocket $billions in subsidies filched from taxpayers and/or power consumers.

The script for what follows falls straight from the hard-hitting Danish docu-drama, Follow the Money.  All that’s needed for a perfect fit is to substitute Energreen for Windstream.

David Reevely: Wind farm company, Ontario government had cozy relationship until deal fell apart
National Post
David Reevely
12 May 2016

The Ontario government’s decision to ditch its plan for wind farms in the Great Lakes seems to have been made all the more awkward by the lobbyist-lubricated relationship the province had developed with the company that wanted to build one of the biggest.

The company was Windstream Energy, which is seeking as much as $568 million in damages on the grounds that the government mistreated it because it’s backed by American money, which would be a violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

But back when it seemed to be well on its way to building a wind farm in the water off Kingston, Windstream had a lobbyist named Chris Benedetti helping it along. Benedetti is a specialist in energy policy for Sussex Strategy Group (he’s had dozens upon dozens of industry clients, according to the Ontario lobbying registry), and a former federal Liberal staffer.

If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he promoted the $6,000-a-plate fundraiser that offered intimate conversations with Premier Kathleen Wynne and Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli as its big draw earlier this year. That’s the one that shamed the Liberals into finally pursuing reforms to political fundraising because, though completely legal, it looked so gross when people found out.

We know what politicians get out of such events: A whole lot of money. But now, thanks to the company’s own claims in its case against the government, which rely heavily on evidence from Benedetti himself, we know what Windstream’s lobbyists got before everything fell apart.

For one thing, Windstream got regular updates on the politicians’ whipsawing views on wind farms as they went from thinking they were a pillar of Ontario’s industrial future to worrying they’d be the death of the Liberal government.

For a while in 2010, the government toyed with the idea of a restriction on lake-based wind farms that would have banned them only within five kilometres of shore. Before that was announced publicly, Windstream was already talking with Ministry of Energy people about giving up sections of Lake Ontario near the shore it had sought for its project, in exchange for rights farther out in the lake. Part of the deal was that it would stay out of a wind-industry campaign against the five-kilometre “exclusion zone.”

(The government’s response agrees that they talked about this a lot, though it says no swap was ever guaranteed.)

Toward the end of that year, Liberals were beginning to freak out about losing seats over wind farms in a looming election.

“Windstream, concerned about the possible impact anti-wind opposition might have on its project, proposed to (Ministry of the Environment) officials that the project proceed as a ‘pilot project’ in order to generate scientific data to assist the Ontario government in determining how to proceed with future offshore wind projects,” Windstream’s claim says. The company’s president had a private dinner with the energy minister and two top aides to talk about it, and then followup calls and meetings where the company got encouraging responses, the firm alleges.

(The government agrees that they also talked about this, though again it says nothing was guaranteed.)

When the government changed its mind in early February and decided to ban all wind farms on the lakes indefinitely, Windstream got a heads-up in a conference call before everybody else found out through a news release.

(The government agrees this happened, too, and after officials met with Benedetti.)

“Immediately following this call, Windstream held a separate teleconference with the Ministry of Energy’s Chief of Staff Craig MacLennan. Mr. MacLennan advised that he wanted to ensure that Windstream was ‘happy’ with the process, and confirmed that the project could continue,” the company’s claim says. Everything would just have to move more slowly, waiting for more science to be done to inform the government’s approvals.

Of course, the moratorium lasted five years and counting — long enough to kill an important contract Windstream had to sell the power its windmills would generate.

Reached via email, Benedetti told the Citizen, his firm was retained to “assist Windstream in responding to government consultations on proposed set-back exclusion zones. These zones would have potentially affected the project and the Power Purchase Agreement Windstream had received. Sussex worked to provide fact-based information to various ministries and authorities as requested, in order to help make informed decisions.”

As for Windstream, a lot of its argument that it suffered and deserves to be paid is based on the idea that the government jerked it around, which, ironically, could only have happened through the connections skilful lobbying created. If Windstream had never had any special meetings, its project still probably would have died, but with a lot less pain along the way.

As for the people of Ontario, though, we never got much out of the close relationship between the government and Windstream but an angry company and the prospect of a gigantic bill.
National Post

Corrupt Government Tries to Avoid Wind Turbine Investigation!

Concerned citizens dismayed as wind turbine investigation comes off the rails

Credit:  Huron County, Ontario, May 18, 2016 — Concerned Citizens for Health ~~

Rural Ontario is up in arms today over the apparent suspension of a one-of-a-kind wind turbine health investigation that may never happen.

Medical Officer of Health for Huron County Dr. Janice Owen became aware of numerous health complaints from people in her community shortly after she was hired a year ago by the current Huron County Board of Health. Owen began researching the issues last August and contacted many in the field researching the topic.

This February 4, Owen presented to her Board the outline and components of a wind turbine health complaints investigation stating that she had visited wind projects, sought information from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change as well as Public Health Ontario and had spoken and heard from many members of the community.

In March this year the announcement of the new investigation was posted on the Health Unit’s website and immediately people suffering as a result of wind projects began to sign up. In April Dr. Owen was informed her services were no longer needed and she was put on administrative leave. This is a devastating blow to Huron County people exposed without consent to the acoustical emissions of wind turbines in proximity to their homes.

More questions than answers arose about the investigation’s future and were addressed on May 12 when the Board put the research on hold – likely permanent – stating that it seemed to be a duplication of a long term Ontario-wide public health survey with nothing to do with industrial wind adverse reactions.

“The people of Huron County do not want to become another Flint Michigan. Health administrators and those tasked with the protection of our health and safety need to see this ground-breaking research through to the end,” says Gerry Ryan for the group Concerned Citizens for Health (CCH). “The eyes of communities around the world who are suffering the same fate as us are watching what happens in Huron County Ontario. The wind industry is watching and the Ontario government whose policy this is are also watching.”

The CCH calls upon the temporary Medical Officer of Health Dr. Meriam Klassen to be courageous like Dr. Owen and find out where this investigation will take her. This is only fair.

Source:  Huron County, Ontario, May 18, 2016 — Concerned Citizens for Health

Poland Calls for 2 km Setbacks Between Buildings & Wind Turbines!

March 8, 2016Poland

Position of the National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene on wind farms

The National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene is of the opinion that wind farms situated too close to buildings intended for permanent human occupation may have a negative impact on the comfort of living and health of the people living in their proximity.

The human health risk factors that the Institute has taken into consideration in its position are as follows:

  • the emitted noise level and its dependence on the technical specifications of turbines, wind speed as well as the landform and land use around the wind farm,
  • aerodynamic noise level including infrasound emissions and low-frequency noise components,
  • the nature of the noise emitted, taking into account its modulation/impulsive/tonal characteristics and the possibility of interference of waves emitted from multiple turbines,
  • the risk of ice being flung from rotors,
  • the risk of turbine failure with a rotor blade or its part falling,
  • the shadow flicker effect,
  • the electromagnetic radiation level (in the immediate vicinity of turbines),
  • the probability of sleep disruptions and noise propagation at night,
  • the level of nuisance and probability of stress and depression symptoms occurring (in consequence of long exposure), related both to noise emissions and to non-acceptance of the noise source.

In the Institute’s opinion, the laws and regulations currently in force in Poland (regarding risk factors which, in practice, include only the noise level) are not only inadequate to facilities such as wind turbines, but they also fail to guarantee a sufficient degree of public health protection. The methodology currently used for environmental impact assessment of wind farms (including human health) is not applicable to wind speeds exceeding 5 m/s. In addition, it does not take into account the full frequency range (in particular, low frequency) and the nuisance level.

In the Institute’s view , owing to the current lack of a comprehensive regulatory framework governing the assessment of health risks related to the operation of wind farms in Poland, an urgent need arises to develop and implement a comprehensive methodology according to which the sufficient distance of wind turbines from human habitation would be determined. The methodology should take into account all the above-mentioned potential risk factors, and its result should reflect the least favourable situation. In addition to landform and land use characteristics, the methodology should also take into consideration the category, type, height and number of turbines at a specific farm, and the location of other wind farms in the vicinity. Similar legislative arrangements aimed to provide for multi-criteria assessment, based on complex numerical algorithms, are currently used in the world.

The Institute is aware of the fact that owing to the diversity of factors and the complicated nature of such an algorithm, its development within a short time period may prove very difficult. Therefore, what seems to be an effective and simpler solution is the prescription of a minimum distance of wind turbines from buildings intended for permanent human occupation. Distance criteria are also a common standard-setting arrangement.

Having regard to the above, until a comprehensive methodology is developed for the assessment of the impact of industrial wind farms on human health, the Institute recommends 2 km as the minimum distance of wind farms from buildings. The recommended value results from a critical assessment of research results published in reviewed scientific periodicals with regard to all potential risk factors for average distance usually specified within the following limits:

  • 0.5-0.7 km, often obtained as a result of calculations, where the noise level (dBA) meets the currently acceptable values (without taking into account adjustments for the impulse/tonal/modulation features of the nose emitted),
  • 1.5-3.0 km, resulting from the noise level, taking into account modulation, low frequencies and infrasound levels,
  • 0.5-1.4 km, related to the risk of turbine failure with a broken rotor blade or its part falling (depending on the size of the piece and its flight profile, rotor speed and turbine type),
  • 0.5-0.8 km, where there is a risk of ice being flung from rotors (depending on the shape and mass of ice, rotor speed and turbine type),
  • 1.0-1.6 km, taking into account the noise nuisance level (between 4% and 35% of the population at 30-45 dBA) for people living in the vicinity of wind farms,
  • the distance of 1.4-2.5 km, related to the probability of sleep disruptions (on average, between 4% and 5% of the population at 30-45 dBA),
  • 2,0 km, related to the occurrence of potential psychological effects resulting from substantial landscape changes (based on the case where the wind turbine is a dominant landscape feature and the rotor movement is clearly visible and noticeable to people from any location),
  • 1.2-2.1 km, for the shadow flicker effect (for the average wind turbine height in Poland, including the rotor, of 120 to 210 m).

In its opinions. the Institute has also taken into account the recommended distances of wind farms from buildings, as specified by experts, scientists, as well as central and local government bodies around the world (usually 1.0-5.0 km).

Bibliography
(Position of the NIPH-PZH on wind farms)

Another Expose` on the Corrupt Wind Industry, and Their Government Enablers!

‘Follow the Money’: Hard-Hitting Danish Drama Documents Wind Industry Corruption, Australian Sequel Promised

follow the money

STT has just gorged on two episodes of what is presented as well crafted drama, but which to STT followers will play out like a hard-hitting documentary.

Australia’s SBS started screening ‘Follow the Money’ a couple of weeks ago, the plot-line for Episode 1 is described as follows:

Mads, a police detective, is called out to investigate a body washed ashore near a wind farm. At first, it merely looks like an industrial accident, but the case implicates the upper echelons of Energreen – one of Denmark’s most successful and leading energy companies. The CEO is charismatic Sander, and a young lawyer, Claudia, is working hard to advance in the company. Nicky, a former car thief and mechanic, has put his life of crime behind him for his girlfriend’s sake, but his new colleague Bimse tempts Nicky with a chance to make a quick buck.

From the creators of Borgen, Follow the Money is as slick as any of the recent crop of Nordic Noir crime dramas.  While the wind-cult Weekly,The Guardian gave it a critical pasting when the BBC aired it in Britain back in March (probably something to do with it being just a tad inconsistent with green-left groupthink) –  STT gives it five stars.

Indeed, Follow the Money comes with an STT consumer warning: “this TV series is more addictive than crack cocaine”.

For our Australian followers, Follow the Money screens on Thursday nights at 9:30pm.  For our many international followers, the series is available at SBS On Demand, which will also allow our local followers to catch up on the first two episodes: for episode one click here and episode two here. You can view it on a PC, Smart TV or iPad etc.

The site adds a new episode after it goes to air, so return to SBS On Demand to Follow the Money. For a taste, here’s the trailer:

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Without giving too much away, the company at the centre of the story, Energreen, is filled with cocksure and arrogant types, of the kind that you might find swanning around with wind power outfits like, Infigen andPacific Hydro.

follow the money peter

Keep an eye out for one character who STT is certain was modelled on Vesta’s Australian pinup boy, Ken McAlpine (the physical resemblance to Ken is good, but the character’s similarly channelled arrogance and narcissism is uncanny).

The lone wolf detective, Mads finds roadblocks being thrown up at every turn by his superior officers, which smack of wind industry corruption and interference.

Of course Denmark, the birthplace of Vestas, is no stranger to wind industry sleaze, corruption and fraud.

Vestas and its slick financial dealings have, no doubt, provided Follow the Money’s scriptwriters with plenty of material to work with.

The plot-line reads a whole lot like the trouble that Vesta’s Chief Financial Officer, Henrik Nørremark and a band of its executives found themselves in back in 2013, having engaged in a run of fraudulent transactions that cost the company around 140 million kroner.

Just like Follow the Money, the boys from Vestas found themselves under police scrutiny; and, thereafter, the company did everything it could to quarantine itself from a PR nightmare – cutting the former corporate heroes loose and leaving them for dead (see our post here).

Now, turning closer to home let’s take a sneak peek at Australia’s own Follow the Money documentary sequel.

The Pilot for the Series kicks off in Australia’s Federal Parliament during Senate Estimates held on 5 May 2016 (the last session of play before Parliament was dissolved ready for an election in July).

Chris Back

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WA Liberal Senator, Chris Back starts off with a little probing of the Clean Energy Regulator, Chloe Munro (keep a lookout for her doppelgänger in the Danish version of Follow the Money) on the topic of around $100 million worth of Renewable Energy Certificates pocketed by Babcock and Brown (aka Infigen or Energreen), which were paid out based on a signature that the CER has, despite some effort, been unable to verify. Here’s the Script for ‘Follow the Money, Downunder’, Scene 1 (taken from Hansard):

Senator BACK: Thanks Ms Munro and thank you for the information before lunch, it was very interesting. Again, I appreciate you correcting the answer—217, I think it was. At the end of stage 1 of your explanation you mentioned that on July 7 2004 Babcock and Brown lodged a new application for registry to accredit a power station showing Lake Bonney Wind Farm Pty Ltd as the applicant.

What concerned me, and I am asking for your response, is that you said it is not clear who signed the declaration on behalf of the company on that form; the signature is illegible. That is of enormous concern to me. The CER would have issued certificates to that organisation since then, probably of values—of what?—of $100 million?

Ms C Munro: I could not estimate that on the run.

Senator BACK: My guestimate is somewhere between $70 million and $160 million, based on a document the signature on which was not able to be verified. What action can be taken?

Ms C Munro: Perhaps to set your mind at rest with respect to that: first of all we were retrieving records from our predecessor organisation, the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator, so I cannot speak about the precise processes they would have followed at the time. But I think they would have been in a position to verify that the signature was the signature of somebody they had probably been dealing with, because usually there is an exchange of correspondence and so on before the actual accreditation. I think the fact that at this stage we cannot make out the signature does not mean to say that it was unknown to them.

To be honest, my own signature, on its own, is not always decipherable. What I think was missing was that the block where the person’s name was written separately had not been filled in. But taken with the other information that would have been there at the time, I do not think it suggests an impropriety in that regard.

Going to the question that you asked before, the point is that the legal person is the ‘entity’. This person is an authorised officer. Clearly, it is important to verify that the signature is from the authorised officer. But at this stage I do not think that we have any reason to believe there was a problem in that regard.

Senator BACK: Sure. Can I have an assurance then that as a result of the Renewable Energy Regulations regulation 3L coming into effect in December 2012 that an omission of that nature would not be repeated?

Ms C Munro: No. I think that generally we have tightened up a lot of our standing operating procedures. I think that in terms of verifying who signatories are and that the authorised officers are the appropriate people across all our schemes, we probably have some more consistent processes there.

Senator BACK: Thank you. I will just go back to question 222 from the previous estimates. I asked you about the membership of the Clean Energy Council. Are you able to give the committee an assurance—if not now, then take it on notice—that members of the board, when there has been a matter involving an organisation with which they have an association, have in fact excluded themselves from any decisions regarding that particular entity? I would imagine that, with good governance, the board minutes would indicate that a person has excluded themselves from the debate.

Ms C Munro: I cannot give you that assurance on behalf of the Clean Energy Council, although I absolutely agree with you that that is normal governance. What I can say for background is: the Clean Energy Council board is a representative body, as many industry associations are, and board members are drawn from amongst participants in the industry. The chair revolves fairly frequently. Until recently it was Michael Fraser, who was the predecessor of the current chief executive of AGL, for example.

But I think, more significantly, the co-regulation takes place between ourselves and the Clean Energy Council is on matters that relate to the small-scale scheme—things like accreditation of installers, listing of components like panels and so on. So, those matters I think, generally, would not be decided by the council; they would be decided at the executive level. The council members are more likely to be participants in the large-scale renewable energy targets, in which the Clean Energy Council does not have a regulatory role. That is a long way of saying: I cannot advise you on how the Clean Energy Council conducts its meetings, because we are not a member of it. I think it is unlikely that there are occasions in its deliberations for the kind of conflicts that you might be apprehensive about.
Hansard 5.5.16

Hmmm… a former wind industry exec turned government bureaucrat, brushing aside obvious conflicts of interests, deflecting enquiries about fictitious applicants for hundreds of $millions in REC Tax/Subsidy, paid to a wind power outfit that disintegrated in a $10 billion insolvency in 2009 and Phoenixed as Infigen, starts to sound very Danish Noir.

But the drama didn’t end there.

STT champion, John Madigan followed up on the story we covered back in September last year (see our posts here and here) about Pacific Hydro and Acciona presenting fabricated wind farm noise reports (claiming compliance at non-compliant wind farms – Waubra and Cape Bridgewater), allowing them to continue pocketing hundreds of $millions in RECs.

The CER is well aware that both outfits have been relying upon ‘made-to-measure’ noise reports from Marshall Day, but have steadfastly refused the act or investigate.

Now, in classic Follow the Money style, it appears that the Australian Federal Police are hot on the trail of Chloe and her gang.

sen john madigan close

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Senator MADIGAN: Thank you, Chair. Last year, Ms Munro, I met with the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General to alert them to my concerns surrounding false wind farm noise reporting. As a result of that meeting I was led to believe that the Attorney-General had referred these allegations to the Australian Federal Police for formal investigation. Are you able to confirm whether the AFP has held any discussions with anyone from the office of the Clean Energy Regulator in relation to the CER-accredited Cape Bridgewater and/or Waubra wind farms?

Ms C Munro: Yes, Senator, I am able to confirm that. We were approached in February by the Australian Federal Police, who were making initial inquiries relating to the matters that you put.

They had a meeting with members of my staff in order to understand the way that our schemes worked and how those entities would be accredited.

Following that, and on our advice, they made an information request. I authorised the disclosure of information relating specifically to Cape Bridgewater, and that was done. We have not heard anything further from them, so I am not aware whether they proceeded to a formal investigation—this was their preliminary information gathering. We have had no further contact from them since then.

Senator MADIGAN: Thank you, Ms Munro.

Stay tuned for Episode Two: ‘Feds Skewer CER’

chloe munro

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

The Colossal Cost of Intermittent & Unreliable Wind Power

yacht

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

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

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

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

Capacity1

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

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

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

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

Crucially traditional forms of electricity generation are

  • non-intermittent
  • dispatchable

to meet demand when needed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources Of Renewable Capacity Measures

The following data sources are used here:

US government Energy Information Administration

www.eia.gov – see table 1

Table 1 above gives the following values for USA installations:

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

Capacity2

EurObservER

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

EurObservER-Photovoltaic-Barometer-2015-EN.pdf

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

Capacity3

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

Capacity4

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

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

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

Capacity5

For more detailed analysis see:

European Renewable Energy performance and costs: 2014

The Renewable Energy Foundation time series data from the UK 

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

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

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

Capacity6

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

Capacity7

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

Capacity8

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

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

Comparative Renewable Costings And Effectiveness

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

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

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

Capacity9

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

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

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

Capacity10

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

Renewable comparative cost effectiveness

Using the following assumptions:

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

Those estimated capital expenditures throughout Europe are as follows:

Capacity11

Conclusions

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

Capacity12

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

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

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

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

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

SA nov 15

More on the Nightmare…. Wind Turbines

Wind turbines = animal deaths and deformities?

Credit:  By Lindsey Harrison | The New Falcon Herald | Volume No. 13, Issue No. 5, May 2016 www.newfalconherald.com
The Golden West Wind Energy Center in Calhan, Colorado, which consists of 145 453-foot tall industrial wind turbines, has been fully operational since October 2015. Residents living within the wind farm project’s footprint have reported negative physical and psychological effects from the turbines. Concern has now shifted to the suspected effects the turbines are having on the animals in the area.
According to the September 2015 issue of “The New Falcon Herald,” the effects on humans range from dizziness and nausea to concerns about dirty electricity and the potential for the electromagnetic waves to cause an irregular heartbeat, or atrial fibrillation.
Domestic animals are in grave danger, too, based on worldwide accounts.
According to an article published on the World Council for Nature’s website June 7, 2014, a mink farm in Denmark suffered a huge hit when 1,600 mink cubs were born prematurely following the installation of four industrial wind turbines less than 1,600 feet away. “Many had deformities, and most were dead on arrival,” the article states. “The lack of eyeballs was the most common malformation. Veterinarians ruled out food and viruses as possible causes. The only thing different at the farm since last year has been the installation of four large wind turbines only 328 meters away.”
C.C. (she requested the NFH use only her initials), a resident within the wind farm project’s footprint, said the aforementioned incident does not surprise her. Since Sept. 17, 2015, she and her family have lost 12 animals. Most recently, her horse gave birth to a stillborn foal.
She knew her horse was going to give birth soon but was not expecting it so suddenly, C.C. said. “I went out there to see that the mama had lost weight, and then I saw the baby out there on the ground,” she said. “The placenta and the baby were both lying there. Usually, with any animal like that, the placenta stays connected internally (to the mother) for about 30 minutes or so after the baby is born.”
Her vet examined the foal and determined that the baby had never taken a breath, she said. The baby was fully developed and just a bit premature, but what was notable was the unusual thickness of the placenta, C.C. said. “The vet’s notes say that she was stillborn and premature, due to placental thickening, but the cause is undetermined,” she said.
Aside from the stillborn foal, C.C. said she has noted multiple animals with various deformities or abnormalities. “We have one goat that is six weeks old and has four teats instead of two,” she said. “The gestational period for a goat is only five months so she was developing in her mother’s womb while the turbines have been going. We had a duck go totally blind. We had a rooster that was healthy one day and then dead the next. Our dog ended up with mastitis but she has not had puppies in eight years so the vet said there was no reason for that. The same dog developed a swollen liver and fluid around her heart so she was in congestive heart failure. Seventy-nine days after they turned these turbines on, she died.”
Sandy Wolfe, another resident living within the wind farm project’s footprint, said she has experienced many physical ailments since the turbines became operational, and noticed that her animals were experiencing some of the same ones. “My dog Hank was so strong, and everybody was amazed at how strong and agile and competent he still was,” she said. “When I started having nosebleeds in September, he did, too. Mine subsided because I started sleeping in my truck, but his never really stopped. When my ears started hurting, his ears starting hurting.”
Wolfe said Hank died this past winter. He was one of three dogs that has died since September, she said.
Psychological effects of wind turbines on animals have also been documented. In an open letter to the Australian Medical Association that was posted on the World Council for Nature’s website on March 31, 2014, the WCFN wrote about an episode at another mink farm in Denmark that occurred three months prior to the other mink farm incident. “The animals became aggressive, attacking one another, and resulting in many deaths,” the letter states.
Pam Phillips, another resident living within the Calhan wind farm’s footprint, said she has a turbine about 502 yards outside her front door and has noticed a marked change in the demeanor and behavior of some of her animals. “Our huge 135-pound Newfoundland dog will not go outside anymore unless we literally drag him out,” she said.
Phillips said she has a bull that she puts into the pasture with her cows, and he no longer seems to have any interest in interacting with them, which is unusual. He was always very active when the turbines were not around, she said.
Most disturbing is the sudden change in her 19-year-old mare, which she has had since the mare was 6 years old, Phillips said. “She is calm one minute and then, out of nowhere, she will blow up and take off, or buck or duck her head and dump me off the side,” she said.
Phillips said she used to let kids ride the horse but cannot any longer because it is not safe. “I have never had issues with her before,” she said. “It is not like I just bought her and she is trying to get used to me. It is completely out of character for her.”
Wolfe and C.C. both said it feels like their lives are falling apart around them. “I have lost all these pets since these things (the turbines) have turned on,” C.C. said. “Prior to that, we lost maybe one pet per year, if that.”
Gavin Wince, another Calhan resident who lives within the wind farm project’s footprint, said,”Several acoustic and medical studies are being conducted. Infrasound pulses emanating from the Golden West wind turbine array have been confirmed by measurements made in several neighboring homes and along public roads. The soon-to-be-released infrasound health study findings are expected to vindicate many Calhan residents’ claims about health impacts.”
Source:  By Lindsey Harrison | The New Falcon Herald | Volume No. 13, Issue No. 5, May 2016 | The New Falcon Herald

Prof Sir David MacKay’s Last Interview, Tells of the Futility of Wind Turbines!

Prof Sir David MacKay
The late Prof Sir David MacKay ,  GEOFFREY SWAINE/REX SHUTTERSTOCK

Wind turbines and solar panels are a waste of money if Britain wants reliable low carbon electricity supplies through the winter, the late Professor Sir David MacKay said in his final interview.

Prof MacKay, who served as chief scientific advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change for five years until 2014, died from cancer last month.

In an interview with the science writer Mark Lynas, filmed 11 days before his death and released posthumously, Prof Mackay said the “sensible thing” for the UK to do was to focus on nuclear and on carbon capture and storage technology, which traps the emissions from power stations.

He criticised the “appalling delusion” that renewable sources of power could simply be scaled up and paired with battery storage to provide all the UK’s energy needs, citing the high costs and large areas of land that would be required.

Wind turbines
Prof Sir David MacKay said there was no point building wind turbines if the country had enough low-carbon energy to cope with periods of no wind  ADRIAN DENNIE/AFP/GETTY

Prof MacKay was renowned in the energy world for his bookSustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air, which examined the potential limitations of renewable power, but said he had “always tried to avoid advocating particular solutions”.

However in his final interview – in which he stressed he would be “content with any plan that adds up” – he set out for the first time his own recommendation for “the rational thing to do in the UK”, explaining: “Maybe [as] the time is getting thinner, I should call a spade a spade.”

“For the UK, I think we want a zero carbon solution and it has to work in the winter,” he said.

The British public also seemed to care about the cost of energy, he said, so “we should be looking for a low carbon solution that is low cost”.

Prof MacKay said: “If you just cost-optimise and say it has to keep working in the winter, even if there’s no wind for seven days at time and obviously no sun… the sensible thing to do for a country like the UK, I think, is to focus on carbon capture and storage (CCS), which the world needs anyway, and nuclear.

“Then if you ask, what is the optimal amount of wind and solar to add in as well? The answer is going to be almost zero.”

Prof MacKay said he loved wind turbines, describing them as “the cathedrals of the modern age”, but said that if the country managed to build enough low-carbon supplies to get it through periods of no wind or sun in winter, then there was “actually no point in having any wind or solar”.

Wind turbines were a “waste of money” in that scenario since “when the wind blows you are going to have to either turn those wind turbines down or something else down that you have already paid for like the nukes or the CCS”, he said.

While advocates of renewable technologies often cite the potential for electricity storage to deal with their intermittency, Prof MacKay said that balancing wind-based power supplies would require “hundreds of flooded valleys” for hydroelectric storage.

Powering the UK from solely solar and batteries would require “absurdly large” batteries, while the cost of battery technology would need to come down “by a factor of 100” for it to be a realistic option, he said.

He alleged that solar panels had been subsidised in the UK against the advice of civil servants, due to their popularity with MPs and the work of solar lobbyists.

However, Prof MacKay emphasised that the best energy solutions would vary from country to country depending on their demands and political priorities.

Solar panels were a “really good idea” in hot countries where solar power supplies correlated with times of high demand, he said, while a combination of wind and storage might make sense in a country where “price doesn’t matter”.

Professor Sir David MacKay, physicist – obituary

Please Contribute to Dr. David Lawrence, for his Study on Adverse Human Effects, from Wind Turbines!

April 25, 2016Connecticut

Important: Support for Research on wind turbines

Dr David Lawrence, Internal Physician from Connecticut, USA:
This is about trying to scientifically establish a cause and effect relationship of IWTs and adverse human effects.

Waubra Foundation CEO Sarah Laurie wrote today:

I have got to know David, and he is completely genuine, understands the global nature of the problem and the urgent need to gather evidence of direct causation, and he and his family and some of his neighbors are badly impacted already from a short duration.

He has the perfect clinical background to be able to convince his medical colleagues that there is a serious problem and I think it is well worth supporting this field research which could help to establish direct causation in someone who is clearly badly impacted.

Dr. David R. Lawrence
Dr. David R. Lawrence

Hello to those in receipt of the message:

I am hoping to raise money to study the impact of Industrial Wind Turbines on human health.

My expectations are modest. Small donations from the many affected might be enough to meetMY GOAL. I am a doctor, not a researcher. I am feeling my way through this. I hope this will work.

If you believe in this project, please circulate this to any interested people.

My GoFundMe campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/IWTResearch

Respectfully,

David R Lawrence, MD

Industrial Wind Turbine Research

My GoFundMe campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/IWTResearch

I am Dr. David R. Lawrence. I practice Primary Care in Internal Medicine in a small town in Northwestern Connecticut. On October 17, 2015, two Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) began operation as close as 1600 feet from my house. My wife became so severely affected by the turbines that we moved into our basement the next morning to shield us from Infrasound and whatever else caused the physical effects, possibly including “dirty electricity.”

Most people cannot feel the effects of IWTs. If they do, they do not often realize that something is going on or they do not know it is from the turbines. But for those who are highly sensitive-like my wife-the symptoms start almost immediately. Head pressure, posterior head pain, dizziness, loss of balance with falls, palpitations, the thumping of the blade in her chest. Sleep disturbance is prominent and has a significant adverse health impact. The clinching factor is that everything goes away when the turbines are not operational or the person leaves the area. Not just my wife, but people around the globe. I have interviewed people with similar problems in Connecticut, Massachusetts (Falmouth) and Wisconsin (Shirley Wind Farm). I have heard from people from around the globe.

The developers of wind power tell us there is not a problem. They hire “experts” who agree. Many say it is mind over matter, so called “nocebo.” They are not scientists and they are not clinicians. They cannot argue the truth, but they can hide the truth.

Physical disturbances are happening to my wife and to a substantial number of other people. What is happening to those of us who don’t feel anything and to the very young who cannot well express what they feel is to be determined. And so it is with the possible long term effects.

I m looking for funds to tie IWT infrasound to changes in human physiology. I need sound monitoring equipment, data logging equipment andSOFTWARE to interpret it, as well as funds for the help of an acoustics expert to get the data to make sense. For monitoring of human physiology, I am hoping to purchase a heart monitor, a portable EEG and sleep monitoring equipment.

This is not about me or my wife. We need to leave our house for her sake. This is about trying to scientifically establish a cause and effect relationship of IWTs and adverse human effects.

“Many hands make light work.” A small contribution from a number of people is meaningful and makes a statement. I would like to think that anyone who contributes believes that there is a problem because they have a problem or know someone who does, or even because they believe in what I say.

Read more:

Subsidy Sam…..Hero of the WindScam!

April 2016Scotland

Subsidy Sam the Turbine

This short story has been written to counter the shameless wind propaganda that is allowed into our schools to influence young minds with no effort to show the other side.

At Wind Energy’s Absurd, they write:

Here at Wind Energy’s Absurd we have repeatedly challenged the wisdom and morality of allowing multinational companies into the classroom to put their side of a story that is designed to cultivate acceptance of their industry into future generations.
You will remember Tommy the Turbine – a tale told to children in Ireland about the wonders of wind power:
www.tommytheturbine.net and tommytheturbine.com
Well now Tommy has a rival – and ourMONEY is on Subsidy Sam getting the message out there.
It is time the indoctrination of our children was stopped.
We have been requested to post this story and are delighted to oblige.
Please share it as many times as you want and send it wherever you want.
We have been asked to give thanks to Josh for creating the fabulous cartoon to go with the story.

Subsidy Sam

Subsidy Sam was big, one of the biggest turbines you could get.

He had spent the last year, since being built, dominating the village and bearing down on the local school, its pupils and staff. Sometimes you could even see him flailing his arms about but a lot of the time he didn’t. He was huge. So big he could be seen for miles and miles. Much further than the land owner, Lord Grabbit, a filthyRICH coal mining baron, had said you would be able to. He, with the developers Green Scam Renewables, had even shown pictures to the worried villagers of what Subsidy Sam would look like but it was really hard to see him in the misty distance in the developer’s photomontages.

But today Subsidy Sam was furious. One of his arms had blown off and jagged bits of it were spread all over the school playground. It was so windy. Perhaps even a Force 9 gale. Sam had been waiting for Green Scam Renewables to switch him off before he disintegrated but they had been waiting for the National Grid to ask them to switch him off first, so that they could claim the extravagant constraint payments to not generate.

Green Scam Renewables had misjudged it today and now Subsidy Sam stood broken with one arm missing and the other two hanging forlornly at his side.

It was a good job it wasn’t break time when the children would have been outside playing. With no enforced safety zone around this huge piece of industrial machinery and its whirling blades, it was very dangerous to be anywhere near him but no-one was telling the children that. Subsidy Sam was their friend and would help save the world. The nice wind developer man who owned Green Scam Renewables, Mr McWeasel, had told them that. He had come to the school with the jolly round man from the government who was wearing a tie with turbines all over it. They told the children that Subsidy Sam would save them and had frightened them all into thinking without him they were all doomed and the planet would die and so would they.

It was scary stuff. It gave them nightmares.

Thank goodness for Subsidy Sam.

The French Head Mistress, Madame de Gaulle, was pleased to see Sam’s blade fly pass her studyWINDOW at such speed and smash into a thousand pieces. She was relieved that none of the children had been hurt but she was glad to see the broken turbine. ‘Good riddance’ she thought. She knew a waste ofMONEY when she saw it. She hated Subsidy Sam, or SS as she preferred to call him, and had put up strong resistance to him being built but to no avail. It made no difference that she objected when they pretended Sam was a community turbine. No-one in the community wanted Sam but deceiving the local authority into thinking he was one was the only way they would be allowed to build him. She’d heard of burly men going round the village telling people not to object or else.

People were frightened so they didn’t.

Now when the sun shone she had to close the blinds in her study to stop the strobing from Sam’s blades hitting her desk and giving her throbbing headaches.

The compensation that was offered to the community by Green Scam Renewables was offensive. How can they pay anyone enough to make up for not being able to sleep at nights because of the incessant thumping when Sam was having a party and waving his arms in the air?

Nothing could make up for that.

Even the people who want to sell up and move away can’t because when the potential buyers see Subsidy Sam they don’t even get out of their cars. They just speed away without a backward glance.

The tourists have stopped coming. They see Sam and ask, ’Why did you build that huge ugly thing near your pretty village? We won’t stay here. We will spend our money in places we like the look of and that’s not here.’

Once the foreign workers who built Subsidy Sam had left, the B&Bs and guest houses stayed empty, many people lost their jobs in the tourism industry because no-one came to visit any more.

The birds were happy to see Subsidy Sam immobilised because it meant they no longer had to take their lives in their wings to feed at the nature class bird table every time they passed him when he was having one of his Edward Scissorhands on acid moments.

The caretaker was pleased because he wouldn’t have to keep sweeping up all their feathers and body bits when they misjudged it. However, all the oil that was leaking down Subsidy Sam’s leg and seeping across the playground was hard to scrub off.

The caretaker could never understand how a wind turbine so full of fossil fuels could ever be classed as clean and green.

Still, the oil was a greenish black colour – perhaps that is what people meant. He was just a simple caretaker on minimum wage struggling to pay his energy bill with all these ‘green’ levies on them. What did he know?

He had wanted to object to Subsidy Sam being built but he lived in a cottage on Lord Grabbit’s estate. It had been suggested to him that he shouldn’t object in case his home became no longer available to rent. Without his little cottage he wouldn’t have anywhere to live near where he worked, so he didn’t object.

Mr McWeasel wasn’t pleased because since Subsidy Sam’s arm had been liberated he was unable to get the juicy subsidy for any energy the turbine might have managed to produce or the very lucrative constraint payments. He got those when he was told to switch Subsidy Sam off when there was low demand for electricity, too much wind and the grid was in danger of being overloaded and plunging everyone into darkness.

Why should he care that Subsidy Sam was intermittent and unreliable and didn’t give any energy security? He got paid whatever.

Mrs McWeasel wouldn’t be pleased either as she was expecting her usual two months holiday in the Bahamas, new top of the range set of wheels and that stunning diamond necklace she had set her heart on.

Mr McWeasel would have a lot of explaining to do when he got home. After all he had guaranteed his lovely young wife a life ofRICHES and leisure all paid for by the spoils from Subsidy Sam. It was no matter to him that fuel poverty had increased because the supplements to pay Sam’s subsidies had been added to the energy bills of everyone, even the poor, the elderly and the sick.

No matter to him either that the children and staff were in danger every day from Subsidy Sam’s flying components, that the birds were being sliced and diced, the bats were exploding, the leaking oil was polluting the school yard or that the lights were frequently going out so that the caretaker had to crank up the polluting diesel generator. None of that concerned Mr McWeasel or the politicians he had hoodwinked into believing his windy propaganda. They were so stupid even Mr McWeasel couldn’t believe he had got away with the wind con for so long.

Still, that looked like it had all come to an untimely end with Subsidy Sam now broken and useless. No more subsidies available for new Sams because that pesky government over the border had stopped filling the subsidy trough.

‘Ah well,’ sighed Mr McWeasel. It was time to move onto other things. He had heard that there were good returns and subsidies operatingBANKS of noisy toxic fume-belching diesel generators now. All needed because the politicians had over-deployed on the weather-dependent subsidy suckers and under-deployed on reliable generation. He would need to speak to Lord Grabbit and see if he could build them where Sam was, near the school.

Mrs McWeasel would still get her holiday, herNEW CAR and her diamonds. Mr McWeasel might even treat himself to that yacht he had always wanted as well.

Saving the planet was no longer a priority – was it ever, Mr McWeasel?

© LW Anti Wind Activist April 2016

Story written by Lyndsey Ward | April 2016

The Press and Journal – April 22, 2016

Subsidy Sam set to knock wind out of Tommy’s sails