Wind energy: The most expensive way to not make a difference

6978 4248 thumb Wind energy: The most expensive way to not make a differenceRenewable Power is downright expensive and don’t let people tell you different. It also doesn’t do enough to cut back on Co2 emissions.  Now this sounds like some straight up bullsh*t if you been listening to the free rhetoric wind advocates, environmentalists and politicians get to freely spew on a world looking for any positive energy idea.  But sadly independent and state sponsored studies suggest something quite different.  The next time you have a discussion with a renewable energy enthusiast ask them to cite a peer reviewed study that suggests wind is inexpensive, that renewables are good for the economy or that renewable energy lowers Co2 emissions.  When they stare at you with a look of unexpectedness cite some of these studies and see what they say.

A small drop in wind speed causes a large drop in the power output. Energy storage is completely uneconomic for the amounts of energy required. So we must use back-up generation. Constantly, instantly available back-up must be provided by reliable energy sources (to provide power whenever the wind speed drops.

1. Wind power does not avoid significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Wind power is a very high cost way to avoid greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Wind power, even with high capacity penetration, can not make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Peter Lang, Cost and Quantity of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Avoided by Wind Generation. (February 2009) Study

Participation of thermal power plants in the compensation of fluctuating production of windmills eliminates the major part of the expected positive effect of wind energy.In some cases the environmental gain from the wind energy use was lost almost totally

O. Liik∗, R. Oidram, M. Keel, Estimation of real emissions reduction caused by wind generators. (June 2006) Study

The evidence shows that as the level of wind capacity increases, the CO2 emissions actually increase as a direct result of having to cope with the variation of wind-power output

Irish Electricity Supply Board (ESB), Impact of Wind Power Generation in Ireland on the Operation of Conventional Plant and the Economic Implications. (2004) Study

Although Germany’s promotion of renewable energy is commonly portrayed in the media as setting ‘a shining example’, we would instead regard the country’s experience as a cautionary tale of massively expensive environmental and energy policy that is devoid of economic and environmental benefits

Wind turbines and solar panels have produced no environmental benefit in Germany in terms of lowering of CO2 emissions that would not have been produced by other plans already in effect

Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Economic impacts from the promotion of renewable energies: The German experience. (October 2009) Study

This needed capacity will likely have to be obtained by installing additional gas-fired generation. Thus, in addition to incurring further capital costs for the gas generation installation, higher gas usage would be expected to make up for the reduced amount of renewable energy from wind compared to that from hydroelectric generation or this alternative. Therefore, this alternative would result in higher greenhouse gas emissions. Wind and solar power will never be more than a niche supplier of power in Ontario

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA), Integrated Power System Plan. (October 2007) Study

This was presented to the Ontario Government prior to the crafting of the Green Energy Act (GEA) which calls for a massive ramp up in wind and solar installations, and incidentally natural gas powered plants.

The Green Energy Act  . . .  will further centralize and politicize most important aspects of the provincial electricity sector. At the same time, the act . . . will compromise the role of the independent regulators (the Ontario Energy Board and the Independent Electricity System Operator) in ensuring the sector’s efficient operation. The idea wind power is likely to have a significant impact on Ontario’s carbon emissions is fallacious

alt energy fail1 Wind energy: The most expensive way to not make a difference

Ronald J. Daniels -  President of Johns Hopkins University, and former chair of the Ontario Government’s Electricity Market Design Committee. Globe and Mail, April 29, 2009.

This increase in variability results in a substitution away from base load generating technologies towards peaking and intermediate technologies. If peaking and intermediate technologies are more carbon intensive than non-renewable “base load” technologies, this substitution can more than offset the emission benefits derived from the output of the renewable technology.

Arthur Campbell. M I T, Government Support for Intermittent Renewable Generation Technologies (April 2009) Study

Renewable energy added an estimated £13.50 to the average monthly household electricity bill last year. An additional burden fell on industrial users of electricity, who in turn passed on costs to their customers.  Electricity prices could rise by 60 per cent by 2012, leaving many in fuel poverty.

U.K. power industry watchdog Ofgem [Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets]

Hitherto, the radical transformation of the Danish energy system has almost entirely been driven by economic considerations based on technical feasibility. The recent imposition of arbitrary targets by politicians that require unquestioning implementation by the infrastructure suppliers, without any apparent estimates of costs, is a relatively new and worrying departure for the way Denmark is organized . . . The very fact that the wind power system, that has been imposed so expensively upon the consumers, cannot and does not achieve the simple objectives for which it was built, should be warning to  the energy establishment, at all levels, of the considerable gap between aspiration and reality

Danish Center for Politiske, Wind Energy, the case of Denmark. (Sept. 2009) Study

In just a few years we’ve gone from some of the cheapest electricity in Europe to some of the most costly

Jytte Kaad Jensen, a chief economist for ELTRA, Denmark’s largest electricity distributor

For our industry it has been a terribly expensive disaster

Aase Madsen, former chair of the Parliamentary Energy Policy Committee

Renewables consume enormous taxpayer resources. In Spain, the average annuity payable to renewables is equivalent to 4.35% of all Value Added taxes (VAT) collected, 3.45% of the household income tax, or 5.6% of the corporate income tax for 2007.

Spain’s energy regulator indicated that the price of a comprehensive energy rate (paid by the end consumer) in Spain would have to be increased 31% to begin to repay the historic debt generated by this rate deficit mainly produced by the subsidies to renewables

Dr. Gabriel Calzada Alvarez, Economics Professor at King Juan Carlos University, Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources. (2009) Study

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5 Responses to “Wind energy: The most expensive way to not make a difference”

  1. OUIMER says:

    Wonder if Dalton has read any of this. Prob not.

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