Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

From Friends of Maine Mountains: 20 Facts About Wind Power … Why “Spin, Baby, Spin” Is Nonsense

September 20, 2015

Friends of Maine’s Mountains  284 Main St., Ste. 200  Wilton, ME  04294
The Facts about Wind Energy Development in Maine

(Friends of Maine’s Mountains is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization with IRS 501(c)3 status. Visit us on-line at http://www.friendsofmainesmountains.com or e-mail to info@friendsofmainesmountains.com.)

“If CO2 is the problem, wind power is not the solution.”

“EVERY operating, multi-turbine, wind facility in Maine that has been sited near people has significant, unresolved disputes over noise and shadow flicker. Continuing to site wind turbines using the same standards that have caused conflict assures that the problems will grow in number.”

When asked if they think wind-generated electricity is good, affordable, green, useful, and necessary most people will say ”Yes, of course.” But the fact is, none of these things have ever been proven. Wind- generated electricity has been effectively shielded from scrutiny by marketing and lobbying, with no obligation to verify industry claims. Wind-generated electricity has high impact and low benefit to Maine’s economy and environment. Following are 20 truths the wind industry does not want you to know, 20 reasons to take a closer look.

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Wind Power: Not Even Close to a Panacea for Energy Problems But It Sure Sucks Up A Lot Of Oxygen

September 16, 2015

CONTRIBUTORS
What New England’s foolhardy, clean energy policy looks like
The Oakfield Wind Project is now complete. A total of 48 turbines have been erected and are now producing electricity for SunEdison Inc.
By Chris O’Neil, Special to the Bangor Daily News
Posted Sept. 14, 2015, at 1:32 p.m.

Last Tuesday, Sept. 8, the New England electricity grid system operator (ISO-NE) had a terrible day. What played out Tuesday (and dozens of other days, especially in summer and winter) is a glaring example of our feel-good energy policies leading to catastrophic results. (more…)

Newsweek: What’s the true cost of wind power?

April 14, 2015

Newsweek Magazine: OPINION
What’s the True Cost of Wind Power?
BY RANDY SIMMONS 4/11/15 AT 5:22 PM

As consumers, we pay for electricity twice: once through our monthly electricity bill and a second time through taxes that finance massive subsidies for inefficient wind and other energy producers.

Most cost estimates for wind power disregard the heavy burden of these subsidies on U.S. taxpayers. But if Americans realized the full cost of generating energy from wind power, they would be less willing to foot the bill—because it’s more than most people think.

Over the past 35 years, wind energy—which supplies just 2 percent of U.S. electricity—has received $30 billion in federal subsidies and grants. These subsidies shield people from the uncomfortable truth of just how much wind power actually costs and transfer money from average taxpayers to wealthy wind farm owners, many of which are units of foreign companies.

Proponents tend to claim it costs as little as $59 to generate a megawatt-hour of electricity from wind. In reality, the true price tag is more than two and a half times that. (more…)

From the Economist: Sun, Wind and Drain

July 28, 2014

Free exchange
Sun, wind and drain

As the years go by, bumper sticker (“spin, baby, spin”) enthusiasts of wind power must be scratching their heads about a Vinalhaven turbine project that hasn’t lowered electricity costs. One would hope that reasonable people would consider reasonable evidence like comparing electricity bills. But beyond the bills, even if you don’t mind paying more for wind power, shouldn’t you care whether wind power is reducing carbon emissions or whether supporting wind power is ever going to amount to a solution to the energy crisis?

From the point of view of the neighbors of the wind turbines — who have been objecting for years to the noise exceeding state limits — it is upsetting (putting it mildly) that benefits of wind power as promised don’t exist. Real property, natural quiet and health have been sacrificed for other people’s enthusiasms. Those enthusiasms might be self-satisfying but they don’t have much to do with reality as the Economist points out in the following excellent report:

 

Wind and solar power are even more expensive than is commonly thought

The Economist, Jul 26th 2014 | From the print edition

SUBSIDIES for renewable energy are one of the most contested areas of public policy. Billions are spent nursing the infant solar- and wind-power industries in the hope that they will one day undercut fossil fuels and drastically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere. The idea seems to be working. Photovoltaic panels have halved in price since 2008 and the capital cost of a solar-power plant—of which panels account for slightly under half—fell by 22% in 2010-13. In a few sunny places, solar power is providing electricity to the grid as cheaply as conventional coal- or gas-fired power plants.

But whereas the cost of a solar panel is easy to calculate, the cost of electricity is harder to assess. It depends not only on the fuel used, but also on the cost of capital (power plants take years to build and last for decades), how much of the time a plant operates, and whether it generates power at times of peak demand. To take account of all this, economists use “levelised costs”—the net present value of all costs (capital and operating) of a generating unit over its life cycle, divided by the number of megawatt-hours of electricity it is expected to supply.

The trouble, as Paul Joskow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has pointed out, is that levelised costs do not take account of the costs of intermittency.* Wind power is not generated on a calm day, nor solar power at night, so conventional power plants must be kept on standby—but are not included in the levelised cost of renewables. Electricity demand also varies during the day in ways that the supply from wind and solar generation may not match, so even if renewable forms of energy have the same levelised cost as conventional ones, the value of the power they produce may be lower. In short, levelised costs are poor at comparing different forms of power generation. (more…)

Wind Blows Good and Bad on Vinalhaven

July 23, 2014

“If these turbines can’t be run in compliance during all conditions, then they need to be turned down… We hope the Supreme (Judicial) Court decision will point in that direction. … It’s hard for people to acknowledge that a mistake was made.”

Wind blows good and bad on Vinalhaven
Five years on, a landmark project generates power and frustration

BY TUX TURKEL STAFF WRITER
tturkel@pressherald.com | @TuxTurkel | 207-791-6462
VINALHAVEN — Sally and David Wylie are having an addition built onto their island vacation home. A patio door admits views of the woods and water, but the sunny, southern exposure has no windows. That south wall is a foot thick, and stuffed with sound-deadening insulation.

“On a bad day, we can get away from it,” David Wylie said. The Wylies are creating an acoustic cocoon for their new bedroom to get away from the “whomp, whomp, whomp,” the airplane-like drone and the low-frequency resonation that they experience periodically from the three massive wind turbines that are clearly visible from their deck.

Sally and David Wylie of Vinalhaven are building an addition to their home with sound-deadening walls to escape the “whomp, whomp, whomp” generated by turbines at the Fox Islands Wind Project.

“We moved out here for the peace and quiet,” Sally Wylie said. “We didn’t want any of this and we’re very sad.”

Five years ago this November, the residents of Vinalhaven and North Haven became part of an alternative energy experiment that drew national attention. Burdened by high electric rates, they erected New England’s largest coastal wind project, a proud achievement for a small island community, 12 miles out to sea from Rockland.

Today, the Fox Islands Wind Project is the tallest structure in Penobscot Bay. Standing higher than a football field is long, 388 feet from ground to blade tip, the turbines are visible from miles away.

For people who glimpse them on the horizon, for passengers on the ferry between Rockland and Vinalhaven, for neighbors who live in their shadows, the turbines have become a powerful symbol.

But a symbol of what? (more…)

Friends of Maine Mountains: Maine poll exposes softness in wind energy support

May 20, 2014

Please check this home page and blog for the latest news, or subscribe to our RSS feed. Friends of Maine’s Mountains (FMM) is the leading opponent of senseless industrial wind projects that destroy our state’s scenic assets, especially if those projects INCREASE the light bills for working Mainers.

Maine poll exposes softness in wind energy support
May 20, 2014

(Portland, Maine) Answers to questions asked recently by an independent, nonpartisan polling firm indicate that support for building industrial wind turbines in Maine is not as strong as wind power cheerleaders have led policy makers and the public to believe.

Friends of Maine’s Mountains (FMM), a group that opposes industrial wind turbine projects, commissioned Critical Insights of Portland, Maine to ask three questions about wind energy in its semi-annual Tracking Poll. The company completed 601 telephone interviews (including cell phones) with randomly selected voters across the state between April 16th and April 24th, 2014. CLICK HERE for a PDF of the results, which indicate that support for building industrial wind turbines declines appreciably when respondents learn that: (more…)

Robert Bryce testifies before US Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee

May 7, 2014

US wind turbines are killing wildlife … FWS have documented dozens of endangered species kills … “to date the FWS have brought only one prosecution against the wind industry for violating the Endangered Species Act” … “wind turbines are climate-change scarecrows” … “let’s do the math” …

Vinalhaven Electric Rates: They Have Gone Up Since Wind Turbines Were Turned On

March 14, 2014

Vinalhaven Total Electric Rates vs. CMP Energy Rates 2005 to 2013
Source: Fox Islands Electric Co-op (FIEC) Bills on the island and the CMP website

graph

View this document on Scribd

Until Nov. 2009 when the Industrial Wind Turbines were installed, FIEC rates tracked CMP rates as they went up and down. Toward the end of 2008 rates were dropping fast due to downward pressure from the falling price of natural gas.

After the FIW wind turbines were installed, CMP rates stayed low while FIEC rates rose steadily.

The energy rate (without the Transmission & Delivery costs) went from 5.5₵/kwh in Nov. 2009 doubling to over 12.7₵/kwh in Dec. 2013. Transmission and Delivery rates have not changed at 12.9₵/kwh.

Energy rates (without T&D) have more than doubled (up 111%) and Total rates (energy + T&D) are up 32% since Nov. 2009.

Huffington Post UK: “Wind energy, chalk it up as a loss”

February 16, 2014

We have read how turbines impact human health and after years of mockery from pro-wind groups, we now have the first peer-reviewed, science-based report confirming that turbines do have harmful impacts on humans.

Huffington Post

Ben Acheson, Energy and Environment Policy Adviser and Parliamentary Assistant at the European Parliament in Brussels

Another week, another plethora of news reports attacking wind farms. The latest headlines include; November date for Trump’s wind farm challenge”, “Approval for wind turbines sparks protest at ‘ring of steel'” and “Wind turbines may be killing bats by ‘exploding’ their lungs”, to name but a few. Yet will the stories about Donald Trump, exploding bats and Scotland’s version of the Iron Curtain help to stem the spread of mammoth turbines across our land and seas?

Probably not.

Still, it was only two years ago that anyone who publicly opposed wind turbines was considered a social pariah and practically ostracised from society as if they were modern-day lepers. Things have changed. Not a day goes by without a new story slamming wind energy or highlighting the increasing wind farm opposition across the UK. Just as it was once popular to support wind energy, it has almost…almost…become fashionable to oppose wind turbines. (more…)

Governor LePage is Right: wind farm subsidies are a poor use of government funding

January 28, 2014

Portland Press Herald: Maine Voices
“LePage is right – wind farm subsidies are poor use of government funding
Despite their hype, the massive projects cut neither fossil fuel use nor greenhouse gas emissions”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Bond of Winthrop is an environmental activist and a renewable energy advocate.

WINTHROP — As a lifelong Democrat, environmental activist and renewable energy advocate, I commend Gov. LePage’s recent criticisms of the huge taxpayer-funded industrial wind power scam, which, unless it is stopped, will ruin Maine.

Though initially a proponent of industrial wind, I’ve learned it’s a catastrophe on every level – environmental, fiscal, social and economic.

And now with Maine’s southern neighbors halting industrial wind in their states, they’re paying to build thousands of turbines in Maine, to devastate every magnificent Maine ridge, pinnacle and mountain with howling machines more than 50 stories high, some so tall they’ll be the third-tallest structures in New England.

Industrial wind projects have been clearly proven to slaughter millions of birds and bats, destroy scenic beauty, lower property values and tourism, sicken people and drive them from their homes, increase erosion and raise electric rates. But they make billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies for the investment banks that develop them.

Yet the biggest trouble with industrial wind is it doesn’t lower greenhouse gas emissions or fossil fuel use. Not one molecule. The reason … (more…)