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Results of a new study on wind power generation from the U.S., summarized by author Robert Bryce in Forbes. Neat summary of the truth about wind power generation and its supposed effect on the environment: total fiction…or worse, a giant financial scam.

Here is the article.

http://www.forbes.com/2011/07/19/wind-energy-carbon.html

A New Study Takes The Wind Out Of Wind Energy

Robert Bryce, 07.19.11, 05:00 PM EDT

Reality has overtaken green hope.

 

Facts are pesky things. And they’re particularly pesky when it comes to the myths about the wind energy business.

For years, it’s been an article of faith among advocates of renewables that increased use of wind energy can provide a cost-effective method of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The reality: wind energy’s carbon dioxide-cutting benefits are vastly overstated. Furthermore, if wind energy does help reduce carbon emissions, those reductions are too expensive to be used on any kind of scale.

Those are the findings of an exhaustive new study, released today, by Bentek Energy, a Colorado-based energy analytics firm. Rather than rely on computer models that use theoretical emissions data, the authors of the study, Porter Bennett and Brannin McBee, analyzed actual emissions data from electric generation plants located in four regions: the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Bonneville Power Administration, California Independent System Operator, and the Midwest Independent System Operator. Those four system operators serve about 110 million customers, or about one-third of the U.S. population.

Bennett and McBee looked at more than 300,000 hourly records from 2007 through 2009. Their results show that the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and other wind boosters have vastly overstated wind’s ability to cut sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide.

Indeed, the study found that in some regions of the country, like California, using wind energy doesn’t reduce sulfur dioxide emissions at all. But the most important conclusion from the study is that wind energy is not “a cost-effective solution for reducing carbon dioxide if carbon is valued at less than $33 per ton.” With the U.S. economy still in recession and unemployment numbers near record levels, Congress cannot, will not, attempt to impose a carbon tax, no matter how small.

AWEA claims that every megawatt-hour of electricity produced by wind turbines cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 0.8 tons. But the Bentek study shows that in California, a state that relies heavily on natural gas-fired generation, the carbon dioxide reduction from wind energy was just 0.3 tons of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour. Further, the study found that in the area served by the Bonneville Power Administration, which uses a large amount of hydropower, the carbon dioxde reduction was just 0.1 ton of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour.

The wind industry’s prospects are so bad that T. Boone Pickens, long one of the sector’s loudest advocates, has given up on the U.S. market. Pickens, the billionaire self-promoter who famously placed an order for some $2 billion worth of wind turbines back in 2008, is now trying to find a home for those turbines in Canada.

In addition, the wind industry faces increasingly vocal opposition in numerous countries around the world. The European Platform Against Windfarms now has 485 signatory organizations from 22 European countries. In the UK, where fights are raging against industrial wind projects in Wales, Scotland, and elsewhere, some 250 anti-wind groups have been formed. In Canada, the province of Ontario alone has more than 50 anti-wind groups. The U.S. has about 170 anti-wind groups.

While many factors are hurting the wind industry, the Bentek report, which was released today, undercuts the sector’s primary reason for existing. The Global Wind Energy Council, one of the industry’s main lobby groups, claims that reducing the amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere “is the most important environmental benefit from wind power generation.” For its part, the American Wind Energy Association insists that the wind business “could avoid 825 million tons of carbon dioxide annually by 2030.”

But if wind energy doesn’t significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, then critics can easily challenge the industry’s hefty subsidies, which include the federal production tax credit of $0.022 for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. That amounts to a subsidy of $6.44 per million BTU of energy produced. For comparison, in 2008, the Energy Information Administration reported that subsidies to the oil and gas sector totaled $1.9 billion per year, or about $0.03 per million BTU of energy produced. In other words, subsidies to the wind sector are more than 200 times as great as those given to the oil and gas sector on the basis of per-unit-of-energy produced.

If those fat subsidies go away, then the U.S. wind sector will be stopped dead in its tracks. And for consumers, that should be welcome news.

The wind energy business is the electric sector’s equivalent of the corn ethanol scam: it’s an over-subsidized industry that depends wholly on taxpayer dollars to remain solvent while providing an inferior product to consumers that does little, if anything, to reduce our need for hydrocarbons or cut carbon dioxide emissions. The latest Bentek study should be required reading for policymakers. It’s a much-needed reminder of how the pesky facts about wind energy have been obscured by the tsunami of hype about green energy.

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Note that the environmental claims put forward for wind power generation are not proving to be true. Note the increasing number of people around the world who are opposed to industrial wind power projects. Why? Not because they are “climate change deniers” but because WIND DOESN”T WORK. And, it industrializes communities, causes health problems and negatively affects property values.  The argument put forward by so-called environmental groups is that these costs are necessary to effect climate change. Small-scale community projects, yes. Huge industrial projects, no.

 

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

The North Gower Wind Action Group believes in the responsible siting of industrial wind power development projects; we do NOT believe it is environmental or fair to locate these projects near homes and schools.

 

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Here, from today’s Ottawa Citizen, the truth about Ontario’s power supply and how we don’t need all the extra power we’re producing–we’re actually PAYING to give it away!!! And at the same time, the Ontario government is pushing through more wind projects: we don’t need them, they are causing irreparable harm to rural communities and to wildlife, and wind will NEVER replace coal power. In fact, it needs fossil-fuel backup to operate.

Here is the link, and the story: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Ontario+power+generators+shell+surplus+juice/5152855/story.html#Comments

Ontario power generators shell out $35M to get rid of surplus juice

 
 
 
By Don Butler, The Ottawa CitizenJuly 24, 2011
 
 
 

Workers talk outside of a steam generator casing used in nuclear power plants at Babcock & Wilcox Canada’s Cambridge, Ontario manufacturing plant.

Photograph by: Tim Fraser, Calgary Herald

OTTAWA — Ontario’s electricity generators have shelled out $35 million this year to get neighbouring jurisdictions to take surplus power off their hands and are helping to drive up the cost of power to consumers in the process.

According to the province’s Independent Electrical System Operator (IESO), electricity prices were negative — meaning sellers had to pay buyers in the U.S. or Quebec to take surplus electricity — a total of 95 hours in the first six months of this year.

That’s up sharply from the same period in 2010, when there were only 10 hours of negative prices at a cost of $4.2 million. However, it’s down from 2009, when there were 280 hours of negative prices in the first six months, and 351 for the year as a whole.

The number of negative hours spiked in 2009 because the economic recession and mild weather depressed demand while abnormally high water levels increased output at hydro plants, an IESO spokesperson said.

Now a new report by the C.D. Howe Institute is proposing a solution it says will save the system money: paying generators who operate under fixed-priced contracts to produce less power.

Set by supply and demand, wholesale prices in Ontario’s electricity market are updated every five minutes. In a normal market, suppliers would not produce power at low or negative prices, notes the C.D. Howe report.

But the one-time stick of negative pricing is now ineffective because so many Ontario generators are guaranteed fixed payments under long-term contracts, says the report. Until those contracts are renegotiated, generators should be paid to reduce their output if doing so would save money for the system as a whole.

“We need to go from the stick to the carrot,” said Benjamin Dachis, one of the report’s co-authors.

While negative prices were rare until recent years, they will become much more common as more wind and solar projects and two refurbished Bruce nuclear units come on line.

That will result in “periodic gluts of electricity over the coming years and higher costs for Ontario consumers,” warns the C.D. Howe report. In its latest 18-month outlook report in June, the IESO acknowledged that surplus baseload generation “remains an ongoing concern.”

“Next year is when it’s going to get really bad,” Dachis said. “The IESO is forecasting that the minimum daily demand is going to be below the baseline generation pretty much every week next spring and summer.”

Ottawa Citizen

dbutler@ottawacitizen.com

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen
 
 
 
 
 
 There is a lot missing from the online version of the story: for example, energy consultant Tom Adams commented: the “irresponsibility” that created the contractual problems with non-utility power generators is continuing as the province signs long-term contracts at inflated prices with wind and solar energy producers. “We’re digging the hole deeper as we speak.”

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

The North Gower Wind Action Group is a group of citizens in the North Gower-Richmond-Kars area who are concerned about the impact of a proposed industrial wind power generation project on our community. We are a corporate member of Wind Concerns Ontario Inc., and a signatory to the North American Platform Against Wind.

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