Wind Power Information
Here are recent posts on the Windpower debate….
And check out the 2nd half of this post…http://www.roanoketeaparty.com/always-something-brewing/
Here is some basic information on why we oppose any government subsidized wind mill programs.
1. They are inefficient and create ecological problems.
2. This is tied into Agenda 21. More on that to come in the future….
Below gives some basic information on why the wind power idea is a bad idea.
SUBJECT: Wind Energy – Actions Needed during the 2011 Virginia General Assembly Session
Summary: As explained below, four major actions affecting wind energy and its impact on electricity bills, and taxes are needed in the new legislative session:
· Avoid actions that increase electric bills, particularly any attempt to force greater use of wind and other “renewable” energy (e.g., mandatory “renewable portfolio standards”- RPS).
· Repeal the 2009 statute and related regulations dealing with so-called “small renewable energy projects.”
· Repeal the unwarranted subsidies provided for electric utilities at electric customer expense.
· All parties need to learn the facts about the full true costs and benefits of wind energy (including offshore wind), and avoid false and misleading claims from “wind farm” developers.
1. First, additional government actions that increase monthly electric bills should beavoided, particularly actions to force greater use of high cost wind and other “renewable” energy.
Electric customers and taxpayers across the US (and in Europe) have learned that government actions to force greater use of electricity from wind and other renewable energy sources through “renewable portfolio standards” or “renewable electricity standards” result in higher electricity bills and /or taxes.
These results are inevitable because electricity from wind is very high in cost and low in real value.[i] “Wind farms” are being built primarily because of huge federal and state tax breaks and subsidies for “wind farm” developers and owners such as Dominion Resources, Duke Power, and Invenergy, not because of environmental, energy, or economic benefits that are in the public interest.
Federal and state tax breaks and subsidies for utilities and other “wind farm” developers and owners are paid for by ordinary taxpayers and/or electric customers.
2. Second, the faulty 2009 Statute[ii]authorizing “permit by rule” regulations for “small” renewable energy projects” should be repealed. Wind energy projects up to 100 MW are NOT “small” energy projects deserving expedited permitting.
Serious errors occurred when the General Assembly, in 2009, passed bills that incorrectlylabeled wind energy projects up to 100 megawatts (MW) as “small” renewable energy projects and established a “permit by rule” system that allows a “wind farm” to avoid requirements that would protect Virginia’s natural resources. Unfortunately, the McDonnell Administration issued regulations to implement the faulty statute under the guise of avoiding unnecessary obstacles to building of energy facilities. These errors should be obvious to anyone that:
a. Visits http://picasaweb.google.com/Blueyes1119/RollinsConstructionNov72010?feat=email# and sees the destruction of natural resources associated with wind turbine construction, in this case, on Rollins Mountain in Maine.
b. Notes that a “wind farm” consisting of 50 or more of such turbines – disrupting and destroying hundreds of acres of land and stretching miles down mountain ridges –could be considered a “small renewable energy project” under the 2009 statute and regulations recently issued by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
Clearly, the 2009 statute was a mistake and both the statute and implementing regulations should be repealed. The adverse environmental, natural resource, and other adverse impacts of proposed “wind farms” should be identified and considered fully and carefully with adequate time for review by the public and by government agencies.
3. Third, Virginia tax breaks and subsidies for wind energy should be repealed. Massive federal tax breaks and subsidies are already distorting capital investment decisions and transferring billions of dollars from ordinary taxpayers to “wind farm” developers and owners.
As indicated above, “wind farms” are being built in the US primarily because of huge federal and state tax breaks and subsidies for “wind farm” developers and owners, not because of their true environmental, economic, or energy benefits.
As explained recently,[iii] Virginia’s political leaders probably do not understand the extent of the massive federal and Virginia tax breaks and subsidies or the fact that one of the federal tax breaks – accelerated depreciation — also results, automatically, in a reduction in Virginia corporate income tax.
Clearly, the two additional wind and other “renewable” energy subsidies provided in 2007 and 2009 statutes were unwarranted. These further enrich Dominion and other electric utilities at the expense of ordinary electric customers. These subsidies are:
· The higher rate of return (extra .05%) for making capital investments in wind and other renewable energy sources granted in 2007 (in the same statute that reduced Corporation Commission review authority and granted Dominion favorable rate treatment.
· The second “bonus” boost (another .05%) in rate of return – authorized in 2009[iv] – when Dominion or other utilities achieved the targets provided in Virginia’s “voluntary” renewable portfolio standards (RPS).
As a result, electric customers pay the higher cost of electricity produced from renewables AND the cost of the higher rate of return received by Dominion and other utilities – neither providing real benefits to electric customers
4. Fourth, members of the McDonnell Administration and the General Assembly need to get up to date on facts about the true costs and benefits of wind energy and stop taking additional steps to force high cost, low value wind energy into the mix of energy resources used in Virginia.
Some members of the General Assembly and McDonnell Administration may be unaware of the facts about wind energy uncovered during the past two+ years.
For over a decade, the wind industry, other wind advocates, and their supporters within governments were the principal source of information about wind energy. These sources distributed false and misleading claims overstating the benefits of wind energy and understating or ignoring the adverse environmental, ecological, economic, electric system reliability, scenic, and property value impacts. They created a false “popular wisdom,” misleading the public, media, and government officials.
However, as “wind farms” have proliferated, their true cost and adverse impacts have become clearer. Many more reliable information sources are now readily available so that no one now needs to rely on information from wind industry lobbyists and advocates.
Listed below are some of the key issues raised by existing and proposed “wind farms,” along with sources of factual information on those issues. Hopefully this will assist members of the General Assembly and McDonnell Administration in gaining access to reliable information on wind energy.
a. High and rising capital cost of wind turbines. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on November 10, 2010, released new estimates of the capital cost of wind turbines. EIA raised its estimate of overnight capital costs (i.e., excluding interest) of onshore wind turbines by 21% to $2,438 per kilowatt (kW) of capacity, and offshore wind turbines by 59% to $5,975 per kW. See:http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/beck_plantcosts/pdf/updatedplantcosts.pdf
b. Additional costs of electricity from wind. The costs sited above do not include either (i) the cost of transmitting the electricity (often requiring adding transmission capacity), (ii) the cost of providing reliable “back up” generating capacity – which capacity must always be immediately available to compensate for the intermittence, volatility, and unreliability of electricity from wind turbines, or (iii) the added burden on grid managers who must keep electric grids in balance.[v]
c. Electricity from wind is high in cost but low in value.[vi] Wind turbines produce electricity only when wind speeds are in the right range.[vii] The output of electricity is, therefore, intermittent, volatile and unreliable. Further, wind turbines tend to produce at night in colder months, and not on hot weekday afternoons when demand is high and each kilowatt-hour of electricity has a higher value. The practical effect of these limitations is that the electricity from wind turbines has less value than electricity from reliable generating units.
d. Adding wind turbines does not replace the need for reliable generating units. Because wind turbines cannot be counted on to produce electricity at times of peak electricity demand, they do not replace the need for reliable generating units. Therefore, areas experiencing growth in peak demand or needing to replace old generating capacity will have to add reliable (“dispatchable”) generating capacity whether or not they build wind turbines. Electric customers could end up paying twice; once for wind turbines and again for the reliable capacity that can’t be avoided.
e. Offshore “wind farms” are extremely high in cost. Some political leaders in Virginia (and other states) seem fascinated with the potential for offshore “wind farms” but they apparently are ignoring their extremely high cost and their inevitable impact in pushing up monthly electric bills. Those who have been “taken in” by promoters and developers who wish to build offshore “wind farms” need to consider:
1) Their high and rising capital cost (See EIA price estimates cited earlier).
2) The added cost of building transmission capacity to bring the electricity to shore and any added cost of increasing onshore transmission capacity. (See recent Dominion report).
3) The demands from developers for still more subsidies. (See Dominion report).
4) The huge impact of offshore wind projects on electricity prices, with National Grid (Massachusetts), apparently forced by political leaders, agreeing to pay a wholesale price of 18.7 cents per kWh in 2013, increasing by 3.5% per year thereafter, for one half of the expected electricity from the proposed Cape Wind project.[viii]
6) Lawsuits from business groups (and others) in Massachusetts and Rhode Island challenging state utility commission approvals of the rates agreed to by National Grid.
7) The prices for electricity demanded by Cape Wind (and other “wind farms”) is in addition to the huge federal and state tax breaks and subsidies received by “wind farm” owners. All these costs are borne by taxpayers and/or electric customers.
f. “Renewable Portfolio Standards” (RPS) or “Renewable Electricity Standards” (RES) result in higher electric bills for all customers. States using RPS or RES to force greater use of wind and other renewable energy sources have experienced significant increases in electricity prices. Such standards create an artificial, high-priced market accessible only to “wind farm” and other renewable energy facility owners who benefit at the expense of electric customers.
Countries in Western Europe (e.g., Denmark, Germany) that have used renewable standards, subsidies (e.g., feed-in tariffs) and other measures to force increased use of wind and other renewables have the highest electricity prices in the world. For example, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that in 2009, residential rates in Denmark were 42.89 cents per kWh, and in Germany, were 30.66 cents per kWh. EIA reports that average residential rates in Virginia during 2009 were 10.61 cents per kWh. Spain has just imposed an additional tax on electric customers in an attempt to deal with the huge debt resulting from that nation’s disastrous “renewables” policies.
g. “Wind farms” provide few economic and job benefits in areas where they are built. “Wind farm” developers, their tax equity partners, and other wind advocates greatly overstate “wind farm” job and economic benefits. Among the reasons for the overstatements are that (a) a large share – 75% or more — of the capital costs are for turbines, turbine components and parts, blades and towers that are produced elsewhere, often in other countries, thus providing no local job or economic benefits, (b) construction period jobs are short term and largely filled by workers brought in temporarily – who reside and pay taxes elsewhere, (c) there are few if any permanent jobs, (d) there is little local economic benefit from materials and supplies purchased locally for the wind farm because, in most cases, the value added locally is small, and (e) indirect economic benefits (including “multipliers”) are often overestimated.[x] NEED NEW REFERENCE
h. Adding wind turbines would not reduce US oil dependency. An oft-stated but false claim is that greater use of wind energy would reduce US oil dependency. This claim is untrue because wind turbines are used to produce electricity and very little electricity (about 1% of the US total) is produced using oil. A large share of the small amount of oil used for electric generation is in simple cycle turbines and internal combustion engines used only at times of peak electricity demand. Wind turbines cannot be counted on to produce during peak demand period and would not reduce this oil use. Other generating units still using oil tend to be in areas with no access to natural gas or are older units that must be run occasionally for voltage control.
i. Wind energy officials and advocates greatly overstate environmental benefits and understate or ignore the adverse environmental impacts. Substantial objective information — research, studies, and reports – challenging claims from wind energy advocates is now readily available on such websites aswww.wind-watch.org, www.windaction.org,www.alleghenytreasures.org, and www. Masterresource.org. Construction and operation of wind turbines causes significant environmental damage. Examples include but are not limited to clear cutting, land disruption, destruction of animal habitat), killing of birds and bats, noise, scenic impairment, and reduction of neighbor’s property values. Objective information now available also demonstrates that claimed environmental benefits – e.g., emissions avoided – are greatly exaggerated.
j. Government tax breaks and subsidies are distorted investment decisions. Government policies, tax breaks, and subsidies that induce profit seeking companies to invest in government selected technologies such as “wind farms,” are a prime example of the way federal and state governments are distorting investment decisions in the US.
As demonstrated during the past four decades, governments are notoriously incapable of picking technology winners, certainly including energy technologies. Yet both federal and state governments, behaving as “central planners,” have created the unhealthy situation where private sector entities find it more profitable and less risky to pursue federal and state tax breaks and subsidies rather than investing in truly private sector endeavors that would be more productive for the national economy but may have more risk.
Governments are now directly responsible for diverting capital and human resources from privately selected activities, including privately financed R&D. Governments can take the “credit” for the current situation where far too much of the nation’s brain power is focusing on “milking” government tax breaks and subsidies.
It is time for the General Assembly and McDonnell Administration to change direction, refrain from expansion of government intrusions in energy and capital markets, and repeal recent requirements and subsidies that attempt to force greater use of “green” energy.
Clearly, lobbyists for Dominion Power and other “wind farm” developers and advocates have had far too much influence in shaping Virginia’s energy policies, legislation, and regulations. The facts about wind energy outlined above demonstrate that it is time for the interests of Virginia’s citizens, taxpayers, electric customers to take precedence over the interests promoted by these lobbyists.