Abandoned Eyesores Almost Certain to Proliferate Across the Maine Countryside Unless We Stop Them

Wind companies do everything they can to get as much of the money generated by a wind project upfront or as frontloaded as possible.

They also avoid at all costs buying the land, because ownership comes with responsibilities. Instead, they typically lease the land for their monstrosities so that when they've wrung it for money, they can simply abandon the turbines, leaving the unwitting lessors stuck with the rusting and leaking hulks.

On February 17, 2012, the wind industry itself warned of more abandoned projects: "The wind power industry is predicting massive layoffs and stalled or abandoned projects after a deal to renew a taxcredit failed Thursday in Washington."

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-02-17/business/ct-biz-0217-wind-ptc--20120217_1_tax-credit-wind-power-wind-projects

Contrary to wind industry propaganda, there is very little salvage value in these galvanized steel ghosts. Rather, their necessary removal is a huge expense.

There are reportedly thousands of abandoned wind turbines across the U.S.

What will you do to make sure your area does not become part of this growing scourge?

On January 12, 2012, the Co-Chairs of the Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine wrote a report to the Maine legislature which included the following on decommissioning of wind turbines:

Decommissioning language in permits issued is not in compliance with the statute, that specifically states that decommissioning must be planned without regard to the applicant’s future financial condition.   The DEP’s wind project application form does not require, as the statute states, that an applicant demonstrate how decommissioning will be funded in a way that is not dependent on future financial condition, only that a decommissioning plan is submitted.  The statute intends that the risks of decommissioning remain with the applicant.   The only way to insure this is to require the establishment of a creditor and bankruptcy remote fund at the beginning.  The Vermont Public Service Board, in the Deerfield Wind decision, Docket 7250, included conditions for decommissioning which should be a model for Maine:

VI.  DECOMMISSIONING FUND

We require Deerfield to file a Decommissioning Plan with the Board and parties prior to commencement of construction.  The Plan shall include a revised estimate of the costs of decommissioning, covering all of the activities specified in the Decommissioning Plan, and shall contain certification that the cost estimate has been prepared by a person(s) with appropriate knowledge and experience in wind generation projects and cost estimating.  Also, the Plan may allow the Decommissioning Fund to grow as the construction process proceeds such that the funding level is commensurate with the costs of removing infrastructure in place.  The amount of the Fund may not net out the projected salvage value of the infrastructure.  In addition, we require that the Decommissioning Plan include a copy of the Letter of Credit to be posted by Deerfield to secure the full amount of the Fund, and demonstrate how the Fund will be creditor and bankruptcy remote in the event of Deerfield's insolvency or business failure.  We further require that the Letter of Credit be issued by an A-rated financial institution and that it name the

Vermont Public Service Board as the designated beneficiary.  The Letter of Credit shall be an "irrevocable standby" letter of credit and shall include an auto-extension provision (i.e. "evergreen clause").

Similar to the approach we approved in the UPC Vermont Wind Docket102 we adopt the Department's recommendation that a trigger be set for decommissioning review.  Therefore, if actual production falls below 65% of projected production during any consecutive two-year period, a decommissioning review will be initiated.103  However, in the event that Deerfield can show that it has entered into stably-priced power contracts with Vermont utilities through which a substantial amount of power is to be sold to Vermont utilities at stable prices, we may reduce the decommissioning trigger to as low as 50% if we find that those contracts provide sufficient benefit to Vermont ratepayers.  In any case, Deerfield would have the opportunity to demonstrate during this review that there are reasons for the decline in production such that the project should not be removed.


Without properly planned decommissioning the wind merchants will simply take the money and run - leaving area residents to clean up and pay for their mess.


Table of Contents

11/20/08 - Wind Decommissioning Costs — Lessons Learned

11/29/09 - 15,000 wind turbines have been left to rot across America

2/15/10 - Wind Energy's Ghosts

11/24/11 -  Tens of thousands of abandoned wind turbines now litter American landscape

2/17/12 - Hawaiian Eyesores

8/27/13 - Knauth’s Itemized Analysis of cost to decommission turbines

CONTENTS

 

11/20/08 - Wind Decommissioning Costs — Lessons Learned


Wind Decommissioning Costs — Lessons Learned  

Author:  Hewson, Tom

Last month, EVA was hired by the Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy to evaluate a Decommissioning Cost Report prepared for the Beech Ridge Energy Project — a 124-turbine project proposed for Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The project wind developer (Invergy) had argued that the scrap value of the wind turbines would far exceed the cost to decommission the wind project and that therefore they should be responsible for bonding $2,500/turbine that would slowly escalate to $25,000/turbine by year 16.

EVA completed an independent estimate of the salvage value of the Beech Ridge Wind turbines. The applicant’s consultant estimated that its salvage value credit would reach $12.64 million ($101,900/turbine) in their decommissioning fund study based upon application of general scrap factors and prices. This scrap value credit would more than offset their estimated demo costs ($8.68 million: $70,000/turbine).

EVA contacted the major regional scrap yards directly and got current scrap prices for steel, copper and transport. From these data, EVA developed a Beech Ridge project–specific salvage credit estimate of only $2.63 million, i.e., $10.01 million less than the original applicant study. We uncovered several major flaws in the applicant study methodology and pricing. They not only used old scrap prices but failed to take into account that they would have to transport the scrap to a yard. In addition, to obtain the posted scrap price, they would need to break down the tower into 3-4 ft long pieces or else the quoted price would be significantly less. In addition, the copper materials must also have their insulation stripped and/or copper pieces separated to obtain their posted copper price. If not, their scrap value would be far less than the common posted price. Given the large drop in scrap prices this year (>40%), scrap value can no longer cover decommissioning costs.

EVA also compared the estimated demolition costs to another decommissioning report for another wind project developer that had contained detailed cost breakdowns. The other study estimated demo costs of $97K/turbine vs. $70K/turbine by Beech Ridge. The bottom line is that using the demolition costs from the other wind turbine project decommissioning study would translate to a Beech Ridge demo cost of $12.03 million, i.e., $3.35 million more the applicant’s $8.68 million estimate. (Note: In another very recent project I have just reviewed, the decommissioning costs were again severely underestimated by more than 50% by not taking into account recent crane rental rates, extremely low earth moving costs, and assuming high productivity rates (6 turbines/wk).)

The bottom line is that even if the permitting agency allows the salvage credit, the total net cost of decommissioning this project today would be $10.4 million ($83,900/turbine). Our analysis quantified the large scrap price and demo cost escalation risk being assumed by the local community. To protect the community, the permitting agency should require a bond of a minimum $100/K per turbine ($12.4 million) to capture demolition cost escalation risk. If the wind developer can convince the bonding company of the high salvage value, then they should be able to negotiate a lower rate for the bond. If they were right, there would be very little price difference for a larger $12+ million bond. Shift the risk to the bonding company. Let the developer and bonding company assume the price risk — not the community.

Tom Hewson
Principal
Energy Ventures Analysis
Arlington , VA
Hewson@evainc.com

http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wind-decommissioning-costs-lessons-learned/

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11/29/09 - 15,000 wind turbines have been left to rot across America


Wind Turbines & “Green” Subsidies Under Fire | Print |
WRITTEN BY ALEX NEWMAN
TUESDAY, 29 NOVEMBER 2011 18:30

Despite billions in taxpayer subsidies pumped into the so-called “green-energy” industry, almost 15,000 windmills — maybe more — have been left to rot across America. And while the turbines have been abandoned over a period of decades, the growing amount of “green junk” littering the American landscape is back in the headlines again this week.

Across the country, subsidized wind farms are meeting increasing resistance — and not just from taxpayers and electricity consumers forced to foot the bill. "If wind power made sense, why would it need a government subsidy in the first place?” wondered Heritage Foundation policy analyst Ben Lieberman, who deals with energy and environmental issues. “It's a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end."

It turns out that wind power is expensive and inefficient even in the best wind-farm locations in the world. And regular power plants always need to be on standby in case there is no wind, not enough wind, or even too much of it — a fairly regular occurrence.

That is why, when the tax subsidies run out, the towering metallic structures are often simply abandoned. In their wake: a scarred landscape and dead wildlife — the very same ills offered as justifications by administration officials for preventing oil exploration.

“Wind isn't the most important thing about wind turbines. It is all about the tax subsidies. The blades churn until the money runs out,” noted Charleston Daily Mail columnist Don Surber last week. “If an honest history is written about the turn of the 21st century, it will include a large, harsh chapter on how fears about global warming were overplayed for profit by corporations.”

Even environmentalists are jumping on the anti-wind power bandwagon. In California, where state mandates and subsidies have led to a boom in subsidized “green” energy projects, a San Francisco-based company just announced last week that it was halting plans to build a new wind farm. The scheme was shelved over concerns about the danger it would pose to birds.

The press is starting to ask questions, too. “As Beaufort County [North Carolina] considers the proposal of Pantego Wind Energy, LLC's to build 49 1.6MW wind turbines on 11,000 acres of land, it may be of interest to some that the trend in the industry is to abandon such projects once the tax credits expire,” noted the Beaufort Observer on November 19. The editorial urged county commissioners to attend a seminar exposing the “Big Wind” industry hosted by the John Locke Foundation next month.

Around the world, concern about wind turbines is growing as well. In the UK, the Daily Express reported on November 28 that government ministers were being urged to abandon the race to build wind farms because they can cause “life-threatening” illnesses.

“The health impacts of wind farms are serious. I have no doubt that many people have suffered serious adverse effects,” said Dr. Chris Hanning, an expert in sleep medicine. “The Japanese government implemented a four-year program of research into the health effects of wind turbine noise. Pressure should be placed on the UK governments to do likewise.”

And in Australia, conservation supporters are battling to stop the wind farms, too. Activists in the nation’s southwest rejoiced over the announcement this week that one windmill project in the area was being shelved. But there are still many battles to fight. “It really is one of the most important breeding areas, but wind turbines just don’t mix with birds unfortunately. We’ve got to keep fighting to keep the brolga,” Susan Dennis, a longtime defender of that breed of bird, told The Standard. “I don’t accept that their endangered population is acceptable collateral damage for green energy.”

Of course, dead birds, health problems, and massive wealth destruction are not the only reasons to stop subsidizing wind farms. Other environmental concerns exist, too.

“There are many hidden truths about the world of wind turbines from the pollution and environmental damage caused in China by manufacturing bird choppers,” noted environmental blogger Tory Aardvark in a recent post about wind farms, also citing the dangerous noise produced by turbines. He added,

The symbol of Green renewable energy, our savior from the non existent problem of "Global Warming," abandoned wind farms are starting to litter the planet as globally governments cut the subsidies taxes that consumers pay for the privilege of having a very expensive power source that does not work every day for various reasons like it’s too cold or the wind speed is too high.

He called the more than 14,000 abandoned wind turbines in theas U.S. symbols of a “dying Climate Religion.”

In recent days, a wave of articles and opinion pieces highlighting the wastefulness and destructiveness of wind farms swept the worldwide web. But with so much tax money at stake for the green-power industry, which lobbies intensely for ever more money, it will be hard to end the subsidies which generated the bogus “industry” in the first place.

The Solyndra debacle, however, has created what analysts called a serious public-relations problem for subsidized “green-energy” producers of all stripes. And then there is “Climategate2.0.” The scandal, surrounding a second batch of embarrassing e-mails from “climate scientists” leaked last week, has dealt another serious blow to the foundation of it all — United Nations-backed global-warming alarmism.

“This whole wind energy mess just further illustrates how the American people have been played by their elected officials who bought into the ‘global warming’ hysteria that spawned the push for wind energy in the first place,” wrote Jonathan Benson for a piece in Natural News dealing with the abandoned wind turbines. “And now that the renewable energy tax subsidies are gradually coming to an end in some places, the true financial and economic viability, or lack of wind energy, is on display for the world to see.”

Analysts have said that if and when tax subsidies to wind power and other green-energy schemes are finally cut, the whole house of cards will come crashing down almost instantly. But then a new question arises: Who will clean up the mess?

http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/energy/9977-wind-turbines-green-subsidies-under-fire

Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


2/15/10 - Wind Energy's Ghosts

February 15, 2010

Wind Energy's Ghosts

By Andrew Walden

Bankrupt Europe has a lesson for Congress about wind power.

Wiwo...wiwo...wiwo.  

The sound floats on the winds of Ka Le, this southernmost tip of Hawaii's Big Island, where Polynesian colonists first landed some 1,500 years ago.

Some say that Ka Le is haunted -- and it is. But it's haunted not by Hawaii's legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are "Na leo o Kamaoa"-- the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm.

 The voices of Kamaoa cry out their warning as a new batch of colonists, having looted the taxpayers of Spain, Portugal, and Greece, seeks to expand upon their multi-billion-dollar foothold half a world away on the shores of the distant Potomac River. European wind developers are fleeing the EU's expiring wind subsidies, shuttering factories, laying off workers, and leaving billions of Euros of sovereign debt and a continent-wide financial crisis in their wake. But their game is not over. Already they are tapping a new vein of lucre from the taxpayers and ratepayers of the United States.

The Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade Bill appears to be politically dead since Republican Scott Brown's paradigm-shattering Massachusetts Senate victory. But alternative proposals being floated by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and others still promise billions of dollars to wind developers and commit the United States to generate as much as 20% of its electricity from so-called "renewable" sources.

The ghosts of Kamaoa are not alone in warning us. Five other abandoned wind sites dot the Hawaiian Isles -- but it is in California where the impact of past mandates and subsidies is felt most strongly. Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy's California "big three" locations -- Altamont Pass, Tehachapi, and San Gorgonio -- considered among the world's best wind sites. 

 Built in 1985, at the end of the boom, Kamaoa soon suffered from lack of maintenance. In 1994, the site lease was purchased by Redwood City, CA-based Apollo Energy. 

Cannibalizing parts from the original 37 turbines, Apollo personnel kept the declining facility going with outdated equipment. But even in a place where wind-shaped trees grow sideways, maintenance issues were overwhelming.  By 2004 Kamaoa accounts began to show up on a Hawaii State Department of Finance list of unclaimed properties. In 2006, transmission was finally cut off by Hawaii Electric Company. 

California's wind farms -- then comprising about 80% of the world's wind generation capacity -- ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa.  In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned.  Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills.

The City of Palm Springs was forced to enact an ordinance requiring their removal from San Gorgonio.  But California's Kern County, encompassing the Tehachapi area, has no such law. Wind Power advocate Paul Gipe, who got his start as an early 1970s environmental activist at Indiana's Ball State University, describes a 1998 Tehachapi tour thusly:

"Our bus drove directly through the Tehachapi Gorge passing the abandoned Airtricity site with its derelict Storm Master and Wind-Matic turbines and the deserted Wind Source site with its defunct Aeroman machines. We also got a freeway-close glimpse of Zond's wind wall with its 400 Vestas V15 turbines, the former Arbutus site on rugged Pajuela Peak where only the Bonus turbines are still in service, and steep-sided Cameron Ridge topped with FloWind's few remaining Darrieus turbines before reaching SeaWest, our first stop.

"As we approached SeaWest from the desert town of Mojave, the old Micon 108s were spinning merrily, but the Mitsubishis with their higher start-up speed were just coming to life. SeaWest and Fluidyne had done a commendable job of cleaning the Mitsubishis of their infamous oil leaks for the tour's arrival."


Tehachapi's dead turbines 
(image via 
webecoistsky#walkerCenter for Land Use InterpretationTerminal Tower)
Writing in the February, 1999 edition of New Energy, Gipe explains:

From 1981 through 1985 federal and state tax subsidies in California were so great that wealthy investors could recover up to 50 percent of a wind turbine's cost. The lure of quick riches resulted in a flood of development using new and mostly untested wind turbines. By the end of 1986, when projects already underway in 1985 were completed, developers had installed nearly 15,000 wind turbines. These machines represented 1,200 MW of capacity worth US$2.4 billion in 1986 dollars.

It took nearly a decade from the time the first flimsy wind turbines were installed before the performance of California wind projects could dispel the widespread belief among the public and investors that wind energy was just a tax scam.

Ben Lieberman, a senior policy analyst focusing on energy and environmental issues for the Heritage Foundation, is not surprised.  He asks:

"If wind power made sense, why would it need a government subsidy in the first place?  It's a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end."

After the collapse, wind promoters had a solution to their public image problem.  Hide the derelict turbines.  Gipe in 1993 wrote for the American Wind Energy Association: 

Currently most of the older, less productive wind turbines are located within sight of major travel corridors such as I-580 and I-10. Many first generation turbines and some of the second generation designs are inoperative, and all turbines of these generations are more prone to mechanical failure than contemporary designs. Public opinion surveys have consistently found that inoperative wind turbines tarnish the public's perception of wind energy's efficacy."

Gipe then quotes a 1991 UC Davis study, which explains:

"Our research and that of others show that turbines' non-operation and public fear of wind farm abandonment is still a critical issue, and it therefore behooves the wind industry to return to the 'big three' wind farm sites (Altamont, San Gorgonio, and Tehachapi) and to ensure that these areas are operating as efficiently as possible, and all turbine arrays which do not contribute significantly and conspicuously to power production are either replaced or, if necessary, removed."

Altamont's turbines have since 2008 been tethered four months of every year in an effort to protect migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit.   According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society, 75 to 110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-tailed Hawks, and 333 American Kestrels (falcons) are killed by Altamont turbines annually.  A July, 2008 study by the Alameda County Community Development Agency points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont Pass wind turbines. Audubon calls Altamont, "probably the worst site ever chosen for a wind energy project." In 2004 the group unsuccessfully challenged renewal applications for 18 of 20 Altamont wind farms.

From its beginnings as a slogan of the anti-nuclear movement, wind energy has always been tied to taxpayer support and government intervention.  Wind farms got their first boost with the Carter-eraPublic Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) which encouraged states to enact their own tax incentives.  PURPA also for the first time allowed non-utility energy producers to sell electricity to utilities -- the first step towards a bungled half-privatization of electricity supply which would come two decades hence.

In the 1985 book "Dynamos and Virgins" a San Francisco based PG&E utility heir tells the story of how he joined forces in the 1970s with lawyers from the Environmental Defense Fund.  Together they worked for years to obstruct coal and nuclear power plants until utilities were forced to do business with wind energy suppliers.  

Protest and litigation remain among the foremost competitive tools used by the now multi-billion dollar "alternative" energy industry.  Reviewing the book, Robert Reich, a Kennedy School of Government professor who would later become Clinton's Secretary of Labor, wrote:

"The old paradigms of large-scale production, centralized management, and infinite resources are crumbling.  We are on the verge of a new political economy."      

The new paradigm created by the generation of 1968 is more political and less economy.  Without government intervention, utilities normally avoid wind energy.  Wind's erratic power feed destabilizes power grids and forces engineers to stand by, always ready to fire up traditional generators.  Wind does not fit into an electric supply model made up of steady massive low cost "base load" coal or nuclear plants backed up by on-call natural gas powered "peaker" units which kick in during high demand.  No coal or nuclear power plant has ever been replaced by wind energy.

Although carbon credit schemes often assign profitable carbon credits to wind farm operators based on a theoretical displacement of carbon emitted by coal or natural gas producers, in reality these plants must keep burning to be able to quickly add supply every time the wind drops off.  The formulae do not take into account carbon emitted by idling coal and natural gas plants nor the excess carbon generated by constant fire-up and shut down cycles necessitated to balance fluctuating wind supplies.  

But with PURPA on the federal books, the State of California quickly created "Interim Standard Offer" (ISO4) contracts guaranteeing a purchase price based on utilities' "avoided costs"--launching the first "California Wind Rush".  By 1982 turbines were sprouting from the dusty terrain of Altamont Pass, Tehachapi, and San Gorgonio.  The ISO4 contracts were written with the assumption that fuel prices would continue to soar. 

But that's not what happened. 

By 1985 oil and natural gas prices were dropping.  This changed the "avoided cost" calculations to the disadvantage of alternative energy producers.  ISO4 contracts no longer guaranteed a price sufficient to attract investment in wind energy.  Construction of new turbines stopped.  As the old ten-year contracts began to expire in the late 1980s, renewals were pegged at much lower avoided cost estimates.  As a result, many California wind developers quickly closed up shop, abandoning their turbines to moan out the one note song. 

Then Enron got involved. 

Building on the foundation laid by PURPA, 1992 Energy Policy Act (EPAct) began the partial deregulation of wholesale -- but not retail -- electricity.  Reich in 1985 had lauded the "crumbling" of "large-scale production (and) centralized management".  He got his wish.  EPAct set the stage for Enron's California energy market manipulations which led to the 2003 recall of Governor Gray Davis (D-CA).  The movement started by a PG&E heir led to the bankruptcy of PG&E.  Perhaps this is why some call the children of the 1960s "the destructive generation."

Designed to create a renewable energy trading market, EPAct -- much of which took effect in 1997 -- created a combination of mandates, incentives, and tax credits.  These included:

  • laws requiring large wind producers to be allowed to tie into the existing utility grid
  • "Renewable Portfolio Standards" forcing utilities to buy intermittent wind generated electricity.
  • "Renewable Energy Certificates" tradable separately from the electricity itself to sell to companies needing to meet the portfolio standards.
  • A 10-year "Production Tax Credit" that now equals $.019/kWh
  • Accelerated depreciation allowing tax write-off using an accelerated 5-year double-declining-balance method (40% per year).

Wind capacity had stagnated through the mid-1990s.  But Enron in January, 1997 bought out Tehachapi-based industry leader Zond Corporation - launching the second California Wind Rush. 

Four years later, Enron would implode.  The company which gamed a government-crippled artificial marketplace was deconstructed as poster boy for unbridled capitalism. 

But the tax credits, mandates, and regulations which made Enron possible did not die with it.  Enron Wind's turbine manufacturing subsidiary was purchased by General Electric.  Many of its wind farms went to Florida Light and Power.  By 2009, the US Department of Energy estimates mandate-and-subsidy-driven wind capacity would rise to 28,635mw. 

That much coal or nuclear "capacity" would power 28.635 million homes, but wind "capacity" is calculated assuming perfect wind 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.  At the best wind sites, such as Kamaoa, newly installed turbines generate only 30-40% of "capacity".  At most sites, the figure is 20% or less.  After 30 years of development, wind produces only 2.3% of California's electricity.  

And then there is maintenance.  The turbines installed in the first wind rush were not very reliable.  Some never worked at all.  As the years passed and the elements took their toll, downtime climbed ever closer to 100% and production dwindled to negligible amounts.  Developers often set malfunctioning turbines to "virtual" mode -- blades spinning without generating electricity -- in order to keep oil circulating inside the turbine drive.  Of course this habit also gives passing drivers an illusion of productivity.

Wind developers claim that today's American and European-made turbines are more reliable and longer-lasting than their old-tech predecessors.  But new Chinese turbine manufacturers of untested quality are crowding the marketplace Europe's subsidy-driven turbine meisters are chased from their home markets.

After the debacle of the First California Wind Rush, the European Union had moved ahead of the US on efforts to subsidize "renewable" energy--including a "Feed in Tariff" even more lucrative than the ISO4 contracts.  EU governments provided government-backed securities to support utilities burdened by Feed-in Tariff costs.  But last year, as the national debt of wind-intensive EU countries became unbearable, the EU subsidy bubble burst.

Wind maven Gipe proudly takes a page from the disastrous European playbook, crediting himselfwith "Almost single-handedly launch(ing) a campaign for Advanced Renewable Tariffs (electricity feed laws) in North America." 

But addressing a Heritage Foundation seminar last May, Dr. Gabriel Calzada, Professor of King Juan Carlos University in Madrid explained what Feed In Tariffs and other wind subsidies did to Spain (as well as Portugal and Greece) got into debt:

"The feed-in tariff... would make (utility) companies go bankrupt eventually.  So...the government guarantees...to give back the money in the future -- when (they) are not going to be in the office any more.  Slowly the market does not want to have these securities that they are selling.  Right now there is a debt related to these renewable energies that nobody knows how it is going to be paid -- of 16 Billion Euros." 

In early 2009 the Socialist government of Spain reduced alternative energy subsidies by 30%.  Calzada continues:

"At that point the whole pyramid collapsed.  They are firing thousands of people.  BP closed down the two largest solar production plants in Europe.  They are firing between 25,000 and 40,000 people...."

"What do we do with all this industry that we have been creating with subsidies that now is collapsing?  The bubble is too big.  We cannot continue pumping enough money.  ...The President of the Renewable Industry in Spain (wrote a column arguing that) ...the only way is finding other countries that will give taxpayers' money away to our industry to take it and continue maintaining these jobs."

That "other country" is the United States of America.

Waxman-Markey seems dead, and Europe's southern periphery is bankrupt.  But the wind-subsidy proposals being floated in Congress suggest that American political leaders have yet to understand that "green power" means generating electricity by burning dollars.

Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


11/24/11 -  Tens of thousands of abandoned wind turbines now litter American landscape


'Green' debacle: Tens of thousands of abandoned wind turbines now litter American landscape

Thursday, November 24, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Literal beacons of the "green" energy movement, giant wind turbines have been one of the renewable energy sources of choice for the US government, which has spent billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing their construction and use across the country. But high maintenance costs, high rates of failure, and fluctuating weather conditions that affect energy production render wind turbines expensive and inefficient, which is why more than 14,000 of them have since been abandoned.

Before government subsidies for the giant metals were cut or eliminated in many areas, wind farms were an energy boom business. But in the post-tax subsidy era, the costs of maintaining and operating wind turbines far outweighs the minimal power they generate in many areas, which has left a patchwork of wind turbine graveyards in many of the most popular wind farming areas of the US.

"Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy's California 'big three' locations which include Altamont Pass, Tehachapin and San Gorgonio, considered among the world's best wind sites," writes Andrew Walden of the American Thinker. "In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills."

Walden speaks, of course, about the birds, bats, and other air creatures that routinely get tangled in and killed by wind turbine propellers. And as far as the "post-industrial junk" language, well, if it costs too much to run the machines in the first place, then it definitely costs too much to uproot and remove them post-construction.

This whole wind energy mess just further illustrates how the American people have been played by their elected officials who bought into the "global warming" hysteria that spawned the push for wind energy in the first place. And now that the renewable energy tax subsidies are gradually coming to an end in some places, the true financial and economic viability, or lack of wind energy, is on display for the world to see.

"It is all about the tax subsidies," writes Don Surber of the Charleston Daily Mail. "The blades churn until the money runs out. If an honest history is written about the turn of the 21st century, it will include a large, harsh chapter on how fears about global warming were overplayed for profit by corporations."

 

http://www.naturalnews.com/034234_wind_turbines_abandoned.html

Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


2/17/12 - Hawaiian Eyesores

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More Windmills Coming, But Not All Island Residents Approve

Very soon, Kahuku won't be the only place on the North Shore of Oahu with giant white windmills.

First Wind is breaking ground today on construction for Kawailoa Wind, Hawaii's largest wind project, with 69 MW, or enough power for 14,500 homes. This is the company's fourth project in Hawaii.

Hawaii is the state most dependent on foreign oil, and state government officials want to create more energy independence by the year 2030.

Those supporting the project include: Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair, Senate Committee on Energy and Environment Mayor Peter Carlisle, City and County of Honolulu Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind Richard Rosenblum, President and CEO, Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. Dee Jay Mailer, CEO of Kamehameha Schools Antya Miller, Executive Director, North Shore Chamber of Commerce and Hermina Morita, Chair, Public Utilities Commission.

Meanwhile residents on Molokai continue to fight any windmills on their island, saying the structures are unnecessary and are ugly.

Larry Helm, well known native Hawaiian veterans' advocate, said about 90 percent of Molokai's 7,000 plus residents are against the windmill construction plan, which would include windmills built on Molokai that would connect to an undersea cable bringing power to the highly populated Oahu.

Molokai residents point to a now defunct windmill operation at South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii as one reason not to erect windmills. On the beachfront site, many of the steel windmills have rusted into place or collapsed.

The property where the Big Island windmills now stand was once owned by Kahuku Ranch. Kahuku Ranch sold the property to the WF Co.

While new windmills are going up on Oahu, many neighbor island residents are wondering why others have been left standing unused for decades.

One Big Island rancher told Hawaii Reporter: "The windmills were the Model T. of Mitsubishi's and had never been tested in Japan.  Eventually they leaked oil and the wind would blow the oil quite a ways from the towers.  Why they are allowed to still stand there is a big question.  Aren't there laws that say that they must be removed and the area cleaned up?"

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/more-windmills-coming-but-not-all-island-residents-approve/123

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8/27/13 - Knauth’s Analysis of cost to decommission turbines

(This is the date of posting, not publication)

See the following link: http://www.protectrichfield.com/documents/Decommissioning%20Estimate%20for%20Ridgeline%20Energy%20Monticello%20Hills%20Project.pdf

Or download the PDF itemizing decommisioning costs here:

Knauth%27s%20Decommissioning%20Estimate%20for%20Ridgeline%20Energy%20Monticello%20Hills%20Project.pdf

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Comment by Whetstone_Willy on February 20, 2012 at 12:01pm

Patriot Renewables, Angus King and First Wind are already using the seven ton blades to build bridges - bridges to blowwhere.

Comment by Penny Gray on February 20, 2012 at 10:20am

Any project approved by the DEP should be required to have decommissioning costs FULLY funded prior to the project even breaking ground.  Where will all those seven ton blades go?  They cannot be recycled.  Can Cashman Construction/Patriot Renewables use them to build bridges?  Tunnels? 

Comment by freemont tibbetts on February 20, 2012 at 8:47am

     Maybe the people of Dixfield and Peru should take a nice ride to Concord Pond in Woodstork Maine and take a LOOK and LISTEN to the WIND MILLS of PATRIOT RENEWABLES LUC of QUINEY, MASS. on Spruce Mountain.      Freemont Tibbetts  37, Bruce Tibbetts Dr. Dixfield . 

Comment by alice mckay barnett on February 20, 2012 at 8:17am

450 people know GRID scale WIND turbines are a scam...we cannot give up..We need to educate people everyday until the money runs out.

Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on February 19, 2012 at 8:52pm

people of Maine..LISTEN

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?"  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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