The Great Renewable Energy Scam: Is There A Change In The Wind?

1/19/2012 @ 2:10PM |2,067 views

The Great Renewable Energy Scam: Is There A Change In The Wind?

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People don’t like being forced to purchase things they may not want, which is why over half of us are hoping that the Supreme Court throws out the individual insurance mandate in President Barack Obama’s health care plan.

There’s also a worldwide rebellion brewing against being forced to purchase expensive electricity produced by so-called “renewable” sources, now being exacerbated by the availability of very cheap natural gas from shale formations.

But, here in the U.S. there are some 30 different statewide “renewable portfolio standards” (RPSs) that also mandate pricey power, usually under the guise of fighting dreaded global warming.

RPSs command that  a certain percentage of electricity has to come from wind, solar, geothermal, or biomass. Given that this power generally costs a lot more than what comes from a modern coal or gas plant, your local utility passes the cost on in the form of higher bills, which the various state utility commissions are only too happy to approve in the name of saving the planet.

RPSs generally do not include hydroelectric power, which produces no carbon dioxide. It’s also much more predictable than solar or wind, and costs about the same as the average for gas and coal combined. It’s not in the portfolio standards because dams are soooo 20th century, and it isn’t a darling of the green lobby, like solar, wind and biomass.  But hydro can deliver more juice than solar is ever likely to.

Nor do RPSs allow for natural gas. There are massive quantities in shale formations around the country, and new horizontal drilling techniques are releasing so much of it that it is now the cheapest source of electrical power.  If our environmentalist friends were at all serious about climate change, they would enthuse over it because  it produces significantly less carbon dioxide than an equivalent quantity of coal when used for power generation.  Instead, they are horrified that cheap gas will destroy solar and wind.

Their worries are quite well-founded.  In November, NextEra Energy, the country’s largest wind-energy producer, said it would develop no new wind projects this year, as utilities sell cheaper gas power.

When are governments going to learn that they ought to butt out of the energy business? RPSs that specify certain technologies are essentially picking winners and losers based more upon political pull than market logic.

One needs to look no further than ethanol as a motor fuel, mandated by the feds.  Sold as “renewable” and reducing pernicious carbon dioxide emissions, it actually produces more in its life cycle than simply burning an equivalent amount of gasoline.  It also—unconscionably—consumes 40% of U.S. corn production, and we are the by far the world’s largest producer of this important basic food.

The popular revulsion against ethanol has succeeded in cutting its massive federal subsidy, of $0.54 per gallon, which ran out on Dec. 31.  But that doesn’t stop the federal mandate.  Last year it was for roughly 14 billion gallons from corn and it will be nearly 15 billion in 2012. By 2022, up to 20 billion gallons will be required — all from corn — unless there is a breakthrough in so-called “cellulosic” ethanol, which, no matter how much money the government throws at it, hasn’t happened.  Indeed, the largest cellulosic plant, Range Fuels, in Camilla, Ga., just went bankrupt.  The loss to American taxpayers appears to be about $120 million, or about 25% of a Solyndra.

Look for a movement in the many state legislatures that approved the outrageous RPSs without asking people how they liked being forced to buy something they don’t want. Or will cheaper natural gas and hydro be allowed in the standards in the place of wind and solar? There is likely to be some legislation introduced this year and a lot more in the future, as the U.S. catches on to the great renewable energy scam.


Read the full article here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmichaels/2012/01/19/the-great-re...


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Comment by steve bien on January 22, 2012 at 2:51pm

nothing could be more foolish in an otherwise good critique of wind power than beginning with a gratuitous slam on health care reform. as one who supports the latter but not the former, that was just about the end of my interest. let's stick to the issue at hand. i realize this is an article out of forbes, but nevetheless we should be careful what we use for publicity

Steve, Jay

Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on January 21, 2012 at 8:12am

PLEASE PLEASE let the state legislatures start realizing what works and what does not..in this complicated energy question..thank you Long Islander for keeping us hopeful. Let's get back to the people as was promised.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"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."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(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 https://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?" https://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.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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