THETFORD; July 2, 2021 — A fire destroyed a 2019 Chevy Bolt, 66 kWh battery, battery pack cost about $10,000, or 10000/66 = $152/kWh, EPA range 238 miles, owned by state Rep. Tim Briglin, D-Thetford, Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Technology.


He had been driving back and forth from Thetford, VT, to Montpelier, VT, with his EV, about 100 miles via I-89

He had parked his 2019 Chevy Bolt on the driveway, throughout the winter, per GM recall of Chevy Bolts

He had plugged his EV into a 240-volt charger.

His battery was at about 10% charge at start of charging, at 8 PM, and he had charged it to 100% charge at 4 AM; 8 hours of charging.

Charging over such a wide range is detrimental for the battery. However, it is required for “range-driving”, i.e., making long trips. See Note.

NOTE: Range-driving is an absolute no-no, except on rare occasions, as it would 1) pre-maturely age/damage the battery, 2) reduce range sooner, 3) increase charging loss, and 4) increase kWh/mile, and 5) increase the chance of battery fires.

Charging at 32F or less

Li-ions would plate out on the anode each time when charging, especially when such charging occurred at battery temperatures of 32F or less.


Here is an excellent explanation regarding charging at 32F or less.


Fire in Driveway

Firefighters were called to Briglin’s house on Tucker Hill Road, around 9 AM Thursday.

Investigators from the Vermont Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit determined:


1) The fire started in a compartment in the back of the passenger’s side of the vehicle

2) It was likely due to an “electrical failure”. See Note


NOTE: Actually, it likely was one or more battery cells shorting out, which creates heat, which burns nearby items, which creates a fire that is very hard to extinguish. See Appendix

GM Recall of Chevy Bolts

In 2020, GM issued a worldwide recall of 68,667 Chevy Bolts, all 2017, 2018 and 2019 models, plus, in 2021, a recall for another 73,000 Bolts, all 2020, 2021, and 2022 models.

GM set aside $1.8 BILLION to replace battery modules, or 1.8 BILLION/(68,667 + 73,000) = $12,706/EV.


Owners were advised not to charge them in a garage, and not to leave them unattended while charging, which may take up to 8 hours; what a nuisance!

I wonder what could happen during rush hour traffic, or in a parking garage, or at a shopping mall, etc.

Rep. Briglin heeded the GM recall by not charging in his garage. See URLs



- Cost of replacing the battery packs of 80,000 Hyundai Konas was estimated at $900 million, about $11,000 per vehicle

- EV batteries should be charged from 20 to 80%, to achieve minimal degradation and long life, plus the charging loss is minimal in that range

- Charging EVs from 0 to 20% charge, and from 80 to 100% charge:


1) Uses more kWh AC from the wall outlet per kWh DC charged into the battery, and

2) Is detrimental to the battery.

3) Requires additional kWh for cooling the battery while charging.


- EV batteries must never be charged, when the battery temperature is less than 32F; if charged anyway, the plating out of Li-ions on the anode would permanently damage the battery.






Here is an excellent explanation regarding EV charging at 32F or less.


Explanation by Expert


'Cold temperatures' is awfully vague. First, let me actually specify some real, hard numbers.

Do not charge lithium-ion batteries below 32°F/0°C. In other words, never charge a lithium-ion battery that is below freezing.


Doing so even once will result in a sudden, severe, and permanent capacity loss on the order of several dozen percent or more, as well a similar and also permanent increase in internal resistance. This damage occurs after just one isolated 'cold charging' event, and is proportional to the speed at which the cell is charged. 


But, even more importantly, a lithium-ion cell that has been cold charged is NOT safe and must be safely recycled or otherwise discarded. By not safe, I mean it will work fine until it randomly explodes due to mechanical vibration, mechanical shock, or just reaching a high enough state of charge. See URL


Now, to actually answer your question: why is this?


This requires a quick summary of how lithium-ion batteries work. They have an anode and cathode and electrolyte just like any other battery, but there is a twist: lithium ions actually move from the cathode to anode during charging and intercalate into it. The gist of intercalation is that molecules or ions (lithium ions in this case) are crammed in between the molecular gaps of some material's lattice. 


During discharging, the lithium ions leave the anode and return to the cathode, and likewise intercalate into the cathode. So, both the cathode and anode act as sort of a 'sponge' for lithium ions. 


When most of the lithium ions are intercalated into the cathode (meaning the battery is in a fairly discharged state), the cathode material will expand slightly due to volumetric strain (because of all the extra atoms wedged in between its lattice), but generally most of this is intercalation force is converted to internal stresses (analogous to tempered glass), so the volumetric strain is slight. 


During charging, the lithium ions leave the cathode and intercalate into the graphite anode. Graphite has is basically a carbon biscuit, made of a bunch of graphene layers to form an aggregate biscuit structure.  American biscuit structure.


This greatly reduces the graphite anode's ability to convert the force from the intercalation into internal stresses, so the anode undergoes significantly more volumetric strain - so much so that it will actually increase in volume by 10-20%. This must be (and is - except in the case of a certain Samsung phone battery anyway) allowed for when designing a lithium-ion cell - otherwise the anode can slowly weaken or even ultimately puncture the internal membrane that separates the anode from the cathode, causing a dead short inside the cell. But only once a bunch of joules has been shoved into the cell (thus expanding the anode). 


Ok, but what does any of this have to do with cold temperatures?


When you charge a lithium-ion cell in below freezing temperatures, most of the lithium ions fail to intercalate into the graphite anode. Instead, they plate the anode with metallic lithium, just like electroplating an anode coin with a cathode precious metal.


So, charging will electroplate the anode with lithium rather than, well, recharging it. Some of the ions to intercalate into the anode, and some of the atoms in the metal plating will intercalate later over 20+ hours, if the cell is allowed to rest, but most will not. That is the source of the capacity reduction, increased internal resistance, and also the danger.


If you've read my related answer on stack exchange to the question 'Why is there so much fear surrounding lithium-ion batteries?', you can probably see where this is going. 


This lithium plating of the anode isn't nice and smooth and even (like chrome plating). It forms in dendrites, little sharp tendrils of lithium metal growing on the anode.


As with the other failure mechanisms which likewise are due to metallic lithium plating of the anode (though for different reasons), these dendrites can put unexpected pressure on the separating membrane as the anode expands and forces them into it, and if you're unlucky, this will cause the membrane to one day fail unexpectedly (or also immediately, sometimes a dendrite just pokes a hole in it and touches the cathode).


This makes the cell vent, ignite its flammable electrolyte, and ruin your weekend (at best).


However, you might be wondering, "why do below-freezing temperatures cause lithium metal plating of the anode?"


And the unfortunate and unsatisfying answer is that we don't actually know. We must use neutron imaging to look inside functioning lithium-ion cells, and considering there are only around ~30 (31 I think?) worldwide active research reactors (nuclear reactors that act as a neutron source) that are actually available for scientific research at a university rather than used for medical isotope production, and all of them booked 24/7 for experiments, I think it is just a matter of patience. There have only been a few instances of neutron imaging of lithium-ion batteries simply due to scarcity of equipment time. 


The last time this was used specifically for this cold temperature problem was 2014 I believe, and here is the article. 


Despite the headline, they still haven't really solved exactly what it is that causes plating rather than intercalation when the cell is below freezing.


Interestingly, it is actually possible to charge a lithium-ion cell below freezing, but only at exceedingly low currents, below 0.02C

(a greater than 50-hour charge time).


There are also a few exotic cells commercially available that are specifically designed to be chargeable in cold temperatures, usually at significant cost (both monetarily and in terms of the cells' performance in other areas). 


Note: I should add that discharging a lithium-ion battery in below freezing temperatures is perfectly safe. Most cells have discharge temperature ratings of -20°C or even colder. Only charging a 'frozen' cell need be avoided.




See section Charging Electric Vehicles During Freezing Conditions in URL


Charging Electric Vehicles During Freezing Conditions


A 3-layer tape (cathode, separator and anode) is wound on a core to make a battery cell.

An EV battery pack has several thousand cells. The cells are arranged in strings, i.e., in series, to achieve the desired voltage

The strings are arranged in parallel to achieve the desired amps.

Power, in Watts = Volts x Amps


EV Normal Operation at 32F and below: On cold/freezing days, EVs would use on-boardsystems to heat the battery, as needed, during daily operation


EV Parking at 32 F and below: When at home, it is best to keep EVs plugged in during periods at 32F and below, whether parked indoors or outdoors.

When parking at an airport, which may not have enough charging stations, it is best to fully charge EVs prior to parking, to enable the on-board systems to heat the battery during parking, as needed.


Charging at 32F and below: Li-ion batteries must never be charged when the batterytemperature is at 32F or below. Do not plug it in. Turn on “pre-conditioning”, to enable the battery heating/cooling system (which could be a heat pump) to very slowly heat up the battery to about 40F. After the battery is “up to temperature”, normal charging can be started, either at home, or at a fast-charging rate on the road.


If the battery does not have enough charge to heat itself at about 40F, it needs to be heated by an external heat source, such as an electric heater under the battery, or towed/driven to a warm garage. All this, while cumbersome, needs to be done to safeguard the expensive battery.


Pre-conditioning can be set to:


1) Preheat the cabin and/or seats

2) Defrost windshield wipers, windows, door handles and charge port, etc., in case of freezing rain conditions; newer Teslas have charge port heaters. See URL

3) Pre-heat the battery, before arriving at a fast charger.


Power Outage, while parked at 32F and below: During a power outage, partially charged batteries, connected to dead chargers, could use much of their remaining charge to keep the batteries at about 40F.

If the power is restored, and the EV is plugged in, charging must never begin, unless the battery temperature is 35 to 40F

See URLs.


During charging, Li-ions (pos.) are absorbed by the anode (pos.) at decreasing rates as the battery temperature decreases from 32F

Any excess Li-ions arriving at the anode will plate out on the anode and permanently reduce the absorption rate.


The plating is not smooth, like chrome plating; it is roughish and may have dendrites, which could penetrate the thin separator between the anode and cathode, and cause a short and a fire.


A similar condition exists, if charging from 0 to 20% and from 80 to 100%; the more often such charging, the greater the anode resistance to absorbing Li-ions, and the greater the likelihood of plating.


The plating condition is permanent, i.e., cannot be reversed.


Also, frequently charging from 0 to 20% and from 80 to 100%, increases the charging percentage, increases kWh/mile of travel, and reduces range.



- EV batteries have miscellaneous losses to provide electricity to on-board systems

- On cold/freezing days, an electric bus should be ready for service as soon as the driver enters the bus

- On cold/freezing days, the bus driver would need at least 70% charge, because travel would require more kWh per mile



If the battery temperature is less than 40F or more than 115F, it will use more kWh/mile of travel

The best efficiency, charging and discharging, is at battery temperatures of 60 to 80F.

Batteries have greater internal resistance at lower temperatures and at high temperatures.

Pro-bus folks often point to California regarding electric buses, but in New England, using electric buses to transport children would be a whole new ballgame, especially on colder days. See URLs


EV Electricity Supply: Where would the electricity come from, to charge and protect from cold, expensive batteries during extended electricity outages/rolling blackouts, due to multi-day, hot and cold weather events, with minimal wind and solar, as occur in New England throughout the year?

Would charging electricity be supplied by emergency standby diesel-generators, or emergency standby batteries?




Tesla reported WORLDWIDE deliveries that totaled 241,300 EVs for the third quarter of 2021, up from 201,250 in Q2 and 184,800 in Q1.





I installed three heat pumps by Mitsubishi, rated 24,000 Btu/h at 47F, Model MXZ-2C24NAHZ2, each with 2 heads, each with remote control; 2 in the living room, 1 in the kitchen, and 1 in each of 3 bedrooms.

The HPs have DC variable-speed, motor-driven compressors and fans, which improves the efficiency of low-temperature operation.

The HPs last about 15 years. Turnkey capital cost was $24,000


My Well-Sealed, Well-Insulated House


The HPs are used for heating and cooling my 35-y-old, 3,600 sq ft, well-sealed/well-insulated house, except the basement, which has a near-steady temperature throughout the year, because it has 2” of blueboard, R-10, on the outside of the concrete foundation and under the basement slab, which has saved me many thousands of space heating dollars over the 35 years.


I do not operate my HPs at 15F or below, because HPs would become increasingly less efficient with decreasing temperatures.

The HP operating cost per hour would become greater than of my efficient propane furnace. See table 3


High Electricity Prices


Vermont forcing, with subsidies and/or GWSA mandates, the build-outs of expensive RE electricity systems, such as wind, solar, batteries, etc., would be counter-productive, because it would:


1) Increase already-high electric rates and

2) Worsen the already-poor economics of HPs (and of EVs)!!


Energy Cost Reduction is Minimal


- HP electricity consumption was from my electric bills

- Vermont electricity prices, including taxes, fees and surcharges, are about 20 c/kWh.

- My HPs provide space heat to 2,300 sq ft, about the same area as an average Vermont house

- Two small propane heaters (electricity not required) provide space heat to my 1,300 sq ft basement

- My average HP coefficient of performance, COP, was 2.64, which required, at 35% displacement of fuel, 2489 kWh; 100% displacement would require 8997 kWh

- The average Vermont house COP was 3.34, which required, at 27.6% displacement, 2085 kWh, per VT-DPS/CADMUS survey.

- I operate my HPs at temperatures of 15F and greater; less $/h than propane

- I operate my traditional propane system at temperatures of 15F and less; less $/h than HP


Before HPs: I used 100 gal for domestic hot water + 250 gal for 2 stoves in basement + 850 gal for Viessmann furnace, for a total propane of 1,200 gal/y


After HPs: I used 100 gal for DHW + 250 gal for 2 stoves in basement + 550 gal for Viessmann furnace + 2,489 kWh of electricity.


My propane cost reduction for space heating was 850 - 550 = 300 gallon/y, at a cost of 2.339/gal = $702/y

My displaced fuel was 100 x (1 - 550/850) = 35%, which is better than the Vermont average of 27.6%

My purchased electricity cost increase was 2,489 kWh x 20 c/kWh = $498/y


My energy cost savings due to the HPs were 702 - 498 = $204/y, on an investment of $24,000!!


Amortizing Heat Pumps


Amortizing the $24,000 turnkey capital cost at 3.5%/y for 15 years costs about $2,059/y.

This is in addition to the amortizing of my existing propane system. I am losing money.


Other Annual Costs


There likely would be service calls and parts for the HP system, as the years go by.

This is in addition to the annual service calls and parts for my existing propane system. I am losing more money.


Energy Savings of Propane versus HPs


Site Energy Basis: RE folks claim there would be a major energy reduction, due to using HPs. They compare the thermal Btus of 300 gallon of propane x 84250 Btu/gal = 25,275,000 Btu vs the electrical Btus of 2489 kWh of electricity x 3412 Btu/kWh = 8,492,469 Btu.


However, that comparison would equate thermal Btus with electrical Btus, which all engineers know is an absolute no-no.


A-to-Z Energy Basis: A proper comparison would be thermal Btus in propane vs thermal Btus to power plants, i.e., 25,275,000 Btu vs 23,312,490 Btu, i.e., a minor energy reduction. See table 1A


Table 1A, Energy Savings

Heat in propane, Btu/y, HHV


Fuel to power plant, Btu/y


Fuel to power plant, kWh/y


Conversion efficiency


Fed to grid, kWh


Transmission loss adjustment, 2.4%


Distribution loss adjustment, 6.7%


Heat in propane, Btu/gal, HHV


Purchased propane, gal/y


Purchased electricity, kWh/y


Heat in propane Btu/gal, LHV


Standby, kWh


Defrost, kWh


To compressor, kWh




Heat for space heat, kWh




Furnace efficiency


Btu/y for space heat









China has made electric buses and EVs a priority in urban areas to reduce excessive air pollution, due to: 1) coal-fired power plants, and 2) increased vehicle traffic.


The US has much less of a pollution problem than China, except in its larger urban areas. 

The US uses much less coal, more domestic natural gas, and CO2-free nuclear is still around.


New England has a pollution problem in its southern urban areas.

Vermont has a minor pollution problem in Burlington and a few other urban areas.


RE folks want to “Electrify Everything”; an easily uttered slogan


It would require:                                                                     


- Additional power plants, such as nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, bio

- Additional grid augmentation/expansion to connect wind and solar systems, and to carry the loads for EVs and heat pumps

- Additional battery systems to store midday solar output surges for later use, i.e., DUCK-curve management.

- Additional centralized, command/control/orchestrating (turning off/on appliances, heat pumps, EVs, etc.) by utilities to avoid overloading distribution and high voltage electric grids regarding:


1) Charging times of EVs and operating times of heat pumps, and major appliances

2) Demands of commercial/industrial businesses


RE Folks Want More EVs and Buses Bought With “Free” Money


RE folks drive the energy priorities of New England governments. RE folks want to use about $40 million of “free” federal COVID money and Volkswagen Settlement money to buy electric transit and school buses to deal with a minor pollution problem in a few urban areas in Vermont. RE folks urge Vermonters to buy:


Mass Transit Buses

Electric: $750,000 - $1,000,000 each, plus infrastructures, such as indoor parking, high-speed charging systems.

Standard Diesel: $380,000 - $420,000; indoor parking and charging systems not required.


School Buses

Electric: $330,000 - $375,000, plus infrastructures

Standard Diesel: about $100,000


This article shows the 2 Proterra transit buses in Burlington, VT, would reduce CO2 at very high cost per metric ton, and the minor annual operating cost reduction would be overwhelmed by the cost of amortizing $million buses that last about 12 to 15 years.


The $40 million of “free” money would be far better used to build zero-energy, and energy-surplus houses for suffering households; such housing would last at least 50 to 75 years.


NOTE: Spending huge amounts of borrowed capital on various projects that 1) have very poor financials, and 2) yield minor reductions in CO2 at high cost, is a recipe for 1) low economic efficiency, and 2) low economic growth, on a state-wide and nation-wide scale, which would 1) adversely affect Vermont and US competitiveness in markets, and 2) adversely affect living standards and 3) inhibit unsubsidized/efficient/profitable job creation.


Real Costs of Government RE Programs Likely Will Remain Hidden


Vermont’s government engaging in electric bus demonstration programs, financed with “free” money, likely will prove to be expensive undertakings, requiring hidden subsidies, white-washing and obfuscation.


Lifetime spreadsheets, with 1) turnkey capital costs, 2) annual cashflows, 3) annual energy cost savings, 4) annual CO2 reductions, and 5) cost of CO2 reduction/metric ton, with all assumptions clearly stated and explained, likely will never see the light of day.


Including Amortizing Capital Cost for a Rational Approach to Projects


RE folks do not want to include amortizing costs, because it makes the financial economics of their dubious RE projects appear dismal. This is certainly the case with expensive electric buses. If any private-enterprise business were to ignore amortizing costs, it would be out of business in a short time.


Capital cost of electric school bus, plus charger, $327,500 + $25,000 = $352,500

Battery system cost, $100,000, for a 100-mile range.

Capital cost of diesel school bus, $100,000

Additional capital cost “to go electric” 352500 - 100000 = $252,500







This article describes the efficiency of electric vehicles, EVs, and their charging loss, when charging at home and on-the-road, and the economics, when compared with efficient gasoline vehicles.


In this article,


Total cost of an EV, c/mile = Operating cost, c/mile + Owning cost, c/mile, i.e., amortizing the difference of the MSRPs of an EV versus an equivalent, efficient gasoline vehicle; no options, no destination charge, no sales tax, no subsidies.


CO2 reduction of equivalent vehicles, on a lifetime, A-to-Z basis = CO2 emissions of an efficient gasoline vehicle, say 30 to 40 mpg - CO2 emissions of an EV




Real-World Concerns About the Economics of EVs


It may not be such a good idea to have a proliferation of EVs, because of:


1) Their high initial capital costs; about 50% greater than equivalent gasoline vehicles.

2) The widespread high-speed charging facilities required for charging "on the road".

3) The loss of valuable time when charging "on the road".

4) The high cost of charging/kWh, plus exorbitant penalties, when charging “on-the-road”.


High-Mileage Hybrids a Much Better Alternative Than EVs


The Toyota Prius, and Toyota Prius plug-in, which get up to 54 mpg, EPA combined, would:


1) Have much less annual owning and operating costs than any EV, for at least the next ten years.

2) Have minimal wait-times, as almost all such plug-ins would be charging at home 

3) Be less damaging to the environment, because their batteries would have very low capacity, kWh

4) Impose much less of an additional burden on the electric grids.


Hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, save about the same amount of CO₂ as electric cars over their lifetime, plus:


1) They are cost-competitive with gasoline vehicles, even without subsidies.

2) They do not require EV chargers, do not induce range anxiety, can be refilled in minutes, instead of hours. 

3) Climate change does not care about where CO₂ comes from. Gasoline cars are only about 7% of global CO2 emissions. Replacing them with electric cars would only help just a little, on an A to Z, lifetime basis.


“Electrify Everything”; an easily uttered slogan


It would require:                                                                     


- Additional power plants, such as nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, bio

- Additional grid augmentation/expansion to connect wind and solar systems, and to carry the loads for EVs and heat pumps

- Additional battery systems to store midday solar output surges for later use, i.e., DUCK-curve management.

- Additional command/control-orchestrating (turning off/on appliances, heat pumps, EVs, etc.) by utilities to avoid overloading distribution and high voltage electric grids regarding:


1) Charging times of EVs and operating times of heat pumps

2) Operating times of major appliances

3) Demands of commercial/industrial businesses


Comments on Table


Summary table 1 shows the CO2 emissions for four vehicles, lifetime, A-to-Z basis.

The table shows higher-mileage gasoline and hybrid vehicles have CO2 emissions comparable with equivalent EVs.

It was assumed 20% of charging would be on the road and 80% at home.

The Model Y kWh/mile values were prorated from real-world Model 3 values.


Summary 1/CO2, Lifetime/A-to-Z basis



Model Y

Model Y








Prius L Eco

Charging fraction





EPA combined, Model Y



EPA combined, Model 3



Mileage, mpg



CO2, incl. upstream, lb/gal



Consumption, wall meter basis, kWh/mile





Travel, miles/10 years







Total electricity, kWh/10 years





NE grid CO2, wall meter basis, g/kWh

















Total CO2, Mt/10 years





Total CO2, Mt/10 years





Total CO2, Mt/10 years





Embodied vehicle body CO2, Mt





Embodied battery CO2, Mt



Total CO2, Mt/10 years





Total CO2, Mt/y





CO2, g/mile










World energy consumption is projected to increase to 736 quads in 2040 from 575 quads in 2015, an increase of 28%, according to the US Energy Information Administration, EIA.

See URL and click on PPT to access data, click on to page 4 of PowerPoint


Most of this growth is expected to come from countries not in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, and especially from countries where demand is driven by strong economic growth, particularly in Asia.


Non-OECD Asia, which includes China and India, accounted for more than 60% of the world’s total increase in energy consumption from 2015 through 2040.




China, India, and other developing Asian countries, and Africa, and Middle and South America, need to use low-cost energy, such as coal, to be competitive. They would not have signed up for “Paris”, if they had not been allowed to be more or less exempt from the Paris agreements


Obama agreed to commit the US to the Paris agreements, i.e., be subject to its financial and other obligations for decades.

However, he never submitted the commitment to the US Senate for ratification, as required by the US Constitution.

Trump rescinded the commitment. It became effective 3 years later, one day after the US presidential elections on November 3, 2020.


If the US had not left “Paris”, a UN Council likely would have determined a level of renewable energy, RE, spending, say $500 billion/y, for distributing to various poorer countries by UN bureaucrats.

The Council would have assessed OECD members, likely in proportion to their GDPs.

The US and Europe would have been assessed at 100 to 150 billion dollars/y each.

The non-OECD countries likely would continue to be more or less exempt from paying for the Paris agreements.




The analysis includes two scenarios: 1) 50% RE by 2050, and 2) 100% RE by 2050.

The CAPEX values exclude a great many items related to transforming the world economy to a low-carbon mode. See next section.


50% RE by 2050


World CAPEX for RE were $2,652.2 billion for 2010-2019, 10 years

World CAPEX for RE were $282.2 billion in 2019.

World CAPEX for RE would be $24,781 billion for 2019 - 2050, 32 years; compound growth 5.76%/y


US CAPEX for RE were $494.5 billion for 2010 - 2019, 10 years.

US CAPEX for RE were $59 billion in 2019.

US CAPEX for RE would be $7,233 billion for 2019 - 2050, 32 years; compound growth 8.81%/y


100% RE by 2050


World CAPEX for RE were $2,652.2 billion for 2010-2019, 10 years

World CAPEX for RE were $282.2 billion in 2019.

World CAPEX for RE would be $60,987 billion for 2019 - 2050, 32 years; compound growth 10.08%/y


US CAPEX for RE were $494.5 billion for 2010 - 2019, 10 years.

US CAPEX for RE were $59 billion in 2019.

US CAPEX for RE would be $16,988 billion for 2019 - 2050, 32 years; compound growth 13.42%/y






This article presents the all-in cost of wind, solar and battery systems in the US Northeast.

Table 1 shows the all-in cost of wind and solar are much greater than reported by the media, etc.


Much of the cost is shifted from Owners of these systems to taxpayers and ratepayers, and added to government debts 




Simplified Mortgage Method


This method can be applied to Electric Vehicles, Heat Pumps, Electric Buses, Wind Systems, Solar Systems, Battery Systems, etc.


The minimum annual carrying cost of a house, or an energy system, is “paying the mortgage”.

With regard to a house, all other costs, such as real estate taxes, heating, cooling, maintenance, etc., are in addition.


An energy system must have annual revenues = “Paying the mortgage” + “All other costs”

Any shortage of revenues must be made up by subsidies.


The less an energy system is able to “pay for itself”, the more the subsidies.

Subsidies can be reductions in the upfront turnkey capital costs

Subsidies can be reductions of some items of “All other costs”

Subsidies can be paying for the electricity production in excess of market prices


A house, after paying the mortgage, likely is worth more than in Year 1.

However, wind, solar, and battery systems have useful service lives of about 20, 25, and 15 years, respectively.

Thereafter, they still perform at lesser outputs for some time, but their financial value is near zero.


Complicated Spreadsheet Method


A more exact analysis of the economics of an energy system would involve a spreadsheet with many rows and at least 25 columns (for solar), one for each year. It would involve Present Values, Internal Rates of Return, Levelized Costs of Energy, etc.


GMP, VT-DPS, VT-PUC, etc., have such spreadsheets, as do I. They would be much too complicated to present here.




Cost Shifting from Owners to Ratepayers and Taxpayers


The owning and operating cost of wind, solar and battery systems, c/kWh, is reduced by about 45%, due to subsidies. However, because no cost ever disappears, per Economics 101, the subsidy costs are “socialized”, i.e., added, in one way or another, onto:


1) Rate bases of utilities, i.e., paid by ratepayers

2) Taxpayers, by means of extra taxes, fees and surcharges on electric bills and fuel bills

3) Government budgets

4) Government debt

5) Prices of goods and services, other than electricity


If the subsidies had to be paid by Owners of wind and solar systems, the contract prices paid to Owners would need to be:

- At least 19.3 c/kWh, instead of 11 c/kWh, for large-scale solar

- At least 15.5 c/kWh, instead of 9 c/kWh, for ridge line wind. See table 1 and URL 


Shifting Grid Costs


Many small-scale solar systems and/or a few large-scale solar systems on a distribution grid would excessively disturb the grid, especially at midday. Battery systems could counteract those output variations.


Wind and solar systems could not be connected to any grid without the peaking, filling-in and counteracting services of the CCGT plants, i.e., shutting down CCGT plants, and artificially diminishing/obstructing their gas supply, advocated by pro RE folks, would not be an option for decades, if ever, because of the high costs of site-specific, custom-designed, utility-grade battery systems.


Costs not paid by wind/solar Owners:


- The cost of extension/augmentation of electric grids to connect widely distributed wind and solar systems

 - The cost of services rendered by other generators, mostly CCGT plants, which counteract the variable, intermittent outputs of wind and solar, 24/7/365

 - The cost of battery systems to stabilize distribution grids, due to variations of the solar and wind system outputs


Shifting Owning and Operating Costs


The combined effect of cost shifting, determined behind closed doors, increases a project’s annual cash flow, i.e., “left-over-money”, to provide an ample profit for the RE system Owner.


RE system Owners are happy, having the “ears” of friendly politicians, saving the world from climate change, and claiming: “See, my project is profitable and competitive”, while everyone else gets hosed.


1) Grants from various sources, such as the VT Clean Energy Development Fund

2) 26% federal investment tax credits, plus state FITs. Tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the taxes GMP pays on profits

3) 100% depreciation over 5 years; the normal for utilities is 20 to 25 years. Write-offs reduce GMP taxable income

4) Deductions of interest on borrowed money. Interest deductions reduce GMP taxable income.

5) Various O&M payments are often waved, such as sales tax, fees, property tax, school tax, municipal tax, etc.

6) RE system Owners sell their output at two to four times NE wholesale rates




Pro RE folks always point to the “price paid to owner” as the cost of wind and solar, purposely ignoring the other cost categories. The all-in cost of wind and solar, c/kWh, includes:


1) Above-market-price paid to Owners 

2) Subsidies paid to Owners

3) Owner return on invested capital at about 9%/y

4) Grid extension/augmentation

5) Grid support services

6) Future battery systems


Comments on table 1


- Vermont legacy SO solar systems had greater subsidies, up to 30 c/kWh paid to owner, than newer systems, about 11 c/kWh


- Wind prices paid to owner did not have the drastic reductions as solar prices.


- Vermont utilities are paid about 3.5 c/kWh for various costs they incur regarding net-metered solar systems


- "Added to the rate base" is the cost wind and solar are added to the utility rate base, used to set electric rates.


- “Total cost”, including subsidies to owner and grid support, is the cost at which wind/solar are added to the utility rate base


- “NE utility cost” is the annual average cost of purchased electricity, about 6 c/kWh, plus NE grid operator charges, about 1.6 c/kWh

for a total of 7.6 c/kWh.


"Utility cost" is the annual average price paid for electricity by a utility, about 6 c/kWh,

- “Grid support costs” would increase with increased use of battery systems to counteract the variability and intermittency of increased build-outs of wind and solar systems.



1) NE wholesale grid price averaged about 5 c/kWh or less, starting in 2009, due to low-cost CCGT and nuclear plants providing at least 65% of all electricity loaded onto the NE grid, in 2019.


- Wind, solar, landfill gas, and methane power plants provided about 4.8%

- Pre-existing refuse and wood power plants provided about 4.6%

- Pre-existing hydro power plants provided about 7.4%

- The rest was mostly hydro imports from the very-low-CO2 Canada grid, and from the much-higher-CO2 New York State grid

2) There are Owning and Operating costs of the NE grid, in addition to utility wholesale prices.

ISO-NE pro-rates these O&O costs to utilities, at about 1.6 c/kWh.


3) NE charges are for: 

Regional network services, RNS, based on the utility peak demand occurring during a month

Forward capacity market, FCM, based on the utility peak demand occurring during a year.


Table 1/Vermont & NE sources

Paid to


Grid support*


 Added to


NE utility



to owner



rate base










Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered, new









Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered, legacy









Solar, com’l/ind’l, standard offer, combo








Solar, com’l/ind’l, standard offer, legacy








Wind, ridge line, new








Wind, offshore, new









* Excludes future battery costs, and floating offshore wind turbines

* Owner prices to utilities are based on recent 20-year electricity supply contracts awarded by competitive bidding in New England. These prices would have been about 48% to 50% higher without the direct and indirect subsidies and the cost shifting. Similar percentages apply in areas with better wind and solar conditions, and lower construction costs/MW, than New England. The prices, c/MWh, in those areas are lower than New England.









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Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on October 6, 2021 at 8:40am

AG Merrick Garland’s Daughter Married to Co-Founder of Education Company Selling Critical Race Theory Resource Material to School Districts

Yes, the Attorney General is instructing the FBI to investigate parents who might pose a financial threat to the business of his daughter’s husband.


Comment by Paul Ackerman on October 5, 2021 at 11:47pm

Fascinating technical information here on Lithium batteries.

I've been encountering odd issues with Lithium batteries of late, and sense that we have only just begin to see major problems with the proliferation of them in various forms.

The fire? Ironic ? The chairman of the legislative committee-- that would like to shove electric vehicles down the throats of all Vermonters (by making gas/diesel so expensive that people could not afford to drive) -- has his electric vehicle demonstrate how stupid their ideas really are. Perfect.

Comment by Willem Post on October 5, 2021 at 10:26pm


All that shows the extent Dem/Progs have permeated all the federal government departments, over the decades, including the USPS, which acted like their accommodators/abetters regarding the various mail-in ballot frauds, and the FBI, DOJ, intelligence agencies, state department, etc., all more or less secretly aiming to undermine Trump.

I had absolutely no idea about all the fraudulent election activities I learned about, largely by extensive googling, and writing articles.

Prior to that, I was a babe in the woods, just as everyone else.

There likely are more election-shenanigan details yet to be revealed, as a result of future forensic election audits.

Dem/Progs just hate it, they do not yet control the US Supreme Court.

Trump would have immediately fired any senior military officer in the Pentagon making war/piece arrangements with the Chinese, behind his back. Only cowards and traitors would do so.

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on October 5, 2021 at 9:09pm


Who is Buck Fiden?


Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on October 5, 2021 at 11:48am

“Pandora Papers”: The Left-Wing Media are a Tool for Soros and They’re Too Dumb to Notice
In “Secret Empires”, corruption expert Peter Schweizer (“Clinton Cash”) documents how Soros and other Obama loyalists like Tom Steyer and Marty Nesbitt parlayed their advance knowledge of Obama policy into millions in revenue. In 2009, for example, George Soros started investing $1.1 billion in “green” and “climate change” NGOs to push for tougher policy on coal and oil drilling, while at the same time shorting the affected companies and later buying them for pennies on the dollar.

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on October 5, 2021 at 11:44am

Let this sink in.

FBI Admits They Don’t Track Violence Of Radical Left Antifa

AG Merrick Garland Instructs FBI to Mobilize Against Parents Who Oppose Critical Race Theory, Covid Mandates in Public Schools


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


(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 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?" 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.”

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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."

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