Self Declared Environmentalists: Power from massive Canadian dams isn’t renewable

The Vermont Sierra Club, 350Vermont and other environmental groups are protesting a New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers conference this week. They oppose new fossil fuel infrastructure and say electricity from large hydro dams or biomass plants should not count as renewable energy............

Becky Bartovics, an organic farmer from the Maine island of North Haven, detailed the environmental cost of the infrastructure needed to transport hydropower out of Canada and onto the New England grid. New England Clean Energy Connect – a proposed 145 mile transmission line from the Quebec-Maine border to Lewiston, Maine – would destroy 263 wetlands and stifle the state’s growing renewable energy sector, she said.

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Comment by Long Islander on August 14, 2018 at 3:13pm

Many if not all of these mainstream environmental groups get money from wind developers as well as from foundations and bundlers to push non-hydro renewable energy (WIND & SOLAR). My guess is that when they accept the money, he who pays the piper calls the tune. 

Comment by Willem Post on August 14, 2018 at 11:34am

"Environmentalists: Power from massive Canadian dams isn’t renewable"

If it is "massive", then it is not renewable?
If it is "Vermont-small" it is renewable?

That just is not logical.

To put in "massive" hydro plant requires a lot less materials/MW
To put in 50 "Vermonty-small" hydro plants to equal the one "massive" hydro plant would require much more materials/MW, and would do far more environmental damage.

It has to do with economics of scale.

The environs think creating lakes for hydropower is not renewable. But New England has been doing that for 250 years.

Hydro power has the lowest CO2/kWh of all renewables.

Wood burning to make power is 2.5 times worse regarding CO2/kWh than coal burning.

Wind and solar the answer?

What about creating the New York City Metropolitan Area for urban and suburban living? Is that renewable?

What about people going on a plane trip or a cruise ship? Is that renewable?

The minds of those folks are off the charts befuddled.

Do they live off the grid?
Do they eat homegrown food?
Do they forage in the woods?
Do they make their own clothes?
Do they walk or bicycle?

It seems to me, if you preach to others, one must first walk the walk, and then talk.

Comment by Willem Post on August 14, 2018 at 11:32am

More H-Q Energy Would be a Boon for the Vermont Economy:Buying more hydro from H-Q is the smartest approach for Vermont, instead of every Tom, Dick and Harry being INEFFICIENTLY AND EXPENSIVELY busying themselves generating electricity.


Vermont Wind Costs:Vermont, an area with high levelized capital cost/MWh, high O&M cost/MWh, and low-medium winds (medium CFs), on 2000-ft high ridgelines, has high wind costs/MWh of about 9.5 c/kWh; about 14 - 15 c/kWh without subsidies.

Comment by Willem Post on August 14, 2018 at 11:31am

Future Wind and Solar and Serving the NE Load: Based on ISO-NE projections (with inputs from states) wind would be about 21.1%, in about 2035 and solar about 5.82%, in about 2027. Such a large presence of variable intermittent electricity on the NE grid would require peaking, filling-in and balancing, 24/7/365, mostly by a large capacity of gas turbine plants, as is presently the case.


Because the sum of wind and solar is near-zero many hours of the year, especially during the December - February period (as proven by minute-by-minute NE grid operating data for at least the past 10 years), these gas turbine plants*, along with some minor sources, such as refuse, wood, landfill gas, methane, and hydro (NE + imports), and some battery and other storage, would have to be READY, STAFFED AND FUELED TO SERVE THE ENTIRE NE LOAD, 24/7/365, at a minimum reliability of 99.97%. Any electricity passing through storage would have up to a 20% loss on an AC-to-AC basis, which has to be made up with additional generation. See Appendix 1.


Assuming oil, coal and nuclear plants would have been forced into retirement, the following would be required:


-  A much larger capacity of gas turbine plants to replace their electricity (remember wind and solar could be near-zero), and the gas turbine plants would need to be READY, STAFFED AND FUELED.

- Additional gas lines would be needed to provide an increased supply of LOW-COST, DOMESTIC natural gas, or an increased supply of VERY EXPENSIVE (at least 3x domestic prices), RUSSIAN/MIDDLE EAST liquefied natural gas, LNG.


RE proponents and legislatures in Massachusetts and New York State are obstructing any new gas lines to provide increased DOMESTIC natural gas, because that would be “building out fossil infrastructure”, so they want to “temporarily” use (likely for several decades) increased IMPORTED LNG that is at least 3x more expensive. Are these people nuts, subversive or what? Do they have any sense of economics? See Appendix.

Comment by Willem Post on August 14, 2018 at 11:29am

RE proponents often repeat the wholesale prices of wind and solar have decreased to about 5 c/kWh or less during the past 10 years and are now competitive with coal and gas at about 5 c/kWh. However, that is only true:


- Because high subsidies for wind and solar

- In the most windy areas, such as the Great Plains and Texas, and most sunny areas, such as the US Southwest

- The shifting of various wind and solar costs to ratepayers and taxpayers and to federal and state debts.

In 2017, the wind and solar share was 53% in Denmark, 26% in Germany, and 23% in California. Denmark and Germany have the first and second highest household electric rates in Europe, but France, 75% nuclear, has one of the lowest household rates.


Wind and Solar are Cripples:Wind and solar are cripples that cannot exist on the grid by themselves without huge energy storage systems to cover daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal variations after the “dirty/dangerous” nuclear, coal and gas plants are closed, as demanded by 100% RE proponents.


They cannot be compared with wind and solar, because they require the support ofnuclear, coal, gas and hydro plants, that are instantly ready to perform peaking, filling-in and balancing services when wind and solar are insufficient to provide electrical service at a 99.97% reliability, 24/7/365, year after year.


Wind and Solar Lose Value at Higher Percent Penetrations:Germany, California, and Denmark are selling their highly subsidizedwind and solar electricity ar near zero and negative wholesale prices to neighboring nations or states when they are producing too much of it during windy and sunny periods.


According to a recent study, on the European grid:


- The economic value of wind decreasesabout 40%, at about 30% annual penetration on the grid.

- The economic value of solardecreasesabout 50%, at about 15% annual penetration on the grid.

Comment by Pineo Girl on August 14, 2018 at 11:22am

It doesn't really matter how great an environmentalist you think you are...At the end of the day each one is myopic, choosing to think and see just what he wants to! Witness Al Gore...tooling around in his private jet with all of those emissions...those emissions being the real problem..The narrative about Hydro not being renewable or not being being spread by those who are making billions off of renewable wind and solar.  And they have co-opted Native Americans and avid fishermen by convincing them that the dams must be removed so that fish can come back to the rivers.  Its a bunch of bunk!

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on August 14, 2018 at 9:41am

The official position of many European countries that have substantial hydro resources and Canada is that it is a renewable with many, as yet, uncalculated side benefits.  Wonder what Bartovic's position is on a tidal power project?  All she has to do is go to VinalHaven and visit the Tidewater motel and inspect the three 'roman' tub turbines that once powered the machinery which polished large granite columns that now support major buildings in NYC, Boston, etc. Cargo & Kraft adapts a vertical axis turbine to these ancient devices to generate power. First, they lower a cassion in to the penstock; then the turbine axis; then the generator and cap. 

Comment by Eskutassis on August 14, 2018 at 8:51am

Funny thing is he is right about the transmission line being run from Quebec to Lewiston, but calling hydro power not renewable is lunacy. But further calling for more wind and solar is even worse!!!

Is clearing mountaintops any less detrimental than destroying wetlands? Is putting up wires to link these turbines to the grid any less destructive than destroyin the wetlands?

NO!!! I think she is waaaaaay off base with these crazy ideas and should be called on it.


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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