Tag Archives: Renewable energy

Renewable Energy Poses Security Risk, New Paper Warns

June 2, 2014 – London

A new paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation warns that intermittent wind and solar energy pose a serious energy security risk and threaten to undermine the reliability of UK electricity generation.

Many people – including ministers, officials and journalists – believe that renewable energy enhances Britain’s energy security by reducing the dependency on fossil fuel imports. The ongoing crisis over the Ukraine and Crimea between Russia and the West has given much attention to this argument.

Written by Philipp Mueller, the paper (UK Energy Security: Myth and Reality) concludes that domestic and global fossil fuel reserves are growing in abundance while open energy markets, despite the conflict in the Ukraine, are enhancing Britain’s energy security significantly.

In contrast, the ability of the grid to absorb intermittent renewable energy becomes increasingly more hazardous with scale.

Germany provides a warning example of its growing green energy insecurity. Last December, both wind and solar power came to an almost complete halt for more than a week. More than 23,000 wind turbines stood still while one million photovoltaic systems failed to generate energy due to a lack of sunshine. For a whole week, conventional power plants had to provide almost all of Germany’s electricity supply.

Germans woke up to the fact that it was the complete failure of renewable energy to deliver that undermined the stability and security of Germany’s electricity system.

“Open energy markets are a much better way to ensure energy security than intermittent generation systems like wind and solar. It would be a huge risk in itself for Britain to go down the same route as Germany and destabilise what is still a reliable UK electricity grid,” said Philipp Mueller.

 

Germany plans to curb energy transition

Climate protection groups are criticizing the German government’s plans to slow down renewable energy development. In spite of a recently decided coalition agreement, the debate about the right pace will continue.

Author Gero Rueter / nh  November 30, 2013
…Göppel is angry that the party leadership deleted paragraphs from the coalition draft which the energy working group had deemed vital in their negotiations. If the coalition agreement is implemented as it currently stands, said Göppel, Germany risks losing its energy leadership role.
Ulrich Kelber, deputy chairman of the SPD’s parliamentary group, confirmed that many passages were deleted in the final phase of the coalition negotiations. He blamed chancellor Merkel personally. “Unfortunately, slowing down development of renewable energies was the political scalpel Merkel wanted to have,” Kelber told Deutsche Welle. He added that he didn’t expect such intervention on Merkel’s part, and also that he was surprised to see her wanting to change her own policy.

Wind Power Is Brought to Justice -Wall Street Journal

By Robert Bryce  November 28,2013
The Justice Department announced late last week that a subsidiary of Duke Energy  has agreed to pay $1 million for killing golden eagles and other federally protected birds at two of the company’s wind projects in Wyoming. The guilty plea was a long-overdue victory for the rule of law and a sign that green energy might be going out of vogue.As Justice noted in its news release, this is the first time a case has been brought against a wind company for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The 1918 law makes it a federal crime to kill any bird of more than 1,000 different species. Over the past few decades, federal authorities have brought hundreds of cases against oil and gas companies for killing birds, while the wind industry has enjoyed a de facto exemption. By bringing criminal charges against Duke for killing 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds, Justice has ended the legal double standard on enforcement.

While it is heartening to see the Obama administration finally following the law, Justice’s decision might also indicate that the green bubble is about to burst.

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Consider data from the American Wind Energy Association, an industry group. In 2012, when federal subsidies were flowing, wind companies installed a record 13,131 megawatts of new capacity—about 6,500 turbines. But installations have tanked this year amid uncertainty over the extension of the federal production tax credit, which offers companies a hefty 2.3 cent per kilowatt-hour subsidy. During the first three quarters of 2013, the domestic wind industry installed a mere 70.6 megawatts of new capacity. Wind-industry lobbyists are desperately trying to get the production tax credit extended again before it expires at the end of the year. The Duke case won’t endear them to the public.

The renewable-energy craze may also lose its lustre as the public discovers how expensive “green jobs” are. Texas is the top wind-energy state in the nation. But in January Texas Comptroller Susan Combs  reported that each wind-related job in the Lone Star State is costing taxpayers $1.75 million.

There is also a public backlash against ruining scenic countryside with giant wind turbines. The outrage spans from the United Kingdom to Wisconsin. Last year, to cite just one example, about five dozen landowners in Herkimer County, New York filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Hardscrabble Wind Power Project. Their many complaints included reduced property values and excessive noise. To judge from news reports, suburban and rural residents don’t want 130-meter-tall windmills in their neighborhoods. They also don’t want the constant noise the turbines produce, or the relentless blink of the turbines’ red lights all night, every night.

Definitive proof that the green energy bubble has burst will come when the government brings more legal action against renewable companies for violating U.S. law. That may be happening: The Fish and Wildlife Service has 18 active investigations into bird kills at various wind-energy projects. Seven have been referred to Justice for prosecution.

And it may not be limited to wind energy. Last week, Chris Clarke  of the California public television station KCET reported that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, a new solar-thermal plant in the Mojave Desert, killed 52 birds in October. Many of the birds were apparently killed by the intense heat generated by the project’s mirrors. It appears that the project is attracting birds, which means the deaths may increase when the facility reaches capacity. Mr. Clarke went on to opine that the solar-thermal projects now being built in the California desert “could well depress bird populations from the Arctic to the Panama Canal.”

Apologists for wind and solar power insist that wind turbines only kill a few birds while climate change is the real threat. Last month, in a letter to The Wall Street Journal, an official from the American Wind Energy Association said that wind energy “enables the U.S. to develop a diverse energy portfolio better equipped to fight climate change—the number one threat to wildlife, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

Perhaps that’s true. But everyone is threatened when the law is not applied equally, and so the Justice Department should continue ruffling the feathers of lawbreakers in the green-energy business.

 

Did you write to Andrea about how the Hydro Increases are Affecting You?

Dear Andrea Horwath and Peter Tabuns;

 

Thanks you for your consideration and approach to finding out about concerns from Ontarians with regards how rising electricity rates are affecting families. This subject is one that is dear to my heart as I have spend the last 12 months researching the topic extensively. Almost 2 weeks ago, I also found out that the factory I work at which employed 60 people in Caledonia (Just outside of your consituency), will be “Idling” in the first quarter of 2014….so that the corporation can put the jobs back into the US.  Energy costs for Large Consumers – aka manufacturing –  has risen in Ontario on average 30% since 2008. (Fraser Institue Report Here) My colleagues and I will now be looking for work in an economy where manufacturing has been leaving in astronomical numbers, along with the middle class. The Fraser institute report shows how in New York state, their large consumer electricity rates have actually dropped over 20% from 2008 rates…That is a 50% difference for companies who are manufacturing goods from Ontario to NY State. We sell our excess electricity at a loss, and have paid Quebec and New York state at times to even take our electricity! We paid them!!!

 

Never before have I been so interested in Ontario’s energy policies, especially after reviewing the Auditor Generals report from 2011. I am extremely worried about Ontario’s current path related to energy policies as I know that my children and their children will be suffering the consequences of the current LIberal governments mismanagement. As a child, the Hydro One debt was tacked onto my parents electricity bills, and to this day my generation of ratepayers continue to pay for a debt that the Liberals contnue to extend final payment to, almost unquestioned. The Green Energy Act and FIT contracts are blatantely killing the economy. The numbers are there for all to see, if anyone would actually take a look at the output capability reports from IESO which on any given day would show you that Wind power is supplying less than 1% of our daily demand….after spending billions on subsidies and infrastructure.

 

On Page 89 of the Auditor Generals report, it states that The Ministry of Energy at the time (George Smitherman) claimed that the Green Energy Act would lead to “modest incremental increases in electricity bills of about 1% annually” yet in November 2010 the Ministry forecast concluded that a typical residential electricity bill would rise about 7.9% annually over the next 5 years, with 56% of the increase due to investments in renewable energy.” It also states that “wind and solar renewable power will add significant additional costs to ratepayers’ electricity bills.”  Electricity is a necessity in Ontario, how many households can afford this?

 

We are being asked to pay for a second energy system – wind – while we underutilize hydro and gas. According to IESO the Energy Output  by Fuel Type for 2012 has nuclear at 56.4%, hydro at 22.3%, gas at 14.6% coal at 2.8% and wind at 3%.

 

On Page 90 it shows the Minister of Energy replaced the RESOP (Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program ) with the FIT (Feed in Tariff) program providing renewable energy generators with significantly more attractive contract prices adding $4.4 billion in costs over the 20 years.” If the government’s  goal of 10,700 MW of renewable energy by 2018 (p. 89) is realized the FIT subsidy will be closer to $2.6 billion per year or $52 billion in costs over the 20 years  just for the FIT subsidy.

(The Formula to calculate the Feed in Tariff Subsidy is:

 

Mega Watt

X

Operating efficiency

X

Hours per year

X

Cost

 

10,700 MW X .28 efficiency X 8760 hours per year X $103.50 = $2,624,496,000 FIT subsidy per year!

 

According to page 111 of the Auditor General’s Report the operating efficiency of industrial wind turbines is 28%. The cost per MW is based on the FIT guaranteed price of $0.135 per kw minus hourly Ontario Energy price estimated at $0.0315 per kw = $0.1035 per kw making it $103.50 per MW.  So 10,700 MW X .28 efficiency X 8760 hours per year X $103.50 = $2,624,496,000 FIT subsidy per year! )

 

Just in Fit Subsidies, we are being asked to pay over $2.6 BILLION per year for only 3% of Ontario’s energy output. This is while we spill, “clean hydro energy” over Niagara Falls, in order to take WIND that we do not need.

 

Those on fixed pension incomes, contract workers, and those earning minimum wage will be most affected by these energy policies. In the United Kingdom, fuel poverty, which now affects 5.5 million households, has become a household term, largely because of electricity policies similar to those that are being pursued in Ontario. In Germany, every year over 600,000 Households are disconnected annually for not being able to pay their electricity bills. Ontario is now being boasted about Internationally as having an energy policy “Worse than California”.

The contract that Energy Minister Smitherman entered into with the Korean Consortium has not been disclosed. The contract has not been published so it is not available for the public to examine, criticize, evaluate, etc. Is this deal being covered up with the expectation that in time citizens will forget?  Who is responsible for protecting the interests of the citizens of Ontario?

The question is not about “renewables or not”, the quesitons are:

 

1) Why are we even investing in any additoinal energy sources, a 2nd system, when we have “enough energy” in Ontairo as per the Ministry of Energy office. $2.6BILLION/YEAR for subsidies on Energy we don’t need!!!!!!!!

 

2) Why does the government ignore the over 75 Municipalities in Ontario who have asked to “Not be a Willing Host” to wind turibnes? Why doesn’t your party support these Ontarians in ever growing numbers?

 

3) Why is it ok for the Liberals to let manufacturing jobs in Ontario leave?

 

4) When will my insurance rates go down? I have actually got notices about rising rates, not decreasing….

 

Those on fixed pension incomes, contract workers, and those earning minimum wage will be most affected by these energy policies. In the United Kingdom, fuel poverty, which now affects 5.5 million households, has become a household term, largely because of electricity policies similar to those that are being pursued in Ontario.

The contract that Energy Minister Smitherman entered into with the Korean Consortium has not been disclosed. The contract has not been published so it is not available for the public to examine, criticize, evaluate, etc. Is this deal being covered up with the expectation that in time citizens will forget?  Who is responsible for protecting the interests of the citizens of Ontario?

 

I hope that your party stops propping up the LIberals and takes a stand for Ontarians for once….if you don’t, our children and their children will be paying down the debt of this eras failed energy policies. I would like a response and look forward to it.

 

 

Respectfully Submitted

 

Haldimand Resident