Study: Solar And Wind Generation Makes Electricity More Expensive

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t Dennis Ambler

Well we knew it all the time, but now it has been confirmed by a team of economists from the University of Chicago:

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Solar panels and wind turbines are making electricity significantly more expensive, a major new study by a team of economists from the University of Chicago finds.

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) “significantly increase average retail electricity prices, with prices increasing by 11% (1.3 cents per kWh) seven years after the policy’s passage into law and 17% (2 cents per kWh) twelve years afterward,” the economists write.

The study, which has yet to go through peer-review, was done by Michael Greenstone, Richard McDowell, and Ishan Nath. It compared states with and without an RPS. It did so using what the economists say is “the most comprehensive state-level dataset ever compiled” which covered 1990 to 2015.

The cost to consumers has been staggeringly…

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Critics blame solar farms for high electricity bills as it emerges owners earn more money from taxpayer-funded handouts than selling energy

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

Some of us have been reporting this for years!

The Mail has finally caught up:

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Britain’s biggest solar farms get more money in taxpayer subsidies than they make from selling the electricity they produce.

The plants were encouraged to get off the ground with generous handouts, funded from ‘green taxes’ on fuel bills.

Now many of them make the majority of their cash from the subsidies.

Some farms have been snapped up by private firms, venture capitalists and pension funds which realise they are guaranteed money-spinners, in part because of the Government-backed handouts.

Britain's biggest solar farms get more money in taxpayer subsidies than they make from selling the electricity they produce

Britain’s biggest solar farms get more money in taxpayer subsidies than they make from selling the electricity they produce

But critics say the system, which often guarantees the handouts for 15 or 20 years, has been way too generous and skewed the energy market – leading to bigger household electricity bills.

Dr John Constable…

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Batteries Cannot Make Renewables Reliable

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

Utilities are starting to experiment with adding batteries to wind and solar projects. These storage projects are feeding the mistaken belief that batteries can cure the intermittency that makes wind and solar unworkable as a reliable source of power.

The reality is that these battery projects are trivial in size compared to what would actually be needed to make wind or solar reliable. The cost of battery based reliability would actually be stupendous, far more than we could ever afford.

Here are some simple numbers to make the point. The reality would be far more complex, but the magnitude would not change much.

First comes the cost of utility scale battery facilities. This is much more than just the cost of the batteries. At utility scale these are large, complex facilities. Connecting all of the batteries involved and getting them to work properly together is…

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U.S. energy use rises to highest level ever

Tallbloke's Talkshop


In terms of original power sources (i.e. not electricity), the runaway leaders were petroleum and natural gas which between them took over two-thirds of the total share. Coal and nuclear were a distant third and fourth. Best of the rest was biomass at just over 5% of the total, easily more than wind and solar combined.

Americans used more energy in 2018 than in any other year, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Overall total energy consumption rose to 101.2 quadrillion BTU (or “quads”), reports TechXplore. The prior record, set in 2007, was 101.0 quads.

Energy use went up by 3.6 percent from 2017, which also is the largest annual increase since 2010.

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‘Vacant Land Myth’: Hundreds Of US Localities Are Resisting The Spread Of Green Energy

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

From The Daily Caller

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

  • U.S. cities and states have risen up against the spread of solar panels and wind turbines.
  • One expert says at least 225 government entities across the U.S. have put up barriers to renewable energy development.
  • Those supporting renewables rely on the “vacant-land myth” to push their green agenda, the expert said.

From New York to California, localities have taken action to stymie solar and wind energy projects to preserve their way of life, according to Manhattan Institute senior fellow Robert Bryce.

“All-renewable scenarios rely on the vacant-land myth, the faulty notion that there’s endless amounts of unused, uncared-for land out there in flyover country that’s ready and waiting to be covered with forests of renewable-energy stuff,” Bryce told Senate lawmakers in a hearing Thursday.

“The truth is quite different,” Bryce said in prepared testimony for the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

“Rural communities, even entire states, are resisting or rejecting wind, solar, and high-voltage transmission projects and that opposition is already slowing deployment of new renewable capacity in the U.S., Canada, and Europe,” Bryce said.

Bryce chastised the “scant” media coverage of the growing resistance to renewable energy projects, which is especially important given Democrats push for sweeping plans, like the Green New Deal, to significantly ramp up renewable energy use. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Says Climate Change Is ‘Fueling’ The Immigration Crisis)

“By contrast, national media coverage of the growing backlash against deployment of large-scale renewable-energy projects has been scant,” Bryce said. “That lack of media coverage is particularly true when it comes to controversies about wind-energy deployment.”

U.S. Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey hold a news conference for their proposed "Green New Deal" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) hold a news conference for their proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst.

It’s not just wind energy development, Bryce said, but opposition to renewables in general that the media has glossed over in recent years. But that opposition complicates sweeping plans, like the Green New Deal, to power the U.S. on renewables.

“Since 2015, I have been tracking rural opposition to wind energy projects,” Bryce said. “By my count, some 225 government entities from New York to California have moved to restrict or reject wind projects.”

“You won’t read about it in the New York Times, but the towns of Yates and Somerset as well as three upstate New York counties – Erie, Orleans, and Niagara – have spent the past three years fighting the proposed 200-megawatt Lighthouse Wind project, which aims to put dozens of wind turbines near the shores of Lake Ontario,” Bryce added.

That sort of opposition could spell trouble for state and federal planners looking to put wind turbines off the East Coast. New York, for example, has a goal of getting 9 gigawatts of offshore wind power in eleven years. (RELATED: Trump’s Latest Executive Order Could Derail A Favorite Tactic Of Climate Activists)

Across the country, Los Angeles County banned large wind turbines in unincorporated areas in 2015, and one county supervisor called wind farms a “visual blight.” San Bernardino slapped strict limits on large wind turbine developments early this year.

The Oklahoma town of Hinton banned wind turbines to avoid becoming an “industrial wind complex,” the town’s mayor told Bryce.

A GE 1.6-100 wind turbine is pictured at a wind farm in Tehachapi

A GE 1.6-100 wind turbine (front C) is pictured at a wind farm in Tehachapi, California June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

President Donald Trump recently added to the anti-wind fervor sweeping across some of the country, claiming in a recent speech that wind turbines ruined views, depressed property values and even caused cancer.

“If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75 percent in value. And they say the noise causes cancer. You tell me that one, okay?” Trump said at the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual dinner in early April.

Wind turbines average 466 feet in height and are getting bigger all the time, which means they’re visible for miles. There are also environmental consequences in terms of land use and turbines killing of millions of birds and bats.

A 2017 study, for example, found the amount of wind turbines needed for the U.S. to get all its electricity from renewables would cover roughly 193,000 square miles, or six percent of the land area of the lower-48 states.

Solar farms also take up large allotments of land, and like any other development, displace animals and plants. Solar thermal plants in the California desert incinerate birds that fly over its vast array of heliostat panels.

With these concerns in mind, Spotsylvania County, VA, residents are worried a massive 3,500-acre solar project could damage the environment. Roughly 60 miles north in Washington, D.C., environmentalists are skeptical of Georgetown University’s plan to cut down 210 acres of forest to build a solar farm.

What about the transmission lines needed to get wind power from the windswept Midwest to population centers? Some state and local governments have opposed those as well.

Heliostats reflect sunlight onto boilers in towers during the grand opening of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border

Heliostats reflect sunlight onto boilers in towers during the grand opening of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border February 13, 2014. REUTERS/Steve Marcus.

“High-voltage transmission projects are also facing opposition,” Bryce said, pointing to a 2017 Iowa law that “prohibits the use of eminent domain for high-voltage transmission lines.”

“The move doomed the Rock Island Clean Line, a 500- mile, $2 billion, high-voltage direct-current transmission line that was going to carry electricity from Iowa to Illinois,” Bryce said.

New York Times Pushes Nuclear Power as the Solution to Climate Change

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

In the face of the utter failure of large investments in renewables to deliver CO2 reductions, greens are increasingly embracing nuclear power as the solution to climate change.

Nuclear Power Can Save the World

Expanding the technology is the fastest way to slash greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonize the economy.

By Joshua S. Goldstein, Staffan A. Qvist and Steven Pinker
Drs. Goldstein and Qvist are the authors of “A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow.” Dr. Pinker is a psychology professor at Harvard.

April 6, 2019

Where will this gargantuan amount of carbon-free energy come from? The popular answer is renewables alone, but this is a fantasy. Wind and solar power are becoming cheaper, but they are not available around the clock, rain or shine, and batteries that could power entire cities for days or weeks show no sign of materializing any time soon. Today, renewables work only with fossil-fuel backup.

Germany, which went all-in for renewables, has seen little reduction in carbon emissions, and, according to our calculations, at Germany’s rate of adding clean energy relative to gross domestic product, it would take the world more than a century to decarbonize, even if the country wasn’t also retiring nuclear plants early.

But we actually have proven models for rapid decarbonization with economic and energy growth: France and Sweden. They decarbonized their grids decades ago and now emit less than a tenth of the world average of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour. They remain among the world’s most pleasant places to live and enjoy much cheaper electricity than Germany to boot.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/06/opinion/sunday/climate-change-nuclear-power.html

The rise of mainstream green advocacy for nuclear power is long overdue.

I have never understood how anyone who thinks CO2 is a looming threat can argue in good faith against the evidence of two countries which have affordably reduced their CO2 emissions to a tenth of what everyone else emits, by embracing nuclear power.

Solar Panels and Wind Turbines Are Killing French Cows

sunshine hours

BioElectrocution

In recent years, cattle farmers in France’s Brittany region have lost hundreds of cows to deaths that veterinarians simply cannot explain. After running various tests on their land, some now claim that the solar panels and wind turbines in the area are releasing too much electricity into the ground, which is slowly killing their animals.

Although mysterious cattle deaths have been reported in various parts of Brittany, the situation is particularly dire in Cote-d’Amour, where several farmers have sustained hundreds of losses in mysterious conditions. According to local farmer Patrick Le Nechet, his cattle just started losing weight a few years back and many of them ultimately died. The strange thing was that the animals didn’t seem to be suffering from any diseases and the veterinarians couldn’t explain the cause of death. After conducting his own investigation, Le Nechet concluded that the mysterious deaths started occurring around the time…

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Solar energy may have caused California’s wildfires

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

From The Washington Examiner

by Kevin Mooney | March 04, 2019 12:59 PM

Screenshot 2019-03-08 22.05.04

Taxpayer-subsidized, ratepayer-funded utilities that may be on the hook for billions of dollars in liabilities point to climate change as the major factor standing behind the recent California wildfires. PG&E CEO Geisha Williams has argued that dry, arid conditions associated with global warming were to blame for wildfires that devastated parts of northern California in 2018. Edison International CEO Pedro Pizarro has said much of the same with regard to the wildfires of 2017 that ignited in the southern part of the state.

But what if the blame belongs not with climate change, but with climate change policies that the utilities and their benefactors in government favor? There’s some evidence for this that insurance companies and displaced California residents might be interested in learning more about. As taxpayers and utility ratepayers, they are all spending part of their workday financing solar energy schemes that may have led to high-pressure conditions affecting electrical equipment, which in turn sparked the fires. How’s that?

Let’s look at just one example going back to December 2017, when wildfires devastated portions of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. At the time, what became known as the Thomas Fire was the largest wildfire in California’s history. The fire erupted on Dec. 4, 2017, in the Santa Paula Canyon area just south of Thomas Aquinas College a little before 6:30 p.m., according to reports from the Ventura County Fire Department.

The latest figures show the Thomas Fire burned more than 280,000 acres before it was finally contained on Jan. 12, 2018. The fire destroyed more than 1,000 structures including hundreds of homes.

But there was also a second, related fire that broke out in Ojai, a small city in Ventura County, located a little northwest of Los Angles. This one hasn’t received as much attention in the national press, but it could be the key to unraveling what’s really going down with California’s misguided, big government policies. That fire broke out about an hour later after a transformer reportedly exploded in a residential area on Koenigstein Road. There are local witnesses who say they saw the flash of the explosion on the pole with the transformer, and others who say they heard the explosion.

Homeowners who have filed lawsuits against Southern California Edison in connection with the Thomas Fire argue that the utility, which is a subsidiary of Edison International, was negligent in terms of how it maintained the power lines. One of the lawsuits filed on behalf of an Ojai couple specifically addresses the explosion of the Edison transformer on Koenigstein Road, which was mounted on a pole. The couple lost their home in the fire.

Let’s take a hard look at the facts.

The transformer exploded around 7 p.m. at the end of a sunny day. Around that time, because of the solar energy mandates implemented under former Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, California’s power grid must ramp up in the evening with conventional energy when the sun goes down. This cannot be done incrementally and gradually. Instead, California’s power grid experiences what is known as a “duck curve” as solar energy drops off and conventional energy ramps up.

So, the key questions are: “Did solar power cause the Thomas Wildfire?” Did it cause other wildfires?

There’s no denying the pressure that was put on the Edison transformer, and for that matter other transformers throughout the state. Certainly, correlation is not necessarily causation. But utilities and fire departments must have information and data associated with damaged transformers and other electrical equipment that could be insightful. The Thomas Wildfire is a good starting point for an investigation, but it is just one part of a larger story.

Keep in mind that Southern California Edison is also the subject of litigation filed in response to wildfires that broke out in 2018. So far, 170 homeowners and business owners who suffered damage in connection with the Woolsey Fire that broke out in November 2018 have filed suit in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties claiming the utility’s electrical equipment was responsible for the fire. Meanwhile, PG&E has announced that it will file for bankruptcy since it is now drowning under “at least $7 billion in claims from the Camp Fire,” according to news reports. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has also blamed PG&E for some of the 2017 wildfires.

Without intervention from lawmakers and regulators, PG&E appears to be doomed. The Camp Fire is now on record as the deadliest fire in state history in terms of fatalities and destruction to infrastructure. Williams, the CEO, has announced that she is stepping down.

Read the Full Story Here.

Kevin Mooney (@KevinMooneyDC) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is an investigative reporter in Washington, D.C. who writes for several national publications.

Battery Trickery By U.S. Utilities

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

The use of big batteries to partially offset the intermittency of renewables is growing rapidly. Unfortunately some utilities have adopted a deceptive practice with the public, making these battery packs seem much more important then they are. It is all part of hyping the utility’s supposed greenness, which helps their stock price but not their customers.

A recent announcement by the giant Arizona Public Service is a perfect example of this deception. It is a little bit technical, so bear with me. It is all about the difference between megawatts and megawatt hours, which the public (including the average stock analyst) does not understand. APS is trading on this ignorance.

In simple terms, think of a battery as a box of electricity, or “juice.” The megawatt (MW) capacity is how fast you can pour out the juice. The megawatt hour (MWh) capacity is how much…

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