Tax Breaks & Subsidies or Australia / New Zealand
Are renewable energy credits (RECs) and carbon offsets exchanged in totally different markets, with little crossover potential for project developers and investors?
Any suggestion by the Bracks Government that the power from wind farms would just supply the grid and offset that used by the desalination plant is clearly a deception aimed at smudging reality. The fact is, wind turbines in South Gippsland, like at many other places around the globe, produce little power and what they produce is unreliable.
Skeptics counter that Washington's wind subsidy and grant programs actually retard innovation and unlevel the playing field in the energy market. ..."The size of the subsidy relative to wholesale prices is distorting competitive wholesale energy markets and harming the financial integrity of other, more reliable generation."
Friends and neighbors, I write as a Clarendon resident, and not in my role as Select Board chairman. The people of Clarendon and the towns surrounding it are trying to understand what the Vermont Community Wind Farm project is all about. What will it mean for us? What impacts will it have on us? Why here and now?
What has brought trouble to our town's doorstep is "easy" money.
But most of the those who are pumping money into the alternative energy sector -- and investing heavily in ethanol, wind and solar power -- are just shrewd people, who understand that it's hard to go wrong when Uncle Sam is helping hedge your bets and guarantee a return on investment.
We applied a couple of years ago, using a consultant, for a grant to help with the installation of solar panels on one of our buildings. ...After all of this preparation we were notified that the grant would not be given due to lack of funds. However, it was suggested that since there were few requests for wind turbines, we likely would get a grant.
Spain's politicians, in something of an emergency move, have just stuck Spanish households and small businesses with a hefty new energy tax to go into effect tomorrow. Yeah, that oughta help matters.
This latest in a series of energy tax hikes is intended to help pay down the burst renewabubble, which they also realize they can't just end but must perpetuate.
The wind production tax credit (PTC) has created an industry that produces overpriced, intermittent power, and it will continue to produce overpriced, intermittent power so as long as there is a PTC to pay for it. Here are the top seven myths associated with the PTC.
On April 25, The Hays Daily News ran a fairly extensive news story on the proposed development of the industrial wind power generation plant west and southwest of Hays. That article stated that about 80 local families have expressed their opposition so far, but it did not say much about why there is this opposition.
Let me try to explain very briefly some of the multiple sources of opposition. But please understand that this is an extremely brief explanation of each. More information is available at a public meeting being held tonight in the Fox Pavilion, starting at 7 p.m. and sponsored by the Ellis County Environmental Awareness Coalition. (Full disclosure: I am a member of this group.)
I would say that the opposition can be divided into three groups, and these groups often overlap.
Absent special political privileges - federal research and development subsidies, tax breaks, and state RPS programs - today's renewable-energy industry, or most of it, would not even exist. Three decades, $14 billion in direct federal support, and untold billions in state taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies have failed to make "green" energy economically self-sustaining. Enough is enough. Congress should terminate, not expand, its patronage of this boondoggle.
Like most really thoughtful environmentally concerned scientists, I'd rather a tiny amount (in metric tonnes or cubic metres, after decades of use) of stored radioactive waste than the unmitigated disaster of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. And renewables are not realistically and politically going to fill the gap any time soon.
937 is an unnecessary government mandate that is going to increase your utility bill. So vote no on I-937.
I say this upfront because not everybody reads articles completely. No matter what else you read about I-937, remember this: If I-937 passes, we all will pay for it.
As this fight moves forward to the Senate floor and to the House, Republicans should follow Mitt Romney's principled leadership and oppose any additional wind subsidies. It's time to cut our losses, not to double down.
Just about everyone else who has had cash carried by wind project developers rubbed under their nose, the county Legislature can't resist the bitter but alluring smell of lucre.
In fact, I've got a tip for NYPA chief Richie Kessel: all you'll have to do to make this opposition melt away is to propose a PILOT payment agreement for any offshore wind farm that is proposed.
This initiative is really about wind power. The initiative counts other renewables, such as biomass, solar and tidal power, but other approaches are less advanced.
Bizarrely, I-937 leaves out a biggie. Hydropower — that hallmark renewable of the Northwest — doesn't count, except for efficiencies made at qualifying utility dams since 1999.
That's right: Hydropower doesn't count as renewable energy in the initiative.
Denmark's Climate Minister Connie Hedegaards was in Australia last week, spinning fairy tales like her - much more - illustrious forbearer Hans Christian.
Her 'happily ever after' punchline was of course the adoption of alternative energy and in particular Denmark's 'speciality' - wind. Just like Hans Christian, it was total fiction.
Taking her cue from Al Gore, the occasional journalist omitted to mention two extremely inconvenient truths.
DOC's job is to safeguard the conservation estate. Even after the former administration announced its whole-of-government support for Project Hayes, DOC might still have continued to press its concerns within government ranks. The suspicion is that, instead, it took the chance to extract $175,000 from Meridian. Fuelling this suspicion is the secrecy of the deal. Although Meridian says it was made public in mid-2007, it is curious that some environmentalists, such as Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, have only just learned of it.
Granite Reliable's wind farm is not proven, and Granite Reliable is a limited liability company, which provides broad investor protection if the company goes down. What is the justification for risking $135 million in public money, especially on a company with access to so much private cash? Apparently, the justification is that Obama likes "green power" and wants to associate himself with it.
So why, apart from the well-intentioned New York state legislators, who want renewable energy but don't understand the costs and inefficiencies, should the beautiful Catskills await the new industrial rapists? The claim of new jobs doesn't stand any scrutiny, since teams of contractors will be brought into the area and taken out again after the turbines have gone up.
No, the real reason that Goldman Sachs and other big mecantile financiers are backing the giant windmills are good old-fashioned tax breaks. The US government permits a triple depreciation for tax purposes on wind turbines, and those with enough capital can invest in tax shelters that use these depreciations to remove the tax on profits for other ventures.
In the words of one Catskills campaigner: "If I had the ability to invest $1 million in a wind farm, I could avoid paying taxes on another $2 million in profits from some other venture. Yup, that would save me half a million in taxes. Hmmmmm".
Maybe, when it comes to some of the solutions offered by well-intentioned environmentalists, it would be wise to examine the motivation of some of the lobbyists who profess to support them. It's still not too late for the Catskill Mountains.
The most ardent supporters of solar, wind, and biomass argue that these sources can replace fossil fuels and create highly reliable, nonpolluting, carbon-free systems priced no higher than today's cheapest coal-fired electricity generation, all in just a few decades. That would be soon enough to prevent the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide from its current level of 394 parts per million to more than 450 ppm-at which point, climatologists estimate, the average global temperature will rise by 2 °C. I wish all these promises would come true, but I think instead I'll put my faith in clear-eyed technical assessments.