USA or Alaska
Are renewable energy credits (RECs) and carbon offsets exchanged in totally different markets, with little crossover potential for project developers and investors?
In other words, the ad campaign was little more than "greenwashing" -- disinformation intended to present an environmentally responsible public image. BP wanted journalists, politicians, investors and environmentalists to perceive it as a "socially responsible" leader and reward it accordingly.
...Meanwhile, BP's total wind and solar electrical output last year was barely enough to keep the lights burning in Regina, Sask. -- and thoughtful observers began to realize that wind and solar aren't quite as eco-friendly as activists claim.
The debate was put into a proper perspective by the Times-Tribune newspaper in Scranton., which wrote:
“America’s future as a world power and leading economy will be determined largely by its ability to meet the increasing demand for energy, while weaning itself from foreign oil and protecting the environment.
Legislation just introduced and slated to move quickly in the U.S. House of Representatives would bring new wind energy development in the U.S. to a grinding halt, AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher warned on May 18.
Introduced this week by Congressman Nick Rahall (D. WV), and scheduled for action in early June at the House Resources Committee which he chairs, H.R. 2337 would burden wind power with sweeping new requirements that have never applied to other energy sectors, Swisher said,
Few are aware of the staggering profit by way of contracts payable to avian specialists in an industry borne from wind towers that kill birds.
This service industry is referred to as "Adaptive Management," and/or "long-term environmental monitoring." Its value is $2 million to $3 million first year startup for a wind project, based on the value of Altamont, Calif., wind tower monitoring contracts.
These contracts represent $1 million per year paid to the monitor during construction phase, and impose terms as Mass Audubon has in their "Challenge" press release: "We also propose adoption of an Adaptive Management Plan that includes a rigorous monitoring program beginning at the construction phase and continuing for at least three years post-construction." ..........Mass Audubon is in a position to profit by counting bird carcasses, "monitoring," while attempting to "solve" this problem; the industry term for this is "mitigation," if Cape Wind is permitted and construction begins.
Nowadays, a huge chunk of the action on clean energy in the United States is happening at the state level. Some 29 states and Washington D.C. have renewable energy standards requiring electric utilities to get a portion of their power from sources like wind or solar. ...Yet those state laws are now facing a fierce backlash.
Environmental issues for windpower developers get the most press. But equally persistent is the question of intermittency-the fact that wind is the least predictable energy fuel for electricity production. The question is challenging on many levels for both generation and delivery.
Control room operators (and, by extension, system operators) have issues with both supply-side and demand-side dispatchability of resources. Derek's comment points to the supply-side issue with wind; the physical challenge of incorporating wind into the grid is that you have to produce power when the wind is blowing, and you can't control that. It's not like powering a gas turbine up or down, which is much more amenable to the centralized control paradigm in which the control room operators have traditionally functioned in the regulated environment.
"Green jobs" are touted as the universal cure-all, saving the environment and the economy at the same time. Congress included more than $80 billion in spending and tax incentives to promote them in the recent stimulus bill. Van Jones, President Barack Obama's "green" jobs adviser, even recently called for using ex-convicts to build solar cells ...Unfortunately, claims about the wonders of green jobs are all too often constructed on myths about economics, forecasting, and technology.
Like anybody who understands electricity, McCracken is both slightly provoked and slightly alarmed by the headlong rush into wind power in Europe and America. "Wind power has its critics and they feel that their reservation have been overridden by policy makers whose imagination have been captured by a green agenda that downplays wind's limitations," says McCracken judiciously.
The major limitation, of course, is wind's intermittency -- its lack of "dispatchability." Quite simply, you can never count on it.
Over the years, the federal government has "invested" more than $100 billion in wind power projects, according to Robert Bradley Jr., CEO and founder of the Institute for Energy Research, which promotes free-market energy and reasonable environmental policy.
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."
In my original post about the Obama administration's awarding of $503 million in "stimulus" funds for alternative energy projects, I wrote that the recipient of $294 million, Iberdrola SA, had executives who had donated more than $21,000 to the Obama campaign and related funds. Another $115 million in funds for windmills went to a company called First Wind, which, I noted, had owners that included D.E. Shaw and Madison Dearborn Partners. Shaw is the firm at which President Obama's chief of the National Economic Council, Lawrence Summers, held a $5.2 million a year, one-day-a-week job, and Madison Dearborn is the firm of which Rahm Emanuel, now the White House chief of staff, said, "They've been not only supporters of mine, they're friends of mine."
Within a few years, we were right back in the same hole. Just a few more years, and the hole grew deeper
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.
With oil prices still flirting with $100 a barrel, everyone is talking about the need for "energy independence." Late last year, President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007; Sen. John McCain declared, "We need energy independence"; and Sen. Barack Obama called for "serious leadership to get us started down the path of energy independence."
This may all be good politics. But the idea that the United States, the world's single largest energy consumer, can be independent of the $5 trillion-per-year energy business - the world's single biggest industry - is ludicrous. The push for energy independence is based on false premises. Here are a few of the most pernicious.
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.
Questions should be asked about the National Renewable Energy Laboratory relationship to the American Wind Energy Association's propaganda machine. The DoE report 20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy's Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply acknowledges the reports dependency on data supplied by the wind industry.
Democratic congressional leaders say the new president, working with increased Democratic majorities in Congress, has an opportunity to finally get something done on climate change and alternative energy after eight years of stalemate between liberal lawmakers and the Bush administration.
But their euphoria is tempered by the knowledge that the sad state of the U.S. economy and the still powerful Republican minority in the Senate could slow their momentum. Republicans and the business community argue that any major new environmental regulations will drive up energy costs and put more people out of work.
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.