Library filed under Pollution
Deep in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia sits a giant coal-fired power plant aptly named Mount Storm - a 1,600-megawatt goliath that just a few years ago ranked second in the nation in toxic mercury emissions.
The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University has studied the Cape Wind proposal in considerable detail, and offers the following comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) Reference file no. NAE-2004-338-
I was asked to review the prefiled testimony and exhibits of Matthew Rubin for the East Haven Windfarm and to provide an independent opinion regarding the claimed environmental benefits, estimated benefit values, project footprint and noise impacts and general wind project economic issues.
Given its location, Gray County would have displaced mostly NGCC and some oil fired generation. Using the average 2003 NGCC heatrate for the sub-powerpool (7,478 Btu/kWh) and the average CO2 content of natural gas (116 #CO2/MMBtu), the project may have displaced only 158,000 tons of CO2 in 2003 (0.00207% of 2003 US estimated emissions according to the USDOE report entitled Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States, 2003 (issued December 13, 2004). (Note in 2002, the output was less and it would have displaced only 140,000 tons).
In the UK, the parallel objective is to generate 10% of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources by 2010. Renewable electricity has become synonymous with CO2 reduction. However, the relationship between renewables and CO2 reduction in the power generation sector does not appear to have been examined in detail, and the likelihood, scale, and cost of emissions abatement from renewables is very poorly understood. The purpose of this report is to analyse a wide range of technical literature that questions whether the renewables policy can achieve its goals of emissions reduction and power generation. To some, renewable energy has the simple and unanalysed virtue of being “green”. However, the reality of this quality is dependent on practical issues relating to electricity supply. ......In conclusion, it seems reasonable to ask why wind-power is the beneficiary of such extensive support if it not only fails to achieve the CO2 reductions required, but also causes cost increases in back-up, maintenance and transmission, while at the same time discouraging investment in clean, firm generation.
The aim is to show that the fuel economy and emissions reduction in the power systems consisting mainly of thermal power plants are not proportional with the electricity production of wind turbines. Participation of thermal power plants in the compensation of fluctuating production of windmills eliminates major part of the expected positive effect of wind energy. A method for calculation of real fuel economy and emissions reduction is described and a calculation example basing on Estonian and Danish data is given. Editor's Note: A worthwhile read in its entirely (attached pdf file). Selected extracts appear below.
Unfortunately, there is a major flaw in all this current "fixative" thinking. Simply put, no matter how strong any Senate mandate, the technology needed to stabilize global atmospheric levels of CO2 does not exist. This crucial fact, noted in science journals, is woefully ignored.
In line with the American, Russian and numerous other non-European governments, Australia is not submitting to globally planned greenhouse gas controls while third world competitors, such as China, India and South Africa, remain exempt from the strictures of the Kyoto Protocol. Contemporary Australian experts with years of serious research on global warming argue against the Australian government signing Kyoto.
Climate changes such as global warming may be due to changes in the sun rather than to the release of greenhouse gases on Earth.
Cement manufacturing is the third largest cause of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. While fossil fuel combustion and deforestation each produce significantly more carbon dioxide (CO2), cement-making is responsible for approximately 2.5% of total worldwide emissions from industrial sources (energy plus manufacturing sectors).
Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in moving air into rotational energy, which in turn is converted to electricity. Since wind speeds vary from month to month and second to second, the amount of electricity wind can make varies constantly. Sometimes a wind turbine will make no power at all. This variability does affect the value of the wind power……Editor’s Note: This ‘fact sheet’ is, on the whole, a comparatively fair report. The definitions provided for capacity factor, efficiency, reliability, dispatchability, and availability are useful. Its discussion of back-up generation, marginal emissions and Germany & Denmark, however, is disingenuous as is, to a lesser degree, its discussion of capacity factor and availability. IWA's comments (updated October '06) on these issues follow selected extracts from the 'fact sheet' below.