Articles filed under Energy Policy

A bigger, "renewable" boondoggle

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.
15 Dec 2004

Would Wind Farms Hurt Food Farms?

A new simulation finds serious and previously unrecognized environmental threats from massive wind farms in the American Great Plains. A recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research by scientists from Princeton and Duke Universities indicates massive wind farms would significantly increase local surface drying and soil heating, which in turn would impact agricultural or range use on or near the wind farm. The modeling experiment used current wind turbine and rotor technology to assess local climate impacts from a simulated wind farm with 10,000 turbines, arranged in a simple, square array of 100 by 100 turbines, each spaced one kilometer apart.
11 Nov 2004

Many Questions about Wind Must be Answered

All too often I hear an enthusiastic statement that wind generators will replace the power plant and become the singular source of our energy supply. Despite what the infrequent visitor to western Kansas may think, the wind does not always blow. Consumers want to turn on the television or do the wash at any time, illustrating that the demand for electricity is present even when the wind is not blowing.
1 Nov 2004

Are Electricity Capacity Margins Really Growing? New England's experience may redefine the term.

During the 1990s, capacity margins in the United States declined almost one third, falling from 21 percent in 1991 to less than 15 percent in 2001. In some regions, margins shrunk to less than 10 percent. Concerns grew over electricity reliability and possible upward pressures on electricity prices. However, as new gas-fired power plants began to come on line in the late 1990s, the developing electricity generation capacity surplus began to raise concerns. The U.S. capacity margin growth of 2002 should have eased upward pressures on electricity prices. However, electricity prices surged in many areas, such as New England, where surplus electricity capacity has developed. This suggests that the standard definition of capacity margin may not be appropriate in the context of current market realities.
1 Apr 2004

Tilting at windmills

The hostility aroused by the Parham project is not unusual either. Some locals complain that wind farms are noisy, ugly and (citing estate agents) that they reduce property prices. Others, like John Constable, who lives 700 metres away from the airfield, say they are just inappropriate. “I happen to like the Chrysler building,” he says, “but I don't want it near my house.”
18 Mar 2004

Why CO2 Mandates Won't Work

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.
7 May 2003

Green Protectionism

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.
1 Dec 2002

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young launches European deregulation Index

In conclusion, this study has shown that in many countries deregulation is having the expected effect of increased competition leading to price reduction. However, it is evident that pricing in markets depends not just on the status of deregulation, but also on the broader aspects of competition. Key factors here include the balance of supply and demand, generation fuel costs, the learning process that new markets go through, competition within different market segments and the costs of access to transmission and distribution networks. Deregulation is a long-term process that requires sustained attention.
1 Nov 2002

Wanted: Ethics for activists

environmental pressure groups adamantly oppose fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric power plants. Renewable energy – from wind turbines, or little solar panels on huts – is the future for Third World countries, they insist. Their prescription is totally inadequate for any modern society, India’s Barun Mitra points out. It would also mean sacrificing hundreds of thousands of acres of scenic and wildlife lands to gargantuan windmills that slice and dice birds and bats by the thousands.
1 Jan 1970

http://www.windaction.org/posts?p=2205&topic=Energy+Policy&type=Article
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