Glenn Schleede views a recent report by the "Kansas Energy Council" as illustrative of how state as well as federal officials create bad policy by failing to examine the true costs and benefits of their proposed policies. Examining the Kansas situation in great detail, this report focuses on the real costs of wind in a manner that has broad applicability to any government body considering wind energy.
Environmental group supports proposed wind power project
In many parts of the country, wind farms are being installed to alleviate the need to build more electrical generating plants. These wind farms can have a profound effect on your public safety, utility, and governmental microwave systems by chopping and reflecting the microwave beam.
Almost 70 years ago, Vermonters decided man's hand did not need to be evident everywhere. Remember that spirit now as this state considers allowing wind turbines on ridgelines.
Everyone probably agrees with the fundamental goal of the legislation -- to protect Vermont's fragile environment by increasing the use of clean energy. But before lawmakers rush into mandates, they must ensure the measure doesn't inadvertently harm the economy or the landscape.
This page [author's website] is dedicated to economic information that applies to wind-power projects anywhere in the United States and specifically applies to the Highland New Wind Development project proposed for the northwestern corner of Highland County, VA. Let me say right up front that I am not an economist or tax accountant. I will try to compile factual information on the economics of wind power along with the opinions of recognized experts in this field. Editor's Note: This provides a good overview of the production tax credit, capacity factor, renewable portfolio standards, renewable energy certificates. and accelerated depreciation. Readers are encouraged to visit the author's site via the link below for the most current version, e.g. the author is planning to update the production tax credit information to the current prevailing rate of 1.9 cents per kWh.
According to the study, a further financial and technical strong-arm effort would be required in order to be able to even input the quantity of green electricity planned by the federal government into the German electricity network by the year 2015.
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-
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-2004-338-1: 1. A systematic cost-benefit analysis – missing from the DEIS – shows that, with 90% confidence, the costs of the project outweigh the benefits by between $83 million and $333 million, with a mean measure of net cost of $209 million (equivalent to 2.0 cents/kWh produced). 2. The DEIS conclusion of “no adverse impacts to tourism and recreation” is not supported by the data. 3. The DEIS conclusion that the project would not adversely affect property values is based on a flawed study, ignores other research, and is untenable. 4. The DEIS estimates of the value of health improvements are greatly exaggerated (at $53 million annually). Our own estimates show health improvements of $7 million, and even this may be overstated.
Capacity Factor by Month: (1) Mountaineer Windplant, WV, (2) Meyersdale Windplant, PA, (3) Mill Run Windplant, PA, and (4) Waymart Windplant, PA. This information, by month, highlights the issue of whether wind is available when electricity is needed. The charts reflect strong winds in the winter months and considerably lighter winds in the summer when demand for electricity is expected to peak.
"In response to emerging market conditions, and in recognition of the unique operating characteristics of wind generation, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) commissioned a joint study to produce empirical information that will assist the NYISO in evaluating the reliability implications of increased wind generation. The work was divided into two phases. Phase 1, Preliminary Overall Reliability Assessment, was completed in early 2004. This initial phase provided a preliminary, overall, screening assessment of the impact of large-scale wind generation on the reliability of the New York State Bulk Power System (NYSBPS). This document was prepared by General Electric International, Inc. in Schenectady, NY. It is submitted to THE NEW YORK STATE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (NYSERDA). Editor's Note: In the Executive Summary, GE argues that 'imbalance' penalties should not be imposed on wind: "subimbalance penalties should not be imposed on wind generation. Wind projects would need to settle discrepancies between their forecast and actual outputs in the energy balancing market. However, because wind is largely nondispatchable, any additional penalties for imbalance should be eliminated. [emphasis added] The FERC Order 888 allows imbalance penalties to be applied to generators that operate outside of their schedule. As applied in New York, any “overgeneration” can be accepted without payment and any “undergeneration” is priced at the greater of 150% of the spot price or $100/MWh. Strict application of these policies in the MAPS analysis performed would result in the loss of roughly 90% of the wind generation revenue, which would be disastrous to their future development."(page 2.8)
To maximize the advantages that the production tax credit offers, however, requires a closer look at how wind power facilities are financed. Unlike most power projects which are financed based on their revenues from power sales, financing for wind power projects depends heavily on the production tax credits.
Scope of Project: Offload windmill components from rail cars to trucks, for transporation west along Route 2 approximately 7.5 miles up Florida Mountain, for final installation as part of the Hoosac Wind Project in Florida and Monroe, MA.
The Kyoto Protocol is due to come into effect this February and we are already more than half way from the signing of the Protocol to the beginning of its first commitment period (and three quarters of the way there since the baseline date of 1990). The world also needs to look beyond Kyoto. Many countries, including the UK, have set themselves ambitious longer term goals, to reduce emissions by 60% or even 75% by 2050. Meanwhile, a number of recent studies – for instance, the climateprediction.net project based on distributed computing and the International Climate Change Taskforce – have stressed the magnitude of the risks and the need for early and effective action. At first sight, the impression given is that everything is more or less on track. The UK Paper says that “our latest projections on the impact that our policies and measures will have on our emissions suggest that the UK remains on course to comfortably achieve its target under the Kyoto Protocol”, though admitting that more needs to be done to meet the 20% reduction in CO2 emissions set as a national goal. The EEA report is more cautious: it acknowledges that the EU is only a third of the way towards meeting its goal (greenhouse gas emissions in 2002 were 2.9% below the 1990 base, as compared with the target of 8 % for the period 2008-2012). However, it suggests that with policy measures in the pipeline and use of the Kyoto mechanisms, the target could be met. What neither report states is that the evidence contained in them could lead to a much more pessimistic conclusion: that the policy measures favoured in the UK and EU have not delivered significant CO2 reductions and are clearly inadequate to the longer term challenge.
If America devoted a mere 1% of its land area to wind turbine farms, it could generate 20% of its electricity from wind, asserts the American Wind Energy Association. And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Sadly, equine mirages don’t make sound energy policy. They may generate good sound bites, political polemics and fund-raising appeals. But they don’t generate much electricity.
If you really want to cut energy consumption, reduce pollution, improve public health and protect our environment, it’s time to contact your elected officials, educate them about the lessons of Denmark, Germany and elsewhere, and tell them you want tougher energy efficiency measures instead of wind power plants. Otherwise, in the next few years, you’ll be looking at wind turbines in some of your favorite places, with the knowledge that they’re doing little more than funneling your tax dollars to a few lucky corporations and landowners, and away from better solutions.
This report presents forecasts of energy supply, demand and prices through 2025.
Concept for a step-by-step extension of the transmission grid in Germany for the connection and integration of wind turbines onshore and offshore taking into account the production and power station developments and the necessary regulating and reserve power. Introduction: A reasonably priced and reliable electricity supply is an important location factor for the development of an economy. Against this background, it is necessary to investigate the demands placed on the entire system for the generation and transmission of electrical energy, which in future must again be optimised for the integration of the inevitably increasing amount of electricity generated from wind energy. The economic effects resulting from this must also be determined. Maintaining the current level of reliability of supply must be included here as an important boundary condition....
This plan serves to help guide utilities in their own planning activities by establishing a standard of planning and analysis for utilities.
Wind energy is environmentally harmful and costly to taxpayers. Furthermore, its expansion could adversely affect the nation's electricity transmission system.