Library filed under Energy Policy
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.
Instead, the Government insist that onshore wind farms are the answer to meeting both our energy needs and our carbon dioxide emission targets, despite the fact that: • wind farms only generate energy when the wind is blowing, and then not too hard • they can't store energy, but only pass it on for immediate use, • they are sometimes opposed by local communities for sound environmental and economic reasons, and • they can only make a tiny contribution to achieving our renewables target .
“America can't afford to have an energy policy that's tailored to what's "in" politically. We need to focus our efforts on expanding meaningful alternatives to fossil fuels that can have a major impact on achieving energy security and reducing global warming.”
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.
Background and Purpose: Vermont’s energy needs are growing while its future energy sources remain uncertain. At the same time, Agency lands are under ever-increasing pressure to serve more uses and needs. Part of meeting Vermont’s future energy needs will likely involve development of additional renewable energy sources in Vermont. The role of Agency of Natural Resource (ANR) lands in accommodating wind energy and other renewable energy projects has been the subject of recent public debate and is the focus of this policy.
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.
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.
"Wind-power does almost nothing to cut emissions of CO2 because its output is so unpredictable. This makes its fossil-fuel backup highly inefficient and tends to offset the savings as it makes."
Denmark (population c. 5.4 million) is a leading pioneer in renewable energy. Since 1985 it has set up about 3,100 MW of wind capacity. Of this 420 MW are sited offshore (Nielsen, 2004), and more is planned for the near future (Bendtsen and Hedegaard, 2004). Over the same period many small gas- or bio-fuelled CHP plants were deployed, primarily for local district heating but also to produce electricity. Interest in solar power is also considerable.
Their (Labour Party) renewable energy strategy begins and ends with onshore wind farms, despite the opposition from local communities.
Renewable energy is supposed to be clean and green. It's supposed to assure us that when we turn on our lights or cool ourselves with air conditioners, we are not harming the environment.
REF encourages the development of renewable energy and energy conservation whilst safeguarding the landscapes of the United Kingdom from unsustainable industrialisation. In pursuit of this goal, REF highlights the need for an overall energy policy that is balanced, ecologically sensitive and effective. REF is a not-for-profit foundation formed by individuals concerned by the uncontrolled growth in proposals and planning applications for power stations in inappropriate rural areas. We are part of a growing national consensus that the United Kingdom’s energy policy is unbalanced, and that the drive for renewable energy generation has been inadequately planned, a fact that has resulted in a developer-led industrial feeding-frenzy that is neither green nor sustainable. It is improbable that this current broad-scale industrialisation of the countryside will bring about any significant reductions in the emissions of greenhouse gases or meet the long-term energy needs of the UK (as laid out in the Feb 2003 Energy White Paper). We aim to raise public awareness of the issues and encourage the creation of a structured energy policy for the UK, which is both more ecologically sensitive and effective.
Appearing in the July 2004 issue of "The Utilities Journal", author David White responds to Steffen Nielsen's article appearing in the May 2004 issue extolling the success of wind generators in Denmark. White contends that Nielsen tells only half the story by omitting many important aspects of the Danish program particularly the cost, annual availability and operability of wind generation. White concludes: "it makes no economic sense to progress an expensive and unpredictable power-generating technology in order to see a parallel carbon dioxide reduction goal when the evidence clearly indicates the objective will not be met."
Must West Virginia play host to thousands of clean, green, scenery-despoiling machines to make urban environmentalists feel better? At the cost of how many birds and bats?
A necessary step in any attempt to understand the outlook for US energy supply and demand Comments by Glenn Schleede for The owners and members of Associated Electric Cooperative, Incorporated At their 2004 Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri
U.S. energy flow trends as of 2002 Eric Rosenbloom comments:" In the U.S. 61.5% of the energy used is 'lost', i.e. only 38.5% of the energy consumed is actually extracted."
The streamlined rules establish new procedures for demonstrating wind energy facility compliance with existing noise control standards. These standards are used by the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council to evaluate the location of new energy facilities.
Written by Douglas Giuffre, Jonathan Haughton, David Tuerck and John Barrett, this report analyses in economic terms the costs and benefits of a proposed 130 turbine wind plant in Nantucket Sound. It concludes that the economic costs substantially exceed the associated economic gains. This is a follow-up study to one published by Beacon Hill in October 2003 entitled "Blowing in the Wind: Offshore Wind and the Cape Cod Economy"
This position paper examines the profile of wind power, its impact on the network, security of supply and the quality of the energy delivered. It further deals with the reasons to establish certain technical requirements for the connection of wind power generation to the network. Editor's Note: This is a worthwhile read in its entirety (attached pdf file). Selected extracts appear below.
Conclusion. Wind power is expensive, doesn’t deliver the environmental benefits it promises and imposes substantial environmental costs. Accordingly, it does not merit continued government promotion or funding.