Articles filed under Impact on Economy

The quest for answers - and compensation - for electrical pollution on the farm

Both animal and human health is suffering from stray voltage that can cause catastrophic problems in the barn. But nailing down the precise causes and where the responsibility lies has proved a long and difficult struggle Driven out of business as a result of a raft of health and behaviour problems suffered by their herd, beef producers Ross and Darlene Brindley are suing Hydro One Networks Inc. and Edmonton Power Corporation (EPCOR) for a hefty $5 million. They claim that stray voltage from EPCOR's wind turbines not only destroyed their herd, but has also had a severe impact on their own health as well. And they are not alone.
1 Dec 2008

Solar power costlier for Florida than nuclear, report finds

In a much anticipated report that could affect every Floridian's pocketbook, a consultant hired by the state says solar power could be a competitive source of electricity by 2020 in many scenarios, but it will cost considerably more than new nuclear power and natural gas, the main sources of power for present customers of Florida Power & Light. Biomass -- things like plant waste, wood chips and garbage -- will be a financially viable source in all scenarios, but wind isn't likely to be much of a factor in Florida.
26 Nov 2008

Greens talk a good game, but where are all the jobs?

Solar and wind now are the darlings of "new green economy" advocates for producing solar panels and wind turbines are supposed to replace lost manufacturing jobs from industries such as steel and automobiles. Never mind that solar energy has been shown to have only limited applicability and that the best wind farm in the world only operates 30% of the time. American taxpayers would be better served by being told the truth by politicians, rather than the economic nonsense that surrounds the hype regarding the green economy.
25 Nov 2008

Frequent negative power prices in the West region of ERCOT result from wasteful renewable power subsidies

The negative prices appear to be the result of the large installed capacity of wind generation. Wind generators face very small costs of shutting down and starting back up, but they do face another cost when shutting down: loss of the Production Tax Credit and state Renewable Energy Credit revenue which depend upon generator output. It is economically rational for wind power producers to operate as long as the subsidy exceeds their operating costs plus the negative price they have to pay the market. Even if the market value of the power is zero or negative, the subsidies encourage wind power producers to keep churning the megawatts out.
20 Nov 2008

Trinity structural towers To close

More than 100 Tulsans were blindsided by the news they'll lose their jobs at the start of the new year in an industry thought to be one of a few bright spots in our economy in crisis. Wind energy is a relatively new industry to this part of the country. ...The managers of the Tulsa plant would not comment on camera. But, the corporation released a written statement: "The plant closure is due to wind farm developers' difficulty in receiving financing. And due to that lack of financing developers are forced to delay upcoming projects."
19 Nov 2008

Credit crunch, lower natural gas, transmission congestion put brakes on wind power

When investor Boone Pickens put a hold on a huge wind power project in the Texas Panhandle that he had announced in the spring, he wasn't alone. A number of wind power developers and researchers say the ongoing credit crisis, together with transmission congestion in West Texas and falling natural gas prices, will slow the state's breakneck expansion of wind capacity. ...But there also is a peculiar wrinkle in wind power's finance that makes the current environment doubly challenging. "Most wind projects in the U.S. are funded by investors with an appetite for tax benefits," said David Groberg, vice president of Invenergy Wind, a Chicago-based company with 690 megawatts of wind capacity in Texas.
17 Nov 2008

Offshore wind costs alarm Centrica

The cost of offshore wind farms has continued to soar, Centrica said, leading the company to review the economics of its £4bn wind power investment programme. The spiralling costs of offshore wind threaten to derail the government's renewable energy plans, which rely heavily on offshore turbines because of the difficulty and delays in obtaining planning permission for onshore wind farms.
14 Nov 2008

Wind farms change land values

Wind farms are blowing land values off course, slashing property tags by up to a third in some areas and lifting others by as much $50,000 per turbine. A new study shows the presence of wind turbines significantly influence land values - but it's not all bad. The study co-incides with a new push by the Federal Government to speed up the building opf wind farms across Australia. Ballarat-based value Alan Hives said there had now been enough sales of property featuring or near wind farms to draw some conclusions of their impact on property values.
14 Nov 2008

Babcock fight to survive crunch hinges on asset sales

Babcock & Brown Ltd.'s fight to avoid becoming Australia's next victim of the credit crisis may depend on convincing bankers that it can sell assets in a market where others have failed. Babcock slumped 51 percent in Sydney trading since Nov. 6, when ABN Amro Holdings NV analyst John Heagerty said the owner of wind farms and real estate may breach loan agreements next year. ...Babcock said June 16 it was "confident'' the wind assets would be sold this year -- an assumption Heagerty said may prove too optimistic. "The sale of Babcock's wind assets is likely to be postponed further given the difficulties for the acquirers in obtaining financing,'' he said.
14 Nov 2008

Has the sun set on clean tech?

Once a booming industry thanks to sky-high oil prices, the feel-good trend, carbon reduction and subsidies, the financial crisis has pushed investors to give up on green energies, and like the dot-com bubble of 2000, some analysts say it's about to burst. ..."I think economic reality will kill the green industry," said Mr. Buckee, who now lives in Britain and lectures on climate change. Solar energy isn't alone in its woes. Wind, biomass, biofuel and other "clean-tech" companies are getting pasted too as the financial crisis sends investors fleeing from technology names, dries up credit and freezes the IPO market.
13 Nov 2008

Centrica says reviewing new wind farm economics

Centrica, which is raising 2.2 billion pounds to help fund its proposed 25 percent stake in nuclear power generator British Energy, said it was "revisiting the economics of wind farms given rising raw material and credit costs." The company, which hopes to start full operation of its new Lynn & Inner Dowsing wind farms off the coast of eastern England by the end of the year, has yet to approve investment for three more farms that it plans to build in the North Sea.
13 Nov 2008

California study shows high cost of renewable power

If California expands its renewable power generation to be a third of electricity delivered in the state by 2020, it may cost $60 billion, the state's utility regulator said in a report issued on Thursday. It is more costly to make electricity with renewable power -- solar, wind, geothermal and other sources that emit no or low amounts of global-warming greenhouse gases -- than with natural gas, nuclear and coal power plants. ...On Tuesday, California voters overwhelmingly -- 65 percent of the vote -- rejected a statewide ballot measure that would have required 50 percent of power to be generated from renewables by 2025.
7 Nov 2008

Does green energy add 5 million jobs? Potent pitch, but numbers are squishy

On the campaign trail, Mr. Obama argued that spending $150 billion over the next decade to boost energy efficiency would help create five million jobs. ...Critics say analyzing only new green jobs misses half the story. "It's not looking at the other side of the coin: You are spending more money for your energy," says Anne Smith, a vice president at CRA International. ...gains in green jobs would be "more than offset" by job losses elsewhere in the economy.
7 Nov 2008

Wind farm tourism claims rejected

Developers of a proposed Speyside wind farm have hit back at claims it will deter visitors and insist their plans will promote tourism in Moray. Dorenell Wind Farm on the Glenfiddich Estate will give local tourism a valuable boost and inject ongoing investment into the Moray economy, said Infinergy. And it accused a survey by a local accommodation provider, Tomintoul and Glenlivet Highland Holidays marketing group - which claimed a large number of tourists would be deterred from visiting the area because of the wind farm - of lacking objectivity and claimed it should be discounted because it asked leading questions.
7 Nov 2008

Global credit crunch impacts wind farm fundraising

The group behind what is said to be Australia's first community-owned wind farm says the global financial crisis has affected fundraising for the project. Hepburn Wind wants to build two turbines at Leonard's Hill near Daylesford. It has spent the past three months trying to raise $5 million from investors, but it has only received share applications worth $2 million.
7 Nov 2008

Minister fails to grasp the impact wind farms will have on tourism

When debating wind energy, there is one point we can all agree on: there are sites suited for wind energy and sites that are not. Our beautiful township is not suitable. The moratorium passed unanimously by our Township Council reflects this. One visit here and it will be clear to you. ...The point is, Mr. Smitherman, our main industry is tourism and recreation. Visitors drive for several hours to enjoy the sense of wilderness our beautiful township offers. They come here to get away from industry. Please understand, this township's livelihood and way of life depends largely on the natural beauty of this land.
5 Nov 2008

World is 'drowning in oil' (again) after drought

All speculative bubbles have a kernel of truth behind them to justify their existence. This time around it was China and India. These emerging Asian giants were gobbling up all the commodities the world could produce to fuel their rapid industrialization. It wasn't that the story was untrue; it was old. Growing global demand probably was the reason for the gradual rise in oil prices from $20 a barrel to $40 earlier in the decade, and even to $60 by mid-2005. It was the moon shot to $147 that took on a life, and a litany, of its own.
1 Nov 2008

Economy stalls local wind farm

The plan to erect wind turbines on the Burnside Mountain south of Shamokin has been stalled because of the sour economy. Penn Wind LLC is still actively pursuing the project, but the failure of some of the nation's largest financial institutions makes the market for the important tax-credit piece of financing for such a large project a tough one ...While Penn Wind is a small Sunbury-based company, it is affiliated with an international alternative energy giant in German renewable energy company Juwi GmbH.
1 Nov 2008

Obama's "Green Jobs" plan will not work

Obama has put energy policy at the forefront of his agenda. He says that his plan will boost our national security, help us achieve "energy independence," reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote job creation. Indeed, Obama vows to create around 5 million new jobs by increasing federal spending on renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and biofuels. As many experts have observed, the science behind the Obama plan is dubious. ...The renewable energy industry simply does not have the capacity to power large swathes of our fossil fuel-driven economy.
1 Nov 2008

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