Documents filed under Taxes & Subsidies

NWW's Submitted comments to House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development

National Wind Watch does not oppose funding of research and development for wind energy, but stresses that any increases in monies allocated be correctly focused. Most of any future research and development should now be focused on the detrimental impacts and mitigation techniques of wind development including, but not limited to: actual impacts on property values in areas where wind development occurs; actual net impacts on employment; life cycle analysis of environmental impacts (positive and negative); grid system stability and reliability under increasing penetration of wind, and within lower quality wind sites. Given the inherent and perceived conflict of interest, National Wind Watch recommends that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory NOT hold responsibility for such analysis but only be permitted to participate.
31 Mar 2006

Draft 2004 New England Marginal Emission Rate Analysis

Marginalemissionrateanalysis_thumb ...the MEA Report can be used to estimate the value (avoided emissions) of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) by providing both REC suppliers and stakeholders with information that can be used to communicate the environmental benefits of RECs and works to enhance the overall REC marketplace. Editor's Note: As noted below under Methodology [emphasis added], this report appears to substantiate the point that wind energy would not backdown "baseload" generation.
28 Feb 2006

An analysis of Whole Foods’ January 9, 2006, “wind energy” Purchase

1_whole_foods_wind_energy_pseudo_environmentalism_thumb The natural foods grocery chain, Whole Foods, failed to do its homework when it agreed to buy “wind energy” and, thereby, launch the nation’s largest demonstration to date of “ green energy” pseudo-environmentalism! Three of the interesting conclusions from the analysis: • “109 huge (32+ story, 350+ foot), low electricity producing wind turbines will be needed to produce the 458,000,000 kWh of “wind generated” electricity that Whole Foods has (in theory) purchased.” • “$1 million spent for energy efficient light bulbs would avoid the use of 171,550,000 kWh of electricity over 5 years -- which is more than 3 times the 56,064,000 kWh of electricity that a $1,000,000 wind turbine might be able to produce over 20 years!” • “Like the leaders in other organizations that have undertaken similar pseudo-environmental actions, it appears that Whole Foods executives thought only about the favorable PR benefits they would enjoy, while failing to consider the adverse impacts of their action.” Editor's Note: According to the World Resources Institute and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the top 10 purchasers of 'wind energy' are: Whole Foods Market Inc. 458,000 megawatts (a year) Johnson & Johnson 295,000 MW DuPont & Co. 170,000 MW Starbucks Corp. 150,000 MW IBM Corp. 110,000 MW Safeway Inc. 78,000 MW HSBC 66,000 MW NatureWorks LLC 59,000 MW Advanced Micro Devices Inc. 52,500 MW WhiteWave Foods 49,500 MW
27 Jan 2006

Financial Impacts of Wind Turbines on Communities in Western Massachsetts- A Closer Look

Tax_implications_of_turbine_development_1__thumb When considering local bylaws regulating wind turbine development, towns need to consider whether and to what degree they should be encouraged. The question of how much revenue they might generate for the town will be among the first issues raised. To determine this, there are many things a town with land suitable for commercial wind development needs to consider. Particular attention needs to be paid to long-term trends as well. This paper explores some of these factors and their implications.
15 Sep 2005

Wind Farms: Frequently Asked (Legal) Questions

In community after community where industrial-scale "wind farms" have been proposed, mundane and sparsely-attended board meetings have been transformed into standing-room-only affairs. Residents and property owners are anxious to know whether rumored plans to construct twenty, fifty or even a hundred of the 400-foot tall wind turbines are "a done deal." Most significantly, the electorate wants to know the extent to which their town has the power to decide whether or not wind farms will dominate their rural landscape. /p
30 Jun 2005

Wind Power Facility Siting Case Studies: Community Response

National_wind_coordinating_committee_siting_studies_thumb BBC Research & Consulting's 2005 report for the National Wind Coordinating Committee that studies 9 wind plant sitings in an effort to identify circumstances that distinguish welcomed projects from projects that were not accepted by communities.
1 Jun 2005

Economic Factors for Wind Projects - With special refererence to Highland New Wind Development

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.
19 Feb 2005

Tom Hewson Analyses Carbon Dioxide Savings of Gray County Wind Farm (KS)

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).
1 Jan 2005

Distorting The Wealth Of Nature - Subsidies and Favoritism for Energy

....there are too many forms of subsidies and favoritism to determine accurately which energy sources get the best treatment, although some interpretations can be made. In any case, those who argue that their technology should receive more in order to compensate for another technology’s subsidies are being disingenuous. Congressional subsidies in the latest energy bill will only make matters worse.
1 Jan 2005

Reduction in Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Estimating the Potential Contribution from Wind Power

Renewable_energy_foundation_thumb 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.
1 Dec 2004

Wind - Facts or blowing hot air?

Wind-leo_thumb Government agencies and the wind industry have successfully portrayed wind-generated electricity as "green" and as a price-competitive, potentially significant alternative source of power which could reduce dependence on 'dirty' fuels. While wind generated electricity may make sense in some circumstances, industry and government claims for its widespread use are not currently supported by sound science or economic analysis of costs v. benefits.
1 Mar 2004

Community Wind Financing: A Handbook by the Environmental Law & Policy Center

Community_wind_financing_thumb Wind power is the fastest growing source of electricity generation in the United States. In 2003, the installed U.S. wind power capacity increased by 1,700 megawatts (MW) to a total of 6,374 MW.1 Most of this additional capacity came in large projects of 50 MW or more, typically owned by strategic investors who have developed or acquired a portfolio of projects. As wind power generation continues to grow, these large projects and experienced developers will likely continue to dominate wind power development. Because of their scale and access to capital, these large projects are the fastest way to move towards increasing renewable energy’s share of the generation mix—and they provide significant economic benefits to the communities where they are located, from payments to farmers for wind rights and turbine easements to construction-related spending to permanent operations and the maintenance staff at each project. At the same time, there has been a growing interest in community wind power development. While the notion of community wind varies, these projects are generally smaller scale (less than 20 MW), and are locally initiated and owned. Projects range from single turbines erected by municipal utilities, school districts and tribal reservations to larger multi-turbine installations owned by one or more local investors and landowners. These projects may capture and retain more of the economic benefits locally (both construction-related and ongoing returns) and drive continued reinvestment in the communities. As a result, community wind projects often enjoy more favorable community support than large-scale commercial projects. There have been numerous publications and conferences on community wind development, but less specific attention on options for project structuring and financing. The goal of this handbook is to identify critical financing issues and present several possible financing models that reflect the differing financial positions and investment goals of various project owners/developers. The handbook includes six sections: • Section I describes various models for community wind power ownership. • Section II examines sources of equity and debt financing and the steps necessary to secure this financing. • Section III identifies federal grant and loan programs and state incentives for wind power development. • Section IV reviews the federal tax incentives supporting wind power projects, the impact of these incentives on project economics, and limitations on utilizing these incentives. • Section V examines power purchase agreements and the value of green tags to community wind power projects. • The Appendix contains a list of operating community wind projects in the United States and a list of project consultants and financing resources.
1 Jan 2004
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