The Guardian Exposes Fossil Funded Groups Coordinating Renewable Energy Attacks

Tue, 2012-05-08 16:06Steve Horn
Steve Horn's picture

The Guardian Exposes Fossil Funded Groups Coordinating Renewable Energy Attacks

Ever wonder why a blooming green energy industry has faced such harsh opposition? Now, as the old adage goes, “the cat's out of the bag.”

The Guardian today revealed the network of fossil-funded groups coordinating the ongoing onslaught of attacks on renewable energy, particularly wind power. A memorandum passed to The Guardian from the Checks and Balances Project details the organizations and personnel acting as ringleaders to build an astroturf echo chamber of clean energy critics.

Guardian reporter Suzanne Goldenberg writes in “Conservative thinktanks step up attacks against Obama's clean energy strategy,” 


“A number of rightwing organisations, including Americans for Prosperity, which is funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, are attacking Obama for his support for solar and wind power. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which also has financial links to the Kochs, has drafted bills to overturn state laws promoting wind energy.”

A confidential memo seen by The Guardian and obtained by DeSmogBlog “advises using 'subversion' to build a national movement of wind farm protesters,” explained Goldenberg.

That memo was crafted by John Droz, a Senior Fellow at the American Tradition Institute (ATI).*(see update below)* ATI was the right-wing think-tank behind the lawsuit to obtain University of Virginia climatologist Michael Mann's “ClimateGate” emails. 

DeSmogBlog has covered ALEC's assault on renewable energy previously.

Other gold in the memo, as relayed by Goldenberg:

  • “[A] national PR campaign aimed at causing 'subversion in message of industry so that it effectively because so bad that no one wants to admit in public they are for it.'”
  • “[S]etting up 'dummy businesses' to buy anti-wind billboards, and creating a 'counter-intelligence branch' to track the wind energy industry.  
  • “[C]alls for spending $750,000 to create an organisation with paid staff and tax-exempt status dedicated to building public opposition to state and federal government policies encouraging the wind energy industry.”

The memo was authored by John Droz Jr., an ATI Senior Felllow*. Droz runs the website “Wind Power Facts” and is a climate change denier, on the record saying,

Is Global Warming a scientifically resolved matter? No. There is some very convincing evidence (and scientists) that indicate that there is such a thing as Global Warming. But there are some very qualified scientists (with good evidence) that suggest just the opposite. More importantly, statements often appearing in the media like 'the majority of scientists' believe in Global Warming, are meaningless. First of all, no legitimate survey has ever been done, and secondly, science is not about the number of people who advocate a position.

Furthermore, Droz is registered as a speaker at this year's Heartland Institute (of DeSmogBlog's “Heartland Exposed” fame) “Denial-a-Palooza” event.

“These documents show for the first time that local Nimby anti-wind groups are co-ordinating and working with national fossil-fuel funded advocacy groups to wreck the wind industry,” Gabe Elsner, Checks and Balances co-director told The Guardian.

The story as a whole is well worth the read. Stay tuned for more coverage on the topic by DeSmogBlog, as well. 

[UPDATE May 10: The American Tradition Institute contacted DeSmog to distance itself from the memo, stating that ATI Senior Fellow John Droz was not representing the organization officially at the Feb 1-2 meeting. 

David Schnare, Director of ATI's Environmental Law Center, told DeSmog via email:

ATI did not commission the memo at issue.  ATI did not endorse the memo.  ATI did not attend, sponsor or support the meeting at which the memorandum was discussed.  John Droz, acting on his own behalf, is the author of the memo.”]

Image credit: Shutterstock | majeczka

 
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Previous Comments

This story was good timing. I was only just telling Canman about this sort of thing in the last post:

http://www.desmogblog.com/view-nowhere-case-against-knee-jerk-centrism-when-it-comes-politics-and-science#comment-727164

Willis Eschenbach & Watts both seem to have been given a copy of the campaign proposal, as they have both had recent hit pieces on renewables. 

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/21/the-moon-and-sick-plans/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/30/supreme-irony-wind-farms-can-cause-atmosphereic-warming-finds-a-new-study/

Looking at that document on page 2, i find the following bit interesting:

“Most of this could be done by volunteers without having a formal national organization. Discuss how this would work and who would have what responsibilities.

Consider joining forces w some already established organization where there is substantial commonality and commitment (e.g. ATI, Heartland, IER, CEI, Marshall, Brookings, Cato, Manhattan, AfP, FW, CFACT, ALEC, NA-PAW, etc.).”

I would bet my last dollar that after seeing the Heartland doc, that some if not all of these organizations also fund Watts. Probably Climate Audit & Climate Depot also. And that these sites are the front groups for the front groups.

 

I can’t picture the Brookings Institute fooling with a creature like Watts. I think the grown men are still in charge at Brookings.

 

“I can’t picture the Brookings Institute fooling with a creature like Watts. I think the grown men are still in charge at Brookings.”

Yes, you are right. Apolgies to anyone from Brookings who might have been offended. They are quite independent from what I remember.

 

In classic denier style Rosa dragged out an arguement ‘hiding’ information but constantly implying that there is some sort of conspiracy that Wind is worse than Coal.  Evidence was never provided until page two, and I doubt anyone would read that far.

I wanted to make sure that anyone who came across this rambling series of verbose comments didn’t come away with the wrong impression.  Namely, there is no conspiracy as Rosa implies.

The conclusion was predictable.

Here’s what Rosa said, followed by my (unusually polite) rebuttal.

=====================================================

“ ‘Wind power provided 18.9% of electricity production and 24.1% of generation capacity in Denmark in 2008.’

“Lets call it say 20%. Errr, doesn’t that mean they are using 20% less fossil fuels if wind is generating 20% of their power?”

No, it doesn’t. Because fossil fuel plants continue to burn fuel while not generating electricity, and they burn it less efficiently when ramping to balance the variable wind generation. Denmark has to export most of its wind-generated electricity because the backup and balancing requirements are too great. They are now looking to the UK because the Scandinavian and especially the German grids can’t take more, either.

So the question remains to compare fossil fuel use per unit of electricity consumed before and after wind on the grid.

I found some attempts to do this:

http://kirbymtn.blogspot.com/2008/02/uk-fossil-fuel-use-for-electricity-2002.html

http://kirbymtn.blogspot.com/2008/11/us-coal-use-for-electricity-2002-2006.html

http://kirbymtn.blogspot.com/2009/04/more-coal-for-less-electricity-due-to.html

P.S. I mentioned taxpayer funds because “anoilman” pointed to utilities and energy companies’ readiness to spend on wind. Please put aside your caricatures and read what I write.

P.P.S. This will probably be my last post, since we’re going in circles with your refusal to look beyond the hype and assumptions about big wind.

========================================================

(Assuming logic is involved.)

Here’s two blogs that support your claim;

http://www.clepair.net/IerlandUdo.html

http://joewheatley.net/emissions-savings-from-wind-power/

Check out the rebuttal from Michael Goggin of the American Wind Energy Association, on the JoeWheatley page;

“This appears to be a classic case of a lurking (or confounding) variable being used to misleadingly present correlation as causality; a comparable example is arguing that cigarette lighters cause lung disease since people who buy them tend to develop lung disease. In this case, the lurking variable that is the actual causal factor appears to be cold weather and its impact on heating demand, data that is available but that (for reasons we can only speculate) was not used in these correlational analyses.

“Cold temperatures drive heating demand, forcing Ireland’s numerous fossil-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plants to fire up and run at a high level of heat production (and subsequently more emissions per megawatt-hour, MWh, of electricity, since CHP plants relative to the rest of the fleet are not optimized for electricity production, and CHP plants being run to produce maximum heat are not being operated in a way that is optimized for electricity production; moreover, it appears that the emissions associated with heat production are rolled into the data…”


So, what is happening is coal heating plants that are not used for electricity are firing up in cold weather and their emmissions are being included with electricity generation power plants.  (Wind = cold if you live near cold water)

If you disconnect wind power from that grid, the emissions would of course increase dramatically, hugely immensely.

This also shows that you should not blindly look at numbers but actually study the factors involved in what is being looked at.

======================================================

 

See the rebuttals to Goggin’s rebuttal in the comments at:

http://www.awea.org/blog/index.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1699=9958

There is no emissions increase.  None.

No evidence of it either.  None.

The simple fact is that you haven’t seen how much larger the emissions would be if you didn’t have wind at all.   You are blindly, ignorantly looking at numbers.

You are deluded to think that 10s of thousands of engineers and scientists have it all wrong, and there is a grand conspiracy to fake information and buy useless equipment in every nation in the world.  Even at its best, SPECTRE couldn’t do that.

According to you, they are buying equipment that doesn’t work because they get a discount.  Do tell do tell.

Here’s the actual numbers from 2004, page 33 (as compared to NOT HAVING ANY WIND);

http://www.eirgrid.com/media/2004%20wind%20impact%20report%20%28for%20updated%202007%20report,%20see%20above%29.pdf

Would you prefer the 2007 report (page 10)?

http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Wind%20power%20generation%20analytical%20report,%202007%20update.pdf

I also applaud you efforts to hide your real sources.  Why not link to the Climate Denier website, and the likely source of this crap?

http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/05/21/co2-avoidance-cost-wind/

Or that crappy Civitas report from earlier this year?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/jan/09/wind-turbines-increasing-carbon-emissions

Oh… and lots of money is still flowing into Wind despite having the subsidies cut in 2010;

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/developers-lament-loss-of-federal-wind-subsidies-in-canada/

Yeah…  Heavily subsidized…  Right… Tell me another one;

http://www.ippsa.com/did-you-know.php

“The competitive market has brought cleaner power supplies to the province. Most of Alberta’s new supply is natural gas-fired. Alberta also now has 865 MW of wind generation, the second highest concentration of wind power in Canada. And none of Alberta’s new generation is subsidized by Alberta taxpayers.”

You need better information than misinformed bloggers Rosa.  Much better.

Both of your Eirgrid citations are projections, not actual data.

and you don’t have measurements to make a point with.

Wind generates no CO2 in operation, correct?

Your numbers involved shutting off the coal and power plants.  That is what Ireland did during high winds.

You are claiming that turning on coal and gas plants (as opposed to turning them off) will drive down CO2 emmissions.  That is crazy talk.  It defies all known science.

I like how you skip over the fact that Wind is unsubsidized in Alberta and competing against coal and gas using independant suppliers.  That doesn’t fit in with your whole grand conspiracy does it?  Does any of that ring true at all?

Wind in Alberta survives only as long as there are enough people like you to pay extra for it to be on line.

Its deregulation so its not going to go away as long as it remains competitive with Gas and coal.   Which it is.

Deregulation is a Libertarian Conservative agenda is it not?  I thought you guys liked that stuff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta_electricity_policy

Retail consumers have the option to buy electricity at competitive prices from third-party sellers or at regulated prices through the local utility.

The way this works is that by law the grid must buy back any energy at the going rate that the service provider charges.

So, if I personally bought a solar system and put in a two way power meter, the service provider must buy my energy for the same rate they sell it.

Its the same for any power source.

As for me and wind… I hardly notice the difference.

Sorry to mislead you.  THEY CANCELED THE PROGRAM AND CONTINUED BUYING WIND FARMS.  So I’m like the last person still paying extra and wind has really taken off here.

Rosa Rosa Rosa… its an environmentalists dream come true!  Thank you for getting me to look all this stuff up!

Alberta is apparently unique in that generating capacity has not been keeping up with demand. Therefore, even in a free electricity market, there is a need for whatever wind generates. As you know, however, the AESO halted new wind connections in 2005 because of the lack of system flexibility able to cope with wind. In 2007, a new 1200-MW gas plant allowed more wind to be added.

So it’s not so much that wind is competitive in Alberta, as demand is desperate.

Nevertheless, wind’s “penetration” remains less than 3%. Because adding more wind requires adding more gas (and then operating them less efficiently, such that you are still unable to show actual reduction of carbon emissions per unit of electricity consumed).

Alberta’s wind turbines, of course, are notorious for the high rates of bat deaths.

Its the law.

If I produce electricity they have to buy it for the same rate they sell it at.  Its the law.  I can even do it my home.

Here’s the latest projects for one private (non subsidized) company, there are many companies;

http://www.albertawindenergy.net/projects.html

Oldman 2 comes on line this year 2012 and there are many more in the works.


You are also lying about Alberta’s demand.  We have 11,000GW and have peak demands of 7500GW.   So Enmax did not need to build that plant.  There is such a glut of electricity right now that our rates have fallen to 6c per kwh.  It was 11c when I moved here.

AESO is pushing to have Albertans subsidize power lines ($1200 per houshold) to the United States so we can sell you electricity instead of gas or coal.

Here’s a video from a Conservative politician regarding power lines in Alberta;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsUEKspOUE4

(I couldn’t vote Wild Rose, but I could vote for this guy.)

Source: Desmogblog (http://s.tt/1bePV)

 

The Enmax financial reports mention the cost of compliance with provincial greenhouse gas regulations, which are offset by credits from wind. There’s your subsidy. Enmax is selling the wind electricity as well as itself buying the “carbon credits”. The wind plant is the means of paying for (not reducing) the carbon emissions from the fossil fuel plants.

All oil and gas Royalty Payments are also tax credits.  Every single producer of oil and gas is getting a tax break for every single GJ they extract.  Every last one of them, including Enmax.

Those Carbon Credits only kick in after a business hits a very high level of pollution.

So, we do not give a credit for all carbon emissions… But we do give it for every GJ dug out of the ground.

Thank you for pointing out the heavy heavy subsidy the oil and gas industry receives.  Thank you.

In order to even need credits you must produce 100,000 tons of GHG per year.

http://www.carboncreditsolutions.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61&Itemid=102

But…  They only have to reduce carbon intensity.  This means that polluters are increasing the amount of pollution they produce, and are not even attempting decrease it.  That was very key to how George Bush rephrased carbon reduction in the Denial Machine;

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=522784499045867811

Harper of course adopted the same policies.  (Having Frank Luntz as his advisor couldn’t hurt either.)

 

The PR effort is obviously even stronger on the pro-wind side to characterize all of the opposition as NIMBY climate-denying Neandertals on the evidence of but one faction.

There are many well known reasons to oppose industrial wind power with its sprawling adverse impacts, typically on previously nonindustrial rural land and undeveloped wild land, and very low benefit. For anyone concerned about climate change, or the environment as a whole, giant wind is clearly a wasted effort that does more harm than good.

As for the “Tea Party”, their opposition is certainly welcome, although it is hard to ignore the racist and regressive agenda behind it. George W. Bush (with pal Ken Lay of Enron) practically invented the modern wind industry (as subsidy farms), and most Republicans are just as supportive as Democrats, including the likely challenger to Obama, Mitt Romney, a testament himself to the power of corporate socialism.

Although Marita Noon is quoted in the main story as believing that Obama “wants us to pay more and use less”, the fact is that all agents of the sham democracy in this corporatist nation want us to pay more and use more. Big wind fits the bill perfectly as it tries to make industrial depredation and corporate welfare “cool” and protection of the environment treasonous.

Where do you get all this stuff from?

 

I should add that the American Wind Energy Association uses the same Republican Washington PR firm – Revolution – as several pro-oil groups (U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Center for Individual Freedom, and American Energy Alliance). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in particular loves wind, because it opens up vast new lands to industrial development.

www.coalitionforsensiblesiting.com/doc/AWEAPolicyDoc-Nov2011.pdf :

‘We need to create a space for the wind energy industry without defining it as an alternative to fossil fuels and coal and that goes beyond being one of many “renewables.” “Renewables” in general are saddled with weaknesses that we don’t want to have to carry.’

In other words, the wind industry itself is distancing itself from climate concerns, because their only interest is the continuation of subsidies.

The above document, the minutes of the AWEA’s board meeting, also outlines the group’s regional efforts: In addition to the expected focus on ‘establishing, defending, and increasing state renewable/clean energy portfolio standard requirements to favor wind (e.g., by excluding large hydro)’ [emphasis added]:

Other efforts include ensuring that siting regulations benefit developers, convincing utilities and regulators that wind provides reliable and economical capacity, and pleading with them to expand transmission and change the rules to benefit wind.

Local efforts also include contesting landscape, wildlife, and health protection rules as “not based on science”.

Lovely people, indeed!

Rosa complained:

“There are many well known reasons to oppose industrial wind power with its sprawling adverse impacts, typically on previously nonindustrial rural land and undeveloped wild land, and very low benefit.”

Rosa, which would you rather have within a mile of your residence, a windfarm, a surface coal mine, a coal fired power station, a tar sands plant, a petroleum refinery or a nuclear reactor?

Have you ever been close to any of these? If so tell me which has the least impact on the environment. I have been close to all of these and I know which I find to have the least adverse impact.

 

Wind is not, and can not, since it is diffuse, intermittent, and highly variable, replace those other sources. (And petroleum is rarely used for electricity in most places.)

So its seemingly lower impact is meaningless, because it doesn’t reduce the impacts from other sources.

I like how you’re so Johnny ready with this subject on this web page.  Is that you job?  I mean Desmogblog has an extremely low readership.  (20% must be me alone.) Yet, Pow!  You’re here to rebutt.

I’ve visited the Wind Farms down south from here.  They power my home.  They have little impact on the area since they are also operating farms.  In fact initially, it was the farmers who put them in.  (Bat killers… some noise, but I live inner city, so I’m used to noise.)


Claiming that something can’t work because it doesn’t work now, means you are just plain stupid.  That is a demonstratable fact.

Cars…  Who’d want a car if there were no roads.. Oh wait…

Plumbing… Who’d want that?  It would be too expensive to implement… Oh wait…

Buggy Whips…  Oh wait, that must be what you are selling, right?

So, expand your mind a little. (Well OK a lot, you are very very limited.)  Key people are interested in this issue and are trying to solve it;

http://www.ted.com/talks/donald_sadoway_the_missing_link_to_renewable_energy.html

Yeah… Bill Gates is a green freak…   (You can’t see me rolling my eyes at you.)

http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html

CO2 Capture…  Head of R&D from Exxon is working on that one;

http://globalthermostat.com/

Is there anything else you are ignorant of or would like to learn about?  I’m sure someone here would be happy look up facts that you are too lazy to look for yourself.

And you never answered my question. Typical of deniers.

Your question is based on the assumption that selection of wind is exclusive of the others. I reject that assumption and therefore can not answer. Wind is in addition to those other sources.

The erection of a wind energy facility does not mean that a coal mine is shut down or even that less coal is burned.

In fact, you left out natural gas fracking fields from the list, a source that has risen in parallel with wind. Would you, in supporting a neighborhood wind “farm”, also support fracking next door to provide the natural gas needed to back up the wind?

Where do you get all your misinformation? Are you funded by the fossil fuel industry. Sounds like it.

Of course wind power and other energy sources will displace fossil fuels if used properly and not subject to lies and disinformation put out by the likes of you and your denier cronies.

If fracking was done in an open and honest manner and proper regulations were in place and enforced it wouldn’t be the problem that it is today. It suffers the same problems as anti-wind farm groups they are dishonest and have huge quantities of money available to push their deceit.

Their objective is to spread FUD.  Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.  I’m pretty sure thats why they never back their claims.

So… here’s a funny thing… the equipment producers are one and the same. 

GE makes a horrific portion of the Wind Turbines and at the same time owns a horrific portion of the Drilling\Wireline industry.   They can’t loose.

Variable: technology to deal with variable wind speeds is already in use.  On the stator they put a speedometer, and a bunch of analog switches.  If the rotor is moving slowly, they simply change configuration of the wiring to give a constant output frequency (60Hz).  Problem solved years ago.

Batteries: Biggest issue, lots of people are working on it.  Of course, oil\coal plants would benefit as well since we designed our entire electrical grid based on peak demand.  Taking the edge off those peaks means fewer power plants.

Diffuse: Powerlines are needed to get the power moved from where its generated to where its needed.  This is nothing new.  No one has a coal plant next door, right?

(And yes, Hawaii uses petrol for its power plants.  What else are they gonna do?  I’m sort of suprised that they haven’t got solar, but everything costs more in Hawaii, right?)


Rosa: In Calgary where we frack a lot, the local communities full of oil engineers opposed near by fracking.  And yes with enough wind farms the coal power plants do indeed go away.

Maybe us oil field people know a bit more than someone like, say, you.

http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/Environment/2012/04/19/oil-workers-suburb-drilling-Calgary/

“Variable: technology to deal with variable wind speeds is already in use.  On the stator they put a speedometer, and a bunch of analog switches.  If the rotor is moving slowly, they simply change configuration of the wiring to give a constant output frequency (60Hz).  Problem solved years ago.”

I’ve been working in power generation for over 40 years and have never ever come across such a generator. The Hertz has to be within very small ranges otherwise one turbine will motor another. This would mean that they would have to have a vast amount of winding configurations. Please send me the link to this amazing piece of machinery. My Nobel prize will be welcome.

Batteries: Biggest issue, lots of people are working on it.  Of course, oil\coal plants would benefit as well since we designed our entire electrical grid based on peak demand.  Taking the edge off those peaks means fewer power plants.

I shake my head in disbelief. Just think of the size of a battery that you need for a few kilowatts. IE Toyota pious. Just imagine the size of batteries to store gigawatts.

(And yes, Hawaii uses petrol for its power plants.  What else are they gonna do?  I’m sort of suprised that they haven’t got solar, but everything costs more in Hawaii, right?)

No they dont. They use diesel which is way different from petrol.

I really despair when I visit blogs like this that disseminate total rubbish. It gives science a bad name.

“No they dont. They use diesel which is way different from petrol.”

Is diesel made of rainbows and sunshine?

 

Last time you were here, you were a Marine Engineer.  Now you have a whole new expertise?  Interesting. Do tell. So, you’re like the Dr Who of engineering?  “What kind they ask.”  “Everything he says.”

http://niklowe.blogspot.ca/2012/03/im-not-going-back-over-there.html

“For the uninformed, the site is a home for rabid global warmists and greenies. All they seem to be able to do is shout down anyone who asks an innocent question. I wrote a very innocuous post querying in my profession as an engineer, why I thought models were not always all they’re made out to be in the real world outside academe. I basically stated that as a marine engineer, I need input A to end up as output B. If it comes out Z in real life I would most likely have to resort to swimming. I ended my post with the simple question. “Can we have real science back”.

Oh dear. They really do play the man and not the ball over there.

Oh and they deleted my post.

*scweems and stamps feet*

Posted by The Filthy Engineer at 19:49 “



I showed you a patent the last time you trolled around here.  You forgot it already.

I received an internal presentation from GE on exactly this technology.  I was working with their oil field group at the time.  (GE had them lumped together at the time.  You know… energy… kinda related, and when you have 300,000 employees, close enough.)


And yes… gigawatts is exactly what they are aiming for with liquid metal.  Obviously you have pre-closed your mind to watching the video on the professor who has put his life behind the project.  If you had any intellect (which you don’t) you’d have quoted the European failures with liquid metal batteries, but I digress.    But you’re not here to listen, you are here to troll.

Here’s the patent I showed you before;

http://www.google.com/patents/US5083039

Go ahead and read it again, appearently you will learn something new.

What kind of idiot would conveniently forgot things like that? Do tell Mr Engineer.

http://www.desmogblog.com/james-inhofe-takes-climate-conspiracy-theory-new-heights-while-his-home-state-reels-record-heat


When you work on this stuff do you find the newer high power inverters more difficult to design in?  I find the gate capacitance causes no end of grief with my designs.  How about you?

“The PR effort is obviously even stronger on the pro-wind side”

The pro wind crowd have more money for PR at their disposal than the collective fossil fuel companies? Care to point out on the forbes list where these companies are that have some much riches at their disposal to counter the denial juggernaut?

“There are many well known reasons to oppose industrial wind power”

Like impacts profits and monopoly of fossil fuels and impacts on funding for PR groups funded by fossil fuel companies?

“For anyone concerned about climate change, or the environment as a whole, giant wind is clearly a wasted effort that does more harm than good.”

Willis Eschenbach, is that you? Only fossil fuels can save us right?

“As for the “Tea Party”, their opposition is certainly welcome”

You had a few typos; “As for the TEA Party, their ability to be conned by fossil fuel companies to their detriment, is welcome”.


 

Rosa, should we mitigate CO2?

But let’s not automatically assume that industrial-scale wind is a good means of doing so. The absence of evidence for such a benefit from wind on the grid is striking.

“But let’s not automatically assume that industrial-scale wind is a good means of doing so. “

So what is?

I think we know how this works out in the fossil fuel agenda. Obviously taking on all renewables at once is a tough ask. Best to eliminate one (wind) & say that solar is not that good either, but ok eh?

Then once wind (competition) is out of the way, solar suddenly becomes the next target.

“Oh, we did believe solar was a credible alternative, but after a bit more research and number crunching, we have come to the conclusion, that solar is not good either (for fossil fuel profits)”.


 

Just curious… 

I mean its not like my house runs on magic.  I have lights.  I don’t burn coal.

According to Alberta Energy (http://www.energy.alberta.ca/Electricity/682.asp), in 2010, 58% of your electricity comes from coal, 34% from natural gas, 2.7% from biomass, 2.3% from wind, and 2% from hydro.

… unless you elect to do so.   I pay slightly more to do it.  I don’t even notice it in my budget.  Electricity is almost nothing, its lumped in with water.

So no… my power doesn’t come from any other source, and my wind doesn’t go anywhere else.

You don’t get any more wind energy than your neighbor who doesn’t pay extra.

Here’s a video from a Conservative politician regarding power lines in Alberta;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsUEKspOUE4

(I couldn’t vote Wild Rose, but I could vote for this guy.)

Now skip forward to part 3 and 4.  Alberta is planning to build a 16\32 billion dollar power line ‘because Alberta needs it’.  The government wants joe citizen to pay for it.   But its real purpose it supply megawatts to the states.    (At least according to US records.)

In effect… I’m meant to be subsidizing the American electrical grid.  ‘scuse me, if I say I don’t wanna, and how come the those coal power plants need this kind of horrific subsidy?  Can you explain that?

Feel free to look at the documentation at the Idaho National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest Economic Region.  Please explain why Americans need heavy heavy subsidies for their energy?  From Canadians no less.

Brendan… one line is supposed to come from BC…  So, you will be getting hit by this as well.

17 or 18 years ago I was in Cornwall, England and saw lots of windmills. About that time I was in northern California near Sacramento and traveled past many windmills in the desert. 

Since then more and more wind farms have arisen. It appears that the windmills do provide a good source of energy for the grid.

that is still to be firmly settled.

Anyway, those things are wind turbines; windmills are for milling corn.

At GE I was lumped in with the same group that made wind Turbines… only the executives in that group pronounced it ‘turbans’.  Naturally us Oil and Gas guys were confused when they discussed growth in turban sales.

Rosa, come back, where di you go?

You said to the question; Should we mitigate CO2? 

“yes obviously”.

Then said ”But let’s not automatically assume that industrial-scale wind is a good means of doing so. “

Source: Desmogblog (http://s.tt/1bePV)

I,m curious. If you believe we should mitigate CO2, but wind is not a good means of doing so, then what is? Surely if you can make the statement, you can back it up with something substantial? 

 

What she’s insisting on is ‘externalizing her costs’. i.e. releasing CO2 now because she doesn’t have to pay for the damage it causes until much later.

Damaging the environment is free as far as she is concerned.

But as luck would have it, my power company called me up. (Yes… I began to worry.) They wanted me to sign up for a free upgrade to solar.

So here’s how it works.  I pay about $6500 for a complete system and I get a two way power meter.  What’s that you ask?  Any extra energy I generate gets dumped onto the grid, and credited back to me.  (I make money.)  The probably targeted me because my house is so efficient.  In winter I use less than half the power they plan to provide me with.

Work it out folks.. I’m getting a kicking discount for solar but remaining on the grid.  They are getting me to build out more capacity.

So who’s getting subsidized here?  I’d be building out more capacity for the power grid… I put in money, they put in money.

Solar is a Libertarian Dream if you think about it.  Fossil fuels and power grids are easily slavery.  If you don’t think they are watching you, stop paying your bills.

My  son-inn-law in Maryland was listening to a guy selling a solar system yesterday. I think they’ll go for it – it sounds very feasible. They put in geothermal energy and now pay only an averge of $5 a month for the natural gas + the $13 dollar billing fee.

My  son-inn-law in Maryland was listening to a guy selling a solar system yesterday. I think they’ll go for it – it sounds very feasible. They put in geothermal energy and now pay only an averge of $5 a month for the natural gas + the $13 dollar billing fee.

Your question isn’t fair. I can note that I don’t see any evidence that wind is able to mitigate CO2 emissions without having to propose what would. But obviously, the first thing is to use a lot less energy of all types, and not just electricity. The U.S. should allow the new-generation diesel cars now common in Europe that get 60-70 mpg. We should curtail animal and high-input farming (responsible for 20% of greenhouse gases — more than transportation — according to the UN) by following a more vegan and organic diet. And conserve electricity. My wife and I both work at home and our family still uses half the average electricity used by consumers in Vermont, which is already three-quarters the national average. I don’t know how people use so much — could it just be a matter of not having the TV(s) on all the time?

Be specific.  (I am a newb at this renewable calculations stuff.)

Fossil fuels never stop generating pollution.  They produce CO during manufacture then they continue to produce CO2 as a waste in operation.  (Double if you use oil from the tar sands.)

Here’s what I found;  Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, October 2006, postnote 268, Carbon Footprint of Electricity Generation.

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/post/postpn_383-carbon-footprint-electricity-generation.pdf

Interesting… Solar isn’t that good. A healthy half to a quarter that of Coal or oil with CCS.  (No CCS in Alberta.)


Anyways that shows wind with 1/10 the emmissions of Fossil Fuels assuming you use CCS (which most places don’t).  I’m sort of surpised that they mention CCS.  Currently CCS isn’t being used much because its hideously expensive.  Perhaps thats just because Alberta wanted to use it for EOR which pretty much doubled the price tags on the power plants.

I’m begining to think CCS is getting mentioned all over the place to make coal and oil look good.  Where is it really being used?

CCS is being used exactly nowhere.  The two demonstration projects are stopped due to future li8ability concerns.  [I opine that is silly, but there it is.]

In Alberta they were trying to ‘refine’ the CO2 out of the coal plants to use it for EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery).  They canceled the project when they realized it was too expensive. (Doubling the cost of a power plant will do that to you.)

Speaking of EOR post people don’t realize that what the industry does now is drill into a CO2 pocket, pump that up to the surface and then pump it back down somewhere else to force the oil out.  They do it that way to avoid the messy cost of piplines.

“Your question isn’t fair. I can note that I don’t see any evidence that wind is able to mitigate CO2 emissions without having to propose what would.”

Of course its fair. If you are going to say something doesnt work but a solution should be found. You should either provide concrete evidence why it shouldn’t, not conspiracy theories, or/and define what should be done about it.

”. But obviously, the first thing is to use a lot less energy of all types, and not just electricity. The U.S. should allow the new-generation diesel cars now common in Europe that get 60-70 mpg. We should curtail animal and high-input farming (responsible for 20% of greenhouse gases — more than transportation — according to the UN) by following a more vegan and organic diet. “

You sound like you are advocating 2 of the Pacala & Socolow mitigation wedges.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_mitigation#Pacala_and_Socolow:_15_programs

Pacala and Socolow of Princeton [78] have proposed a program to reduce CO2 emissions by 1 billion metric tons per year − or 25 billion tons over the 50-year period. The proposed 15 different programs, any seven of which could achieve the goal, are:

  1. more efficient vehicles − increase fuel economy from 30 to 60 mpg (7.8 to 3.9 L/100 km) for 2 billion vehicles,
  2. reduce use of vehicles − improve urban design to reduce miles driven from 10,000 to 5,000 miles (16,000 to 8,000 km) per year for 2 billion vehicles,
  3. efficient buildings − reduce energy consumption by 25%,
  4. improve efficiency of coal plants from today’s 40% to 60%,
  5. replace 1,400 GW (gigawatt) of coal power plants with natural gas,
  6. capture and store carbon emitted from 800 GW of new coal plants,
  7. capture and reuse hydrogen created by No. 6 above,
  8. capture and store carbon from coal to syn fuels conversion at 30 million barrels per day (4,800,000 m3/d),
  9. displace 700 GW of coal power with nuclear,
  10. add 2 million 1 MW wind turbines (50 times current capacity),
  11. displace 700 GW of coal with 2,000 GW (peak) solar power (700 times current capacity),
  12. produce hydrogen fuel from 4 million 1 MW wind turbines,
  13. use biomass to make fuel to displace oil (100 times current capacity),
  14. stop de-forestation and re-establish 300 million hectares of new tree plantations,
  15. conservation tillage − apply to all crop land (10 times current usage).

You need 7 to make it work. Choose another 5 They seem to suggest that wind is ok & most of the sensible world agrees.


 

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Solar farm

Pressure continues to grow for European politicians to agree to further reductions of greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2030.

The European Union’s 2020 climate and energy package, which is binding legislation, calls for emissions to be cut by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020. In addition, the plan calls for energy efficiency savings of 20 per cent and a 20 per cent increase in renewable energy technologies.

While the European Union seems largely on track to meet those targets, later this month...

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