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Clean Power Ohio wind power down, Wisconsin wind power up

Published on June 17th, 2014 | by Tina Casey

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Ohio To Wind Power: Drop Dead

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June 17th, 2014 by  

Ohio wind power got the one-two punch from Governor John Kasich and the Ohio state legislature this week. While not exactly scoring a lethal blow on the Ohio wind industry, this week’s legislative actions will most likely send wind investors – and their jobs – running off to greener pastures in other states.

While it is not a new thing for Republican leadership to pull the rug out from under renewable energy, Ohio lawmakers can now lay claim to making their state the first in the nation to effectively roll back its renewable energy mandate.

Ohio wind power down, Wisconsin wind power up

Wind turbines by Michael Pereckas

Ohio Wind Industry KO’d By Kasich & Co.

The first blow occurred last Friday, when Governor Kasich signed Senate Bill 310 into law.

The new law freezes Ohio’s “25% by 2025″ Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard for two years.

That doesn’t sound too horrible, but according to a report in North American Windpower, the new law also shredded key provisions of the standard that made the goal achievable.

The second hit came just yesterday, when Governor Kasich signed a $400 million tax-cutting bill.

Somehow, some way, somebody slipped a line into the bill placing new restrictions on wind farm siting. Despite pleas from the wind industry, Governor Kasich refused to exercise his line-item veto power on the measure, although he did cross a couple of other things off the list.

The new restrictions are now in place, requiring setbacks on wind farms to start from the nearest property line. The previous setback was measured from the nearest home, so you can see what a huge difference that makes in rural areas that would otherwise have good potential as wind farm sites.

Ohio Cuts Off Nose To Spite Wind Industry

The big question is, why would Ohio lawmakers go out of their way to body-slam the wind industry and kill clean, renewable energy jobs in their home state?

The answer to that question is right there in a state-by-state study of funding for anti-renewable energy lobbying in a report issued last month by the Energy and Policy Institute.

Here’s the money quote from EPI:

Utility and fossil fuel-funded front groups peddled disinformation to attempt a freeze on Ohio’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) and Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) in 2014. Front groups’ flawed arguments against the AEPS and EERS are not credible evidence to freeze the pro-clean technology laws. As unbiased research reveals, the true impact of Ohio’s clean energy and energy efficiency standards were positive.

Meanwhile, Over There In Wisconsin…

Well, you never know. Perhaps the Ohio wind industry will surprise us. After all, state legislators and their fossil fuel industry funders did their best to kill the Wisconsin wind industry a couple of years ago, and it seems that they have failed.

Our friends over at Think Progress report that Wisconsin has a renewable energy mandate that calls for 10 percent renewable electricity by 2015, it has already met that goal.

Just last week, the Wisconsin Public Service commission reported that the state’s utilities generated 10.7 percent of their power from renewable sources, with wind accounting for 65 percent of the total.

Notsofast On That Wisconsin Wind Power

So that’s great, but when you look at the Wisconsin wind industry from a job-creating perspective, you can already get a taste of what’s in store for Ohio.

Yep, you guessed it. If Wisconsin’s experience is any indication, Ohio electricity consumers will probably get more wind power zooming through their meters, despite the anti-renewable legislation.

But that will probably be because, as in Wisconsin, Ohio utilities will end up getting more wind power from out-of-state wind farms.

 

How do we know that? Well, we’re just guessing, but according to a report in the Journal-Sentinel, Wisconsin utilities have been building their own wind farms in Iowa and Minnesota.

Here’s the math. Economic growth has become decoupled from electricity sales due to improvements in energy efficiency along with the rise in distributed energy generation. In order to keep making a profit, utilities have to keep the cost of their product trending down. They also have to offer a product that consumers want, and that means switching to wind and other renewables.

So, just sayin’. Ohio ratepayers will still get renewable energy, and they just might meet or beat their now-defunct renewable energy goal. They just won’t get the jobs that should go with it.

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About the Author

Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.



  • Joan

    Wisconsin lawmakers listened to the people, myself included. The problem’s for the wind industry is of their own making. In all of their plan’s they forgot one key ingredient, People. Well maybe they just didn’t care! I’d guess they care now.

  • kendrick1

    The market is wide open to those who want to have for their own use, wind/solar energy sources on their own property. Go for it!

  • Peebles Squire

    The AEPS has been an economic boon for Ohio manufacturing and clean energy. Thanks in part to these standards, over $1 billion has been invested in the state’s clean energy sector. Freezing the AEPS and establishing crushing setback requirements effectively slams the door on new wind power development in the state.

    The wind power supply chain helps provide up to 3,000 manufacturing, construction and support jobs to Ohioans. With public opinion increasingly in favor of expanding the state’s clean energy portfolio, wind power stands to contribute significantly to Ohio’s economy, and in tough times, that’s great news.

    Wind power is reliable, immune to fuel price shocks, and helps keep costs low for consumers. The AEPS is a vital catalyst, attracting more private investment and opening the door to efficient, innovative technologies. A study conducted Ohio grid operator PJM found that by obtaining 30 percent of their electricity from wind, they would save $15 billion a year in production costs. Those savings pass on to ratepayers.

    At least 15 independent studies conducted by governments, grid operators, and others confirmed that wind energy reduces electricity prices.

    One state wind facility with 150 turbines gives $2.7 million a year in payments to local taxing bodies, stimulating growth and revitalizing communities.

    Ohio counts among its ranks 62 manufacturing facilities in the wind power supply chain, more than any other state. The Buckeye state plays a critical role in building what has become a homegrown American manufacturing sector. Putting a freeze on the AEPS means a freeze on future investment into the state.

    For more information on state and federal energy policies, please visit:

    Federal: http://bit.ly/1mUj3rj

    State: http://bit.ly/1j63Rld

    State renewable electricity standards (RES): http://bit.ly/1qT2y2Q

    Peebles Squire
    AWEA

  • rlhailssrpe

    There are two many errors here and life is too short. I am not guessing; I lived it, for decades.

    Perhaps the simplest comparison is to align the advance of our electronic age, with our coal, uranium and alternate energy advances. Trillions were garnered from the transition from relays, to transistors, to chips, from copper, to optic fiber to WIFI. Unit costs plummeted, and the area of service access encompassed the globe. All with minimal interference by government. Align that with NRC, DoE, and EPA accomplishments in the energy fields. Only creative accounting, e.g. externality costs penalizing the bad guys, can explain why our energy costs skyrocket. Yucca Mountain is one example of fortunes spent, schedule delayed (it was suppose to open in 1998) then killed by politics, and scientific sophism. The boss never worked in the technology; he came from Congress, with a mandate to destroy.

    There is a reason why the richest counties in the USA ring Washington D.C. The metro area never experienced the housing market collapse. It is a booming mill town which manufactures regulations and subsidies.

    I worked with these bureaucracies. Effective accountable cost management does not exist. Waste, crony capitalism and future debt is the norm. D. C. picks winners and losers. We have entire industries, e.g. ethanol, and wind generation which would not exist except for carve outs. Any Associate Professor who seeks a grant developing a criticism of our coal – climate change pogrom will starve, regardless of the merits of his science. We do political science. As a result, trust in government, and trust in science has never been lower.

    The statement, “America’s future success is going to be built on innovation, not manufacturing or other areas where we are less competitive.” has no basis in reality, but has led to offshoring of tens of millions of US careers, mostly to China. It has led to the destruction of the American middle class, which has continually lost net worth since the advent of the regulatory age.

    The difference is that lay offs occur when a company folds, but the government manager has no skin in the game, even if he wastes time and money. When the government experiences lay offs, at the same scale of the private sector, our polity will change.

    Or the grid will collapse. Or we are conquered by a more powerful enemy. Then we all lose. I fear this far more than the rising sea.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Worst government in the world.

      Except for most of the other governments in the world.

      • rlhailssrpe

        America has the best form of government ever device by man, the work of genius. But it can not survive its distorted management, of the last two generations. This is not a left – right issue. Read Bob Reinch, and others.

        My position, from forty years of engineering practice: There is no one, in either party or in the federal bureaucracy, that cares a fig about cheap energy for all. This has severely weaken our economy and will destroy us if we do not change our priorities.

        • Bob_Wallace

          America has a good form of government. It may not be the very best but it’s right up at the top.

          I doubt that the American government is in danger of surviving. We’ve faced much larger problems. (Remember the Civil War? How about Grant, Harding, Nixon?)

          Right now we seem to be working out our very long problems of granting equal rights for all. That’s taken two and a half centuries.

          The emerging problem that we are going to have to address is one “man”, one vote. We’re allowing the richest to gain too much political power and risking our becoming and oligarchy. If we don’t do something to lower the power of money in decision making then we are really going to get screwed.

          Now, this isn’t a poly sci site, it’s a clean energy site. How about we return to the discussion of how we clean up our emissions messes and minimize climate change?

          • Hans

            Is it possible to separate the issues? Isn’t it the point that politics decide which technology will be supported, and that the current US political system very much favours the vested interests?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Political support for fossil fuels seems to be decreasing and support for wind and solar increasing.

            We’ve seen anti-wind legislation fail in conservative states. We’ve seen Republican governors from conservative states lobbying for continued subsidies for wind. And we’ve even see parts of the Tea Party working in support of solar.

            Our real problem at the moment is that the House of Representatives is under control by a group of people whose number one priority is to oppose anything that President Obama supports.

            This is something I’ve never seen before in US politics (and FDR was president when I was born). It’s an intentional “Let’s make this president fail.”.

            Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate stated during PBO’s first term that defeating Obama was his “single most important job … the GOP has as its main goal trying to make sure the president fails”.

            Not their job is how to make the country succeed and that they will fight for their ideas of how to create success, but that they will work to make the President fail, even if it harms the country.

            We’re in a very bizarre place with our government at the moment. It looks like the Tea Party has pretty much run its course, but it will take little while for them to die away enough for us to start working together as we normally do.

        • Hans

          From a European perspective the American form of government is a first clumsy attempt at democracy:

          Your district winner-gets-all voting system has led to a two-party system, that limits the choice of voters and erases all nuance from politics. Every issue is changed into a us-against-them. It also means that not all votes are equal. Votes of rural areas carry more weight than votes in urban areas.

          The fact that campaign finances very much determine the outcome of elections means in practice that interest groups can buy the votes of politicians, which is a form of legalised corruption.

          The claim that America has the best form of government can therefore only be seen as empty American bragging.

          • rlhailssrpe

            It is worthwhile to consider reality.

            The American form of governance has lasted much longer than any other. The points you raise, were considered by our Framers in the drafting of our Constiution, particularly the power sharing between lightly populated states, and urban areas. The resolution was a House of Representatives selected by population (hence requiring a periodic census) and an equal power, the Senate, with two votes per state. Our governance was purposefully structured to force only a few parties. To be effective, America relied on persuasion and compromise. It was recognized that without these social behaviors, our nation would collapse.

            Sadly, your judgment is correct. The reality is that, in the last two generations, America has massive, intentional corruption which dominates the us-against them struggle. Example: My Congress person represents a district drawn by computer graphics, which is one lane wide, hundreds of miles long, with one purpose: a certain majority. Most voters and Representatives have zero common interests.

            The Russian Duma has greater turn over than our Congress. Few races, in America, are competitive. Our selection is always bad or worse. And yes, money is king, the wealthy buy favorable laws, and even science. Our form of governance reflects genius, our implementation is infested with criminals.

            It is not survivable. We have noting to brag about..

          • Bob_Wallace

            Iceland has had a parliament running since the 900s.

            The legislature of the Isle of Man has been continuously in place for over 1000 years.

            San Marino has been a continuous republic since 301 AD.

            The UK/Great Britain as we know it has only existed since 1703.

            England, as one country, has existed with a stable system of government since 1066.

            We way over state our importance and success.

            When the Constitution was written there was not a huge
            population imbalance between the first 13 states. Nothing like one senator per 18,000,000+ million in California and one senator for 250,000 in Wyoming. Each person in Wyoming has 72x more power in the Senate as do Californians.

            Not all our elected officials are worthless jackasses. We have some wonderful people serving in our government. Worthless jackasses have been common over the 200+ years we’ve been at this. We have somehow stumbled through with only a single civil war so far.

            We need to be honest with ourselves. We are not #1 in each and every thing. We need to acknowledge that some other countries are doing better than we are in many different things and see what we can learn from them. At least we have a form of government which lets the people work on problems.

          • Hans

            Your main argument for the two-party system seems to be stability, well many monarchies and dictatorships lasted much longer than the US is old, yet you will probably agree with with me that they were not very democratic. In the Netherlands we also have stability since we introduced our direct voting system in 1815. So apparently it is possible to have it both ways: a many party system and stability.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You’ve pretty much identified the problems we need to solve.

            Two parties. All issues simplified down to Us vs. Them. Very limited ability for issue-specific coalitions.

            Unequal representation in the House due to gerrymandering and in the Senate via two senators per state, regardless of population size.

            And an extremely flawed (and getting worse) campaign financing system.

    • Hans

      “Only creative accounting, e.g. externality costs penalizing the bad guys,…”

      External costs are part of mainstream economic theory. You do not like the consequences of this concept so you throw it out of the window as “creative accounting”. Rather weak.

      Any economist can tell you that If you do not take external costs into account a free market economy will not reach is most efficient state / societal optimum.

      From a libertarian point of view (at least if you take the libertarian principles seriously and do not cherry pick just the things you like) causing external costs is a form of violence: Third parties get involuntarily stuck with costs, without getting something in return.

      • rlhailssrpe

        The weakness, the fatal weakness of externality cost, is that the sole basis of the cost is ideology. This makes it useless in commercial transactions.

        Example: What is the cost of a marriage license, between gays, in the Vatican? In San Francisco? The administrative costs would be similar in both places, say $100. But the Vatican might charge infinity. Some surely would object to the charge, claim it should be lower. But what is the basis of their claim? There is none.

        The cost benefit analyses of the EPA are a joke; their back up documentation is secret. Even Congress can not get it.

        I posit that the externality cost of all the US CO2 emissions is $1/year (with no basis). What we can state is that IF CO2 is harmful to others, then you are harming me. We can subdivide this to coal combustion, and your exhaled emissions. Should we tax and regulate you, or Peabody Coal? How?

        • Matt

          Your example of gay marriage license as a external cost is ####. If my manufacture process dumps toxins in the water and kill all life in the rive for 100 miles. The health cost of coal has been documented, but we let them externalize them in order to maximum their profits, and let others pay the cost.

          • rlhailssrpe

            You mix apples and oranges.

            External cost is a term applicable to any contract (although it is exclusively employed in regards to environmental matters.) Its weakness is how much and who agrees, two essential aspects of contracts.

            I am unaware of any area of contracts in which external costs are freely included in the contract.

            Contracts are not fines, or criminal actions, separate areas of law.

          • Hans

            You more or less have given the definition of external costs. They are called external costs, because they are costs of a party external to the contract, due to the contract. I.e. two parties agree to some interaction but dump the negative consequences to another (external) party. The diffuse character of environmental pollution, the fact that it often has long lasting impacts, and the way the juridical system is rigged in favour of big companies means that it is difficult or even impossible to claim compensation for the negative impacts of the pollution. Laws to prevent pollution are succesfully sabotaged by powerfull industry lobby groups, funny enough by claiming libertarian principles. In other words the other parts of the law that should deal with preventing and or punishing the negative impacts of pollution don’t work very well.

            To make a simple comparison: If I cause a traffic accident and causes somebody to get lamed, if have to pay compensation. If a cause asthma I get away free.

            Economically it means resources are wasted on compensating for the negative effects of pollution. The concept of external costs helps to show that the apparently cheapest production method often does not give the best result for society as a whole. This concept is well embedded in economic theory, no matter how hard you shout that it is “just ideology”.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Let’s throw another one into the mix. Our three recent oil wars have probably cost us $9 trillion. “Homeland security” is costing us many billions each year. We didn’t go to Kuwait’s defense because they were our friends. We went in in order to protect the flow of oil And that led to 9/11 and the next two oil wars. It’s getting us re-involved in Iraq right now.

            Add those external costs (along with health costs) in at the pump and most of us would be driving EVs and PHEVs right now.

        • Hans

          In the last 30 years there has been a lot of scientific research on external costs and very rigid methodologies have been established. So contrary to your believe the external costs are not arbitrary, and not based on ideology.

          A simple example. Fine dust causes asthma. The asthma rates in the neighbourhood of power plants are higher than at other places. Since their are many causes of asthma it is difficult for individual asthma-sufferers to claim compensation.

          Yet their are more asthma-sufferers thanks to the power plant. From a libertarian point of view the power plant is carrying out an act of violence against its neighbours and should be forced to stop its fine dust emissions. From an economic perspective the situation is inefficient. The asthma sufferers are less productive at work, or not working at all, slowing down the overall economy. Furthermore resources are used for their treatment, that could have been useful somewhere else.

          I don’t quit see how the marriage example has anything to do with external costs. What are the external costs of marriage? In general there are mostly external benefits. Married people generally are healthier and less criminal than single people.

  • 196ski

    Take away the mandates and solar and wind won’t happen, not because of lobbying efforts, but because for large scale electrical generation they are not effective. They fail because they are expensive, inefficient, unreliable and require fossil or nuclear backup. Worse, they hurt the economy at a time when a propsperous economy would support much needed R&D in energy efficiencies. Globally, they solve nothing with regard to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

    The problem with fossils developed over generations and the solutions and alternatives will take at least as long to develop.

    • just_jim

      So expensive that they are priced lower than any new energy source?

      Get back to us when you can get back to us with actual facts, not “math that Republicans do to make them feel good.”

      • 196ski

        Yawn. Because Democrats are the only ones that can do math?

        Grow up, this has nothing to do with republicans or democrats, this is about science and engineering. Show me where unsubsidized wind or solar can power an electrical grid that meets demand and you will convince me. Can you build a wind generator or solar panel using wind or solar power? No, you can’t.

        • Bob_Wallace

          ” Can you build a wind generator or solar panel using wind or solar power?”
          What part of wind turbine or solar panel manufacturing cannot be done with electricity?

          • 196ski

            Mining.
            Transportation.
            Massive amounts of electricity for the running of steel mills.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We now mine (underground) with electricity.

            We run trains with electricity.

            Steel mills don’t pay any attention to how their electricity is generated. We can, and do, produce massive amounts of electricity with renewables. In 2013 we generated 522,465,000,000 kWh of electricity with renewables.

        • Bob_Wallace

          “Show me where unsubsidized wind or solar can power an electrical grid that meets demand and you will convince me”

          You are aware that wind and solar only recently became inexpensive generation technologies?

          If so, then you understand that there has not yet been time to transition a large grid off fossil fuels and onto renewables?

          Now, do you know about pump-up hydro? Do you know that the US has ~20 GW spread over ~150 sites?

          OK, either you knew all that or you now know. So, you tell me. Why would it not be possible to build a grid that had no inputs other than wind and solar and used pump-up hydro storage to fill in the gaps?

          • 196ski

            Pretty familiar with pump up hydro. The problem is location, location, location. Can we expand that ~20 GW over ~150 sites to replace fossil?

            Take the Cape Wind Nantucket project. This will be the first offshore wind turbine installation in the United States. Spoiler, it takes $18.2 billion Cape Wind projects to equal the power generation of a single $370 million Combined Cycle Natural Gas Turbine plant. A combined cycle natural gas turbine plant studied by the DOE for three years completed in 2010 is rated at 570 mw and produces 470 mw, capacity factor 85%. cost $311 million. Life cycle 35 years therefore this plant will produce 133 Terawatts life cycle.

            Bryce, who I don’t always agree with, did an analysis in the WSJ on leaving all existing fossil/nuclear in place and just using renewables for annual increases in demand.

            “Merely to keep pace with the global growth in electricity demand would require the installation of about 280,000 megawatts of new wind-energy capacity every year. According to several academic studies, the areal power density of wind energy—that is, the amount of power that can be derived from a given amount of land—is about one watt per square meter. This means that installing the requisite additional wind capacity would require covering about 280,000 square kilometers (108,000 square miles of land)—an area nearly the size of Italy—with wind turbines, every year.”

            Solar no better.

            “What would be required if we relied on solar energy to keep up with expected growth in electricity demand? Let’s look at Germany, which has more solar capacity than any other country, about 33,000 megawatts. In 2012 those solar facilities produced 28 terawatt-hours of electricity. Thus the world would have to install about 16 times as much photovoltaic capacity as Germany’s entire installed base, and it would have to do so every year.”

            I am not arguing for fossil, I wish we had alternatives just like everyone else, the reality of the situation is we have a planet of 7+ billion people who all want higher standards of living and economic growth. That economic growth comes from natural resources, energy and labor. We are consuming the planet at a rate that is unsustainable and an energy demand that cannot be met with anything other than fossil or nuclear.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Spoiler, it takes $18.2 billion Cape Wind projects to equal the power
            generation of a single $370 million Combined Cycle Natural Gas Turbine
            plant. A combined cycle natural gas turbine plant studied by the DOE
            for three years completed in 2010 is rated at 570 mw and produces 470
            mw, capacity factor 85%. cost $311 million. Life cycle 35 years
            therefore this plant will produce 133 Terawatts life cycle.

            No, you have a basic math error.

            Cape Wind will produce infinity times more electricity then the Gas Plant because some genius forgot to budget in the natural gas bill.

        • Hans

          “Can you build a wind generator or solar panel using wind or solar power? No, you can’t.”

          How is this relevant? Nobody things we can phase out fossil fuels completely in the short run. But we can significantly reduce their use by the use of renewable energy sources.

          By the way, There are enough studies that calculate the CO2 emissions per kWh that also consider the energy needed for the production, building and disposal of the power plant. For wind and solar this value is only a small fraction of the value for conventional power plants.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Mandates (and subsidies) helped develop wind and solar to the point where they are now two of our cheapest ways to bring electricity to our grids.

      Your GHG emission claim makes no sense. The US is now producing about 5% of its electricity with wind and solar. Were we not getting that 5% of clean energy we’d be burning more fossil fuel.

      We’ve got workable solutions right now. Wind is very cheap. Solar is affordable. We have enough flexibility in our current grids to switch over 30% to 50% of our electricity to wind and solar. We can build wind and solar ‘full speed ahead’ for a few years before we need to add significant storage or dispatchable generation. We can add enough wind and solar to allow us to shut down coal and save taxpayers a fortune.

      • 196ski

        The GHG emission claim is 100% valid.

        “The US is now producing about 5% of its electricity with wind and solar. Were we not getting that 5% of clean energy we’d be burning more fossil fuel.”

        Which does nothing for the environment. Big picture Bob. That 5% is a meaningless statistic, here is one that is not:

        EIA projects world energy consumption will increase 56% by 2040.

        With a vast majority coming from non-OECD nations and the energy source will be COAL, because that is the resource those nations have. Is anything going to change that? Nope, the short term need for a stable electrical grid where none exists is going to take precedent over any long term environmental considerations. US emissions, which have held steady or declined in the past 15 years, are fast becoming a non-factor in the rise in global GHG emissions.

        If the US stopped using fossil fuels today, and did not use them again until 2100, what would be the impact on the IPCC’s modest guess of a 3.0°C temperature rise by 2100?

        0.137°C by 2100 or essentially ZERO. ALL US fossil emissions stopped tomorrow and an impact in the year 2100 of ZERO on the UN’s predicted climate change. ZERO.

        That whopping 5% of US generation by renewables doesn’t count for squat. We’re closing a handful of coal plants and guess what? We set a record for coal exports in 2013 and will do so again in 2014.

        If wind and solar could power a grid we would use them. They don’t. The fact that the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow 24/7 means we MUST have fossil or nuclear backup for each of those solar and wind farms.

        We ALL want an easy, no pain fix to the problem of climate change, there isn’t one. Wind and solar can play a role but it will be a very small one, so small in fact that if we concentrate our efforts on those areas we are going to fall far short of EVER solving the problem of rising GHG emission rates. This isn’t political it is science and engineering.

        • Bob_Wallace

          5% is far from meaningless. Let’s take a look at the growth of wind and solar in the US. Two graphs at the bottom of my comment.

          We’ve gone from about nothing a few years back to 5% now and installation rates are soaring. Remember, we went from 0% coal to about 55% coal over a number of years. In fact, I think it was only in 2010 that we reached peak coal capacity (but peak coal total percentage earlier).

          We went from 0% nuclear to 20% nuclear over a number of years.

          Large scale changes do not happen overnight.

          Coal is going away. China burns about 50% of coal and they are in the process of decreasing their coal use. They’ve greatly slowed the growth of coal in the last three years and are in the process of lowering use.

          The US is #2 with about 12% (2012). We’ve quit building coal plants and are in the process of closing a couple hundred. Our remaining coal plants are nearing their expected end of lifespan and will not be replaced with coal.

          India is #3 with 8% and is starting work on cutting coal use.

          #4 is Japan which has increased coal use some following the closure of all its nuclear plants. This is expected to be temporary as Japan installs more renewables.

          That account for about 75% of all global coal consumption. Coal is going down.

          “The fact that the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow 24/7 means we MUST have fossil or nuclear backup for each of those solar and wind farms.”

          You do realize that we also have to have some sort of backup for each of those fossil and nuclear plants, do you not? Coal and nuclear plants can and do go offline without warning and something has to fill in for their absence.

          Right now NG and hydro are the main fill-ins as they ramp up very rapidly. But we’re seeing advancements in battery storage that promises to replace NG. There are large scale batteries on the grid right now that are replacing gas peakers. As the price of batteries continues to fall NG will be pushed more and more into the background furnishing only deep storage.

          BTW, any more allcaps shouting and your comment will be taken down. You’ve received two warnings. Twice the normal allowance.

          • 196ski

            You are gaming the numbers. Solar and wind can double or triple and their impact in negligible.

            Economic trends aside coal use is going to increase globally regardless of any changes we make in the States. Any offsets we make with renewables are dwarfed by the increase in fossil generation by non-OECD nations. I just got back from China and they remain committed to energy creation, hydro where they can and coal where they can’t which is the majority.

            http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/12/five-graphs-that-tell-the-future-story-of-coal/

            Remember how they shut down industry for the Olympics? Their new strategy is to simply move existing manufacturing, mostly steel, away from Beijing. Some answer.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Is nuclear meaningless? It’s currently 19% of our electricity supply. Triple wind and solar and they become 15%. Is the meaningful/meaningless boundary between 15% and 19%?

            Apparently when you were in China you didn’t collect any data about China’s decreasing use of coal.

          • 196ski

            You’re missing the point Bob, China’s energy demand continues to skyrocket. While many parts of China have sufficient electrical supply, many more do not. Their 5-10% GDP growth means that there is a huge demand for both natural resources and energy and solar and wind will be used to fill only a small part of that need.

            “Growth in coal demand outpaced all other fossil fuels in 2012 — by a jump of 170 million tonnes from the year before. China is still the 800-pound gorilla in the coal mine. That 170 million tonnes of demand growth was almost all represented by China’s 165 million tonne rise in demand last year. And China imported the most amount of coal that any country has ever imported in one year — 301 million tones.”
            http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/16/3067921/global-coal-demand-china/

            China has made a commitment to reduce to zero imports of high sulfur, high ash coal beginning next year. I hope they do but even if they freeze their current fossil generation the planet loses.

            We cannot replace fossils with wind and solar, not without storage and that is a long ways, a generation, away.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You’re ignoring the facts in front of you.

            China has stated that they will reduce their coal consumption, starting in 2017. They did not say they would move consumption to another part of the country, they said they would reduce overall consumption.

            China has slowed the rate of coal consumption growth over the last three years. Slowing generally takes place prior to direction changes.

            We have usable, affordable storage technology on hand right now. Pump-up hydro. We’ve been using pump-up for 100 years. The US has about 150 pump-up storage sites. There are pump-up sites in Europe and Asia. Japan has even more than the US while being a much smaller country. (They had a lot of nuclear to time-shift.)

            We don’t need large amounts of storage right now and won’t for several years. We have enough flexibility in our current grids to let us move to 30% to 50% wind and solar before we need to add multiple hour storage.

            We could replace coal and natural gas right now with the wind, solar and pump-up storage technologies we are currently using. And we’d spend less (if external costs are included in the accounting).

        • A Real Libertarian

          So assume 5% = 0%, 0.137 out of 3.0 (4.6%) = 0, renewables magically stop working at the border and the EIAs predictions are remotely accurate therefore only nukes and fossils?

    • djr417

      So much to dislike about your post- couldnt be more wrong if you tried. Solar and wind provide many more jobs than coal and natural gas can. The only part you got right- was the need for fossil fuels or nuclear for backup. But by the time we get enough solar/wind/geothermal, we will likely have that issue fixed with better batteries/smart grids etc. Getting to burning zero coal and very little NG, would still be a big win for the environment, the country and mankind.

      • 196ski

        So the only part I got right was the important part? The cost of wind or solar PLUS the cost of a fossil or nuclear backup is CONSIDERABLY MORE, that the cost of the fossil or nuclear backup alone.

        “But by the time we get enough solar/wind/geothermal, we will likely have that issue fixed with better batteries/smart grids etc”

        Likely? Exactly how likely? How about not very likely. Which developing battery technology do you think is going to supply that storage? Your entire premise depends on a technology that doesn’t exist and is proving to be more stubborn that previously imagined. Do you have any idea how many batteries that it would take? And where they yet to be discovered metal compounds are going to come from? Drop the politics and look at the hard science and engineering. It can’t and won’t happen for at least a generation if then, if ever.

        • Bob_Wallace

          “So the only part I got right was the important part? The cost of wind or solar PLUS the cost of a fossil or nuclear backup is CONSIDERABLY MORE, that the cost of the fossil or nuclear backup alone.”

          First, no allcaps shouting.

          http://cleantechnica.com/cleantechnica-comment-policy/

          Nuclear backup? That does not compute. Nuclear is not dispatchable. To a limited extent some reactors can load-follow but that significantly increases power costs.

          NG backup? A better term is “fill-in”. Dispatchable generation to fill the blanks between wind and solar.

          Is it cheaper to run a CCNG 24/365 or to turn it off when the wind is blowing? That depends on the cost of fuel, does it not? New wind may be generating for as low as 3.5c/kWh without subsidies (we’re waiting for price conformation). During times of high fuel prices it probably makes more financial sense to use wind when available and the gas plant only when necessary.

          Solar will probably be under 5c/kWh (without subsidies) before long and at that price point would displace NG.

          • 196ski

            You are correct that nuclear does not load follow but if the goal is the reduction in ghg emissions you don’t need to. Nuclear is currently the best solution we have to combat climate change and maintain our current standard of living.

          • UpperLeftCoast

            But if your goal is not only greenhouse gas reduction but general sustainability, nuclear clearly flunks. Unless you really think that humans are capable of isolating highly toxic materials from the environment (including the humans in the environment) for 10s of thousands of years, And the name for that religious belief is terminal hubris.

          • 196ski

            Sadly, and I mean that sincerely, there is no current technology that can replace fossil fuels and meet our current energy needs. Nuclear comes the closest. Wind and solar can help but not to a sufficient degree to be meaningful.
            What is the current usage of electricity in the world? How many wind generators and solar panels would it take to generate that quantity of electricity? The math says we can’t do it with current wind and solar technology. If you then look at the storage requirements it simply can’t be done with todays, or even tomorrows, technologies. Pump up for hydro means even more geography. Battery technology is progressing even slower than predicted. Lithium Air which showed such promise, was abandoned by both IBM and the US Government. And if we do create the Holy Grail of battery storage, the energy and natural resources required to make those batteries is going to be daunting.

          • UpperLeftCoast

            Two questions:
            What is the longest length of time that any civilization has existed?
            How long must nuclear waste be isolated from livings things including people?

          • 196ski

            Again, you are mistaken if you think there is a free ride in eliminating fossil fuel and controlling climate change. The question of nuclear wast has to be solved, either thru advances in thorium reactors or fusion but those will only come in time.

            We are either knocking on the door of a global environmental catastrophe or we are not. You can’t have it both ways. If we are, then the only logical answer is to deploy nuclear on a global scale. This is a crisis, wind and solar are too inefficient and it will take too long to cure their inherent flaws. Nuclear can make a far greater cut in GHG’s quicker.
            or
            We are not facing an imminent global environmental collapse and we can wait until the storage technologies and/or sequestration are figured out.

            Which is it?

          • UpperLeftCoast

            All of your comments assume as an underlying premise that wind, solar, efficiency, etc. are “too inefficient.” But various commenters, including myself, simply don’t accept this underlying premise. Your second underlying premise is that is nuclear or nothing. Again, I don’t accept that. And you haven’t addressed the problem of humans toxic waste that must be isolated from the environment for far longer than its reasonable to expect humans to be able to do.

            PS: If you can base your love of nuclear on unproven currently non-existent technology (i.e. thorium reactors, fusion), I can base base my affection for renewables on unproven, non-existent technologies. So, if we are facing an imminent global environmental collapse, what do you propose to do now, other than use nuclear technology that is proven to be unreliable, creates deadly waste products that are impossible to render harmless, and are prone to catastrophic failure?,

          • Bob_Wallace

            ” the only logical answer is to deploy nuclear on a global scale. This is a crisis, wind and solar are too inefficient”

            That is simply a bogus claim. Anyone with even a basic understanding of how grids operate and the relative cost of nuclear/renewables knows that your dog don’t hunt.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The current wholesale cost of electricity is at or below 5 cents per kWh.
            The current cost of power to come from the new Vogtle reactors is 11 cents per kWh. And that is if they have no further cost/time line overruns. Further reactors can’t be built as cheap as the Vogtle reactors because the very low interest rates that Vogtle enjoys won’t stay around long.
            Now, please explain to me how we can add 11+ cent power to our current ~5 cent cost of electricity and maintain our current standard of living. How do we more than double the cost of energy without it badly damaging our economy?

        • djr417

          the cost of fossil and/or nuclear has already been paid- its not new, hence why the coal plants are still burning now, the huge startup costs have already been paid, now its just maintenance. Eventually the dirtier/more expensive sources will be phased out as their life cycle comes to an end.
          There are multiple technologies that are possible for storage, everything from lithium batteries,molten salt, hydro, the good thing is we have years before we get to the point where this is truly needed.

        • Hans

          You are more or less saying if renewables cannot deliver 100% of the electricity don’t use them at all. If find this a strange binary position.

          There have been many studies on the integration of wind energy in the electricity grid. Most studies come to the conclusion that without significant changes to the production system at least 20% of wind energy can be integrated into most grid. A recent IEA study came to the conclusion that with current technology and some reorganising of the production system and investments in transmission at least 45% of renewable electricity can be integrated into most grids.

          So in the short term, using existing technology, and at acceptable costs, we can use renewable energy sources to significantly reduce the C02 output of the electricity sector. I find this something not to spit at.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Upper right side of this page. “100% Renewable Possible?”

            Leads on to multiple studies on 100% renewable grids.

            A 100% renewable is probably not the most economic solution right now. We might need a small amount of NG for deep backup.

            A mostly wind-solar-hydro-existing nuclear-geothermal-biomass-storage grid with a small percentage of deep backup NG is our cheapest option.

    • Suman Chakraborty

      Yup, keep fracking and don’t include the cancer treatment cost in the power generation.

    • Hans

      Make conventional and nuclear pay for damages and they will shut down quicker than you can say “external costs”.

  • 196ski

    Except that in all but a few cases wind and solar will not replace either fossil or nuclear as a primary source of electricity. The cost of wind and solar is not singular, it has to be factored in with the required backup of fossil or nuke.

    You can have stand alone nuclear or fossil but you can’t have stand alone wind or solar. You can’t build a wind generator or solar panel without fossil fuel. The government is making political decisions for a science and engineering problem. Just the way it is.

    Concentrate on efficiencies, R&D, nuclear, and wind and solar where applicable and accept that this problem did not happen overnight and the solution will take at least a generation.

    • Bob_Wallace

      It’s pretty clear that you are wrong. Coal is dying. Natural gas peakers are already being shunted aside by renewables. Nuclear is dying out.

      All sources of electricity need backup. We have to keep large amounts of “spinning reserve” in the event a large coal or nuclear plant suddenly goes offline. Wind and solar are much more predictable and easier to manage.

      In the near term we will use natural gas to fill in when the Sun isn’t shining nor the wind blowing. But gradually NG is being replaced by storage. It will take 20+ years to get all the fossil fuels off our grids, but the route is clear and we are on it.

      We now have enough solar panels on our grids to produce more electricity in a year than we use to manufacture solar panels in that year. We passed that point long ago with wind turbines. Fossil fuels provided the bootstraps, now wind and solar support themselves.

      The 20th Century ran on fossil fuels and nuclear. We’re now moving into the 21st Century which is the age of renewable energy.

      • 196ski

        Coal is dying? What planet do you live on?
        Global coal consumption is expected to rise by 25 percent by the end of the decade to 4,500 million tonnes of oil equivalent.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/14/world-coal-consumption-oil_n_4095221.html

        http://www.iea.org/aboutus/faqs/coal/

        I did not ask if total solar/wind electrical production exceeded the energy needed to produce a wind generator or a solar panel, I asked if you could make a solar panel or wind generator using only wind or solar power. The answer is you can’t, the power produced is too intermittent to run the manufacturing facilities with any degree of reliability.

        It is a game to say that on March 28th at 8:48 PM Texas set a record of 29% wind generated electricity on the gird, this is true by the way, because what happened at 8:47 or 8:49? Wind could not be depended on to supply that 29% or even 10% of the load so a FOSSIL generation supply had to be standing by to take over up to 100% of the design capacity of the wind farm, not matter what the size of that wind farm is.

        Grids are designed to match a demand, they are not built to create a variable supply for a fixed demand.

        • Bob_Wallace

          If you believe coal use is going to grow then please specify where and in what quantities. Remember, you have to replace the projected cuts I outlined earlier plus expanded use.

          ” only wind or solar power. The answer is you can’t, the power produced is too intermittent to run the manufacturing facilities with any degree of reliability.”

          Storage, old bean, storage.

          Grids are designed to match supply to demand. Demand varies greatly and grids adjust supply accordingly.

          Our future grid will most likely be largely supplied by wind and solar simply because they will be cheap. We will then use storage and dispatchable generation (hydro, biogas and some NG) to fill in.

          In our old grid we relied largely on non-load following, “always on” thermal plants and had to match supply to demand with the use of storage and dispatchable generation (hydro and NG).

          (Notice the similarities between the old and future grids in the way they match supply and demand?)

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    What do Iowans and Texans and Nebraskans know that Ohioans don’t?

    Mailbox money. Put up wind turbines, and earn the easiest money – by harvesting the wind.

  • http://www.michaeljberndtson.com/ Michael Berndtson

    Here’s the 80 meter wind potential map for the US. It seems Ohio isn’t as sexy as say the great plain or the Saudi Arabia of wind. To have Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, So. Dakota and No. Dakota no develop that wind is the biggest sin. Anyway, any thoughts?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Let me see if I can get it posted for you….

  • Roland

    Yep, it’s true. Wisconsin uses wind power generated in Iowa and Minnesota to meet its mandate. That’s great for Iowa and Minnesota.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Sorry for the double. The first one disappeared into the bowels of Disqus and later reappeared.

    I suppose we could start a poll on vote for the favorite….

  • http://www.michaeljberndtson.com/ Michael Berndtson

    Ohio is banking on gas from Marcellus shale and oil and gas liquids from Utica shale. The huge amount of capital being spent on oil and gas production, processing and transmission is being used as a big political stick. And don’t forget the amount of money being spent for refinery upgrades to process tar sands from Canada. Refinery modifications run into the billions.

    Ohio is also pretty conservative. The bigger cities are losing clout and business friendly suburbs (specifically Cincinnati) are in control.

    Even though much of the political shenanigans are fronted by, well, front groups, construction unions and manufacturers are buying in to fossil more than renewables. They see more jobs and know whose buttering their bread. And these folks have friends and family.

    It’s not like renewables don’t produce jobs, but that’s not being well sold. And unions still tend to vote democrat – but blue dog democrat. Like Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Enviro democrats and others get pushed out, politically speaking.

    For instance, the amount of steel that needs to be milled, engineered, transported and welded, lifted and placed for drilling wells, pipelines and processing plants is crazy. Ohio is still a manufacturing state. Ohio is also on the frontlines of unions. While manufacturing and service unions have lost power, construction unions are holding tight. This would be operators for heavy equipment, metal fabricators, carpenters, welders, etc. The folks who build things, move soil, haul drill cuttings, etc.

    This exact thing is happening in Pennsylvania and Illinois. Illinois is quietly becoming the tar sands and Bakken shale oil pipeline junction of the US. Actually Keystone XL isn’t even necessary, given the expansions and modifications already permitted and in construction in Illinois. Illinois also has its own shale oil and gas play starting up soon. That’s why I find our presidents enviro policies befuddling.

    It’s a weird alliance between construction unions and business circa 2014. Then again, it’s not really. Those are all highly skilled and well paying jobs. Caterpillar and drill rig manufactures like well trained operators.

  • rlhailssrpe

    The national error in energy is the ubiquitous concept that government’s role is to pick winners and losers among competitors. This gives enormous power to politicians but bankrupts engineers. Spent twenty years becoming an expert in technology x, then see technology Y become the fruits of some lobbyist. You, and thousands of other engineers, are laid off with kids and a mortgage.

    We have a “resurgent” nuclear industry solely because the government gave $8 Bn to “stimulate” the commercial interest. They gave away oceans of money and Solyndra washed up on the beach. If the government gave $8 Bn to a corporation to make energy from wound up rubber bands, GE would have a rubber band division tomorrow. The fact that rubber bands can not make energy would be irrelevant to the high level negotiations.

    And we get into fruitless arguments that your favorite gets more giveaways than mine. Or mine technology provides jobs, with no mention that your technology does also. But it is impossible to make a nuclear physicist into a wind turbine expert so it is cheaper to fire one and hire the other.

    The key is cost discipline, for the next two generations: no subsidies, no sugar tax breaks, no mandated purchases, and lower light bills. This will give time for children to go to engineering college, then develop a high level of expertise and have a prosperous career.

    Of course this will mean less power to lobbyists and politicians which is our present energy policy.

  • Kerry Kearney

    There’s so many assumptions and innuendos, I don’t know where to start. “Here’s the math”? There was no math, and it’s not surprising that you’d assume that you know what consumers want. How about we allow consumers that want green energy to buy green energy, and charge them a rate that reflects that?
    Energy and Policy Institute… now there’s an unbiased source.

    Solar is great; reduce the consumption at the point of use. Wind turbines are expensive, a visual blight, they harm wildlife and annoy neighbors. They give green energy a bad name.

    Conservation is king.

    OK, I’m done. You can attack now.

    • Bob_Wallace

      How about rather than attacking you I suggest you catch up with wind and solar prices?

      In 2011 and 2012 the average wind PPA (Power Purchasing Agreement) price for the lower 48 was 4c/kWh. That means that it cost less than 5.5c/kWh to bring new wind generation on line. We have preliminary (unconfirmed) data from a good source that the wind PPA in 2013 averaged 2.1 cents. That makes wind energy very cheap which means that wind will bring down the cost of electricity.

      In 2013 we saw solar PPAs in the SW (including Texas) written for 5c/kWh which means solar is now being produced for around 6.5c/kWh in the sunniest places. A bit of pencil work tells us the price would be a couple of pennies more in the less sunny NE. Solar has become much cheaper than power from gas peaker plants which means that solar will bring down the cost of electricity. And the price of solar will continue to drop.

      A visual blight? To some. Others of us think wind turbines are magnificent structures. Tastes do vary, do they not? I happen to think mountains with their tops ripped off incredibly ugly. People in the coal business probably smile when they see destroyed mountains.

      Harm wildlife? Actually wind turbines kill far fewer birds per MWh than do coal and nuclear. Big net gain for wildlife.

      Conservation is king. That I think you got right. We need to do as much as we can to lower demand. That will help us cut coal and gas use and save money. By pushing hard on conservation/efficiency along with wind and solar we could get coal off our grids in a modest number of years. And we could cut back on NG use.

      • Okay Fine

        If wind is so cheap, and I hope it is, then why does it care that a government doesn’t use its full force to mandate its use. It will thrive due to economic forces, no help needed from politicians.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Do you support a level playing field?

          Coal is massively supported by taxpayers. We spend about a billion dollars each day paying the external costs of coal. That’s a huge subsidy that coal gets.

          Nuclear is also massively supported by taxpayers. If we had a Chernobyl or Fukushima type disaster in the US taxpayers would have to cover almost all of the cost. The nuclear industry would be required to cover only the first $12 billion. Fukushima, we know, will cost well over $100 billion with independent estimates running $250 billion and much higher.

          New nuclear like is getting built in Georgia and South Carolina will be getting much larger subsidies than wind and solar get.

          • dorkyman

            I’d love to meet a person that thinks a wind turbine in his view is a “magnificent structure.” Your opinion is warped. Another obvious indicator is your belief that people in the coal business smile at “destroyed mountains.” Destroys your credibility, man.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You’ve met me. At least on line. I’ve seen a lot of coal, nuclear and gas plants as well as oil wells and open pit mines in my time. Wind turbines are magnificent.

            And if you think some people don’t enjoy looking at destroyed nature then you’ve spent little time around people who run big equipment. I live in logging country and plenty of loggers think a big clear cut is a beautiful thing. Their aesthetics are driven by their paycheck.

          • Wayne Williamson

            Now you’ve met another that thinks a wind turbine is cool…

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Wind turbines are gorgeous – form follows function. They are very quiet, and I would prefer them over smokestacks and cooling towers.

        • Michael bainbridge

          Wind would be extremely cheap in comparison if you were to take away all the subsidies from all forms of generation. If you think renewables are mandated unfairly then do some research to see the amount that fossil fuels are subsidized. Crunch some #’s on dept. Of treasury. For every dollar a oil or gas company donates to a political party the kickback is a $3100 tax reduction. Sounds like I need to invest in politicians as well ;)

          • Matt

            Michael you forgot to include the health cost that are externalized and there not covered in that falsely “cheap” fossil fuel. If coal/gas included those cost they would not be cheap.

      • Mint

        In 2011 and 2012 the average wind PPA (Power Purchasing Agreement) price for the lower 48 was 4c/kWh. That means that it cost less than 5.5c/kWh to bring new wind generation on line. We have preliminary (unconfirmed) data from a good source that the wind PPA in 2013 averaged 2.1 cents. That makes wind energy very cheap which means that wind will bring down the cost of electricity.

        I assume you’re referring to this:
        http://cleantechnica.com/2014/05/08/2013-ppa-prices-us-interior-averaged-2-1-centskwh-windpower-2014-part-2/

        The same Cleantechnica article says something to the same effect:
        “His analysis pulled in both the lifecycle cost of electricity (LCOE) but also the externalities from the LCOE such as full dispatchability, transmission costs and ancillary values of generation. It showed clearly that unconventional gas still has a pure market price lower than wind energy.”

        Wind will bring down prices only if it costs less than the marginal savings of other plants, i.e. not burning fuel. NREL put the latter figure at 3c/kWh. I agree with you about externalities, but unfortunately they’re just not factored in right now or the foreseeable future.

        I refuse to believe that fossil fuel generators will keep offering the same rates as wind takes away their sales volume. No business can survive revenue falling faster than the cost of goods. And we can’t just cut them out, because we need them.

        • Bob_Wallace

          In non-regulated markets fossil fuels will have to either sell for what the market will pay or not produce. A good non-fossil fuel plant example is the Kewaunee nuclear plant. The market would not buy its power at a price that kept it in business, so it closed.

          If there are times when demand can’t be met by non-fossil fuel sources then the price paid will be high enough to keep fossil fuel plants operating. We currently pay very high prices for gas peakers when they are the only available source.

          What is likely to happen is that as the price of intermittent fossil fuel electricity rises stored and dispatchable renewables will eat away at fossil fuel’s market. We’re seeing that now as companies are starting to market battery storage that is competitive with gas peakers.

          Back to Budischak’s 0.1% NG. Remember, they did not include load-shifting/shedding in their model. We’re likely to find it cheaper to pay some users to drop out rather than supply them during the most extreme tight supply times.

          I would guess that in regulated markets we may see more use of capacity payments to fossil fuel plants in order to keep them available for the small amount of time we will need their production.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Land based wind turbines are the least expensive electricity generation available.

  • JamesWimberley

    The property linesetback rule may beamenabler to a Coasian

    • Thomas Stacy

      “Bribe” is an interesting word to use. Do wind developers also call the contracts with property owners hosting the machines “bribery?” Perhaps you would benefit from taking a look at how zoning typically works. There are very few instances where minimum zoning distances are measured from existing homes. Splitting a property with a house on it into two properties is the main one.

      It sounds like you folks are mad that people’s property rights are being protected. If so, I consider that Un-American.

      Finally, have you even ever seen the safety manuals published by wind turbine manufacturers?? Some links to them available here: http://www.masterresource.org/2012/01/wind-ordinance-offset-debate/

      Drop dead? Really? Inflammatory and poorly reasoned journalism must work well on some kinds of readers . . .

      • Bob_Wallace

        Linking a site that opposes renewable energy and supports fossil fuels?

        How Koch of you….

      • Unamerican

        Property rights are not so holy when fossil fuels are exploited either. So:

        Fracking: Un-American
        Mountain top removal: Un-American

      • Michael bainbridge

        Property rights have always been protected. The land owner signs an agreement for the wind turbine no matter what the set back requirements are. Some favor more turbines and others don’t. Seeing as the placement of the turbines is quite strategic (I could explain if you wish) this dramatically affects the land owners who wish to have them. Not the ones who don’t. Also, being as that I have installed hundreds of wind turbines, and read a manual or two *sarcasm*, your reference is quite biased to say the least. Do some homework before your next diarrhea of the mouth run.

      • JamesWimberley

        Coase’s insight was that from the point of view of economic efficiency, it doesn’t matter whether you have a right to create a nuisance or a right not to have one inflicted on you, as long as the rights can be traded cheaply. You ewn dup at the sam eplace, th equestion i swho get sath ecompensation. Ethically th eposition sar enot equal.

        • Matt

          Note it is from property line. So it happens even the property line is between two farmers that both want turbines on their land.

      • Matt

        So 1250ft from property line to blade tip is needed. But only 200ft from home to drilling platform is needed.

      • Un-American

        You could also turn it around. These rules limit the rights of land-owners to do with their property as they please, a clear encroachment of their property rights. Un-American!

        In general your ideas mean that anything that is build on a plot of land that is neighbouring another plot of land is an encroachment of property rights. So building anything anywhere is Un-American ;-)

        Below is a link about how the property rights of land-owners are (not) protected when it comes to fossil fuel recources.

        http://www.spectraenergywatch.com/blog/?page_id=92&paged=4

        Overall it seems your concern for property rights seems to be rather opportunistic.

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