Clean Power

Published on October 28th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Wind Power Has Dramatically Cut Global Warming Pollution In The U.S.

October 28th, 2013 by  

As required by Congress, the EPA recently released annual greenhouse gas data “detailing carbon pollution emissions and trends broken down by industrial sector, greenhouse gas, geographic region, and individual facility.”

Interestingly, in 2012, coal-fired electricity generation increased while natural gas generation decreased considerably. This is counter to all the talk about the shale gas revolution (“bridge,” if you’re optimistic), including a line right in the first paragraph of the EPA press release — “The data, required to be collected annually by Congress, highlight a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions as more utilities switch to cleaner burning natural gas.”

Despite coal generation increasing, natural gas generation decreased so much that overall fossil fuel generation fell by 36.4 million MWh. Here’s a table with more details:

fossil fuel generation

So, what made up for that electricity generation drop?

First and foremost, reiterating a recent statement by the International Energy Agency, it seems that energy efficiency and energy conservation did. However, the other main contributor to the cut in global warming pollution was clearly renewable energy generation, especially generation from wind energy. Wind power plants contributed a significant 17.7 million MWh of additional electricity generation in 2012.

wind energy generation boost

If you are under the odd impression that more wind power doesn’t equal less global warming pollution, please use some common sense and also check out a recent study we reported on that shows how little backup power is actually needed for wind power, even at relatively high penetration levels. In other words, accept the fact that wind power is extremely effective at cutting global warming pollution.

As REVE notes: “What lesson can we draw from this data? While some of the emissions reductions noted by the EPA are fleeting, wind energy is a key contributor to the long-lasting strategy for reducing U.S. carbon emissions.

If you’re wondering what’s up with the EPA’s statement that the switch to natural gas has resulted in a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, the statement is based on generation change over the course of two years (2011 and 2012), not just 2012. “The 2012 data show that in the two years since reporting began, emissions from power plants have decreased 10 percent. This is due to a switch from coal to natural gas for electricity generation and a slight decrease in electricity production.”

Spin natural gas however you want, but please stop ignoring the fact that increasing renewable energy generation has a very strong, lasting impact on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Also, let’s just hope that methane leaks from using natural gas aren’t considerably greater than projected (I can’t say I’m optimistic about that), and that, if natural gas really is notably greener, that natural gas rebounds and cuts coal generation considerably again… as we ramp up renewable energy faster and faster, since that is the only long-term solution in this sector anyway.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Tryingsolar

    What cost is wind and solar running at ?

    • Bob_Wallace

      A nickle. Or less…

      “The cost of large-scale solar projects has fallen by one third in the last five years and big solar now competes with wind energy in the solar-rich south-west of the United States, according to new research.

      The study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory entitled “Utility-Scale Solar 2012: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States” – says the cost of solar is still falling and contracts for some solar projects are being struck as low as $50/MWh (including a 30 percent federal tax credit).”

      “Another interesting observation from LBNL is that most of the contracts written in recent years do not escalate in nominal dollars over the life of the contract. This means that in real dollar terms, the pricing of the contract actually declines.

      This means that towards the end of their contracts, the solar plants (including PV, CSP and CPV) contracted in 2013 will on average will be delivering electricity at less than $40/MWh. This is likely to be considerably less than fossil fuel plants at the same time, given the expected cost of fuels and any environmental regulations.”

      Five cent solar in the SW would cost a bit less than 6 cents in the NE.

      “The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged $40/MWh for projects negotiating contracts 2011 and 2012, spurring demand for wind energy.”

      $40/MWh means $0.04/kWh. Add back in the $0.022 PTC (which lasts only ten years) and it’s $0.051/kWh for a 20 year PPA.

      Wind and solar – think a nickel and heading lower….

  • Sue Hobart

    creative spin on facts… If you believe this I have some nice waterfront property for you….

    • Bob_Wallace

      Sue, you must stop huffing the gas can. It rots ones brain….

      • Sue Hobart

        Bobietecha, Perhaps YOU should stop huffing the SUBSIDIES,,, they rot your moral fiber.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Sue, if you have nothing of value to add to the site then please just go away.

          • Wayne Lusvardi

            so disclose who you are and what you do for a living

          • Bob_Wallace

            It’s none of your damn business.

            This site is about learning about ways to avoid the worst of climate change. If you want to participate in the discussions and can do so rationally you are welcome. Otherwise just go away.

  • Jalana

    I actually read the report that this article supposedly describes. Here is what the EPA said, “The 2012 data show that in the two years since reporting began, emissions from power plants have decreased 10 percent. This is due to a switch from coal to natural gas for electricity generation and a slight decrease in electricity production” What’s the point of writing an article like this if it gets the facts totally wrong?

    • Bob_Wallace

      How about we review the numbers in the article – the one that talks about 2012 and 2013 to date numbers?

      Coal use is up a bit, we generated 65.5 million MWh more in 2013 than in 2012. Natural gas generation was down quite a bit, -101.9 million MWh.

      Overall fossil fuel generated 36.4 million fewer MWh in YTD 2013 than in YTD 2012.

      That decrease in fossil fuel increase was permitted because we cut demand by 17.5 million MWh and increased supply from wind by 17.7 million MWh and solar by 2.2 million MWh.

      Does that help you understand what the article is about? Fossil fuel use fell thanks to efficiency and renewables.

      An article about natural gas emitting less CO2 than coal would be a different article, don’t you think? I do.

    • manny_thome

      Natural gas up and coal down in 2012 (historically low gas price). In 2013, coal coming back and nat gas dropping again (as price rises a bit).

      • Bob_Wallace

        Just for fun I plotted out the percentages of electricity produced with fossil fuels in the US from 1973 through 2013. The 2013 number is an estimate created by doubling the first six month amounts.

        Over time one can see the rise of coal as it displaced petroleum and then the rise of natural gas as it displaces coal. Plus an overall decrease in the total percentage produced by FFs.

  • TXMichael

    So let me get this straight …

    Total energy consumption is 15,365 Billion MWhs (1)

    Change in energy consumption due to Wind Generation is 17.7 Million MWhs

    This means that the Wind Generation you are touting is responsible for 0.115% of total world energy consumption. That is ZERO-POINT-one percent.

    And it is your contention that THIS is responsible for a 17 year pause in global warming … (strike that) … Climate Change? Really??!

    On the UP SIDE, if you are correct this is GREAT News. If we continue building Wind at the current pace, we can stop talking about ALL of the other Climate Change solutions. because they will not be necessary.

    We don’t need to cut Oil or Coal
    We don’t need any Cap-and-Trade
    We don’t need improved COLA standards
    We don’t need to pay $200 Billion per year to affected countries (there won’t be any)
    We don’t need to regulate emissions through executive order

    This is a GREAT DAY!!

    (1) CIA World Factbook, top 20 consuming countries

    • Bob_Wallace

      First, global warming has not stopped. Some people are being mislead by the fossil fuel industry to think so, but it’s a false claim.

      Second, this article is about US wind, not world wind.

      • TXMichael

        To your Global Warming has not stopped point. Please see HadCRUT4 data set developed by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office. This is one of the leading data sets used by the IPCC in AR5. The meme that this is the “fossil fuel industry” is for those who would rather drink the Kool-aid than know what is in it.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Well, let’s look at the HadCRUT4, an update of the HadCRUT3.

          As we know the H3 was a faulty measurement of the Earth’s surface temperature. It was started long ago when there were few to no temperatures recorded in the polar regions, so the H3 under measured global temperature. Since warming has been stronger in the Arctic region that change was missed by the H3.

          H3 has been maintained only out of historical interest. There are several much better data bases. H4 is somewhat better than H3 but people who really wish to know what is happening should turn to a more accurate database such as the GISS.

          I’ll stick a graph comparing H3 and H4 on the bottom so that you can see that using a more inclusive data base shows increased warming.

          “In HadCRUT4, the hottest years on record are 2010 and 2005, with 1998 right behind in a statistical tie.

          This brings HadCRUT4 into better agreement with the surface temperature records from NCDC and GISS, which also have 2010 and 2005 as the hottest years on record, whereas HadCRUT3 had 1998 as the hottest.”

          You might want to spend some time at Skeptical Science and learn some stuff about climate change. It’s a great site with tons of information.

    • manny_thome

      The 17.7 million MWh is the amount of ADDITIONAL wind added this year over last, not the total amount … I think you’re getting confused there.

      • TXMichael

        My point is this. The article touted the significant impact of Wind … as compared to what? You can understand impact without understanding proportionality. At no point in the article is there any attempt to establish an external frame of reference. Without that, you are just staring at your belly-button. So, the author is either no very good, or not being honest in his presentation. Regardless, it needs to be called out.

        Write a thorough and honest article, or call it what it is … propaganda.

        • Bob_Wallace

          17.7 million MWh generated by wind. 17.7 million MWh not generated with fossil fuels because new wind capacity was on line.

          An increase in wind production and a decrease in fossil fuel use during the first part of 2013 compared to the first part of 2012 in the United States.

          This should be very easy to understand.

  • klem

    Wind farms really must be working, that’s why the world has experienced no global warming for the past 17 years. That’s proof.

  • Airglow

    How many Raptors and Bats are too many to sacrifice on the alter of wind power? Some of the recent wind farm Golden Eagle death estimates from Wyoming are appalling. If we build out wind to 20% to 30% of our generation capacity, I fear we will drive some Raptor and Bat species to extinction, is that an acceptable tradeoff?

  • Historybuff

    With all due respect… I think it has been established that there has been no ‘global warming’ over the last 15 years…

    Why the article?

    • Bob_Wallace

      You’ve been sold a bill of goods by anti-science, pro-coal jerks.

      There’s been little atmospheric warming, we’re not sure why. It could be the very large amount of coal pollution that China is pumping into the atmosphere. Remember, we had a period of “global dimming” following WWII due to lots of dirty coal.

      But while we haven’t seen a lot of warming it has been warming. And the ocean has been warming a lot.

      I’ll draw you some pictures and suggest you stay away from sites that specialize in disinformation. Otherwise you’ll get fed Koch brothers Tea Party type junk and it’ll rot your brain.

      First picture – average global temperature by decade. See the warming?

      Second picture – warming of the ground, air and ocean. See how much heat we’ve pumped into the ocean? Think about what could happen if the ocean gives it back….

      • klem

        “You’ve been sold a bill of goods by anti-science, pro-coal jerks.”

        Sorry Mr. Wallace but it is you who have been sold a bill of goods by the anti-science, pro-wind farm jerks.

        There has been almost no warming for 17 years now and you are trying to brush it off with some high school graphs that show ocean heat content back to 1960. You know full well that the Argo buoy system has only been deployed since the early 2000’s, and they only dive to a depth of about 2kms. The average depth of the worlds oceans is almost double that.

        When it comes to the 17 year plateau, its the alarmists who are the deniers now.

      • Rob Hruska

        Sounds like you’ve been sold a bill of goods by anti-science, pro-government groups. That’s awfully contorted logic to describe something you can’t explain.

        • Bob_Wallace

          “Anti-science, pro-government” groups?

          What the heck would that be? Anti-science, anti-government groups like the Tea Party, that I get.

          Scientifically literate, good government groups, that I also get.

          Can you name an anti-science, pro-government group?

          • Rob Hruska

            All your talk about vast Tea Party conspiracies and shadowy Koch Brothers hiding in your bushes is the talk of a politician trying to deflect attention, not the words of a scientist searching for the truth. And yes, an anti-Science, pro-government group? All groups who have decided beforehand that anthropogenic global warming is by default true, and spend their time and money proving the theory instead of testing it. Please see “Piltdown Man” for an example.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “All groups who have decided beforehand that anthropogenic global warming is by default true, and spend their time and money proving the theory instead of testing it.”

            Please name one.

          • MorinMoss

            You should read Hansen’s paper Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.
            Science Aug 28, 1981 Volume 213, Number 4511
            Pay particular attention to Fig 2 on page 960.

  • Mogumbo Gono

    This has happend DESPITE wind power, not because of it.

    The fact is that wind power generates far more CO2 than it will ever save. There may be a future for solar, but wind power is a real loser. If not for the enormous government tax subsidies to companies like GE, there would be few if any ugly windmills spoiling the environment — and we would have none of the current monstrosities fouling the countryside.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Sorry, you bear false witness.

      Wind has the lowest lifetime carbon footprint of all our electricity generation.

      Wind is also one of our two cheapest new generation technology. Without subsidies.

      I’ll bet I know where you get your “news”.

      • klem

        I would love to see new wind farms built without subsidies.

        Where I live, I have the good fortune of paying 80% of our wind farms with subsidies. So I’d love to see the business model for a subsidy free wind farm.

        I’d also love to see an example of a subsidy free wind farm. Know of any?

        • Bob_Wallace

          Since the average selling price (PPA price in 2011 and 2012) for wind was 4c/kWh and the subsidy amounts to 1c/kWh we know that your claim is false.

        • manny_thome

          The problem klem is that most wind energy producers are independent power providers, meaning they don’t sell directly to consumers. Instead, they are forced to sell to whichever utility has the monopoly in the area, and the utility is only required to pay the PURPA additional cost rate, which is currently natural gas combined cycle (very low). The independent wind providers cannot pass on capital costs to the consumers, as utilities do. Upfront capital is 90+% of the cost for wind (the fuel is free, and O&M is minimal). So we have an unbalanced playing field to begin with. And many of the private capital-raising mechanisms available to traditional energy projects, like Master Limited Partnerships and Real Estate Investment Trusts, are not available for wind.
          Bob Wallace’s numbers are correct that the cost per MWh for wind is less than for all sources except nat gas cc, but that’s for new generation. In reality, new wind competes with existing coal and existing hydro and existing nuclear, as well as gas (both existing and new). There are no capital costs for the existing traditional sources, and capital costs for new gas are quite low. If we tear down the impediments to capital development for new wind, the subsidies are ready to go too. (not to mention if we internalize the societal costs from combusting fossil fuel).

    • MorinMoss

      Several recent studies based on data collected from various grids show that not only did wind reduce CO2 emissions but the much-ballyhooed “100% fossil fuel backup” was complete hogwash.
      I apologize if any hogs, or ballyhoos, were offended by this comment.

  • Jonathan Michaels

    Tried to find the data quoted, this month’s EIA U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2012 seems to say the opposite. Can you clarify?

    • klem

      Yea, you’ve been duped. Clear enough for you?

      • Jonathan Michaels

        Not really, who is doing the duping the EIA or the people reporting EIA that isn’t on the EIA website?

  • RobS

    There is something wrong here, the EIA data shows coal powered generation was down 12.5% in 2012 from 2011, they can’t both be right.

    • Steeple

      Yes, I’m afraid our author jumped to many incorrect conclusions. He was correct on one point, and that is that wind contribution contributed to the reduction in coal consumption. Of course but only by 1/10th of what natural gas did.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Working from the September 2013 EIA energy report –

      They give totals for the first 6 months of 2013, so doubling that number to get a rough estimate for 2013….


      2011 Total 1,733,430 MWh
      2012 Total 1,517,203. A drop of 216,227 MWh or -12.47%
      2013 Est. 1,529,048. An increase of 11,845 MWh or + 0.78%

      Net change 2011 – 2013 = -204,382 MWh

      Natural gas increased 217,019 MWh in 2012, 21.41%, roughly what coal lost. In 2013 NG is down about 204,223 or -16.59%. Only ~12k of that 204k was made up by an increase in coal.

      Net change 2011 – 2013 = +12,796MWh

      Wind increased 19,912 MWh in 2012, 16.57% and 42,905 MWh in 2013, 30.63%.

      Net change 2011 – 2013 = 62,817 MWh

      Looks like wind has covered about 30% of what coal has lost. Natural gas about 6%.

      Total generation 2011 to 2013 is down about 180,000 which covers a lot of the coal drop.

      (Is that confusing enough?)

    • manny_thome

      Down in 2012, back up in 2013.

  • JamesWimberley

    I question your headline. US energy-related carbon emissions fell by 3.8% on 2102 according to the EIA: That’s a modest, not a “dramatic” cut by any standard. The shift back from gas to coal increased emissions – we hope it’s temporary. Wind and efficiency between them counteracted this. I’m all for reporting progress, to dispel the helplessness spread by the fossil fuel industry. But much, much more wind and solar – ten, twenty times – is needed to get the deep cuts we need. There’s a robust ladder or two into the hole, but we still have to climb it.

    A different and less important niggle. You write: ” ..a recent study we reported on that shows how little backup power is actually needed for wind power..” It didn’t. The study rubbished the myth that because of backup fossil power, the carbon emissions gains from wind are negligible. The backup problem isn’t emissions, it’s money.

    The reputable AEMO study in Australia by the grid operator ( confirmed that for grid reliability in a 100% renewables scenario, you do need very large amounts of despatchable capacity, about 40%. In their models, this would be biomass, CSP with storage, or advanced geothermal. Much of this would be little used, especially in systems with large amounts of both wind and solar which tend to be complementary in time, so it works out expensive. The same pattern also holds when the backup is gas or pumped storage or household batteries. It isn’t helpful to pretend this not a real problem, which has to be addressed in the redesign of electricity markets.

    • ZackR

      20 times, now that would be a big cut since wind is on pace to reach 4% of electricity generation.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Looks more like 5% for 2013.

  • Clean,renewable wind energy displaces harmful emissions from other energy sources, and is a preferred, environmentally benign energy technology.

    Not only does wind energy emit no air or water pollution, require no mining or drilling for fuel, use virtually no water, and create no hazardous or radioactive waste, installed wind power in the U.S. avoids nearly 100 million metric tons of CO2 annually – the equivalent of taking 17 million cars off the road.

    David Ward, AWEA

    • Larry_Lorusso

      Wind turbines are neither benign to the environment nor pollution free. Mountaintops are blasted with swamps being eliminated and thousands of trees cut wrecking havoc on the ecosystems where located. There is numerous hasardous materials used in their construction and what for the materials for blades…being non recyclable and cut up and buried in landfills.

      • Bob_Wallace

        We have no perfect solutions.

        Wind is a more benign source of electricity than fossil fuels.

        • Larry_Lorusso

          You might not say that if you saw what they do to the environment to put IWT’s in mountainous regions. In fact it’s quite ugly, while not mountaintop removal it is mountaintop alteration on a large scale. After thousands of trees are cut and bulldozed down the blasting and filling takes place. Any swamps or wetlands are eliminated. Filling is with materials from some other place as the ridges must be smooth to accommodate the huge equipment and parts. The blasting many times alters the aquifers and wells can be disrupted and the streams often flash with rain only to be down to a trickle a few days later changing the nature of what used to be perennial streams. Wildlife also move because of the noise although the bats will be killed by the turbines from chasing bugs attracted by the warmer climate around the turbines with the forest gone. And if your unfortunate to live near one of these projects your peace and quiet will be a thing of the past. When you can’t sleep well for several nights in a row it takes a toll. Some of the neighbors have other health issues that began with the turbines being online. IWT’s is far from perfect and the profit is in the tax subsidies. The wholesale price of generating with wind is more than the retail price of electricity. First we need to conserve what we have by eliminating waste and build energy efficient and retrofit where possible. Instead of giving billions to multinational corporations adding PV systems where possible which would lower demand and the neighbors wouldn’t be suffering…

          • Bob_Wallace

            Have you seen the extensive dead forests of the west, mountain after mountain, hundreds of miles of beautiful trees killed by bark beetles which have spread their range north as climate change no longer keeps them controlled? Are you aware that their destruction is now spreading to the forests of Canada?

            Have you not heard of the massive wildfires that are destroying forests and wildlife in the West?

            How about Glacier National Park, familiar with it? Only 100 years ago GNP had over 150 glaciers which gave it its name and beauty. Now only much shrunken 27 glaciers are left and all are likely be gone by 2030.

            Happen to make your way though Texas after their multiple year drought during which most trees died? Along with cattle and wildlife.

            Hearing about what is happening right now in Northern California? An extremely unusual, never seen before atmospheric event has been blocking rainfall and an entire generation of salmon are threatened. Areas that have never experienced significant forest fires are likely to be engulfed this coming summer.

            How about those coral reefs? Pay any attention to how warmer oceans are causing them to bleach?

            Or how about shellfish? How the more acid water caused by CO2 absorption is thinning their shells to the point at which we will soon start losing species?

            Can I gather up any sympathy that there’s a wind turbine in your sight? Absolutely not. I know that we’ve got a problem much, much bigger than your NIMBY issues.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Don’t forget coal mining and fracking.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            First, I’m not a NIMBY, I’m an IMBY….they are in MY backyard! The problem is IWT’s aren’t reducing fossil fuel use to any significant degree. Billions have been spent on wind turbines with little effect on fossil fuel or CO2 reduction. Heating and transportation use more fossil fuels, and would get a better bang for the buck in those areas, rather than wasting resources on IWT’s. If you are really concerned with GW you will cease to use fossil fuels to heat your house and propel your vehicles. We have done our part in those departments and haven’t bought any oil to heat with in 7 years. If your not doing the same it makes you a hypocrite. Same with people like Al Gore, who has a carbon foot print as large s the town I live in, or David Suzuki with his lavish lifestyle, saying others must make sacrifices, yet do little in the way of personal sacrifices. So how about it Bob, care to share your fossil fuel use, or are you one of those people who says, don’t do as I do, but what I say?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Bullshit Larry.

            We’re not producing about 5% of our electricity with wind. That’s a lot of fossil fuels not being burned.

            You’re a selfish …

          • Larry_Lorusso

            What about the ff being burned to backup wind or don’t you think it needs to be accounted for. For instance a wind turbine needs electricity to run even when it’s not producing electricity…about 10% of rated capacity. Do you think it grows on trees?

  • joehall

    Okay, good new. But we have to get nuclear out of the renewable energy category!!! There’s no place to put the waste, no one depository(Yucca) will accept it. As far as I’m concerned, it needs to be group with oil, coal and gas. It’s a dead industry. And if you want any idea of the dangerous game we play with nuclear, watch the recent Frontline show on Fukushimi disaster….

    • JamesWimberley

      I agree that nuclear is dead or dying, and isn’t strictly renewable apart from breeder reactors, which have been abandoned as too complex and risky to build in numbers. But it is very low-carbon, so cannot be grouped with fossil fuels. In any case the fight is won; you meet nuclear fans on websites like this, but not in the corridors of power and wealth. The recent British decision to build one new nuclear power station comes with a price-tag so high that the new price benchmark proves to everybody else that nuclear is uneconomic. But it will preserve the Home Counties from those horrid wind turbines …

      • Larry_Lorusso

        I’m certainly not a fan of nuclear as used in it’s present form and specially the waste issue. It seems the current saga in Japan and problem with nuke plants is due to bad design and cutting corners. Bottom line it IWT’s can’t eliminate any other power source as it needs to be backed up or the grid won’t be dependable and there would be times when there isn’t power to the grid, not to mention how dirty the power would be with just wind power.

    • Doug

      Agree. The uranium that is used in nuclear power plants is not renewable. I was a proponent of nuclear until the reality hit that it’ll never be cost effective.

    • Wayne Lusvardi

      Fukushima WAS NOT a nuclear disaster. The sub-ocean earthquake created a wave of water that caused all the damage and loss of life. No one had died from nuclear fallout in Fukushima. When a dam bursts it can cause more loss of life and damage than a nuclear bomb.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Sorry, Fukushima is an ongoing nuclear disaster.

        Yes, it was triggered by a tsunami and yes, so far the people working at the site have prevented a critical event, but to claim anything less than a disaster is simply silly.

        ” When a dam bursts it can cause more loss of life and damage than a nuclear bomb.”

        You may have just won the prize for the most absurd statement of the week.

        • Wayne Lusvardi

          Mr. Wallace
          I once completed a mass real estate appraisal for Lloyd’s of London insurance underwriters and one of the largest water districts in the U.S. on the estimated probable property damages that would result from a major breach of dams in Southern California. Along with this I had to conduct a statistical analysis of dam failures in the U.S. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assisted me in my mass valuation.

          Those living outside the blast and fire of a nuclear bomb can survive if they can cover themselves from exposure to nuclear fallout for the first 72-hours. Those in the path of a 25 to 100 foot high wall of water resulting from a sudden breach in a major dam would suffer higher fatalities than those outside a nuclear blast zone. Look up how many people have died from nuclear exposure at Fukushim versus how many died due to the flood resulting from the Tsunami. I have no argument with you or wish to put you down, but the data does.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Those living outside the blast and fire of a nuclear bomb can survive if they can cover themselves from exposure to nuclear fallout for the first 72-hours.”

            And those who live outside the flood zone of a failed dam don’t even have to cover themselves.

            You do realize that you set up a comparison in which you eliminated the major danger of one event, don’t you?

            Kind of a orange to apple core comparison….

          • Wayne Lusvardi

            Sir: You are the one who claimed there was an apple of nuclear fallout fatalities at Fukushima compared to an orange of massive fatalities due to the Tsunami wave. Psychological projection on others is not a logical answer.

            Here is what Wikipedia reports:

            “There have been no deaths directly attributed to radiation from the Fukishima Daiichi nuclear disaster.”

            Fukushima Radiation Proves Less Deadly Than Feared”. Bloomberg. Retrieved 20 May 2013.

            I am not going to be able to persuade you because you are involved in a psychological contest of put downs and projections. It is called cognitive dissonance in social psychology. My comments and replies are not intended for you but for others reading this dialogue so they can make their own judgments.

            I’m guessing that Upton Sinclair’s comment applies here: “you can’t get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it”.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Sir: You are the one who claimed there was an apple of nuclear fallout fatalities at Fukushima compared to an orange of massive fatalities due to the Tsunami wave.”

            Oh, horseshit. I did nothing of the sort. I simply pointed out the stupidity of your argument.

            You basically argued that if we ignore those who would be killed by a nuclear bomb but count those who would be killed were they standing below a dam when it failed the dam fatality number would be higher.

            Now, there have been no radiation deaths from Fukushima. However that does not mean that there won’t be radiation caused deaths in coming years. Radiation kills both quickly and long term. It will be many years before we discover how many, if any, radiation deaths and serious illness will have been caused.

            You clearly have no idea what “cognitive dissonance” means. It’s a good idea to avoid using big words when you don’t understand their meanings.

            Here, let Wiki explain cognitive dissonance to you.


            And I have no idea how Sinclare’s quote applied. I am employed by no one. Keep your petty attacks to yourself.

          • Wayne Lusvardi

            Like I wrote, it is impossible to have a dialogue with you.

            But others can make judgments for themselves.

            Best to you,

          • Bob_Wallace

            We can have a dialogue. But it would go better if you would not try to use unreasonable examples and stick to words you understand.

          • Wayne Lusvardi

            quit projecting your projections back on to me.

          • Wayne Lusvardi

            For all others dropping into this online conversation:

            So you Bob Wallace are not THE Bob Wallace of BITH ENERGY CONSULTING who writes all over the internet advocating for renewable energy?

            Mr. Wallace says he is employed by no one. Here is the link to Bob Wallace at BITH ENERGY:


            Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest would be helpful for a discussion.

          • Bob_Wallace

            No, I’m not that Bob Wallace.

            I’ve got more hair, top and bottom of my face. A different middle name. Older. Not as good looking. And my ancestry is more Scotch/Irish/Welsh/German than what Robert L.’s seems to be.

            Never even heard of BITH before.

            But, suppose that I was that Bob. What difference would it make? The scenario you used was still flawed and you still misused cognitive dissonance.

          • Wayne Lusvardi

            and your filibustering I suppose is TRUTH?

            please disclose who you are and what you do for a living

          • Wayne Lusvardi

            NO! —-YOU —– misused the concept of cognitive dissonance.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Get on topic and cut the crap Wayne.

            No more warnings.

          • Wayne Lusvardi

            so are you the Bob Wallace that energy engineer Willem Post thoroughly debunked on wind energy at The Energy Collective website?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m the Bob Wallace who is getting tired of your idiotic posts.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sorry, you were the only person here who brought cognitive dissonance into the discussion. And you clearly had no idea what it meant.

          • Wayne Lusvardi

            You still have not told us who you are or what potential conflicts of interest you have if any. So that settles it.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Be afraid.

            Be very, very afraid….

        • Larry_Lorusso

          The disaster at the plant had to do with the location and design of the reactors and specially the backup power.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s true. But it was still (and still is) a disaster.

            Chernobyl was a nuclear disaster with a different cause.

            TMI was a nuclear disaster with a different cause.

            SL-1 was a nuclear disaster with a different cause.

            K-29 was a nuclear disaster with a different cause.

            There have been a large number of near-disasters resulting from a variety of different causes. People setting plants on fire, corrosive leaks, etc.
            Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station Unit 1 partially melted down. As did Sodium Reactor Experiment.

            Apparently the containment dome at Crystal River was not properly reinforced with steel.

            That’s the worrisome thing about nuclear. We have to live with unknown unknowns.

  • Bob_Wallace

    We’ve now got one reasonably strong study that finds methane leaks at the well site are less than we feared. That study needs to be expanded to other geographical regions.

    The methane leak problem seems to be the distribution system. And those methane leaks will continue whether we use NG for electricity generation or not. They’re leaks from the systems supplying our home heating, kitchen stoves, clothes dryers, water heaters, etc. We simply need to get busy and fix those leaks.

    The EPA needs to crack down on methane leaks. Some of them are so bad that the cost of fixing them should pay the cost in saved product.

    Then double and redouble and double again our installation rates for solar, wind and other renewables. Each kWh of electricity we generate with renewable technology is one less kWh we need to generate with NG.

    • Steeple

      A nat gas distribution operator in an older city in the Eastern time zone told me 15 years ago that they lose approx. 5% of their gas delivered due to aging pipe that is difficult to repair. Have no idea if this is still the case, but suspect it is directionally so.

      • Bob_Wallace

        We can find ’em and we can fix (the worst of) ’em….

        “To see what Boston had going on in its natural gas pipelines, a team of scientists set out to map and measure leaks throughout the city. After all was said and done, they spent a month driving 785 miles — and they discovered 3,356 methane leaks.

        “Essentially we were producing a street map block-by-block,” said Robert Jackson, professor at Duke University’s Biology Department. “This is the first time anyone’s ever measured a whole city systematically like this.”

        When they found large methane leaks that could pose an immediate
        explosion threat, they stopped and gathered an air sample to analyze the chemistry to determine if the leak was coming from a sewer or landfill, or if it was pipeline gas. A vast majority of the leaks were from
        pipelines. While all leaks were measured and mapped, the team called in six pipeline leaks they felt were explosion risks, which the utility
        companies then fixed.”

        eta: Could be a good drone job, looking for leaks.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Someone thinks we shouldn’t fix methane leaks?

    • Andy

      To say that wind power has cut green house gas is not just right. I have to point out in order to have cut something must close down in order to get that result. Can you point out how many power station have closed in place of wind power?..

      • Bob_Wallace

        ​Can I tell you that coal plant X was closed due to wind capacity installed? No.

        Can I tell you that we are now getting around 5% of our electricity from wind? Yes.

        Can I tell you that we are now burning less fossil fuel than we have in past years? Yes.

        I can also tell you that we are on track for getting 66% of our electricity from fossil fuels (coal, petroleum and natural gas) in 2013, down from 68% in 2011 and 2012. And down from a 71% average for the previous ten years.

        And that’s with no increase in nuclear or hydro output.

        I can tell you that Australia is in the process of closing 9 GW of coal plants thanks to wind and solar. And that Germany is in the process of closing 3 GW of coal due to wind and solar on their grid.

        That’s the best I can do for you.

        • Brett

          Hi Bob, I tend to agree with Andy point of view, it’s that uncertainty to claim wind power has reduced global warming. I came across the same argument many years ago and it’s one that can only stated on the basis of something that has closed, otherwise the emission trend go upwards. I don’t think this argument will ever be one on this ground unless as Andy says the power station must be close down in order to achieve a reduction based upon the argument.

          The same argument if people continue to fly aeroplanes burn fossil fuels. It achieves nothing at the end of the day, unless the aeroplane industry shuts down and fewer flights are quoted, lifetime of restricting the amount of flights one can take is the only way that you can achieve a reduction.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If we are burning less fossil fuels to make our electricity is that not the same as flying less miles?

            BTW, we have 150 US coal plants closed or in the process of closing over the next couple of years….

          • Brett

            No you miss the point, human nature is to fly more, have more and not account for there action, but we don’t burn less fossil fuel, we don’t fly less, to say we reduced here but the reality is that we use more in other areas.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s kind of a word salad, but let me take a stab at it.

            US electricity use is down. US use of fossil fuels for electricity is down. We get more of our electricity from wind and solar each year.

            US miles driven per year is down. Miles flown per year peaked in 2007 as of 2012 we were below 2007 levels.

            US CO2 emissions have been falling (gradually) for the last few years.

          • Brett

            I disagree with that view Bob, Energy statistics base on oil are up for the USA based on International Statistics in the U.S. crude oil production exceeded 7 million barrels per day that has not fallen.

            Energy production has not come down so your argument has fallen on a dead end. To state that people drive or even fly less. Quite clear that people are using more energy then before, human nature at its best, solar power or wind power has not lessened the load other wised we would have seen the crude oil production come down.

            As for coal production its all up at record levels, there has been no reduction from wind or solar power.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Brett, you can’t start to imagine how sorry I am to see this comment from you. It means that I’m going to have to do a lot of work to dig out the data that shows that you are incorrect.

            Let’s start with miles driven and miles flown and oil consumed.

            Oil production is not the same as oil consumed. The US is producing more oil, burning less and importing less.

            That’s data, that’s fact. It’s not “opinion”.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, now let’s look at US use of coal and other fossil fuels for electricity….

            You’ll notice that coal use peaked some time ago and has been falling. A one year upward movement in the line does not mean that the US is returning to coal use. With 150 coal plants recently closed/soon closing it will be impossible to burn coal at the rate we have done in the past.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Now, US electricity consumption…

            Here’s total consumption from 1973 through 2013. The 2013 number is an estimate derived by doubling consumption for the first six months of the year.

            Do notice that the line has peaked and is falling.

          • Brett

            In any circumstances these graphs do not explain the relationship between wind and solar and oil consumption, Coal consumption nor the relationship between the energies.

            As I said before, we should have seen wind and solar power lessened the load on these non renewable energy sources. Returning to the graphs which you explained there is no relationship between the United States recession and its downturn in the economy of the factories closing yet consumption is still remaining high and going up wards. Basically point out that these graphs are in error, because of the United States recession and china taking over the role of the US production levels manufacturing and technology.

            Let me say this, if the US economy ever picks up again you will see those energy production levels, skyrocketing. However that if India does not take over that role, as India is emerging as the number one economy to exceed China’s.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Brett, in 2012 we generated roughly 3.5% of our electricity with wind turbines. It looks like we’ll generate about 5% of our electricity with wind turbines this year.

            Simple math tells you that we had to cut our use of fossil fuels. We not only substituted wind and solar for fossil fuels, we used less electricity overall. Look at the bottom of one of the graphs and you’ll see where the data came from. Go to the EIA source and read the amount of electricity consumed per year.

            The recession did knock down driving and air travel. But as we recover from the recession those numbers continue to fall. We are simply driving and flying less.

            Most of the manufacturing that we lost to China happened before the recession.

            Our GDP has been doing quite well. It is increasing and at the same time our energy use is dropping.

            That’s what is happening in America. If you don’t wish to take my word for it then do your own research.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Bob your assuming that for every watt of wind energy added to the grid means 1 watt less from other plants. What’s wrong with that assumption is wind is variable and wind turbines don’t spin at a constant rpm, and and natural gas plants are using fossil fuels on not only spin cycles, but to smoothen out the variability, thereby losing effecientcy with the gas plants. Another issue is wind turbines can’t be dispatched with demand also making them less than equal.

          • Bob_Wallace

            A watt is a watt (actually the measurement is watt-hour).

            Every watt-hour supplied by wind means that something else is not supplying a watt-hour.

            In 2012 wind supplied 182,993,000,000,000 watt-hours of electricity to the US grid.

            That means other sources (largely fossil fuels) supplied 182,993,000,000,000 fewer watt-hours of electricity than they would have had wind not been on the grid.

            Yes, wind is not dispatchable. Have to use it when it’s available or store it away. Same for solar. But supply and demand are constantly changing and the grid deals with that.

            Large thermal plants (coal and nuclear) are actually larger management problems for the grid. When they go down without warning grid operators really have to scramble to replace their input.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Sorry Bob your logic is flawed, 1 watt is not the same if it needs to be backed up by some other source. We are not talking about would or in the event of a problem. I’ve listen to the constant variation of the spinning of wind turbines. They can not supply electricity to the grid on their own as it would make for some very dirty electricity. You are trying to compare apples with onions!

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Right now the New England grid demand is 18675.40 MW. Of that wind is supplying 67.23 MW with an installed rated capacity of 900 MW, which is .36%. Tax incentives alone have been over $1,000,000,000 to corporations, not to mention what ratepayers have spent on transmission and distribution infrastructure to connect the wind turbines to the grid. I’d call it a dismal investment of our funds, meanwhile it doesn’t address GW to any significant degree. We all need to reduce the demand by making personal changes to our lifestyles. We are not going to buy ourselves out of this one!

          • Bob_Wallace

            You guys need to get off your butts and install more wind turbines.

            You’re letting the planet down.

            Start supporting offshore. That’s where your really good resources are.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            The reductions are do to the sour economy.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            BTW the coal plants are closing due to ECONOMICS, not because of wind or solar.

          • A Real Libertarian

            They’re closing because of not being able to compete with cheap wind and solar.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Wind cheap? Wind developers just signed an agreement for 8¢ KWh, wholesale in Massachusetts. That’s with the PTC which is 2.3¢ KWh and various other tax incentives that we pay for. Then we need to add for transmission and distrubution costs to hook up the wind turbines paid for by rate payers as well. Cape Wind if it’s built will cost 18.9 KWh to start wholesale. The average wholesale for new England grid is 4-5¢ KWh.Wind is not going to put any other generator out of business even with subsidies. Nothing cheap about wind power and that’s just the beginning.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Wind developers just signed an agreement for 8¢ KWh, wholesale in Massachusetts.”

            Cherry picking even if true.

            “Cape Wind”

            Offshore, new tech, NIMBYS, irrelevant.

            “The average wholesale for new England grid is 4-5¢ KWh.”

            Average new wind cost in America 2011-12: $0.04.


          • Larry_Lorusso

            Real…look it up if you don’t believe me. That is currently the best wholesale price of wind power to date of any deals in New England. Cape Wind over 18¢ KWh and up till it hits 30¢…wholesale price! While your at it you might want to look at what is going on in Princeton MA. The town had 2-2.5 MW turbines installed and they are loosing $600,000 a year as the cost of producing from wind is more than they can sell it for. They are trying to sell them and you might be able to get a good deal. They have the 3rd highest electricity cost in Massachusetts. And that is with all the subsidies, and are you including transmission and other infrastructure in your claim. Connecting the power to the grid is part of the expense.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Offshore wind is a new technology which will be expensive at first but the price will drop with experience.

            Onshore wind cost $0.38/kWh 30 years ago. It’s now fallen to less than $0.05/kWh.

            Suck it up, Bucco. Do your part to combat climate change.

            Don’t be a free rider.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Bob…the deal at Cape Wind is over 18¢ KWh to start wholesale cost and up to 30¢ and that with the PTC and other subsidies so the cost is even higher, never mind what the retail price will be. Where on this Earth can anyone find 5¢ cost for offshore wind power and are you including subsidies? Suck it up Bob. I haven’t bought any oil to heat the house in 7 years, what about you? I run biodiesel in my car and what about you? What do you do besides run your mouth off in regards to climate change? Do any commercial flights Bob, and what about your food, do you grow that too and are you a vegetarian that only eats organically grown food? I’d really like to know Bob…

          • Bob_Wallace

            Let’s give you a second opportunity to read what I wrote.

            Go slow. Watch for whether I use “on” or “off” in the sentence.

            Offshore wind is a new technology which will be expensive at first but the price will drop with experience.

            Onshore wind cost $0.38/kWh 30 years ago. It’s now fallen to less than $0.05/kWh.

            Now, that 38 cent onshore stuff? We folks here in California paid for it. That allowed the onshore wind industry to mature and figure out how to make wind cheap.

            Now you folks in the upper right get the opportunity to contribute to the common good and pay some small pennies to help get offshore wind going.

            Since you’re so interested in me, Larry, I’ll share a little.

            I haven’t bought any oil or anything to heat my house in over 20 years. Well, some gas and oil for my chain saw.

            I minimize my driving. I drive less than 5k per year. Biodiesel is not a option at this time for me.

            I usually take one trip by air a year. Once in a while two.

            Each year I calculate my carbon footprint and purchase carbon offsets to make up for my evil ways.

            Oh, I’ve been an organic gardener for more than 35 years and eat less than a pound of meat a month. I was a practicing vegetarian for more than 15 years.

            I also produce my electricity with solar. (Except for the cloudy day stuff. Which I cover with the carbon offsets.)

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Then why is the proposed Cape Wind bid for over 18¢ kWh to start when you tell me it only costs 5¢ to make the power? Something is rotten…and it’s not fish!

          • Bob_Wallace

            Cape Wind is offshore. Offshore is a new technology for the US and we are just now learning how to install it. We have to build the dockside facilities and specialized installation ships. As we build more offshore wind farms and develop our skills the price will drop.

            The wind now selling for 4c/kWh is onshore. That’s a much more mature technology. We’ve been installing wind turbines on dry land for over 30 years. Over that 30 year period the cost of onshore wind has fallen from 38c/kWh to around 5c/kWh. Over a 7x price decrease.

            But you know that, Larry. You’re running a NIMBY, freeloader campaign. That’s the rotten stuff you smell….

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Then why the recent 8¢ kWh deal for onshore wind in Massachusetts if it only costs 4¢? I think you might be one of those people with the New religion and anyone who doesn’t agree with you is a denier. Bob…remember I’m an IMBY, they are in my backyard. New Year brought noise loud enough to make sleep impossible, second night was worse. Almost $100 million and it needs other power to run. $2 million per MW and nothing on demand…what a joke!

          • Bob_Wallace

            4 cents is the average. Some PPAs are as low as 2.5c/kWh.

            I don’t know why the farm in your area is at 8 cents.

            You never told us the distance from your bed to the base of the nearest wind turbine footing.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            I’m sure your not including the subsidies right? Subsidies are not “free” to us as the tax payers are footing the bill and is part of the cost. The 8¢ kWh was all over the news Bob. Big deal with a couple of the wind companies, I thing First Wind and Iberdrola working a deal to provide wind power at 8¢ kWh. DPU still has to ok it. Our bed is about 1 mile from the closest turbine. As to Hoosac Wind the deal was secret but it would be more than the new deal at 8¢. I do know the state had to force the deal, by dangling a merger, not letting it happen unless the power company bought the power from Hoosac. Ah government wheeling and dealing and in the end the corporations win!

          • Bob_Wallace

            Correct, Larry. PPA amounts are post-subsidy.

            Add about 1.5c/kWh to the contract price to pull out the subsidies.

            Again, 4 cents is an average. You identified one farm selling for 8 cents. There are other farms selling for 2.5 cents. You understand how averaging works?

            A mile from a turbine should be more than enough to reduce any turbine noise to an acceptable, barely noticeable level. I suspect you’re over reacting because, well, NIMBY.

            If you feel you can’t live that close to a turbine, then move.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            PTC alone is 2.3¢ kWh. No Bob, is was a deal for 454 MW at various projects in New England. Take your more than enough and shove it. he noise wakes us and keeps us from sleep or do you think I’m lying or is it you just don’t care? You smug people and should, would and could, can just look the other way while people are suffering. Sleep well while others are suffering from being too close to industrial power generation facilities. I’m done with you as your just a small minded jerk who thinks he knows it all.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The PTC is 2.3 cents per kWh. For the first 10 years of production. Zero for the second 10 years on a typical 20 year PPA. 2.3 / 2 = 1.15. I upped it a little to account for the value of getting paid “early”.

            Actually, Larry, I care far more for the planet and the 6+ billion people who live on it than for your inconvenience of (perhaps) hearing a little wind turbine in the distance.

            Download a white noise ap and play it at night. Wear ear plugs. Move.
            Your noise “issue” is much less than someone living in a city.

            You’ve got options. We have only one planet.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Something is rotten…and it’s not fish!”

            It’s your brain.

            Poor little guy, drowning in an ocean of bullshit isn’t a very good way to go.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Real I’m not so little, want to say I’m full of bullshit to my face, or are not you THAT real? Are you a computer warrior that says things hiding behind the your big computer? You want the neighbors to suffer so you can be so smug and tell us we should move or this and that. And what you could/would/should be doing is taking responsibility for you own energy use so we are not left holding the empty bag. You and Al Gore who has a carbon foot print bigger than my town need to practice what you preach, and if you are not sustainable and self sufficient…shut up…and yes I’ll say that to your face and spit in it too!

          • A Real Libertarian

            “and yes I’ll say that to your face and spit in it too!”

            Oh, wow!

            You coal-suckers and fallout boys aren’t violent psychopaths at all, are you?

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Why don’t you come and visit and find out ? Are you computer cowboys always callous of other human being suffering?

          • A Real Libertarian

            I am disgusted by assholes whining about nothings like “wind turbine syndrome” while people suffer and DIE from coal pollution and fracking.

            You aren’t special, you don’t get to put yourself over millions, you can’t tell them “So sorry, but I’m convinced wind power is dangerous to my health, so you can die now”.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, folks, damp it down.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            The flaw in your disgust is wind turbines don’t make coal or fracking go away. Look at Germany and tell me how wind is making coal go away, but don’t let the facts get in the way of your digust. The irony in your statement is gas fired turbines are the preferred method of backing up wind turbines. You do know fracking is used to extract oil as well as natural gas, and you might direct some of that disgust at your self unless you don’t use any petroleum products? While we are talking about disgust, I’m disgusted by people who point their finger at others and have carbon footprints that are huge. Al Gore and David Suzuki immediately come to mind. What hypocrites! But you walk the walk, right and don’t use fossil fuel products, because that would make you a hypocrite wouldn’t it? What makes you think one form of suffering is better than another way? Calling you an asshole would be putting it nicely…

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Look at Germany and tell me how wind is making coal go away”


            “The irony in your statement is gas fired turbines are the preferred method of backing up wind turbines.”

            Gas is the preferred method of backing up everything.

            “What makes you think one form of suffering is better than another way?”

            Basic morality says the suffering of “Oh, my view is ruined” is far preferable to the suffering of “We are gathered here today to remember a beautiful child taken from us far too soon…”

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Hydro doesn’t need to be backed up by anything to start. Best to not use the power in the first place. Why aren’t you ranting about building green and reducing energy use? The loss of the view is the least of it. A large tract of pristine forest was ripped apart destroying the ecosystem. Most of the wildlife gone and the watershed is completely altered, including headwaters of many streams that provide clean water. We rely on wells around here and some wells have been compromised from the extensive blasting of the bedrock on the mountain. People have been forces to abandon their homes without any recourse. Go on and talk about the children, but you are at fault for that as well if you use fossil fuels as fracking is used to get the oil you use. Buying carbon credits doesn’t let you off the hook, so look into the mirror and remember YOU are doing it to those children, unless you can honestly say you don’t use any petroleum. Who knows I might even a smaller carbon footprint and require less fossil fuels than you? That would be a hoot wouldn’t it?

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Sorry Real, for someone who called me an asshole, you’re not the one to be talking to me about morality. Remember name calling is not to be tolerated here. So how about your fossil fuel use as you brought up fracking repeatedly, or are you one of those people who says do as I say, not as I do? Al Gore fan that rants and then jets around and lives in houses that use large amounts of energy. What’s really interesting is how the Gore’s became rich from tobacco and then go on about how other things are so bad. Some of his current investments are interesting as in gas pipelines.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Larry, try thinking.

            If 5% of our electricity was produced by wind in 2013 how can it not be the case that we used less fossil fuel for generation?

            Germany saved 8 billion Euros on fossil fuel purchases in 2012 thanks to wind and solar on their grid.

            The reductions are there.

            I don’t know about David, but Al and I both reduce our carbon emissions and purchase carbon offsets for what we can’t eliminate.

            BTW, we have a rule about calling others names here.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Bob you might remind Real about the name calling as he was the one who brought up the asshole thing, not me, and you will notice I didn’t actually call him any names, just spun his own words back at him. What you’re not accounting for in your 5% is that wind turbines can not operate on their own and need to be backed up often with FF and if you want to be “real” that must go into the formula. I’ve discovered that when wind turbines are not generating they use a fair amount of electricity and it comes from the grid, and can use as much as 12% of their rated capacity to operate. Considering actual output to the grid is much less than rated output, that 5% is considerably reduced. I did follow a so called carbon offset arrangement one day. Discovered a family in a 3rd world country were paid a pittance to hand pump their water as their people have for a thousand years. There was no actual carbon offset as no carbon was reduced. Much of the carbon trading is the same kind of scam. A corporation or individual “buys” the carbon credit and on paper it appears that they are less dirty when in fact the is the same amount of carbon is being released as w/o the purchase. When you drive a gasoline powered vehicle you are releasing many other harmful things into the air and your carbon credits are not reducing them one bit.The only thing your buying is your own sense of guilt. Once you burn fossil fuel you are part of the problem and anything else is not the truth but juggling numbers.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Larry. All generation must be backed up.

            We use gas peakers, hydro and batteries for backup.

            Learn to write in paragraphs.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Hydro doesn’t need to be backed up any more than not using the power in the first place unless it breaks. Wind does need from the get go back up, becuse of variablity when there is wind, and because it can’t be dispatched with demand. So now your going to attack my grammar? You understood what I said fine. Don’t critique my writing and I won’t tell you about making photographs. What you could learn is how it is to live with IWTs as neighbors, and I’d bet the farm you would be singing a different tune. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, even those that deserve it, but with Real’s attitude I may have to amend that idea as his words are specially callous.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Some reservoirs run dry before the rainy season resumes.

            Hydro often acts as fill-in rather than principal supply.

            Writing big long run on paragraphs makes it difficult for people to read and you reduce your ability to communicate.

            And this is basically a word spew – “Wind does need from the get go back up, becuse of variablity when there is wind, and because it can’t be dispatched with demand.”

            I’m a decent amateur photographer, thanks….

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Hydro doesn’t act anyway and is market driven by profit. Hydro is often used for peak power for that reason. Hydro could be used to back up wind, but that’s not the way a deregulated for profit grid works. In Maine some of the hydro is generating 24 hours a day and except for maintenance 365 days a year. So in response to some reservoirs running dry, it depends on the watershed, so what? The words would, could and should do not apply in a for profit, power supply market. Some of your writing here is pure rubbish to, driven by your bias and links to sites that have an agenda. Put your photographs where you mouth is and let’s see some of your “decent” photographs. Feel free to continue making fun of my typos, does it make you feel superior? Classic tactic, when all else fails attack the individual as Real does. going to call me an asshole or what next?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Larry, one more use of asshole and you’re toast.

            Get your anger under control. This is not a therapy site.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Yes Bob, whatever you say.

          • Mike Dewkett

            lmao looks like everyone else is sick of your anti wind bull

          • Larry_Lorusso

            I’m disgusted by people who heat their houses with oil and drive around in gasoline powered vehicles and then talk about people suffering from wind turbines need to suck it up or move. Talk about the ultimate hypocrites! Ger Real…

          • Larry_Lorusso

            We eat that coal it then spit it out and burn it!

          • Bob_Wallace

            Europe to Close 30% of Gas, Coal and Oil-Fed Capacity by 2017

            Utilities in Europe need to shut more than 30 percent of their total gas, coal and oil-fed power capacity by 2017 to counter a drop in prices caused by the boom in renewable energy sources, UBS AG (UBSN) analysts said.

            Producers must close 49 gigawatts of capacity to stabilize profits at 2012 levels, analysts led by Paris-based Per Lekander wrote in an e-mailed report. That includes 24 gigawatts of “mainly cashflow positive capacity” on top of the 7 gigawatts that utilities already plan to shut and an additional 18 gigawatts of closures expected to be announced, he wrote.
            Germany ’s next-year electricitycontract, a European benchmark, has fallen 21 percent in the past year as
            power produced from sources such as the sun and wind boost supply and push down wholesale prices.

            “The most important driver has undoubtedly been the remarkable increase of renewable capacity, and in particular solar, mainly in Germany,” Lekander said.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Bottom line is wind and solar are heavily subsidized. Here the PTC gives the power companies $23 per MWh which is typically half the wholesale cost on the grid. Wind power gets $23 per MWh when the market is paying 0. It’s impossible to compete with that as conventional plants don’t have that advantage.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Bottom line is that wind and solar with their subsidies are greatly cheaper than fossil fuel and nuclear with their subsidies and external costs.

            Is your mind open to facts or are you here just to regurgitate right-wind anti-renewable pro-fossil fuel talking points?

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Lets not confuse tax deductions with subsidies. If I install PV on my house I get some subsidies, but not PTC when I add power to the grid like wind corps. do. I’m getting my facts from the media just as you are. GW nuts are just as bad as the deniers from where I sit….which is in the middle. If you want to compare carbon footprints or fossil fuel use…bring it on buddy. You might be surprised.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Do you know what PTC stands for?

            I think not.

            When you put panels on your roof you get a ITC. And Investment Tax Credit. It gives you the ability to pay less in taxes. You have a credit to use against your tax debt.

            PTC is a Production Tax Credit. Wind farms get a choice between taking a PTC or a ITC. Either way they get a credit which can be used to offset any tax they owe.

            You really think lifetime carbon footprint for fossil fuel plants and wind/solar are in the same ballpark?

          • Larry_Lorusso

            ITC and PTC are not the same Bob. Maybe your not so smart after all, or maybe you think I’m dumb because my grammar isn’t that good? Many of the developers are taking the PTC as the $23 mWh credit because it allows the wind turbines to compete unfairly. At times the grid is actulally in the negative, and as long as it’s not below $23 wind turbines can make money adding power to the grid. Something most of the other generations units don’t have the luxury of. But wait, the PTC has expired and do you think it’s going to affect installation of IWT’s? After all the power is so cheap form wind turbines you would think it’s full speed ahead even so!

          • A Real Libertarian

            So is the PTC a subsidy or not?

            If it is, why did you say “Lets not confuse tax deductions with subsidies”?

            If it isn’t, why do you keep bringing it up?

          • Larry_Lorusso

            “Real, I’d respond to you but I’ve been told I can’t call you names. Right, don’t you know the difference between deductions and subsidies?

          • Larry_Lorusso

            All that education, and you don’t know the difference?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I don’t have a current number for you, Larry, but at one time wind farms took the 30% ITC because it could be applied to other profits in the corporation or even passed on to investors to be used to offset income taxed at a higher rate.

            Now clearly you’re a bit shaking when talking about with that “taking the PTC as the $23 mWh credit ” stuff. The PTC, the Production Tax Credit, is $23/MWh or $0.23/kWh for the first ten years of production. That 2.3 cents for ten years, 1.15 cents across a 20 year contract, is less subsidy than coal and nuclear receive. It doesn’t even level the playing field.

            The reason that wind can knock coal and natural gas for a loop is because it has no fuel cost.

            It is likely that wind will no longer be subsidized after a couple more years. But that’s OK, the price of wind is just about the point where unsubsidized wind can compete nicely with subsidized coal and nuclear.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “is $23/MWh or $0.23/kWh for the first ten years of production.”

            Better correct that to $0.023.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s a good idea, thanks.

          • A Real Libertarian

            No problem.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            No I don’t think that it’s the same, but I go out in my woods and get wood to heat my house. I’m self sufficient in that regard. i don’t get anything from the government or anyone else. How about that, can you say the same? Self sufficient in your heating Bob, or am i not using correct grammar and is that difficult for you to understand?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Actually, Larry, I’ve been heating with wood since the 1970s.

            2015-16’s wood just hit the ground during the last wind storm when a big Doug fir went down. 2014-15’s wood is cut, split and under cover.

            Plus when I designed and built this house I gave it quite a bit of passive solar gain. In fact, I’m sitting here in my living room wearing a straw hat in order to keep the Sun out of my eyes as I type.

            Won’t need a fire tonight, it’s toasty warm in here and thanks to the 2×6 framing with extra insulation, dual pane windows with argon filling, and the way the main living part of the house is shielded from the east and north wind.

          • CaptD

            One of my favorite quotations:
            Chop your own wood, it will warm you twice…

            There is nothing like stoking the fire on a cold day and then watching the flames dance…

          • Bob_Wallace

            You’ve never lived with wood heat have you?

            Wood heats you up when you cut it. And then when you split it. And then when you load it in the truck. And then when you stack it in the woodshed. And then a little when you carry it into the house. And finally when you sit back and enjoy that wonderful radiant heat.

            Wood – a serial warmer.

          • CaptD

            Yes, I have heated my home with wood but I was living in a suburban City, so I secured my wood by cutting or trimming trees. I even sold both electric chain saw sharpeners, wood splitters and shredders.

            i was quoting something written a long while ago, so back then using the term “Chop” also included felling, splitting, hauling, stacking and stoking, all of which those using wood had to do, along with cleaning the chimney plus emptying out and/or spreading the ashes.

          • Bob_Wallace

            ” I’m getting my facts from the media just as you are.”

            Actually Larry, I get as much information as I can from non-media sources. I look for government numbers and other more objective sources.

            It appears to me that you’ve read a lot of stuff from right-wing media. What you write is the sort of stuff one sees all the time on Forbes and other misleading outlets.

            You seem like you might be sort of a reasonable fellow, just somewhat misinformed.

            Try this, take the bad things you’ve heard about renewables and post them as questions and some of will try to find some factual information to let you decide what you’ve read is or is not accurate.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            If you think the government is objective I have a bridge for sale cheap…of course it goes to nowhere. You mean like how the US government were objective about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or are your refering to other objective “facts”? The PTC of either 30% of total IWT project cost or 2.3¢ per KWh is a fact. It is our money given to corporations many time being multinational so they don’t pay taxes. What I hear is the racket outback from the turbines that wakes me up and deprives me of sleep, and I don’t wish that disruption even on you Bob although there would be some justice in that.

          • Bob_Wallace

            It’s 2.3c/kWh for the first ten years of production.

            As long as you continue get your misinformation from misinforming sites you’ll continue to be misinformed.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Sorry I forgot that the turbines will be worn out and abandoned by then and will be no electricity.

          • Bob_Wallace

            First generation turbines at Altamont Pass lasted 30 years and would probably have been used for more years except so much more wind could be caught by taller towers.

            Over those 30 years a lot has been learned about turbine construction/technology. We now have sensors embedded all over turbines which alert maintenance crews to developing problems long before significant damage occurs. That, along with better design and materials, means that turbines are likely to last more than 40 years.

            Since turbines (and other generation tech) is generally financed for 20 years that means 20 or more years of almost free electricity after the payoff.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            In the 30 years wind turbines have become larger…much larger. Lots of problems like lightning strikes, fires, blades coming off, gear box issues and we there is still lots of maintenance with these complicated machines. Hydraulic
            systems need attention, and various brake mechanisms need attention and it isn’t “free” after the warranty is out, and they are not for 20 years (3 at best if the companies are still in business) and more than likely on which planet?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Show me some data Larry.

            O&M costs have dropped from $40/MWh in 1982 to $10/MWh in 2012.
            Here’s a list of the top ten wind turbine manufacturers in 2012. Last time I checked 10 > 3.
            Your arguments are starting to become unhinged. Have you worked your way through the talking points you were given?

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Bob, no one gave me any talking points. When I knew Hoosac Wind was a done deal, based on what the developer stated, I was all for it. Then I started to learn the truth. We were told the 28.5 MW rated capacity wind project could provide power to 22,000 homes and the neighbors wouldn’t hear anything (what a joke!) with little disruption to the environment. Then they started to wreck the mountain, thousands of trees ground up, swamps eliminated, bedrock blasted, tons of fill brought in so the equipment could be brought in. Miles of roads for access changing from remote natural place to industrial generation facility. Then the the turbines started up and the NOISE…and our peace ended. Remember we chose to live in this rural place many years ago to live surrounded by Nature and it was peaceful. Now that has all changed and the watershed is different and the streams flash and a few days later down to a trickle. Now the noise can go on for days and nights and with the Winter it’s worse. Like tonight the storm is from the East and is and it could be another night of restless sleep. You told me to buck up, but neighbors have had to abandon their home, and how desperate do you think people have to be to leave w/o any recourse. Of course these are not YOUR problems and enjoy your SLEEP, as I now know it can be heavenly when you don’t have it…

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes, Larry, we understand.

            You’re special.

            The necessary stuff that we’ll have to do to keep climate change from destroying us must be done in the backyards of others and at the expense of others. Larry is to be left out of any inconvenience.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            too late for us Bob…we are already screwed. Sleep well…

          • Bob_Wallace

            How many feet from your bed to the tower base Larry?

          • Freedom12

            It’s past your bed time.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Actually some of my information is not from media at all and my own observations. I can see!

          • A Real Libertarian

            “GW nuts are just as bad as the deniers from where I sit….which is in the middle.”

            Some people say arsenic is a deadly poison and others say it’s an essential vitamin. I say it’s somewhere in-between.

            Fallacy of Golden Mean is fallacy.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Funny as your the one spewing the green junk and use funny numbers. Latest deal here (Iberdrola and First Wind proposal to Massachusetts DPU) 8¢ kWh from new wind projects WHOLESALE. Currently some suppliers selling RETAIL electricity at 8¢, which makes your statement completely false. I propose the subsidies are used on residential PV systems. I’m not anti renewable, but anti multinational corporations putting up wind turbines, mostly made overseas and ruining the mountains in the process and using subsidies to do it. How’s that for a run on sentance? Lets see what happens to IWT project proposals w/o the PTC, if wind power is so cheap it’s time for it to spin on it’s own.

          • Larry_Lorusso
          • Bob_Wallace

            Larry, your anger over having to look at a wind turbine is causing problems.
            Deal with your issues. Learn to relax. Move. Whatever you need to do.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Bob, the view is the least of it. The mountain was wrecked along with the ecosystems. Maybe you don’t think it’s important but some of us do. My real issue is after Millions of dollars were given to a Spanish Corporation we are no closer to dealing with energy use and pollution. Obviously you have a history of retreating when outsiders take over and change the neighborhood. To me Home is worth making all efforts to enjoy the rights the Constitution gives us. I think putting the effort defending my rights is more important then escaping to somewhere else. Are you going to run away each time it happens?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Parts of a mountain was messed up.

            The mountain was not destroyed. The ecosystem was not destroyed.

            Your view (which you did not own) was disturbed. Since you do not own your view you have no recourse but to accept and live with that fact or move.
            The Constitution gives you no rights to control what someone else does with their land.

            (I moved one time out of three.)

            We’ve plowed this ground enough.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            There are laws that do give neighbors a say in the permitting process for a use that isn’t covered by zoning. The wind turbine project needed a waiver to allow the many swamps and wetlands that were altered or eliminated.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Germany started a program of building new coal plants to replace their inefficient plants prior to their renewable program or decision to close nuclear. It takes a long time to build new thermal plants and they are just now coming on line.

            More coal capacity will be closed than opened.

            The wholesale price of electricity in Germany has been rapidly falling since renewables have come on the grid. The high price of retail electricity is due to taxes, not to the cost of electricity.

            Germany may have spent 120 billion euros on renewables but they saved 8 billion euros in 2012. That’s a 15 year payback. A 21% return on investment.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Bob if wind power is so great why would they build any coal plants? Spent 120 to save 8 and 15 year payback. Before then the wind turbines will be broke…so you want to buy a bridge, even if it goes nowhere. Around these parts the turbines have been breaking and they are not lasting any where what is promised.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Most grids are going to need to use fossil fuels to some extent while they transition away from fossil fuels. To stop using them over night would crash an economy.

            Germany calculated that they could greatly cut coal use during their transition by replacing inefficient coal plants with load-following super-critical plants. Germany does not have an adequate supply of natural gas and that means that they have to use coal.

            We’re just now taking down 30 year old turbines at Altamont Pass Wind Farm. Newer turbines are likely to last longer than first generation turbines.
            Give us a link to your claim that your turbines are breaking down anything more than routine maintenance.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            The numbers seem to indicate wind turbines are going to crash the economy long before the transition. The turbines “you” are taking down are the little ones. The “new” ones are much larger as that is the direction of IWT’s. Huge blade spread with the added stress and the gear boxes, main bearings, and blades are having issues. Check out Nantucket, Princeton MA to start and if you want to read about the”new” turbines and how they last I could refer you to more instances of not lasting as you folks seem to think is the reality.

          • Bob_Wallace

            There’s nothing like cheap energy to crash an economy. Glad you understand how economies work.

            Don’t worry about those larger turbines and all that stress stuff. There are trained professionals called “engineers” who know how to calculate and design for stress, wear and all sorts of things. And since we have much better technology, including sensors that let us monitor much better than we could 30 years ago, things will be peachy.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Yeah, I see the trained professionals…they pick up the dead bats. Maybe you have no idea that the commercial market place has noting to do with, wouda. coulda, shoulda, and the bottom line is PROFIT, excuse my bad grammar. The trained professionals are tainted by cash and technology is not the answer to everything.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Just a few of the many incidents of wind turbines failing long before 20 years…


            Portsmouth, RI, Princeston MA, Nantucket MA with gear box problems, Charlestown MA, and Fairhaven MA foundation issues. Searsburg VT blade imbalence took out the turbine. On May 22, 2012, a Gamesa turbine caught fire at Iberdrola’s Barton 2 Wind Power Project in Iowa. (Netherlands) – Two young mechanics, ages 19 and 21, died when a fire broke out in a wind turbin. In 2012, a Vestas V-112 wind turbine in Germany caught fire; Vestas
            blamed the blaze on a loose connection that caused an arc flash. Also
            in 2012; a similar arc fire occurred in a Vestas V-90 turbine in Spain
            during maintenance; in addition a Vestas turbine collapsed in Ireland.
            Then in April 2013, a Vestas V-80 wind turbine in Ontario, Canada, burst
            into flames.


          • Bob_Wallace

            Boy, you’ve sure got your bloomers in a bunch over having a wind turbine where you can see it don’t you Larry?

            I guess it’s a good thing you didn’t live next to Fukushima. Then you’d really be pissed…..

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Bob you have the spin thing down. You asked for links and I supplied them. Lots of problems with wind turbines not lasting 20 years as you claim. What does wind turbines have to do with Fukushima? Are you going to tell me that wind turbines are going to replace nukes? By the way I’m not a fan of nuclear power as it’s being used. We had one of the first commercial plants near us and the rods are still there and nearby Vermont Yankee has been falling apart for years from poor maintenance. Fukushima disaster is a result from hwe tsunami flooded the improperly located backup generators and the lack
            of power caused the cooling pumps to stop and the reactor overheated. Also economics that put the pools so far off the ground in a earthquake zone as a cost saving measure is another blunder. What is happening at Fukushima is a result of improper location and poor design due to cutting corners as most of the accidents have been in the industry. Even I know that is so silly.

          • Bob_Wallace

            30 years, Larry. 30 years. Newer turbines will likely last 40 years or more.

            In terms of quality how do cars built in the early 1980s compare with cars built now? Don’t you recall celebrating if your 1980-ish car made it to 100k?

            Yes a few will fail. There’s over 250,000 installed now. How many failures did you list?

            Yes, it is very likely renewables will replace nukes. Remember, the world built a lot of nukes up until 1989 and then building has plateaued. The number of nukes operating is now falling.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            I have a 1985 car with over 293,000 miles. I could have listed many more failures but I do have other things than do research for you, but of course you already know everything. Like how I must be imagining noise from the turbines as you know that can’t be. I’m glad that nukes are not being built as much. I want PV on all the buildings were applicable instead IWT’s. It would reduce impacts to the environment in locating the systems. I’ve seen close up the impacts from IWTs in our mountains and are not green at all. The towers are streaked with lubricant from the turbines. They provide much less power than promised at great cost to taxpayers and ratepayers for the transmission lines and infrastructure. Our properties are reduced in value in fact some have left and can’t sell their homes for anything, or maybe you think they are making it all up?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Larry, when you look in the mirror do you see that person who distorts stuff looking back at you or are you unaware of what you do?

          • Larry_Lorusso

            I see a person who looks tired from not sleeping well due to noise from the wind turbines when I look in the mirror. Just because you don’t like my message doesn’t mean I’m distorting things. My last post are the facts and you respond with dribble. 40 years Bob, I would’t bet the farm on that. Many governments are ending the subsidies and my guess you will see the number of new plansfor IWT’s to dwindle with them. You might consider a career as a politician as you have the spin and double talk down to a science!

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Bob, Germany has the second highest electricity prices in the World, out done only by Denmark. Futures market is not the same as what people are paying for electricity. Must be all that cheap power from wind power? Again if wind is so great why are they building any coal plants at all?


          • Bob_Wallace

            Larry, you are looking at Germany’s retail electricity price which is porked up with taxes. Take away the taxes and German citizens pay about the same per kWh as people in New York State.

            Germany’s industrial electricity rate is lower than the EU27 average.

            Both Germany’s wholesale and industrial electricity costs have fallen since Germany started installing renewables.

            Germany is replacing inefficient coal plants with efficient coal plants.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Retail prices are what counts to us little people. You’re too funny, now you would have us take the taxes away and not count them. What would pay for the wind turbines if the subsidies were gone? Ha, not many turbines. Taxes are a part of everything in life and death and is a part of the cost. Why not just replace the coal plants with wind? You tell me wind is so cheap, and if that was true it would seem they could just eliminate the coal and replace everything with renewables. You remind me of the politicians and government employees I deal with, your fancy dancing twisting this way and that to try and explain things that are not quite right or true.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Larry, the high cost of electricity in Germany is not due to renewables.
            The high cost of electricity in Germany is due to taxes. Taxes, for the most part, which flow into the government’s general fund and have nothing to do with generating electricity.

            It’s like European fuel prices which are extraordinarily high by US measures. High not because Europe has to pay more for oil. But because European governments heavily tax fuel.

            The 2013 average electricity price (not including taxes) in Germany was 14.9 euro cents. $0.19/kWh. That’s about the same as New York and Connecticut prices (less than one cent more).

            Let’s look at how costs break out for retail customers in Germany…

            In 2013 the average household electricity rate is about 29 € cents / kWh according to the BDEW (Energy industry association).

            The composition:

            8.0 cent – Power Generation & Sales

            6.5 cent – Grid Service Surcharge

            5.3 cent – Renewable Energy Surcharge

            0.7 cent – Other Surcharges (CHP-Promotion, Offshore liability,…)

            In addition there are some taxes & fees that go straight into the governments budget:

            2.1 cent – EcoTax (federal government)

            1.8 cent – Concession fees (local governments)

            4.6 cent – Value added tax (19% on all of the above) – (federal, state & local governments)

            So 8 + 6.5 or 14.5 euro cents go to electricity purchase and delivery. About 19 US cents. That’s higher than the US 12.5 cent average, but less than a penny higher than New York and Connecticut.

            Germans are paying taxes along with their utility bills that we pay with income taxes.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Why not just replace the coal plants with wind?”

            Germany’s new coal burning plants are replacing (not adding to) the older plants that either have been or will soon be decommissioned. These new plants were planned and construction was started prior wind installions and to the decision to close nuclear plants.

            The plan was that by 2020, 18.5 gigawatts of coal power capacity will be decommissioned, whereas only 11.3 gigawatts would be newly installed. Due to the success of renewables that 11.3 gigawatt target is apparently being lowered.

            Furthermore those plants will be more efficient, releasing less CO2 per unit electricity produced than are the ones they are replacing. And the new coal plants are partially load-following.

            As of November 2013 some 28 power plants with a collective capacity of 7,000 MW – roughly equivalent to the capacity shut down in Chancellor Merkel’s sudden nuclear phase out in March 2011 – have been submitted for decommissioning. This would be an 8% decrease in Germany’s coal burning capacity.

            Some will be permanently closed and a few ‘mothballed’ in case they might be needed in the future.

        • Larry_Lorusso

          Bob, are you getting your information, before or after drinking the coolaid? I’d be very interested in seeing the facts about how Germany is closing coal plants due to wind and solar. I’ve been reading the opposite, where they are using more coal to generate power as a result of shutting down nuke plants and wind and soloar can’t make the grade as it’s not dis patchable upon demand, a very important issue if the grid is going to be satble and not subject to brown and blackouts.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Well, Larry, you’ve just told us that you’re reading the right wing press nonsense.

            Germany’s new coal burning plants are replacing (not adding to) the older plants that either have been or will soon be decommissioned. These new plants were planned and construction was started prior to the decision to close nuclear plants.

            By 2020, 18.5 gigawatts of coal power capacity will be decommissioned, whereas only 11.3 gigawatts will be newly installed.

            Furthermore those plants will be more efficient, releasing less CO2 per unit electricity produced than are the ones they are replacing. And the new coal plants are partially load-following.

            As of November 2013 some 28 power plants with a collective capacity of 7,000 MW – roughly equivalent to the capacity shutdown in Chancellor Merkel’s sudden nuclear phaseout in March 2011 – have been submitted for decommissioning. This would be an 8% decrease in Germany’s coal burning capacity.

            Some will be permanently closed and a few ‘mothballed’ in case they might be needed in the future.

            Europe to Close 30% of Gas, Coal and Oil-Fed Capacity by 2017

            Utilities in Europe need to shut more than 30 percent of their total gas, coal and oil-fed power capacity by 2017 to counter a drop in prices caused by the boom in renewable energy sources, UBS AG (UBSN) analysts said.

            Producers must close 49 gigawatts of capacity to stabilize profits at 2012 levels, analysts led by Paris-based Per Lekander wrote in an e-mailed report. That includes 24 gigawatts of “mainly cashflow positive capacity” on top of the 7 gigawatts that utilities already plan to shut and an additional 18 gigawatts of closures expected to be announced, he wrote.
            Germany ’s next-year electricitycontract, a European benchmark, has fallen 21 percent in the past year as
            power produced from sources such as the sun and wind boost supply and push down wholesale prices.

            “The most important driver has undoubtedly been the remarkable increase of renewable capacity, and in particular solar, mainly in Germany,” Lekander said.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Currently wind is averaging only 25% of rated capacity in the US. I’m a fan of solar, specially installing on existing properties and let folks generate some of their own power and take responsibility and not depend on the government. It will lower demand and have people more independent. Power should be generated where it’s used. It reminds me of making these huge reservoirs in the desert which in turn encourages people to live where they otherwise wouldn’t and have their green lawns to show can control Nature and things are catching up to them now as Nature ALWAYS wins!

          • Bob_Wallace

            More bullshit.

            Median capacity factor for US wind farms is 38%. Newer farms are routinely reporting higher CF with some in over 50%.


            Take your disinformation elsewhere.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Now Bob…your speading the poo buddy. I took Iberdrola’s info that they published and the bottom line on their many wind turbines in the US averages 26%. Here is total wind energy production in Maine for 2012 per info FERC. Notice bottom line of 24.7% of rated capacity.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Larry, I gave you a multi-year CF source.

            Here’s the wind farm CF for 2011. 575 wind farms reporting.

            Minimum 1%
            Quartile 1 26%
            Median 31%
            Quartile 3 37%
            Maximum 64%
            If you dig into the data you will see that more recently built wind farms generally return the highest CF numbers.

            And here’s some breaking news for you – Maine is not the entire US.

            As for Maine having low CF, that likely means that the turbines/blades were not properly sized for the location. Manufacturers are now building rigs for lower wind speed areas and producing higher CFs.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Larry, let me give you an example of CF rising as experience is gained.

            This graph is for Danish offshore wind. Take a look at how performance is much better with more recently installed turbines.

          • Bob_Wallace

            One more thing, Larry.

            When you link to an anti-wind site you telegraph the sorts of places you get your misinformation.

            And as for Maine having poor wind resources as your anti-wind site claims, take a look at US wind resources at 80m. Maine’s got some.

            Of course your best is offshore.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            I read from many different sources…maybe even stuff you might be reading…and I take the tour as well. Ever been at IWT project in a storm…WOW?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’ve been on a small sailboat in a hurricane. And during the Storm of the Century.

            Suck it up Larry. Not everyone has a perfect time all the time.

            If you don’t like where you live then move. That’s always an option.

          • Larry_Lorusso

            Oh Bob…you’re so manly. This is Home BOb you want to suck it? up?

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