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Making the case for wind power, again

by Jerome a Paris Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 03:27:55 AM EST

This is a simplified version of the presentation I'm making this morning at the ASPO 7 Conference (the full presentation should be posted on that website in a day or so). I must admit that I have been a bit nonplussed to see that the peak oil community seems to share the oil industry's dismissal of wind power's irrelevance and uselessness in the face of the currently energy challenge (maybe I am unfairly judging from a few individuals' comments, but it's definitely an existing undercurrent in the community).

So, in reaction, let me put up here a few arguments that suggest that wind could play a major role in solving our current energy woes - not a silver bullet, but rather more than a side show.

First, the "wind is too small to make a difference" argument: well, so was nuclear, until it got big enough. Wind is following the exact same growth trajectory:


Pure Power
EWEA, March 2008 (pdf)

posted with an edit by afew


And, as the image show before, wind power has already been a large part of energy investments for a number of years now, at least in Europe (but the rest of the world is now catching up, with the USA and China booming):


Pure Power
EWEA, March 2008 (pdf)

Over the past 8 years, wind has represented around 40% of new installed capacity (which, it is true, represents a smaller fraction of new production, in MWh, which is probably closer to 25%). In terms of investment amounts, wind has actually been the biggest business for the power generation manufaturers like GE or Siemens, given that a wind MW costs about double what a gas MW costs (prices per MWh are something else, given that you still need to buy the natural gas to burn to generate using a gas turbine...).

Wind will be a core instrument for the EU to fulfill its stated objectives of reducing carbon emissions and improving energy independence.


Penetration, 2005 & 2020
Implication of Large-Scale Wind Power in Northern Europe
Klaus Skytte, Econ Poyry, presentation to EWEC 2008

So it is simply false to say that wind is too small to matter. It is the biggest power generation industry by turnover in Europe, and it is on a fast growing trend that will quickly ensure that it becomes a significant part of the installed generation base. The industry reached the level of 100 GW ofinstalled capacity this year, as well as the threshhold of being able to produce 1 exajoule per year of useful energy. In fact, wind is reaching the stage where nuclear was when it was hit be the 1973 energy shock (which lowered demand and killed new incident) and the 1979 Three Mile Island accident (which turned the public against the industry) and is unlikely to hit the same snags:

Public opinion, despite persistent anti-wind lobbying by the coal or nuke industries and a few well-funded NIMBY associations, is massively behind wind power:


Harris Interactive

More importantly, wind has a major economic quality: the more there is, the lower electricity costs:


The effect of wind power on spot market prices (pdf)
Rune Moesgaard, Poul Erik Morthorst, presentation to EWEC 2008

Under market price setting mechanisms, wind power (which has a zero marginal cost) brings wholesale prices down when it is available, by avoiding the need for more expensive coal-fired or, more usually, gas-fired power plants that would otherwise be required to balance the system.


The effect of wind power on spot market prices (pdf)
Rune Moesgaard , Poul Erik Morthorst, presentation to EWEC 2008

The overall effect (price reduction multiplied by the relevant volume) now brings savings to consumers in Denmark that are equivalent to the gross cost of feed-in tariffs, and significantly higher than the net subsidy, as wholesale prices are now pretty close to, and increasingly often higher than, the feed-in tariffs guaranteed to wind power producers.

The same is already true in Germany, despite its somewhat lower wind penetration than in Denmark (11 (ed: wrongly used the number for Spain) 7% of electricity produced, vs 25%)


Assessment of the impact of renewable electricity generation on the German electricity sector (pdf)
Mario Ragwitz, Frank Sensfuss, Fraunhofer Institute, presentation to EWEC 2008
Note again that the cost noted above for the subsidy is the gross amount of the tariff, not the difference between the tariff and the wholesale price, which would be the correct amount of the subsidy granted to wind power producers

In other words, wind subsidies demonstrably save money for eletricity consumers, ie they are smart regulation.

An another interesting point to note is that wind power costs are now also well understood: industrial-size turbines now have a 15-year track record, and availability has been consistently in the 96-98% range, as shown by this meta study on 14,000 turbines:


Availability Trends Observed at Operating Wind Farms (pdf)
Keir Harman, Andrew Garrad, Garrad Hassan, presentation to EWEC 2008

And while offshore is slightly more expensive today than onshore wind, we're not about to run out of convenient spots at sea, away from whining onlookers, to continue the development of the industry:


photo by author, Thornton Bank, Belgium, August 2008

More stories about wind, and more discussion of other issues surrounding wind can be found on this page, of which I select a few noteworthy items:


the real cost of electricity
Alternative energies: wind power (an introduction)
My job (financing wind farms)
No technical limitation to wind power penetration (discussing the intermittency issue)
Why wind needs feed-in tariffs (and why it is not the enemy of nuclear)
Fierce price - yes it works! (first offshore wind farm to be financed is completed)
Gore sets goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2020 (how it can be done)

The conclusion is simple: wind power deserves to be taken seriously

Display:
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4670

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 05:24:42 PM EST
Nice summary, J.  Makes the objective case.

You might want to add the subsidiary benefits to real economies, particularly local.  The jobs explosion in the US, just at the time it's most needed, from finance and legal to service and construction, with now some 45 manufacturing or assembly plants and their workers, is a key example.

I'd be interested to find out how many people are working Windkraft in Deutschland and Dänemark.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 05:48:46 PM EST
See also this:


Energy Efficiency, Innovation, and Job Creation in California By David Roland-Holst

The report's findings include:

Over the past thirty years, forward looking energy efficiency policies created 1.5 million FTE jobs with a total payroll of over $45 billion, and saved California consumers over $56 billion on energy costs. Sectoral examination of these results indicates that job creation is in less energy intensive services and other categories, further compounding California's aggregate efficiency improvements and facilitating the economy's transition to a low carbon future.

By taking account of the potential for innovation, the proposed package of policies in the state's Draft Scoping Plan continues California's legacy of efficiency-driven job growth, achieving 100 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets mandated by AB 32 while increasing the Gross State Product (GSP) by about $76 billion, increasing real household incomes by up to $48 billion and creating as many as 403,000 new efficiency and climate action driven jobs.

By revenue, energy is the world's largest industry, and energy efficiency can become to this sector what IT was to management, biotech to medicine, a way to revolutionize traditional practices and increase real living standards around the world.

The page links to the press release, the executive summary and the full report.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 06:37:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wind at your back.

Your topic must seem almost insulting to many of the participants. But, if you make one or two converts, it may be significant. The fact that you're not an anti-nuke advocate may help to bridge some differences.

At any rate - good presentation.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 05:51:25 PM EST
Jerome, do you know of some resources that would help others to invest in a more sustainable economy, including renewable energy, mass transit, railroads, electric grid upgrade, and any thing else that you think is a good idea?  I would like to see government policy support all of this as well, but until then I want to do what I can beyond personal conservation, efficiency, etc.
by todreader on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 06:07:45 PM EST
  • companies or funds to invest money in?
  • political action to promote renwable-supporting policies?
  • places where to discuss the issues and spread the information?

For the first one, there are a number of possible opportunities, but given that mant are my clients, I'd rather not give names. The second is what we'd like to participate to , by informing as many people as we can, so I suppose a way to do things is to promote ET and TOD around, to get them read by more people and the ideas brought into the mainstream.

I don't know if that answers your question?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 06:43:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the case of your second and third, I am already attempting to do those, but, like many people, I have a difficult time getting them to acknowledge the gravity of the problem, or even to accept that there is a problem ("Oil prices are a conspiracy among the oil companies and OPEC" is the most common response).  I am hoping that there is some organization(s) that shares your perspective (and mine) about the problems (of resource depletion and global warming) we face and is gathering information about companies and funds that are addressing these problems.  I would like to take direct financial action that mirrors what I think governments need to do.  I appreciate your conflict of interest, which is why I did not ask you for your direct recommendations.
by todreader on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 09:04:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Advisory sources of "green" industry investment opportunities:

"Energy Certificates" are analogous to risk-ratings of publicly traded securities. Certification grades GHG emissions of firm, and that is the current basis of open market carbon credit allocations and "green tag" retail price discounts.

Green-e (EIA endorsed, fwiw)
http://www.green-e.org/base/pl_products

Chicago Climate Exchange
http://www.chicagoclimateexchange.com/

Regional RPS/carbon credit trade market
http://www.rggi.org/home

Social Investment Forum
http://www.socialinvest.org/

Peswiki - a bazaar of early-stage firms for private placement of your capital, perhaps.
http://peswiki.com/index.php/Main_Page

A thoughtful investor will integrate geography, state legislated Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) minima and compare corporate CapEx strategies in order to determine the future market value of "green" financial instruments and externalized costs of the ongoing concern -- for example, the cooperative, municipal or publicly-traded utility company from which you purchase (or "sell" surplus home-generated) electricity or which fund residential rebates of the cost of energy efficient equipment.

Union of Concerned Scientists - interactive RPS database
http://go.ucsusa.org/cgi-bin/RES...l? template=main

US - EIA energy distribution map
http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 12:57:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://go.ucsusa.org/cgi-bin/RES/state_standards_search.pl?template=main

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 01:01:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MarketTrustee, Thank you very much for these links.

Jerome, the above information may well be what I was asking for.  Does it make sense to you to make this sort of collected information into a general posting?  I am hoping that there could be an information source that provides this in a manner that does not have a conflict of interest or a self-interested motive.  It's discouraging to continue to read postings of people going into survivalist mode.

by todreader on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 01:13:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope you understand that, because the US Congress has NOT enacted a bill that defines carbon credit instruments and platforms (several pending), it is your prudential responsibility to invest in companies most capable of delivering absolute GHG reductions.

Otherwise, trading on CCX for profit is blowing a bubble.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 06:38:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thank you for adding that point.  because reducing demand through better windows and insulation of houses and other buildings, have you given any thought to companies that help reduce carbon production by this means?  is this demand-side consideration generally being thought about by groups that want to reduce green-house gases, or is all consideration given to the supply-side, that is, toward creating a renewable-energy industry?
by todreader on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 09:27:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My apologies for a tardy reply.

I regret to say I'm unwilling to name a particular company. That's the reason I posted advisory sources with a caveat to define your investment decision according to any issuers prospectus of absolute GHG reduction. Many will fake "green" investors, and USC enacted by Congress will capitalized and permit such opportunists to mark-to-market asset amortization of future compliance with (minimal) RPS.

You've got to verify what capital expenditure (YoY or QoQ) each company in which you'll invest has actually committed to the principles (above) -- retail subsidy (switching costs!) and plant. CapEx illustrates the path of transition from conventional fossil-fuel extortion to renewable resource cooperation.

To my mind, theories of "demand-side" or "supply-side" management are irrelevant to real economy growth expectations in any one HH. That position is perforce ambiguous (profit motivated) and too abstract in scope to ease benefit decisions in any one HH according to risk and political volatility.

I'm on the "just do it!" ethical platform. Allocate your disposable income between (1) energy efficiency at home (NB. demand for consultation, repair, and equipment!); and (2) aggressive discrimination, object-oriented invesment in long-term "soft" (qualitative) AND "hard" (quant, monetary) returns.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Oct 24th, 2008 at 02:14:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe it are doom porners, that are not really interested in solutions, but just want to keep there exciting believe that the world will end soon.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 06:12:16 PM EST
that this applies to some peakoilers, yes.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 06:39:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(Handwerk, Geschick = craft, Kraft = force, yet Windkraft = wind power)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 08:29:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
on Europe's lead in the wind industry.

It's a Breeze: European Firms Bring Years of Experience to U.S. Wind Power Market - Knowledge@Wharton

European wind-power firms see an opportunity in the United States' increasing interest in alternative energy. Indeed, the inroads that electricity-generating wind turbine technology has made in the U.S. are due in large part to the efforts of companies based in Europe.

<...>

"Wind at present becomes viable as a result of its subsidies," says Matthew White, a business and public policy professor at Wharton. Barring a sudden technological leap, "wind would not be competitive with coal" absent incentives such as the Production Tax Credit. So, with the PTC's inconsistent history, why are so many European firms jumping into the U.S. wind energy arena? And for that matter, why are wind "farms" a much more common sight throughout Europe than in the United States?

"In Europe, there's more of a willingness to move forward on environmental protection," White said. "Europe has been a whole lot more willing to pay the short term price. That price can include the higher upfront costs of enacting more aggressive regulation. And it can also encompass subjective costs -- such as aesthetic concerns about the siting of wind turbines."

<...>

While European nations have leapt ahead of the curve in wind power development, a number of organizations see the makings of a brand new U.S. economy based on sustainable technology and practices. The Center for American Progress report also called for a two-year, $100 billion federal stimulus package to encourage six "green" infrastructure areas, including wind. The report's authors say the program could be paid for in full through a "cap-and-trade" carbon auction in which companies would pay for the right to pollute above a pre-set standard. The report also claimed that such a program would create two million jobs, as people would be needed to retrofit buildings for energy efficiency, expand mass transit, build and maintain "smart grid" electrical transmission systems, and develop wind and solar power, along with renewable biofuels, to ease demand for foreign oil.



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 02:10:12 AM EST
It is pretty funny...

Just like nuclear, wind was originally mainly developed in the US which then abandoned the tech and left it to Europe, who are now redeploying it in the US.

Just consider that the ArevaSiemens EPR comes from the French family of PWRs which originally is based on a US Navy submarine reactor design.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 08:01:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apart from the imprecise and thus misleadig statement on competitiveness from Matthew White, a positive article.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 08:31:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is it in a nutshell. Excellent!

And, like Frank Sinatra's wig,  you can hardly see the joins between J the banker and J the sustainable citizen ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 03:24:45 AM EST
The 'again' part of the title is absolutely necessary. The argument HAS to be made over and over again until it permeates every part of society.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 03:27:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crown Estate's offer fans interest in wind farming

A spokeswoman for the Crown Estate said the response to the licensing round had "greatly exceeded our expectations". The body, which owns parts of Regent Street as well as 55% of Britain's foreshore, traces its history back to George III, who swapped much of his land for a fixed income from the Treasury. It is independent of the monarch and the government.

The interest in deep-water projects is a welcome boost for the industry, which is still hobbled by problems that ministers have endlessly promised to sort out.




You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 04:05:10 AM EST
Related to this, the Dept of Energy & Climate Change were on the news this morning saying that the UK is now the world leader when it comes to installed offshore wind capacity (a total of 597 MW according to their website).

Not that this should really be 'news', given the size of Britain's wind resource - but still.

Regards
Luke

-- #include witty_sig.h

by silburnl on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 07:15:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Independent spins this today with a headline
Britain leads the world on wind power
The first paragraph adds an indefinite article
Britain was today declared a world leader in wind power generation, as the Government announced a major programme to cut the cost of off-shore wind farms.
And later, a comparison with Denmark makes it clear that they are only talking about off-shore wind
The UK has overtaken Denmark to become the world's leading exponent of off-shore wind farms. The achievement has been made possible after building work finished at Centrica's Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farms near Skegness.
How realistic is the following?
He added: "Offshore wind is hugely important to help realise the Government's ambition to dramatically increase the amount of energy from renewable sources. Overtaking Denmark is just the start. There are already five more offshore wind farms under construction that will add a further 938 megawatts to our total by the end of next year. We are also assessing plans to increase the total by a massive 25 gigawatts in the future. That's enough electricity for every home in the country.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 07:34:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Barring a discussion of the inherent technical risks of what i call "super rotors," and sinking foundations in the North Sea bed, there is every reason to think that offshore windpower will be a huge industry in Europe.  The first offshore turbines were already installed more than a decade ago, and modern offshore technology began in 2002.  There is much symbiosis between the construction and service sides of both windpower and offshore oil'n'gas.

Thus, there is no reason to doubt the influence of the technology.  While it is far more expensive than land-based installation, it is compensated by the stronger and less turbulent winds offshore, enough to make it worthwhile.

However, when offshore windpower is used to distract from the need to fill the windy land-based resources, as in the UK, then...

The UK needs them both, especially today as Brown addresses the BWEA30 meeting by video, as his government has done little to enhance the climate for onshore UK development.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 08:02:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this year will mark the overtaking of the UK by France in terms of overall installed wind power. France, amazingly, is now the third market in Europe, after Germany and Spain (for total installed capacity) or after Sapin and Germany (for new build this year).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 09:12:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Along those lines is the Prince's Rainforest Project. The mission, while international in scope, appears to be taking more interest in coordinating project financing. Curious bedfellows.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 01:12:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I was a very, very wealthy person and my fortune was directly tied to the use of fossil fuels or nuclear, why would I be interested in wind power? How does wind power enhance my personal fortune/power?  Would I not view wind power as undesirable competition?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 06:20:30 AM EST
If I were a very, very wealthy person, I don't think I would want my wealth to be directly tied to any one thing.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 06:37:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, only if I own ALL of the turbines and still call all the shots.  Hell, I'll go with solar if I could find a way to own the sun.

That's why fossil fuels are so nice.  In limited places, protect them with armed forces.  I win, you lose.

Wait till the same thing happens with food.  Oh, what fun.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 06:48:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... your fortune is most directly tied to the existence of some high income economies, somewhere in the world.

If your horizon is longer than a decade, then given that fossil fuels are not renewable or sustainable, if you want to secure your wealth, you would be well advised to swing your political clout to get feed-in tariffs and then sink some of the "assured return" part of your portfolio into wind power.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 10:17:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't find a link, but I read very recently where Exxon-Mobile was investing in one or two renewable energies.  Perhaps this is an example of

"... if you want to secure your wealth, you would be well advised to swing your political clout to get feed-in tariffs and then sink some of the "assured return" part of your portfolio into wind power."

Earth, water, wind, and fire Energy is my desire... Engage!

by in her own voice (inherownvoice@suddenlink.net) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 11:47:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They got to invest somewhere ... there isn't more oil out there to be discovered than they already have on their books, so they are in a declining industry, in terms of physical production.

Sure they will get windfall gains on the slide down, as the price of oil repeatedly spikes to ever higher levels, but there will be very little new work to do to make that money. They can drill more and more exploratory wells to find oil in places that will be very expensive to exploit to gain relatively little oil, but they already have oil fields that they are ready to bring on line once they are confident that crude oil is going to be above $80/barrel to stay.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 12:02:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
have avoided wind, for some reason (in fact, that's why I keep writing about the need to take wind seriously, as they obviously don't). Of the majors, only Shell has any kind of investment in wind, and they have decided to move out of it in Europe altogether (they're still active in the US for now).

Several of them (but not Exxon) seem to want to invest in solar.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 03:52:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The same is already true in Germany, despite its somewhat lower wind penetration than in Denmark (11% of electricity produced, vs 25%)

11%? Methinks you quoted the 2006 figure for all renewables. The 2007 figure for wind alone is 6.3%.

Also, before someone spins the poll numbers in your fourth graph the wrong way: that the overwhelming support for wind power is the lowest in Germany should be seen in the context of present level of wind power installations and "large increase" in the future.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 08:45:47 AM EST
I inverted Germany and Spain - Spain is at 11% and Germany at 7% for electricity coming from wind.

Will update the post.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 09:16:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wish I'd known before yesterday that you were going to be in Barcelona. I'm still in Cape Hatteras, NC, but we're very busy there with a proposal that involves the municipal government and I could have gotten a co-worker (my co-conspirator in .cat) to chat with you about banking and .bank.

See .blog -- Is it something enough of us would find useful? for some, but not all clue, and make the obvious substitutions, for .bank, etc.

I still have to go to Paris for .paris and I'd still like to meet you.

by ebw on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 12:40:09 PM EST
I met someone from Virginia Beach. Would that be him?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 03:51:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... anti-wind power demagogue by the name of Dr. Robert Hayden, in the parallel The Oil Drum version of the diary.

I must have upset a supporter of anti-wind flim-flammery, since my take on Dr. Robert Hayden's flimsy arguments have attracted a -1 rating on The Oil Drum. See for yourself.

I'll admit that I was not very respectful for the bullshit spouted by Dr. Hayden.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 02:12:14 PM EST
lots of anti-wind poster, posting lots of parallel comments with the same arguments...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 03:53:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I followed Bruce's link to TOD, and i'm stunned by the amount of confusing misinformation scattered throughout the comments.  I wouldn't even know where to start unless my paid job was to deconstruct the prevalent views.

I'm thankful J posts there, but i wouldn't wish that job on anyone.  I have never seen so much false arrogance, undergirded by inappropriate statistical drivel, in years.

They got nuclear subsidies completely wrong, they have a poor understanding of capacity factors, they completely ignore externalities.  One guy posted something about Cali windparks' summer CFs, which is the opposite of 30 years of operational data.

Ultimately, this discussion is about social control, and the wealth rewarded to the winners.  It's like GE CEO Jeff Immelt writ large.  One part of his company, GE Wind, accounts for about 2% of his revenue.  In 2007, 43% market share in the US (though he has serious problems selling his mediocre technology anywhere else).  One of the few parts of GE's business which will grow in the meltdown.  But when he needs to have a personal editorial on Bloomberg, it's about how the US Congress needs to ratify the Nuclear Treaty with India, so his firm can supply the nukes necessary for an atomic sub-continent.

The reality of daily work in windpower, over three decades, shows exactly windpower's strengths and weaknesses.  To have people with virtually zero understanding of what they're talking about setting the frame is exactly like the current McCain campaign.  Bullshit rules, though it doesn't stick to the wall.

Thanks for doing what i no longer have the gumption, nor ability, to do.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 04:15:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How would you rank the turbines? GE is mediocre, Enercon is the best, but what about the others? Suzlon, REpower, Vestas and so on?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 04:18:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Me curious, too!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 04:49:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When one begins to analyze turbine performance across multiple resource types, one finds a host of engineering anomalies which belie given production data, power curve data, and fault trigger compilations.  Of course, the data itself is subject to unvergessbar auseinandervergesslichkeit.  This can lead to difference in opinion, despite the fact that most analysts, selbst inklusive, hab keine ahnung.

That being gestrichen, i will now list the turbines in ascending order.
the editor's controlling Crazy Horse's brain production output have taken over his account to express the notion that anyone with 100k€ can email us directly for the list.  Thank you for asking.

Well, my superiors have chastised me once again.  Therefore, i'm not able to comment on the performance results from the new W2E and GE 2.5MW turbines, nor the Siemens direct drive competitor to Enercon.  i am allowed to say, aren't i?, that if you're investing in turbines from the outstanding People's Republic of China, wear a flak vest.

Given the profit-taking in the industry, i will give my opinions for only nine-hundred ninty-nine thousand oiros, nine hundred ninety-nine plus an all-expense paid stay at the Passy Home for two weeks while i research the effect of the growth in the windpower supply chain on nightlife in the now third largest European market for windpower, Paris.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 06:11:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the heads-up on Chinese turbines ... you may have saved the lives of some Congolese.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 08:04:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was someone over there peddling the line that 1MW of installed wind capacity will bring two units of NG electricity online for each unit of wind capacity ... because, as I understand what I shall for the sake of argument call "the argument", to deliver the 1MW of capacity will require 1MW of wind and 1MW of NG with the NG delivering the power that the wind is not.

Why you don't enter that into baseload as 0.3MWh, with 0.3MW of NG backing up the wind, and surplus power sold to other grids when the wind is strong ... I guess because if you presume a poorly designed system, its easier to argue against the system being put into place.

The same fellow arguing that offshore wind is 3x the cost of onshore wind links to a report that gives onshore as £0.9m/MW capacity at a 30% load factor versus offshore at £1.6m/MW at a 35% load factor ... as evidence to substantiate his 3x figure!.

Astounding. Like dKos with more doom pr0n.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 05:39:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The same fellow arguing that offshore wind is 3x the cost of onshore wind links to a report that gives onshore as £0.9m/MW capacity at a 30% load factor versus offshore at £1.6m/MW at a 35% load factor ... as evidence to substantiate his 3x figure!.

I think the fingers they are counting on dont work properly

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 05:45:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... aggressive anti-public transport commentators ... cite an outrageous figure, cherry picked from a shallow source (say, a newspaper piece with a "he said / she said" approach to presenting "critics of the proposal say"), and bolstered by thicker official source that they link to but do not expect someone to be able to read through and work out how badly they are misrepresenting it.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 06:47:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... since its ambiguous and on a quick reading misleading, "the same fellow arguing" does not mean that the person making the 3x argument is the same as the person featured in the start ... it refers to the surprise that the person that makes the 3x claim links to as support a document that most people would point to as debunking the 3x claim.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 08:06:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sold! Sold! Sold!

Sold six damn years ago.

God damn it Jerome I wish you would come and argue the case for my ridge top property. It is close enough to the transmission lines, says me, and they keep saying not yet, not yet, maybe next year we will get to you. While my neighbor 15 miles away as the crow flies - well, the red-tailed hawk really - my neighbor is cashing in.

Everything else to one side, like local jobs and all the rest of it, at $400/month/turbine plus a little bit up front, I'd be set up and could maybe afford a vacation again hallelujah. I've never gotten around to Paris, I hear it's nice in the spring.

Wouldn't you know my grandparents would focus on the best soil for miles around and neglect to settle near where a transmission would be a hundred years later? What the hell were they thinking?

by melvin on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 03:17:19 PM EST
$400/month/turbine
Jesus, you'll be rich as a troll. :)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 04:22:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, the landowners (resource holders) are still underpaid... but that's the effect of The Chicago School.

Still, "you'll be rich as a troll" then troll-rate me PLEASE.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 06:15:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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