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French technocracy sez: evil wind

by Jerome a Paris Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 09:35:12 AM EST

GDF Suez pas enthousiasmé par l'éolien

Le PDG de GDF Suez, Gérard Mestrallet, a mis en garde mardi à Montréal contre la séduction excessive qu'exercent sur l'opinion publique les énergies renouvelables, en soulignant notamment le prix élevé de l'éolien.

"Ce sont des énergies intermittentes qui vont nécessiter de grandes capacités de réserve, qui vont reposer sur le gaz naturel en raison de la facilité d'utilisation des turbines à gaz", a-t-il expliqué au Forum économique international des Amériques.

GDF Suez not enthusiastic about wind power

GDF Suez's CEO, Gérard Mestrallet, spoke in Montreal against the excessive enthusiasm by the public for renewable energy, underlining among others the high cost of wind power.

"These are intermitten energy sources which will require massive backup, which will be provided by gas-fiored power plants given the flexibility of gas turbines" he stated at the Americas International Economic Forum.

Il a illustré son propos par l'exemple d'une île ayant besoin de 1.000 mégawatts pour ses habitants et ses industries.

"L'île veut être verte. Donc elle construit 1.000 mégawatts d'éoliennes. C'est très bien, surtout quand il y a du vent, c'est à dire 30% du temps. Mais comme les consommateurs veulent de l'électricité tout le temps, il faut construire à côte de ces éoliennes 1.000 mégawatts de turbines à gaz qu'on peut mettre en route comme des mobylettes quand il n'y a pas de vent et les éteindre quand il y a du vent".

"Résultat des courses: on va payer trois fois. D'abord parce qu'il faut construire deux systèmes, 2.000 mégawatts, alors que l'île n'a besoin que de 1.000. Deuxièmement il faudra subventionner les éoliennes et troisièmement, les turbines à gaz vont fonctionner seulement 70% du temps et donc le coût en capital du mégawattheure va être augmenté à due concurrence".

"Donc je pense qu'il faut bien réfléchir avant de vouloir s'engager trop massivement dans des productions intermittentes de renouvelables", a conclu Gérard Mestrallet.

He used an exemple to illustrate his statement: that of an island requiring 1,000 MW for its industrial and residential use.

"The island wants to be green, so it builds 1,000 MW of wind power. That's nice, when there is wind, ie 30% of the time. But as consumers want electricity all the time, you need to build alongside these wind turbines another 1,000 MW of gas-fired power plants which can be switched on easily when there is no wind, and off when there is."

"The result is that one pays 3 times. First, because we need to build two systems, 2,000 MW, when the island only needs 1,000 MW. Secondly, wind turbines will need to be subsidized, and third, gas turbines will be used only 70% of the time and thus their capital costs will be amortised over less production and their MWh will thus be more expensive.

"Thus I think we should be careful before committing too massively to massive intermitten renewable energy," he concluded.

Okay, let's take these in turn. Follow me below the fold.


He used an exemple to illustrate his statement: that of an island requiring 1,000 MW for its industrial and residential use.

While it's understandable to use a simple system to explain issues, in this case it immediately influences things: the smaller the system, the harder it is to fully run it on renewables. Intermittent production sources can more easily be integrated in a larger system, and the limits to their penetration are farther when you have a complex system than when you have a small, simple system. So, starting with that exemple is already a sign of bias.

"The island wants to be green, so it builds 1,000 MW of wind power. That's nice, when there is wind, ie 30% of the time. But as consumers want electricity all the time, you need to build alongside these wind turbines another 1,000 MW of gas-fired power plants which can be switched on easily when there is no wind, and off when there is."
The second fallacy is to say that the only option that should be considered when discussing renewables is whether then can provide 100% of the electricity. Given that we're starting from almost zero, how about discussing penetrations of 10%, 20%, 40% before worrying about the 100% situation?

The other fallacy here is that full production by renewables is driven by capacity (MW) and not by actual production (MWh). If you want a "green island" you should not go for 1,000 MW of wind, you should go for 5,000 GWh or so of electricity per year, in which case (using the 30% capacity factor Mr Mestrallet uses), you'd work on an assumption of 2,000 MW of wind rather than 1,000 MW and adapt all calculations accordingly.

"The result is that one pays 3 times. First, because we need to build two systems, 2,000 MW, when the island only needs 1,000 MW. Secondly, wind turbines will need to be subsidized, and third, gas turbines will be used only 70% of the time and thus their capital costs will be amortised over less production and their MWh will thus be more expensive.
This is wrong on many levels. 1) As noted above, you'd need 2,000 MW of wind to have a real "system" - in which case, the gas backup only represents an additional 50% of the basics system;

2) then comes the fact that a gas-fired MW costs significantly less than a wind MW - roughly half the price. So the cost of backup, in terms of initial investment, represents only a quarter of the investment in a wind system, which is not quite like building two systems.

3) third comes the unsusbtantiated assertion that wind turbines need to be subsidised. Sources as serious as the IEA or ExxonMobil (hardly natural green-eyed wind supporters) suggest that wind generated MWhs are as cheap as, or cheaper than, gas-fired generated MWh (and that of course takes into account the initially higher cost of the MW). Wind power does not need to be subsidized, it needs long term price predictability to amortise high upfront investments, which is not the same thing!

4) the argument about the cost of gas-fired MWh being increased by relatively low use of the gas-fired plants is disingenuous. In a market system, use of an asset is driven by the marginal cost of production, and the marginal cost of production of gas is typically the highest around (which is why it is the price-making generator), which has as an obvious consequence that gas-fired power plants are very rarely used at full capacity. Data shows that the average capacity factor of gas-fired plants is consistently around 40% in the US and in Germany - so not that much higher than wind turbines. A 70% capacity use, as suggested for Mestrallet Island, would actually be significantly higher than reality and thus make for even cheaper MWhs than what gas-fired power plants provide today...

5) more generally, the exemple does away with the natural complexity of electricity consumption, which is not a flat number: it is higher in the day than at night, in the morning and evening than at midday, and it will have seasonal patterns (which depend on where you are - in the US summer consumption tends to be higher - all that AC - whereas in Europe winter consumption is typically higher). So you'd need to compare the actual output from wind at any time to the actual demand to know how much gas-fired back up is actually needed - and if you have 2,000 MW of wind for a 5,000 GWh/y and 1,000 MW peak system, you probably would not need to start your gas-fired plants that often.

6) of course, these arguments completely ignore that we're not building wind power or other renewable energy sources from scratch, but adding them to a system which already exists, and which already has significant backup capacity (because that's a standard requirements of any electricity system, even a fully gas-fired based one). Reality has proven that a lot more wind can be integrated painlessly into existing systems than has been "predicted" by the skeptics (who, like Mr Mestrallet, have a vested interest in the status quo) - and given the incremental nature of new additions to the system, adjustments to backup, when needed, can be planned and implemented over time as part of the normal 'life' of the system.

7) finally, all this discourse about the pure cost of MW or MWh completely ignores the cost of externalities. Each MWh of wind power means one MWh less coming from the combustion of fossil-fuels and thus less CO2 in the atmosphere. We know we don't have the right tools to assess the value of that, but the sciences overwhelmingly points towards that value being rather high (ie the costs of not getting rid of fossil fuel power plants are potentially massive) and this is ignored because an exact number cannot be provided by the "markets" (or by regulation, which the fossil-fuel burning industries naturally oppose).

"Thus I think we should be careful before committing too massively to massive intermittent renewable energy," he concluded.
It is sad to still hear such ignorant or fear-mongering discourse today.

Display:

8/05/2011 - GDF SUEZ ready to develop offshore wind turbines in France

GDF SUEZ will answer the call for tenders  issued by the French State in January 2011 to develop 3000 MW of offshore wind turbines by 2015. The Group will study all the proposals submitted under this call for tenders.  In this context, GDF SUEZ just signed two major partnerships that will favor the development of offshore wind turbines and the implementation of a true French industrial sector creating activity and employment in the country.

Firstly, GDF SUEZ partnered with Areva and Vinci, both front-running French industrial players. This consortium brings together complementary competence and recognized expertise in offshore technologies.

Secondly, GDF SUEZ also acquired MAÏA EolMer, a specialist in the study and development of offshore wind farms.

Moreover, GDF SUEZ has been working with its subsidiary La Compagnie du Vent since 2005 on the Deux Côtes offshore wind farm project in the Dieppe-Le Tréport. This project is located in a region identified by the French State within the framework of its call for tenders, where an offshore wind farm for up to 750 MW of installed power could be built.

GDF SUEZ is the wind power leader in France, with nearly 1000 MW already installed.



Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 09:45:47 AM EST

GDF Suez gets angry with its wind subsidiary

GDF SUEZ announced Friday in a statement that "the general meeting of shareholders of Compagnie du Vent has decided to replace" its chairman and founder Jean-Michel Germa by Thierry Conil, "over 30 years experience in GDF Suez ". "A major strategic dispute," the statement continued, between GDF Suez, which owns 56.8% of Compagnie du Vent and its founder Jean-Michel Germa, which owns 43.2% is the origin of this separation.

Problem: Jean-Michel Germa judicially contest his dismissal, even though he knew his scheduled departure. First on the form. Feeling the dispute with its powerful shareholder grow for months, Jean-Michel Germa had sought this week the protection of the commercial court of Montpellier (seat LCV). He had requested the postponement of Thursday's meeting but GDF Suez has received the same day, the Tribunal de Commerce "authorization" to conduct this meeting. Jean-Michel Germa considers that the meeting "was not held." The founder of the company that employs 156 employees (sales: 27 million) is "very shocked" by the group methods.

In all likelihood this is a fight about the price to be paid by GDF Suez to German for his minority stake in the company, which has the best chance of all to develop an offshore wind farm in France with the Projet des deux Côtes - Germa will most likely be unable to pay for his share of the overall investment (43% of 750MW means spending 300MEUR if the project is bank financed, 3 times that if it isn't) but his stake is potentially worth quite a bit...

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 09:51:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
getting on board with one of the two big offshore wind consortia?

(GDF Suez / Areva / Vinci on the one hand, and Alstom / EDF Energies Nouvelles on the other, are supposed to be the two big players who will carve up the initial tender of 3GW, in an effort to kick-start a French offshore wind industry)

Also, I see that GDF and its part-owned subsidiary La Compagnie du Vent are practically at war... these people are sincerely conflicted. Psychoanalysis required?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 09:59:08 AM EST
gas-fired power plants are very rarely used at full capacity. Data shows that the average capacity factor of gas-fired plants is consistently around 40% in the US and in Germany - so not that much higher than wind turbines.

I hadn't realised that... It's the killer argument against the "low capacity factor" criticism of gas.

Gas generation is good, sure. But you don't run it all the time because it's too expensive. So it's naturally complementary with wind, which is really cheap when it's available.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 10:05:57 AM EST
400 m€ investment

Evil wind? The definition of a saxophone used to be "an evil wind that nobody blows good".

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 10:20:10 AM EST
It was oboe when I heard it.
by njh on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 06:27:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An oboe would be even more apt ~ very difficult instruments to play well, the double reeds.

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 Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 07:05:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope you will inform M. Mestrallet that he is an idiot.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 10:23:20 AM EST
Should such demonstrated idiocy not disqualify GDF Suez from tendering for major wind projects?  After all you want your contractor to be committed to the success and maximum utilisation of your project...not to mention a positive PR approach to what you want the project to achieve.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 10:57:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France (and companies like EDF or GDF) are still at the greenwashing stage of wind development. France does it because of EU rules, and EDF and GDF do it because they are forced to.

Geramny's utilities were at that stage 3-5 years ago, but are moving on and decent parts of their organisations now actually believe in wind, in particular offshore wind, because (i) that's where a lot of their investment money is going right now (and managers love to have big budget to manage) and (ii) early projects are now online and are demonstrating their value to them in their portfolio.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 11:07:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Were I the Minister or senior civil servant charged with progressing France's wind energy development, I would be reminding Gérard Mestrallet that he can't expect to be bashing and benefiting from wind development projects at the same time...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 11:17:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fat chance: the ministers and senior civil servants all share his prejudices. It's just that nowadays you have to project an image of environmentally concerned and show of a couple of wind farms and maybe a few solar panels to appease the public. That would be the entire point of the so-called Grenelle: a major show-off for the UMP government and greenwashing exercise.

But everybody in Serious circles know these are just a few toys to dangle in front of an ill-advised public, for the Serious People know that wind and solar are Un-serious and will revert us to the ages of candle lighting: only nuclear and gas (and oil) merit Serious consideration.

by Bernard on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 04:30:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So French utilities have reached the "then they fight you" stage on the Gandhi scale.

Just a matter of time now.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 11:36:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's always interesting to see big Serious utilities going to the mandatory motions of investing into or putting together a renewables subsidiary, while belittling the very same renewable energies in their official discourses. Of course, in these subsidiaries not everyone got the memo from the mothership and just go ahead and do it...
by Bernard on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 04:34:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, assume an island, with peak 1,000MW demand.

  1. Build 2,000MW peak capacity of wind, lay an UHVDC line through to the mainland, sell power when there is a surplus of wind power, buy power when there is a shortage.

  2. Invest in local improvements in energy efficiency to lower local peak, increasing net exports.


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 Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 11:09:05 AM EST
This seems a more effective rhetorical repost to Gérard Mestrallet's propaganda effort - it doesn't require the nuanced understanding of electricity generation that J's response does - besides als being a more "realistic" strategy for the island to adopt.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 11:15:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to me the selection of an imaginary "Island" for this hypothetical example is stacking the deck too--
A well designed smart grid over a land mass of significant size would change the picture, would it not?
Just as Bruce's UHVDC line would.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 11:39:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The "imaginary island" might not be so imaginary.

When I visited the Isle of Wight in the summer of 2006, I couldn't help but notice a NIMBY campaign against a proposed offshore wind development off thewest coast of the island.

The island is exceedingly windy. It also imported power from the mainland --- there were undersea power cables coming from Southampton visible on the north shore of the island --- as well as oil or gas from the North Sea for its single power plant. Back then, North Sea gas from Scotland had already peaked and the two "gas wars" between Russia and Ukranie were about to send price of gas through the roof. So I thought that that island would be an ideal location for a wind farm, and they even had the cables in place to use the mainland's grid for power-balancing.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 12:34:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can imagine in the future many folks like you, seeking out places to VISIT that don't have rotating horizons. I'll be one of them.
by pembo on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 02:32:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't go to the Isle of Wight seeking a place without wind farms in the horizon.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 03:16:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome to the European Tribune, and thank you for your inciteful comment!
by njh on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 06:31:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... Jerome effectively debunks it, but its not aiming to be right, its aiming to be effective, and since the rhetorical point of the Island is to frame the issue to the advantage of the status quo, the 'line to the mainland' breaks the frame.

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 Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 01:53:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, the GDF Idiot forgot that it was a tropical island, with a 44% wind capacity factor, a high CF 200 MWe PV solar farm, another 170 MWe installed on the island's buildings, and, to top it off, it already had a 1000 MW gas plant all paid off from 34 years ago and still in good shape.

Yup, the island had people on it even before the 1000 MW windpark was proposed, so the plant exists, and yes, there's your backup already built.

The GDF Idiot also forgot to mention that the island's university estimated the cost of moving the capital city on the main port to higher ground at the equivalent of 37 gas peakers.

Of course, this exercise in absurdity is meant to underscore the point that no real energy situation at society levels can be illustrated by his idiotic brain fart, though even i could turn his lack-of-thought experiment into a success.

Of course, we should be thankful he didn't mention the real reason to oppose wind energy,... the ruthless killing of the rare and sacred one-horned goats.

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 11:52:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(J, thanks for staying in serious mode in your deconstruction of The Idiot. I trust you recognize that the GDF Idiot doesn't actually believe what he's saying. He does his job, trying to hold onto the dinosaur portion of the energy economy he controls, though admittedly he's sacrificing the lifestyle quality of his five young granddaughters.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 11:55:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well - there's also this.

UK consumers seem set to suffer a vicious round of electricity price rises in the near future: and for the first time the energy suppliers are not only blaming the gas market but openly pointing the finger at steadily escalating government green policies whose effect is to drive up utility bills.

ScottishPower retail director Raymond Jack, announcing swingeing consumer price rises which are likely to be matched by the other major energy companies, had this to say:

"The change in prices announced today is as a result of sustained increases in the wholesale energy market [but] the rising burden of non-energy costs faced by Britain's energy suppliers, including the cost of meeting Government environmental and social programmes and the cost of distributing electricity on the national grid, has also placed further upward pressure on energy bills."

It's rare that outright lies in the press make me really, really angry, but this piece of "analysis" certainly did.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 12:09:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - French technocracy sez: evil wind
He used an exemple to illustrate his statement: that of an island requiring 1,000 MW for its industrial and residential use.

"The island wants to be green gray, so it builds 1,000 MW of wind nuclear power. That's nice, when there is wind, ie 30% of the time when it can be operated safely and is not down for maintenance or security shut-down. But as consumers want electricity all the time, you need to build alongside these wind turbines this nuke another 1,000 MW of gas-fired power plants which can be switched on easily when there is no wind safety, and off when there is."

"The result is that one pays 3 times. First, because we need to build two systems, 2,000 MW, when the island only needs 1,000 MW. Secondly, wind turbines nukes will need to be subsidized, and third, gas turbines will be used only 70% of the time and thus their capital costs will be amortised over less production and their MWh will thus be more expensive.

"Thus I think we should be careful before committing too massively to massive intermitten renewable energy," he concluded.

Guess that an island might not be best off by investing only in one baseload energy source for its energy needs.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jun 8th, 2011 at 02:10:37 PM EST
And you could argue that this would apply even if the basic 1,000 MW was from gas - they also need backup, for the day the gas pipeline has a problem, or Russia cuts off the gas (how many islands have gas access, btw - the default setting on an island would be diesel generators, btw)

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 9th, 2011 at 02:01:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The Gas Is Greener

while energy sources like sunlight and wind are free and naturally replenished, converting them into large quantities of electricity requires vast amounts of natural resources -- most notably, land. Even a cursory look at these costs exposes the deep contradictions in the renewable energy movement.

(...)

The math is simple: to have 8,500 megawatts of solar capacity, California would need at least 23 projects the size of Ivanpah, covering about 129 square miles, an area more than five times as large as Manhattan. While there's plenty of land in the Mojave, projects as big as Ivanpah raise environmental concerns. In April, the federal Bureau of Land Management ordered a halt to construction on part of the facility out of concern for the desert tortoise, which is protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Wind energy projects require even more land. The Roscoe wind farm in Texas, which has a capacity of 781.5 megawatts, covers about 154 square miles. Again, the math is straightforward: to have 8,500 megawatts of wind generation capacity, California would likely need to set aside an area equivalent to more than 70 Manhattans. Apart from the impact on the environment itself, few if any people could live on the land because of the noise (and the infrasound, which is inaudible to most humans but potentially harmful) produced by the turbines.

Industrial solar and wind projects also require long swaths of land for power lines.

(...)

Consider the massive quantities of steel required for wind projects. The production and transportation of steel are both expensive and energy-intensive, and installing a single wind turbine requires about 200 tons of it. Many turbines have capacities of 3 or 4 megawatts, so you can assume that each megawatt of wind capacity requires roughly 50 tons of steel. By contrast, a typical natural gas turbine can produce nearly 43 megawatts while weighing only 9 tons. Thus, each megawatt of capacity requires less than a quarter of a ton of steel.

(...)

Such profligate use of resources is the antithesis of the environmental ideal.

(...)

All energy and power systems exact a toll. If we are to take Schumacher's phrase to heart while also reducing the rate of growth of greenhouse gas emissions, we must exploit the low-carbon energy sources -- natural gas and, yes, nuclear -- that have smaller footprints.

This Robert Bryce has been writing against wind in various publications (notably the WSJ), focusing each time on an individual issue, like, this time, land use. He wrote about how they kill birds, and how it's too small, not "dense" enough, or gets too many subsidies.

What's remarkable is not so much the arguments (it's the same tired ones) but the access he is been given by the big Serious publications - like the NYT in this case. I understand the partisan WSJ doing this, but what is the NYT doing publishing such lies?


Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 9th, 2011 at 02:08:20 AM EST
five times as large as Manhattan

Since when has Manhattan been an example of something large?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jun 9th, 2011 at 02:25:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i guess it might feel big to new yorkers, but out here in the provinces most smallish counties dwarf manhattan.
by wu ming on Thu Jun 9th, 2011 at 03:12:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They should have called it over 6 million football fields...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 9th, 2011 at 03:49:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wonder why Bryce forgot to mention that in most places where large wind projects are built, the previous agriculture or ranching goes on unabated. Except in cases where it's already dry desert. There are even instances where the ranch or farm was dying, and is now saved by the increase in revenue.

Steel? Straw dog. He forgot to mention pipelines and ships and LNG plants and terminals, and oh yeah, all electricity production uses the same power lines.

Infrasound? that's the inaudible sucking sound of main stream media shilling with industry propaganda, previously known as lying.

Bah.

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Jun 9th, 2011 at 05:32:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wonder why Bryce neglected to mention that the energy cost of building a windpark is returned in 7-9 months, followed only by long term O&M. The fuel is free, and needs no steel or military protection. While the gas plant might need some form of continual fuel, perhaps even gas.

But then again, these op-eds from the fossil industry (actually, dead plants) are not meant to be factual. Rather they're the thrashing of a dying dinosaur fighting for its last breaths. by lying.

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Jun 9th, 2011 at 05:44:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany: The real costs of 'zero nuclear' | EurActiv

William C. Ramsay argues that German politicians have not been forthcoming with the public regarding the costs of abandoning nuclear power.

Ambassador William C. Ramsay is deputy executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and a former United States deputy assistant secretary of state for energy.

This commentary was originally published by the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI).

"In polarised politics, the voter must take on faith the wisdom inherent in the principled political position. Who cannot be impressed by the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima, especially after living through the fallout from Chernobyl?

But is it reasonable to send the voter to the booth with only half the information? Does the German voter have any idea what it means to shut down its nuclear power in just ten years? Have German politicians made any effort to tell them?

Nuclear plants supply 25% of German electricity with virtually no carbon footprint and with a minimum exposure to foreign suppliers of nuclear fuel cycle services unlike the German vulnerability to disruptions in oil and more recently gas supplies.

...

Wind: Germany has a robust wind energy programme. German taxpayers and rate payers subsidise wind power to the tune of some €5 billion/ year. Investors in wind are guaranteed a rate of 8.2 euro cents per kilowatt hour for 20 years on shore or 9.1 euro cents offshore.

Germany is reaching the point of destabilising its electricity grid with too much wind and insufficient grid interconnection. Furthermore, wind is concentrated in the north and the reactor shut down means the 7.5 GWe of nuclear capacity north of Essen has been reduced to 4GWe - aggravating an already a risky imbalance.

...

Gas: Definitely an option. Gas is already expanding to backstop Germany's large wind programme..

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 9th, 2011 at 03:31:36 PM EST
William C. Ramsay argues that German politicians have not been forthcoming with the public regarding the costs of abandoning nuclear power.

[...]

Wind: Germany has a robust wind energy programme. German taxpayers and rate payers subsidise wind power to the tune of some €5 billion/ year. Investors in wind are guaranteed a rate of 8.2 euro cents per kilowatt hour for 20 years on shore or 9.1 euro cents offshore.

And William Ramsay isn't exactly forthcoming himself. He provides no context to tell whether that 8.2 euro cents is a lot or a little. According to a more forthcoming source, called Wikipedia, average energy prices in Germany were over 20 euro cents (and I sure wish I had the opportunity to "subsidize" wind at that rate in Italy, where energy is even more expensive....)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 12:30:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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