The Wind Industry: Always and Everywhere the Result of Massive & Endless Subsidies (Part 2)

turbine fintona 4jpg

The Wind Industry: always looking for someone else to prop it up …

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In yesterday’s post – The Wind Industry: Always and Everywhere the Result of Massive & Endless Subsidies (Part 1) – we covered the fact that the Australian wind industry exists – and ONLY exists – for one single purpose: to wallow in a subsidy stream which will hit $3 billion annually in 2019; and continue at that colossal rate until 2031. From hereon, the cost of the greatest subsidy rort in the history of the Commonwealth will exceed $45 billion – every last cent of which will be recovered from Australian power consumers through retail power bills.

Faced with a recommendation from the Senate Inquiry into the great wind power fraud, that the mandated subsidy – in the form of renewable energy certificates (RECs) – should be limited to a period of 5 years – rather than running from 2001 to 2031 – the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers are all howling about their “doom”.

The response has left STT just a little perplexed.

You see, the impression given by the wind industry and its worshippers is that wind power outfits are driven by a kind of ‘divine altruism’, under which their only objective is to power the world for free, while saving the planet from the ‘dreaded’ CO2 gas; and otherwise spreading health, wealth and happiness all over the planet.

German wind farm

Spreading the wind industry’s brand of “free love” in Germany ….

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Wind worshippers the world over keep telling us that the wind is “free”; that these things run on the smell of an oily rag for 25 years or more; and, if given the chance, will faithfully power millions of homes with wonderful “clean” energy that’s cheap as chips.

But, for some strange reason, all of that benevolent bonhomie seems to disappear, as quickly as beer at an Australian barbeque, with the merest hint that the massive stream of power consumer and/or taxpayer subsidies are under threat.

In the UK, the wind industry has been howling ‘blue murder’, ever since David Cameron’s Conservatives took proper control of the debacle that has been Britain’s energy policy for more than a decade:

Deliverance for Brits: David Cameron Empties Subsidy Trough & 250 Wind Farms Get Scrapped

Call us a tad cynical, if you like, but STT tends to think that the wind industry is a whole lot more “mercenary”; and a lot less “altruistic”, than its worshippers care to admit.

This little run of recent stories from the UK, provides a tiny hint about what it is that really drives the wind industry and its baggage train of parasites.

Council abandons plans for three wind turbines on its land
Cornish Guardian
31 July 2015

Cornwall Council has dropped plans to erect wind turbines on three pieces of land it owns, due to a change in government policy.

The sites were at St Ewe, Grampound and Tregony.

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, announced after the general election that only turbine schemes which had local support would be considered acceptable in planning terms.

The council said it would push ahead with a turbine at Ventonteague, near Carland Cross, as a planning application had already been submitted, but would keep the matter under review.

Bob Egerton, Cornwall councillor for Probus, Tregony and Grampound, said: “I’m very disappointed that we’ve had to put the two projects in my division on hold. I’ve always felt that these turbines would have been good for the environment, good for Cornwall Council’s finances and good for local residents through the community funds linked to the projects.

“However, the reality is that central government has changed the rules, making it virtually impossible to approve any new onshore wind projects, and we’ll have to live with the consequences of that decision.”

However, Steve Double, Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay, said he welcomed the decision.

“I’ve always been against turbines that are ruining our countryside and have consistently supported local communities who have fought against them,” he said.

“The figures in Cornwall Council’s strategy just didn’t add up, particularly in the light of the government’s new policy which has cut the subsidies that make [turbines] so lucrative for developers at the [expense] of [electricity] bill-payers.”
Cornish Guardian

In this piece from The Telegraph, the wind power outfit concerned rails about being done in by changes to planning rules: notwithstanding that there has been no adverse decision against it on planning grounds. The real reason for dropping the project appears in the very last sentence, which we’ve highlighted, in case the unobservant miss it.

Giant wind farm scrapped following planning changes
The Telegraph
Emily Gosden
30 July 2015

Controversial plans to build one of England’s biggest wind farms near Lincoln have been scrapped as a result of Government changes to give locals a greater say over planning decisions.

The proposed Nocton Fen wind farm would have been built on land owned by Sir James Dyson and campaigners feared it could ruin views of Lincoln cathedral.

Developer Vattenfall wanted to build 20 turbines each standing up to 149.5 metres tall – the tallest in England, and nearly double the height of the cathedral – under plans described as “ghastly and monstrous” by Lord Cormac, a local resident.

The turbines would have had a combined capacity of up to 68 megawatts – equalling the power of the biggest wind farm in England.

But Vattenfall announced on Thursday it was stopping work on the project after concluding it would “not fit with the Government’s emerging changes to planning policy”.

Ministers announced in June that big wind farms such as Nocton Fen would no longer be dealt with by national planners as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, and decisions would instead be taken at local level in order to ensure communities had the “final say” over onshore wind farms.

Vattenfall said: “Due to the Government’s significant recent shift in national planning policy for onshore wind farms, Vattenfall has decided to stop the Nocton Fen Wind Energy Project.

“Whilst this project would have satisfied the Government’s policy to drive down the cost of electricity from onshore wind farms, the expected changes to the planning system mean that a project of this scale will no longer be supported by national planning policy.”

Sir James’s position on the windfarm has never been made clear. Although the entrepreneur has previously spoken out in support of renewable energy, the agreement with Vattenfall was signed before his company, Beeswax Farming, acquired the land.

In a statement, Beeswax Farming said: “Beeswax Farming bought this estate, which is excellent farming land, in order to grow crops. That remains the case. Any decision on wind farms is a matter for Vattenfall only.”

A Conservative source said: “This Government was elected with a clear manifesto commitment to give local people the final say over onshore wind farms and that is what we have done.”

Vattenfall’s decision to scrap the project also follows the Government’s move to end subsidies for onshore wind farms.
The Telegraph

This piece from the BBC (containing the usual drivel about the wind farm “powering” 14,900 homes) also glosses over the real reason for EDF dropping the project.

Not so very long ago, outfits like EDF wouldn’t have given up when faced with a planning refusal from a local Council; and would have appealed all the way to the High Court. Now, though, EDF seems to have lost its stomach for a fight; has dropped its appeal; and the project.

Bullington Cross rejected wind farm plans dropped
BBC News
15 July 2015

The energy company behind one of the south of England’s biggest wind farms has scrapped its plans.

EDF Energy Renewables wanted to put up 14 turbines to generate electricity for up to 14,900 homes at Bullington Cross near Winchester.

The application was turned down at a joint meeting by three Hampshire Councils last year.

The firm has now confirmed it is withdrawing its appeal against the decision scheduled for later this year.

In a statement EDF said: “After reviewing the scheme in the light of recent government announcements on onshore wind, the company has told the government’s planning inspectorate that it will not be proceeding with the appeal hearing.”

The proposed site for the 25m high (410ft) turbines was on agricultural land to the north of the A303.

‘Immoral’ to proceed

Campaigners are celebrating after the news, Douglas Patterson, of Keep Hampshire Green said: “It’s just amazing to have the whole ordeal over with finally.”

Mr Patterson turned down approaches by EDF to have six of the proposed turbines on his land.

He said: “I was offered £40,000 per turbine per year index-inked for 20 years, that is quite a lot of very easy money but I couldn’t live with myself if I did that, it would have been immoral to go ahead and do it.”

The Ministry of Defence had also formally objected to the scheme.
BBC News

Not only are wind power outfits dropping their proposed wind farms in answer to David Cameron slashing subsidies, those with ‘skin in the game’ are looking to ‘divest’ – a word usually associated with wind worshippers exhorting us to cash in our Rio Tinto shares, and go “fossil-free“.

In this case, however, this particular form of ‘divestment’ is the result of wind farm investors cashing out before the greatest Ponzi scheme of all time collapses:

The Wind Industry: You Know It’s a ‘Ponzi’ Scheme When its Targets Include Schools & Councils

Here’s a tale about wind power outfit, Centrica cutting and running, before the inevitable implosion – in a demonstration of the adage about there being ‘no honour amongst thieves’.

Centrica plans to divest wind power business
Wind-Clean Energy Business Review
31 July 2015

UK energy firm Centrica is planning to divest its remaining stakes in wind power projects as part of a strategic review.

The company is looking to raise up to £1bn by selling its wind farms and some of its exploration and production assets in order focus on energy supply business, FT reported.

The company has a combined operational wind generation asset base of 245MW, including a 50% stake in the 270MW Lincs offshore wind farm and a 50% interest in the 194MW Lynn and Inner Dowsing offshore sites.

Centrica also holds a 50% stake in the 26MW Glens of Foudland onshore wind farm in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

In its half-yearly statement, the company said: “In wind power generation, with total operational capacity of only 245MW and no existing potential developments in the pipeline, we plan to dispose of our interests, continuing to participate to a limited degree through power purchase agreements.”

The planned divestitures are part of Centrica’s strategy to focus on energy supply, services, distributed energy and power, connected home and energy marketing and trading.

In the first half of 2015, the company’s wind assets had good availability, but renewable power generation declined by 10% following sale of its share in the 90MW Barrow offshore wind farm in the East Irish Sea.

Power operating profit increased by 11% compared to the first half of last year because of a higher renewables profit.

It included a £40m charge related with the write-off of Centrica’s investment in the Celtic Array Round 3 offshore wind project.
Wind-Clean Energy Business Review

We’ve said it before; and we’ll say it again: if you have so much as a penny invested in wind power, then grab it and get out now.

exitsigns

Got money in wind power? Then grab it and RUN – don’t walk …

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Want to know some real numbers ?

    Using Renewable Energy Industry data sources, by 2014 European Union countries had invested approximately €1 trillion in large scale Renewable Energy installations. This may well be an underestimate.

    This has provided a nameplate electrical generating capacity of about 216 Gigawatts, nominally about ~22% of the total European generation needs of some 1000 Gigawatts.

    The actual measured output according to the same Renewable Energy sources by 2014 has been 38 Gigawatts or 3.8% of Europe’s electricity requirement, at a capacity factor of ~18% overall.

    Accounting for capacity factors the capital cost of these Renewable Energy installations is about €29billion / Gigawatt. That capital cost should be compared with conventional gas-fired electricity generation costing about €1billion / Gigawatt.

    The whole 1000 Gigawatt fleet of European electricity generation installations could have been replaced with lower capital cost Gas-fired installations for the €1trillion of capital costs already expended on Renewable Energy in Europe.

    The Renewable Energy industry could not exist without the Government mandated subsidies and preferential tariffs on which it depends. Without subsidy it is not a viable business proposition

    Viewed from the point of view of the viability of the nation’s electrical grid, Renewable Energy would never be part of the generating mix without its Government mandate and Government market interference.

    https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/european-renewable-energy-costs-and-performance-2014/

  2. Nimbynet says:

    Notice that Mr Patterson knocked back a lease to host 6 turbines @ £40,000 per turbine per year? Makes the poor hosts at Waubra look like dills!

  3. PierreRobert says:

    Spain tried to cut subsidies for their installed windfarms in order to get their finance in better balance. The result was that they were forced to continue to pay them at least to the German owned ones. Decided in a German court.

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