Wind Industry’s CO2 Emission Reduction Claims a ‘Cloak of Deception’

invisibility cloak

A truly ‘wizard’ use of a ‘cloak of deception’ –
there are other more nefarious uses …


Vermont Renewable Energy Program Increases State’s Carbon Footprint
Littleton Record
Dr. Ron Holland
17 September 2015

In 2005 the Vermont Legislature passed renewable energy legislation establishing the SPEED program. SPEED was repealed in 2015 with legislation initially called RESET. The name RESET has been dropped as leaders thought that the name implied that SPEED had been a mistake that required correcting. SPEED was a mistake and Vermont will be living with its legacy for at least 20 years.

While other states established renewable energy programs that decreased their carbon footprints, SPEED increased Vermont’s — by about 236,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. A similar annual burden will continue until SPEED projects like the Lowell, Sheffield and Georgia wind projects are decommissioned.

Since such a profound mistake was made and nobody has apologized to Vermonters, it seems prudent to perform an ‘autopsy’ to see how Vermonters were tricked into believing that a renewable energy program would decrease their carbon foot print.

There are two basic concepts of electrical engineering that our Governor, legislators, secretaries, Public Service Board and Public Service Department seemingly did not understand that set SPEED up to fail from its inception.

How do you count renewable energy? Renewable energy is not counted by measuring the output of your wind and solar projects. Renewable energy is measured by counting the Renewable Energy Certificates that an entity owns. Due to the complexity of the electrical grid it is difficult to associate electrical power with its precise source and its associated emissions. To simplify this complexity utilities agreed to separate electricity from its emissions.

A renewable energy project generates both electricity and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). A business generating renewable energy can sell both. A REC is valued at $55-$60 per MWh. A typical wholesale price for non-renewable energy in New England is $32 per MWh.

According to Federal Trade Commission guidelines only the owner of RECs can claim its energy as renewable, no matter how the energy was generated. If both the seller and buyer of a REC make a renewable energy claim it’s called “double” counting and is at least unethical, and arguably criminal.

How do you attribute carbon emissions? If an entity holds a REC for each MWh sold, the entity has zero emissions. For those MWh sold without a REC, the entity assumes responsibility for a proportionate share of total emissions for the regional grid. A renewable generator who sells its RECs effectively assumes the emissions of the buyer.

With a command of these two concepts anyone could have predicted in 2005 that SPEED would increase Vermont’s carbon footprint as all the RECs generated by SPEED projects are sold to out of state utilities to satisfy their state’s renewable energy requirements. With the sale of the RECs Vermont forfeits the right to call the energy renewable and all SPEED generated energy assumes the average regional emission rate, increasing Vermont’s carbon footprint.

Consider the following exchange between Public Service Board Chair James Volz and a witness for GMP regarding the word “renewable” in testimony before the PSB on February 4, 2011, page 187. The initial topic of the testimony is a report that the PSB is required to write in 2017 on the achievements of the SPEED program.

GMP: … the rub will come when Vermont assesses how we do on achieving SPEED goals. And a report or similar document is issued that describes what renewable sources does Vermont have. That would be a moment at which this concern (double counting) might arise.

CHAIRMAN VOLZ: So if we didn’t ever do that report, and just make that assessment, then we could avoid that problem perhaps. That may be a legal question, I don’t know.

GMP: I had not thought about it that way, sir.

CHAIRMAN VOLZ: We could encourage all the renewables we want, put in place programs to encourage renewables, allow the RECs to be sold, but as long as we don’t make a claim somewhere publicly that we have a certain amount of renewables then, or that we have met a specific goal, then we might be able to avoid the problem.

GMP: I think that’s fair, and you understand the dynamic … . . But I think you have it right.

CHAIRMAN VOLZ: Okay. Thank you.

Now consider how Green Mountain Power and the Vermont Electric Cooperative ‘sold’ the Lowell Wind project to Vermonters.

“Kingdom Community Wind means clean renewable energy built in Vermont for Vermonters.”

“We have always believed that this wind resource would provide a clean, cost-effective energy resource for Vermonters, and this upgrade is helping us achieve that goal.”

“This project [KCW] is an important part of Green Mountain Power’s strategy to provide its customers with long-term, stably priced renewable energy.”

In none of these conversations do the Public Service Board, Green Mountain Power, nor Vermont Electric Cooperative demonstrate an understanding of the FTC standard for the use of “renewable energy.” Vermont’s new renewable energy legislation also does not define renewable energy consistent with FTC guidelines. None of the parties demonstrate an ability to clearly communicate to Vermont’s citizens.

Vermont utilities currently receive about $50,000,000 annually from the sale of RECs, this represents about 6% of the cost of electricity. At the same time that SPEED projects were being constructed Hydro-Quebec had excess hydro power equivalent to 10 times the output of GMP’s Lowell project until 2023 that is currently being sold for 3.5 cents per kwh with no addition to the buyers carbon footprint.

As a citizen I wonder who made the decision not to buy this cost-effective renewable energy. VEC buys GMP wind power for 12 cents per kwh and sells the associated REC for about 5.5 cents kwh increasing our collective carbon footprint.

As Vermont’s new renewable energy program is trotted out again with the Blittersdorf-proposed 5 megawatt wind project in Irasburg, be watchful for the deceptive use of language. According to 9 V.S.A.§ 2453 “…deceptive acts…. in commerce…… are unlawful.” While no longer allowing double counting, current policy still allows RECs to be sold out of state increasing our carbon footprint.

Robert R. Holland, MD, MS, of Irasburg, Vermont, is an emergency physician at North Country Hospital in Newport. He has a Master’s Degree in Policy Analysis from Harvard University and has completed a National Library of Medicine Fellowship at New England Medical Center in decision analysis. He has published in peer-reviewed journals on the cost-effectiveness of health care interventions. He has performed a cost-effectiveness analysis of the Lowell Wind Project. His analysis finds that from a societal perspective the cost/metric ton of CO2 displacement is more than $200/metric ton; eight times the reasonable cost.
Littleton Record

Definition of fraud

About stopthesethings

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


  1. People have been sold on a delusion. The delusion uses the fear of making more and more CO2 and destroying the environment. The founder of this myth, Maurice Strong, who had been the CEO of Hydro Ontario in the mid-1980’s, has recently passed away. I know it is not nice to speak unkindly about the dead. I do not mourn the passing of Fascist Adolph Hitler, and I do not mourn the passing of eco-fascist founder, Maurice Strong. I believe them both to be quintessential degenerates who pulled the wool over millions of people’s eyes and have caused tremendous harm. The fraud of the renewable energy bubble is well illustrated by the above article. Fraud is actionable in any court with the courage to prosecute it. Does that still exist in this “Brave New World”? And by the way, the concept of the “carbon footprint”, an invention of the warmists, is exactly one of their Chicken Little fear weapons.

  2. Reblogged this on citizenpoweralliance.

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