Never Ending Story: Wind Industry Delivers Part-Time Power But Demands Perpetual Subsidies

The wind and solar industries face an existential threat, with governments throwing every available resource at resuscitating their economies, instead of pandering to the renewable energy sector. The Draconian measures adopted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 mean that governments have a choice.

Throw taxpayer’s dollars at filthy rich wind and solar power outfits (which have wallowed in hundreds of $billions in subsidies over the last 20 years).

Or to provide general economic stimulus – in the form of welfare to the masses of recently unemployed and subsidies and support to keep businesses afloat and their workers employed – that might allow their countries to recover from state enforced lockdowns, with some degree of dignity.

No prizes for guessing which choice is the more palatable from a political perspective.

Proving themselves, yet again, to be tin-eared mouthpieces for the wind and solar lobby, US Democrats pulled out all stops in an effort to support their corporate benefactors, by attempting to snaffle $millions from the Federal government’s economic stimulus package. Their lack of political wit, was only outdone by the audacity of America’s renewable energy rent seekers. Robert Bryce reports.

Why Dems are so bent on passing wind amid corona crisis
New York Post
Robert Bryce
27 March 2020

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Renewable energy is getting so cheap that it doesn’t need subsidies anymore.

Yes, well. Renewables live or die by subsidies, in fact. That was proved yet again this week, when Democrats tried (unsuccessfully) to stuff a panoply of Green New Deal measures into the corona-crisis relief bill — including extensions of the tax credits that have been driving the growth of solar and wind energy.

That Congressional Democrats would push so hard for solar and wind subsidies at such a critical time for the US economy is particularly galling for two reasons. First, the wind industry already stands to collect some $33.75 billion in subsidies between now and 2029. Second, wind-energy development in some of the most-heavily Democratic states in the country — Hawaii, California, New York and Vermont — has been effectively stopped due to local opposition.

To be sure, the Washington favor factory never sleeps. But the American Wind Energy Association and its lobbyists deserve an Olympic gold medal for their utter lack of shame.

For years, the wind industry has been saying that it doesn’t need subsidies to compete against traditional forms of energy. On its Web site, AWEA says that wind-energy growth is “expected to remain strong” when the production tax credit goes away. In 2015, the wind industry agreed to a multiyear phase-out of the subsidy.

But at the end of last year, it garnered a one-year extension of the subsidy. And on March 20, AWEA sent a notice to its members urging them to participate in a “grasstops outreach campaign” targeting key senators for yet another extension, because COVID-19 is “creating schedule problems.”

Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican, has said: “As the father of the first wind-energy tax credit in 1992, I can say that the tax credit was never meant to be permanent.” Permanent or not, wind subsidies now dwarf every other energy-related tax treatment, and by 2029, according to Lisa Linowes, the executive director of the WindAction Group, cumulative subsidies given to the wind industry will total a staggering $60 billion.

In the midst of coronavirus crisis, Pelosi goes for woke: Devine
The Democrats’ willingness to give yet more tax money to the wind industry is even more remarkable when considering what is happening on the ground. From Vermont to Hawaii, rural residents are rejecting wind projects due to concerns about property values, noise and viewsheds.

Bernie Sanders claims the United States must convert its entire economy to renewable energy. But his own constituents, Vermonters, loathe wind energy. On March 24, the Vermont Public Utilities Commission rejected the last active application for a major wind project in the state.

In New York, resistance to wind energy is so widespread that Gov. Cuomo included a measure in the state budget proposal that, if passed, will strip local communities of their ability to stop wind and solar-energy projects from being built in their jurisdictions.

California has mandated that 60 percent of its electricity be derived from renewables by 2030. But it’s nearly impossible to build new wind capacity in Nancy Pelosi’s home state. Since 2013, the state has added fewer than 200 megawatts of new wind capacity. The latest rejection occurred in December, when Humboldt County declined a proposed wind project that would have put 47 giant turbines in the county.

In Hawaii, 200 people were arrested last fall on the island of Oahu while protesting the construction of eight wind turbines near the village of Kahuku. The fight over that project is now headed to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

In short, top Democrats are pushing for big increases in wind-energy subsidies just when rural residents in their home states are ardently opposing Big Wind. Giving the wind industry billions more in subsidies will only fuel those land-use conflicts.

This economic-rescue bill will likely not include Big Wind pork. But given the wind industry’s shamelessness, the nonsense is certain to return. Indeed, Politico is reporting that subsidies for solar and wind “could be pushed to a later corporate rescue package.”
New York Post

Always looking for someone else to prop it up.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Dennis English says:

    Wind energy has increased the cost of electricity in Illinois. Because energy distribution is forced to use wind energy over other sources, but cannot supply an uninterrupted flow the traditional gas & nuclear plants must be ready to carry the load. This is an added cost to the consumer.

  2. Why aren’t governments invoking force majeure to end the subsidies and contracts in the face of this unexpected economic crisis?

    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/forcemajeure.asp

  3. Crispin bpm says:

    The West Wing summed up the renewable energy dilemma beautifully in Series 6 Episode 5 “The Hubbert Peak”.

    An edited version has been posted online. The quality of the footage is not great, as the publisher states. But listen out for the line, “Breaking wind together.” Classic.

    ‘Josh’s Alternative Energy Summit’ – The West Wing (The Hubbert Peak)

    Published by Octavium

  4. windfraudrefugee says:

    Whinge,whinge,whine,whine.
    It is hard to tell the difference between a zealot and a dinosaur,( lack of), energy supply.

    Making outrageous claims, with snouts in the subsidy trough and grubby mitts out is laughable in times the planet finds itself.

    Instead of shouting to the people of the world,”We don’t care.”

    How about,”We don’t need the subsidies, we donate it all for medical supplies’.

    Who am I kidding

  5. Peter Pronczak says:

    The QLD state government approved 226 wind turbine farms in adjoining state forests containing pine plantations, between Maryborough and Gympie, is an exercise in the gullibility of supporters.

    To be built on ridges “higher than birds fly” according to a consortium release; they’ve worked out how long a piece of string is, works out at clearing a level working surface of about 5,000sq metres per turbine (based on 100M X 50M six crane working area; it could be more). It doesn’t sound like much but being located in three separate forests, spread out access roads (with various connections including electrical) with the working surfaces needing to be strong enough to support concrete trucks for the cyclone (hurricane) proof foundations of the 180 metre high turbines with their three 20 tonne blades.
    Not having seen the feasibility study (if it exists) it’s not known what happens to the overburden (soil/rock) or what additional forest/plantation will be destroyed.

    Said feasibility study should state how much natural forest (to support the likes of now endangered Koalas that suffered horrendously from the bushfires according to the WWF, or pollinating insects that European pine doesn’t support) or what plantation timber will be left to provide long term jobs.
    Fire prone turbines in forests? Makes some sort of sense particularly to Siemens Financial. Inescapable PAYE taxpayers keep copping the bill.

    Uncosted in the proposal is additional small town (tourist resort) access road widening for turning lanes claimed to be years of ‘catch-up’ in safety measures of plantation timber transporting.

    In the current bigger picture of subsidies, the majority of financial journalists can’t indicate where, in what legislation, and who has the discretionary power to activate the bank deposit guarantee, or explain the content of CFR minutes 19/06/2009 or the FSB Report 21/09/2011 stating the limit of AU$20 billion per ADI not being sufficient to cover any of the four major banks. Legislation is common throughout IMF subjected countries excluding India that rejected it.

    Additionally, contrary to opinion, shares don’t continually go up, plague, pestilence and various guises of war reset indices.
    Does or doesn’t the Futures Market manipulate prices?
    For years, governments included, have known the oil market doesn’t reflect costs: See BAE, Saudi Arabia 1985 (coincidentally the ALP-NLP economic consensus of deindustrialisation/privatisation; service industry money from money) weapons for oil deal brokered between UK PM Margaret Thatcher and Prince Bandar bin Sultan culminating in the 9/11 attack when Prince Bandar (Bandar Bush) was US ambassador with money transferred from the Bank of England to his Riggs Bank (as revealed by the Joint Senate Inquiry: FBI didn’t say they had another 70,000 documents on the rest including the attack date – first responders still dying; so much for life value) with monthly cheques drawn to support two of the hijackers.

    Mainstream media well knows the difference between emanation and origin as pertains to punishing China. Their lifting millions from poverty couldn’t have happened without western industries being transferred there at local expense.
    What punishment did the British company that released mosquitoes carrying Zika virus in South America cop?
    Unlike others (President Obama-NATO in Ukraine), China has never shown any hegemonic tendency.

    Eugenicists may be green with envy, but Malthusians are gleeful as they’ve been every time a biological control over surplus to requirement humans are killed.
    If the rest isn’t convincing stream the documentary “Unlawful Killing Princess Diana” 1hr 20min.

    Particularly in AU, News Corp should stop warmongering on behalf of foreigner Rupert Murdock and the usury financial system.

    COVID-19 could well be the final excuse for legislated bank account bail-in, with unclaimed super going to the ATO (in other countries?) to support the business bottom line of deductions to support political parties’ classified as charities.

    It’s all adding up to a big systemic rethink, as in why did the USA lose it’s credit system way if not for traitors. Bring back the publicly owned Commonwealth Bank & let it finance sensible, reliable nuclear power – no-one protested the USS Ronald Reagan docked in Brisbane for the Talisman Sabre exercise.
    Xtinction Rebellion; idiots or gullible?

    Political party gene pool? Well incest is a known problem.

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