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CLIMATE ACTIVIST : If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive?

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INFORMATIVE piece written not by a climate change “denier” but by energy and environment expert Michael Shellenberger – a democrat and climate change activist, no less.

ALWAYS refreshing reading Shellenberger’s work and commentary on twitter. Like Bjorn Lomborg, the other well-known ‘warmist’, they both provide reasoned analysis of environmental issues, focusing on costs and outcomes of climate and energy policy, rather than blind ideology so common in mainstream media environmental reporting that only poisons and polarises the debate leading to unnecessary alarmism resulting in overarching climate policy and misguided allocation of public money.

Shellenberger concludes…

This is a problem of bias, not just energy illiteracy. Normally skeptical journalists routinely give renewables a pass. The reason isn’t because they don’t know how to report critically on energy — they do regularly when it comes to non-renewable energy sources — but rather because they don’t want to.

That could — and should — change. Reporters have an obligation to report accurately and fairly on all issues they cover, especially ones as important as energy and the environment.

A good start would be for them to investigate why, if solar and wind are so cheap, they are making electricity so expensive.

Read on here…

If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive?

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Clipper yacht Liverpool 2018 passes the Burbo Bank Wind Farm on August 14, 2017, off Liverpool, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

OVER the last year, the media have published story after story after story about the declining price of solar panels and wind turbines.

People who read these stories are understandably left with the impression that the more solar and wind energy we produce, the lower electricity prices will become.

And yet that’s not what’s happening. In fact, it’s the opposite.

Between 2009 and 2017, the price of solar panels per watt declined by 75 percent while the price of wind turbines per watt declined by 50 percent.

And yet — during the same period — the price of electricity in places that deployed significant quantities of renewables increased dramatically.

Electricity prices increased by:

What gives? If solar panels and wind turbines became so much cheaper, why did the price of electricity riseinstead of decline?

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Electricity prices increased by 51 percent in Germany during its expansion of solar and wind energy.

One hypothesis might be that while electricity from solar and wind became cheaper, other energy sources like coal, nuclear, and natural gas became more expensive, eliminating any savings, and raising the overall price of electricity.

But, again, that’s not what happened.

The price of natural gas declined by 72 percent in the U.S. between 2009 and 2016 due to the fracking revolution. In Europe, natural gas prices dropped by a little less than half over the same period.

The price of nuclear and coal in those place during the same period was mostly flat.

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Electricity prices increased 24 percent in California during its solar energy build-out from 2011 to 2017.

Another hypothesis might be that the closure of nuclear plants resulted in higher energy prices.

Evidence for this hypothesis comes from the fact that nuclear energy leaders Illinois, France, Sweden and South Korea enjoy some of the cheapest electricity in the world.

Since 2010, California closed one nuclear plant (2,140 MW installed capacity) while Germany closed 5 nuclear plants and 4 other reactors at currently-operating plants (10,980 MW in total).

Electricity in Illinois is 42 percent cheaper than electricity in California while electricity in France is 45 percent cheaper than electricity in Germany.

But this hypothesis is undermined by the fact that the price of the main replacement fuels, natural gas and coal, remained low, despite increased demand for those two fuels in California and Germany.

That leaves us with solar and wind as the key suspects behind higher electricity prices. But why would cheapersolar panels and wind turbines make electricity moreexpensive?

The main reason appears to have been predicted by a young German economist in 2013.

In a paper for Energy Policy, Leon Hirth estimated that the economic value of wind and solar would decline significantly as they become a larger part of electricity supply.

The reason? Their fundamentally unreliable nature. Both solar and wind produce too much energy when societies don’t need it, and not enough when they do.

Solar and wind thus require that natural gas plants, hydro-electric dams, batteries or some other form of reliable power be ready at a moment’s notice to start churning out electricity when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining.

And unreliability requires solar- and/or wind-heavy places like Germany, California and Denmark to payneighboring nations or states to take their solar and wind energy when they are producing too much of it.

Hirth predicted that the economic value of wind on the European grid would decline 40 percent once it becomes 30 percent of electricity while the value of solar would drop by 50 percent when it got to just 15 percent.

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Hirth predicted that the economic value of wind would decline 40% once it reached 30% of electricity, and that the value of solar would drop by 50% when it reached 15% of electricity.

In 2017, the share of electricity coming from wind and solar was 53 percent in Denmark, 26 percent in Germany, and 23 percent in California. Denmark and Germany have the first and second most expensive electricity in Europe.

By reporting on the declining costs of solar panels and wind turbines but not on how they increase electricity prices, journalists are — intentionally or unintentionally — misleading policymakers and the public about those two technologies.

The Los Angeles Times last year reported that California’s electricity prices were rising, but failed to connect the price rise to renewables, provoking a sharp rebuttal from UC Berkeley economist James Bushnell.

“The story of how California’s electric system got to its current state is a long and gory one,” Bushnell wrote, but “the dominant policy driver in the electricity sector has unquestionably been a focus on developing renewable sources of electricity generation.”

Part of the problem is that many reporters don’t understand electricity. They think of electricity as a commodity when it is, in fact, a service — like eating at a restaurant.

The price we pay for the luxury of eating out isn’t just the cost of the ingredients most of which which, like solar panels and wind turbines, have declined for decades.

Rather, the price of services like eating out and electricity reflect the cost not only of a few ingredients but also their preparation and delivery.

This is a problem of bias, not just energy illiteracy. Normally skeptical journalists routinely give renewables a pass. The reason isn’t because they don’t know how to report critically on energy — they do regularly when it comes to non-renewable energy sources — but rather because they don’t want to.

That could — and should — change. Reporters have an obligation to report accurately and fairly on all issues they cover, especially ones as important as energy and the environment.

A good start would be for them to investigate why, if solar and wind are so cheap, they are making electricity so expensive.

 

Michael Shellenberger, President, Environmental Progress. Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment.”

If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive? | Forbes

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See also :

Energy Poverty related :

Energiewende Fail related :

World Coal-Fired Power Surge related :

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ECONOMIC Fantasy: Battery ‘Solution’ to Intermittent Wind & Solar Would Cost $Trillions

“Those fantasists claiming that we’re heartbeat away from running entirely on sunshine and breezes, need to keep up the line about giant batteries being the simple solution to a glaring problem. Except, that they will never put a number on what their purportedly quick and simple fix might cost. And that’s because the number is in the many $trillions, as detailed by Francis Menton below.”

AND on the third day BILLIONS became TRILLIONS! Taxpayers hard-earned money sacrificed at the alter of “climate change” all to try to create some kind of perfect climate nirvana.

Out-of-control…

STOP THESE THINGS

It took the proletariat a nanosecond to work out that wind power can, and will never, work as a meaningful power generation source.

Graphs like the one above – depicting the entire output of every wind turbine connected to Australia’s Eastern Grid (spread across four states, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia) – quickly gave the game away.

Challenged with the inherent unreliability and obvious intermittency of wind power, those pushing it have been reduced to chanting mantras about mega-batteries saving the day.

The way they tell it, it’s as if they simply left grid-scale battery storage off their shopping lists – like some muddle-headed shopper returning home without milk and bread – and all they needed to do was pop back to the shops to collect some.

A bargain struck by economic vandals: $150,000,000 for 4 minute’s power.

The world’s largest battery cuts a lonely figure in a paddock…

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#UNRELIABLES Report Card : Actual Electricity Generated From Wind Farms Falls Well Short Of Claimed Output

INDUTSRIAL WIND TURBINES - THE FLAWS

“We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” – Warren Buffett

“Suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.” – James Hansen (The Godfather of global warming alarmism and former NASA climate chief)

Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.” – Top Google engineers

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THE question of efficiency is critical to any informed discussion of wind energy. Wind turbines produce less energy than their “maximum capacity” rating would have us believe. Due to the fluctuation of wind currents—not exactly a novel discovery—turbines actually produce around 26.9 percent of the energy they could in theory generate. This is known as their “capacity factor.” By contrast, conventional power plants tend to have a capacity factor of 40 to 80 percent. This has one obvious ramification: Wind farms are less efficient and cost-effective than non-renewable sources of energy.

ALTHOUGH this conclusion is hardly shocking, the unpredictability of wind power presents a much more serious problem. Because wind power can never be completely reliable, we will always need other, more reliable forms of energy to serve as a backup for “wind reliant” buildings and infrastructure. (Wind Farms: Not So Green | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson)

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HOW Green Central Planning And Big Government Has Destroyed Australia’s Electricity Market

“We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” – Warren Buffett

“Suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.” – James Hansen (The Godfather of global warming alarmism and former NASA climate chief)

Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.” – Top Google engineers

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AUSTRALIA’S once key economic advantage and proud boast of having the cheapest power prices in the world has been sacrificed at the altar of climate change by its politicians’ obsession with global warming theory and subsequent mad rush into large-scale unreliable ‘energy’ sources – wind and solar.

BIPARTISAN appeasement to the UN climate gods has come at a major cost to Australian businesses and households, now exposed to some of the highest power prices in the world, South Australia officially the highest.

 

JUST as socialist central planning failed miserably before it was replaced by free market economies, green central planning will have to be discarded before Australia will see a return to energy security and competitive pricing.

TWO must read articles via the IPA and Australian columnist Chris Kenny, exposing the entirely man-made energy crisis that is crippling industry and eroding the living standards of everyday Australian’s…


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The Destruction By Government Of Australia’s Electricity Market

Throughout the western world over the last 20-30 years in particular, we have witnessed the tightening hand of the state, which has become ever more bold in insisting where and how we live, who we can work for or employ, what we can say and think, whose car we can get into, whose home we can stay in, and what we’re allowed to put into our mouths.

But these remarks are about how government intervention has destroyed the electricity market in Australia and throughout much of the western world, and what it means for personal and economic liberty, now and in the future.

Let me start by outlining what a market should be, and how it should work with electricity.

A real market is simply a place where consumers and producers meet, and agree on a price and means to satisfy consumer demand.

A real electricity market is one open to all fuel technologies – coal, gas, uranium, wind, water or the sun. Where producers compete to grow market share and increase their profit based on efficient production, with all consumers – household and business – the winners.

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Hype-Power: Renewables Zealots’ Claims that SA’s Mega-Battery Saves Grid Pure Bunkum

“HOWEVER, it turns out that Reneweconomy, in its zeal to promote new power sources, shifted the goalposts so that the battery output was exaggerated over one hundred fold. The correct measure is as follows with the battery contribution comprising the almost invisible yellow at the bottom of the following chart.

A mixture of mainly fossil fuel stations expanded output and filled the gap within one minute.

Morals of the story: (i) batteries may have a role but they are dear; (ii) always seek verification of assertions made by propagandists!”

A must read post by Alan Moran and STT…

STOP THESE THINGS

Four parts snake-oil, three parts urban myth.

With Australia’s renewable energy crisis running totally out of control, whenever you hear the word ‘battery’ you know you’re being conned.

Pumping power into and then taking it out of a battery results in inevitable exchange losses, power gets chewed up during that process and is dissipated as heat energy. And then there’s the enormous capital cost of the battery: SA’s 100 MW tiddler cost taxpayers $150 million. Even if renewable electricity delivered from batteries were available, retailers would be paying north of $600 per MWh to get it.

But still the hapless Federal Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg plugs it; head of the AEMO, Audrey Zibelman plugs it; and so does Anne Pearson of the Australian Energy Market Commission.

And so do the wind and sun worshippers over at Ruin-economy. Here’s Alan Moran unplugging some of their more exuberant hype.

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“Saving The Planet” Update : Wind Turbines Destroy Local Farming Village And Bees 🐝

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Pic source – Beeline to Fury: Korean Farmers Declare War on Wind Power – For Wrecking Communities & Killing Bees – STOP THESE THINGS

CLIMATE alarmism’s primary objective is to scare you and policy makers into belief such that your taxes are effortlessly diverted, with little to no scrutiny, into research grants and green schemes and scams to supposedly stop bad weather by changing the temperature of the planet. Yet, no one can ever tell you by how much the temperature will change for each dollar spent. But alas, “Saving The Planet” is far more important than how your hard-earned money is spent, right?

CLIMATE research is paid for by you in the form of government grants. And, thanks to the system of pal peer-review, the most scary studies, prefaced by “anthropogenic” are given the green light, published in science journals with results interpreted by the compliant mainstream media and delivered back to you, to scare you even more such that you will happily donate more money to the scam research.

A google search with key words [climate research + climate change worse than we thought] illustrates 1,960,000 times in 0.45 seconds the effect that monopolistic or one-way funding has on published results…

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ENERGY Regulator Report : Hazelwood Coal Plant Shutdown Drives Record Power Price Surge

wholesale electricity prices soaring

WELCOME to the Australia! The lucky country with the world’s cheapest energy sources that now boasts the world’s highest electricity prices!

ENERGY rationing has always been a key feature of the Left’s misanthropic agenda of depopulation deindustrialisation, enforced through punitive emissions controls, protected by the indisputable cloak of ‘climate change’ – the emotionally powered eco-cause engineered by the environmental movement in the 1970’s who realised that doing something about supposed catastrophic man-made global warming would play to quite a number of the Left’s social agendas.

STANFORD University and Royal Society’s resident global warming alarmist and population freak Paul R. Ehrlich spelled out the deindustrialisation objective with this attack on energy in 1976:

Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the
equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun
.”

– Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University/Royal Society

EHRLICH also wanted to poison black African’s in order to fight climate change. But, we’ll leave that conversation for another day. Ahem.

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FORMER Australian PM Julia Gillard, who implemented Australia’s ill-fated 2011 carbon tax, was open in expressing its core function to drive substantial changes in patterns of energy production and energy use.’

GILLARD’S ideology synonymous with another well known eco-doomsayer and the creator, fabricator and proponent of global warming – UNEP’s founding father Maurice Strong:

Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.” – Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s Earth Summit, 1992.

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IN 2016, Victoria’s premier Dan Andrews took his State one step closer to Ehrlich and U.N. Strong’s energy-free utopia, with the closure of Hazelwood coal-fired power station, culling 22% of Victoria’s cheap, reliable energy supply and flipping the state from a power exporter to an importer.

COAL-fired power plant closures have become the order of the day for Australia’s virtue-signalling and global warming theory-obsessed political class who think that destroying the country’s industrial heartland, and imposing crippling energy-poverty on its citizens is a worthwhile price to pay for “saving the planet”.

THE result:

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