“Renewables” are fraud, viable only through massive subsidies

The Green Taliban likes to talk about “renewables” like they are some sort of holy grail. Unfortunately they aren’t:

Although renewables remain the power source of choice for greens, they require such massive subsidies that their role in meeting soaring electricity demand will remain incidental. Spain is only one country that has decided that it can no longer afford the subsidies that renewables require, and only Obama’s antipathy to fossil fuels, his war on climate change, and the political clout of some of his donors keep subsidies flowing to uneconomic solar and wind companies.

Renewables are as fraudulent as their insistence that humans are warming the planet.


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  • 75% of our power comes from Hydro however?

    • Hi Ben. Try to build a new hydro scheme nowadays. You will be tied up in court for twenty years fighting opposition from Greenies and forking out millions to placate local taniwha.

      • Was waiting for that particular answer. It shows the nature of the Greens – in fact you even might get them opposing a wind farm to boot here in NZ.

        Trying to figure that one out.

        But yes, trying to build a dam these days and you are basically damned

        • blokeintakapuna

          Project Aqua anyone?

        • parorchestia

          As an American engineer said once: just wait until their hair driers fail…

          • unitedtribes

            Happened in USA once. They couldn’t build any new power supply for 20 years because the greenies in SFS objected all the time so when the power ran out they turned off SFS. The bitching stopped immediately and the power stations were built.

      • Never in the dark…..
    • BJ

      Water is ‘recyclable’

  • While my mind is at it, I wonder what the true level support is to build a small scale Nuclear Plant the size of Huntly would be? (So 1.385 GW)

  • BJ

    “Renewables are as fraudulent as their insistence that humans are warming the planet”
    Cam, that one sentence says it all.

  • peterwn

    UK has the problem that for each wind turbine built it is necessary to build equivalent capacity of a ‘shadow’ gas fired power station and have suitable gas contracts in place. These stations are relatively cheap to build (using aircraft type turbines) but are inefficient and hence expensive to run – they also need standby staff unless they can be fully and reliably automated. NZ is fortunate in having such ‘shadow’ power stations in place – the existing network of hydro stations, so the economics of wind power in NZ is more favourable than in UK.

    • parorchestia

      No it isn’t. The “shadow” or base load facilities as we call them here must be able to meet all the demand when the wind doesn’t blow. These base load stations provide power at a fraction of the cost of wind generated electricity. It is hard to get reliable figures, but I have seen 4 c (US) for coal or gas, 5 to 10 c per unit for hydro compared to 34 c per unit for wind. So why build wind turbines that cost a fortune, have immense foundations that pollute, are very intermittent, and are very inefficient (11% is the latest estimate), and which destroy beautiful landscapes? The concrete and steel that goes into their manufacture consume huge quantities of water and steel to make and aren’t renewable.
      Did I see a row of turbines on a distant ridge in The Hobbit?
      Now a nice little thorium reactor ………

      • tarkwin

        I was just reading about molten salt reactors – interesting stuff.

      • JimboBug

        Thorium is great; an old idea that was tested and abandoned as you couldn’t breed materials for nuclear bombs. Why the West isn’t pouring their third world development dollars into this is beyond me – as nothing speeds up development like cheap and abundant energy.

        • what i like about the LFTR’s is that you can also feed some of the stored byproducts produced by the traditional nuclear reactors and those products are used up or transformed into more fuel and used. this means we can start chipping away at the stockpiles of previously useless and dangerous waste.

          • thor42

            Agreed! Heck, it’s **useful fuel** for those reactors – let’s use it! Yep – thorium reactors are bloody good.

  • Never in the dark…..

    For those promoting wind as an option: http://windfallthemovie.com/index_1.html

    The sound always seemed a stumbling factor.Then recently I heard how ‘non human’ life forms struggle with the vibrations, this includes plants and insect life. We won’t talk about how many birds they kill, I bet it’s more than Morgans cats.

    This movie highlighted another issue I’d not thought of, stroboscopic effect. The alternating flashing of sunlight and shadow as the blades turn. Something as an epileptic and migraine sufferer, I’m very weary of.

    I’d rather have a lake to go fishing on thank you.

  • Polish pride

    Yes and we’ll just not mention the massive subsidies and tax breaks the oil industry has been receiving for decades….

    • JimboBug

      Only in the developing world …

  • Polish pride

    That said I’m all for more hydro – much more!
    Not a big fan of wind turbines – they are ugly and completely ruin the otherwise natural landscape

  • ConwayCaptain

    A nuclear plant could be built in a vessel and moored/secured in a safe location that would not be susceptible to a Tsunami.

  • Patrick

    Renewables are as fraudulent as their insistence that humans are warming the planet.

    Renewables are as fraudulent as THE GREENS

  • Not one mention of thermal?

    • tarkwin

      Thermal energy is a taonga. This makes it an incredibly good koha and taniwha attractant. The net cost per kilowatt to sort this out would mean Gareth Morgan would be the only person in N.Z who could afford to boil a jug.

      • Ronnie Chow

        But the Maori would get a preferential rate ….


    What a nonsense view! There are reasons that countries like Germany offer massive subsidies to wind generators. Those reasons do not make renewables fraudulent. Instead they reflect more on the governments that choose to pay those subsidies.

    At around US$1 per watt (plus up to about same for hv transmission lines to connect to the national grid) and a 40% capacity factor, wind turbines are at the point of being economic compared to coal. Factor in the ghg emissions cost and the balance tips towards wind.

    These large scale wind farms do cause problems, no doubt. But instead of looking at the problem and so quickly dismissing the concept, try to look at how the problems may be solved. There is a place for renewable energy sources in our society.

    For example, it is not surprising that birds are being killed as per the video. But that seems to me to be more about the density of turbines installed at that location. So one solution would be to make more use of small-scale distributed wind turbines as covered at http://www.ruralconnect.org.nz/projects-2/small-scale-wind-turbine/.

    These turbines are now viable on economic grounds rather than purely environmental ones.

    • Ronnie Chow

      “At around US$1 per watt” What does this mean , John . Here in NZ we are paying retail about 27 cents per 1,000 Watts (kw/hr)

      • it means that the cost to purchase renewable energy system is about $1 per watt. which is about right for solar panels and wind turbines. so after pay9ng $2000 for a 2kw turbine it has to generate 8kw before you break even. – thats about a year for most houses. after that its all free electricity – barring maintenance costs

    • Roger Gower

      …Factor in the ghg emissions cost and the balance tips towards wind…..

      I think you will find that the “emissions cost” of ghg is actually a subsidy or imposed cost. It is not a direct cost of generation by any means. It relies on the notionof global warming which is by no measure proven. And while we’re about it there are no ghg emissions from a nuclear power plant.

  • thor42

    I agree with all those here who support nuclear power.

    Nuclear is *definitely* the way to go when you want massive amounts of energy.

    Two nuke plants – one in the Waikato and one near Palmy – they would meet our energy needs for the foreseeable future.