renewable energy

Another subsidised “green” energy company goes tits up

This is why politicians should not subsidise anything, let alone “green” energy projects:

A cutting-edge battery maker that received millions from taxpayers has become the latest government-backed energy firm to file for bankruptcy ??reviving the controversy over how stimulus dollars were spent under the last administration.

Seven years after Aquion Energy received a $5.2 million stimulus-tied grant from the federal government, the Pennsylvania company on Wednesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

?Creating a new electrochemistry and an associated battery platform at commercial scale is extremely complex, time-consuming, and very capital intensive. Despite our best efforts to fund the company and continue to fuel our growth, the Company has been unable to raise the growth capital needed to continue operating as a going concern,? Scott Pearson, Aquion’s outgoing CEO, said in a?press release.

The company, which is now seeking a buyer, produces batteries to store solar and renewable energy. It had been touted as a rising star in the energy storage business, even attracting investment from Microsoft founder Bill Gates and millions more in state funding. ? Read more »

The Future of Energy:Renewable energy subsidies & Reducing Emissions



Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it is an in-depth analysis I divided it into six posts so that we could discuss each part separately.

Current Subsidies

Worldwide, hundreds of billions of dollars per year are spent on subsidising wind and solar electricity generation, and on pursuing the development of marine power technologies based on waves, tidal currents and tidal barrages. In most countries, renewable energy is subsidised by the taxpayer and/or electricity consumer. ?Feed-in tariffs?, ?Production Tax Credits?, ?Renewable Portfolio Standards? and ?Renewables Obligation Certificates? are all forms of subsidy. The developers or investors benefit from subsidies and tax breaks that, in some cases, result in them getting their money back in very short periods. In nearly all cases, the cost of paying these subsidies is either added to the cost of electricity paid for by all consumers, or is derived from governments? other tax revenues or increased government debt. It is these subsidies, not economic merit, that have produced the explosion in renewable energy projects over the past decade. Without subsidies, constructing wind and solar farms for connection to the grid would be a hugely loss-making business.

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The Future of Energy: The history of human energy use


Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it is an in-depth analysis I have divided it into six posts so that we can discuss each part separately. Subjects to be covered are:

  1. The history of human energy use
  2. Wind power
  3. Solar power
  4. Renewable energy subsidies &?Options for Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions
  5. Nuclear, Gas and Coal-based Generation
  6. Man-made Global Warming and the Great Policy Error

The History of Human Energy Use – from Roman Times to the Present

For thousands of years, human economic and social development proceeded slowly, primarily owing to the lack of an adequate, low-cost supply of energy. In Roman times, the primary sources of energy were manpower and animals. There were some water mills and windmills, but only one known example of a power-driven mass production factory. This lack of large-scale, low-cost energy meant that anything that needed a large power output was extremely expensive and this in turn limited economic and social development.

This situation remained more or less unchanged until Thomas Newcomen built the first practical steam engine in 1712. This was used to pump out the Conygree mine in the United Kingdom. This engine, with an efficiency of less than 0.5%, started the Industrial Revolution. Ever since that year, engineers have strived to improve efficiency. Today?s steam turbine power stations, with up to 100 times better efficiency, supply low-cost electricity to people all over the world.

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The folly of wind power

The Green taliban and warmists implore us to all use “renewables” to produce our power.

They tell us this despite renewable power sources being inconsistent and mostly ineffective. All around the world we are seeing examples of renewable energy projects failing, usually at huge cost to the unfortunate taxpayer who picks up the bills.

Lake Land College recently announced plans to tear down broken wind turbines on campus, after the school got $987,697.20 in taxpayer support for wind power.

The turbines were funded by a $2.5?million grant?from the U.S. Department of Labor, but the turbines lasted for less than four years and were incredibly costly to maintain.

?Since the installation in 2012, the college has spent $240,000 in parts and labor to maintain the turbines,??Kelly Allee,?Director of Public Relations at Lake Land College, told The?Daily Caller News Foundation.

The college estimates it would take another $100,000 in repairs to make the turbines function again after one of them was struck by lightning and likely suffered electrical damage last summer. School officials? original estimates found the turbine would?save it $44,000 in electricity annually, far more than the $8,500 they actually generated. Under the original optimistic scenario, the turbines would have to last for 22.5 years just to recoup the costs, not accounting for inflation. If viewed as an investment, the turbines had a return of negative 99.14 percent.

?While they have been an excellent teaching tool for students, they have only generated $8,500 in power in?their lifetime,? she said. ?One of the reasons for the lower than expected energy power is that the turbines often?need to be repaired. They are not a good teaching tool if they are not working.?

The college estimates it?would take another?$100,000 in repairs to make the turbines function again?after one of them was?struck by lightning and likely?suffered electrical damage last summer.

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Rodney Hide on the Greens’ peak oil conundrum

Rodney Hide gives James Shaw a good shellacking over his ‘peak oil’ craziness.

Let?s start the New Year on a happy, glorious note.?That means Green co-leader James Shaw.?He is the best thing to have happened to Parliament in years.

I could not make him up.?No one would believe me.?But there he is, a walking, talking political leader.

He is the best of fun but, sadly, too often his best gems disappear into the internet unreported.

I fear you missed his delightful 14 January press release headed, ?Cheap oil gives the opportunity to start exiting from it.?

That?s right. Oil?s cheap. So now?s the time to swap it for more expensive alternatives. Genius. That?s the power of corporate green speak.?Complete bollocks can be headlined by a political leader and go completely unremarked.

Imagine if oil right now was expensive. Would Mr Shaw declare that now is not the time to be swapping to alternatives?? I don?t think so.

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Is our Crown-owned electricity market regulator scared of private solar proliferation?

This is odd:

At present, 67,000 homes generate electricity from solar panels on their roof – a tiny percentage of the two million homes connected to the national grid.

But those 67,000 are a forceful minority, who argue they are producing clean energy from sunshine.

However, Electricity Authority chief executive Carl Hansen told Nine to Noon that going solar could hurt people in the pocket while doing nothing for the environment.

“It is scarce money that people are spending on installing their own renewable generation that is already in their system,” he said. “The environment is not any better off.”

Unless all of the electricity generated in New Zealand is from renewables, and unless the dams are going to never run low, I think that’s a bit of a rich statement. ? Read more »

Hey Helen! How about you STFU and piss off?

Helen Clark wants the top UN job

In 2008 New Zealand had finally had enough of Helen Clark’s doctrinaire and stifling government. We gave them the arse card and as she cried her way home to the lonely Mt Albert house she came up with a plan to bolt to?the?UN.

John Key in his wisdom assisted that process…and it is widely known he did it so she wouldn’t?be second guessing anything in the media.

But now, 7 years later she has piped up and told us we must do more on climate change…despite the fact we emit bugger all greenhouse gasses compared with India, China, Japan and?the US. No we must do more.

Global commitments to greenhouse gas reductions ahead of a world summit in Paris are not enough to tackle climate change – and developed countries, including New Zealand, need “to do more”, United Nations Development Programme administrator Helen Clark says.

The former Prime Minister was in New Zealand this week giving a lecture on the challenges the world faces in 2015, including climate change.

In it she said the commitments made ahead of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris in November would not add up to what’s really needed to tackle the problem.

Speaking on TV3’s The Nation this morning, Ms Clark repeated that sentiment, saying those commitments “are not enough”.

“They’re not enough to stop that tip-over point of global warming going above 2C above the pre-industrial levels,” she said. ? Read more »

Eh wot? Greenpeace lobbies for coal mine to stay open?

I know…hard to believe…but its true.

Greenpeace appears to be?lobbying for a coal mine to stay open.

They are criticising?Genesis for ceasing coal usage to generate electricity because it?jeopardises coal miners livelihoods.

Last week, Genesis, the company that runs Huntly Power Station, announced it was shutting down its smoke-belching, coal-fired boilers as competition from cheaper power like wind and solar is making it too expensive to run.

This is good news for our health and the future of our children, and an important step towards taking the pollution out of our economy.

But while we herald this as a victory for common sense and necessary to safeguard our planet, we must not forget that this decision will affect people?s livelihoods and families.

Small communities up and down the country have long mined for coal, and the industry has played an important part in the survival of these local economies. ?? Read more »

Oh look, the Green Taliban are allowing Gareth Hughes back out to play

Shocking stuff. ?3.8% rise in power costs, and the government must step in?

If that?s the threshold, can Aucklanders please have first dibs on someone ?in the government? sorting out the 9.9% rates rises?

Household electricity prices have increased nearly 4 per cent in the past year, Government figures show.

Opposition parties said the rise beyond inflation showed shareholders in the privatised energy companies were cashing in at the expense of bill payers.

According to the Energy in New Zealand 2015 report, residential prices rose significantly more than the 0.1 per cent inflation incurred in the past year.

“The sales-based residential electricity cost for the March year 2015 rose 3.8 per cent in nominal terms on the March year 2014.”

Increased transmission and distribution charges was one of the main reasons for the increase, the report said. ?? Read more »

Hang on a minute I thought it was fracking that polluted water


Oh my word, I can’t wait to hear the child MP Gareth Hughes ask questions in parliament about how the government will guarantee water supplies to be free from pollution….from wind farms.

Campaigners in Scotland are calling for a full, independent investigation into allegations that wind farms are contaminating water supplies across large areas of Scotland.

They have written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Energy Secretary Amber Rudd calling for an immediate halt on all wind farm development north of the border until the government can guarantee safe drinking water for everyone.

The problem first came to light when residents living near Europe?s largest wind farm, the 215 turbine Whitelee farm in Ayrshire, began to suffer from diarrhoea and severe vomiting. Tipped off by an NHS report which mentioned that difficulties in treating the water supply may pose health risks, local resident Dr Rachel Connor, a retired clinical radiologist, started digging into the council?s water testing results.

She found that, between May 2010 and April 2013, high readings of E.coli and other coliform bacteria had been recorded. In addition, readings of the chemical trihalomethane (THM), linked to various cancers, still births and miscarriages, were way beyond safe limits. ? Read more »