Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Bearings: The Achilles Heel of Wind Turbines

August 26, 2014

Story by Eric Worrall -

wind_turbine_bearings[1]A few years ago, I used to know a senior wind turbine engineer. One evening, over a few beers, he told me the dirty secret of his profession:

“The problem is the bearings. If we make the bearings bigger, the bearings last longer, but making the bearings larger increases friction, which kills turbine efficiency. But we can’t keep using the current bearings – replacing them is sending us broke. What we need is a quantum leap in bearing technology – bearing materials which are at least ten times tougher than current materials.”

At the time there was very little corroborating online material available to support this intriguing comment – but evidence seems to be accumulating that bearings are a serious problem for the wind industry.

Siemens citing bearing failures as part of the reason for a substantial fall in profit;
http://www.offshorewind.biz/2014/05/07/siemens-energy-division-profit-down-54-pct/

In the announcement of the opening of a new Siemens research facility;
http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2013/03/19/siemens-wind-turbine-research/
“… The Brande test center would evaluate the main parts of their wind turbines such as main bearings …”

http://www.geartechnology.com/newsletter/0112/drives.htm (an attempt to make direct drive turbines, to reduce bearing wear)
“… More accurately, it is typically the bearings within the gearbox that fail, in turn gumming up the gearbox, but that’s a story for another time. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burbo_Bank_Offshore_Wind_Farm
“… During summer 2010 Siemens decided to change the blade bearings on all 25 turbines as a pre-emptive measure after corrosion was found in blade bearings found on other sites. …”

Of course, there is the occasional video of catastrophic turbine failure;

Suggestions the industry is trying to conceal the scale of the turbine fire problem;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2695266/Wind-turbine-fire-risk-Number-catch-alight-year-ten-times-higher-industry-admits.html

All of which creates an interesting question – just how much of our money is the government prepared to waste, to keep their wind dream afloat? If the costs are far greater than the industry admits, how long is the wind industry going to carry that additional hidden cost, before they try to push the costs onto taxpayers, or abandon wind technology altogether?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2116877/Is-future-Britains-wind-rush.html

EU rules against powerful vacuum cleaners ban ‘best’ models, Which? warns

August 24, 2014

UK Telegraph

Many of the best vacuum cleaners for sale in the UK will be banned as a result of new EU energy efficiency rules that come into force next month, consumer group Which? has warned.

Households wanting to buy a powerful model have been told they will need to “act quickly” before they sell out, as from September 1 companies will be prohibited from manufacturing or importing any vacuums with motors above 1,600 watts.

The European Commission claims that its new rules, which are intended to help tackle climate change by cutting Europe’s energy usage, will mean consumers “get better vacuum cleaners than ever before”.

However, Which? said that many of the models that its reviewers rate as the best on the market will fall foul of the rules.

Of seven “best buy” ratings awarded by its vacuum cleaner reviewers since January 2013, five of them have motors of more than 1,600 watts, it said.

Power hungry plasma TVs to be banne12 Jan 2009

Dyson takes Brussels to court 09 Oct 2013

“If you’re in the market for a powerful vacuum, you should act quickly, before all of the models currently available sell out,” the consumer group says in the latest issue of its magazine.

“A Best Buy 2,200w vac costs around £27 a year to run in electricity – only around £8 more than the best-scoring 1,600w we’ve tested.”

Which? said the full list of endangered “best buy” vacuums was available only to its subscribers.

However one such product is the Miele s8330 model, which has a 2,200 watt motor and advertises its “best buy” credentials on its manufacturer’s website.

The EU ban on powerful vacuum cleaners follows the introduction of rules to ban traditional light bulbs, which saw consumers rushing to stock up before they became obsolete.

Consumers complained that energy-efficient replacements bulbs were more expensive and took too long to warm up.

Brussels has denied that its latest rules on vacuums will affect consumers’ ability to clean their homes properly.

In a blog last year, European Commission spokesman Marlene Holzner wrote: “Vacuum cleaners will use less energy for the same performance – how much dust they pick up. This will help consumers to save money and make Europe as a whole use less energy.”

The average power of a vacuum on the market in Europe at the time was 1,800 watts. This will have to be halved within the next three years, as the limit of 1,600 watts will be reduced to just 900 watts from September 2017.

“The amount of watt does not automatically indicate how well a vacuum cleaner will clean. The amount of watt indicates how much electrical power is used by the engine,” Ms Holzer wrote. “The important question is: How efficient is this electrical power translated into picking-up dust?”

The EU rules will require vacuum cleaners to be sold with a new system of labels which will show their cleaning performance and requires a minimum level of performance.

Which? warns that the labels are “self-regulating, meaning that manufacturers will create their own labels” and it is unclear whether there is any independent third party checking up that consumers are getting correct information.

The ratings are also based on vacuums being tested brand new, so “don’t take into account any loss of suction as the container fills”.

Early indications showed “manufacturers that traditionally don’t do well in our tests have had ‘A’ ratings across the board” in the new self-regulated EU labels “while those that consistently do well haven’t scored as highly”, Which? said.

Ms Holzer said: “As a result of the new EU ecodesign and labelling regulations, consumers will also get better vacuum cleaners. In the past there was no legislation on vacuum cleaners and companies could sell poorly performing vacuum cleaners.

“Now, vacuum cleaners that use a lot of energy, that pick up dust poorly, emit too much dust at the exhaust of the vacuum cleaner, are noisy or break down pre-maturely will not be allowed on the market anymore. This means a better cleaning experience and less time and money spent on vacuum cleaning.”

Blowing Our Dollars in the Wind.

August 15, 2014

Wind energy produces costly, intermittent, unpredictable electricity. But Government subsidies and mandates have encouraged a massive gamble on wind investments in Australia – over $7 billion has already been spent and another $30 billion is proposed. This expenditure is justified by the claim that by using wind energy there will be less carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere which will help to prevent dangerous global warming.

Incredibly, this claim is not supported by any credible cost-benefit analysis – a searching enquiry is well overdue. Here is a summary of things that should be included in the enquiry.

Firstly, no one knows how much global warming is related to carbon dioxide and how much is due to natural variability. However, the historical record shows that carbon dioxide is not the most important factor, and no one knows whether net climate feedbacks are positive or negative. In many ways, the biosphere and humanity would benefit from more warmth, more carbon dioxide and more moisture in the atmosphere.

However, let’s assume that reducing man’s production of carbon dioxide is a sensible goal and consider whether wind power is likely to achieve it. To do this we need to look at the whole life cycle of a wind tower.

Wind turbines are not just big simple windmills – they are massive complex machines whose manufacture and construction consume much energy and many expensive materials.  These include steel for the tower, concrete for the footings, fibre glass for the nacelle, rare metals for the electro-magnets, steel and copper for the machinery, high quality lubricating oils for the gears, fibre glass or aluminium for the blades, titanium and other materials for weather-proof paints, copper, aluminium and steel for the transmission lines and support towers, and gravel for the access roads.

There is a long production chain for each of these materials. Mining and mineral extraction rely on diesel power for mobile equipment and electrical power for haulage, hoisting, crushing, grinding, milling, smelting, refining. These processes need 24/7 reliable electric power which, in Australia, is most likely to come from coal.

These raw materials then have to be transported to many specialised manufacturing plants, again using large quantities of energy, generating more carbon dioxide.

Then comes the construction phase, starting with building a network of access roads, clearance of transmission routes, and excavation of the massive footings for the towers. Have a look here at the massive amount of steel, concrete and energy consumed in constructing the foundations for just one tower.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX0RhjeLlCs

Not one tonne of steel or concrete can be produced without releasing carbon dioxide in the process.

Almost all of the energy used during construction will come from diesel fuel, with increased production of carbon dioxide.

Moreover, every bit of land cleared results in the production of carbon dioxide as the plant material dozed out of the way rots or is burnt, and the exposed soil loses its humus to oxidation.

Once the turbine starts operating the many towers, transmission lines and access roads need more maintenance and repair than a traditional power plant that produces concentrated energy from one small plot of land using a small number of huge, well-tested, well protected machines. Turbines usually operate in windy, exposed, isolated locations. Blades need to be cleaned using large specialised cranes; towers and machinery need regular inspection and maintenance; and mobile equipment and manpower needs to be on standby for lightning strikes, fires or accidents. All of these activities require diesel powered equipment which produces more carbon dioxide.

Even when they do produce energy, wind towers often produce it at times when demand is low – at night for example. There is no benefit in this unwanted production, but it is usually counted as saving carbon fuels.

Every wind farm also needs backup power to cover the 65%-plus of wind generating capacity that is lost because the wind is not blowing, or blowing such a gale that the turbines have to shut down.

In Australia, most backup is provided by coal or gas plants which are forced to operate intermittently to offset the erratic winds. Coal plants and many gas plants cannot switch on and off quickly but must maintain steam pressure and “spinning reserve” in order to swing in quickly when the fickle wind drops. This causes grid instability and increases the carbon dioxide produced per unit of electricity. This waste should be debited to the wind farm that caused it.

Wind turbines also consume energy from the grid when they are idle – for lubrication, heating, cooling, lights, metering, hydraulic brakes, energising the electro-magnets, even to keep the blades turning lazily (to prevent warping) and to maintain line voltage when there is no wind. A one-month study of the Wonthaggi wind farm in Australia found that the facility consumed more electricity than it produced for 16% of the period studied. A detailed study in USA showed that 8.3% of total wind energy produced was consumed by the towers themselves. This is not usually counted in the carbon equation.

The service life of wind towers is far shorter than traditional power plants. Already many European wind farms have reached the end of their life and contractors are now gearing up for a new boom in the wind farm demolition and scrap removal business. This phase is likely to pose dangers for the environment and require much diesel powered equipment producing yet more carbon dioxide.

Most estimates of carbon dioxide “saved” by using wind power look solely at the carbon dioxide that would be produced by a coal-fired station producing the rated capacity of the wind turbine. They generally ignore all the other ways in which wind power increases carbon energy usage, and they ignore the fact that wind farms seldom produce name-plate capacity.

When all the above factors are taken into account over the life of the wind turbine, only a very few turbines in good wind locations are likely to save any carbon dioxide. Most will be either break-even or carbon-negative – the massive investment in wind may achieve zero climate “benefits” at great cost.

Entrepreneurs or consumers who choose wind power should be free to do so but taxpayers and electricity consumers should not be forced to subsidise their choices for questionable reasons. People who claim climate sainthood for wind energy should be required to prove this by detailed life-of-project analysis before getting legislative support and subsidies.

Otherwise we are just blowing our dollars in the wind.

Viv Forbes,15 July 2014

For those who wish to read more:

UK Wind farms will create more carbon dioxide than they save:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9889882/Wind-farms-will-create-more-carbon-dioxide-say-scientists.html

Wind energy does little to reduce carbon dioxide emissions:
http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/64492/wind-energy-reduces-co2-emissions-few-percent

The High Cost of reducing carbon dioxide using wind energy:
http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/ib_11.htm

Wind power does not avoid significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions:
http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/lang-wind-and-emissions.pdf
http://www.masterresource.org/2009/11/wind-integration-incremental-emissions-from-back-up-generation-cycling-part-i-a-framework-and-calculator/

Wind Power may not reduce emissions as much as expected:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2012/05/30/wind-power-may-not-reduce-carbon-emissions-argonne/

Why Wind Won’t Work:
http://carbon-sense.com/2011/02/08/why-wind-wont-work/

Energy Consumption in Wind Facilities:
http://www.aweo.org/windconsumption.html

Growing Problem of Grid Instability:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/instability-in-power-grid-comes-at-high-cost-for-german-industry-a-850419.html

Contractors prepare for US81M boom in decommissioning North Sea wind farms:
http://www.heavyliftpfi.com/news/niras-cashes-in-on-wind-farm-future.html

Time to End Wind Power Corporate Welfare:
http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA644.html

TOP PROFESSOR FIRED FOR EXPOSING HUGE WIND ENERGY SCAM

August 5, 2014

Written by John Droz Jr

Henrik Møller, Denmark’s leading academic expert on noise research, has been fired by his university after exposing a far-reaching cover up by the Danish government of the health risks caused by wind turbine noise pollution.

Moller

Shock and outrage at this latest example of the heavey-handed cover up of government-backed junk science has brought strong condemnation from independent scientists. John Droz Jr, a respected critic of wind farms, has issued the following condemnatory response:

As you probably know, a passion of mine is defending my profession (Science) from assault.

This is approaching a full-time job, as those promoting political or economic agendas are painfully aware that real Science is a major threat to their aspirations — so they are aggressively attacking it on multiple fronts. (See ScienceUnderAssault.info.)

We now have yet another distressing example, where a leading scientist has lost his job — apparently for the crime of being a conscientious, competent academic, focused on quality research (instead of chasing grant money).

Dr. Henrik Møller, is an world-renown expert on infra-sound, and has published several high-quality studies on low-frequency acoustics (like here, here, here, and here). More recently, some of these have dealt with industrial wind energy noise (e.g. here — which was peer-reviewed).

He has been praised as Denmark’s “leading noise researcher.” What’s even more important is that he has been courageous enough to have publicly spoken out against poor government policies, as well as the misinformation disseminated from the wind energy cartel.

In Denmark there have been several newspaper reports about this surprising firing, but I’m sending this to the AWED list as such an event should have much wider coverage.Here are English translations of a few Danish articles (I have the originals as well). It seems to me that some of the key points made in them are:

— Dr. Møller has had thirty eight (38) years of distinguished service for Aalborg University.

— Ironically, this institution publicly prides itself as looking out for its professors: “At Aalborg University we focus intensively on staff welfare and job satisfaction.”

— He was the only one of 200± researchers at the Department of Electronic Systems in Aalborg who was let go…

— The purported reason for his firing, is that the professor is no longer “financially lucrative” for the university…
— Despite claiming that the termination was due to a shortage of funds, the university had recently hired two additional people in the same department…

— Dr. Møller’s reasoned responses were:
1) During the last year he may not have produced that much income, but in many other years his work resulted in substantial profit to the university.
2) Statistically, approximately half of the faculty would be operating at a loss — so why single him out?
3) In his prior 38 years of employment, and reviews, he was never informed that his job was solely dependent on outside funding.
4) Additionally, prior to the sacking, he had not been informed that his income production was a problem that need to be addressed — giving him a chance to do so.

— The Danish Society of Engineers, and the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs, have gone on record stating that it is unreasonable to dismiss researchers due to a lack of grants. Furthermore they reportedly said such a policy is contrary to the Danish University Act, which specifies that the purpose of research is to promote education, not to be a profit-making venture…

— The VP of the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations stated that it’s rare that a Danish professor is fired.

— It has been reported that the wind industry has frequently complained about Dr. Møller to his boss (Dean Eskild Holm Nielsen)…

— Consider this: the same Dean Nielsen was a keynote speaker at the Wind Industry Association’s meeting, the day after he fired Dr. Møller!

— As one article explains, this termination might have also come from the fact that the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has a very close association with the wind industry, and that Dr. Møller’s scientific research had resulted in embarrassing revelations.

— The same article states that with Dr. Møller out of the picture, wind industry friendly DTU will now take over responsibility for assessing acoustical impacts of industrial wind turbines on Danish citizens. (I wonder what conclusions they will reach?)

As one report accurately stated: it takes courage for academics to focus on scientific research, instead of pursuing outside funding.

Please consider writing a short, polite email to Dr. Møller’s boss (who fired him) objecting to this shameful termination: Dean Nielsen
dekan-teknat@adm.aau.dk

It would be helpful to cc a reporter at an important Danish newspaper: Axel Pihl-Andersen:
axel.andersen@jp.dk

and bcc Dr. Møller:
henrikmoeller2@gmail.com

Regards,
John Droz, Jr.
Physicist & Environmental Advocate

PS — Although his studies on industrial wind energy only comprise a small amount of his thirty eight years of academic work, they may have resulted in the most notoriety.

Since many of the people on this list are interested in that topic, here are a few other examples of Dr. Møller’s work related to wind energy, in his words:

1) We made an analyses of a wind project in Maastricht, planned to possibly have turbines from a Danish company. The City Council stopped the project after our report — a result that did not make us popular with the Danish wind industry.

2) A reason why we seem to be a nuisance to the wind industry in Denmark is that we keep finding errors in noise calculations and evaluations. As an example, we found serious errors in the environmental impact assessment behind a new law on a wind turbine test center, and the law had to be changed.

3) We also revealed that in a big Vestas promotion, they mixed up two acoustical terms (and Vestas had to change part of their campaign). I’m afraid there are only Danish newspaper articles about that — which is unfortunate, because it was quite funny.

4) We also criticized Danish regulation of wind turbine noise, which resulted in feature articles in Danish newspapers. I am not sure if others have been translated, but here is one example.

5) We also put together some web pages about the Danish wind regulations, which made the wind industry complain about me to the Dean (again).

Bird Conservancy Files Suit Against Wind Turbines

August 3, 2014

Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D.

American Bird Conservancy has filed a lawsuit against the federal government, charging the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service with “multiple violations of federal law” in granting wind turbine permits. At issue is the FWS’s controversial proposed rule that would allow wind power facilities to kill protected golden and bald eagles for periods of up to 30 years. Currently, eagle kill permits are valid for only five years.

The 1940 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act imposes fines and jail time on people who kill eagles, either intentionally or accidentally. As part of its policy to push renewable energy, however, the Obama FWS in 2009 inserted an exemption into the law, allowing permits for wind turbines to eagle kills “accidentally” even when such kills are foreseeable when building wind farms.

Sacrificing Eagles for Wind Power
In its lawsuit, the American Bird Conservancy specifically cites the 1940 statute in stating the FWS is violating federal law. The FWS added the 2009 provision administratively; Congress played no role when the FWS unilaterally amended the law.

The FWS estimates wind turbines in the United States kill 440,000 birds each year, but many environmentalists say the number is much higher. A peer-reviewed study published last year in the Wildlife Society Bulletin reported U.S. wind turbines kill 1.4 million birds and bats each year, including 573,000 birds.

“Americans take pride in the fact that Bald Eagles are once again a common sight in many places across the country. Their popularity and symbolic importance suggests that the American people are not going to tolerate the deaths of many to wind turbines,” said Dr. Michael Hutchins, National Coordinator of American Bird Conservancy’s Bird Smart Wind Energy Program, in a press statement.

‘So Sue Me’
Energy analyst Marita Noon says the American Bird Conservancy suit is fitting considering President Obama’s bold challenge for people to sue his administration.

“President Obama has proudly challenged, ‘So sue me.’ The American Bird Conservancy is to be applauded for stepping up with a lawsuit against the administration’s policy of executive overreach and favoritism,” said Noon.

“While the law prescribes fines and jail time for those who accidentally kill bald and golden eagles, under Obama the FWS modified the law by allowing the favored wind industry ‘kill permits’ that permit wind turbine operators to murder the majestic birds by chopping them up,” Noon explained.

Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D., (bcohen@nationalcenter.org) is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Kansas Newspaper Embarrasses Itself on Wind Power

August 3, 2014

By James Taylor
Environment and Climate News

Wind power apologists say and write the silliest things. Whether economic illiteracy, political mendacity, or some other reason is to blame, Big Wind shills serially embarrass themselves by making claims that wouldn’t even make the multiple choice options for “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” Here is an example published this morning by a newspaper in Kansas:

Patrick Lowry at the Hays Daily News published an article about staffers for Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) wordsmithing Brownback’s statement that he would like to see the state phase out its renewable power mandates. Lowry utilized this news hook to display his embarrassing lack of knowledge about economics (or, as more cynical readers may say, propagate a deliberate and mendacious effort to misinform Daily News readers about energy economics).

Lowry began his wind power shilling by claiming the primary objective of folks who don’t want to be forced to purchase expensive wind power is “protecting long-standing interests of the oil industry.” Oil, however, is not used for electricity production. Oil is used to power motor vehicles. The “long-standing interests of the oil industry” might be in play if putting a propeller beanie on a Mack truck would allow said truck to barrel uphill at 70 mph, but I am wagering that even 99 percent of 5th graders know that putting a small wind propeller on an automobile is no substitute for gasoline.

Lowry further embarrassed himself by claiming that forcing consumers to purchase higher-priced electricity has “bolstered significantly” the Kansas economy.

“The relatively new wind energy business sector is reliant on subsidies, tax credits and forced mandates for energy companies to attract any private venture capital. It’s an expensive proposition, one that will not make it in the marketplace if left to its own devices. Not until that storage problem is solved. But that is precisely why the industry deserves taxpayer support. If turbines aren’t producing, there will be no research on how to maximize that energy,” Lowry argued.

Lowry acknowledged wind turbines “aren’t producing” enough to be economically competitive. He admitted Big Wind needs special “subsidies, tax credits and forced mandates” merely to remain in business. And somehow, forcing such an expensive failure of an industry on electricity ratepayers is good for the economy?

While Lowry believes government research investments in battery storage for wind power may someday make wind power cost-competitive (despite decades of government and private research investments having already failed to do so), forcing expensive wind power on Kansas now, while any such illusive technological breakthroughs are still a pipe dream, has done just the opposite of “bolster[ing] significantly] the Kansas economy. This has merely driven up the cost of living in Kansas much faster than would otherwise be the case, and making it harder for people to pay their bills is counterproductive to the state’s economic well-being.

Given such pitiable efforts to make the case for wind power, I will help Lowry along and present the best argument wind power apologists have to offer: wind power companies pay money to farmers and ranchers who allow wind turbines on their land, which enriches those farmers and ranchers. The problem with this argument, however, is wind power companies don’t simply wave a magic wand to create the rent money given to farmers and ranchers. Instead, the wind power companies raise electricity prices for all electricity customers throughout the state to pay the few farmers and ranchers who host the turbines. In a most unappealing manner, this is taxing the many to pay the few and redistributing money from poor and middle-class electricity customers to pay rich landowners.

Wind power apologists say and write the silliest things….

Actually understand climate change

July 30, 2014

By Joseph Bast
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | 2 a.m.

The column by Frances Beinecke (“Despite misinformation effort, U.S. is targeting climate change,” July 11) recites all the tired myths and cliches of the global warming movement but offers not one iota of evidence. One would have hoped the leader of an organization with an annual budget of more than $100 million would be better informed about an issue as important as climate change.

Then again, most of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s budget relies on exaggerating and misrepresenting the truth about climate change.

Most of Beinecke’s claims are not only wrong, but obviously false, starting with the claim that 97 percent of climate scientists believe “our climate is changing in dangerous ways, and pollution from human activity is causing it.” No survey of climate scientists has ever found that. Reliable surveys show some two-thirds of climate scientists do not believe we have sufficient data to understand or forecast future climate changes. Thousands of articles in the peer-reviewed literature refute the alarmists’ claim.

Beinecke claims “extreme weather cost our country more than $140 billion,” but she doesn’t tell us how much of that was due to man-made global warming. In fact, she cannot. There is compelling evidence that weather has become less extreme in recent decades even as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have risen. There’s been no increase in global temperatures for 17 years. How can recent weather events be attributed to something that isn’t happening?

Beinecke cites a survey that found “70 percent of Americans accept climate change as real, and perhaps more importantly, want their leaders to combat it.” But another survey found only 20 percent believe the scientific debate is over, and likely voters rank global warming dead last in surveys that ask them to rank the important issues facing the nation.

More importantly, virtually no one is willing to pay the $3,900 a year the Heritage Foundation estimates a carbon tax would cost the average household. That tax would barely amount to a down payment on the cost of reducing emissions enough to affect the climate. When it comes to actually doing something to combat global warming, the American people are solidly on the side of the skeptics.

President Barack Obama, according to Beinecke, is courageously calling for action to “reduce carbon pollution from power plants.” But even the president’s own scientists admit his proposed regulations would reduce global temperatures in 2100 by a mere two one-hundredths of a degree. According to Ben Zycher, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, “a 40 percent U.S. emissions reduction — more than double the Obama goal — would reduce temperatures by six one-hundredths of a degree.” Is that what the American people want? Why do Obama and the NRDC want this?

Beinecke claims power plants in the U.S. are allowed to emit carbon dioxide because of a “loophole” in the nation’s clean air laws. This is also false. The legislative record clearly shows Congress never intended the laws to include carbon dioxide, and every administration before the current one acknowledged that fact.

Beinecke says the Obama administration’s proposed regulations on power plants could stimulate new investment and lower electricity bills. This is pure fiction. The best estimate of the net cost is more than $50 billion a year and the loss of nearly a quarter-million jobs. Even Obama admitted, when campaigning for office, that under his plan, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Was he telling the truth then? Why is he telling us something different now?

Beinecke claims the number of global warming skeptics is “dwindling rapidly.” No doubt she wishes that were the case, if only to keep the NRDC’s direct mail machine humming and generating the millions of dollars that support her and her staff.

In fact, the American people have figured out that global warming is not a crisis. They are increasingly calling for the repeal of the taxes, regulations and subsidies passed at the height of the global warming scare. The same backlash against global warming extremism is occurring in other nations around the world, most recently in Australia, where the Senate voted to repeal a hated carbon tax.

Too bad Beinecke didn’t bother attending the climate change conference she chose to criticize. She would have seen more than 600 scientists, economists, policy experts and concerned citizens coming together to actually understand climate change rather than use it to scare people into making contributions or embracing a radical political agenda.

But it’s not too late for her … or for anyone reading this column. All the presentations were recorded and are available online at climateconference.heartland.org.

Joseph Bast is president of the Heartland Institute.

Public Support is Strong, Bipartisan for Energy Development

July 29, 2014

As far as American voters are concerned, energy is not a partisan issue. New polling shows strong majorities across the political spectrum support increased domestic oil and natural gas production and agree it is good for the economy and our national security. What’s more, Democrats, Republicans and Independents are all more likely to vote for candidates who support increased production and offshore drilling.

The national telephone poll, conducted for API by Harris Poll among 1,012 registered voters, found that:

77 percent support increased production of America’s oil and natural gas resources, including 92 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Independents and 66 percent of Democrats.

68 percent support offshore drilling for domestic oil and natural gas resources, including 80 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of Independents and 61 percent of Democrats.

68 percent would also be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports offshore drilling and producing more oil and natural gas from here in the U.S., including 80 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of Independents and 59 percent of Democrats.

Only 28 percent think the federal government does enough to encourage the development of oil and natural gas resources in the U.S., including just 12 percent of Republicans, 31 percent of Independents and 40 percent of Democrats.

80 percent agree that producing more domestic oil and natural gas could help strengthen America’s national security by lessening the negative impacts of political instability occurring in other parts of the world.

Unfortunately, federal energy policy is often at odds with the wishes of the American people. While production on private lands is soaring, production on federal lands dropped 28 percent for natural gas and 6 percent for oil between 2009 and 2013, according to the Congressional Research Service. And a full 87 percent of federally controlled offshore acreage remains off-limits to exploration even though development in the Atlantic alone could support 280,000 new American jobs and $51 billion in revenue for the government. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s recent decision to issue permits for modern geological surveys in the south and mid-Atlantic is a positive step, but more action is needed. To create more jobs, grow the economy and increase revenue, the federal government should listen to the American people and say yes to domestic oil and natural gas.

87 percent chart July 2014 reducedSincerely,

Jack Gerard
President and CEO
API

2 Charts Show Why Wind Power Won’t Solve the Carbon Problem

July 29, 2014

When discussing electricity, the words “carbon dioxide” invariably come into play. The utility industry’s use of carbon based fuels is responsible for roughly 40% of the generation of this greenhouse gas domestically. Alternative power options are often held up as the solution to this problem. But wind turbines are a great example of why this isn’t true—and these two graphs show why.

Getting into wind
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL ) has made a big commitment to wind power. This mid-western utility got just 3% of its power from wind in 2005, which happens to be the backdated starting date for CO2 emission regulations being proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By 2020, however, wind is projected to make up 22% of the company’s generation.

That’s a huge increase, with coal taking most of the hit. However, even after the rapid wind power growth coal will still account for 43% of Xcel Energy’s power pie. Natural gas, which is cleaner than coal but still emits carbon dioxide, and nuclear power will throw in another 30%. And the Texas experience with wind power shows why:

14_06_25-eia-texas-wind-power-volatility-graphic_large
Source: EIA

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), “At 8:48 p.m. on March 26, wind generation on the electric grid covering most of the state of Texas reached a new instantaneous peak output of 10,296 megawatts (MW). At that moment, wind supplied almost 29% of total electricity load.” While that’s impressive, note the use of the word “instantaneous” as you look at the graph above.

The power generated by wind turbines is anything but constant. It juts up and down with often severe moves. For example, before and after hitting that peak, wind turbines in Texas were only producing around 2,000 MW of power. It’s not because someone in Texas turned the turbines off, it’s because the wind stopped blowing. That’s why Xcel Energy isn’t giving up on the base-load trio of coal, gas, and nuclear.

I have the power!
This trio is controlled by the utility and can be run as hard as needed. Nuclear, for example, is usually run between 80% and 100% of capacity. Coal and natural gas tend to run at lower levels, but could easily be pushed higher if needed. The important thing is that how hard these power sources are worked is within the control of the utility.

In fact, the next graphic shows how important the interplay between nature-controlled wind and man-controlled power is. Look at the lines for wind and coal. When wind is up, coal is down. And when wind is down, coal is up. The same dynamic is true for natural gas.

14_06_25-eia-capacity-factors-for-coal-nulcear-wind-and-gas_large
Source: EIA

This isn’t a fluke — it’s because utilities like Excel need to have a reliable power source to offset the peaks and valleys of an inherently unreliable fuel source. It’s the same reason why Southern Company (NYSE: SO ) is building 1.5 gigawatts of nuclear and coal plants right now. It wants to maintain its flexibility.

For example, in 2020, the company expects to have the option to generate as much as 50% of its power from coal or gas, whichever is cheaper. Nuclear, meanwhile, is expected to run at a steady state of around 18%. Renewables? Well, they are just small slice of the pie at 8% of total capacity in 2020.

Note, however, that renewable sources provided 4% of Southern Company’s power last year, despite coming in at 6% of the utility’s total capacity. And the 4% is elevated by the fact that hydro, which tends to run at high capacity rates, is a big part of the mix. Despite investing in solar and wind, Southern Company isn’t willing to give up the control offered by natural gas, coal, and nuclear power plants.

Good and bad
Renewable power like wind turbines is a wonderful thing. However, it isn’t an answer to the CO2 problem. The generation profiles of Xcel energy and Southern Company prove this out. Expect the wind to become an increasingly important utility player, but don’t expect it to kill coal, gas, or nuclear anytime soon.

Exposing the dangers of wind turbines to animals and humans

July 16, 2014

15 July 2014

To the government of Denmark,

Allow me to bring your attention to several press releases by our organisation, the World Council for Nature. Press releases that have been picked up by numerous news media around the world, and which cast an unfavourable light on the Kingdom of Denmark.”

http://wcfn.org/2014/06/07/windfarms-1600-miscarriages/

http://wcfn.org/2014/06/23/another-horror-story-from-denmark/

http://wcfn.org/2014/07/10/denmark-wind-turbines-disrupt-menstruation/

The first release draws attention to the 1,600 stillbirths of mink puppies, many exhibiting deformities, which occurred this year at a long-established mink farm which has wind turbines as new neighbours. The second quotes the mink farmer complaining that, “when the wind blows from the South West (where the wind turbines are), mother minks attack their own puppies.” And the third relates the closing of a plant nursery because its female employees complain of irregularities in their menstrual cycles, including unusual bleeding, since the installation of wind turbines nearby. The Danish media had already reported these tragic news, in the following articles:

https://worldcouncilfornature.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/2014-07-03-danish-article-on-plant-nursery-paper-edition.pdf

http://www.tv2east.dk/artikler/kaempevindmoeller-lukker-planteskole

http://jyllands-posten.dk/opinion/breve/ECE6846968/mink-som-forsoegsdyr/

http://www.maskinbladet.dk/artikel/tidligere-miljominister-vil-aendre-vindmollebekendtgorelse

http://www.tvmidtvest.dk/indhold/mink-amok-over-vindmoellestoej

http://aoh.dk/artikel/vindmller-giver-vanskabte-hvalpe

As far as we were able to find out, the response of your government to these health warnings has been to ignore them. When they were brought to the attention of your Minister of Health, Nick Hækkerup, by Member of Parliament Karina Adsbøl at a hearing on the health effects of wind turbines, Mr. Hækkerup turned a deaf ear to the matter: VIDEO Karina Adsbøl

Is ignoring the issue part of your policy for handling well-documented harm done by wind turbines, especially by those of the new, bigger variety? (See the work of Professor Henrik Møller, recently fired from Aalborg University at what appears to be the instigation of the wind energy lobby. Profs. Møller and Christian Pedersen demonstrated conclusively, in a peer-reviewed article a year or so ago, “the bigger they are, the more infrasound they produce.” Inconvenient truths on wind turbines are unwelcomed in your country, it would appear.)

One can’t ignore the facts that infrasound travels as far as 40 km, and that peer-reviewed studies have shown that chronic exposure at shorter distances can cause Vibro-Acoustic Disease. (VAD encompasses a long list of ailments, ranging from tinnitus to cardiac dysfunctions, cancer, and birth defects.) In their research on low frequency noise (including infrasound), Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira and her colleague Dr. Castelo-Branco found that young horses can develop limb deformities when raised in the vicinity of wind turbines (1). Their study also found that the members of the family breeding these horses suffered themselves from VAD.

But the above are just small samples. Globally, cases abound of farm animals gravely affected by wind turbines (1). As for people, thousands of windfarm neighbours suffer from sleep deprivation, headaches, nausea, vertigo, tinnitus, etc. (Sleep deprivation, alone, triggers a host of ailments, ranging from stress and difficulty working and concentrating, to car accidents and a weakened immune system.)

With respect to deformities and stillbirths, it stands to reason that humans can be affected just as are minks and cattle, especially when economic and employment constraints prevent them from moving away from the wind turbines. (The story of the women employed by the garden center, mentioned above, is eloquent and tragic in this regard) (3).

The evidence of adverse health effects from wind turbines has been mounting for years. Let’s note the independent research of Nina Pierpont, M.D. (Johns Hopkins), Ph.D. (Princeton University), who described in detail the symptoms she uncovered through interviewing windfarm victims. (Dr. Pierpont published her 300-page report as, “Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment,” 2009) (4).

We must add to this the widely available, published work of Dr. Alec Salt and colleagues at the Cochlear Fluids Research Lab, Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, Missouri). Professor Salt has demonstrated that infrasound produced by wind turbines can indeed dys-regulate inner ear function, triggering the cascade of symptoms documented by Dr. Pierpont. Infrasound can readily do this, despite the fact it cannot be heard audibly. For decades the wind industry has clung to the fallacy that, “If you can’t hear it, it can’t hurt you.” Salt, a professor of Otolaryngology, has demolished that myth.

There is also the widely reported clinical experience of Dr. Steven Rauch, physician, Medical Director of Harvard Medical School’s renowned Clinical Balance and Vestibular Center. Dr. Rauch was recently interviewed by The New Republic:
“Dr. Steven Rauch, an otologist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and a professor at Harvard Medical School, believes WTS [Wind Turbine Syndrome] is real. Patients who have come to him to discuss WTS suffer from a “very consistent” collection of symptoms, he says. Rauch compares WTS to migraines, adding that people who suffer from migraines are among the most susceptible to turbines. There’s no existing test for either condition but “Nobody questions whether or not migraine is real.”

“The patients deserve the benefit of the doubt,” Rauch says. “It’s clear from the documents that come out of the industry that they’re trying very hard to suppress the notion of WTS and they’ve done it in a way that [involves] a lot of blaming the victim” – see: “Big Wind Is Better Than Big Oil, But Just as Bad at P.R.,” by Alex Halperin in The New Republic, June 16, 2014

The list of studies and other research on the health effects of wind turbines is too long for including in this letter. Instead, we direct you to the list published by Dr Sarah Laurie, Australian physician and CEO of the Waubra Foundation:
LIST of Dr. LAURIE

We applaud the fact that, under prodding from windfarm victims, your government has begun investigating the health effects of wind turbines. Unfortunately (or is this intentional?), the scope and methodology of the investigation appear to overlook the following, commonsensical, measures:

First, there must be a rigorous epidemiological study, if necessary using case-crossover data, as Dr. Pierpont, a population biologist besides being a physician, demonstrated.

Secondly, wind turbine ILFN (infrasound and low-frequency noise), must be measured down to 0.1 Hz within the homes of windfarm victims complaining of illness. That is, noise measurements should be taken within their homes at night, windows closed, when the wind is blowing from the direction they perceive as problematic.

Thirdly, there must be a moratorium on the installation of new wind turbines until these studies are completed, published, and commented upon by the scientific and clinical community.

The World Council for Nature’s primary goal is the conservation of biodiversity. We believe a mentally healthy human population and governments acting responsibly, according to transparent and honest science, are the necessary means for achieving this.

We look forward to your response to our concerns.

Sincerely,

Mark Duchamp, Chairman

References

(1) http://wcfn.org/2014/03/31/windfarms-vertebrates-and-reproduction/

(2) http://wcfn.org/2014/06/07/windfarms-1600-miscarriages/

(3) http://wcfn.org/2014/07/10/denmark-wind-turbines-disrupt-menstruation/

(4) http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/wind-turbine-syndrome/what-is-wind-turbine-syndrome/

ALSO
New post from Denmark: http://wcfn.org/2014/07/10/denmark-wind-turbines-disrupt-menstruation/ says in part:

The Danish press reports the case of a garden centre (nursery) going out of business because of nearby wind turbines. Headaches are frequent among employees, and female workers complain of unusual bleeding and problems with their menstrual cycles. They are worried that more serious illnesses may follow. Five have recently resigned. The owner is now closing his business for fear of being held liable should a child be born with deformities, as happened to numerous mink puppies at a fur farm near wind turbines in Jutland (1).

Boye Jensen, the owner of Lammefjordens Perennials, is 67. He started his nursery 43 years ago, and it became a prosperous business with 15 employees and annual sales of 12 million krones (equiv. $ 2.1 million). He was planning to continue working for another 6-7 years, then sell the nursery. But his business is now worth nothing, creating an enormous financial loss.

He is discussing with his lawyer whether to sue Vattenfal, the company that owns the wind turbines, or the Municipality of Holbaek, which approved their installation 400-700 metres from his nursery. He expects to go to court and seek damages worth several million krones.


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