Why Mass. Lags On Patrick’s Wind Power Goal

By Bruce Gellerman March 24, 2014

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A wind turbine is seen at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock in late 2008. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

Five years ago, Gov. Deval Patrick set an ambitious goal: He declared that by 2020 the state should develop enough wind-generated electricity to power 800,000 homes. Patrick said a quarter of that wind power should come from turbines located on Massachusetts land.

But with half the time gone, we’re still far from reaching the governor’s goal for wind power.

After Delay, Hoosac’s Built

Dec. 3, 2012, was an overcast day in Berkshire County, but that didn’t dampen Patrick’s enthusiasm. He went to the rural northwest corner of Massachusetts to mark the near-completion of the Hoosac Wind Power Project, the largest in the state — 19 huge turbines built on two mountain ridges in the towns of Monroe and Florida.

“You don’t want them everywhere, but when you think about what they’re doing in terms of a clean, renewable and reliable source of electricity, it adds to the beauty,” Patrick said. “I think they’re quite elegant.”

But when it comes to wind power, beauty is in the eye — and ear — of the beholder. Opponents sued Hoosac, calling the 330-foot-tall turbines eyesores, loud and unhealthy. The lawsuits doubled the permitting time and the initial cost estimates.

After eight years of delay, the state’s highest court settled the matter. The $90 million Hoosac wind farm was built.

And Patrick was finally able to claim Massachusetts was on its way to meeting his ambitious wind energy goal.

“When I first took office, there were three wind turbines in the commonwealth and three megawatts of wind energy capacity installed, all throughout the state,” he said. “Since then, Massachusetts has experienced one of the fastest rates of wind energy development in the whole nation — more than 30-fold increase in our wind energy capacity. In fact, more this year alone than all previous years combined.”

But in the year since Patrick gave this speech, only one new wind turbine has been built in Massachusetts. And if the governor’s ambitious goal is to be met, we’ll need a dozen wind farms the size of Hoosac.

But Paul Copleman — a spokesman for Iberdrola Renewables, which owns Hoosac — says the Spanish company has no plans to build more wind farms in Massachusetts, even though under state law utilities are required to buy an increasing share of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like wind.

NStar buys all the electricity Hoosac produces. It’s enough to power 10,000 homes a year, saving 100 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually, compared to a fossil fuel plant.

“Our fuel is free,” Copleman said. “The wind is always free, so what that enables us to do is to deliver a fixed source of power for as long as the wind is blowing. So there are very few variable costs to the operation of the facility.”

Dozens Of ‘Dead Wind’ Projects

Hoosac’s 19 turbines make it by far the largest wind farm in the state. But if Virginia Irvine has her way, it’ll also be the last.

“To be honest I thought that wind was really great myself,” she said.

That was until Boston-based First Wind announced plans to build a 10-turbine wind farm on a mountaintop in Brimfield, in Irvine’s backyard.

“I moved here for the quiet, for the rural character, and to be able to go out my backdoor, put on my cross-country skis, and go into the woods,” she said at her home.

The steady breeze on West Mountain caught First Wind’s attention in 2010 — enough wind, it estimated, to power 15,000 homes.

The company studied the site, held meetings with residents, and designed plans to erect the 400-foot-tall turbines less than a mile from Irvine’s home. She fought back, and helped organize the group called No Brimfield Wind.

But it was profit, not protesters, that sealed First Wind’s fate in Brimfield. The company pulled the plug on the project when it discovered there wasn’t enough wind on the mountain to make it financially feasible.

“Oh yeah, we won,” Irvine said. “First Wind has not, you know, put in a project in Massachusetts. They only do big projects. They went up to Maine.”

And Irvine went on to co-found Wind Wise, a statewide organization to help others fight against land-based wind projects.

Irvine says she’s not against wind farms, that they’re great in Texas and Iowa, but not Massachusetts, which ranks 35th in potential land-based wind — most along the coastline.

“It doesn’t fit,” she said. “We’re the fifth most-densely populated state in the country. And wind turbines generate very little electricity. It takes a thousand wind turbines to equal the Pilgrim nuclear plant.”

There are 44 wind projects currently operating in Massachusetts. They generate less than 0.6 percent of the state’s electricity needs and just a fifth of the terrestrial wind energy goal set by Patrick. By Irvine’s calculations, there are 49 wind projects that never got off the ground; she calls them dead wind. And 13 projects are in limbo, or still in the permitting process.

INTERACTIVE MAP: NOTES: Locations are approximate; only includes projects greater than 100 kilowatts. SOURCE: Virginia Irvine, co-founder of Wind Wise Massachusetts, a grassroots anti-wind organization; the state would not confirm these map items.

Wind farms decimate world’s endangered bird populations

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Hat tip to Quixotes last Stand: http://quixoteslaststand.com

Original article, in Swedish:
http://www.natursidan.se/nyheter/bilder-fran-nar-en-havsorn-kolliderar-med-vindkraftverk/

March 12 2014

Google Translation:
August Thomasson, young birder and photographer from Sösdala in central Skåne, was at his job Monday out riding in the plains west of Kristianstad. When he walked around the Vinnö meadows, along came an eagle gliding low over him. It slips away for a moment towards a wind turbine but turns shortly thereafter back at him.

– “But soon afterwards it flies slowly away towards the turbine again. As it turned the last time I start slowly walking towards the bike, says August. I give the eagle a last look and see that it just passes the turbine. Then it happened that should not happen. The eagle getting hit by a wind blade underneath and plunges downward. A little bit panicked I bring out the camera and manage to get off a few pictures.”

Unaware that it guts were hanging out from the falling bird and in the belief that the small pieces that came off in the collision were feathers, he bikes in panic until reaching it, to possibly help the injured bird.

– “My hopes sank fast when I got to the eagle and found it in four parts.”

A tragic end for an eagle in just its second year of life.

Link to August Thomasson’s blog: http://augustthomasson.weebly.com/

Beware of the strong images:

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Comments from Save the Eagles International:

The raptor in the above pictures is a young white-tailed (sea) eagle.

A very substantial number of eagles from various species has been killed by wind turbines around the world. Here is just a tiny sample: http://www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=3071

Various eagle species are being extirpated from Scotland, Spain and other countries where wind turbines are being built en masse. Yet many reports from independent engineers show that intermittent wind farms are not reducing CO2 emissions because they force fossil fuel power stations to operate less efficiently or on stand by, burning fuel for nothing. And economists have demonstrated that they destroy far more jobs than they create, mainly because of their high cost which causes power bills to rise.

Other ill effects of wind farms include the Wind Turbine Syndrome, the decimation of birds and bats in general, substantial financial losses to neighbors (drop in property values), loss of amenity of the countryside and resulting negative effects on tourism, water contamination (from lubricating oil, detergents for the blades, rare earth components), fires, blade throws, ice throws, effects on the national debt, fuel poverty, etc.

In short, wind farms are a calamity, whose only purpose is to finance political parties – see: http://wcfn.org/2014/02/28/wind2050-a-dystopian-society/

Note: President Obama gave a dispensation for the wind industry from any penalties for killing endangered or protected species. It is estimated 600,000- 900,000 birds and a similar number of insect controlling bats are killed by wind turbines. Can you image a similar action by the President if even a small number were being killed by fossil fuel plants?

Occam’s Razor and Climate Change

The simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Professor Keven Trenberth once campaigned for the scientific world to accept the alarmist view of climate change as the “null hypothesis”, the baseline theory against which all other theories must be measured.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/03/trenberth-null-and-void/
The reason Trenberth faced an uphill battle to have his view accepted, and ultimately failed, is that the simplest explanation of contemporary climate change does not involve Anthropogenic CO2.

As Professor Phil Jones of the CRU once admitted in an interview with the BBC, the instrumental record contains periods of warming which are statistically indistinguishable from the 1990s warming – periods of warming which cannot have been driven by anthropogenic CO2, because they occurred before humans had made a significant changes to global CO2 levels.

Between 1860 and 1880, the world warmed for 21 years, at a similar rate to the 24 year period of warming which occurred between 1975 and 1998. There was simply not enough anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere to have driven the 1860s warming, so it must have been driven by natural variation.

So how does Occam’s Razor apply to this observation?

According to the definition in Wikipedia, the principle of Occam’s Razor states “that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove correct, but—in the absence of certainty—the fewer assumptions that are made, the better.”

From Wikipedia, the reason why Occam’s razor is important:

“To understand why, consider that, for each accepted explanation of a phenomenon, there is always an infinite number of possible, more complex, and ultimately incorrect alternatives. This is so because one can always burden failing explanations with ad hoc hypothesis. Ad hoc hypotheses are justifications that prevent theories from being falsified. Even other empirical criteria like consilience can never truly eliminate such explanations as competition. Each true explanation, then, may have had many alternatives that were simpler and false, but also an infinite number of alternatives that were more complex and false. However, if an alternate ad hoc hypothesis were indeed justifiable, its implicit conclusions would be empirically verifiable. On a commonly accepted repeatability principle, these alternate theories have never been observed and continue to not be observed. In addition, we do not say an explanation is true if it has not withstood this principle.

Put another way, any new, and even more complex theory can still possibly be true. For example: If an individual makes supernatural claims that Leprechauns were responsible for breaking a vase, the simpler explanation would be that he is mistaken, but ongoing ad hoc justifications (e.g. “And, that’s not me on film, they tampered with that too”) successfully prevent outright falsification. This endless supply of elaborate competing explanations, called saving hypotheses, cannot be ruled out—but by using Occam’s Razor.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam’s_razor

In other words, if we reject the principle of Occam’s Razor, we open the door to accepting theories of arbitrary, ultimately infinite complexity. A theory created by researchers who do not accept the principle of Occam’s Razor cannot be falsified, because the theory can always be tweaked in arbitrary ways to avoid falsification.

So why does applying the principle of Occam’s Razor force us to reject the theory that anthropogenic CO2 is the main driver of contemporary climate change? The reason is that nature has produced periods of warming similar to the recent warming, without any significant contribution from Anthropogenic CO2.

So we have two competing hypothesis for what is driving contemporary climate change:-

1. Observed natural variation, which has produced periods of warming statistically indistinguishable from the warming which ended in 1998.

2. Observed natural variation + an unproven assumption that Anthropogenic CO2 is now the main driver of Climate Change.

Clearly the second hypothesis fails the test of Occam’s Razor. In the absence of compelling evidence that anthropogenic CO2 has overridden natural variation, we have to accept hypothesis 1 – that observed climate change is the result of natural variation.

The climate is not hotter than it was in the past, periods such as the Holocene Optimum, or looking further back, the Eemian Interglacial. The warming which ended in 1998 was not faster, or of significantly longer duration, than similar natural warmings which occurred in the recent past.

Nothing about the current climate is outside the bounds of climatic conditions which could reasonably be produced by natural variation – therefore, according to the rules of science, we have to reject hypothesis which unnecessarily embrace additional unproven assumptions, unless or until such assumptions can be tested and verified, in a way which falsifies the theory that natural variation is still in the driver’s seat.

Global warming lecture cancelled due to unexpected snowstorm, which set seasonal record

March 13, 2014 by Daniel Greenfield

toronto-snowstorm-march-12-450x253Bike to work. Save the planet.

Warmists claim that they can predict that the world will end because too many people drive to work, yet they’re caught by surprise every time there’s a blizzard.

The NOAA forecast of a warm winter left many cities unprepared for the massive snowfalls. And it’s no better in Canada, where the warmists tell us that they can predict what the weather will be like in 2140 only to have their lectures canceled by an unexpected blizzard.

Concerned about climate change? Then you’ll want to check out Catherine Potvin‘s lecture at the University of Windsor this week.

Who is Potvin?

“Dr. Catherine Potvin is a world leader in the study of global change biology, particularly the intersection between climate change science and international policy.”

In other words, Potvin is more of an activist than a scientist.

Her ability to engage with a wide range of people, including indigenous communities in the jungles of Panama, world leaders in international treaty negotiations, and average Canadians, is living proof of her unique ability to distill complicated research and engage diverse audiences.

Like ordinary indigenous Canadian world leaders living in the jungles of Panama.

She practices what she preaches with respect to making individual and collective changes to our lifestyles, including cycling to work even during Montreal’s cold and snowy winters!

Apparently not.

You may be tempted to snicker at the irony that a discussion on climate change at the University of Windsor was called off due to Wednesday’s wild weather.

The bad news is that Windsor utterly smashed its winter snowfall record on Wednesday. The really bad news? This may not be the last blast of the year.

According to Environment Canada’s weather hotline, the March 12 snowfall total as of 9:30 p.m. at Windsor Airport was 12 centimetres — more than enough for this winter’s snowfall total to bust the previous all-time record.

“It’s a lot of snow, for sure,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson earlier in the day. “Unfortunately, given the forecast over the next couple of weeks, we could still be adding to it after that.”

Well who could have predicted that? Not a Climate Change expert apparently.

Don’t put your pension into Greens, Mrs Worthington…

Posted on March 6, 2014 by Guest Blogger

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

… Don’t put your pension into Greens. “Greens” are what the City boys in red suspenders with East End accents you could cut with a machete and Porsches you could scratch with a convenient latch-key call renewable-energy stocks. See the chart:

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As Bjørn Lomborg points out in a recent devastating graph, if you had been scared enough by the hockey-stick fable in the IPCC’s 2001 Third Assessment Report to invest $100 in Greens in 2002, you would now be the proud owner of $28, or quite a bit less than that after inflation.

But if you had followed Monckton’s Rule of Merry and Profitable Investment – listen very carefully to what the Government tells you, do the exact opposite, wait a decade or so, then collect in spades – you would have invested your $100 in oil and gas stocks. And you would now have a billfold crammed with $238, or 1000% more than the hapless investor in Greens.

These are remarkable figures. Oil and gas corporations have had to face ever higher taxes and ever tighter regulations in the name of Saving The Planet. Greens have been subsidized to levels so absurd they’re beyond Communist. Even with the millstone of taxation, regulation and ministerial hate-speech, oil and gas stocks have done well. Even with frequent epinephrine overdoses of taxpayer subsidy and paeans of official praise, Greens – as the red-suspenders brigade would put it – are down the toilet.

That is a remarkable contrast. Not the least reason for it is that all forms of so-called “renewable” energy are monstrously, irremediably inefficient. Currently, my favorite example is the sappy UK Government’s subsidies to new electric autos.

Typical gasoline-powered auto engines are approximately 27% efficient. Typical fossil-fueled generating stations are 50% efficient, transmission to end user is 67% efficient, battery charging is 90% efficient and the auto’s electric motor is 90% efficient, so that the fuel efficiency of an electric auto is – er – also 27%. However, the electric auto requires 30% more power per mile traveled to move the mass of its batteries.

CO2 emissions from domestic transport account for 24% of UK CO2 emissions, and cars, vans, and taxis represent 90% of road transport. Assuming 80% of fuel use is by these autos, they account for 19.2% of UK CO2 emissions. Conversion to electric power, 61% of which is generated by fossil fuels in the UK, would remit 39% of 19.2%, or 7.5%, of UK CO2 emissions.

However, the battery-weight penalty would be 30% of 19.2% of 61%, or 3.5%, of UK CO2 emissions. So the net saving from converting all UK cars, vans, and taxis to electricity would be just 4% of UK CO2 emissions, which are 1.72% of global CO2 emissions. Thus converting all UK autos to electricity would abate 0.07% of global CO2 emissions.

But at what cost?

The cost to the UK taxpayer of subsidizing the 30,000 electric cars, vans, and taxis bought in 2012 was a flat-rate subsidy of $8333 (£5000) for each vehicle and a further subsidy of about $350 (£210) in vehicle excise tax remitted, a total of $260.5 million. On that basis, the cost of subsidizing all 2,250,000 new autos sold each year would be $19.54 bn. Though the longevity of electric autos is 50% greater than that of internal-combustion autos, batteries must be completely replaced every few years at great cost, canceling the longevity advantage.

The considerable cost of using renewable energy to bring down the UK’s fossil-fueled generation fraction from the global mean 67% to 61% is not taken into account, though, strictly speaking, an appropriate share of the very large subsidy cost of renewable electricity generation should be assigned to electric vehicles.

By contrast, what is the cost of doing nothing?

The Stern Report on the economics of climate change says 3 Cº global warming this century would cost 0-3% of global GDP. We’re not going to get 3 Cº warming, or anything like it, so make that, say, 1% of GDP.

But the cost of making global warming go away by methods whose unit cost per Celsius degree of global warming abated is equivalent to that of the UK Government’s mad subsidy for electric autos works out at 74% of global GDP. So it is 74 times more expensive to act today than to adapt the day after tomorrow. Oops!

In fact, the cost-benefit ratio may be even worse than this. Now that both RSS and UAH have reported their satellite-derived monthly temperature anomalies for February 2014, the monthly Global Warming Prediction Index can be determined, based on the simple mean of the two datasets since January 2005.

The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report last year backdated the models’ projections to 2005, and reduced the central estimate of the next 30 years’ global warming by almost half from the equivalent of 2.3 Cº per century in the pre-final draft to the equivalent of 1.3 Cº per century in the final draft.

Even this much-reduced projection continues inexorably to diverge from the unexciting reality that global temperature has stabilized.

The brainier and more honest advocates of the official story-line know that events have rendered their demands for near-zero CO2 emissions no longer tenable.

Yet they continue to make their strident demands that the West should, in effect, shut itself down. They do so for the following interesting reason. They know that the high-sensitivity theory they said they were more sure about than anything else is nonsense. They know the world will warm by perhaps 1 Cº this century as a result of our activities, and that is all, and that is not a problem.

They also know that within not more than seven years the mean of all five global-temperature datasets may well show no global warming – at all – for 20 years. They know that if CO2 concentration continues to rise at anything like its present rate it will become obvious to all that they were spectacularly, egregiously, humiliatingly in error.

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They have concluded, unsurprisingly but furtively, that their only way out is to insist that the science is even more settled than ever and that CO2 emissions must be cut even faster than before.

Then, when global temperature fails to rise as they now know it will fail to rise, they can say that the Pause has happened because CO2 emissions have been stabilized by the policies they so profitably demanded, rather than because the Pause would have happened anyway.

Indeed, one or two of the more flagrantly dishonest global warming crooks are already beginning to claim that the Pause is their doing. One has only to look at the ever-rising gray CO2 curve on the graph to see there is no truth in that.

However, the day of judgment is at hand. A fraud case is being quietly, painstakingly assembled, spanning three continents. When the last pieces of evidence have been carefully collected, half a dozen people will face trial for the serious, imprisonable offense of fraud by misrepresentation.

When that day comes, watch the rats who have over-promoted this profoundly damaging scare scurrying for cover in case they are next. Then, and only then, the scare will be over.

[ALL: Be aware that replies WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY go into the “Review” bin for specific moderator review IF they contain the word “fraud” … (or meet certain other criteria.)
Since, on this thread, it is VERY LIKELY that the “fraud” word will be used or referenced in many replies, EXPECT DELAYS for your replies until they are accepted. Mod Team]

EPA’s Unnecessary New Gas Regulation

Fairly soon, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to finalize new restrictions on the sulfur content of fuel – restrictions that are both costly and unnecessary. Although the nation’s refiners have already reduced average sulfur content by 90 percent – from 300 parts per million (ppm) to 30 ppm — EPA’s new Tier 3 rule would mandate a further reduction from 30 to 10 ppm.

Simple cost-benefit analysis demonstrates the new Tier 3 rule is misguided:

According to a study by ENVIRON, removing the last bits of sulfur from gasoline would provide negligible, if any, environmental benefits. Baker & O’Brien found the rule will actually increase CO2 emissions at U.S. refineries because of the energy-intensive hydro treating equipment needed to meet the new standard.

If finalized, the rule could lead to $10 billion in new capital costs; the annual compliance cost is $2.4 billion, equating to a potential increase of between 6 cents and 9 cents per gallon to the cost of making gasoline, according to a study by Baker & O’Brien.

The EPA’s proposed under three-year timeframe leaves little opportunity for refiners to design, engineer, permit, construct, start up, and integrate the new machinery required – forcing an accelerated implementation that adds costs and potentially limits the industry’s ability to supply gasoline to consumers.

EPA has failed to provide the evidence that this new standard would appreciably improve air quality. In fact, EPA’s proposed 10 parts per million standard is completely arbitrary — not at all supported by science.

The current Tier 2 standard is still providing sulfur reductions, and tailpipe emissions from our nation’s vehicle fleet will continue to drop under existing regulations as more new cars and trucks come into the market that can take advantage of today’s advanced, cleaner burning fuel. We can all agree that protecting the public’s health and the nation’s environment is important. However, EPA’s Tier 3 regulations for gasoline go too far, too fast.

Sincerely,

Jack Gerard
President and CEO
API

Renewable energy in decline, less than 1% of global energy

CHICAGO, February 28, 2014 – The global energy outlook has changed radically in just six years. President Obama was elected in 2008 by voters who believed we were running out of oil and gas, that climate change needed to be halted, and that renewables were the energy source of the near future.

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But an unexpected transformation of energy markets and politics may instead make 2014 the year of peak renewables.

In December of 2007, former Vice President Al Gore shared the Nobel Peace Prize for work on man-made climate change, leading an international crusade to halt global warming. In June, 2008 after securing a majority of primary delegates, candidate Barack Obama stated, “…this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal…” Climate activists looked to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference as the next major step to control greenhouse gas emissions.

The price of crude oil hit $145 per barrel in June, 2008. The International Energy Agency and other organizations declared that we were at peak oil, forecasting a decline in global production. Many claimed that the world was running out of hydrocarbon energy.

Driven by the twin demons of global warming and peak oil, world governments clamored to support renewables. Twenty years of subsidies, tax-breaks, feed-in tariffs, and mandates resulted in an explosion of renewable energy installations. The Renewable Energy Index (RENIXX) of the world’s 30 top renewable energy companies soared to over 1,800.

Tens of thousands of wind turbine towers were installed, totaling more than 200,000 windmills worldwide by the end of 2012. Germany led the world with more than one million rooftop solar installations. Forty percent of the US corn crop was converted to ethanol vehicle fuel.

But at the same time, an unexpected energy revolution was underway. Using good old Yankee ingenuity, the US oil and gas industry discovered how to produce oil and natural gas from shale. With hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, vast quantities of hydrocarbon resources became available from shale fields in Texas, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania.

From 2008 to 2013, US petroleum production soared 50 percent. US natural gas production rose 34 percent from a 2005 low. Russia, China, Ukraine, Turkey, and more than ten nations in Europe began issuing permits for hydraulic fracturing. The dragon of peak oil and gas was slain.

In 2009, the ideology of Climatism, the belief that humans were causing dangerous global warming, came under serious attack. In November, emails were released from top climate scientists at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, an incident christened Climategate. The communications showed bias, manipulation of data, avoidance of freedom of information requests, and efforts to subvert the peer-review process, all to further the cause of man-made climate change.

One month later, the Copenhagen Climate Conference failed to agree on a successor climate treaty to the Kyoto Protocol. Failures at United Nations conferences at Cancun (2010), Durban (2011), Doha (2012), and Warsaw (2013) followed. Canada, Japan, Russia, and the United States announced that they would not participate in an extension of the Kyoto Protocol.

Major climate legislation faltered across the world. Cap and trade failed in Congress in 2009, with growing opposition from the Republican Party. The price of carbon permits in the European Emissions Trading System crashed in April 2013 when the European Union voted not to support the permit price. Australia elected Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the fall of 2013 on a platform of scrapping the nation’s carbon tax.

Europeans discovered that subsidy support for renewables was unsustainable. Subsidy obligations soared in Germany to over $140 billion and in Spain to over $34 billion by 2013. Renewable subsidies produced the world’s highest electricity rates in Denmark and Germany. Electricity and natural gas prices in Europe rose to double those of the United States.

Worried about bloated budgets, declining industrial competitiveness, and citizen backlash, European nations have been retreating from green energy for the last four years. Spain slashed solar subsidies in 2009 and photovoltaic sales fell 80 percent in a single year. Germany cut subsidies in 2011 and 2012 and the number of jobs in the German solar industry dropped by 50 percent. Renewable subsidy cuts in the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom added to the cascade. The RENIXX Renewable Energy Index fell below 200 in 2012, down 90 percent from the 2008 peak.

Once a climate change leader, Germany turned to coal after the 2012 decision to close nuclear power plants. Coal now provides more than 50 percent of Germany’s electricity and 23 new coal-fired power plants are planned. Global energy from coal has grown by 4.4 percent per year over the last ten years.

Spending on renewables is in decline. From a record $318 billion in 2011, world renewable energy spending fell to $280 billion in 2012 and then fell again to $254 billion in 2013, according to Bloomberg. The biggest drop occurred in Europe, where investment plummeted 41 percent last year. The 2013 expiration of the US Production Tax Credit for wind energy will continue the downward momentum.

Today, wind and solar provide less than one percent of global energy. While these sources will continue to grow, it’s likely they will deliver only a tiny amount of the world’s energy for decades to come. Renewable energy output may have peaked, at least as a percentage of global energy production.

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania.

Read more at http://www.commdiginews.com/environment/renewable-energy-in-decline-less-than-1-of-global-energy-11004/#fU6ROQhF1RIUSmLl.99

Europe’s Industry Bosses Demand EU Action On Soaring Energy Prices

EUObserver, 28 February 2014

Benjamin Fox

EU leaders must address rising energy prices and climate policies which are crippling the bloc’s manufacturing sector, according to a manifesto signed by more than 100 industry bosses. 4 million manufacturing jobs across Europe have been lost since 2008.

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4 million EU manufacturing jobs have been lost in the past five years (Photo: arbyreed)

One hundred and thirty seven chief executives, including the heads of Tata Steel, Arcelor Mittal, and Rio Tinto, signed up to a paper published by the International Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers (IFIEC) Europe on Thursday (27 February).

“EU economic recovery and reversing trends in employment will not happen without industry,” the paper states.

EU leaders will gather in Brussels on 21 and 22 March for a summit focused on the EU’s industrial competitiveness and how to reinvigorate the bloc’s rapidly eroding manufacturing base.

The EU’s manufacturing sector has been in steady decline for the past 20 years and now accounts for just 15 percent of economic output. Meanwhile, 4 million manufacturing jobs across Europe have been lost since 2008, according to the European Commission’s latest figures.

EU industrial output, up to March 2012.

EU industrial output, up to March 2012.

The continent’s industrial powerhouse, Germany, along with the Nordic countries and most of northern Europe, is still performing relatively strongly. But what is of most concern is that some of the bloc’s crisis-countries, such as Spain, Italy, and Greece, all of which are now remodelling their economies on increasing exports, have all seen steep falls in their manufacturing output since 2000.

The commission estimates that every euro of industrial production generates another 50 cents in other parts of the economy and has called for “an industrial Renaissance” in Europe. It wants industry to account for 20 percent of the bloc’s GDP by 2020.

Firms are particularly keen for leaders to address rising energy costs which are now between two and three times higher in the EU than in the US. Lawmakers should complete the EU’s internal energy market and “speed up the exploration of shale gas in an environmentally acceptable way,” according to the industry paper.

But the EU remains under pressure to reconcile a need to re-energise its industrial base with its environmental commitments.

In January, the commission unveiled plans to revise its greenhouse-gas reduction target to 40 percent in 2030 compared with 20 percent in 2020.

The carbon goal would be the only legally binding one on governments after 2020, replacing all national targets for renewable energy.

But governments appear to be minded towards meeting the demands of industry instead.

Full story

100+ CEOs From Europe’s Manufacturing Industry Call For New EU Energy & Climate Strategy
IFIEC Europe, 27 February 2014

This morning, a Manifesto signed by 137 CEOs representing EU manufacturing industry was published by IFIEC Europe. It calls upon Heads of State to adopt a set of measures to align the EU’s industry, energy & climate policies.

“This initiative, representing more than 1 million direct jobs from various sectors and countries all over Europe is exceptional”, explains Fernand Felzinger, the President of IFIEC Europe. “It can only be explained by the severity of the crisis impacting the EU 28 manufacturing industry”.

The analysis of energy prices and costs in Europe issued by DG Energy on January 22nd confirms it: EU industry does suffer from an important disadvantage in total energy and climate costs in comparison with competing regions of the world. Such high energy price disparities like the one with the US (energy prices 2 to 3 times higher here) lead to significant changes in the economic structure and have far-reaching effects on investments, production and trade.

Can we do something about it? “Yes, because regulatory costs (subsidies for renewables, taxes, grid costs, etc.) are among the main reasons for this widening price gap” answers Peter Claes, Vice-President of Ifiec Europe. And these are surcharges resulting from public policy, not from market movements.

“These ever increasing surcharges create an unprecedented burden for manufacturing industries which cannot pass through these costs to their customers” explains Philippe Darmayan, the CEO of Aperam, a global leader for stainless steel and a large power consumer. There is no other solution than allowing full offsetting of these costs. “But industry is also a solution provider” adds Peter, “for example, via voluntary demand response”.

Unfortunately, the situation for natural gas is more complex since the main solution stays in our external suppliers’ hands. Implementing the internal energy market and diversifying our supplies, including indigenous production is an absolute necessity. “Ignoring the shale gas option would be a big mistake” says Steinar Solheim, IFIEC’s Chairman for Gas. “The Council has to set the course towards cost-competitive and secure energy. This is the number one priority for Europe’s energy-intensive industries” stresses Hubert Mandery, Director General of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic).

EU’s emerging climate policy measures really matter for the future of the companies signing the manifesto. Here lies the other root cause for increasing cost disadvantages with major competing regions. “The EU must give industry a clear signal that highly efficient industrial production is welcome and encouraged to grow within the EU, also in future” says Volker Schwich, President of VIK, the German member federation of IFIEC.

“We urgently need concrete measures to enable the manufacturing industry to grow in Europe” concludes IFIEC’s President. Will the upcoming Council of Heads of State come with real solutions? 137 CEOs and many more desperately hope so.

Full Manifesto

Germans Suffer €52 Billion Export Loss Due To Green Energy Policy
Financial Times, 27 February 2014

Jeevan Vasagar

Germany’s exports would have been €15bn higher last year if its industry had not paid a premium for electricity compared with international competitors, according to an analysis published on Thursday. Germany’s manufacturing suffered €52bn in net export losses for the six-year period from 2008 to 2013.

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Despite Germany’s strong export performance in re­cent years, Europe’s biggest economy has been dented by the nation’s costly shift to renewable energy, IHS consultants said in a report.

They found that the energy price differential be­tween Germany and its five leading trade partners cost the nation’s manufacturing sector €52bn in net export losses for the six-year period from 2008 to 2013.

The figure was calculated by linking changes in the net volume of German manufacturing exports to changes in energy costs, using an economic model that accounted for other variables such as exchange rates.

Almost 60 per cent of the total loss (or €30bn) came in energy-intensive industries: paper, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, non-metallic mineral products and basic metals.

Smaller companies were disproportionately affected, the analysis found. Unlike heavy energy users such as BASF and ThyssenKrupp, small companies are not eligible for exemptions from the energy bill surcharges that cover the costs of the move to clean energy.

The report also looked at investment decisions and found that direct investment abroad had accelerated over time at the expense of domestic investment. Energy cost was an important driver of this shift, said IHS.