As an Ohio resident I am upset that my electrical rate has gone up at a 5.1% annual rate since 2011. It is not like we have a shortage of electrical power generation or any of its fuels. I did my fair share of improving my carbon footprint but rate increases overwhelmed all of my cost savings from improved insulation and LED light bulbs. The renewable lobby has over promised the cost savings and new jobs for years and the middle class has been stuck with the bill. Last year the Ohio legislature finally said we need to pause the renewable energy mandates and take a close look at why this program has consistently under-performed. Hurray! A group of legislators who actually did their job!
For middle class people whose salaries have been stagnant, the “Green Energy” mandates reminds us of the Affordable Care Act since the only thing worse than my electrical rate increases has been the 11.7% annual increase in my health insurance premiums. For those middle class people who balance their budget on a regular basis we are getting slapped in the face by our “friends” in government trying to help us. If this is helping the middle class, I want less help. Both of these programs share the same management style that encourages government incompetence and cronyism at the expense of the middle class.
Although Breitbart is typically not a source I would consult for information on wind farm projects, I think that this article, FLAGSHIP GERMAN OFFSHORE WIND FARM PROJECT HUMILIATED BY TECHNICAL FAULTS, provides a good summary of the state of the wind farm projects in Europe. This article does not mention the technical problems but I suspect the biggest problem for these big wind generators is the bearing technology is not good enough. I first heard about the bearing problem in the article, Bearings: The Achilles Heel of Wind Turbines. This sounds like an engineering technology problem that is not going away fast enough to avoid big political problems for wind technology supporters.
Offshore wind farm
by DONNA RACHEL EDMUNDS 12 Sep 2014
Germany’s flagship Bard 1 offshore wind farm has been described as “a faulty total system” as technical problems continue to plague the project, casting major doubts on the feasibility of large scale offshore projects.
The wind farm was officially turned on in August last year but was shut down again almost immediately due to technical difficulties that have still not been resolved – and now lawyers are getting involved.
The wind farm comprises 80 5MW turbines situated 100 km off the north German coastline. The difficulty facing engineers is how to get the electricity generated back to shore. So far, every attempt to turn on the turbines has resulted in overloaded and “gently smouldering” offshore converter stations.
Built at a cost of hundreds of millions and costing between €1 and €2 million a day to service, the project is estimated to have cost €340 million in lost power generation over the last year alone. And if the problems with the technology are deemed not to be the fault of the operator, German taxpayers will be on the hook for the running and repair costs, thanks to the German Energy Act 2012.
Talk about unintended consequences!
According to The Hill, wind executives are engaging in a lobbying-flurry on Capitol Hill this week, going after the “Buy American” agenda that Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing with regard to renewable power projects funded with stimulus grants. Schumer has become somewhat agitated to learn that most (79%) of the US stimulus money spent on renewable energy has gone overseas creating manufacturing jobs abroad, but creating little but taxpayer debt here in the U.S.
The Hill quotes Donald Furman, senior vice president with Iberdrola Renewables as admitting that Schumer’s buy-American plan “will cause my company not to build the number of projects that it was going to build simply because we can’t get the equipment that would satisfy the requirement.”
This admission is only surprising because it was made in public. Anyone who knows that China’s labor rate is under $1.00 per hour, and that China holds 95% of the rare earth elements needed to produce most renewable energy systems could have told you that manufacturing of renewable equipment is going to happen mostly in China.
U.S. Wind Industry: Turbine Construction Won’t be Domestic
Kenneth P. Green
Fri, 12 Mar 2010 06:00:58 GMT