Policies & Economics
Many pro-wind organizations claim wind generated electricity is cost competitive with fossil fuel generated electricity, but Rud Istvan and blogger Planning Engineer show that it is not.
The US Energy Information Agency calculates a very misleading "levelized cost of electricity" (LCOE) to compare different generating technologies, but excludes many costs of wind energy. The 2013 cost of the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC), the main US federal incentive, was $US 13 billion, but is exclude from the LCOE. The actual installed cost/MW of installed wind farm capacity started rising around 2005, but the EIA assumes wind costs will decline 22% by 2019. The EIA also overestimates the capacity factor and the useful life of windmills, and fails to account for costs of the electrical grid, backup requirements and market distortions related to the intermittency of wind electricity. The cost of wind electricity is at least $US 146/MWh, about 50% more than the EIA estimate of $US 96/MWh.
Dr. Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology gave oral and written testimony to a hearing on the President’s U.N. Climate Pledge. Her written statement says case for dangerous anthropogenic climate change has weakened due to the hiatus in global warming since 1998, reduced estimates of climate sensitivity and the large divergence of predicted and actual warming. There is considerable disagreement about whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes, and how much the planet will warm in the 21st century. The U.S. President's U.N. climate pledge "will do essentially nothing to change the climate."
Ontario’s Climate Change Discussion paper 2015 expresses things in simplistic terms, suggesting that a carbon tax will be beneficial to the economy and the environment. The Ontario document relies on predictions of climate models about global warming that are simply not supported by the evidence; a principle fact is that global warming has stagnated for +16 years, despite a rise in CO2. Friends of Science new report “Climate Change Policy – Ideology or Evidence” takes off the rose-colored spectacles and exposes some inconvenient truths about the impact of low-carbon policies in other jurisdictions. ‘Low-carbon’ policies are expensive and have not been shown to help the environment. When ‘polluters pay’ – consumers pay more. Canadians should learn from the sorry adventures overseas that has resulted in ‘heat-or-eat’ poverty for millions of ordinary taxpayers.
Why are education dollars, meant for the classroom, being used to build a windfarm? We’d rather see education dollars spent in the classroom than on an upstart wind farm project. This past month the spot power prices in Alberta were at an all-time low. Wind power requires more expensive natural gas back-up in the form of a peaking power plant.
The Alberta phase-out coal campaign is based on the Pembina Institute’s (March 2013) report “A Costly Diagnosis…”- but a Friends of Science review of the relevant literature and statistics demonstrates that the ‘phase-out coal’ campaign claims are not supported by the evidence. The Pembina report uses a faulty health model (that was tested and shown to predict that more people die of air pollution than die in total) and exaggerates the fine particulate emissions of coal-fired plants by 15 fold.