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“Wind Turbine Syndrome”
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Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD, Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment (Santa Fe, NM: K-Selected Books, 2009), 294 pp. Paperback, $18 USD.


Iberdrola Renovable Stock





The Citizen Power Alliance is a coalition of independent groups organized to promote sound energy and environmental policy. CPA holds public officials and regulators accountable, while seeking the protection of the public interest.

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7/07/2014
USFWS Seeking Public Input on Eagle-KILL permits to the Wind Industry
USFWS Seeking Public Input on 30-Year Eagle-KILL permits to the Wind Industry
 
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is asking for public input as to whether they should extend “non-purposeful” or “incidental” “take permits” from the current 5 years to 30 years.USFWS is also looking at a number of other important changes in how they interpret and enforce the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (or not) through the issuance of permits. There are problems with both existing practice and the currently proposed changes.

We need citizens to attend one of the five public meetings and/or provide written comments to the USFWS.


 July 22, 2014: Sacramento, CA, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Red Lion Hotel Woodlake Conference Center, 500 Leisure Lane, Sacramento, CA, 95815 [map]

July 24, 2014: Minneapolis, MN, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., DoubleTree Bloomington-MSP South, 7800 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, MN 55439 [map]

July 29, 2014: Albuquerque, NM, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., DoubleTree Albuquerque, 201 Marquette Avenue Northwest, Albuquerque, NM 87102 [map]

July 31, 2014: Denver, CO, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Holiday Inn Denver Airport, 6900 Tower Rd, Denver, CO 80249 [map]

August 7, 2014: Washington, DC, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., South Interior Building, 1951 Constitution Ave, NW Washington, DC 20240. [map]
 
BROOKINGS INSTITUTE: Wind and Solar are the Worst
BROOKINGS INSTITUTE: Wind and Solar are the Worst 

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2014/6/19/wind-and-solar-are-worst.html
6/16/2014
Wind’s PTC: The Opposition Mounts (117 groups and counting)

Wind’s PTC: The Opposition Mounts (117 groups and counting)


by Robert Bradley Jr.
June 11, 2014

“The U.S. wind industry has … demonstrated reliability and performance levels that make them very competitive.”
- Statement of Michael L.S. Bergey, American Wind Energy Association, 1986.
“The wind PTC was initially passed in 1992 as a temporary incentive to help a then fledgling industry – with the expectation that wind energy would be environmentally benign and would become commercially viable. However, after nearly 40 years of subsidies for wind energy R&D and 20 years of lucrative wind energy tax breaks — together totaling over $100 billion.”

Concentrated benefits/diffused costs. The cronies, rent-seeking profits calculated, lobby government in the capitals. Most of the rest of us, just paying a fraction of a penny for their many dollars, stay home. That’s how government grows and bad public-policy rationales get going.

Wind power and other qualifying renewables got their government largesse long ago. Even before the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) was promising coming competitiveness with just a bit more subsidy, a little more time. Then the taxpayer favor could go away, they promised time and again.
The open-ended, outsized tax subsidy for qualifying renewable energy, a mainstay of Obama energy policy, is a Republican, not only Democrat, problem. Texas, for example, thanks to Enron in a bootlegger-and-Baptist coalition with pro-wind environmentalists, is a Republican friendly state for AWEA et al. Note the support for wind from, for example, Sen. John Cornyn.

New Coalition Letter

Earlier this week, a coalition letter (reprinted below) urged Congress not to renew the wind PTC in these words:

“On behalf of our groups and organizations, together representing millions of Americans, we write to express our strong opposition to renewing expired wind tax incentives.

“Over the past 20 years, American taxpayers have seen little return from the forced investment in wind energy. This handout consistently fails to deliver on its promise of long-term job creation, economic activity, and affordability. It promotes government favoritism in the energy marketplace, threatens the reliability of the electric grid, and a 1 year extension costs $12 billion over 10 years. Recent reports and studies have also shown that subsidizing wind energy results in higher electricity costs for American families.

“American taxpayers deserve a portfolio of energy solutions that are economically viable, not those that have to be propped up by carve outs in the tax code.”

See more at: 

6/04/2014
The myth of the climate change 97%

The myth of the climate change 97%

By Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer

Secretary of State John Kerry, President Obama 
and others frequently claim that climate change 
will have “crippling consequences,” and that 
“Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree that 
climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” 

In reality, the assertion is science fiction. The 
so-called consensus comes from a handful of 
surveys and exercises in counting abstracts from 
scientific papers – all of which have been contra-
dicted by more reliable research.
There is no basis for the claim that "97% of scientists" believe that man-made 
climate change is a dangerous problem.

To read the entire WSJ article, go to:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303480304579578462813553136
5/30/2014
Ohio SB 310: ENERGY USERS BEAT THE CRONIES! (GE, AWEA, etc.)
Ohio SB 310: Energy Users Best the Cronies (GE, AWEA, etc.)

by Kevon Martis
May 30, 2014

“But the truth is that Ohio’s renewable energy mandates have largely benefited only one group: entrenched monopoly fossil utilities like AEP, Iberdrola, and corporate behemoths like GE.

But what should we expect? It was their idea in the first place.”

Senate Bill 310’s attempt to freeze Ohio’s renewable energy mandate has elicited the typical partisan howls from Ohio’s green energy profiteers. They have been quick to paint the supporters of SB310 as slavish supporters of the much maligned Koch Brothers, FirstEnergy or other “dark fossil corporate profiteers”.

Curiously, these environmental group’s normally exquisitely tuned “corporate conspiracy radar” appears to have developed a massive wind-turbine-sized blind spot.

Consider:
  • In 1998 it was Enron’s Ken Lay who  implored George W. Bush to extend subsidies for wind energy.  A quick scan of his letter reveals talking points that today could easily be mistaken for the Ohio Sierra Club: “Wind is the fastest growing new electrical generation technology in the world today and has rapidly decreased its production costs until it is close to being competitive with conventional generation technologies.”
  • But as shown by Sierra’s willingness to take $26 million from gas driller Chesapeake Energy to fight coal, their policy positions can be very nimble indeed-for a price.
  • After Enron’s epic fail their wind business was scooped up by General Electric. GE’s power generation unit saw great opportunity in the growing alarm over global warming.
Traditional coal plants last a very long time, 60 years or more. It is hard to sell new plants when they obsolesce so slowly. But if new CO2 regulations could begin to force premature retirement of still-serviceable coal plants, GE could fill that generation void with new gas generation. Every megawatt of retired coal generation could then be replaced with new (GE)  gas generation.

That is a fine start but what if there were a way to sell two or three or four megawatts (MW) of new capacity to replace one MW of prematurely retired coal generation?

Intermittent wind energy that is wholly reliant upon gas generators for grid integration was the key. But how to create a market share for expensive wind energy which typically arrives at times of low demand and low price?

Enter state renewable energy mandates like Ohio’s SB221.

GE’s business is generators. As board members of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) they have been at the vanguard of promoting and protecting renewable energy mandates. Since wind energy is variable and intermittent in output due to the vagaries of weather, one cannot simply replace 1,000MW of baseload coal generation with 1,000MW of wind generation.

Replacing such a coal plant with wind generation requires one to construct approximately 1,000MW of gas-fired generation to balance and backup wind’s erratic output. For GE that is win-win. They get to sell 2MW of new generation to replace 1MW of perfectly serviceable coal generation being prematurely retired by EPA regulations.

But even better for GE is the fact that wind turbines last 20 years- at best. Thus, over the 60 year life of a typical coal plant, not only do ratepayers need to pay for a new 1,000MW (GE) gas generator, they are also compelled to buy 1,000 MW of  GE wind turbines AND replace them at least two more times over 60 years.

Thus, through the magic of EPA regulation, coupled with high level PR  air support from willing accomplices like Sierra Club and furthered by renewable energy mandates like the one SB310 hopes to freeze, corporate giant GE has struck a largely tax free green bonanza.

Our “corporate conspiracy” search does not end there. A quick review of the AWEA’s  board of directors reveals an interesting cast of fossil fuel characters indeed.

Iberdrola Renewables’ corporate parent is among the largest fossil  utilities in Europe. An aggressive opponent of SB310, Ohio wind operator Iberdrola also owns significant fossil fuel generation in the US. Wind works well for Iberdrola:  in just one year their US wind investments allowed them to strip mine  $1 billion from the US tax code and export it to Spain.

Along with German utility E. On Energy and  FPL/NextEra, Ohio’s fossil giant AEP also enjoys a place on the AWEA board. Could it be that wind subsidies are really just more fossil subsidies?

There are many solid reasons for Ohioans to support freezing  renewable energy mandates.

SB221’s  instate renewable energy generation mandate violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Worse, Ohio’s wind resource is anemic relative to its western peers. This means OH wind is roughly twice the price of Iowa’s or Minnesota’s.

Still worse for Ohio’s environment, the center/left Brookings Institute, deeply concerned about climate change, now reports that wind and solar energy mandates like SB221 are the most costly and least effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Anyone can play “find the (Koch) bogeyman”.

But the truth is that Ohio’s renewable energy mandates have largely benefited only one group: entrenched monopoly fossil utilities like AEP, Iberdrola, and corporate behemoths like GE.

But what should we expect? It was their idea in the first place.

The good news appears to be that Ohio will stop the renewable charade. Tom Stacy, an “Ohioan for Affordable Electricity,” offers his plaudits for Substitute SB 310 that  passed the Ohio House and Senate and now awaits gubernatorial approval to become law.

Appendix: Tom Stacy on Ohio Win
“This is a win for ratepayers, Ohio’s economy and its environment,” he said. “Ratepayers can rest assured that rates won’t rise due to ‘self inflicted measures’ at the state level even while their federal government’s EPA has us in a head lock.”
Ohio’s bread and butter industries and employers are energy intensive, some consuming as much as $200,000 worth of electricity per employee per year.  Escalating costs could have catastrophic effects on wages, benefits, expansion plans and even employment if any one of those manufacturers ‘pulls the plug’ on Ohio operations due to escalating energy costs and projections.”

“From the environmental side, it is unfortunate groups such as Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists, Natural Resource Defense Council and others whose stated mission and public image is environmental improvement often have agendas that prevent pursuing such laudable goals in the most cost effective ways. Some appear to despise wealth in general – even earned and well deserved wealth.

How Un-American!  Some hate cronyism – so do tea parties – but fail to admit that renewables like wind are some of the worst offenders in that department.  And some just hate the idea that man benefits from fire, something cavemen discovered and we’ve been better off ever since.”

“The study committee will hopefully add a so-far-woefully-absent dimension to energy and environment policy: evaluating both the direct and indirect costs and benefits of various electricity source options, while recognizing that per unit cost of  intermittent sources of electricity cannot and should not ever be directly compared to the cost of dispatchable sources.”

“It would be really meaningful for the study committee to propose an end goal measured in PPM and cents per KWh instead of just mandating large percentages of somebody’s favorite technology and then taking their word that it will magically cure all ails.

The study committee may move us in that direction.  We are confident it will balance everyone’s desire for standard of living improvement, high employment, low rates and less wasted taxes.  Maybe these are even as important as ever cleaner air and water and ever less changing climates, considering the US is already a global leader in emissions standards.”

“This bill has the potential to raise political and public awareness of not just electricity choices, but the very closely related choices between socialism and capitalism.  The idea of ‘all of the above’ translates to ‘some of the ridiculous.’  What we need is an ‘all of the competitive’ energy policy, and Ohio has taken a small step in that direction through the passage of Am. Sub. SB 310.”

4/11/2014
Irresponsible Senate Finance Committee Action on Wind Energy Tax Break, by Glenn Schleede

Irresponsible Senate Finance Committee Action on Wind Energy Tax Break
April 11, 2013
Once again, the Senate Committee that manages to make life miserable for millions of tax-paying Americans with its manipulation of the US Tax Code, is acting to aid its friends, punish ordinary taxpayers, and load another $85 billion in debt on our children and grandchildren.
On April 3, 2014, by “voice” (no fingerprints) vote, the Senate Finance Committee reported out an $85 billion tax break ”extender” bill -- which the Committee calls the “EXPIRE Act.” [1] The bill includes billions in unwarranted tax breaks for special interests, including the wind industry.
As long as Congress fails to pass a balanced budget, every dollar provided to special interests in this $85 billion “Extender” bill is a direct addition to the national debt that will be dumped on our children and grandchildren. Further, each dollar that Congress adds to the national debt will be DOUBLED in about 15 years due to interest that will accrue on that debt.
An egregious example of an unwarranted special interest tax break in the Finance Committee’s bill is Senator Grassley’s wind and other renewable energy “Production Tax Credit” (PTC) and “Investment Tax Credit” (ITC). Grassley insisted on extending this 20-year old “temporary” tax break for another 2 years at a cost, according to the Joint Tax Committee, of more than $13 billion over the next 10 years (and more thereafter).
When Senator Toomey attempted to eliminate unwarranted energy tax breaks from the bill, Republican Senators Grassley, Cornyn, Thune, Crapo, & Portman[2] joined Finance Committee Democrats in voting to keep the massive energy tax breaks in the bill!
The votes for Grassley’s $13+ billion wind PTC and ITC extension to benefit “wind farm” owners would result in an equal addition to future generations’ debt burden! Under Grassley’s measure, owners of “wind farms” would be able to continue reducing their corporate income tax liability by $0.023 (adjusted upward for inflation) for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity produced by their wind turbines during the next 10 years.
The wind PTC was initially passed in 1992 as a temporary incentive to help a then fledgling industry – with the expectation that wind energy would be environmentally benign and would become commercially viable. However, after nearly 40 years of subsidies for wind energy R&D and 20 years of lucrative wind energy tax breaks -- together totaling over $100 billion:
  • Electricity from wind remains high in true cost and low in real value[3] – with the wind industry providing no evidence that electricity from wind will ever become commercially viable (i.e., without large tax breaks and subsidies).
  • Producing electricity from wind has proven to have numerous adverse environmental, economic, electric system reliability, scenic, and property value impacts not originally foreseen and still not admitted by wind industry advocates; and
Eight Republicans[4] (some claiming to be “conservatives”) and 110 Democrats in the US House of Representatives have signed a letter to House leaders urging extension of the wind PTC. The tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee hasn’t taken up the wind PTC, but one of the wind industry’s Washington lobbyists has bragged that the wind industry still has "very strong support from Democrats in the House and strong support from some, but not all, of the Republicans."[5]
Last December, Senator Grassley told constituents in Iowa that the costly wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) would be extended soon. “…Congress will come back after the New Year and approve four dozen or more tax credits.” “There are a lot of economic interests”…represented in the tax credits. Those interest groups collectively “put a lot of pressure on Congress to re-institute the credits’[6]
In addition to wind industry lobbyists, Grassley undoubtedly was referring to such Washington establishment organizations as the US Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and Business Roundtable. Organizations such as these once championed private enterprise but now seem to be heavily influenced by member companies that:
  • Have concluded that there is less risk and more profit in “mining” Washington for tax breaks and subsidies than in pursing truly innovative and productive activities in private, competitive markets.
  • Have no problem in accepting special interest tax breaks that load debt on future generations.
The April 3rd action by the Senate Finance Committee certainly helps explain why a recent Gallup Survey shows that Congress currently has a 13% favorability rating. If the nation’s “Millennials” understand how the Congress is adding to the debt that they and their children will bear, they may assign an even lower rating!
Glenn R. Schleede
Virginia
[1] Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act.
[2] See “Results of [Senate Finance Committee] Executive Session.040314” download 4/9/14 from: http://www.finance.senate.gov/legislation/details/?id=67094f10-5056-a032-52ff-257830e0a938
[3] Electricity is produced by wind turbines only when wind speeds are in the right range (starting around 6 MPH, reaching rated capacity around 32 MPH, and cutting out around 55 MPH). Electricity from wind turbines is, therefore, low in value because it is intermittent, volatile, unreliable, and most likely to be produced at night in colder months, not on hot weekday afternoons when most needed. Reliable generating using conventional energy sources must always be available to maintain stable electric grids and a reliable electricity supply.
[4] King (IA), Lucas (OK), Runyan (NJ), Fitzpatrick (PA), Gibson (NY), Latham (IA), Noem (SD). Cole (OK).
[5] http://www.snl.com/Interactivex/article.aspx?CdId=A-27696241-11565 (downloaded April 11, 2014)
[6] The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA), December 11, 2013.
4/03/2014
Renewal of Wind PTC Will Lead to Big Boost in Carbon Emissions
A Warning to Congress: Renewal of Wind Energy 
Subsidies Will Lead to Big Boost in CO2 Emissions:
 


... For those who say this problem is more a product of rock-
bottom natural gas prices than the PTC, I say think again. Wind
tends to be nocturnal, blowing during off-peak hours for power
consumption, according to UBS and a 2012 Northbridge study. 
It’s when people least need the power, yet that’s just when the 
taxpayers are being hit in the pocket. Natural gas plants are not 
setting wholesale prices in the dead of night, but the wind turbines keep spinning.

So how does all of this connect to going backwards on climate
change? Easy. 

This PTC problem causes the erosion of our existing nuclear fleet, 
the low-carbon workhorse. As I mentioned, nuke plants are shutting 
down prematurely — Vermont Yankee in Vermont and Kewaunee in 
Wisconsin to name two — and more are in danger of following suit. 
When that happens, climate scientists say, carbon emissions will skyrocket.

Starting and stopping our thermal plants to accommodate these 
windy splurges also causes big increases in all contaminant 
emissions, including carbon. Just as the fuel economy in your 
car worsens when you’re inching along in traffic rather than 
cruising at a steady 55 MPH, the so-called ‘cycling’ of gas and 
coal-fired plants burns up more feedstock, pouring CO2 into the 
atmosphere. In fact, Bentek, a Colorado energy analytics firm, 
found that the 1,327 cycling incidents in the state in 2009 created 
up to 6.8 million pounds of ‘extra’ SO2, 3.1 million pounds of NOX 
and 147,000 pounds of CO2.....

Read the entire article at:

http://tinyurl.com/l4c7fmb
Serious adverse health effects associated with noise generated by wind turbines
A remarkable paper by Alun Evans, Professor Emeritus Belfast University 

In conclusion, there are serious adverse health effects 

associated with noise pollution generated by wind turbines. 

It is essential that separation distances between human 
habitation and wind turbines are increased.

4/02/2014
How much will the wind PTC add to the national debt?
See Energy Analyst, Glenn Schleede's letter on the PTC to various senators below. Glenn says, "Feel free to use it in whole or part with or without attribution" when contacting senators' offices, and to please don't forget their in-state offices. Their telephone and fax numbers can be found on members' web sites.

How much will Senator Grassley’s plan to extend the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) add to the national debt we are passing along to our children and grandchildren?

by Glenn Schleede

April 2, 2014

How much will Senator Grassley’s plan to extend the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) add to the national debt we are passing along to our children and grandchildren?

On Thursday, April 3, 2014, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee is expected to consider and report out to the full Senate a bill that would extend various federal tax breaks. 

Senator Grassley (R-IA) has announced that he will amend this tax break “extender” bill to continue for two more years the wind “Production Tax Credit” (PTC) that benefits corporations that own “wind farms.” Owners of “wind farms” would be able to reduce their income tax liability by $0.023 (adjusted upward for inflation) for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by their wind turbines during the next 10 years. 

The wind PTC was initially passed in 1992 as a temporary incentive to help a then fledgling industry – with the expectation that wind energy would be environmentally benign and become economically competitive. However, after 20 years of lucrative wind energy tax breaks and subsidies valued at over $100 billion:

· Producing electricity from wind has proven to have numerous adverse environmental, economic, electric system reliability, scenic, and property value impacts not originally foreseen and still not admitted by wind industry advocates; and

· Electricity from wind remains high in true cost and low in real value – with the wind industry providing no evidence that electricity from wind will ever be commercially viable (i.e., without large tax breaks and subsidies).

Grassley’s proposed 2-year extension of the wind PTC would add more than $20 billion to the huge national debt that Congress is loading on to our children and grandchildren. That $20 billion would be in addition to the hundred plus billions that have already been lavished on the wind industry since the wind PTC was instigated by Senator Grassley in 1992!

Further, since the Government must pay interest on the national debt and Congress has shown no intention of paying off the national debt the burden of tax breaks such as the wind PTC will grow and grow – more than doubling the debt over the next two decades even if interest charges average only 4% per year and there was no more annual federal budget deficits.

Clearly, it is time for all members of Congress, including Senator Grassley, to resist pressure from the wind industry and stand up for today’s tax payers – and even more so for our children and grandchildren who will bear – unfairly -- the debt that is being passed on to them.

Glenn R. Schleede
3/18/2014
The Poverty of Renewables
The Poverty of Renewables
by Bjørn Lomborg

MIAMI – According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “Climate change harms the poor first and worst.” This is true, because the poor are the most vulnerable and have the least resources with which to adapt. But we often forget that current policies to address global warming make energy much more costly, and that this harms the world’s poor much more.


Solar and wind power was subsidized by $60 billion in 2012. This means that the world spent $60 billion more on energy than was needed. And, because the total climate benefit was a paltry $1.4 billion, the subsidies essentially wasted $58.6 billion. Biofuels were subsidized by another $19 billion, with essentially no climate benefit. All of that money could have been used to improve health care, hire more teachers, build better roads, or lower taxes.

Forcing everyone to buy more expensive, less reliable energy pushes up costs throughout the economy, leaving less for other public goods. The average of macroeconomic models indicates that the total cost of the EU’s climate policy will be €209 billion ($280 billion) per year from 2020 until the end of the century.


The burden of these policies falls overwhelmingly on the world’s poor, because the rich can easily pay more for their energy. I am often taken aback by well-meaning and economically comfortable environmentalists who cavalierly suggest that gasoline prices should be doubled or electricity exclusively sourced from high-cost green sources. That may go over well in affluent Hunterdon County, New Jersey, where residents reportedly spend just 2% of their income on gasoline. But the poorest 30% of the US population spend almost 17% of their after-tax income on gasoline.

Similarly, environmentalists boast that households in the United Kingdom have reduced their electricity consumption by almost 10% since 2005. But they neglect to mention that this reflects a 50% increase in electricity prices, mostly to pay for an increase in the share of renewables from 1.8% to 4.6%.

The poor, no surprise, have reduced their consumption by much more than 10%, whereas the rich have not reduced theirs at all. Over the past five years, heating a UK home has become 63% more expensive, while real wages have declined. Some 17% of households are now energy poor – that is, they have to spend more than 10% of their income on energy; and, because elderly people are typically poorer, about a quarter of their households are energy poor. Deprived pensioners burn old books to keep warm, because they are cheaper than coal, they ride on heated buses all day, and a third leave part of their homes cold.

In Germany, where green subsidies will cost €23.6 billion this year, household electricity prices have increased by 80% since 2000, causing 6.9 million households to live in energy poverty. Wealthy homeowners in Bavaria can feel good about their inefficient solar panels, receiving lavish subsidies essentially paid by poor tenants in the Ruhr, who cannot afford their own solar panels but still have to pay higher electricity costs.

The list goes on. In Greece, where tax hikes on oil have driven up heating costs by 48%, more and more Athenians are cutting down park trees, causing air pollution from wood burning to triple.

But climate policies carry an even larger cost in the developing world, where three billion people lack access to cheap and plentiful energy, perpetuating their poverty. They cook and keep warm by burning twigs and dung, producing indoor air pollution that causes 3.5 million deaths per year – by far the world’s biggest environmental problem.


Access to electricity could solve that problem, while allowing families to read at night, own a refrigerator to keep food from spoiling, or use a computer to connect with the world. It would also allow businesses to produce more competitively, creating jobs and economic growth.

Consider Pakistan and South Africa, where a dearth of generating capacity means recurrent blackouts that wreak havoc on businesses and cost jobs. Yet the funding of new coal-fired power plants in both countries has been widely opposed by well-meaning Westerners and governments. Instead, they suggest renewables as the solution.

But this is hypocritical. The rich world gets just 1.2% of its energy from hugely expensive solar and wind technologies, and we would never accept having power only when the wind was blowing. Over the next two years, Germany will build ten new coal-fired power plants to keep the lights on.


In 1971, 40% of China’s energy came from renewables. Since then, it has powered its explosive economic growth almost exclusively with highly polluting coal, lifting 680 million people out of poverty. Today, China gets a trifling 0.23% of its energy from wind and solar. By contrast, Africa gets 50% of its energy today from renewables – and remains poor.

A new analysis from the Center for Global Development quantifies our disregard of the world’s poor. Investing in renewables, we can pull one person out of poverty for about $500. But, using gas electrification, we could pull more than four people out of poverty for the same amount. By focusing on our climate concerns, we deliberately choose to leave more than three out of four people in darkness and poverty.

Addressing global warming effectively requires long-term innovation that makes green energy affordable to all. Until then, wasting enormous sums of money at the expense of the world’s poor is no solution at all.
Fenner, NY Wind Turbine Collapse



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