Green illusions newsletter updated    

     
   

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Free e.Book: THE NUCLEAR ENERGY OPTION
Professor Emeritus Bernard L. Cohen University of Pittsburgh



Link

www.sepp.org/
www.john-daly.com/ Still
Waiting for Greenhouse

www.envirotruth.org/
antigreen.blogspot.org
21stCentury Science and Technology
www.JunkScience.com
http://www.viadalvento.org/
http://www.newclear.it/
 

Special Report
Misconceptions About the
Causes of Cancer

Bernard L. Cohen, Ph.D.
L E Feinendegen, MD
Myron Pollycove, M.D.
William Hazeltine Ph.D
Bruce N. Ames M.D.
Lois Swirsky Gold M.D
 



 

 
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27.10.2011  -  Winter is approaching and the days get shorter.
The 21 GW of PV capacity installed in Germany (cost 84 billion euros) at noon today 25.11.2011 provided a peak power of only 5.3 GW (28%).   1.2 GW nuclear power plants (cost 5 billion euros) would produce as much energy as all the 21 GW of installed PV capacity in Germany have produced on 25.11.2011  .
http://www.sma.de/en/news-information/pv-electricity-produced-in-germany.html 

24.10.2011 - Hundreds of villagers in eastern China have been demonstrating against pollution they say is caused by a solar panel factory
Hundreds of villagers in eastern China have been demonstrating against pollution they say is caused by a solar panel factory. Some protesters have stormed the compound and overturned vehicles.
The government of Haining city said Sunday that more than 500 villagers in the city in Zhejiang province gathered in front of the Zhejiang Jinko Solar Co. Ltd. on Thursday demanding an explanation for the alleged pollution.
It says some protesters charged into the factory compound, overturned eight company vehicles and destroyed its offices. It says on Friday, protesters damaged four police vehicles.

http://www.huffingtonpost.
com/2011/09/18/zhejiang-china-villagers-factory-pollution_n_968495.html


10.10.2011 - China was responsible for half of the world’s production of solar panels in 2010, but only 1 percent was installed there.
http://corporateenergysubsidies.com/2011/04/25/china-and-the-clean-energy-race/
 
  • 08.09.2011 -  Bayer threatens to quit Germany over nuclear shutdown
     Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power after the Fukushima catastrophe in Japan could lead to some of the country's major companies relocating elsewhere in search of cheaper energy. Marijn Dekkers, head of Bayer, the pharmaceuticals group, said: "It is important that we remain competitive compared with other countries. Otherwise, a global company like Bayer will have to consider relocating its production to countries with lower energy costs. (full text)
     
  • 08.05.2011  -   N.R.C. Lowers Estimate of How Many Would Die in Meltdown -
    Individual early fatality risk is essentially zero - Individual latent cancer risk from the selected specific, important scenarios is thousands of times lower than the NRC Safety Goal and millions of times lower than all other cancer risks, even assuming the LNT dose response model. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/30/science/earth/30radiation.html?_r=2
  • 08.05.2011 - The dark side of solar and wind power projects
    Building and maintaining solar and wind power projects can be hazardous, and industry watchdogs worry that the push for more green energy places more workers and bystanders in harm's way. http://www.latimes.com/bus​iness/la-fi-green-safety-2​0110803,0,4075985,full.sto​ry

     
  • 08.05.2011  - Radiation is something to understand, not something to blindly fear http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2011/08/02/unwarranted-fear-of-radiation-can-paralyze-and-prevent-beneficial-activity/
     
  • 08.05.2011 - PANDORA’S PROMISE
    The film is anchored around the personal narratives of a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists and pioneering scientists who, in the face of considerable controversy, are directly challenging the anti-nuclear orthodoxy that is a founding tenet of the mainstream environmental movement. http://robertstoneproductions.com/pandoras-promise/ 
     
  • 14.06.2011  Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation: a Perspective for Japan by T.D.Luckey http://www.jpands.org/vol16no2/luckey.pdf
  • 14.06.2011 - This is a program to calculate the energy output
    of all the German photovoltaic power installed ( 17 GW)

    http://www.sma.de/en/news-information/pv-electricity-produced-in-germany.html

    I simplified by looking at peak output (23.05.2011) which was about 75% (12GW).
    Area under Gaussian peak = (peak * full width at half maximum)/(2,35*0.4) = (12* 6)/(2,35°0,4)=82GWh then 82GWh/(17GW*24)= 0,2 = 20% "capacity factor".
    Sorensen ( http://energyfromthorium.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2689 ) suggest to compare it to nuclear's more than 85% capacity factor.
    The same calculation carried out by Sorensen (19/11/2010 - PV power installed 15GW) in the worst conditions of sun exposure with a peak of 12% gave a dramatic 12 GWhrs autput, 4% capacity factor. In other words, all the German photovoltaic power installed (17 GW at 23.06.2011) if there are good sun exposure conditions produces the same electricity of 3,5 nuclear plants of 1000MW, if the conditions are bad produces less then a single 1000 MW nuclear plant

     
  • 05.12.2011 - No charitable status for Greenpeace New Zealand
    The New Zealand High Court has ruled on appeal that the political and potentially
    illegal activities of Greenpeace were independent of its educational goals and it is not exclusively charitable as required for legal registration. In making his judgement, Justice Paul Heath referred to the prominence on the Greenpeace website given to arrests of its activists, noting that "it is clear that Greenpeace sees itself as an advocate, not an educator." New Zealand has no nuclear power, and was declared a 'nuclear free zone' over 20 years ago. Promotion of nuclear disarmament was noted as being in line with the country's policy as well as the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty, but Greenpeace's high-profile stance for peace and disarmament of all kinds was seen as political. The organisation remains tax-exempt and its supporters may still claim tax relief on donations
    as any other political party in the country (.....full tex)

     
  • 05.08.2011 - After the events in Japan, countries elsewhere have renewed their commitment to continue or expand their nuclear programs. (...full text)

     
  • 04.24.2011  -  Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor Advantages

The modern formulation of of the Liquid-Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) concept uses uranium and thorium dissolved in fluoride salts of lithium and beryllium. These salts are chemically stable, impervious to radiation damage, and do not corrode the vessels containing them. Because of their ability to tolerate heavy radiation, excellent temperature properties, minimal fuel loading requirements (i.e., ease of continual refueling) and other inherent factors, LFTR cores can be made much smaller than a typical light water reactor (LWR) for the same thermal power output. In fact, liquid salt reactors, and LFTRs specifically, are listed as an unfunded part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Generation-4 Nuclear Solution Plan.  (......full text)
 

  • 04.24.2011  -  Fifteen Foolish Forecasts:
    How did environmentalists get it so wrong on Earth Day 1970?

    What was once Earth Day has now morphed into Earth Hour and Earth Week. The success of the celebration can only be explained by the fact that no one ever bothers to go back to check the accuracy of the eco-wackos’ past predictions.For example, the predictions made at the first Earth Day in 1970 were wrong. No, wrong isn’t a strong enough word. They were spectacularly wrong. Let’s cover all the tenses and say they were wrong, they are wrong, and then make our own prediction and say they will be wrong in the future. Need proof? Here are some of the hilarious, remarkably wrong predictions made on Earth Day 1970. (.....full text)


    04.22.2011  -  98% of the Iodine from Fukushima-Daiichi is Gone   EnergyFromThorium
    When the earthquake struck Japan, the seismic sensors in the Fukushima-Daiichi reactors sensed the event and drove the control rods into the reactors there. Within ten minutes, fission ceased, and with it, the production of new fission products like iodine-131 in the reactor.
    The reactors had as much fission products as they were ever going to have at that moment. Ever since then, the inventory of fission products have been decaying away.
    Iodine-131 has been of particular interest because of its biological assimilation. With a half-life of 8.0197 days, it is quite radioactive. But for precisely that reason it has been decaying away steadily. Iodine-131 decays to xenon-131, which is a gas and is not radioactive and never will be. It is stable and utterly harmless.By the inexorable rules of radioactive decay, the total inventory of iodine-131 is now (April 24, 2011) only 2% of what is was on March 11 when the reactors shut down. In eight more days it will be 1%, and eight days later it will be half of that.
    (.....full text)

    04.18.2011 - How the Green Movement was created
    Green organizations as Greenpeace, WWF and various Green Parties usually say that they arose spontaneously from the population in order to protect nature against pollution and industry The reality is quite different: leading members of international finance, secret services and European royal families , English and Dutch in particular, created and organized these goups.   (full text)

    04.14.2011  -  Fukushima  is not Chernobyl 
    The Japanese government raised the crisis level from 5 to 7 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale for the events at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the same rating as the Chernobyl accident. However, the accidents at the Chernobyl and Fukushima reactors are starkly different. Notably, the reactor designs are completely different and to date, the public health consequences at Fukushima are much less severe. Data so far suggests that Fukushima has released only 10% of radioactive material relase at Chernobyl , and reports from earlier today (Japan time) give the amount of iodine-131 released closer to 1% of what was released at Chernobyl.
    The nuclear regulatory agency under the industry ministry and the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, a government panel, said that between 370,000 and 630,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials have been emitted into the air from the nos 1 to 3 reactors of the plant.
    Level 7 accidents on the International Nuclear Event Scale correspond to the release into the external environment of radioactive materials equal to more than tens of thousands of terabecquerels of radioactive,  in other words if there are 10,000 - 20,000 terabecquerel we have the 7 livel at INES scale. But this does not mean Fukushima is now on a par with Chernobyl.
    The "upgrade" of the event to a 7 was based upon the fact that radioactivity has been more widespread even though the amounts detected have been insignificant. It's also important to note that the upgrading on INES Scale does not mean that the situation is getting worse. Rather, it is a reassessment of what has already happened. The largest releases of radioactive material occurred in the first days after the earthquake, and the amount released every day has generally been decreasing as various leaks have been plugged.
     (....full text)

     
  • 04.08.2011 - Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to take some atomic power plants offline in the wake of Japan's Fukushima disaster means Germany is now importing power from its nuclear -reliant neighbors, an umbrella organization of the country's utility companies said Monday. Germany now imports about 50 gigawatt hours -- or the capacity equivalent of about 1 1/2 reactors -- from France and the Czech Republic a day, the German Association of Energy and Water Industries said. (...full text)
     
  • 04.03.2011 - Le nuage de cendres de l’Eyjafjoll est naturellement radioactif  
    Zelo les calculs scientifiques de Hervé Nifenecker, président d'honneur du collectif Sauvons le climat, le volcan a rejeté dans l'atmosphère pas moins de 600 tonnes d'uranium et 1800 tonnes de thorium durant les 72 premières heures d'éruption. Il précise que l'inhalation des cendres volcaniques serait trois fois plus toxique que de respirer de l'air chargé de césium 137 à Tchernobyl. (....full text)

     
  • 04.03.2011 - Wade Allison  University of Osford: We should stop running away from radiation More than 10,000 people have died in the Japanese tsunami and the survivors are cold and hungry. But the media concentrate on nuclear radiation from which no-one has died - and is unlikely to. Nuclear radiation at very high levels is dangerous, but the scale of concern that it evokes is misplaced. Nuclear technology cures countless cancer patients every day - and a radiation dose given for radiotherapy in hospital is no different in principle to a similar dose received in the environment. (.....full text)

    04.02.2011 - Mark Lynas: The dangers of nuclear power in light of Fukushima
    Overall the average UK person ets approximately 0.2% of his or her radiation exposure from the fallout from nuclear plants (and from nuclear accidents) and less than 0.1% from nuclear waste disposal. This compares to about 15% from medical imaging and other medicinal exposures and about 10% from the natural decay of potassium 40 and carbon 14 in the body. Naturally-occurring radon is many hundreds of times more important as a source of radiation than nuclear power stations and nuclear fallout. Even for those who believe in a direct linear relationship between radiation levels and the number of cancer deaths, the effect on mortality of normal operation of nuclear power stations would be impossible to discern statistically and in our opinion is likely to be non-existent
    ( ....full text)

  • 20.03.2011 - Ted Rockwell on Fukushima: It's Not About Radiation, It's About Seawater
    A lot of wrong lessons are being pushed on us, about the tragedy now unfolding in Japan. All the scare-talk about radiation is irrelevant. There is no radiation danger, there will be no radiation danger, regardless of how much reactor melting may occur. Life evolved on, and adapted to, a much more radioactive planet, Our current natural radiation levels—worldwide—are below optimum. Statements that there is no safe level of radiation are an affront to science and to common sense. The radiation situation should be no worse that from the Three Mile Island incident, where ten to twenty tons of the nuclear reactor melted down, slumped to the bottom of the reactor vessel, and initiated the dreaded China Syndrome. On the computers and movie screens of people who make a living “predicting” disasters, this is an unprecedented catastrophe. In the real world, the molten mass froze when it hit the colder reactor vessel, and stopped its downward journey at five-eights of an inch through the five-inch thick vessel wall. And there was no harm to people or the environment. None. Yet here you have radiation zealots threatening to order people out of their homes, to wander, homeless and panic-stricken, through the battered countryside, to do what? All to avoid a trivial radiation level, lower than if they went skiing. The important point for nuclear power is that some of the plants were swept with a wall of seawater that may have instantly converted a multi-billion dollar asset into a multi-billion dollar problem. That’s bad news. But suppose the money had been invested in a pharmaceutical factory, or an electronics factory, or a chemical plant or an oil refinery. Is there any reason to believe that such facilities would be any more resistant to damage from such a seawater surge? There is nothing in nuclear plants that makes them uniquely vulnerable to seawater. Moreover, the extent and nature of the damage from seawater may be less than first indicated. Rod Adams, a former nuclear submarine officer, who operated a nuclear power plant at sea for many years, says that inadvertent flooding of certain equipment with seawater was not uncommon. He includes electronics-laden missile tubes. “We flushed them out with fresh water,” he said. “Sometimes we had to replace insulation and other parts. But we could ultimately bring them back on line, working satisfactorily.” The lessons from Japan involve seawater, not radiation.
    http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/2011/03/ted-rockwell-fukushima-its-not-about.html
    Theodore Rockwell Member, National Academy of Engineering  Dr. Rockwell’s classical 1956 handbook, The Reactor Shielding Design Manual, was recently made available on-line and as a DVD, by the U.S. Department of Energy.

     

  • 03.06.2011  -  DUTCH DITCH RENEWABLES: OPEN DOOR TO NEW NUCLEAR 
    (full text  )
  • 03.01.2011  -  Two public health scientists dissect the myth that high cholesterol causes heart disease
    (full text
    )
     
  • 03.01.2011 -  Vegetables grown with pesticides contain MORE vitamins (full text )
     
  • 02.27.2011  -  Why Britain's £250bn wind power industry could be the greatest scam of our age
    (full text )
     
  • 02. 22. 2011 -  A total refutation of the linear-no threshold theory about low nuclear radiation dose cancer risk  (historical 2001 document of  Prof. LBCohen) full text  ()
     
  • 01.14.2011 - Low-Dose Nuclear Radiation May Reduce Lung Cancer Deaths
    The benefits of low-level radiation were strongly hinted at in a recently completed US National Cancer Institute (NCI) study of 53,000 heavy smokers with high risk for lung cancer.
    Denise Aberle, M.D., national principal study investigator, stated: "The results of this trial provide objective evidence of the benefits of low-dose helical CT screening in an older, high-risk population and suggest that if low-does helical CT screening is implemented responsibly, and individuals with abnormalities are judiciously followed, we have the potential to save thousands of lives."...(full text)

     

  • 01.08.2011 -  Zapatero is now looking for 70-megawatt uprates at two nuclear reactors ?
    This week Bloomberg reports that Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who originally opposed nuclear power during his election campaign of 2009, is now looking for 70-megawatt uprates at two reactors in order to meet an anticipated shortfall of power this year. All this is coming home to consumers in the form of a 9.8 percent rate increase, as the country struggles to clean up the mess created by the solar binge. ....(full text)
     
  • 01.06.2011 - Crisis Triggers Reality Check in Spain Power Sector (Energy Tribune)
    The government has decided to cut subsidies for photovoltaic generators 30 percent for the next three years to save almost $3 billion, which comes after subsidy cuts earlier this year for the wind industry equal to about $300 million in the same period, and almost $1.2 billion for the concentrated solar power industry.....(full text)

     
  • 01.01.2011 - 'Green' Scotland relying on French nuclear power
    SCOTLAND'S wind farms are unable to cope with the freezing weather conditions – grinding to a halt at a time when electricity demand is at a peak, forcing the country to rely on power generated by French nuclear plants.
    Output from major wind farms fell to as low as 2.5 per cent of their potential generation capacity during the cold snap as power demand rose to close to the highest level yet recorded, new figures have revealed......(full text)

  • 12.20.2010 Us policy on spent fuel reprocessing. The issues   by D. Rossin
    From its inception in the 1940's, nuclear power as conceived by the United States had a closed fuel cycle. Uranium would be mined and milled, enriched in its fissionable isotope U-235 from the 0.7% found in nature, manufactured into fuel and burned in reactors to generate electricity. As it burned, some of the uranium would be converted to plutonium. Then the spent fuel would be removed and shipped to a central plant where it would be dissolved and reprocessed chemically. The unburned uranium and plutonium would be separated and could be recycled in new fuel. But.... (full text)

     
  • 12.10.2010 - Renewable energy industries in the US face falling off a “cliff”, with the loss of tens of thousands of jobs, if investment grants for projects such as wind farms are not extended by Congress, companies warned. Financial Times (full text)
    The
    tax deal agreed between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans excluded an extension to the tax credits that have supported investment in wind, solar and other forms of renewable power, which are due to expire at the end of the year. Michael Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, said: “The situation puts at risk thousands of jobs that were just created.”

 

  • 24.02.2010  -  Scotland's 322-megawatt (MW) Whitelee project – Europe’s largest wind farm, located near Glasgow, Scotland – was brought to a standstill after a rotor blade snapped off one of the Siemens-made turbines.
    The 150ft blade reportedly crashed to the ground on the evening of 19 March, triggering an alarm in the control room. Operators initially shut down the unit in question, before moving to halt the entire project.
    Iberdrola subsidiary ScottishPower Renewables (SPR), which developed and built the £300m ($450.1m) project, initially claimed to be looking into whether a lightning strike could have caused the breakage. But the Met Office, the UK’s national weather service, later said there had been no reports of lightning in the area when the accident occurred.
    Siemens, which supplied 140 of its 2.3MW units for the project, claims it is the first time a blade has ever broken off one of its working turbines. SPR director Keith Anderson said such a breakage is “exceptionally rare”, adding that engineers from both SPR and Siemens are currently inspecting the 419 remaining blades at the project.
    By the morning of 23 March, 50 of the turbines had been given the go-ahead and were once again spinning. The other 89 non-broken units are expected to be working by 26 March.
    Whitelee provides all the electricity for nearby Glasgow, which is Scotland’s largest city, and just 9 miles away. The project is noteworthy for being located so close to a major population centre.

    (comment on the news)
     
  • 12.03.2010 -  The Italian wine producers against the occupation of agricultural land by the solar panels; "PV replace grapes with irreversible damage".
    The complaint comes from Coldiretti of Ascoli Piceno and Fermo, in gathering the concerns of farmers in the area of Rosso Piceno, including Offida, Ripatransone.
    Because the government grants to solar and wind energy plants fertile fields are rented by groups outside the primary sector to install medium and large size solar energy plants located directly on the ground
    (post your comment)

     
  • 02.02.2010  - China plans to build over the next decade three times that of nuclear power plants will be implemented throughout the world.
    Only the United States in the 70 had a nuclear program of comparable size This US program  was then blocked after the accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979.
    (post your comment)

     

  • The Great Global Warming Swindle  (video)
    The Global Warming who never wose
    (post your comment)
     
  • 07.01.2010 - The Auto Industry Can Help Build New Nuclear Plants
    The United States currently has 103 operating nuclear power plants, which provide approximately 20% of the nation's electricity. Before the sabotage of nuclear power projects in the late 1970s, the plan was to have a thousand plants on line by the year 2000. Even just to maintain nuclear energy's paltry 20% of U.S. electric power, close to 100 new reactors will have to come on line in the next two decades. To rebuild infrastructure and upgrade U.S. productivity, while shutting down both inefficient, aging plants and those burning precious (and increasingly expensive) natural gas, hundreds more will have to be built.  The U.S. auto and machine-tool industries are now in the throes of the greatest destruction of human and physical capital in American history. This path of self-destruction began in the late 1960s, when the majority of the 400,000 highly skilled engineers and manufacturing workers in the aerospace industry lost their jobs, as spending for the Vietnam War, and "limits to growth," destroyed the post-Apollo future of the space program.
    The italian nuclear industry from survival to revival
    (Roberto Adinolfi, Ansaldo Nucleare)
    (post your comment)


     
  • 10.12.09 Copenhagen   -   Conference on Climate Change organized by scientists "skeptical" or better realists, on global climate change
    (post your comment)
     
  • New York Times 11.20.2009 In one e-mail exchange, a scientist writes of using a statistical “trick” in a chart illustrating a recent sharp warming trend. In another, a scientist refers to climate skeptics as “idiots.”
    Hundreds of private e-mail messages and documents hacked from a computer server at a British university are causing a stir among global warming skeptics, who say they show that climate scientists conspired to overstate the case for a human influence on climate change.
    The e-mail messages, attributed to prominent American and British climate researchers, include discussions of scientific data and whether it should be released, exchanges about how best to combat the arguments of skeptics, and casual comments — in some cases derisive — about specific people known for their skeptical views. Drafts of scientific papers and a photo collage that portrays climate skeptics on an ice floe were also among the hacked data, some of which dates back 13 years.
    (post your comment)

     
  • 10 08 2009 British Government's green energy plan may cost 17 times more than its benefits
    The Government's plans to increase the proportion of Britain's energy generated by "green" sources is set to cost between 11 and 17 times what the change brings in economic benefits.
    The figures are buried deep in the Government's Renewable Energy Strategy paper produced last month.
    According to the document, while the expected cost will total around £4bn a year over the next 20 years, amounting to £57bn to £70bn, the eventual benefit in terms of the reduced carbon dioxide emissions will be only £4bn to £5bn over that entire period.
    The figures make up part of the Government's impact assessment of the policies, which include plans to raise the proportion of British electricity produced by renewable sources from 5.5pc today to 30pc.
    It is the Government's assessment that the non-monetary benefits of the policies will compensate for the possible £65bn shortfall, but economists are sceptical as to how much of this sum such factors can make up. The White Paper has also calculated that household gas and electricity bills will have to rise by up to £249 a year, although Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband has insisted that new measures to improve consumers' energy efficiency would reduce the extra cost to an average of £92 a year per home. (Thelegraph.co.uk)
    (post your comment)

     
  • 08.10.2009 - Wind power is a complete disaster (Telegraph.co.uk)
    Michael J. Trebilcock
     is Professor of Law and Economics, University of Toronto
    There is no evidence that industrial wind power is likely to have a significant impact on carbon emissions. The European experience is instructive. Denmark, the world’s most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity, has yet to close a single fossil-fuel plant. It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind power’s unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% in 2006 alone).
    Flemming Nissen, the head of development at West Danish generating company ELSAM (one of Denmark’s largest energy utilities) tells us that “wind turbines do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” The German experience is no different. Der Spiegel reports that “Germany’s CO2 emissions haven’t been reduced by even a single gram,” and additional coal- and gas-fired plants have been constructed to ensure reliable delivery. Indeed, recent academic research shows that wind power may actually increase greenhouse gas emissions in some cases, depending on the carbon-intensity of back-up generation required because of its intermittent character. On the negative side of the environmental ledger are adverse impacts of industrial wind turbines on birdlife and other forms of wildlife, farm animals, wetlands and viewsheds. Industrial wind power is not a viable economic alternative to other energy conservation options. Again, the Danish experience is instructive. Its electricity generation costs are the highest in Europe (15¢/kwh compared to Ontario’s current rate of about 6¢). Niels Gram of the Danish Federation of Industries says, “windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.” Aase Madsen , the Chair of Energy Policy in the Danish Parliament, calls it “a terribly expensive disaster.”
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in 2008, on a dollar per MWh basis, the U.S. government subsidizes wind at $23.34 — compared to reliable energy sources: natural gas at 25¢; coal at 44¢; hydro at 67¢; and nuclear at $1.59, leading to what some U.S. commentators call “a huge corporate welfare feeding frenzy.” The Wall Street Journal advises that “wind generation is the prime example of what can go wrong when the government decides to pick winners.”
    The Economist magazine notes in a recent editorial, “Wasting Money on Climate Change,” that each tonne of emissions avoided due to subsidies to renewable energy such as wind power would cost somewhere between $69 and $137, whereas under a cap-and-trade scheme the price would be less than $15. Either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system creates incentives for consumers and producers on a myriad of margins to reduce energy use and emissions that, as these numbers show, completely overwhelm subsidies to renewables in terms of cost effectiveness.
    The Ontario Power Authority advises that wind producers will be paid 13.5¢/kwh (more than twice what consumers are currently paying), even without accounting for the additional costs of interconnection, transmission and back-up generation. As the European experience confirms, this will inevitably lead to a dramatic increase in electricity costs with consequent detrimental effects on business and employment. From this perspective, the government’s promise of 55,000 new jobs is a cruel delusion.
    A recent detailed analysis (focusing mainly on Spain) finds that for every job created by state-funded support of renewables, particularly wind energy, 2.2 jobs are lost. Each wind industry job created cost almost $2-million in subsidies. Why will the Ontario experience be different?
    In debates over climate change, and in particular subsidies to renewable energy, there are two kinds of green. First there are some environmental greens who view the problem as so urgent that all measures that may have some impact on greenhouse gas emissions, whatever their cost or their impact on the economy and employment, should be undertaken immediately.
    Then there are the fiscal greens, who, being cool to carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems that make polluters pay, favour massive public subsidies to themselves for renewable energy projects, whatever their relative impact on greenhouse gas emissions. These two groups are motivated by different kinds of green. The only point of convergence between them is their support for massive subsidies to renewable energy (such as wind turbines).
    This unholy alliance of these two kinds of greens (doomsdayers and rent seekers) makes for very effective, if opportunistic, politics (as reflected in the Ontario government’s Green Energy Act), just as it makes for lousy public policy: Politicians attempt to pick winners at our expense in a fast-moving technological landscape, instead of creating a socially efficient set of incentives to which we can all respond.
    (post your comment)

 

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