Renewable Energy Costs You, Whether You Like It or Not

Portland General Electric (PGE) customers may have noticed something new on their bills recently. Last month, a “renewable resource adjustment” was added to electricity bills to pay for additional renewable resources like wind power. Even if you are not enrolled in the Green Power Program, all PGE customers are forced to pay for renewable energy. According to PGE, ratepayers can thank their legislators for this added electricity cost.

In 2007, Oregon legislators passed a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), forcing major utilities to procure 25% of their electricity from new renewable resources by 2025. With much fanfare, Governor Kulongoski claimed that this would be “protecting ratepayers with more stable and predictable utility rates.” Environment Oregon also claimed that ratepayers will save money by having utilities invest in wind energy instead of in fossil fuels. They were wrong.

Despite the existence of a voluntary program which allows renewable-resource-loving ratepayers to pay a higher cost to support renewable energy, PGE is charging all of its customers a higher rate for the added renewable energy on the grid by charging 0.22 cents per kWh, or approximately $2.13 extra per month, for an average household. But this is not all; PGE has requested to raise rates an additional 7.4%, or approximately $6.70 more per month, for an average household. Part of this rate increase is due to the expansion of the Bigelow Canyon wind farm that will help meet legislative mandates.

Despite promises by legislators and environmental organizations, renewable energy has increased rates and will continue to raise them even higher. Unfortunately in Oregon, all ratepayers are forced to pay for the costs of renewable energy whether they value it or not.


Todd Wynn is the climate change and energy policy analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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  • Ron Marquez

    I just checked my last bill and the charge is indeed there. Just pisses me off but I probably can’t do anything about it except pray for a Republican governor who loves hydroelectric power and supports nuclear power, is a former logger and eats a spotted owl at least once a week.

    • Anonymous

      You do know that nuclear power subsidized and expensive? We do have hydroelectric power and it is subsidized; though some small ones have been removed. Realize that if a new coal burner was built your rates would go up about the same amount. What do you say about the damage that mining coal is doing?

      • Anonymous

        I don’t remember saying anything about coal fired power generation but I’d just as soon not if hydro or nuclear are available.

        • Ron Marquez

          1.1.1 is my comment. Forgot to put my name in.

  • eagle eye

    The biggest cost of this boondoggle is the vandalizing of our landscapes e.g. the Steens Mountain by monster wind turbines, highly subsidized in part to pay welfare ranchers for the use of their land.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      You got that right.

      The entire point of this is to enrich the well connected, those with pull. It is not about self sufficiency or increasing the energy supply. That’s why Oregon bans any sort of energy exploration and goes ape if anyone tried to build a LNG terminal.

      It’s why we have ethanol and it is why hydro has specifically been ruled non renewable. Hydro is already in place, so its much harder to reward political cronies the way you can with windmills and ethanol.

  • valley p

    We should at least acknowledge that our hydro power system, which gives us the cheapest electricity rates in the nation, was bought and paid for by the federal taxpayer and is still subsidized by them. To the extent we must pay a bit more now to avoid coal pollution, i.e. Boardman, we should not whine so loudly.

    And, if you want to opt out of PGE you can. Take your own subsidies and solarize your roof.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      It is not exactly a revelation that much of the original hydro power out here was built as a government inducement to settle the are and make it more productive economically.

      Everyone acknowledges that Dean and failure to mention it in every post does not mean ignorance of the fact.

      Really the only thing that needs to be acknowledged is on your part.

      That acknowledgment being that the fact that if government subsidizes something that is economically viable, such as a road, a bridge or hydro power that gives no foundation whatsoever that it makes sense to subsidize something that is not viable, windmills and solar.

      It especially does not make sense to do so when the major purpose of such subsidies is not to provide power at all, but to provide welfare payments for connected farmers or expert testimony on the aesthetics of windmills.

  • Bob Clark

    PGE’s real residential rates with the rate increase will be near the highest they have been dating back to

    1980, and this despite over a 50% drop in wholesale market electricity prices and a similar drop in natural

    gas fuel costs in the last two years. Pacific Power and Light is asking for a 20% rate increase this month,

    which comes upon a large rate increase earlier this year.

    Utilities love the state of Oregon’s renewable mandates because it allows them to add to their ratebases.

    Utilities and their shareholders/executives get paid a guaranteed rate of return on the equity portion of

    the rate base of 10 percent. It’s the easiest 10 percent any capitalist can make in today’s markets.

    What’s really irritating to this retired energy economist is being charged a public purpose fee, a significant

    part of which is spent on such novelties as roof top solar panels. This is financial lunacy for society. The

    all in delivered cost of electricity of these systems is anywhere between 50 cents to 100 cents per KWH.

    By comparison the wholesale market price of electricity is only about 5 cents per KWH. If my neighbor

    wants to install a roof top solar system that’s o.k. if he wants to pay the entire cost, but don’t ask me to

    pay for over two thirds its costs through various public purpose, state and federal taxes. This is akin to

    my neighbor wanting to buy a house he or she can’t afford and then asking me to pay for his high end

    cushy lifestyle. My representative should be saying “h…” no, but instead he or she is also in on this racket.

    • Anonymous

      It is hard for a citizen that is not an energy economist to know the real circumstances of our power supply. Being an energy economist, do you only consider the financial aspect and not the environmental consequences? It would seem reasonable that conservation of the power supply would reduce the need of more power production, and supporting innovation is always good.

  • Bob Clark

    The Columbia River dams were also built for navigational/flood purposes besides power. Also, the

    Bonneville Power Administration running the dams is largely financially self sufficient paying its treasury

    obligations for almost thirty years now. This really can’t be said of wind and solar which get outright cost

    subsidization with no repayment obligations of the cost subsidies.

    As for coal power, Oregon and Washington only have one moderate size coal plant a piece. Hardly enough

    to bend yourself into prezel over. China and India are building one of these almost every week.

    Boardman should be brought up to standard available technology though or closed down.

    • valley p

      “That acknowledgment being that the fact that if government subsidizes something that is economically viable, such as a road, a bridge or hydro power that gives no foundation whatsoever that it makes sense to subsidize something that is not viable, windmills and solar.”

      If something were “economically viable,” then it would not need any government support. The private sector would create it and profit from it. Our main stem Columbia River hydro damns were all built by government, intiated by the socialist Roosevelt administration. The object was not to “settle” the region. We were already 100% “settled” by the 1930s, and no private utility company had managed to damn the Columbia. They did build dams on smaller rivers at the cost of our salmon fishery, which they did not compensate for.

      How is a public road or bridge any more “economically viable” than a wind turbine? They are less so. The former are capital financed 100% by the public, and the latter are financed maybe 10% by tax credits, with zero direct payments. Efficiency is increasing by the day. and soon the cost of wind and solar will likely be on a par with natural gas, allowing subsidies to be phased out. Not true for roads and bridges.

      “It especially does not make sense to do so when the major purpose of such subsidies is not to provide power at all, but to provide welfare payments for connected farmers or expert testimony on the aesthetics of windmills.”

      Pure BS. The “major purpose” of subsidizing wind energy is to provide clean power. And as one whose business depends on publicly subsidized cheap hydro electric rates, be careful where you cast stones.

      “As for coal power, Oregon and Washington only have one moderate size coal plant a piece. Hardly enough to bend yourself into prezel over.”

      I’m sitting upright. But the Boardman plant is by far the largest single source air polluter in Oregon. And China is bringing far more wind power on line every day than we are. They currently are the 3rd largest wind producer in the world and will probably pass the US in a few years. They will also be selling us the turbines.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >If something were “economically viable,” then it would not need any government support. The private sector would create it and profit from it.

        Please don’t belabor a point just because you refuse to put your brain in gear. The Brooklyn bridge is economically viable, the Alaskan bridge to no where was not.

        Really, insisting that someone spell out every single thing just because you are too lazy to think it over is so dull.

        >How is a public road or bridge any more “economically viable” than a wind turbine? They are less so.

        Because without the Brooklyn bridge there would be severe economic loss.

        Without a wind turbine we lose an expensive form of energy generation that no one but the welfare peole who profit from it will miss.

        Again, please think a bit, this is belaboring an obvious point.

        >Pure BS. The “major purpose” of subsidizing wind energy is to provide clean power.

        No its not. Wind power has been in existence for hundreds of years. It still is not profitable. There are plenty of clean power options out there however we do not use them. Nuclear and low sulpher coal being two of them.

        Wind and solar do not have as their primary purpose power generation. That is a secondary effect. Their main purpose is to siphon money to special interests.

        Wind only survives as a power source in this country if it is heavily subsidized, and that subsidy is the reason for its existence. You make money off the lawsuits, connected farmers make money of the land rental. Its a scam pretty much like ethanol.

        You have someone

        • Rupert in Springfield

          If you have someone who has published something that gives concrete reasons why we can expect wind power to come down to the price of electricity we have now Id be willing to look at it.

          No, simply saying “wind power is 1/4 the price it was on Tuesday” wont cut it. Id want to see a study that says in effect – we pay $0.07 per KWH now, in five years windmills will produce power for the same amount”

          • valley p

            “Because without the Brooklyn bridge there would be severe economic loss.”

            What? Are you serious? How about this Rupert. With global warming there will be severe economic loss. Hence subsidized, non polluting renewable energy makes sense.

            “Wind and solar do not have as their primary purpose power generation. That is a secondary effect. Their main purpose is to siphon money to special interests.”

            This comes from the same guy who thinks every scientist in the world skews data in order to get more grants. No point arguing with that sort of logic. The world progresses on while you mope about it.

            “If you have someone who has published something that gives concrete reasons why we can expect wind power to come down to the price of electricity we have now Id be willing to look at it.”

            Really? You don’t accept basic science. Why would you accept “something published by someone.” There are dozens of papers that show the pattern of decline in wind energy cost and project that into the future. Your pattern is if something contradicts your belief you simply dismiss it. I remember you once claiming there were no new innovations in propeller design, and when I sent you a long list of papers showing the opposite you simply dismissed them.

            Investment, research, and ramped up production spur innovation. While the cost of fossil fuels can only go up, the cost of wind and solar will keep coming down until engineers run out of ideas.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >What? Are you serious? How about this Rupert. With global warming there will be severe economic loss.

            Oh good Lord, AGW? That’s not even on the table any more.

            You know, it’s interesting though, I was watching OPB last night and along came a “Himlayan glaciers are melting” show. It was kind a fascinating. The whole premise was that the Mimalayasn glaciers were melting based upon this one guys anecdotal evidence. Sure, he was an expert climber, but that doesn’t give him a lot of expertise in either the total glacier mass now, nor through history. They just basically let him go on for a half hour about how the glaciers are melting, with no mention at all of the fact that he has not done a survey of the entire range, to see if it is localized or not. Nor did they mention that he has no idea if this has happened in the past with any frequency. The lack of insight was fascinating and after half an hour of this I can see how someone who wasn’t really thinking about the matter objectively could be lead to believe this was the Gods honest truth.

            Did OPB mention that the Himalayan glacier melt had been recently discovered as another in a long series of lies discovered in the IPCC report? Of course not.

            So, I can see how someone who makes money off of this fraud, like you do with your windmill testimony would be take things as this to be factual. After all, it’s exactly what Raj Pachauri was doing.

            >This comes from the same guy who thinks every scientist in the world skews data in order to get more grants.

            Where in the world did this pop into your head?

            I have never claimed any such thing.

            >Really? You don’t accept basic science.

            Actually I do. The problem is you don’t.

            For something to be science it has to have verifiable repeatable results. AGW theory does not pass this test. Data is hidden or destroyed. Attempts to verify experiment are thwarted. When it is possible to check data it iis found to be fraudulent with such propensity that to not question the entire trhesis is pure folly.

            That is the reality of AGW at this stage. You can choose to face it or live in dream land.

            You simply cannot have as much outright fraud as has been discovered in the so called science of AGW and not question it.

            Again, I do realize you make a portion of your living from this, so your insistence that AGW is fact is understandable.

            >While the cost of fossil fuels can only go up, the cost of wind and solar will keep coming down until engineers run out of ideas.

            No they don’t

            In fact they never have.

            Profit spurs innovation.

            Ramped up production of technology that is not economically viable gives quantity without quality. It’s basically the Soviet model

            >While the cost of fossil fuels can only go up,

            Obviously you are not much of an economist.

            Fossil fuels are some of the most notoriously volatile commodities out there.

            The price of them goes down rapidly with some frequency. If you don’t believe me you might want to consider a couple of summers ago when oil was over $100 a barrel. It quickly fell to half that and now is in the $80’s

            The cost of fossil fuels does not always go up, this is Club of Rome stuff that was debunked ages ago. It’s astonishing you are unaware of it.

            >the cost of wind and solar will keep coming down until engineers run out of ideas.

            Hmm, obviously not an engineer either.

            Engineering is the art of compromise. Balancing performance with cost. There is only so much performance you can get out of any given system after which the costs offset any additional performance gains.

            Man has been trying to make windmills work essentially forever. They are no where near being competitive in the case of performance and never will be as they are a dependantl, not a demand system.

            As far as the economics it is a little irrelevant. Windmills are not power generating devices in the conventional sense of the term. They are not intended to generate power at a competitive rate economically with other methods, coal or nuclear.

            Windmills are primarily about wealth transfer. That’s why we build systems that are not competative economically.

            If you throw up a windmill that generates power at four times the rate of conventional electricity, you can sit and watch it spin forever. it will never go down in cost. Every windmill farm we have out there will not magically start generating power at a fraction of the cost it did yesterday.

            We throw up these expensive windmills to transfer money to the welfare cases. For the most part these are well connected farmers who are running a scam just like ethanol. Its really just corporate welfare.

            Again, I can understand why you support it. But please don’t try and strain credulity that this rip off does anything useful beyond enriching a few people with pull.

            Your windmills aren’t saving the planet, they are jacking up peoples electric bills for no other purpose than to transfer wealth to favored groups.

            That’s all its about and frankly I think at this point the saving the planet nonsense is more about salving the conscience of those doing the ripping off more than anything else.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            By the way. It should be noted that you did not answer my question.

            As I understand it, you give expert testimony on siting windmills. I mean you make money off of this so in some sense you are a professional. I say in some sense because you have lead me to beleive it is not your sole source of income, that it is a part of it.

            So it should probably be noted that I have asked you, a professional, for one concrete piece of published evidence that explains why we can expect wind power to come down to the price of electricity we have now.

            An you could not cite a single thing.

            Id say that pretty well wraps up my contention.

            Windmills are a conduit for funneling money and nothing more.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *valley p:*

    And China is bringing far more wind power on line every day than we are.

    *Bob T:*

    So what — they are also (along with Indian, I think) the champs at burning coal.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • valley p

      “So what — they are also (along with Indian, I think) the champs at burning coal.”

      China, with 5 times our population, burns about 1/3 more coal than we do. India, with 4 times our population, burns 1/3 the amount of coal as we do.

      • jim karlock

        Now you show your true motive — to lower our standard of living to that of poverty stricken countries like India and China.

        • valley p

          I’m doing fine, and I don’t expect my life to be any poorer if we spend a few bucks to shift to cleaner energy. Maybe you are less adaptable, but that is your problem, not mine.

  • bennie

    Wind power is a total waste of money, wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for subsidies. All of these stupid wind mills are made in China. They are laughing all the way to the bank. GE and Siemens are making out like a bandit. Colossal waste of money, theses wind mills wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the Global Warming Hoax, Subsidies, GE (wanting to tap all of our money) and the environmental wackos. Some day we are going to have to pay good tax payer dollars to tear down these follies.

    WHAT a Joke.

    Breaking Wind

    On Earth Day, President Obama held up a model he wants America to Emulate: “Denmark produces almost 20 percent of their electricity through wind power,” he chided. But Denmark rues the day it got into the wind business. Because wind is so volatile and unpredictable, the Danes have had to use 50 percent more coal-generated electricity to cover its power gaps, causing their carbon emissions to go UP 36 percent. They have yet to close a fossil-fuel plant, have lost 2.2 jobs for every “green” one they’ve gained, according to The (Canada) National Post. So no, the answer’s not blowing in the wind – it’s bubbling beneath the surface.

    General Electric (which owns NBC) is big in to wind power (its their windmills, built in China). No wonder they are big global warming proponents! They make big taxpayer bucks off this scam.

  • Pat Ryan

    All energy is subsidized in some way. Maybe there should be zero subsidies, but until that blessed moment arrives, honesty is necessary for critical thought.

    We just spent a couple of trillion with a T over the past ten years trying to design a middle eastern nation that would reliably send the petroleum our way. Iraqi contracts for petroleum were going to China, Russia, and the hated French instead of to us. (BTW: With petroleum settling around $83 per barrel, why are gasoline prices still below $3.00 per gallon. Must be some weird version of the old Supply and Demand that hasn’t been covered in my reading to date….or maybe the game is rigged……nah……..couldn’t be…….)

    Anyhow, it’s all better now. We have the contracts back and we can sit around and stress about the $3.00 extra on our bills from PGE.

    Wind, solar geo, and wave, among other Big Initiatives, don’t pay off immediately, but they are tech points that have longevity, and will require little maintenance to continue to provide energy for decades with minimal use of resources. That cannot be said about most of the mature energy tech out there.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *Bennie:*

    General Electric (which owns NBC)…

    *Bob T:*

    GE sold NBC to Comcast a few months ago.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

  • Bob Tiernan

    *valley P:*

    China, with 5 times our population, burns about 1/3 more coal than we do. India, with 4 times our population, burns 1/3 the amount of coal as we do.

    *Bob T:*

    They burn 1/3 more than we do to produce less than half of what we produce. Imagine if their production was almost equal to ours. As for India, they burn lots of coal to produce a fraction of what we produce.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

  • Bob Tiernan

    *Pat Ryan:*

    We just spent a couple of trillion with a T over the past ten years trying to design a middle eastern nation that would reliably send the petroleum our way. Iraqi contracts for petroleum were going to China, Russia, and the hated French instead of to us.

    *Bob T:*

    Now that’s pretty stupid.

    We had a prohibition on Iraqi oil. Our oil companies, and Saddam, would have been happy to provide US consumers with Iraqi oil but we wouldn’t permit this. No invasion and take-over was needed to “reliably” obtain access to Iraqi oil. All that was needed was to allow US oil companies to buy it and sell it.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • valley p

      GNP is not the sole measure of energy use. Those billions of people need electricity, heat, and light. Its about day to day living, much of which there is close to subsistence.

      But you skipped past my main point. China is building more wind energy than we are. If it was a dumb idea, or too expensive, or if they only care about getting the electricity and not about the pollution, then why are they building any wind at all?

      By the way, the more effective anti-poverty program in the world right now is economic development in China and India. I think we ought to cut them some slack, even if China in particular has blurred the line between communism and capitalism.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Actually Iraq is a good point.

      As stability increases in Iraq most expect the price of oil to plummet. Prices would drop further if we didn’t have BO locking up shale reserves with the stupid monument scams.

      Arguing with AGW’ers about India and China is pretty much a lost cause.

      They love to bring up Chinese windmills ( forgetting that China does not have the infrastructure issue with their installation that we do here ) or India using less fossile fuel per person. When the subject is on those things, China and India are all they want to talk about.

      Bring up the fact that India has told the AGW clan to take a walk and China isnt far behind and all of a sudden they want to switch the subject.

      Im all for India and China comparisons. Lets get out of this kleptocracy of AGW scams and concentrate on growing our economy.

      Let’s try the capitalism and see if it works as well here as it did in China.

      • valley p

        You mean we should try communist capitalism?

        • Rupert in Springfield

          No, I mean in a lot of ways China is a more capitalist country than the US.

          Hong Kong at least is certainly far more capitalist than the US.

          This has been a good demonstration of exactly what I was talking about, and I knew you would step right into it.

          For some reason when you are talking about China comparisons, you consider that totally valid. When it comes to comparisons of economic systems, China’s encouragement of business and growth in this instance, all of a sudden you regard the comparison as absurd.

          Thank you for your part in this demonstration.

          *DRONE ALERT WARNING* – Use of the term(s) some, a lot, several, or a few should not be taken as the same as the term(s) all, every, entire by liberals who have no other argument than to confuse the specific with the general.

          Example:

          Liberals who confuse criticism of some scientists propensity to rig data for more funding, such as James Hansen of NASA’s GISS, to say all scientists do that.

          In short, arguments from liberals who’s only logic is to confuse the word several with the word all, either figuratively or literally do little but confirm the original premise.

      • valley p

        “Oh good Lord, AGW? That’s not even on the table any more.”

        Oh oh. Rupert alternative reality world strikes again. AGW is no longer “on the table?” You seriously believe that? Are the little voices in your head acting up again?

        “The whole premise was that the Mimalayasn (?) glaciers were melting based upon this one guys anecdotal evidence.”

        One guy plus oh….satellite and air photo information suported by ground measurements in more accessible areas clearly showing glaciers retreating in the Himalayas and pretty much everywhere else. A little bit of effort on your part will turn up the published evidence. Of course, its better to avoid doing that given your condition.

        “Did OPB mention that the Himalayan glacier melt had been recently discovered as another in a long series of lies discovered in the IPCC report? Of course not.”

        You see Rupert, this is where you get yourself in trouble. Well not trouble really, because for that to happen you would have to recognize your poistion vis a vis reality. What the IPCC corrected was their reliance on a non-peer reviewed prediction that by 2035 the glaciers in the Himalayas could melt away altogether. They did not say these glaciers were not retreating. There is plenty of evididence for that. The issue is how fast to the end game.

        But you don’t need to bother yourself with these details. It would spoil your alternative reality.

        “For something to be science it has to have verifiable repeatable results. AGW theory does not pass this test. ”

        Actually it already has. That is why every major scientific organization in the US and world, every university, and just about every actual scientist who studies climate agree on this point.

        “That is the reality of AGW at this stage. You can choose to face it or live in dream land.”

        It appears dreamland is already fully occupied by people I would rather not spend a lot of time with. I’ll stick with the real world thanks.

        “Again, I do realize you make a portion of your living from this, so your insistence that AGW is fact is understandable.”

        Oh Rupert. You are so darn tiresome. You play with a bone long after it has turned to mush. Over the past few years, I have made a much greater portion of my living on fossil fuel energy projects than on renewable energy, so by your standards of logic I would be with you and Jim K and Rush and Beck and Palin in unreality land. AGW is fact because it has been accepted by science….period. If and when science determines otherwise I will be right there with you all. Scary thought.

        “Ramped up production of technology that is not economically viable gives quantity without quality. It’s basically the Soviet model”

        Explain your support for nuclear power then, which would not exist but for government R&D. Explain your support for federally built and heavily subsidized hydro power. 2 cents a KWH according to the Heritage Foundation. Explain why not just the quantity, but also the “quality” of wind turbines has improved several fold over the past few years.

        “Obviously you are not much of an economist.”

        And you are? A constitutional scholar economist? Your ignorance of macro economics, based on nearly everything you have written for years, would fill the George Bush library. Maybe I should restate that. The Reagan library.

        “Engineering is the art of compromise.”

        No Rupert. Its optimization. Compromise is a negotiation that rarely results in optimizing. Optimization is a synthesis of multiple values. Didn’t they teach you that at MIT? You have chosen an optimal region for an energy sucking business. You have compromised by living amongst liberals.

        “Man has been trying to make windmills work essentially forever. They are no where near being competitive in the case of performance and never will be as they are a dependant, not a demand system.”

        Man (and women) have actually been making them work, not just trying to make to make them work for centuries, but nowhere near forever. And as it turns out, on the best wind sites, the electricity produced is already competitive with conventional sources. If you made conventional sources pay for their pollution, it wouldn’t even be close.

        “For the most part these are well connected farmers who are running a scam just like ethanol. Its really just corporate welfare. ”

        Many new wind (and solar) projects in the west are being planned to occupy Federal real estate and off shore areas, not private ranch or farm land. You need a new theory.

        “Again, I can understand why you support it. ”

        Perhaps you *could* but you still *don’t* . And I don’t think you ever *will* .

        “So it should probably be noted that I have asked you, a professional, for one concrete piece of published evidence that explains why we can expect wind power to come down to the price of electricity we have now.”

        Well Rupert, I also provide professional consultation on environmental impacts of natural gas pipelines. Does that mean I am qualified to predict the price of gas in 5 or 10 years?

        The problem with you question is that it is unanswerable. Wind turbine projects can vary greatly in capital cost, and some sites are way better than others. An increase in average wind of 1 or 2 MPH can bring generating cost down be several cents a KWH. All wind power is not equal. But on very good sites, located very near transmission lines and with good rail or freeway access, and if very cheap rent is negotiated, wind energy is already competitive with natural gas. It is cheaper than nuclear, which is why utility companies are building wind. It isn’t cheaper than coal yet.

        “Id say that pretty well wraps up my contention.”

        Is that a promise? Please. Pretty please with sugar on it.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >That is why every major scientific organization in the US and world, every university, and just about every actual scientist who studies climate agree on this point.

          You really are going to try and pull this stunt again?

          Fine, then I will ask you for the umpteenth (to use your word) time.

          If every major scientific organization agrees something is true, and that establishes something as fact, then why is Bush a liar when every intelligence organization agreed Saddam had WMD’s.

          Again, you are illustrating liberal double think to a tee. You hold two diametrically opposed positions to be absolutely true.

          If all major bodies that study an issue agree, that establishes it as fact, unless all those body happen to agree with Bush, then that establishes it as a lie.

          Have we ever found any of the inteligence organizations to have fabricated data? Nope, but we sure have found that with the “major scientific organizations”.

          Did any of the inteligence organizations have a vested interest in fabricating the WMD story? Nope, but the “major scientific organizations” sure do, they get funded based on AGW.

          Did Bush act in a way that someone who had lied would? Nope. Had Bush lied, he would have known he was lying and driven a couple of semi’s into Iraq with some WMD evidence.

          Did the “major scientific organizations” act in a way consistent with lying? Yep, Hansen fought fought admission of the repetition of the Russian weather numbers for a couple of months, when it was obvious to all. The GRU emails clearly show a pattern of obfuscation consistent with hedging the truth at best, lying at worst. The head of the GRU? Things look so bad he stepped down and finally admitted the notion of any warming in the last decade was a lie.

          Look, when we get to a point where there aren’t weekly revelations about fabricated data destruction of data and out right lying, get back to me.

          *Strategy 1* – You could try your usual “Oh my God, you somehow found a way to link Irag with AGW” or “you’re hopeless” gambit again. It wont work. It is clear you have a pattern of thinking a lot of organizations agreeing on something establishes a fact when you want it to, and a lie when you don’t want it to.

          *Strategy 2* – You could continue to try and draw a distinction between scientific organizations and intelligence organizations. That wont work to well, because the basic premise of your argument is if all the leaders in a field agree, that establishes fact. Your distinction between organizations then becomes a house of cards.

          *Strategy 3* – You could simply admit that you have a vested interest in AGW and if nothing else at least you are making money on the scam that costs everyone else. This would actually be a good strategy. It would establish that even if you cant argue your position very well, at least you make money on it, which is a lot more than most can say.

          >All wind power is not equal. But on very good sites, located very near transmission lines and with good rail or freeway access, and if very cheap rent is negotiated, wind energy is already competitive with natural gas. It is cheaper than nuclear, which is why utility companies are building wind. It isn’t cheaper than coal yet.

          You argument is uncoordinated.

          I asked you for a single source that could give me an outline as to why I could expect windmills to be competitive.

          You have listed siting considerations and wind speeds.

          There is no reason whatsoever to think that all of a sudden low rent sites like you describe will suddenly start popping up all over the place. Last I checked land wasn’t being made anymore.

          There is also no reason to expect that all of a sudden we can anticipate a sudden pick up in wind speeds on a consistent basis.

          I am asking you for a single, that is one, uno, source that gives an engineering or technological reason why we can expect wind power to be competitive with fossil fuels anytime soon, like in the next decade or two or three.

          Are there all of a sudden going to be zero friction bearings to increase the efficiency? Will there be super conductor storage mechanisms that can overcome the fact that windmills are not a demand source of energy?

          I mean you are the one making the claim that building the models we have now will somehow magically bring the price down. I see no reason to think that and I want to know on what you make that claim other than “hope and change” and the fact that you are making a buck on this scam.

          I don’t think you have thing one that shows any sort of engineering development is anywhere on the horizon any time soon.

          Wind power has been seen as an alternative source of energy for as long as I have been alive. Popular Science had articles at least annually when I was growing up and in college. As I see it, it still is nothing more than a way to funnel money to a to connected scammers.

          I should probably let you know, You are not the first I have asked this question of. Ive asked it from others in the wind industry. I have never gotten and answer to it.

          One article, overview or outline that gives a concise reason to think that windmills will be competative with conventional power on an economic and demand basis. Just one.

          • valley p

            “why is Bush a liar when every intelligence organization agreed Saddam had WMD’s.”

            How many times are you going to ask the same moronic question? For the umpteenth time, *Bush had no doubt . The intelligence agencies had doubt* . Therefore Bush either ignored reality or he lied. Case closed. And if that does not do it for you, consider the fact that *intelligence is not a physical science* . That’s known as a twofer Rupert.

            Now can we put your dumb, annoying question to bed once and for all? Or is this really the only arrow you have left in your quiver?

            “Look, when we get to a point where there aren’t weekly revelations about fabricated data destruction of data and out right lying, get back to me.”

            We have already been there for years. Many years went by absent “weekly revelations,” which is why people like you and Jim K have to recycle the same garbage over and again. And in case you have not noticed, we have had the same “weekly revelation” about stolen emails for months now.
            Repeating a “revelation” each week does not make it new. And misreading what the IPCC said about Himalayan Glaciers does not make that a new revelation. It makes you a lousy reader. You should not blame others for your flaws.

            “You argument is uncoordinated. ”

            My excuse is that your brain is uncoordinated with reality, therefore I have difficulty constructing any argument that would make sense to you. It is like arguing with the “Mad Hatter.” So why IS a Raven like a writing desk Rupert? Answer me that!

            “I mean you are the one making the claim that *building the models we have now* will somehow magically bring the price down.”

            Oh I see. A Rupert literary device. You are suggesting that I think the wind industry is simply building the same exact turbines over and again, and that I think that if they do this the price will come down “magically” Very sneaky Rupert. In your strange mind, you constructed an argument I never made so that you could parry it. How devlish!

            Let me clarify for you. They are not simply building the same thing year after year. THey make improvements. These are reflected in the price already having come down substantially, each and every year since wind turbines have been deployed. And improvements are continually being made, and likely will be for awhile yet.

            “the fact that you are making a buck on this scam.”

            You have your bone again. Good boy. Its pretty yucky and slobbered up by now isn’t it? Now fetch. Good boy. Nice boy. A little slow…I say he’s a little slow on the uptake…but a nice boy. (That’s a cartoon reference.)

            “I don’t think you have thing one that shows any sort of engineering development is anywhere on the horizon any time soon.”

            No. Not a single thing. Lots of things.

            http://www.nrel.gov/wind/coe.html
            http://www.nrel.gov/wind/pubs_research.html

            “I should probably let you know, You are not the first I have asked this question of. Ive asked it from others in the wind industry. I have never gotten and answer to it.”

            Yes, well you also keep asking the same question about George Bush lying. No one can seem to prove this to you no matter how much evidence they present. The entire world scientific establishment has produced evidence up the Whazoo on AGW and you don’t accept that. You don’t accept that Senate is 1/2 of Congress. Clinton balanced 4 budgets in a row while 20 years of Republican presidents balanced nothing and you don’t accept that. You still seem to think the NEXT Republican president is going to balance a budget while cutting taxes. When you can’t accept what has already happened as reality, how can we expect you to accept any models about the future? Answer: we can’t. You believe what you believe for your own mysterious reasons.

            “One article, overview or outline that gives a concise *reason to think* ”

            There is the problem right there. No one has given you a reason to think. My advice is to try and think anyway, even if you don’t have a reason.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *Anonymous:*

    You do know that nuclear power subsidized and expensive?

    *Bob T:*

    They were never too expensive for the energy companies to build, but became so
    when opponents filed lawsuit after lawsuit trying to stop their construction. A good
    example would be the two Seabrook plants on the coast of either Maine or New
    Hampshire. The lawsuits, which kept coming before and after construction
    began, caused Seabrook One to be many times its original coast, while Seabrook Two
    was cancelled after many millions had already been put into the project. The
    main claim used to win support for suing them was some nonsense about how
    “boiling water” would be dumped into the ocean and would kill the fish.

    The left then points to these plants and says gee, they’re too expensive to
    build. Oh, and now many New Englanders buy power from Canadian nuclear
    power plants because of the Seabrook lawsuits.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • valley p

      “The main claim used to win support for suing them was some nonsense about how
      “boiling water” would be dumped into the ocean and would kill the fish.”

      Its called thermal pollution. Dumping millions of gallons of warm water into a cold water habitat does indeed kill fish and a lot else. Its been one of the issues nuclear power has had trouble solving. long range waste storage is obviously another one.

      Nuke plants are too expensive not because of lawsuits. They are too expensive because the safety measures needed add a lot of cost.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *valley p:*

    Its called thermal pollution. Dumping millions of gallons of warm water into a cold water habitat does indeed kill fish and a lot else. Its been one of the issues nuclear power has had trouble solving.

    *Bob T:*

    It’s a nonsense issue — hot water dumped into the cold ocean, well, do the physics.

    *valley p:*

    long range waste storage is obviously another one.

    *Bob T:*

    Plants have on-site storage while the government dickeres around with the politics of
    Yucca Mtn or any other national depository. Of course, storage wouldn’t be much of
    an issue if re-processing had not been banned in the late 70s.

    *valley p:*

    Nuke plants are too expensive not because of lawsuits. They are too expensive because the safety measures needed add a lot of cost.

    *Bob T:*

    The lawsuits indeed add to this because of repeated filings to slow down construction requires repeated expensive responses and delays also add to costs, and as for the safet measures these are added not so much because they are needed but to satisfy demands of those bringing the lawsuits, who then turn around and have a new set of demands.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

    • valley p

      “It’s a nonsense issue — hot water dumped into the cold ocean, well, do the physics. ”

      Its beyond my math skills, but the problem is warm (not hot) water dumped into shallow bays, where it indeed has a negative effect. Believe what you will, but its marine biology, not ideology.

      The fact is, we live in a land of politics, laws and lawyers, not dictators. When people don’t want something and they can use the law to stop it or delay it they will. This is as true for wind energy as it is for nuclear. If utility companies prefer nukes they can build them. They choose not to, but are choosing wind, at least for now.

      There once was a time when libertarian minded people said lawsuits were the appropriate way to prevent government from doing bad things. What happened to that sentiment?

  • Just Saying

    With much fanfare, Governor Kulongoski claimed that this would be “protecting ratepayers with more stable and predictable utility rates.”

    This is yet another claptrap statement that demonstrates Kulongoski is incompetent, especially when it comes to math. He is definitely not smarter than a fifth grader. He made similar statements relating to the Klamath agreement as it applies to Pacific Power customers who will likely have electricity rates increased too. And then there is the out-of control BETC program which he supported while not being able to add up the costs to taxpayers. Both are also due to his incompetence. He is defiantly a bozo stuffed into a dress suit.

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