The Things They Never Told Us About Wind Power

An article at the Center of the American Experiment website tells us some of the things the media might not have mentioned about wind power:

An industrial wind facility in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin has been decommissioned after just 20 years of service because the turbines are no longer cost effective to maintain and operate. The decommissioning of the 14 turbines took many people by surprise, even local government officials and the farmer who had five of the turbines on his property.

What’s really surprising about these wind turbines being decommissioned after 20 years is the is the fact that people were surprised by it. You’d be astonished at how many people I talk to that have no idea that wind turbines only last for 20 years, maybe 25. In fact, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory says the useful life of a wind turbine is only 20 years.

The following chart appears in the article:

So what do we do with these things after they have lived their useful life span? Can we dispose of them in a way that is environmentally safe?

The article notes:

The short usable lifespan of a wind turbine is one of the most important, but least-talked about subjects in energy policy.

In contrast to wind, coal, natural gas, and nuclear plants can run for a very long time. Coal and natural gas plants can easily run for 50 years, and nuclear plants can be updated and retrofitted to run for 60 years. This has profound implications for the cost of electricity on a per megawatt hour basis that seemingly no one is talking about.

When the federal government puts out their cost projections for energy, the numbers they produce are called the Levelized Cost of Energy, or LCOE. These numbers are supposed to act as a measuring stick that allows policymakers to determine which energy sources will best serve their needs, but these numbers are wrong because they assume all power plants, whether they are wind, coal, natural gas, or nuclear will have a 30-year payback period.

This does two things, it artificially reduces the cost of wind power by allowing them to spread their costs over 30 years, when 20 would be much more appropriate, and it artificially inflates the cost of coal, natural gas, and nuclear by not calculating the cost over the entirety of their reasonable lifetimes.

The search for totally green energy is not unlike science’s search for a perpetual motion machine. Scientists and engineers may come close, but the perpetual motion machine cannot exist because it contradicts the laws of physics.

Something That Is Happening Underneath The Noise

The Wall Street Journal posted an article today about how the economy is doing under the Trump administration.

The article reports:

The number of Americans filing applications for new unemployment benefits fell to a new 49-year low for the third straight week, though Hurricane Florence’s effect on the jobs market remains unclear.

Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., fell by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 201,000 in the week ended Sept. 15, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the lowest level since December 1969, and less than the 210,000 claims economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected.

The article includes the following chart:

The article concludes:

Jobless claims have remained low in recent years, as the labor market continues to tighten and managers face difficulty finding qualified employees. The unemployment rate has been hovering near an 18-year low in recent months.

The number of claims workers made for longer than a week declined by 55,000 to 1,645,000 in the week ended Sept. 8. The figure, also known as continuing claims, is reported with a one-week lag.

This growth is the result of deregulation, tax cuts, and the energy policy of the Trump administration. This growth will halt abruptly if the Democrats take control of Congress in November as they have already announced plans to reverse the policies put in place by the Trump administration that have resulted in the growth.

About That “All Of The Above” Energy Policy

CNS News posted an article yesterday about President Obama’s claim that his administration has followed an “all of the above” energy policy in order to make America more energy independent.

There is a chart of U.S. Imports of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products from 1981 to March of this year posted by the U. S. Energy Information Administration. The chart shows that oil imports are lower now than when President Obama took office in 2008. What it doesn’t show us is that one of the major reasons for the lower oil imports is the slowdown in economic activity in America during that time period. If the true statistics were being reported, they would show that about 11% of Americans are unemployed. That means 11% of us are not driving to work every day. The percentage of Americans actually in the workforce is the lowest it has been since 1981. Many Americans have postponed vacations due to economic concerns. Lower oil imports generally do not occur when the economy is thriving.

The article at CNS News relates some inconvenient facts about domestic oil production under President Obama:

Kathleen Sgamma, vice-president for public and government affairs at the Western Energy Alliance, said oil and gas regulations prevent companies from using leases they have bought to drill on federal lands.

“Western Energy Alliance estimates conservatively that BLM’s [Bureau of Land Management] planned regulations will add about 100 days to permitting times,” she told the panel. “With federal permitting times of 298 days, while states can process their corresponding permits in about thirty days, it’s difficult to understand why the federal government is trying to usurp control from the states which have proved themselves more effective and efficient.”

Sgamma noted that the increase in federal production had occurred on private and state-owned lands, not in areas controlled by the federal government, belying claims that production is up because of Obama’s policies.

The article at CNS News also reminds us that the President’s energy plan has been to pick winners and losers, which has interfered with the free market. Because of this, innovation has been stifled, and products that were not economically feasible have been subsidized, only to go bankrupt and increase unemployment.

The article at CNS News further reports:

“Despite all the obstacles put in place by this administration, oil and gas companies, responding to market forces and the demands of a nation for energy, jobs, and economic growth, have dramatically increased production and reduced foreign imports.”

Sgamma added that “5.5 times more oil is produced on private and state lands than on federal lands.”

Frankly, the only impact the Obama Administration has directly had on American energy production is to slow it down and drown it in red tape. Unfortunately most of the major media has not bothered to report that or to fact check the President’s claims about his energy policy. 

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Fact Checking Some Of The President’s Recent Statements On Energy

CNS News posted an article posted a story yesterday about the President’s recent statements about his administration’s energy policy:

The article reports:

In his March 10, 2012, Weekly Address, President Obama said that “[u]nder my Administration, oil production in America is at an eight-year high. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs, and opened up millions of acres for drilling.”

He continued: “But you and I both know that with only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices – not when we consume 20 percent of the world’s oil. We need an all-of-the-above strategy that relies less on foreign oil and more on American-made energy – solar, wind, natural gas, biofuels, and more.”

Well, he seems to have conviently overlooked a few things.

Some inconvenient facts reported in the article:

As CNSNews.com has reported, oil production on federal lands declined in fiscal year 2011 from fiscal year 2010 by 11 percent, and natural gas production on federal lands dropped by 6 percent during the same timeframe.

In contrast, oil production on private and state lands accounted for the entire increase, reported the IER, as production was up 14 percent from 2010 to 2011. Natural gas also was up 12 percent from 2010 to 2011.

The article also reported that the reason America is producing more oil has to do with permits issued in the two year period before President Obama took office. It takes about three to five years to bring on production in oil fields.

Please follow the link to CNS News to read the entire article. There is an awful lot of smoke and mirrors in what the President is saying about his energy policies, and the article explains what the facts actually are and how the President is skewing the information.

 

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