News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wind farms better than a Ponzi scheme, boots on the ground in Australian tragedy

"Wind turbines produce very little power... and have to be fully backed up by conventional “black” (mostly coal-fuelled) power."

5/2/12, "Wind farm scam a huge cover-up," James Delingpole, The Australian

"Most newspaper environment editors — from Australia to Britain and the US — tend, unfortunately, to be so ideologically wedded to the supposed virtues of renewable energy they find it all but impossible to criticise it....

Inspired by Lloyd’s article, I went to investigate and was heartbroken by what I found. Until you’ve seen what it can do to people, it’s easy to dismiss wind turbine syndrome as a hypochondriac’s charter or an urban myth....

Even more shocking than this, though, were my discoveries about the finance arrangements and behaviour of the wind farm companies. What we have here, I believe, is the biggest and most outrageous public affairs scandal of the 21st century — one in which the Gillard government is implicated and that far exceeds in seriousness and scope of the Slipper or Thomson sideshows.

At the heart of this scandal are the union superannuation funds that are using the wind farm scam as a kind of government-endorsed Ponzi scheme to fill their coffers at public expense. One of the biggest wind farm developers — Pacific Hydro — is owned by the union superfund Members Equity Bank. To meet its carbon reduction quotas, we’re told, Australia needs to build about 10,000 new wind turbines like the ones that have destroyed Waterloo (and dozens of communities like it from NSW to South Australia).

The figures are mind-boggling. Each of those turbines will cost about $3 million, which means $30 billion even before you’ve started building the power lines. And where’s this money coming from? The consumer, of course — mostly via tariffs whacked on to the price of conventional, fossil-fuel energy prices, in the form of payouts called Renewable Energy Certificates.

Note that wind turbines produce very little power. Because wind is intermittent, they operate at between one-fifth and one-third of their capacity, meaning they are erratic, unreliable and have to be fully backed up by conventional “black” (mostly coal-fuelled) power. Where the money is to be made is through the REC subsidy. A 3MW wind turbine that generates (at most) $150,000 worth of electricity a year is eligible for guaranteed subsidies of $500,000 a year. A ridgeline hosting 20 or 30 turbines generates very little power — but an awful lot of free cash for those lucky enough to get their snouts in the trough."

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I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.