by Jonathan Benson
staff writer
November 24, 2011
from NaturalNews Website

German version

 


Literal beacons of the "green" energy movement, giant wind turbines have been one of the renewable energy sources of choice for the US government, which has spent billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing their construction and use across the country.

 

But high maintenance costs, high rates of failure, and fluctuating weather conditions that affect energy production render wind turbines expensive and inefficient, which is why more than 14,000 of them have since been abandoned.

Before government subsidies for the giant metals were cut or eliminated in many areas, wind farms were an energy boom business.

 

But in the post-tax subsidy era, the costs of maintaining and operating wind turbines far outweighs the minimal power they generate in many areas, which has left a patchwork of wind turbine graveyards in many of the most popular wind farming areas of the US.

"Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy's California 'big three' locations which include Altamont Pass, Tehachapin and San Gorgonio, considered among the world's best wind sites," writes Andrew Walden of the American Thinker.

 

"In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills."

Walden speaks, of course, about the birds, bats, and other air creatures that routinely get tangled in and killed by wind turbine propellers.

 

And as far as the "post-industrial junk" language, well, if it costs too much to run the machines in the first place, then it definitely costs too much to uproot and remove them post-construction.

This whole wind energy mess just further illustrates how the American people have been played by their elected officials who bought into the "global warming" hysteria that spawned the push for wind energy in the first place.

 

And now that the renewable energy tax subsidies are gradually coming to an end in some places, the true financial and economic viability, or lack of wind energy, is on display for the world to see.

"It is all about the tax subsidies," writes Don Surber of the Charleston Daily Mail.

 

"The blades churn until the money runs out. If an honest history is written about the turn of the 21st century, it will include a large, harsh chapter on how fears about global warming were overplayed for profit by corporations."








 

 

 



14,000 Abandoned Wind Turbines

...in The USA
by Tory Aardvark
November 17, 2011

from ToryAardvark Website

German version

 

 


Abandoned wind farm at South Point Hawaii

 

There are many hidden truths about the world of wind turbines from the pollution and environmental damage caused in China by manufacturing bird choppers, the blight on people’s lives of noise and the flicker factor and the countless numbers of birds that are killed each year by these blots on the landscape.

The symbol of Green renewable energy, our savior from the non existent problem of Global Warming, abandoned wind farms are starting to litter the planet as globally governments cut the subsidies taxes that consumers pay for the privilege of having a very expensive power source that does not work every day for various reasons like it’s too cold or the wind speed is too high.

The US experience with wind farms has left over 14,000 wind turbines abandoned and slowly decaying, in most instances the turbines are just left as symbols of a dying Climate Religion, nowhere have the Green Environmentalists appeared to clear up their mess or even complain about the abandoned wind farms.

 

The US has had wind farms since 1981:

“Some say that Ka Le is haunted - and it is. But it’s haunted not by Hawaii’s legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are “Na leo o Kamaoa” - the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm…

The ghosts of Kamaoa are not alone in warning us. Five other abandoned wind sites dot the Hawaiian Isles - but it is in California where the impact of past mandates and subsidies is felt most strongly. Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy’s California “big three” locations - Altamont Pass, Tehachapin (above), and San Gorgonio - considered among the world’s best wind sites…


California’s wind farms -  comprising about 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity - ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned.

 

Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills…”

The problem with wind farms when they are abandoned is getting the turbines removed, as usual there are non Green environmentalists to be seen:

The City of Palm Springs was forced to enact an ordinance requiring their removal from San Gorgonio. But California’s Kern County, encompassing the Tehachapi area, has no such law.

Imagine the outraged Green chorus if those turbines were abandoned oil drilling rigs.

It took nearly a decade from the time the first flimsy wind turbines were installed before the performance of California wind projects could dispel the widespread belief among the public and investors that wind energy was just a tax scam.

Ben Lieberman, a senior policy analyst focusing on energy and environmental issues for the Heritage Foundation, is not surprised.

 

He asks:

“If wind power made sense, why would it need a government subsidy in the first place? It’s a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end.”

“It’s a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end” therein lies a lesson that is going be learnt by those that sought to make fortunes out of tax payer subsidies.

 

The whole renewables industry of solar, wind and biomass is just an artificial bubble incapable of surviving without subsides from governments and tax payers which many businesses and NGO’s like WWF, FoE and Greenpeace now think is their god given right, as the money is going on Green Climate Religion approved clean energy.

The Green evangelists who push so hard for these wind farms, as usual have not thought the whole idea through, no surprises for a left agenda like Climate Change, which like all things Green and socialist is just a knee jerk reaction:

Altamont’s turbines have since 2008 been tethered four months of every year in an effort to protect migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit.

 

According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society,

  • 75 to 110 Golden Eagles

  • 380 Burrowing Owls

  • 300 Red-tailed Hawks

  • 333 American Kestrels (falcons),

...are killed by Altamont turbines annually.

 

A July, 2008 study by the Alameda County Community Development Agency points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont Pass wind turbines.

 

Audubon calls Altamont,

“probably the worst site ever chosen for a wind energy project.”

The same areas that are good for sitting wind farms are also good for birds of prey and migrating birds to pass through, shame for the birds that none of the Green mental midgets who care so much about everything in nature, thought that one through when pushing their anti fossil fuel agenda.

After the debacle of the First California Wind Rush, the European Union had moved ahead of the US on efforts to subsidize “renewable” energy - including a “Feed in Tariff” even more lucrative than the ISO4 contracts.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/wind_energys_ghosts_1.html

The tax payers who paid for the subsidies to build the wind farms, then paid over the odds for an unreliable source of power generation will, ultimately be left to pick up the bill for clearing up the Green eco mess in the post man made Global Warming world.



Updated November 24th
In answer to several allegations that the number of abandoned wind turbines was made up, the following quote from the article and link will confirm this figure to be true:

California’s wind farms - then comprising about 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity - ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa.

 

In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills.













 

 

Going Green...

Gets The Green
by Don Surber

November 23, 2011
from DailyMailBlog Website

German version

 

Minnesotans for Global Warming is a website that regularly skewers Al Gore, Michael Mann and the lesser gods of global warming.

 

As the website’s motto notes,

“It is stupid to politicize the weather!”

But politicizing the weather can be lucrative.

 

 

The Celebrity Net Worth site estimates Al Gore’s personal fortune at $100 million. Not all of the money comes from global warming. Some of it was from his oil and mining interests. But it is safe to say that between the books and the documentary, he has made a few million from the theory.

It sure is easy being green - and it’s lucrative. With all the federal subsidies and tax breaks out there for going green, I wonder how sensible it is for a company to fight the global warming theory?

GE, BP and now Exxon have seen the light and are going green to get the green. Indeed. Going green is a good way to reward those who raise money for one’s presidential campaign.

 

Billionaire George Kaiser raised money for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.

 

Kaiser and his family’s tax-exempt foundation had a 35 percent stake in Solyndra, which received federal aid from the Obama administration and a presidential visit in 2010 to tout its success.

“Kaiser’s role has been among the subjects of a congressional inquiry into Solyndra since the California company that received a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee filed for bankruptcy in September,” Bloomberg News reported.

Solyndra made solar panels in a market flooded with them. Wind turbines also are a drag on the market.

 

Minnesotans For Global Warming reported last week on what happens to some wind turbines when the subsidies run out. They die.

“The U.S. experience with wind farms has left over 14,000 wind turbines abandoned and slowly decaying. In most instances the turbines are just left as symbols of a dying Climate Religion.

“Nowhere have the Green Environmentalists appeared to clear up their mess or even complain about the abandoned wind farms,” Minnesotans For Global Warming reported.

The figure - 14,000 dead wind turbines - comes from Andrew Walden of the American Thinker in his report on the demise of a wind farm at Kamaoa, Hawaii.

 

It was abandoned in 2006 after 21 years of haphazard operation. Besides killing migratory birds and bats - leading some smart alecks to call them Cuisinarts - wind turbines are expensive to operate.

“The ghosts of Kamaoa are not alone in warning us,” Walden wrote.

 

“Five other abandoned wind sites dot the Hawaiian Isles - but it is in California where the impact of past mandates and subsidies is felt most strongly. Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy’s California big three locations - Altamont Pass, Tehachapi, and San Gorgonio - considered among the world’s best wind sites.”

Wind isn’t the most important thing about wind turbines. It is all about the tax subsidies.

 

The blades churn until the money runs out. If an honest history is written about the turn of the 21st century, it will include a large, harsh chapter on how fears about global warming were overplayed for profit by corporations.

Solyndra is just the iceberg’s tip...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wind Energy's Ghosts
by Andrew Walden
February 15, 2010

from AmericanThinker Website

 

Abandoned Rusted Wind Turbines Reflect The Hoax Of Environmental Activists.

Abandoned rusting wind turbines in California, Hawaii and other locations are the result of government subsidies that have been discontinued. Wind energy is just a tax scam.

If wind power made sense, why would it need a government subsidy in the first place? It's a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end.

It the same scam as the so called stimulus money Obama uses as a slush fund to buy votes in congress and prop up state budgets. When the slush fund stimulus money dries up along with government jobs Obama will abandon his useful idiots.

 

His goal of destroying the US economy will have been completed. Bankrupt Europe has a lesson for Americans. Obama is a fraud. Global warming is a fraud. Wind turbines are a scam.

 

Bankrupt Europe has a lesson for Congress about wind power.

Wiwo... wiwo... wiwo...

The sound floats on the winds of Ka Le, this southernmost tip of Hawaii's Big Island, where Polynesian colonists first landed some 1,500 years ago. Some say that Ka Le is haunted - and it is.

 

But it's haunted not by Hawaii's legendary night marchers.

 

The mysterious sounds are "Na leo o Kamaoa" - the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm.
 

 

The voices of Kamaoa cry out their warning as a new batch of colonists, having looted the taxpayers of Spain, Portugal, and Greece, seeks to expand upon their multi-billion-dollar foothold half a world away on the shores of the distant Potomac River.

 

European wind developers are fleeing the EU's expiring wind subsidies, shuttering factories, laying off workers, and leaving billions of Euros of sovereign debt and a continent-wide financial crisis in their wake.

 

But their game is not over.

 

Already they are tapping a new vein of lucre from the taxpayers and ratepayers of the United States.

The Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade Bill appears to be politically dead since Republican Scott Brown's paradigm-shattering Massachusetts Senate victory. But alternative proposals being floated by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and others still promise billions of dollars to wind developers and commit the United States to generate as much as 20% of its electricity from so-called "renewable" sources.

The ghosts of Kamaoa are not alone in warning us. Five other abandoned wind sites dot the Hawaiian Isles - but it is in California where the impact of past mandates and subsidies is felt most strongly.

 

Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy's California "big three" locations,

  • Altamont Pass

  • Tehachapi

  • San Gorgonio,

...considered among the world's best wind sites.
 

 

Built in 1985, at the end of the boom, Kamaoa soon suffered from lack of maintenance. In 1994, the site lease was purchased by Redwood City, CA-based Apollo Energy.

Cannibalizing parts from the original 37 turbines, Apollo personnel kept the declining facility going with outdated equipment. But even in a place where wind-shaped trees grow sideways, maintenance issues were overwhelming. By 2004 Kamaoa accounts began to show up on a Hawaii State Department of Finance list of unclaimed properties.

 

In 2006, transmission was finally cut off by Hawaii Electric Company.

California's wind farms - then comprising about 80% of the world's wind generation capacity - ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills.

The City of Palm Springs was forced to enact an ordinance requiring their removal from San Gorgonio. But California's Kern County, encompassing the Tehachapi area, has no such law.

 

Wind Power advocate Paul Gipe, who got his start as an early 1970s environmental activist at Indiana's Ball State University, describes a 1998 Tehachapi tour thusly:

"Our bus drove directly through the Tehachapi Gorge passing the abandoned Airtricity site with its derelict Storm Master and Wind-Matic turbines and the deserted Wind Source site with its defunct Aeroman machines.

 

We also got a freeway-close glimpse of Zond's wind wall with its 400 Vestas V15 turbines, the former Arbutus site on rugged Pajuela Peak where only the Bonus turbines are still in service, and steep-sided Cameron Ridge topped with FloWind's few remaining Darrieus turbines before reaching SeaWest, our first stop.

"As we approached SeaWest from the desert town of Mojave, the old Micon 108s were spinning merrily, but the Mitsubishis with their higher start-up speed were just coming to life.

 

SeaWest and Fluidyne had done a commendable job of cleaning the Mitsubishis of their infamous oil leaks for the tour's arrival."


Tehachapi's dead turbines

 

Writing in the February, 1999 edition of New Energy, Gipe explains:

From 1981 through 1985 federal and state tax subsidies in California were so great that wealthy investors could recover up to 50 percent of a wind turbine's cost. The lure of quick riches resulted in a flood of development using new and mostly untested wind turbines.

 

By the end of 1986, when projects already underway in 1985 were completed, developers had installed nearly 15,000 wind turbines. These machines represented 1,200 MW of capacity worth US$2.4 billion in 1986 dollars.

It took nearly a decade from the time the first flimsy wind turbines were installed before the performance of California wind projects could dispel the widespread belief among the public and investors that wind energy was just a tax scam.

Ben Lieberman, a senior policy analyst focusing on energy and environmental issues for the Heritage Foundation, is not surprised.

 

He asks:

"If wind power made sense, why would it need a government subsidy in the first place? It's a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end."

After the collapse, wind promoters had a solution to their public image problem. Hide the derelict turbines.

 

Gipe in 1993 wrote for the American Wind Energy Association:

Currently most of the older, less productive wind turbines are located within sight of major travel corridors such as I-580 and I-10.

 

Many first generation turbines and some of the second generation designs are inoperative, and all turbines of these generations are more prone to mechanical failure than contemporary designs.

 

Public opinion surveys have consistently found that inoperative wind turbines tarnish the public's perception of wind energy's efficacy."

Gipe then quotes a 1991 UC Davis study, which explains:

"Our research and that of others show that turbines' non-operation and public fear of wind farm abandonment is still a critical issue, and it therefore behooves the wind industry to return to the 'big three' wind farm sites (Altamont, San Gorgonio, and Tehachapi) and to ensure that these areas are operating as efficiently as possible, and all turbine arrays which do not contribute significantly and conspicuously to power production are either replaced or, if necessary, removed."

Altamont's turbines have since 2008 been tethered four months of every year in an effort to protect migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit.

 

According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society,

  • 75 to 110 Golden Eagles

  • 380 Burrowing Owls

  • 300 Red-tailed Hawks

  • 333 American Kestrels (falcons),

...are killed by Altamont turbines annually.

 

A July, 2008 study by the Alameda County Community Development Agency points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont Pass wind turbines.

 

Audubon calls Altamont,

"probably the worst site ever chosen for a wind energy project."

In 2004 the group unsuccessfully challenged renewal applications for 18 of 20 Altamont wind farms.

From its beginnings as a slogan of the anti-nuclear movement, wind energy has always been tied to taxpayer support and government intervention. Wind farms got their first boost with the Carter-era Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) which encouraged states to enact their own tax incentives.

 

PURPA also for the first time allowed non-utility energy producers to sell electricity to utilities - the first step towards a bungled half-privatization of electricity supply which would come two decades hence.

In the 1985 book "Dynamos and Virgins" a San Francisco based PG&E utility heir tells the story of how he joined forces in the 1970s with lawyers from the Environmental Defense Fund. Together they worked for years to obstruct coal and nuclear power plants until utilities were forced to do business with wind energy suppliers.

Protest and litigation remain among the foremost competitive tools used by the now multi-billion dollar "alternative" energy industry.

 

Reviewing the book, Robert Reich, a Kennedy School of Government professor who would later become Clinton's Secretary of Labor, wrote:

"The old paradigms of large-scale production, centralized management, and infinite resources are crumbling. We are on the verge of a new political economy."

The new paradigm created by the generation of 1968 is more political and less economy.

 

Without government intervention, utilities normally avoid wind energy. Wind's erratic power feed destabilizes power grids and forces engineers to stand by, always ready to fire up traditional generators. Wind does not fit into an electric supply model made up of steady massive low cost "base load" coal or nuclear plants backed up by on-call natural gas powered "peaker" units which kick in during high demand. No coal or nuclear power plant has ever been replaced by wind energy.

Although carbon credit schemes often assign profitable carbon credits to wind farm operators based on a theoretical displacement of carbon emitted by coal or natural gas producers, in reality these plants must keep burning to be able to quickly add supply every time the wind drops off.

 

The formulae do not take into account carbon emitted by idling coal and natural gas plants nor the excess carbon generated by constant fire-up and shut down cycles necessitated to balance fluctuating wind supplies.

But with PURPA on the federal books, the State of California quickly created "Interim Standard Offer" (ISO4) contracts guaranteeing a purchase price based on utilities' "avoided costs" - launching the first "California Wind Rush".

 

By 1982 turbines were sprouting from the dusty terrain of Altamont Pass, Tehachapi, and San Gorgonio. The ISO4 contracts were written with the assumption that fuel prices would continue to soar.

But that's not what happened.

By 1985 oil and natural gas prices were dropping. This changed the "avoided cost" calculations to the disadvantage of alternative energy producers. ISO4 contracts no longer guaranteed a price sufficient to attract investment in wind energy.

 

Construction of new turbines stopped. As the old ten-year contracts began to expire in the late 1980s, renewals were pegged at much lower avoided cost estimates. As a result, many California wind developers quickly closed up shop, abandoning their turbines to moan out the one note song.

Then Enron got involved...

Building on the foundation laid by PURPA, 1992 Energy Policy Act (EPAct) began the partial deregulation of wholesale - but not retail - electricity.

 

Reich in 1985 had lauded the,

"crumbling" of "large-scale production (and) centralized management".

He got his wish.

 

EPAct set the stage for Enron's California energy market manipulations which led to the 2003 recall of Governor Gray Davis (D-CA). The movement started by a PG&E heir led to the bankruptcy of PG&E.

 

Perhaps this is why some call the children of the 1960s "the destructive generation."

Designed to create a renewable energy trading market, EPAct - much of which took effect in 1997 - created a combination of mandates, incentives, and tax credits.

 

These included:

  • Laws requiring large wind producers to be allowed to tie into the existing utility grid

  • "Renewable Portfolio Standards" forcing utilities to buy intermittent wind generated electricity

  • "Renewable Energy Certificates" tradable separately from the electricity itself to sell to companies needing to meet the portfolio standards

  • A 10-year "Production Tax Credit" that now equals $.019/kWh

  • Accelerated depreciation allowing tax write-off using an accelerated 5-year double-declining-balance method (40% per year)

Wind capacity had stagnated through the mid-1990s.

 

But Enron in January, 1997 bought out Tehachapi-based industry leader Zond Corporation - launching the second California Wind Rush.

Four years later, Enron would implode. The company which gamed a government-crippled artificial marketplace was deconstructed as poster boy for unbridled capitalism.

But the tax credits, mandates, and regulations which made Enron possible did not die with it. Enron Wind's turbine manufacturing subsidiary was purchased by General Electric. Many of its wind farms went to Florida Light and Power.

 

By 2009, the US Department of Energy estimates mandate-and-subsidy-driven wind capacity would rise to 28,635mw.

That much coal or nuclear "capacity" would power 28.635 million homes, but wind "capacity" is calculated assuming perfect wind 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. At the best wind sites, such as Kamaoa, newly installed turbines generate only 30-40% of "capacity".

 

At most sites, the figure is 20% or less. After 30 years of development, wind produces only 2.3% of California's electricity.

And then there is maintenance.

 

The turbines installed in the first wind rush were not very reliable. Some never worked at all. As the years passed and the elements took their toll, downtime climbed ever closer to 100% and production dwindled to negligible amounts. Developers often set malfunctioning turbines to "virtual" mode - blades spinning without generating electricity - in order to keep oil circulating inside the turbine drive.

 

Of course this habit also gives passing drivers an illusion of productivity.

Wind developers claim that today's American and European-made turbines are more reliable and longer-lasting than their old-tech predecessors. But new Chinese turbine manufacturers of untested quality are crowding the marketplace Europe's subsidy-driven turbine meisters are chased from their home markets.

After the debacle of the First California Wind Rush, the European Union had moved ahead of the US on efforts to subsidize "renewable" energy - including a "Feed in Tariff" even more lucrative than the ISO4 contracts. EU governments provided government-backed securities to support utilities burdened by Feed-in Tariff costs.

 

But last year, as the national debt of wind-intensive EU countries became unbearable, the EU subsidy bubble burst.

Wind maven Gipe proudly takes a page from the disastrous European playbook, crediting himself with,

"Almost single-handedly launch(ing) a campaign for Advanced Renewable Tariffs (electricity feed laws) in North America."

But addressing a Heritage Foundation seminar last May, Dr. Gabriel Calzada, Professor of King Juan Carlos University in Madrid explained (below video) what Feed In Tariffs and other wind subsidies did to Spain (as well as Portugal and Greece) got into debt:

"The feed-in tariff... would make (utility) companies go bankrupt eventually. So... the government guarantees... to give back the money in the future - when (they) are not going to be in the office any more.

 

Slowly the market does not want to have these securities that they are selling. Right now there is a debt related to these renewable energies that nobody knows how it is going to be paid - of 16 Billion Euros."

 

 

 

 

In early 2009 the Socialist government of Spain reduced alternative energy subsidies by 30%.

 

Calzada continues:

"At that point the whole pyramid collapsed. They are firing thousands of people. BP closed down the two largest solar production plants in Europe. They are firing between 25,000 and 40,000 people..."


"What do we do with all this industry that we have been creating with subsidies that now is collapsing? The bubble is too big. We cannot continue pumping enough money... The President of the Renewable Industry in Spain (wrote a column arguing that)... the only way is finding other countries that will give taxpayers' money away to our industry to take it and continue maintaining these jobs."

That "other country" is the United States of America.

Waxman-Markey seems dead, and Europe's southern periphery is bankrupt.

 

But the wind-subsidy proposals being floated in Congress suggest that American political leaders have yet to understand that "green power" means generating electricity by burning dollars.