Against Being Fair in Foolishness on Energy


The snow coming down, leaving us inside with our heating systems and, for many, the comfort of generators should things get that heavy, creates an excellent atmosphere in which to read Stephen Moore’s thoughts on why “Europe’s Lesson Teaches Us: Don’t Go Green.” Moore also touches on the impetus to make the United States green, too:

So very quietly, Europe and other nations aren’t going so green anymore. The EU spent an estimated $750 billion on green energy handouts over the past decade and what it has bought for that is a doubling of its power costs.

This has given American steel, auto, light manufacturing, agriculture, and technology firms a big competitive edge in world markets.  This is why European nations and Australia are understandably desperate for the U.S. to move to the same green energy policies that they adopted years ago.

Just as it’s in Russia’s interests to bankroll an American anti-fracking movement, the elites of Europe, who have pushed their countries too far toward fashionable energy programs, have reason to pressure the United States to hobble its own economy.  If Europeans were to demand that their leaders put the well-being of workers and families first and loosen their regulations, many in the United States would cheer them on, but our own elites shouldn’t expect us to sacrifice our workers and our families to make us fair in foolishness.

  • Guest

    On the contrary, it is a total wakeup call from you, Stephen Moore’s thoughts on why “Europe’s Lesson Teaches Us: Don’t Go Green.” and Eric
    Worrall’s Guest essay; “$14,000 per MWh – the price South Australia Pays for Renewables Madness” have not been paying attention or are extremely not technically literate with basic technology or are too blinded by your political aspirations (surprised because you worked construction and should understand basic principles).

    Commercial electrical power generated from power plants that we currently utilize throughout the world is called baseline power on line 24/7 with very little fluctuations (+/- 5%) in voltage, amperage, frequency and has the
    ability to ramp up or down to balance system resistive and capacitive reactance changing loads from grid systems coming on line increasing demands and going off line reducing demands. There are built-in protections to trip out the system in protective mode in case of excessive high or low voltage, amperage or frequency to keep the wires from overheating, damaging equipment, starting building fires or shocking and killing people.

    Typical commercial baseline power generating systems are electric generators powered by low/high pressure steam boilers (imported oil, diesel fuel, natural gas, and coal, wood), hydro-electric dams, and geo-thermal resources or nuclear.

    Basic renewable energy is made up of fluctuating resources (alternating; not constant; high lows or no power at all) and baseline resources
    (constant always on 24/7, consistent and stable).

    Excellent examples of fluctuating renewable resources are
    wind turbines, photovoltaic (solar) panels, some wave kinetic device systems, battery storage systems, pumped water storage hydro generator systems. These renewable energy systems require backup baseline power systems to keep the electrical grid operational and stable because they cannot ramp up or down for changing loads or their natural renewable energy resource stops producing.

    Some excellent known and commercially proven renewable
    energy baseline resources are:
    (1) Hawaii’s Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) 95%
    self-sustainable (5% photovoltaic makes it 100% self-sustainable) utilizing
    only warm ocean surface water and deep cold ocean water temperature differential as renewable power source to power steam electric generators. By-product is desalinated drinking water. Currently in design upgrades to 100MW output, miniaturization of system and cost reduction. However there is a full size working land based model tied to the electric grid (only one in world) with a test stand for up to 3 heat exchanger efficiency testing from world-wide companies.

    (2) Australia’s Carnegie Clean Energy Limited CETO wave
    energy system that has over 14,000 hours of four seasons continuous 24/7 undersea operation connected to Australia’s largest Navy Base electric grid providing commercial level electric power and by-product of desalinated drinking water. There are now two different designs one land based for electric generators and one with electric generators encased in undersea units. Currently Carnegie is working to increase MW output, miniaturization of system and cost reduction to make it cost effective. This system can operate in any ocean world-wide.

    The major problem with European countries jumping on the renewable energy band wagon is they went too fast, utilized old expensive offshore
    technology of oil rig platforms for expensive offshore wind farms, created laws requiring the early decommissioning of normal baseline power plants not realizing wind power is NOT STABLE but fluctuating and NOBODY TESTED how much fluctuating power can be allowed on a legacy electric power grid before emergency shut down to protect the grid system because all the grids were interconnected to other states and countries.

    There are so much fluctuating wind turbines on the grid now that they have to start the expensive process of recommissioning coal, gas and oil power plants to stabilize the grids. Southern Australia did the same thing except they used too much land based wind turbines.

    In Hawaii, Hawaiian Electric Company, U.S. Department Of Energy (DOE), University of Hawaii, scientists, engineers, technicians and security specialist from various foreign countries around the world have been in
    Hawaii for the past year performing a “First in World” test according to DOE and will be here for another year performing tests on legacy grids to find how much fluctuating renewable power they can absorb before shut down real-time on Hawaii’s operating local electric grids. Then they will add smart grid components to the legacy grid and see what changes as a smart grid, test the life cycle of smart grid components and the security of the components to guard against hackers. In 2019 we will know finally, how much fluctuating alternate renewable energy can be allowed on a legacy electric grid.

    Deepwater Wind played their European old technology game on Rhode Island with the 5 turbine offshore Block Island demonstration wind farm (which will not operate without the undersea National Grid electric cable providing stable baseline power) where the purchase price agreement is 24.4 cents/kWh (higher cost than burning oil) with a 20 year 3.5% annual compounding cost of living adjustment (this is an excessive killer) which will drive electric rates near 50 cents/kWh making Rhode Island the highest price electricity, state and local taxes (got to get more money for increased electric rates) in the nation.

    State of Hawaii has been working with renewable alternate energy since 1960s and has been slowly testing systems and integrating a mix of
    different system that are cost effective (no offshore wind) and there is 24/7
    electrical coverage on each non-connected island. By year 2045 the whole state approximately 10 times the landmass size of Rhode Island will be 100% electrical powered by renewable clean alternate energy keeping $7 billion hard earned dollars in state. Currently 54% of electricity in Hawaii County comes from renewables, 37% of electricity in Maui County comes from renewables, 19% of electricity in Honolulu County comes from renewables and 40% of electricity in Kauai County comes from renewables.

    My monthly electric bill has dropped from $60 to $40 per month as each new renewable system was integrated into my county’s electric grid.

    • Mike678

      33.1 cents/kWh Kaua’i
      34.9 cents/kWh Lana’i
      29.3 cents/kWh Maui
      32.9 cents/kWh Hawai’i Island
      11 – 12 cents/kWh U.S. Average

      • Guest

        Hawiian is still burning imported oil as the most imported oil dependent state in the nation with the highest electric rates in the nation. However, that is changing as more and more renewable energy systems are brought on line on each independent island. None of the renewable energy systems brought on line have purchase price agreement that are higher than oil/kWh prices (11 cents and 13 cents latest software rates). Unlike Rhode Island that was 18 cents/kWh and just brought Deepwater Wind on line at 24.4 cents/kWh with an unheard of 3.5% annual compounding cost of living adjustment for 20 years.
        Larry Ellison purchased the Island of Lanai and has promised to make the island a model of self sustainability utilizing renewable energy micro grids. Everything are in his hands.
        For the rest of the islands we are moving ahead towards 100% electricity from cost effective renewable sources by year 2045.

        • Mike678

          Oh, we agree on the high costs of power in RI–we can thank the rabid fact-free environmentalists that restrict pipelines, Deep Pockets Wind, and, of course, National Grid. The high costs of power are just another reason why it is so hard to have a competitive manufacturing (or high energy use) business here. BTW, you may want to look into the subsidies that the ‘renewables’ presently get that allow them to predict/offer lower prices. What happens to infrastructure/power costs when those go away?

          To some extent it’s just more expensive to generate electricity in HI due to its isolation, scale and limited access to natural gas–none of which is applicable to many contiguous US states. Thus your costs MAY level off (or decrease if you can eliminate the costly grid), but they will still be much higher than many US states. But I agree that generating local power–however it is done–is better than being dependent on fluctuating oil prices, shipping and so forth. We, I think, disagree on the end cost to the consumer, but as that is in the future….

          • Guest

            At least we can agree to agree on the exceptionally high cost of electric power in Rhode Island negotiated by United Kingdom based National Grid. The study commissioned by National Grid indicated state and municipalities will be saddled with an estimated extra combined total of $250,000 in extra
            electric rate charges first year operation of Deep Pockets Wind (backed by Wall Street investors) which must be made up in increased taxes. With the unheard of 3.5% annual COLA that 24.4 cents/kWh will grow in 20 years to just shy of 50
            cents/kWh. and that estimated initial $250,000 will grow to over $7,000,000 in extra taxes for just one year.

            Rhode Island taxpayers can’t seem to get a break with high unemployment, companies moving out of state, people moving out of state and a governor and general assembly that just can’t see the forest through the trees. People living in Rhode Island will take a triple hit on top of the claim that the average household electric bill will rise $1.30/month but nothing is being said about state tax, municipal tax raising to offset electric rates and whatever
            business left in Rhode Island raising cost of goods and services to offset increased electric rates, state and municipal taxes.

            The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission was 100% right when it refused to OK the Block Island (which was under Boston Federal Court order to install an undersea cable and shut down diesel generators) demonstration wind farm for not being in the public interest.

            The Public Utilities Commission in Hawaii ended the state subsidies for photovoltaic (PV) and require anyone who wants to install rooftop PV electric system to install storage battery system and not send excess power into the grid or to right size the PV system so no excess power goes to the grid. Hawaiian Electric Industries which owns HECO, MECO and HELCO across five islands has indicated there is so much rooftop PV system installed in Hawaii that the legacy grids on each island are close to being maxed out for the fluctuating power they can absorb without tripping out the grid. On The Island of Oahu alone there are over 200 megawatts of rooftop solar connected to the grid currently. Early installers of PV oversized the systems so owners would zero out monthly
            bills to receive rebates or credits from the electric company but they were still charged the $17.50/month basic grid connect charge. The pricing of PV panels and storage batteries have come down so more people are installing the
            systems again.

            2007 President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 6; Public Law 110-140, “The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA)” which tucked in the law tasked the U.S. Department of Energy to work with state of Hawaii to ween the state off of 100% imported oil thereby increasing the self-sustainability and security of the state, military and national security agencies all dependent on imported oil for electric power and continued operations of the nation’s gatekeeper and guardian of the Asian-Pacific thereby making Hawaii the U.S. Department of Energy’s national real-time real-life renewable energy test and demonstration state.

            Hawaii as a state is 10 times the landmass size of Rhode Island with over 132 non-connected islands stretching 1,500 miles long with eight primary islands populated. It is the largest isolated population in the world. Each large island is the tops of dormant volcanos (a new island “Loihi” growing now 3,000 feet under sea level) sticking up out of the Pacific Ocean to a maximum height of over 13,000 feet above sea level. There is no natural oil and natural gas or quartz minerals the main component to natural sand in Hawaii.

            One of the main changes in Hawaii to the power
            infrastructure besides adding renewable energy is moving from central power plant infrastructure to distributed power infrastructure and micro-grids. At
            one time burning imported oil Hawaii electric rates were in the 40 cents/kWh range. Adding cost effective renewable energy systems (below imported oil cost/kWh) has helped drop that cost down to high 20s and mid-30s cents/kWh. Hawaiian
            Electric Industries and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) claim by year 2035 they both will be very close to meeting the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative goal of 100% electricity from renewable energy by year 2045 and reducing
            imported oil by 70%. It will be interesting to see what the electric rates will be in Hawaii at that time with most of imported oil gone but it will be at
            least higher than 10 cents/kWh as lowest renewable energy price so far is 11 cents/kWh.

            For me living in my 1,000 sq. ft. condominium facing east/west (natural trade winds blow east/west so I don’t need air-conditioning)
            I could install PV and battery system but it is not cost effective and return on investment is too long. Basic monthly grid connect fee is $17.50 but my total monthly electric bill runs about $40/month meaning I am only using $22.50/month in electricity at current electric rates. The monthly state-wide power audit indicates I am ranked the 21st most efficient out of 100 electric users in a 1 mile radius of my gated/guarded condo complex which has 757 condo units spread over 21 tropical garden landscaped acres in between two 18-hole professional golf courses overlooking the white sand beach.

            BTW A Danish Company is soliciting Hawaii with a proposal to build an offshore windfarm for Island of Oahu (largest electric user) utilizing 21st Century Technology reducing the power purchase price agreement to 10 cents/kWh with NO COLA not the costly 20th Century Technology Deep Pockets Wind used in Rhode Island. Back in 2007 a Seattle, WA. company wanted to build the first in nation offshore windfarm in Hawaii but their purchase
            price agreement was 20 cents/kWh utilizing European 20th Century Technology but it was costing HECO 10 cents/kWh to burn imported oil so it was a resounding NO DEAL go build elsewhere.