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Offshore Wind Energy


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A brief discussion about the realities of offshore wind (ocean). Special attention is given to the specious claims made by the NC Sierra Club in support of offshore wind energy.

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Offshore Wind Energy

  1. 1. Does Cape WindMake Sense? John Droz, jr. Physicist & Environmental Advocate Save Our Sound 9/11/12
  2. 2. Make SURE to View This Presentation in the FULL SCREEN Mode! Click the “FULL” icon in the lower right hand corner.
  3. 3. Do NOT click on the Triangle below to run this presentation! Instead,use your keyboard arrow keys to navigate. This will allow you to proceed at your own pace.
  4. 4. Does Cape Wind Make Sense?This is a presentation given to several groups of Cape Cod citizens in September, 2012.This is an abbreviated (30 minute) discussion about various key aspects of the US electricity grid, and the electrical power source choices wehave. This is a complicated matter, so I have tried to strike a balance between being too technical and too simplified. The FULL wind energyversion is at EnergyPresentation.Info.In my live presentation there is commentary that accompanies each slide, and this is not included here.The underlying message is that our energy decisions should be made on the basis of sound SCIENCE — not on what lobbyists say.Hopefully you have already been to the “WindPowerFacts.Info” website which has other useful supporting information.My expectation is that after legislators get more informed — and do some Critical Thinking — that they will be in a much better position toexecute informed cost-beneficial energy and environmental policies.Feel free to use this material to make a presentation to your own representatives. In any case after you go through this, I will be glad topersonally respond to any emails you send me: “”.Please see some references, my brief “resume,” the copyright notice, disclaimer, contact information: all at the end ofEnergyPresentation.Info. [Note that I will indicate updates on the material by a revision letter on the first slide.] If you like what you see,please pass it on to other open-minded people, plus your federal, state and local representatives. — ENJOY! john droz, jr. © john droz, jr.
  5. 5. I can’t overemphasize the critical importanceof getting community support.
  6. 6. There are two things that are more difficult thanmaking a public speech:climbing a wall that is leaning toward you, andkissing a girl who is leaning away from you. — Winston Churchill
  7. 7. A Lot More About What You’ll See Today, is Online at:EnergyPresentation.Info
  8. 8. An Historical Perspective...
  9. 9. The basic objectiveof any con.
  10. 10. How were snake oil salesmen able to take advantage of good people?1 - By telling them what they wanted to hear, and2 - by counting on the fact that few people take the time to properly check things out!
  11. 11. We look back and say how could these people be so gullible?But is it any different today?
  12. 12. Yes —It’s Worse!
  13. 13. There isno penaltyfor makingunscientific claims.
  14. 14. Is the Cape Wind developera Credible Source of Wind Information? “A man cannot be expected to understand something,when his income depends on his not understanding it.” — Upton Sinclair
  15. 15. We’ve comefull circle.
  16. 16. The solution to almost any con is simple:1 - don’t believe everything you hear from sales people, and2 - thoroughly check things out!
  17. 17. In short, my position is that — 1) we do have environmental and energy issues, and 2) these matters should be solved scientifically.
  18. 18. It’s Lobbyists vs Science—and Science is Losing
  19. 19. What Is Critical Thinking?A thorough, open-minded, logical effort to examine a claim, in the light of all applicable evidence. One of the key ingredients of true science — and critical thinking — is SKEPTICISM
  20. 20. Some Relevant Carl Sagan Quotes To Ponder —1 - We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.2 - I am often amazed at how much more capability and enthusiasm for science there is among elementary school youngsters than among college students.3 - We have arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for awhile, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.4 - Skeptical scrutiny is the means by which deep thoughts can be separated from deep nonsense.
  21. 21. My Three Hats Here:#1 - Physicist#2 - Economist#3 - Environmentalist
  22. 22. Twelve Turbines in a Rural Community © john droz, jr.
  23. 23. Wind Power Fails to Deliver the GoodsBy this I mean that:1) wind energy is not a technically sound solution to provide us power, or to meaningfully reduce global warming, and2) wind energy is not an economically viable source of energy on its own, and3) wind energy is not environmentally responsible.
  24. 24. The Soundbite:Wind Energy = High Cost, Low Benefits
  25. 25. Science is a PROCESS that Works Like This:When a new idea is proposed as a potential solution to a problem,it is up to the advocates to PROVE its efficacy (not the other way around).
  26. 26. The Process is called the Scientific Method — which involves a: 1) comprehensive, 2) objective, 3) transparent, and 4) empirical based analysis. In the case of Wind Energy, this has never been done!
  27. 27. Sound Scientific Solutions is the Umbrella position that covers ALL important concerns:TECHNICAL ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENTAL(e.g. reliability, (e.g. taxpayer cost, (e.g. CO2 savings,dispatchability, ratepayer costs, noise, flicker, transmission, agricultural impact, birds & bats, other Grid property values, other health effects, limitations) net jobs, etc.) raw material extraction and processing, etc.)
  28. 28. How Does Offshore Wind Energy Fare in these Three Key Areas?
  29. 29. Sound Scientific Solutions A Teensie ∫Part 1: Technical Tidbit
  30. 30. There is NO SUCH THINGas wind energy by itself!
  31. 31. Because it has no Firm Capacity, Wind Energy MUST HAVE a fast-responding, augmentingsource of power available 24/7/365. NO other conventional source of electricity has this requirement!
  32. 32. For a variety oftechnical and economic reasons,this fast-responding, augmenting source of power is usually gas.
  33. 33. So, ALL statements about theconsequences of any wind project (calculations of cost, impact on air quality, etc.) MUST address the WIND + GAS Package.
  34. 34. What does Cape Wind,(or the Sierra Club’s wind presentation) sayabout wind energy’s fossil fuel dependence? NOT A WORD THAT I CAN SEE.
  35. 35. Another technical issue with Offshore Wind “Integrating the variable capacity of wind energy undermines the time- tested, science driven technology plan required of all utilities. And that just isn’t right.”
  36. 36. Another technical issue with Offshore Wind “In the simplest of terms, special interest groups and wind developers are asking you to pay more for a less reliable product. And that just isn’t right.”
  37. 37. President & COO of Duke’s US Electric business, says: “It doesn’t matter how clean it is, if it’s not affordable or reliable.”
  38. 38. An even more disturbing assessment from a utility executive.When National Grid’s CEO was challenged about integrating wind energy, he said:“Families would have to get used to only using power when it was available, rather than constantly.”
  39. 39. Another technical issue with Offshore Wind
  40. 40. Another technical issue with Offshore Wind
  41. 41. Another technical issue with Offshore Wind
  42. 42. Another technical issue with Offshore Wind
  43. 43. Another technical issue with Offshore Wind
  44. 44. Another technical issue with Offshore Wind
  45. 45. The wind industry’s omissionof these (and other) technical realitiesis a misrepresentation of the situation.
  46. 46. Sound Scientific Solutions EyingPart 2: Environmental Effects
  47. 47. What does the Sierra Club’s wind presentation say?
  48. 48. What does Cape Wind’s site say? It’s not here!
  49. 49. What are Cape Wind’s claims?
  50. 50. What are Cape Wind’s claims?
  51. 51. If the Cape Wind people REALLY wanted to replace fossil fuels, they would be advocating nuclear. Consider this...
  52. 52. What are Cape Wind’s claims?
  53. 53. The Reality Regarding Fish & Offshore Wind
  54. 54. The Reality Regarding Fish & Offshore Wind “The destructive impact of off-shore turbine development is huge. Fishermen will become another forgotten element of the mad dash for wind power.”
  55. 55. The Reality Regarding Fish & Offshore Wind
  56. 56. The Reality Regarding Fish & Offshore Wind
  57. 57. The Reality Regarding Birds & Offshore Wind
  58. 58. The Reality Regarding Birds & Offshore Wind There are growing concerns that offshore wind turbines can have detrimental impacts on wildlife. Birds are particularly vulnerable… Seabirds are negatively impacted through the loss and modification of resting and foraging grounds... Several studies have found that offshore wind farms act as barriers to traveling seabirds...
  59. 59. The Reality Regarding Birds & Offshore Wind
  60. 60. The Reality Regarding Birds & Offshore Wind
  61. 61. Some citizens say that they supportsimilar wind projects because they are “Green.”
  62. 62. Is Wind Energy Really Green? Let’s take a quick look at just one part of a turbine...
  63. 63. Many WindTurbines use2000± Poundsof Rare Earth Elementsper rated MW. So what?
  64. 64. The processing ofRare Earth Elements involves dozens of steps, of caustic chemical baths,or blast furnace separations. Each of these results in a waste stream of severely polluted air, water, and residue.
  65. 65. Read for Yourself...
  66. 66. The processing of the Rare Earth Elements, for a 470 MW wind project (the approximate size of the Cape Wind project)...1) destroys 88,000± square meters of vegetation,2) generates 28,000,000± cubic meters of highly toxic air pollution,3) poisoning 135,000,000± gallons of water,4) produces 2,800,000,000± pounds of contaminated tailing sands, &5) results in 470,000± pounds of radioactive waste.
  67. 67. Yes, that’s right: processing the REEsused by just one 470 MW wind project’s turbinesresult in 470,000± pounds of radioactive waste!
  68. 68. So, is Wind Energy Really Green? An objective look says NO!
  69. 69. After considering the environmental liabilities of offshore wind energy,we should re-examine these marketing claims:1 - Is Wind Energy really “renewable”?2 - Is Wind Energy really “sustainable”?3 - Does Wind Energy really give us energy “independence”? The inescapable answer is NO!
  70. 70. As time goes on, SOME environmentalists are speaking out — “Industrial wind projects don’t work. They produce a trickle of electricity at a vast cost to the consumer. They desecrate the landscape and make people’s lives a misery. And they don’t even cut carbon emissions. They are literally a waste of space…” Struan Stevenson: Chairman of the European Parliament’s Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Development Intergroup (11/11/11)
  71. 71. And more TRUE environmentalists speaking out —“The current rush for large scale wind developments, connected by ahugely centralized grid system shows a poverty of imagination andthinking rooted in the early 20th Century. If attention continues tobe focused on increasing renewable energy targets, without anyrequirement to demonstrate what each development will achieve ingreenhouse gas emissions reductions (including all aspects of thegeneration and transmission), we face a possible worst case scenario,where we achieve renewable energy targets through inappropriatedevelopments and at great cost to important environments — onlyto discover that our greenhouse gas emissions are up, along with ourenergy consumption, and our energy supply is not secure.” The John Muir Trust <<>>.
  72. 72. Sound Scientific Solutions EnergyPart 3: Economics Explained
  73. 73. What Wind Energy Is Really All About
  74. 74. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-Gabout the economics here is problematic!
  75. 75. Does wind energy provide economical electricity ?NO, not compared to conventional sources.Look at the real economics from three perspectives — a) Total Costs = higher than conventional sources. b) Ratepayer Costs = higher than conventional sources. c) Taxpayer Subsidies = higher than all conventional sources, combined!
  76. 76. Financial Comparison “a” Total Costs(Capital + Operation + Fuel + Transmission)
  77. 77. Power Sources Total Costs Capital Operation Fuel Transmission {Wind costs here do NOT take into account any costs: for backup generation, OR for extra transmission lines needed, OR for other ancillary requirements, OR for decommissioning.}Nuclear Geothermal Gas w CCS Coal w CSS Onshore Wind Offshore Wind EIA — Estimated Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources, 2016
  78. 78. Financial Comparison “b”Utility Ratepayer Costs
  79. 79. More real world evidence from NC utility experts, about the real cost of wind energy:onshore = 2-3 times moreoffshore = 4-5 times more
  80. 80. What’s the Correlation with Higher Wind Energy Usage and Residential Electricity Rates?4035 Denmark Bad Renewables % ¢/KWH (2007 Data)30 Germany2520 Spain15 US10 Canada 5
  81. 81. Financial Comparison “c” Taxpayer Costs
  82. 82. $4,981 MAnnual Federal TAXPAYER Subsidies of Electrical Energy Sources: Totals 2010 US Energy Information Administration Subsidy Report: July 2011 [Direct + Tax + R&D +Electricity Support] Note that the total 2010 subsidies for wind energy exceed the totals for all the other conventional sources COMBINED! $1,189 M $2,234 M $654 M $215 M $4,981 M Coal Nuclear Nat Gas Hydro Wind
  83. 83. cla im? hon est his an s, i s t e f act w t hes you kno t hatNow
  84. 84. Regional Economic Consequences
  85. 85. To begin with,all “enticements” are with your own money! Remember What Your Dad Said: There’s No Free Lunch!
  86. 86. A main justification for promoting offshore wind energy, is JOBS. So Carefully Consider the Following...
  87. 87. To ACCURATELY know regional economics,we need to get valid answers to four questions:1) Exactly how much of the jobs and economic claims are guaranteed?2) Specifically how much of the guaranteed jobs and economic benefits will go to local citizens?3) What are the NET jobs and economic benefits to the region?4) Are there other resulting benefits or liabilities from such a project?
  88. 88. Question #1:Exactly how much of Cape Wind’s job and economic claims are guaranteed?Answer: None.
  89. 89. Question #2:Specifically how much of the guaranteed jobs and economic benefits will go tolocal citizens?Answer: We have no idea. Most initial jobs will be to imported specialists.
  90. 90. Question #3:What are the NET jobs and economic benefits to the region?Answer: There will be NET job and economic losses. See next slides!
  91. 91. Offshore Wind Jobs Fact #1No Jobs (or economic development) claim has any merit unless it accurately considers the NET impact. There is zero evidence on the Cape Wind websitethat they have burdened themselves with this obligation.
  92. 92. Offshore Wind Jobs Fact #2There is nothing — no program, no hobby, no vice, no crime — that does not create jobs. For example, tsunamis, computer viruses and robbing convenience store clerks all create jobs. So since that claim applies to all it is an argument in favor of none. Instead of providing evidence of the merits of an enterprise, a jobs claim is a de facto admission that one has a specious case. — energy attorney Chris Horner
  93. 93. Offshore Wind Jobs Fact #3The US has lost most of its jobs to other countries primarily due to economics: low cost labor. Our businesses have one major economic benefit left to counter more job loss: low cost electricity. Why would we voluntarily give this up by reverting to more expensive electricity sources???
  94. 94. What are Cape Wind’s job & economic claims?
  95. 95. What are Cape Wind’s job & economic claims?
  96. 96. The Reality Regarding Jobs & Offshore Wind
  97. 97. The Reality Regarding Jobs & Offshore WindThe UK has installed a lot of offshore wind— yet (contrary to the Cape Wind’sassurances) there have been very few localjobs or economic development resulting.
  98. 98. The Reality Regarding Tourism & Offshore Wind
  99. 99. The Reality Regarding Tourism & Offshore Wind
  100. 100. The Reality Regarding Tourism & Offshore Wind Total = 11,000± Jobs4% Reduction = 400+ Annual Tourist Jobs LostCompare to 154 Cape Wind related jobs added.
  101. 101. The Reality Regarding Tourism & Offshore Wind Total = $1.1± Billion4% reduction = $45+ million annual economic lossCompare to $22 M Cape Wind economic increase.
  102. 102. The Reality Regarding Economics & Offshore Wind
  103. 103. The Reality Regarding Tourism & Offshore Wind $540,000,000 * *Note: The total figure (in red) has been adjusted for a 6 mile location.
  104. 104. The Reality Regarding Tourism & Offshore WindConclusion: an additional $126 Million is lost in Retail + Food + Beverage sales. Local Retail NET LOSS for Atlantic County in 2012 = $665± Million!
  105. 105. The Reality Regarding Economics & Offshore Wind
  106. 106. The Reality Regarding Economics & Offshore Wind
  107. 107. The Reality Regarding Economics & Offshore Wind Conclusion: Net is $900± Million lost!
  108. 108. The Reality Regarding Economics & Offshore WindConclusion: There are no NET economic benefits!
  109. 109. The Reality Regarding Economics & Offshore Wind According to the 2008 Global Insight study: Atlantic County property owners will LOSE $91,000,000± in real estate value!
  110. 110. Typical Offshore Wind Development Impact: Net Annual Job Loss Net Annual Economic Loss Substantial Property Value LossIs this the message the Public is getting?
  111. 111. Question #4:Are there other resulting benefits or liabilitiesfrom such a project?Answer:Yes, there are other substantial liabilities. Forexample, the many millions of dollars beinggiven to this developer (e.g. through tax credits): a) increase our country’s indebtedness, and b) is money borrowed from China. Are either of these in our interest to support?
  112. 112. Net Economic Assessment
  113. 113. This is the point where we are now.Making the wrong choice will cost us for 20+ years.
  114. 114. The United States can be a Leader in:1) Eighteenth century ideas like horse transportation and wind energy (buggy whip manufacturing, blacksmith and windmill jobs) OR2) State-of-the art, Scientifically Sound energy solutions (like geothermal energy or Small Modular Reactors)
  115. 115. Is an “All of the Above” Energy Policy wise? Only if it makes sense to include: unreliable, expensive, and environmentally destructive energy options!We need an “All of the Sensible” Energy Policy.
  116. 116. The Wind Project Developer has ONE Objective: to squeeze the Public for EVERYTHING they can get out of them.
  117. 117. We can chose the path thru thedark green forest. After all, the marketeers assured us that it would bean easy shortcut to get some“found money.”
  118. 118. The salesmenpromised us that the trip will be pleasant and successful. Any animals along the waywill be our friend!
  119. 119. Of course there were no guarantees. Once we go down this path,we are on our own.
  120. 120. Don’t Take The Bait
  121. 121. For more info see: WindPowerFacts.Info Thank You!