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  1. 1. Does The Pantego Wind Project Make Sense? John Droz, jr. Physicist & Environmental Advocate Beaufort County, NC 1/9/12 (rev 5/18/12) © john droz, jr.
  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 The Pantego Wind Project Make Sense? The Pantego wind project was proposed for a North Carolina Coastal Community (Beaufort County) in 2011. Many local citizens were very concerned about the fact that it was quite near the Pocosin Lakes national wildlife refuge. Among other things, this is a nesting place for hundreds of thousands of birds, like swans. See <<>> for more info. I was asked to give a 20 minute presentation to the Beaufort County Commissioners (on 1/9/12) to balance out what they had already heard from the wind developer (Invenergy). The slides here are what was given. The purpose of this material was to inform the commissioners and citizens (a SRO crowd) about key aspects of wind energy that they were likely not aware of. This is a complicated matter, so I have tried to strike a balance between being too technical and too simplified. 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 my website: “WindPowerFacts.Info”. If you have looked over what’s there you’ll see that my several articles about our energy choices have two objectives. The first (as in this presentation) is to fill a niche not addressed elsewhere. The second purpose of my communications is to target the average citizen as my audience. I believe that the future of this issue lies in whether or not citizens are properly educated about basic energy matters. After getting more up-to-speed, they need to do some Critical Thinking about this matter. My expectation is that after citizens get more informed — and do some Critical Thinking — that they will be in a much better position to express their more informed wishes to their local, state and federal representatives. Anyone trying to educate their local citizenry and representatives, is welcome to use the material found here. In after you go through this, and have any questions, I will be glad to personally respond to any emails you send me: “”. References and credits are on the two slides just before the end. My brief “resume,” the copyright notice, disclaimer, etc. are on the last 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. Due to my time limit of this being a 20 minute talk, this is just a brief overview of the situation. A Lot More About What You See Here is Online at: EnergyPresentation.Info © john droz, jr.
  6. 6. Th Th is is is isn m ’t e.. m . e.. . {Please remember that I’m just a backwoods scientist — not a professional speaker.} © john droz, jr.
  7. 7. This is my view on pubic speaking... There are two things that are more difficult than making a public speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you, and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you. — Winston Churchill
  8. 8. I’ve always been a history buff, and one of the historical periods I’ve really liked is the early years of our great country. An interesting character of those times was the snake-oil salesman. © john droz, jr.
  9. 9. The basic objective of any con. No matter what these hucksters were selling, it all comes down to making as much money as they can, off of a mark. © john droz, jr.
  10. 10. It may seem that these shysters were pretty crude, but the reality is that they used some very sophisticated techniques to separate citizens from their hard earned cash. © john droz, jr.
  11. 11. How were snake oil salesmen able to take advantage of good people? 1 - By telling them what they wanted to hear, and 2 - by counting on the fact that few people take the time to properly check things out! © john droz, jr.
  12. 12. We look back and say how could these people be so gullible? But is it any different today? © john droz, jr.
  13. 13. Yes — It’s Worse! Look at how many educated and supposedly financially astute people were taken in by Bernie Madoff — a simply astounding number!
  14. 14. There is no penalty for making unscientific claims.
  15. 15. We’ve come full circle. First we’re told that the planet is facing immanent catastrophe — then a salesman comes to our community with a solution! The spiel is that we can do something consequential to help prevent this global disaster — and we can make some easy money in the process. What a deal!
  16. 16. The solution to almost any con is simple: 1 - don’t believe everything you hear from sales people, and 2 - thoroughly check things out! In this presentation I’m going to try to help you out a tiny bit with the second item. © john droz, jr.
  17. 17. If you want to quote me... In short, my position is that — 1) we do have environmental and energy issues, and 2) these matters should be solved scientifically. © john droz, jr.
  18. 18. It’s Lobbyists vs Science —and Science is Losing My main concern here is that our energy & environmental policies are not based on science. Instead these policies are being dictated by lobbyists (salespeople) who are representing those with financial interests, or political agendas. © john droz, jr.
  19. 19. What Is Critical Thinking? A thorough, open-minded, logical effort to examine a claim, in the light of applicable evidence. One of the key ingredients of true science — and critical thinking — is SKEPTICISM Unfortunately, Critical Thinking has become somewhat of a lost art — and that has led to serious consequences to our society as a whole. © john droz, jr.
  20. 20. Some Relevant Carl Sagan Quotes To Ponder — 1 - Skeptical scrutiny is the means by which deep thoughts can be separated from deep nonsense. 2 - We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. 3 - I am often amazed at how much more capability and enthusiasm for science there is among elementary school youngsters than among college students. 4 - 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.
  21. 21. My Three Hats Here: #1 - Physicist #2 - Economist #3 - Environmentalist © john droz, jr.
  22. 22. A Few Turbines in Upstate NY When I first heard about wind energy, I was a supporter. Quite frankly, I never liked the looks of turbines, but felt that we would have to live with the unsightliness as a trade-off for the good I initially assumed they were doing. Then I did some research, and Critical Thinking. My conclusion now (as a scientist, economist, and environmentalist) is that industrial Wind Energy is not based on sound science. © john droz, jr.
  23. 23. The bottom line is that Wind Energy Fails to Deliver the Goods By this I mean that: 1) wind energy is not a technically sound solution to provide us power, or to meaningfully reduce global warming, and 2) wind energy is not an economically viable source of power on its own, and 3) wind energy is not environmentally responsible. {These three basic criteria haven’t been selected to make wind energy look bad, but are what should be used to evaluate the legitimacy of ANY proposed new alternative source of energy.} © john droz, jr.
  24. 24. The Soundbite: Wind Energy = High Cost, Low Benefits © john droz, jr.
  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). © john droz, jr.
  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! © john droz, jr.
  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 In my brief talk, I’m going to quickly look at and processing, etc.) just one example of each of the three elements that need to be considered... © john droz, jr.
  28. 28. Part 1: A Teensie Technical Tidbit
  29. 29. There are many technical liabilities with wind energy, but here is a significant one that you rarely hear about. This is a fundamental difference between wind energy and all other conventional sources of electricity. There is NO SUCH THING as wind energy by itself! © john droz, jr.
  30. 30. Wind Energy MUST HAVE a fast-responding, augmenting source of power available 24/7/365. NO other conventional source of electricity has this requirement! © john droz, jr.
  31. 31. For a variety of technical and economic reasons, this fast-responding, augmenting source of power is usually gas. © john droz, jr.
  32. 32. What this means is that — ALL statements about the consequences of this wind project (calculations of cost, impact on air quality, etc.) MUST address the WIND + GAS Package. © john droz, jr.
  33. 33. The developer’s application did NOT do this — which is a serious misrepresentation. This is a sleight-of-hand trick that the developer is hoping we won’t notice. © john droz, jr.
  34. 34. Part 2: Eying Environmental Effects
  35. 35. Several citizens have said that they support this wind project because it is “Green.” © john droz, jr.
  36. 36. But Is Wind Energy Really Green? Let’s take a quick look at just one part of a typical turbine... © john droz, jr.
  37. 37. Many Wind Turbines use 4000± Pounds of Rare Earth Elements. So what? © john droz, jr.
  38. 38. The processing of Rare 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.
  39. 39. I know of no US media or environmental organization who have adequately reported on this horrific situation — but here are the stark conclusions from an English investigation...
  40. 40. The processing of the Rare Earth Elements, for the 80 MW Pantego project will... 1) destroy 16,000± square meters of vegetation, 2) generate 5,000,000± cubic meters of highly toxic air pollution, 3) pollute 23,000,000± gallons of wastewater (making it poisonous), 4) produce 500,000,000± pounds of contaminated tailing sands, & 5) result in 80,000± pounds of radioactive waste.
  41. 41. Yes, that’s right: processing the REEs used by the Pantego turbines results in 80,000± pounds of radioactive waste!
  42. 42. Remember, the REE environmental impact is just ONE component of these 49 turbines. There are other adverse environmental consequences as well. © john droz, jr.
  43. 43. You’ll notice that none of my talk is about the Pocosin Lakes birds. That’s because other local citizens have already done a good job expressing that legitimate concern. © john droz, jr.
  44. 44. So, is Wind Energy Really Green? An objective look says NO! The bottom line is that the only thing really green here are the profits of the salespeople and their clients. © john droz, jr.
  45. 45. After carefully looking into just this ONE turbine component, reconsider the following 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! © john droz, jr.
  46. 46. As time goes on, more 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) © john droz, jr.
  47. 47. Part 3: Economics Explained
  48. 48. The salespeople know full well that economics is usually the driving force in cash-strapped communities. What Wind Energy Is Really All About © john droz, jr.
  49. 49. You have a choice in which direction to go.
  50. 50. You can take Money Circle or Science Street.
  51. 51. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G about the economics here is problematic! © john droz, jr.
  52. 52. You may not be as concerned about the bigger picture, but wind energy is a bad deal from an electricity point-of-view. Does wind energy provide economical electricity ? NO, not compared to conventional sources. Look at the economics from three perspectives — a) Total Costs = higher than conventional sources. b) Real Ratepayer costs = higher than conventional sources. c) Taxpayer Subsidies = higher than all conventional sources, combined! © john droz, jr.
  53. 53. Financial Comparison “a” Total Costs (Capital + Operation + Fuel + Transmission) © john droz, jr.
  54. 54. Power Sources Total Costs Capital Operation Fuel Transmission Nuclear Geothermal Gas w CCS Coal w CSS Onshore Wind Offshore Wind EIA — Estimated Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources, 2016 Note: this does not show the true cost of wind, which is wind plus a conventional source. john droz, jr. ©
  55. 55. Financial Comparison “b” Taxpayer Costs © john droz, jr.
  56. 56. How about looking at it from a Totals perspective... $4,981 M Some Annual Federal 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 © john droz, jr.
  57. 57. In ADDITION to the generous Federal subsidies, many states offer financial incentives for wind power, like: 1. Personal Tax Incentives 2. Corporate Tax Incentives 3. Sales Tax Incentives 4. Property Tax Incentives 5. Rebates 6. Grants 7. Loans 8. Industry Support 9. Bonds, and 10. Production Incentives. On top of these financial incentives, state and local governments have established rules, regulations and policies (like RPS), with the purpose of encouraging or mandating the development and increased sale and consumption of energy from renewable sources. © john droz, jr.
  58. 58. Financial Comparison “c” Utility Ratepayer Costs © john droz, jr.
  59. 59. What’s the Correlation with Higher Wind Energy Usage and Residential Electricity Rates? 40 35 Denmark Bad Renewables % ¢/KWH (2007 Data) 30 Germany 25 20 Spain 15 US 10 Canada 5 © john droz, jr.
  60. 60. But what about local economics? © john droz, jr.
  61. 61. Almost everyone would say that they full-well know that “there’s no free lunch” — yet that is exactly a major tactic used by wind promoters. They carefully cultivate the idea that anything coming from them is found money. To begin with, all these enticements are with your own money! Remember What Your Dad Said: There’s No Free Lunch! © john droz, jr.
  62. 62. To ACCURATELY know local 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 North Carolina citizens? 3) What are the NET jobs and economic benefits to North Carolina? 4) Are there other resulting benefits or liabilities from such a project? © john droz, jr.
  63. 63. Question #1: Exactly how much of the developer’s job and economic claims are guaranteed? Answer: None. The conclusion from this is to take all non-guaranteed claims with a HUGE amount of salt, as anything that is not guaranteed has very little credibility © john droz, jr.
  64. 64. Question #2: Specifically how much of the guaranteed jobs and economic benefits will go to North Carolina citizens? Answer: We have no idea. Most initial jobs will be to imported specialists. Another big unknown. Claims sound good, but (of course) that is exactly the basis for every con ever developed. © john droz, jr.
  65. 65. Question #3: What are the NET jobs and economic benefits to North Carolina? Answer: There will be substantial job and economic losses. See next slides! This is a key one, so we need to look at this closely and conservatively. © john droz, jr.
  66. 66. Local Job Impact © john droz, jr.
  67. 67. One likely consequence is that a few of the farmers who have leases, will scale back their operation, or stop farming entirely. Here is one of many examples where this is exactly what happened elsewhere. We will assume a low 10% of local leasing farmers will cut back on their operations.
  68. 68. Here are the latest Beaufort County Tourism Jobs data... © john droz, jr.
  69. 69. There are all sorts of claims made about tourism impacts of wind development — including the fantasy that people will come to Beaufort County to see industrial machines. Would that be a claim if there was a new nuclear power plant built here? I think not. Anyway, the Scottish government funded the most comprehensive study ever done on the effects of wind development on tourism. © john droz, jr.
  70. 70. BTW the Scottish Government is a promoter of wind energy, so they had a vested interest here. In any case the researchers concluded that (even after taking into account new visitors to wind projects) that (not surprisingly) there would be a net decrease in tourism. We’ll use the mid-number of 4% as the average.
  71. 71. Beaufort County Annual Job Impact Due To Pantego
  72. 72. Local Economic Consequences © john droz, jr.
  73. 73. Here are the latest Beaufort County Tourism Income data... © john droz, jr.
  74. 74. Here is a government study by four independent PhDs, and all acknowledged bat experts. After years of studying bats, they know that bats are not only major crop pollinators but also prodigious insect eaters. A single bat can eat hundreds of thousands of insects a year. © john droz, jr.
  75. 75. Here are their conclusions of the crop loss due to killed bats to Beaufort County... We’ll use their less than midrange, standard number. © john droz, jr.
  76. 76. Note that this figure does NOT take into account the additional human health costs associated with things like an increase in mosquitoes. I don’t have to tell you that your own website acknowledges that this is already a problem,and that mosquitoes spread such deadly diseases as West Nile Virus & Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
  77. 77. Here is a scientific study about local weather impact from wind development...
  78. 78. Beaufort County Annual Economic Impact Due To Pantego This does NOT include additional financial losses due to: — The lower employment, — Tax reductions from nearby property devaluations, — Health effects from turbines, — Health effects from insect proliferation, — Higher cost of electricity, etc.
  79. 79. Beaufort County Job & Economic Impact Due To Pantego Net Annual Job Losses = 17± Net Annual Economic Loss = $12± Million In other words, if this project has a 20 year life, there will be a local net loss of 340 job-years, plus a local net economic loss of $240 million! © john droz, jr.
  80. 80. Question #4: Are there other resulting benefits or liabilities from such a project? Answer to #4: Yes, there are other substantial liabilities. For example, the many millions of dollars being given 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? © john droz, jr.
  81. 81. Picking your pocket while distracting you with pretty promises is a favorite tactic of wind developers.
  82. 82. So you are at a juncture, where this is your decision. Making the wrong choice will have a 20+ year impact.
  83. 83. Critical Thinking Non-Science = Non-Sense © john droz, jr.
  84. 84. The Wind Project Developer has ONE Objective: to squeeze the County & the Leaseholders for EVERYTHING they can get out of them. © john droz, jr.
  85. 85. You can be 100% sure of one thing: they are not your partner, or your friend! © john droz, jr.
  86. 86. You can listen to the breeze energy proponents, and for sure they will paint you a rosy picture. That is their job... The marketeers will tell you carefully-crafted,enticing stories about how the shortcut through the woods is easy money.
  87. 87. Anything you bring up to express a concern about, the peddler is very well-rehearsed to dismiss as not being a problem. (How many times did Bernie Madoff do exactly that to people who expressed concerns to him?)
  88. 88. But there are no guarantees! When reality hits, you will be on your own.
  89. 89. Don’t Take The Bait © john droz, jr.
  90. 90. References (for main data, quotes, etc.) — Slide 7: Winsten Churchill quote ( Slide 19: Critical Thinking - several sources, e.g. ( Slide 20: Carl Sagan quotes ( Slide 25: Scientific Methodology - several sources, e.g. ( Slide 36: Rare Earth elements in a Turbine ( Slide 37: China Environmental Issues with REEs ( Slide 38: Impacts of REEs - several sources, e.g. ( Slide 38: Impacts of REEs - several sources, e.g. ( Slide 38: Impacts of REEs - several sources, e.g. ( Slide 44: Struan speech ( Slide 53: Power Sources Total Cost ( Slide 55: Federal Subsidies - EIA 2010 Report ( Slide 57: State Wind Energy Subsidies, etc. ( Slide 58: IEA 2007 World Energy Statistics ( + data sent from IEA Slides 68 & 73: NC Tourism Info ( Slides 69 & 70: Scottish Tourism Study ( Slide 69: Another Good Tourism Study ( Slides 75 & 76: Agricultural Effects of Turbine Bat Deaths ( Slide 75: Another Good Bat Study ( Slide 77: Beaufort County Website ( Slide 78: Turbine Effects on Local Meteorology ( Other unattributed observations are the result of private research. — continued — © john droz, jr.
  91. 91. Credits (for graphics, photos & videos) — Slide 1: Philip Epp painting - Wild Horses ( Slide 6: Scientist drawing - GlobalMoxie ( Slide 8: Snake Oil Salesman ( Slide 9 : Con Man ( Slide 10: B&B Circus ( Slide 13: Markoff ( Slide 14: Pinnochio ( Slide 19: Rodin “The Thinker” ( Slide 25 & 26: Science Lab ( Slide 37: Wind Turbine parts blowup ( Slide 38 & 39: China Environmental Issues with REEs ( Slide 42: Wind Turbine Fire ( Slide 43: Wind Turbine with Birds ( Slide 62: “He Has Your Wallet” ( Slide 81: Statue of Liberty w Sickle ( Slide 82: Cute Duckling Scam ( Slide 84: Stick Figure w Question Mark ( Slide 87: Little Red Riding Hood drawing ( Slide 88 & 89: Little Red Riding Hood photos ( John Terry cartoons ( [my ideas]: Slides #15, 44 & 57. Stock Photos: Slides #10, 21, 27, 40, 48, 49, 50, 85, & 86. Other unidentified graphics & photos are mine. © john droz, jr.
  92. 92. John Droz, jr. is a physicist and has been an environmental activist for over 25 years. He has been a leading individual on four NY statewide issues (electrical energy, water extraction, water quality, and property taxes) and is currently working on NC issues (like electrical energy and sea level rise). He received undergraduate degrees in physics and mathematics from Boston College, and a graduate degree in physics from Syracuse University. He has been a participating member of several environmental organizations (like the Adirondack Council, Adirondack Wild, Protect, and Sierra Club). [The science oriented views expressed in this presentation may not necessarily reflect the political agenda of these organizations.] Due to his love of nature, he has a Summer lakefront cottage in the Adirondacks (NY). These areas of interest and expertise (science & environmentalism) have merged with his focus on energy matters, especially wind energy. John’s basic position is that we should be taking aggressive measures to solve our energy and pollution issues, but should not be wasting time and money on illusionary solutions — which are primarily promoted by those with vested financial interests in them. This slide presentation is copyrighted and is for personal use only. Any reproduction, quoting, referencing, or other use of this material is prohibited without the author’s express written consent. Such consent will usually be granted for the purpose of putting on an educational community presentation. All information is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. If errors are noted, please email John the scientific evidence of same and a correction will be made. For questions, comments or permission to use any material in this presentation, please email John at: © john droz, jr.