Skip to main content

Tina Casey teases us with a game of electricity generation cost limbo in her encouraging article, How Low Can Wind Energy Go? 2.5¢ Per Kilowatt-Hour Is Just The Beginning.

The tubes have been buzzing over a new Department of Energy report on the US wind energy market, which came up with the low-low average cost for wind energy of $25 per megawatt-hour for a certain type of electricity purchase agreement (more on that later). According to some of our friends on the Internets that works out to 2.5¢ per kilowatt-hour, which certainly seems to spell doom for the long term prospects of coal, nuclear, oil, and even that “other” low cost fuel, natural gas.

Tina Casey does call our attention to some caveats such as the 2013 Wind Technologies Market Report was based on a smaller sample size than previous reports. It included only 11 projects with a total of 650 MW  
Looking first at the installed cost per MW (megawatt, not megawatt-hour) for wind turbines, the report comes up with an average cost of $1,630 per kW (kilowatt, not kilowatt-hour). That’s an impressive $300 drop from the 2012 annual report, and a whopping $600 drop from the 2010 average. ...

Power purchase agreements (PPAs) are quickly becoming the financing deal of choice for wind as well as solar power. The report notes that PPAs for wind energy reached a new low on 2013, pegging the figure at $25 per MWh or 2.5¢ per kWh. However, once again the report cautions that the 2013 sample size is small. On top of that, most of the projects in the sample are located in the aforementioned high-quality wind interior, where costs are lower. Here’s how the report expresses it:

After topping out at nearly $70/MWh for PPAs executed in 2009, the national average levelized price of wind PPAs that were signed in 2013 (and that are within the Berkeley Lab sample) fell t o around $25/MWh nationwide — a new low, but admittedly focused on a sample of projects that largely hail from the lowest – priced Interior region of the country.

The report indicates in a sort of mysterious sounding region in the U.S. called, the "Interior" the average PPA cost of wind generation was $22 per MWh, also suggests that as soon as large offshore wind farms come online and get averaged into the mix, this cost will go even lower.

Can this be correct? Even electricity rates of 8 to 10 cents per kilowatt hour are considered low by many other reports I've seen. I'll have to delve into some research to verify this is an error. Perhaps, readers can help.

If this turns out to be turn, perhaps this explains why the Koch brothers have been reported to raise every road block to the offshore Atlantic Coast wind projects that they can. (I suspect Tina Casey probably meant to write Atlantic coast wind projects unless there is an official proper noun of some company named Atlantic Coast who are doing a bunch of them. I'm too lazy to spend any time tracking this down.)  

1:02 PM PT: 2013 Wind Technologies Market Report

Hey this is cool report by the Department of Energy, which would be worth a reference if only even for this great list of energy Acronyms of Abbreviations which I found while checking to see if this 2.5 cents per kilowatt hours number can possibly be true. I had hoped any remaining smidgens of personal pride had been ground out of me by a harsh life, however, for reason I am not able to "let go" and enjoy weekends even as an anonymous dog - which is pretty pathetic when I think about it.

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

AWEA American Wind Energy Association
Bloomberg NEF Bloomberg New Energy Finance
BPA Bonneville Power Administration
CAISO California Independent System Operator
CREZ Competitive Renewable Energy Zone
DOE U.S. Department of Energy
EDPR EDP Renováveis
EEI Edison Electric Institute
EIA U.S. Energy Information Administration
ERCOT Electric Reliability Council of Texas
FERC Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
GE General Electric Corporation
GW gigawatt
HTS Harmonized Tariff Schedule
ICE Intercontinental Exchange
IOU investor-owned utility
IPP independent power producer
ISO independent system operator<
ISO-NE New England Independent System Operator
ITC investment tax credit
kV kilovolt
kVA kilovolt-amp
kW kilowatt
kWh kilowatt-hour
m2 square meter
MISO Midcontinent Independent System Operator
MW megawatt
MWh megawatt-hour
NERC North American Electric Reliability Corporation
NREL National Renewable Energy Laboratory
NSP Northern States Power Company
NYISO New York Independent System Operator
O&M operations and maintenance
OEM original equipment manufacturer
PGE Portland General Electric
PJM PJM Interconnection
POU publicly owned utility
PPA power purchase agreement2013 Wind Technologies Market Report iii
PSCo Public Service Company of Colorado
PTC production tax credit
REC renewable energy certificate
RGGI Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
RPS renewables portfolio standard
RTO regional transmission organization
SPP Southwest Power Pool
SPS Southwestern Public Service Company
USITC U.S. International Trade Commission
W watt
WAPA Western Area Power Administration

Note to new and emerging writers, if you feel you aren't getting enough respect from readers around here, some of whom can be a real pain in the ... neck, just sprinkle your post with lots of unexplained acronyms. This can create the impression that you know a lot more than you do, and also sometimes intimidate readers who might otherwise ask embarrassing and annoying questions. (Snark alert! Sheesh my dark cynicism alarms are going off. Maybe I ought to go back to bed and let that late night Ambian I took wear off. I might not be awake yet.

Don't you really regret it when you can't get to sleep, and take some powerful psychotropic meds that your doctors prescribed without warning you of common side effects, and then wake up to discover you've been "sleep posting" and have embarrassed yourself in front of the entire community by not putting a "humor alert" tag in front of some really cynical wise crack and now everyone thinks you are a jerk? I hate it when that happens.

You've heard of sleep walking? Some of the not uncommon side effects of Ambian have included sleep driving, sleep eating, and even sleep love making where people are not fully conscious and have no memories of what they did.

My girlfriend is really strict about her diet, and has clinically diagnosed O.C.D. about neatness and tidiness which can be ... well, anyway have she take her sleep meds and about a dozen others she sometimes wakes up and ravages the refigerator.  

One time she ate the tops of an entire 12 inch chocolate cheese cake while sleep walkig which she would never touch in a normal state - we had purchased it for a dinner party the next day. When we woke up the ravaged cheesecake was left out on the counter with the entire top half eaten off by pulling chunks off with fingers, chunks and crumbs of it all over the floor, where it had been smeared, after being stepped on.

I used to just clean these up thinking it funny, until she started blaming me.  So I  proofed it with motion activated video that  she was in fact our "cheesecake monster." It turns out she secretly and unconsiously loves a whole lot of the foods I like that she has always insisted were disgusting and has refused to eat ever. Ha!

1:19 PM PT: Holy Smokes, I can't believe it. This is a major significant new report from the Department of Energy, a highly credible source, that his chock full of amazing plots, finding and a dozen potential headlines and I'm sitting here making silly jokes about some tangent details in a secondary report!

I better get some coffee and officially wake up and read this whole thing carefully. There are some prize winning data plot in here that could be run as a dozen or more independent posts!  

 

Executive Summary

Annual wind power capacity additions in the United States were modest in 2013, but all signals point to more-robust growth in 2014 and 2015. With the industry’s primary federal support—the production tax credit (PTC)—only available for projects that had begun construction by the end of 2013, the next couple years will see those projects commissioned. Near-term wind additions will also be driven by recent improvements in the cost and performance of wind power technologies. At the same time, the prospects for growth beyond 2015 are uncertain. The PTC has expired, and its renewal remains in question. Continued low natural gas prices, modest electricity demand growth, and limited near-term demand from state renewables portfolio standards (RPS) have also put a damper on industry growth expectations. These trends, in combination with increasingly global supply chains, continue to impact domestic manufacturing of wind equipment. What they mean for wind power additions through the end of the decade and beyond will be dictated in part by future natural gas prices, fossil plant retirements, and policy decisions. At the same time, recent declines in wind energy costs and prices and the potential for continued technological advancements have boosted future growth prospects.

Key findings from this year’s Wind Technologies Market Report include: Installation Trends

• Wind power additions stalled in 2013, with only 1,087 MW of new capacity added in the United States and $1.8 billion invested. Wind power installations in 2013 were just 8% of those seen in the record year of 2012. Cumulative wind power capacity grew by less than 2% in 2013, bringing the total to 61 GW.

• Wind power represented 7% of U.S. electric-generating capacity additions in 2013. Overall, wind power ranked fourth in 2013 as a source of new generation capacity, standing in stark contrast to 2012 when it represented the largest source of new capacity in the United States. The 2013 result is also a notable departure from the six years preceding 2013 during which wind constituted between 25% and 43% of capacity additions in each year. Since 2007, wind power has represented 33% of all U.S. capacity additions, and an even larger fraction of new generation capacity in the Interior (54%) and Great Lakes (48%) regions. Its contribution to generation capacity growth over that period is somewhat smaller in the West and Northeast (both 29%), and considerably less in the Southeast (2%).

• The United States fell to sixth place in annual wind additions in 2013, and was well behind the market leaders in wind energy penetration. After leading the world in annual wind power additions from 2005 through 2008, and then narrowly regaining the lead in 2012, in 2013 the United States represented only 3% of global additions. In terms of cumulative capacity, the United States remained the second leading market. A number of countries are beginning to achieve high levels of wind penetration: end-of-2013 installed wind power is estimated to supply the equivalent of 34% of Denmark’s electricity demand and approximately 20% of Spain, Portugal and Ireland’s demand. In the United States, the wind power capacity installed by the end of 2013 is estimated, in an average year, to equate to nearly 4.5% of electricity demand. 2013 Wind Technologies Market Report

• California installed the most capacity in 2013 with 269 MW, while nine states exceed 12% wind energy penetration. New large-scale wind turbines were installed in thirteen states, and Puerto Rico, in 2013. On a cumulative basis, Texas remained the clear leader.

Notably, the wind power capacity installed in Iowa and South Dakota supplied 27% and 26%, respectively, of all in-state electricity generation in 2013, with Kansas close behind at more than 19%. In six other states wind supplied between 12% and 17% of all in-state electricity generation in 2013.

• No commercial offshore turbines have been commissioned in the United States, but offshore project and policy developments continued in 2013. At the end of 2013, global offshore wind capacity stood at roughly 6.8 GW, with Europe being the primary locus of activity. No commercial offshore projects have been installed in the United States, and the emergence of a U.S. market faces both challenges and opportunities. Strides continued to be made in the federal arena in 2013, both through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s responsibilities with regulatory approvals (the first competitive leases were issued in 2013) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) investments in offshore wind energy research and development, including funding for demonstration projects. Navigant, meanwhile, has identified 14 projects totaling approximately 4.9 GW that are somewhat more advanced inthe development process. Two of these have signed power purchase agreements (PPAs), and both sought to commence construction in 2013 in order to qualify for the federal tax credits.

• Data from interconnection queues demonstrate that a substantial amount of wind power capacity is under consideration. At the end of 2013, there were 114 GW of wind power capacity within the transmission interconnection queues reviewed for this report. 95% of this capacity is planned for Texas, the Midwest, Southwest Power Pool, PJM.

Interconnection, the Northwest, the Mountain region, and California. Wind power represented 36% of all generating capacity within these queues at the end of 2013, higher than all other generating sources except natural gas. In 2013, 21 GW of gross wind power capacity entered the interconnection queues, compared to 42 GW of natural gas and 11 GW of solar. Of note is that the absolute amount of wind, coal, and nuclear power in the sampled interconnection queues has generally declined in recent years, whereas natural gas and solar capacity has increased.

 

Originally posted to SciTech on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 12:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kosowatt and Good News.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (38+ / 0-)

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

    by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 12:36:19 PM PDT

  •  Caveats are important (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, bear83, glitterscale, Lujane

    Those prices are exclusive of PTC.

    I strongly support massive buildout of wind.  I'd prefer it were happening a little differently, but making it happen and happen faster is worth wasting a little money if we can't politically make it happen otherwise.

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 12:57:08 PM PDT

    •  You mean the production tax credit? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, mookins, Lujane

      Then maybe you mean "inclusive of" as in wind generation numbers are being given a "false" boost from a government subsidy?

      Nuclear, coal, and even fossil fuels get this all the time but I agree with you that our base comparative cost tables should be clear about this.

      And also be done with tables estimating external costs, like the unintended side effect of wreaking havoc on our atmosphere.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:07:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, mookins, Kobuk Sands, Lujane

        I mean that the project costs (and bankers and manufacturers profits) are partially covered by PTC, but that the PPA prices exclude those costs.

        No, I do not mean that all other generation technologies internalize all externalities.

        Our current mechanisms for incentivizing windpower development is a massive giveaway to corporate interests.

        Note that the installed price per MW is more than double what it was a few years ago.  That isn't from inflation.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:16:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank benamery21. Still impressive and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          benamery21, Lujane

          encouraging numbers.

          I can't believe I've been sitting on a major DOE Energy report this whole time while making stupid jokes about cheesecake monsters.  

          This is what entertainers do when they don't have any substantive material - make up crap.

          Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

          by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:38:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My key point (4+ / 0-)

            I don't want folks to see this and think: Wind will dominate the wholesale power market without a PTC, or a carbon tax, or other policy.  Ideally we would find a more progressive alternative to PTC, but we won't get much wind without policy, yet.

            PTC adds 2.3 cents per kwh in 2013 to the revenue received for windpower.

            Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

            by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:50:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed 100%! In fact, other numbers in this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PrahaPartizan

              report show wind installations tanking due to lack of renewable of the PTC.  We need a big push on this.

              Word on the street is that Reid intend to take his up after be electron to provide cover for some that are willing to vote for it but do not want to rile up Tea Party supporter just before the election.

              Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

              by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 03:24:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  As long as projects are started in 2013 (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HoundDog, Lujane

                they are still eligible for the credit.  Terms changed under the renewal in 2013 after expiration in 2012.  Installations in 2013 were at the lowest level since 2004, not just because of the expiry, but because of the changed terms of renewal.

                If we do renew PTC, which seems like the best we can do with a GOP House, I would take out the inflation adjustment, and might support a sinking credit.

                Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

                by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 03:36:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Correction (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoundDog, mookins, Lujane

          Installed price is not double.   I was working from memory, and inadvertently compared to turbine price, not installed price, and to nominal rather than real.  Inflation adjusted prices have been substantially lower, however.  See Figure 39 on page 49 of the report (page 61 of the pdf).

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:45:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You've managed to read more if than I have. I've (0+ / 0-)

            been drafted into putting up blinds in the front doors. Our new house has windows everywhere which looks cool in the daytime, but at night we feel like fish in a tank as everyone who drives by can see us like in a zoo or something.

            Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

            by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 03:26:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  if this is the first time you've seen one of these (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HoundDog

              you are in for a treat.  There is terrific amount of all sorts of things you've wanted to know about if you have an interest in wind power.

              Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

              by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 03:40:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  The 'Interior', if I were to guess (5+ / 0-)

    refers to the region of the US from the Dakotas down through North Texas, where wind conditions are particularly favorable for wind energy.

    "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw

    by Drobin on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:08:13 PM PDT

    •  Yes, I was sort of stretching to make up jokes. (0+ / 0-)

      But, should have been charged with an overreach penalty.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:39:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The region is defined on page 79 of the report (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      monkeybrainpolitics, bear83, HoundDog

      page 91 of the pdf.  It uses state boundaries.  The west edge of the region includes Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, the east edge includes Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.  The Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas are also included.

      Other regions used for this report are West, Great Lakes, Northeast, and Southeast.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:41:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for linking that map (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog

      It's the best one I've seen for wind energy potential.  In that vast section of the western Plains (and Wyoming) the installation costs would be recouped much quicker with more constant power generation.  The PTC may not even be needed in these areas if the price of power from wind is this competitive.  

      Interesting that the transmission costs for wind power would be lowest to supply the big metropolitan areas of Texas, which are closest to prime wind territory.  It's a shame the government there is so unfriendly.  Many of the newer coal plants in the country are in Texas, if memory serves, and they could be retired much earlier if a sane energy policy could be imposed on the state.

      The opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is justice. ---Bryan Stevenson

      by Dallasdoc on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 02:50:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Texas has created CREZ (5+ / 0-)

        to fund billions in transmission to allow much greater buildout of wind, instead of trying to make individual wind projects fund regional transmission upgrades, which just turns into a bunch of silly games and stymies wind power.  Much of this transmission has already been built, and more is coming.  There is a reason Texas has more than twice as much wind as any other state, and has a majority of the capacity under construction as well.  Texas has a horrible political climate, but they don't do everything wrong.

        Texas has 12,753MW of wind installed, and over 8300MW under construction as of the end of June.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 03:21:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So how does that help the east coast? (0+ / 0-)

      There is a limit to how far one can transmit electricity, and what about the grid capacity?

      •  Not totally sure of your point (0+ / 0-)

        but to the extent the main driver for conversion to renewable energy is GHG emissions, displacing GHG emissions anywhere on the globe is a plus for the East Coast.  To the extent it is driven by depletion of fossil fuel resources, reduced competition for fossil energy is a plus for the East Coast.

        If your point is the difficulty of eliminating fossil fuel use completely, given the greater difficulty in some parts of the U.S. as opposed to other parts of the U.S. I would say that 100% renewables has technical challenges well beyond the local availability of wind, in all regions, and that implementing solutions to those challenges is exactly what we need to be doing.  

        We can meet the same consumer needs with far less energy, via energy efficiency improvements, obviating the need to generate or transmit as much energy.  We can increase the flexibility and dispatchability of loads (demand response), offsetting the need for some of the flexibility in the generating fleet.  There are good wind resources in parts of the East (particularly offshore).  There are other renewable resources, other than wind.  HVDC transmission is not really distance limited (except by economics), allowing stronger interconnection to Canada and to the West by the Eastern U.S.  Storage, and local grid support will be necessary to integrate 100% renewables everywhere, not just the East. Gaseous/liquid fuels can be synthesized and transported and stored.  Net negative carbon in some locales, would allow for a longer timeframe of use of fossil fuels in other locales.  

        I will add, factually if not entirely comfortably, that given higher use of nuclear in the East, to the extent nuclear is not shutdown, the East has a smaller fraction of generation to displace than some locales in the Interior.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:17:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Regarding energy storage, the East has some (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW

          pump-up hydro storage facilities, built to hold overnight power from nuclear power plants.  If the nuke plants can't compete with wind and shut down, the hydrostorage facilities will be free to hold wind and solar power.  

          "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

          by Calamity Jean on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 10:39:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good about the wind part (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thenekkidtruth, HoundDog

    no comment on chocolate cake.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:08:40 PM PDT

    •  Fair enough. Sadly in my world they are equally (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock

      important and unless I imagine really ruthless editors might be reviewing my writing I might even make cheesecake monsters the headline - especially if it is a Friday night.

      Sundays sort of confuse me as for some it is the must substantive, intellectually profound day of the week with major talk shows, and for some of our really important people the only day off they get to write here.

      For others it is like a day off, where the normally high standards don't apply.

      And for others like myself, who have so few standards to begin with, it seems like a day to get away with literary crimes, saying "whatever, it's just a weekend so "chillax."

      I stayed up so late last night I'm having trouble getting my brain in gear for some reason. But if I drink coffee this late, I'll be up all night again and also might get irritable as all heck.

      I think I'll punt on the writing thing and go fishing. Can you believe I've lived in Florida for several weeks now, and have salt water canal straight out to the gulf in my backyard, but I haven't caught one fish yet despite many attempts.  

      And 14 inch long fish are leaping out of the water and jumping 3 feet over the tops of my lures taunting me! Only a few days ago did I learn these are mullet which are vegetarians.

      So I may go out and by some salad, or soybeans or something. (Humor alert. I keep trying ban nock. Give me credit for that at least.)  

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:49:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  maybe a net. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 02:19:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nets are in fact the very best way to catch mullet (0+ / 0-)

          according to the tubz, but and they are allowed in Florida generally but not in the canals. Cape Coral has 430 miles of canals and they make such a big deal out them like his is Venice or something.

          Normally I don't mind being an "outlaw" but as it appears we may be the only Democrats in the whole area I feel some obligation-strategic obligation to demonstrate "moral superiority" or be a role model for future generations of potential progressive rebels and environmentalists in this area.

          Plus a 4 foot diameter net cost $49.00 in the local Walmart, which here is a grocery store. Can you believe a grocery store sells fishing stuff, including dead fishing bait? And nets which are illegal to use.

          Now it's sort of an engineer puzzle which I'm a complete succor for. Plus I like to figure out how to get things done for fractions of the cost.

          Even though I have no intention now of using them in the canal, I've been looking around for how to make a net of my own for a fraction of the cost.

          You know those net like covers woman wear at the beach, for modesty when wearing those incredibly small bikini tops? Well at the clearance section at T.J. Max one could buy these for $7.00 and if one sewed up the neck end our fastened around a bucket I think could achieve the same effect.

          Also, I just notice G has bought some of those white rubber like foam nets that go under throw rugs so they don't slide or curl on wood floors. A 5' by 9' cost $13.00. which is 45 sq ft, and 4' diameter nets would be pie r2 or just over 12 sq ft. looking promising. The only problem is the holes may be too small and to much material to yank up fast and let the water out.

          Also, I found a laundery bag that may be perfect but a little small.

          I may go down to a pier where it is legal and scoop up a bunch of minnows so it looks like I have live bait.  This is what all the neighbors do.

          But, I don't have the heart to stick a hook through this little fish when they look up with doe like eyes, as if to say, "please, let me live!"

          So I've been using plastic grubs and worms and all sort of cool little toy like fake bait instead. I suspect fish are smart and sensitive enough to realize these do not taste anything like real shrimp, fish, worm, bugs, and other things.

          So I bougtht some frozen shrimp and rubbed the juice all all over the plastic fake bait so they would taste better. We have mussels and oysters growing on the side of the channels and boat lifts. But they are way down in the gunk and look really dodgy.

          So I bought some smoked oysters try instead, and when talking to my new neighbor across the street he just shook his head and made some friendly joke about effete Massachusetts liberals learning buying fish smoke boutigue oysters. He asked me why didn't I buy them just buy them some Perrier sparkling water to swim in after I caught them, which I thought was pretty funny.

          I'm pretty sure he was being friendly. But this area is odd. In the tourist and expensive parts of town most people are originally from out of state and fairly opened minded.

          If one goes inland just just even 5 miles out of the tourist areas, one can find an entirely much more conservative demographic.

          I saw a black European Verboten symbol over an Obama For America logo with the phrase "Never Again!" written underneath in a parking lot of a bar-hamburger place, G had gone into

          I couldn't figure out why the original OFA red white and blue had been replaced by a red, black, and white color scheme under the Euro "not" cross swipe.

          G came out of the food joint shaken up, and demanded I go in and look at the people and decor. A big poster declared "We still support the Vietnam War," and police handuffs, and batons hung from the walls.

          I realized the blackened out OFA graphic meant, "Never again will we allow a black man to in the White House." G woudn't go back in the restaurant so I had to go retrieve or order to go.  

          Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

          by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 03:59:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped & reced nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thenekkidtruth, HoundDog

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:14:51 PM PDT

  •  We in northern Ohio paid 14.2¢per kwh (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, sturunner, HoundDog

    in June of 2014, just for comparison.

    I'm personally not very happy with that. I neither have tv nor anything other than LED lighting throughout my home. I use sun tunnels, so I don't even light the place during the day at all, and when the LEDs go on at night, they're on a motion sensor that turns them back off within minutes after I leave the room.

    My 33yo heat exchanger isn't actually "Energy Star", so I don't use it. Global warming hasn't been making that exactly comfortable living, but my hope was that I'd see some considerable savings in my electric bill. Heat in the winter takes care of itself - hot water from solar collectors on my roof is pumped under my floors. It's subsidised by a gas water heater some, but it works great and I heat my place for a fraction of the cost my neighbors do.

    Still, my average electric bill is usually a little over $100 per month for 1700 square feet. I'm not used to that - when I lived in Seattle, I got my electricity from the dam, and it was a tiny fraction of that.

    The solution is obvious - when timing is right sometime soon, I'll either go with wind turbines or solar panels or both.

    It's a police riot. You know what a police riot is? It's when the police riot.

    by thenekkidtruth on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:24:30 PM PDT

  •  This is an annual report by authors at LBNL (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sturunner, HoundDog

    which has been compiling good data in this area for about 20 years:

    http://emp.lbl.gov/...

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:31:58 PM PDT

    •  Thanks benamery21. You are really into this (0+ / 0-)

      wind electrical generation. May I ask if you are an engineer, a renewable energy enthusiast, a comparative energy economist or something?

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:02:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm a utility power engineer in CA since '98 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, PrahaPartizan

        I grew up with solar on the roof and working for an electrical contractor (my Dad put us to work as kids).  My Dad is currently working on another PV install in AZ.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:24:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great news! Republished - thanks for the catch. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 01:53:55 PM PDT

    •  Thanks Wee Mama. How great you consider (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama

      encouraging news on the renewable energy front to be the kinds of good news worth of Good News! I had realized this before but forgot.  

      I'll republish them directly again if it is okay with you? Comments are more fun when we get wider cross over audiences with SciTech, Kosowatt, PHP, Climatechange SOS, Good News, Now For Something Completely Different, and HoundDog For Mayor, all coming together.  

      Sort of like big party planning. When done right over a long period we could new sub-communities emerging which blend in all the different sub-cultures.

      Hope you are having a great weekend and summer. I can't believe both went by so fast. I was just getting warmed up, so to speak.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:08:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You mentioned the Kochs' interest in (5+ / 0-)

    blocking offshore wind, but re-read the first paragraph of your long block post from the Dept of Energy.  THAT tells you why the Kochs are spending millions this year to take the Senate and hold the house for Republicans.  The Kochs are desperate to stop a renewal of the PTC, as are many utilities and other industries like coal, gas and oil interests.  Note the last words of the next to last sentence in that first paragraph:  "policy decisions" and the final sentence.  We are at a critical point of takeoff wherein wind energy without any support can compete on price alone with other forms of power generation.  That means the regulatory "burdens" on fossil fuel MUST be lowered for it to be able to compete, OR wind power MUST be somehow stopped or slowed, OR fossil fuels MUST get more support/tax breaks from government to be able to compete on a market basis.  Note this is power generation, not fuels for transport, yet.  But if you read elsewhere, the long-sought 200 mile battery range for cars appears to be in reach sometime 2017-2019 (other than Tesla, of course, and at an affordable price of approx $30,000).  This is why the Kochs can regard millions spent today as a good investment if it results in Republican/Corporate Democrat domination of both houses of Congress.  In truth, their business interests are very much at stake in this election.  It's not just ideology or mistaken belief in "freedom" the Koch's are fighting for.  It's the source of much of their money.  

    The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato Love of money is the root of all evil. Jesus Conclusion: If money rules politics, it will be dominated by evil men lining their pockets, not yours.

    by monkeybrainpolitics on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 02:19:31 PM PDT

    •  I want to make clear, we are not yet at the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, Gooserock, sturunner

      takeoff point where wind can compete on price without supplementary funding.  Wind still needs critical support, especially for power lines to these high wind, mostly remote areas to transport the generated power to the grid.  We also need massive spending on upgrading the grid.  Since much of the high wind area is also very red politically, and incidentally a lot of that area also produces fossil fuel energy, the Kochs know that wind power will eventually find favor with the locals as a source of revenue to replace fossil fuels when those run out.  But until then, they want every bit of money they can wring out of their massive investments in fossil fuel.

      The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato Love of money is the root of all evil. Jesus Conclusion: If money rules politics, it will be dominated by evil men lining their pockets, not yours.

      by monkeybrainpolitics on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 02:25:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ???? (4+ / 0-)

        We spend a good half a trillion a year on global superpower force, the only really serious mission for which is protecting our dirty carbon energy supplies. We wouldn't have to defend ourselves against Islamic terror if they weren't sitting around praying incorrectly on top of all our carbon.

        Add to that the subsidies we're paying to dirty carbon businesses either in payments or tax breaks linked to their thoughtful destruction of the atmosphere. For good measure toss in the health and other commons costs carbon imposes that renewables don't.

        I think renewable energy can compete just fine against fossil energy right now. What renewables can't easily compete against is an entire global empire.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 02:41:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As long as externalities aren't internalized (5+ / 0-)

          in fossil energy prices, wind will need help to compete.

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 03:42:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sadly, this is even more true still for solar (3+ / 0-)

            despite big progress.

            There are  some special places where both wind and solar seems to have achieved "net parity,"  It is definitely time to devote some more posts to a more careful analysis.

            I believe the big picture take away head line is that if we want solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, hydro and other clean renewables replace coal and fossil fuels A.S.A.P. were are still wise to support as many incentives, PTC, and state RPS's as we can.

            With some places like Hawaii, California, Southwestern Texas, Arizona, etc. already pretty much at grid parity for solar (thought Texas has few incentives of RPSs, and Texas, and the interior, including Iowa highly favorable for wind we are not on a current trajectory to convert our state, national, and global economies to renewable fast enough to avoid the greater than 2 degree C cap in global temperature rise that the atmospheric scientist have set as our benchmark for avoiding major global warming based harm to ourselves.

            So pulling all the stops to accelerate conversion to renewable energy must be one of highest political goals from here on.

            Much, much higher than we have invested time so far. And I know many here are already giving so much of themselves to help make this happen. In a cause this important we need to keep digging deeper and giving more of ourselves, our energy, our brain power and educating ourselves to know how to be even more effective in doing this.

            This is close to a the original goal statement for the founding of Kosowatt, Keynesian Kossacks (which I have really ignored, sorry), and several of the other groups I started with high hopes and ambition. I need to improve my "ongoing management skills."  

            Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

            by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:27:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A carbon tax would reduce the need for subsidies (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HoundDog

              dramatically.  It would still have this effect even if revenue neutral.  Direct federal investment in wind ala BPA, TVA etc would be appropriate in my view (cut the bankers out of the loop).  

              Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

              by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:32:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I fully support an aggressively escalating carbon (0+ / 0-)

                tax with offset to mitigate its impact on the poor.

                Impact on the poor is the usual objection I hear. I"m sympathetic to not wishing to pay for this on the backs of the poor, and am fully aware a straight across the board carbon tax is not progressive in that the cost is disproportionately born by the poorest.

                But only by driving market cost in the direction external cost can we do have a chance to accelerate the transition to renewable energy much faster.

                Sadly, in all likelihood we have waited too late to avoid some rather catastrophic consequences of global warming.

                So we must push the carbon tax and find ways to compensate the poor. Even if we have to send everyone under the top 2% of income a check for the extra amount they pay so it is tax, and revenue neutral.

                Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

                by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:57:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Carbon tax with per capita rebate (0+ / 0-)

                  gets us both internalization of some externalities for fossil fuels, and a backdoor basic income.

                  Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

                  by benamery21 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 10:18:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Unfortunately there is more chance of (0+ / 0-)

                  hell freezing over than a carbon tax being implemented in the US.  Just getting the PTC extended is impossible if Democrats don't hold the Senate. Holding the Senate and picking up any seats in the House might be enough to set Republicans on their heels and put the fear of god (or Hillary, which might actually be more effective a fear to Republicans than fear of god--can't say they convince me very much they do fear god though I am certain they worship money) in them enough to extend the PTC.  It hits in some critical states, and if Democratic candidates had backbone and intellect enough to realize that wind power and grid updating have more voters and potentially a lot more support than fossil fuelish supporters, they might even use PTC extension as a campaign slogan and start making Republicans feel the heat.  Such as, don't Republicans support a free market?  If they do, shouldn't wind get the same subsidies (hidden and overt) as fossil fuels so they can compete on a level playing field?  Why do Republicans think fossil fuel needs support after over a hundred years of sucking on the government tit?  Isn't it time to let them compete fairly and freely and let the market decide instead of putting their oily Koch controlled fingers on the scale?

                  The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato Love of money is the root of all evil. Jesus Conclusion: If money rules politics, it will be dominated by evil men lining their pockets, not yours.

                  by monkeybrainpolitics on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:37:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent point monkeybrainpolitics. Which is why (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      monkeybrainpolitics

      we/I need to make getting the PTC extended through 2020 or longer is essential. Major energy investments resquire regulatory and tax stability.

      These 2 year extension that are interrupted by years of uncertainty are highly detrimental to renewable energy investment.

      We need some more liberal billionaires. Or at least billionaires  who will listen to progressive voices.

      If there are any billionaire out their I will be glad to help you deploy your philanthropic investments to world class standard and world-wide sensitive and supportive causes.

      I think we can fit advancing Democratic causes in the United States which is still sufficiently influencial around the world to justify including electing more and better Democrats as an "enabling factor" for the global common good.

      We are going to have to really "upgrade" some of our Democratic candidates if we want this idea to stick.  

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 04:15:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe we should get all Kossacks to dedicate $10 (0+ / 0-)

        bucks everytime the Megabucks lottery is drawn, with any Kossack winner to split it one quarter with all the other contributers, one quarter for themselves, and one half for your "Billionaires for Democracy" fund that would support progressive candidates.  Better yet, make it an endowment with the proceeds going to such pursposes, but every Kossack win adding to the endowment until we do literally have a billion or more supporting progressive democrats.  Call it the Kossack Koch-up Fund (ie, up yours, Koch brothers).

        The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato Love of money is the root of all evil. Jesus Conclusion: If money rules politics, it will be dominated by evil men lining their pockets, not yours.

        by monkeybrainpolitics on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:41:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wholesale is not retall (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    benamery21

    PPA prices are wholesale prices, not retail prices. What you pay on your electric bill is retail, and it INCLUDES the price of transmission and distribution, which is NOT included in PPA, which is generation only.

    PPA prices are not LCOE (levelized cost of electricity) prices. If you want to know if wind is REALLY cheaper than gas or coal or nuclear, you need to look at LCOE, and not PPA. Why?

    First, PPA prices do not reflect systems costs. When you put wind or solar in remote locations to maximize generation, you put a strain on existing powerlines. That could mean that the powerline might have to be upgraded (driving up the total cost, but not reflected in PPA).

    More importantly, the PPA is more than just a money-for-energy swap. It also represents a transfer of risk from the seller to the buyer. The seller sheds marketing risk with the agreement, and the buyer takes on the marketing risk. Since the seller is shedding risk, he is able to sell the energy at a discount that is well below the LCOE cost. The seller is essentially paying the buyer to take the risk off his hands.

    This is true of all PPAs, not just wind, but the marketing risk with wind is higher than with dispatchables because the energy supply is intermittent and not predictable in the long term. Since the risk is higher, the discount for assuming the risk is also greater, driving down the PPA price.

    We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

    by Keith Pickering on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 07:01:18 AM PDT

    •  Just a note that the capital cost of some (0+ / 0-)

      transmission is included in PPA's, as well as the capital and O&M cost of some distribution (including some sub-transmission) where these costs are directly driven by the generation.  Also, depending on the structure of the PPA, some risk may well be retained by the seller (for instance, production quantity and profile, as well as price indexing). Nonetheless, your points are well-taken.  PPA price are not directly comparable to retail electricity prices, and wholesale market electricity energy prices do not cover all grid costs, not even all grid costs directly associated with generation.  Of course, PPA prices in the presence of RPS may well represent market power by the seller, rather than LCOE.  

      As a power engineer, and non-economist, I continue to believe that generation is an integral part of the natural monopoly that is the grid, despite the contention of most economists that it is not.

      Do you live in SoCal? Connect! Unite! Act! Join Los Angeles Kossacks. I'm in CA-35. What's your district?

      by benamery21 on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 02:44:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site