Category Archives: Energy

Another farm?

Will there be any attention given to the meeting tomorrow  on this development?

Will there be protesters in tears with signs? Will the we hear the raging grannies and  Joni Mitchell singing Big Yellow Taxi? Is this the kind of “farm” they have in mind? Yes, they call it farming.

If they think a few houses and shops will ruin the bucolic countryside just wait til these Behemoths get approved.

Given the failure of the investment in Wind Energy factories (they are not farms!) elsewhere we wouldn’t consider this a productive use of any land.

In short, if wind power can’t work in Britain it cannot work anywhere else.


The winter of Green discontent

You know it is winter when the taxpayer subsidised solar cell maker shuts down.

“The market conditions are difficult, as we said in our release,” O’Connor said, “due to seasonality issues in the industry with respect to what’s happening in Germany and in general due to both weather and incentives.” [emph ours] …

The breakdown of incentives offered to SpectraWatt:
• Empire Zone refunds, $3,375,469
• Empire State Development grant, $3 million
• State Energy Research and Development Authority grant, $1.5 million
• Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. grant, $78,300

• Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board grant, $50,000

• Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency, up to $100,000. Michael Tomkovitch, chairman of the agency, said this was for training and that a second round was approved a month ago.

Under the state’s Empire Zone program, which SpectraWatt qualified for only months before the program’s demise, the company can collect benefits by certifying on tax returns it has met investment and employment goals.
These could total:
• Investment tax credit, $3.3 million
• Employment incentive tax credit, $5.94 million
• Wage tax credit, $75,469
But some of these credits may be unavailable because of the layoffs.
A sales-tax exemption on items used in setting up shop was valued at $420,000.

There’s an upside:

Meanwhile, state officials said Wednesday that only some of the millions in public monies for which SpectraWatt is eligible have actually been given.


Further Related

The Coalition’s own Annual Energy Statement for 2010 concedes that by the year 2020, nearly one third of the average domestic electricity bill will consist of green energy charges imposed by law (£160 out of £512, or 31 per cent). Business will be hit even harder, with environmental charges for the average medium-sized non-domestic user accounting for £404,000 out of £1.224 million, or 33 per cent.

Are you reading?

We will be adding this book to our must read list. We are afraid that too many will dismiss the book because it comes from Ezra Levant but he is taking a different approach than one might expect. As Ezra says:

That’s the thing: to get support for Canadian oil, I’m not challenging the left’s values. I’m counting on their values. Because I know that Canada’s oilsands best meets the test of those values — environmentally sustainable, peaceful, economically just and respectful of minorities. I try to prove that in the book, and even try to quantify some of those measurements.

But it will challenge the “Progressive”‘s  vision of the world and evidence is often dismissed when that is threatened. Will it count that as a source the Oil sands actually is better from their environmental point of view? Will Ezra be able to convince these ideologically fixed minds with his arguments?

I make the case to liberals that if they believe global warming is an issue, then oilsands oil is superior to other sources of oil, such as California or Venezuela, which both have heavy oil that requires a lot of energy to refine. I also show that in a full life-cycle analysis — for example, taking into account things like the tankers to ship OPEC oil to the U.S. — oilsands oil is comparable in greenhouse gas emissions to most other oil in the world.

We somehow doubt it because when one’s world view is challenged it is psychologically uncomfortable and facts be damned. It is all about feelings in today’s world. Reality doesn’t count.

A white bylaw

We wonder if this idea will be considered discriminatory. It’s so white!

All new roofs would be white under a Montreal borough’s proposed bylaw aimed at taking advantage of a white roof’s cooling effects. …Councillors in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie will vote on the proposal in October.[CBC]

A Concordia professor agrees and goes even further. Why stop at Montreal, why not the world? Cost is mentioned [it often isn’t even considered] but dismissed as worth it in the long run.
It’s the kind of idea that will appeal to our Town Council don’t you think?  We’d go for it as long as the Town paid for our new white roof. And why stop at roofs?

The Wind in the Park

We can’t do better than publishing in full this submission from Brian Sanderson on Wind and the Clock Park, complete with his links. It is cross posted from his pages. We also point out opinions on the Park design in the comments.

The Wind in the Park

I see that wind turbines are featuring again in the Business Section of the Chronicle Herald. Apparently Seaforth, located in Dartmouth, will build you a turbine for $250,000. They say that the turbine can produce 125,000 kilowatt hours annually. So is this a great deal or what?

Well, first note that they say can produce — not will produce. Obviously, can only becomes will when the wind blows fair and steady. There is no need to quibble over such minutiae if you live in Wolfville because we all know that we live in the best of all possible places on the best of all possible worlds. And we have the property taxes to prove it!

So what the heck does it mean to say 125,000 kilowatt hours annually? Well, it means two things:

  1. First, a kilowatt hour is one of those weird units for energy. Converting to SI units, these turbines can produce 450,000 MJ of energy in one year. MJ just means a million Joules — which is probably about as meaningful as the name of my cat. Hold tight and come along for the ride. All will be revealed.Let us put 450,000 MJ in units of gasoline equivalents. One litre of gasoline has about 33 MJ of energy. So 13,600 litres of gasoline has about 450,000 MJ. At $1 per litre, that turbine saves us from blowing $13,600 each year on gasoline.OK, a petrol engine might only be 25% efficient so perhaps we’d need 54,500 litres of gasoline to produce 450,000 MJ of electric energy. On the other hand, the wind might not be so steady, so the turbine will only produce a fraction of the energy that it can produce. Still, we live in a perfect town where wind turbines are idealized and petrol engines are reviled.
  2. Hang on a minute mate. There is another way of thinking about 125,000 kilowatt hours annually. This is like running a 15 kW (kilo-Watt) generator continuously for a year. Now we can buy a 15 kW gasoline generator for less that $3000. Heck, that’s a lot less expensive than a $250,000 wind turbine. Let’s not forget that installing that wind turbine is probably also going to be a rather expensive business and heaven forbid that it ever needs fixing! Blow me down, I figure I could put $250,000 into a secure investment and use the interest to buy a new gasoline generator each year and still have plenty of loot left over to take a trip down to Cancun in the winter. Still, we live in a perfect town where wind turbines are idealized and petrol engines are reviled.

Indeed, our town is so perfect that we don’t even have a petrol station. I’m told we used to have 5 of them way back in the old days, before we became perfectly politically correct. Of course, I wouldn’t know because I wasn’t round these parts back in those less enlightened times. Nevertheless, I know that there must have been at least 2 petrol stations. One of them remains, a derelict shell. Another has been gifted to The Town by a great oil man and general Maritime benefactor. Mr Irving pulled up his petrol station, planted a tree, installed a fancy clock, and gave us Clock Park.

Town Council has hired an expert to come up with an all frills design for Clock Park. These aren’t just any sort of frills, you know. Heck, they’re talking about $225,000 dolars worth of gardening. Add to that the cost of hiring the “designer” and you’re probably up to the cost of one of those wind turbines!

You know what I’m thinking, right! Yep, if we can have a clock in the park, why not a wind-turbine to boot. Think on it. Yes, a turbine is an elegant structure and would be the perfect symbolic replacement for the petrol stations of our demonic past.

Close your eyes and picture all the motorists pulling into “Clock Park” and plugging their Zenn Cars into the turbine. Now there we have it, a park and a transportation plan — all in one nice neat little package. Surely town luminaries will love it?

Of course, those grumps at Wolfville Watch are going to tell you that the wind doesn’t blow in Wolfville. Never mind, I say, “We have plenty of pumped up potentates to blow up a fair breeze.”

Grumps? Grumps???


The Nova Scotia Securities Commission today, Aug. 3, released its annual list of traps that cautious investors should avoid.

4. Green Schemes: Investment opportunities tied to new energy-efficient “green” technologies are increasingly popular with investors and scammers alike. Scammers often exploits headlines to cash in on unsuspecting investors, from oil spill clean-ups to environmental innovations tied to “clean” energy, such as wind energy, wave energy, carbon credits and other alternative energy financing.

Emissions trading

… as much as 90 percent of the entire market volume on emissions exchanges was caused by fraudulent activity.

90% That bears repeating.  The statement is from the European criminal intelligence agency which warned a while ago that ETS fraud involved about €5 billion in lost revenues.

They are now closing the barn door after the gold laden pack horse has left.

Traders involved in Europe’s flagship climate change programme, the Emissions Trading System – some of whom work at Germany’s biggest banks and energy firms – were the focus of a series of raids and arrests by British and German prosecutors in part of a massive pan-European crackdown on CO2-credit VAT fraud. …

The operation, which targeted a total of 50 companies and some 150 suspects in Europe’s biggest economy, involved around a thousand investigators from Germany.

Authorities in eight other EU nations – Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Portugal, as well as Norway, outside the bloc – were approached by Frankfurt prosecutors for their help in the investigation.

Note the photo and the caption which accompanies the article: Fraud at the heart of the ETS has hurt the reputation of the EU’s flagship climate programme.  And they show a picture of a power plant belching smoke? They should show a heavily subsidised, and largely valueless, wind farm.

If they think they have solved their problem with a few arrests they are mistaken. We could see the scam potential in carbon trading and off-sets from the get go and we are hardly experts. We do however have a skeptical attitude and at least an average dose of common sense [which seems to be a rare commodity these days]. There are more skeptics around than one thinks however and perhaps more critics on both sides are being heard now that the Climate Change cabal is more on the defensive.

Environmentalist critics of the ETS however said that such criminal activity is not the exception to the rule, but intrinsic to a carbon market.

“Carbon markets are highly susceptible to fraud, given their complexity and the fact that it is not always clear what is being traded,” said Oscar Reyes of Carbon Trade Watch.

“It’s good that the commission and tax authorities are clamping down, but it is unlikely that this will be the last case of carousel fraud, but also unlikely that it will be the last type of fraud involved in emissions trading.”

RELATED: Fake, fake, fake.

Wind warning

People have questions about wind power. One question is raised in an article in the Chronicle Herald by Rachel Brighton :

SHOULD an international company operating in eight countries qualify as a “small, community-based” producer of wind power?

That’s one question the government will need to answer when it releases its renewable energy strategy in the spring. Continue reading