Irrational Optimism: Will 2016 Be The Year That Launched UN’s Green Economy?

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TN Note: How does this Polyanna justify his unbridled optimism in the face of economic destruction?  Thousands of abandoned wind turbines already litter the American landscape. Germany recently announced it will abandon its $1.1 trillion (that’s right, trillion) by 2019. Denmark led the charge on wind power but is now pulling the plug after admitting it is too expensive. Perhaps the author of this article has actually had a religious environmental experience where actual evidence and reality don’t count.

 Here it is, folks. We are standing at the crossroads of a remarkable energy transition in the United States. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are dropping in cost seemingly every day. The monumental agreement at COP21 in Paris last December and the falling price of oil and coal give me reason to go beyond hoping to believing that scholars will cite 2016 as the year that launched the green economy.

Why am I so optimistic? I’ll tell you. Later this year, Deepwater Wind will bring the U.S.’s first offshore wind facility online and begin delivering clean, renewable energy to Rhode Island. I’ll be frank and add that the 30-mega-watt project will provide a fraction of the energy demand of this small state.

But — and here’s the exciting part —the wind farm is being built, constructed and providing labor in the U.S.; it will power all of Block Island; and Deepwater Wind has two more projects in the works. Offshore wind projects in Europe are already generating over 60,000 domestic jobs. Don’t you think it’s time the U.S. got serious about the green economy?

Scattering myths to the wind

There are still several myths surrounding utility-scale wind energy. The first is that wind turbines pose a serious threat to birds and other wildlife. With a few exceptions, time has taught wind developers that offshore wind farms can be sited responsibly to dramatically reduce the risk to birds and marine mammals. In fact, one study found there was the potential to create marine habitat.

Offshore wind can result in locally high mortality to birds if sited incorrectly; however, organizations like the National Wildlife Federation are working with offshore wind developers to mitigate this hazard through responsible siting, establish monitoring programs and other strategies. Climate change poses a much more serious threat to birds globally and if not curtailed through the use of renewables, such as wind energy, could have much more severe consequences for 30 percent of bird species globally.

“We have been advocating for responsible wind development projects like Deepwater Wind elsewhere in the Northeast,” said Catherine Bowes, senior manager at the National Wildlife Federation. “They are doing some really interesting stuff.”

Another common wind energy myth alleges that electricity output from wind farms is too low to make wind energy cost-competitive. This is entirely untrue. A report by ISO New England found that Massachusetts alone has the potential to generate upwards of 8,000 MW of electricity from offshore wind; enough to power all 5.8 million homes in New England.

When one considers the enormous potential to generate power off the coast of New England, it becomes harder to listen to critics denouncing wind energy because it’s allegedly “economically infeasible.” This is especially true when one considers that wind energy is already priced as low as 2.5-3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is comparable to other wholesale electric power.

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Tom
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Tom

The US is treating wind energy with all of the seriousness that it deserves.

The irony is that global knowledge that is being acquired from today’s idiotic energy policies is knowledge that will help to prevent the implementation of future idiotic energy policies.

Bob
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Bob

Peaking of the world’s oil output is within site ,peak oil was first understood by Marion King Hubbert the head of Shell research and one of the main founders of Technocracy Inc. Maybe if we get back to fracking and increase the output from the Canadian oil sands we can forestall the peak for awhile. As I understand we are consuming close to a hundred million barrels of liquid fossil fuels per day. Anyone wishing to profit from the impending tight energy market should be taking a strong position while oil prices are still low. God bless the free market… Read more »

Poliwatch
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Poliwatch

30-mega-watt? Really?
The question is, how much will this project cost to supply a measly 30 mega-watts?
Nuclear power plants are a minimum of 600 mega-watt (except for some smaller research reactors) and go as high as over 8,000 mega-watts.
Nuclear, by the way, IS “sustainable”.