renewable energy

John Droz caught in multiple lies over wind farm opposition

And he tried to mislead Homeland Security, no less:

The U.S. military was forced to accept a wind farm in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties despite no guarantees it wouldn't impair a regional radar system, a North Carolina wind energy opponent claims.

John Droz, a physicist known for advocating against renewable energy, also acknowledges, however, that he has no direct evidence the former administration of President Barack Obama forced the military to approve the Amazon Wind Farm US East project.

Bolding mine, because integrity, something John Droz is sorely lacking. This also means every single one of those Republican lawmakers who put their signature on this letter lied to the umbrella organization that was created to protect the United States from domestic terrorism. Think about that for a moment. If you or I did something like that, we'd be lucky to avoid an intense interrogation session or two, and would likely be placed on the No-Fly list. But their lust for attacking Obama, not unlike that weasel van der Vaart, had them eager to take part in this fiasco. Here's more conspiracy theorizing from John Droz:

NC's clean energy sector is spearheading recovery

And we can't afford to let the GOP derail its growth:

North Carolina has almost 1,000 clean energy firms that employ 34,294 full-time equivalent jobs. This represents an estimated 31% increase in employment from the previous year. Additional jobs continue being added to the industry, and the rate of growth has more than doubled since 2015.

North Carolinians are benefiting from clean energy in the form of lower electric bills, healthier communities and expanded local tax bases, as job opportunities continue surfacing across the industry's diverse supply chain.

There's been a lot of brainstorming by Democrats on how to refine messaging, especially in the area of economic opportunity. Well, here you go. Not only is promoting clean energy in the best interests of maintaining our health and well-being, and something we should push even if there wasn't an economic benefit, the clean energy sector has the potential to bring much-needed revenues to nearly all 100 counties. Quoting myself from an Op-Ed in late 2015:

For those few still feeling mistakenly safe, we present Liquid Uranium

On the plus side, you'll die relatively quickly:

The U.S. government wants to move the waste from the Chalk River Nuclear Facility in Ontario, Canada to the Savannah River Nuclear Site in South Carolina. Kamps says, until now, this type of uranium has only been shipped as a solid and is extremely dangerous.

"If you're exposed to it at a short distance, with no radiation shielding, it can actually kill you in a very short period of time. Or in a fiery crash or terrorist attack, this material could be disbursed over a very broad region," Kamps said. Interstate 26 is one potential route, where nearby residents haven't heard a word. But residents living near the potential route aren't the only ones left in the dark.

Oh, that's just fantastic. "We can't tell you where it's going to be, because Terrorism, so you'll just have to remain in a state of constant terror. And update your living will, because your cognitive functions will probably get seriously derailed before your organs begin failing, which, if you think about it, is probably a blessing. Have a nice day."

JLF uses Hurricane Matthew to attack NC's REPS

Because natural disasters are a great opportunity for propaganda:

And then there are the inhabitants of the so-called “free market think tanks” funded by those fun-loving fossil fuel barons, the Koch Brothers, and their not so silent junior partner from North Carolina, Art Pope. Take a gander at a column released yesterday by the Director of Regulatory Studies at the John Locke Foundation. In it, the author argues – we are not making this up – that the mass, storm-related electricity outages of recent days lead to one overriding conclusion: North Carolina must reduce its commitment to renewable energy and the law (the “Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard” or “REPS”) that requires public utilities to derive a proportion of their electric load from renewables.

Everybody needs to understand why Koch and Pope's Puppets are so dedicated to overturning REPS in NC (and other states): Because it's working. The REPS was designed to create a demand for renewable energy, thus driving up production of Solar panels and wind turbine parts, which (in turn) would bring the costs down to a competitive range.
What you won't hear from people like JLF's Jon Sanders is how much those costs have already dropped:

Op-Ed on the GOP's disingenuous attack on wind energy in NC

In which I preach from my chair a little bit:

In each of the last five years, we have seen numerous attempts by the Republican-led General Assembly to erode environmental protections and undermine the fantastic growth in our clean energy sector. Some have succeeded, some have failed, but the efforts have been relentless. In this previous short session, one of the more notable of these was Sen. Harry Brown’s attempt to ban the construction of wind energy projects in the vast majority of the state, in particular eastern North Carolina, where the most suitable winds are located.

While this bill failed to pass out of the N.C. House this year, Brown has promised to bring it back again next year. When he does, it needs to go to the Rules Committee or wherever the muckety-mucks decide is the best place for it to die a slow, legislative death.

I would like to take this time to encourage everybody reading this to engage in the process of analysis and feedback with media outlets, especially print media. Their "stable" of content creators has shrank severely in the last decade or so, and they are much more open to publishing material from non-standard sources. By "non-standard" I mean clumsy amateurs like myself. :)

Utility-scale Solar development faces new challenges in NC

Economical, structural, and of course ideological:

That means that Duke is now paying Strata only wholesale electricity rates – without the subsidy – for power generated by six Strata solar farms that went online this year. “There is zero rate impact for rate payers,” O’Hara said. “And Duke is locking in a price for 15 years.”

As global solar prices went into a free fall and panel efficiency improved, solar farms became cost-competitive with coal-burning power plants and combined-cycle natural gas plants, two of the cheapest sources for generating electricity. The cost inversion, from priciest to cheapest, hasn’t won over all critics of renewables, but it has shifted their focus to new concerns: that solar panels may be toxic, and that solar farms conflict with agriculture.

That's typical of the anti-renewable, climate-change-denying crowd: When your main argument fizzles, you have to scramble to create a new (misleading) approach. But in their zest to find such, they also reveal their hypocrisy. Environmentalists have been pushing for decades for public officials to recognize the added costs associated with fossil fuel use, from ecological to human health issues, but that has fallen on deaf ears. And now that their "It's too costly!" argument no longer works, they want to create dangers from clean power production? Oh, hell no. As to the economics: Those of us who understood the true goals of Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards knew (or hoped) that prices would fall, and with that decline would come a decline in the demand from investors, who would see their profit margins shrink. This wasn't merely part of the plan, it was the plan. And it's working better than we'd imagined. That being said, it appears Duke Energy is doing what all monopolies do, leverage their competition out of the market:

The battle to continue NC's renewable energy success

Progress is a four-letter word to some people:

It’s hard to see what’s not to like about North Carolina’s growing renewable energy industry. It’s clean. It creates jobs. It puts idle farm land to profitable use. It’s part of what must be an urgent, global response to climate change.

Yet there are some in the General Assembly determined to halt and even reverse the state’s booming solar power industry and to lower its prospects as a leader in wind power.

Some ideological positions are simply too absurd to understand. Even in the absence of the millions spent by the Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel astroturfers, there will always be a handful of science-fearing individuals tilting at windmills. The industry propaganda just fuels their delusions, and makes it much more likely they'll be able to do actual damage instead of just fuming about it.

Legislative alert: The attack on Solar farms continues

If this bill becomes law, you won't see any more renewable projects being built:

§ 143‑215.127. Setback and landscape buffer requirements.

(a) Setback requirements. – A wind or renewable energy facility shall be sited no nearer than one and one‑half miles from the property line of any adjacent parcels. The one and one‑half mile setback requirement shall not apply to adjacent parcels having common ownership with the facility or the parcel where the facility is situated.

(c) Landscape buffer requirements for solar farms. – A solar farm shall maintain a landscape buffer by installing native landscaping, including trees and shrubs, in a perimeter surrounding the solar farm and any equipment related to that solar farm. The landscape buffer shall provide the greatest degree of screening feasible and shall minimize visual contact with the solar farm for any adjacent parcels. For the purposes of this subsection, a "solar farm" means an array of multiple solar collectors that transmit solar energy and where the collection of solar energy is the primary land use for the parcel on which it is situated.

Bolding mine. It would need to be researched by active Solar farm developers in our state, but I doubt more than one or two projects to date would have met that 1 1/2 mile setback requirement. That alone is a lethal blow to the industry, which is obviously the goal of this bill. When they decided to amend the Statute that had previously dealt only with wind turbines, they tripled the setback distance from 1/2 mile to 1 1/2 miles. That's more than ten times the distance the state is requiring fracking wells to be setback from homes and surface water (creeks, lakes, rivers). Kill this bill, before it kills NC's Solar farm industry.

Civitas teams with fossil fuel industry to obstruct NC wind farm

Once a puppet, always a puppet:

In this project – the first utility-scale wind farm in North Carolina and one of the first in the southeastern United States – the libertarian-leaning Civitas Institute has found perhaps the only industry that it thinks needs more regulation.

Civitas is backing a Perquimans County couple who has filed suit against the state Department of Environmental Quality, raising doubts about the farm’s impact on property values, the risk it might pose to creatures of the air and the noise it might produce. The call for more regulatory review is a way for Civitas to try to raise objections to the farm, even though it, and perhaps other farms, might prove a tremendous economic resource for a part of the state that needs one.

Don't make the mistake of assuming the faux-Libertarians who work for Art Pope really care about "prosperity" reaching more people, even those who desperately need it. That's just a slogan. In addition to Civitas' attorney, there's another guy on the legal team, and he's the climate-change-denying lawyer who went after the UVA professor's e-mails in an attempt to ruin him:

Pope's Civitas actively obstructing Amazon wind farm

Using the very same tactics they complain about:

The decision by Judge Lassiter of the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings to keep the case alive means it will head for a contested case hearing, which is the OAH equivalent of a trial, said Elliot Engstrom, a lawyer for the conservative Civitas Institute, which is representing the Perquimans couple.

Iberdrola has said it needs to complete the project next year to qualify for a federal tax credit that will reduce the cost of the project by 30 percent. The credit expires at the end of 2016.

Hypocrisy, you have a whole new standard to meet. For years, the folks at JLF and Civitas have complained how over-regulation by government has delayed industrial construction and land development, costing money and souring economic growth in our state. And that's exactly what they're engaging in with this wind project. Their goal isn't to expose a danger and "make sure it's done right," and it isn't really an effort to have an authority stop the project, either. They just want to delay it long enough for the Federal credits to sunset so the project will die on its own. There are many colorful ways to describe the character of someone who would deploy these tactics, but I'll just leave it at "beneath contempt" for now.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - renewable energy