Wind Energy … The Answer is Not Blowing in the Wind! By James Reed
This story is from the US, but it gives a lesson to Australia, where our woke Labor government is fully onboard with the climate change agenda of net zero. While the Left does not explicitly say that we should “abandon affluence,” this lurks in the background of their thought. Up front the idea is that our present industrial society, what remains of it, can be maintained through renewable energy, mainly wind and solar. But, there are major problems with all aspects of this agenda.
Take wind energy for example. In the US wind energy has been the big thing, and since the Obama administration, billions have been poured into the wind industry companies only to see them fall into bankruptcy one by one. That occurred even with billions of subsidies, just as solar energy companies that fell before them. General Electric’s offshore wind business has a loss of $ 1 billion this year, while Siemens Energy is expecting a $5 billion net loss in 2023. “Reuters reports that Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, BP's head of gas and low carbon, described the industry as being “fundamentally broken” at an FT Energy Transition conference in London.
"Ultimately, offshore wind in the U.S. is fundamentally broken," Dotzenrath said. "There is a fundamental reset needed in the speed of permitting, security of permitting, etc..."
Dotzenrath’s comments came as BP said it would take a $540 million write-down on the value of its offshore wind developments in the United States. Norwegian oil company Equinor, BP’s partner in a pair of U.S. projects, announced its own impairment of $300 million.”
The facts from America indicate that existing wind technology is not economically viable and exists only as a government-subsidy supported construction. We are threatening our society with collapse by pursing the illusion of so-called renewable energies such as wind over our vast reserves of fossil fuels.
"Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Mounting financial losses in the wind industry over the last few months are taking a toll on the Biden administration’s clean energy drive. Despite the billions in subsidies that came down the pipeline in 2022 before the Inflation Reduction gave away even more money, energy experts don’t expect that the need for more money will deter the nationwide momentum to build more wind and solar farms.
Writing in his “Energy Absurdity” Substack, David Blackmon, an energy analyst with over 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, said that the lobbying for more renewable energy dollars is likely near.
“Everyone should prepare themselves to see an effort in Washington, DC to allocate billions more dollars to bail out Big Offshore Wind developers soon,” Blackmon wrote.
Since the Obama administration, the federal government has been pouring billions into projects to meet environmental goals, only to have the companies go bankrupt.
Another solar manufacturing startup, Abound Solar, received $400 million in federal government-backed loans to expand its Colorado and Indiana facilities. The company received further support from the U.S. Export-Import Bank, as well as property tax rebates in Colorado and Indiana.
In June 2012, the company filed for bankruptcy and left 405 people unemployed. It also left Colorado to spend millions to clean up hazardous waste it left behind.
Fisker Automotive received a $529 million green-energy loan from the Department of Energy for its luxury hybrid vehicles. The company spent $192 million of the loan before it was suspended in 2011 after the company failed to meet several sales milestones. Fisker filed for bankruptcy in 2013.
Today, the Biden administration is sending taxpayer dollars to offshore wind projects, and despite all the support, the developers and manufacturers are struggling to stay afloat.
Bloomberg reported in August that, during a conference call with analysts, General Electric’s CEO said that the company’s offshore wind operations expects to post annual losses this year of about $1 billion. German turbine manufacturer Siemens Energy is expecting a $5 billion net loss this year, also according to Bloomberg. The company is now in talks with the German government for nearly $16 billion USD in guarantees.
Chinese wind turbine maker, Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. reported a net income of $1.28 million in the third quarter, which was down 98% compared to the same period in 2022.
A September Wall Street Journal editorial argued that, while green energy developers blame Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for causing the inflation that plagues the industry by driving up demand for renewable energy, the government mandates and subsidies, which they lobbied for, is a big driver of the demand.
The companies also blame rising interest rates, but quoting a report from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Wall Street Journal notes, “it does not appear reasonable for developers to have assumed that a low interest rate environment would persist throughout the period in which their projects were to be financed, given that the levels of interest rates witnessed today” have precedent.
New York regulators earlier this month denied a request from offshore wind developer Orstead to alter its long term contracts and raise purchase prices to a level that would have let them collect an additional $38 billion from ratepayers.
Then last week, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the state awarded contracts to three offshore wind companies, which includes $300 million to develop wind turbine and blade manufacturing facilities. Hochul is among six Democratic governors who urged President Joe Biden to provide even more subsidies to troubled offshore wind projects.
Blackmon noted in his Substack article that congressional Republicans are not likely to support a large bailout for the wind industry in a standalone bill. He predicts that Democrats will try to sneak such funding into any debt-ceiling compromise legislation in November.
“A federal bailout effort is coming. You can almost smell it in the wind,” Blackmon said.”