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Wind Farm Projects are Beginning to Topple Due to Strong Economic Headwinds

Wind Farm Projects are Beginning to Topple Due to Strong Economic Headwinds

Climate cult dominoes are continuing to fall.

A couple of weeks ago, Sweden’s government ditched plans to go all-in on “green energy,” green-lighting the construction of new nuclear power plants. Shortly afterward, fossil fuel giant Shell announced it was scaling back its energy transition plans to focus on . . . gas and oil!

Now it looks like specific wind farm projects are beginning to topple due to strong economic headwinds. Recent, Rhode Island’s leading utility decided to nix a project called Revolution Wind 2 because the cost of the electricity was deemed too high.

“Higher interest rates, increased costs of capital and supply chain expenses, as well as the uncertainty of federal tax credits, all likely contributed to higher proposed contract costs,” said the utility, Rhode Island Energy, in a press release. “Those costs were ultimately deemed too expensive for customers to bear and did not align with existing offshore wind power purchase agreements.”

Those same cost factors are wreaking havoc in Massachusetts. Two major offshore wind developers in Massachusetts are terminating their power purchase agreements with the state’s utilities because the developers say the agreements, hammered by inflation, interest rate hikes, supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine, are no longer sufficient to secure financing for their projects.

The developers hope to rebid the contracts in the state’s next procurement in 2024, presumably at much higher prices. The decision by Rhode Island Energy could foreshadow the pricing Massachusetts might see next year.

In Europe, Swedish energy firm Vattenfall will stop the development of a major wind project in the United Kingdom after a surge in costs (Hat-tip Hot Air’s Beege Welborne). Once again, the issue was related to surges in energy costs.

The project won a contract-for-difference (CfD) in an auction last year, guaranteeing a minimum price of 37.35 pounds per megawatt hour (MWh) in 2012 prices for the electricity produced, which equates to around 45 pounds/MWh today.

Since the auction, called round 4, some developers have warned that soaring project costs, inflation and interest rates have meant the price guarantee offered then could leave the projects uneconomic and called for targeted help for the sector.

Vattenfall also said it would examine the best way forward for the entire Norfolk zone which also includes the Vanguard East and West projects.

Combined, the three projects were expected to produce some 4.2 GW of electricity.

The economic headwinds associated with wind farms are beginning to be noticed.

…. Even as the White House is welcoming it with open arms and the Democrats’ climate law is channeling money in its direction, strong economic headwinds are blowing in the opposite direction – inflation and rising interest rates have hit the industry hard.

And then there’s the whales: Some citizen groups and conservative media have blamed a rise in whale strandings and deaths this year on the nascent wind farm projects – a connection scientists have so far found no evidence for.

The combination has made it a precarious time for offshore wind, said Jason Grumet, CEO of the American Clean Power Association, the trade group representing US clean energy.

“This is the vulnerable moment where the benefits are on the horizon,” Grumet told reporters this spring. “Because we don’t have the benefits of it on the table. We don’t have massive facilities producing energy, lowering prices in those states.”

I would like to note that determining whether the “science” indicates whales are dying due to wind farm construction is complicated. No serious cetologist would be likely to come to any certain conclusion based on the evidence obtained from all the marine mammals that have washed up on the shores of New Jersey and New York in the past few months.

However, scientific evidence and a serious review of the numbers shows that the power and reliability of wind pales in comparison to one traditional energy source.

The EIA [US Energy Information Administration] website is very illuminating with regard to the energy produced by wind and coal power at Mount Storm and the question “can wind power can replace coal power?”. In the 12-month period (May 2020-April 2021) the coal power plant operated at approximately 32% of its rated capacity. The 181 wind turbines operated at just over 21% of rated capacity. The coal plant generated 5,752GWh of electricity, and the wind turbines 932GWh. It would require an additional 936 similar sized wind turbines to replace the electricity generated by the coal plant during the same 12-month period.

Peak power production for the coal power plant was in July 2020 (719GWh) which was also the month for the lowest output for wind (34.6GWh). In July, the wind turbines produced just 4.8% of the power produced by the coal power plant while operating at only 9.4% of rated capacity. In the month of July, it would require at least 3,764 similar sized wind turbines to replace the electricity generated by the coal power plant which was operating at just 47% of rated capacity.

I suspect that the winds of energy policy will blow in a different direction as people realize that green energy fantasies are different from the cold, hard realities.


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Let’s not even talk about the non-recycleability of wind turbine components. Do a YouTube search on “wind turbine graveyard”. Scary stuff.

    Publius_2020 in reply to Rusty Bill. | July 22, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    If someone did a comprehensive study on the economics of these projects on a full lifecycle basis, the result would be eye-opening. They always depend on some combination of tax subsidy, rosy misrepresentation of likely electricity generation, and a failure to account for the lifespan and retirement of components.

      guyjones in reply to Publius_2020. | July 22, 2023 at 6:04 pm

      The writers at PowerLine blog have been posting copious posts containing analyses similar to your observations. Solar and wind energy are unreliable, unfeasible and uneconomic electricity sources at scale. That the vile and stupid Dumb-o-crats continue to piss away tens of billions of dollars promoting this chimeric, destructive, dangerous and ill-conceived “green” energy scheme speaks to their intrinsic stupidity and dishonesty.

      Nuclear power is the only reliable, feasible and cost-effective energy source providing electrical power at scale.

        guyjones in reply to guyjones. | July 22, 2023 at 6:04 pm

        I had meant to add “carbon-free” to my statement about nuclear power, above.

        CommoChief in reply to guyjones. | July 22, 2023 at 7:20 pm

        Good info re the climate cult and more technical discussions about wind, solar, battery v conventional energy production over at Manhattan Contrarian.

        The main author on the site seems to be on a jihad v the climate cultists and he chronicles some of his work, very illuminating.

thad_the_man | July 22, 2023 at 2:23 pm

I still wonder why no one talks about the climace effects of wind farms. Look they extract tmegawatts of power from somewhere, it has to come from someplace. Where. Obvious it reduce the wind. But why do we have wind, because of balancing pressure areas. So the pressure areas are not being equilibrized. To what effect?

    BierceAmbrose in reply to thad_the_man. | July 24, 2023 at 1:37 am

    Good speculations. Large scale wind farms haven’t been in place long enough to have that kind of data, yet. We just have short-term ginsuing of protected raptors in volume, disruption of the ground-level ecology where they’re built, and anecdotal reports of eroded human health, and crop vitality where they operate.

    While we don’t have great, long-term data from big wind farms. they are taking down dams all over the US PNY because of long-term effects on fish stocks, forests, and the waterways. I did so enjoy the decades’ bragging about the “clean, renewable power”, tho. See also changes to storm damage and river deltas from “managing” the silt load in rivers. Rivers in a state of nature are solitary, nasty brutish and short — wait, no, they do things like flood, carry silt, build deltas, and so on.

    It’s all just “unintended consequences” like that’s an excuse.

    “Unintended consequences”, really means “unexpected consequences”, which really means you were too dumb about what you did to know what was going to happen, and you did it anyway.

    It also means you don’t get to go do anything else unsupervised. Your big idea privileges are revoked. “No wind farms for you!”, you watershed-killing dam advocates.

They are just plain stupid, too.

The solutions of the environmentalists are worse for the environment.

E Howard Hunt | July 22, 2023 at 2:44 pm

Windmills in Decline:

When you knew that it was over you were suddenly aware

That the power bills were turning to dread objects of despair!

“Clean” power has two properties that nobody should want in their power generationl., It tends to be unreliable and expensive. Then it gets more expensive because you have to build reliable power to fill the gaps it leaves.

    BierceAmbrose in reply to Ironclaw. | July 24, 2023 at 1:40 am

    “Clean” power works best as small-scale, autonomous, distributed, multi-modal systems. If they want “clean” they should get more people off the grid, not on.

“Why are windfarms toppling?” The answer is quite simple as illustrated in the formula below:

P=0.5 x p x A x Cp x V cubed x Epm

P=wind power,
p=air density,
A=rotor swept area,
Cp=coefficient of performance,
V=wind velocity,
Epm=eagles per minute

You will see the last figure is dependent upon Epm=Eagles per minute. We are running out of eagles.

This is all bullsh*t. It’s hard to believe we’ve (yes: WE – look at the treasonous Republicans we’ve been eleciting and re-electing) allowed this to happen, and allow a third world war to begin it’s infancy.

Tucker Carlson Explains The Great Reset destroying Europe – right now:

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to | July 22, 2023 at 7:40 pm

    I survived about 4 or 5 minutes of the words flashing over Tucker’s face, and the ominous oh-so-scary Halloween noises from a synth track.

    /I’m getting grouchy in my old age.

good chance I will be seeing 165ft towers 1000ft away from my property.

Subotai Bahadur | July 22, 2023 at 5:07 pm

Party doctrine demands wind power at all costs, regardless of actual financial costs or feasibility. The difference will be made up by Federal printing presses and penalizing the productive until it all collapses. At which time it will be the fault of the traitors, saboteurs, and kulaks.

Something to watch for. They were holding some conventional power generating capacity intact in case something happened and the wind/solar additions could not keep up with the needs. For ideological reasons, they are tearing down the reserve capacity as fast as they can.

Picture the Northeast, say from NYC to Maine under a heat wave akin to the one that has been hitting the American Southwest for the last month plus. Temperatures up to 115, bloody little wind. Picture NYC at that temperature, lack of wind, and the local humidity. Now picture intermittent blackouts because they cannot generate enough power reliably, of varying lengths. People are going to get bloody testy.

Subotai Bahadur

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | July 22, 2023 at 5:07 pm

In 30 years the landscape (and seascape) is going to be littered with dead wind farms and people are going to act as if they don’t even know how they got there – “Maybe the Indians built them before contact …?”

Duh, Second Law of Thermodynamics. Entropy.

Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck …

The Gentle Grizzly | July 22, 2023 at 7:27 pm

“…a project called Revolution Wind 2…” That has such a nice, Great Leap Forward / 5 Year Plan / Transform America sound to it.

My takeaway from this, and other such articles is: get taxpayer-funded props out from under these wind, and solar, projects, and no manufacturer or utility would even bother making them.

As for Shell returning to gas an oil, of course they are. They are, after all, an energy company. If a new PRACTICAL source of energy comes along, they will be involved, of that I am certain. Why? See above: they are an energy company. Not just a gas and oil company.

not_a_lawyer | July 23, 2023 at 12:33 am

I’ve brought this up before, not on this board, but to some of my colleagues at work. They’re pretty sharp guys, we’re all computer programmers, but computer programmers tend to not understand anything regarding actual science, such as thermodynamics. I hold an engineering degree and became a programmer only because there are lots of jobs to choose from.

I once brought up precisely what you said, Thad. I pointed out that if you install wind farms all over the world, the wind will slow down, which will have an effect on the environment, which is precisely what the greens are trying to avoid (or so they say).

They looked at me like I had just landed from Mars.

There was another story just a week ago. Some college kid was trying to generate electricity from the motion of passing cars and pedestrians. The article did not go into the technical details of how this was to be done, but they do not have to. By conservation of energy, if such a device could be built, it would essentially be ‘stealing’ energy from the passing cars, slowing them down slightly, requiring more energy to keep them at speed.

People need to get it through their thick skulls, there are only two ways to generate enough electricity to power an industrial nation: Fossil fuels or nuclear. That’s it.


Just like electric vehicles these windmills depend upon government subsidies to exist and the intermittent power production means they are not dependable sources of energy. Further, the offshore projects are vulnerable to hurricanes, as well. Does anyone really believe that they will survive these storms?

    CommoChief in reply to Ruckweiler. | July 23, 2023 at 12:35 pm

    IMO the easiest answer to defeat these boondoggles is to require the wind/solar producer to meet reliability standards off delivery of power from not only their own coffers but from in-house co located backup. Just adding in the cost of plant/equipment needed for standby generation (which never disappears) utterly destroys any economic basis or environmental basis for these plants at grid scale.

    Point of use on a voluntary basis? Sure. It’s the consumer’s choice to buy and install for their own reasons. Might be environmental, might be for grid back-up. Whatever the reason it should be voluntary without any free riding on the backs of consumers who don’t want this stuff.

And there it is “uncertainty of federal tax credits”. Wind turbines just can’t compete with fossil fuels and nuclear. Hydro-power is great too, but highly unlikely any more will be built.

This gives new meaning from the old saw, “a windmill will never produce as much energy as it takes to build, place, maintain and remove it” If you change it to “a windmill will never produce as much cash as it takes to build, place, maintain and remove it.” People tend to forget the basic that the way we rank things of value is with money.

There are major engineering problems with wind turbines. The bigger they are, the worse they get.

pedo joe will just take a few trillion dollars and hand it over to his corrupt green friends who will promise the electricity but file bankruptcy long before anything is built.
pedo joe will still get 20 percent.