Thumbs Up

Thumbs up to Michigan's energy providers for being on track to meet their 2015 renewable energy mandate.
Sep 26, 2013

According to a new report, "renewable energy in Michigan is less expensive than almost every conventional alternative and costs continue to drop." That is very good news!

See the Tribune Opinion page for your daily dose of our Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down!

 

Comments

Vladtheimp

More environmental double talk B.S.

"renewable energy in Michigan is less expensive than almost every conventional alternative and costs continue to drop."

Let's go to report to see how the environmentalists define "conventional alternative"

EIA reports current levelized costs for other generation characterized as renewable under Michigan’s current RPS

"The most common way to estimate the relative cost for renewables is to compare new renewable builds to new types of other generation." http://www.michigan.gov/document...

Wind $87 per MWh
Hydro $90 per MWh

Biomass $111 per MWh
Solar $144 per MWh
Wind (Offshore)$222 per MWh
EIA’s reports current levelized costs for some generation not characterized as renewable under Michigan’s current RPS

Natural gas conventional combined cycle plant is $67 per MWh
Advanced nuclear is $108 per MWh.
Advanced coal with carbon capture and sequestration is $13
per MWh

Get It? Although I didn't find the quoted language actually in the report, the environmentalists claim the only way to compare renewable energy costs is to compare with other types of "new generation." So, you can't compare them with traditional coal plants, or natural gas plants, which supply the vast majority of our electricity cheaply.

They think we are all stupid - and it appears as far as the media goes, they are right!

Sandypants

To bury the truth and further their agenda is all that the left is concerned with. WTF are you to question what they and their lap dog media spoon feed the American people? Get in line Valdie ;)

Lanivan

"Vladie"

Sandypants

corn hole.

Lanivan

"cornhole"

Sandypants

I wasn't talking about the game jabberjaws. Bla bla bla . . .

Wingmaster

Lol of the day!

Lanivan

Hi. Glad you're happy - I'm here sparring with Sandypants while you're off having a good laugh. Sigh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R... {Not to be taken literally, of course}.... ;)

Lanivan

I know you weren't...you still weren't spelling it correctly. And btw, it's spelled.."blaH"

Zegota

You are absolutely correct, just like Obama Care, someone will pay because the system will not back down and they are never wrong. Hold on people the dream is not yet over...God Help Us.

Lanivan

"So, you can't compare them with traditional coal plants, or natural gas plants, which supply the vast majority of our electricity cheaply."

Well, yes and no. In terms of Federal energy incentives between 1950-2010, total federal spending on energy totaled $837 billion, with R & D comprising 18% ($153 billion).

It breaks down as follows:

Oil - 44% $366 Billion
Gas - 14% $121 Billion
Coal - 12% $104 Billion
Hydro - 11% $90 Billion
Nuclear - 9% $73 Billion
Renewables (TOTAL) -9% $94 Billion
Geothermal - 1% $7 Billion

Might help explain the disparity in MWh costs between say, coal and wind.

(EDIT) http://www.nei.org/filefolder/60...

Vladtheimp

The issue is what is the source of energy producing electricity that is best for the economy and best for the consumer's pocket book. And, I need the source on your percentages to be able to agree.

Lanivan

And federal (taxpayer) energy subsidies don't enter into the equation?

Vladtheimp

Still waiting for the source of your percentage statistics . . . .

Lanivan

Wait no longer. Note (EDIT) in original comment - today @ 10:45 a.m.

You're welcome.

Vladtheimp

Thank you for the reference. As you might anticipate, I don't find it persuasive.

First, the group that paid for the study is a special interest lobby whose goal is to increase the use of nuclear energy at the expense of fossil and renewable fuels. It is unsurprising that they paid for a study that shows the nuclear industry received far fewer subsidies than the fossil fuel industry.

Second, the idea that refraining from taxing some income is a "subsidy" only makes sense if you first conclude that all money belongs to the government, and you're being permitted to keep some of what you earned is the government granting you a benefit. I don't buy that, nor do most Americans, or certainly most taxpayers, I suspect. Statists, of course disagree.

Third, if you consider the "subsidies" as defined in your link for non-fossil fuels as a benefit to the public, you should also consider the benefits to the public derived from having reasonably priced electricity, fuel for our vehicles, trains, planes, barges, etc. Adding to the tax burden of fossil fuels would simply mean that Americans would pay more for every commodity that is transported from one point to another. So, even if you accept the definition of "subsidies" assumed in the report, more subsidies to keep Americans in the middle class are not a bad thing.

Last, the characterization of tax policy and regulations as "subsidies" treats oil and gas producers differently than other industries, as demonstrated by this Forbes article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davi...

I seriously doubt that the oil and gas producers believe over-regulation by the government is a "subsidy" for them. Similarly, treating deep water ports as a type of government subsidy shows how far the authors stretched to make the point they were paid to make.

Nevertheless, the factoids were interesting.

Lanivan

The first phase of your argument seems to center on the idea that studies made by special interest groups are inherently slanted. Just for kicks, I searched for a similar study and found this one by Cornerstone - the official journal of the world coal industry. Note the study employs the same "statistics" as the nuclear energy link, but does indeed have a different slant:

As is often the case, the conventional wisdom here is wrong. In fact, there is a huge imbalance in federal incentives for the fossil energy industries compared to the renewable energy industries; however, the imbalance is strongly in favor of renewables and is increasing.

Of course, they submit that the coal industry suffers next to Big Oil:

Oil and gas received almost 60% ($490 billion) of federal spending to support energy since 1950. Oil alone received three‐fourths ($369 billion) of this amount.
Coal received approximately 12% ($104 billion) of federal incentives.

And the study doesn't seem to have a problem defining 'energy subsidies'. Again, they feel that 'subsidies' (by any definition) are heavily weighted towards renewables.

Energy incentives are very much “different strokes for different folks,” and different types of energy incentives are of radically different importance for the energy technologies. Nuclear and geothermal depend critically on R&D, and benefit little from tax incentives. Natural gas is almost wholly dependent on tax incentives, and for it the importance of all other types of incentives is trivial. For coal, tax incentives and R&D are of about equal importance. For hydro, market activity incentives are determinant. For oil, tax and regulatory incentives are key.

http://cornerstonemag.net/u-s-en...

As for the Forbes article, a commenter made sense with this remark: "These regulations you cite may not be specific to BIG oil, but they do, in large part exclusively benefit the OIL INDUSTRY. Folks will argue that because the Production Tax Credit is an “after the fact” “subsidy” the government is “choosing” a winner, but having any tax benefit that is designed to specifically support a single industry, is by definition favoring that industry, and marked as “chosen” for support – e.g. to be a “winner”." The comment then becomes quite technical, but I suggest reading it if you are interested.

All energy sources are pieces of the pie, and complement each other. Renewables certainly won't dominate fossil fuels as the main source of energy in the US for the forseeable future. But regardless how one defines 'subsidy', renewables have become a main investment opportunity, have become firmly entrenched in the US energy equation, and will continue to grow as a major source of clean, healthy energy both in the US and globally. The pull of the tide is stronger than any argument.

SignalMaintainer

Gotta remember, only reason wind energy is 'cheaper' is because it is heavily subsidized by your tax dollars. Either way, you are paying much more for wind than conventional energy; it is just hidden in taxes. Without the subsides, the turbines could never even pay themselves off in their lifespan, let alone save money.

I am all for alternative energy, but it needs to truly be cheaper, and more efficient instead of being an over-hyped political football to make it look like the government and power companies are being green while costing us taxpayers more.

Lanivan

Have you read any of the statistics given in this thread, or read anything about federal energy subsidies? You are regurgitating fallacies - something not typical of you based on previous comments.

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