A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

Peter Lang on Australian Windpower: High Costs, Low Emission Reduction

By Kent Hawkins -- January 21, 2010

The higher costs and inferior reliability of government-mandated wind power and solar power are well known to students of the electricity market. Many analyses on wind and solar have documented their real-world problems.

But another negative aspect of wind and solar technologies is their failure to live up to their raison d’être: emissions reduction. As I have explained in a four-part post, firming intermittent electric generation requires very inefficient fossil-fuel generation that creates incremental emissions compared to a situation where there is not wind or solar and fossil-fired generation can run more smoothly. This is a huge insight, a game changer, that could take the renewable energy debate in a new direction entirely.

A number of studies are emerging that quantify both the cost premium of politically-forced renewables and the minimal amounts of emissions reduction (and even notable emissions increase) resulting from their use.…