Monday, March 29, 2010

Governments That Subsidise Wind Turbines Should Be.....

....removed from power.  Here is why:
With an oversupply of wind turbines, why are governments subsidizing new manufacturing plants?

In recent years, China has ramped up its efforts to become a world leader in manufacturing and installation of wind turbines.

But the other side of the story is that China has also idled 40 percent of its industrial wind turbine manufacturing capacity as a result of oversupply and plummeting prices.

In Europe, the world’s largest turbine manufacturer, Vestas, announced a bond issue of 600 million euros ($807 million). This is the first bond issue in the company’s history and it was due to slow growth.

Even with an oversupply of manufacturing capacity, and falling prices for wind turbines, taxpayer-funded investment in wind turbine manufacturing by foreign companies in North America has been moving ahead with great fanfare.

In Canada, Ontario signed a $7 billion dollar deal with South Korea’s Samsung to manufacture industrial wind turbines and develop wind energy projects in the province — creating 4,000 jobs.

A Chinese and American business consortium announced plans to develop 1,000 jobs with the support of $450 million in taxpayer stimulus funds as part of recovery spending.

Vestas took the unusual step of announcing that it would consider building a manufacturing facility to build turbines for Ontario Trillium Power – a wind farm proponent without the necessary approvals to install turbines, or sell power into the grid.

Last year Vestas cited an oversupply of industrial wind turbines as justification for laying off 1,900 European wind turbine-manufacturing workers.

China idling 40 percent of their wind turbine manufacturing capacity demonstrates the oversupply is severely impacting even the most competitive manufacturing market in the world.

...North American jurisdictions seeking “green” manufacturing jobs are selling the idea to voters as a means of developing a green manufacturing sector as part of an economic recovery.

The reality, as evidenced around the world, is that these jobs aren’t permanent and could not exist without extensive ongoing government subsidization and therefore involvement in the business decisions of this industry.

Until the industry addresses the oversupply and governments address ever growing subsidization rates, real turbine prices will continue to fall, oversupply will continue to grow and subsidization rates will move this industry even further from market principles other sectors follow.

The impact will be felt by jurisdictions that have embraced and financially supported the technology.

They will surely feel the pressure higher electricity prices place on traditional manufacturing sectors, and the eventual loss of these temporary jobs when the wind turbine manufacturer pulls out.

There are too many reasons why big wind power cannot compete with nuclear or coal to provide the backbone of electric power. View this presentation if you are not up to speed. Check out this PDF report if you need yet more convincing.

Still we continue to see enthusiastic zealots in government service using taxpayer money (and borrowed money) to subsidise the building and installation of large numbers of hugely expensive and unreliable -- downright destructive in fact -- giant wind turbines. Someone is making a lot of money on this high level government scam, but it is not the typical taxpayer or electric power rate payer.

Governments that subsidise the building and installation of large numbers of huge wind turbines should be removed from office. Further penalties should then be administered to guilty individuals on a case by case basis. There will be a reckoning.



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