I have studied this project seven ways to sunday and concluded it`s a bust for all concerned,especially the Haida nation.
Lets get down to business, fact versus fiction,the straight goods, who else to look at when deciding about wind power than Denmark. In 1998 Denmark did a study on their wind power strategy and concluded that wind power has "Serious environmental effects,insufficient production,and high production costs".
Denmark (pop 5.3 million) has more than 6000 turbines that produced electricity equal to 19% of what the country used in 2002, yet no conventional power plant has been closed or mothballed because of the intermittent and variability of wind power,conventional plants must be kept running. In other words the wind is never blowing sufficiently most of the time and the wind power needs to be backed up at all times, funny thing with wind,it tends to drop off in the early evening when demand is higher.
No matter how much wind power you create you need an equal amount of ready back-up power for when the wind stops, time and time again in examples in Denmark and other European countries the result is dumping windpower energy cheap into the market, and every country peddling their wind power ends up with energy trade losses, the Naikun project is so capital extensive,maintenance, replacement, it will never make money and end up mothballed before the principle investors (The Haida) ever get paid back for their investment.
A writer in the :utilities journal: (David J White, "Danish wind:Too good to be true?," July 2004) found that 84% of western Denmark`s wind-generated power was exported(At a revenue Loss) in 2003,...Denmark`s glut of wind turbines produced only 3.3% of Denmark`s electricity......In actuality wind-power only supplies 1.7% of Denmark`s power. Wind power companies always talk about what they produce in power but that is nothing but myth, here`s the deal, country after country have numbers to show that wind energy ends up supplying only 15 to 24 % of the power they claim, so if Naikun is claiming to produce 396 mega watts of power in reality it will produce at most 100 mega watts of power on a year round basis, and when you take out it`s own internal power the turbines draw from the grid, maintenance, and a dismal financial forecast emerges. (Read about unaccounted power consumption for wind turbines here) http://www.aweo.org/windconsumption.html
Denmark relies just enough on wind power that when the wind fails to blow they are immediately having to import power, in 2000 Denmark imported more than they exported cheap wind-power.And, added to their Danish hydro bills are the massive subsidies that support these private companies building wind farms, Danish residential users pay the highest rate in Europe for electricity.
Throughout Europe wind turbines produced on average less than 20% of their theoretical capacity,yet both the British and American wind energy Associations(BWEA and AWEA) plan for 30%. The figure in Denmark was 16.8% in 2002 and 19% in 2003 (In february 2003,the output of the more than 6000 turbines was 0%). The average in Germany for 1998-2003 was 14.7%............In the USA was 12.7%.......That`s right,if a wind farm has a capacity of say 500 mega watts year over year will be lucky to produce 20% of capacity.
So no matter what these people tell you about capacity at Naikun the power generated will be lucky to be 20% of rated capacity, so now the Naikun cost per Mega watt jumps from the 5,000,000 megawatt (That number freaked out Chief Roy Jones Junior, 60% more than a land based wind farm)...but now that price jumps to 25,000,000 a mega watt hour, at that price and only produces 100 or less mega watts it will never pay for itself, the cost would be a permanent millstone around the Haida`s neck, the Naikun at present power costs,even with massive taxpayer subsidies will bleed money from the province,from the Haida, from the investors, in 40 years it would be lucky to pay back the capital costs let alone carrying costs, replacement costs, all that for cheap,intermittent power that has to be backed up, every where I look there are problems with wind.
Eon Netz,grid manager for 1/3rd of the German grid explains another problem, for all wind power development you need to have an equivalent of 80% capacity in what`s called "Shadow power plants" , Eon Netz concluded that wind power added to the grid actually increased the burning of fossil fuels not reducing it.(read his report here) http://www.aweo.org/windEon2004.html
...........The more .wind power you have ,the more fossil fuel back-up that`s required,thus adding to greenhouse gasses not reducing emissions.
Despite all the claims of wind power, in 2008 the Danish government cancelled plans for three offshore windfarms, and has scheduled the withdraw of subsidies from existing sites,development of onshore wind plants has virtually stopped.Because Danish companies dominate the wind industry, the government is under pressure to continue subsidies.Spain began withdrawing subsidies in 2002. Germany reduced tax breaks to wind power,and domestic construction has slowed in 2004. Switzerland also is cutting subsidies as TOO expensive for the lack of significant benefit. The Netherlands decommissioned 90 turbines in 2004. Many Japanese utilities limit the amount of wind energy they put on the grid because it is so unstable, for the same reason Ireland in 2003 halted all new wind power connections to the grid.....In 2005 Spanish utilities began refusing new wind power connections to the grid and....In 2006, the Spanish government ended-By emergency decree--It`s subsidy and price support for big wind energy.( read about the Spanish government decree here) http://energypolicyblog.com/2007/16/windy-changes-in-spain/
Everyone of those countries are running away from wind power,study after study are revealing the facts, wind power because the intermittance of the supply doesn`t help reduce greenhouse gasses and in fact causes more gasses and more reliance on other sources, studies suggest that retrofitting older homes makes twice the sense than investing in wind power(Read this article from the guardian here on how wind farms mean more fossil fuel burning here) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/feb/26/sciencenews.renewableenergy
All over Europe wind power fails, wind power is in decline,so are the subsidies, the Naikun is so expensive,even cheaper land based operations are in trouble, 2 $ billion dollar capital cost for 100 mega watts of power will keep the Haida nation poor,broke and dependent.
There are studies in the USA that state that by improving the transmission lines they can gain 25% more power and makes far more sense than wasting time on wind energy,more can be gained by insulating homes and transmission line improvement than even the most rosy wind energy forecast, and when you take into account the taxpayer subsidies to wind energy,by far, retro-fitting homes and transmission lines is the better route and will result in greenhouse gas reduction rather than an increase in fossil fuel burning with wind power!
The folly of wind power, The UK government did a study...The government subsidy of one wind turbine,for the same money they could insulate 500 houses and save in 2 years the amount of energy that one turbine would produce in it`s lifetime.
Finally,wind power on a small scale,where a turbine directly supplies the users the fluctuating production can be stored,wind can contribute to a home, school.factory, office building,or even a small village`s electricity,But this simply won`t work on a large scale to supply the grid. Even the small benefits claimed by their promoters are far outstripped by the negative impacts.
I hope the BCUC is listening and paying attention...
It is clear that wind power can`t contribute anything in the fight against greenhouse gasses,climate change,pollution or nuclear waste, in Denmark,with the most per-capita wind turbines in the world,the output from wind equals 15 to 20% of electricity use,the Copenhagen newspaper (politiken) reported only 1.7% of Denmark`s power use was wind power. The grid manager Eon Netz claimed 84% of wind power was exported, ie ....Dumped for pocket change on the spot market,the director at Western Denmark utility claims that wind-power causes more fossil fuel burning not less...industrial wind power are worse than nothing at all, they destroy birds,wildlife, offshore they create hazards for shipping and boats,their low frequency noises are harmful to sea life,They require massive subsidies and regulatory favours to make them good investments, they move us farther away from real sustainable solutions.More on the futility of wind here... http://www.aweo.org/windbackup.html
Paul Taylor is selling the Haida nation false hope,study after study,failure after failure, wind power for grid power is a disaster! 2 $Billion dollars for construction, one hundred,two hundred million dollars could just vanish during construction, heck,that`s only 10% missing, maybe that`s the scam, huge cost overuns or not, after the 2 billion is spent whether it loses money or not won`t matter.(A good read here on how windpower is useless) http://www.aweo.org/windCourtney1.html
I hope we can learn from other countries wind disasters....Beware Haida nation,beware of "used car salesman bearing gifts"
The Straight Goods
Cheers-Eyes Wide Open