Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blowing away the hot air

The Institute for Energy Research just used a recent report to refute the positive effects of wind energy in Denmark, as it relates to the U.S. Evidently all the wind they don't think exists blew some of the pages off the writer's desk. Then again, the truth seems secondary to this group, so it isn't far fetched to assume they just ignored them.

Either way, reality escaped them, as evidenced here:
“In the case of Denmark,” added Pyle, “you have a nation of 5.4 million, occupying some of the most wind-intense real estate in the world, whose citizens are forced to pay the highest electricity rates in Europe — and it still doesn’t even come close to the 20 percent threshold envisioned by President Obama for the United States.”
Cut from that clip is some pretty out-there "smoke and mirrors" rhetoric. Because seriously, it's is just that. Two different groups have already responded with why it's completely false and why IER probably knew it and repeated it anyway.

From the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA):
How does IER twist these numbers to claim that Denmark only produces 5% of its electricity from wind? By not counting any electricity that ever flows across the country’s borders, even if an equal amount of electricity is then transferred back to Denmark. By the same logic, if a person deposited five $20 bills at a bank one day and came back the next day and withdrew five different $20 bills, IER would claim that the money the person received was not actually his or hers.
And those high rates? Well...it helps to have been paying the highest rates in Europe long before wind energy came along:
We learn on page 2 of the IER-commissioned report that “Taxes and charges on electricity for Danish household consumers make their electricity by far the most expensive in the European Union.” Also, a closer look at historical electricity prices in Denmark clearly shows that, adjusting for inflation, the price of electricity increased drastically in the early 1980's and has fairly consistently remained at that level ever since. Because wind energy did not become a significant part of Denmark's generation mix until the late 1990's, it would be difficult to blame wind energy for Denmark's high electricity prices.
So, again, we have another group blatantly lying about clean energy. Wonder why? Couldn't be an association with Koch Industries...
it is well worth knowing that both IER and CEPOS are tied to polluter funding. IER is run by former Koch Industries and Petroluem Refiners lobbyist Thomas Pyle. And IER has recieved $150,000 from the Charles and David Koch-controlled Claude R. Lambe Foundation since 2006.

CEPOS, the originator of the study, was also awarded a $100,000 grant from the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which in turn received funding from the Charles G. Koch Foundation.
That is the same Koch Industries founded by one of the biggest oil tycoons ever and that made almost $100 billion in 2008 refining oil. Koch, the largest private company in the United States, has already spent more the $5.5 million lobbying against clean energy this year.

Whew...guess that argument got blown up.

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