Coping: A Different Kind of Revolution

Wake Ure ass up, comrade… it’s Monday and the Revolution is on.

Sunday, the hordes were out marching for Bernie and against fracking.  While they were doing that, Ures truly was pondering how the ultimate reasonable balance between energy sources might be reached.

It seems the revolution – much talked about, but little evident from a year or two back – is making its grand re-entry in Philadelphia.

The problem with the democrats is simple:  They are trying to usher in a “new future” and one filled with “change” but at the same time, the Wikileaks of this weekend showed the left is just as screwy as the right – only more so.

On the right, the worst I’ve heard about Donald Trump is that his kids were too much in evidence.  But on the left, we start with the Debbie Wasserman Schultz orchestration of Hillary and slamming of Bernie Sanders.  From there we move on to emails and crooked this and that’s.

The Wasserman Schultz departure is sad – but necessary in the eyes of some:  She had become part of the Clinton at Any Cost Club.

We do have the privilege this morning of considering the important role of energy in things.  And we love how it’s being held hostage.

An interesting point:  Al Gore isn’t going to the train wreck…er….convention.  Gore has been working on energy in a big way since 2000.  Shortly after losing, Gore and some pals founded the Chicago Carbon Exchange – an event facilitated by an Illinois state senator by the name of Barrack Obama.  Obama was on the board of the Joyce Foundation which funded the roll out of the carbon exchange, among other projects like gun control.

You are expected to forget all this, because it doesn’t fit the narrative.   But an old Forbes article like this one lends creds to things.

Looking back at the role of democrats like Obama and Valerie Jarrett in  the Joyce/Chicago Carbon history isn’t really useful.   Unless you look at energy as a hostage-taking event.

But it got me to looking up how much a big wind turbine costs.  The answer is about $4-million each installed.

  And each (says the hype) will power about 300-350 homes, depending on energy use profile.

It sounds like a good deal until you run the numbers:  300 homes paying $250 per month for power means a cluster of such homes would generate  $900,000 per year and that would leave you thinking in terms of a five year payoff.

I reckon the payoff is twice that long or more.

But that assumes the retail power price would go to the wind operators.  It doesn’t. 

The Wind Watch website runs through an example:

1.5 MW × 365 days × 24 hours × 25% = 3,285 MWh = 3,285,000 kWh

Let’s assume 10 cents per KWhr at wholesale power rates…and you come up with $328,000 a year of revenue from power sales. and suddenly the payback period changes.  How’s does a 13 year payback sound?  And that’s before interest.  Or maintenance…And it assumes  operation at peak which, by the way, doesn’t happen.  My estimate is 100-150 homes per large fan and none with a Tesla…

Count me as a skeptic when it comes to wind power.  The large swept area of these massive fan farms we’ve seen across the country intuitively don’t make sense.

So it’s something to think about when we see the democratic debacle this week:  Democrats didn’t tell us the truth about global warming and there’s no reason to think they will get wind power or fracking any more correctly,

But these champions of the corporate class are doing their best to shut in coal and keep US energy independence at bay…but that would  maybe explain why a certain family foundation has become so fat on offshore political money, now would it?


Our revelations up here continue with me getting a large pouch of Soylent from my daughter Denise.

“All my programming friends love it – it’s just the thing if you don’t have time to eat and want a really balanced meal.”

Says it takes like Pancake Batter. 

Don’t know if it comes in green.

But it is available on Amazon now as Soylent Powder (One Day (3 Meals)) for $20 bucks.

Might be an interesting prepping item, but not cheap  ($20 per day per person).

Main drawback as a prepping food is it seems to only have a one year shelf life.  I have to schedule a day between now and next March to drink pancake batter, I guess.

Write when you get rich,


Coping: A Different Kind of Revolution — 26 Comments

  1. Google search for wind turbine fire collapse youtube videos. Those massive turbines are always catching fire, and when they melt, run away.

    That said, I can see a few small 400 watt turbines for my home near the FL coast to supplement solar installation. Lots of wind near the coast.

  2. There are other options for renewable energy. If we really wanted to, we could plant every median strip on every highway in the country with switch grass & make biofuel out of it, or have huge greenhouses full of racks of algae to make biofuel. If it was a priority, the best minds at MIT etc could figure it out in 5 yrs or less. If tasked and funded, imagine where solar technology could have been by now??

    • They figured it out years ago. In 2004 (the last year for which I have actual knowledge of alt-fuels R&D) rapeseed provided half-again as much biofuel as a like quantity of soy, at a lesser cost. Algae provided nearly 3x as much, and algae is nearly zero cost, zero maintenance. Remember, EBM. As long as subsidized farm fuels are profitable, more-efficient or cheaper fuels won’t migrate from labs to production facilities.

      FWIW I’ve passed three solar farms during the past week — in places where daily sunlight averages less than five hours. There’s no possible way they’ll pay for themselves before the substrate in the cells breaks down, let alone produce any significant amount of grid power.

      Our tax dollars at work…

      • Looking at turing my waste whey protein into methane, which becomes cost effective at 200 gallons per day about 3 x what I currently do. However, I make an energy source for us to eat and then the waste product, whey, can be used to heat my operation – for sterilization, etc. – and electricity which much will be sold back to the grid.

        Just need the capital to get over the hump again as I am tired of dumping my savings into this crazy dairy (once the HACCP plan is in place Whole Foods wants our products).

      • There’s no possible way they’ll pay for themselves before the substrate in the cells breaks down,

        Based on just your statement? Considering solar panels are at $0.50 a watt these days and some are at 60-70% output 30-35 years later why should your claim be believed Ray?

  3. Disclaimer, I am an Asset Manager for both wind and Solar farms. I watch the money come in and go out for everything from land leases, to telecom bills, maintenance, debt, disbursements, interconnection upgrades, a heavy dose of IT, et al.

    Yes, they make money. Yes, the margins are tight, but are a whole lot better than what Amazon is doing. Amazon has ~$100b in sales with a profit of around $500m. That business return about 1/2%, but no one is saying that $500m a year is anything to sneeze at.

    I personally am not convinced that the climate models are anything near accurate enough to be basing our future on, but it all comes down to the precautionary principle. For me it’s real easy, I have personally toured an open pit coal mine and have had the privilege of getting to crawl around in a coal plant. Climate change be damned, I’ll take windmills and solar farms over bulldozers and combustion chambers any day.

    Renewables don’t replace carbon fuels and don’t provide baseload power, but they do provide a very real benefit. We’ll be burning fossil fuels for as long as they are easily accessible. Renewables just mean that we are burning “slightly” smaller amounts, but that percentage is growing every year.

    • My point is that WE the people are subsidizing your positive cash flows through a variety of tax credits, allowances and so forth.

      Be honest now – would an y make sense without the government’s backing?

      • George,
        You are correct the ONLY way these windmills are making money is because they are GOVERNMENT subsidized. I was in power generation for 30 years and there is a place for solar and wind, BUT they are NOT money makers, YET!!

      • Government subsidizes oil and gas and coal as well. HUGELY. What is worse is that the taxpayers and citizens of Earth are picking up an huge unpayable bill for a century plus of rape and pillage of the environment whilst a certain small group makes boocoo bucks on mining, drilling and so forth. Check the BP oil spill bill fer instance.

      • No argument from me that subsidies are a vital part of the business model. But as others have said, all forms of energy production get some form of subsidies as well. Why should renewables be the only form of energy that is treated differently?

      • VS the subsidy for oil? What does the US policy in the middle east cost…..

        What about the tax break you got to put in solar panels?

  4. I do not know where you plan to buy your long term food from but one year is not any where on my list of bean and rice bucks. Now I do not have more then three of different beans so I can not afford to do much prepping. But I also do not plan to live long if everything does go bad. Age and medication will cause that to happen.

  5. George, Wholesale power rates are much lower. Usually $25-35 per MWh. That is 2.5 to 3.5 cents per kWh. The payoff of renewables requires incentives to participate – or perhaps scheduling by the grid markets.

    Cool stuff up in my PJM region:

    We are hot this week, so it is ramping in the $50+ range during peak loads. That is still five cents a kWh for wholesale generation payment by the transmission companies. If you are a wind generator, they are either paid through a renewables schedule such as the state renewable energy portfolio standard or some other feature like payback for REC sales.

  6. Wind is not the only alternative energy source. Solar, hydro, thermal deliver. In California, solar is now over 25% of all retail electricity sales. This high energy efficiency helped lead to a 20% lower electricity bill for residents. Tesla’s Power Wall is a game changer in energy storage. My good friend has solar and a Power Wall and if 100% off the grid of sorts…in that he never uses PGE power…They pay him for his generation of it. I can see a Uber like business model in the near future where we are sharing each other’s power generation. Btw..these new technologies create jobs…lots of them. The GOP is the party of the past…and those that live in the past have no future.

  7. Why should wind power be a problem? The gasohol program, in place for years, has even worse numbers. The people profiting from this are not trying to foist something on the public. The stupidity of Americans has already been proven. Now is just a negotiating period to test the waters of how deeply they can screw the taxpayers into subsistence before they actually do something.

    Americans already pay 8-9 times actual cost for medical care, pay almost half their income in taxes, and now they watch while a criminal who got fewer votes in the primary than her opponent makes a run for the most powerful office in the world.

    Really now, how do you folks thing this is going to work out?

    I get it, the “market” is still up, so everything must be ok.

    Too big to fail, and too dirty to jail.

    That’s how it looks from Ecuador.

  8. You also have to consider the amount paid out to the land owners on whose land they’ve built the wind turbines. It’s substantial, too. We only had a power line come across our property but the neighbors got the windmills. In the end, should the turbines be abandoned, it may be bad for the land owners but in the mean time they are getting enough money to turn their ranches in to gardens in the desert.

    On the other part of your posting George, this one and other issues, what I wouldn’t give to have you as a major source for Trump’s speeches. They’re still lacking in specifics and substance. What you wrote today ought to be a big part of anything he has to say between now and November 7th.

  9. “Special interests pushing a narrow agenda want to prevent PNM from paying for electric grid improvements and want to eliminate nuclear wnergy, which is key to meeting carbon reduction mandates. They are twisting facts, claiming more solar and wind are the only answer.” ran for second time in Sunday Albuquerque Journal.

    Wind turbine mechanical, electronics, and software maintenance problems make production of ERRATIC and INTERMITTENT wind-generated electricity impractical and uneconomical?

    • nuclear wnergy, which is key to meeting carbon reduction mandates.

      Which is also a key source of 1 word “events” like Chernobyl and Fukushima. They would also seem to be a force-multiplier for a 2 word thing called “terrorist attack”.

      Humans are flawed creatures. So are human creations. Failures happen and the failure modes of fission power sure seem to exceed the value of ’em.

  10. (Peoplenomics Subscriber says:)
    Not funny. Northern Ontario residents are being hit with $600-$800/mo hydro(they call it here) bills. Drive from Toronto to Detroit. See hundreds of windmills doing nothing. At best, they supply 2-3% of energy needs when they actually work. And, when the bearings wear out? Fires? High replacement costs? Consider obtaining raw materials for these things. Shipping. Manufacturing. More shipping. Installation. Fuel used to maintain. I cannot see how one of these things can ever produce more energy than it took to be manufactured, installed, maintained.

    • Like twenty-five years ago plus, while having car trouble in California, we saw dozens of those machines on a hillside around Banning, some working – some not. Asked about it from some locals and the reviews were not good . . . now they are thinking of putting them along the coast, which would spoil the view for many people . . . I know they have them in Europe; I wonder what their experience has been? Worth checking out!

  11. What a strange name for a food product!

    Does your daughter and her friends not have any knowledge of the book (Make Room, Make Room!(?)) and the movie with Charleton Heston (Soylent Green) that involved a food product made from ‘people’?

    I suppose the concept of getting all your daily food needs handled with one product might be okay with some – but food in all its variety is important to the enjoyment of life, and drinking pancake batter doesn’t appeal in the least.

    Sounds like incredibly bad marketing for an unappealing product. (And emergency products should have longer shelf life.)

  12. From the review on Amazon about that Soylent stuff, you will find this gem:
    “Soylent gives you the kind of gas that is absolutely perfect for stress-testing your marriage. If you aren’t sure about whether your wife truly loves you or not, Soylent WILL give you an answer.”

    I will pass… No pun intended