What is more costly than a Cape Wind?

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    What is more costly than a Cape Wind?

    What is more costly than a Cape Wind? It's an Ocean Renewable.

    That's the name of the outfit the state of Maine just approved for a permit to sell "tidal power"--generated by undersea turbines from tidal currents in Cobscook Bay, near Eastport. The approved, initial wholesale price of tidal power from Ocean Renewable is 21.5 cents per kWh. [ Dave Sharp, Associated Press, Terms set for three utilities to distribute tidal electricity in Maine, Portland (ME) Press-Herald, April 25, 2012, at http://www.pressherald.com/business/terms-set-for-three-utilities-to-distribute-tidal-electricity_2012-04-25.html ]

    The tidal scalper's price well exceeds the approved, initial Cape Wind wholesale price of 18.7 cents per kWh and, like it, comes with an escalator that hikes the price every year. Maine transmission and distribution charges typically add 6 to 7 cents per kWh, less than those in Massachusetts, so the delivered, retail price of tidal power within Maine comes to about 27 cents per kWh, compared with retail prices of 11 to 12 cents per kWh now paid by most households in the state.

    Fortunately for Maine residents, Ocean Renewable is a "trophy project." When both stages are finished, it will have a rated output of 0.3 MW, peak, and generate an estimated 1.2 thousand MWh per year. That is much less than a typical, single wind-farm turbine installed on land today and not even one-thousandth as much as Cape Wind, which is rated at 420 MW, peak, and estimated to generate 1.5 million MWh per year. [ Project no. 12711-005, environmental assessment notice, U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, January 4, 2012, at http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/EA-1916-FEA-2012.pdf ]

     
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    Re: What is more costly than a Cape Wind?

    In Response to What is more costly than a Cape Wind?:
    [QUOTE]What is more costly than a Cape Wind? It's an Ocean Renewable. That's the name of the outfit the state of Maine just approved for a permit to sell "tidal power"--generated by undersea turbines from tidal currents in Cobscook Bay, near Eastport. The approved, initial wholesale price of tidal power from Ocean Renewable is 21.5 cents per kWh. [ Dave Sharp, Associated Press, Terms set for three utilities to distribute tidal electricity in Maine, Portland (ME) Press-Herald, April 25, 2012, at http://www.pressherald.com/business/terms-set-for-three-utilities-to-distribute-tidal-electricity_2012-04-25.html ] The tidal scalper's price well exceeds the approved, initial Cape Wind wholesale price of 18.7 cents per kWh and, like it, comes with an escalator that hikes the price every year. Maine transmission and distribution charges typically add 6 to 7 cents per kWh, less than those in Massachusetts, so the delivered, retail price of tidal power within Maine comes to about 27 cents per kWh, compared with retail prices of 11 to 12 cents per kWh now paid by most households in the state. Fortunately for Maine residents, Ocean Renewable is a "trophy project." When both stages are finished, it will have a rated output of 0.3 MW, peak, and generate an estimated 1.2 thousand MWh per year. That is much less than a typical, single wind-farm turbine installed on land today and not even one-thousandth as much as Cape Wind, which is rated at 420 MW, peak, and estimated to generate 1.5 million MWh per year. [ Project no. 12711-005, environmental assessment notice, U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, January 4, 2012, at http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/EA-1916-FEA-2012.pdf ]
    Posted by AppDev[/QUOTE]

    So why try to fund any new test of technology with non government funding. Lets just burn and burn. Who needs new generation that does not use cheap gas, coal, or oil. These developed techs already have the low cost of large scale development. We will not need this new tech for 15 years if we all ride bicycles like the chinese under MAO. Unfortunately several hundred million new oil users are coming in to the fossil fuel market and competeing for the availible fuel. Not today and not next month but why not take a longer view on energy sources than the pump price this morning.
     
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    Looking at genuine alternatives

    For those who prize information over moldy opinions, for once the federal government actually has some about alternative energy sources. It's tucked away in an appendix to the most recent annual survey of energy use and generation. [ Levelized cost of new generation resources, Annual Energy Outlook 2011, U.S. Energy Information Administration, at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/pdf/2016levelized_costs_aeo2011.pdf ]

    Total, levelized system costs for electricity from renewable and low-pollution energy sources, averaged across the United States and including connections to transmission, were recently estimated (for 2016). These are the estimates of full, unsubsidized costs for generating bulk electricity, per kWh:

    $0.31 for solar thermal
    $0.24 for offshore wind
    $0.21 for photovoltaics
    $0.11 for third-generation nuclear
    $0.10 for onshore wind and geothermal
    $0.06 for advanced combined-cycle natural gas

    Here in Massachusetts, without direct government intervention and without subsidies from taxpayers or ratepayers, utility investors began building and repowering plants with natural gas in the 1970s. Most people seem to have forgotten that this was quite a gamble until the last few years.

    In the government listing, "tidal power," like the small plants to be installed in Maine and in the East River inside New York City, did not get a look; that may have been too small a factor to review. Pricing recently worked out in Maine, together with tax subsidies, puts "tidal power" in the range of offshore wind.

    When looking ahead--eagle-style rather than ostrich-style--at what sources we ought to be promoting now, as full contributors to the public power networks, it is financially irresponsible to be considering any of the current solar technologies or offshore wind. Those are reasonable only for niche uses and pilot-scale.

    However, after more than 30 years of intensive development, onshore wind has reached a threshold of financial common-sense--competitive, on average, with the new generation of nuclear power-plants. Our circumstance in Massachusetts is to have relatively few  high-quality sites located in the state.

    Since that is a fact of nature and prevailing land uses, not a political construct, we ought to be working on transmission capacity to more favorable locations, particularly northern New England and upstate New York. Instead, the Patrick administration has been squandering effort and money on "trophy projects."

     

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