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September 14, 2009

Something Rotten? Obama Says Danes Receive 20% of Their Power Via Wind; New Study Tells the Real Story

September 14, 2009
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2009
Contact:
Chris Tucker, 202.346.8825
Patrick Creighton, 202.621.2947

Something Rotten? Obama Says Danes Receive 20% of Their Power Via Wind; New Study Tells the Real Story

Danish experts visit Washington this week to explain to American audiences what’s really happening in Denmark

WASHINGTON – President Obama has frequently cited Denmark as an example to be followed in the field of wind power generation, stating on several occasions that the Danes satisfy “20 percent of their electricity through wind power.” The findings of a new study released this week cast serious doubt on the accuracy of that statement. The report finds that in 2006 scarcely five percent of the nation’s electricity demand was met by wind. And over the past five years, the average is less than 10 percent — despite Denmark having ‘carpeted’ its land with the machines.

“As climate officials descend upon Copenhagen later this year to continue their work to engineer a world in which energy is rendered less reliable, less affordable and increasingly scarce, the eyes of the world will naturally fall upon the host country as well,” said Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), which commissioned the report.

“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. This may indeed be the model for the future – but only if you believe that a combination of smoke, mirrors and prohibitively high utility rates are the key to our economic and environmental salvation.”

Prepared by the independent Danish think tank CEPOS and co-authored by economist Henrik Meyer and Hugh Sharman, a prominent Denmark-based international energy consultant, the report details the extent to which Denmark’s claim to wind superiority is essentially founded on a myth – the function of a complicated trading scheme in which the Danes off-load excess, value-subtracted wind generation to other nations for roughly free, asking only in return that these countries sell some of their baseload power back to Denmark on the frequent occasions in which the wind does not blow there

The upshot? The Danes retain the title of world’s most prolific wind producer, and President Obama cites their experience as a path to be followed. The cost? Danish ratepayers are forced to pay the highest utility rates in Europe. And the American people are led to believe that, though wind may only provide a little more than one percent of our electricity now, reaching a 20 percent platform – as the Danes have allegedly done – will come at no cost, with no jobs lost and no externalities to consider.

Speaking of jobs, the report also pulls back the curtain on the wind power industry’s near-complete dependence on taxpayer subsidies to support the fairly modest workforce it presently maintains. Just as in Spain, where per-job taxpayer subsidies for so-called “green jobs” exceeds $1,000,000 per worker in some cases, wind-related jobs in Denmark on average are subsidized at a rate of 175 to 250 percent above the average pay per worker. All told, each new wind job created by the government costs Danish taxpayers between 600,000-900,000 krone a year, roughly equivalent to $90,000-$140,000 USD.

“That the current political leadership in Washington is enamored of the European energy model has been made abundantly clear — from the president himself, all the way on down,” added Pyle. “Less clear is the extent to which these people actually know what’s taking place over there, and whether they’re willing to level with the American people about the serious costs associated with following this dubious path.”

On Tuesday, report co-author Hugh Sharman will join CEPOS chief executive officer Martin Agerup in Washington, D.C., part of a three-day tour (Tues-Thurs) aimed at explaining to a wider American audience the core conclusions of their report. Those interested in speaking with Messrs. Sharman and/or Agerup or setting up an interview should contact Patrick Creighton (202.621.2947) or Chris Tucker (202.346.8825).

More from IER:

Danish Study: Wind Energy – the Case of Denmark (Sept. 2009)
Earth Day speech: Obama says Denmark meets 20% of its electricity demand via wind
Fact Sheet: Key take-aways from Danish wind study
Fact Sheet: Obama frequently (and incorrectly) cites Denmark’s 20 percent wind figure
Spanish Report: Study of the Effects on Employment of Public Aid to Renewable Energy Sources
Response: NREL’s flawed analysis of Spanish green jobs study
Analysis: Levelized Cost of New Electricity Generating Technologies

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  • K Mann

    Actually, Obama said that wind energy constitutes about 20 percent of the electricity PRODUCED in Denmark — a fact supported by the new study (it’s right in the first line). He didn’t say that Denmark CONSUMES 20 percent of its electricity through wind power. [Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-in-Newton-IA/%5D

    How much faith am I supposed to have in a think tank which, although theoretically staffed with educated people, can’t distinguish between the concepts of “production” versus “consumption”?

    • Arthur Morrone

      i just attended a noise conference where medical researchers are presenting study findings showing people living near wind turbines becoming very sick (both mentally and physically) from low frequency noise generated from the turbines. I personally think we should stop installing these wind farms for a few years and determine if this is a significant heath risk. I completely agree about some of the comments posted. Wind energy will never be cost effective and if there are likely health risks associated with low frequency noise then we should stop this stupid experiment now!

  • K Mann

    Actually, Obama said that wind energy constitutes about 20 percent of the electricity PRODUCED in Denmark — a fact supported by the new study (it’s right in the first line). He didn’t say that Denmark CONSUMES 20 percent of its electricity through wind power. [Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-in-Newton-IA/%5D

    How much faith am I supposed to have in a think tank which, although theoretically staffed with educated people, can’t distinguish between the concepts of “production” versus “consumption”?

  • Michael Goggin, American Wind

    To see a thorough debunking of the misleading and false claims presented in this IER fact sheet and report, please see our website at:
    http://www.awea.org/blog/?mode=viewid&post_id=196

    Michael Goggin, American Wind Energy Association

  • Michael Goggin, American Wind Energy Association

    To see a thorough debunking of the misleading and false claims presented in this IER fact sheet and report, please see our website at:
    http://www.awea.org/blog/?mode=viewid&post_id=196

    Michael Goggin, American Wind Energy Association

  • Pingback: Danish wind power report by IER, and views from the NRDC « Knowledge Problem()

  • Tom Stacy

    To see a thorough debunking of ANYTHING that exposes the unfortunate realities of wind energy, see AWEA – The American WIND ENERGY Association!

    The wind energy industry is a leader in making a profit from sources OTHER THAN selling electricity at fair market prices. They make so much from production credits that they have lobbied grid operators to allow them to bid NEGATIVE PRICES to supply their energy when it is available!

    If you look up in the EIA the countries with the highest electricity prices and then the countries with the most wind energy as a percent of total electricity generation, you’ll notice a pattern.

    Without the numerous subsidies, mandates, tax breaks and special loan considerations, the wind energy industry simply would not exist…. and Mr. Goggin might be tenaciously defending something worthy of his tireless attempts!

  • To see a thorough debunking of ANYTHING that exposes the unfortunate realities of wind energy, see AWEA – The American WIND ENERGY Association!

    The wind energy industry is a leader in making a profit from sources OTHER THAN selling electricity at fair market prices. They make so much from production credits that they have lobbied grid operators to allow them to bid NEGATIVE PRICES to supply their energy when it is available!

    If you look up in the EIA the countries with the highest electricity prices and then the countries with the most wind energy as a percent of total electricity generation, you’ll notice a pattern.

    Without the numerous subsidies, mandates, tax breaks and special loan considerations, the wind energy industry simply would not exist…. and Mr. Goggin might be tenaciously defending something worthy of his tireless attempts!

  • Pingback: EUREKAPEDIA › Danish Wind Power Myth()

  • Pingback: EUREKAPEDIA › Danish Wind Power Myth()

  • Pingback: EUREKAPEDIA › Danish Wind Power Myth()

  • The story is not telling the truth about Denmark and the so called “experts” are not experts at all!

    IER says: “New Study Tells the Real Story. Danish experts visit Washington this week to explain to American audiences what’s really happening in Denmark”

    The interesting question is: Who has paid for this wong study? And for the authors visit to US? Is that IER?

    The “study” was published in the US before in Denmark! It all seems to be created to harm Obama….
    What he has said is in fact the truth about the role of windenergy in Denmark.

  • The story is not telling the truth about Denmark and the so called “experts” are not experts at all!

    IER says: “New Study Tells the Real Story. Danish experts visit Washington this week to explain to American audiences what’s really happening in Denmark”

    The interesting question is: Who has paid for this wong study? And for the authors visit to US? Is that IER?

    The “study” was published in the US before in Denmark! It all seems to be created to harm Obama….
    What he has said is in fact the truth about the role of windenergy in Denmark.

  • Nicholas Folkes

    Obama is a liar on energy, obamacare, illegals and socialism. “All told, each new wind job created by the government costs Danish taxpayers between 600,000-900,000 krone a year, roughly equivalent to $90,000-$140,000 USD”………this is something the Pinkos are more than happy to pay and their constant spending will bankrupt the US economy. I’m sure wind farms will be able to supply a small fraction of US energy needs at a very high cost but for Greenies to believe that renewables can replace fossil fuels is stupid. Citizens in Australia are wakeing up to the scare mongering carried out by the Federal Govt. on ETS. At the end of the day most civilised people realise that carbon trading is another tax.

  • Nicholas Folkes

    Obama is a liar on energy, obamacare, illegals and socialism. “All told, each new wind job created by the government costs Danish taxpayers between 600,000-900,000 krone a year, roughly equivalent to $90,000-$140,000 USD”………this is something the Pinkos are more than happy to pay and their constant spending will bankrupt the US economy. I’m sure wind farms will be able to supply a small fraction of US energy needs at a very high cost but for Greenies to believe that renewables can replace fossil fuels is stupid. Citizens in Australia are wakeing up to the scare mongering carried out by the Federal Govt. on ETS. At the end of the day most civilised people realise that carbon trading is another tax.

  • Pingback: Big Government » Blog Archive » Grande Gobierno: Obama Uses Feds to Protect His ‘Green Jobs’ Fantasy()

  • Pat

    I live on Maui, also a very trade-windy spot. Proponents of wind power plan to “carpet” the Hawaiian isles with these ===> Things.
    Turns out the State subsidy for wind includes free rent on government land, deferred taxes, subsidy augmenting Federal resulting with 65% of installation cost coming from taxpayers. Last the State pays 31 cents a kilowatt hour guaranteed for twenty years, indexed for inflation.
    Each turbine rated at 1.5 megawatts max actually averages about one Mw NINE HOURS A DAY. An efficiency on a 24/7 basis of about 25%
    Not only that. I renovated my home before wind was installed. Electrical output fluctuated 5 volts then and over 14 volts when I renovated an apartment after these things were installed. Maui Electric MECO is also forced to keep generating capacity on standby case wind drops suddenly and they have to make up slack
    Nightmare.
    It isn’t just a case of Obama lying. It is a fact Obumbler is forcing the US to install an energy system that will be less reliable and more expensive making this country less competitive economically, and costing tons of jobs.
    We were told the President was a lot smarter than most, turns out that opinion was based on his “brilliant book” Dreams of my Father, – also a lie, it was ghostwritten.
    Everything about this man is a lie, how can we expect things that come out of his mouth are any different?

  • Pat

    I live on Maui, also a very trade-windy spot. Proponents of wind power plan to “carpet” the Hawaiian isles with these ===> Things.
    Turns out the State subsidy for wind includes free rent on government land, deferred taxes, subsidy augmenting Federal resulting with 65% of installation cost coming from taxpayers. Last the State pays 31 cents a kilowatt hour guaranteed for twenty years, indexed for inflation.
    Each turbine rated at 1.5 megawatts max actually averages about one Mw NINE HOURS A DAY. An efficiency on a 24/7 basis of about 25%
    Not only that. I renovated my home before wind was installed. Electrical output fluctuated 5 volts then and over 14 volts when I renovated an apartment after these things were installed. Maui Electric MECO is also forced to keep generating capacity on standby case wind drops suddenly and they have to make up slack
    Nightmare.
    It isn’t just a case of Obama lying. It is a fact Obumbler is forcing the US to install an energy system that will be less reliable and more expensive making this country less competitive economically, and costing tons of jobs.
    We were told the President was a lot smarter than most, turns out that opinion was based on his “brilliant book” Dreams of my Father, – also a lie, it was ghostwritten.
    Everything about this man is a lie, how can we expect things that come out of his mouth are any different?

  • TugboatPhil

    QandO Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 4:32 am

    “The Institute for Energy Research cites a study which finds the statement made by the president to not be accurate (that doesn’t mean he told a lie – Obama was only repeating what was supposed to be true at the time)”

    Sorry but you’re wrong. According to all Democrat politicians and mainstream news sources SINCE the invasion of Iraq, what you described is exactly the definition of the President telling a lie.

  • TugboatPhil

    QandO Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 4:32 am

    “The Institute for Energy Research cites a study which finds the statement made by the president to not be accurate (that doesn’t mean he told a lie – Obama was only repeating what was supposed to be true at the time)”

    Sorry but you’re wrong. According to all Democrat politicians and mainstream news sources SINCE the invasion of Iraq, what you described is exactly the definition of the President telling a lie.

  • Colon Wind Generator

    The mountain of lies upon which the wind energy hoax is built on is so huge it can be seen from space. Michael Goggin will attempt to keep your focus on insignificant details while he garnishes your wages to fund his ruse, and Obama will flat out lie with no remorse. But the facts are out there. Here are a few:

    1) The United States is singular in its stored reserves of oil, coal, natural gas and uranium. No other single nation can match our energy storehouse. Next time you hear Obama preaching about “America being great”, ask yourself, why are our single greatest, life improving treasures kept locked away from us? WHY ARE WE EVEN PURSUING ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, DETAILS BE DAMNED. Of course anyone capable of being honest with themself knows that Communism (in principle not practice) is about nobody having any advantage over anyone else. So while Obama preaches distribution of wealth, he drives us away from a worry free energy policy, to an incredibly expensive one mirroring those in socialist countries, and calls it our key to salvation. All the while claiming he’s not a Socialist. Just like that thing with webbed feet and a bill is not a duck.

    2) Global Warming- Oh yeah, this is why we don’t burn oil. Because the earth has cooled for a decade but Obama and his paid and bullied scientists swear its hotter than it has ever been ever. AND ITS OUR FAULT FOR ENJOYING OUR FREEDOM. Twice in this planet’s history it has gotten so hot and dry that nearly every drop of water has dried up. Dozens of ice ages are well studied and well established. The dinosaurs lived with CO2 levels at 5000ppm which created such a thriving biosphere that these lizards grew to 40-50 feet tall and weighed tons because of the endless abundance of vegetation/food. But not according to Obama or the left. According to Obama and the left the temperature has never changed, evolution, amazingly, took place without even a change in the weather for a million years, and then we effed it all up by driving to work. They have all the proof you ever need in a little program on their PlayStation, and if you don’t believe it they’ll pull your funding and change your social security number. Global Warming will be the new Salem Witch Trials in about another 6 months. But for 5 months and 29 days Obama will swear on it.

    3) Wind- What a joke. The quick facts?
    NO WIND PROJECT HAS EVER SUSTAINED ITSELF WITHOUT SUBSIDIES.
    Break even points are 100-300 years
    NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD PRODUCES EVEN 15% OF THEIR POWER WITH WIND. WE ARE BIGGER THAN ALL THOSE COUNTRIES
    Wind power comes with a 100+% premium over coal energy
    Windmills create significantly more noise per MW than coal plants, take up more space for less energy, use huge amounts of nonrenewable plastics and fiberglass/composites, kill huge numbers of birds, and can be seen exploding in videos all over the internet.
    Are so pathetically NOT the answer that Obama has yet to make an accurate statement in favor of wind power, because none can be made. Its not “free” clean, safe, quiet, or efficient. Period.

    Why the mountain of lies? George Bush, allegedly the biggest lying war criminal of all time always pushed for coal and oil. Every fact he claimed about them was true. Yet he was branded a liar. Meanwhile Obama spouts lie after lie after lie about wind and solar and he is a visionary. What is the moral of this story? Americans would rather be lied to while their country crumbles around them, than be told the truth and be accountable for fixing things. And Obama is absolutely the man to lead that crowd, and Michael Goggin will be their lockstep to collect the ticket money. But the sad facts about wind are in fact FACTS. And failure to acknowledge them will be the most expensive mistake we can make as a country. Wind is a the ripoff cherry on top of a mountain of lies and thievery. Believe what you want, but don’t say you weren’t given the facts when wind blows the last dollar out of your wallet…

  • Colon Wind Generator

    The mountain of lies upon which the wind energy hoax is built on is so huge it can be seen from space. Michael Goggin will attempt to keep your focus on insignificant details while he garnishes your wages to fund his ruse, and Obama will flat out lie with no remorse. But the facts are out there. Here are a few:

    1) The United States is singular in its stored reserves of oil, coal, natural gas and uranium. No other single nation can match our energy storehouse. Next time you hear Obama preaching about “America being great”, ask yourself, why are our single greatest, life improving treasures kept locked away from us? WHY ARE WE EVEN PURSUING ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, DETAILS BE DAMNED. Of course anyone capable of being honest with themself knows that Communism (in principle not practice) is about nobody having any advantage over anyone else. So while Obama preaches distribution of wealth, he drives us away from a worry free energy policy, to an incredibly expensive one mirroring those in socialist countries, and calls it our key to salvation. All the while claiming he’s not a Socialist. Just like that thing with webbed feet and a bill is not a duck.

    2) Global Warming- Oh yeah, this is why we don’t burn oil. Because the earth has cooled for a decade but Obama and his paid and bullied scientists swear its hotter than it has ever been ever. AND ITS OUR FAULT FOR ENJOYING OUR FREEDOM. Twice in this planet’s history it has gotten so hot and dry that nearly every drop of water has dried up. Dozens of ice ages are well studied and well established. The dinosaurs lived with CO2 levels at 5000ppm which created such a thriving biosphere that these lizards grew to 40-50 feet tall and weighed tons because of the endless abundance of vegetation/food. But not according to Obama or the left. According to Obama and the left the temperature has never changed, evolution, amazingly, took place without even a change in the weather for a million years, and then we effed it all up by driving to work. They have all the proof you ever need in a little program on their PlayStation, and if you don’t believe it they’ll pull your funding and change your social security number. Global Warming will be the new Salem Witch Trials in about another 6 months. But for 5 months and 29 days Obama will swear on it.

    3) Wind- What a joke. The quick facts?
    NO WIND PROJECT HAS EVER SUSTAINED ITSELF WITHOUT SUBSIDIES.
    Break even points are 100-300 years
    NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD PRODUCES EVEN 15% OF THEIR POWER WITH WIND. WE ARE BIGGER THAN ALL THOSE COUNTRIES
    Wind power comes with a 100+% premium over coal energy
    Windmills create significantly more noise per MW than coal plants, take up more space for less energy, use huge amounts of nonrenewable plastics and fiberglass/composites, kill huge numbers of birds, and can be seen exploding in videos all over the internet.
    Are so pathetically NOT the answer that Obama has yet to make an accurate statement in favor of wind power, because none can be made. Its not “free” clean, safe, quiet, or efficient. Period.

    Why the mountain of lies? George Bush, allegedly the biggest lying war criminal of all time always pushed for coal and oil. Every fact he claimed about them was true. Yet he was branded a liar. Meanwhile Obama spouts lie after lie after lie about wind and solar and he is a visionary. What is the moral of this story? Americans would rather be lied to while their country crumbles around them, than be told the truth and be accountable for fixing things. And Obama is absolutely the man to lead that crowd, and Michael Goggin will be their lockstep to collect the ticket money. But the sad facts about wind are in fact FACTS. And failure to acknowledge them will be the most expensive mistake we can make as a country. Wind is a the ripoff cherry on top of a mountain of lies and thievery. Believe what you want, but don’t say you weren’t given the facts when wind blows the last dollar out of your wallet…

  • stymee

    Fact: At today’s electric rates the wind turbines they are erecting will take 100 years for payback if they turn 24-7 in energy production.

    They are expected to have a life of 30-35 years.

    What a scam! Madoff made easy is the game being played…

  • stymee

    Fact: At today’s electric rates the wind turbines they are erecting will take 100 years for payback if they turn 24-7 in energy production.

    They are expected to have a life of 30-35 years.

    What a scam! Madoff made easy is the game being played…

  • I am very impressed with all of the posts here. NOW GET OUT AND EDUCATE PEOPLE SO WE CAN STOP THIS WASTEFUL AND DISRESPECTFUL INDUSTRY ! Start with your congressman, who thinks you won’t vote for him if he bad mouths wind energy. Do you think Lamar Alexander is going to lose his next election? I don’t think so! But he slams wind over and over.

  • I am very impressed with all of the posts here. NOW GET OUT AND EDUCATE PEOPLE SO WE CAN STOP THIS WASTEFUL AND DISRESPECTFUL INDUSTRY ! Start with your congressman, who thinks you won’t vote for him if he bad mouths wind energy. Do you think Lamar Alexander is going to lose his next election? I don’t think so! But he slams wind over and over.

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  • Actually, the CEPOS report should be labelled a rant, as it does contain little fact, a lot of handwaving, and is based on little understanding of the Nordic energy market and basic statistics. Some of the top brass of Danish energy researchers have written a reply to the report here:
    http://www.windpower.org/download/541/DanishWindPower_Export_and_Cost.pdf
    They agree with CEPOS in some points (higher penetration of wind power needs more access to balancing power, for example), but make it clear that the main arguments brought forward are not founded when analysed properly. Read both reports, and make up your own mind.

    Disclaimer: I’m a senior scientist at one of the worlds leading wind energy research institutions, and colleague to some of the authors. This comment is purely my own view as an informed individual.

  • Actually, the CEPOS report should be labelled a rant, as it does contain little fact, a lot of handwaving, and is based on little understanding of the Nordic energy market and basic statistics. Some of the top brass of Danish energy researchers have written a reply to the report here:
    http://www.windpower.org/download/541/DanishWindPower_Export_and_Cost.pdf
    They agree with CEPOS in some points (higher penetration of wind power needs more access to balancing power, for example), but make it clear that the main arguments brought forward are not founded when analysed properly. Read both reports, and make up your own mind.

    Disclaimer: I’m a senior scientist at one of the worlds leading wind energy research institutions, and colleague to some of the authors. This comment is purely my own view as an informed individual.

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