Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Jerome may have more to say on this, but:

Last month, FPL Energy, the Florida company that won the bid to build, own and operate the 40-turbine wind farm 3.5 miles off the Island's South Shore, said in a letter to LIPA that it was adjusting the anticipated costs for the project to $697 million. The original projection, in 2003, was $356 million.

A perfect example of how markets operate. Since wind power is cheaper than other forms the equipment makers can raise their prices until they are just slightly better than the alternatives. But since the cost of the competitors can't be foreseen over long periods of time it raises the risk level for these new projects. The same thing is happening with nuclear as the price of Uranium has been rising rapidly.

This affects plans for alternative energy because risky investments are less likely to get built.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 09:17:29 AM EST
Seems to me that what's needed now are "Not for Loss" wind turbine manufacturers, because they present ones are becoming both a bottleneck and a source of inflation (and "super-profits" - the flip side of demand led inflation.

When it comes down to it, the current system is all about rents and rentiers, so let's get do it cooperatively, without the rentiers..

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 09:26:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Its worth noting that the electric utility on Long Island is a public sector company, and its owners (the citizens) have been demanding renewable energy supplies and an effort at conservation.  
by corncam on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 10:21:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 10:22:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really. After the collapse of the nuclear power project owned by LILCO the company was taken over by a public entity. This is mostly a fiction designed to allow for public financing of the sunk costs.

LIPA owns nothing and buys it power from private companies. I'm not sure who owns the distribution system, it may be LIPA. In the present US climate taking over a private company and making it into a true municipal one doesn't happen even in cases as extreme as this one.

Regardless of how obvious the examples of the value of non-profit enterprises for certain key sectors of society, the US keeps selling off the publicly owned resources and getting higher prices and lower quality as a consequence. The new owners do get rich however having been handed effective monopolies.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 11:08:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why a "Community Trust" is necessary.

Assets should be "owned" by "Custodians" in the public interest, because ideologies of local government change, and, therefore local government can't be trusted not to sell off the Crown Jewels, while the private sector can't be trusted not to melt them down and sell off the precious metal and gems...

"Melting down" being very much to the point...

It's then a simple matter for the funders and users of funding to form a partnership and agree a reasonable rate for whatever needs doing.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 11:43:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Btw. I don't say "Not for Profit", but rather "Not for Loss"

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 11:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in the wind sector have come from a combination of factors:

  • very real increases in the cost of inputs (steel, cement);

  • a relative scarcity in the market, caused by a combination of (i) lowish investments by manufacturers stung by the previous boom a couple years ago that ended in tears when the US Congress failed to renew the PTC and destroyed the market - twice - leaving manufacturers first with over capacity for a year, then with painful pression to deliver quickly the next and (ii) massive long term orders by financial investors who are effectively hoarding production capacity and then allocating to their own projects or passing it on to other projects (often by buying them out, using their access to turbines)

  • high liquidity in the markets, which allows investors to borrow a lot, pay more for projects, and bid up the price for turbines when necessary.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 10:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
actually, there is some of the 'profit taking' at play.  But, there is also a global price increase going on with all capital projects -- raw materials skyrocketing in price (PRC+ demand), shortages in industrial capacity for many components (globally), etc ...

The "cost" increase is only, imo, partially attributable to people 'gouging' system (but, after all, isn't capitalism about trying to maximize profits?).

Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart. NOW!!!

by a siegel (siegeadATgmailIGNORETHISdotPLEASEcom) on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 11:02:33 AM EST
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(but, after all, isn't capitalism about trying to maximize profits?).

you got that right, baby...see ya in vegas

no, seriously, silly bunny, it's about killing the goose to get the egg inside her, it's about burning the family's heirloom furniture to stay warm, cuz yer too lazy to collect the firewood right outside the door, it's about a giant fuck-you to all the have-not 4/5ths of the world population, and it's all about growth, growth, growth, (plenty of work for oncologists) while whipping a dead horse of an old paradigm.

capitalism is at best a kind of social software beta, fulla bugs; maybe there will be a paul hawken-style v.2. out of the ashes, when building a shovel to last more than one season is not simply a design option.

we need landrover type durability built and designed into everything we touch and use...maglites, kevin kelly as global quality control tzar.

planned obsolescence should be regarded as eco-treason, much more serious than spy vs. spy international le carre stuff.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 15th, 2007 at 12:22:58 AM EST
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