Renewable energy is likely to be the Celtic Tiger boom/burst Mark 2.

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valamhic

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In my young days Ireland's electricity was planned and provided for by the ESB as a monopoly. The plus side was they were very reliable and reasonable cheap. The down side was they were over paid and other public sector unions played catch up. ESB unions often held the country to ransom. Between the EU and our own government they began a process of privatization in part. The ESB is still there and Eirgrid do the cabling part. Only State bodies can forcible enter private land to install cables. You will be aware of ESB Electric Ireland, Energia, SSE and the rest.

Then along came wind energy with a 2 pronged approach. The public sector would provide the infrastructures, main transmission networks and manage the grid. The private sector would be given the donkey work. They would secure investment from pension funds and bankers and they would harvest the wind generated electricity by building wind farms. A glossy campaign about how many homes a wind turbine could power attempted to stifle local opposition and it failed.

The state through Eirgrid pulled another clever little trick on the unsuspecting fund managers. Eirgrid published wind farm output figures a full 30 % more than actual wind speeds would deliver and bankers believed it. There is not enough wind to provide an operating profit and pay the capital loan interest or principle. Equity is a cheaper form of finance and the dividend is the profit. Wind companies are now discovering that instead of getting load factors in the order of 30.5 to 34% they are only getting 25%, 24% and a lot less depending on the site. I can find no instance in financial accounts of a wind farm making a profit and paying a dividend. There is no money to be made.

The business model was always to get in, build and sell as soon as possible. Gealectric is gone after the Chinese discovered the awful truth and refused to buy the second half of the portfolio of wind farms. There is no interest in the rest of its assets. There is a lot of public and private money invested in wind energy and not one red cent can ever be paid back. Instead the government is trying to buy them out with our money as they fail.

It is not much different in the rest of the world but not on such a large scale as in Ireland. The market for electricity is static, the supply is growing by the day. It can't go on. When will the bubble burst?
 


valamhic

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Meanwhile, over on the BBC the Irish Extremist greenie John Gibbons who calls himself a journalist has called oil exporting countries like Norway and Denmark dictatorships. Seems like the BBC has run out of its own extremists and has to import them from Ireland.
 

Analyzer

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No.

Public borrowing, institutional over-reach, institutional largesse, will be the Celtic Tiger Boom/Bust 2.0.
 

clearmurk

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Just a somewhat minor point - I seem to recall corporate finance saying that equity was generally a more expensive approach to funding than debt. This arises due to the expectation of greater reward from equity due to the greater risk that they are taking on board - no asset security.

That wind farms are now being financed by equity, see Greencoat Renewables, perhaps indicates a greater recognition of the risks, and a lower appetite from lenders.
 

Man or Mouse

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Just a somewhat minor point - I seem to recall corporate finance saying that equity was generally a more expensive approach to funding than debt. This arises due to the expectation of greater reward from equity due to the greater risk that they are taking on board - no asset security.

That wind farms are now being financed by equity, see Greencoat Renewables, perhaps indicates a greater recognition of the risks, and a lower appetite from lenders.
When you can't sell one pig in a poke, you turn round and sell another.
 

Man or Mouse

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In my young days Ireland's electricity was planned and provided for by the ESB as a monopoly. The plus side was they were very reliable and reasonable cheap. The down side was they were over paid and other public sector unions played catch up. ESB unions often held the country to ransom. Between the EU and our own government they began a process of privatization in part. The ESB is still there and Eirgrid do the cabling part. Only State bodies can forcible enter private land to install cables. You will be aware of ESB Electric Ireland, Energia, SSE and the rest.

Then along came wind energy with a 2 pronged approach. The public sector would provide the infrastructures, main transmission networks and manage the grid. The private sector would be given the donkey work. They would secure investment from pension funds and bankers and they would harvest the wind generated electricity by building wind farms. A glossy campaign about how many homes a wind turbine could power attempted to stifle local opposition and it failed.

The state through Eirgrid pulled another clever little trick on the unsuspecting fund managers. Eirgrid published wind farm output figures a full 30 % more than actual wind speeds would deliver and bankers believed it. There is not enough wind to provide an operating profit and pay the capital loan interest or principle. Equity is a cheaper form of finance and the dividend is the profit. Wind companies are now discovering that instead of getting load factors in the order of 30.5 to 34% they are only getting 25%, 24% and a lot less depending on the site. I can find no instance in financial accounts of a wind farm making a profit and paying a dividend. There is no money to be made.

The business model was always to get in, build and sell as soon as possible. Gealectric is gone after the Chinese discovered the awful truth and refused to buy the second half of the portfolio of wind farms. There is no interest in the rest of its assets. There is a lot of public and private money invested in wind energy and not one red cent can ever be paid back. Instead the government is trying to buy them out with our money as they fail.

It is not much different in the rest of the world but not on such a large scale as in Ireland. The market for electricity is static, the supply is growing by the day. It can't go on. When will the bubble burst?
I have to ask you as you seem well versed in the particulars of companies involved. There was one man lauded in this country from on high in this regard, Eddie O'Connor. As far as I can see, his formula seems to have been in quick, out even quicker with the asset sold on to some form of investors. Can't remember the name of his original company but you might. I doubt he ever operated a windfarm for any length for the reasons you quote. Clever man. Bit of a snake oil salesman possibly, if your figures are true.

Anyway, going even farther back, wasn't there some tie in with him, Sam Smyth and Michael Lowry? Someone was called out and reached for the slurry tank in defense.
 
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