Wind Energy: If it’s Good for General Motors…

May 21, 2018


Michigan Radio:

General Motors says a new wind farm being constructed in Ohio brings it one step closer to running all its facilities worldwide on 100% renewable energy.

The 100 megawatt wind farm in northwest Ohio was grandfathered in, before a new law made it almost impossible to build wind farms in that state.

Rob Threlkeld, head of global renewable energy for GM, says the Ohio project, along with one being constructed in Illinois, will offset carbon emissions from seven GM plants in the Midwest.

“Once these projects are completed later this year, renewable energy will be used to power 20% of our facilities globally,” says Threlkeld.

Threlkeld says making it to 100% renewables by 2050 will require more wind and solar, increased energy efficiency in GM plants, along with overall grid improvements, and battery storage to address the intermittent nature of wind and solar.


Companies are buying renewable power at a record pace.

AT&T Inc. and Walmart Inc. are among 36 businesses, government agencies and universities that have agreed to buy 3.3 gigawatts of wind and solar power so far this year. That’s on track to shatter the previous high of 4.8 gigawatts of disclosed deals last year, according to a report Monday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

One of the key reasons is that smaller companies are more comfortable doing these deals now.

“There’s a blueprint now,” said Kyle Harrison, a New York-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “So it’s a lot easier for other companies to do it.” In addition to the 4.8 gigawatts in announced deals last year, BNEF also estimates 600 megawatts of undisclosed contracts were signed in Asia.

The gains are also due to local renewables program and growing demand in international markets like Mexico and Australia.


19 Responses to “Wind Energy: If it’s Good for General Motors…”

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      That’s a mirrored video, but I recognize some of The Onion’s premier panelists.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        It does look and sound more like The Onion near the end with the coal candy bar, but the first parts were somewhat more subtle. Great stuff.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Hilarious indeed. Unfortunately, if it wasn’t quite so over the top, most Fox News viewers would be nodding in agreement with much of it. I’d like to hope that they began to realize it was a spoof when the “100% pure coal candy” appeared., but wouldn’t bet on it.

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    New study pin-points yet another barrier to the global shift to EVs – and it’s coming up at the point of sale. The research adds a new party to the list of incumbent industry groups whose business case is being threatened by EVs: car dealers.

    => Why car dealers don’t want to sell electric vehicles

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      I’m guessing that car dealerships get much higher margins on ICE vehicles.

      Besides that, in my attempt to buy a Nissan Leaf for cash I discovered how much super-obnoxious pressure the dealerships would apply to get me to finance the cars through them. It was so bad that I might go in with a sign on my chest (yes, I would do that) that said NO FINANCING.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        My newest vehicle is 15 years old, and I too was subjected to “super-obnoxious pressure from the dealership to get me to finance the car through them” when I bought it. My other vehicle is 20 years old and I’ll be looking for something new before too long—-can’t wait to see how the dealers in my area deal with EV’s.

        We had finished negotiating price and applied rebates and they were most upset when I then told them I was paying cash. They got even with me by dragging out the paperwork and adding on another $100 “processing fee”. I told the (word that rhymes with witch) that had me trapped in front of her desk that I was not signing the paper that the IRS requires for cash transactions over $10,000—-she said “You have to”, I said “No I don’t”. She said “I’ll have to report you”, I said “Good, earn your ‘processing fee”, and left her fuming.

        Don’t wear the sign, just spring the cash deal on them after you’ve gotten the best price.

        PS As I was leaving, the salesman (who wanted me to come back some day and buy another car) tried to smooth things a bit and explained that they made $$$ off the financing and relied on that for profit. I told him that I knew that and suggested that they redo their business model and that he find work in a more honest business.

      • Sir Charles Says:

        Don’t guess, just read, rhymeswithgoalie.

        “While an added benefit of EV technology for the user is a substantial reduction in routine maintenance and repairs, this also represents a further disincentive for the dealer to promote EV technology because they rely heavily on income from repairs and maintenance as part of their revenue model,” the report says.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Don’t be so quick to scold RWG, Chucky.

          “Margin” refers to profit made on the initial sale, and that’s what RWG was talking about and I responded to. You’re bringing in a bit of apples and oranges when you talk about maintenance and repair costs.

          • Sir Charles Says:

            A fruitseller is selling both, dumbo. You collecting vehicles?

          • dumboldguy Says:

            No, not collecting, just keeping them until it’s no longer economical to repair them, and saving my $$$ so I can pay cash for their replacements. The older one is a Mazda Protege ES with a close ratio 5-speed gearbox—-drives like a go-kart. The newer one is a Mazda MPV minivan that drives and handles like a car.

            Mazda got it right with their Kansei Engineering and “It just feels right tag line”. Zoom-Zoom-Zoom is true too. Haven’t enjoyed cars as much since my 1957 Morgan Plus Four.

          • Sir Charles Says:

            Mazda was my favourite too. But I abolished car driving some 25 years ago.

            Could soon be an end to foreign vehicles anyhow.

            => U.S. launches national security probe of vehicle imports

  2. Kiwiiano Says:

    I bet the buggy whip salesmen also had all sorts of arguments as to why these nu-fangled auto-mobiles would never replace horses.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Among those arguments—–job losses for all the veterinarians, farmers who grew horse feed, farriers, street sweepers, stable operators, and the people who wanted horse poop for their gardens?

      The analogous groups for the ICE powered car are, as Chucky’s links pointed out, the car sellers and repairmen, along with the oil companies and all the gas station owners. Remember, humans are ruled by self interest above all else.

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    When I see Google so far down on that list, I wonder if the measurement is purchases from third party electricity providers vs. inclusion of all in-house power production.

    Also aluminum processing (Alcoa) is very energy intensive, so what percentage of their *total* electricity is the clean 330MW.

  4. Abel Adamski Says:

    There is another option for them, retrofitting much loved and classic vehicles.
    Jaguar does factory conversions with a module/kit that will fit most old Jaguars.

    That 50 year old E Type Jaguar that Prince Harry drove away from the wedding in is a factory converted EV even if the MSM glosses over that fact, cool machine.

    Comments are good also – good website

    Video of the Day: Prince Harry and his all-electric Jaguar e-Type

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