Time to terminate Big Wind subsidies

Logo of the American Wind Energy Association.

Logo of the American Wind Energy Association. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

– and protect environmental values, endangered species, jobs and human welfare

Guest post by Paul Driessen

Unprecedented! As bills to extend seemingly perpetual wind energy subsidies were again introduced by industry lobbyists late last year, taxpayers finally decided they’d had enough.

Informed and inspired by a loose but growing national coalition of groups opposed to more giveaways with no scientifically proven net benefits, thousands of citizens called their senators and representatives – and rounded up enough Nay votes to run four different bills aground. For once, democracy worked.

A shocked American Wind Energy Association and its allies began even more aggressive recruiting of well-connected Democrat and Republican political operatives and cosponsors – and introducing more proposals like HR 3307 to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC). Parallel efforts were launched in state legislatures, to maintain mandates, subsidies, feed-in tariffs, renewable energy credits, and other “temporary” ratepayer and taxpayer obligations.

This “emerging industry” is “vitally important” to our energy future, supporters insisted. It provides “clean energy” and “over 37,000” jobs that “states can’t afford to lose.” It helps prevent global warming.

None of these sales pitches holds up under objective scrutiny, and their growing awareness of this basic reality has finally made many in Congress inclined to eliminate this wasteful spending on wind power.

Entitlement advocates are petrified at that possibility. Crony corporatist lobbyists and politicians have built a small army to take on beleaguered taxpayers, rate payers and business owners who say America can no longer afford to spend more borrowed money, to prop up energy policies that drive up electricity costs, damage the environment, and primarily benefit foreign conglomerates and a privileged few.

To confront the growing onslaught of wind industry pressure and propaganda, citizens should understand the fundamental facts about wind energy. Here are some of the top reasons for opposing further handouts.

Energy 101. It is impossible to have wind turbines without fossil fuels, especially natural gas. Turbines average only 30% of their “rated capacity” – and less than 5% on the hottest and coldest days, when electricity is needed most. They produce excessive electricity when it is least needed, and electricity cannot be stored for later use.  Hydrocarbon-fired backup generators must run constantly, to fill the gap and avoid brownouts, blackouts, and grid destabilization due to constant surges and falloffs in electricity to the grid. Wind turbines frequently draw electricity from the grid, to keep blades turning when the wind is not blowing, reduce strain on turbine gears, and prevent icing during periods of winter calm.

Energy 201. Despite tens of billions in subsidies, wind turbines still generate less than 3% of US electricity. Thankfully, conventional sources keep our country running – and America still has centuries of hydrocarbon resources. It’s time our government allowed us to develop and use those resources.

Economics 101. It is likewise impossible to have wind turbines without perpetual subsidies – mostly money borrowed from Chinese banks and future generations. Wind has never been able to compete economically with traditional energy, and there is no credible evidence that it will be able to in the foreseeable future, especially with abundant natural gas costing one-fourth what it did just a few years ago. It thus makes far more sense to rely on the plentiful, reliable, affordable electricity sources that have powered our economy for decades, build more gas-fired generators – and recycle wind turbines into useful products (while preserving a few as museum exhibits).

Economics 201. As Spain, Germany, Britain and other countries have learned, wind energy mandates and subsidies drive up the price of electricity – for families, factories, hospitals, schools, offices and shops. They squeeze budgets and cost jobs. Indeed, studies have found that two to four traditional jobs are lost for every wind or other “green” job created. That means the supposed 37,000 jobs (perpetuated by $5 billion to $10 billion in combined annual subsidies, or $135,000 to $270,000 per wind job) are likely costing the United States 74,000 to 158,000 traditional jobs, while diverting billions from far more productive uses.

Environment 101. Industrial wind turbine projects require enormous quantities of rare earth metals, concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and other raw materials, for highly inefficient turbines, multiple backup generators and thousands of miles of high-voltage transmission lines. Extracting and processing these materials, turning them into finished components, and shipping and installing the turbines and power lines involve enormous amounts of fossil fuel and extensive environmental damage. Offshore wind turbine projects are even more expensive, resource intensive and indefensible. Calling wind energy “clean” or “eco-friendly” is an extraordinary distortion of the facts.

Environment 201. Wind turbines, transmission lines and backup generators also require vast amounts of crop, scenic and wildlife habitat land. Where a typical 600-megawatt coal or gas-fired power plant requires 250-750 acres, to generate power 90-95% of the year, a 600-MW wind installation needs 40,000 to 50,000 acres (or more), to deliver 30% performance. And while gas, coal and nuclear plants can be built close to cities, wind installations must go where the wind blows, typically hundreds of miles away – adding thousands of additional acres to every project for transmission lines.

Environment 301. Sometimes referred to as “Cuisinarts of the air,” US wind turbines also slaughter nearly half a million eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, ducks, geese, bats and other rare, threatened, endangered and otherwise protected flying creatures every year. (Those aren’t song birds killed by house cats, and this may be a conservative number, as coyotes and turbine operator cleanup crews remove much of the evidence.) But while oil companies are prosecuted for the deaths of even a dozen common ducks, turbine operators have been granted a blanket exemption from endangered and migratory species laws and penalties. Now the US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a formal rule to allow repeated “takings” (killings) of bald and golden eagles by wind turbines – in effect granting operators a 007 license to kill.

Environment 401. Scientific support for CO2-driven catastrophic manmade global warming continues to diminish. Even if carbon dioxide does contribute to climate change, there is no evidence that even thousands of US wind turbines will affect future global temperatures by more than a few hundredths of a degree. Not only do CO2 emissions from backup generators (and wind turbine manufacturing) offset any reductions by the turbines, but rapidly increasing emissions from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and other rapidly developing countries dwarf any possible US wind-related CO2 reductions.

Human Health and Welfare 101. Skyrocketing electricity prices due to “renewable portfolio standards” raise heating and air conditioning costs; drive families into fuel poverty; increase food, medical, school and other costs; and force companies to lay off workers, further impairing their families’ health and welfare. The strobe-light effect, annoying audible noise, and inaudible low-frequency sound from whirling blades result in nervous fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, sleep problems, and vibro-acoustic effects on people’s hearts and lungs. Land owners receive royalties for having turbines on their property, but neighbors receive no income and face adverse health effects, decreased property values and difficulty selling their homes. Formerly close-knit communities are torn apart.

Real World Civics 101. Politicians take billions from taxpayers, ratepayers and profitable businesses, to provide subsidies to Big Wind companies, who buy mostly Made Somewhere Else turbines – and then contribute millions to the politicians’ reelection campaigns, to keep the incestuous cycle going.

It is truly government gone wild – GSA on steroids. It is unsustainable. It is a classic sWINDle.

Citizens can contact senators, congressmen, congressional committees and state representatives – to demand science-based energy policies. These reasons could be a good way to start the conversation.

___________

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author or Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

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Brian Johnson uk

“Now the US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a formal rule to allow repeated “takings” (killings) of bald and golden eagles by wind turbines – in effect granting operators a 007 license to kill.”
That is obscene and the US FAWS should be ashamed of their proposed action.

Ally E.

BRILLIANT, Paul! This should be printed out and widely distributed. And it’s great to see democracy at work.

DMarshall

Here’s an idea ( or two ) – remove ALL (the thousands of) small, obsolete and broken-down turbines from Techahapi, San Gorgonio and Altamont as fast as possible and replace them with just enough larger modern turbines to keep the average electricity production the same.
Subsidize only well-sited turbines but cut the overall industry subsidies in half.
Cancel all subsidies to Big Oil and redistribute to solar projects, preferably in sunny cities, of which there are no shortage in America, and focus on large rooftop and parking lots, while encouraging citizen ownership.

gb_dorset

Brian Johnson UK – Unfortunately no different from the RSPB. They should lose their charitable status

Brian H

Stein’s Law: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

Reposted to Weatherzone – some day our grand children will look back at us and say “How come the world was so dumb to allow these people” to operate and for the life of me I can’t find the answer.

Caleb

I saw the first bald eagle of my life, on a nearby pond here in Southern New Hampshire, this spring. What a thrill! What a pity they are proposing windmills on nearby hills.
People are only in it for the money. Wolves in sheep’s clothing. Take away the money, and the so-called “environmentalists” will decide windmills aren’t so interesting.

martinbrumby

Meanwhile, the genius Politicians allow the UK’s largest windfarm to go ahead:-
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-17995258
“Enough power for 200,000 homes” they say. Note that “power” includes all the energy for heating as well as electricity. That is absolute baloney, even when the wind is blowing at the correct speed.
The promoters of this scheme must be aware of the actual generation figures. The politicians have absolutely no excuse for not knowing the same, and the eyewatering cost.
They should all be charged with a criminal conspiracy to defraud the public.

FrankSW

Environment 401: The linearity Trap
Jo Nova has a nice summary of Herbert Inhaber’s review of wind turbine installations , and in particular a simple graph of the diminishing CO2 savings you get when more turbines come on stream..
http://joannenova.com.au/2011/07/lessons-in-wasting-money-use-more-wind-and-solar-and-emit-just-as-much-co2/

martinbrumby

Meanwhile the genius Politicians allow the UK’s largest wind farm to go ahead.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-17995258
“Enough power for 200,000 homes” they say. Note “power”, not “electricity”, so that includes heating (mainly gas). Ubsolute drivel. Even when the wind is at the “correct” speed.
The promoters have to know actual generation figures and costs. The politicians have absolutely no excuse for not knowing the same.
They should all be charged with criminal conspiracy to defraud taxpayers and energy users.

Roger

OT but CT hasn’t moved for 10 days now check up time again as ice borders upon normal again

EXCELLENT article! I agree with you 100% Paul. Too bad the majority of the voting public doesn’t realize this as well.

An excellent dissection of the fraud that is wind-power. Unfortunately, here in the UK our coalition government is still in thrall to wind-power companies and continues to shower them with borrowed money which we cannot afford to repay.
Siemens, a German company, is seeking to build a wind turbine factory which will garner them millions of pounds: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-17993593
Despite vociferous complaints, permission has been given by the “greenest government ever” for the destruction of a beautiful rural area in South Wales: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9253375/Huge-windfarm-approved-despite-campaigner-complaints.html
Our country is flat broke, we are in economic recession but our so-called government still proceeds with this wind-driven madness.
At the time of writing, wind is generating a massive 1.4% of our electricity. Coal and nuclear combined are generating 72.2% (figures from http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm )

In the UK, a legal adviser to the european anti wind farm platform got a knock on the door form the police 9 days after I was raided – on Christmas eve!
He is suing the UK govt for 2.5M.
Shadowy forces are at work to protect the interests of wind power profiteers.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/chris-huhne-feeling-the-heat-fan-my-brow-with-a-wind-turbine/

Steve R

Split atoms. Not birds.

gnomish

democracy has been working. the dictatorship of the mob has been in full swing. the average iq is 100.
we have not yet begun to experience the consequences of the last few years.
we have at least a decade of downward mobility to go, yet.
but perhaps i’m too optimistic- historically and realistically, there is no prognosis for socialism.
i still don’t hear anybody arguing ‘rights’. apparently the ‘inalienable’ bit was just negotiating tactic?
but gasoline won’t be going back to 2$ a gallon, ground round won’t be back at 2$ a pound.
learn to love rabbit, i guess, when chicken and pork get tiresome.
milk could see 10$ a gallon – gasoline 20$ a gallon.
the bills haven’t come in, yet. they won’t be accepting credit cards, either.

jorgekafkazar

The figure of “40,000 to 50,000 acres (or more)” for 600-MW of wind installation seems inflated, based on my direct knowledge. Can anyone cite a source for that number? Or what the “or more” might mean?

Good post Paul, more strength to you. End the subsidies in the UK too. Sign the 22704 petition. If they work they don’t need wealth redistribution. If they don’t work, we don’t need them.

Philip Bradley

Sometimes the wildlife gets their revenge. I know of a wind farm here in Western Australia that was recently put out of commission for a month by mice chewing through cables.

Willis Eschenbach

tallbloke says:
May 9, 2012 at 12:04 am

In the UK, a legal adviser to the european anti wind farm platform got a knock on the door form the police 9 days after I was raided – on Christmas eve!
He is suing the UK govt for 2.5M.
Shadowy forces are at work to protect the interests of wind power profiteers.

YIKES … not good at all when the police get involved on the side of the bird slicers.
So does that mean you could be able to get £2.5M for them raiding your machines? That would be a fine thing indeed.
My best to you,
w.

Willis Eschenbach

jorgekafkazar says:
May 9, 2012 at 12:26 am

The figure of “40,000 to 50,000 acres (or more)” for 600-MW of wind installation seems inflated, based on my direct knowledge. Can anyone cite a source for that number? Or what the “or more” might mean?

The numbers I find say variously “50”, or “60”, or “28-83” acres per megawatt. The American Wind Energy Organization says 200 acres per MW. The number I see the most is 60 acres per MW, although obviously this is highly site-specific.
If we take the most popular number, 60 acres per megawatt, that would be 36,000 acres for 600-MW. So their numbers seem like they are in the ballpark. I suspect the “or more” means the 200 acre per MW estimate, or 120,000 acres per 600 MW …
w.

Willis: If I do, I most surely will finance the convening of a climate and energy conference, to which you will be cordially invited.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Something we need these days, truthful info to make informed choices. I’ve noticed several schemes for FREE recharging of electric vehicles, which appeals to Green Logic as the energy is FREE. But what happens when eco-minded people are forced to make a real decision?
http://chuckleaduck.com/comic/pick-your-poison/

Kozlowski

“DMarshall says:
May 8, 2012 at 11:09 pm
Here’s an idea ( or two ) – remove ALL (the thousands of) small, obsolete and broken-down turbines from Techahapi, San Gorgonio and Altamont as fast as possible and replace them with just enough larger modern turbines to keep the average electricity production the same.
Subsidize only well-sited turbines but cut the overall industry subsidies in half.
Cancel all subsidies to Big Oil and redistribute to solar projects, preferably in sunny cities, of which there are no shortage in America, and focus on large rooftop and parking lots, while encouraging citizen ownership.”
Um…. Why?
Can we get back to the real world now? Build nuke plants, coal, gas, hydro – based on real world economic factors. Private enterprise. It works.

Blade

Steve R [May 9, 2012 at 12:06 am] says:
“Split atoms. Not birds.”

Brilliant!

jabali316

Outstanding article, Paul! I’ll be linking to it elsewhere.
By the way way, I really am the Larry Fields that everyone knows and loves. Because I’ve used jabali316 as a pseudonym elsewhere, it pops up here too. Sorry about that.

David A. Evans

Well wind power in the UK is generating at 4.1% of installed capacity as I write.
DaveE.

polistra

As usual, the idiot Republicans gave brief lip service to real science in the last election, and now they’ve returned to supporting Gaia.
None of this will change until we get so absolutely broke that we’ve already stopped paying the soldiers, stopped paying Social Security, and even stopped paying Congressmen. At that point Congress may consider cutting EPA’s budget by 0.0000000000000000000000000001%, but will decide to double it anyway.
Thus I’m not wasting energy by talking to idiots; I know they won’t listen to mere citizens or mere truth.
Money talks, truth walks.

M Courtney

Good, but I have seen the counter arguments on the Guardian website:
1 All power is subsidised. Nuclear is even more costly and (as one plant generates more power than any one wind turbine) when a plant goes down the impact on supply is greater.
2 Externalities are not factored in by the market. That usually means CO2 but also waste disposal and even wars over oil.
3 Renewables are new and so need subsidy to get started. The prices will fall with scale. Fossil fuels and nuclear are old and should have no subsidy (tax relief for the poor on fuel bills is considered subsidy in the UK and most energy does not come from renewables).
Think hard and there are logical flaws with all of these points but these are the arguments you must defeat in the court of public opinion.

Chris Wright

@Stephen Brown,
I note down the wind power figures every morning. Half an hour ago the total UK wind power output was 187 MW, the average over the last half hour was 0.5%.
That’s not a misprint, people. All of those thousands of monsters that disfigure our beautiful countryside were generating just 187 megawatts.
This happens fairly regularly. On 20th March the figures were 0.4% and 166 MW.
‘Completely barking mad’ hardly begins to describe it….
Chris

Gail Combs

Steve R says:
May 9, 2012 at 12:06 am
Split atoms. Not birds.
_________________________
Well said. It would make a great bumper sticker.
Excellent Article. There is also WIND POWER FRAUD WHY WIND WON’T WORK. by Charles S. Opalek, PE. “The manufacture, installation and operation of wind power facilities will consume more than 3 times the energy they will ever produce.”

David Evans says wind in the UK is generating at 4.1% today? It’s very erratic if so, GB’s metered wind fleet is operating at o.6% as I write this (254MW). 1.3% over the last 24 hours.

David A. Evans

Chris Wright says:
May 9, 2012 at 3:34 am
That’s nowt. I’ve seen production below 20Mw. That’s under 0.5% of installed capacity.
DaveE.

George E. Smith

“”””” DMarshall says:
May 8, 2012 at 11:09 pm
Here’s an idea ( or two ) – remove ALL (the thousands of) small, obsolete and broken-down turbines from Techahapi, San Gorgonio and Altamont as fast as possible and replace them with just enough larger modern turbines to keep the average electricity production the same.
Subsidize only well-sited turbines but cut the overall industry subsidies in half.
Cancel all subsidies to Big Oil and redistribute to solar projects, preferably in sunny cities, of which there are no shortage in America, and focus on large rooftop and parking lots, while encouraging citizen ownership. “””””
I don’t have any problem with cancelling subsidies to big oil, since there are none. The USA Federal Government is the largest beneficiary of “Big oil”, as they make more money from big oil, than do the owners of big oil.
So what was your reason for subsidizing big wind again; I didn’t catch that part of your message ?
If you leave an old clunker car out in the street, in non working condition; in most California locations, for more than 72 hours, without moving it, they will come and tow it away, or at least fine you until you do remove it. Such eye sores are not tolerated. Big wind should be forced to remove their clunker eye sore non operative turbines, and then restre the environment to its original pristine condition, before they junked it up with their contraptions. At present it seems they simply abandon them, like leaving old tires on the roadways.

George E. Smith

“”””” M Courtney says:
May 9, 2012 at 3:21 am
Good, but I have seen the counter arguments on the Guardian website:
1 All power is subsidised. Nuclear is even more costly and (as one plant generates more power than any one wind turbine) when a plant goes down the impact on supply is greater. “””””
So where did the money come from to subsidize the move from free green clean renewable energy that we used to enjoy (figs in fig trees) ; to the modern era of stored chemical energy widely available from burning natural hydrocarbon molecules.

Curiousgeorge

I hear all the time that nuke power is ‘old’. Old compared to what? Nuke power is younger than I am by several years. Fossil fuels aren’t really that old either, as an industrial fuel for power, etc.. Seems to me that the promoters of wind, solar, etc. are more than a little myopic.

George E. Smith

“”””” jorgekafkazar says:
May 9, 2012 at 12:26 am
The figure of “40,000 to 50,000 acres (or more)” for 600-MW of wind installation seems inflated, based on my direct knowledge. Can anyone cite a source for that number? Or what the “or more” might mean? “””””
Have you ever taken a good look at a far more practical gas turbine engine, Jorge; namely, one of those commonly found hanging under the wings of jet aircraft ?
They have a sustantial air gathering input port, that is much larger than the turbine wheel itself, that extracts the energy from that air, and they require an even larger unobstructed open space behind the turbine wheel for the exhaust air to escape unimpeded.
That input and output port space, occupy far more volume than the turbine rotor itself, and the same is true for so called wind turbines, that are powered by the sun, but require many thousands of unrestricted acres per turbine wheel, to get smooth air flow through them. The total space consumed by a “wind farm” is orders of magnitude larger than the acreage, that is actually owned by the wind farmers themselves who bult those monstrosities.

bertief

M Courtney: 1. All power is subsidised.
Well, possibly true, if you add in all non direct costs, but you don’t even need a calculator to see the absurd amount of subsidy being paid per kwh for ‘renewables’.
“Nuclear is even more costly and (as one plant generates more power than any one wind turbine) when a plant goes down the impact on supply is greater. . .” Actually one nuclear power plant (Kashiwazaki, 8,200mw as the extreme example) can generate more electricity than the entire eyesore of installed wind farms in the UK (6580mw as at April 2012) even if they were to be running at more than the long term average of around 15% of capacity.
Why is it that in order to be an environmentalist or Guardian reader you have to be innumerate too?
And gnomish, would that be the tyranny of the uneducated masses who do know about punctuation and grammar?

David A. Evans

fenbeagleblog says:
May 9, 2012 at 4:22 am
I was referring to installed wind capacity, not percentage of overall generation.
DaveE.

richardscourtney

George E. Smith:
M Courtney wrote (at May 9, 2012 at 3:21 am) beginning;
“Good, but I have seen the counter arguments on the Guardian website:”
It then lists 3 “counter arguments” and ends by asserting;
“Think hard and there are logical flaws with all of these points but these are the arguments you must defeat in the court of public opinion.”
Your post at May 9, 2012 at 4:42 am claims to be answering him but seems to be ‘red herring’.
His assertion may or may not be correct but your ‘response’ does not address that.
Your ‘response’ quotes the first “counter argument” he cited then makes a point which has no clear relevance..
Personally, I think his assertion has merit and would welcome suggested ways to rebut the three “counter arguments” which he cites.
Richard

tango

? how did every day people fall for this fraud in 10 to 20 years from now they will have the answer

Mardler

UK wind energy generation currently – 0.7%.

M Courtney

Let me clarify: I reported the views that are often expressed in the Guardian (both readers comments and in articles – look now at Porritt’s wittering on the website) not because I agree with them but because they need to be addressed.
This article is good. But it ignores the counter arguemnts. Counter arguments which are often repeated and so shouldn’t be ignored.
Which is a pity as they really aren’t very good counter arguments.
If you want to make a case against wind farms then you need to fight on the opponents turf as well as your home ground. And it should be possible.
My comment was meant to advance the debate against wind farms; not to denigrate it.

M Courtney

Response to Richard S Courtney:
Thanks Dad but I think the misunderstanding was my fault.
If I hadn’t mentioned the Guardian then people would have responded more calmly and read more carefully.
This is a lesson that I have learned (yet again): Be aware of the emotional content of the communication. It’s just so hard on the internet.

David

As I write – UK wind is contributing a stupendous 0.7% to electricity demand (which at 1330 on a mild spring day is well down at 42000kW…)
By the way – this whole article should go directly to our beloved Department of Energy and (ha..!) Climate Change….

Greg

George E. Smith – ‘If you leave an old clunker car out in the street, in non working condition; in most California locations, for more than 72 hours, without moving it, they will come and tow it away, or at least fine you until you do remove it. Such eye sores are not tolerated. Big wind should be forced to remove their clunker eye sore non operative turbines, and then restre the environment to its original pristine condition, before they junked it up with their contraptions. At present it seems they simply abandon them, like leaving old tires on the roadways.’
In Alberta it is provincial law that the oil companies must return any oil sands site to pristine condition once completed. Buffalo now roam on former sites that had been mined. If there was no use for oil sands the enviro whackos would demand the dirty stuff be removed and replaced with clean fill.

David

I notice that the logo of the American Wind Energy Association does not characterise any electricity coming out of the base of the windmill…..!

Mike

In Ontario Canada wind is currently generating <1% of our electricity (aka Hydro) — 147 MW or <10% of the rated capacity — but the wind farms are consuming 100% of their subsidies.

David A. Evans

M Courtney says:
May 9, 2012 at 5:26 am
I don’t think it was your fault. I read your comment and agree they aren’t very good arguments.
As for subsidies, the claim is that a reduced rate of VAT on domestic fuel is a subsidy is an obvious crock. You may just as well say that food is subsidised because it is zero rated, (as was domestic fuel until the Major government levied VAT at 8%.)
The rate of VAT is now 5% on domestic energy, it should be zero rated but, EU rules state that once VAT is charged on a product, it can never again be levied at less than 5%.
DaveE.

Kit P

I find it hard to believe than Paul Driessen ever came close to a classroom teaching Econ 101 or any teaching environmental science or engineering based on the amount of time I invested in such activities as part of my 40 years in the power industry. Is there a contest about who can sound more ignorant liberals or conservatives?
In the right location, wind farms make a great deal of sense and have little environmental impact. For example, putting wind farms in the PNW dry land wheat field. The variability of wind is balanced by hydroelectric. The reason the cost of electric in the region increased was the result of meeting increased demand with natural gas which was really cheap at the time.
When the wind farms came along they mitigated the cost of natural gas for all Americans. The PTC was a good investment of tax dollars.
“Skyrocketing electricity prices ”
Idiots say this a lot. Power is a very cheap commodity. The capital cost of generating equipment is high. Whenever new power plants come on line everyone complains but the highest cost of power is when it is not available. A few years ago, we moved from the PNW to coal-based Virginia. Recently our power bills went up about $20 per month because of the capital costs of new pollution controls.
My point is that there is a cause for each increase and blaming everything on wind is not only silly and wrong. In any case, it cost about a $1/day to run the heat pump in the summer. In hot humid climates the value of air-conditioning is worth every penny.
On the other hand, while I am in favor of PNW wind farms the Southeastern US has poor wind resources. PTC to build nukes makes sense there to mitigate the cost makes sense.
Again a federal PTC benefited everyone by lowering the demand for natural gas.