Twenty-One Bad Things About Wind Energy — and Three Reasons Why

Promoting wind is a political agenda that is divorced from real facts and science.

Windmills in the TX-OK panhandle area – Photo from 2009 by Anthony Watts

By John Droz Jr.

Trying to pin down the arguments of wind promoters is a bit like trying to grab a greased balloon. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, it morphs into a different story and escapes your grasp. Let’s take a quick highlight review of how things have evolved with merchandising industrial wind energy.

1 – Wind energy was abandoned for most commercial and industrial applications, well over a hundred years ago. Even in the late 1800s it was totally inconsistent with our burgeoning, more modern needs for power. When we throw the switch, we expect that the lights will go on – 100% of the time. It’s not possible for wind energy, by itself, to EVER do this, which is one of the main reasons it was relegated to the archival collection of antiquated technologies (along with such other inadequate energy sources as horse and oxen power).

2 – Fast forward to several years ago. With politicians being convinced that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) was an imminent catastrophic threat, lobbyists launched campaigns to favor anything that would purportedly reduce carbon dioxide. This was the marketing opportunity that the wind energy business needed. Wind energy was resurrected from the dust bin of power sources, as its promoters pushed the fact that wind turbines did not produce CO2 while generating electricity.

3 – Of course, that just by itself would not have been a significant incentive, so the original wind development lobbyists then made the case for a quantum leap: that by adding wind turbines to the grid we could significantly reduce CO2 from those dirty” fossil fuel electrical sources (especially coal). This argument became the basis for many states implementing a Renewable Energy Standard (RES) or Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Those undemocratic standards mandated that the state’s utilities use (or purchase) a prescribed amount of wind energy (“renewables”), by a set date.

Why was a mandate necessary? Simply because the real world reality of integrating wind energy made it a very expensive option. As such, no utility companies would normally do this on their own. They had to be forced to. For more on the cost, please keep reading.

4 – Interestingly, although the stated main goal of these RES/RPS programs was to reduce CO2, not a single state’s RES/RPS requires verification of CO2 reduction from any wind project, either beforehand or after the fact. The politicians simply took the sales peoples’ word that consequential CO2 savings would be realized!

5 – It wasn’t too long before utility companies and independent energy experts calculated that the actual CO2 savings were miniscule (if any). This was due to the inherent nature of wind energy, and the realities of necessarily continuously balancing the grid, on a second-by-second basis, with fossil-fuel-generated electricity (typically gas). The frequently cited Bentek study (How Less Became More) is a sample independent assessment of this aspect. More importantly, there has been zero scientific empirical proof provided by the wind industry to support their claims of consequential CO2 reduction.

Studies cited by the wind industry (about wind energy’s CO2 savings) are almost always computer models. As a person who has written some 100,000 lines of code, I can assure you that it’s easy to make a model that “proves” that pigs can fly. Models may be appropriate where there is no actual data. Since there are a few hundred thousand turbines in operation worldwide, there is empirical data. If CO2 is genuinely being saved, the wind industry should be able to show real data.

6 – Apparently suspecting that the CO2 deception would soon be exposed, the wind lobbyists took pre-emptive action, and added another rationale to prop up their case: energy diversity. However, since our electricity system already had considerable diversity (and many asked “more diversity at what cost?”) this hype never gained much traction. Back to the drawing board….

Read the full story here at Master Resouce

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March 25, 2018 11:32 am

Ah… at worst they’re just essentially eyesores. They sometimes produce abundant power. Most of the time, unless they’re particularly well sited, they produce nothing. Except an eyesore.
All that needs to be done is to remove all subsidies, and the proliferation will be limited to exactly and only those locations with enough serendipitous wind energy, to MAKE energy abundantly. Profitably. And I – for one – don’t harbor ill feelings to those who make money actually ‘honesty’ tapping wind energy. Just cut the subsidies.

Bill Powers
Reply to  GoatGuy
March 25, 2018 1:02 pm

I understand, in addition to their ability to despoil the scenic landscape, they are very effective at killing airborne wildlife. .

Big T
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 1:24 pm

EVERY auto kills birds yearly. How many “billions” is that world wide? Bird death by wind mill is miniscule.
[?? .mod]

kokoda - AZEK (Deck Boards) doesn't stand behind its product
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 1:41 pm

BigT…………that is a LI; I’ve driven for 60 years and I honestly don’t remember killing even 1 bird with Auto/Truck. I’ll put the number at 2 to assuage your BS.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 1:47 pm

Big T writes: “EVERY auto kills birds yearly.
Do you have something in mind other than a collision (I can’t think of what.). Otherwise you are wrong.
Further, the birds that get killed by turbine blades are often raptors and protected – – kill one, do not pass Go, go directly to jail.

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 2:25 pm

Wrong on both counts T.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 2:32 pm

I vividly recall the driver in front of me on an interstate hitting a bird, with some of the remnants subsequently hitting my car.
30 years of driving…cars combined to about 600,000 miles now (at least 500,000 purely with me at the wheel)…and that’s the only one I can think of.
One per year for every driver? No freaking way.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 3:29 pm

I hit a cat one time and it had a bird in its mouth. Does that count?
If not I’ve never hit a bird.

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 3:48 pm

I hit a bat once driving early one morning outside of Medicine Lodge, Kansas.

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 3:54 pm

+ 3.1416667
Those who fail to learn from the future are doomed to experience it. Quoting The Future History of the Climate Debate:

2034: Carson becomes Cassandra
Spring is silent this year after a wind turbine kills the last American bald eagle.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 4:05 pm

Here in the bluffs along the Illinois confluence into the Mississippi, I have had two collisions with owls. First one was diving a box-truck on a rural blacktop (~20 yrs ago) and the owl was chasing a smaller bird and got clipped by the front of the cargo box, second (~12 yrs ago) was night and the owl was in the middle of the country lane as I crested a hill. Left a mark on the bumper of my truck. Never stopped to see if they survived, the local conservation cops would have had a cow if they saw me and a dead owl together. Probably have hit 2 or3 smaller birds with vehicles also in 45 years of driving. How many of me does it take to equal a days operation at Ivanpaugh?

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 4:17 pm

I have actually hit and killed a bird with my car, once.
Trust me, you know it when it happens. And no, I don’t believe it’s a once a year thing. Maybe once a car. And normally they would be smaller birds, sparrows, starlings, etc. Not falcons and bald eagles.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 4:21 pm

Oops, meant to say alta wind energy center in CA.
…And Brad we don’t have any wind farms near our Bald Eagle nesting areas along the rivers here, so that might extend their stay of execution as long as the folks here don’t want buildings or mechanical structures along the great rivers scenic byways.

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 5:26 pm

A few weeks ago I almost hit a bald eagle diving for a road kill possum in south Louisiana. No windmills there. I’m up in the half million plus miles, and suspect that small mammals and other vertebrates are more road susceptible. At least I have seen more such carcasses, but you do see an occasional too slow scavenger like a vulture or seagull. I never hit one, but have hit a few other smaller birds. Herpetologists have studied this for their critters. Speed limits have gone up, not sure about animal selection learning, speeds and agility. I have a picture of the skeleton of a near complete nutria pressed into the soft asphalt, they die by the hundreds. Probably has something to do with lack of wings. I had a friend with a culinary liking of fresh roadkill. No birds.

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 6:03 pm

I got a squirrel once, dang thing fell out of the tree right in front of my car.

Reply to  MarkW
March 25, 2018 7:41 pm

45 years rural driving: Four deer, two squirrels, one turtle, one bird. (But the partridge was not in the paired tree. )

Bryan A
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 7:40 pm

On average 1 bird and 2 bats per year per turbine with the best sited turbines claiming very few per decade and the worst claiming numbers per quarter

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 9:38 pm

T – Averaged 5M-10M miles annually for 40 years or so. One dove that I can recall. Jackrabbits in far West Texas? Ah, we’re talking serious numbers now. But the good news is WT motorists brake for the buzzards eating them the next day.

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 9:42 pm

Cars striking birds is as useless statistic as boats striking fish. So what.
Cars aren’t green municipal power generation sites, regardless I question your assertion.
Terrestrial critters,… sure. I’ll wager cars have killed more deer than wind turbines have.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 9:54 pm

“EVERY auto kills birds yearly. How many “billions” is that world wide?”
I have driven for 40 years and never killed a bird yet Another lie from a green energy religious believer. And also every windmill kills bats dead. The bats make it through the blades cause they are great evaders but when they get to the other side of the windmill the difference in pressure bursts their lungs. Bats are a very necessary part of the eco environment. Windmills by killing of hundreds of bats per year each windmll is destroying planet earth. The Green philosophy is nuts.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 11:04 pm

Then there is the variable of potential exposure.
How many wind turbines are there ??????(?)?
How many cars are there? (?,???,???,???) Billion …
Driving how many miles annually? U.S. alone 3.22 trillion miles
–Small town Thousands
–Small city Tens of thousands
–Moderate City Hundred of thousands
–Large city Million
–Megalopolous Millions
How many mega cities, cities, towns, villages etc are there in the world?
You own a car, how many birds do you hit per year?
Me? Over 55 years
72 Pinto
50 Ford Coupe
79 Mustang
68 Camaro
83 Cutlass
86 Taurus
90 Geo Storm
70 Ford Pickup
96 Grand Prix
98 Dodge Durango
2008 Dodge Charger
Driven over 550,000 miles
Confirmed bird kills ZERO
Yes birds do fly into cars traveling down the road but for given exposure rates a birds potential exposure to a car vs a wind turbine there are more than 3,000 cars on the road for each turbine so potential exposure is significantly higher

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 11:21 pm

I personally have driven many hundreds of thousands of miles in my life, and have never hit a bird, or even came close, one single time. I did have a dog standing on a curb jump in front of my van one time. Terrible, why did he do it?
Nope…not EVER!
In fact, I do not know one single person or heard of a single firsthand account of a bird being killed by an automobile. Ever.
Not one.
But if anyone is hitting birds with their car, it is almost surely small songbirds, the kind that have many chicks per hatching and can have several hatchings per year. Some of the songbirds breed as fast as rats.
These are also the kind that the fifty million cats that do not exist imaginarily kill several of per week…each!
Wind turbines kill large migratory and birds and birds of prey. These types of birds breed slowly.
Enough wind turbines to make even a tiny dent in fossil fuel usage would, I strongly suspect, lead to the eventual, and likely rapid, permanent extinction of every large bird on Earth.
Get real, dude.
Bring some actual information or go back to school.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 26, 2018 12:19 am

I have lost count of the number of pheasants and pigeons that have impaled themselves on my vehicles. I may have hit a cat, as well, bit it wasn’t there when I went to look. I have fortunately missed all the deer with suicidal impulses. I always try for the rabbits on the basis that if they dont see me coming they are dead from myxmatosis already and its a kindness.

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 26, 2018 2:30 am

Big T. Even it you’re right about cars and birds (I reckon I’ve killed about a dozen at most in 36 years of driving), cars are a vital part of our economies and lives, whereas windmills are a virtual signalling was of space that has driven up the cost of energy while making grids vulnerable. If the windmills went tomorrow, we’d all benefit (including birds), where would we be if all the cars disappeared?

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 26, 2018 3:11 am

Many years ago I killed a crow with my car. That bird was so busy eating a squashed armadillo it didn’t fly off in time. But I must have killed over 100,000 bugs, and I ran over my own cat.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 26, 2018 4:45 am

A long, long time ago I decided that birds in flight are highly more likely to fly into the path of a moving vehicle if said vehicle is “green” in color, especially “dark green”. That is, …. birds whose habitat is a rural environment, …. not a suburban or urban living birds.
And birds quite often fly into window glass when said glass is “reflecting” an image of the “open environment” that the bird is inflight through.
I once had a Ruffled Grouse for dinner, …… after it had flown into the glass of my “storm door”, ……. breaking its neck and the glass in the process,
That “pheasant-thru-the-glass” was sure tasty eatin.

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 26, 2018 6:28 am

Hrmm… I’m in my early 40’s, and have been driving on public roads regularly since the age of 12. I can SWAG about 750,000 miles behind the wheel. I clearly recall hitting about 5 “tweety” birds such as a male cardinal, a few English sparrows, and a few at dawn and dusk that I couldn’t identify before impact and there weren’t enough feathers left stuck to the grille or windshield to make an ID.
I’ve hit one black vulture, which is the only large bird I recall ever hitting.
In this unscientific survey we seem to be partaking in here, I think my higher numbers relate to the fact I drive on rural roads through a mixture of woodlands and agricultural plots most often near dawn and dusk.

Joe Civis
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 26, 2018 8:43 am

Big T, that is a lie! From my 35+ years of driving. I have hit or been hit, while driving my car, by exactly one bird, a quail trying to fly across the road and straight into the path of my truck.
oh wait are you talking about the “computer model” you created of car bird mortality?

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 26, 2018 8:44 am

RACookPE1978: Paired tree? Is that like when you put two trees at the end of your driveway?

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 31, 2018 12:39 pm

Wow, Big T! I thought I was bad! In 49 years of driving, I’ve killed two birds. My wife considers me a danger to birds, but if you kill one every year -WHEW! Something is very strange. Do you drive through a bird sanctuary every year?
For most of those years, we had a 60 miles commute. I just can’t imagine how you kill so many birds.
By the way – my car isn’t a power generator. I just use it for transportation. Since this article was about power generators… well, I can imagine how one could use their car as a power generator. Wouldn’t be very efficient if it was still able to go out and run down birds, though.

Bryan A
Reply to  GoatGuy
March 25, 2018 1:54 pm

Eyesore a stand of idle turbines just the other day and thought they needed hand cranks at their bases then T.U.R.N. could have something useful to do.

joe - the non climate scientist
Reply to  GoatGuy
March 25, 2018 2:01 pm

What about all the subsidies that fossil fuels get – Such as the tax deductions for actual cash spend for operations
sarc tag

Ian L. McQueen
Reply to  joe - the non climate scientist
March 25, 2018 2:07 pm

JOE: Tells us how your “subsidies” are different from “depletion allowances”.

joe - the non climate scientist
Reply to  joe - the non climate scientist
March 25, 2018 3:09 pm

Ian L. McQueen March 25, 2018 at 2:07 pm
JOE: Tells us how your “subsidies” are different from “depletion allowances”.
Do you mean cost depletion which is all the majors are allowed
or do you mean percentage depletion in excess of basis which is limited under section 613A to only independents and royalty owners, This eliminated all the majors and intergrated oil producers section 613A(c) which is granted the only subsidy the the oil producers receive. Though that is offset by the severance tax which a tax off the top which applies to all production, not just the independents and royalty owners (of which that tax exceeds any benefit of the depletion deduction in excess of basis.

Reply to  joe - the non climate scientist
March 25, 2018 11:29 pm

Let us not forget about the humongous excise taxes paid for every gallon of fuel.
Vast amounts of coin for the gubbnamint.
Pays for lots of stuff…which would not get paid for that way if not for the earl companies generously donating their product to us all so we can poison the planet with life sustaining CO2.

Reply to  joe - the non climate scientist
March 27, 2018 5:36 pm

France driving petrol based products taxes:
Colors represent Brent, refining… and taxes.
“SP” is “without lead”
essence is regular gascomment image
Guess which colors are for taxes.

Reply to  GoatGuy
March 25, 2018 2:22 pm

Without the easy guaranteed profit from subsidy they must die fast as weak intermittent energy sources cannot match 24/7 intense energy sources.. The policies actually pay the most subsidy to the least efficient hence least profitable “solution” to a problem best solved by gas and nuclear energy 24/7.
Generators are not bullied, they are bribed by politicians, who also get a cut in some way with sinecures after office, as a reward for making supply and CO2 worse and more expensive on all the supposed policy measurements, and we are forced to pay them for doing it so they make more profit than the best unsubsidised solution.. What is built is what makes the biggest return fastest, at the expense of what does the job best for longest. I would also charge renewables for providing the 2/3 of the energy renewables don’t, instead of paying renewables for power the grud doesn’t need and rejects, by law. An unnatural act with energy, alternative reality, energy style.
If ypu go to fossil fee all renewable model you find two things. Many smak lller counries are not big enough to collect enough enrgy. 2. The 2/3 enrgy that must be stored to use when needed will cost around £50B pa per TWh of enrgy stored. That makes the all reneewabl no fossil support energy unit cost around 20 times today’s on the UK usage. About £1/KWh, ($1.4/KWh), and that’s wholesale, not retail.

Reply to  GoatGuy
March 25, 2018 2:24 pm

Not just subsidies, but all mandates as well.

Reply to  GoatGuy
March 25, 2018 2:45 pm

GoatGuy: My typical reaction when I see wind turbines cluttering the landscape, especially in scenic areas (such as NW of Ellensburg, WA against the backdrop of the Mt Stuart range) is a wish to wrap several strands of det-cord around the base of each tower and set it off. Kinda like cutting them off at the knees.

Reply to  greymouser70
March 25, 2018 3:36 pm


D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  greymouser70
March 25, 2018 3:39 pm

Don’t be wasteful; one wrap of Jetcord would be quite sufficient. 🙂

Reply to  GoatGuy
March 25, 2018 4:55 pm

And stop forcing residents of other states who do not want wind development from being bullied by developers from other states, eg. Maine being bullied by Massachusetts.
No more expedited wind zones.

Reply to  GoatGuy
March 25, 2018 10:41 pm

Remember when Greens were preoccupied with what colour you could paint your house in case it spoiled the great outdoors. Oh, and dog turds choking Port Philip Bay.

Chris Wright
Reply to  GoatGuy
March 26, 2018 6:34 am

Right now all of the UK’s wind farms are generating – drum roll please – 295 Mw, less than half a percent of total consumption. Our politicians have frittered away billion of pounds on something that effectively works on only one day in five. Completely mad.
Yes, cars also kill birds. But there’s an important difference: roads and cars do actually do something that is quite useful. Windfarms don’t.

David Cage
Reply to  GoatGuy
March 26, 2018 10:59 am

No at best they are eyesores. At worst they make you ill form sub sonic acoustic waves of power comparable to the generated power of the turbine. No single one will create this noise source so no tests ever prove it as they have decreed the tests are on a single unit when it needs the beat frequency of two together to make the right frequency.

March 25, 2018 11:40 am

We need to plan what will happen to these ‘forests’ of turbines once reality catches up to wind power energy. Anyone that believes the current owners will take responsibility for removing the blight from our environment is naive. They will be long gone…. with the wind.

Reply to  markl
March 25, 2018 1:37 pm

Indeed you can bet coming to the end of their life they will be ‘transferred’ to a shell company who turns out to have no assets to decommission anything and the taxpayer will get stuck with the bill.

Reply to  knr
March 25, 2018 2:10 pm

Sky high condos, although with no elevators only for those fitness buffs!

Reply to  knr
March 25, 2018 2:14 pm

Definitely. I suspect it will make the abandoned mines and oil wells look like a super easy, cheap cleanup.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  knr
March 25, 2018 6:04 pm

Now is the time for some young, enterprising person to take up the pursuit of scrapping these mechanical menaces out and develop a technology and business plan. The governments will be paying big bucks to some entrepreneur or another when the wind party’s over.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  knr
March 25, 2018 6:11 pm

Recycling all the copper, aluminum and steel in the miles of transmission infrastructure which connects them would be profitable for somebody.

Mark Luhman
Reply to  knr
March 25, 2018 11:43 pm

Sheri,closing out an oil well is profitable, people have made a lot of money doing just that. They buy a marginal well, run it till it needs work, pull the pump sell it. pull the stripper rods sell them, ditto for the separator and tanks. Hire a work over rig to plug it(that by pump concrete down the hole,) cut the casing off well below ground sell or end the lease for the land, it goes back to the farmer or rancher. After that you would never know it was ever there. I have watch the process on how wells are closed out and if you did not know there was one a well there you cannot tell even the right-of-way approach is removed. Somehow with a wind mill recovering the rebar from several tons of concrete and hammering that far enough below grade is not going to be a cheap proposition. Now plugging certain mines expensive others no so much. Present coal strip mines are recovered as they are mined, once the coal is stripped out the overburden is put back as is the top soil and they must follow the original contour and again if you did not know the mine had been there and untrained eye could not tell.

Reply to  knr
March 26, 2018 3:22 am

Many years ago I had a guy show up in my office with a photo of a huge pit about 200 ft long, 100 ft wide, and 10 ft deep. Right in the middle was an old abandoned oil well. Sticking out of the dirt about 7 feet. The bottom of the pit was muddy, and in part covered with water.
Anyhow, this guy had been building a shrimp farm, told a dozer operator to dig him the pit for one of those huge pools they use for shrimp, and that operator just dug down around the cut and capped casing strings. Now they wanted us to get down there and cut two strings of casing filled with cement and leave them 6 feet below the bottom of the pit they had already dug. So I handed the guy to our legal department and I never heard about it again.

Reply to  markl
March 25, 2018 6:32 pm

The problem is the concrete. 10,000 metric tons for the foundation and 2800 tons for the tower of a modern wind turbine. In Germany there is a law to remove anything up to 2 meters deep after decommission.

Reply to  naturbaumeister
March 25, 2018 11:38 pm

How much CO2 is released by making all that concrete?
I believe it may be true when critics of wind energy assert that when looking at total life cycle input, it uses more fossil fuel to make a turbine that they ever save by the energy they add to the grid.
A thought experiment is useful on this one: Can someone make money making windmills and selling the power, unsubsidized in an open market, if the only energy they had came from wind power? Total input, from mining and transporting the ores and raw materials to refining and assembly and transport and installation of the final product?
I am certain the answer is no. No chance in hell.
What a monumental clusterf*ck these greens have gotten the world into!

Rod Everson
Reply to  naturbaumeister
March 26, 2018 7:59 am

menicholas: You propose a thought experiment on measuring total input and comparing it to total output, using only the energy of wind power.
This is a trap people always fall into where subsidies are involved. The subsidy affects and obscures the pricing process.
Think about it this way. When subsidies are not involved, all of the inputs and outputs are already easily measured. How? They have prices attached to them.
So, you take the cost of all the inputs, add them together, and then simply compare it to the total price you eventually receive for all of the outputs. (Note the word “eventually”. I’ll get to that below) If the total output dollar value is less than the total input dollar value, the project loses money outright. It’s uneconomic. That would most likely be the result of your “thought experiment” too, but it takes the hard way round to the answer.
In the real world, the experiment is already being conducted. Just add the subsidy in as a cost of input and see what the result is. As Warren Buffet said, without subsidies, he wouldn’t invest in wind power. With them, his side of the trade is profitable, thanks to the taxpayers.
As to the word “eventually”, it takes time for the inputs to generate outputs. The time value of money is captured in the cost of financing. In other words, the interest paid on the money borrowed to build the project is also one of the input costs. If inputs equal outputs, profitability is zero and no one will undertake the project. In fact, even if the outputs exceed the inputs, i.e., it is “profitable”, if that profit is insufficient the project still won’t be undertaken. Why? Because capital is limited and higher value projects will attract all the available capital (investment money).
We do need to learn, preferably in grade school, that the price mechanism is one of the most important features of a functioning capitalist system and that mucking with it costs us dearly, usually in the form of higher taxation as politicians are conned into spending money (via subsidies and tax rebates) because the price mechanism has been ignored.
By the way, if we all had this drummed into our heads in grade school, a relatively simple undertaking, Amazon wouldn’t have dozens of cities analyzing how much of a tax break they’re willing to provide if the company will build its next headquarters there. They’d receive no tax break at all, from anyone, and overall taxes would be lower for all of us as they made the decision on actual economic grounds rather than on political grounds.

Reply to  naturbaumeister
March 26, 2018 2:30 pm

Back-of-the-napkin calculation for CO2 created making that much cement for that much concrete 2.79 million pounds.
400 pounds of CO2 created per cubic yard of concrete.
6956 cubic yards for 12800 metric tons of concrete.
Someone who may wish to check to make sure that my napkin wasn’t spilled on.

Reply to  naturbaumeister
March 26, 2018 10:31 pm

Yes, but I fell into no trap.
Note how I phrased the question: Can someone make money on wind energy, if they had to produce all the raw materials using only wind derived electricity, and no subsidies were involved.
This is exactly what you described.
That was the point of the thought experiment.
Digging coal out of the ground by hand, an entire industrial economy was created, the middle class came into being, and life in general quickly began to be ever less difficult, brutal, and short.

March 25, 2018 11:47 am

At the same time, someone decided that hydro was NOT renewable!!! This Is something Trump can fix with a pen stroke. Making Trump the President who added “the MOST renewables ever” to our energy infrastructure, at zero cost.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Jeanparisot
March 25, 2018 1:58 pm

Non-renewable “hydro” is defined as such by U.S. states and other entities when existing hydro swamps the system. For example, Washington State gets most of its electricity from dams on the Columbia River system. To get the privilege of supporting expensive solar and wind local governments had to have rain and snow eliminated from the natural order of things.
Thus, I don’t think Trump can fix it.

Reply to  Jeanparisot
March 25, 2018 2:34 pm

Large hydroelectric power (over 30 MW nameplate capacity in CA) was not allowed in the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) because obviously it would incentivize construction of large impoundments. The Left are busy trying to tear down dams, so we can’t encourage building MORE, right? Several large projects were planned for California and never built, e.g. Auburn Dam. It was recognized long ago the projects we have constructed to date would be insufficient.

[San Luis Reservoir dedication]
Windmills produce unreliable power, which requires constant adjustment of grid demand, since it is impossible to alter generation quickly enough to respond to wind and solar power variations. In California, the grid was to be protected by Autoresponse.
Autoresponse depends on a smart grid network to turn off devices, including those in private residences via a Home Area Network (HAN). The HAN is a bidirectional network for sending data packets between devices and the utility and / or government. With smart appliances, using smart meters as a router, appliances in homes can be turned off in any “power emergency”, including a drop in wind speed of 5 to 10 mph at a windfarm. The Energy Independence and Security Act (2007) in Title XIII permits data mining of anything in a smart grid, including data related to personal activities within our homes. Even a smart water meter can tell a utility or government whether you wash your hands after using the toilet, how many times you flush, the duration of your showers, and probably whether you shower alone.
Today, more information about you is revealed by Facebook, Google, and your ISP than would be gathered by the HAN. However, a form of power supply capable of networking via the power cord (powerline broadband, BPL) would make your computer hackable via the powerlines outside your home, talking to the smart meter, from there to the power lines inside your home, and perhaps to the computer (via AC/ethernet adapter or certain data transmission capable powersupplies). See:, and Most people seem to have avoided this technology instinctively. These are now old technologies. Edward Snowden revealed the government now have better ways of monitoring us.
The Left acting through the CA State Water Resources Control Board (an unelected despotic oligarchy) made a huge water grab by claiming the right to control groundwater. Farmers and residents of the Valley potentially can now be cut off by the State. The existing above ground impoundments are used increasingly to flush salt out of the Delta supposedly to support the Delta Smelt and Salmon smolt. The unimpeded full natural flow in September and October is so low that historically salt water intruded past the Delta up past Sacramento. Can’t we conclude native species must have adapted to a relatively salty environment?
The Delta Smelt tolerate 50% ocean salinity, and spawn near Rio Vista, in the margins of San Pablo Bay, and up the Napa River; not so much in the Delta. Salmon smolt are also used to justify large water releases. The San Joaquin River is the most southerly river having a salmon run, and it is marginal at best. But what kills most of the native salmon and native Delta Smelt are the non-native Bass, capable of living and hunting young fish even in pure ocean water. It is now known Bass predation is the real cause of the decline in salmon and Delta Smelt, but the Left and Leftist activist justices will not recognize these facts.
The purpose of environmental control is to take away freedoms from individuals and give power to centralized government authorities. A founding principle of American freedom, private property is effectively lost, private actions are controlled, private enterprise is regulated and taxed to death, and the private sector of the economy has shrunk relative to the public sector – government now controls 40% of GDP.
If government can control CO2, then anything that breathes comes under their purview. The EPA once tried to control water vapor, but realized no one would buy that whopper. The fact is, CO2 is the basis of true green energy, photosynthesis.
Fear is required to make people give up freedom. Ignorance is required to induce fear at will through false information. A person who lacks the capacity to evaluate propaganda themselves or distinguish between real and false experts is the ideal citizen of the Left. Even if we get everything else right and forget to take back education, we will always lose to the Left.

Reply to  Hoser
March 25, 2018 11:44 pm

Dang Hoser…you said a mouthful.

Joe Civis
Reply to  Hoser
March 26, 2018 8:53 am

California also didn’t allow for classifying that hydro as renewable as it would have greatly reduced/nearly eliminated the “need” for “new renewables” ie wind/solar/biomass etc…

March 25, 2018 11:48 am

The bottomline is that central planning, fundamental to socialist forms of government, just doesn’t work. I was once told by the a senior attorney for a prominent environmental organization that humans cannot be left on their own to make decisions, they must be regulated by government in everything they do, not just environmental decisions.

Reply to  Edwin
March 25, 2018 2:27 pm

One of the delusions of the left is that anyone who works for the government is instantly smart and incorruptible.

Reply to  MarkW
March 25, 2018 5:00 pm

Natural Resources Canada, 2016
Wind Energy:
“Canada’s geography makes it ideally suited to capitalize on large amounts of wind.”
Read the rest at:

Reply to  MarkW
March 25, 2018 5:53 pm

Spot on, MarkW

Reply to  MarkW
March 25, 2018 7:03 pm

Natural Resources Canada, 2017
About Renewable Energy.
Use Link: ‘Wind Energy’ for more information and publications on wind energy. Left sidebar.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  MarkW
March 25, 2018 10:08 pm

Barbara my pathetic government in Canada unfortunately has bought into both the hoax AGW theory and the stupid wind energy theory. We are all paying double to triple the price for electricity these days because of these 2 hoaxes.

Reply to  Edwin
March 25, 2018 3:07 pm

In Britain that attitude is famously or notoriously associated with the politician Douglas Jay , a minister in postwar Labour Govts :
“in the case of nutrition and health, just as in the case of education, the gentleman in Whitehall really does know better what is good for people than the people know themselves”.
Although exploited at the time by the Conservatives, they have now fully endorsed that message , particularly in environmental matters . The only difference ,now, is that it is the “gentleman and lady in Brussels” who know best.

Bruce Cobb
March 25, 2018 11:50 am

Big Wind and Big Solar are going to have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do. Probably in a courtroom or three.

Hocus Locus
March 25, 2018 11:54 am

comment image

Reply to  Hocus Locus
March 25, 2018 12:07 pm

That’s the deluxe model with dryer attachment.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Max Photon
March 25, 2018 6:18 pm

Really, a drier? I’ve found it makes a great trimmer for those “hard to reach” areas. I’ll have to try holding it farther away…

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Ulaanbaatar
Reply to  Max Photon
March 26, 2018 7:27 am

That picture is giving me goosed bumps.

Reply to  Hocus Locus
March 25, 2018 12:33 pm

Clean, fresh, personal energy, at home or on the go…

michael hart
Reply to  Hocus Locus
March 25, 2018 1:47 pm

Ouch. That’s gonna make your eyes water.

Reply to  michael hart
March 25, 2018 4:45 pm

especially CtMs. With whom I just met briefly, and advised him of this ‘travesty’.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Hocus Locus
March 25, 2018 6:25 pm

Hokus, I’ll give you a nickel if you can add the iceberg under it and a polar bear just barely clinging to the edge next to it

joe - the non climate scientist
March 25, 2018 11:57 am

Jacobson – Stanford professor – has shown RE can be 100% our energy source by 2050.
With that expertise – and the profits the utility companies can generate from his unique skills, there should be a bidding war with all the utilities companies for his services, salary upwards of $1m per year. .
I am sure he will have a job with a job with a utility company in short order.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  joe - the non climate scientist
March 25, 2018 12:09 pm

He’s nothing but a flim-flam man.

joe - the non climate scientist
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 25, 2018 12:29 pm

did I need the sarc tag?

Reply to  joe - the non climate scientist
March 25, 2018 2:15 pm

joe—yes, sadly it seems your sarcasm was just too subtle.

Phillip Bratby
March 25, 2018 12:08 pm

Wind power was recognised in the UK as a scam by ecologist Dr John Etherington in his book “The Wind Farm Scam”, published back in 2009. I have a well-thumbed copy. Nothing has changed since then, except that there are thousands more of the useless objects and they now litter and ruin the seascape as well as the landscape, they are still as noise as ever and they still kill huge numbers of birds and bats. And they still require huge subsidies, i.e. in politically correct parlance, they are not economically sustainable

March 25, 2018 12:14 pm

We have a lot of islands that are totally off grid….some have wind and solar….they all have diesel generators.
The guy that owns the fuel barge lives in a huge house, on the grid…….

March 25, 2018 12:26 pm

I clicked through and read to the end.
Wind proponents call a turbine throwing off one of it’s blades in a catastrophic failure …..
wait for it….
Component Liberation!
Apparently it is not “Power To The People” anymore, it’s “Free The Blades” or something.

Bob Hoye
March 25, 2018 12:28 pm

For some years now, I’ve been running a photo essay about the mob’s absurd notions on pipelines and wind turbines.
Anyone interested can Google: Bob Hoye Energy Curiosities.
What is fascinating is that they can’t see their own errors and continue to generate even more absurdities.

Reply to  Bob Hoye
March 25, 2018 2:06 pm

Everyone–took awhile to find it. Worth looking at–I created this for subtle2

Bob Hoye
Reply to  Shelly Marshall
March 25, 2018 2:33 pm


March 25, 2018 12:31 pm

Most Americans get electricity from a regulated monopoly producer, the states being the regulators. These producers have a guaranteed rate of return. They don’t fight hard against Renewable Portfolio Standards, because the press will crucify them for being anti-environment, and there’s no money in it for them. They go along with RPS, and raise their rates to cover it. No need to endure bad press when you aren’t going to lose money, anyway.

Larry Geiger
March 25, 2018 12:40 pm

“1 – Wind energy was abandoned for most commercial and industrial applications, well over a hundred years ago. Even in the late 1800s it was totally inconsistent with our burgeoning, more modern needs for power. When we throw the switch, we expect that the lights will go on – 100% of the time. It’s not possible for wind energy, by itself, to EVER do this, which is one of the main reasons it was relegated to the archival collection of antiquated technologies (along with such other inadequate energy sources as horse and oxen power).”
1. “Wind energy was abandoned for most commercial and industrial applications, well over a hundred years ago.” True.
2. “which is one of the main reasons it was relegated to the archival collection of antiquated technologies (along with such other inadequate energy sources as horse and oxen power)” False. Wind always has been and always will be a good technology for lifting water from one level to another. Particularly in remote areas. Like large ranches for water cattle.
Use technology where it makes sense. Don’t put down a technology just because it’s not suited for one particular function, like supplying electrical power to recharge vehicles. All across Kansas, Nebraska, Florida and other states farmers put down a well, prop up a windmill and effectively water their cattle. It makes a lot of sense. The energy storage (the watering tank) is inexpensive and efficient. Maintenance is low. Functionality is high.
Stop making generalities that are too broad and don’t work. Don’t do what THEY do. For instance, wind energy is probably not suitable to power Oklahoma City, Kansas City and Omaha at this time in our history. The paragraph above is totally focused on one use of a technology. “The lights will go on…”

Reply to  Larry Geiger
March 25, 2018 6:43 pm

” Particularly in remote areas.” Agreed for very remote areas with no source of energy. “Like large ranches for water cattle.” Only if there is no source of electricity and you can assure there will never be a spell of more than a day or so with no wind.
Raised on a farm. in the 40′ and 50’s. As soon as I could drive a tractor it was my job to drive the tractor with the water wagon to the water troughs that you claim were reliably filled by the “Aermotor” windmill driven pump.
Why did I go daily? because the cattle would drink all of the water from a trough in one day if no wind. And taking a tank of water saved the trip back when the trough was found empty which happened at least once a week.
Now just what do you think happens when you have a week of no wind with several hundred cattle and all troughs are supposed to be filled from your reliable Aermotor windmill? I had to make a trip to each of the troughs and refill the tank back where we had an electric driven pump, I was lucky, my elder brother had to hand pump that water.
Moral of the story. Dont have more cattle than you have wind for.

Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 1:13 pm

Energy Diversity! What a stitch. Diversity is a holy word in the secular religion called Progressivism. All penitent liberals genuflect, kiss their mood stone rosary beads and say a prayer to GAIA at it’s mention. “Oh mother of Diversity hear our prayer.”

Bob Burban
Reply to  Bill Powers
March 25, 2018 1:50 pm

Lets see: you nix coal, oil, hydro and nuclear as generating options and replace those with wind and solar … where’s the diversification?

March 25, 2018 1:15 pm

Yes: The maritime industry sorted this problem out many moons ago and it was not achieved by government decree.
Come to that neither was the demise of horse drawn carriages. They have never been banned from the streets of our cities.
Politicians should enable, not dictate.

Pop Piasa
March 25, 2018 1:21 pm

Please forgive me for posting this again, but being a limerick it’s seasonal entertainment.
If you like your energy sustainable,
You must first make the climate trainable.
With sun day and night,
And the wind always right…
I think it just might be attainable!
Solar and wind are renewable,
But only on small scales prove doable
They can kill birds and bats
And displace habitats…
True ecologists find that eschew-able.
We would, likely, employ keener vision
Funding hydro and nuclear fission.
(The molten salt kind,
For our peace of mind)
And solar storm-proofed grids of transmission.
Affordable energy, for the third world poor
Will unlock that vital, virtual door
To an affluent life,
A job and a wife
With less children than folks raised before.
So, curtailing overpopulation
Is not about “limiting nations
On what they can do
Which emits CO2”…
It relies on industrialization!

michael hart
Reply to  Pop Piasa
March 25, 2018 1:52 pm

Not bad.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  michael hart
March 25, 2018 6:35 pm

Do ya think Leonardo DiCrappio might want to read it in thespian style for us? {:]

Tom Judd
March 25, 2018 1:30 pm

Wind power is one of those things that requires promotion through the lens of what is currently fashionable in terms of social consciousness. You simply can’t promote it based on practicality.
So, may I recommend the following themes. Wind power could be part of the ‘Me too’ movement. Instead of energy generators wind turbines could be marketed as giant castrators.
Or, we could turn wind farms into gun free zones and achieve gun control by essentially adding about a gazillion acres where guns are not allowed.

March 25, 2018 1:44 pm

Sound bite version.
1.Wind isn’t economicaly competitive or it wouldnt need subsidies everywhere in the world.
2.Wind is intermittent and nondispatchable, so requires grid backup costs not born by wind.
3.Wind provides no grid inertia, so increasing penetration destabalizes the grid.

Bruce Cobb
March 25, 2018 1:45 pm

Great idea for a fun-filled Earth Day activity: go to your local wind farm and see how many dead birds and bats you can find who gave the ultimate sacrifice to save the planet. Biggest haul wins! Great for kiddos.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 25, 2018 5:18 pm

Oh and don’t forget to complete the effort with letter writing campaigns to your local politicians and environmental organizations and law enforcement, demanding the carnage stop and the perpetrators be punished! Add some heavy-handed “news” media coverage and social media outcry too! #Bird Killers!

March 25, 2018 1:54 pm

Oh, and don’t forget about the health benefits of wind turbines while we’re at it…

Bruce Cobb
March 25, 2018 2:15 pm

Solar power would not fare much (if any) better in a take-down such as this, with some of the same problems as wind.

Edward Katz
March 25, 2018 2:32 pm

Doesn’t a typical windmill generating 5MW require over a thousand tons of steel and concrete in its construction? And aren’t these materials that use large amounts of fossil fuels to be produced? And wouldn’t it require over 80,000 new windmills per day, no less, to meet the goal of producing 1100 MW daily until 2050 to keep global temperatures from rising 2C? So why worry about wind power if it obviously can’t deliver except on an intermittent basis?

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Edward Katz
March 25, 2018 5:35 pm

Not only that but think of the amount of land required for unreliable, intermittent, useless power generated by these things. “Subsidy farming” and “Mandate Farming” are the SOLE two reasons these “renewable” electric generating methods are used today. Ditch the mandates and subsidies NOW!
Oh, and I love how the wind proponents in the article Paddy Johnson linked above dote on the “100,000 jobs” and the “driving” of “economic development.” These are the types of useful idiots that would praise the prohibition of bulldozers in order to expand the number of ditch digging jobs. HTF is employing MORE people to produce unreliable, intermittent, MORE EXPENSIVE electricity going to “drive” “economic development,” exactly?! The stupid, it BURNS!

March 25, 2018 2:44 pm

An old engineer joke: “Anything you can move your hand through this easily (waves hand in front of face) is a lousy source of energy”.
Storage, storage, storage. All intermittent sources need cheap massive storage. If you are in an area where pumped hydro is possible it might be feasible but that’s about it.

Reply to  TRM
March 25, 2018 2:56 pm

TRM, pumped storage is great for daily peak load shifting. It isn’t great for wind intermittancy. The no wind drawdown intervals are too long, the ‘wind overcapacity’ pumping intervals are too short. Basic grid arithmetic.
And see three sound bites comment on wind upthread. EVEN IF pumped storage were a partial answer (it isn’t), doesnt solve the other two big wind issues.

Reply to  ristvan
March 26, 2018 6:52 am

Hence my “might be possible” line.

March 25, 2018 2:51 pm

Lets just keep coal- Combusted coal with less CO2 output than a natural gas power plant.

Reply to  Sid Abma
March 25, 2018 3:47 pm

Abma, do some of us here a favor. Stop posting your commercial.
From what I have read, processing sugar beet residue DOES NOT solve the fossil fuel energy problem—not least since most of the fermentable carbohydrate has already been extracted as SUGAR!. You are not even left with distillers grain, as with corn ethanol, which cuts the net corn consumption to ~27% from a gross~40%.
In fact, you might even wish to peruse essay Bugs, Roots, and Biofuels in ebook Blowing Smoke for a much more comprehensive analysis of why your tiny tinsy partial biofuel solution fails at all scales.

Reply to  Sid Abma
March 25, 2018 6:07 pm

Are being paid per posting?

Reply to  Sid Abma
March 26, 2018 10:52 pm

The scale of the various material streams are so far out of whack it is ludicrous.
How often are sugar beets harvested?
In what quantity?
Power plants need to be near where large numbers of people live that are using the power.
It may be easy to make some of those materials in a lab, but they are never able to be scaled up to the point of profitability, even if there were enough sugar beets available around the clack and all year long in sufficient quantity for all of the exhaust from even a handful of large power plants to be processed.
Transportation costs alone make it unworkable, but there is also the issue of the diffuse nature of the exhaust, which is huge in quantity but low in concentration.
Plus, chemical reactions of this nature are not rapid, not when the materials are diffuse.
Besides…why would anyone in agriculture want to waste money trying to prevent CO2 from being emitted into the air so it can boost agricultural output and reduce water requirements for the crops?
No point in going into the glib factual errors, which pile up into the dozens within the first minute of the video.

Robin P Browne .
March 25, 2018 2:58 pm

Please don’t forget the dreadful sound of these monstrosities – a steady low frequency THRUMP – THRUMP – etc – that carries a long way and can drive you crazy.

Reply to  Robin P Browne .
March 25, 2018 3:13 pm

That works without the H – for Democrats!

Reply to  roger
March 25, 2018 4:00 pm

Still a misspelling, Correctly spelled after the Omnibus appropriation, Demorats.

Reply to  Robin P Browne .
March 25, 2018 10:04 pm

March 25, 2018 3:51 pm

Maybe one day solar and wind can replace fossil fuels, but that day is far away.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Steve
March 25, 2018 4:11 pm

What will replace FF someday is more likely to be some type of nuclear power. Solar and wind may work in certain circumstances, but I doubt they will ever prove useful for the grid.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Steve
March 25, 2018 5:38 pm

I can tell you EXACTLY when that will be – the day when humans revert to caveman life styles and no longer require electricity.

Bob boder
Reply to  AGW is not Science
March 26, 2018 8:42 am

The green movement is down with that

March 25, 2018 7:05 pm

Windmills are still green prayer wheels, intermittent and nondispatchable. BTW I’ve been driving since 1972, and have hit one bird (a crow eating roadkill), and two deer.

Bill Webb
March 25, 2018 7:39 pm

Someone should do a little research about the cost per Kwh of peaker plant integration… Don’t know the specifics, but, feedstock is the highest cost component natural gas generation. It’s a big exogenous variable not addressed in LCOE comparative analysis of wind and solar model relative to other generation sources.
Peaker plants are the least efficient type of natural gas generation, and, I believe were 50% of all Name Plate Rated installation in the US last year.
And, one has to set aside capital that could be invested elsewhere (if the farm is investor and not utility owned) to cover generation lulls periods so the mortgage can be paid.
All solar and wind models are full of exogenous variables, which, are costs. High costs.

Bill Webb
Reply to  Bill Webb
March 25, 2018 7:42 pm

excuse the typos!

March 25, 2018 7:50 pm

Making up a list silly reasons to be against something is not the same as actually doing something. For every way of producing power, there is such a list. My way was using heat from fission.
Basically the lights would go out if the lists had any merit. The fact is to produce power requires a long list of reason to get it done.
In the US, providing is a public service. If some of the public wants alternatives then live with it. It is not all that hard to accomplish. Of course there are a reason they are alternatives.
Coal, gas, and nuclear are the primary choices power producers have. This provides the luxury politicians making bad choices.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Retired Kit P
March 25, 2018 10:41 pm

We banned coal up here in Ontario instead of putting scrubbers on the plants. Costs of electricity doubled. They had already increased before that because of all the subsidies on intermittent renewables.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
March 26, 2018 8:22 am

So Alan can you put a number on the increased cost?
I only ask because it sounds like you are a little loose with your facts. Canada is a different country but like most in the US on the subject of electric power, they are very ignorant.
When we lived in Virginia and scrubbers were added, the cost went up a little over 2 cents. When considering the generating cost, the cost doubled.
Of course this shows up as a capital improvement not a fuel cost. Unfortunately, this drove the aluminum industry out of Ohio. The aluminum industry is mostly gone from Washington State too.
Correlation is not causation.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
March 27, 2018 12:21 am

Very mysterious why Canada would be worried about the Earth becoming slightly warmer.
It is mostly way too cold and mostly very high above sea level.
Warmistas, apparently, can sell ice cubes to Eskimos.
Go figure.

Roger Knights
March 25, 2018 8:31 pm

“2 – Fast forward to several years ago. With politicians being convinced that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) was an imminent catastrophic threat, lobbyists launched campaigns …”
But before that there was a wind turbine craze in the 80s and earlier that was even more outrageously impractical, wasn’t there? (Documentation isn’t on the Internet yet, so we don’t know enough about it.)

March 25, 2018 9:04 pm

The danger to wildlife of the urrent equipment is intollerable. Those who want to promote wind energy first need to come up with a method that does not endanger wildlife. Using wind energy for the direct generation of electricity has a major problem with the varability in the wind. There may be other tasks llike the pumping of water and charging up of batteries that could make economic use of such a unreliable source of energy. Just 200 years ago, wind power was very important to travel on the oceans but even in this application it was very unreliable. I can understand research to find a safe and economic means of making use of wind power but we are not there yet. Full deployment of wind power should not take place until economic solutions to the wind power problem has been found.
Near the San Grogonio Pass in Sourthern California near where I live, they created extensive wind farms. But for at least a while, most of the wind turbans appeared not to be functioning because of maintance problems and of course none of them worked when the wind was not blowing. It was only because of subsidies and tax breaks that they were ever constructed in the first place.

Peter Lewis Hannan
March 25, 2018 9:35 pm

The whole article is excellent. I do wish people would us all metric units.

Reply to  Peter Lewis Hannan
March 25, 2018 10:03 pm

I think my neighbor’s new SUV gets about 3 whales per Roman amphora quadrantal.

Reply to  Peter Lewis Hannan
March 26, 2018 12:39 am

Metric units has seen the dumbing down of our children, they no longer have to think.In OZ we have had metrics since the early 1970ties. I am now in my eight decade and building stuff in metric it easy to make mistakes on tapes and rulers because it all looks the same with little delineation. I never make mistakes using running inches on a tape or ruler, old eyes. You can keep your metric.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Wayne Job
March 26, 2018 12:49 am

When I was growing up and a young machinist, I had to convert drawings in metric to machines that were imperial. But I did like working to +/- 2 microns tho.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Ulaanbaatar
Reply to  Wayne Job
March 26, 2018 7:41 am

Interesting perspective. I heard about a spring making factory in Butterworth where the made Mack Truck springs. The cutter was told to cont two tons of spring blades 1.4m long. That was the first error. In Germany they use millimeters and I adopted that long ago. Absolutely everything is written in mm. So the cutter dutifully cut the steel 1 metre and 4 centimetres because that was the first 4 on the tape. 1.04m is not 1.4m.
The only way to survive in the metric age is to use mm, and not the US slight, vague leaning towards cm as ‘little inches’. The Germans got it right and there is no confusion.
Patrick: 2 microns would be taking a chance on a hand operated lathe. But Gr2 machinists have to turn to 25 microns (meaning, +-12.5) to get their certificate or I wouldn’t sign their papers. I think 2 microns absolute requires a temperature controlled room, right?

Reply to  Wayne Job
March 26, 2018 9:01 am

Patrick, in the power plant (it had a machine-shop of course), we regularly used the “mil” (thousandth of an inch), for the tiny measurements.

March 25, 2018 10:03 pm

Things that are extremely hard to find on the Web:
– graph of wind production in power over time (not energy week by week)
– evolution of the rate of MS vs. the use of the hep B vaccines
– rapes in Europe vs. “migrants”
I wonder why..

Leo Smith
Reply to  s-t
March 26, 2018 12:25 am

Things that are extremely hard to find on the Web:
– graph of wind production in power over time (not energy week by week)
That’s why the site was created. To examine and quantify the meme of ‘the wind is always blowing somewhere’
6 years of power production statistics available to download.

Leo Smith
March 26, 2018 12:27 am
March 26, 2018 1:21 am

I still think that fields of wind turbines must be disrupting airflow around the globe – if all the wind turbines in the world were aligned and opposite to earth’s rotation would the world slow down?

Bob Hoye
Reply to  Gerry
March 26, 2018 7:09 am

Good grief! I thought of this one last night.
All that man-induced friction will slightly slow the Earth’s rotation. Setting off more earthquakes than fracking does. Some time ago the rotation rate was 22 hours, now at 24–what’s next?

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Ulaanbaatar
Reply to  Bob Hoye
March 26, 2018 7:43 am


michael hammer
March 26, 2018 1:37 am

Can I add one more “concern”. Warmists kep telling us how sensitive the climate is – the buttery fly wing in the amazon causing a hurricane half a world away type sensitive. So how much do we change the climate by taking a few gigawatts of energy out of the wind system. It will slow down the wind which can have far from trivial consequences. Quite seriously, I suspect this is going to become a massive unintended consequence.

Scottish Sceptic
March 26, 2018 2:10 am

This article is misleading.
Wind energy really got going after the 1970s oil crisis – not for commercial production, but as a gimik for the eco movement and particularly the anti-nuclear movement.
Wind started growing in Denmark, oddly sharing its facilities with the nuclear research centre – because it was a sop to ecos to keep them quiet on nuclear. Unfortunately for us, the Danes hit upon a very effective scheme to use the paltry sum given to this eco-fad to not only create get a lot of people owning windmills – and so support but the money also created a reasonably healthy industry with enough financial clout to start lobbying heavily.
But that industry then nearly died a death when the USSR ended and anti-nuclear groups stopped getting funded.
But it had a savour – in the 1970s, we passed a lot of pollution reducing legislation. SO2 is a known coolant, and from 1970-2000 we saw warming (not unexpected if you know the cooling effect of SO2).
However, with the growth of anti-industry and anti-capitalist movements in academia, etc., that was all we needed to get “CO2 caused global warming” – and academia, the NGOS, the media and government all jumped on the “global warming doomsday” bandwagon, and the rest is well known.

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
March 26, 2018 8:50 am

Perhaps it did start in Europe in the 1970’s — don’t know. Certainly didn’t get significantly going in the US/Canada until massive subsidies were made available — much later.

March 26, 2018 3:25 am

I said much the same in this article, back in 2004. It was reprinted in WUWT in 2009.
Renewable Energy, Our Downfall:–-our-downfall/

March 26, 2018 4:23 am
Wind power is intermittent and non-dispatchable and therefore should be valued much lower than the reliable, dispatchable power typically available from conventional electric power sources such as fossil fuels, hydro and nuclear.
In practice, one should assume the need for almost 100% conventional backup for wind power (in the absence of a hypothetical grid-scale “super-battery”, which does not exist in practical reality). When wind dies, typically on very hot or very cold days, the amount of wind power generated approaches zero.
Capacity Factor equals {total actual power output)/(total rated capacity assuming 100% utilization). The Capacity Factor of wind power in Germany equals about 28%*. However, Capacity Factor is not a true measure of actual usefulness of grid-connected wind power. The following paragraph explains why:
Current government regulations typically force wind power into the grid ahead of conventional power, and pay the wind power producer equal of greater sums for wind power versus conventional power, which artificially makes wind power appear more economic. This practice typically requires spinning backup of conventional power to be instantly available, since wind power fluctuates wildly, reportedly at the cube of the wind speed. The cost of this spinning backup is typically not deducted from the price paid to the wind power producer.
The true factor that reflects the intermittency of wind power Is the Substitution Capacity*, which is about 5% in Germany – a large grid with a large wind power component. Substitution Capacity is the amount of dispatchable (conventional) power you can permanently retire when you add more wind power to the grid. In Germany they have to add ~20 units of wind power to replace 1 unit of dispatchable power. This is extremely uneconomic.
I SUGGEST THAT THE SUBSTITUTION CAPACITY OF ~5% IS A REASONABLE FIRST APPROXIMATION FOR WHAT WIND POWER IS REALLY WORTH – that is 1/20th of the value of reliable, dispatchable power from conventional sources. Anything above that 5% requires spinning conventional backup, which makes the remaining wind power redundant and essentially worthless.
This is a before-coffee first-approximation of the subject. Improvements are welcomed, provided they are well-researched and logical.
Regards, Allan
* Reference:
“E.On Netz excellent Wind Report 2005” at

March 26, 2018 6:13 am

Funny how wind power proponents always – ALWAYS – only quote the nameplate CAPACITY… E.g ‘COULD power x-thousand homes…etc…’
Here in what used to be the Democratic United Kingdom – I feel sorry for the good citizens of Brighton, on the South Coast. They used to have an uninterrupted view of the horizon out to sea – now they get to look at (I think) 140 turbines..
Still, they voted in the one Green MP in the House of Commons, so I suppose they’ve only got themselves to blame if the money-spending visitor count drops like a stone…

March 26, 2018 7:32 am

>>…added another rationale to prop up their case: energy diversity
Diversity for diversity’s sake – where have I heard that before?

Reply to  Mike-SYR
March 27, 2018 5:30 pm

“Diversity for diversity’s sake”
Should we keep with smallpox around?

Tom Kennedy
March 26, 2018 7:43 am

Since the year 2000, industrial wind turbines have overtaken all other causes for mass mortality events for bats in North America and Europe. Millions of bats are killed each year at a time when mosquito populations are skyrocketing. Approximately twice as many bats are killed as birds, since bats are killed even if they only come near the blades due to rapid pressure changes. In the US, a conservative estimate of bat mortality indicates that at least 4 million bats have been killed by wind turbines since 2012. Bats are one of nature’s primary natural defenses for keeping mosquito populations in check. One bat can catch up to 1,000 mosquitoes in just one hour, likely several thousand in a night when mosquitoes are abundant. Scientists estimate that 90% of the hoary bat population could be lost to turbines in the next 50 years.

March 26, 2018 8:33 am

Along the eastern US most of the turbines are sited in the migratory flyways. Besides the millions of bats mentioned above many raptor species fly the length of the ridges where these wind turbines are installed. The true count of raptors killed is known only to the wind turbine operators as they self report with little oversight. If we as ordinary citizens killed or possessed raptors in the numbers killed we would go to prison. The Obama administration gave them a free to kill pass. Special interest money at work in America.

March 26, 2018 8:40 am

wind turbines
Again, this gives real turbines a bad name. You don’t call propeller-planes turbine planes. Only jet-planes use real (gas) turbines. So, again, wind energy comes from pinwheels — just larger versions of the children’s toys w/generators stuck on the end.

March 26, 2018 8:41 am

That all goes along with the solar lobby that touted solar jobs under Obama and then potential solar jobs lost under tariffs recently. Just so you know the truth, a majority of the solar jobs in the U.S. are tax credit mining on rooftops. The name of the game in competitive, best of breed utility scale solar is cost reduction in balance of system costs (labor) after major cost reductions in the panels. What solar panel production remains in the U.S. is in the process of exceptional automation from new investment to replace jobs or closure. The demise of Solar City concerned the declining market for rooftop installs in CA and lock out in NV. And when the early adopters of rooftop solar get around to component replacements, it will be in contrast to much more common and efficient utility scale and community scale solar. But then tax credit mining never had much to do with price comparison or efficiency or grid maintenance costs.

March 26, 2018 10:15 am

Re: Cars killing birds. I have been driving a car for…let’s see, 87 minus 12…75 years. Hit two cows, no birds.

March 26, 2018 12:48 pm

@Scottish-Sceptic Today’s Newspaper
.. Chance to make UK wind sector a WORLD LEADER ..
by Julia King*, the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador
Doh ! “UK could be world leader” = “UK taxpayers will probably be cash loser”
As pollies rush into as wishful think & splurge cash on making mistakes.
* JK was ex-head of Aston Uni, made Baroness of Cambridge, & #2 on the Committee on Climate Change. (A parliamentary committee which does a lot of harm to logic)

March 26, 2018 1:26 pm

Did anyone see the item the other day, somewhere on UK TV about windturbines on the isle of Lewis?
“The locals are objecting to an EDF development of 35 turbines, good I thought they’ve enough already, but no it wasn’t that at all.
Apparently a community farm of three turbines earns the island about £1million a year (not sure if Harris benefits) and they want to built said development them selves.
Spread evenly between every family on Lewis will have a six figure annual income paid for in subsidies.
Perhaps the Brahan Seer got it right about people returning after the black rain, all those emigrants descendants coming back to claim long deserted crofts to have a share in the booty.”
Feb 4th

March 26, 2018 1:38 pm

sorry mod, pls delete the double post

Gunga Din
March 26, 2018 3:37 pm

Wind and solar power do have a place … small scale. Military in the field to recharge their equipment. My pocket calculator. Maybe a house that has a small turbine and/or solar panels for a separate power circuit dedicated to recharging peoples phones, batteries, etc. overnight.
But to depend on it for 24/7 power for the whole house?
Moonbeams and Lollipops and California Dreamin’.
(Ivankinsmans thinks drugs help it all make sense.

March 26, 2018 4:07 pm

In the Great Depression, my grandparents were forced to take the family from the (electrified!) city back to the farm. Grandma suddenly had to care for 10 kids with water hauled from a spring, and no electricity. As soon as he was old enough, one of my uncles got a job and saved up to buy a windmill from, iirc, a Montgomery Ward catalog. This resulted in a small book’s worth of family stories, including the guy delivering the battery getting stuck in western-Pennsylvania snow and ice and having to leave his rig for a month. Raising the windmill into position involved much hilarity, with various uncles being counterweights jumping from high in a tree.
The first thing the windmill did was break, as the electrical demand of a single clothes iron wasn’t quite enough — the blade, specifically. Grandpa, handy woodworker, made a new one. He attached a light bulb to settle things down, and thereafter, the light glowing brighter and fading as the wind surged and fell off was a nighttime beacon for miles around.
I don’t think anyone believed it was worth it, except for the stories, though Grandma did appreciate the thought.
disclaimer: if anything in the above story doesn’t quite make electrical sense, I’m an electrical idiot and all the guilty parties (and storytellers) are far beyond reach.

March 26, 2018 6:06 pm

Yesterday, I posted information from the Bentek study where they stated that two particular coal fired power plants could be taken permanently offline to meet lower emissions and power needs. That post disappeared. What happened?

Snarling Dolphin
March 26, 2018 7:51 pm

The answer (to self-delusion) my friend is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind…

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