Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Nasty Truth Behind Big Wind Energy

Wind energy has become a great cause and crusade by faux environmentalists and Obamists in and out of government. But big wind energy is most famous for the things it is not: Big wind is not affordable, it is not reliable, it is not dispatchable, it is not baseload. Big wind has become a dogma in a religion of pseudo-science -- a vital tenet in the implementation of a designed energy starvation.
1. Study after study shows that wherever wind development was put in place, natural gas demand went up and the environmental benefits were the opposite of what the advocates expected.

“Cycling” coal plants to accommodate wind generation makes the plants operate inefficiently, which drives up emissions. Moreover, when they are not operated consistently at their designed temperatures, the variability causes problems with the way they interact with their associated emission control technologies, frequently causing erratic emission behavior that can last for several hours before control is regained. Ironically, using wind to a degree that forces utilities to temporarily reduce their coal generation results in greater SO2, NOX and CO2 than would have occurred if less wind energy was generated and coal generation was not impacted.”

2. There is a huge disparity between installed capacity and actual output into the system. In many cases the actual output in the system is less than 20% and in some cases even far less.

There are other unsavory facts that are included in these graphics such as the area required by a wind farm compared to, e.g., nuclear power plant. The Roscoe wind farm in Texas occupies 100,000 acres for a bit less than 800 MW of installed capacity; the Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Arizona occupies 4,050 acres (4 percent of the Texas wind farm) but has a 500 percent larger power capacity (almost 4,000 MW.)

Even more obscene are the government subsidies that go into wind power. For an energy source that barely exceeds one percent of energy output, wind subsidies are $23 per megawatt hour, about 60 times of the $0.44 per megawatt hour that go to the mainstay of US electrical power output, coal and 100 times the $0.25 per megawatt hour that go to natural gas, the two sources that account for over 70 percent of US power supply. Way to go for social engineering. _EnergyTribune



Blogger Arizona said...

Google Likes Wind. Shouldn’t Arizona?

According to a new research report by the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL), the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “stimulus bill” as most of us know it) did a lot of good for America’s wind industry. It’s hip, too. In May Google invested $38.8 million in two North Dakota wind farms. And last week the company announced that it will invest in the Atlantic Wind Connection – a massive new project off the East Coast.

Yet the debate about wind as a renewable energy source we should continue to pursue is not closed. As always, there are pluses and minuses.

Pros of wind power
- No water necessary
- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
- Completely emissions-free

Cons of wind power
- Wind power needs a lot of land per megawatt
- Wind power has a relatively low capacity factor (the ratio of actual output to listed capacity)
- Wind turbines kill birds

As I’ve always said, the fact that there are downsides to wind power does not mean we shouldn’t consider it as part of our energy portfolio. It does mean we should consider it carefully.

5:08 PM  

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