Saturday, August 25, 2012

What Green Cronies Don't Want You to Know About Wind

...wind is an inherently unreliable power source. The strength and direction of wind fluctuates in different areas and at different times of the day. Because of this problem, wind-powered energy grids require additional fossil fuel-based energy to balance and stabilize them. The combination of wind-based and fossil fuel-based energy grids drives up the cost of using wind energy, which is then passed onto struggling businesses and worried consumers. At the same time, because of its reliance on stable fossil fuel-based energy, wind energy isn’t decreasing as many emissions as we had hoped.

Wind energy has also proved itself to be economically disastrous. The PTC has cost billions of dollars over the past two decades. After 20 years of burdensome subsidies, the industry generates less than 2 percent of all energy consumed in the United States while costing taxpayers more than $1 billion annually. As a stark indicator of the wind industry health, it shed 10,000 jobs since 2009.

Though unreliable and financially unviable, wind energy is assumed to be at least environmentally friendly. But this is false. Wind energy isn’t as environmentally friendly as special interests and politicians would have us believe. The unspeakable environmental impact on migrating bat and bird populations is just one harmful aspect of the wind industry. An estimated 33,000 to 111,000 bats are predicted to be killed by wind turbines in the mid-Atlantic Highlands alone by 2020. The American Bird Conservancy estimates that U.S. wind turbines kill between 75,000 and 275,000 birds per year, including hundreds of bald eagles. Bat and bird populations are desperately needed to sustain healthy local ecosystems but the wind industry has a proven record of distributing this fragile balance.

...Why haven’t the politicians in Washington come to terms with the realities of wind energy? Recently, the Senate Finance Committee voted to extend the PTC for another year, costing an additional $3.3 billion. Two Republicans on the committee—Sens. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and John Thune of South Dakota—threw their votes behind an extension of the credit. The wind industry happens to be rather expansive in both of these states and relies on government subsidies for survival.

An American energy policy that caters to misguided environmental interest groups, wind industry lobbyists, and special interest politicians is flat out wrong. Americans deserve an energy policy that embraces reliable, economically viable, and environmental friendly resources. Wind energy is sadly none of these things. An extension of the PTC will simply continue the use of unreliable, costly, and environmental dangerous resources while benefiting special interest groups rather than the nation as a whole. _Dr. Wayne T Brough

Dr. Brough is actually understating the problems with big wind energy in his article above. The cost of forcing unreliable and unpredictable wind energy onto a delicately balanced power grid is incalculable over the long run, due to the many central and peripheral repercussions which are rarely placed on the balance sheet under the proper category.

Europe has already chosen energy suicide by the intermittent unreliables, wind and solar. But it is still not too late for other advanced economic communities to make wiser choices.



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