Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Big Wind Bubble Nears Bursting Point

From Spain to Denmark to the UK to the US, wind developments are being canceled and wind turbine factories are down-sizing or closing altogether. The best intentions of politicians and faux environmentalists can not make big wind into a reliable or affordable source of needed electrical power. Taxpayer subsidies are being squandered on a form of energy which can only fail, in the foreseeable future.
New US wind turbine installations have slowed significantly this year, compared to 2009, and the decline is having consequences. Among other fallout, Suzlon is mothballing a four-year-old wind turbine factory in Minnesota and laying off the remaining 110 workers, due to a lack of new orders. While the industry pins most of the blame for the slowdown on insufficiently aggressive federal energy policies, it suddenly occurred to me to wonder whether wind power, like housing, might have been caught up in an investment bubble that has finally popped, somewhat belatedly.

... _EnergyTribune
If not for massive government subsidies, grants, mandates, counter-productive regulations, and other promotions, big wind power would be in a world of hurt. But as already debt-ridden governments pour more and more good money into bad energy policy, the end-game is coming into view -- and it does not look very pretty. Eventually, the money squandered on big wind projects is borrowed money, which can never be paid back. As unredeemable bonds and loans accumulate, powerful submerged stresses and undercurrents build, which threaten to break out into open conflict.

Ironically, in the end the "Green Industry" may end up promoting the "War Industry", which is just the kind of paradox that good intentions typically generate.



Blogger Randall Parker said...

The reduction in demand for wind electricity should be seen in context. Many proposed coal electric plants have been canceled and ditto for proposed nuclear electric plants. US electric demand fell in the recession and so capital spending on all manner of electric power generating capacity has been slashed.

8:52 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

Interesting point.

Perhaps one of the differences between a coal or nuclear plant and a wind project, is that when you cancel coal or nuclear you are canceling reliable power generation.

With wind, you are canceling a fantasy, a dream.

While we can survive, huddling in the cold dark ruins, no one can live without a dream.

8:23 AM  

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