More Wind for the Wind Farm Debate

Faith in industrial wind energy is not supported by actual performance data anywhere.

The world is presently encumbered with over 60,000 industrial-scale wind turbines. In no venue — Germany, Spain, Denmark, California, Texas, Ontario — has wind been correlated with a reduction in CO2 emissions in the making of electricity. Yet, that is their reason for being.

Wind-generated electricity can be used in discrete locations, feeding into expensive storage batteries. But wind is relentlessly volatile and, when connected to the grid, it is destabilizing in ways that decrease the efficiencies and cleanliness of stable fossil power sources and increase a number of costs, including the CO2 emissions.

Nowhere in the world has a coal plant been closed because of a wind project. So, why all the installations, here, there, and everywhere? The answer is in the money trail.

One would think that having something profitable to sell would be driving the push for these big, gleaming, and smokeless sculptures, owing to the production of a good, clean, useful product. But no, the profit is in the guaranteed high rate of return to the lucky industrial developer. It is subsidized almost wholly by ratepayers and taxpayers, who get almost nothing in exchange.

On a kilowatt-hour basis, wind is by far the most heavily-subsidized source of power in the U.S., receiving 25 times more than coal, hydro and natural gas, despite not producing any capacity value, unlike the rest.

It gets worse. Consider the motives. Consider how and where your money is being funneled. Even a cursory examination exposes the connection between the public purse and certain political friendships with potential developers.

A profit also accrues to vote-hungry governments who back these windy schemes, and who then look green to the uninitiated.

In the United States and elsewhere, the feckless wind energy produced is a front for the real business of generating tax schemes benefiting a few at the expense of the many, and playing havoc with the environment while claiming to save it. Disgraced Enron, which owned the nation’s largest collection of wind facilities, pioneered the-tax-shelter-as-a-commodity. In pursuit of a financial bonanza, the wind industry fiercely resists any federal or state regulations guiding wind plant installations.

The same is happening here in Ontario. Two years ago, Ontario was already rewriting planning and environmental laws to weaken cautionary safeguards, in order to strengthen this rural industrial development.

And now McGuinty and Smitherman are touring the province promoting the further weakening of legislative oversight through the Green Energy Act. The plot unfolds predictably. Profits are being made without the public receiving the benefits expected — not power, not a cleaner environment, and not improved public health. This is truly a scandal of massive proportions.

NIMBY? Not In My Backyard? Not in anybody’s backyard.

Ross Bateman

RR# 3, Langton

Woodstock Sentinel

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One response to “More Wind for the Wind Farm Debate

  1. Pingback: Cap & Trade Charade « Ruralgrubby’s Wind Watch

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