The Wind-Energy Myth

Texans have found out the hard, hot way, that when they need lots of energy to power their air conditioners in Summer, then wind power just doesn’t deliver the base load they require. Texas has invested around $25bn in building wind farms, which are only capable of delivering 2.2% of the total power demand – compared with the promised 15%. What the wind-energy lobby groups fail to tell people is the following dirty little secret: When power demand is highest, wind energy’s output is generally low. The reverse is also true: Wind-energy production is usually highest during the middle of the night, when electricity use is lowest. Instead of installing wind power – which really only benefits those who build the structures or the scammers that leech off the subsidies – is to rather install nuclear or natural gas-fired operations. At least that would be a more reliable energy source and kinder to the environment – especially to the 450 000 odd birds that wind turbines slaughter each year. Yet, the Green lobby groups push wind power and because we have gutless governments in place, more and more of these ugly, useless wind farms will be built all around the world, until the world finally wakes up. Are we really this dumb?

Wind turbines on the King Mountain wind farm north of McCamey, Texas

Hot? Don’t count on wind energy to cool you down. That’s the lesson emerging from the stifling heat wave that’s hammering Texas.

Over the past week or so, Texans have been consuming record-breaking quantities of electricity, and ERCOT, the state’s grid operator, has warned of rolling blackouts if customers don’t reduce their consumption.

Texas has 10,135 megawatts of installed wind-generation capacity. That’s nearly three times as much as any other state. But during three sweltering days last week, when the state set new records for electricity demand, the state’s vast herd of turbines proved incapable of producing any serious amount of power.

Consider the afternoon of August 2, when electricity demand hit 67,929 megawatts. Although electricity demand and prices were peaking, output from the state’s wind turbines was just 1,500 megawatts, or about 15 percent of their total nameplate capacity. Put another way, wind energy was able to provide only about 2.2 percent of the total power demand even though the installed capacity of Texas’s wind turbines theoretically equals nearly 15 percent of peak demand. This was no anomaly.

On four days in August 2010, when electricity demand set records, wind energy was able to contribute just 1, 2, 1, and 1 percent, respectively, of total demand.

Over the past few years, about $17 billion has been spent installing wind turbines in Texas. Another $8 billion has been allocated for transmission lines to carry the electricity generated by the turbines to distant cities. And now, Texas ratepayers are on the hook for much of that $25 billion, even though they can’t count on the wind to keep their air conditioners running when temperatures soar.

That $25 billion could have been used to build about 5,000 megawatts of highly reliable nuclear generation capacity, or as much as 25,000 megawatts of natural-gas-fired capacity, all of which could have been reliably put to work during the hottest days of summer.

The wind-energy lobby has been masterly at garnering huge subsidies and mandates by claiming that its product is a “green” alternative to conventional electricity. But the hype has obscured a dirty little secret: When power demand is highest, wind energy’s output is generally low. The reverse is also true: Wind-energy production is usually highest during the middle of the night, when electricity use is lowest.

The incurable intermittency and extreme variability of wind energy requires utilities and grid operators to continue relying on conventional sources of generation like coal, natural gas, and nuclear fuel.

Nevertheless, 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, now have renewable-energy mandates. Those expensive mandates cannot be met with solar energy, which, despite enormous growth in recent years, still remains a tiny player in the renewable sector. If policymakers want to meet those mandates, landowners and citizens will have to learn to live with sprawling forests of noisy, 45-story-tall wind turbines.

The main motive for installing all those turbines is that they are supposed to help reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, which, in turn, is supposed to help prevent global temperature increases. But it’s already hot — really hot — in Texas and other parts of the southern United States. And that leads to an obvious question: If the global-warming catastrophists are right, and it’s going to get even hotter, then why the heck are we putting up wind turbines that barely work when it’s hot?

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About limelite001

This is my tribute to highlighting the hyposcrisy in the left and racial world...

Posted on 13 August 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Today, I flew over several windmill farms in Texas at 11500 feet. The temperature on the ground was well over 100 degrees. Looking at the hundreds of windmills below, the only blades that were turning were those directly in front of me- the propeller running on gasoline!

  2. I watched a discussion on RT (Russian English speaking television) this week and one of these dudes was saying that these turbines can never supply their nameplate capacity due to the variability of the wind. The electricity grid requires a steady flow of electricity, any variation has to be made up by good old fashion reliable power generation i.e. coal or nuclear power generated power. Can you just imagine how these poor sods that control the power grid have to juggle all these variations to prevent a total black-out. Lime Lite, is the figure of 450,000 bird strikes only in the US or is this world wide? That sounds terrible whatever it is. They are now putting these monstrosities up here in the Western Cape, and there goes the most beautiful province in SA for a ball of shit!!!

  3. @Pensioner – here is a link stating that 440 000 birds are killed in the USA anually: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jun/06/local/la-me-adv-wind-eagles-20110606

    I have read an article which states that 450 000 birds die in California alone each year due to those blasted wind farms – I'll keep looking for the link.

  4. They are a blot on any landscape especially the western Cape! The greens don't want Coal, they go even more loony if you mention nuclear, just what do they want?

    GM

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