The need to question wind power and its ability to meet future energy needs has taken on added importance, given the ongoing U.N. Climate Change Conference now taking place in Cancun, Mexico through December 10.
Wind power has long been promoted as a viable form of clean energy in the U.S. and among world leaders. For unlike fossil fuels, wind does not emit CO2, classified as a greenhouse gas by the Obama administration EPA, even though CO2 is essential for plant life and life in general.
The issue of wind power will most likely not be outwardly discussed at the U.N. Cancun Conference, but it will remain as an undercurrent of thought throughout the conference as CO2 is vilified by participants as an agent of world destruction.
During opening talks at the Cancun Conference on Monday, November 29, the U.N. predictably called for action to avoid raising damage from floods, droughts, heat waves, and rising sea levels.
According to Raajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N. panel of climate scientists, "[d]elays in action would only lead to impacts which would be much larger and in all likelihood more severe than we have had to far."
Mexican President Felipe Calderón warned in a speech to fifteen thousand delegates, business leaders, activists, and journalists how "[i]t would be a tragedy if our inability to see beyond our personal interest, our group or national interests make us fail [to fight global warming]." At last year's fifteenth U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which ended in a deadlock, President Obama committed the U.S. to the nonbinding goal of cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 17% of 2005 levels by 2020. This nation avoided what could only be catastrophic results when, during 2010, Obama failed to convince the U.S. Congress to pass his greenhouse gas emissions reduction scheme.
States are not waiting to receive their instructions from Washington, D.C. Instead, mandates for wind power production are being legislated. County and community boards are likewise drawing up rules and regulations for wind turbines projects per state mandates.
In the state of Illinois, three years ago, the Democrat-controlled General Assembly passed legislation mandating that 25% of electricity must be produced from renewable energy by 2025, which adds up to 7,500 to 8,000 MW of renewable energy coming from wind. Why wind? Because solar power is four times as expensive as wind to produce.
It's ironic that these same Illinois legislators are unconcerned that Exelon Corporation's CEO, John Rowe, has made the decision to decommission the Zion Nuclear Plant, a relatively young plant when shut down in 1998, with a potential to produce 2,100 megawatts of green, non-polluting, low-cost, and safe electricity, and which had years left to generate electricity through equipment replacements and upgrades.
Why is it that according to the 2009 Energy Information Agency Report on Electricity Generation, wind power provides only 70.8 billion kWh out of the U.S. total of 3.953 billion kWh at a time when wind power has been promoted by politicians and environmentalists, new construction of coal-fired plants face opposition, and no new nuclear plants have been allowed to proceed from the drawing board since the 1979 and Three-Mile Island?
There have been plenty of published reports that discredit the use of wind power for wide-scale production of power. Nevertheless, wind and solar power are received favorably by the public due to the propaganda that has been spewed by the media, extreme environmentalists, and global warming alarmists.
But might wind and solar power be more aptly described as the flavors of the day?
The First International Symposium on the Global Wind Industry and Adverse Health Effects, using the current state of knowledge, published these facts which contradict wind industry's claims: "That sounds heard from wind turbines are no louder than whispers or a refrigeration; that they do not produce low-frequency sound; that people cannot detect infra sound; that wind turbine noise doesn't go above annoyance; that wind turbine noise affects few people seriously; that wind development serves the public good; that wind development saves lives by closing coal-burning electricity plants; and that Wind Energy Development is a solution to the Need for Electricity."
Additional drawbacks of wind turbines include the following:
- Wind power from turbines cannot be called up when needed during peak load periods, because wind power can't be stored and depends on when the wind blows for its generation.
- Wind turbines experience wear and tear, must be maintained, and must eventually be replaced after twenty years. In comparison, nuclear plant licenses routinely are being extended another twenty years when plants are nearing their expected lifetime of forty years.
- Wind turbines are expensive to install for the small amount of energy they produce and the amount of money they save the user: A 2.4 KW small unit costs from $17,000 - $24,000 to install. Ten-KW wind turbines start at $70,000 to install. Most turbines are produced in China (green jobs?). (Information received from a personal inquiry into turbine costs.)
- The footprint per turbine is around 0.25 acres of land taken out of production, which does not include the five to ten turbine diameters of spacing required between wind turbines.
- Because the cost of investing in wind turbine energy is high, the government (state and federal) must sweeten the pot for investors by awarding them substantial subsidies to construct wind facilities. But what will happen when generous government subsidies are withdrawn as incentives to develop wind facilities and farms? It's already happening in other countries and even here in the United States, despite the state mandates on the books to drastically increase the use of wind power for electricity generation.
Until the American people open their eyes and realize that they have been hoodwinked into wasting taxpayer money on wind turbines that eventually will be toppled like the statue of Saddam Hussein, they and our nation will be the losers.