Actually examining the Green New Deal's wind turbines

Preaching green faith, socialist trust, and pixie dust, the Green New Deal is more fantasy than fact.  America's new Green Energy Pixie, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has been waving a magic wand, conjuring up the money for this fantasy, claiming that it will materialize out of thin air!

Apparently, the physical impossibility of green energy-harvesting to generate America's electricity needs in less than a decade escapes Brooklyn's Tinkerbelle. 

Prestidigitation aside, what would it take to green-generate all her home state's electricity?  Let's run some numbers in the real world.  

New York State has always been a leader in renewable energy, currently generating 29% of all electricity with renewable power sources.  The lion's share, 24%, is generated from hydro-electric by Niagara Falls.  Wind is 3% with 1,200 turbines, followed by solar and biodiesel at 2%.

Niagara Falls, a natural hydroelectric corridor, generates 2.6 gigawatts.  Putting that in a perspective for Miss Cortez, that would power two flux capacitors in Doc Brown's DeLorean.

New York State generates 33% of its electricity from nuclear reactors.  Replacing those nukes with wind turbines is viable yet expensive.  Building twelve thousand land-based turbines rated at 1 to 1.5 MW costing around $1,600,000 each, or $19 billion, is not the only cost.  Erecting these 300-foot-tall turbines at a rate of four per day would take at least ten years.  Shutting down and remediation of six remaining nuclear reactors will take 60 years at about two billion dollars each, according to the NRC.  Another cost: Turbines fail when the wind is not within their range of operation and need a backup generator.  Add in another 3.3-billion-dollar expense, according to the U.S. EIA, to build natural gas backup generators.  Total estimated cost: 34.3 billion dollars for one third of NYS's electricity.  The best data from actual wind farms globally puts the ROI at 21.5 years, with an advertised lifespan of 20 years for the turbines.  Yes, Alexandria, they do cost more money to run than the amount of energy produced.

Wind turbines are a workable alternative.  Downside: They require a lot of land,  kill a lot of birds, operate only in a wind corridor, and to date do not have a positive return on investment.   

New York State's green energy carnival barker, Governor Cuomo, is promoting his own GND using mega-offshore turbines.  Cuomo, too, has been glossing over so many unanswered questions and undetermined costs.  This could be a tangible solution based on GE's future prospectus.  These 900-plus-foot towers, rated at 10-12 MWs each, could replace another third of NYS electricity needs.  Currently offshore mega-turbines are prototypes with serious design flaws.  Catastrophic failures occur at the center pivot axis of a 600-foot blade span.  Similar to an auto tire, when the harmonic balance is compromised, massive torque causes the axle and gear box to self-destruct and catch fireburning the fiberglass structure and oil-filled turbine down to the ocean below.

Offshore turbine pricing's best estimate is 1.17 euros per Megawatt, or 1.3M USD.  Governor Cuomo could spend 5 billion in prospectus for delivery of mega-turbines to fill one third of New York's needs.  Will they be delivered as promised by 2021, typhoon ready?  How long it will take to get them online, and what will be the final cost per kWh be at the electric meter?  Those answers, too, may be blowing in the wind.  

One aspect remains constant for renewable green energy: lofty promises and actual electrical power produced are more fantasy than fact.  After analyzing the offshore wind turbine facet of the GND, we can make one conclusion.  The most feasible aspect of this massive socialist government takeover is an emerging technology based on promises of rainbows yet to come.

Moving from a hydrocarbon-based energy economy is a good thing.  Remediation of Cold War relic nuclear reactors is a sound plan.  Allowing the government to control every aspect of our lives is a fantasy.

America's Green Energy Pixie has promised a Green New Deal full of imaginary possibilities, just around the corner — just like her unicorn.  You'll see.

Alanaszkler@gmail.com (@aaszkler) is a conservative, electrical engineer, energy enthusiast, and occasional contributor to American Thinker.

Preaching green faith, socialist trust, and pixie dust, the Green New Deal is more fantasy than fact.  America's new Green Energy Pixie, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has been waving a magic wand, conjuring up the money for this fantasy, claiming that it will materialize out of thin air!

Apparently, the physical impossibility of green energy-harvesting to generate America's electricity needs in less than a decade escapes Brooklyn's Tinkerbelle. 

Prestidigitation aside, what would it take to green-generate all her home state's electricity?  Let's run some numbers in the real world.  

New York State has always been a leader in renewable energy, currently generating 29% of all electricity with renewable power sources.  The lion's share, 24%, is generated from hydro-electric by Niagara Falls.  Wind is 3% with 1,200 turbines, followed by solar and biodiesel at 2%.

Niagara Falls, a natural hydroelectric corridor, generates 2.6 gigawatts.  Putting that in a perspective for Miss Cortez, that would power two flux capacitors in Doc Brown's DeLorean.

New York State generates 33% of its electricity from nuclear reactors.  Replacing those nukes with wind turbines is viable yet expensive.  Building twelve thousand land-based turbines rated at 1 to 1.5 MW costing around $1,600,000 each, or $19 billion, is not the only cost.  Erecting these 300-foot-tall turbines at a rate of four per day would take at least ten years.  Shutting down and remediation of six remaining nuclear reactors will take 60 years at about two billion dollars each, according to the NRC.  Another cost: Turbines fail when the wind is not within their range of operation and need a backup generator.  Add in another 3.3-billion-dollar expense, according to the U.S. EIA, to build natural gas backup generators.  Total estimated cost: 34.3 billion dollars for one third of NYS's electricity.  The best data from actual wind farms globally puts the ROI at 21.5 years, with an advertised lifespan of 20 years for the turbines.  Yes, Alexandria, they do cost more money to run than the amount of energy produced.

Wind turbines are a workable alternative.  Downside: They require a lot of land,  kill a lot of birds, operate only in a wind corridor, and to date do not have a positive return on investment.   

New York State's green energy carnival barker, Governor Cuomo, is promoting his own GND using mega-offshore turbines.  Cuomo, too, has been glossing over so many unanswered questions and undetermined costs.  This could be a tangible solution based on GE's future prospectus.  These 900-plus-foot towers, rated at 10-12 MWs each, could replace another third of NYS electricity needs.  Currently offshore mega-turbines are prototypes with serious design flaws.  Catastrophic failures occur at the center pivot axis of a 600-foot blade span.  Similar to an auto tire, when the harmonic balance is compromised, massive torque causes the axle and gear box to self-destruct and catch fireburning the fiberglass structure and oil-filled turbine down to the ocean below.

Offshore turbine pricing's best estimate is 1.17 euros per Megawatt, or 1.3M USD.  Governor Cuomo could spend 5 billion in prospectus for delivery of mega-turbines to fill one third of New York's needs.  Will they be delivered as promised by 2021, typhoon ready?  How long it will take to get them online, and what will be the final cost per kWh be at the electric meter?  Those answers, too, may be blowing in the wind.  

One aspect remains constant for renewable green energy: lofty promises and actual electrical power produced are more fantasy than fact.  After analyzing the offshore wind turbine facet of the GND, we can make one conclusion.  The most feasible aspect of this massive socialist government takeover is an emerging technology based on promises of rainbows yet to come.

Moving from a hydrocarbon-based energy economy is a good thing.  Remediation of Cold War relic nuclear reactors is a sound plan.  Allowing the government to control every aspect of our lives is a fantasy.

America's Green Energy Pixie has promised a Green New Deal full of imaginary possibilities, just around the corner — just like her unicorn.  You'll see.

Alanaszkler@gmail.com (@aaszkler) is a conservative, electrical engineer, energy enthusiast, and occasional contributor to American Thinker.