I’d like to respond to Frank Maisano’s letter from March 6. It is the wind industry that puts forth half truths to support their endeavors to make money under the pretense of providing clean energy.
The claim is repeated frequently that these turbines will provide significant reductions in green house gas (GHG) emissions. Experiences in Europe give no indication that this is true.
The problem is that wind plants do not provide predictable outputs of electricity. Generation arrives in unpredictable peaks and valleys. The grids that provide us with electricity rely on predictable outputs. Demand and production must match. As such, any wind plant must have back-up generation readily available to fill in when the wind plant generation falls. Using GHG-free, predictable generation as back-up makes no sense, as this would preclude the need for the turbines. Fossil-fuel plants cannot simply be turned on and off. They must be constantly running to fill these unpredictable gaps.
Data from major wind power operators in Europe is uncovering some significant problems using wind power for large-scale generation – all previously claimed as myths by wind proponents.
Germany anticipates wind power capacity of 48 GW by 2020. Recent studies conducted by the industry conclude that this will equate to just 2 GW of fossil-fuel generation, or just a tad over 4% of installed capacity.
Another problem with wind is that it’s abundant when not needed and unavailable when power demand peaks.
In 2004 Denmark wind provided a surplus of 84%. Over 80% was exported to Norway. Norway uses GHG-free hydro generation to produce 98.5% of its electricity.
Increased wind generation capacity in a power grid makes it more subject to disturbances produced by the unpredictable nature of wind.
On November 4, 2006, Europe experienced a large-scale blackout linked to wind power. Texas experienced a similar problem quelled in impact due to some customers voluntarily being cut off from supply.
If we intend to continue our current rising rate of energy consumption, we must find reliable and predictable sources. Wind just isn’t predictable. It just isn’t part of the solution.
Jimmy Tragle, D.V.M.
P.S. I own land on Jack Mountain adjacent to the property on which Liberty Gap wishes to site a wind plant.
13 March 2008
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding