- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

A boondoggle and very slim pickin’s

The following are several points and questions to be considered before blindly charging ahead to find reliable CO2 free energy replacing the world’s finite oil reservoirs. Will the much touted advantages of energy from wind outweigh the disadvantages? This question has been examined carefully from all angles, from health risks, consumer costs, eminent domain, the environmental impacts including the wildlife, and devaluations of private property. The conclusive answer is no.

Efforts and money are diverted from truly productive solutions to the problem.

We are in and of the information age, yet public opinion is slow and reluctant to extrapolate the downsides objectively. It seems that common sense no longer informs caveat emptor.

The pig is in the poke, the fox in the hen house and a boon is not in the boondoggle.

A rebut to the NY Times editorial 7.22.08, T. Boone Pickens Rides the Wind:

* Tax subsidies for wind plants insure previous profits of the dollar investment from ten billion on down.
* Turbine installation makes only temporary work for mostly specialists and road gangs.
* Electricity generation does not use oil, the transportation sector uses most of our oil consumption.
* Wind plants, running at a fraction of their total production capacity due to vagaries of wind velocity, must be backed up by conventional generators spewing more CO2.
* Power generated is diminished substantially through the grid distribution process.

Questions to Mr. Pickens, the developer:

ü How often in the Texas proposed wind plant locations is the wind velocity good for producing energy?

ü What average percent of power generated is actually piped into consumption?

ü How much energy can be stored for ready use anytime?

ü What is the consumer’s costs in tax subsidies and electric bills from commercial wind plants?

ü How far away are houses from turbines? How many are closer than a half mile, a mile, and a mile and a half? The World Health Organization stipulates a one and a half mile setback.

Preston McClanahan

Professor Emeritus,

RI School of Design