When I saw that photo of the ice-encrusted lighthouse at Cleveland’s Lake Erie harbor entrance in Saturday’s paper and on the Internet, the first thing that came to my mind was, “What a great place for a series of wind turbines.” I can only imagine that the renewable energy visionaries who are touting eastern Lake Erie as the future home of an Ohio wind farm were thinking the same thing. The wind was really great last week. Those wind turbines would be generating their designed output for sure – if they weren’t frozen solid.
Maybe it is just me, but I have trouble taking a wind farm seriously along the shore or somewhat offshore of eastern Lake Erie. Things like lake effect snow and that lighthouse picture just seem to scream at me, “Don’t do that!” I’d think the engineers and electric utility planners would come to the same conclusion; however, it seems that green-colored glasses have a way of obliterating common sense. Of course, there is a lot of money available out there to chase pipe dreams in the pursuit of greenness, and many are happy to take that money to the bank.
As I’ve written before, Ohio is just not a place where wind energy or solar energy has any chance of being a sensible major electricity source. However, the key term here is sensible. It is certainly possible to provide about 6 percent of Ohio’s electricity from renewable, Ohio-based, energy sources by 2025 as required by Senate Bill 221 passed in 2008. However, the cost to do that will be high, and electricity consumers and/or the taxpayer will have to pay for it one way or another. Hopefully, we will have the sense and courage to learn from our European friends who have already been down this road and are drastically cutting back their government subsidies for renewable energy-generated electricity because consumers are balking at the cost.
I don’t know if Gov.-elect Kasich has revisiting Senate Bill 221 on his to-do list, but in my mind it is a no-brainer, just as scuttling the low speed 3-C rail line was.
Robert Brems Sr. is a former citizen member of the Coshocton Tribune Editorial Board.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding