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Expensive power  

Credit:  The Observer, www.lagrandeobserver.com 28 December 2010 ~~

Our government subsidizes wind farms to the tune of $23.34 for each KWH while the subsidies for natural gas plants are a mere $.25 per KWH; coal is at $.44; and hydro power is at $.67.

Wind generation receives so much of tax money up front that you might think it would be inexpensive to the consumer. That’s not the case – wind power is the “gift” that just keeps on taking. Consumers wouldn’t choose more expensive wind power over hydro power if they only had the choice. Thanks to our Federal Renewable Energy Standards, wind energy is forced upon consumers as it enters the power grid even when cheaper hydro power could meet the demands.

As more wind farms are developed, we should brace ourselves for electric rate increases of 36 percent for households and 60 percent for industrial consumers. Such rate increases could easily cause curtailment or closure of some industrial plants. It already has in Spain.

We seem bent on repeating the Spanish experience in our nation. Gabriel Alavarez, Ph.D., studied the matter in Spain and produced a report in March 2009. He concluded that for every four “green” jobs that were gained, nine other jobs were lost. Spain has suffered unemployment rates of 17.5 percent to 20 percent. Recently, Spain curtailed subsidies for wind energy. We should do the same.

The proponents of wind energy continue to rant about development and jobs. The “development” refers to the degradation of what most of us hold dear. The “jobs” are a false promise. If 20 full-time jobs result from the Antelope Ridge project, we would likely lose 45 full-time jobs. That is not moving forward. I hope we don’t need another mill closure or curtailment at a trailer plant to prove this folly.

The only thing left for citizens to do is to voice opposition to this foolish waste of resources on a project-by-project basis. That Union County voted against the Antelope Ridge project is a great start. But the struggle is far from over.

Ray Randall

Union

Source:  The Observer, www.lagrandeobserver.com 28 December 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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