We agree with the industrial wind spokesman who said recently in a meeting covered by the Times-News, that wind and coal are mutually beneficial.
Wind does not reduce the burning of coal, acknowledged as being a major cause of green house gas emissions. So, the question must be asked: If wind does not significantly reduce the burning of coal, how can it be green?
Wind needs coal and other fossil fuels because turbine output fluctuates up and down with the wind. Nationally, turbine efficiency is only in the range of 30 percent. In our region it may be rated as low as 15 percent.
Grid regulations require measures to make sure electricity is ready at the moment it is needed so the grid must maintain back up.
Currently, wind only amounts to 1 percent of electricity generation nationally but if taxpayers continue to subsidize wind at current levels and the industry grows, the inefficiency of wind promises to be very problematic.
The price for subsidizing wind is very high. A White House Memo last October revealed instances when the wind promoter had only 10 percent of “skin in the game.”
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of the Treasury are concerned about the extraordinary subsidies to wind. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says those subsidies amount to 20 times per unit of electricity as that for coal and gas.
About $475,000 per job is what wind costs the taxpayer, according to an analysis cited in the Wall Street Journal, Dec. 20, 2010. That is four times what it costs a non-subsidized private firm to create a job – a lousy return on investment even for government, said the Journal.
So, we must ask another question: How long can the public sustain this level of corporate welfare to the wind industry?
There is much to be learned about the fallacies of industrial wind. That is why we organized the Allegheny Highlands Alliance (AHA) to do our best to educate the public. AHA members come from West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina.
Most of us were initially convinced that wind is green, free and feasible. Unfortunately, the facts lead to an opposite conclusion, If your readers would like to know more, we hope they will contact us.
Larry Thomas, president, AHA
Wayne Spiggle, local member, AHA
Short Gap, W.Va.
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