Wind turbines promise to save our planet through free, clean energy.
But our wind is intermittent, seasonal and at best unreliable. GE, a major manufacturer of industrial scale turbines, has reported “the effective capacity of wind turbines in New York is 10 percent due to seasonal and daily patterns of wind generation being largely out of phase with New York electrical grid requirements.”
In Central New York, it is not likely our air conditioners will ever be run by electricity produced by wind power. To add insult to injury, grid managers need to keep a “hot backup” generator spinning to fill in electricity when the wind isn’t blowing. These backup generators run on fossil fuel and produce CO2 pollution. There is virtually no CO2 displacement by wind turbines.
So, what keeps the industrial wind turbine business spinning? Money. Federal and state tax incentives drive this business. The wind farm project in Litchfield would have an effective tax rate of minus 164 percent. Without these kinds of generous subsidies, the wind turbine business would disappear, only to the detriment of a handful of investment bankers, a few landowners and the developers.
Money is the manure that makes wind farms grow.
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