I don’t see how Frank Maisano thinks that denigrating Dr. Wayne Spiggle helps his cause as a spokesperson for the wind industry in his letter to the editor, “Wind turbine opponents keep ignoring the favorable reports” (April 4 Times-News).
As a member of the “merry handful (growing daily) of wind turbine opponents,” I stand firmly behind Dr. Spiggle and his gallant efforts to educate the public about the truth of the wind industry.
I’ve known Dr. Spiggle since the 1970’s and can attest to his honesty, integrity, and impeccable character. Mr. Maisano’s attack on him only reflects poorly on his own lack of truthfulness and his mean spiritedness.
Let’s shed some light on some of Mr. Maisano’s claims. For example his claim that wind power can provide 20 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030.
Let’s go to a country where there is real experience with wind turbines. In Germany, the total generation capacity for wind is 19 percent, yet in reality only 6 percent of electricity of wind is actually produced.
It is easy to claim that wind will produce a certain amount of wind based on the amount of electricity it will make when operating under ideal situations.
However, in reality since the wind doesn’t blow all of the time, the actual amount of electricity produced by wind in mid Atlantic Appalachian region is only 30 percent of the ideal potential on average and drops to 13 percent in the summer, when demand is the highest.
Of course, when the wind is fickle, the grid requires consistency so back up electricity needs to be cranked up to fill in. That of course will be either coal or natural gas which produces green house gases.
In Germany, of the 19 percent generating capacity, only 4 to 8 percent is capable of replacing coal.
What is so clean about that? When industry claims that wind is “clean” they conveniently fail to tell you why they can’t back that statement up.
Another myth is that wind is “Free.” They fail to tell you that next to solar, according to the Energy Information Administration, the levelized cost of wind is the most expensive form of electricity, and that includes all of the subsidies, grants, and tax incentives.
These are just a few of the reasons why Dr. Spiggle and his “Merry Handful” and I are fighting to save those biologically rich Appalachian ridges from yet another form of desecration that enriches the pockets of an avarice industry safely located far away from the people, flora, and fauna they adversely affect.
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