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Real costs of wind energy  

Re: Wind energy competitive, Sept. 15.

I have toured the impressive wind power complex on Wolfe Island.

But our guide slipped out a number of details that, I think, should have been confidential. The farmers who parted with or leased a small amount of land are very well paid and happy. One is led to suspect that all who participate in green energy components have been treated with equal luxury. Justin Rangooni, Ontario policy manager of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, seems to be a participant.

He wrote that “wind energy is contributing very little to increased hydro bills to date.” He neglected to say that the cost of the small amount of wind energy produced is averaged out to millions of hydro customers. Or that wind energy will never amount to a significant part of our energy requirement, so his claim will be accurate forever.

His statement “that we need significant new investment in transmission infrastructure” is correct, but he should have included the fact that the cost of infrastructure per unit of energy produced is at least an order of magnitude higher for wind energy than for conventional energy sources. Claims about the jobs created because of green energy production are questionable. But perhaps that is why green energy is so expensive.

Rangooni should have also mentioned that the wind does not always blow. Backup from conventional sources must equal nearly 100 per cent of the wind generation capacity. Is this included when proponents talk about costs?

Harry K. Menna, P. Eng, Ottawa

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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