In reference to the “My Word” column, by Mr. Lehman and Mr. Sheppard in the 12/24/11 issue of the Times-Standard, I would like to add some very pertinent data that they failed to include in their opinion of the need and effectiveness of wind energy. Wind energy cannot compete economically with other forms of energy, such as hydro, biomass or carbon-fired plants. Therefore, all wind energy must be subsidized by state and federal grants and tax incentives.
If we depended on wind energy without the subsidies, our electrical bills would more than double. Since we, the taxpayers, actually pay the subsidies, we are indirectly paying an inflated price for this electrical energy. Wind energy is only available when the wind is blowing within velocity limits and cannot be stored, thus we still must have a continuous source of energy on line, such as the gas-fired PG&E plant in Eureka. The energy developed by the Bear River Ridge wind farm will not just be used in Humboldt County, but will go on the grid from which all electrical energy is dispatched to the end user through local distributors such as PG&E.
The process of manufacturing and installing wind turbines, which includes everything from mining the raw ore, cement, gas and oil all the way through the transport and installation, lays a huge carbon footprint on this earth. When one considers this carbon footprint and the ecological, animal and avian harm that wind farms wreak on the areas in which they
reside, I have to conclude that this type of energy is far from green but more like a muddy mess.
We, collectively, should use our grant and tax dollars to research and develop true, long-term carbon-free cost-effective energy sources. Wind energy has become just another way that large companies raid our state and federal treasure. Wind farms eventually die when the subsidies die, leaving us with an unsightly landscape that can never be restored to its natural character.
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