[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

News Watch Home

Renewable energy is neither easy nor cheap  

Credit:  Duluth News Tribune | www.duluthnewstribune.com 18 June 2012 ~~

The writer of a letter published May 25 seemed to wish that wind energy would replace fossil fuel electric power (“Wind energy a viable alternate to fossil fuels”). But wind energy has not replaced a fossil fuel power plant anywhere on Earth. If wishes were horses, legislators could pass renewable energy standards that have the ability to ride roughshod over the laws of nature and physics. But they can’t.

Xcel Energy has a program called “Windsource,” through which consumers pay more, not less, to use wind power.

The Energy Information Administration reports that on a per-unit-of-energy basis, subsidies for oil and gas are 28 cents, for coal 39 cents, for nuclear $1.79, for corn ethanol $20.37, for wind $32.39, and for solar $63.

We need more public transport, more efficient cars and light bulbs and to continue support for renewable-energy research.

We don’t need premature projects like the $2 billion Cape Wind farm off Cape Cod in Massachusetts or the proposed, bird-killing wind farm in Goodhue County, Minn. None of these will produce one-tenth the effective output of the Prairie Island nuclear plant, Xcel Energy’s reliable, low-cost power source.

When political candidates talk about the environment this year, think about the economy, which requires each of us to cough up $7,500 for each wealthy buyer of an electric car. Or think about Germany, where middle-income power users pay to subsidize wealthy homeowners who can then decorate their roofs with ineffective solar panels. And think about wind energy’s poster country, Denmark, which has the highest electric rates in Europe.

If wishes were horses, it would be easy and cheap to ride from a world run by fossil fuels to one powered by renewable energy or nuclear plants, but that won’t be easy or cheap.

Rolf Westgard

St. Paul

The writer is a professional member of the Geological Society of America and a guest faculty member on energy subjects for the University of Minnesota’s Lifelong Learning program.

Source:  Duluth News Tribune | www.duluthnewstribune.com 18 June 2012

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.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on Facebook

Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

National Wind Watch