August 22, 2012
Letters, Texas

Wind, solar energy not viable

The Dallas Morning News | 22 August 2012

Re: “Romney can’t have it both ways” by Laray Polk, Sunday Letters.

Polk criticizes Mitt Romney for “actively denouncing the viability of wind turbines and solar panels to fuel the economy.”

Wind and solar power aren’t viable for two important reasons: cost and reliability. To ensure reliability, wind and solar must be backed up by conventional, reliable power generation. Conventional sources such as nuclear, coal or natural gas must be kept in hot spinning reserve, burning fuel, to immediately bring on line when wind or sunlight aren’t sufficient. If conventional capacity is always in place, there is no need to install wind or solar, so these are redundant, unnecessary costs.

In terms of installed cost per megawatt hour, wind and solar are far more expensive than conventional sources, and they require 45 to 100 times as much space.

More electric power generation capacity will be needed in the future. Nuclear power is the cleanest and most reliable source and we have thousands of years of fuel reserves. Spent fuel requires a relatively small space to safely store until it can be recycled for future fuel.

Robert Smith, Dallas/Preston Hollow

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