Michael Goggin (Your Views, Sept. 15) touts the wonders of wind energy. Fact is, wind and solar energy are a disaster. They exist only because of huge subsidies and free standby. Further, the utility companies are required to take the power no matter what problems it causes. Wind power requires standby, as the power produced in the U.S. Plains is only 30 percent of nameplate. In Germany it’s 17 percent to 18 percent. The intermittent nature of the source is a huge problem. The utility companies have excess capacity to allow power plants to be shut down for maintenance. Hence there are few power shortages or outages. This excess capacity is now used as free backup for wind power.
If more than 30 percent of the power is to come from wind/solar, energy storage must be provided. This is prohibitively inefficient and expensive. Also, studies have shown that the ups and downs of the standby – keeping up with changes in the wind – decrease efficiency to an extent that wind energy savings disappear.
The “alternative energy” thing is a fraud to get money from the government.
Ted Rado, Oklahoma City
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