Regarding “Support wind energy” (Opinions, Dec. 22):
I’ve lost count of the number of times I have passed by acres of stationary wind turbines. For a wind farm to deliver its advertised power, the wind speed has to be 20 mph or more. This very rarely happens except in places like the Banning Pass on the road to Los Angeles.
At lower wind speeds the output is very much less. It is even possible that more energy is used in the manufacture and construction of these massive installations than they will produce over their lifetime.
Furthermore, the intermittent power output is very difficult to integrate into the grid, which means that they must always be backed up by gas turbine generators. Subsidizing acts of “eco-symbolism” might makes us feel good, but it will not generate the energy that we actually use.
As 1965 physics Nobelist Richard Feynman wrote in his dissent in the report on the Challenger disaster, “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”
— Peter Rez, Scottsdale
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