I’m sure Batavia Daily News readers will agree that getting the full story about costly policy issues is very important, and something we all rely on from our local news media outlets. The April 16 report, “Wind farm in Orangeville OKs name change,” did not tell the whole story. The article contained incomplete information regarding the energy giant, E.On Netz.
E.On’s U.S. office may be in Chicago, but E.On is a German-based corporation that owns much of the EU’s power grid. E.On (like most Big Energy Corporations), not only owns wind factories, but also owns coal, natural gas, and nuclear facilities, too.
Eee-gad! You mean the same guys that own big, bad fossil and nuclear plants, own ‘windfarms’ too?!? YES – they do. Look at AWEA’s Board of Directors – many of whom are Big Energy insiders. With the help of cronyism in high places, it’s their lobbyists who are buying the legislation to suit their bottom lines – no matter the cost to consumers and taxpayers.
E.On did an enlightening report on the problem with wind generation back in 2005. E.On’s report admitted that the maximum wind penetration on the grid would only be 4 percent because wind is not reliable or dispatchable, and thus has virtually no capacity value (specified amounts of power on demand). Thus, wind needs constant “shadow capacity” from other reliable sources. Of course, E.On isn’t complaining, since they benefit from both their subsidy-harvesting wind facilities, and their reliable energy facilities.
In his April 2 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Wind power subsidies? No Thanks” and follow-up TV interview, Big Wind CEO, Patrick Jenevein admitted that, when it comes to wind subsidies, “consumers are paying twice for the same product.” (See: http://on.wsj.com/YORRi1 and http://tinyurl.com/ctx6k4g)
Jenevein said, “… wind subsidies distort markets.” He said that because “(wind) subsidies aren’t based on how much power they produce … wind farms are increasingly being built in less-windy locations” (ie, rural New York – remember the Big Wind LLC that left Attica because it was “not a good wind area”). The result, he said, is that the wind industry is focused on reaping the lucrative taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies, rather than on providing an efficient, affordable product. (Certainly not the business model based on honesty, integrity, and putting consumers first, that was espoused by my father’s generation!)
Further proof surfaced that taxpayers “are paying twice for the same product” in the recent GAO REPORT: “Unearths Duplicative Wind Initiatives.” It showed there are over 80 redundant programs paying out billions in duplicative funds to Big Wind.
A Washington Times article, “Blowing Taxpayer Money,” summed it up best when they wrote, “the White House’s obsession with wind energy boondoggles is impoverishing the nation!” (See: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/9/blowing-taxpayer-money/#ixzz2Q3k97Ok6)
Let’s face it – wind subsidies are just another “unfunded mandate” being inflicted upon taxpayers and ratepayers – making the cost of our electricity more expensive (and thus, everything else), and ultimately hurting the poor the most.
But never let it be said that economic reality ever stopped the mad rush for all things ‘green’ in D.C., or New York! Another recent report claims New York state can convert to all wind, solar and water power by 2030 for the low cost of only $382 billion. Besides being impossible – when was the last time the cost of something proposed by the government didn’t end up costing at least several times the original projected cost?
Since our nation is nearly $17 trillion in debt, don’t you think it’s time we stop the mad spending on the wishful thinking of failed “green” technologies? The EU’s “renewables” policy has been a miserable failure – causing unreliability in their grid systems, and “skyrocketing” electricity prices that are causing business and industry to flee Britain and Germany. The exorbitant cost per-”green”-job created (as much as $4.8 million) has been cited as being responsible for increasing ‘energy poverty’ and escalating unemployment numbers to over 26 percent in Spain and elsewhere.
Likewise, business and industry are already fleeing New York state – as are the people. Nine percent of New York state’s population fled the state since 2000. Since New York was also just dubbed the “Least Free State – Again” and the “Most indebted,” is it any wonder?
Shouldn’t we be working to reverse this trend? Is it really too much to ask our elected officials to learn from the expensive mistakes already made elsewhere? Why would anyone think the EU’s exorbitantly costly, inefficient, failed “green” energy policies will end any differently this side of the Atlantic Ocean?
Our energy policies must be based on sound scientific, and economic solutions that do not assault the very people who are paying for them – as we are witnessing right here in Western New York.
Getting past the wishful thinking of energy-illiterate “green” enthusiasts and money-driven cronyism in high places is proving to be quite a chore. An educated electorate is our only defense. Consumers and policy-makers must be able to depend on continued unbiased news coverage from their local news media outlets if we hope to protect ourselves from consumer rip-offs like these. For freedom’s sake, let’s hope we can.
Mary Kay Barton
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