While Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection deliberates the Bowers Mountain Wind Project, there is now the writing on the wall from Europe, and according to President Barack Obama, our energy policy “should follow the lead of Germany and Spain.” Spain’s wind turbine manufacturers are rapidly laying off workers. According to the wind turbine association AEE, investors in wind turbines no longer believe the outlook is attractive.
At the heart of the problem are the subsidies needed to cover the gap between the cost of producing electricity and the price charged to consumers. Sound familiar? It’s no wonder that Iberdrola, the Spanish manufacturer of wind turbines, is trying to sell them by the boatload to Maine. Following Spain’s lead now amounts to buying the future scrap metal of their failed industry.
According to the Energy Tribune, a global news source for the industry, Germany’s renewable energy programs also “have imploded.” Germany is now facing up to the hard realities of wind power: maintenance costs, the need for hydrocarbon back-up, and wind’s intermittent and unreliable generation.
As stated in Jay Lehr’s June 17 Wall Street Journal article predicting wind developer’s lack of funds for dismantling their turbines: “The result (of wind power proliferation) will be a scene from a science fiction movie – as though giant aliens descended on our planet only to freeze in place.”
We can only hope that the DEP have the long-term vision required to protect Maine’s future.