Matt Walker, author of the Guest Voice column “Clean energy will benefit Erie” is probably well-meaning (Erie Times-News, Aug. 12). Unfortunately, his article demonstrates the danger of reaching conclusions and giving advice based on limited knowledge.
For example, take the assertions that: “Wind energy is not some future vision yet to be actualized – it is being rapidly developed right now. Renewable energy, including wind, provided 50 percent of all new energy-generating capacity in the United States in 2012 and currently represents 15.66 percent of the total installed generating capacity. The main reason for not moving forward on renewable energy is the lack of political will.”
In truth, there is a huge difference between wind generating capacity (measured in megawatts) and the amount of electricity that wind turbines actually generate (measured in megawatt-hours). There is a huge difference because wind turbines produce electricity only when the wind at the turbine is blowing at the right speed (i.e., in a range of roughly 6 to 55 mph). In fact, the output of electricity from wind turbines is, therefore, intermittent, highly variable and unreliable – unlike the output from reliable (dispatchable) generating units powered by natural gas, coal, oil, nuclear energy and, perhaps, biomass.
In summary, electricity from wind is very high in true cost and low in real value, and it provides very few jobs.
Glenn R. Schleede/Ashburn, Va.
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