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Wind generation goals are unrealistically high

The following is a comparative analysis that shows the futility of our government’s desire to achieve a goal of producing 20% of our electricity needs by use of Industrial Wind Turbines, (IWT’s).

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2013, the U.S. used 4.058 billion kWh’s of electricity. Of that amount 4.13 percent was produced by IWT’s. To produce this 4.13 percent of electricity, there were 46,100 IWT’s in use.

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy set a goal to produce 20 percent of our electricity using wind power by the year 2030. With the current production capacity factor of IWT’s, which is unlikely to improve, 223,244 IWT’s would be required to meet their goal. Twenty percent of our current electricity usage amounts to 811.6 million kWh’s of electricity.

Currently, we the taxpayers subsidize wind produced electricity at a rate of $22 per million kWh’s of production. With 20 percent production, we, as taxpayers, would pay $17.855 billion to wind producers before we pay for the electricity we buy from them.

To compare a person’s daily diet to the above scenario, let’s say a person consumes 2000 calories per day. If we require that this daily diet have 20 percent of its calories come from Baby Spring Mix lettuce, we can make the following analysis. Twenty percent of 2000 calories would be 400 calories from Baby Spring Mix, which has 100 calories per pound. Therefore, four pounds of this mix of lettuce would need to be consumed each day. At $4.00 per pound, which would be very cheap for this type of lettuce, we would be required to spend $16 each day for 20percent of our calorie intake. We could get those same calories from four slices of whole wheat bread or a glazed donut. Perhaps eating four pounds of lettuce per day would be healthy, but the cost would be prohibitive, just like the cost of using IWT’s to produce commercial electricity is prohibitive.

This analysis says nothing of the many negative impacts that IWT’s bring to the environment in which they are placed. These have been explained in earlier letters and news stories printed in the Sentinel. The irony of the whole government and environmentalist quest for more IWT’s is their theory that their goal is to save the environment. Certainly, for our local area, where our natural beauty is our greatest asset, the cost of having IWT’s on our mountains would continue for centuries to come.

Still we wait for Volkswind and Eon to come to their senses and recognize that not only are their turbines not welcome here, but that the devastation that they would cause here carries a cost too high for us to bear.

Don Wert