I want to add my voice to that of Daniel Hribar in calling for a restoration of wind-production tax credits (letter, Nov. 19). However, before we do that, it is essential that Congress pass strict legislation governing wind speed, direction, duration and intensity. Only when the wind can be adequately controlled does widespread wind energy generation make sense and some of the claims for it can become true, or at least truthy.
Wind energy as now generated is quite costly, inefficient and about as dependable as the wind. Wind energy generation attracts investors and makes economic sense only when heavily subsidized. Given a choice, I would rather subsidize a dependable power source than one that continually and unpredictably comes and goes.
Power companies are roundly booed if the lights don’t come on when one flips the switch, and wind energy complicates their lives tremendously. Wind power is fickle as the breeze, and is quite often generated during periods of relatively low demand. However and whenever it is produced, it needs to be backed up by a dependable power source.
The cost of wind power needs to include the cost of the backup systems that must be in place to light up your room when there is no wind. Wind power may be useful for people who have no other alternatives, or for intermittent tasks such as pumping water for irrigation.
It’s difficult and expensive to store electrical power, so power has to be used at the instant it is generated. If we could come up with a way to conveniently store vast amounts of power, like a diehard battery the size of a city bus, then wind and solar power might suddenly become much more practical, as they could be used as needed instead of as generated.
Dirty old reliable coal-fired generators are being retired, and renewable-energy systems are being touted as their wonderful replacements. Many people pushing these systems are interested mainly in profiting from the sale of these systems or their components.
I have no quarrel with making a profit, but wind and solar generators by their very nature are quite undependable. Costs are quite high and yields have not lived up to propaganda.
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