How would you like 2,000 more turbines on top of the 1,000 we already have?
Wind turbines are ugly and noisy, they kill birds, and they produce very little electricity at a very high cost. Naturally the government thinks we ought to have more of them.
And northern Indiana, being flat and windy, is likely to get a lot of them. If you think the 1,031 wind turbines we have now are a blight upon the land, how would you feel about having 2,000 more?
New rules coming from the Environmental Protection Agency will require the cutting of carbon emissions from coal and gas power plants, and that will in turn increase the demand for “clean power” such as wind.
According to the federal Department of Energy’s latest projection, only five other states are expected to get as much or more additional wind power as Indiana. Wind farm developers in Indiana, The Indianapolis Star reports, are already scouting out locations for new farms as the EPA mandates get closer.
If Indiana has the growth anticipated, the Star notes, investments in the state’s wind farms would rise from $3.7 billion to more than $10 billion, turning wind farms into one of the state’s most expensive industrial installations.
Some people will gain from that investment, such as those who build the wind farms and the farmers who rent their land for them. But the gains won’t begin to offset the losses that will be faced by the coal industry and coal-fired plants and the loss to taxpayers.
According to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, in 2019 the wind energy sector received 42 percent of federal subsidies while producing only 2 percent of the nation’s total electricity. By comparison, coal received 10 percent of all subsidies but generated 45 percent, Nuclear was about even at 20 percent.
And those counting on wind power to be a source of income in the future should think again. It would not be economical to generate wind power without enormous federal subsidies – more than $30 billion in subsidies and grants over the past 35 years. Imagine how much the costs would be if wind were to supply even 10 percent of our needs.
More than 90 percent of Indiana’s electricity is generated from coal. Transitioning from coal to other forms of generation will be a greater burden here than in almost every other state. The EPA’s new rules may look like a bump in the road now. Soon, it will look like a mountain.
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