In a March 16 letter, Jeremy Ferrell makes several statements that require a response. The one I will address first is: “wind turbines have an incredibly small footprint.”
I beg to differ.
My source of facts states: “It takes 36 square miles of wind turbines (50 stories tall) to produce the same amount of energy as one semitrailer-mounted gas plant that fits inside the average dairy barn.”
From the Invenergy Wind site, we find this:
“Natural gas is the fuel of choice for Invenergy’s thermal power facilities, which use the most efficient technologies available to minimize environmental impact. The U.S. alone has more than a 100-year supply of reliable, affordable natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel available for power generation. Every megawatt of power generated by an Invenergy natural gas-fueled plant produces nearly 45 percent less carbon dioxide than would a typical coal-fired power plant of similar scale.”
Again, a fact check states: “The $3 billion spent (so far) by the state of Michigan (for wind energy) has produced a CO2 savings of about 6 percent. If those funds had instead been invested in combined-cycle gas turbine plants, emissions savings would have been 50 percent – or, for every ton of emissions reduced by wind, an 8-ton reduction would have occurred with combined-cycle gas turbine plants.” (Plants that occupy far less area; one dairy barn vs. 36 square miles, for example.)
Saying that “wind turbines have an incredibly small footprint” really depends on what you compare them to. I actually wonder if there is any energy production system that takes as much space as wind does.
So, why do hundreds of monstrous and inefficient wind turbines continue to be built?
Oh, yeah – the subsidies.
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