Today, wind provides less than 1 percent of the global energy demand. Electricity, less than 20 percent of what is termed “final energy.” To consider the financial viability of wind turbines, studies have shown that large turbines require 16 mph average wind speed; small wind turbines an average wind speed of 12 mph.
These metrics are not possible on Lake Erie. It is also reported that wind power is not reliable, producing only approximately 30 percent of planned wind turbine capacity!
World energy demand is estimated to grow at approximately 2 percent per year. To satisfy this growth utilizing wind power would require 350,000 new wind turbines per year. To satisfy this volume of wind turbines would require enormous amounts of steel, concrete, electronics and rare earth metals not available in the United States.
It would be difficult for wind power to make any significant contribution to the world energy supply. It is also believed by many experts that wind power will contribute nothing to reduce emissions or alter climate change.
Today, gas, liquid and solid fuels provide the primary energy for transportation, manufacturing and healthcare needs. The answer, in my opinion, is to continue to source and invest in natural gas, oil and nuclear power.
And then there is the aesthetic drawback to wind turbines in Lake Erie. I believe the majority of people who cherish the beautiful view of Lake Erie’s horizon do not want to view the first six (and then possibly hundreds) of wind turbines dotted across the skyline, especially at night when red flashing lights are necessary to warn ship and air traffic of their presence.
And finally, anyone who believes that wind turbine production will create a demand for Northeast Ohio labor skills and locally sourced and produced component materials should get a clearer understanding of where these will really come from.
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