A lot of important information was omitted from a recent article touting Massachusetts’ commitment to 1600 megawatts of offshore wind turbines (“Bay State Windfall” 12/19/2021). The article failed to mention that the turbines won’t come close to generating 1600 MW day-to-day over a year’s time, falling about 55% short. Or that European experience shows that the winds can stop for up to a week’s time, meaning that the wind turbines cannot replace a single megawatt of conventional power. Or that the turbines will require upwards of 100 square miles of ocean, with potential impacts to bird migration and marine life. And finally, unmentioned were the extremely high costs of ocean construction, offshore operations and demolition and re-construction after a mere 20 years. These costs will continue to drive manufacturing to other locales, including coal-fired China, and many of our citizens into electricity poverty. The only realistic technologies worth pursuing for low-carbon energy production are nuclear and natural gas power – reliable energy sources that will last for decades after the turbines have been dismantled.
— Robert Pease, retired environmental consultant, Chelmsford
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