Debunking the Left’s Wind-Power Myths
Apr 30, 2019 |
[Excerpts – Read Full Article]
Wind power currently provides the United States with four times the amount of energy provided by solar technologies But that doesn’t mean energy from the wind can replace fossil fuels, despite the claims of many environmentalists and advocates of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s misguided Green New Deal (GND).
Wind power is hampered by many limitations, including:
- its intermittent and inefficient nature,
- the limitations of batteries and other back-up systems,
- the lack of available sites with adequate wind,
- the acreage required to harness wind,
- its excessive expenses,
- the dangers to the bird and bat populations,
- the dangers to human health created by its low frequency throbbing noise (infrasound).
Wind turbines are highly inefficient. Large industrial wind turbines (IWT) typically produce about 2.5 megawatts of power when wind speed is between about 8 and 25 miles per hour. However, the average capacity factor for current wind farms range from 30 – 40%, meaning that the average power actually produced is only 30 – 40% of what they produce when the wind speed is right.
“Perhaps the biggest drawback to relying on wind power is the immense amount of land required. IWTs must be placed far apart so as not to interfere with each turbine’s capture area.”
In his keynote address at the 2018 America First Energy Conference held on August 7 in New Orleans, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry gave a good idea of what this means. He explained that to generate the electricity needed to power the Houston metropolitan area would require almost 900 square miles of wind turbines. This is six-times more land than an equivalent solar farm of photo-voltaic cells and dozens of times the land required for an equivalent nuclear power plant.
Wind is also much more expensive than existing conventional energy sources. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that wind power can generate electricity for 8 cents per kilowatt-hour. However, this makes poor assumptions andignores some realities. It assumes an average lifetime of a wind turbine to be 30 years, the same as a conventional fossil fuel power plant. Experience shows that most turbines last only 15 years.It ignores the cost of backup power when the wind does not blow. It includes no cost for transmission lines to the electric grid. Of greater importance, it omits government subsidies. A 2016 study at Utah State University shows the following extra costs for the omission or miscalculation of wind power: 15 years not 30 year life of turbines (7 cents per kilowatt-hour), backup power (at least 2.3 cents if the back-up is natural gas), transmission costs (2.7 cents), government subsidies (23 cents) making the real cost of wind power 43 cents per kilowatt hour. This is about the same as the cost of solar power but 7 times the cost of natural gas power. Who can afford this? Could American industry afford this?
Since the year 2000, industrial wind turbines have overtaken all other causes of mass mortality events for bats in North America and Europe (reference: “Multiple mortality events in bats: a global review,” 2016).
(reference: “Bats Killed in Large Numbers at United States Wind Energy Facilities,” BioScience, Vol, 63, Issue 12, December 2013).
“In the US, a conservative estimate of bat mortality indicates that at least 4 million bats have been killed by wind turbines since 2012. Bats are the primary natural defense in keeping mosquito populations in check.”
One bat can eat between 500 and 1,000 mosquitoes and other insect pests in just one hour, or about 6,000 per night (reference: “Bats, Artificial Roosts, and Mosquito Control,” Revised 24 July 2006).
Excerpts, for more information, on issues with Eagles, birds and bats, infrasound … Read the full article
2018 book The Mythology of Global Warmingby Bruce Bunker, Ph.D.