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Wind energy is expensive and unreliable

  • Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wind energy is expensive and unreliable

I read a lot of happy talk from letter writers about how the Grand Strand should oppose off-shore oil and gas production and get on the off-shore wind energy band wagon. It was good to see an informed and reasoned Column: Natural Gas, Crude Oil, and Jobs by Bob Anderson in the Dec. 12 Waccamaw Times.

Make no mistake, expensive energy is unavailable energy and unavailable energy costs jobs and lives. “Offshore wind power is estimated to cost 22.15 cents per kilowatt hour.… and natural gas …is only 6.56 per kilowatt hour” (Instituteforenergyresearch.org). Also see “Free but costly” (beaconhill.org) and the “ Wind Power Rip-off” (from the WSJ.com which is paywalled but copied at wind-watch.org) about the proposed off-shore wind farm in Nantucket, Massachusetts estimate of 25 cents per kilowatt-hour after billions in government subsidies. “Wind farms are notoriously unreliable” (forbes.com). They produce no power when the wind doesn’t blow (usually when you need it) or blows too hard. On average wind farms produce 25% of advertised power (advertised power is what you are promised to get your support) vs 90% for natural gas (wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacity_factor).

Based on a New York Times report that out of 80,000 people trained for green jobs at a cost to taxpayers of $25,000 per person, only 1,336 jobs lasting more than 6 months and 6,699 temporary jobs were found, green energy is not a jobs program. Read “About 10,000 wind energy jobs … expected to be lost this year” (Pittsburg tribelive.com).

There is a lot of empirical data from around the world which disprove the claims of wind farms and free energy. “Problems prompt Germany to rethink energy revolution” (Spiegel.com: if what you find is in German, use translate.google.com) and ”Germanys-wind-power-chaos” (telegraph.co.uk). In the UK “Scottish Power becomes third firm to scrap UK offshore wind farm” (reuters.com). I could cite similar problems with wind power in Spain and Portugal along with other countries but would prefer the reader do his or her own research.

“Green” ideologies, profits from those selling wind energy products, and government subsidies are creating the wind energy market not economics or concern for people. It is uneconomical and will cost jobs and lives on the Grand Strand. The reports and articles cited above are from reputable sources (WSJ, Routers, Bloomberg, Moneymorning, etc. and from environmental allies such as Speigal and the NYT). When you read the happy talk note its source is usually an interest group or forecasts that are not based on empirical data.

I will support any energy source that provides jobs and is economical; wind energy doesn’t do that. Like anything in life there are risks with off-shore oil and gas production but they are proven to provide jobs and save lives. Your choice; but please do your research before you make a decision or write a letter.

Philip Holberton

Pawleys Island


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