After the tsunami in Japan hit the nuclear reactor, I was treated to the argument that nuclear is a dangerous disaster waiting to happen, and that wind is our only solution.I hate to break it to all the people who believe this, but NOTHING is a perfect solution. Nothing. In fact . . .
The wind lobby is desperate to downplay the problem of infrasound from wind turbines. But this month, in a peer-reviewed article in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, Carl V. Phillips, a Harvard-trained PhD, concludes that there is “overwhelming evidence that wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder type diseases, at a nontrivial rate.”
Apparently, nearby residents are experiencing stress disorders as a result of infrasound and other side-effects of having a giant rotating blade nearby. See the linked PDF of the study for more information.
So that’s the first problem. It’s something that needs to be looked at seriously, rather than just brushing it off because it’s “green,” so it must be good.
Then there’s this: Wind is not commercially viable; it is at the top of the most heavily subsidized of energy forms:
By BTU, it’s #1:
By MWH, it’s a close second:
In Government Report Confirms that Federal Energy-Related Subsidies Have Increased 108 Percent in 3 Years; Wind Subsidies Increased 10-fold, we learn something that should be rather shocking:
-Subsidies to the wind industry increased 10-fold, from $467 million in 2007 to $4.9 billion in 2010, while that source’s share of total energy production increased from 0.5 percent to 1.2 percent during the same time.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of wind’s great potential.
As this video discusses, wind cannot survive without massive subsidies:
And then there’s the cost to consumers. If it’s your bottom line that concerns you, there’s always this:
Wind, for all its vaunted wonderfulness, will cost almost twice as much in energy for a family. That doesn’t seem like a good thing.
In The Party’s Over for Big Wind, Robert Bryce hears the bell tolling for wind:
The subsidies for wind energy are in peril. A recent report from the Energy Information Administration shows that in 2010, the wind energy sector got more federal subsidies than any other energy sector other than biofuels. The report found that wind energy got a total of $4.986 billion in subsidies, or nearly twice as much as was given to the oil and gas sector, which got $2.82 billion. The majority of the wind energy money came from the federal stimulus package passed in 2009. But much of that stimulus money has been spent.
Last December, AWEA cheered after Congress approved a tax bill that included a one-year extension of the investment tax credit for renewable energy. But another high-profile renewable energy subsidy, the tax credit for the corn ethanol scam, is due to expire at the end of this year. And given that Republicans in Washington are eager to cut all types of federal spending, the investment tax credit is likely to, once again, be in legislators’ cross hairs.
Bode was right a year ago when she said the wind industry is in distress. Her industry’s still in peril today because it cannot survive without mandates and taxpayer subsidies. And unless or until it can, she cannot expect any sympathy from cash-strapped voters.
And finally, in Minnesota, some turbines stopped spinning because of the cold.
So, they’re going to heat the fluid in order to get them turning again. Doesn’t heating the fluid require . . . . energy?
In thermodynamics, just as in economics, there’s no such thing as a free lunch!