Monday, October 31, 2016

Wind an even bigger boondoggle than ethanol

Wind an even bigger boondoggle than ethanol - AEI:
"Before we become too hopeful about the prospects of using offshore wind power as a fuel source of the future, let’s not forget that government data shows that offshore wind power cannot survive in a competitive environment without huge taxpayer subsidies.
Today, wind power receives subsidies greater than any other form of energy per unit of actual energy produced.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a key member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says that public subsidies for wind on a per megawatt-hour basis are 26 times those for fossil fuels and 16 times those for nuclear power.
...Yet, even with these incentives, only 4.7 percent of the nation’s electricity is currently supplied by wind power and that is entirely wind power from on-land turbines.
...Think about it: Four large power plants could produce as much electricity as offshore wind turbines placed side by side along the entire Atlantic seaboard from Maine to Florida.
Moreover, power plants last longer than wind turbines.
A British study found that turbines need to be replaced within 12 to 15 years, and they must be imported from Europe.
In contrast, nuclear and fossil-fuel plants can be built in the U.S. without relying on imports, and, in the case of nuclear power, the vast majority of reactors are licensed to run 60 years and some are expected to operate 80 years or more.
Offshore wind power also has complex transmission requirements.
In addition to being submerged, making installation and maintenance difficult and costly, the cables to bring offshore wind power to coastal areas have run up against strong opposition from conservation and wildlife groups, the fishing and tourist industries, seaside residents and, in some cases, the military, since turbines can interfere with radar systems.
Wind power might sound great in theory until one gets into the details of reliability, efficiency and cost.
It is the electricity sector’s version of corn ethanol — and in recent years has received even more subsidy dollars.
If not for the production tax credit and taxpayer subsidies, plans for offshore wind power would come to a stop."

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