Some basic facts about wind energy … it doesn’t work

Washington Times

Saturday, March 16, 2013

By Bill Gunderson

If only wind energy worked, it would be great. But it does not — at
least not that well. What’s worse, most people do not know, especially
the Green Energy True Believers. Those who do know, however, do not
care.

They tell us wind is an ideal way to solve “global disruption” — which
is what they are calling global warming this week. The only thing
standing in the way of wind energy, they say, is the ignorance of the
fossil-fuel crowd.

Let’s put aside for a moment all the talk about global warming:
Whether it exists. Whether it is man-made. Whether wind turbines will
slow it down.

Let’s even forget for a moment that the plunging price of natural gas
and its increasing popularity as a substitute for coal has reduced
carbon emissions to their lowest level in 20 years. It is threatening
to make wind power even more financially obsolete.

When you set these facts aside, here is what remains: Wind turbines do
not last as long as promised. They do not produce as much energy as
hoped. Moreover, they require more maintenance than anyone imagined.

Wind energy turns out to be a lot like solar energy.

The Daily Mail recently reported that the University of Edinburgh
found “for onshore wind, the monthly ‘load factor’ of turbines – a
measure of how much electricity they generate as a percentage of how
much they could produce if on at full power all the time – dropped
from a high of 24 per cent in the first year after construction, to
just 11 per cent after 15 years.”

That’s a 55 percent drop, for you dinosaurs who still think that is
important — and that is just for turbines still working.

There’s a reason why so many wind projects got so much attention on
the drawing board, but when it comes time to build them, they wither
away. The offshore wind project in Delaware is a good example: One day
it was hailed as the secret to the universe. The next day, it was
gone. It disappeared down a black hole when people who actually had to
pay for it and build it figured out what it actually was going to cost
them.

It was the real numbers that scared them off. In America, these
numbers are harder to come by — another red flag for investors — but
as many as 1 in 4 wind turbines just does not work. Some do not even
spin. Others spin, but do not generate electricity, so it is hard to
tell by looking at them.

Hawaii provides the favorite example: The 37 turbines at the Kamaoa
Wind Farm stood derelict for more than six years after it was
discovered that repairs were more expensive than replacements. This is
just one of six abandoned wind farms in one of the most wind-ideal
places on the planet.

The Altamont Pass Wind Farm in Northern California used to be the
largest wind farm on Earth. Now it is best known as the largest killer
of eagles and other raptors. The turbines are shut down for four
months a year to protect the birds during their migration. So much for
that pro-forma.

As many as 4,500 wind turbines have been built — and abandoned — in
California alone.

How long can that last? Ask that question of a True Believer at your
own peril. They say  making money is no longer the point of being in
business; saving the planet is.

Even Al Gore is getting out of alternative energy such as wind. Just
check the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings for his
company, Generation Investment. Not a wind play in the portfolio.

There may be one million reasons to invest in wind, or to install a
windmill. Most involve bragging to your friends that you are saving
the planet. But if you need the energy or the money, don’t — because
right now, wind is still nothing more than a faith-based initiative.

Just ask Al.

Bill Gunderson is a wealth management and investment advisor.

Read more:

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Grant Winberg says:

    Based on the Washington Times article’s statistics, a “WF” developer/operator/financier would truly earn its profit if it was perhaps rewarded with market priced REC’s based only on “WF” power generated and used. No other incentives. No reward based on the cost of support required of proximity constructed gas generators. No retail price hikes imposed by regulators to pay for the cost of constructing “WFs” and incorporating any electricity they generate into the grid.
    The Washington Post has these US “WF” failure statistics. Who in Australia has access to such statistics? And, if anyone has, have they performed appropriate and relevant cost benefit analysis before imposing their cost on the Australian public (both as consumers and taxpayers).
    And a simple consent authority requirement – any turbine not producing a minimum level of electricity for a continuous period of say six months must be fully decommissioned and removed at the sole cost to the operator, and replaced at the option of and sole cost to the operator. Surely all concerned would be completely happy with such a consent requirement – wouldn’t they?

  2. Receptor 446 WL says:

    Me thinks the emperor has no clothes.
    Someone from the MOE or the government must step up to the plate and tell the truth, to save the “EMPEROR” and all of us from the very serious effects of not seeing the truth.

  3. Jackie Rovensky says:

    This is truth put into words, when will those misguided people realise they are destroying the earth rather than saving it. Governments signing international agreements to cut emissions is wonderful,IF AND ONLY IF, the research into how this is to be achieved has been researched and found to be effective. Signing before has been a huge mistake – will governments accept this truth or will they continue to back their mistake?

  4. Wind Turbines will get rid of themselves, it’s just a matter of how much of our money we will allow to go down the tubes with them. Time to put an end to this scam NOW!

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