Jay Lehr: Sooner or Later the World will Wise-up to the Great Wind Power Fraud

Definition of fraud

The Rationale for Wind Power Won’t Fly
Heartland.org
Jay Lehr PhD
21 October 2014

To understand the folly that drives too much of the nation’s energy policies, consider these basic facts about wind energy.

After decades of federal subsidies – almost $24 billion according to a recent estimate by former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm – nowhere in the United States, or anywhere else, has an array of wind turbines replaced a single conventional power plant. Nowhere.

But wind farms do take up space. The available data from wind-power companies, with which the Environmental Protection Agency agrees, show that the most effective of them can generate about five kilowatts per acre. This means 300 square miles of land – 192,000 acres – are necessary to generate the 1,000 megawatts (a billion watts) of electricity that a conventional power plant using coal, nuclear energy or natural gas can generate on a few hundred acres. A billion watts fulfills the average annual power demand of a city of 700,000.

Taxpayer support for wind energy will eventually come to an end, I optimistically predict. The only question is how soon. My pessimistic guess is it will take another decade – by which time the number of wind turbines, currently about 45,000 according to the American Wind Energy Association, could more than double.

It is unclear whether very many wind-energy firms have sufficient monetary reserves to cover dismantling these behemoth lawn sculptures once the tax credits wind down or disappear. If not, the result will be a scene from a science fiction movie – as though giant aliens descended onto our planet only to freeze in place.

tehachapi-wind-turbines-p1

Mars Attacks. Abandoned chaos at Tehachapi, California.

The promise that wind and solar power could replace conventional electricity production never really made sense. It’s known to everybody in the industry that a wind turbine will generate electricity 30% of the time – but it’s impossible to predict when that time will be. A true believer might be willing to do without electricity when the wind is not blowing, but most people will not. And so, during the 30% of the time the blades are spinning, conventional power plants are also spinning on low, waiting to operate during the other 70% of the time.

JULY22

Click on the graph for a clearer view. Total output of all wind farms on the Eastern Grid on 22.7.14, 3.30am to 6.30pm (15hrs): never more than 140 MW; generally less than 70 MW; collapsing to less than 20 MW for 5hrs (or 0.67% of capacity). See our post here.

Importantly, the amount of electricity the wind can generate per acre of land is unrelated to the size of the turbines. Yes, by doubling the turbine’s blade length you quadruple the turbine’s power output. The problem? If the turbines are big and tall you need fewer of them, but they must be more widely separated. If they’re smaller you need more of them, closer together.

Another inescapable problem for electricity grids: The power generated by a wind turbine varies with the cube of the wind speed. When the wind speed doubles – say from 10 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour – the energy output increases eightfold (2 x 2 x 2). Someone, or some computer, has to balance these huge variations on the grid by calling on standby generators to produce more or less power to maintain the stability essential to the grid.

So, you might wonder, do high winds make turbines really hum? No. Turbines must be shut down in high winds because centrifugal force would begin to tear the blades apart. Also, the world has learned from experience in Europe – whose wind sculpture gardens may one day dwarf ours – that a one-millimeter buildup of bugs on the blades reduces their power output by as much as 25%.

There are other problems. Thousands of turbine breakdowns and accidents have been reported in recent years. The basic concrete foundations are suffering from strains, as reported by industry sources and on the wind-farm construction website windfarmbop.com.

turbine collapse devon

Sometimes the strain is just too much.

And there are environmental factors. Annoying, low-frequency noise produced by wind turbines, particularly large turbines, is driving some people away from their homes, according to numerous press reports. (Low-frequency noise regulations are already in place in Denmark while the phenomenon is the subject of continuing research.) The Audubon Society now estimates bird deaths from turbines exceed a million per year.

eagle 1

Just one of millions of wind industry victims.

Wind is at best a niche player in energy. Grandiose claims made on behalf of wind-generated electricity are rubbish, whether or not renewable-energy advocates admit it. Wind-power developers will milk taxpayers across the world out of a few billion more dollars, euros or pounds in subsidies, tax credits and the like, but sooner or later the public will wise up.
Heartland.org

Lehr, Jay

Jay Lehr woke-up to the
scale of the fraud long ago.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    While a lot of Pseudo-intellectual urbanites vocally support this industry and its acolytes, it cannot be denied that there are those in rural areas who have fallen for the rhetoric of the industry and its supporters.

    There are those who see paper money being waved around and believe they have a right to it and be blowed to neighbours believing they have a right to sit on their bottoms and take ‘free’ money if it’s offered without concern for anyone else’s rights.

    Then there are those who believe without intelligently investigating the consequences, who believe these things will eventually provide them with free electricity because the wind is free. And there are those with a similar lack of intellect who believe, without thought, that if it sounds good it must be.

    The problem is even if whole communities stand together against these things if they cannot turn the powers that be into sensible, conscientious, intelligent advocates for the rights of the communities, then these things will continue to spread like an environmental disease, like a plague destroying everything in its path – communities, environments and health.

    However, the work that has been undertaken over the past few years to highlight the misconception among politicians and others about the environmental advantages of these things the tide is changing. Now if communities stand together and scream for their rights, they are more likely to be heard and when enough do this then the tide will drown out the lies and the industry which has spread them.

    What is needed is a king tide, a tide that will wash away any misconceptions about the ability of these things to save the environment and therefore the world.

    That tide is building and the more we speak out the stronger it gets.

  2. Thank you. Please continue to disseminate the facts and spread the science, economics and ethics of ‘industrial wind’. Much of the rural mountaintops of Maine are at risk as wind developers buy off communities and spread their misinformation. Currently, Maine’s Wind Energy Act paves the way for 350 miles of our iconic wildreness mountains to be developed…even despite local opposition for every permit application, and despite complaints of health impacts once the facilities are built. This is one of the biggests scams of my lifetime…and yet, the industry rhetoric has worked to convince those who live in urban areas (wherein lies voting strength and when wind turbines will never be built) that ‘wind’ will save the planet.

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