Joe Biden’s Offshore Wind Energy Mirage: Or ‘How To Squander $Trillions of Taxpayers’ Money’

For an example of how unhinged the Democrat’s energy policy is, then Biden’s offshore wind energy plan takes the cake.

The fact that offshore wind power has already proven to be a phenomenally expensive way of generating electricity clearly hasn’t registered. Nor has the fact that it’s no more reliable than wind power generated onshore, and just as chaotic in its sporadic and occasional delivery. Or, maybe, the Democrats just don’t care about reliable and affordable electricity?

Craig Rucker is president of the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), a free market environmental organization dedicated to people and planet. Craig takes a look at Biden’s offshore wind power mirage.

Joe Biden’s Offshore Wind Energy Mirage
Real Clear Energy
Craig Rucker
6 May 2021

President Biden recently announced ambitious plans to install huge offshore industrial wind facilities along America’s Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Pacific coasts. His goal is to churn out 30 gigawatts (30,000 megawatts) of wind capacity by 2030, ensuring the U.S. “leads by example” in fighting the “climate crisis.”

Granted “30 by 2030” is clever PR. But what are the realities?

The only existing U.S. offshore wind operation features five 6-MW turbines off Rhode Island. Their combined capacity (what they could generate if they worked full-bore, round the clock 24/7) is 30 MW. Mr. Biden is planning 1,000 times more offshore electricity, perhaps split three ways: 10,000 MW for each coast.

While that might sound impressive, it isn’t. It means total wind capacity for the entire Atlantic coast, under Biden’s plan, would only meet three-fourths of the peak summertime electricity needed to power New York City. Again, this assumes the blades are fully spinning 24/7. In reality, such turbines would be lucky to be operating a top capacity half the time. Even less as storms and salt spray corrode the turbines, year after year.

The reason why is there is often minimal or no wind in the Atlantic – especially on the hottest days. Ditto for the Gulf of Mexico. No wind means no electricity – right when you need it most.

Of course, too little wind isn’t the only issue. Other times, there’s too much wind – as when a hurricane roars up the coast. That’s more likely in the Gulf of Mexico. But the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 had Category 4 winds in Virginia, Category 3 intensity off Cape Hatteras (NC), Long Island and Rhode Island, and Category 2 when it reached Maine. It sank four U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships.

When storms or hurricanes hit, turbines can be destroyed. Repairing or replacing hundreds of offshore turbines could take years.

If the White House is planning to generate all that power using common 6-MW turbines, our coastlines would need a hefty 5,000 of the 600-foot tall monsters dotting them. The Washington Monument is 655 feet tall.

Going instead with 12-MW turbines, like the 850-foot-tall GE Haliade-X turbines Virginia is planning to install off its coast, America would still need 2,500 of the behemoths – just to complete Phase One of Biden’s plan. 30,000 megawatts by 2030. Even if these were all plopped in the Atlantic, it still would not be enough to meet New York State’s current electricity needs.

And what about the environment?

How many millions of tons of steel, copper, lithium, cobalt, rare earth elements, concrete, petroleum-based composites (for turbine blades) and other raw materials would be required to manufacture and install the turbines and undersea electrical cables, especially where deep-water turbines are involved?

How many billions of tons of ore would have to be mined, crushed, processed and refined – considering that it takes 125,000 tons of average ore for every 1,000 tons of pure copper metal?

Not only would nearly all of this mining and manufacturing require fossil fuels, but much of it would be done in China, or in other countries by Chinese-owned companies. Haliade-X turbines are also manufactured in China. And much of the mining and processing is done under horrid workplace safety and environmental conditions, often with near-slave and child labor.

More turbines will also kill countless birds and bats. Turbine infrasound and other noise have been implicated in disorienting and stranding whales and dolphins. The numbers, height and low-frequency turbine noise also interferes with surface ships, submarines, aircraft and radar.

Nuclear power or billions of batteries (or retained fossil fuel power plants) will have to back up every megawatt of intermittent, unreliable wind power, so that society can function every time the wind fails. That means more raw materials, transmission lines and costs.

Even with massive taxpayer subsidies, electricity generated by offshore turbines will cost many times what we are paying today, even in New York and California. That will have especially heavy impacts on energy-intensive industries, hospitals, and poor, middle-class, minority and fixed-income families.

Economic, environmental and climate justice reviews must fully, carefully and honestly assess every one of these factors. No “expedited” or “climate emergency” shortcuts should be permitted.

President Biden likes to say offshore wind energy is clean, green, renewable and sustainable. Wind itself certainly is. But harnessing the wind (or sun), to meet the needs of modern civilization is not – especially in ocean environments.

Claiming otherwise is a mirage – a scam. Maybe that’s why the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management already cancelled two wind projects off Long Island. The costs and impacts are enormous, and local opposition was high. Do climate activists in and out of the Biden Administration expect otherwise anywhere else?
Real Clear Energy

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Jeff Walther says:

    The best plan is to plan the wind turbine installation, but also plan a backup system of nuclear power plants that can supply all the necessary power when the turbines are not working.

    Then build the nuclear electricity generators and forget about the wind turbines. What’s the point in building wind turbines if you have sufficient capacity of clean, affordable, reliable nuclear electricity generators to supply one’s needs?

    • Peter Pronczak says:

      The only plan is to rip-off taxpayers.
      Putting turbines at sea means that dead birds can’t be counted and taxpayer pay more.
      Politicians aren’t interested in “best plans”, right or wrong, they are interested in their back pocket and guaranteed super; they bow to private financial interests not those of citizens.
      They rely on the ignorance of voters and their laziness in not complaining to them. It is what education teaches and the goodwill of religion demands.

      You made the point in what you said.

  2. If any of these frauds were interested in saving the planet they would ban ships and replace them with sail boats. Thing is they would never do that as their economic engines would sputter and fail. They would ban themselves from becoming multi millionaires and billionaires. They would look at the disgusting view thrashers and see children and their parents in chains and stop these things.

  3. Peter Pronczak says:

    Treating the promotion of RE with logic is as useless as arguing with an idiot or someone who believes they have a God given right to be a ruling monarch, emperor, maharajah, or whatever. Like the common two party – Conservative and Labor political systems – that have brain-washed populations, as they have with preschool children who have no comprehension of what climatology means or involves; even climatologists have no idea how high Antarctica will rise with weight reduction when the last Ice Age finally ends: It is believed the continent was in the past covered with forest and a recent discovery of a tree root and some trunk indicates perhaps so.
    But hey, try getting some sense from a University Dept., who’s only interested in extended tenure.

    President Joe Biden, as other leaders under NATO control, does as he is told by the private masters of international finance. Trying to point out the stupidity of RE is like trying to tell someone WWI set up WWII under Adolf Hitler (financed into power by the world’s largest companies and richest families) to consolidate private financial control (from Rome’s William I, William III) and Green ideology (Hitler Youth – August Haussleiter) resulting in a return to Dutch windmills; with a modernised touch of solar panels (old cricketer’s advertise them in AU to the target market. Who is used to advertise them elsewhere?). Maybe subjected to a Dutch oven might have some sniffing something rotten; no offence meant to non RE supporters, and I thought Slovaks would have more sense than to support recent global propaganda.

    As to unhinged: An old Captain Matchbox song had the line “You bang like a dunny door in the wind”. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, fire on the water, there goes the Titanic!
    But Biden like the rest is living the life of Riley, with Bob his uncle and Fanny his aunt. While the shrinking taxpayer base foots the bill.
    Houston, we have near global control. Cake? No, it’s about bread.

    • John Shewchuk says:

      Very good comment. Climate alarmism is all a hoax — only good for a few laughs … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9F8LSxR4Yo&t

      • Peter Pronczak says:

        Thanks. Like Kerry as much as Al Gore and a long list of others.
        According to http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk accidents and deaths in 2020 went up. If the public new how many of them, not just workers were being killed, they might withdraw support for wind turbines. It’s a pretty sick puppy that needs shooting.
        On the one hand pollies cry crocodile tears over death and injury then do things to make it worse.
        Like corporations considered as human entities yet have more rights as not being corporeal can kill and maim with the impunity of not being able to be imprisoned. Union Carbide Bopahl, India; James Hardie Industries ran from AU with asbestos compensation fund; Late mining magnate Lang Handcock on his asbestos mines, “Some must die so others may live”. 2009 BP Solar factory fire Bürstadt, Germany spread carcinogens over the city, information disappeared from internet.
        All at sea like the Ford Pinto – Ping. Kaboom!

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