Wind Power: It’s Even More Useless Than You Thought

You’d think the first requirement for a source of energy that’s going to replace coal, oil, or natural gas would be that the new source of energy could actually keep the lights on. However, when it comes to wind power, no one seems to worry about such petty concerns. Yet, the reality is that unless there’s a miraculous improvement in our technology, wind is NEVER going to shoulder a significant part of the energy burden in this country no matter how much money we waste on it.

You can see that simply be looking at the UK’s experience with it.

A new analysis of wind energy supplied to the UK National Grid in recent years has shown that wind farms produce significantly less electricity than had been thought, and that they cause more problems for the Grid than had been believe.

…In general, then, one should assume that a wind farm will generate no more than 25 per cent of maximum capacity over time (and indeed this seems set to get worse as new super-large turbines come into service). Even over a year this will be up or down by a few per cent, making planning more difficult.

It gets worse, too, as wind power frequently drops to almost nothing. It tends to do this quite often just when demand is at its early-evening peak.

…Quite often windy periods come when demand is low, as in the middle of the night. Wind power nonetheless forces its way onto the grid, as wind-farm operators make most of their money not from selling electricity but from selling the renewables obligation certificates (ROCs) which they obtain for putting power onto the grid.

…Thus when wind farmers have a lot of power they will actually pay to get it onto the grid if necessary in order to obtain the lucrative ROCs which provide most of their revenue, forcing all non-renewable providers out of the market. If the wind is blowing hard and demand is low, there may nonetheless be just too much wind electricity for the grid to use, and this may happen quite often.

…Or, in other words, there is little point building more wind turbines above a certain point: after that stage, not only will they miss out on revenue by often being at low output when demand is high, but they will also miss out by producing unsaleable surplus electricity at times of low demand. The economic case for wind – already unsupportable without the ROC scheme – will become even worse, and wind will require still more government support.

Why the hell is the government pushing wind farms so hard? So T. Boone Pickens can make another few hundred million at our expense? So a bunch of environmentalist wackos who probably reuse their own toilet paper will be happy? Because it “sounds” environmentally friendly? Whatever the reason may be, there’s no evidence that suggests wind power is worth a single dime of taxpayer money. If private industry wants to fund it, great, but we shouldn’t go further into debt to China to keep promoting a product that has consistently been proven not to be worth the money.

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