Is it about time to pull the plug on windpower? Can taxpayers afford another ethanol boondoggle?
Home Energy Savings, December 31, 2008
Yahoo Answers, December 31, 2008
Resolved Question: Is it about time to pull the plug on windpower? Can taxpayers afford another ethanol boondoggle? “According to a recent report by the National Renewable Technology Laboratory (DOE), wind energy could account for 20 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030. To reach this target, wind turbines would have to produce 300,000 MW of power or 1,000,000 MW installed capacity. The 500,000 plus wind turbines would cost the taxpayers between $5-7 trillion.
The DOE report also states that the 20 percent of electricity from wind power would be the same as that now produced by nuclear power plants. Currently, there are 104 nuclear power plants in the United States that generate over 97,000 MW. Nuclear plants operate at 90 percent capacity compared to 30-33 percent for wind farms (ERCOT).
For a comparable amount of electricity output, a nuclear power plant requires approximately 50 acres of land vs. 80,000 acres of land for wind farms — 1,600 times the land usage for wind generated power! For the same or less taxpayer money, why not put those taxpayer dollars into more nuclear power plants and protect our natural environment from the thousands of square miles of industrial wind turbines dotting the landscape?
Another argument often cited by the pro-wind advocates is the United States will be less dependent upon foreign oil. Let’s clear up this issue right now: No more than 2 percent of the generation of electricity comes from oil.
Can we actually imagine our being held hostage to foreign oil producers over this 2 percent — ridiculous!
According to Thomas Tanton, President, T & Associates, Environmental Fellow, Pacific Research Institute, a wind turbine would have to produce at 100 percent of its capacity nonstop for up to seven years just to offset the CO2 emissions caused by the installation of the concrete base upon which it is erected. This would suggest that it may take as many as 20 plus years to break even on the CO2 emissions.”
The Wind – advocates publish only partial information…. in an effort to convince taxpayers/consumers that wind power is some angelic, pristine energy source that has minimal impact on our environment. This is simply not true…. AND…. it (windpower) is terribly expensive…. just as ethanol has been and continues to be (as you… of all people should know) ….. with no environmental benefit.