Rationale Against Wind Energy

U.S. Senator Rob Portman, (R) from Ohio supports an “all of the above” energy policy, ref. 1. The problem with this energy policy is that our taxpayer dollars are being wasted on energy sources that aren’t productive. In other words, some energy sources produce a small amount of energy at a high price. For example, we are expending our tax money for solar and wind at an exorbitant rate. After years of government support for wind and solar, the return on our investment has produced only 4% of our  energy usage in CY2012. The Congress talks a lot about balancing the budget and reducing the national debt. Our current “fat” energy policy offers an outstanding opportunity for the Congress to reduce federal spending.  The FY 2014 budget should stop government  funding for wind and solar, including the elimination of federal tax incentives and federal grants for these two renewables. The rational against wind energy, in particular, is summarized below, ref. 2.

  • After 10 years of federal subsidies for wind, we have spent about $24 billion.
  • Nowhere in the U.S. has an array of wind turbines replaced a single conventional power plant.
  • Clustered wind turbines, or wind farms generate only 5 Kw per acre.
  • Wind farms require 192,000  acres ( a square of 17 miles per side) to generate 1,000 MW of electricity.
  • Conventional electric power plants  need only a few hundred acres to produce 1,000 MW  that provides power for a city of 700,000 inhabitants.
  • Of the 45,000 wind turbines estimated to be in operation, thousands of turbine breakdowns and accidents have been reported in recent years.
  • The Audubon Society estimates over 1 million bird deaths occur each year due to wind turbine operation.

I hope taxpayers will wise up to the folly of continuing to fund wind turbines. Wind is a niche  player in our goal for energy independence.

References:

1. Sen. R. Portman website: http://www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/energy

2. Dr. Lehr, Jay, “The Rational for Wind Power Won’t Fly” The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2013.