The Wind Farm Scam


I never thought I’d agree with a member of the Kennedy clan, but Bobby Kennedy’s son got it right when he dismissed the much-hyped Cape Wind project that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved last week. “It’s a boondoggle of the worst kind,” Kennedy said. “It’s going to cost the people of Massachusetts $4 billion over the next 20 years in extra costs.”

If anything, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer, underestimated the cost of Cape Wind. The project will see the construction of 130 wind-powered turbines off the coast of Cape Cod Massachusetts that will, according to its developers, generate an average of 170 megawatts of electricity for the Bay State. The turbines will cost about $1 billion to build. Let’s assume that the useful life of the wind turbines is twenty years, that the maintenance costs of the windmills is zero, and that nobody has to pay a dime of interest on the $1 billion worth of financing needed to construct these windmills. Even if we accept such wildly inaccurate and charitable assumptions, the cost of energy generated by Cape Wind over those twenty years will be over thirty-three cents per kilowatt. That’s more than six times the typical wholesale price for electrons today, around six cents per kilowatt, depending on the market.

Thanks to government subsidies, Massachusetts’ residents won’t have to pay the full price for Cape Wind power. Instead, they’ll only have to fork over four and a half times the going rate, rather that something over six times that benchmark. According to Bobby junior:

“We’re the windiest country on earth and we have lots and lots of land. Americans don’t want to pay 27 cents a kilowatt hour for energy.”

Truth be told, Americans don’t want to pay 26 cents a kilowatt for energy, or 25 cents a kilowatt, or one fraction of a penny more than they have to. They rather reasonably expect that the free enterprise system will function properly and allow them to find the most competitive – aka: least expensive – source of power available. Kennedy is putting the economic argument to use here in a very limited sense of course. The Kennedys don’t really care what you and I pay for power. It’s just that the Kennedys don’t want a forest of giant windmills interfering with their view while they’re yachting majestically down Nantucket Sound. But, the same logic in fact applies everywhere in the “windiest country on earth”: wind fired energy is expensive.

I recently asked an energy executive why his company was investing in wind-power so heavily, when we both know it doesn’t make any economic sense to do so. His reply was that it’s all about the government subsidies. Once those run out, they intend to forgo any further – very expensive – maintenance, run the things till they break down and then forget about them. Given the high cost of wind power, and the fact that you have to have an equivalent amount of fossil power ready to back up wind energy (since the wind doesn’t blow all the time outside of the halls of Congress) it’s reasonable to assume that this fellow isn’t the only person in the energy industry thinking along such lines.

Yet wind power projects are still all the rage and promise to be for quite a while yet. Wind power recently passed biomass power as number two on the Department of Energy’s renewable power rankings. The Obama administration loves windmills, but apparently not just because it’s “green energy.” It appears that there has been some spreading of the green involved as well. Former New York Sun managing editor Ira Stoll uncovered some of the connections at his website, Future of Capitalism. Stoll noted how $503 in stimulus money was awarded to a couple of wind energy companies that have close ties to the Obama administration:

“…the recipient of $294 million, Iberdrola SA, had executives who had donated more than $21,000 to the Obama campaign and related funds. Another $115 million in funds for windmills went to a company called First Wind, which, I noted, had owners that included D.E. Shaw and Madison Dearborn Partners. Shaw is the firm at which President Obama’s chief of the National Economic Council, Lawrence Summers, held a $5.2 million a year, one-day-a-week job, and Madison Dearborn is the firm of which Rahm Emanuel, now the White House chief of staff, said, “They’ve been not only supporters of mine, they’re friends of mine.”

Odd that the mainstream media has shown no interest in these sorts of ties, especially after journalists spent eight years drawing every connection they could, no matter how tenuous, between the Bush administration and the oil industry. It’s not surprising that such ties exist of course. They smack of the kind of “pay to play” politics for which Chicago is justifiably famous.

If you really want to understand the futility of wind power, consider the following analysis. In 2007 (the last year for which verified data is currently available) the Department of Energy reported that there were 389 wind-farms producing electricity in the United States, with a net generation capacity of 16,596 megawatts.  If all of those windmills were churning out electrons at capacity all of the time, they would have produced a little over 145 million megawatt hours of electricity in 2007. How much did they in fact produce? A little less than 27 million megawatt hours, or less than twenty percent of capacity (also called “capacity factor” in the business).

If a coal-fired plant providing base-load power operates at something less than a ninety percent capacity factor, it’s owners are going to take a long, hard look at the way it’s being run. But windmills – both because they’re expensive and thus often among the last units to called into service to meet demand, and because you just can’t count on the wind – are built in droves despite the fact they are eighty percent useless. But for government subsidies, Cape Wind, or any of the big wind farms sprouting up across the country, would not exist.

  • http://www.cwposse.org/waterforfighting/campaign.html J. F. Shaughnessy

    I am in total agreement with and share the same sentiments of the author. However, such common sense financial study of this situation accounts for little in the mind of an administration so set upon dismantling the electrical production status quo and replacing it with systems that impart situations across the nation where “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f-Jf_LGi-c

    November just cannot come quickly enough.

    • PrudentMan

      It is remarkable how ignorant the American public is regarding the re-distribution of wealth to Muslim countries enhanced by our failure to increase our domestic energy sources; all of them!

      In 2001 George W. Bush proposed an energy policy in which members of both parties in Congress bad-mouthed. One of the arguments was that it could take ten years to produce results. Is there any question that we need a Referendum for Congressional Term Limits as, under the current system, if you are not a crook when you get elected you soon will have to be in order to get anything done.

  • Thunder

    Wind turbine – that mechanical contraption's movement costs more than it produces, but masses believe and push that nonsense….
    Give me subsidies and I will deliver energy from…from…you name it.
    BTW –
    "Accident" with oil rig AND Texas rafinery? RRRRRRRRRight.

    • Jim C.

      Can you imagine what a disaster might come if even one of the wind turbines failed? Such a wind spill could wreak havoc.

      We have to shout "Drill, baby, drill" even louder this November!

      • coyote3

        I don't have to imagine, they are already a disaster. Indeed, the cost is not worth the return.

    • davarino

      Ya this "accident" has come just at the right time, for the left. Its hard to imagine the left being able to pull something like this off, but its hard to imagine how all the safety devices failed on this rig.

      It keeps getting scarier and scarier.

      If your thinkin what I'm thinkin, we are in big trouble

  • Sam Deakins

    Tell RFK, Jr that his late uncle supported that Boston Dig boondoggle that cost the US taxpayer a lot more than first advertized. Yes, those Kennedy's sure are worried about the American people alright.

  • Mike

    You need to redo your math.

    170MW * 24 * 365 gives you 1,489,200 MWH per year
    Your 0.33 / kwh would have them making $1 billion in slightly over 2 years.

    • KFA

      Right Mike. I did the math before I read your comment. Of course the 170 MW for 24/7 from 130 windmills is unrealistic as is the no interest and no maintenance assumptions.

      • redoyourmath

        You did the math, but you didn't do the research. 130 turbines at 3.6 MW capacity = 468 MW total capacity. The 170 MW reference is terrible, since it doesn't assume generation and was made up by some reporter that doesn't understand electric generation. At 40% generation capacity (similar to offshore farms in Europe), Cape Wind is expected to generate about 1,600,000 kilowatt hours annually – or 330,000,000 kWh over 20 years. Now's when you divide your $1 billion by 330 million kWh, which equals three cents per kwh (3 cents).

      • redoyourmath

        You did the math, but you didn't do the research. 130 turbines at 3.6 MW capacity = 468 MW total capacity. The 170 MW reference is terrible, since it doesn't assume generation and was made up by some reporter that doesn't understand electric generation. At 40% generation capacity (similar to offshore farms in Europe), Cape Wind is expected to generate about 1,600,000 kilowatt hours annually – or 330,000,000 kWh over 20 years. Now's when you divide your $1 billion by 330 million kWh, which equals three cents per kwh (3 cents).

      • redoyourmath

        You did the math, but you didn't do the research. 130 turbines at 3.6 MW capacity = 468 MW total capacity. The 170 MW reference is terrible, since it doesn't assume generation and was made up by some reporter that doesn't understand electric generation. At 40% generation capacity (similar to offshore farms in Europe), Cape Wind is expected to generate about 1,600,000 kilowatt hours annually – or 330,000,000 kWh over 20 years. Now's when you divide your $1 billion by 330 million kWh, which equals three cents per kwh (3 cents).

    • P.Fuchs

      Just a couple of weeks ago a new wind energy park has been put into operation in the north see (Germany). This a money making machine considering the cost of electricity in Europe.
      Greeting from Germany, Peter

  • badaboo

    Rich Trzupek is at it again , using misinformation and bad examp[les to make a point . Truth is , in 2008 windmills produced 52 billion kwh of electricity , about 1.3 percent of the nations needs . What Rich fails to mention is that wind along with solar are RENEWA BLE SOURCES of energy , and are available as long as the sun shines . The technology is relatrively new , and just like computer data storage started out expensive , it has now become dirt cheap as the technology has progressed . Nor has Rich bothered toention the successful wind energy projects and the fact that it is a totally clean technology . .
    With attitudes like Rich's we weill never achieve oil independence , for initial costs of any new technology is relatively high , thgus we write it off as inneffective , well tellthat to the Chinese who have went ahead with solar , made it much more cost efffective , and are now producing almost 75% of solar panels sold and used throughout the globe .
    But Rich's agenda is not moving ahead in technology , but slamming anything Democrat .,and attaching a political agenda to everything under the sun .

    • JGI

      thats all fine and dandy, just stop borrowing to do stuff.

  • badaboo

    Stick to science Rich , and leave your politics at the front door . If you bother to look at the history of any technology from transistor radios ,tv's computer storage space , dvd players , all started high cost and eventually prices always came doiwn, as thge technology improved , manufacturing methods refined , etc

    • davarino

      badaboo, just wandering what part of windmills is a new technology. Nothin new about the generators in the windmill. Very little to improve on there. Nothin new about the propellors on the windmill. Very little to improve on there. Cant make frictionless bearings. Cant make lossless windings. Maybe make the wind blow harder. So tell me, where in the "new" technology are the improvements going to come from. Just cause its a new idea, doesnt make it a new technology. Its an old technology that is not going to produce that much energy. Just like solar. You could plaster the roof of your house with solar panels to power your refrigerator, big deal. Who cares if China is making solar panels. Are they using them? No, they arent that stupid.

      There is this new technology I have heard of that is very promising. Its called Nuclear energy, heard of it.

      Take your misinformation somewhere else bro. And keep waiting for your handheld windmill app that runs on your ipod.

      • Jim C.

        Actually there are instances of solar design, now, where in some months the homeowner actually receives a check from the utility company for feeding more power into the grid than it uses. The technology is vastly improved from its too-early peak in the 1970s.

        • davarino

          Ya thats if you have left over energy to sell back to the utilities. Good luck with the extra energy part of that equation.

    • bostonian

      Computers, transistors ,tv ,etl all were breakthroughs,while wind mills not. They are not going to increase productivity.By the way coal oil also come from sun for free.

    • buzzard

      Considering that the Federal Government has been spending heavily on 'alternative energy' research for 30+ years now and windmills are still expensive as hell, I don't really know you have any concept of what you speak. Ever hear of NREL? National Renewable Energy Laboratory? They have been spending money on solar and wind technology for that whole time (to little avail). On top of that the other DOE labs have spend many a penny on such projects. Sorry we're not talking new technology. We're talking well researched technology which has demonstrated the limitations of the basic idea.

      As for a technology being clean, do you have any idea of the chemical processes involved in making photovoltaic cells? How about making aluminum or composites (windmills are made of one or the other)? There is no totally clean process out there beyond growing a tree.

    • buzzard

      Considering that the Federal Government has been spending heavily on 'alternative energy' research for 30+ years now and windmills are still expensive as hell, I don't really know you have any concept of what you speak. Ever hear of NREL? National Renewable Energy Laboratory? They have been spending money on solar and wind technology for that whole time (to little avail). On top of that the other DOE labs have spend many a penny on such projects. Sorry we're not talking new technology. We're talking well researched technology which has demonstrated the limitations of the basic idea.

      As for a technology being clean, do you have any idea of the chemical processes involved in making photovoltaic cells? How about making aluminum or composites (windmills are made of one or the other)? There is no totally clean process out there beyond growing a tree.

    • coyote3

      Windmills are ancient technology. If they efficiently produced energy they would have been used by now. Now, if you want to use windmill technology, I have no objection. Just don't illegally, i.e., unconstitutionally use my tax money to do it, efficiency, inefficiency nothwithstanding.

    • coyote3

      Windmills are ancient technology. If they efficiently produced energy they would have been used by now. Now, if you want to use windmill technology, I have no objection. Just don't illegally, i.e., unconstitutionally use my tax money to do it, efficiency, inefficiency nothwithstanding.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/temarch temarch

    Just another unecessary expense like methanol that also uses government subsidies to exist.. And who wants the landscape covered with these. Back during the 90s I had occasion to drive from San Francisco to Modesto CA, going through the Altamont Pass wind farm, one of the earliest in America. Talk about ugly! Just like the first time I traveled out into the west and marveled at the beauty only to be upset at "John loves Mary" spray painted on the rocks. Wind mills will be no different.

  • sue giddins

    Can someone send some sense down under Australia. These damn things are destroying the fabric of our country, pitting family against famil, friend against friend and neighbour against neighbour and FOR WHAT!!!!!!! the author has said it all.

    • Kim Bruce

      I'm with you, Sue.
      We are running into the wind farm scam here in Ontario where our Liberal Premier seems obsessed with the damned things. He is planting them like mushrooms all over the landscape. In the meantime our energy prices are going through the roof. For what? I thought wind farms were supposed to bring energy prices down. WRONG!
      In the name of Green Energy our prices for electrons are sky-rocketing! This year the aver household electricity bill is going up an estimated $100. to $300.
      Is that savings or what?
      Besies that…what good is a windmill going to be when it is frozen in a glacier when the ice age hits?
      I'm fed up with wind farms and Green Energy and "Liberal nut-cases".

    • Kim Bruce

      I'm with you, Sue.
      We are running into the wind farm scam here in Ontario where our Liberal Premier seems obsessed with the damned things. He is planting them like mushrooms all over the landscape. In the meantime our energy prices are going through the roof. For what? I thought wind farms were supposed to bring energy prices down. WRONG!
      In the name of Green Energy our prices for electrons are sky-rocketing! This year the aver household electricity bill is going up an estimated $100. to $300.
      Is that savings or what?
      Besies that…what good is a windmill going to be when it is frozen in a glacier when the ice age hits?
      I'm fed up with wind farms and Green Energy and "Liberal nut-cases".

    • betty boop

      Well gee, they do a great job of dicing sea birds, I understand. I bet sharks love them! Seagull McNuggets. What next- endangered status for ocean going birds? That'll be the end of recreational use of the beaches.

    • betty boop

      Well gee, they do a great job of dicing sea birds, I understand. I bet sharks love them! Seagull McNuggets. What next- endangered status for ocean going birds? That'll be the end of recreational use of the beaches.

  • Sam Deakins

    Tell RFK, Jr that his late uncle supported that Boston Dig boondoggle that cost the US taxpayer a lot more than first advertized. Yes, those Kennedy's sure are worried about the American people alright.

  • http://www.AlGoreisaCultLeader.com algoreisacultleader

    As to its esoteric meaning, Tresidder writes, “The swastika's essential meaning of life force, solar power and … Dervishes whirl, Indians swirl, shamans turn, all following Shiva's dance and the form of the swastika….

    The Windmill is the Swastika of the ECO-FASCISTS.

    And Al Gore is a Cult Leader (http://www.AlGoreIsACultLEader.com)

  • jaatliesure

    Your premises are wrong. You are assuming that Wind, Solar, etc. are supposed to
    REPLACE conventional generation. It is obvious that they can't, they are intermittantly
    available. However, from an engineering point of view, whenever nature gives you a
    "free" input, the proper response from an engineer is, "it's free, let's see how that might be useful." An improper response is a dogmatic "that will never work, and besides it doesn't fit my ideology."
    Alternate energy sources can DEFRAY consumption of oil and gas, when they are available. Last summer, when Boston was facing brownout conditions, the weather monitoring anemometer out at Nantucket shoals indicated how much energy would
    have been availble at that time, and when Boston Edison heard about it, they said that
    that amount would have helped them considerably, at the time; they would have been glad to have the supplement. They would have been glad to purchase that power at that time, at a good price.
    Solar and wind can help with load-leveling, which would help conventional sources be
    MORE efficient.
    Solar & wind are a freebee from a pollution point of view, because they add NOTHING
    in terms of pollution–not even waste heat–because the energy they use is already in the
    atmosphere. You're not pulling stored chemical energy up from underground.
    Wind and sun may be intermittant, but they are FREE, and will be free forever; you won't suddenly have to buy them at increased prices on a spot energy market. In fact their costs will go DOWN in the future, as the equipment becomes a commodity and more experience is gained using it.
    Wind is also not as intermittant as you would think, as one person standing in one place, feeling it on his face, would assume. When it is not blowing at location X, it is very often blowing at location Y, very close by. If you sailed on Nantucket sound, as I do, you would know this. You can see the catspaws of wind on the water away from your boat, while nothing is blowing at your boat. A minute later, the opposite is true. By cabling the windmills together in a grid, a lot of their variation in output is smoothed.
    Solar IS intermittant, but it's predictable. We know when the sun rises and sets, and we can predict if the weather will be overcast or not. With predictability, you can offset oil and gas comsumption. We have COMPUTERS, which makes this easy to do. We also tend to use more electricity during the day, which, convientently, is the same time the sun is shining.
    You talk a lot about costs, but there are some major costs you have left out of the equation. OIl supports terror: what is the COST of that? What do we spend on the TSA
    every year? What is the cost of long security lines? In lost productivity? In wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan? There are other costs, well documented: pollution costs; asthma, acid rain, and on and on and on. Your "math" does not take any of these realities into account.
    Your'e surprised at finding yourself on the same side as Kennedy and Kerry. You shold be. You should be embarrassed. They are sailors, they call themselves "environmentalists", but they would rather burn oil then harness free breezes. . What fools. They aren't environmentalists. They are just against building anything, anywhere, at any time, no matter what it is. Don't be on their side, please. It doesn't become you.

    • trickyblain

      Great post! Hopefully folks here will read with an open mind, but don't bet on it.

      I sail on the other side of the country on SF Bay. There, the wind is predictable. You can bank on 15-30 knot winds, starting about 1pm and blowing until the inland cools down about 7:30pm, at least 5-7 days a week during the summer.

    • coyote3

      Gee, I am glad I am not an environmentalist.

  • USMCSniper

    You tree huggers need to learn some physics. Wind Turbines are limited by what is called the Betz law. Simply put, if you capture 100% of the energy available in the wind, you stop the wind. Obviously, the wind will stop flowing through such a turbine. The opposite of that is that if you don't capture any energy in the wind, you don't need a turbine. The wind is able to flow around any major obstruction. The Betz limit says that essentially, if you capture 59.6% of the energy in the wind, that is the best compromise between stopping the air and forcing it to go around your machine. You need to maintain the flow of air, that's the compromise any wind machine must make whether it is a horizontal axis (traditional style turbine) or vertical axis turbine, with many blades or few, or any such combination. It's covered by the Betz limit.

    • USMCSniper

      A “perfect turbine” would work right at the Betz limit, the blades and the alternator would match perfectly at all wind speeds, and the alternator would have no internal magnetic or electrical losses. Klemen also averaged the efficiency of power conversion (called the “Coefficient of Power”, or Cp) of several commercial small wind turbines, and got the figure of Cp=35% for what he calls on his page a “Good Turbine” , though none of the commercial turbines he tested were able to reach that efficiency

  • http://thereisnosantaclaus.blogspot.com TINSC

    Don't forget folks! The way the Democrats want to make wind energy competitive is to tax CO2 and make conventional electricity artificially expensive. The end result will be a reverse tariff on everything made in America and subsequent economic disaster.

    The Spanish have invested heavily in wind energy. They enjoy 20% unemployment and a national economy that is fast following Greece into bankruptcy.

  • George

    Seems some people think they can overcome the laws of Thermodynamics. If so, they'd make Gates and Buffet look like stop-light panhandlers. It's seldom mentioned that turbines also consume electricity as sensors must function 24/7 and motors and drives must function to turn the units to face wind direction.
    Also little is said about the European experience with turbines. What is said is how great they are and how happy they are in the Netherlands, Germany and the like. However, the negatives are ignored. The Dutch sell most of their wind generated electricity to neighbors and buy from other ccountries that have less expensive forms of generation. Oddly, these forms are vehemently opposed in the US despite being renewable in one case and safe in the other- hydro and nuclear. The European experience has also led to a new medical syndrome based on living within range of the constant low level vibrations given off by the turbines. Oh! But wait! We've got national healthcare now! Problem solved.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/imnokuffar imnokuffar

    Its a con and everyone outside the fanatical Green Movement knows it. What we need to do in the UK is to build more Nuclear Power Stations and clean up the Coal fired stations. Mind you we could probably switch to bullshit fired stations pretty soon as there is a lot of this about.

  • badaboo

    Stick to science Rich , and leave your politics at the front door . If you bother to look at the history of any technology from transistor radios ,tv's computer storage space , dvd players , all started high cost and eventually prices always came doiwn, as thge technology improved , manufacturing methods refined , etc

  • owyheewine

    Agreeing with the drug addled Robert Kennedy is a pretty slippery slope. What better way to demonstrate, as Rich accurately describes, the economic folly of wind turbine development, in the face of the holier than thou Kennedy clan.
    It is amazing how much influence that people who are thermodynamics and economics illiterate have in the energy debate. That includes some of the previous commenters.

  • WSC

    Something for nothing, free wind, free sun, all for the taking without any reverse action. The sun and wind heat energy has forever had a use where ever it was created. Between them, along with moisture transport, they created the nature we know. Today, each watt of energy removed from its historical location by windmills or solar units, will result in that watt's energy being removed from the historical location where it was converted to heat or plant energy. At some point, when the wind no longer carries moisture to the location where it historically landed or the desert heated earth no longer creates winds that circulate to create natures enviroment, mankind will realize that, "there is no, something for nothing and every action has a reaction." And suddenly, in a "world heating up or down panic by the 'greenies,' we will be drilling for oil, digging for coal and building extra power plants to supply emergency electricity to drive the windmills backward, in what will most likely be a futile attempt to get back what was believed to be a "free for the taking" without adverse effect by the those same"greenies" of today.

    • badaboo

      yea , so lets just sit around and do nothing , until the arasb really put the screws to us yea screw solar , screw wind energy. besides that you are departing from basic earth science and the weather , I suggest you investigat how simply the rising and setting of the sun creates wind .

      • Don from Canada

        The US and Canada have more than enough oil between them to dwarf production from the Middle East. If we tapped into our own resources, the price of oil would drop and those countries like Saudi Arabia would suddenly find themselves a lot less wealthy.

        • trickyblain

          Problem isn't the amount of oil, it's the amount of easily refined oil. Up there in Canada, your reserves are locked in what's known as "tar sands." It takes more energy to refine than it outputs. The stuff in the Mideast is called "Light Sweet crude." It's shallow and you can almost put it straight into a Jeep and drive away (if somebody deosn't blow you up first).

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

            That's absolutely true Tricky, and why oil from the Arabian Peninsula is so popular, and why theirs will run out first, if it does. Many of the Gulf and Midwest fields we drained during WWII and the 70s are refilling much faster than expected (though I don't know whether it's of the same quality – a good question next chance I get to talk to the people I know in the industry), but they were 'heavy' to begin with.

            If I remember correctly, the break even point for refining tar sands is when the price hits somewhere between $70 and $80 a barrel. I think we should develop our own resources enough to turn the spigot on quickly in emergencies, and to help level out price spikes, like the annual summer spike, and spikes from problems in the Persian Gulf, but use their oil first. When alternative energy advances enough to be cost effective, it will sell itself.

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

            That's absolutely true Tricky, and why oil from the Arabian Peninsula is so popular, and why theirs will run out first, if it does. Many of the Gulf and Midwest fields we drained during WWII and the 70s are refilling much faster than expected (though I don't know whether it's of the same quality – a good question next chance I get to talk to the people I know in the industry), but they were 'heavy' to begin with.

            If I remember correctly, the break even point for refining tar sands is when the price hits somewhere between $70 and $80 a barrel. I think we should develop our own resources enough to turn the spigot on quickly in emergencies, and to help level out price spikes, like the annual summer spike, and spikes from problems in the Persian Gulf, but use their oil first. When alternative energy advances enough to be cost effective, it will sell itself.

    • trickyblain

      The "historical location" is the same place as the panel or windmill sits. So, if you have a solar panel sitting on a roof, the energy is absorbed into the panel (as opposed to the roof). There's no net-takeaway in terms of wattage. It's not being "removed," as the same amount of energy is abosrbed into wjhatever it hits – roof or panel.

      In terms of windmills, you're telling us that they will literally stop the wind from blowing? Other that a couple Newtonian cliches (which do not apply because the energy is already being used one way or another), what do you base this on? And they say that climate change is far-fetched?

  • Chris

    What type of energy do windmill manufacturers use to build their windmills?
    I bet it ain't wind power. Also are there any solar panel builders who rely only on solar for their factories? I'm betting no.

    • badaboo

      boy that's brilliant chris , that oughta get you the nobel prize . obviously your argument is ludicrous , but I'll bet you can't see that .

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

        Pot meet kettle would be giving Chris too little credit and you too much.

        • badaboo

          After reading some of your comments rifleman , I'll take that as a compliment .

    • Don from Canada

      solar cannot provide the short term energy necessary to build a solar cell. In terms of power consumption/production, it takes something like 6-7 years for a solar cell to produce the amount of energy it took to create it. And if you do the math on the costs, it takes about 15 years for the solar cell to "save" money on electricity that it costs to purchase it. Coincidentally, that 15 years is about how long the cells will last.

      Unless you have a real reason to install solar electric cells, don't. It's cheaper to buy a generator and run it from natural gas. And it runs all year round, rain or shine.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

    A coworker’s Dad retired from the Gulf platforms, and knows the guy that first came up with blowout valves (around 1960, and a very interesting if rather long story), and several improvements made on them since. He's one of the first called in a case like this. He s seen the damage and seemed certain it wasn’t sabotage, but looked to him like substantially substandard blowout valves.

    He also said they should have had 85% of the leakage stopped within a week and a half of the blowout, by dropping domes over the three avenues in the head, and pumping the seepage into tankers. While they were doing that a new hole would be drilled into the old one(s he wasn't clear on that) from an angle and pumped full of cement to stop the flow completely. He said that should take a month or three, depending on the weather. Apparently, neither the oil companies nor the government had the dome apparatus on hand like they were supposed to. I would think they would have more on hand in case of a deliberate attack, but they didn't even have the specialized resources on hand to deal with even one blowout. I do think hussein dithered (and miscalculated in doing so) to make a point. Never let a crisis go to waste, as his administration says.

  • Gleeper

    One comment that is missing is the wind turbine reliability issue. When reliability was studied from the view to insure the equipment against mechanical and electrical breakdown the mean time to failure of any of the critical components was less than 90 days. Therefore uninsurable. The only reason these killers of birds and hazards to life are built is tax credits and outright subsidies. Of course, the other issue unaddressed is how to take any power generated and add it to the power grid. This will add more power towers transformers, and substations to the land to bring the power to the place where it is needed.
    One additional nuclear power plant in each state would obviate the need for this foolishness.

  • http://www.outbacktraveller.com.au Scott

    They are a waste of time and money.

  • Bill Carson

    It should be brought to the attention of all our families that the Wampanoags say their spiritual greetings of the sun require unobstructed views and say commercial turbines in Nantucket Sound could disturb their ancestral burying grounds. The State of Massachusetts and the federal government continue to strip the North American Indians of any rights they have left!

    The United States should review its opposition to a 2007 UN declaration enshrining the land, resource and human rights of the world's 370 million indigenous peoples. The Wampanoags who oppose the wind turbines are indigenous people also known as the 'People of the First Light.''

  • rib/eve

    I'm disgusted, Pennsylvania has done the same. We have wind mills everywhere and according to our representative they replace 1-2% of our electricity. At a huge cost.

    I like to rap them around the necks of my state representatives and green freaks. If you really want to go green then start thinking hydrogen – water. Radio waves can make it boil. It's used in manufacturing today by sealing tubes of tooth paste. Very efficient and very green.

    Show me the money!

  • Bill Chaffee

    All energy is derived from nuclear energy. The sun is a massive nuclear reactor which supplied the energy necessary for the formation of coal, oil and natural gas. Geothermal energy results from radioactive decay inside the earth. We don't ban fire as a result of fire being used in war. That isn't a good reason to ban nuclear power either. Let's stop squandering money on wind power scams and build the kind of power plants that will do some good.

    • davarino

      exactly, its safe now both in disposal of waste and opperation of the power plant.

  • pyeatte

    The fastest way to get rid of this garbage is to reflect the cost directly onto peoples utility bill. One look at that and a bunch of our representatives will be in bad straights.

  • badaboo

    Cost ? You mean like the 10 billion Dollar tunnel out west , which was supposed to store nuclear waste from power plants ? Which remains unused and unfinished .Before anyone goes whole hog on nuclear power , better resolve the issue of where the waste will go …and in WHOSE STATE .
    Did someone mention "squandering money " ??

  • http://www.kandg.org Cyberchem

    Two revealing charts about the issues: 1) US energy flow which shows US electricity is nearly 100% generated from domestic fuel and has nearly no cross connect with petroleum and the transportation sector.https://publicaffairs.llnl.gov/news/energy/energy… 2) Performance on a 2 state-wide wind farm system balanced by the Bonneville Power Administration hydro system showing numerous continuous multi-day flatlines from the wind farms. http://www.transmission.bpa.gov/business/operatio
    When we say energy independence by using supplemental windmills, I want to know how that energy is going to magically appear in the fuel tanks. The Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Council admits that wind and solar are not baseload suppliers (not reliable). They also admit that these are not peaking suppliers (not dispatchable). At best, they are an expensive supplement which causes the consumption of more conventional fuels (experience reports by Colorado, Texas, and Germany) showing actual increase in CO2 emissions after implementation. http://www.bentekenergy.com/WindCoalandGasStudy.a

  • Bill Chaffee

    When I was in the process of researching the wind power lobby, I was redirected to a website that bashes nuclear power. Much of the information was false. Wind power supporters seem to be willing to infect personal computers in an effort to stop people form reading anything negitive about the wind power lobby.

  • Ken

    The whole wind energy started, not with Democrats, but with Enron Wind in Texas. That's where the Renewable Portfolio Standard was born, but under a different name. If you do your research you will find former Enron execs still in the wind business. This scam is supported by Wall St whose firms often get the tax credits. Dick Cheney is the one who engineered the big tax breaks these folks get, not the Obama administration.

  • nicki

    love wind farm def the future, better than solar, wayyy better.

    watch nicki minaj video

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  • br549

    Why not use submarine power plants for a city. Large citys get many spread all over. Any growth and add one. They have been around for fifty years and they are off the shelf. Waste goes to Yuca………………. Next

  • andy

    we are in math trouble aren't we!