Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Blowing Wind Up Your Skirt

By Alan Caruba

The slang for being lied to is “Someone’s been blowing smoke up your skirt”, but when it comes to the multi-billion dollar job the wind power industry has perpetrated here and in European nations, “blowing wind” more than fits the massive deception about renewable energy.

As William Sullivan pointed out in an April commentary on AmericanThinker.com, the U.S. has squandered $90 billion in subsidies to the wind and solar power industry via 2009’s American Recovery and Investment Act, otherwise known as Obama’s “stimulus” that we were promised would increase employment and jump-start the economy. It did neither. This is not particularly surprising when you consider that we have a president who actually advocated using algae (pond scum) as a form of energy.

How bad was the “stimulus”? Sullivan noted that, “in the first year of this green stimulus, an estimated 79% went to foreign nations” including an Australian firm, Babcock & Brown, “that went bankrupt just two months after the passage of the stimulus bill.” Add to the list of bankruptcies, the solar power companies, Solyndra and Beacon Power Corp here in the U.S.

The whole alternative power industry scam, like the proposed Cap-and-Trade program to require the sale and trade of “carbon credits” has been based on the environmental movement’s global warming hoax in combination with its constant efforts to destroy traditional providers of electricity generation such as coal. Along with oil and natural gas, groups like Friends of the Earth (FOE) oppose anything that might contribute to keeping the lights on and your gas tank filled.

On May 5, FOE was telling its members to support Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Socialist, and Congressman Keith Ellison’s End Polluter Welfare Act, “sweeping legislation that would go further than any bill we have ever seen to eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.” Not only do oil companies employ more people and pay higher taxes than wind and solar companies, but their profit margins are well below other industries such as pharmaceutical manufacturers.

According to a Reuters news article, the wind industry actually shed 10,000 jobs since 2009 at the same time the energy capacity of wind farms had doubled. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry had added 75,000 jobs. How many more jobs would have been added if the Obama administration had not imposed a drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico—twice declared illegal by the courts—and rescinded proposals to open up the fast offshore drilling potential on America’s coastlines.

England and several European nations bet heavily on wind power and as recently as mid-May, the Telegraph, a UK daily, reported that household bills in England will rise by 25% to pay for wind farms and other forms of renewable energy.

The John Muir Trust funded research by Stuart Young Consulting that analyzed electricity generated by UK wind farms between November 2008 to December 2010.

The study found that wind generation was below 20% of the capacity (the ability to generate electricity) more than half the time and below 10% of capacity over one third of the time. It concluded that “the probability of very low wind output coinciding with peak electricity demand is slight.” This applies to all wind farms no matter where they are.

Here in the U.S. we continue to be betrayed by members of Congress in the pocket of the wind power industry. Two of them, Steve King and Dave Reichert, both Republicans, recently held a press conference to urge the extension of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable energy which is scheduled to end in January. Created in 1992, PTC is worth $1.2 billion for wind production that actually increases the electricity bill of consumers in states that mandate renewable energy. By contrast, oil and gas companies pay some $26 billion a year in federal and state corporate income taxes.

If PTC is extended, it will be proof enough that Republican members of Congress are as corrupt as Democrat colleagues.

Keep in mind, the primary pitch for wind and solar power is that it helps prevent global warming, but there is no global warming. The Earth has been in a cooling cycle since 1998. To add injury to insult, traditional energy suppliers using coal and natural gas must be maintained fulltime to provide electricity whenever wind and solar power falls below its promise to generate electricity, something they do all the time.

In England, Spain, Germany and other nations, wind power subsidies have only served to drive up the price of electricity for everyone from families to factories, hospitals and schools, offices and shops.

Here in the U.S. when not slaughtering half a million birds of every description, as well as bats, both wind and solar require huge amounts of land and miles of transmission lines because both are sited far from cities.

There is literally no rational or economic reason for renewable energy. It, like global warming, is a huge scam that benefits a handful of people whose crony capitalism has enriched them while leaving consumers with rising costs for electricity. And all this is going on while the Environmental Protection Agency is generating regulations designed to destroy the coal industry that provides half of all the electricity generated in the U.S.

It is time to end the subsidies and loan guarantees based on borrowed money and the taxes paid by Americans who have been betrayed and continue to be deceived by wealthy environmental organizations and by politicians who need to be turned out of office.

Ultimately, they are the perpetrators of policies that are impoverishing Americans and putting the security of the nation at risk.

© Alan Caruba, 2012


cmblake6 said...

Up 25%? I left England 18 years ago, and utilities were insane then!

Ir'Rational said...

Mr Caruba
I had WTF moment when I read “the probability of very low wind output coinciding with peak electricity demand is slight.” That is the assertion made (myth peddled?) by the wind industry & their allies.
Stuart Young Consulting's conclusion was the reverse: that 'the facts in respect of the above assertion{s are} [is]- At each of the four highest peak demands of 2010 wind output was low being respectively 4.72%, 5.51%, 2.59% and 2.51% of capacity at peak demand.'
{} and [] indicate exclusions and insertions respectively.

Alan Caruba said...

You're right. I should have spotted that. The odds of low generation at high peak demand is very high, not very low.