Let’s do a quick rundown of what we know about wind power.
(1) Far from being an emerging technology, it is a centuries old technology, in use even long before the Dutch made them look pretty. But that’ll never prevent folks from telling us we need to flood wind with money to “demonstrate” this emerging technology.
(2) It’s pretty clear that wind delivers little to none to perhaps negative environmental benefit. It’s not just that it is energy non-dense, which of course is a big land hog, but it’s effective output is far below rated output. Further, ironically as the link below will show, wind requires massive amounts of transmission lines, which you should check out the research on in terms of ecological impacts.
(3) Wind power is the CITI/AIG/GOLDMAN of the energy sector. But folks ignore the cronyism when it comes to saving the planet.
(4) If you are worried about “dependency” on foreign oil, wind cannot solve that, and even if it did, it makes us dependent on foreign other things. That’s tautological not ideological. But educated people fail to understand that so I don’t imagine many folks can.
(5) Wind is required by mandate to be purchased by a large number of power companies. It is like the ethanol of electricity.
(6) Wind enjoys a production tax credit ( a subsidy per unit of output)
(7) Wind installations enjoy subsidies and loan guarantees.
(8) And now we learn that consumers who do not get any benefit from wind are going to be forced to subsidized the installation of transmission lines to connect new wind projects to the grid. In today’s world I am sure someone will come up with a euphemism for “forced” but that’s no different than the mandate and all manner of thuggish behavior.
The small point I want to make today (please read the linked article) is that if we rely on Constitutional jurisprudence then there is NO CHANCE that a court or arbitrator will see any problem with it. It’s simply an extension of Wickard v. Filburn. ANY activity can be justified as interstate commerce and I am sure regulators will find a way to approve these millions of dollars of forced subsidies by appealing to some nuance of that legal stance.
There’s still a lot more we could cover on wind, that’s it for today.
UPDATE: We knew that renewables production was subject to the production of toxic waste, which of course “E”nvironmentalists ignore. But check out this double standard when it comes to evaluating the health impacts of the toxic waste produced by the solar industry: “While much of the waste produced is considered toxic, there was no evidence it has harmed human health.” Of course, when the same observation is made about natural gas (aside from the fact that by displacing coal, which solar has not done) it saves thousands of lives and improves the health of hundreds of thousands, it is outright rejected, or the one case of someone being ill from diesel emissions from a generator are paraded out as “endemic” problems. I now cannot wait to see all of the “E”nivornmentalists conducting extensive research on whether any of the demons that they excoriate actually harm human health. I’d suggest starting with water bottles. Read the whole thing.
UPDATE #2: Maybe they will stop making users pay for these transmission lines. How? Propose building lines that will never get built and then claim credit as a “savings” when that program gets “cut.” Here is more from your Banana Republic.
UPDATE #3: I keep thinking about that solar article from Update #1. Here is a quote down at the bottom where the author describes the fact that the “carbon footprint” of trucking around all of this toxic waste isn’t included when comparing how green solar is with how green gas and oil are:
Life cycle analysts add up all the global warming pollution that goes into making a certain product — from the mining needed for components to the exhaust from diesel trucks used to transport waste and materials. Not factoring the hazardous waste transport into solar’s carbon footprint is an obvious oversight, analysts said.
“The greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting this waste is not insignificant,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney noted that shipping, for example, 6.2 million pounds of waste by heavy-duty tractor-trailer from Fremont, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay area, to a site 1,800 miles away could add 5 percent to a particular product’s carbon footprint.
I don’t disagree at all. What I suspect we should have a problem with is that these very same “E”nvironmentalists refuse to apply the same “analysis” to the buying and selling of foods. In fact, this very fact stands as the reason the local foods movement exists at all. It must be nice to live in a universe where you get to make up the rules of logic as it suits you.