The loopy Greens just love wind energy and in theory it sounds great if you have a good site but like so many schemes to save the planet there are always those pesky “unintended consequences) like maintenance issues and well tendency of these machines to chop up all kinds of birds both common and endangered,
Paul GIPE, a former California wind company executive, calls what happened next a ‘tax credit frenzy’.
‘The lure of quick riches resulted in shoddy products that littered California with poorly operating — sometimes non-operating — turbines.’
They were expensive and badly designed. Some were far too small to make a difference, others were just clunky machines designed by the aero industry with blades the length of a rugby pitch.
But thanks to the subsidies, it hardly mattered that some of the untested turbines were so sub-standard they barely even worked.
Not to put too fine a point on it, for some wind energy investors it was simply a tax scam.
But as tends to happen with a business that is driven by financial incentives, it lasted only as long as the subsidies. In 1986, the price of oil tumbled and the subsidies started to die out. Suddenly, the wind energy sums didn’t add up any more.
And just like the gold rush miners who had rushed to the same Californian passes a century earlier, the wind prospectors departed in such a hurry that they didn’t even bother to take down the turbines they had littered across the state.
With so many moving parts to worry about, maintaining turbines is expensive — too expensive when the electricity they could produce was suddenly worth so little.
‘So when something broke, you simply didn’t send a repairman because it just didn’t make financial sense,’ Hawaii wind sceptic Andrew Walden told me.
With some turbine makers going out of business, there were no spare parts either.
According to the California Energy Commission, the collapse in subsidies stalled the state’s huge wind energy industry for nearly two decades.
No one who has driven past one of America’s mega wind farms today can fail to be struck by how few have blades that are turning, even in strong winds.
The truth is that even fewer may be producing electricity than it appears. Many are switched to a mode in which the blades continue to turn just to keep oil moving around the mechanism, but no electricity is produced.
Unfortunately, the frenzy of windmill building during the wind rush didn’t just ruin the view, but also devastated the wildlife.
No one noticed until far too late that the 5,000-turbine wind farm at Altamont Pass is on a major migratory path for birds. The National Audubon Society, America’s RSPB, has called it ‘probably the worst site ever chosen for a wind energy project’.
It seems rather obvious to me that until they actaully design wind turbines that don’t fail in service and that don’t shred the creatures of the air then that “dirty” coal fired power station is looking like a far more benign option for the environment than wind power… now can someone please explain that to Bob Brown and Christine Milne?
- Do wind turbines kill birds and bats?
- Wind turbines: Green energy will cost £120billion by 2020 say researchers
- Alice Thomson: It’s Time To Abolish Wind Subsidies
- ‘Not your grandma’s windmills’: Sen. Alexander attacks wind tax break