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  • Blowing Smoke on Wind Energy

    Blowing Smoke on Wind Energy

    President Obama has been quite adamant about his push to transition to a clean energy economy, most notably by subsidizing wind and solar energy sources. He argues we need the government to invest in renewable energy to strengthen our economy and reduce the earth’s fever before it’s too late. Despite the Congress’s attempt to address the nation’s economic concerns and the government’s climate concerns, Washington’s policy prescriptions may not be all they’re cracked up to be. Consider a new study from MIT on wind power says that large wind farms could increase temperatures:

    Using a climate model developed by the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, the researchers simulated the aerodynamic effects of large-scale wind farms — located both on land and on the ocean — to analyze how the atmosphere, ocean and land would respond over a 60-year span.

    For the land analysis, they simulated the effects of wind farms by using data about how objects similar to turbines, such as undulating hills and clumps of trees, affect surface “roughness,” or friction that can disturb wind flow. After adding this data to the model, the researchers observed that the surface air temperature over the wind farm regions increased by about one degree Celsius, which averages out to an increase of .15 degrees Celsius over the entire global surface.”

    Add in the fossil fuels used to make turbines as well provide back up power and wind may not be environmental solution advocates purport it to be. If wind turbines made sense economically, these points wouldn’t matter as much, but wind energy cannot survive without tax credits and subsidies. In a speech last year to sell the stimulus package, President Obama said, “Take the example of wind power alone: I’m told that if we don’t act now, because of the economic downturn, half of the wind projects planned for 2009 could wind up being abandoned.”

    Many businesses and companies held off on projects or contracted in this recessionary environment, but they weren’t artificially propped up. They were allowed to fail and their resources were put to more productive use.

    Even so, the stimulus package failed to create as many clean energy jobs as many supporting the stimulus thought it would. Moreover, “Clean-energy leaders and many outside analysts added that green companies won’t begin hiring in large numbers until the federal government mandates renewable power consumption nationwide and dramatically upgrades the nation’s electric grid.”

    In other words, if the government subsidizes us, sure we’ll build you some windmills. But don’t expect any until then. This is an unwelcoming sign for every single American who will be stuck financing these projects with higher taxes and higher electricity bills.

    If wind can compete absent subsidies, mandates or tax credits, then Americans will benefit from a more robust, competitive energy market. To suggest that windmills will be the answer to our economic and alleged climate problems is nothing but blowing smoke to the American people.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Blowing Smoke on Wind Energy

    1. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    2. Todd Wynn says:

      Great analysis!

      Also, check out this story on the hidden carbon footprint of wind power:

    3. Robert, Rossford, Oh says:

      Can we for the love of God get completely out of the energy subsidy business. Wind and solar couldn't compete in the free market without our childrens tax dollars (we've already spent all of ours plus some).

      Going back to First Principles, the Constitution does not allow the Congress to spend revenue on private entities, nor does it allow different treatment for the flavor of the month industry.

      Green needs to undestand how to earn green (money). Otherwise… go away!

    4. Ed Zierlein Coeur d& says:

      Seemingly, they do not learn from our own or even others mistakes. Germany and Spain have been in the "wind-power" game and given it up. Cost is prohibitive for the low output of farms of these. Without regular ongoing government monies, they will not work. No one will put them in unless there is a commitment for this support. Also, as the Germans stated, "the wind does not always blow". Under the Bush administration, we doubled out "wind-power" output. Now Obama wants to do more.

    5. tp, denver says:

      Aaah MIT – the other Cambridge Ivy League school – the one that teaches applied mathematics and science.

      Many thanks to Dr. Richard Lindzen for his tireless efforts to maintain the science in climate science research.

    6. Michael James says:

      The only people who believe in wind and solar as the current answer to our energy needs,are those who are misinformed of the FACTS,or those who know no facts,but like the sound of the message.The answer to our energy needs lies under our feet.Every knowledgeable person in the field of energy knows that fossil fuels will have to be the go to solution for at least the next forty years.We could save hundreds of billions of dollars a year,and add a trillion dollars to our GDP if we would only tap into our domestic,fossil,energy sources.One day,solar,and possibly wind,will play a major role,but that time is decades into the future. In the meantime, we destroy our economy,and our national security with false,misleading,and feel-good choices foisted upon us by radical,minority elements in our society,and the Democratic party in particular.We are forty years behind the curve to energy independence.I think it is time we stepped on the gas pedal!

    7. S Rubicon, Southcent says:

      Maybe it was the wind industry. Maybe it was college scientists. Someone did a study on where wind was operationally viable. Not every location is productive. And, just like solar, wind is not effective all day & all night long, every day of the year. In short, wind and solar will only be able to supply a percentage of our energy needs. Its less than 20% I think. So, what do we use to make up for the other 35% to 45% that giving up on fossil fuels causes?

      China is officially drilling in the Gulf. Why aren't we? American companies would be more responsive to environmentalists. The Chinese will tell us where to get off.

      This enviro thing that "we" cannot obtain resources in our own back yard is nonsense. If we did the profits would stay here rather than to to terrorist sponsoring nations. If we do it, we get energy independence, until there are real, viable alternatives. No alternative means will be viable for the next 30 to 100 years. Cutting back that much would destroy America & cause untold deaths. Then again, maybe that is the enviro groups' goal. After all, they want population control. By destroying America's economy, socialists get to 'remake' America according to their view.

      These plans they have that have been revealed to be based on fake, false, contrived, manipulated and omitted data, show theirs is a political plan, not an environmental one.

    8. Barbara Cooper, Gree says:

      In addition to all the information that wind and solar are far from The Solution for energy, I find that the majority of the wind machines and solar panels are being manufactured in foreign countries – look it up. Hardly makes for good jobs being created in America. Also pokes a big hole in the depending on foreign oil argument. Just more smoke and mirror that we seem to fall for.

    9. Evan, NJ says:

      I don't understand how you can insinuate that climate change does not exist and then cite studies that increasing wind energy would raise temperatures. Either climate change doesn't exist and wind would not affect climate or climate change does exist and wind may or may not play a negative role.

      You can't have it both ways.

    10. Pingback: Blowing Smoke on Wind Energy — We The People of Longview, TX

    11. Paul D. Hoffman, Pro says:

      I postulated in June 2009, that scientists would eventually find that wind farms and solar farms also affect the climate. You can read my blog post at http://www.talkitupamerica.com/2009/06/research-s…. I guess this confirms my argument.

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