“The Wind Farm Scam” by Dr. John Etherington – a review

Thanks to Mr. Glenn Schleede for allowing us to post his review of “The Wind Farm Scam” by Dr. John Etherington, for the benefit of our readers.

We provide the text of Mr. Schleede’s review for your convenience below, but recommend you proceed to MasterResource, a comprehensive and informative blog dedicated to analysis and commentary about energy markets and public policy, as they also published Mr. Schleede’s review but with additional information about the book.  Please make your way to MasterResource via this link:  “”The Wind Farm Scam” by John Etherington (the UK environmental civil war builds)

Review begins:

Ladies & Gentlemen:

It may be a bit too late to obtain copies of the new 198-page book by British ecologist, Dr. John Etherington, “The Wind Farm Scam,” as Christmas gifts for your friends, but it’s well worth getting (and giving) copies of the book as soon as you can secure them.

Stacey (UK) is the publisher.  It’s available in the US via the Internet from Amazon for $14.00, Books-A-Million for $16.15 and Borders for $17.95.  (Barnes & Noble apparently haven’t awakened yet.)  The ISBN is 9781905299836.  It took about 10 days to get the book from Amazon but that time probably will shorten as knowledge of the book gets around and orders flow in.

The book should be required reading for every high school, college, and university student — especially in those institutions offering energy and environmental programs.

While written in the UK, most of the facts about “wind farms” are applicable worldwide.  It explains wind energy and its limitations and environmental insults in easily understood terms  It explains why wind will never provide a significant, reliable source of electricity.

As in the US, “wind farms” are being built in the UK primarily because of government fiat and huge government-forced subsidies, not because of their true environmental, economic or energy benefits.  Apparently the tax breaks and subsidies in the US are even more attractive than those in the UK since two major oil companies, BP and Shell, have pulled out of UK “renewable” energy programs with the intent of focusing their attention (and renewable rent seeking) on the US and Canada.

Personally, I found Dr. Etherington’s well research and clear-headed discussion of wind energy a very welcome relief from the wind energy madness now underway in the US.  For example:

a.  Decisions by the wizards of the US Department of Treasury and Department of Energy to give hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to firms (mostly foreign) for “wind farms,” allegedly to promote job creation and economic activity — even though many of the “wind farms” had already been built!!!  (These wizards also continue to ignore the fact that a huge share of “wind farm” capital investment dollars for turbines, towers and blades — flow to other countries.)

b.  Continued promotion by the US DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE-EERE) and the National Renewable Energy “Laboratory” (NREL) of a fundamentally flawed economic model that allegedly identifies the Job and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) of “wind farms” — thus misleading local government officials and citizens who are called on to accept the massive, low energy producing, environmentally disruptive facilities.

c.  Extraordinary expansion of tax breaks (PTC, ITC, 5-Yr.-200% DB accelerated depreciation, bonus depreciation)  and subsidies (direct cash grants in lieu of PTC; more money for DOE-EERE and NREL wind energy “R&D” and propaganda) for “wind farms” as a part of “stimulus” bills enacted during the past year — all at the expense of US taxpayers and our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will be saddled with the massive, rapidly growing national debt resulting from irresponsible actions by Congress and the last and current Administrations.

d.  The DOE sponsored “study” that purports to show that 20% of US electricity requirements could be supplied by wind energy by 2030 — a clear demonstration that most any outrageous, preconceived notion can be “proven” if one makes the “right” assumptions and ignores reality.

e.  The recent release of a fundamentally flawed DOE-Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) “study” that defies common sense and real life experience by using large amounts of poorly selected, inapplicable, and inadequate data — hidden behind seemingly sophisticated statistical techniques — in an attempt to support a preposterous claim that “wind farms” do not adversely affect the property values of the people who find themselves living in the shadows of the massive, noisy structures.  (The LBNL report has numerous “sound bites” that will undoubtedly be used by aggressive “wind farm” developers to confuse local government officials and ordinary citizens who will never have the time to find their way through the report.)

End review.

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3 Responses to “The Wind Farm Scam” by Dr. John Etherington – a review

  1. I came across a reference to Dr Etherington’s book via a letter in a local newspaper in Scotland.

    I am trying to put together some good quality information for the blog I have set up on behalf of our community group which seeks to create a greater awareness of the land use planning process in Scotland. There’ s a lot planned for Scotland and people need the best quality information they can get.

    I have posted some very basic items on renewables fairly recently, but i do not have a through knowldege or a deal of expertise.

    Could you tell me more about A Treasures?

  2. John Dougherty says:

    This book and this review are just another transparent effort to appear unbiased and scientific by a wind NIMBY. For example, addressing only item d above: According to the DOE, wind already produces over 2.5% of the U.S. electrical supply. Exceeding the target of 20% by 2030 would require using wind farms to supply (proportionately) only about eight times what they supply now. If you think increasing anything 8-fold over 20 years is overly-ambitious, just consider how quickly new technologies have not only ramped up but nearly replaced other technologies in the past–cassettes vs. vinyl, CDs vs. cassettes, Ipods vs. CDs, etc. Hybrid cars entered the U.S. market only 10 years ago and are now mainstream and increasing rapidly.

  3. ilma630 says:

    John Dougherty: To your claim that hybrid cars are mainstream. What is the evidence? What is the proportion of hybrid cars on US roads? Have they been around for long enough yet to determine their effectiveness over longer periods, i.e. battery life, disposal cost & environmental impact. Do you not think traditional (petrol/diesel) cars can achieve the same or better efficiency per unit of cost & weight than hybrids, and do you not think the rate of progress on these is just as fast or even faster (as there’s more incentive to do so – because of volumes, and non-desirability of hybrids – except perhaps by Hollywood stars looking to be PC).

    What about electric cars. Here in the UK, their ‘success’ has been such that there are now more charging points than cars. Success? I think not!

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