A must read from Andrew Walden, who suggests that “Bankrupt Europe has a lesson for Congress about wind power.”
Mr. Walden begins his commentary with how “the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm” are crying out to us.”
He suggests “the voices of Kamaoa cry out their warning as a new batch of colonists, having looted the taxpayers of Spain, Portugal, and Greece, seeks to expand upon their multi-billion-dollar foothold half a world away on the shores of the distant Potomac River. European wind developers are fleeing the EU’s expiring wind subsidies, shuttering factories, laying off workers, and leaving billions of Euros of sovereign debt and a continent-wide financial crisis in their wake. But their game is not over. Already they are tapping a new vein of lucre from the taxpayers and ratepayers of theUnited States.”
Read on as Mr. Walden takes us through the history of early wind in this country, weaving the legislative intervention that enabled Enron and continues to bleed the United States treasury to support this poor performing industry still today.
Mr. Walden explains that, as Enron imploded, “the company which gamed a government-crippled artificial marketplace was deconstructed as poster boy for unbridled capitalism.”
“But the tax credits, mandates, and regulations which made Enron possible did not die with it. Enron Wind’s turbine manufacturing subsidiary was purchased by General Electric. Many of its wind farms went to Florida Light and Power. By 2009, the US Department of Energy estimates mandate-and-subsidy-driven wind capacity would rise to 28,635mw.”
“That much coal or nuclear “capacity” would power 28.635 million homes, but wind “capacity” is calculated assuming perfect wind 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. At the best wind sites, such as Kamaoa, newly installed turbines generate only 30-40% of “capacity”. At most sites, the figure is 20% or less. After 30 years of development, wind produces only 2.3%of California’s electricity.”
Unless our legislators are forced to understand the chaos they are enabling, our current path to industrial wind has the potential to cripple an already suffering economy. As Mr. Walden states, “Waxman-Markey seems dead, and Europe’s southern periphery is bankrupt. But the wind-subsidy proposals being floated in Congress suggest that American political leaders have yet to understand that “green power” means generating electricity by burning dollars.”