Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wind Scam

In a comment on my post Green Energy Kills Jobs stressdoc had this to say about his experience with wind power.

I am a mechanical engineer and quite knowledgeable about wind power and the reliability problems. They are many!

Wind power has a longer history in the EU, but the experience has been similar. Wind power has been subsidized in the EU for longer than it has here in the states. The results have been similar. Power from wind turbines is more expensive that the more traditional sources (coal, gas, hydroelectric, nuclear and oil). The only way that it viable is with government subsidies.

In the EU, turbines cannot be installed without monitoring system to watch their health. This is due to the many failures that have occurred. They cannot operate without insurance and the insurance is unavailable without monitoring. Here in the states, very few turbines are installed with monitoring.

Why? Simple. Turbines here are normally owned by investor groups that exist primarily to market the tax credits. The total cost of the turbine can be recouped in 3-5 years with these credits. The investor groups contract with the turbine manufacturers to install and operate the turbines for the 5 year warrantee period. By the time that the warrantee has expired, the turbines are paid for and any further running time is pure gravy. When they fail, shut them down and there is no loss.

Except, of course, to the tax payers that support this scam.
I have always thought that the subsidy for wind power ought to be phased out. I'm more convinced of that than ever. I am still in favor of wind power, where it makes unsubsidized economic sense.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

1 comment:

linearthinker said...

I am still in favor of wind power, where it makes unsubsidized economic sense.

That would be the kiss of death, Simon.

At a minimum, factoring in the existence of markets and the cost of transmission facilities should be included in that economic sense to avoid this [duh] Texas phenomenon. From Coyote:

Oh, but you say that this money is invested and creates jobs? Yeah, right. ) via Michael Giberson

"A power producer typically gets paid for the power it generates. In Texas, some wind energy generators are paying to have someone take power off their hands.

"Because of intense competition, the way wind tax credits work, the location of the wind farms and the fact that the wind often blows at night, wind farms in Texas are generating power they can’t sell. To get rid of it, they are paying the state’s main grid operator to accept it. $40 a megawatt hour is roughly the going rate.

"This is really incredible. The power companies are constructing wind turbines and, at certain times, not only providing the power for free but actually paying the grid to take it. All to capture subsidies and tax credits paid for by these special rate surcharges."

The only jobs being created are analysts trying to find the best way to rent-seek under these new laws. I would rather pay people to dig holes and fill them back in