Congress and the White House are struggling to find even one subsidy or entitlement program that they are willing to cut. Meanwhile, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) insists that the 2.2-cents per kilowatt-hour Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind electricity should be extended yet again – and then (maybe, partially) phased out over the next five years. By then, claims CEO Denise Bode, wind energy could be cost-competitive with other energy sources. What nonsense. No evidence supports any of this.
Wind energy is a net jobs and economic loser. By raising electricity costs for factories, internet hubs, offices, malls, hospitals, school districts and other businesses, industrial wind power kills two to four jobs for every wind job created through government mandates, subsidies and tax credits – which themselves extract billions of dollars from productive sectors of the economy, to support Big Wind. Its impact on the budgets, health and well-being of people on low and fixed incomes is equally damaging.
Wind energy will never be competitive with alternative electricity sources, especially with the shale gas revolution driving the price of natural gas down to $3 per thousand cubic feet to power high-efficiency combined-cycle generators. Intermittent, unreliable wind power is parasitic, entirely dependent on fossil fuel generators to provide electricity every time the wind is low or nonexistent.
From an ecological standpoint, wind is our least sustainable energy option. Industrial wind projects require huge swaths of land, often in pristine area, for turbines, access roads and ultra-long transmission lines. Turbines and transmission towers require enormous quantities of steel, concrete, rare earth metals, copper, unrecyclable fiberglass and other materials – more than fossil fuel power plants that generate 90% of US electricity. It makes far more sense to build conventional power plants, and forget about the wind.
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