Friday, July 18, 2008

Tilting at T. Boone Picken's Windmills

Warning Signs: Tilting at T. Boone Picken's Windmills
It’s not like it’s a secret that wind turbines are an unreliable source of electrical power. Bryce points out that, “In July 2006, for example, wind turbines in California produced power at only about 10 percent of their capacity; in Texas, one of the most promising states for wind energy, the windmills produced electricity at about 17 percent of their rated capacity.”

That means that there has to be nuclear, coal-fired or natural gas power plants functioning fulltime as a backup to the pathetically unreliable and inefficient wind farms. Moreover, what electricity they do generate is lost to some degree in the process of transmitting it over long distances to distribution facilities.

No one wants to live near a wind farm. You could have a nuclear power plant in your backyard and not know it was there unless you looked out the window. Wind farms are noisy neighbors and can make people crazy listening to them. Legislatures have to pass laws to exempt them from law suits identifying them as a public nuisance.

No comments: