It’s Time to Abandon Wind Power

It’s Time to Abandon Wind Power

Adding more wind turbines to the grid merely replaces lower cost methods for generating electricity.

Every new wind turbine built this year is totally unnecessary. 

The consumption of electricity is forecast to decline in 2020.

Actually the growth rate for electricity consumption for the past ten years has been nearly zero, and this means that virtually every new wind turbine added to the grid since 2010 has been a waste of money.

But it’s worse than that. Every new wind turbine added to the grid has resulted in higher costs for the consumer, because the coal-fired and nuclear power plants displaced by wind turbines produced electricity at a lower cost.

This is the real result of adding wind to the grid.

It’s time to stop adding wind turbines to the grid.

The cost of electricity produced by wind turbines is greater than the cost of producing electricity using natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants.

The EIA is misleading Americans when they say that the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from wind is the same as from NGCC power plants. 

Even if that were true, which it isn’t, the use of increasingly large amounts of wind requires the use of storage … and storage costs a great deal of money.

There is no way that wind lowers the cost of electricity for Americans. Instead, it increases the cost for every American.

In addition, wind is unreliable. No one can accurately predict when the wind will blow. 

Wind turbines don’t generate electricity until the wind is at least 6 mph, and the wind turbine must be shut down when the wind speed is greater than 55 mph.

Not only that, but wind turbines must be shut down when there are severe freezing conditions.

The net result is that wind is unreliable and must have storage to back it up.

Cost is also increased because the best wind for wind turbines is located a thousand miles from where it’s needed, or off shore where bringing it to the grid is expensive. New, very expensive transmission lines must be built to bring the electricity to where it is used.

The cost of unnecessary transmission lines, especially those that are under water, aren’t included in LCOE calculations, but every American must pay for those unnecessary new transmission lines.

Wind turbines are expensive to build. It costs $2,000 per KW to build a new wind turbine, while it only costs $1,000 to build a new NGCC power plant.

The wind turbine will have to be replaced after 20 years, while the NGCC power plant can operate for 60 years.

What’s even worse is that the capacity factor (CF) for on-shore wind has been 30% or less, and with the newer larger units it could be around 35%.  But the CF for a NGCC power plant is around 87%.

As a result, the NGCC power plant produces more than twice as much electricity as does a wind turbine over the year.

It’s long past the time since we should have abandoned wind turbines.

They are expensive, unreliable, need costly storage or backup, and generate only small amounts of electricity.

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7 Replies to “It’s Time to Abandon Wind Power”

  1. How do you explain this to those that would argue “It’s good for the environment.”

    • That’s a separate issue. It then quickly evolves to global warming since NGCC power plants have very few emissions that would be harmful.
      I would explain that while CO2 emissions may have some effect on temperatures, they are most likely minimal.
      Furthermore, the possibility of eliminating fossil fuels is impossible and immoral. There will be some who will never accept these facts, but it’s important for more and more people to understand what’s involved.
      It’s complicated, but one thing that’s not complicated is that wind energy is a bad finaancial investment, and a very poor method for reducing CO2 emissions.
      Thanks for your question and it’s good to hear from you.

  2. Great one Donn,
    The Sierra Club is removing references to John Muir. Could it be that he would have opposed covering the prairies with plastic (solar panels) and clearing ridgelines for wind turbines?

  3. Donn The reason wind turbines are not good for the environment is because they are so unreliable that you have to keep oil, coal, or natural gas plants running to make up for when there is no wind. They have to keep running so they can be ready to make power at a minutes notice. Also the power storage that people talk about is batteries. They have their problems to. First batteries DO NOT store power. They recharge and when they are fully recharged the rest of the power is wasted. Just like when your cell phone is fully recharged. Second what do you do with the batteries when they reach the end of their life. They have acid, lead, and other toxics in them. Also remember they leak Hydrogen gas.