Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Low Benefit -- Huge Negative Impact (part 1)

[From a National Wind Watch flyer of the same name;  click here for part 2]

Industrial wind promoters claim their machines produce on average 30-40% of their rated capacity. For example, a 400-ft-high 2-megawatt (2,000-kilowatt) turbine assembly would produce an average of 600-800 kilowatts over a year.

The actual experience of industrial wind power in the U.S., however, as reported to the federal Energy Information Agency, is that it produces only about 25% of its capacity, or 500 kilowatts.

It will produce at or above that average rate only a third of the time. It will generate nothing at all (yet draw power from the grid) another third of the time.

Because the output is highly variable and rarely correlates with demand, other sources of energy cannot be taken off line. With the extra burden of balancing the wind energy, those sources may even use more fuel (just as cars use more gas in stop-and-go city driving than in more steady highway driving).

The industry is unable to show any evidence that wind power on the grid reduces the use of other fuels.

Denmark, despite claims that wind turbines produce 20% of its electricity, has not reduced its use of other fuels because of them.

Large-scale wind power does not reduce our dependence on other fuels, does not stabilize prices, does not reduce emissions or pollution, and does not mitigate global warming.

Instead, each turbine assembly requires dozens of acres of clearance and dominates the typically rural or wild landscape where it is sited. Its extreme height, turning rotor blades, unavoidable noise and vibration, and strobe lighting night and day ensure an intrusiveness far out of proportion to its elusive contribution.

Each facility requires new transmission infrastructure and new or upgraded (strengthened, widened, and straightened) roads, further degrading the environment and fragmenting habitats.

wind power, wind energy