July 19, 2006

The wind whistles through it

To the Editor, Barre-Montpelier (Vt.) Times Argus:

The editorial of July 19 ("For the birds") rightly recognizes the need to curb the use of fossil fuels. It therefore warns of the damage from drastic climate change compared with that caused by "a few wind projects."

That is an irresponsible statement.

Wind turbines generate electricity, which in Vermont already comes almost exclusively from non-fossil fuel sources. So big wind would not "curb the use of fossil fuels."

Even in places where the electricity does come from fossil fuels, wind turbines would not threaten in any way the steady base load provided by coal. And wind's intermittency and variability require other sources to stay on line. The greater load balancing burden may even cause those sources to burn more fuel not less. Wind promoters can not show a single example of other fuels being reduced because of wind turbines on the grid.

That's just concerning electricity. Most fossil fuel is burned for transport and heating.

So it is irrelevant to compare the potential damage from "a few wind projects" to that from climate change. No matter how many giant wind turbines we erect, it will have no effect on fossil fuel use. Giant wind turbines will only add damage of their own, without any mitigating benefit at all.

wind power, wind energy, environment, environmentalism, Vermont, animal rights