I realized I had a story that was bigger than just the effectiveness of wind energy. You can like it or you can hate it-that isn't the point. What this is about is government and business rushing ahead with new technology without ever making sure it's safe. A car manufacturer would never get away with releasing a new model without extensive safety tests. Same goes for food, appliances-anything. And yet these machines just kept going up, and up, and up.
The reason the industry is so corrupt is quite simply that without the lies it tells as a matter of course and without the cosy stitch-ups it arranges with regulators and politicians at taxpayers' expense, it simply would not exist.
Corruption is defined as moral decay, and that is precisely what we are witnessing here. The fear that Denmark could lose jobs and the near religious obsession with wind power has made politicians deaf and blind to objections to wind as a source of energy, and led them to take part in the industry's fraud. The environmental and human impacts of what they are doing appear to have no effect on them.
According to Connie Hedegaard, the European Union's commissioner for climate action, "People should believe that [wind power] is very, very cheap."
In fact, this is a highly problematic claim. While wind energy is cheaper than other, more ineffective renewables, such as solar, tidal and ethanol, it is nowhere near competitive. If it were, we wouldn't have to keep spending significant sums to subsidize it.
Only those in complete self-denial would dispute that the wind power industry suffers from overcapacity, a legacy of the pre-crisis turbine construction boom when oil and gas prices were at near-record levels and few had yet appreciated the competitive challenge of shale gas.
In the fat years, wind and solar power companies were tempted into extravagant investments that exploited their soaring equity prices.
Returning to Denmark, according to a short article by Torbjörn Isacson (2010), one of the largest windmill producers in the world, Vestas (of Denmark), has run into serious difficulties, and will be reducing its production. What I would like to believe is that the economics of windpower are on the way to being understood by highly educated persons in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia, but this is only partially the case.
Wind turbines, despite being so very green themselves, are antipathetic to nature. On forested hillsides, they require the clear felling of woodland; on low-lying coastal sites, they necessitate the draining of wetland to facilitate the construction of access roads and enormous concrete foundations. ...In spite of the cost, wind power generates only about 4 per cent of the electricity used in Denmark: the truth is that almost all of it is wasted.
Sometimes it seems Denmark's primary goal in life is to make the U.S. feel environmentally inferior. ...The story of Denmark is one to heed as we prepare to dive headlong into alternatives. Bryce douses the green energy movement with a cold shower of facts and figures, ones that collectively remind us that a transition to wind and solar power would take decades, that it would be astronomically expensive, that it would make the U.S. reliant on China for turbines, and that it would lead to "energy sprawl."
Promoters of "green" energy love Denmark.
On Earth Day, President Barack Obama pointed out that the northern European country now "produces almost 20 percent" of its electricity with wind turbines. ...Here's the reality: When it comes to carbon dioxide emissions, coal consumption, or energy prices, the Danes have no reason to brag.
Two Danish experts in the field of wind energy will be in Washington for the next three days to speak on the subject of wind generated electricity. One would expect they are here to brag on the fact that their country is a leader in the field and that they already satisfy, as President Obama puts it, "20 percent of the electricity through wind power." One would be wrong in such an expectation. They are here to warn us about the dangers of putting our electricity needs in the wind power basket.
Denmark's Climate Minister Connie Hedegaards was in Australia last week, spinning fairy tales like her - much more - illustrious forbearer Hans Christian.
Her 'happily ever after' punchline was of course the adoption of alternative energy and in particular Denmark's 'speciality' - wind. Just like Hans Christian, it was total fiction.
Taking her cue from Al Gore, the occasional journalist omitted to mention two extremely inconvenient truths.
It is important to understand why the Danish government, which appears to have commissioned Mr. Pedersen's comments, is sensitive to critiques of the Danish experience with wind power. Denmark is home to Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, with 20,000 employees and a market share of between 20% and 25%. As the market for its turbines in Denmark and other European countries becomes saturated, it seeks to export the Danish experience worldwide. To this end, it recently ran a multi-million dollar global ad campaign with the slogan, "Believe in the wind," claiming that Denmark has solved the problem of dirty electricity through wind power.
Most shocking of all is new evidence that the need to switch on and off base load fossil fuel power plants, to provide back up for unreliable wind turbines, actually gives off more carbon emissions than keeping them running continuously, thus negating any carbon savings from wind. Alas, only when our governments have allowed thousands more turbines to disfigure Britain’s countryside, not least by their grotesque bending of the planning rules, will the futility of the ‘great Wind Scam’ finally be recognised.
Wind power has a defect: it only generates when there is a breeze, so it's no good for supplying peak electricity just when you need it. The Danes get around this problem by importing lots of electricity from Sweden and Germany, thereby passing the pollution problem to someone else, as well as quietly making use of Sweden's atomic stations. If the Danes didn't import electricity, they'd have to have more gas plants and so make even more emissions.
There is an added irony here. The Danish consumer pays the highest tariffs for electricity in Europe. Much of these are hypothecated for the support of windmill owners. However, the wind power is sold on the spot market at rates that are much lower.