Library filed under Energy Policy from USA
Many people accept the well-publicized claim that windmills will be able to supply a significant share of our country’s growing requirements for electricity. They also believe that wind energy is environmentally benign and a way to avoid emissions from other sources of energy for electric generation. Political leaders in windy states have even been persuaded that “wind farms” will provide economic benefits, principally through rental payments to landowners. As proposals to build “wind farms” have proliferated, however, the adverse impacts of wind energy are becoming clear to a growing number of citizens, consumers and taxpayers. They are learning that “wind energy” has adverse environmental, ecological, scenic and property value impacts. They are learning that many of the claimed benefits of wind energy are misleading or false, and that the true costs of wind energy are higher than advertised -- with those higher costs falling on taxpayers and electric customers.
Michigan mostly has wind resources of class 3 or lower, making wind power production costs high and non cost-competitive vs. conventional fossil power sources.
It's time to jump off the Production Tax Credit treadmill and work toward a more open, transparent support mechanism such as the Electricity Feed Law.
The story reveals that Radnor officials were misled and don’t understand that commercial wind energy is not an environmentally benign source of electricity. The officials are probably not aware of certain facts such as the following:
The purpose of this report is to identify and characterize the range of options available to municipalities for purchasing green power and improving the efficiency with which electricity is consumed. Municipalities have several viable options for purchasing electricity in a fashion that is consistent with the energy, cost, and environmental goals of the community. Municipalities are in a better position to achieve certain policy goals than are individual customers through their collective buying power. A municipality’s advantage lies in the size of its electricity load, in the potential for more sophisticated decision-making than individual customers can apply, and in the potential for reflecting more of the public interest in the decision-making process.
Operating reports on the 11 turbine Searsburg, Vermont Wind plant. The development report (Dec 1997) and the third year operating report (Dec 2000) are available at as downloads. The first year operating report (Dec 1998) is available at the web link.
The stubborn competitive gap between renewable generation and its rivals explains why renewable-energy lobbyists on both the state and federal levels are trying to get governments to set quotas, and not just continue or expand current subsidies.
Although the nation's wind potential is very large, only part of it can be exploited economically. The economic viability of wind power will vary from utility to utility. Important factors not addressed in this study that influence land availability and wind electric potential include production/demand match (seasonal and daily), transmission and access constraints, public acceptance, and other technological and institutional constraints. Editor's Note: Though dated, this is a worthwhile read if read carefully.
This status report released by the California Energy Commission discusses the status of the technology, current and proposed development, regulatory processes, issues hindering development, and recommended actions needed to resolve identified issues. The section of the report on Noise and Aesthetics is provided below. Audible and low frequency impulse noise were reported as problems with the turbines. The full report can be accessed from the links on this page.
The Link Below will take you to a site where wind resource maps are available for most states.
Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in moving air into rotational energy, which in turn is converted to electricity. Since wind speeds vary from month to month and second to second, the amount of electricity wind can make varies constantly. Sometimes a wind turbine will make no power at all. This variability does affect the value of the wind power……Editor’s Note: This ‘fact sheet’ is, on the whole, a comparatively fair report. The definitions provided for capacity factor, efficiency, reliability, dispatchability, and availability are useful. Its discussion of back-up generation, marginal emissions and Germany & Denmark, however, is disingenuous as is, to a lesser degree, its discussion of capacity factor and availability. IWA's comments (updated October '06) on these issues follow selected extracts from the 'fact sheet' below.