From my friends in Australia at the Carbon Sense Coalition:
Media Statement by Viv Forbes
Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition.
The Carbon Sense Coalition today called on the Australian federal government and the opposition to abolish all renewable energy targets, certificates and subsidies.
The Chairman of Carbon Sense, Mr Viv Forbes, said that it was time for those who worship wind turbines to pay their full cost, and not force other electricity consumers and tax payers to pay for a costly, unreliable and obsolete method of generating electricity.
“Wind power has been around since Don Quixote and it belongs in an industrial museum not in a modern economy.
“For too much of the time, the wind just sucks subsidies when it should be turning turbines.
“The 20% renewable energy target is unachievable without perpetual government mandates and subsidies and should be abolished.”
Green worshippers tell us “The wind is free.” But wind power is not free. All natural energy resources such as coal, wind and sun appear “free” – no one has to incur costs to create them. But turning a “free” resource into usable electricity costs money for collecting, generating and distributing that energy. To consumers and tax payers, the real cost of wind power is very high, no matter how well it is hidden by politicians.
Wind power is not reliable. No one can make the wind blow when the energy is needed – in fact, wind farms produce, on average, less than 30% of their nameplate capacity, often at times of low demand and low electricity prices. Not one conventional power plant has been replaced by wind – the old reliables stay there, incurring maintenance costs, because they are still needed as backup for the many times when there is zero wind power. In cold still weather, wind turbines actually consume power from the grid to keep them from freezing up – they are better at harvesting subsidies than harvesting wind. This unpredictable waxing and waning of the wind also increases the chances of sudden brownouts and surges on electricity networks.
Wind power harms the environment. Because of the large area of land needed to collect low-density wind energy, wind power requires more land-clearing, needs more transmission lines, kills more wildlife, lights more bushfires and uglifies more landscape per unit of electricity than conventional power. And the sub-sonic whine of the turbines drives neighbours batty and devalues local properties.
Like hydro-power, wind power is limited, with few suitable sites. And every wind turbine slows the wind, thus reducing the wind energy available to any downwind turbines. It is “renewable” but it is not unlimited.
Wind power is justified by claims that it reduces emissions and thus reduces global warming. However, when all the steel, concrete, construction, roads, transmission lines, backup, maintenance, replacement and rehabilitation are taken into account, wind power contributes nothing to reducing emissions or changing global climate.
However wind turbines DO change the local weather. Wind is the major component of weather. Winds bring moisture to the inland, dilute and clear pollution from the cities, and change air temperatures everywhere. Wind towers rob the wind of its energy, affecting local wind speeds and changing local weather patterns, and the more there are, the greater the effect.
Wind power is an expensive, intermittent and limited energy source that degrades the environment, kills birds, but does nothing to improve global climate.
There should be no special subsidies, tax breaks, market mandates or regulations for any energy technology – all should compete on an equal basis and all consumers should be free to choose their supplier.
Wind energy should be paid for by those who want it, not by captive taxpayers or electricity consumers.