I love the way this author thinks. Why? Because common sense logic is absent from so much journalism today, as much of it is clouded by delusions of extreme ideologies. This thinker, however, looks at the facts and asks some great questions that should make any supporter of BigWind THINK about their position. #1 How can we justify taking 20,000 SQUARE MILES of land for wind turbines when 110 miles of nuclear plants supply more energy? #2 Why isn’t coal-mining considered a GREEN job? The coal makes the steel that makes the turbine. No wind turbine on the planet can replicate itself with its own (intermittent, weak) energy!!!….
…A key point of contention against wind (and solar) farms is that they require much larger amounts of land to generate the same amount of electricity, an important downgrade of their “greenness” that goes conveniently ignored. Wind power is naturally intermittent, and plants typically operate at about 25% of full capacity, compared to coal and natural gas plants operating at 90%.
Thus, it can take 4-5 wind plants to produce the same amount of electricity as a single fossil fuel plant. (actually, not true, as wind power is intermittent, so it can never = fossil fuel plants)
The U.S. Department of Energy has concluded that generating 20% of electricity (which is likely the highest we could go, see here) with land-based wind installations would demand at least 20,000 square miles, or the size of Maryland and Vermont combined. By comparison, all U.S. nuclear power plants, which produce around 20% of power, occupy only 110 square miles.
One headline is indicative: “Wind farm ‘needs 700 times more land’ than fracking site to produce same energy.”…
Many members of the Real Estate and Appraisal businesses, however, have been clear that wind power DOES impact property values, and it would seem to me that these groups have no vested interest in supporting wind power or not supporting it. So, these findings are critical:
In “High-Voltage Transmission Lines and Rural, Western Real Estate Values” published in The Appraisal Journal 2012, Dr. James A. Chalmers, qualified as an expert witness in over 20 states, found that residential properties near transmission lines sold for 20-50% less than comparable residential properties.
Michael McCann, of McCann Appraisal, LLC based in Chicago, concludes that: “Residential property values are adversely and measurably impacted by close proximity of industrial-scale wind energy turbine projects to the residential properties,” up to 2 miles and a range of 25% to approximately 40% of value loss.
John Leonard Goodwin, who has been a real estate broker for more than 10 years in Ontario, Canada, reports that wind turbines absolutely do impact property values: “Turbines complicate your property enjoyment, period. That alone spells depreciated value…they will also cause a significant loss of real estate value.”
According to research in 2014 by the London School of Economics, wind farms can cut as much as 12% off the value of homes within a 2 kilometer radius, reducing property vales as far as 14 kilometers away.
In 2013, an Ontario Superior Court of Justice determined that landowners living near large wind farms do suffer from lower property values, with the court accepting a 22-55% reduction.
see this long list documenting how wind power DOES reduce property values here….
Along with the requirement for fossil fuel backup generally from natural gas, wind is unavailable much more than it’s available, wind power has less “green” credentials that many care to admit. And don’t forget it’s oil that fuels the trucks that move wind turbines tens or hundreds of miles to their remote locations.
And the pro-wind, anti-fossil fuel business appears completely oblivious to the fact that wind turbines are made from steel, which is mostly made from coal. There are about 170 tons of coal in an onshore wind turbine, and about 280 tons of coal in an offshore one.
Thus, a simple question illustrates the absurdity of the pro-wind, anti-fossil fuel position: does the coal miner that mines the coal…that makes the steel… that makes the wind turbine… have a “green job?”
I say they do…or at least much more so than the administrative assistants and overpaid lawyers in the environmental business that are overrepresented in the “green job” tallies.
And of course, the opportunity costs of renewables go ignored. An obsession with wind and solar power at all costs, for instance, has Germany paying $26.2 billion for electricity that has a market value of just $5 billion….