True Cost of Wind

Although the “fuel” or wind is free, converting this energy into usable electricity is extremely expensive. So expensive, in fact, that most wind farms operate at a net loss. Additionally, the operating and maintence costs of the farms are prohibitively expensive. This explains why many developers “sell” their farms, well before the 10 year mark (true useful life of turbines is actually 10-15 years only). Many countries that have strongly supported wind energy turbines have seen dramatically rising electricity rates. Learn about these realities below and Hover over the tab for this page for links to related articles.

1. The true cost of wind power, because it requires the backup of fossil fuel plants is  $0.15-0.192/kWh http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2013/01/04/the-hidden-costs-of-wind-power/ What is the rate on your electric bill? It is probably below $0.08/kWh.  Some refer to this industry as a ‘parasite’. For a funny interesting explanation of this, read Jimmy Fallon’s comments at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexepstein/2014/11/12/jimmy-fallon-makes-the-worlds-best-argument-against-solar-and-wind-energy/3/

2. According to, “an exhaustive industry survey…operating and maintenance costs are double or even triple initial projections…and wind farm return on investment is around -21%…O&M costs can now be expected to increase on average 253% over the 20 year life of the various wind machines…” http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/315977#1xzzndrzmpop

3. Although the Energy Information Administration assumes a wind turbine life of 30 years, in actuality, the average useful life is closer to 10-15 years.  In fact, according to a university study, capacity factors (% of energy actually produced compared to their nameplate capacity) decline to a mere 11% after 15 years….pretty worthless. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/16/gunderson-some-basic-facts-about-wind-energy/

4. For a growing number of Europeans, their continent’s global warming policies have forced them to decide whether to heat their homes or eat.  The director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation lays out how Europe’s climate policies have failed miserably.http://www.vancouversun.com/business/heat+That+question/8405459/story.html

5. If wind energy is so fantastic, why are German businesses considering relocating to cheaper energy countries? As of 6/2014, Germany has the 2nd highest electricity rates (2nd only to Denmark) in the EU. What sacrifice will we make for American businesses, if we continue to emulate their policies? http://www.dw.de/high-energy-costs-may-drive-german-firms-to-us/a-16828773

6. The industry LOVES to say how many homes they will power with a windfarm, but did you know that these numbers are actually MISleading? What they are quoting, is their NAMEPLATE capacity, if they produced energy 24 hrs x 7 days/wk x 365 days/year…that is simply not true.  What is important, is their actual energy production numbers. In Ohio, windfarms average production was approximately only 30% (see below) of their nameplate capacity (2011-13). How many businesses do you know that can stay viable if they only produce 27% of what they advertise? This dramatically changes their price/unit of energy, too. http://www.wia.gov/electricity/data/eia923/

The wind lobbyists are doing a terrific job of hookwinking our legislators into believing that wind is the new panacea for our energy. As a result, our legislators are providing them with multiple tax breaks/incentives etc. to encourage their growth here.  Are you willing to sacrifice your electricity rates for an industry that simply doesn’t produce the results you expected?

 

Picture and more statistics available to view at: http://www.windaction.org/posts/40618-u-s-annual-capacity-factors-by-project-and-state-2011-2013#.U6AxvxbrsjJ

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