The Massive Myth of Free Energy
You’ve seen them; they’re massive and exceedingly ugly. They are also exceedingly expensive and inefficient — familiar ground for the political class. The average commercial wind turbine will set you back about $2.6 to $4 million. The money has to be paid to the manufacturer on delivery and they’re mostly in China. This generally means, of course, that funds have to be borrowed so there are lots of soft and interest costs (commissions and shenanigans) involved as well as the cost of purchasing or leasing the land (often from relatives of elected officials) and transporting, erecting and maintaining the tower, turbine and blades — all before one watt is generated and all very expensive. Of course, under the turbine tower has to be the foundation, wiring to connect to the transmission lines and control panels to get the generated power to the grid — also all very expensive.
Absent federal support, (co-signing guarantees) no bank would loan a wind power company a dime. So, of course you can be damn certain that the ole wind company kicks back plenty to the crooked politicians to get the project off the ground and keep the scam going! After all, the politician has to arrange for his wife’s third cousin to buy the property.
Once up and running, teams of workers labor endlessly keep the machines in operation. Then, there’s this; the blades kill up to 39 million birds a year! Every day, hundreds of our feathered friends lay dead or injured under the many thousands of spinning blades and have to be removed and those still alive euthanized.
Most commercial wind turbines have a capacity of 2-3 MW, but offshore turbines can be as large as 12 MW. (A megawatt MW, is a million watts) Costs increase as the turbine size increases, though there are some benefits to using fewer but larger turbines. The widely used GE 1.5-megawatt model, for example, consists of 116-ft diameter blades atop a 212-ft tower for a total height of 270 feet. The 1.8-megawatt Vestas V-90 from Denmark has 148-ft blades on a 262-ft tower, totaling 410 feet. Another model being seen more in the U.S. is the 2-megawatt Gamesa G87 from Spain, with 143-ft blades (just under 1.5 acres) on a 256-ft tower, totaling 399 feet. Many existing models and new ones being introduced reach well over 600 feet in total height. That’s high enough to parachute off!
The GE 1.5-megawatt model nacelle alone weighs more than 56 tons (112,000 lbs). The blade assembly weighs more than 36 tons, and the tower itself weighs about 71 tons for a whopping total of 164 tons. These huge, heavy ugly machines require reinforced concrete foundations (pads) and a lot of ground around them clear of trees and other turbines to maximize the wind effect and avoid interference. They should have 10 rotor diameters of clearance in the direction of the wind, as much as 1400 feet and 3 rotor diameters or 450 feet in every other direction.
A line of turbines perpendicular to the prevailing wind (like on a mountain), the GE 1.5-MW model needs at least 32 acres and the Vestas V90 78 acres for each tower. In an array that can take advantage of the wind from any direction, the GE needs 82 acres and the Vestas V90 111 acres per tower. In practice, the area varies averaging about 50 acres per megawatt. A colossal waste of land for minimal payback — except for the politicians!
Can the land area around a wind turbine be used for anything else? Not really, besides the ungodly screeching noise and spinning whirring blades, the acreage around wind turbines isn’t safe. These machines are high-voltage electrical brutes with huge moving parts. It is estimated that for every 100 turbines, one of the heavy blades will break every day. In winter, heavy sheets of ice can build up and fall or be slung off. Don’t be near when that happens.
Let’s talk a bit about real-world costs. To buy, install, wire and maintain a wind farm it turns out that the company owning the facility has to receive about 25 cents for each kwh they send to the grid. Since the consumer (end user) can only pay some 8.5 to as much as 11 cents per kwh, obviously, the grid (the company delivering power to businesses and homes) can’t and won’t pay more than 5 to 5.5 cents per kwh giving them about a 3-cent yield. This, of course, means that wind power companies are not commercially viable.
So how in hell can and do they exist? Simple, the federal government pays the difference (about 20 cents per kwh) as a subsidy (using your money) directly to the wind farm company so they can sell to the grid at a rate the grid can pay, make a profit and still manage healthy kick-backs to the corrupt politicians. (Are there any other kind?) The idea is, from Day One, a scam. The wind company kicks back plenty to the corrupt politician who sets up the government guarantees, creates the federal loans (Solyndra ring a bell?) and pays the enormous and endless subsidies.
Wind turbines, obviously, only produce energy when the wind is blowing. In Minnesota, and most everywhere else, wind farms produce electricity only 34.67 percent of the time. This means that we get less bang for our bucks from wind. Of course, they beat solar where the taxpayer gets a return only 50% of the time — daytime! In Texas, last winter, many people literally froze as reliance on renewables failed when faced with Mother Nature.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the lifespan of these huge grotesque, flailing, bird-murdering monsters is about 20 years. In Iowa, wind turbines rust out and fail even faster. One midwest Energy Company plans to replace their turbines every 14 years. (Do you think renewed loans and fat commissions might influence their decision?) By contrast, coal, nuclear, natural gas, and hydroelectric plants will reliably generate cheap electricity for more than 50 or almost 100 years — like the Hoover Dam built in 1931.
How much less? For example, hydro-electric plants can deliver power to the grid for as low as 3.5 cents / kwh with Nuclear a close second at 4.5 to 5 cents and coal, gas and oil at 5 to 5.5 cents per kwh. To bring this information closer to home, consider that the average U.S. household consumes about 11,000 kilo watt hours (kWh) per year or 916 monthly which, at a cost of 9 cents /kwh, would be $82.00/ month. However, electricity use varies considerably across regions of the United States. Single-family detached homes in the South probably consume the most with bills in the $300/month range. These homes have electric air conditioning, lights, stoves, micro-wave ovens and pool/sprinklers motors. A Florida home, depending entirely on wind power, with no federal subsidy, would be burning about 3000 kwhs/ month and paying about $900 a month for electricity. Fortunately, we’re not there just yet!
So, where are we? Last year, we estimate the Feds dished out about $100 billion in phony baloney subsidies of your dollars to these wind and solar scam companies. Renewables exist of course only to pad the bank accounts of crooked businessmen and even more crooked politicians whilst somewhat satisfying the “woke” tree-hugging idiots pathological green energy, cow-killing, tofu munching wet-dreams — unfortunately, as with so many of their bent plain and stupid ideas, at our expense! Renewables clearly are not ready for prime-time and may well never be. The same is true for electric vehicles. Other more advanced technologies closer to Nikola Tesla’s concepts might well be the power source of the future.
Robert J. Firth is an airline pilot with 42 years experience flying aircraft worldwide. Robert lived and worked many countries throughout his career, including 3 years in Vietnam, 5 in Africa and 12 in Europe and Russia as well as in Taiwan and HKK. Learn more here: http://www.robert-j-firth.com/ email@example.com