Wind Power, is it really Green?

By Eco Guy 11:11pm 15th June 2010
Can wind power be considering a really green alternative energy source in its own right?

Wind power is proving to something of a mixed blessing; although images of wind turbines look progressive and very 'green' the actual truth behind the whole business is somewhat different..

If you want to understand more about this read The Wind Farm Scam (Independent Minds) . Basically wind farms are very inefficient providers of energy; not only is the underlying mechanical efficiency low; they are totally dependent upon the wind to blow. Now one may think, given enough wind farms, that this unpredictability could be averaged out, the trouble is the energy density of wind farms is so low one would have to carpet large expanses of land with wind farms. Not to mention the energy transmission losses incurred getting the power from the remote wind farms to the consumer (wind farms are not like power stations, which are several orders of magnitude higher in their energy production, so the overall energy loss is less due to being able to operate at higher power levels).

The real green killer for wind farms is that without government subsidy they cannot break even - ever. The energy is so expensive and so unpredictable compared to current energy generation that it needs back up by 'traditional' static load power generation. Add to that the fact that the subsidy has probably been derived from 'none green' activity (i.e. general taxes on normal activity) and you essentially have an energy production pyramid scheme in the making - new wind farms need to keep being built to create enough cash flow to keep the wind farm business operational. The 'steady state' cash flow of a wind farm is not normally enough to keep it afloat on its own.

Now, I'm all for doing the right thing by the environment - but for the sake of the future what we invest in must make sound long term financial sense, otherwise when the subsidies do stop (and they will) all the unprofitable businesses will close down and the wind turbines will stop. Compared to wind turbines, strangely enough, nuclear power looks like a sound decision.

For an example of Green Wind Power craziness see Firms paid to shut down wind farms when the wind is blowing.

Related Content Tags: wind power, wind turbines

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