Thursday, 11 April 2013

14,000 Idle Wind Turbines a Testament to Failed Energy Policies

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When Element Power announced on April 10 the closing of a deal to build wind turbines for Blackrock in Ireland, nothing was said about the more than 14,000 other wind turbines lying idle around the world. Instead, Jim Barry, managing director for BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, expressed great pleasure at its new venture with Element:

We are pleased to have invested in the Irish wind energy sector and in particular the Garranereagh and Monaincha wind projects which represent an exciting investment opportunity for BlackRock’s clients. We look forward to developing our relationship with Element Power, an experienced international developer in the renewables sector.

Nothing was said about Element’s recent termination of another deal to build 40 wind turbines over 4,000 acres on top of Black Lava Butte and Flat Top Mesa in California, citing in its “request to relinquish” that there were “insufficient wind resources” to make that project viable. But there’s enough bank and government financing to keep the Irish project afloat for a while at least:

This welcomed recovery of the Irish economy is further evidenced by the fact that this long term non-recourse project finance was secured [by loans] from the Bank of Ireland … [and from two other British banks under] an Export Guarantee Scheme of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Those 14,000 wind turbines lying idle in California’s Altamont Pass, Tehachapin, and San Gorgonio areas and elsewhere around the world are testimony to the continuing and accelerating failure of hope over experience, funded with taxpayer monies. And these areas were selected as being “in the best wind spots on earth,” which are now, according to Natural News writer Jonathan Benson, just “spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills.”

Once those taxpayer funds are withdrawn, the real economics of maintaining these expensive monstrosities are so overpoweringly negative that they are left to rot — skeletons proving the fraud and deceit of the whole global warming meme. As James Delingpolethe author of Watermelon: The Green Movement’s True Colorsnoted during an interview with Lew Rockwell last November: 

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Wind farms do not generate electricity on any commercially competitive level. The only reason that wind farms can survive is through government subsidy, which is ... stolen from the taxpayer and funneled into the pockets of rent-seeking businessmen.

It’s a Ponzi scheme, concluded Delingpole, promoted as a way to siphon funds from those taxpayers into the pockets of investment managers like BlackRock and manufacturers like Element Power, despite evidence that such “investments” have no chance whatever of returning a profit with them. Delingpole explained:

The evidence for man-made global warming is vanishingly small, to the point of non-existence. The only people predicting disastrous man-made climate-change catastrophe are computer modelers and economists who are part of this green Ponzi scheme....

No earth scientist, no real scientist, is predicting this stuff because the evidence speaks otherwise.

Reality surfaced briefly in Great Britain last fall when Energy Minister John Hayes placed a moratorium on the building of more wind turbines in the U.K., which Christopher Booker, the author of The Real Global Warming Disaster, saw as very good news. Enthusing over the apparent victory of reason over ideology, Booker waxed eloquent in his rejoicing at the Daily Mail

The significance of yesterday’s shock announcement by our Energy Minister John Hayes that the Government plans to put a firm limit on the building of any more onshore wind farms is hard to exaggerate. On the face of it, this promises to be the beginning of an end to one of the greatest and most dangerous political delusions of our time....

I have been following this extraordinary story for ten years ever since, in 2002, I first began looking carefully at what really lay behind this deceptive obsession with the charms of wind power. It didn't take me long, talking to experts and reading up on the technical facts, to see that the fashionable enthusiasm for wind energy was based on a colossal illusion … the greatest mistake in our history….

[Wind power] is … a catastrophic failure of judgment. [It is] stupendously inefficient and ludicrously expensive.... So unreliable are wind turbines — thanks to the wind’s constant vagaries — that they are one of the most inefficient means of producing electricity ever devised.

Delingpole went on to point out that all of England’s entire wind industry, consisting of more than 3,500 wind turbines, generates less energy than does one single gas-fired power plant at a small fraction of the cost. But pressure on members of Parliament by citizens who have had enough of the fraud and deceit forced the decision by Hayes, for the time being at least, to stop the insanity:

At long last, the penny began to drop with a growing number of MPs being besieged by constituents who wanted to know why our green and pleasant land should be disfigured for no obvious purpose other than to enrich the developers, and landowners such as [Prime Minister] David Cameron’s father-in-law Sir Reginald Sheffield, who has cheerfully admitted that the turbines on his Lincolnshire estate earn him £1,000 [$1,530] a day.

Of course, Sir Sheffield would not have found turbines so profitable if government had not distorted the market with subsidies.

Regardless, Delingpole’s victory dance ended on March 28 when John Hayes was unceremoniously booted from his position as energy minister by Cameron, and replaced by pro-wind anti-reason Liberal Democrat Ed Davey.

It’s clear then that the evidence against wind farming will just continue to pile up at taxpayers’ expense until finally the sham is sufficiently exposed, or governments sufficiently chastened, or taxpayers sufficiently angered, to end the subsidies.

But what will happen to those idle wind turbines that now reflect nothing more than a standing graveyard of reminders to a failed ideology? That remains an open question. If there’s not enough money to maintain them, where will the money come from to tear them down? 

 

A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at

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