Blowing wind up your skirt
By Alan Caruba
One of the keystones of the Obama administration's energy policies has been a very expensive emphasis on "clean energy", sometimes called "renewable energy", allocating billions to the wind and solar energy producers. Like much of the "stimulus" bill that money is a waste.
The wind power trade group, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has been pouring big bucks into a public relations effort to convince Americans that wind is the energy source of the future and that acres of wind turbines should be installed to replace the proven sources, primarily coal-fired, natural gas, and nuclear plants currently providing more than 80% of the nation's electricity needs.
Thanks to Freedom of Information requests, the Chicago Tribune revealed significant collusion among Department of Energy officials and AWEA, as well as other third-party special interest groups such as the Center for American Progress, a think tank that pushes Green and other liberal agendas.
The Tribune reported that an Assistant Secretary of Energy, Cathy Zoi, who formerly held top positions at Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, was charged with crafting renewable energy policy for the Obama administration and emails obtained revealed that she was working closely with AWEA to rebut and discredit a ground-breaking study by Dr. Gabriel Calzada of Madrid's King Juan Carlos University.
Dr. Calzada's research concluded that, for every "green job" the Spanish government created, 2.2 jobs were destroyed and that nine out of ten government-created "green jobs" were temporary at a time when Spain's unemployment rate is at an all-time high, not unlike the situation in the U.S.
At the time that Dr. Calzada's study was reported, the Obama administration was pushing "Cap-and-Trade" legislation through the House. This legislation would set up a system for the sale, auction, and trade of "carbon credits" based on the totally discredited assertion that "greenhouse gases", primarily carbon dioxide, were "causing" global warming. The bill remains in the Senate awaiting a vote.
Back in January AWEA was ecstatic over an Obama administration award of $2.3 billion in "clean energy manufacturing tax credits and the President's call for an additional $5 billion." There is no economic or scientific justification for the waste of taxpayer dollars in this fashion.
Also in January, a Boston Herald article by Jay Fitzgerald revealed that "National Grid customers will experience sticker shock after the giant utility negotiates a long-term electric contract with Cape Wind developers, energy experts warn."
"The Rhode Island deal calls for National Grid to pay an eye-popping 24 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity from Deepwater Wind's proposed wind farm off Block Island for 20 years. That's three times higher than the current price of natural-gas generated electricity—and the Rhode Island deal includes a 3.5 percent annual increase over the life of the contract."
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, in February eleven wind turbines froze because their hydraulic fluid had turned to gel and oil lubricants were rendered sluggish. These kinds of problems do not occur in other sources of electricity. In Oregon, General Electric had announced a big wind project involving 338 wind turbines that it claimed would power 235,000 homes. Naturally, it was applying for federal subsidies.
In Great Britain, in January, its wind turbines representing six percent of total generating capacity and billions invested, supplied virtually no power most days because, as Dennis T. Avery, a former senior policy analyst for the U.S. State Department noted "The wind tends not to blow when and where it's already cold."
Avery pointed out that neither Denmark, nor Germany, leaders in wind energy projects, has decommissioned any fossil fuel plants. "The fossil generators are kept in 'spinning reserve' to keep the lights on in the schools, factories, and hospitals when the wind dies."
The wind and solar energy industries, as well as the biofuels industry, continue to depend on government subsidies to exist, as opposed to private enterprises that have a long track record of providing affordable electricity.
First the government gives the wind energy producers your money and then you end up paying higher energy bills as a result. Both wind and solar energy depend on government mandates for their use.
These are facts you need to keep in mind every time President Obama speaks of "clean energy" and "green jobs." Like so much else one hears from the TelePrompter-in-Chief, it has no relation to the truth.
Editor's Note: For more information about wind power, visit http://windpowerfacts.info.
Alan Caruba writes a daily post at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. An author, business and science writer, he is the founder of The National Anxiety Center. © Alan Caruba, 2010