We can’t but help hearing about how renewables will save the Earth, cause the waters to recede from the flooded cities due to sea level rise, cure halitosis and male pattern baldness, and help with the “heartbreak of psoriasis”. But the reality is that renewables, specifically wind power, can’t meet the needs of our increasingly technological civilization. Wind is too diffuse, unpredictable, and without an inexpensive and efficient means of storage, unreliable and non-dispatchable.
Another problem? The performance, mechanical reliability, maintenance costs, and service life of wind turbines aren’t what has been promised. A study of onshore wind turbines in Denmark and the UK conducted back in 2012 show that turbine performance falls off with age, producing less than half the power of new turbines after being in service for 10 years.
So why do they keep building wind turbines even though they don’t even come close to meeting performance and reliability projections? The answer is simple.
It’s no different here than in the UK. Without government subsidies, renewables wouldn’t be profitable. Without things like net metering laws forcing utilities to buy electricity from renewable sources at above market rates which in turn drive up electricity rates while at the same time making ‘traditional’ generating facilities unprofitable because they can no longer operate in an efficient manner.
How is any of that helpful to ratepayers? How does any of it help power our high-tech civilization? Unreliable, intermittent, non-dispatchable energy sources incapable of meeting the energy demands as our only source of energy? Wind turbines that affect the health of wildlife and humans due to infrasound and the endless light-flicker as the turbines rotate.
Doing some further research (anecdotal, so far) it appears the trends noticed in the 2012 study have continued, but the turbines have been getting larger and more expensive, as have the subsidies.
It all boils down to this: Renewables are a scam for raking in millions of dollars in government subsidies and the ratepayers, and particularly the poorer ratepayers be damned.