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ELSAM (West Denmark Utilities Co) Development Head: "Wind turbines do not reduce CO2 emissions." [View All]

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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-06-10 11:25 PM
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ELSAM (West Denmark Utilities Co) Development Head: "Wind turbines do not reduce CO2 emissions."
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Edited on Tue Apr-06-10 11:29 PM by NNadir
There is no evidence that industrial wind power is likely to have a significant impact on carbon emissions. The European experience is instructive. Denmark, the worlds most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity, has yet to close a single fossil-fuel plant. It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind powers unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% in 2006 alone).

Flemming Nissen, the head of development at West Danish generating company ELSAM (one of Denmarks largest energy utilities) tells us that wind turbines do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The German experience is no different. Der Spiegel reports that Germanys CO2 emissions havent been reduced by even a single gram, and additional coal- and gas-fired plants have been constructed to ensure reliable delivery.

Indeed, recent academic research shows that wind power may actually increase greenhouse gas emissions in some cases, depending on the carbon-intensity of back-up generation required because of its intermittent character...

...Industrial wind power is not a viable economic alternative to other energy conservation options. Again, the Danish experience is instructive. Its electricity generation costs are the highest in Europe (15/kwh compared to Ontarios current rate of about 6). Niels Gram of the Danish Federation of Industries says, windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense. Aase Madsen , the Chair of Energy Policy in the Danish Parliament, calls it a terribly expensive disaster.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in 2008, on a dollar per MWh basis, the U.S. government subsidizes wind at $23.34 compared to reliable energy sources: natural gas at 25; coal at 44; hydro at 67; and nuclear at $1.59, leading to what some U.S. commentators call a huge corporate welfare feeding frenzy...

...In debates over climate change, and in particular subsidies to renewable energy, there are two kinds of green. First there are some environmental greens who view the problem as so urgent that all measures that may have some impact on greenhouse gas emissions, whatever their cost or their impact on the economy and employment, should be undertaken immediately.

Then there are the fiscal greens, who, being cool to carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems that make polluters pay, favour massive public subsidies to themselves for renewable energy projects, whatever their relative impact on greenhouse gas emissions. These two groups are motivated by different kinds of green. The only point of convergence between them is their support for massive subsidies to renewable energy (such as wind turbines).

This unholy alliance of these two kinds of greens (doomsdayers and rent seekers) makes for very effective, if opportunistic, politics (as reflected in the Ontario governments Green Energy Act), just as it makes for lousy public policy: Politicians attempt to pick winners at our expense in a fast-moving technological landscape, instead of creating a socially efficient set of incentives to which we can all respond.

Wind power is a complete disaster

Although I have cited this opinion piece, I do not endorse everything said in it.

I, first of all, believe in massive energy subsidies for proved climate change gas free energy systems that are scalable. Let me count them: One. OK, I'm done.

Second of all, despite the perjorative tone, I am a doomsayer. I don't believe in climate change from carbon dioxide emissions since belief is arbitrary. On the contrary, I know climate change is a fact, and I favor the immediate phase out of dangerous fossil fuels.

I do agree however, with the author of this piece that wind power is a disaster, even though I once supported it. All it really generates is complacency and wishful thinking, both of which have increasingly dire consequences.
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