The Jim of the United States

A Few Points On Wind Power

Posted by TheJOTUS on August 22, 2010

I’ve said before that I have always had conservative beliefs–even as a kid.  But when looking back on it, I think it was my Uncle Curtis that really solidified where I was on the political spectrum.  I don’t think he has any idea how influential he was on me.

With that said, I will be posting some various thoughts from Uncle Curtis.  At least until he figures out how to post on here himself.  I joke, I joke.  At any rate, here is a piece on the benefits of wind power, or lack thereof:

Regarding wind power generation (wind turbines), time to back up the facts with sources.  Below are the facts.  The following is the truth about wind power.

First, it takes a minimum wind speed to generate electricity from a wind turbine. The environmentalists like to use the “8 MPH” wind speed as their number, but that is TOTALLY misleading, because the amount of electricity generated at an 8 MPH wind is insignificant. It really takes 25 MPH wind to generate real power.

“Cut-in Speed – Cut-in speed is the minimum wind speed at which the wind turbine will generate usable power. This wind speed is typically between 7 and 10 mph for most turbines. A 10 kilowatt wind turbine may not generate 10 kilowatts until wind speeds reach 25 mph. Rated speed for most machines is in the range of 25 to 35 mph.”

So where is this this “reliable wind”?

This graphic shows where the wind is reliable enough to generate electricity. The source I used is from a government web site that advocates wind power!  Note that for about 75% of the continental United States, the reliable wind source for power generation just does not exist!

So now you start to see the problem of where the reliable wind exists, as well as how to get the power to the nation. As you can clearly see from that chart, that is a very serious problem. When you look at the chart, you can also see why there were so many wind farms in upper Iowa (because that was a hot spot for reliable wind). But that is one of the very few spots at least “GOOD” on that map (and Iowa isn’t even “Excellent”).

So, let’s assume for a moment we do have that wind to generate that power. How much does it cost to build the power turbines versus the cost of the coal plants to operate? From their own “pro-wind” web site, the costs per KWH are:

Gas Turbine: 13.9¢
Coal: 4.5¢
Nuclear: 4.6¢
Wind: 7.5¢

Yes, wind is MORE expensive than coal! That is because it takes hundreds of wind turbines (with VERY high costs) to equal the power generated from one coal generated power plant!

But here is the little hidden secret that I have kept talking about. Even with having reliable wind power and those wind turbines, guess what? You still need a power plant up and running 24/7. So you still have that additional cost! (which they do not include in their “per kwh” cost of wind power!

“Since the grid or control area must be kept in balance at all times (supply and demand, frequency, voltage), some generating unit(s) must be immediately available at all times to provide backup service (or balance) for the electricity (if any) coming from the wind turbines. This means that the unit(s) providing the backup service may be operating in an automatic generation control mode, running at less than peak capacity, and/or running in spinning reserve mode.”

But when these whacko environmentalists talk about the cost of wind power, they always exclude that cost! They only want to talk about the cost of the wind turbines alone!

Ok, so now is the funny part. You will hear the pro-wind advocates keep using the phrase, “FREE, IT’S FREE! IT’S FREE” (sounding like Michael Moore in the movie “Sicko” talking about nationalized health care).

“How Expensive is Wind-Generated Electricity?

Once a wind-turbine is built and paid for, it generates electricity almost for free. Once your house is built and paid for, it provides housing almost for free. What really matters is the cost to society. With current subsidy methods, it costs around 3¢/kWh of subsidy to get wind turbines built.”

You see, that is the funny part. Oh, once we build it, it is free! Or, (as in the case of “free subsidies”) it is cheaper because it is subsidized….by our taxes!

—Uncle Curtis


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