Letter: Myths about wind energy
Re “Two Views: Should New Hampshire suspend wind energy projects?” (Monitor Forum, Jan. 25):
Rep. Harold Reilly uses obsolete myths to attack wind energy. The data show wind energy is reliable and greatly benefits consumers and the environment. Wind energy reduces U.S. carbon pollution by 100 million tons annually, a critical contribution to fighting climate change’s harmful impact on our state’s recreation industries.
Reilly cites the myth that wind’s emissions savings are reduced because of a supposed need for backup. Last fall, independent analyses of real-world power plant emissions data confirmed that a MWh of wind energy saves 1,190 pounds of CO2 on average, with any negative impact on other power plants isolated to a negligible 0.2 percent. In reality, large fossil and nuclear power plants require expensive and inefficient backup, as they fail instantly and without warning, while changes in wind output are gradual and predictable. Second, while some wind projects have occasionally reduced their output, that occurred because the local power grid is weak and would have happened to any power plant at that location. Regardless, the grid has already been upgraded to prevent future wind curtailment. Iowa and South Dakota reliably produce 20-plus percent of their electricity from wind, nine states are above 10 percent, and at times Colorado and Texas have been above 60 percent and 35 percent wind-powered respectively.
Wind energy leaders have only increased renewable policies and deployment after seeing the benefits for consumers and the environment, with none reducing them as falsely claimed by Reilly. New Hampshire has wisely decided to follow their lead in deploying the energy technologies of the 21st century.