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Letter: Wind power is no panacea

Kyle McAdam’s letter, “Wind is part of the solution” (Monitor, April 1), is misguided.

Wind power is not the panacea that many seem to think it is. Yes, climate change is real, is happening and is serious. No argument there. The real question is, what should we do about it?

Renewable energy doesn’t move any cars off the road, even figuratively. At best, we are reducing equivalent emissions of a number of additional cars that come on the road. Reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency needs to be our first line of attack.

Wind farms have been built on several New Hampshire mountain ridges, and there are proposals to build many more. Four-hundred-foot towers over 100-foot trees is not something those of us who love the outdoors like to look at.

Putting in wind farms means building roads on mountain ridges to get the stuff up there. It means fragmenting the forest and cutting trees around the towers to create empty space around the towers to increase wind flow.

Another problem is that the wind doesn’t always blow. The intermittent nature of wind means that a backup source must be kept in place. Normally, this will be of a fossil-fuel nature.

Putting wind farms up isn’t going to stop global warming, but it will detract from the beauty of our state, a beauty that brings many of our tourists here in the first place.



Legacy Comments5

In his 4/2/13 WSJ op-ed, "Wind power subsidies? No Thanks" and follow-up TV interview, Big Wind CEO, Patrick Jenevein admitted that, when it comes to wind subsidies, "consumers are paying twice for the same product." (See: http://on.wsj.com/YORRi1 and http://tinyurl.com/ctx6k4g) Jenevein said, "…wind subsidies distort markets." He said that because “[wind] subsidies aren't based on how much power they produce... wind farms are increasingly being built in less-windy locations" [ie - rural NY – remember the Big Wind LLC that left Attica because it was “not a good wind area”]. The result, he said, is that the wind industry is focused on reaping the lucrative taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies, rather than on providing an efficient, affordable product. (Certainly NOT the business model based on honesty, integrity, and putting consumers first, that was espoused by my father's generation!) Further proof surfaced that taxpayers “are paying twice for the same product” in the recent Government Accountability Office Report: GAO REPORT: "Unearths Duplicative Wind Initiatives". It showed there are over 80 redundant programs paying out $BILLIONS in duplicative funds to Big Wind. A Washington Times article, “Blowing Taxpayer Money,” summed it up best when they wrote, “the White House’s obsession with wind energy boondoggles is impoverishing the nation!” (See: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/9/blowing-taxpayer-money/#ixzz2Q3k97Ok6)

Wind power can be reliably integrated into the utility grid in large quantities without requiring any extra reserves. In fact, wind power now generates over 10 percent of the electricity in nine states, and over 20 percent in Iowa and South Dakota. This is because all power plants on the grid already work together to provide backup power and ensure that electricity is reliably delivered. Also, because changes in wind and solar output occur slowly, they can now be anticipated using advanced weather forecasting, just as grid operators have always used weather forecasting to anticipate how electric heaters and air conditioners will affect electricity demand. In contrast, failures at large fossil and nuclear power plants occur instantaneously and without warning, requiring grid operators to maintain expensive, fast-acting reserves at all times. For the facts on wind, please visit: www.powerofwind.com

David...the SUN has been providing energy to planet Earth for more than 4 billion years. Back in the pre-Cambrian solar energy, combined with a relatively new 'chlorophyll' molecule served to provide an oxygenated atmosphere. During the Mississipian/Pennsylvania eras, solar energy got stored in the forms of coal and petroleum. Now, we experience solar energy as both solar and wind power. IF we chose NOT to use electricity, we could easily do away with wind power necessity. OR, we could continue to use electricity by building wind farms, solar farms, and modular nuclear power plants. My opinion is that ALL forms should be developed and continuing electricity production. Wind farms may be a visual blight, but the need for electric power trumps that. Those who find wind farms unsightly should discontinue using electricity !!

David Mills, I agree windmills are not the panacea that some would have us believe. A good idea-of course we would all like clean renewable energy. But I have major concerns about the long-term ramifications of widespread with when generators. Background; the earth has multiple circulatory systems like deep ocean currents and deep planet magma and core rotation. When currents also circulate around our entire globe play a critical role in our weather and oh yes food production. Metaphorically I’m acquainted with what happens inside the body when the circulatory system is impeded or stopped-nothing good! I am concerned that when generators, all over the planet, each one taking more energy away from the planets error circulatory system, that we may be altering the system we do not yet know enough about. I salute innovation and efforts to create clean renewable energy but I think we need to deeply explore the collateral effects on other systems. I do not propose that we abandon wind energy but I think as much money, effort and a great deal more scientific rigor go in to studying the effects of wind energy that went into, “the global warming” political movement.

LOL...save the wind..oppose a windmill.

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