Wind Turbines and Magical Thinking

For reasons that are not clear to me, wind power has been a huge topic of conversation the last few days. A friend of mine -- in view of the fact that during an especially hot period in July we were asked by utilities to conserve electricity -- sent me this video of stationary wind turbines in Kansas. Our state, unfortunately, gets 43% of its energy from unreliable wind. 

Did you know that the turbines do not turn when the wind speeds are less than 7 mph or stronger than 25 mph? That is an awfully lot of the time. They are also very high maintenance

This financial strategy has also affected the reliability of the balance-of-plant maintenance at many [wind] farms as well, where the short lifecycles of transformers and often unreliable underground collection systems have increased down time and service calls. But that’s another article. Compared to traditional power generation facilities, the risk is spread over many generators, so the total effect of these design weaknesses is less than if a single 300-MW steam turbine failed. Nonetheless, it is difficult to maintain a facility where the financial expectations allowed for little budget to be allocated for major component replacement.

The turbines also require rare earth materials that are usually mined by Chinese slaves. So let's see, with wind turbines we,
  • Increase the cost of electricity -- we directly pay for that.  
  • Undermine grid reliability and cause involuntary blackouts. 
  • Support the Chinese communist government. 
  • And, do nothing to decarbonize energy. 
This is just nuts. The idea that wind turbines are a force for good is nothing but magical thinking. It needs to stop.


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