Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tilting at windmills

Osama can't resist. President Don Quixote?

The Obama Budget And Wind Power

The promise of "wind" as an alternative source of energy has failed -- repeatedly.
Reprinted from the Institute for Energy Research (IER)

In the 1970s and 1980s, the proponents of wind power claimed that renewables would be cost-competitive in a few years if they just received some subsidies for a few years. But thirty years later, renewables proponents are still clamoring for subsidies from U.S. taxpayers. Despite a trillion dollar deficit, President Obama is once again responding to the renewable promoters and asking Congress to approve his budget with billions of dollars in energy subsidies.

The President’s proposed budget would renew and extend a number of renewable subsidies including the 1603 program which pays for as much as much as 30 percent of development costs of renewable-energy projects.[i]  The budget also includes an extension of the production tax credit for the wind industry that is scheduled to expire this year.[ii] The production tax credit is worth 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced during the first 10 years of a wind farm’s operation.   In addition, the budget request would provide $95 million for developing wind energy technology.[iii]
Read the whole thing.

Wind energy is great for isolated power way out in the sticks - where it is economically viable without government subsidies. It sucks as a replacement for a real power plant that can be controlled and generate power when it is needed - not when Mother Nature deigns to provide it.

It would be interesting to see how long all those wind farms remain cluttering up our farmland around here if all the federal money disappeared tomorrow. There's a lot of money in recycling them into something useful - lots of copper, steel, and rare earth magnets. We could create quite a few jobs for a couple of years tearing them down and selling them to people who might be able to use the materials to build useful stuff.


  1. I remember several years ago that T. Boon Pickins was all over the TeeVee and radio pushing for subsidies to wind power.

    Yeah, he's got big money invested in it.

  2. Yeah - he had his wife and ranch boss sign up for some sort of Texas subsidy for underground pipelines that would have saved him millions on running the wiring those things would have needed. It's nice to have a little clout.