Greens’ silence on the folly of wind and solar power
Iam Pilmer — News Weekly — October 23, 2014
A simple evaluation of ideological electricity shows that it is unsustainable. The answer is certainly not blowing in the wind.
The amount of energy embedded in steel pylons, concrete footings, blades, wiring, magnets, land clearing and roads is more than a wind pylon would ever generate in its working life. Wind farms cannot generate electricity in a gentle zephyr or a gale, cannot operate continuously and optimistically operate at 20 per cent of nameplate capacity.
Wind farms have the life of a parasite because they freeload themselves onto existing grids paid by conventional efficient energy, need subsidies and drain electricity from the grid when it is too cold. Wind turbines don’t run on wind; they run on subsidies.
A single 1,000-megawatt wind farm produces at least 7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in component construction and concrete. Almost 100,000 truckloads of concrete are required just for the footings. Maintenance by diesel-powered vehicles only adds to emissions. Wind farms need 24/7 back-up from carbon dioxide emitting coal-fired power stations.
Wind farms do not reduce human emissions of carbon dioxide; they increase emissions.
A wind farm using 660-kilowatt generators requires 7,600 generators at 20 per cent efficiency to produce 1,000 megawatts. At $2,000 per kilowatt installation, this would cost $10 billion. This is more than twice the cost of a reliable, clean, coal-fired 1,000-megawatt generator.
The environmental effects of wind farms are devastating. Construction of wind farms in rural areas results in a decline in residents’ mental and physical health, decreased property values and community disharmony. A recent study showed hearing loss for people experiencing low frequency noise. (Continue reading here….)