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Governors again ask for wind tax credits

May 31, 2015

A “Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition” again urged Congress to renew the production tax credit in a May 26, 2015 letter to the leadership. Chris Kapsambelis of Bourne, who has been following the claims of wind production promoters, takes issue with the  letter’s assumptions in this response:

Letter: We anticipate that wind energy will be truly competitive with traditional energy sources soon given innovation in the industry.

CK: Wind energy competitiveness can only be realized when combined with sufficient energy storage to match the dispatchable properties of conventional power sources. Such storage is not yet available in necessary amounts and until then, the competitiveness of wind energy is based on false assumptions

Letter: We also believe it is important to recognize all the public policy benefits of wind energy, including

a diversified energy portfolio,

CK: The need for firming the volatile, intermittent, and variable nature of wind with natural gas is driving coal and nuclear into early retirement decreasing the level of energy diversification

public health benefits,

CK: In the absence of grid-scale energy storage little to no carbon is avoided. Noise and infrasound have introduced health impacts, nuisance, and a lower Quality of Life for residents living within a mile and a quarter from wind turbines.

domestically-sourced energy,

CK: New England is looking to import wind energy from Canada

Letter: We are also concerned that thousands of manufacturing jobs could be lost without stable federal policy

CK:Wind turbines are made overseas. Increasing electricity rates drive manufacturing jobs overseas resulting in a net job loss.

Chris Kapsambelis also points out:

In addition, there are severe ecological impacts:

Unacceptable levels of migratory and raptor bird kills.

Widespread bat kills from barotrauma while flying through the low pressure waves downwind of the turbines.

Mountain ecology disruption from blasting and access road construction. Access roads act as water channels robing the mountains of necessary rainwater absorption.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Kathy Sherman permalink
    June 9, 2015 2:14 am

    And to add to CK’s points, the enormous costs of transmission to load centers have not been factored in. The ‘Vision’ on which the arguments are based entails erecting super sized rotors on ever taller towers so marginal wind resource can gain some productivity, but they will also be more costly and never make up the cost advantage of turbines in the six or so states that have good wind resource and much larger parcels of land. Those states may well be at ‘build out’ already, but Congress needs to look at the GAO report on revenues lost to PTC and ITC already before caving any further.

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