Land-based turbines face headwinds

WORTH THE ENERGY? The Portsmouth-owned turbine adjacent to the high school is now broken, with the town recently postponing a decision on whether to spend money to fix it. / PBN FILE PHOTO/FRANK MULLIN
WORTH THE ENERGY? The Portsmouth-owned turbine adjacent to the high school is now broken, with the town recently postponing a decision on whether to spend money to fix it. / PBN FILE PHOTO/FRANK MULLIN
There are more commercial-scale wind turbines on the Rhode Island horizon than ever before and offshore wind farms that could generate a substantial portion of the state’s energy remain on track. But in many respects, the outlook for land-based wind power in the Ocean State has darkened recently, especially for municipal energy projects that had…

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1 COMMENT

  1. If Wind Power is facing headwinds, so do the rest of us. The debate over continued tax credits, along with other subsidies, fails to acknowledge what the real consequences are: higher utility rates, taxpayer subsidies, and possibly increased (yes, increased) fossil fuel use and carbon emissions.
    Wind power doesn’t decrease our dependence on imported oil. Oil isn’t used to make electricity. It’s used for transportation, which is driven in turn by all those SUVs on the road and the shipping costs that come with the globalization we turn to when government regulations and union monopolies make producing our own goods uncompetitive. And it does not reduce our need for conventional power plants. We still need those when the wind doesn’t blow.
    So what about protecting our environment and reducing global warming? Let’s take a look at how it’s gone so far. In Texas, where they have over 2300 wind turbines connected to the grid, the Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT) has determined that because the grid has to use conventional sources to adjust for the fluctuations in wind power, the fossil fuel use (in this case, natural gas) and carbon emissions have actually gone up, not down. (This is sort of like what you get driving your car in stop and go traffic.)
    So why are we doing something that triples our electric bills with “alternative energy” surcharges? Ask the politicians and industry folks who have found a new public trough to feed at. And guess who is paying for it. Wind power is facing headwinds alright, and it is being paid for by us.