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ONLY FOOLS PAY FOR WIND POWER

by David Boleneus

InfoMine Inc.

IT IS unfortunate for the U.S., or any country, that the wind


industry and politicians are unwilling to reveal the truth and the
folly of wind power. Claims by the American Wind Energy
Association (AWEA.org) appear so grand, so lets look deeper.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) says that wind provided
1.3 percent of Americas power by delivering 6,320 MWi in
2008, compared to AWEAs advertised capacity of 25,300 MW,
an efficiency of just 25 percent. Policy makers seem slow to
realize that power capacity does not equal power received. Pres.
Obama, on January 16, 2009, stated renewable energy can create
millions of additional jobs and entire new industries. However,
Spains recent experience is just the oppositethat for each job
created in renewable energy (wind, solar) at a cost of 571,138
Euros per job resulted in a loss of 2.2 jobs elsewhere, while
causing power costs to increase 31 percent over its power pool
averageii. One 1 MW supplies an average 833 customersiii, so this
much wind supplied power for 5.2 million customers. But what is
the cost and reliability of wind power? The following compares a
current generation coal-fired power plant, using integrated gas
combined cycle combustion (IGCC) technology, to wind
generators. Wind is the most important renewable energy source,
expanding more than 60 times faster than solar and 110 times
faster than geothermal from 2005 to 2008 while renewable
energy from biomass decreased. Its still a fractional contribution.

What is the cost of installing wind power? AWEA.org says


the installation cost is $17 billion over recent years. Thats a
whopping $672,000 per MW of installed capacity, or $1.3 million
per 1.3 effective MW generated. After considering the efficiency
of 25 percent, the real cost is a whopping $2.7 million per
effective MW. For comparison, the cost published by the IGCC
Alliance-GE to build one of the newest generation coal-fired
power plants, using integrated gas combined cycle combustion
(IGCC) technology, is $1.5 million per MW, about 55 percent of
1 MW from wind. An IGCC plant can capture all of the NOx,
SOx, Hg, and CO2 in the process of generating electricity for $1.2
million less per MW than does wind. IGCCs do not pollute and
their efficiency is near 95%, because IGCC plants eliminate the
usual downstream losses of older coal turbines because IGCCs
use twice as much of coals power as conventional plants. The
significant added benefit of IGCCs is they capture carbon dioxide
that can be used to produce more oil from existing oil fields that
otherwise goes unrecoverable. The oil field engineers call this
process expansion drive.
How much space (land) is needed for wind? Again, for
comparison, the area needed for two 3,160 MW IGCC plants (2
X 3160 = 6,320 MW to compare on a basis of wind power MWs)
is less than 1000 acres of land. For wind generators, I found
nearby turbine sites on Google Earth use 67 acres per each 1.3
MW generator (near the U.S. average wind turbine land
requirementiv) operated by Puget Energy near Vantage,
Washington and Boardman, Oregon, so the land area for your
25,300 MWs of wind machines requires 67 acres X 25,300 MW /
1.3MW per generator equals 1.3 million acres, 2,037 square
miles, or 130,000 percent less efficient use of space than an
IGCC plant. Those 2,037 square miles equal 30 times the land
area of Washington, DC or double the land area of Rhode Island.
So how many residents are willing to be ejected from their land
for part-time wind power. This goes even deeper since the ideal
sites for wind generators are now occupied. The result is that the
remaining favorable sites available diminish as wind power

June 2, 2010

construction continues, and with it the efficiency of wind generators


decreases as build up continues. Wind turbine construction will end
with depletion of the good sites short of those imagined goals. A
factoid published by wind energy opposition is that wind generators
noise is so severe that the set-back (thats city engineer-speak for
dont get too close) is 1.5 miles to the nearest house, habitation, etc.,
that is, unless your body vibrates at 60 cycles per minute when turbines
operate. Well maybe thats acceptable for teen-agers with CD-in-ear.

What is the life of a wind generator? According to Minnesotans for


Sustainability, a wind generator needs to be replaced every three to five
years. Really? But an IGCC plant likely has a 40-year life, maybe
more. Wind power is not a great deal, Id say. For those wishing to
learn the horror testimonials from neighbors of wind turbines,
AWEO.org reveals the Problem with Wind where ever its been
experienced, in Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Germany,
Netherlands, California, Spain, Wisconsin, etc.

What is the cost of wind on a per kilowatt-hour basis? AWEA


says its power costs 5 cents per kW. I think they failed arithmetic,
certainly business math. Using a simple breakeven calculation (you
learned this in high school) applying an optimistically low capital cost
of $1.15 million per generator, an operating cost of 2 cents per kW, a
unit sales price of 5 cents per kW and sales of 10 million kW produced
during a generators 3-5 year life results in a loss of $1.1 million.
Thats economist-speak for NO profit! ONLY when using a per kW
unit sales price of $1.18 per kW could you expect to break even. Lets
see, I now pay 5 cents per kW for my home electricity with a bill of
$80 per month. Increasing the kW cost to $1.18 would cost me $1888
per month. Are you kidding? Thats 75 percent of my monthly
paycheck, which still leaves rent, food, taxes, utilities, car payment, gas
and repairs, gym membership, kids soccer, hobbies..unpaid. Who
would buy such a lemon? Well, the explanation is that its paid for by
the government subsidy. But subsidies continue only with their political
popularity or until the public discovers theyve bought lemons. After
that, customerscourtesy of unthinking politicianswill pay $1888
per month. Again, wind is not for me. The IGCC Alliance-GE says its
coal plant cost per kW is $0.069, about $40 to $80 per month, which
includes capturing all those pollutants, or about the same price
Washingtonians pay for hydroelectric power.
How efficient is wind power transmission compared to coalfired power? Wind proponents dont seem to understand that wind
power is only available when (or where) you find it. That means its
everywhere but not all the time. The problem I seen is we cant afford
to build power transmission grids to everywhere. It just doesnt make
sense because there is a limit to our generosity. Ideal sites for coal-fired
IGCC plants can be pre-selected based on optimum location of existing
power transmission grids, the location of existing rail transportation for
transport of coal, and at a location near customers to reduce
transmission line construction cost and power losses. They can be
hidden from sight while wind turbines must clutter the highest hills and
vast land areas. In the case of IGCC, the transmission system is easy.
This is not true for wind power that requires power transmission grids
to be built everywhere, which is exceedingly inefficient, especially
when the wind is not blowing and the wind generator is not producing
power. In the case of wind, the generation is far from customers, the
transmission cost is high because new lines must be built to
everywhere, power line losses are large, and the amount of energy
supplied is quite low for effort that must be expended to bring it to
market.

When the wind isnt blowing, where will the power come
from? Thats easy. Its not from wind. In comparing the U.S.
consumption of wind power of 6,320 MWs (DOE) with the
25,300 MWs boasted by the American Wind Energy Association
one finds that wind provides exactly 25 percent of the AWEAs
25,300 MW claimed. It means that 75 percent of their claim is
false and the remaining 25 percent is true, but only part time. One
problem is that wind may generate power when we dont want it
but be unable to generate power when needed. In other words,
others sources of power must be available to provide the other 75
percent plus the part-time portion. It means that you cannot rely
on wind because customers need to have power 100 percent of
the time, not part-time, unless you live in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Americans rely on 25,300 MW 100 percent of the time. ITS
CLEAR, this means coal, or oil, or natural gas, or nuclear. Wind
energy is a joke! Its just another cruel hoax! Alternative energy is
belief in a phantom--here today, gone when theres no wind. All
the public are being conned by politicos vying for favors,
handouts, votes, including the President, Governor Arnold, and
those too lazy to check facts.

Where are these jobs located promised by the President?


In the end, if wind power had to pay its full cost or be selfsustaining of its power sales, without price supports, there would
be no wind power. It only lives as long as the public can be
fooled. If people spent the time to investigate, wind would be
rejected completely. What is plain to see is the jobs produced by
wind power are the same jobs lost from other construction of
other power facilities resulting in, at best, a zero gain of

employment. Who is paying the extra cost for the inefficiencies? Well,
its the taxpayer paying the cost without benefitting. Do you think
thats fair? As an example, although Obama has on nine occasions
cited Spain experience as a shining example of renewable energy
success, but fails to disclose that renewable wind and solar energy has
become Spains financial nightmarev. A March 2009 Zapatero
administration report (University Rey Juan Carlos, in Spain) exposes
the catastrophic economic failure of Spains green economy
initiatives. The report shows that for each green job created at a cost
of 571,138 Euros, that 2.2 jobs were lost elsewhere. Furthermore, each
green megawatt job destroyed 5.28 jobs while resulting in an
electrical rate increase of 31 percent equal to an additional tax burden
of 4.35 percent just to pay the renewable investment. Spains solar
photovoltaic power experience was most extreme, at 7 times larger than
its mean cost of power.

Where are the economic stimulus dollars promoted by the


President? The Repower Systems AG is a German company who just
imported 20 turbines to Minnesota as part of a 340 MW project. Today,
German wind turbine suppliers in Viet Nam are building and exporting
turbines to the Port of Portland, Oregon for installation in the US. The
newest announcement, Fuhrlander AG of Germany is supplying US$25
million to build a plant in 2009 located at Binh Dinh in Viet Nam to
build 1.5 MW turbines. The Danish Vestas and Swedish companies are
other large turbine suppliers. Our dollars are going to Viet Nam, China,
Germany. Thats not the stimulus promised. This is neither smart
investment of stimulus dollars nor does it produce new US jobs.

LETS summarize the main points in this comparison table:


Question:

Wind

Coal-fired IGCC

Which power?

1 MW supplies.
Whats the efficiency?
How much electricity is provided for each one
MW of capacity?
In a 24-hr period, how many hours does it
produce power, on average
Whats the construction cost per MW generated?
What land area is needed to generate 6320 MW?
(per example above)
What is the life of the generator?
What is the real cost one kW-hr generated?
Whats the cost of transmission of power to
customers?
Whats the pollution?

833 homes
25%
0.25 MW

833 homes
95%
0.95 MW

Its even here


Coal-fired IGCC
Coal-fired IGCC

6 hours

24 hours

Coal-fired IGCC again

$2.7 million
1.3 million acres, an area the size of two Rhode
Islands
3-5 years
$1.18
Extremely high; inconvenience is high also

$1.5 million
1000 acres or less (2 sites)

Coal-fired IGCC
Coal-fired IGCC

40 years plus
$0.069
Nominal; little more than current

Coal-fired IGCC
Coal-fired IGCC again
Coal-fired IGCC and again

Nonepollution control systems are


installed
CO2 is captured to produce more oil to
run your car
Unaffected

Its even here


My votes for coal-fired
IGCC
Vote for IGCC

Designed by Americans; Built by


Americans
Farmers: NO---its a fertilizer. It
increases our food supply

Its coal-fired IGCC again,


and again
A tieDepends on your
politics

None

What about carbon dioxide (CO2)?

Of no concern

Will renewable power create jobs?

2.2 jobs lost for each green job created


(Spains experience)
Jobs lost to Vietnam, China, as turbines
imported at Port of Portland
Environmentalists: YES

What is the net employment gain?


We ask: Is CO2 a pollutant?

IN THE END, my vote goes to coal IGCC plant. It wins


11-to-0 with three ties. Where is your bet? Inform your
Legislator of the truth and the fraud behind wind power. Imagine,
your next car could be an IGCC-powered Nissan LEAF.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table1_1.html
http://www.juandemariana.org/pdf/090327-employment-public-aidrenewable.pdf
iii
Answers.Yahoo.com
iv
The U.S. average land required is 60 acres per MW equal to 78 acres for a 1.3
MW wind turbine
v
http://www.juandemariana.org/pdf/090327-employment-public-aidrenewable.pdf
ii