Michigan has a mandate in place (courtesy of our former Democratic governor – thanks Jen!) that says by 2015, 10% of our state’s electricity needs must come from renewable sources. Beyond the authoritarian tone of such a dictate, harnessing the wind as a source of alternative energy is turning out to be a progressive pipedream. Which is exactly what I’m telling my state senator and representative…
Has Michigan slipped into the Twilight Zone? That certainly seems to be the case with Lansing’s current position on renewal energy. At a time when the rest of the country – and the rest of world – is waking up to the unreliability of wind power, Mark Clevey of the Michigan Energy Office, and Dan Bishop (Consumers Energy public information director) are still seeing visions of the future through green-colored glasses [Source: Great Lakes Echo]:
Clevey: “I see the renewable energy boom in Michigan as a combination of the relieved tax burden on companies and the popularity of green energy around the state.”
Bishop: “What we’ll certainly see is more wind farm projects being constructed. There is a high demand for turbines, and with a lessened tax burden, manufacturers will be able to produce more of the required parts at lowered costs.”
Bishop also said: “I truly believe we are witnessing a wind revolution across the state.”
Let’s hope not!
Michigan’s economy is in bad enough shape without lobbyists scooping up more goodies from the taxpayers. And we don’t need a propaganda campaign by the Energy Innovation Business Council, who apparently feels that a reluctant public needs to be nudged along “through ‘mild interventions’ such as education campaigns.”
Let’s stick to the facts shall we? If wind power is so wonderfully advantageous, why are tax credits and subsidies needed at all?
The reality is that wind, as source of alternate energy, is turning out to be an inefficient, unreliable and extremely expensive – not to mention noisy and just plain ugly. Minnesota, Texas and North Carolina are all having serious reservations about the viability of wind power, as are Britain and Germany. Heck, even the Dutch are getting fed up with windmills.
Before Michigan continues skipping down the green path of hopes and dreams, why don’t we find out whether wind power has actually been a success anywhere? Because so far, the prospects aren’t very rosy. For instance:
• Wind farms must be heavily subsidized with public funds. When the money runs out, the blades stop churning; 14,000(!) wind turbines have been abandoned across the U.S..
• On average, they only operate at 33% capacity (- compared to 85% for coal and nuclear energy). That figure is much lower in hot weather when there’s usually less wind, and when energy demands tend to peak.
• They freeze in cold weather. Which is potentially catastrophic:
Modern cities are incredibly fragile organisms… During a severe blizzard, it is electricity alone that prevents a midwinter urban holocaust. We saw what adverse weather can do, when 15,000 people died in the heatwave that hit France in August 2003. But those deaths were spread over a month. Last weekend’s weather (in Europe), without energy, could have caused many tens of thousands of deaths over a couple of days.
Why does the entire green spectrum, which now incorporates most conventional parties across Europe, deny the most obvious of truths? To play lethal games with our energy systems in order to honour the whimsical god of climate change is as intelligent and scientific as the Aztec sacrifice of their young. Actually, it is far more frivolous, because at least the Aztecs knew how many people they were sacrificing: no one has the least idea of the loss of life that might result from the EU embracing “green” energy policies.
At some point in the future wind turbines may be feasible – but certainly not the immediate future. When, if ever, they do turn out to be a viable energy alternative, we can re-evaluate the situation. Until then, let’s maintain our grasp on reality and stop wasting tax dollars on wishful thinking. I urge you to:
• Repeal the mandate for 10% renewable sources that’s set to take effect in 2015;
• Stop using tax dollars to pick winners and losers. Preferential treatment of select business sectors only invites bribes and corruption. Free the free market, and;
• If we really want to create a more business-friendly climate, let’s drop the ridiculously high corporate tax rate. (Only two other states have higher rates than Michigan’s)
Let’s be wise enough to learn from the unfortunate mistakes of others, and not duplicate them here in Michigan. We can’t afford it.
Thank-you for your attention to this important issue,
Designs on the Truth
“Big money” discovers the huge tax breaks and subsidies for wind energy while taxpayers and electric customers pick up the tab ~ An in-depth article which includes:
• Recent evidence of “big money” interest in wind energy tax breaks and subsidies
• Facts about wind energy just beginning to catch up with the false and misleading information that has led to faulty government policies, tax breaks and subsidies
• The tax breaks and subsidies that are attracting big money interests to wind energy