By Rebekah Rast
An integral part of President Obama’s renewable energy plan is wind power.
It paints a nice picture; towering fields of gigantic turbines on an
open hillside or small residential windmills atop a house or barn all
collecting power from the wind solving all your electricity needs.
Too bad it doesn’t really work all that well on a mass scale.
Wind power only accounts for about 1 percent of all the energy used in the U.S. today. In 2010, it accounted for 2.3 percent of all electricity generated in the U.S. These numbers aren’t low due to a lack of turbine farms in America, they are low because turbines only generate a percentage of their theoretical maximum output—the wind does not always blow.
What’s more ironic from an environmentalist perspective is the fact that these giant turbines (some can reach 400 feet tall and turn at speeds of 200 mph in peak times) kill a half-million birds and bats without penalty every year.
Knowing the typical response of true environmentalists, if any other
industry other than a “green” one caused that much damage they would be
there with a lawsuit threatening to shut it down.
In mass, if wind power seems to kill more birds than it produces
energy, why does it remain such an integral component in Obama’s energy
plan? Why does America continue to spend millions of dollars on an
unstable energy source when there is no shortage of other much cheaper,
The city of Reno, Nev., is probably asking itself the same question.
Windmills were installed in Reno between April and October of 2010 and cost about $1 million out of a $2.1 million federal energy grant given to the city that was part of President Obama’s stimulus package, which passed in 2009.
Unfortunately, to date the turbines haven’t performed well in the city.
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