Is Wind Energy a Good Idea?

You can produce electricity with a wind turbine, but is it good policy to do so? The reality is that wind energy exists solely because of government subsidies. (Don’t take my word for it, just ask Warren Buffett: “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”) Given that wind energy is intermittent–nationally, wind turbines produce electricity around 40% of the time, generally at off-peak hours–and electricity cannot be stored at an industrial scale, wind energy accomplishes little, other than driving up electricity rates.

Mark Mathis is a former TV news man and talented video maker who operates Clear Energy Alliance. He made this four-minute video on wind energy, which is based on a paper that Steve Hayward and Peter Nelson produced for my think tank last fall. It is an excellent, and entertaining, primer on the subject:

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