England Giving Up On Wind Power

Hugh McNeal, chief executive of the British wind industry’s trade body, has acknowledged that with subsidies at an end, there won’t be any more wind turbine projects in England. Why? The wind doesn’t blow hard enough:

We are almost certainly not talking about the possibility of new plants in England. The project economics wouldn’t work; the wind speeds don’t allow for it.

Then, of course, there is “the cost of operating a conventional fleet of almost unchanged size to guarantee security of supply.” In other words, you can’t count on the wind blowing (just as you can’t count on the Sun shining), so no matter how many turbines you build, you still have to have enough coal, gas or nuclear plants to meet peak demand.

Too often left unsaid is that in addition to being uneconomic, wind power is bad for the environment. Not only do wind turbines kill vast numbers of birds and bats, they are noisy–here in Minnesota, lawsuits have been filed by people who live near wind farms and claim to have experienced adverse health effects on account of noise–take up lots of land that could be put to more productive uses, and are unsightly.

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