Everyone Hates Wind Turbines

Wind energy constitutes a farcical scheme that produces electricity in the least efficient way possible–well, to be fair, in many areas solar power is even worse–and impoverishes almost all of us while a tiny minority reap enormous profits. Wind energy is nevertheless beloved by politicians, because politicians prize industries that can’t survive without subsidies and mandates. Why? Because those industries kick back a portion of their profits to the politicians who enact subsidies and mandates, to whom they are forever beholden.

The laws of physics are constant everywhere, and in France, ordinary citizens are rebelling against their government’s determination to erect wind turbines, for no apparent reason:

There was only the faintest of winds, as is the case most days here on the edge of the Forêt de la Double. But the area has nevertheless been deemed breezy enough to power five wind turbines, more than 600ft (180m) high, the two closest of which will be within a few hundred metres of his Manoir de Puymangou.
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In a recent poll of 700 local residents, all but three voted against the project, while various resolutions opposed to it have been passed by councils across the département. About 54 local mayors signed an open letter published in Le Journal de Dimanche newspaper last week organised by Yannick Lagrenaudie, mayor of Saint-Aulaye-Puymangou, a picturesque village of 1,500 people that will be one of the most directly affected.

But local opposition doesn’t matter when Macron’s government in Paris is determined to erect more wind turbines, with a goal of 14,500 by 2028. Hey, wind turbines are “green”!

Why France would turn to wind turbines is a mystery, since 70 percent of its electricity is generated by nuclear power, which produces no carbon dioxide. Presumably Macron’s government wants to whittle away at the remaining 30 percent, but it would make vastly more sense to do that via more nuclear power plants, which reliably produce electricity all the time, rather than wind turbines, which work around 40 percent of the time. I can only assume that someone stands to make a lot of money on Macron’s wind turbines.

No one sites wind turbines anywhere near the urban areas, thick with voters, where the electricity they occasionally produce will be consumed. Those voters wouldn’t stand for it. Wind farms are always located in out of the way areas with minimal political clout, and connected to urban consumers via long transmission lines. Nothing about this is popular with anyone who has to deal with it.

The same thing is going on here in the U.S., with the difference that local opposition has often successfully blocked wind projects. Robert Bryce is our country’s foremost expert on the land use issues associated with grossly inefficient wind farms. He wrote the definitive paper on the subject for Center of the American Experiment, and the Center now maintains a comprehensive database of successful local opposition to wind turbine projects, of which there are a great many instances. I don’t know how the battle shapes up in France, but here in the U.S., the greedy movement toward wind power has often been stymied by principled and informed local opposition, a trend that will only intensify in years to come as the laws of physics inexorably make themselves felt.

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