Breaking Wind

Energy analyst extraordinaire Robert Bryce has been writing for over a decade about rising local opposition to major wind and solar installations, which have frequently succeeded in scuttling major projects. He even keeps a comprehensive Renewable Rejection Database on his website with details of hundreds of such instances of local opposition.

So of course the New York Times today acts as though they have just discovered that many localities don’t have the same warm fuzzies for renewable energy that the enlightened people of Brooklyn and Manhattan do:

The only way Mr. Biden’s ambitious goals will be met is if rural communities, which have large tracts of land necessary for commercial wind and solar farms, can be persuaded to embrace renewable energy projects. Lots of them. . .

But with more and more renewable energy projects under construction around the country, resistance is growing, especially in rural communities in the Great Plains and Midwest.

The long feature story about one particular proposed project in Illinois is full of quotes from local residents and public officials, but the Times reporter gives no wider background about how widespread this resistance is, and apparently never bothered to consult Robert or look at his database.

Chaser—You’d think Biden’s $400 billion in new subsidies for renewable energy would suffice for the windbags, but apparently not:

Soaring Costs Threaten U.S. Offshore-Wind Buildout

Offshore wind developers are facing financial challenges that threaten to derail several East Coast projects critical to reaching the Biden administration’s near-term clean-energy targets.

Supply-chain snarls, rising interest rates and inflationary pressures are making projects far more expensive to build. Now, some developers are looking to renegotiate financing agreements to keep their projects under way.

The Biden administration has set a target for the U.S. to develop 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030—enough to supply electricity to roughly 10 million homes. Analysts say that target will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve if cost and supply issues persist. . .

The Inflation Reduction Act passed earlier this year contains tax credits for offshore wind developers and manufacturers, as well as support for transmission planning. Developers say they are studying how the bill’s provisions could be used to help stabilize their projects.

Prediction: the windbags are going to tell Congress that Biden’s fillip was not enough, and that they need billions more. Because wind energy is cheap don’t you know.

Chaser 2—Turns out it is not just America where rural people don’t want to live with wind farms. From the Wall Street Journal Tuesday:

SAN CIPRIAN, Spain—Europe’s plans to install wind and solar power are accelerating in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, which drove up natural-gas prices sharply. They’re running into opposition from residents and officials who say a wave of new projects will harm the region’s landscapes, cultural sites and valuable tourism industry.

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