Reposted from June 8, 2023 Edition of Shore Local. Click Here For Link To Original Post: ‘It’s not too late to stop the ocean wind disaster’ – Shore Local Newsmagazine
By Seth Grossman
Special to Shore Local
Six months ago most political, business, and community leaders in New Jersey were calling ocean wind turbines a good idea. Only a handful of ocean front homeowners, fishermen, and climate scare skeptics like me opposed them.
Now it seems like most shore residents and visitors are against them. We are persuading politicians, the media, and people around New Jersey and the country to stand with us.
This change started when whales began to die. Since December, 11 whales and dozens of other marine mammals have washed up dead on New Jersey beaches. This happened when survey ships in the area were using sonar and ocean floor drilling to find suitable sites for wind turbines.
A traditional windmill turns a stone wheel to grind grain into flour. A wind turbine turns magnets around coils of wire to generate electricity.
Orsted and Atlantic Shores plan to build 400 giant wind turbines 9 miles off our beaches from Seaside Heights to Wildwood. Each wind turbine would be 1,047 feet tall – twice as high as the Washington Monument, and 400 feet taller than the Ocean Casino in Atlantic City.
These towers and their spinning blades would be clearly seen from every beach and boardwalk. So will their red blinking safety lights at night. Their noise would be heard for miles. Viewing the ocean horizon would be like looking at an industrial park, yet few people cared about this until the whales died.
Several federal and state agencies and environmental groups claim that these deaths have nothing to do with wind turbines. However, these same people blamed sonar tests for killing whales 20 years ago when petroleum companies used them to search for places to locate offshore oil rigs.
Whales and other marine mammals have very sensitive ears. They find their way underwater by making sounds that bounce off nearby objects. The truth that offshore wind proponents don’t want to admit is that loud explosions used in sonar tests hurt their ears and make marine mammals unaware of their surroundings. This often causes them to panic and swim into the beach or passing ships.
Each of the 400 wind turbines will cost roughly $10 million. That comes to $4 billion. They will also require years of dangerous and expensive repairs and maintenance at sea. Since wind turbines wear out after 25 years, more money will be spent to remove, replace, and safely dispose of them.
Many people and corporations stand to make huge profits from this. Many of them have already hired lobbyists and consultants. They have also made generous donations to political campaigns and “grants” to towns, colleges, community and environmental groups.
We will have to pay roughly two to three times more for electricity because of this. Electric rates for businesses and government agencies will go up the most. We will pay in the form of higher taxes and prices. Residential electric bills paid by voters will probably see only small increases.
“Free” energy from wind is expensive because it’s wasteful.
Since the amount of energy produced is intermittent and cannot be controlled, there are times when too much is produced, meaning, greater than demand or more than the power grid can handle. When there is no market for the extra electricity, the excess is “dumped” or discarded.
There will also be times when there is not enough wind and supplemental sources will be needed such as gss, oil, nuclear, or other fossil fuels to keep the lights on.
Wind turbines save very little fossil fuel because they need 100 percent backup. When wind slows down or stops, backup generators or other sources will be immediately needed to inject electricity into the grid.
This problem makes the threat of electricity shortages real as government and environmental groups continue to make it difficult for traditional power stations to operate by opposing pipelines (B.L. England), while hastening the transition to all-electric vehicles.
Also, electricity dumping from offshore wind turbines will happen because there is no battery system available to store it efficiently. We lack the technology and enough rare earth minerals to make batteries big enough.
How much wind energy will be dumped and wasted when it’s too windy? How much fossil fuel will be burned by backup generators when the winds don’t blow?
The Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) has had five wind turbines on its property in Atlantic City since 2006. To the best of my knowledge, they have never reported how much wind energy has been “dumped” from the project when it is produced when not needed. How much money and fossil fuel is wasted on backup generators when there is not enough wind?
For years, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities fooled the public into believing that “green” energy is profitable and pays for itself. It forces electric companies to pay top dollar for all electricity produced by wind turbines and solar panels, even when it is not needed. It also forces consumers to pay subsidies to the owners of wind turbines and solar panels.
Nuclear power plants produce carbon-free electricity without these problems. They produce steady, reliable power 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. They are also far less expensive than wind turbines.
Additional reactors can easily be added to the existing nuclear power plant in Salem for far less than the cost of 400 unreliable wind turbines in the ocean. Nuclear plants actually save fossil fuel. Wind turbines only pretend.
Europeans are waking up to this. For the past 30 years, Germany invested in wind while France invested in nuclear. For years, cheap natural gas from Russia covered up the failures of Germany’s “Energiewende” green energy program. When the war in Ukraine cut that natural gas, Germans chopped down trees for firewood and bought expensive nuclear electricity from France.
Most European countries are now slowing or stopping their wind energy programs. That is why a Danish company like Orsted is trying so hard to sell its wind turbines in America. Meanwhile, Communist China is building nearly two new coal power plants each week.
We still have time to stop offshore wind turbines in New Jersey. Both Orsted and Atlantic Shores need additional federal funds and guaranteed rate hikes to move forward with their projects.
Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew is working to get Republicans in the House of Representatives to make blocking New Jersey wind turbines part of any future budget deal. Several Democratic state senators and Assembly members are working with Republicans to block future state funding and rate increases to pay for the project.
To stop this project, Democrats and Republicans need to repeatedly contact their state and federal representatives of both parties to make their feelings known.
Seth Grossman is the president of LibertyAndProsperity.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is an attorney with offices located at 453 Shore Road in Somers Point.
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