Wind Turbines are already causing constant blackouts and massive rate hikes in Texas and California. Wind Turbines 15 miles out in the ocean would make things even worse here in New Jersey. Why don’t Ocean City council members talk about that, instead of “home rule”?
1. Wind turbines in the ocean are ridiculously expensive. Last year, Orsted said it would cost $1.6 billion ($1,600,000,000) to build 99 wind turbines 15 miles out at sea. That’s more than $16 million for each wind turbine.* That is more than six times cost of each wind turbine built on land in Atlantic City in 2005 for $2.5 million each. That does NOT include extra cost of running and fixing new electric cable 15 miles out at sea, or the cost of repair and maintenance miles out at sea, often in horrible weather. That does NOT include much higher prices this year. That does NOT cost of taking down and disposing of these turbines when they wear out in less than 20 years. (Wind turbines on land need to be disposed of after 20-25 years. Nobody knows if wind turbines at sea will wear out sooner). So far, nobody has released estimates for those extra costs. *Paul Mulshine, a journalist for NJ.com recently said state officials he interviewed last year admitted that a $40 million construction cost for each wind turbine is more realistic. That would increase the cost of 99 wind turbines to nearly $4 billion ($4,000,000,000)
2. Nobody knows how much useful electricity these wind turbines will produce. Nobody knows how much fossil fuel will be wasted for “back-up generators” that must constantly be running so they can power the grid whenever the wind dies down. That is because there were never “clinical trials” to measure these things. We no absolutely nothing about the benefits or the costs of the five wind turbines that have been operating in Atlantic City since 2006–15 years ago! We know nothing of the maintenance and repair costs. We know nothing of how much it will cost to demolish, remove, and dispose of these five wind turbines on land when they wear out.
3. Much of the electricity produced by wind turbines and solar panels is “dumped” or wasted. That is because the the grid must have a constant level of electric current at all times. When there is a sudden increase in wind, most extra electricity produced must be dumped or wasted so as not to overload the grid.
4. All wind turbines required back-up generators burning fossil fuels to be constantly running. That is because reliable power must be pushed into the grid every time the wind dies down or stops altogether. Otherwise, the grid crashes and there is no power for anyone.
We know only that electric companies and state and federal taxes paid massive amounts of money to the owner of those wind turbines through a complicated and convoluted system of subsidies and “renewable energy credits”. We also know that utility companies are often forced to buy wholesale electricity at inflated retail prices. We know very little about the five wind turbines in Atlantic City because they are owned by a private company that releases very little information. This is shocking because taxpayers and consumers of publicly regulated electric company monopolies provide all the funding to that private company. Even worse is that top officials of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, a public entity, often praise the “success” of “their” wind turbines while not releasing any data from the private company to back up those claims.
5. Heavy use of solar panels and wind turbines cause makes frequent power failures another “new normal”. That is because zero electricity is produced by solar panels when the sun sets or a cloud goes by. Wind turbines produce nothing when the wind stops–something that happens often on hot summer days when electricity for air conditionin is needed the most. That is why commercial sailing ships disappeared as soon as ships could be powered by steam or diesel. This is why there were massive blackouts or power failures in both Texas and California during the past year. Part of the reason is that wind turbines produced there much less electricity in practice, than projected by computer models when these systems were designed. When the wind stopped completely in Texas for several days during an unexpected freeze, there were not enough fossil fuel back-up generators to power the grid.
Complaining about “home rule” is the weakest and least effective argument against wind turbines at sea. This argument plays right into the hands of “woke” Democrats. After thirty years of non-stop propaganda in our schools, media, and popular culture, most young people believe “global warming” is a threat to the planet. They believe use of fossil fuels is causing it. They believe using “green energy” like wind and solar power instead of fossil fuels is the only way to stop it.
When opponents of ocean wind turbines complaint they are unsightly, or require streets and sidewalks to be torn up, they appear selfish and mean. They appear to be claiming that the view from their vacation homes is more important than saving the planet from destruction.
To stop wind turbines, we need to turn public opinion against them by telling these five basic facts.
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Seth Grossman, Executive Director