Wind Energy Finds Congressional Resistance

wind44.jpgAs reported by Clean Edge, the wind industry recently had a “shot fired across the industry’s bow” on the eve of the American Wind Energy Association’s largest ever convention. The culprits: Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and John Warner of Virginia. They are the two driving forces behind the Environmetnally Responsible Wind Power Act of 2005, which calls for the increased legislation of windmills.
Senator Warner has already gone on record as being opposed to the first ever U.S. offshore wind farm off Cape Cod. While this could easily take the wind out of the sails for those advocating renewables, it may mean that wind power’s increased viability is causing those most vested in traditional energy sources to shake in their boots. As cited earlier on Triple Pundit , Shell WindEnergy has plans in the works to create the world’s largest windfarm, which could supply London with up to 25% of its power. As wind’s lack of large scale viability continues to blow away, we will likely see an increased resistance to windfarms overall. Odd as it may seem, this actually may be a good sign.

8 responses

  1. Isn’t Shell “vested in traditional energy sources,” along with its London Array partner Eon?
    More on the Wind Power Act: John Duncan and Bart Gordon of Tennessee will reportedly (perhaps they already have) introduce the bill in the House.
    A question: In one sentence you refer to “wind power’s increased viability” and in another that “wind’s lack of large scale viability continues to blow away.” Maybe I’m misreading, but don’t these contradict each other?

  2. Agreed, probably a good sign–roughly equivalent to a linebacker telling a rookie quarterback he has just sacked, “Welcome to the NFL!” We’re in the big leagues.
    Using more wind energy can dramatically benefit our environment, economy, and energy supply system, and we will be working hard to make sure more Americans (and Senators!) understand how and why.
    Tom Gray, American Wind Energy Association

  3. In with the big league predators: Shell and Eon are behind the London Array proposal, Halliburton touts itself as a leader in U.K. offshore wind development, energy lobbyist Bracewell & Giuliani is supporting the Highland County, VA, proposal, GE is the major U.S. wind turbine supplier after they bought Enron’s wind division.
    It’s not the traditional energy players that are upset by industrial wind’s metastasis — they know they’re no threat to the rest of their business and they also get to enjoy a generous tax shelter. And as long as people keep swallowing the bunkum that giant wind turbines will clean up the environment attention is no longer on efforts to clean up the energy production and use that continues just as much as before.
    No, it’s the people who have to live near the damn things that are upset, particularly when they learn how elusive any benefit turns out to be.

  4. For “big league predators,” read “major corporations.” We are not going to apologize for being successful or for attracting the attention of large companies–that’s how wind has become one of the world’s fastest-growing energy technologies over the past decade.
    “Elusive benefits” is simply answered: see for one wind farm’s benefits to one community. We can provide quotes from nearby supporters of many projects, too . . .
    Tom Gray, American Wind Energy Association

  5. Success and support for moving money from taxpayers in one place to property owners and developers in another is not the benefit I think most people are looking for in wind power.
    What is elusive is the promised effect on emissions from and use of other sources of energy.

  6. Not elusive at all. Every kilowatt-hour that is generated with wind replaces a kilowatt-hour that would otherwise be generated by another source. Most of those other sources (~70%, at this writing) generate air and global warming pollution.
    Wind is variable, and that variability causes a need for a small amount of extra backup to be made available to the utility system, but we are talking a few percent of what is being added by wind, not a significant amount.
    The “elusiveness” of the displaced pollution is just a popular myth among the anti-wind crowd.
    Tom Gray, American Wind Energy Association

  7. The above comment doesn’t make sense whatsoever. Mr. Gray completely skips the deforestation of the couple acre windpad which kills trees which convert CO2 to Oxygen. Then you have the building of the turbines and the construction. Then let us add maintenance which is VERY significant. And least not forget the energy costs to take down the rust bucket in 20-30 yrs and somehow haul it off to the scrap yard. (at a huge loss). Anyone can see those costs take away from the 1:1 fantasty. But that doesn’t even consider the real cost of having a coal or nat gas power plant try to “follow” the wind and increase and decrease their output in exact measurement to what the wind puts in. The only MYTH we need to consider is the MYTH that wind mills have any use whatsoever in producing commercial electricity. Backup? Wind need a 100% backup at all times because it is only going to produce power about 25% of the time or less. You don’t need “science” to figure that, just look outside your window. No wind, No wind power. http://www.the-green-wind.
    Check your facts. Here in Pa. we would need 10,000 windmills to get to our 20% Renewable. Click the Audubon tab.

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