Thursday, September 23, 2010
CA reliance on wind power for renewable energy is a costly mirage
Brown presses Whitman on Prop. 23
I am posting a brief review of Britain's aggressive push into wind energy by focusing on this just completed offshore ocean wind farm, 7 miles out from coastal Kent. I may be biased but it seems to be a colossal offshore scenic eyesore, at least from this Californian's viewpoint, an automatic reflex action against any offshore energy generation sites which are not oil platforms( I live within 20 miles of 11 offshore oil platforms). I am also comparing Britain's wind farms push to CA's current obsession with renewable energy and it's plans to put up 1000's of these 400 ft. tall obscene erector sets out in CA's precious Mohave desert.
Britain has 3000+ wind turbines and is siting more and more turbines offshore. They currently account for 2.5% of that country's total energy needs. 100 new offshore turbines just went up 7 miles off Kent coast. They are 380 ft high and cover 35 square miles of ocean. The greens there actually approve offshore wind turbines. CA will not do this so we will site wind towers in the remote Mohave desert. It will take 10-20,000 wind towers covering 300-500 square miles of desert to supply perhaps 5-10 % of CA total energy needs. That will deface an area of desert bigger than los Angeles. But who cares about the barren CA desert right!
both wind and solar requires large amts of land area, not to mention the additional 100+ sq miles needed for new transmission lines. These projects will cost 10's of billions of dollars, most of it heavily subsidized by the government.
Who will ultimately pay for them. The CA consumer of course, in higher electric bills. Also, wind is not constant in the high desert and very unsteady. It can blow 50-70 MPH for a few days(turbines will automatically shut down at these high wind speeds)but half the year there is little or no wind. The siting and placement of these enormous towers and turbines will entail colossal costs.
I have been out to both the San Gorgonio and Lancaster wind turbine sites, and almost every time i pass the blades are still, or moving at snails pace. The promise of wind energy as cheap reliable abundant source of renewable energy is a costly mirage and massive wasteful government- subsidized energy boondoggle.