A Free-Market Energy Blog

Wind Wipe Out? (Worst feared at AWEA convention)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 6, 2012

No Jay Leno this year at the annual confab of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Instead of celebration and jokes (all at the expense of taxpayers and ratepayers), there is doom and gloom.

Bill Opalka reports at EnergyBiz:

Failure to extend the production tax credit would devastate the domestic wind energy supply chain and virtually wipe out wind power development next year, officials stressed during the June 4 opening of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) annual conference in Atlanta.

But the public is catching on to the industrial wind ruse.  The lead comment (7:48 AM) on Opalka’s article says much about how fatigue has set in to this ancient, postmodernistic energy source:

Will this desire to feed at the public trough never end? The mere fact that wind needs the PTCs to survive tells us very loudly and clearly it is not a competitive power technology at this time. The mass deployment of wind is interfering with the natural order of the free market. Many older coal plants and gas-fired steam plants would have been replaced by newer, more efficient, and cleaner supercritical or ultra-supercritical coal plants and/or gas turbine combined cycle power plants based on the costs of fuel and maintenance….

I can state for a fact that I will be very unlikely to vote for anyone who votes to extend the PTCs and cash grant programs. Put a fraction of the money spent on PTCs and cash grants into dedicated R&D and we will more likely get significant results, if there are any to be had, than we will by subsidizing the deployment of uncompetitive technologies.

And so wind just needs a little more subsidy? Where have we heard this before?  For the record, this is a broken record. In 1986, a representative of the American Wind Energy Association testified:

The U.S. wind industry has … demonstrated reliability and performance levels that make them very competitive. It has come to the point that the California Energy Commission has predicted windpower will be that State’s lowest cost source of energy in the 1990s, beating out even large-scale hydro.

He added: “We are not quite there. We have hopes.”

– Statement of Michael L.S. Bergey, American Wind Energy Association in Renewable Energy Industries, Hearing before the Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Power of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, 99th Cong., 2nd sess. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1986), p. 129. (emphasis added)

Many other exaggerations and false promises can be found in windpower’s political past. And we have the spectacle of wind proponents claiming that wind is competitive now.

It is clear that solar and wind are competitive in many situations right now — see Wind now on even playing field with gas and Solar costs may already rival coal.  And continued aggressive deployment along with continued R&D will keep driving the price down (see Energy Sec. Chu sees “wind and solar being cost-competitive without subsidy with new fossil fuel” by 2020.

– Joe Romm, “Fred Hiatt back to running climate and energy disinformation from the Likes of Bjorn Lomborg,” April 21, 2011.

Many of us did not believe it back then, and don’t believe it now.


  1. gofer  

    Wind is just an environmentalist hobby. Something to place in their little “wonderland” where nothing bad ever happens. It’s difficult to comprehend any sane people would pursue such an outdated and unreliable method. But as always, apply guilt and out comes money.


  2. Robert Bradley Jr.: Wind Wipe Out? (Worst feared at AWEA convention) | JunkScience.com  

    […] MasterResource Share this:PrintEmailMoreStumbleUponTwitterFacebookDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Clean energy and tagged energy subsidies, government subsidies, Wind power. Bookmark the permalink. ← Kathleen Hartnett White: EPA’s Flawed Science: From Pretense of Knowledge to Fatal Conceit […]


  3. Ed Reid  

    Even were the cost of wind-generated electricity competitive with the cost of NG-generated electricity, or the cost of solar-generated electricity competitive with the cost of coal-generated electricity, on a per KWh basis, the value of the “source of opportunity” electricity generated by these intermittent sources would be far lower than the value of the reliable, dispatchable power produced using NG and/or coal. To achieve equivalent value, the costs of the intermittent electricity would have to increase by approximately a factor of five to generate the additional electricity and provide the storage required to make the total output of the system dispatchable.

    We have not reached renewable nirvana yet. But, obviously, hope springs eternal.


  4. Mary Kay Barton  

    Instead of jokesters like Leno, it was Karl Rove and other corporate cronies who spoke at AWEA’s big shindig this week.

    Brainyquote.com cites Karl Rove as saying, “Mr. Obama denounced the $2.3 trillion added to the national debt on Mr. Bush’s watch as ‘deficits as far as the eye can see.’ But Mr. Obama’s budget adds $9.3 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years.” Rove then asks, “What happened to Obama the deficit hawk?”

    Huh? Rove might ask himself the same question. How can Mr. Rove reconcile his support of STEALING money from the pockets of taxpayers to put into the pockets of RICH, multi-national corporations for the antiquated, Enronesque affair of wind? Can Rove explain how wind subsidies — which are projected to take $27 BILLION from the national treasury through 2017 — will reduce the national debt?

    Rove exemplifies cronyism at its worst.

    The cat is out of the bag world-wide on what a complete rip-off industrial wind is, and is exactly why Spain, Greece, and more have pulled their subsidies for ‘renewables’. These countries unemployment rates are near 25% – in large part because of the devastating effects the high cost of their electricity rates (created by their subsidies for renewables) have had on their countries. Their CO2 emissions have NOT been reduced, but they have certainly put more & more people there into energy poverty by pursuing this ‘green’ political agenda.

    Why would we want to emulate what has been a complete failure in Europe here in the United States?


  5. Jon Boone  

    You could have mentioned at AWEA’s picnic that Arkansas governor Beebe also called out wind opponents as “unAmerican” while panelist Karl Rove gave the organization that classic touch of Enronian rabbinical doublespeak, promising the faithful that windpork is really kosher.

    The AWEA convention offered up the full flowering of its something for everyone strategy, with its contradictory tactics, bloated bipartisanship, and fellowship with the same energy Big Boys the organization claims to be replacing.

    Nothing should demonstrate the essence of wind “power” better. It is a tax shelter generator for large corporations with a lot of discretionary income to protect. And a PR tool for those same corporations, allowing them to deduct their wind holdings as advertising business expense.

    Punditry and politesse on behalf of this dysfunctional energy idea is done in service to the worst kind of corrupt fantasia.


  6. UzUrBrain  

    About every ten years since I was in high school (1955) I have seen/read the flurry of articles as to how “wind power will be economical in less than ten years….” I am still waiting. History tells us that same story has been told for several thousand years. Even farmers in the plains states, that want to keep their live stock alive, no longer rely upon wind power.


  7. Robert Bradley Jr.: Positive News from AWEA: “Layoffs mount in U.S. wind power manufacturing plants this week” | JunkScience.com  

    […] “He who lives by a legalized sword, will perish by a legalized sword.” – Ayn Rand, “The Moratorium on Brains II,” Ayn Rand Letter, 1971 The wind industry is imploding, and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is providing the details. Suffice it to say that there will be no Jay Leno at the next AWEA confab. […]


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