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 Many older coal plants and gas-fired steam plants would have been replaced by newer, more efficient, and cleaner supercritical or ultra-supercritical coal plants and/or gas turbine combined cycle power plants based on the costs of fuel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.