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Backlash Against Wind Energy Gains Momentum

Once the darling of the greens, wind turbines are spinning up a storm. Over in England, Sir Simon Jenkins, the chairman of the National Trust, which oversees millions of acres of protected land in the UK, came out strongly against wind energy recently, calling wind energy the least efficient form of renewable energy, and said his organization is constantly fighting the construction of wind turbines, which blight the beautiful British landscape.

Wind turbines have long been hated by those who live near them. They are huge, loud, not particularly attractive, and occasionally dangerous. A recent documentary shines a light on the trouble wind turbines (and the companies that fight for their construction) bring to local communities.

Thankfully, there are no plans to build a wind farm near the Mead Manor in glamorous Queens. The Via Meadia view is that offshore turbines are much more attractive than ones closer to people and communities. Offshore, or out on the lonesome prairie, where the wind is strong and consistent and the people few — that’s where turbines belong. And they need to make sense economically, without huge and unsustainable subsidies. When they meet all those tests, the Via Meadia approach to wind turbines will be build, baby, build: until then, we have our doubts.

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  • Winston

    Drill, baby drill. And build the Keystone XL. Canada is the US best ally and friend.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    If it requires a subsidy, the technology isn’t ready for the market place.

  • Mrs. Davis

    If petroleum killed as many birds as windmills, the media would be having a field day. That’s another advantage of off shore mills, no visible bladekill.

  • JKB

    But they only make sense in Queens where the customers are. The losses for moving the power from far distant places to the community of idiots is far to great and they should be built near the consumers desiring this luxury good. Also, to balance the economics, the wind farms should have to be down for two or more hours before supplementary power is routed to the consumers.

    Those who wish to live in dense urban environments and lord over those who live the rural life should be willing to build their monstrosities near their castle rather than inflict them upon the country folk.

  • S Mesa

    No energy density with wind turbines. Will always struggle to make economic sense on a energy transmission scale. Solar panels have the same problem.

    Hard to beat a natural gas fired gas turbine in a sound proof structure surrounded by trees.

    Space based solar will eventually be the solution… but we will need a space program.

  • Mike M.

    Solar energy subsidies are on the way out in Germany, wind energy is being opposed in England, fossil fuels allegedly cause climate change… the realistic options that are left seem to be narrowing by the day.

    It’s way past time for the Greens and their allies in the elite ruling class to simply accept the fact that you can’t have a modern society with all of its energy needs without having a few negative consequences and externalities to deal with. It’s time to get real and abandon the childish magical thinking that we can continue to have all it for nothing, because it simply isn’t possible.

  • vanderleun

    “Offshore, or out on the lonesome prairie, where the wind is strong and consistent and the people few — that’s where turbines belong.”

    Sort of right. Near shore, in heavy duty salt-water environments so the corrosion can be maximized and the cost of service and repair sent into the stratosphere, is where these idiotwheels belong. Close in shore so that all those who currently own the very high priced coastal real estate can see and hear them all the time.

    Oh, make sure they are especially thick in hurricane zones. That’s very smart. That’s the plan of our hyper-intelligent academic elites.

    The lonesome prairie? Heaven forfend. Move them where the hyper-intelligent academic elites can stroke and fondle and admire them daily. Plenty of room, for instance, on that fine expanse of lawn just in front of the Bertlesmann Campus Center at Bard.

    Yes, let a million windmills bloom right in front of the homes, apartments, and business locations of all the enthusiasts who tout them as something “sane.”

  • vanderleun

    Looking deader by the day out Chicago way,–20120217,0,3705651,full.story

    “The state is home to more than 150 companies that support the wind industry. At least 67 of those make turbines or components for wind farms. Chicago is the U.S. headquarters to more than a dozen major wind companies that wanted to take advantage of powerful Midwestern winds.

    “Wind proponents tried to tuck the tax credit extension, which provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the production of electricity from wind turbines, in legislation aimed at extending payroll tax cuts. But congressional leaders did not include it in that bill.

    “There is still a possibility the wind power tax credits could come through as a stand-alone bill or tied to other legislation. But Washington insiders say that is unlikely to happen before the election in November.

    “By then, the wind industry says, it will be too late to avoid massive layoffs and project delays, because wind projects slated for 2013 should already be far along.”

  • RSC

    vanderleun’s idea is brilliant. Every quad on every college campus should be covered with windmills, especially colleges that have courses in Sustainable Development.

  • vanderleun

    Yes, and every professor who teaches one of those courses should be required to commute to them by parachuting into the quad.

  • Corlyss

    “least efficient form of renewable energy.”

    He must be channeling Chris Horner’s wife, who’s of Dutch descent. She laughed when “wind turbines” hit greens’ childish brains as a solution to . . . what? Excessively beautiful landscapes?

  • LarryD

    Wind and solar both suffer from being diffuse and variable. With solar you at least know the season and daily variations, but clouds will shutdown solar in a hurry. That’s part of the reason solar farms are typically sited in arid zones, but that brings up the problem of keeping the collectors/concentrators free of dust.

    Off-shore wind is even more expensive than on-shore.

    Maybe if we compelled the universities to run on renewable energy, then the professors and graduates would have less illusions about it.

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