Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blowing in the wind

The government has issued a report on the feasibility of windmills.
This is the lead of the New York Times story:
"WASHINGTON — Wind could replace coal and natural gas for 20 to 30 percent of the electricity used in the eastern two-thirds of the United States by 2024, according to a study released Wednesday by the Energy Department.
"But doing so would require a reorganization of the power grid and a significant increase in costs. And it would have only a modest impact on cutting emissions linked to global warming, the study found."
Wading through the report is a treat. It buries the useful information in a haystack of fluff and stuff about how wonderful windmills are but if you persevere you can learn that the cost would be horrendous, at best. It would do little to reduce carbon emissions, even if that were a worthy goal. Lawyers and greens would have a field day over the ensuing fights about where they would be built.
Oh yes, lots of new power plants, burning fossil fuels, would have to be built to supply backup power for the times when the wind isn't blowing.
You can predict the liberal solution: the government will form a windmill industry, staff it with union labor, spend billions of your dollars to pay for all this, then subsidize the output as it does TVA electricity -- and make "the rich" pay for it all. Whoopee, the New Deal is back.

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