“DBA Wind Energy”
Jan 13, 2011
Unmasking the costly fraud which does business under the name “wind energy”
—Eric Bibler, WTS.com guest editor
Any way you slice this problem, wind energy doesn’t pencil out. The numbers don’t work — and never will. The footprint is absurd and the product is almost useless.
Even if NYC, Bombay, Rio de Janeiro and Shanghai were all located in close proximity to North Dakota — and you could have the whole state for your wind farm — the idea wouldn’t make any sense from an engineering or economic perspective.
In the Northeast (USA) — as everywhere — they seem hell bent on installing just enough of them to transform the landscape and inflict significant damage on fragile environments (ridge tops, valleys, agricultural areas, conservation land, coastlines) and local communities.
I honestly think that the operators don’t really give a damn about the output, the efficiency or the locations. For God’s sake, they don’t even have any customers, other than a piece of legislation that allows them to spin a meter and turn to the utilities and say: “Pay me!”
What is really ominous is the end game. The returns are heavily front loaded. The operators are all shell corporations with minimal assets (and I’ll bet that even the large utilities like Florida Power & Light have walled off individual projects into hermetically sealed LLC’s or subsidiaries).
There is not accountability.
Not only do they have every reason to walk away from these structures after a few years, once they become difficult, or expensive, to maintain, they actually have leverage over local communities to force them to continue subidizing their production! Let’s say that the legislature starts talking about not renewing subsidies for “alternative” energy; naturally, the operators will say, “If you do that, I’ll just declare bankruptcy and you can have the (obsolete) machines. I’ll write off the loss, at some inflated value, against my other business interests. Hey — good luck with that!”
The legislatures will cave, or they will be stuck with these rusting behemoths. Which one is worse? Tough to say, but neither one accrues to the benefit of the taxpayer.
Talk about a recipe for trouble.
We’re getting exactly what we deserve by passing all of this myopic legislation in a spirit of good intentions run amok — because we’re motivating the operators to take the money and run even as they pawn off all of the upfront, operating and residual, risks on the taxpayers. And because the entire industry is completely unregulated, they get carte blanche to evade all of the standard protections for citizens, property holders, local communities, conservation areas, historical preservation zones — you name it. They abuse all of them with impunity.
Eric Bibler is a writer living in Connecticut. (Yes, the glasses are real.)