Who Benefits from the Wind-Power Boom in the US?

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A windfall, so to speak, for many rural counties.

By Michael McDonald, Oilprice.com:

Wind energy is changing the economy of the Midwest. Wind is the fastest growing source of electricity in the United States, and about 70 percent of wind power is located in low income counties. These counties are typically rural, often Midwestern areas, where the dominant industry for decades has been agriculture.

Increasingly though, many farmers are finding that leasing space to wind turbine operators is more lucrative than growing corn. That trend is likely to continue going forward, and it should alter the way energy companies and investors alike should think about wind power.

Wind power represents an important economic boost in many areas of the U.S. and as a result local farmers and communities welcome wind turbine developers. Farmers benefit directly from wind turbines to tune of between $7,000 and $10,000 per turbine in annual leasing fees. A farmer who could lease land for 10 wind turbines would likely receive between $70K and $100K in annual lease income with essentially no overhead for that income.

Farmers are not the only beneficiaries however. Communities as a whole benefit directly from wind farm development as well. A two MW wind turbine can carry a tax assessment value of $720,000. If a community can host 100 turbines across farms throughout the county, that equates to an additional $72 million in property tax values which in turn provides an enormous influx of cash for renovating schools, upgrading infrastructure, and adding new services for local residents.

The average U.S. property tax rate is around 2 percent, meaning that 100 two MW wind turbines would generate $1.4 million in property tax revenue annually – enough to pay for more than $40 million in local improvements at typical muni cap rates.

Nationally, there are more than $100 billion of wind farm investments with more on the way, and rural land owners will likely receive around $1 billion in lease payments annually by 2030 according to some estimates. Against this backdrop and given the value that wind power provides to rural communities as a whole, it is little wonder that wind power projects are quite popular in most rural towns.

The popularity of wind projects with the residents of these areas is important because, unlike most other forms of power production (including solar power in some areas), wind turbine developers get significantly less pushback from local NIMBY protesters.

Add to that the extension of the five-year wind tax credit which passed Congress last year, and the wind power business looks likely to continue to be strong for years to come. Congress’ tax credit pays wind power producers $0.023 per kwh of power produced for a 10-year period. Bloomberg estimates the credit will lead to a doubling of the current 83 GW or so of wind power by 2030.

Add together the supportive regulatory environment and clamor by local residents for more wind turbines, and its little wonder that wind is one of the best areas of the power generation markets right now.

Investors can capitalize on the trend either with large diversified conglomerates like Berkshire Hathaway which owns wind power producer MidAmerican Energy, or with pure play power producers like Alliant Energy. Both approaches have merit depending on one’s investment philosophy, but investors should look closely at one path or the other because strong secular growth stories in the energy business are in short supply at present. By Michael McDonald, Oilprice.com

Improving battery technology and the coming wave of electric vehicles will cause a problem for global oil companies: demand will dry up and send investors fleeing, according to Fitch Ratings. Read…  EVs May Send Big Oil into “Investor Death Spiral”: Fitch




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  59 comments for “Who Benefits from the Wind-Power Boom in the US?

  1. October 20, 2016 at 10:49 am

    For my FRIENDS, READERS, and COMMENTERS who believe that wind power is some kind of harebrained hoax conceived in hell by condemned liberals to punish conservatives…

    Please read this before you unleash your attack dogs and make me spend hours swatting at them.

    1. Wind power is big business. It’s booming – whether you like it or not.

    2. Conservative states run by Republican governors are on the forefront, such as Texas (largest wind power producer in the US), Oklahoma, and Kansas, all states with a lot of wind in their western regions. Why? Because it’s a profitable economic activity.

    3. Farmers and ranchers in rural counties, such as those in West Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle, are deeply into it. Why? Because it makes them money!

    4. There is currently an arms race among manufacturers to build the most efficient, cheapest, and largest wind turbines, now going up to 8 MW a piece. Why? Because it’s a booming global business.

    5. Some liberals are aghast because wind turbines regularly chop up protected birds, as they come to grips with the fact that all forms of power generation have environmental drawbacks.

    6. Yes, wind power is subsidized. But no form of power generation is more subsidized than nuclear, in all aspects, including funding, risks, clean-up, and catastrophes (for the next 100,000 years).

    • alex
      October 20, 2016 at 11:52 am

      PV solar power is even more preferable due to a lower cost. Subsidizing is already coming to the end. Expect a huge explosion in this specific area of innovation.

    • John k
      October 20, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Did you consider fossil fuel subsidies, including the giveaway depletion allowance?

    • Maximus Minimus
      October 20, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      This is the first time I hear that wind and solar power is a subject of clash between liberals and conservatives. I must be lucky to read only articles and posts where it is only the question of economics, clean energy throughout the whole cycle, energy independence, food independence, nature and land conservation.

    • Petunia
      October 20, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      I support all alternative power sources. People should be able to buy whatever they are willing to pay for and it should be a community decision, what is allowed.

      • robt
        October 20, 2016 at 6:12 pm

        In Ontario Canada, the problem has been, as it has been in many places around the world, the placement of these turbines in proximity to people’s property against their wishes. Many of these properties become virtually worthless because governments just run right over any local opposition, and of course, the people who enforce this live nowhere near.
        This documentary provides insight into the grief and turmoil in communities when government cares not about people or private property. Now there is a revolt in Ontario against the government due to skyrocketing energy costs. After promoting wind power for years, and of charges of corruption in the awarding of no-bid contracts to overseas corporations, Ontario has suddenly cancelled 3.8 billion dollars in spending to plant these behemoths in people’s back yards. If they want to put these things up, there are millions of acres of Crown Land to do it.
        Of course, anywhere in the world these things never appear near politician’s properties.
        http://tvo.org/video/documentaries/big-wind

        • October 20, 2016 at 6:45 pm

          I agree. If they’re in the middle of a big farm, it’s one thing. But if they’re too close to other homes, they pose a real problem. If the sun sets behind the wind turbine, it’s like a strobe light hitting your house. There’s pulsing glare and noise too. Those things are big. So “too close” could be pretty far away.

        • Tailor
          October 20, 2016 at 9:48 pm

          If you drive the 401, just south of Toronto you’ll see some of the biggest wind turbines in the world. The scale is truly breath-taking (godzilla sized). They create dust-storms across the highway!

          Wolf may be familiar with the wimpy turbines that dot the landscape outside of south San Fran. They are nothing like the monsters in Ontario.

          http://www.windontario.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Three.jpg

          caption for photo- “The rendering below provides a perspective of Ontario’s new turbines. The building behind is 38 storeys”

    • M Chen
      October 20, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Amen, Wolf. Renewables like wind and solar definitely has its place, as long as the manufacturing costs come down and efficiencies go up. The minor bit of subsidies they get should not make it such a big deal to anyone. The sad thing is that the traditional energy companies (Exxon, Chevron) hasn’t pivoted more toward renewables, it makes a ton of sense, but they haven’t tried to manage that disruption. Oh, I suppose BP and Chevron and them do token work in that area, but with all of that cash, one would think they have a vision toward the future.

    • PIGL
      October 20, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      This is pretty much accurate except for the obligatory calumny against “liberals”. Almost without exception, the hysterical rants about wind farms killing birds come from the wing nut right….shameless liars who could not give a fuck about birds, except as it gives them a club with which to beat hippies and their patchouli-scented, communistic alternatives to coal, oil, and nuclear power.

    • Anthony
      October 21, 2016 at 12:42 am

      I don’t care Wolf, who invests in or who builds or what size they are, where they are sited, subject to local agreement, whether are profitable or loss making, but what I do object to is any form of subsidy.

      I don;t care if a subsidy is for a wind farm or a dodo reserve, no subsidy ever should ever exist for any business club fantasy, unless made by a private entity, who have 100 % control over what that money is spent on.

      Forced subsidy is theft pure and simple.

    • d
      October 21, 2016 at 2:07 am

      I I R Correctly there is amid west wind-belt, in a lot of the Grain and grazing states perfectly suited to this source of energy.

      Agricultural areas are perfectly suited to this energy production system and there is no reason why stock can not be grazed around them once the components are fenced off. We have discovered no problems with this the turbine blades do not disintegrate and attack stock the turbine towers do not seem to attract lighting. They are not pretty to look at but as they are in agriculturally developed areas anyway this is not an issue.

      Sensible developments will not be put in tourist scenic attraction areas.

      Bird strike is not an issue, if it was the land of birds would have discovered it by now.

      • MJB
        October 23, 2016 at 10:20 am

        Why does solar and wind supply less than 2% of the world’s energy?

        Video clearly explains the diluteness problem and intermittency problem:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObvdSmPbdLg

        • October 23, 2016 at 10:29 am

          Don’t compare India and Africa to the US. In the US, in 2015, wind and solar accounted for 5.3% of total power production, up from nearly 0% not all that long ago, and growing rapidly. In a few years, they will account for 10%. It’s the fastest growing source of power in the US. Especially wind power.

          https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3

          Nuclear power plants are shut down every two years for maintenance and refueling. They’re down for a couple of months, and there has to be backup power somewhere in the grid. That’s why we have a “grid.” Some with renewables.

        • d
          October 23, 2016 at 7:35 pm

          “Why does solar and wind supply less than 2% of the world’s energy?”

          Easy:

          Globalised Vampire Corporates own dirty energy.

          People wanted to put seat belts and disk brakes in US cars in 1946.

          The Vampire Corporates kept them out, in the US, for nearly 30 years, , as they reduced easy profits. Even the Poms had both for nearly a decade, before they became common in US cars, the forerunner in England, was of course ford as they wernt allowed to do it in the US, by the other Globalised Vampire Corporates

          Same deal with green energy.

          It reduces easy profits, coming from dirty old plant and equipment, that the Globalised Vampire Corporates own and are happy milking.

          Yes Australia had a grid failure in a green energy state. Why did they have a grid failure.

          Simple

          They used a dirty old grid with poor control, and poor controllers. Not fit for purpose.

          When there is a failure, they blame the clean green energy production, as its easy, and all the Aussie knockers like you, will believe them

          Not the dirty old grid, and poor controllers, of that dirty old grid which was actually the real problem.

          Just like the Hacker crack down, on the original American phone hackers in the US.

          They were blamed for crashing a system, which actually failed, due to switching faults, as the switches were to old, and the dirty old systems was heavily overloaded.

          Globalised Vampire Corporates make money easy from dirty old S(*& when it fails they blame everything but the cause. Their worn out dirty old S&*^.

          The grid in SA is the fault, Not the green energy production, types going into it. The grid should be able to handle and distribute any and every energy production type input, at the same time, and send it any where, or receive it from anywhere at the same time. It cant.

          Therefore it is not “fit for purpose” in the modern energy supply environment. Full stop end of Mucking story.

          Stop blaming a soft target production method, and deal with the problem

          A dirty, archaic, worn out, not fit for purpose, supply grid. That is poorly managed, gated by extortionists, and can not shift energy produce in one state to another quickly and efficiently as required.

          Australia has the same problem America does. Too man Globalised Vampire Corporates, gating and milking/Extorting, all the infrastructure supply services.

          Look at Australian rail, at 1 stage every state had a different rail gauge so only the wagons owned by the local Vampire Corporates could run on that states rail system.

          And Australia still has everywhere that Neanderthal attitude, and systems, all the way throughout it. The Globalised Vampire Corporates are allowed to erect toll gates all the way through the system.

          When it fails, anything but them and the worn out old s(*& system’s they operate are to blame.The softest blame target being, that which competes with the Globalised Vampire Corporates dirty old easy profit production plant..

          Time Aussies grew up and got their national services infrastructure, and grids Globalised Vampire Corporates free.

          Then sorted. So that they actually work for the people, as opposed to lining the pockets of tehe Globalised Vampire Corporates extortionists. And their State and national political crony’s. Otherwise they will end up in a mess like America is.

    • d
      October 23, 2016 at 5:53 am

      There is no global warming, there is no rising sea level problem.

      And this

      http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/10/21/west-africa-is-being-swallowed-by-the-sea-climate-change-ghana-benin/

      is therefore a hoax.

      Soon this is going to happen to all the low lying areas in the west of the south china sea. 630 million people live on those shores, not including mainland china.

      Which are currently protected from the aggressive Pacific waves, by the eastern shores of the Philippines and Australia.

      Only a few millimeters more. And the Philippines will no longer be an adequate enough breakwater. Then you will see Refugees, like you have never seen before.

    • MJB
      October 23, 2016 at 10:14 am

      Victims of the South Australia Statewide Blackout to Sue Wind Farm Operators

      During the recent statewide blackout in South Australia, there is no doubt that unstable output from wind farms triggered the cascade of events which caused the power outage. The question is – are wind farm operators liable for the economic harm their “product” caused?

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/22/victims-of-the-south-australia-statewide-blackout-to-sue-wind-farm-operators/

      • October 23, 2016 at 10:35 am

        Remember the “Northeast Blackout of 2003”? A massive blackout, the world’s second most wide-spread blackout (the other was in Brazil). It had NOTHING to do with renewables. Google it. Blackouts happen. You’re just trying to persuade yourself that renewables are a bad idea.

  2. D. Bruce Turton
    October 20, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Many, many, many more birds are kille by flying into tall buildings, particularly those with curtain walls of glass, than all the wind farm blades in your country. Putting small whistle attachments to each blade (much like those that are put onto the front of vehicles to help deter deer hits) does help reduce bird hits but do not affect the operational efficiency of the wind generation units.

    • nick kelly
      October 20, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      A few get killed by shotguns too

  3. po me
    October 20, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    So if you could do something about #5 no one would
    make a peep! (pun intended)
    sorry about the fukunuclear Pacific though!!!

    • M Chen
      October 20, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      *Aghast* you mean take out liberals? That just seem so wrong. LOL

  4. economicminor
    October 20, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    I have read that the real issue with the expansion of wind as a source of energy is not the storage per se or the birds (environmental issues) but the lack of a functional distribution system. Like the article says, the best places to put the generators is in open rural areas but the demand is along the coasts where the majority of the people live. This is a problem that needs to be solved by government intervention because of the easements and management. To bad we have a mostly dysfunctional government.

    • economicminor
      October 20, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      My suggestion to the government is to work to improve the rail ways and use the same easements for a new improved power grid. We could be totally energy independent in less than a decade if we would get out heads out of our collective asses.

  5. Ptb
    October 20, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I still Remember T Boone Pickens campaigning hard for wind power back in 2006. I think I saw it on CSPAN. Of course, he wanted several $B from the gov to help. But he did say that gas was going to over $4/gallon, way before it actually happened.

  6. Tim Connolly
    October 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Or we could build 20 nuke plants each producing 1500 MW, also located in rural areas, each costing $10 billion, they don’t require a subsidy, rates are cheaper, zero carbon.

    Oh wait … Hillary just sold all of our uranium to Russia.

    • October 20, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Maybe I missed the /sarc tag.

      Fukushima… Chernobyl… nuclear waste… the San Onofre decommissioning in California…. None of these problems have been resolved or paid for. But they will be paid for by the public, in full.

      The taxpayer is always on the hook with nuclear in the US via government guaranteed debt and other subsidies.

      • Alex
        October 20, 2016 at 3:24 pm

        absolutely right. That is why solar/wind energy projects meet so huge resistance from the so-called oil-related groups. But it is impossible to stop a progress. 120 years ago you could read in mass media that moving with a speed over 40 miles/hour kill passengers (it was a “horse -related” group attack).

      • Winston
        October 20, 2016 at 4:46 pm

        Fukushima… antique technology reactors CRIMINALLY mismanaged; backup generators and fuel tanks should have been elevated as recommended by GE (reactor designer) which would have prevented any issues whatsoever even if the seawall had been breached; the sea wall should have been built taller as recommended by GE; reactors should never have been built in tsunami zone in the first place.

        Chernobyl… an even more antique and dangerous reactor technology with Soviet system management… enough said.

        Nuclear waste… caused by antique and relatively dangerous technology pressurized water reactors whose inventor would drop dead again in disbelief if he were to rise from the dead today to see we’re still using them. They produce so much waste because these crude reactors extract less than 1% of the energy in their nuclear fuel, leaving behind large amounts of highly radioactive waste with long half-lives.

        The San Onofre decommissioning in California… the price of decommissioning ANTIQUES.

        What to do with all of the waste? “Burn it” in new technology reactors that extract 97% of the energy instead of less than 1%.

        People really need to bone up on new nuclear tech rather than only pushing diffuse solar and wind power sources that do not produce power 24hrs/day, but still require expensive transmission lines that are a waste to NOT use 24hrs/day. Energy storage for 24hr supply is still very expensive. The best avenue for solar power is to locate the PV panels at the point of consumption, not in giant arrays.

        For a simple and clear explanation of just ONE form of walkaway safe nuclear power that produces virtually no nuclear waste, WATCH the following video from FIVE years ago. The Chinese have budgeted $1 billion to further develop this U.S. DEVELOPED and tested technology that was simply walked away from because it couldn’t be used to make the fissile elements for BOMB production:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2vzotsvvkw

        Then, do a YouTube search for “thorium ted talk” and look at all of the more recent videos from experts agreeing with him. A few titles:

        How Thorium can save the world: Salim Zwein at TEDxBeirut 2012
        Thorium to light up the world | Srikumar Banerjee | TEDxCERN 2012
        Why making energy from dirt might save the world | Rusty Towell | TEDxACU 2015 (also about Thorium)

        So, please educate yourself on what is possible with SAFE nuclear energy and don’t judge nuclear power by the dangerous antique technology unfortunately still in use.

        • d
          October 21, 2016 at 2:21 am

          The impending nuclear disasters in Japan, has always been a when, even when I lived there.

          Just as the next one there is a “when”.

          Unless they decommission and demolish all of them.

          All reactors have a risk factor, and hidden costs the taxpayer gets stuck with, plus what can and cant be done with the waste (Weapon’s, Dirty bomb’s, Pollution Etc Etc) this risk factor combined with the hidden public costs, is making new reactors . Untenable.

          Unless you want them to build weapons, at the moment, none of the existing proven reactor types should be built, anywhere.

        • Winston
          October 21, 2016 at 12:29 pm

          “All reactors have a risk factor, and hidden costs the taxpayer gets stuck with, plus what can and cant be done with the waste (Weapon’s, Dirty bomb’s, Pollution Etc Etc) this risk factor combined with the hidden public costs, is making new reactors . Untenable.”

          You obviously didn’t watch any of videos and apparently CHOOSE to remain ignorant of the enormous, SAFE, zero CO2 emissions, even atmospheric CO2 SCRUBBING possibilities of the kind of the truly cheap electric power that antique nuclear power promised, but didn’t deliver. New technologies can.

          Regardless of your uninformed views, what I wish eventually WILL happen because your diffuse “alternative energy” sources will not even come close to making up for fossil fuels as they are expended. To come even close to replacing them and maintaining anything close to our current standard of living, we must have vast supplies of cheap electricity which will only be supplied by much safer and cleaner forms of advanced nuclear power. Practical fusion power generation has been in the future for many decades and, I believe, will remain in the future for many more years.

        • d
          October 21, 2016 at 8:32 pm

          Nuclear free Pacific, (southwest any way)

          Until you can build a test rector, and show it eliminates all existing issues, including the ability to possibly be used to make weapon’s at any stage, and produces power economically.

          When all total life costs are included, with no subsidy, they are untenable.

          simple.

      • Tim Connolly
        October 21, 2016 at 11:23 am

        The cost of decommissioning (not just nuke plants but all plants eventually are decommissioned) accumulates over decades. The ratepayers – who got the cheap power – pay the decommissioning costs.

        Nuclear waste is nasty stuff. But the federal government, succumbing to pressure from anti-nukes, does not permit reprocessing or the manufacture of mixed oxide fuel. The US basically stores a lot of energy in spent fuel casks.

        Spent fuel is stored on-site at every nuke plant in the country in large dry casks because the Obama feds, after spending billions on Yucca Mountain as the spent fuel repository in the US, abruptly canceled the program.

        To me it doesn’t matter. Spent fuel casks don’t even have to be monitored. They are so heavy that they practically can’t be stolen and even if one were pilfered – unless you had sophisticated remote equipment – the thieves would die shortly after exposing the fuel.

  7. Edward E
    October 20, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Have they solved the costly bearings problems? I don’t have the link for this but quoting Eric Worrall, something that was saved in my history…

    “A few years ago, I used to know a senior wind turbine engineer. One evening, over a few beers, he told me the dirty secret of his profession:

    “The problem is the bearings. If we make the bearings bigger, the bearings last longer, but making the bearings larger increases friction, which kills turbine efficiency. But we can’t keep using the current bearings – replacing them is sending us broke. What we need is a quantum leap in bearing technology – bearing materials which are at least ten times tougher than current materials.”

    Siemens citing bearing failures as part of the reason for a substantial fall in profit;
    http://www.offshorewind.biz/2014/05/07/siemens-energy-division-profit-down-54-pct/

    In the announcement of the opening of a new Siemens research facility;
    http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2013/03/19/siemens-wind-turbine-research/
    “… The Brande test center would evaluate the main parts of their wind turbines such as main bearings …”

    http://www.geartechnology.com/newsletter/0112/drives.htm (an attempt to make direct drive turbines, to reduce bearing wear)
    “… More accurately, it is typically the bearings within the gearbox that fail, in turn gumming up the gearbox, but that’s a story for another time.

  8. Petunia
    October 20, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    There is some controversy currently attached to a referendum on solar power usage on the Florida ballot. I haven’t kept up with the particulars, but it seems voters think they are voting to allow unrestricted solar power usage, but it seems the lobbyists managed to influence the referendum’s intent. FPL is very powerful in Florida and they usually get whatever they want by paying for it with customer money.

  9. Maximus Minimus
    October 20, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    The labeling of population as liberals or conservative as suggested here is very simplistic. I recognize social conservatives, and fiscal conservatives, at the very least.
    In addition, I believe small-c conservatives are automatically greens even though they might oppose that label: the emphasis on sound money, prudent lending, prudent consumption would have prevented the kind of abuse that happened. There would not have been rampant consumerism, jumbo homes, runaway development, and wanton destruction of nature and land.

  10. Justme
    October 20, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I’m all for more windpower. Many of the problems relating to the variable nature of wind can be solved by building a more interconnected grid that can even out surpluses and a deficit of wind power over larger geographical areas (as much as 12 hours of time difference may be needed, meaning halfway around the world). Long-distance transmission is easier, cheaper and has lower losses building more energy storage, which is very expensive.

    Come to think of it, creating a balanced interdependence between countries may promote world peace. But it may also promote cronyism, bullying and war, as is the case with the lopsided interdependence we now have, where oil supports tyrrants and is traded for protection. And the infrastructure will be vulnerable, a problem that exists also today, although the real-time nature of electricity transmission makes it more vulnerable than, say, oil tankers and oil storage.

    • Justme
      October 20, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      lower loses building –> has lower losses than building

      Sometimes I wish for an edit function. I’m not a great typist.

      • October 20, 2016 at 4:49 pm

        No problem (fixed). At least you catch your typos, as opposed to me.

        :-]

        • Justme
          October 21, 2016 at 9:19 am

          Thanks much, BTW have you ever considered an editing function? It does have pro and cons, I suppose.

  11. Mike R.
    October 20, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Alternative energy is where we have to go. But the big problem is timing. Of the energy that is. Solar is off when the sun starts to set. Wind is off when the wind doesn’t blow.

    The long term reality is that we will have to adjust/adapt and accept that energy will not be available everytime we want it. That has been the model for the past half century+ but WILL NOT be in future decades.

    Nobody talking about that small detail.

  12. Marty
    October 20, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Wolf, I don’t think this is a conservative/liberal issue. (That’s a totally false paradigm anyway.) It’s a economic issue. It seems in all cases, there are several aspects of energy tech that are ignored or glossed over by their proponents:

    1. subsidies
    2. cost of externalities
    3. the true costs of long term maintenance
    4. the structure of the electric grid,
    5. the unseen.

    As far as wind goes, has anyone taken all these factors into consideration to give an assessment of the true costs of using wind on a mass scale? Maybe you can find a link…

    The biggest problem with alt energy that no one has given me an honest answer to is energy storage. The second is that the grid is built for centralized power generation while alt energy is typically distributed generation. The third is the externalities of constructing alt energy systems.

    I have not met one Greenie who has even considered the various costs of making solar panels, wind turbines and batteries, or any of the other issues listed above. Whenever I bring it up, I get a blank stare. Also none of them talk about the useful life of these systems.

    The fact that problems with other energy sources are equally obscured only makes the situation worse. At some point before the lights go out, it would be nice if some honesty were injected into this public debate.

    However, if the meddling sobs in our totalitarian govt would stop their corruption, none of this back-and-forth endless bickering would be necessary, because price would tell us rather quickly what to do and I suspect the problems would be mostly solved.

    I know, I know, that’s not going to happen.

    As for wind leading to an increase in tax collection and more money for schools…. Who the heck is this guy? I mean, we are talking a totally ridiculous statement if there every was one. Money to govt is the last thing we need, especially more money to schools. Govt schooling is the single biggest cause of the deterioration of our country, the single most important tool for population control.

    • Raymond C. Rogers
      October 22, 2016 at 12:05 am

      This post is spot on. I could not have said it better myself.

  13. Chicken
    October 20, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    In the West Texas area I’m familiar with, the landowner receives free electricity for life but if he sells his property the new owner is not eligible.

  14. Chicken
    October 20, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Are EV’s safe enough to park in a garage or do you need special insurance? The reason I ask is b/c of the recent problems Samsung has been experiencing with their batteries catching on fire.

    • d
      October 21, 2016 at 2:30 am

      Some electric vehicles have some of the battery under the seat’s.

      There have been suggestions, allegedly backed by science, that one should not sit in those seats for very long, in vehicles from certain manufacturers, if one wishes to have more children.

      One who is worried about insurance, should consult with ones insurance company.

      They are allowed in public parking building’s, above and underground, so I wouldn’t expect an issue personally.

  15. John Doyle
    October 20, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Trouble with renewables is that we have to also keep the Fossil Fuel industry as renewables depend on it as much as any other industry.
    1,640,000
    The amount of conventional energy sources is in the order of Three Cubic Miles each year, of which petroleum is over 1 third. To put that in perspective we need 200 dams each as big as China’s 3Gorges dam. Or 1,640,000 wind turbines, and that is just electricity generation. We still need oil for agriculture and transport etc. And of course they need maintenance, sometimes requiring helicopter access.

    Apart from feel good vibes, renewables are not anywhere near a solution to our energy needs. They can make local inroads but one still needs base loads, and fossil fuels are not going away. In fact it makes the FF situation worse. We are trying to run competing energy suppliers at the same time, Hardly good business.

    • October 20, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      The solution is a broad energy portfolio and raising the efficiency of everything that uses energy (=conservation).

      • d
        October 21, 2016 at 2:32 am

        “The solution is a broad energy portfolio and raising the efficiency of everything that uses energy ”

        Should read:

        The solution is a broad energy portfolio, and raising the efficiency of everything that uses, or produces, energy.

        • October 21, 2016 at 7:02 am

          YES.

        • d
          October 21, 2016 at 8:25 pm

          That YESS seems to have, and emit a happy, Aura.

  16. Raymond C. Rogers
    October 20, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    I don’t care type of power we use as long as the taxpayer does not foot the bill. There is enough cheap credit out there without asking the average American to foot the bill.

    I have nothing against renewables, just the people who want to use the renewables to pick our pockets.

  17. roddy6667
    October 20, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Wind power is profitable, but we need to look at where the money comes from-the taxpayer. It another scheme to transfer money to the pockets of the top 5% at the expense of the 95%.

  18. Smitty
    October 21, 2016 at 4:55 am

    That plan only works if you don’t live in that county, and your county isn’t the chump investor that lost the county pension investing in Abengoa and you don’t have any jobs connected to electricity and your government didn’t fund half the global green debt.

    “What we have to buy our own lucrative jobs programs energy?, we’ll be instantly bankrupted we can’t compete with anybody-that’s the idea -duh”

    Ya

    No tech industry, no aluminum industry, aircraft out, carbon fiber no way.

    Green energy is an economy killer, ask Spain.

  19. Scott
    October 21, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Wind power also benefits from the structure of the organized power markets, which encourages them to produce even when prices are negative. This is even true in deregulated states like Iowa where MidAmerican and Alliant sell power at night into Illinois. As a result, some baseload nuclear and coal plants are being shutdown in deregulated markets (but not regulated ones).

    For example, MidAmerican opposed shutting down the Quad-Cities Nuclear Plant because unlike Exelon, it gets to pass its cost onto ratepayers. MidAmerican also invests heavily in renewables to offset taxes that Berkshire Hathaway earns elsewhere.

    In general, I’m a big believer in renewables, but there need to be changes in the regulatory environment to account for both the benefits and drawbacks.

  20. Merlin
    October 21, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    How much does a single turbine cost to plan, build, transport, construct, operate, and decommission? What is the payout point in the lifecycle? Can a turbine be profitable without my tax dollars ???

    The attached article provides a reasonable analysis of the pros and cons of wind energy in OK.

    http://newsok.com/article/5493853

    I personally dislike the visual pollution of turbines, and can’t abide the whine. I have not seen any animals near the hundreds of turbines I have seen while traveling in the Panhandle.

    • d
      October 22, 2016 at 1:16 am

      “I personally dislike the visual pollution of turbines, and can’t abide the whine. I have not seen any animals near the hundreds of turbines I have seen while traveling in the Panhandle.”

      Americans seek to use the cheaper lower quality turbines, some made in America, so they are nosy.They dont fit Bird Scarers/Whistles (not Audible to humans) to them as it cost money (reduces profit) then complain about bird strikes.

      Other western nations with high wage structures, and reasonably high standards of living can operate wind turbines profitably without subsidy’s but America cant ??????

      As for livestock grazing same thing’s, our livestock sleep, and graze under them quiet happily. We tend to put them on ridges, grazed mostly by sheep and spread them out a little more than the US does. https://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiL7ejA4O3PAhXKmpQKHfgCAMYQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fphotoseek.photoshelter.com%2Fimage%2FI0000cj5zfRw2ykA&psig=AFQjCNGdvjxMqwmfv84dj-Yq0MQLAu9GaA&ust=1477203072050376

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tararua_Wind_Farm

      American subsidy’s are all about Gouging by utility’s, also involved in other production method’s, not running turbines economically, IMHO.

      Turbines and the towers, are valuable recycling propositions unless the operator demand above market price for scrap turbines,(More Gouging, so very common in America).

      Look at the Salarys pension plans healthcare plans, other benefits in so many of the union controlled state owned/run electricity suppliers in America, along with all the crony padded contracts they hand out.

      And you will see where the subsidy’s really go, in Green American energy production.

  21. Chris
    October 22, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    I must wonder if an unintended consequence will be depleted food production as the farmers determine their land can lay fallow, and they can live comfortably working less than 100 hours a week.

    • d
      October 22, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      Most of the land under wind farm’s.

      End’s up in the hands of Corporate’s, Either through cronyism (They knew which farms to buy up before land was leased) or through after leased purchase, as they have the money to offer attractive lump sums now, to buy out the owner farmers.

      Corporate farmers have slaves to work that land.

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