From Willem Post: If not wind, then what?

Geothermal is a MUCH better choice than wind and solar energy, which are SOCIALLY-DIVISIVE, health-damaging, highly-visible, and produce variable, intermittent, junk energy that is expensive and requires balancing with gas turbines. My cousin lives in 15-year-old, building complex, consisting of twenty  2-, 4-, and 12-story buildings, in Maassluis, the Netherlands, that is entirely heated with geothermal energy.

The gas turbine balancing operation is inefficient, requires more Btu/kWh and emits more CO2/kWh, largely offsetting most of what wind energy was meant to reduce, especially at greater annual wind energy percentages on the grid.

In New England, about 30% of the hours of a year, there is not enough winds speed on ridge lines to turn the rotors. During these hours wind turbines draw energy FROM the grid.

In New England, about 70% of the hours of a year, solar energy is minimal, and yet Vermont’s utilities are mandated by the state to pay 27 c/kWh for 20 years to out-of-state, multi-millionaire owners of 2.2 MW PV solar facilities. They could have bought STEADY, 24/7/365 energy from Hydro-Quebec at about 6 c/kWh, or from the grid at about 5 c/kWh. The utilities just roll their extra costs into the rate schedules of already-stressed households and businesses. Do legislators and the governor not know household REAL incomes have DECLINED since 2007, except for public employees?

The higher electric rates will increase the prices of goods and services, lower living standards, reduce business profits, reduce job creation, except in the RE sector, all while, on average, REAL household incomes have DECLINED since 2007. A sound economic development policy?

The diversion of hundreds of millions of dollars of capital into inefficient ways of making wind energy will deprive other, UNSUBSIDIZED economic sectors of the capital THEY need to create jobs and become more productive, which ultimately lowers prices, increases household incomes, increases business incomes and raises tax revenues, per Economics 101.

During the 2012 campaign for governor, Brock stated Shumlin added 400 new state workers in 2 years. Shumlin’s answered the cost of most of these jobs was paid for by the federal government. A lame and cynical excuse, as it increased Vermont being a dependency of the federal government, which already has trillion dollar deficits.

Have we forgotten how economies are supposed to operate? Have we become too committed coddling subsidized government/business “partnerships”, i.e., subsidized wind energy projects which breeds crony-capitalism benefitting Vermont top 1% at the expense of all others.

AN EVEN BETTER APPROACH

An even better approach would be increased energy efficiency. Even with the presence of Efficiency Vermont, even with Vermont using less Btu/capita and less Btu/$ of state gross product than most states, a vast improvement can be made to reduce these values by at least 50% using EXISTING technology, AND the reduction of a kWh would be at a much lesser cost than wind and solar can produce a kWh.

Doing energy efficiency first and renewables later is the most economical way to go; especially important when funds are scarce. Governments providing huge subsidies for renewables BEFORE doing a great deal more in energy efficiency may be politically expedient, but it is costly and unwise; akin to putting the cart BEFORE the horse. 

It would be much wiser, and more economical, to shift subsidies away from expensive renewables, that produce just a little of expensive, variable, intermittent energy, towards increased EE. Those renewables would not be needed, if the funds are used for increased EE. 

EE is the low-hanging fruit, has not scratched the surface, is by far the best approach, because it provides the quickest and biggest “bang for the buck”, AND it is invisible, AND it does not make noise, AND it does not destroy pristine ridge lines/upset mountain water runoffs, AND it would reduce CO2, NOx, SOx and particulates more effectively than renewables, AND it would not require expensive, highly-visible build-outs of transmission systems, AND it would slow electric rate increases, AND it would slow fuel cost increases, AND it would slow depletion of fuel resources, AND it would create 3 times the jobs and reduce 3-5 times the Btus and CO2 per invested dollar than renewables, AND all the technologies are fully developed, AND it would end the subsidizing of renewables tax-shelters benefitting mostly for the top 1% at the expense of the other 99%, AND it would be more democratic/equitable, AND it would do all this without public resistance and controversy.

http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/46652/reducing-energy-use-houses
http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/61774/wind-energy-expensive
http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/61309/lowell-mountain-wind-turbine-facility-vermont
http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/89476/wind-energy-co2-emissions-are-overstated

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