Unreliability has little value

Everywhere we are seeing people who will make money from wind projects making the claim that the price of electricity generated by wind is approaching or has even gone lower than other sources. But making that claim is extremely misleading.

Let’s say a new car came out that burned no fuel. It initially sold for $300,000, but after several years of government incentives, the price came down to $75,000. So now it is close to the price of a regular, fuel burning luxury vehicle. But it burns no fuel so its manufacturer makes the claim that it is cheaper than a regular car! And it is if you don’t consider the rest of the story.

But what they don’t tell you is that this inexpensive car that doesn’t burn any fuel only runs when it wants to, only goes as fast as it wants to and in total only runs about 1/3 third of the time. So it doesn’t care what days or times you need to drive to work or drive home. It will leave you stranded 2/3 of the time on average.

So now does this car sound like a really good deal? Do you think driving free 1/3 of the time and calling a tow truck the rest of the time is a good idea? Well why not? I just told you this car is cheaper to operate than a regular car, and it is, when it runs. Why don’t you want one? Maybe, if I got the government to pass laws that promote it, then you would think it a wonderful idea? We could say the car is saving the environment when it is driving around burning no fuel. Does that make you feel better? Or do you think the tow truck will probably make up for that?

This car is the equivalent to wind energy on a cost and reliability basis. I can tell you all day it is better but that does not make it so. Now add all the other negative things wind does, like being big and noisy and a blight to miles of your surrounding area. Does the 45 cents a day per person that will come into the county make you want to be a part of this scheme? If so then you are good to go. But just be clear what you are putting your belief in. It’s a scheme that does not help the environment at large, changes your county into one big industrial zone, takes the neighborliness out of your neighbors and lines the pockets of the huge wind corporations who have purchased many friends in government and published page after page of information online and in the local papers that purposely misleads you. Are you sure that what they are offering is a good thing? Are you absolutely sure? Would you buy that car?

Jim Feasel, Tiffin