A feeble wind

The windmill solution to our energy woes is dead, but all isn’t lost because shale gas is doing what the wind can’t. Wonder why, then, Obummer and his crowd are trying to stop shale mining and force-feed us windmills? Couldn’t be because they want to shut down the economy so …?

If wind power was going to work, it would have done so by now. The people of Britain see this quite clearly, though politicians are often wilfully deaf. The good news though is that if you look closely, you can see David Cameron’s government coming to its senses about the whole fiasco. The biggest investors in offshore wind — Mitsubishi, Gamesa and Siemens — are starting to worry that the government’s heart is not in wind energy any more. Vestas, which has plans for a factory in Kent, wants reassurance from the Prime Minister that there is the political will to put up turbines before it builds its factory.

America is having far better luck. Carbon emissions in the United States fell by 7 per cent in 2009, according to a Harvard study. But the study concluded that this owes less to the recession that year than the falling price of natural gas — caused by the shale gas revolution. (Burning gas emits less than half as much carbon dioxide as coal for the same energy output.) The gas price has fallen even further since, making coal seem increasingly pricey by comparison. All over America, from Utah to West Virginia, coal mines are being closed and coal plants idled or cancelled. (The US Energy Information Administration calculates that every $4 spent on shale purchases the same energy as $25 spent on oil: at this rate, more and more vehicles will switch to gas.)

So even if you accept the most alarming predictions of climate change, those turbines that have ruined your favourite view are doing nothing to help. The shale gas revolution has not only shamed the wind industry by showing how to decarbonise for real, but has blown away its last feeble argument — that diminishing supplies of fossil fuels will cause their prices to rise so high that wind eventually becomes competitive even without a subsidy. Even if oil stays dear, cheap gas is now likely to last many decades.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “A feeble wind

  1. The most reliable would be one positioned above the Capital competing with the one at the White House for hot air harvesting….

  2. inan

    ‘noble-cause corruption’ covers a plethora of wrong headedness, notably on the far Left.

  3. Just_looking

    The greedy liars are going to ruin the drinking water and the govt is going spend a fortune trying to clean it up after the money is all harvested.

    • Better polluted water (no evidence of that and a study by Polish scientists, released yesterday, refutes it completely) than no energy. After tensof billions of dollars spent subsidizing wind power since 1990s, wind power produces 1.5% of all electricity. Propeller beanies aren’t cutting it and never will. Solar doesn’t work because of storage costs and impracticality and that leaves what? Algae?

  4. Just_looking

    First I do not have a problem relying on oil that so many others seem to have. It has many qualities that make it ideal, and if it cost more, we have the ability to improve efficiencies.
    Second I will take clean drinking water over cheap energy all day long. You can live with out power but you cannot live without water. Or, put another way, with out water you do not live so then who cares about how much energy costs.
    I agree that any replacement, like wind, should be able to stand on its own. If it has a real future, then investors will gladly pony up for their spot at the trough.

  5. Just_looking

    It sounds to me that the cracking industry is copying the Amy book from tobacco, since that worked for so long, …no direct link…just happened….coincidence….can’t prove it….

    http://www.the-leader.com/features/x1160492441/EPA-expands-water-testing-in-Pa