Earth Day foolishness

April 25, 2009


Earth Day celebrations filled the calendar on Wednesday, April 22.  The Chicago Tribune did its part in promoting Earth Day with NEW FOCUS commentaries by Joshua Boak and JimTankersley, which respectively told of Exelon’s plan for a solar power plant on Chicago’s South Side and of an Interior Department nod to build offshore wind turbines along the Atlantic Coast.

Speaking on Earth Day afternoon in Iowa, Pres. Obama lamented that only 3% of America’s electricity comes from renewable sources such as wind and solar.  Obama then praised Denmark as a Scandinavian country that produces almost 20% of its electricity via the wind. 

Evidently President Obama has not heard about the failure of the Danish wind power experiment.  Here are the facts:  Even with more than 6,000 turbines, Denmark has yet to close a single fossil-fuel plant.  Needed is a 50% increase of coal-generated electricity to cover for wind power’s unpredictability.  Regarding CO2 emissions, Flemming Nissen, head of development at West Danish generating company ELSAM, relates how wind turbines cannot be counted upon to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  They may actually increase greenhouse gas emissions depending on the carbon-intensity of the back-up generation needed because of the intermittent nature of wind turbines.  Most importantly, Denmark has the highest rate of electricity generation costs in Europe at 15 cents kwh.  Niels Gram of the Danish Federation of Industries said that “windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.” 

Even the promise of job creation is a bogus one.  A recent detailed analysis (focusing mainly on Spain) found that for every job created by state-funded support of renewables like wind and solar, 2.2 jobs were lost.

America gets about one-ten-thousandth of its electricity from solar power, while wind power comes in at about 3%.

There is a reason why wind and solar power will never become viable sources of alternate energy here in America, despite the push toward a greener Earth.   Electricity produced by wind and solar power is not cost- effective.  In the real world, without government mandates and huge government subsidies, both make no sense.  Nor will the American people tolerate the doubling and tripling of their electricity bills.


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