The Energy Collective – a pro-renewable energy web site has just published a positive article about the need for a massive collection of batteries as a backup system to wind farms.
The article unintentionally makes a strong argument AGAINST wind farms as inherently unreliable and a poor source of our future energy needs.
The author notes:
Wind energy has come a long way in the United States. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry that employs 75,000 people in 42 states and generates about 2 percent of the nation’s electricity. And, the Department of Energy says that number could grow to 20 percent of America’s electricity by 2030.
That potential is far from reality though, mainly because of wind’s intermittent nature. In order to reach 20 percent, one in five new turbines will have to be built offshore where the wind is faster and more consistent, and offshore wind is stalled in this country. But intermittency is only a problem because the energy industry hasn’t come up with an efficient way to store electricity on a large scale – until now.
The writer describes a wind farm of 60 turbines in West Virginia. These 60 turbines provide only enough power for 20,000 homes. So what’s the great solution to providing a backup system for these turbines? Why, a mere 1.3 million lithium ion batteries the size of a typical C or D battery you use for your flashlights.
And how effective are these 1.3 million batteries in providing needed backup power for the 60 turbines? According to the author, they only hold enough energy to power 5,000 homes for 15 minutes.
Who is behind this brilliant green boondoggle? — The AES Corporation, a “global power project developer,” which is planning a similar project in West Texas. General Electric, run by Obama’s close friend Jeff Immelt, has constructed these wind turbines for AES. Immelt runs Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. In addition, AES Wind Generation official Michael Azeka, serves on the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This all sounds like cozy corporate “green” welfare.
And what do the 20,000 poor citizens of West Virginia get? They get unreliable electricity with a 15 minute backup system for one quarter of them. Only someone who is suffering from a green delusion could think this is a positive thing and is the future of energy in America.