When it comes to “renewables” wreaking havoc on the environment, wind turbines have stiff competition. For example, over 500,000 square miles of biofuel plantations have already replaced farms and forests to replace a mere 4 percent of transportation fuel. To source raw materials to build “sustainable” batteries, mining operations are scaling up, with no end in sight, in nations with appalling labor conditions and nonexistent environmental regulations. But the worst offender is the wind industry. American Greatness
Government “staff calculated the sought-after adjustments would burden consumers with up to $12B in added costs…the higher prices sought by the developers would increase electricity rates for commercial and industrial customers by as much as 10.5%…”https://t.co/07GXNZcijY— Michael Shellenberger (@shellenberger) October 14, 2023
America’s wind power industry somehow manages to attract almost no negative coverage in the press, or litigation from environmentalists, despite causing some of the most obvious and tragic environmental catastrophes so far this century.
Last August I wrote about the ongoing slaughter of whales off America’s northeast coast thanks to construction of offshore wind turbines:
“When you detonate massive explosives, repeatedly drive steel piles into the ocean floor with a hydraulic hammer, and blast high decibel sonar mapping signals underwater, you’re going to harm animals that rely on sound to orient themselves in the ocean. To say it is mere coincidence that hundreds of these creatures have washed ashore, dead, all of a sudden, during precisely the same months when the blasting and pounding began, is brazen deception.”
Nonetheless, when the story can’t be buried, deception is the strategy. Not one major environmental organization, government watchdog agency, or media outlet has called for a slowdown in industrial offshore wind projects. Instead, they repeatedly claim these allegations are misinformation. And from that paragon of truth, FactCheck.org, we get this: “No Evidence Offshore Wind Development Killing Whales.”
Let’s set aside the obvious negative impact on whale populations of tens of thousands of marine surveying and construction sorties into offshore areas where shipping traffic has never before been concentrated, or the impact of noise and explosions on not one site, such as would be the case with a lone oil rig, but on thousands of sites, each one being prepared for an offshore wind turbine. The destruction wrought by wind turbines extends well beyond what it’s doing to whales.
A report just released (below) by a New England fishermen association summarizes research they completed on offshore wind projects. Their findings are stunning. Just the geographic extent of these proposed offshore wind projects is unprecedented. According to the report, “Federal regulators at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have designated almost 10 million acres for wind farm surveys and development.” That is over 15,000 square miles.
What’s going on off the coast of New England is being allowed to happen because of disgraceful negligence on the part of America’s environmentalist community. What’s about to happen in California is just as bad, and is proceeding without any organized opposition or serious criticism.
Earlier this year, the federal government leased 583 square miles of deep ocean waters off the coast of California for offshore wind farms. When the first phase of these offshore wind developments are completed, these wind farms will deliver 4.5 gigawatts of “clean” electricity to the California grid. That may sound like a lot of electricity. It’s not.
To begin with, even offshore wind only blows intermittently. The most optimistic projections for the actual yield of these turbines are never more than 50 percent. This means that in terms of baseload power, only 2.25 gigawatts will come from these new offshore wind farms. California’s average electricity consumption is 32 gigawatts (of which only 22 gigawatts are produced in-state), which means if these offshore wind farms are ever completed, they’ll supply a mere 6 percent of California’s current electricity demand – the same amount currently coming from Diablo Canyon, California’s last operating nuclear power plant. But how many turbines will this take, and what will they look like? American Greatness
The biggest wind turbines in the world can now produce 10 megawatts at full output.To generate this much electricity, these machines are 1,000 feet tall, which is more than three times higher than the Statue of Liberty from the water line to the tip of the torch.
Bear in mind, if California’s state legislature gets its way, and the state goes fully electric – think all space heaters, water heaters, dryers, along with all trucks, buses and cars going fully electric – electricity demand will more than triple. While it’s hypothetical, the math is simple and revealing: to get 100 gigawatts of baseload power from offshore wind, you would need 20,000 turbines. And imagine all the high voltage distribution lines, and all the batteries to buffer the massive surges of intermittent power.
To somewhat return to reality, we must acknowledge that none of California’s enlightened planners intend to use offshore wind to generate 100 percent of California’s renewable electricity. But in one of the most reputable mainstream studies produced to date, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, Mark Jacobson, completed a series of simulations, culminating in a report released in December 2021 that called for 20 percent of California’s electricity to derive from offshore wind. Making more conservative assumptions regarding the size of each offshore turbine and the yield, he predicted more than 12,000 offshore wind turbines would be required.
Imagine the logistics.
Overall, Jacobson’s study projected about one-third of California’s electricity to come from a combination of onshore and offshore wind turbines. Shall we reiterate what else we already know about wind turbines? Their slaughter of raptors, bats, and insects? Their incessant, low frequency sound that is audible for miles and, despite “debunking” articles that defy basic common sense, drives people and animals nuts? The visual blight? The staggering quantity of materials required for their manufacture, and the difficult if not impossible task of recycling the materials after they’ve reached the end of their service life?
To see the entire article go here.