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Blokes less than fully delighted with wind farms

The London Telegraph is reporting a story that ought to be both a scandal and a warning but will probably be neither.  It turns out that big multinational firms own wind farms in the U.K.  And since wind tends to produce electricity at times when there is no demand for it, the wind farm owners are being paid not to produce electricity during those times.  The net result is that British electric customers are paying cash subsidies to foreign investors for, quite literally, nothing.

The problem with wind farms is that you cannot control the wind.  As Jesus said, it blows where it wants.  (John 3:8)  But the power company has to match its power production to the amount of stuff the customers turn on, minute by minute, hour by hour.  Windmills are extraordinarly ill-suited devices for this duty.  Now they’re spinning, now they’re not, and nobody can predict when you’ll get juice from them or how much.

So in Britain as everywhere else, the windmills turn at times of the day when there is no consumer demand for the power they produce.  There is literally no place to put the electricity, so the power company has to shut the windmills off.  Because of how the laws work on green subsidies, the windmill owners get paid for what they wish they had produced, not what they actually did.  Doesn’t this have pointy-headed green government bungling just written all over it?  Prediction:  A whole forest of worthless junk windmills will soon be erected to harvest the subsidies.  This makes economic sense because inoperable junk windmills are cheaper than working models, produce nearly as much, and you get paid whether they do anything or not.

Here’s the money quote from the article:

Lee Moroney, planning director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, which opposes widespread wind farming, said: “As more and more wind farms come on stream this will become more and more of an issue. Wind power is not controllable and does not provide a solid supply to keep the national grid manageable. Paying multinational companies large sums of money not to supply electricity seems wrong.”

Yeah… that does seem wrong.  Unless using the government to set up a tax farming racket was your plan all along.  Then it seems just about right.

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