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A View from the Altar / Wind investments in Texas
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Wind investments in Texas

Professor Ross Baldick (Electrical Engineering, Univ. of Texas) has analyzed the economics of wind in Texas.  Baldick concluded that the problems with wind generation are all still there.

1.  Wind farms are not near electric loads, so the cost of power lines to connect production to consumption is excessive.
2. Wind farms suffer from very poor capacity factors, and even when they’re producing, it’s typically not at the right time of day.
3. Reducing power at coal-based power plants to accommodate wind production means the coal plants are still there — hence no savings on closing a plant — and it means the coal plants operate at lower efficiencies (called “heat rate” in the power business).
4. The variable nature of wind production makes the grid less stable when large proportions of wind generation are present.
5. The total cost for power supplied from wind generation is much more than that generated from coal, gas, hydro, or nuclear.

Bottom line: Everything we already knew about the unsuitable nature of wind power for baseload electric generation is still true.  It produces unreliable, unstable, remotely located power at a cost well above what you’re paying now.  This means wind farms rely on tax subsidies to keep them financially afloat.  It would be cheaper for the taxpayer and an improvement on grid reliability if all the people currently feeding off wind subsidies could be hired at the same salary level to sit home stare out the window.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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