The Heritage Foundation points out a study conducted in Colorado and Texas that the use of wind energy in those states has actually increased emissions of SO2, NOX and CO2. The increase comes from the frequent cycling of the coal plants which makes them much less efficient.
Keep in mind that the study was conducted by the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States. I don’t know anything about they group other than their name but that sounds like they may have a little bit of an anti-wind agenda. However, it’s common knowledge that running an engine constantly is more efficient than constantly starting and stopping it.
The real fun comes later.
So how much environmental benefit are we really getting? Let’s pretend wind power will reduce emissions as much as the government says it will. Bryce points to carbon reduction estimates from the Energy Information Administration. A renewable electricity standard (RES) mandating that 25 percent of our energy be generated from renewables would reduce emissions by only 4.9 percent by 2030. To put this in perspective, Bryce reminds us that President Obama and Congress’s target is to reduce carbon 80 percent by 2050.
If that didn’t make you grind your teeth with frustration, this will: According to climatologist Chip Knappenberger, that 80 percent reduction would moderate temperatures by only hundredths of a degree in 2050 and no more than two-tenths of a degree at the end of the century. These temperature reductions are almost too small to measure. What do you think a 5 percent reduction in CO2 will produce?
What are we getting out of all of this? Higher energy costs. It’s not just what you pay to the energy company every month that goes up. Increases in energy costs increase the costs of almost everything else.
The people most vulnerable to those price increases are the poor and lower middle class. Not only is more of their already meager income going to heat their homes, they are also paying more of milk, eggs and diapers. What happens when they lose their jobs to make up for the increased costs for their employer?
Using renewable energy is great as a supplement but forcing it on people is a recipe for disaster.
(Originally posted at PerlStalker’s Ramblings)