Friday, 27 July 2012

US heatwave: Wind energy powered 4000 blow dryers in Illinois when the demand was greatest!

The hype:

"Last week wind industry leaders and advocates gathered in Normal, Illinois to discuss the progress we're making in harnessing the power of the wind in the Prairie State.
A highlight of the gathering was the release of a new report documenting the economic impact wind is making in Illinois, and the numbers are striking. Among the key results, the study finds that the 3,334 megawatts of wind generation in Illinois:
· Will generate a total economic benefit of $5.98 billion over the projects' 25-year lifespan"

The reality: 
During the recent heatwave in Illinois nuclear, coal and gas-fired plants were running at full capacity. But we did not see any reports by the otherwise so active "progressive" enviro-fundamentalists about the great contribution of the much touted wind turbines. Jonathan Lesser, PhD, and President of Continental Economics, tells us why:

Illinois wind generated less than five percent of its capacity during the record breaking heat last week, producing only an average of 120 MW of electricity from the over 2,700 MW installed. On July 6th, when the demand for electricity in northern Illinois and Chicago averaged 22,000 MW, the average amount of wind power available during the day was a virtually nonexistent four MW, less than the output of two large wind turbines, or about and enough power to operate 4,000 blow dryers.

Wind power’s failure during last week’s extended heat wave is no fluke. When I performed a similar analysis last summer, the results were the same: the hotter the weather and greater customers’ demand for electricity, the less electricity produced from wind. Of course, this should not really be surprising. After all, the most miserable summer days are hot, humid, and still. What is surprising, however, is that policymakers keep throwing consumers’ and taxpayers’ hard-earned money at wind generation. And, because Illinois has one of the most aggressive renewable portfolio standards in the country, those subsidies, and electricity bills, will continue to soar, driving more businesses away from a state that continues to hemorrhage jobs in tough economic times. It is difficult to imagine a worse energy policy.

Read the entire article here

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