Landowners signing leases for wind turbines are simply doing the equivalent of filling out the paperwork to sign up for a government check, sort of like “wind welfare.” Why? It’s pretty simple, the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard requires utility companies to buy “renewable energy” like wind energy. You don’t have to force companies to buy something unless it is an inferior product. If it was as good as or better than electricity produced by conventional methods, utilities would be building wind turbines on their own. The government is simply forcing them to buy what it is paying other companies to provide.
Who pays for wind welfare? You do!
You want electricity to be there when you need it so the utility companies have the generators and power plants necessary to supply it on demand, running all day, every day and able to be adjusted as needed. Wind only supplies electricity when the wind blows, no utility can depend on it, so power companies can’t replace any generators with wind power or they might not have any electricity for your lights when you flip the switch. Forcing utilities to buy this inferior power from wind companies means the generators they already have are now more equipment than necessary and powering them up and down to adjust for changes in the wind means they run less efficiently and economically. The combination of more equipment than necessary and inefficient operation means costs rise and your electric bill goes up.
Some of the the money the government forces the utility to pay to the wind company goes to the landowners who are selling an unwanted product, expensive and unreliable electricity. Those “green” landowners are not helping anyone but themselves while you pay the cost AND you have to put up with these monster turbines in your community, ugly to look at, unsafe to be around and destructive to property values. Wow, what a deal!
Wind developers collect wind welfare, too
The wind developers, who magically appeared to chase all of this green stimulus money, collect even more with production tax credits, an incentive from the government to keep building more turbines which means the utilities will be forced to buy even more expensive electricity.
All of this money from the government also provides ample incentive for some individuals in a community to make decisions that may not be in the best interests of the entire community.
Let’s stop the wind welfare payments. Wouldn’t it be nice if companies and individuals were selling something everyone wanted instead of this subsidized inferior electricity? Then real customers would gladly give them money in return for a useful product, everyone would be happy and we wouldn’t have to see these oversize industrial lawn ornaments littering the landscape, but that would be too simple wouldn’t it?