Wind energy is often called “renewable energy.” Since we don’t support wind turbines, people will ask, “Don’t you support renewable energy?” The answer is very simple, we don’t support intermittent energy, because that’s what “renewable” energy really is.
Massive wind turbines only generate electricity when the wind is blowing, and how much they produce varies tremendously with the wind. Without wind, a huge 3 Megawatt turbine can’t even charge your cell phone, it’s just a multimillion dollar, 500 foot tall lawn ornament.
Unlike the wind, the electric grid is always on
The electric grid, that wondrous network of power lines that carries electricity to every corner of our nation and around the world, needs a lot of reliable and scalable generating capacity. Every time you flip a light switch or turn on your coffee maker, you expect the electricity to be there, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Businesses depend on that same grid to power their machines, every hospital, school, office and retail store, expects the power to be there when they need it. Our jobs and our economy depend on it.
Wind energy answers to the wind, not you
When demand for electricity increases, power plants can bring more of their capacity online, the generators are there, the fuel is there, it’s available power that responds to us, but wind energy only responds to the wind. When a scorching hot summer day causes everyone to turn on their air conditioner and the utility must provide more energy, there may be no wind, something that is very common on those very same summer days, demand and supply don’t match. Wind energy isn’t stored anywhere for later use, the wind turbines connect to the grid and provide as much or as little electricity as the wind decides, there is no more to add when you and I need it.
Wind energy is a big step backward
When we learned how to produce electricity from stationary electric power plants it revolutionized our economy. Energy could now be delivered by wire anywhere power was needed. Machines, previously driven by belts powered by steam engines, could now run on small electric motors and be set up anywhere. Almost every piece of modern technology uses electricity so we need the most reliable, “always on” sources possible and lots of them.
Wind turbines, instead, take us backward into that pre-industrial era, a time before we learned to make electricity when and where we needed it, taking our future, our jobs and our economy and subjecting them to the whims of the wind with energy production we can’t control. It’s not the future, it’s not reliable and it’s not smart.