Free Markets, Free People

The wind energy scam

Why call it a scam?  Because, as you’ll see, it isn’t creating jobs, it isn’t contributing the amount of energy it was claimed it would, and, essentially it can’t survive without massive subsidies.



If you’re looking for innovation, what is most likely to produce it – a big payday if you come up with a solution, or government subsidy which encourages the status quo?



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7 Responses to The wind energy scam

  • I REALLY knew this was a scam when T. Boone Pickens started his Rah-Rah campaign for it.
    He was, of course, rent-seeking, and he got it.

  • The advantage of deploying wind energy sources is that we now know beyond any reasonable doubt that it blows.
    Just like Pres**ent Obama, we have tried yet another claim of a wunderbar future and found it lacking.

  • A key problem with wind and solar is energy regulation and storage. Wind requires a coil or oil fired plant running parallel to provide constant output (which means running ineffiently), and solar has poor night time performance.

    Signficant developments in regulation or storage (super capacitors or batteries) could make something like wind or solar potential stand alone energy technologies, but such developments may not happen. And that doesn’t address the issue of effiency, i.e., how many acres would have to be converted to solar panels, etc.

    The bottom line is that wind and solar are not ready for prime time, and they may never be (well, under some situations I could forcast solar panels that work 24/7, so they have the potential for serious space applications). And this answer is obvious.

    I think most people who think solar or wind makes sense think that based upon the support they get from major politicians. My mother-in-law would consider Obama pushing wind or solar as a statement of fact that these energy sources actually work.

  • This is interesting — solar energy converted directly to fuel by GM’ed bacteria, so no storage problem. They claim to be competitive at $50/barrel. Something like this could work in the right circumstances. But as a general solution, it must be remembered that solar energy is quite dilute. The US would have to cover 25,000 sq. miles with these bug rigs to supply just our fuel needs.

    Joule is applying advanced genome engineering to develop a library of proprietary organisms, each one optimized for productivity according to the desired end product. Because the organisms are engineered to directly synthesize and secrete fuels, we will avoid costly steps such as large-scale biomass production and collection or other downstream refinement. Our technology has already been proven with the direct conversion of CO2 to liquid hydrocarbons and ethanol, avoiding the economic and environmental burden of multi-step, petroleum- or biomass-dependent methods.

    • That’s very interesting. But won’t the fuels still create CO2 when burned, so not exactly “green” by Al gore’s standards?

      • Don: Yes, but it’s a wash since the fuels were created from current CO2 + sunlight. When burned, they turn back to the original CO2 which was already in the atmosphere.

        The problem with fossil fuels is that they liberate prehistoric CO2 from the past so it nets to an increase in current atmospheric CO2.

    • “The US would have to cover 25,000 sq. miles with these bug rigs to supply just our fuel needs.”
      Oh, that’s okay, we can take people’s land in those Red States, they’re not really using it for anything useful anyway.   Maybe that’ll force them to get real jobs and have real lives in the city like normal people.