Friday, November 3, 2023

Are Wind Turbines A False Hope?

Photo by Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash
For the past couple years I've been following stories about whales being killed off the Atlantic Coast from New England to New Jersey and further south. Many people, including Michael Shellenberger, who was a former champion of the Green movement until he saw that their scare tactics were frightening young people from starting families for fear of the future.

All this to say that when stories emerged that wind turbines in the Atlantic were killing whales, there was a lot of pushback. They denied that these turbines were the cause, in part because so much has been invested in promoting their implementation off the coast.

Shellenberger's Public News yesterday announced that the Danish wind energy firm Orsted has now abandoned its South New Jersey projects, Ocean Wind 1 and 2, due to growing public opposition, evidence of the detrimental impact of wind industry activities on whale populations, and deteriorating economic viability. Ocean Wind 1 and 2 had plans to position over 200 massive wind turbines just 15 miles off the coast of New Jersey.

The article begins by noting how "the Biden administration, environmentalists, and the wind industry have argued that the building of giant wind turbines along the East Coast was inevitable. Wind energy was already cheaper than fossil fuels, supporters claimed. And President Joe Biden made wind energy a significant priority and was photographed in a meeting with wind executives holding talking points touting its benefits."

The article notes how Orsted's stock has decline 60% this year, and The New York Times estimates that the Orsted will need to write off $5.6 billion in investments related to these two projects. Jeff Tittel, the former director of the Sierra Club's New Jersey chapter, admitted there's currently no alternative plan, characterizing the situation as "a political disaster."

Responding to Orsted's decision, an investment analyst told the Telegraph of London, “The wind power sector has stalled, with virtually no companies in the industry now turning a profit.”

As for me, I am mystified by the unwillingness of concerned Greens to embrace nuclear energy technology. As one who lives in a region where dealing with sub-zero temps are a way of life half the year, one would think that there would be a greater commitment toward securing the future reliability of our energy grid.  

Related Links

Grid Fragility and a Book by Meredith Angwin

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