Let wind subsidy elapse

  • Article by: KIM CROCKETT and PETER NELSON
  • Updated: December 16, 2012 - 6:09 PM

It's not good for jobs, and the industry (and environment) can stand without it.

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pumiceDec. 16, 12 7:04 PM

From the Center of the American Experiment, "Government doesn't pick winners and losers well, yet the wind subsidy certainly picks a winner." Does the $800 million cleanup costs for the 2010 bitumen spill on the Kalamazoo River qualify as picking winners well?

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rolflindyDec. 16, 12 7:12 PM

This article is correct in noting that subsidies for wind don't make sense. But Germany's problems with renewables relate to its $10 billion annual solar energy subsidy, not to wind. Germany's problems with electric supply to heavy industry relate to shutting down its nuclear energy plants. And burning coal remains a serious environment issue, particularly with respect to CO2 and global warming, not mention mercury and sulfur. Clean coal remains a myth.

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martiankingDec. 16, 1211:28 PM

Again, why does the Strib print rubbish from this group of Neo-Cons? Yes, I am a left-leaning person, and yes I know that this is an opinion piece, but to let this ALEC backed group spout this pro-business trash to the detriment of the health and well being of the people of this State does us all a disservice. The board of directors of this group is made up of money managers, investment bankers, and lawyers. Not exactly representative of the majority of Minnesotans.

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birchtreeDec. 17, 12 6:46 AM

The Center for the American Experiment gets significant donations from the oil industry. Of course, they don't want wind energy to get subsidies. It might take away from the billions of dollars in subsidies that the oil industry receives. Then the oil industry might not donate as much to CAE, which would mean they would have to get real jobs.

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cstoney48Dec. 17, 12 7:38 AM

How about ending all energy subsidies? Let all forms of energy compete in the global market. Prices would then reflect the actual cost of the product. One requirement would have to be internalizing all externalities for extraction/production in determining costs. Ah, and that is where the war begins...

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Willy53Dec. 17, 12 7:57 AM

cstoney48, prices would not reflect the actual cost of the product if all subsidies were abolished. The impact of that product on the environment and human health would not factor in. The effect of coal on climate warming and the tremendous negative consequences to children's health is devastating but yet does not factor in its cost of production and price. That's why your dream of unregulated free enterprise does not work; it needs guidance and one way is through subsidies. Don't ever count on the Center for the American Experiment to give you straight talk on subsidies. They are beholden to the oil and gas industry as are all republicans.

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cgallawayDec. 17, 12 8:01 AM

Here is why I am not a fan of wind power. It requires duplicate capacity to be produced from other sources (Coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar, geothermal) to provide the power when the wind isn't blowing. The wind can start/stop without any notice, not enough time to start/stop the other generators, meaning those other generators need to be spinning the entire time, wasting energy and fuel. Solar is slightly better, because we know when the sun will rise and set every day. What we don't know is how much sunlight will be available on any given day. On cloudy days, the sunlight won't be as intense and won't provide as much energy as may be required. Also, because solar panels can only produce power during the day, you still need those other sources for back up, to produce when the solar power isn't producing. Also, when discussing environmental concerns, solar panels require large amounts of rare earth minerals and heavy metals to be mined, processed, then disposed of, meaning, not so great for the environment. Wind and solar won't reduce CO2 by the amounts hoped for, because it's not a 1:1 ratio in reduction. 1kW produced by wind or solar does not mean 1kW not produced by coal. I think if going "green" in the production of electric power is someone's main interest, as opposed to making money for their industry, the best source right now is geothermal power production. They say that some areas don't have geothermal resources, and that is kind of a lie. What they mean, is, that some areas don't have geothermal resources close to the surface. Currently, we have the technology to drill wells to pump oil from over 2 miles into the earth. Yet, somehow, it's not feasible to drill that far and install pipes that would bring that heat closer to the surface, where it could spin a turbine and create electricity. Geothermal energy is 24 hours a day, everyday. It does not rely on unpredictable measures like Wind or weather. It does not require mining, processing and disposal of rare earth minerals. The only emission created is water vapor. I wonder if there are any other possible uses, like using desalinated ocean water in the pipes to create and dump the steam into the atmosphere during times of drought. Just a thought I had while typing.

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pumiceDec. 17, 12 8:54 AM

Re: "One requirement would have to be internalizing all externalities for extraction/production in determining costs." What about post-extraction/production costs--e.g., clean-up costs and restoration costs?

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imcountryDec. 17, 12 9:36 AM

Germany is adding 23-25 new coal plants as it shuts down its nuclear power plants. They have found that their wind sources are only producing slightly over a very paultry 16%. Far less than they had anticipated. PTCFacts.info was very informative. A vote for wind is a vote for natural gas. T.Boone Pickens really had it figured out with the Pickens Plan. Put up alot of wind turbines and sell alot of Natural gas. Double dipping at both ends at it's finest.

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gandalf48Dec. 17, 1210:47 AM

pumice - [From the Center of the American Experiment, "Government doesn't pick winners and losers well, yet the wind subsidy certainly picks a winner." Does the $800 million cleanup costs for the 2010 bitumen spill on the Kalamazoo River qualify as picking winners well?] *** Common sense would require the federal government to sue the company responsible for the spill and recoup every single tax payer dollar. Much like the BP spill...every single federal/state dollar spent was paid back (and then some) by BP. To suggest that these created environmental disasters are paid for by the tax payer is just plain incorrect. There is no need to spread misinformation to create a scapegoat to hold up as a reason for tax payers to fund alternative energy users and manufacturers.

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