Bird Killing Allowed for Green Monsters

The goofy administration of a goofy president now announces 30 year permits to Cuisinart large raptor birds.

I can’t make this stuff up.

And to be killed by such stupid things as windmills that couldn’t economically survive without political favors and silly mandates.

For example in Texas our Texas Senator Troy Fraser, no doubt at the trough of the windy people, authored and sponsored a bill many years ago requiring electricity companies to include alternative energy sources in their portfolio.

So we have bird killers everywhere in a state where the wind is only good for electrical generation in the panhandle and on the coast, even according to the US Department of Energy. Already in the last 10 years billions have been spent on transmission lines from remote areas when a 100 acre site with a 1000 Megawatt coal generator would eliminate the space required for the turbines and the lines AND produce reliable and efficient electricity 24/7 with no need for on line backup. Imagine that.

The Turbines produce a third of their rated output and require space and lines and a back up gas or coal fired plant. That makes sense? And at 5 acres per the space required for equivalent output with 2 Megawatt fans is 2500 acres. Think about that, and then back up generator could be on line but is still required to maintain a stable source. Is that sounding stupid enough?

I wrote a piece on electricity subsidies for the Heartland a few years ago, that gives you a taste of the comparison.

Subsidies make the energy world go round
Dr. John Dale Dunn, M.D., J.D. –
June 15, 2008

The green energy and alternative energy movements are on the march. The subsidies for solar, wind, geothermal, hydro energy are in place and poised for any program that passes the test—is it something other than old reliable coal and oil?

The May issue of American Spectator, a conservative chronicle of politics, fawningly interviewed the old wildcatter and gambler, T. Boone Pickens, of Texas, who rambled through the encounter asserting that the oil price problem was because we depend to much on our enemies (not true, we depend mostly on Canadian and Mexican oil), that we are involved in a tremendous transfer of wealth to the evil Saudis and others (not true, America sends less than 10 percent of its money for oil to the Mid East) and we need to move to alternative sources to solve the problem. Mr. Pickens suggests wind, and he is off on a 10 billion plus project, in the panhandle of Texas that will, if it really works, solve NOTHING. Wind will have only a minor impact on natural gas usage, but no effect on gasoline or diesel, which come out of different distilling products of petroleum.

Mr. Pickens says he will erect 1500 one to two megawatt capacity wind turbines on 400,000 acres in North Texas around Pampa, which is a remote and desolate land, and that’s a beginning to the answer. Really? 1-2 million dollars a copy for the turbines, that are rated at 1-2 megawatts, but only produce 30 percent so that 1500 turbines would produce about one half of a normal coal plant? At what cost and given the remote area, what transmission line costs?

But it sounds good, after all wind is free. But it’s also inconsistent and very inefficient. The United States uses abut 14 trillion Kilowatt hours or 1.4 billion MGW hours per year and there are 8760 hours in a year. That’s an hourly need of output of about 1600 1000 megawatt plants operating at capacity, so the number should be 10 percent greater for current use—1760 MGW. California would need around one eighth and Texas one tenth—220,000 and 176,000 MGW capacities.

As an example of what a scam Mr. Pickens is proposing, his 400,000 acre wind farm with 1500 turbines that each have a capacity of 1-2 megawatts, that could be put up in less than 10,000 acres, would only produce, over a year, about a third of capacity, or about 6500 megawatts, 0.5% of Texas’ electricity needs.

It has been said that the whole state of Connecticut would be needed to do a wind farm for New York City. Consider that one turbine with one megawatt capacity has 300 Kilowatt of actual output because one third of capacity is the usual turbine real production. Each turbine takes up about 4 acres with accessories and transmission and road access. The requirements of New York’s population of 8 million would require on the high side of 60,000 megawatts of output, which would take 240,000 acres for the turbines alone. Connecticut has 5018 square miles, 321,000 acres, so the residents and other activity of the state would have to be satisfied with what’s left, about 25%. But back up coal or other electricity sources would still be required for windless or slightly breezy days.

In comparison a 1000 megawatt coal or nuclear plant takes less than 100 acres, so 6000 acres would be adequate area for all the coal plants to supply New York City, with no back up plants on the grid.

Mr. Pickens points out that although wind is his game, that he needs the subsidies and tax credits to make wind a viable consideration. According to the Wall Street Journal of May 12, 2008 “At the trough: a peek at US energy subsidies by Keith Johnson, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that solar energy is subsidized at $ 23.34 per Megawatt hour, wind at $23.37 per MGW hour, nuclear at $1.59 per MGW hour “clean coal” (low sulfur coal) at $29..81 per MW hour while regular coal got 44 cents per MWH, hydroelectric 67 cents, and natural gas 25 cents per MWH.

For non electricity energy generation ethanol and bio fuels get a subsidy of $5.72 per BTU, solar $2.82, and refined coal $1.35. Natural gas other petroleum distillates get 3 cents per BTU subsidy.

Woops, that’s another part of Mr. Pickens proposal. He suggests that natural gas should run vehicles. Presently the natural gas delivery system provides only 2500 outlets for the whole country compared to 200,000 gas stations, and, as you might expect, a new natural gas solution for energy will need some subsidies, and again, you might have guessed that Mr. Pickens’ company, Clean Energy Fuels, founded in 2006, is the largest supplier of natural gas for vehicles in the United States.

And the jump in natural gas prices that accompanied the environmentalist push for natural gas electricity production will be magnified by a switch of transportation to natural gas, increasing the cost for all uses. Natural gas is not free and supplies are limited by production capacity.

Although the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that federal energy subsidies have risen from $8 billion to $16 billion annually in the last 7 years, there has been no change in the total energy production in America, and very little change in the proportions of sources. Clearly our consumption is not up that much so the dramatic increase in energy prices has to do with the world demand and the value of the dollar. America is conserving or using less for a growing economy over the past decade. No time for panic and scare mongering.

John Dale Dunn teaches Emergency Medicine at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas and is a policy advisor to the Heartland Institute of Chicago, and the American Council on Science and Health of New York City.

One response to “Bird Killing Allowed for Green Monsters

  1. And the “bird saving” greens are all cheering it.

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