Wind-energy advocates claim that with just one more extension of the 20-year-old “temporary” wind-production tax credit, wind generation finally could become competitive with conventional sources of electricity. The truth is, it’s never been competitive — and has only appeared to be close because some of its costs have been subsidized and others have been ignored.
Here’s the issue. Wind generation has three unusual indirect costs that no one wants to discuss:
The cost of keeping available the primary fossil-fired plants that must balance wind’s large variations in output, even though adding wind to the system reduces the amount of generation for which they are paid.
The reduced fuel efficiency that wind imposes on those plants.
The cost of long-distance transmission and the losses that come with it.
Read more at The Washington Times. By George Taylor and Tom Tanton