Wind power is a waste....
More evidence that it's not a good source of energy...
Ontarians take note. A detailed new Danish study shatters most of the myths that the Danish-based wind turbine industry has been propagating in Canada and around the world as to the virtues of wind power. The study, Wind Energy: The Case of Denmark by the Centre for Policy Studies in Copenhagen, strongly reinforces reservations that I have noted in previous op-eds in this newspaper.
While proponents of wind power like to claim that almost 20% of Danish electricity is generated by wind power, in fact over the last five years wind power has accounted for only about 9% of domestic electricity consumption. The other 11% or so — generated when the wind was blowing in the middle of the night or at other times that power was unneeded in Denmark — was exported to Norway and Sweden at spot prices that were substantially lower (often zero) than the subsidized prices guaranteed to Danish wind turbine operators. Meanwhile, when the wind wasn’t blowing in conformity with Danish needs, Denmark needed to import balancing power from Norway and Sweden, typically at substantially higher costs.
The main attraction in wind is the elimination of CO2 emissions. To the extent that wind power reduces CO2 emissions in Denmark, this comes as a subsidy cost of about $124 per tonne of CO2 — one of the most expensive CO2 reduction strategies in the world.
In order to keep industry competitive, the Danish government protects industry at the expense of consumers. Electricity to industry is hardly taxed at all, making for an outsized disparity between what householders and industry pay for their electricity — Danish householders pay 2.5 times more than Danish industry. Even before taxes, the average consumer price for wind-generated electricity is 50% higher than that from fossil fuel generated electricity.
Based on the total subsidies to the Danish wind industry, the average subsidy for the 28,000 workers employed in this sector equals US$9,000 to US$14,000 per year per job. However, this average subsidy does not reflect the actual cost of the additional job creation. In most cases, creating a job in the wind sector has only moved that job from another sector and not resulted in any additional job creation. A very optimistic ball park estimate of real net jobs created is around 10% of the total wind power work force, or 2,800 jobs. In this case, the actual subsidy for each additional job created is US$90,000 to US$140,000.