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InsiderOnline Blog: October 2011

The Wind Is Mighty Expensive

Getting enough wind-generated electricity to meet 20 percent of U.S. electricity consumption, an oft-stated goal of “green energy” promoters, would require putting wind turbines on 72,000 square miles of land, calculates Robert Bryce: “That area, if taken together, would rank as the 17th-largest state in the country, just ahead of North Dakota […] .”

If the United States hit that goal in the year 2030, calculates Bryce, the amount of carbon emissions avoided from using less coal-fired electricity would amount to 2 percent of global carbon emissions that year.

The cost of such a project, including new transmission lines and back-up generation, would be at least $850 billion. Consumers would see electricity rates rise by at least 40 percent. The carbon tax implied by these costs would be at least $45 per ton of carbon—or about three times more costly than the European Union’s failed Emission Trading Scheme.

For details on these calculations, see Bryce’s report “The High Cost of Wind Energy as a Carbon-Dioxide Reduction Method,” published by the Manhattan Institute, October 2011.

Posted on 10/27/11 01:07 PM by Alex Adrianson

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