All the News That's Fit to be Tied

I have an axe to grind, but unlike the New York Times, I freely admit it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Alternative Energy Pipedream

American taxpayers are providing $2 million for a wind turbine energy project that will save a municipal bus company $35,000 a year in energy costs. At the current cost of energy it will take 57 years of energy savings to pay for the project, while the turbines have an expected lifespan of 20-25 years. In truth there are no savings because the turbines will have to be replaced before the savings are achieved. So in the final analysis alternatives such as wind and solar are far more expensive per kilowatt hour than fossil fuel. Although this is a small project it demonstrates all the shortcomings of alternative energy in a neat little bundle. The equipment is expensive, the “return on investment” is negative and the entire system requires a fossil fuel backup system to insure constant energy generation. America must continue to use fossil fuel until these alternatives are developed to the point where they are competitive without subsidies because while the location in question will save $35,000 a year in energy costs, it will cost the American taxpayer $2 million it will never get back. So once again the taxpayer is the victim of the alternative energy pipedream. America must continue to exploit its carbon-based fuel resources or find itself in the economic dustbin of failed nation states.