The Other Side Of Green Energy

I would love to live in a world of nonpolluting renewable energy, but I don’t think we are there yet.  Spain had to abandon its green energy policy because of the jobs lost and the economic hardship the policy caused.  In June 2010 the Motor City Times reported the details of Spain’s failed green energy policy. 

The article reports:

“Unsurprisingly for a governmental take on a flagship program, the report takes pains to minimize the extent of the economic harm. Yet despite the soft-pedaling, the document reveals exactly why electricity rates “necessarily skyrocketed” in Spain, as did the public debt needed to underwrite the disaster. This internal assessment preceded the Zapatero administration’s recent acknowledgment that the “green economy” stunt must be abandoned, lest the experiment risk Spain becoming Greece.

“The government report does not expressly confirm the highest-profile finding of the non-governmental report: that Spain’s “green economy” program cost the country 2.2 jobs for every job “created” by the state. However, the figures published in the government document indicate they arrived at a job-loss number even worse than the 2.2 figure from the independent study.

“This document is not a public report. Spanish media has referred to its existence in recent weeks though, while Bloomberg and the Washington Examiner have noted the impact: Spain is now forced to jettison its plans — Obama’s model — for a “green economy.” (emphasis added)”

On Sunday, Power Line reported on how California’s green energy programs have impacted the community college system in Southern California.

The article at Power Line reports:

“Given the cost of alternative energy technology, it would be more expensive for the district to generate all its own electricity than to continue paying utilities for power. . . One thing was for sure: No matter how it was financed, the bill for all those solar panels and wind turbines would be huge. Eisenberg’s cost estimates for taking the nine campuses off the grid ranged as high as $975 million — this for a college system that in 2010 spent less than $8 million on power bills. An engineering consultant put the cost far higher: $1.9 billion. . . Plans for large-scale wind power collided with the reality that prevailing winds at nearly all the campuses are too weak to generate much electricity. To date, a single wind turbine has been installed, as a demonstration project. It spins too slowly in average winds to power a 60-watt light bulb.”

Yesterday a website called Climatide reported on the progress of a wind project in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  Wind One is Falmouth’s first wind turbine.  Neil Anderson lives about a quarter mile from Wind One.  Mr Anderson is a believer in alternate energy sources and has operated a passive solar energy company on Cape Cod.  However, he is not a fan of Wind One. 

The article reports:

“But now, as many as 50 people are complaining about the turbine and the noise it makes at different speeds. A dozen families are retaining a lawyer for that reason.

“”It is dangerous. Headaches. Loss of sleep. And the ringing in my ears never goes away. I could look at it all day, and it does not bother me. It’s quite majestic — but it’s way too close,” Anderson said.”

I don’t know what the effects of the wind farm offshore will be–whether or not the wind farm will be close enough for residents of the area will be impacted by the noise.

The bottom line here is simple–the devil you know versus the devil you don’t know.  We need to take a really good look at alternative energy before we abandon our sources of conventional energy.