Wind power expensive, inefficient

By Letter to the Editor on September 21, 2013.

Re: Alberta lagging in wind power generation, Sept. 14.

The CanWEA and Dave Mabell try hard to perpetuate the myth that wind electricity is good for Albertans and good for the environment. Wind is expensive and inefficient; it does little to reduce carbon dioxide emissions; and wind turbines kill thousands of bats and birds in Alberta annually.

In Alberta, electrical output from wind turbines is just 32 per cent of design capacity, rendering actual production facilities and new transmissions lines inefficient – lines that we pay for with every electricity bill. We have spent billions on wind generation in Alberta and yet wind produces only three per cent of our electrical needs.

But have carbon dioxide emissions been reduced by three per cent? Almost certainly not, because when the wind blows, gas and coal plants still operate. Wind is so unreliable that it can never replace gas and coal generation.

In 2010, the Minister of Energy established the Transmission Facilities Cost Monitoring Committee. In June 2012, the committee published its third report, Review of the Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta, available here:

The report states, “To accommodate wind generation in southern Alberta . . . The existing capacity of the transmission system in southern Alberta is insufficient to provide adequate system access for the interconnection of additional wind-powered generation . . . Current estimated cost is $2.82 billion.” This expense is between now and 2017. For what? Thoughtful Albertans know that we are lining the pockets of wind companies and land owners who allow these monsters on their property.

Wind generation kills birds and bats. In March 2013, the Alberta government reported about a large number of bats killed at the Summerview wind facility. “In response to reports of bat mortality, post-construction surveys were carried out . . . These surveys found 532 bat carcasses in 2005 and 611 in 2006, or an estimated 16 bat mortalities per turbine.”

Sixteen bats per turbine were killed! Where were Suzuki, the CBC, Mabell and viral You Tube videos decrying the slaughter?

Clive Schaupmeyer