“At this point they came in sight of thirty forty windmills that there are on plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire, “Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.”
The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, by Miguel de Cervantes
What’s Up With That?
Tilting at windmills means attacking an imaginary foe. I hate the green energy cartel. But this is not the imaginary enemy. The enemy is the “common good.” Since there is no common good, it is imaginary. But to politically connected “green energy” companies, the common good is a god-send. The government gives them boatloads of money to spend on senseless solar and wind projects, in the name of the common good. Never mind that we are in debt to the tune of $16 trillion, there is always money available in the name of the common good and to line the pockets to those politically connected greedy companies. This is the Great Green Energy Boondoggle. And what is a boondoggle? It is a scheme that wastes time and money; in this case the taxpayer’s money.
The Green Boondoggle
What, you say? Wind and solar is not good? No, they are not. They are too expensive and generate too little energy. They only make money for the Green Greed Companies. They are inefficient power producers, but today have become efficient income producers for their greedy owners.
First thing to consider is that both are expensive. On a per-kilowatt basis, they are more expensive than hydro-electric, coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear power. Secondly, both are unreliable. When the wind stops blowing or the sun stops shinning, both sources can no longer produce energy. In fact, both actually use power when they cannot produce energy. Windmills can consume up to 20% of their peak output when idle. It takes energy to keep windmill and solar farms online when they are not producing energy. Because both are unreliable, we must keep 100% of our maximum energy needs in traditional power generating sources. We cannot take down current power generating plants and replace them with wind and solar. To add insult to injury, if we reduce the amount of traditional energy sources when we use wind and solar, those traditional energy sources become more expensive because we are using less of them. Simple supply and demand.
What a minute, you may say. Why would someone build wind and solar plants if they are more expensive? How can these green energy companies make money if the energy is more expensive to produce? The answer is that no one would build them if they cost more, because they would lose money. There is no incentive for any company to produce a product or service if it loses money. Aha! But the politically connected greedy green companies have figured out a way to overcome this dilemma .. government subsidies, tax incentives, and special leases on government land. So the green companies get rich on the tax money that is extorted from you and me.
Not in My Backyard
Seems that many people are for “green energy” until one of the Green Greed Companies and their Government puppets want to build a plant in their backyard. Then the local populace is up in arms. Well, I have been living with the windmill giants in my backyard for 30 years. It has been 30 years since the huge wind power tax incentives created a windmill building fervor in the Palm Springs area.
Bugly, Fugly, and Coyote Ugly
Windmills are ugly. 400 foot tall giant Cyclops with 3 arms flopping around. They scar the landscape and muck up our views. The land becomes ugly. Hills and mountains become ugly. The whump, whump, whump noise of these giants swinging their arms is an ugly noise. At night the blinking red lights at the top of these towers make Orion and the Milky Way look ugly. There are over 4,000 of these ugly giants in my backyard. California leads the nation in windmill installations, which accounts for only 1 percent of the state’s energy.
About 5 miles west of Palm Springs is the small village of West Garnet. It was there long before the windmills. Before the windmills, this little outpost had phenomenal views of the San Jacinto Mountains, San Bernardino Mountains, Santa Rosa Mountains, Painted Hills, Little San Bernardino Mountains, and Edom Hill. Now they are surrounded and imprisoned by an army of windmills. The views have been obliterated by these giants.
Mt San Jacinto.
Another view of Mt San Jacinto.
Mt San Gorgonio.
The Santa Rosa Mountains.
Over hill and over dale.
Bring me men to match my mountains?
A Phalanx of giants.
Palm Springs, California hidden from view.
Death and Dying
It is estimated that each windmill kills one bird each year. The windmill companies retort that cats kill many more birds each year. Sure, cats kill sparrows and pigeons. According to a Los Angeles Times newspaper article published in June, 2011 the wind farm in Altamont, California has killed an average of 67 golden eagles per year, over the past 30 years. That is 67 dead golden eagles times 30! Do the math. This does not take into account the number of hawks, owls, and other large birds killed in Altamont. Cats don’t kill raptors; windmills do. And what if you or I killed a golden eagle? It is a felony!!
Global Warming and Green Greed
Our government tells us that CO2 is warming the earth and we need alternative energy sources. I don’t know if global warming is true. Not even the scientists can agree. However, it is my understanding that plants absorb and need CO2. It is also my understanding that the deserts absorb a significant amount of CO2. If this is the case, how is this helping? The two photos below by Jacob Schiller are from the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. See Invanpah Solar Debacle.
Ivanpah site before Green Greed.
One of three solar generating plants at Ivanpah.
Above, the world’s largest solar plant is currently under construction near the California/Nevada state line, adjacent to Interstate 15. The site is located on 4,000 acres of government land. Total cost is $2.2 billion, of which $1.6 billion is a loan guarantee by the US Department of Energy. This plant, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System has three owners, BrightSource Energy, Google and NRG Energy. Google? Google the Internet company? Yep! If there is one thing Google does well, it is making money. Now I am not against money. As a matter of fact I think it is a virtue. But companies should EARN their money, not steal it from the public.