April 13, 2012

“Obama’s quixotic wind program”

Suprisingly, the title isn’t referring to the Obama Administration more generallyRebekah Rast:

Wind power only accounts for about 1 percent of all the energy used in the U.S. today.  In 2010, it accounted for 2.3 percent of all electricity generated in the U.S.  These numbers aren’t low due to a lack of turbine farms in America, they are low because turbines only generate a percentage of their theoretical maximum output—the wind does not always blow.

What’s more ironic from an environmentalist perspective is the fact that these giant turbines (some can reach 400 feet tall and turn at speeds of 200 mph in peak times) kill a half-million birds and bats without penalty every year.  Knowing the typical response of true environmentalists, if any other industry other than a “green” one caused that much damage they would be there with a lawsuit threatening to shut it down.

In mass, if wind power seems to kill more birds than it produces energy, why does it remain such an integral component in Obama’s energy plan?  Why does America continue to spend millions of dollars on an unstable energy source when there is no shortage of other much cheaper, reliable industries?

The city of Reno, Nev., is probably asking itself the same question.

Windmills were installed in Reno between April and October of 2010 and cost about $1 million out of a $2.1 million federal energy grant given to the city that was part of President Obama’s stimulus package, which passed in 2009.

Unfortunately, to date the turbines haven’t performed well in the city.

In one example, the city of Reno paid $21,000 for a particular wind turbine only to have it save them $4 in energy costs. Furthermore, a total cost of $416,000 worth of turbines has netted the city $2,800 in energy savings—in two years.


This problem extends beyond just Reno.  Since the city’s risky “green” investment was part of a larger renewable energy grant from Obama’s stimulus, all these wasted dollars once belonged to taxpayers.

— Some of whom are probably even women who may have been able to use the money the government throws away tilting at windmills on, say, super nice condoms, or the “luxury” of staying at home to raise their wee bourgeois “punishments”!  Similarly, these same women could use the savings from lower gas prices and lower food prices and lower clothing prices and lower energy costs to buy themselves the “gender equality” that the Administration promises to champion — and without the need for Big Daddy government to step in and save them, or provide them with the kinds of special dispensations that, to the progressive, somehow promotes “equality” and “fairness.”

Instead, this Administration’s plan seems to be to throw money away on every last green energy boondoggle their cronies can gin up, then demand even more tax payer money to pay off each individual identity group its waste of taxpayer money hurt in the first place — by demanding the private sector contribute even more revenue to the government, which it will then spend on more failed projects that disrupt natural markets.

That is, the government seeks at once to be the source of all largess — from its benevolence will flow all that you need and deserve — and yet disclaim any responsibility for how it spends the money it demands it be allowed to gather and allocate at its own discretion.

Nice gig if you can get it.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:21am

Comments (29)

  1. T. Boone Pickens: “I’m in the wind business … I’ve lost my ass in the business.”

    Surely, Obama is better at the energy business than T. Boon Pickens. Right?

  2. The sharp variance between the scope of the power wielded by these elites and the gross incompetence shown in the wielding is a profound danger to us all, and most of all perhaps, to themselves. We will soon hear “to the barricades!” and “put them up against the wall!” if this path is maintained for very long, I fear. But the elites are cocooned, and will likely be the last to grasp their peril.

  3. I don’t think wind power was ever supposed to work.

    More likely, the goal was to throw a bunch of money at it, and come back and say “Well, it looks like alternative energy isn’t going to be sufficient to power the wasteful American lifestyle, so a Power Down strategy is our only choice…”

  4. I still say they would be better off supplying every roof with a wind turbine and solar panels(where feasible), with any excess electricity produced fed back into the grid. Do some program where individuals could buy in for easy terms and eventual returns, and that $2.1 million would have gone a lot further towards relieving energy demands, I bet.

  5. I don’t know about the rest of you, but anyone with a righteous name like T. Boone Pickens commands my instant respect. I’m not kidding either.

  6. Thing that always struck me about the Windy Ones was that their pitch almost always included the claims that “We’ll save a gazillion dollars on electricity!” followed closely by “We’ll create a gazillion high-paying jobs!”

    You’d think that with those claims in their PowerPoint decks, they’d be well prepared for the inevitable (at least if I’m there) question of “Where’s the money for the high salaries come from, if we’re all paying less?”

    It’s all a big ShamWow infomercial, and our fellow voters fall for it every time.

  7. OT, but funny.

  8. Pablo,

    The best part of ‘ol T. Boone’s rant (on MSNBC of all places) was him declaring that due to H-drilling & fracking, OPEC nations are about to get an American “full moon”, complete with ass crack and “fruit basket”.

    Romney should be jumping all over this (Shaq could make this free throw).

    But he won’t (his handlers are fraidy cat morons).

    Somebody was talking about a monkey with a note in it’s mouth…

    Is it too late to nominate him?

  9. Squid, a dirty little secret about those windmills? They are made in France.

  10. Instead, this Administration’s plan seems to be to throw money away on every last green energy boondoggle their cronies can gin up

    I think they’d be quite content to just throw money away. The kickback is a bonus.

  11. Just for fun, let’s look at Don Quixote’s actual encounter with the windmills:

    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.”

    “What giants?” said Sancho Panza.

    “Those thou seest there,” answered his master, “with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long.”

    “Look, your worship,” said Sancho; “what we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails that turned by the wind make the millstone go.”

    “It is easy to see,” replied Don Quixote, “that thou art not used to this business of adventures; those are giants; and if thou art afraid, away with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat.”

    So saying, he gave the spur to his steed Rocinante, heedless of the cries his squire Sancho sent after him, warning him that most certainly they were windmills and not giants he was going to attack. He, however, was so positive they were giants that he neither heard the cries of Sancho, nor perceived, near as he was, what they were, but made at them shouting, “Fly not, cowards and vile beings, for a single knight attacks you.”

    A slight breeze at this moment sprang up, and the great sails began to move, seeing which Don Quixote exclaimed, “Though ye flourish more arms than the giant Briareus, ye have to reckon with me.”

    So saying, and commending himself with all his heart to his lady Dulcinea, imploring her to support him in such a peril, with lance in rest and covered by his buckler, he charged at Rocinante’s fullest gallop and fell upon the first mill that stood in front of him; but as he drove his lance-point into the sail the wind whirled it round with such force that it shivered the lance to pieces, sweeping with it horse and rider, who went rolling over on the plain, in a sorry condition. Sancho hastened to his assistance as fast as his ass could go, and when he came up found him unable to move, with such a shock had Rocinante fallen with him.

    The common meaning of “tilting at windmills” is a romantic (as in Romantic Era) interpretation of Don Quixote, wherein the addled gentleman envisions a better world but is thwarted by the lack of vision in others (and by cruel reality).

    However, Cervantes didn’t intend this interpretation, at least not at the time he wrote chapter 8. He is instead mocking the absurd world portrayed in the novels whose over-consumption led Alonso Quijano’s brain to “dry up,” which in the language of bodily humors means that he lost his power of judgment.

    In other words, when Cervantes set don Quixote to tilt at the windmills, he was showing what happens when you fail to see the world for what it is and substitute a frivolous and unnatural fantasy in its place. Notice that Quixote overrides Sancho’s common-sense objection on the grounds that Sancho hasn’t been educated in these matters, and so his advice is worthless.

    Quixote at this point is truly delusional and not in a noble, idealistic way. He’s a fool, a clown, a buffoon, and Cervantes plays with him the same way SNL played with Mr. Bill: an indestructible doll to put in danger and watch him get squished for the readers’ amusement.

  12. Aw. The Al Goreians are really taking this T. Boone thing hard.

    That last desperate paragraph is better than Scott Tenorman’s tears.

  13. Wind has a 90% conventional backup requirement.

    That means you need to have 90% of the old electrical generation the wind is supposedly replacing still on line for when the wind system fails.

    1 + .9 > 1 last time I checked.

  14. Linky.

    Notice that Quixote blames everything on an evil wizard, who at the last minute changed the giants into windmills to rob Quixote of his deserved glory.

  15. Senorita dicentra, why is Don Quixote’s name always pronounced en espanol, but we say “quicks-otic” when referring to one who is tilting at windmills?

  16. Hey! I have an idea. Let’s put the cart in front of the horse.

    It’s from 2008, and T. Boone is right in there dancing a jig.

    Settled science.

  17. we say “quicks-otic”

    We do? I always associate the adjective with my effort back in the ’70s to see Comet Kohoutek from my backyard…

  18. Why do we say “dohn kee-HO-tee” but “kwik-SAW-tik”?

    Look, there was a puppet on Sesame Street (or one of them shows) named “Donkey Hotey,” and we wouldn’t want to invalidate its existence, would we?

    Besides, the Spanish adjective is quijotesco, “KEE-ho-TES-ko,” which is a bridge too far in the affectation department.

    Also, anyone who says “don KWIKS-ote” will get smacked upside the head by PhDs and illiterate peasants alike, ensuring that that line Just Isn’t Crossed.

    Which is fine with me. “KWIKS-ote” sounds dumb.

  19. dicentra, you’ll appreciate this:

    In my long ago college days, I worked for a B Dalton. The local school assigned Don Quixote and Dante’s Inferno. I had a woman come in and ask for Don Quixote’s translation of Dante’s Inferno…..

    Took about 30 minutes of holding both the books under her nose to convince her it didn’t exist….

  20. Don Quixote’s translation of Dante’s Inferno…..

    You gotta admit…that might be a pretty damn good book.

  21. dicentra:

    The only one who can save us…

  22. That XKCD is pretty good.

  23. …Oh, so I’m pronouncing it wrong when I see KEE-hot-ick?

    that’s what i get from learning all my vocabulary from reading

  24. Do some of the Sp. properly say Quixote as “keek-SO-te” or “keek-SHO-te”? ‘Cause that’s what it sounds like sometimes.

  25. ” In my long ago college days, I worked for a B Dalton. The local school assigned Don Quixote and Dante’s Inferno. I had a woman come in and ask for Don Quixote’s translation of Dante’s Inferno…..
    Took about 30 minutes of holding both the books under her nose to convince her it didn’t exist….”

    Oh c’mon. She was obviously fucking with you. You got trolled and she probably didn’t have the heart to tell you what was up and just let it end while you were still being nice.

  26. In Nahuatl (pronounced NAH-wul…sorta) x is an ‘h’ (aitch) sound like in Oaxaca. Pronounced wah-HAH-kah or if you like in central texas Wuh-HAWK-uh. Of course Oaxaca is a najual.

    I think properly Quixote should be pronounced Kee-shot-eh in spanish but what the heck do I know?

  27. Pingback: IMAO » Blog Archive » Obama: We Don’t Have the Luxury for Michelle Not to Tell Your Kids What to Eat

  28. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-build6-20110306,0,4909175.story

    LA community college green energy boondoggle.

    best part of the story?

    demonstration wind turbine was installed but cannot even light a 60 watt bulb