Donnerstag, November 08, 2007

Again: Why Windpower Doesn't Work ...

There's another letter in the FAZ today, from Thomas Heinzow, whose work I've covered here before.

It's really rather simple, and the calculations are straight-forward, and to even make things simpler, let us use the numbers that are used by those arguing for the massive use of wind power.

The figure in question is the damage caused by each and every ton of excess CO2 produced now in the future: €70 per ton.

The current subsidy in Germany for wind power is €550 for each reduced ton of
CO2 after you count the cost of manufacturing the wind mills.

The cost of cleaning up coal, in terms of reducing
CO2 emissions, is €20.

So, let's work this one out: in order to save a future value of €70 (we won't get into the proper discount rate for that one...), German politicians, in their infinite wisdom, are going to spend €550 today for a technology that fails to fill the most basic energy infrastructure needs (availability and constancy), instead of spending €20 to clean up emissions from a dependable and local energy source (coal).

In other words, let's figure out what that really means. Let's set a goal of reducing 1 mn tons of
CO2 emissions: the future damage that these cause is €70mn. The expenditure to subsidize is €550 mn; cleaning up the coal emissions would cost €20mn.

But what the heck, it's only tax money. Given 80 mn Germans, that works out to be only €6.88 per head. Price of a lunch. Save the world while you're doing it! But the reality is that you could achieve the same effect by spending 25 cents.

The difference doesn't end there: wind mills ruin the landscape, kill birds, etc.

The wind energy proponents claim that this subsidy will be ultimately not needed as economies of scale and "technological improvements" will bring down the cost to levels similar to other energy sources. Of course, that is what they have been saying for the last 20 years, but heck, who cares about that.

This is, of course, indicative of the absolute folly of any sort of "Green" energy production that disallows reality and enforces waste. The Greens are just as morally culpable of corruption and incompetence as any other party, despite their claims of being the only ones who really care about the environment.

They care just as long as the subsidies finance those who finance them. And don't try to pretend that it is anything else.