Corruption and little production

Denmark, the flagship for wind power, has shown some cracks in its energy portfolio.  First, it became evident that wind power is too variable or non-productive.  Denmark has an installed capacity of 20% wind power, but it frequently meets as low as 5% of their energy needs, and produces on average not more than 9% of their energy needs (see this study for details).

It costs them when the production is too low, and costs them when it is too high.  That's right: Denmark has to pay other countries to absorb its overproduction in electricity from wind.  Denmark also has to pay high fees to import electricity from other countries--such as Sweden and Norway's reliable nuclear or hydropower-- when its wind production is too low.  Luckily, Denmark is a small enough country that other countries can absorb its widely varying production and needs, expensive even with only 1/5 of their installed capacity in wind.  This certainly calls into question the feasibility for a large country attempting to implement any significant production from wind.

Now, it has been reported from a Danish High Court judge that the wind power industry has corrupted its typically moral government.  Perhaps no large industry concern is completely free of corruption, but it is certain to be involved when large amounts of money are thrown at technologies which are not ready for reasonable implementation.  See our previous post on different energy industry subsidies and a discussion of Solyndra and U.S. political corruption here.

It is interesting that he wrote not only of the corruption of parliament, but also about the lack of appropriate compensation for landowners, and the cost or lack of jobs produced by wind power.  In the U.S., the cost to taxpayers per long-term wind energy job has been as high as $1 million or more.

Below are some excepts from his opinion post:
"The law approving construction of a test centre of large land-based wind turbines near the Jutland town of Østerild was forced through parliament despite warnings about the effects it would have on the natural environment in the area and its impact on residents. The bill was able to make its way through parliament thanks to a complete manipulation of the facts – both by keeping some information under wraps, and by directly misinforming people. 
But it wasn’t parliament that was misled. Members of parliament that voted for the law were fully aware of the truth, yet they turned a blind eye so the law could be passed. It was, in fact, voters who were tricked into thinking that they had been told the whole truth."
and:
"Corruption is defined as moral decay, and that is precisely what we are witnessing here. The fear that Denmark could lose jobs and the near religious obsession with wind power has made politicians deaf and blind to objections to wind as a source of energy, and led them to take part in the industry’s fraud. The environmental and human impacts of what they are doing appear to have no effect on them.
It only adds to the embarrassment that instead of hiring people, the wind industry is eliminating jobs in Denmark."
Hawaii abandoned wind turbines, a lovely sight on my vacation!


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2 comments

  1. You might also like to check CO2 production / energy produced in Denmark versus other Nordic countries...

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  2. I too have seen those abandoned windmills at the Kamaoa wind farm at South Point, Hawaii. Those suckers are fugly as all get out. It is a lovely landscape that has been visually polluted by those monstrosities. Not a lot of people know it, but unlike nuclear power, there is no legal requirement for owners of windmills to clean up their sites after they are abandoned. They simply walk away and leave rusting hulks. The South Point wind farms were the object of numerous lawsuits filed by the state and individuals, citing them as public nuisances. The state (taxpayers) finally had to step in and take over the abandoned sites, with the goal of either cleaning them up or maybe selling them to developers. It really tells you something about the viability of wind as a power sources when producers go out of business in one of the windiest places on Earth.

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