Wind power is no panacea as some would have us believe
I agree with some of the basic concepts presented in the July 23 letter “State needs to invest in solar and wind energy,” but I find issue when reality is ignored for wishful thinking. Future technology and marketplace initiatives will indeed increase the benefits of wind and solar opportunities. But reliance on “green alternatives” as opposed to the placement of a state-of-the art natural gas power plant in Dunkirk is not the panacea environmentalists want us to believe it to be.
The author suggests we follow Germany’s lead by investing in wind energy. The German government did indeed invest heavily in wind and solar energy initiatives (they doubled down after the tsunami-caused Fukushima disaster). How’s Germany’s initiative doing now? It’s basically at a standstill. Wind farms are a notoriously unreliable power source. This was confirmed by the National Grid representatives at the PSC meeting. The continuous threat of power outages over large areas is now the reality. This is especially true during winter months when demand is higher. German policy makers didn’t listen to the latest Harvard study that revealed the true generating power of wind farms is vastly overestimated.
An out-of-town speaker at the Dunkirk PSC hearing expressed concerns that the natural gas boom is going to last less than 50 years, so this is not a good project. A Canadian sustainability consulting firm appears to be the lobbyist group vocalizing this myth. It’s no wonder, since the Canadian government is grappling with the fact the United States will indeed become energy independent, and this drives a nail into their economy. The largest Canadian export to the United States is oil.
The bottom line is this: If the NRG plant is not built, Western New York will lose the state’s most modern and clean energy-producing facility. The alternative is to then import the energy from Canada and out-of-state coal-fired energy plants. Dunkirk will lose about 40 percent of its entire tax base. The lights won’t be turned off for energy conservation purposes; they will be turned of by all the citizens on their way out.
David J. Maternowski