Does Big Wind Need Another Bailout?

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Does Big Wind Need Another Bailout?

I am musing over an article I read at the blog Hot Air. Seems the major suppliers of wind turbines, including Germany’s Siemens, Denmark’s Vestas, US’s General Electric, Denmark’s Orsted, each have lost billions, with a B, in 2022 in their wind farm divisions. Siemens doesn’t even have one order for turbines in the first quarter of 2023.  That spells disaster.

Vestas is having other problems. Seems their turbines don’t hold up well and their warranty expenses are far exceeding their in house projections. As one wag put it “You (say, Siemens, for example) get a reputation for overpriced junk – no matter how subsidized it is, your order sheets will start reflecting your reputation.” No kidding.

Why is this happening? It doesn’t take a doctorate in accounting to figure it out. This entire program is fraught with internal disasters, and it cannot survive without subsidies from the Government. And guess what, the government has always failed when it sets out to pick winners and losers. Can you say Solyndra.

Ever wonder why wind turbine companies haven’t relied on venture capital. Seems venture capitalists want a return on their money. If you fail, they simply take over your company, replace the management, and force profitability. They take a look at wind and what, run the other way.

Seems wind farms at sea are having other problems, they kill whales. Whoopsie. What do the greenies pushing these projects have to say about that. Collateral Damage? Another big problem is that folks don’t want them in their back yard. Getting local approvals for such projects is becoming more and more difficult. Who wants the ugly and noisy windmills in their neck of the woods?

The headline on “Hot Air” is “Is Wind Winding Down?” It seems obvious that companies the size of Siemens and GE aren’t going to keep throwing billions at these projects. The EU and the US will, at some point, wake up and stop subsidizing these losers. Then what?

There is another minor problem with wind. It doesn’t work. it doesn’t work when there is no wind, it doesn’t work in freezing weather, it takes a bit of a breeze to get it moving. A bigger problem is the amount of acreage required to build enough wind farms to supply the US’s current requirements. It’s the size of two California’s. And frankly, that just isn’t going to happen.

The US has enough natural gas to power us for the next 100 years. That’s not counting any oil, coal, or dare I say it, nuclear power. Are we loosing our collective minds.

JVH

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

3 Responses

  1. John:

    It seems that Covid, Competition and Production (quality) all seem to have taken the wind out of the sails of this industry that has been propped-up through government funding, public law and the sustainable development religion.

    Faulty components? Delays in the pipeline? Falling demand / delayed approvals? Collectively they’ve created the perfect (wind) storm.

    According to a Statista.com article from 2018, the Chinese market share among global wind turbine manufacturers totaled 29.7%, making that nation the world’s top global wind equipment producer (pre-Covid [1]). So maybe when China sneezed during Covid, the rest of the world caught cold. Again: Covid, Competition and Production.

    But when it comes to wind energy, I disagree that we have “lost our collective minds” — but the collectivist politicians, bureaucrats and activists have.

    [1]: https://www.statista.com/statistics/272813/market-share-of-the-leading-wind-turbine-manufacturers-worldwide/

  2. John, you ask, “If we are all so sane, why are we putting up with this fiasco?”

    Jefferson answered your question in the Declaration of Independence: “…all Experience has shown, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.”

    Most of us are still able (or at least willing) to suffer the Evils being placed upon us. But who knows for how much longer? You may want to have Todd Myers of the Washington Policy Center delivery another keynote at the next PIE, or at least a guest column in PT, regarding politicians’ obsession with Big Wind in the face of so many arguments to the contrary.

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