Wind Power Not More Expensive

Wind power not more expensive

Wood County Delegate Deem recently criticized the WV Public Service Commission for approving the purchase of wind power from an Indiana wind farm by Appalachian Electric Power (AEP) writing: “Knowing that wind power costs about three times as much as electricity that is generated from coal, oil and natural gas, it makes you wonder why rate payers would have to pay this added cost”

Delegate Deem did not share with us any data supporting this assertion nor did he identify who it was who was “knowing” the alleged cost of wind versus coal power. I, for one, am not “knowing” his assertion because I know from reading an article in the science magazine Scientific American (8/28/17) that “a comprehensive survey of the wind industry shows wind energy is routinely purchased in bulk for 2 cents per kilowatt hour (KH), less than the cost of coal and natural gas — and turbines are getting cheaper, bigger and better.” The article was based on a 2016 report by the U.S. Department of Energy (obviously released before Trump’s critters could lay their paws on it), which found that U.S. wind energy will continue to be one of the lowest cost electricity generating technologies available.” I suspect that AEP also knows that wind power is cheaper than coal and natural gas because it is in the business of making a profit and profits are generally not made by paying the highest price for something, even if it’s good ol’ West Virginia coal.

Perhaps Del. Deem used “knowing” in the Biblical sense, that is, that he believes or has faith that coal is cheaper than wind power. While people often avoid real facts by wishful thinking, I expect that’s how the House of Delegates operates, the human species is running out of time for wishful thinking and needs real solutions real fast. In fact, many climate scientists feel that we have already passed the point of no return. Nevertheless, for the sake of future generations, we must try to reduce global warming and we can’t do that by burning coal, which releases more heat trapping CO2 than any other energy source.

Wonder if Del. Deem wouldn’t mind passing that message to the good ol’ boys down in Charleston? Surely, at least for some, the prospect of an uninhabitable planet by the time of their grandchildren would outweigh their greed and lust for coal money.

Patrick N. Radcliff