Will Maine become an electricity importer because of the “wind rush?”
Currently, Maine produces 50 percent of its electricity using reliable, renewable sources (hydropower and biomass) and exports a surplus.
With three large, natural-gas plants built in the 1990s, Maine will be able to meet electrical demand until 2017.
What will all of the new generation wind facilities do for us?
Experiences in California and Denmark may answer that question.
Denmark has reached the goal of producing 20 percent of its electrical demand with wind. This was made possible by using large sums of taxpayer money to support the wind industry. It now relies on other countries for power when the wind is not blowing. An importer, subject to pricing not in its control. Fortunately, Denmark has neighbors with conventional plants that can supply its needs, but California encountered a much more severe problem when it pursued the “green revolution” of wind during the 1980s and ’90s.
California found itself in an electrical shortage after proliferating the landscape with wind turbines in lieu of building conventional plants. It had to frantically construct 12,000 megawatts of natural gas plants to avoid going into the dark.
Wind is nice, but any engineer can tell you it is a misfit.
Maine has implemented a law requiring 20 percent wind power by 2015. Taxpayer subsidies are so large that developers are in a no-lose situation. That is the exact same scenario used by Denmark and California.
Dan McKay, Dixfield