Wind Makes No Meaningful Contribution To The Grid: The Ciccone/Lehr Rule Of Thumb

Posted on Wed 12/08/2021 by


By Dr. Jay Lehr ~

This is part three of a tutorial on why wind power is tantamount to a fraud perpetrated daily. 

According to the American Wind Association, as we near the end of 2021 there are about 60,000 wind turbines operating in 41 states and two territories. It is not hard to convince farmers to give up about 1.5 to 2 acres of their land to a wind turbine which will pay them a fee for many years. Large turbines can bring a land owner between $10,000 and $15,000 per year for the use of his or her land. County tax revenue from the turbines can also be significant. But make no mistake about who is really paying these excessive royalties. It is you the American taxpayer who covers at the very least half of all costs related to wind. Without which their industry would end the next day.

Let’s look at how the wind powers variable output affects the electric grid to which it is attached. Even at the best sites, wind may vary from minute to minute and hour to hour. The grid however must respond second to second to user demand. The grid dispatchers can not control wind power production any more than they can control user demand. Therefore wind power attached to the grid can not contribute to meeting demand. By pushing power into the grid as is required by governments across the nation they are adding another fluctuation that the grid must balance. In 2018 this author and his coauthor of the book A HITCHHIKERS JOURNEY THROUGH CLIMATE CHANGE coined a simple but ironclad rule of thumb for electric power. They believed this rule would slowly bring the public to the recognition of the total waste of every nickel spent on wind energy that is attached to one of the United States three grids, East, West and Texas.

The Ciccone/Lehr rule of thumb for electric grid capacity says:

“All Solar and Wind Power on an Electric Grid Must be Backed Up With an Equal or Greater Amount of Fossil Fuel Power Running on Standby 100% of The Time.”

This standby power burns fuel continuously but its power is only needed to avoid the grids failure. So wind drives up the cost of electric power considerably, making all the wind power available from time to time to be useless. But the problem with wind is far greater than just its extravagant cost for nothing at all.

What do we do when the wind turbines useful life ends which is not normally the advertised life of 20 years but experience show it is closer to 12 years. Do we tear it all down? Spend countless more dollars on fossil fuels to break down the tons of steel and concrete, meltdown the metals recycle the plastics and carbon fiber material and carry it away. But to where? There are not many landfills prepared to take on such waste.

Although 85% of each turbine is composed of steel, copper wire and electronics and gears that can be recycled, the huge blades are made of fiberglass or carbon fiber which can not. Only three landfills in the US will accept them, Lake Mills, Iowa, Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Casper, Wyoming.

In January of 2020 USEPA published a less than glowing report on our nations wind turbines focusing on the many oils and lubricants that leak out of the machines and the confusion as to whose responsibility it is to clean them up and ultimately dismember them. Of course it should be the wind company if they remain in business, but bankruptcy is an easy out. Take their money and run. It then becomes the land owners problem. Let us count the farmers willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to clean up the mess.

EPA summed up the problem best when it stated “until such time as wind turbines can be efficiently dismantled so that component elements are separated out into small enough units to enter the existing waste stream and re-used or properly disposed of, each wind farm is a “towering promise of future wreckage”. Face it America will one day become a gigantic sculpture garden.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service, a strong friend to environmental groups recently got into the anti-wind fray when they reported that between 140,000 and 500,000 birds of 200 different species are killed annually by wind turbines. At the present rate of turbine growth in the US they predict total bird deaths could reach 1.4 million.

Wind power except from a wind mill that works only for some useful power in your own home, not connected to any grid, has nothing good to say for it.

The mistake those of us educated in the field of energy physics make is thinking leadership of our increasingly socialist leaders are dumb enough to actually think their plan for wind and sun to run the nations economy will work to maintain America’s standard of living. In fact they and their radical environmental supporters know full well their plan can not work. They know success for them will be the need for government to ration energy to all its citizens. It will never happen but that is their plan.

Most of your friends actually believe that wind makes some small contribution to our nations energy capacity. It will be hard for them to believe that it does not. Try and convince them as best you can that the only contribution wind makes is increasing the cost of energy we all must pay.

NOTE: If you have not read parts 1 and 2 of this series I hope you will look back one and two weeks on the outstanding site to read them.

Dr Jay Lehr is a Senior Science Analyst at the CFACT site, and he is the author of more than 1,000 magazine and journal articles and 36 books.

Read more excellent articles at CFACT