Take away the subsidies and the wind farms start to vanish

There is a book called the Wind Farm Scam that basically suggests all the PR and noise coming out about how great wind energy is, is as the title suggests, a scam.

And when this book was first published all the wind energy companies and one country in particular, called the book a scam. It was one side saying the entire industry was a scam and the other side saying the book was a scam. But the book made some predictions.

Not only did the book make some predictions, it was written about quite a lot in the American and British press. There is an article here that sort of summarises the book and goes to suggest that for all the money spent on building these wind farms, there is nothing like the return on investment that there should be. There is the capacity, but that is based on the wind blowing at exactly the time the energy is needed and none of us can control the weather.

Now, you might say it shouldn't be about return on investment and I agree completely, but the gist is that if you spend £10mn constructing a wind farm you'd expect that cost, over the duration of the wind farm to be paid back, but in some cases, that isn't even happening and if it wasn't for the subsidies, they'd make a loss. So how can they afford to build these wind farms that lose money?

Yes, it's in the title and I've mentioned it a few times; it's about subsidies. If you ask Holmen Energy to pay for absolutely everything in the construction of the wind farm proposed around the village, they'd walk away tomorrow. It's simply not financially viable for them to build it and cover all the costs; they're only doing it because they're getting subsidies - all part of an initiative to make clean energy.

But ask them to pay and they'll not do it, because even they know it's not viable.

But, if you were to take all these subsidies and invest in solar, with the technology today and the technology forecast to come in the very near future, you'd not only have a clean way of making energy, you'd also not have this horrible eye sore around the village. And you'd be making much more impact into sustainable and clean energy and with us having the sun up for so long during the year, to me, it makes sense, because you can even collect solar power when it's a little cloudy.

But, there are no subsidies for that yet. There is money here, that if not spent, will be lost. This is merely an opportunity that Holmen want to take advantage of, because it gives them an extremely low risk, brand new revenue stream that they didn't have before and it allows them to get use out of land that would normally be making no money for them.

But, that's just a book and an article in a newspaper suggesting this is a scam, right? Wrong. Spain have reduced installations of wind farms by 84% following changes in tax and subsidy regulations - basically there is no more money to be made, so people are not constructing them anymore.

But it doesn't stop at Spain. Italy have seen a 65% drop in installations too. And the French have seen a 24% drop. Free money is running out so nobody is interested.

Apart from Germany and the UK, they've still got subsidies. But here is another thing; the UK are about to make it law that no more wind farms can go up on land, only out at sea, because everyone is fed up of seeing them and there is growing evidence that they do actually have a long term impact on the health of people living near them.

Wind power isn't something anyone is interested in doing independently, simply because it isn't actually profitable in a way that can be projected and managed.

Oh, the prediction the book made was that when the subsidies stopped, nobody would build wind farms anymore .. that has sort of turned out to be true, whereas all the predictions from the wind farm industry about how much energy they'll create hasn't really worked out. I guess it's a case of what is best suited for the position you're in at the time.

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