Wind farms add billions of dollars to local economies - Illinois' 23 largest wind farms -- several of which are in Central Illinois -- will add $5.8 billion to local economies over the life of the projects, according to an Illinois State University study released Tuesday.
This is the kind of study that is self-serving idiocy which will hamstring the country's economy. Wind is useless as a baseload power supply without massive storage and massive installations to fill that massive storage. Why should the taxpayers in the rest of the country be expected to sacrifice their money so Illinois, or any other state, can enjoy the benefits of enhancing their economy at the expense of the rest of the country.
Wind power is a boondoggle. It costs more than a gas turbine combined cycle plant and almost as much as an ultra-supercritical coal plant to build but only has a capacity factor of about 30 to 32% and it typically does it at the wrong time of day. Wind is not reliable--if the power from it is needed, it must be backed up 100% by some other power technology. Wind is highly variable--even when it is in operation, there must be fossil power operating at low load ready to rapidly ramp up and down to control the swings in output and to stabilize system frequency. The vagaries of wind power means that it does little to reduce CO2 emissions because the false economics generated by PTCs for wind have meant that many fossil plants that should have been replaced by newer, more efficient, and cleaner running plants have not been or that the backup power is supplied by simple cycle gas turbines which burn 1.5 times the amount of fuel a combined cycle plant burns to make the same number of MWh.
Meanwhile China is kicking our butts in the world market for goods manufactured using primarily coal fired power with no pollution abatement or CO2 abatement and hydropower which has resulted in the innudation of vast areas of land that could have supported vegetation which converts CO2 back into oxygen and sequesters carbon in the plant matter.
All the PTC and its partnering cash grant program have done is distort the electrical marketplace completely messing up the economics of power production. That before even considering the cost impacts of running thousands of miles of long distance transmission lines across wilderness areas subject to wildfires and winter ice storms, not to mention the vast destruction of trees and other vegetation for the rights of way for the power lines and windfarm installations.