There's good news in the wind (unless you're a bird)


By Liz Enbysk

SGN Managing Editor


We’re hearing a lot about positive strides in wind power - from a new transmission analysis tool that helped the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) break a wind record last week to a project in Denmark that shows it is possible to control the uncontrollable wind in an intelligent power system.  We've highlighted these and other recent developments in the wind power space below, But be sure to click to page 2 for a press release that explains why a group that planned to erect a mock turbine in Washington D.C. on Monday thinks wind power is a threat.


Tool helps ERCOT break wind power records

March tends to be a windy month in Texas no matter what, but ERCOT says it hit a new wind record two consecutive days last week - exceeding its previous record by almost 200 MW. ERCOT, state grid operator and manager of the wholesale electric market in Texas, said wind output reached 7,599 MW at 8:41 p.m. on March 7, which exceeded the 7,403 MW record from the previous day by 196 MW. Prior to March 6, the record for wind output in ERCOT was 7,400 MW, recorded on Oct. 7, 2011. Kent Saathoff, director of grid operations and system planning, said the new records are due in part to a new transmission analysis tool ERCOT started using last week. "In the past, we’ve had some slack built into some of our transmission limits because these limits had to be set well in advance,” Saathoff said.  "The new tool runs an analysis on real-time conditions every 30 minutes so it gives us a more fine-tuned analysis.”  Learn more >>


New report touts surprising wind growth in 2011

Despite continued economic woes, the Clean Energy Trends 2012 report issued today by Clean Edge suggests clean energy markets expanded rapidly in 2011. Combined global revenue for solar PV, wind power, and biofuels rose 31 percent over the prior year, growing from $188.1 billion in 2010 to $246.1 billion last year, according to the report. The report indicates the bulk of the expansion came from double-digit growth rates for both wind and solar deployment globally. Zeroing in on wind power, the report says new installation capital costs totaled a record $71.5 billion in 2011, up 18% from the prior year, and is projected to reach $116.3 billion in 2021. Last year’s global wind power installations equaled 41.6 GW, the largest year for global installations on record. China remained the global leader in new installations for the fourth year in a row, installing more than 40 percent of all global wind capacity, or 18 GW in total.  Download the full report for free >>

For Release: March 12, 2012
Occupy Occupy D.C. Wind Turbine to Memorialize Dead Birds, Despoiled Land

Washington, D.C. - A mock wind turbine will be erected Monday, March 12 at noontime in Washington, D.C.'s Freedom Plaza to highlight the threat that wind, a celebrated alternative energy source, poses to the American bird community.

"If I was a bird, I'd be an angry bird right now," said David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research and director of the National Center's "Occupy Occupy DC" project. "Countless innocent birds that only want to be with their eggs die every year from crashing into wind turbines. The environmentalists who promote wind energy at the expense of the birds are green pigs!"

Monday's event is part of The National Center for Public Policy Research's "Occupy Occupy D.C." events at Freedom Plaza. The National Center obtained a five-week permit from the U.S. Park Service that forces the Occupy D.C. encampment to share the park between February 12 and March 15.

A report by the National Research Council estimated that wind turbines kill approximately 100,000 birds every year. The American Bird Conservancy claims the number could be triple that estimate -- affecting the songbird community most of all.

"At some point the slaughter of birds and bats by taxpayer-subsidized wind turbines is going to trigger serious legal action," added National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. "If the full force of the Migratory Bird Treaty and the Endangered Species Act were brought to bear on these unsightly killing machines, investors would turn their backs on this artificial industry in a heartbeat."

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank with over 100,000 recent supporters. Contributions to it are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.