Green New Deal will not cost as much as feared

It turns out that a powerful Vestas wind turbine can be purchased for $199 on


9 thoughts on “Green New Deal will not cost as much as feared

  1. I get the solar industry, solar cells gather electricity which is stored in batteries to power things. With wind, why do we build the design with the giant blades that require semi-trucks with over-sized clearances to deliver them? Is that really the cheapest and most efficient model? Or is it more a “big company” perspective to require the solution to cost so much in capital investment that no one can but a few companies subsidized by the government can do it? What about fuel cells?

    • The wind is stronger at higher altitudes, which favors taller towers. Friction with the ground reduces wind velocity and changes its direction. (Of course, eventually we will have significant friction from all of the windmills so eastern states will need to build yet-higher windmills to capture whatever wind is left after the West and Midwest scrape out the low-level stuff!)

      See for some data.

  2. I do not know true or not, I never estimated but I read that steel going into constructions of a typical tall electric windmill uses such amount of cox coal that it would never produce energy value of coal if it instead was burned for energy efficiently until the installation needs to be replaced.

    • I don’t think that the Danes at Vestas, despite their lack of passion for diversity, are dumb enough to do the same kind of stuff that we do, e.g., dump more energy into making ethanol than burning the ethanol produces.


      estimate that the turbines will be net producers of energy in 8 months or less.

      This makes sense when you think about the efforts that people went to back in the old days. It was rational to build a windmill in Holland during the great age of oil painting. There were no government subsidies for wind energy back then. Why wouldn’t it be rational now?

    • Philg, I agree that typical wooden windmill in Holland is a rational thing to have, to power few light bulbs. What I am skeptical about is statistics gathered by European bureaucrats. I am quite sure that even Vestas gets its steel from the lowest, not the highest, bidder, probably some Chinese or Ukrainian steel producer. There were CO2 accounting scandals in steel producing countries of Eastern Europe, even though Google is hiding them now. I noticed that some “green” billionaires bought coal mines as long as prior administration taxed CO2, it could not be to protect environment, most likely for export. High altitude with constant wind would make big difference in turbine energy output. The ones I see on my inter-city drive are mostly idle or rotating slowly; several are usually missing one leaf for some reason. Vestas has significant % of US marketplace. Hopefully all their turbines are in the Rockies at 5,000 + feet altitude. But according to your link “Doubling the distance to the grid from 50 km to 100 km typically increases [negative] impacts per kWh by 3-5%,” which is important by US measures, 100 km ~ 60 miles and power needs to be transferred far from the Rockies. I do not get why there are special efficiency losses for wind, maybe it is journo take on regular transfer losses.

    • And I did not say that windmills produce less electricity that goes into their production. I said that if coal that goes into steel used for windmill was burned using efficient technologies it would produce more energy that the turbine is expected to produce.

  3. I see these great green energy projects are always spec’d as fossil and nuke plants are spec’d, in megawatts. The problem is that fossil and nuke plants can operate to full capacity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, while solar and wind come no where close. This is a huge problem. I think we need to start specifying these plants in projected megawatt hours produced. A 1 mw/hr gas plant will produce 168 mw/hrs of electricity in a week. A 1 megawatt solar plant, will produce on average for full sun, all week long, say average 9 hours sun per day, 63 mw/hrs of electricity. In reality it would be way less than this due to clouds and varying angle of sunlight through out the day. We are no where close to replacing traditional energy with these green technologies.

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