The Corner

Re: Windy Disinformation

Robert, that Jimmy Glotfelty diatribe against your recent wind energy piece was not merely “windy disinformation,” it was weird. Reading it, you could be forgiven for thinking that wind power is on the cusp of a major market breakthrough, and could one day become economical. It isn’t and it won’t.

Wind accounted for less than 3 percent of U.S. electrical generation in 2011. The number of wind farms may be growing, but because wind power can only be produced intermittently, actual generation of wind energy is only a small fraction of overall installed wind capacity. In 2011, the operator of Texas’s electrical grid estimated that only 8.7 percent of installed wind capacity could be counted on during times of peak summer demand.   

Whatever recent inroads wind has made are due rather less to its merits as an energy source than to staggering government subsidies. While coal, natural gas, and petroleum liquids received $0.64 of federal subsidies per megawatt hour in 2010, wind power received a whopping $56.29 per megawatt hour.

Wind power simply cannot be scaled up to replace traditional energy sources such as fossil fuels and nuclear power. Which was, of course, your point. Wind subsidies might make a few people rich, but they won’t make wind a free market success story.

Josiah Neeley is policy analyst in the Armstrong Center for Energy & Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More