Wind turbines in Desert Hot Springs | Photo: Rons Log/Flickr/Creative Commons License
When someone I don't know sent me a copy of a recent Los Angeles Times editorial supporting destroying more of our desert's fragile environment to benefit the heavily subsidized and often environmentally destructive wind energy industry, I thought it was a cut and paste job - and not precisely what the LA Times really said.
Well, I was wrong.
So if you are not up to speed on how wrong the LA Times is on wind energy in the Mohave Desert - this article at KCET by environmental journalist Chris Clarke explains why wind energy generally does not work in the California desert - even before factoring in all the environmental costs.
The essential problem is there is not enough consistently strong wind in our deserts for wind generation to be financially feasible - even with the massive - and unsustainable in the long run - subsidies that wind generation requires in less than peak area. And those subsidies are necessary - due to, among other factors, the costs of new transmission systems and the costs of having to also build back-up generation for when the wind is not blowing.
Then when you factor in the hundreds of thousands of birds that will be killed each year in California if all the proposed new wind farms get built - as well as the blanketing of the desert with power lines - the environment cost of wind farms in the Mohave, is simply too high.