Wind-powered electricity is so inefficient that nobody gets into the wind generation business unless they are paid to do so. The situation in Ontario is proof of this. Wind turbines have sprung up all over the province because of government rules that force provincial electricity rate-payers, including low income people who live in apartment buildings, to pay wind “entrepreneurs” at least twice the rate that nuclear utilities get. The reason for this is wind’s inadequacy as an energy source. A 200-megawatt wind farm rarely generates 200 megawatts of electricity, and almost never does so for more than a few hours at a time. The wind just does not blow in a way that makes electricity generation convenient. Nor does it blow in a way that makes marine cargo shipping convenient—this is why nobody has shipped cargo in a sail-powered ship since the late-1800s.
Looks beautiful, but it’s not hauling cargo. Sail power for marine transportation ended in the mid- to late-1800s with the advent of the steam engine. Steam engines made marine transportation reliable. Today, nobody uses “free” wind power to move cargo or passengers. That is because crew salaries must be paid every two weeks.
The Ontario program that forces rate-payers to pay exorbitant prices for inefficient and unreliable wind power would never be expanded to include, say, sail powered shipping on the Great Lakes. That is because the inferiority of sail-powered shipping is immediately obvious to anyone who spends a few seconds pondering the business model. Anyone can easily imagine how quickly they would go out of business if they charged their customers more when they were late delivering a shipment.
Just imagine it: you are late with a shipment, and you still have to pay your crew, so the only way you can keep from going bankrupt is to charge your customer more than the agreed delivery charge! Your customer would be shocked, to put it mildly.
A shipping customer who has just been informed that he will have to pay more for a late shipment. Operators of sail-powered shipping companies would quickly become familiar with this look, because they would frequently be late with their shipments, and could only stay in business if they charged more when they were late. Wind-powered electricity generation operates on exactly the same business model, but customers don’t notice because of the way electricity is delivered.
Meanwhile, your competitors, who run petroleum-powered ships, make their deliveries on time and charge less.
Wind-generated electricity suffers from the exact same issue. Wind is unpredictable and unreliable, so to make a living as a wind entrepreneur, you have to charge more for an inferior product. Nobody in their right mind would pay more for something they can get elsewhere for cheaper. But the electricity market is different. Few people understand where the electricity that powers their house comes from. It all comes from wires, that come from somewhere else.
This is why there are now so many wind turbines in rural areas in Ontario. It is not because the locals recently discovered wind as an energy source. It is because the government has made the business profitable by making ratepayers pay the ridiculous prices that the wind entrepreneurs require in order to make a profit.
The Independent Electricity System Operator, which runs the Ontario electricity grid, recently pointed up the economic consequences of paying exorbitant prices for inferior electricity.
These consequences are serious. Modern cities run on electricity. They are quite literally uninhabitable without electricity. This means electricity must be cheap, and reliable. Wind is neither.