Charts: a decade of rapid growth for wind power in Maine

Here was my comment to this absolutely bogus report about wind in Maine.

Statistics! The writer has picked and chosen minuscule data from a government statistical report on energy in the State of Maine. It is possible to make any single month look good for any industry by using statistics. This term was popularized in the United States by Mark Twain (among others), who attributed it to the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

While we have ample energy production from hydro, gas and biomass to fill the needs of Mainers, we have now taken on the role of supplier of energy to Southern New England. And that comes at an enormous cost to our environment and energy transmission costs. We also have the second cleanest energy production in the US here in Maine and would be the cleanest if we were allowed to put adequate gas lines from Pennsylvania for electricity and home heating. Wind can NOT heat your home in winter, and that is where we lose out. We are still heating mostly with fuel oil throughout most of Maine and because the rules say we have to divert gas for those homes and businesses that have gas away from electricity production, we have to fall back on what wind there is when it blows. It makes our system very unstable. WE DON'T NEED MORE WIND, WE NEED MORE NATURAL GAS!!

Fuel for electricity in Maine is about 9% of our total fuel usage. Transportation and home heating are far bigger users of fuel. The fact that wind is taking 23% for one month of electrical production is minuscule in the whole scheme of things, especially when there is virtually NO gas powered electricity because of fuel diversions. BIG DEAL!!! We do not need to become the industrial wasteland for Southern New England. We need to preserve what has made Maine "Vacationland", our pristine waterways, lakes, mountains, hiking trails and wildlife. That is the "environmentalism" Mainers should be chasing, not phony wind and solar.

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Comment by Dan McKay on January 28, 2018 at 10:38am

The motivation fed to the Maine people behind the Wind Energy Act was it would make Maine energy independent. How is it that the selection of wind and solar, two energy sources dependent on other sources for backup, makes us energy independent ?

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Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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