Even with the massive subsidies currently available the wind industry cannot compete with abundant, clean, low cost, domestic natural gas. Low demand for electricity and an unpredictable economic situation in the foreseeable future, causing utilities to be reluctant to enter into long term power purchase agreeements at prices the wind industry needs to be profitable, has the wind industry on the ropes all over the country.
The only thing that can save it is its ability to prey upon the fears of global warming to induce government to increase subsidy levels even further, and require utilities to purchase wind generation regardless of cost with so called "feed in tariffs". Public opposition to such policies and the need for politicians to get re-elected by appearing sensitive to the economic realities of their constituents should kill this effort. Furthermore, there is no proof that wind turbines in Maine will cause a reduction in fossil fuel generation because Maine is already heavily reliant on existing renewable biomass and hydro plants for it's electricity.
Senators Collins and Snow need to hear this from the folks back home. Baldacci's ego driven ("The Renewable Energy Governor") wind power at all costs policies cannot be continued by the next administration. Gubernatorial and legislative candidates also need to hear from Mainers that wind power is a mistake that we can't afford to continue.
We continue to hear from folks like Angus King that wind power will enable all of us to heat our homes and drive electric cars and thereby stop using "foreign oil" but he provides no timetable for such a radical shift, or a way to pay for it. There is plenty of excess capacity in the grid at night to allow for recharging cars or storing electric heat at current electric rates and if such a transition made economic sense people would already be doing it.
Forgetting for a moment that wind power is unreliable, intermittant, and a grid operator's worst nightmare as more turbines are connected to the grid, turbines installed today will last 15 to 20 years, so even if there was a massive effort to convert to electric cars and electric heat in the coming years, turbines installed now would be at the end of their useful life when the transition occurred. Massive subsidies to install turbines ahead of the need for them will have been for naught, costing taxpayers and ratepayers money that would be much better spent on conservation and efficiency, so that no matter what fuel was used, it would take less energy to heat their homes.