Windmills are iconic images in Holland, but wind farms are proving to be more expensive and unsightly than the lovely windmills that grace Dutch dinnerware.
Reuters reports that the Dutch people and the Dutch government are worried out the cost of green subsidies to keep the wind farms operating.
The Netherlands has 36 North Sea wind turbines –each 30 stories high and many more on land.
The Dutch government, however, is cutting back its subsidy of the entire cost of 18 cents per kilowatt hour and is trying to get private investors involved. It cost 4.5 billion euros last year to subsidize wind power in Holland.
The Dutch government wants to attract private investors in the wind farm industry by offering them subsidies.
According to Reuters:
Offshore wind farms produce more electricity than onshore ones but it costs twice as much as onshore wind power due to the higher cost of materials, more expensive drilling methods, and more complex maintenance.
Wind turbines in the sea need to be more robust to withstand strong winds and salt water; their maintenance some miles away from the coast requires special equipment and transportation.
Drilling the seabed is more expensive as it requires a specialized workforce and equipment.
Then there’s the additional cost of connecting the offshore farms to the grid.
Onshore, wind turbines face local resistance.
Offshore wind turbines are highly expensive and land-based turbines anger residents. Unmentioned in the Reuters article is the fact that these wind turbines routinely kill birds and bats — something that horrifies animal rights activists.
James Delingpole, author of Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colors, describes the mess that Denmark is in over its love affair with wind farms. According to Delingpole:
“… it has the world’s highest density of wind towers—5,200, one for every 1,000 people. In return for this monstrous blight on their once beautiful landscape, the Danes enjoy the privilege of paying the highest energy prices in Europe and about four times the U.S. average. Their wind power is so inefficient that it’s only viable with a massive taxpayer subsidy at the behest of the government: about 50 percent of the 2008 Danish household electricity rate of 28 eurocents per kilowatt hour is tax. Between 1996 and 2004, the Danish taxpayer spent an average of €257 million per year subsidizing wind farms.