Wind Power a Good Supplement

Published July 9, 2008

While the city of Houston’s use of wind-powered electricity with the intent of lowering energy prices may be noble, the state of Texas should not mandate or subsidize wind power. Currently, Houston is in a taxpayer-funded five-year contract for wind-generated electricity. Given wind power’s inconsistencies and shortfalls, though, the taxpayers of Texas should not be forced to subsidize these experiments. (“City of Houston Gives Wind Power a Turn,” July 2)

While effective as a supplement in a comprehensive energy plan, wide-scale use of wind power is not recommended. For starters, the wind pressure has to be “perfect” — not too strong/not too light — in order for the turbines to harness the wind. Also, conventional plants always have to be on standby and ready to serve as a back-up. In the past, having to run both the wind turbines and the conventional back-up has cost municipalities more money than had they run the conventional power plants alone.

While wind can be a great add-on to any energy plan, it is but one component. If Texans are going to be forced to foot the bill, options such as coal, nuclear, and other more reliable sources need to be included as a part of a more expansive energy plan. This is a more reliable means of lowering energy prices.

Zonia M. Pino ([email protected]) is a legislative specialist for The Heartland Institute.