July 17th, 2012

Remember the Iowa primary, and the Republican candidates queuing up to sign a locally manufactured wind turbine blade, including Mitt Romney?

That was then. Romney today (though watch out for firmware upgrades through the wi-fi implant):

We should not be in the business of steering investment toward particular politically favoured approaches. That is a recipe for both time and money wasted on projects that do not bring us dividends. The failure of windmills and solar plants to become economically viable or make a significant contribution to our energy supply is a prime example.

Romney programme, energy summary web-page

… Wind and solar power, two of the most ballyhooed forms of alternative fuel, remain sharply uncompetitive on their own with conventional resources such as oil and natural gas in most applications. Indeed, at current prices, these technologies make little sense for the consuming public but great sense only for the companies reaping profits from taxpayer subsidies.

Romney programme, energy full pdf, unnumbered (why?) page 4

So what was Romney writing on that welfare queen-sized wind blade?

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7 Responses to “Blade runner”

  1. koreyel says:

    This guy is more slippery than a weasel dipped in pig’s grease hiding behind Teresa Heinz Kerry’s skirt.

  2. paul says:

    Given the continually falling price of even residential solar, what’s the political equivalent of “not even wrong”?

    • Katja says:


    • James Wimberley says:

      Current wind prices here; I can’t find an index, but Romney’s assertion that renewables are “sharply uncompetitive” is plain wrong. It depends where you are. “On average, still a little bit more expensive, (without counting subsidies) than fossil fuels (without counting their pollution costs)” would be defensible.

      • paul says:

        Right, because fossil fuels have no history or present of government subsidies (*cough* sweetheart leases *cough* depletion allowance* cough)

        • Anomalous says:

          Or related wars and the costs associated with them *COUGH!!!*

        • James Wimberley says:

          Good point of course (as is Anomalous’ one). I haven’t run the numbers, but since renewables are still a pretty small slice of US energy supply, it wouldn’t be surprising if the unit subsidy were higher than for fossil fuels. If this is so, the moderate cost gap would survive if you stripped all the subsidies out. The enormous unpriced externalities are the 500-lb invisible gorilla.

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