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Hawaii Warning About Reliance On Untested Energy Sources

Abandoned Wind Turbines
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Those who are pushing for alternative energies, especially windpower, should carefully examine what has, and is happening in our 50th state.

Clear back in the mid 1980’s, during the first government subsidized ‘clean energy’ push,  wind turbines sprung up all over the Hawaiian Islands.  Kamaoa, a site on the Big Island of Hawaii, was considered one of the best wind turbine sites in the entire United States.  But due to inflated prices, and issues delivering the energy-as well as overbuilding-the wind energy bubble burst.  It left acres of rusting, abandoned wind turbines that never came close to delivering their possible potential.  Another such site at Lalamilo is now being considered for yet another wind turbine farm-despite never having delivered the energy it promised to do so.   What the HELCO, or Hawaii Electric Light Company failed to take into account was maintenance costs, upkeep, and integrating the wind turbines into the existing electrical infrastructure.  Due to Federal and even state funding and tax credits, it was easy and cheap to build the wind farms. But when they failed to produce the yeilds promised, the bubble burst, leaving hundreds of abandoned machines cluttering these rural areas. Some of the companies in Hawaii, and other similar farms in CA, have gone under due to financial failure after the Federal money and credits went away.   There appear to be lessons learned for the rest of the country when it comes to blindly dumping resources into alternative energies without carefully examining costs, return on investment, and costs to consumers.  The US mainland are learning these lessons the hard way not only with wind farms, but the recent bankruptcy of at least four major solar energy companies, including Solyndra.

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