Traverse City Record-Eagle

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June 24, 2014

Letters to the Editor: 06/24/2014

Sounds like a winner

In a recent forum (May 27), the author mischaracterizes clean energy’s contribution to the grid, failing to recognize the economic and environmental benefits of resources like wind power.

All power plants, including nuclear plants, are backed up by other plants. Changes in the output of wind and solar power occur over long periods of time (hours), and grid operators are able to adjust smoothly to these changes. However, because conventional power plants can, and do, fail without warning, they require much quicker, less efficient reserve power. Therefore, it’s more appropriate to talk about the need for backup for large fossil and nuclear plants, not wind or solar power.

The author simultaneously calls for ending federal support for renewable energy technologies while advocating for further increasing the already generous support for nuclear energy. Policies such as the Production Tax Credit for wind already create thousands of jobs, generating carbon-free electricity, using virtually no water, and producing no hazardous waste requiring permanent storage.

Wind power represents a $2.3 billion capital investment and employs over 2,000 Michiganders. Nearly 40 manufacturing facilities in the state work for wind, a homegrown, American industry. That sounds like a winning deal to me.

David Shiflett


The writer is project manager for Geronimo Energy.

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