According to a Time magazine “environmental hero,” the nation’s first offshore wind farm to be built 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard was lauded by the Biden administration, but a better option would have been a nuclear power plant.
Michael Schellenberger said the 800-megawatt Vineyard wind power project, touted as part of the administration’s goal of generating 30 gigawatts of energy from offshore wind by 2030, will likely produce only half the energy of a nuclear reactor.
“The production from wind farms will be intermittent,” he said during a Zoom talk organized by the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. “It really puts enormous pressure on the (power) grid to accommodate the highly unreliable, intermittent wind power. And so you have to maintain natural gas backup … if you have nuclear power plants you don’t need that.” Is. “
Wind farms pose a serious risk to birds and the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, said Schellenberger, author of “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.”
There are now only 360 North Atlantic right whales left, said Pam Bechtold Snyder of the New England Aquarium. He said the numbers have declined over the past four years due to ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. And these stresses are believed to result in female right whales giving birth less frequently and at an older age.
All of these things turned Schellenberger from a wind power pro to a nuclear power pro, he said.
Nuclear power “provides cheap and reliable electricity that is also carbon-free,” Schellenberger said.
But when nuclear power plants fail, they fail with disastrous consequences. Ten years after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan’s Fukushima killed more than 18,000 people and the nuclear meltdown, more than 40,000 people are still unable to return home, most of them from areas near Fukushima Daiichi, Where the triple recession forced the immediate evacuation of 160,000 people.
Stu Webster, senior director of wildlife and federal lands for the American Clean Power Association, said, “Nuclear power emits no CO2, but it requires significant amounts of water, environmentally costly mining of raw materials, and radioactive Transportation and disposal of waste is required.”
“After more than 20 years of addressing concerns with government, conservation, private and academically funded research,” he said, “there is no evidence that wind power is having any effect on birds at the population level.” Additionally, offshore wind developers and federal regulators have taken similar measures to reduce the impact on marine mammals, including whales.”