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By Pittsburgh The Tribune-Review
Monday, Sept. 19, 2011

Failure to supply significant power amid record Texas heat this summer puts wind energy's lack of reliability and economic viability on stark display.

Manhattan Institute senior fellow Robert Bryce notes for National Review Online that on an "unspeakably hot" Aug. 24 in Texas, 10,135 megawatts of wind-generation capacity supplied just 880 megawatts of power "when electricity was needed the most" -- in the afternoon, when wind subsides while heat and electricity demand rise.

An inherently losing proposition, wind power is even more so in Texas, which has "far more super-hot days than ... frigid ones," as Mr. Bryce observes.

He notes that the U.S. Energy Information Administration says wind energy costs about 50 percent more than reliable electricity generated by burning natural gas, which is abundant in Texas. Consumers there thus pay needlessly high electricity bills.

With $6.79 billion in new wind-power transmission lines planned, those bills will rise even more.

No Democrat has held statewide Texas office since 1999, Bryce reminds. It was Govs. George W. Bush and Rick Perry — Republicans who should know better — who endorsed renewable-energy mandates.

It's wind-power folly writ large. But hey, everything's bigger in Texas, right?

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