Mythbusting Fact: Yes, Wind Power Does Reduce Emissions By Michael Goggin

We want to share with you a bit about the latest attack on renewable energy which has been on Fox and in the Wall Street Journal this week.

Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute, an ExxonMobil- and Koch-family-funded advocacy group has been on discussing his book which, in turn is based on a recent Colorado report paid for by the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States (IPAMS).

We refute the claims made in the book and report in this fact sheet:

* The IPAMS report claims wind energy does not reduce greenhouse gases. The information in that report is directly contradicted by official Department of Energy data which show that carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuel use have drastically decreased in lockstep as wind energy has been added to the grid in Colorado and Texas.

* DOE reports show that achieving 20% wind power would cut electric sector carbon dioxide emissions by 25%, similar to the benefits that have been achieved in multiple European countries. As Mr. Bryce’s own book shows on page 111, Denmark has reduced its CO2 emissions nearly in half since 1991, in large part because 20% of its electricity now comes from wind turbines. Any claim that adding wind energy to the electricity grid would not reduce carbon dioxide emissions violates the laws of physics.

* Mr. Bryce’s claim that wind energy receives more energy subsidies than fossil and nuclear energy sources is also clearly refuted by official government statistics: the most recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) assessment found that fossil fuel subsidies were five times larger. The facts on subsidies are here.

Black is not white, up is not down, and a zero-fuel, zero-emissions energy technology is, in fact, good for the environment. That is what common sense tells us, and so do the data.

By Michael Goggin,