Wind energy has many benefits over nuclear

Mr. Manlove’s recent letter, “Stop wasting money on wind power; go nuclear” (YourViews, Dec. 12) is misleading. Here’s why.

First, studies now list wind power as one of the cheapest sources of electricity and nuclear power as one of the more expensive. Where is Mr. Manlove’s cost data?

Second, wind turbines generated electricity is now a “price-taker” in spot markets; it beats out other power sources because its operational costs average about 1 cent per kilowatt hour. Wind energy has two unbeatable advantages: free fuel made in America; most uranium, a finite fuel source, now comes from overseas.

Third, like soldiers, old wind turbines never die. When eventually replaced by more efficient wind turbines, decommissioned units are refurbished and typically sold to community wind farm plants. Please name a refurbished nuclear power plant that was sold to a community.

Fourth, it takes a year or two to build a wind farm; with luck nuclear plants are built in four to seven years, if you’re in the queue for the only foundry — in Japan — making a key component for reactors. Ever hear of cost overruns or production delays for wind farms?

Fifth, ComEd only gets “1 percent of its electricity from wind power” because former customers buy wind power from other energy providers. Also, customers cannot buy wind power from Ameren, for example, but they can buy it from Blue Star Energy.

Finally, remember what happened to electricity rates when Illinois Power built their nuclear plant in Clinton? Do we really want to repeat that mistake?

By William Rau, Bloomington,