Executive Intelligence Review


New York Governor Cuomo Needs Trump’s Climate Science Panel, Badly

March 11, 2019 (EIRNS)—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has virtuously announced a “Green New Deal for Long Island,” the centerpiece of which is his desire that Long Island have 9,000 MWe of installed wind-turbine capacity by 2035. But whatever year he would like this done by, the governor evidently hasn’t figured out yet, what it means in physical-economic terms.

Given the combination of low conversion efficiency and intermittent operation of wind turbines, getting reliable generation of this much electric power would require installing about 2.2 times as much, or about 20,000 MW. This means 7-9,000 large wind turbines.

Given that these turbines occupy 25-50 acres each, not to get in each other’s wind, that requires an area of, say, 325,000 acres of wind farms, or about 500 square miles. Long Island’s total area (including Brooklyn and Queens) is less than three times that, about 1,400 square miles.

Granted, the turbines could all be erected offshore and their power brought onshore by new cables, transmission stations, and transformers, etc.—at considerable expense. But since the narrow Long Island Sound would not be suitable, 500 square miles along Long Island’s Atlantic coast—essentially, all of it—would become blanketed by large wind turbines about 1,500 feet apart and stretching for miles out into the sea. Not a resource for shipping around New York Harbor, nor for anyone living on Long Island, not to mention decimation of bird populations.

If the governor means only 9,000 MW installed, “reliably” giving about only 4 MWe—except when there is dead calm, or when extreme cold or storms freeze bearings or break turbines—then he’s missing half of the electricity Long Island uses, since his plan would shut down all fossil fuel plants and there is neither nuclear nor hydropower. And since most fossil fuel use is for vital heating and transportation, not for electricity, the attempt to mandate replacing this with electric heat and electric vehicles would make the vast wind farm far larger still.

Governor Cuomo is one of those most in need of the Presidential Committee on Climate Science which Donald Trump is forming against great opposition from officials like Cuomo.