ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on October 22, 2010

There Is Plenty of News but Almost No Press Coverage

One of the most interesting aspects of the Cape Wind saga is the skill with which the mainstream media have avoided truth and fact. It is easy for Jim Gordon, CEO of Cape Wind Associates, LLC to claim he will save us all money; to cast his spell as someone solely interested in developing renewable energy; to say that offshore wind has been successful in Europe and on and on. He has the most effective ally anyone in his position could want, the press and media. Their refusal to dig for and then print anything substantive to show the facts of offshore wind generally and the problematic European experience specifically allows Gordon to make often wholly incorrect claims and empty promises.

How do the facts about offshore wind's history and current status in Europe ever make it to the general public in the United States if all the major media remain complicit in the fraud? Posts such as this are one way to get correcxt information to the general public. Here is a look at some of the major errors and omissions to which we have been subjected since Jim Gordon first unveiled the Cape Wind project in 2001:

COST OF ENERGY - Jim Gordon said Cape Wind would save an average residential electric customer 10 - 12 cents per month across New England. We now know that an average electric customer, only within the are served by National Grid, will pay more every month and that thanks to a sweetheart bit of language in a new Massachusetts law that cost will rise at a compounded rate of 3.5% every year forever. The Boston Globe seems to ignore this fact and they hope everyone else will too.

RELIABILITY OF WIND - Jim Gordon has always claimed that wind power will stabilize the electric grid and make our power supply more reliable. This is in spite of the undeniable fact that wind power is at best intermittent, unpredictable and unreliable. So is the Boston Globe.

ACTUAL POWER PRODUCTION - Jim Gordon claims that his wind farm will generate up to 468 megawatts of electricity, 184MW on average (37+% capacity). No one anywhere in the world operates offshore wind turbines at this rate of efficiency. 30% is cause for celebration while numbers ranging from 18% to 25% are more the norm. These facts are easily found on the web but the Boston Globe finds it easier to avoid them altogether.

MASSACHUSETTS CITIZENS OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORT CAPE WIND - Really? The polls which yielded admittedly very high support for this project failed to ask the million dollar question: would you support Cape Wind if you learned that the developer has not been honest and/or that it will cost you more every month for electricity? The Globe could have asked just this one question, but then they would have to be honest with their readers.

CAPE WIND HAS BEEN EXTENSIVELY AND FAIRLY REVIEWED - The truth is that Cape Wind has been helped through often tortured and flawed federal review by unseen hands more concerned with renewable energy slogans than with facts. Why has the Boston Globe not investigated these matters and reported on them?

OFFSHORE WIND IN EUROPE HAS BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL - This is typical of what we read in the Boston Globe, but it does not square with the torrents of information available on the web about actual offshore wind experience in Europe. While Denmark is the country often cited as the world's leader in offshore wind deployment it also pays the highest rate for electricity of any industrialized nation and has not closed one of its coal-fired power plants. The proposed 200 turbine project off the Irish coast at Arklow Bank was cancelled after the seven GE turbines (identical to what Gordon originally proposed using) failed miserably to meet expectations. The Globe made a big splash about Arklow Bank when it was first announced but has managed to avoid any update on it. Apparently we only need to know about successful wind farms. The Globe has also managed to avoid printing Arklow Bank's developer's statement that the Irish government has reduced subsidies for offshore wind in favor of onshore wind where it believes the gains are far greater.

OFFSHORE WIND DEVELOPMENT CONTINUES TO GROW IN EUROPE - Actually, although we will not read this anytime soon in the Globe, wind power development generally is down as major manufacturers report lagging orders and operating difficulties. Costs for offshore wind in Europe are escalating wildly and actual operating experience is more likely to feature failed bearings, cracked blades, disappointing production, hugely expensive maintenance programs and difficulties integrating wind power into the grid. Most European projects are behind schedule and those that have been in operation for any length of time, such as Horn's Rev I in Denmark, are experiencing catastrophic mechanical difficulties: cracks in their steel foundations and steel monopile foundations sinking into the sea bed. Major wind developers such as Vattenfal and Dong Energy have cancelled or delayed planned projects due to technical problems, cost considerations and a generally less-than-favorable environment for large new wind projects. Did we see Boston Globe headlines about the fact that Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, laid off every one of the workers at its British plants two years ago? Why not? Of course, we also have not read anything in the Globe about Jim Gordon building a new gas-fired plant in western Massachusetts or selling his unbuilt biomass plant in Texas. A large offshore project proposed for British Columbia was denied even the opportunity to bid for a Power Purchase Agreement earlier this year due to the projected high cost of its power. The project had been fully permitted by the provincial government and now is going nowhere. What a great story this would have been for the Globe.

If the Boston Globe actually cared about good journalism and fair analysis it would dig into this story: since Jim Gordon first announced his plans for Cape Wind not one other offashore wind project has been built. Several have been announced only to be cancelled or simply forgotten.

Why? What forces are at work preventing robust development of offshore wind in the United States? More importantly, what forces are at work preventing the full and free exchange of information about the facts of offshore wind power, forces that prevent our press from doing their job?

COPYRIGHT 2010 By Peter A. Kenney


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)