President Donald Trump has repeatedly mocked wind energy this week for reasons that are dismissed by “frequently asked questions” guidance published by the U.S. Department of Energy.
On Wednesday Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that wind energy was unreliable because the wind “only blows sometimes.” He repeated a similar criticism at a Thursday night rally in Michigan, suggesting that users would experience power outages when the wind doesn’t blow.
“If it doesn’t blow, you can forget about television for that night,” Trump said in Michigan, adding, “I know a lot about wind.”
However, the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy says that the power grid is capable of handling the variation that comes with wind energy.
In response to the frequently-asked-question, “What happens to the electricity supply when the wind isn’t blowing?” the agency cites studies that say the power grid can handle a large amount of “variable renewable power without sacrificing reliability.”
While variability of wind does not make it on the Department of Energy’s list of challenges for wind power, a number of other obstacles do. Among the documented challenges for the renewable energy: the cost of wind power generation versus conventional generation sources, the aesthetics of the turbines and the difficulty of transferring the power from at times remote generation sites.
Trump has suggested that wind power would be more popular if Hillary Clinton had been elected president in 2016. His comments are shown in tweets below: