Wind Power’s Unraveling: A Tale of Bribes and Misguided Ambitions

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From Watts Up With That?

The Ill Wind of Scandal

In the realm of so-called renewable energy, wind power has often been championed as a beacon of hope. However, recent events from Tokyo’s corridors of power offer additional evidence that this beacon might be more of a mirage.

 Tokyo’s prosecutors have brought to light a scandal that further underscores the questionable practices surrounding wind power projects.

“Tokyo prosecutors said Thursday they have arrested the former vice foreign minister of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet on suspicion of accepting more than 61 million yen ($414,000) in bribes from a wind power company in return for his promotion of wind power and other favorable treatment.”

The High Cost of Wind

Masatoshi Akimoto, the central figure in this controversy, stands accused of accepting significant sums from a wind power company executive. This isn’t just a minor oversight; it’s a substantial amount of money, raising serious questions about the integrity of wind power endorsements.

“Akimoto had stepped down as vice foreign minister and left Kishida’s governing Liberal Democratic Party in August after allegations surfaced and prosecutors raided his office as part of their bribery investigation.”

Moreover, the depth of these alleged transactions doesn’t end with promoting wind power. Akimoto is also implicated in receiving funds in connection with a racehorse owner’s group, further muddying the waters of his professional conduct.

“He allegedly received another 31 million yen ($210,500) in connection to a racehorse owner’s group between October 2021 and June this year. He took the money for his registration with the group, according to Japanese media reports.”

Misplaced Rewards in Wind Power

The former president of Japan Wind Development, Masayuki Tsukawaki, has admitted that the payments to Akimoto were a “reward.” Yet, Akimoto has countered these claims, asserting his innocence and framing his actions as driven by political beliefs.

“Akimoto denied the allegations and said he asked questions at parliamentary sessions to promote renewable energy based on his political beliefs, not because he was asked to by Tsukawaki to benefit Japan Wind Development, NHK public television said, quoting him in a statement released by his lawyer.”

A Stain on Renewable Energy’s Image

While many activists and politicians push for renewable energy, this scandal serves as a stark reminder of the inefficiencies and pitfalls associated with wind power. The very need for such emissions reduction strategies, especially wind power, remains questionable at best.

“Officials in the regions pushing for renewable energy say they are worried that the bribery scandal hurts the image of renewables when the energy needs to be further promoted.”

The Question of Fair Competition

The recent events underscore the need for transparency and fair competition in the renewable and other areas of the energy sector. However, with such scandals coming to light, the very foundation of wind power’s credibility continues to be shaken.

“We cannot build social infrastructure for the future of Japan without fair competition. We want operators to compete fairly and squarely with technology.”

In conclusion, as the world grapples with the need for reliable energy sources, it’s essential to critically evaluate the true benefits and costs associated with each. The recent bribery scandal in Japan serves as a testament to the inherent problems with wind power and the misguided ambitions surrounding it. It’s high time to demand transparency, accountability, and a genuine reevaluation of the so-called benefits of wind energy.

H/T Willie Soon