My wife and I recently visited Germany and were shocked to see the level to which the German government has embraced so-called renewable energy sources.

The skyline in just about every direction was dotted with giant windmills, most of them sitting dormant, and most homes had large solar panel arrays on their roofs and in their yards. The sight of this modern technology in such a pastoral alpine setting was, to say the least, a little jarring.

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s economics minister and vice chancellor to Angela Merkel, announced in a speech in 2014 that Germany’s transformation to renewable energy, known locally as Energiewende, is “on the verge of failure.”

Now we learn that our illustrious leadership in South Portland is considering a multimillion-dollar project to develop a solar farm (“South Portland targets landfill for solar project,” April 21).

In 2007, the city of Saco purchased and installed a massive wind turbine for around $270,000 on the promise that it would provide around $12,000 of free electricity a year for 10 years.

The Press Herald reported in 2010 that it never even came close to reaching those levels of efficiency (“Saco finds turbine is turn for the worse,” July 21, 2010). The company that sold it to the city then declared bankruptcy and then offered to buy it back at a $100,000-plus loss for the city.

Green energy projects have a dismal record of overpromising and underdelivering. This wouldn’t be so onerous, if it weren’t for the fact that the city expects taxpayers to cover the shortfall in their science experiment writ large.

I can get a potato to run an LED light for about a month. Maybe the state should fund a multimillion-dollar potato-cell battery array for our town! At least my potato lights will work when it’s cloudy.

Devin Robinson

South Portland