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The Race to Replace Fossil Fuels (Wind power "poised to become foundation of the new energy economy)
OneWorld on yahoo ^ | 7/4/06 | Aaron Glantz

Posted on 07/04/2006 9:13:06 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

SAN FRANCISCO, Jul 3 (OneWorld) - Wind power is "poised to become to become the foundation of the new energy economy," claims a new survey by the Washington, D.C.-based Earth Policy Institute.

According to the environmental group, global wind electricity-generating capacity increased by 24 percent in 2005 to 59,100 megawatts--a twelvefold increase from a decade ago, when world wind-generating capacity stood at less than 5,000 megawatts.

The report says wind power is the world's fastest-growing energy source with an average annual growth rate of 29 percent over the last ten years. In contrast, over the same time period, coal use has grown by 2.5 percent per year, nuclear power by 1.8 percent, natural gas by 2.5 percent, and oil by 1.7 percent.

"Wind power has been established as a safe, clean, cheap energy option," the Earth Policy Institute's Joseph Florence told OneWorld.

The U.S. has installed 9,100 megawatts of wind power capacity, the group says, including a record-breaking 2,400 megawatts in 2005. Chief among the reasons for the growth were advances in technology and a 1.9-cent per kilowatt-hour tax credit for electricity produced from a wind farm during the first 10 years of its operation.

"Political support is the key driver in the wind industry," Florence said. "If Congress votes to continue the production tax credit, then the future is bright. But without government support it just can't compete against traditional non-renewable technologies."

Not everyone is so bullish on wind power's ability to provide for America's energy needs, however.

Advocates of nuclear power contend that wind require too much land to power the U.S. grid. Almost half of U.S. energy currently comes from coal, while 20 percent comes from nuclear power. Nuclear industry representatives say if America is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming, nuclear power must be front and center.

"Nuclear energy has the smallest environmental footprint of any other emission-free source," the Nuclear Energy Institute's Mitch Singer told OneWorld.

Singer said to equal the current output of U.S. nuclear reactors would require putting windmills on land the size of Minnesota and covering an area equal to West Virginia with solar panels. "Then you have to depend on which way the wind is blowing or how long the sun is shining," he said.

President Bush apparently agrees. While providing modest support for wind power, the U.S. president has focused significantly more energy on promoting new nuclear power plants.

"Nuclear power helps us protect the environment," Bush said in a speech last month in front of the Limerick Generating Station outside of Philadelphia. "Nuclear power is safe. For the sake of economic security and national security, the United States must aggressively move forward with construction of nuclear power plants."

The global environmental network Greenpeace vigorously disagrees. The group believes the United States needs an energy system based on renewable energy and energy efficiency, but thinks the costs and risks inherent in the generation of nuclear power make it an unacceptable piece of the energy puzzle.

"Building enough nuclear power stations to make a meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would cost trillions of dollars, create tens of thousands of tons of lethal high-level radioactive waste, contribute to further proliferation of nuclear weapons materials, and result in a Chernobyl-scale accident once every decade," the group's Web site claims.

According to the consumer rights group Public Citizen, last year's energy bill provided $13 billion in subsidies and tax breaks to the nuclear industry. The figure includes operating subsidies and money for research and development and construction of new plants.

The Nuclear Energy Institute says 14 new nuclear power plants are currently in the pipeline, mostly in the Southeast.

But the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental think tank also based in Washington D.C., thinks the nuclear industry may be headed for a meltdown.

"Renewable sources of power provide about 20 percent of the world's electricity today, more than nuclear power does," Worldwatch president Christopher Flavin wrote in the latest issue of the organization's magazine. "More importantly, they are active, growing industries, attracting over $25 billion in new investment last year.

"The generating capacity of new wind plants alone that were ordered in 2005 was triple the figure for nuclear power. And because renewable technologies are smaller scale and modular, their cost is falling rapidly as the scale of production rises. In recent months, renewable power has become one of the hottest sectors for venture capitalists looking for 'the next big thing.'"


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: d; economy; energy; fossilfuels; replace; windpower; worldwatch

1 posted on 07/04/2006 9:13:11 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge
Ted Kennedy ain't gonna like it.
2 posted on 07/04/2006 9:15:53 PM PDT by Dallas59
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To: NormsRevenge
Every time I drive through the Altamont Pass it seems like 99% of the wind turbines are idle.

whassupwitdat.

3 posted on 07/04/2006 9:16:22 PM PDT by martin_fierro (<-- Once shouted "Migra!" in a crowded taqueria)
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To: NormsRevenge

they are out of their minds


4 posted on 07/04/2006 9:19:55 PM PDT by Flavius (Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum)
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To: martin_fierro

They turn them off so they won't hurt the birdies!


5 posted on 07/04/2006 9:20:57 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: NormsRevenge

Wind power is good. With a good battery storage set up an average home can be totally self sufficient. Especially in rural areas.
Nuclear power is ok as well but nobody wants the waste. Waste is not just the spent rods, but the entire plant that has to be disassembled.
A good energy plan utilizes many forms of energy production. Being dependent on one or two types of power generation is risky.


6 posted on 07/04/2006 9:21:21 PM PDT by o_zarkman44 (ELECT SOME WORKERS AND REMOVE THE JERKERS!.)
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To: martin_fierro
"Every time I drive through the Altamont Pass it seems like 99% of the wind turbines are idle."

The enviro-NAZI have forced them to be shut down in most locations, claiming that they are killing raptors. And that is what makes this article a real laugh; the wackos don't know what they are doing these days.

7 posted on 07/04/2006 9:22:15 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: NormsRevenge

I hope wind and solar take off big time. Whatever it takes to get these prices down.


8 posted on 07/04/2006 9:23:56 PM PDT by mysterio
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To: NormsRevenge
The U.S. has installed 9,100 megawatts of wind power capacity

With an operating efficiency of maybe 50% you get 5k megawatts. About equivalent to 5 nuclear plants. We have over 100 now and will soon (finally) start increasing the number in addition to increasing the output of the existing reactors which are averaging about 90% output even considering the down time for refueling.

9 posted on 07/04/2006 9:24:24 PM PDT by OmahaFields ("What have been its fruits? ... superstition, bigotry and persecution.")
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To: NormsRevenge
>>>>"The Nuclear Energy Institute says 14 new nuclear power plants are currently in the pipeline, mostly in the Southeast"<<<<

Hope that 30 or 40 more show up in the SW, we have the infrastructure, land and desire.

Fresh water from the Gulf would be a neat by-product.

Fisheries from structure and o2 enrichment will piss the huggers off and make my day!

TT
10 posted on 07/04/2006 9:25:34 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: editor-surveyor
The enviro-NAZI have forced them to be shut down in most locations, claiming that they are killing raptors. And that is what makes this article a real laugh; the wackos don't know what they are doing these days.

Some do, some don't. The goal is not to supply more power but to reduce the amount we use.

11 posted on 07/04/2006 9:25:38 PM PDT by OmahaFields ("What have been its fruits? ... superstition, bigotry and persecution.")
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To: o_zarkman44
With a good battery storage set up an average home can be totally self sufficient.

Hardly. I've done the calcs and my Davis weather station does not lie about the wind conditions in western PA. Could you please back up this statement with some facts.
12 posted on 07/04/2006 9:26:41 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the occupation media.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Cool! I love it when the birds get whacked when flying through them.

They blow up real good.
13 posted on 07/04/2006 9:27:10 PM PDT by ConservativeMind
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To: NormsRevenge
If we could harness all of the hot air in this article we could be energy independent.
14 posted on 07/04/2006 9:28:44 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the occupation media.)
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To: PA Engineer

Pardon me! Not everywhere has sufficient wind, so not everyone can set up a wind generator. So utilize the wind in areas where wind is sufficient, and feed the power into the grid. Utilize coal where coal is in good supply. Use solar where the sun shines consistently.
Use nukes if people will let us build them again.
Use hydro where the water flows.

Thats why my last statement of the post said that a good energy plan utilizes more than one or two sources.


15 posted on 07/04/2006 9:34:06 PM PDT by o_zarkman44 (ELECT SOME WORKERS AND REMOVE THE JERKERS!.)
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To: PA Engineer

Ok Mr Engineer. What is your choice of energy production since hot air has been ruled out?


16 posted on 07/04/2006 9:36:17 PM PDT by o_zarkman44 (ELECT SOME WORKERS AND REMOVE THE JERKERS!.)
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To: PA Engineer
"If we could harness all of the hot air in this article we could be energy independent."

But we'd still have to wear a chlothes pin on our noses :o)

17 posted on 07/04/2006 9:49:38 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: o_zarkman44
You really need to do some calcs. I have a stacked trace inverter system with 8-L16 for power backup. With vents, cases, racks, wiring, breakers, control panels, disconnect switches, charge regulation, and transfer switch you are looking at a minimum of $9,000 USD for a total of 8KW of storage. For a solar home this represents 2KW of storage for a four day backup system. Most designs now are five days to extend battery life for 1.7KW. When you add in solar and wind for the winter months you have enough power to run one efficient refrigerator. Conservatively you will have to spend a minimum of $13,000 and this does not include backup generation nor professional installation costs. For your average American family this is well out of their price range to run one average refrigerator.

I don't believe we will be anywhere near energy Independence with your alternate energy proposals. For environmental reasons I don't necessarily like hydro or coal neither. This leaves us as a nation with nuclear.

Finally, how do you plan to solve transportation issues without fossil fuel production as well as every other product that is produced from hydrocarbons?
18 posted on 07/04/2006 10:02:14 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the occupation media.)
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To: PA Engineer
I'm using a cimmerian kid named Conan and an old donkey to power up a flywheel generator...

The donkey looks about ready to die, and I'm thinking about selling the cimmerian kid to a guy that trains gladiators...

What is this Nuclear you speak of ??? ;o)

19 posted on 07/04/2006 10:35:56 PM PDT by Drammach (Freedom... Not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: o_zarkman44
Wind power is very good as long as the wind blows, you don't have to file an impact statement that takes into account the extraction of energy from the wind stream and its long term effects and finally if you have installed base-load capacity
to meet the needs of homes and businesses when the wind is not blowing/in sufficient force to turn the turbines effectively. Oh, and one last thing, the rate payers are willing to pay for the base-load capacity and the redundant wind farms.
20 posted on 07/04/2006 10:37:02 PM PDT by MiHeat
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To: Drammach
Save the dead donkey. You are going to need it for this:


21 posted on 07/04/2006 10:45:13 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the occupation media.)
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To: PA Engineer

I think in the future with the latest use on Nano tech into solar panel cells, there is going to be a 'bright' future for wind and solar.


22 posted on 07/04/2006 11:13:07 PM PDT by Marius3188 (Happy Resurrection Weekend)
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To: o_zarkman44
Wind power is good. With a good battery storage set up an average home can be totally self sufficient.

Not practical. I use 12 volt batteries for small motors during winter power outages. As an example, a small fan is needed to vent fumes from a composting toilet, and a fully charged battery will keep it going for only a couple of days.

Add washer, dryer, heating, cookstove, lights, power tools, freezer, refrigerator, TV, pumps for water supply, etc. and you would have a lot of batteries to keep charged.
23 posted on 07/04/2006 11:15:25 PM PDT by caveat emptor
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To: PA Engineer

I didn't make the proposal. I just posted a positive bump for alternatives. There is no need to have all energy produced from one source, or even two. You apparantly have had some first hand experience with wind power, and your conclusion is that wind power and battery storage are not capable of sustaining a house exclusively. And that is true when we figure in current lifestyle requirements.

I remember hearing of my grandfather's resistance to hooking on to the REA when rural electricity was made available. He didn't think it was needed.
They had a winpower generator that charged a battery so they could listen to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night. As the battery ran down they moved closer to the radio so they could hear. When the battery ran down, they turned out the kerosine lantern and went to bed, as my Father has told many times. They finally hooked on to the REA at the urging of their neighbors. Then came electric lights and everything else that followed like television and refrigerators and electric mixers and toasters.
I think if for some reason America had a crisis and suddenly had to revert to basic survival, a huge majority of people could not deal with it. With our standard of living, most have lost the skills of basic survival.

Solar hot water panels are much more of an energy saver than solar electricity. A huge amount of household energy is used just in maintaining hot water. But solar electric panels are much improved, as is battery technology. Just switching our lighting over to alternatives is a substantial reduction in the overall requirements of the grid. Yes there is a substantial investment involved. Not unlike buying a hybrid car. When gas hits $4 a gallon this fall with the first hurricane, that investment will look pretty good. SAme with other alternatives. We are going to be forced to make changes, and nothing is going to be cheap or easy.

Unfortunately, people have to be hooked to the grid. It is a lifestyle issue. I certainly enjoy my standard of living. But I know what basics, if the need be, can be brought out in a time of need.

As far as solving transportation issues without using fossil fuel, namely oil, I think the horse and buggy came well before the automobile! LOL! And there are bicycles. Go to Asia or Indonesia and much of the basic transportation needs are met by bicycles. If they have to travel further for some reason, they use mass transit. Few average people own automobiles.

Not saying we should go back to the 18th century, but lifestyle has a lot of bearing on how much energy we really need.


24 posted on 07/05/2006 7:38:26 PM PDT by o_zarkman44 (ELECT SOME WORKERS AND REMOVE THE JERKERS!.)
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To: NormsRevenge; All

Windpower and ...






...The Segway!!!


hehehe


25 posted on 07/05/2006 7:40:07 PM PDT by Mr. Jazzy (Mr. Jazzy, VPD of LCpl Smoothguy242, USMC, now back HOME! Ooorah!!!)
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To: o_zarkman44
As far as solving transportation issues without using fossil fuel, namely oil, I think the horse and buggy came well before the automobile! LOL! And there are bicycles. Go to Asia or Indonesia and much of the basic transportation needs are met by bicycles. If they have to travel further for some reason, they use mass transit. Few average people own automobiles. Not saying we should go back to the 18th century, but lifestyle has a lot of bearing on how much energy we really need.

What are you suggesting here? Are you suggesting that Americans dramatically reduce their standard of living as a sacrifice to some type of Gaia worship. After reading your post I don't believe you understand the technical and social issues involved with the US energy market.

What is wrong with the grid? What is wrong with nuclear energy? What is wrong with the United States developing their own domestic oil industry without interference from the Gaia worshipers?

As far as bicycles go, I'll keep this is mind next January when the aged population of Pittsburgh is traveling about. I will still have to figure out how to get all of those 2x4s and plywood on the bus.

I think if for some reason America had a crisis and suddenly had to revert to basic survival, a huge majority of people could not deal with it. With our standard of living, most have lost the skills of basic survival.

I agree, however I am not the type of person who desires it.

Solar hot water panels are much more of an energy saver than solar electricity. A huge amount of household energy is used just in maintaining hot water.

In regards to solar radiation, we are rather Langley challenged in this neck of the woods as are many other states in the union. Do you understand what this means for battery requirements as well as solar hot water?

But solar electric panels are much improved, as is battery technology.

How about backing this up with some links and data. I have designed well over 100 remote solar powered installations and I could sure use some help in that department. The basic costs have not changed and a minimum installation, say 10KWH a day is still way out of the reach of the average American family. You do know what the average household daily load is don't you?
26 posted on 07/05/2006 8:30:53 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the occupation media.)
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To: martin_fierro
whassupwitdat.

The Altamont project is actually a top secret DARPA effort to counter a slowing in the earth's rotation.

Due to friction, the earth is constantly losing angular momentum, so the government installed groups of propellers at various locations, camouflaging them as "wind turbines". Whenever the planet slows down past a certain point, the propellers are engaged, the planet's spin is restored, and the propellers are shut off until next time.

This is all part of the US effort against global warming, because as everybody knows, longer days are hotter, so keeping the days shorter means a cooler planet.

It used to be that there was a Hemi on the equator to do this work, but what with fuel costs being what they are nowadays, nuclear powered prop jobs are more economical than a gasoline powered solution.

27 posted on 07/06/2006 8:12:01 AM PDT by Hoplite
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