Skip to comments.DRIESSEN: Hot Air About Wind Power
Posted on 08/04/2008 9:35:53 AM PDT by kellynla
T. Boone Pickens is being lionized for his efforts to legislate a transformation to "eco-friendly" wind energy.
We need to "overcome our addiction to foreign oil," he insists, by harnessing wind to replace natural gas in electricity generation, and using that gas to power more cars and buses.
If Congress would simply "mandate the formation of wind and solar corridors," provide eminent domain authority for transmission lines, and renew the subsidies for this energy, America can make the switch in a decade.
Mr. Pickens' $58-million media pitch makes good ad copy, but his policy prescriptions would bring new energy, economic, legal and environmental problems - and a price tag of more than $1.2 trillion.
Wind contributes more every year to our energy mix, but still provides only 1 percent of our electricity - compared to 49 percent for coal, 22 percent for natural gas, 19 percent for nuclear and 7 percent for hydroelectric.
We can and should harness the wind, but 22 percent of our electricity by 2020 is far-fetched. Wind power is intermittent, unreliable and expensive (even with subsidies). Many modern turbines are 400 feet tall and carry 130-foot, 7-ton, bird-slicing blades. They operate at only 20 percent 30 percent of rated efficiency - compared to 85 percent for coal, gas and nuclear plants - and provide little power during summer daytime hours, when air-conditioning demand is highest, but winds are at low ebb.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Department of Energy report on subsidies for oil, wind, solar, etc.
Coal: $0.44. Nuclear: $1.59. Big Oil: $0.25. Hydroelectric: $0.67. Wind: $23.37. Solar: $24.34.
T.Boone is picking tax payers` pockets, he ain`t stupid,it`s a can`t lose proposition.
Speaking of wind......
Pickens is a con man.
Wind and solar plants take up an enormous amount of real estate for pitifully small amounts of electricity.
France generates 80% of her electrical needs by nuclear means. A country the size of Texas, they have fifty-some nuclear plants. There is no reason at all we shouldn’t have at least fifty of them operating ourselves, and we could do it over the next ten years if we made up our minds to do it.
And coal, we have coal to last us for generations to come. We just have to stop letting the know-nothings get in the way of everything we try to do.
Our biggest problem is the fact that we import so much energy for our transportation system, and wind energy isn’t going to help with that at all. Its a waste of time even to think about it. If you want to build a wind-farm, fine, be my guest, but you’ll only make money thanks to tax-payer subsidies so try not to brag too loudly on your way to the bank.
Our energy deficit is in transportation fuels. To solve that we should be drilling, we should be going after our oil shale deposits. And if we are going to transition to electric cars, we should be building about fifty nukes right now.
We send about 2/3 of a trillion dollars out of the country every year buying oil. Even if we didn’t lower the cost of oil one dime, it would turn our economy around just keeping and spending that money here, pouring it into American pockets, spending it in American tax districts, paying it out to American contractors and American workers.
The problem with wind power energy generation is that an enviro-weenie is going to come along and decry the ability of the wind to “blow free, without interuption, just as mother nature intended.”
Wind power is only capable of 17% of its capacity, yet people will still buy into this crap only to enrich T. Boone further.
Too bad we don’t have more people in Congress who are as smart as you.
Great........ruin our whole country side with those windmills for 2% of the power we need. Picture driving across the country and only seeing windmills. I don’t think so.
Wind power is vastly overrated and expensive. Why do you supppose we went to steam, then diesel and nuclear for ships?
Sounds like a report I should read, where is it? Got a link?
T. boone is looking for a lot more than subsudies for the fraud wind farms....he is looking to get control of the right of way, the water and mineral rights therein...the guy is looking to become a true neo-robber baron and he needs the Left + the Supreme Court to get his little scam put together. Just say FU T Boone!
Even if the worst global-warming claims are accurate, it's all the more reason to build nuclear plants, which emit no greenhouse gases and disrupt no prevailing wind patterns.
“France generates 80% of her electrical needs by nuclear means. A country the size of Texas, they have fifty-some nuclear plants. There is no reason at all we shouldnt have at least fifty of them operating ourselves,...”
Actually, we have over 100 nuclear power plants generating approximately 20% of our electricity right now. It's disappointing that no new plants have been built in roughly 30 years, but we already have a significant nuclear power industry.
“...and we could do it over the next ten years if we made up our minds to do it.”
The good news is that over 30 new nuclear plants are currently in the works. One is planned for my state of Maryland, for commissioning by 2015. These new plants will increase the electricity generated in the United States by nuclear power by over 50%.
I hope that it's the start of a trend.
especially on the importance of coal
...and oil shale
Thats good news.
Yep, the Democrats are firmly hitched up to the global warming hysteria. It allows them to keep their “environmental” friends happy, while passing out large amounts of taxpayer dollars towards “alternative energy”. Everybody gets rich and prosperous except the taxpayer - not an atypical Washington solution.
Copied from a previous post from a fellow Freeper:
Page 16, table 35 .
Per Megawatt hour of power generation.
Coal: $0.44. Nuclear: $1.59. Big Oil: $0.25. Hydroelectric: $0.67. Wind: $23.37. Solar: $24.34.
When you think about it, we’ve always had more efficient sources of energy than wind. We started off with water power, because it was abundant and practically free. We replaced that with steam, when it became obvious that steam was more efficient.
Every town and village in America would need a huge wind farm to provide its energy needs. This alternative energy stuff is hoakum.
“Actually, we have over 100 nuclear power plants generating approximately 20% of our electricity right now”
I honestly didn’t realize how many we had on line. You’re right, over a hundred. It looks like the total capacity is about 10% of total, though.
I’d love to see those 30 new ones on line and then another 30 more after that. I hope it happens. I think its going to take a push from us to make it politically palatable. Its tough even getting permits for any kind of power plant these days, let alone a nuke. The Gores of the world are doing whatever they can to demonize energy projects of every kind, including renewables.
The bad news is that the environmental lobby is trying to make sure they never get built. You want energy, break the environmental lobby in Washington.
That ‘splains a lot. I’ve wondered what Pickens’ game is all about, because he is too intelligent not to know that wind power could never provide more than a small fraction of our power needs, probably next to none of our industrial and transportation requirements, and would require a coal, oil or natural gas backup at all times.
Yep. Over a hundred plants.
“It looks like the total capacity is about 10% of total, though.”
I think it's about 20% of electricity that's actually generated.
Here's a quote from the industry's website:
“Nuclear energy provides almost 20 percent of the United States’ electricity and is its No. 1 source of emission-free electricity.”
Also, it appears that your table discusses capacities. I'm discussing electricity actually generated and consumed. That could account for the difference, too.
Here's a table from your source that displays data about electricity actually generated:
That shows that in 2006, nuclear power plants generated 787,219 thousand net megawatthours of electricity out of a total of 4,064,702 thousand net megawatthours of electricity generated from all sources. That's about 19.4%.
I guess that means that other sources have more downtime than nuclear?
Don't go by capacity, go by actual power generated.
U.S. Electric Power Industry Net Generation, 2006
Electric Power Annual
Better hope it fares better than Shoreham, which cost $6 billion and was closed due to the enviro wackos.
The folks paying utility bills up there are still paying for it after their pockets were picked clean.....
more info on Shoreham http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoreham_Nuclear_Power_Plant
The only ones who lost money were the utility payers.....
The difference must be that they spend more time actually on-line than some other technologies.
And, come to think of it, some of the natgas plants I’m familiar with are up and down all the time. The fact that they are relatively easy to start up and shut down means that they tend to be used in exactly that way. Running when they need them (or when the economics are favorable) and shut down when not. One was a “peaker” and would run in the mornings, and then again in the afternoon and evening. The other, they studied the fuel and transmission costs daily to decide if they would run that day.
I can imagine that nukes, you would never shut them down. Let them run, and use the more flexible plants to take up the slack.
Absolutely. If wind runs 25% of the time compared to a nuke plant running 100%, you could have twice the capacity and only produce half the electricity. Makes it rather important when comparing cost per kilowatt to install, instead of price per kilowatt-hour.
some of the natgas plants Im familiar with are up and down all the time. The fact that they are relatively easy to start up and shut down means that they tend to be used in exactly that way.
Many Natural Gas Turbines are used just this way. They are quick to bring up and down, relatively cheap to install, but more expensive to continuously run. That makes them good "peakers".
California now has its electrical industry portfolio requirements for, I believe first a 10% increasing to 20% renewable energy source mix. This forces industry to invest in renewables. Since these will be mostly new facilities, the price of electricity is poised to escalate accordingly. At the same time, the enviros are obstructing geothermal development, biomass/cogen facilities and hydropower. In our area, they are pushing for the removal of four dams on the Klamath.
The crisis is now gas in our cars and heating oil. At least we have less expensive electrical options for heating now. We won’t in the future.
In May we took our Aliner trailer on a cross-country trip from Venice, FL, to Seattle, WA, and back. We saw hundreds of windmills in Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. The amazing thing was that only a few of the windmills at a time were turning—maybe one or two out of each stand of perhaps fifty were turning. Whether that was due to lack of wind or was planned by the owning utility, I don’t know. Either way it didn’t seem to be very good use of resources.
My sister in Idaho said that a nuclear plant near Mountain Home had already gotten approval but that a well-to-do chiropractor, who was also and anti-nuclear nutcase, was filing lawsuit after lawsuit attempting to get it stopped. Just further proof that the environmental movement is comprised of know-nothings.
I found it at:
Page 106, table 35
Picken's goal is to make profits. Where oil was once his route, government supported wind and solar are his next bets.
Oil used to be his means, money is still his end.