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 ...
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.