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DRIESSEN: Hot Air About Wind Power
The Washington Times ^ | August 4, 2008 | Paul Driessen

Posted on 08/04/2008 9:35:53 AM PDT by kellynla

COMMENTARY:

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2008; boonepickens; coal; drillheredrillnow; energy; energyfacts; environment; enviroprofiteering; naturalgas; nuclear; oil; tboonepickens; windenergy; windfarms; windpower
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To: marron

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.


21 posted on 08/04/2008 10:32:20 AM PDT by popdonnelly (Boycott Washington D.C. until they allow gun ownership)
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To: iopscusa

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.


22 posted on 08/04/2008 10:35:39 AM PDT by Elsiejay
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To: marron
Dear marron,

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.”

http://www.nei.org/resourcesandstats/nuclear_statistics/usnuclearpowerplants/

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:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epat1p1.html

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?


sitetest

23 posted on 08/04/2008 10:52:52 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: marron
. It looks like the total capacity is about 10% of total, though.

Don't go by capacity, go by actual power generated.

U.S. Electric Power Industry Net Generation, 2006

Source:
Electric Power Annual
http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epa_sum.html

24 posted on 08/04/2008 11:09:26 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: sitetest

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.....


25 posted on 08/04/2008 11:10:57 AM PDT by bestintxas (It's great in Texas)
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To: sitetest

more info on Shoreham http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoreham_Nuclear_Power_Plant

The only ones who lost money were the utility payers.....


26 posted on 08/04/2008 11:16:12 AM PDT by bestintxas (It's great in Texas)
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To: thackney

Thanks...

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.


27 posted on 08/04/2008 11:17:56 AM PDT by marron
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To: marron
The difference must be that they spend more time actually on-line than some other technologies.

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 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.

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".

28 posted on 08/04/2008 11:21:38 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: kellynla
More
29 posted on 08/04/2008 11:25:33 AM PDT by pabianice
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To: kellynla

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.
Insanity....


30 posted on 08/04/2008 11:27:22 AM PDT by marsh2
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To: RC2

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.


31 posted on 08/04/2008 11:31:14 AM PDT by RightWingConspirator (Redefeat Communism by defeating the Obamanation in 2008)
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To: popdonnelly

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.


32 posted on 08/04/2008 11:37:03 AM PDT by RightWingConspirator (Redefeat Communism by defeating the Obamanation in 2008)
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To: DBrow; Para-Ord.45

I found it at:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/subsidy2/pdf/subsidy08.pdf

Page 106, table 35


33 posted on 08/04/2008 1:23:08 PM PDT by preacher (A government which robs from Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul.)
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To: Para-Ord.45; preacher

Thanks!


34 posted on 08/04/2008 1:30:45 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: Para-Ord.45
T.Boone is picking tax payers` pockets, he ain`t stupid,it`s a can`t lose proposition.

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.

35 posted on 08/04/2008 2:55:48 PM PDT by Jacquerie (All Muslims are suspect.)
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To: marron
Capacity is a measure of potential. Nuclear is actually supplying about 19% because of the economics involved in choosing which part of capacity to put in operation. In general, a utility will run its nuclear plants at 100% of design capacity 24x7 because they are relatively inexpensive to operate. The cost issue you read about regarding commercial nuclear power is actually focused on construction costs and unless the discussion mentions those costs are amortized over 40 to 60 years, the “high cost issue” is a canard.
36 posted on 08/05/2008 3:19:34 AM PDT by sefarkas (Why vote Democrat Lite?)
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To: marsh2
Because the fuel in a nuclear can be recycled (and in some cases (breeding) more fuel is created than used), there are some who would like to have nuclear classified as a “renewable”. Nuclear is as renewable as switchgrass or other bio-fuels. Note that the laws of thermodynamics still hold true as the process of extracting the usable fuel from the already used nuclear fuel requires work.
37 posted on 08/05/2008 3:25:53 AM PDT by sefarkas (Why vote Democrat Lite?)
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