Skip to comments.Wind Power Is Just a Lot of Hot Air
Posted on 08/11/2008 6:22:31 AM PDT by kellynla
At first glance, the energy proposals of Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens for wind power and increased gas usage sound good. "We can't drill our way out of this crises"; I happen to disagree with this statement. We still need to drill to make ourselves "independent from foreign oil."
But the real issue is what is behind the clamor to expand wind power in lieu of increasing oil drilling. To understand this you have to read between the lines.
Not only does Pickens' firm, BP capital, have significant investments in natural gas, but last June he announced plans to build the world's largest wind farm in west Texas, capable of producing 4,000 megawatts of electricity.
The federal government subsidizes wind farm operators with a tax credit worth 1.9 cents per kilowatt hour - potentially making for a tidy annual taxpayer gift to Pickens based on his anticipated capacity. But Pickens and wind power investors have a problem: since congress didn't renew the wind subsidy as part of the 2007 energy bill, it will expire at the end of this year unless reauthorized. Government subsidies the most important aspect for wind power usage and expansion; without them, wind can't compete against fossil fuel-generated power.
As pointed out by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 9, "In 1999, 2001 and 2003, when Congress temporarily killed the credits, the number of new turbines dropped dramatically."
President Bush and Senator McCain have both called for renewed offshore oil and gas drilling. With gasoline prices around $4 per gallon, something needs to be done. However why is there opposition to offshore wind development? The Wall Street Journal notes that although there is no formal moratorium against offshore wind power, environmentalist and NIMBY opposition has stalled every sea-based wind project proposed in the U.S. thus far.
(Excerpt) Read more at rightsidenews.com ...
Favorable publicity may be a big part of the reason for his little project. Most people of a certain age have a vaguely distasteful memory of Pickens as a Gordon Gekko corporate raider-type from the eighties. Among other things, I thingk he’s in full legacy mode and wants to buy his way into heaven.
Here's a link to a story from a different source from a few days ago about Pickens' water plans:
Isn't the Texas Legislature controlled by 'Pubbies now?
Looks like 'ole T. Bone has some friends in high places.....
No encores of Una Paloma Blanca
Can't take credit for it. Some other FReeper posted the story a couple of days ago. I'm just reposting for discussion. It is very interesting, though, particularly the connections Pickens has in the Texas Legislature......
With zero knowledge of the whirly gigs and just the opinions of others to go on all I can say is that in the Panhandle of Texas there are a gazillion of these things up and or going up ! None of em belong to T.Boone so far....... they are spinning 24 & 7 just like the reporters on all sides of this pro con issue.
guess it’s a wait and see......for me !.....:o)
Have you ever heard how loud these things are?
Plus the bird bodies littering your back yard would change your opinion.
I think they should put them off the coast of every state. Start with Ted kennedy’s back yard!
Quite a few problems must be solved before home windmills become cost-effective. They need to be priced low enough and the wind must blow enough for a decent ROI. Operation must be simple. Maintenance must be low. Connection from home to the power grid must be simple & foolproof. The grid itself must be able to take your excess energy feed. State law and the power companies must be structured for home generation units. Etc.
If all of this and more is resolved, then hundreds of thousands of home windmills will certainly add to the nation's power supply. But unless you have constant wind, or you set up battery storage; you will not be electrically independent. Best to stay on the grid and connect your windmill to it.
BTW, before rural electrification many farmers & ranchers produced their own electrical power with a windmill generator & storage battery setup. So the practice is nothing new. But the technology has advanced.
I am no T. Boone Pickens fan, but he is not a supporter of Democrats.
T. Boone Pickens is however, always out to gain himself, in my opinion. I see no reason his plan needs public support, except to send more tax payer money to his pockets.
The objective is to diversify. You do believe power stations pay the same retail rate for fuel as you or I? No way, rates would go thru the roof? Did you know that the U.S. government insures nuclear power stations to keep costs affordable? So much for market driven. Wind is a very clean way to produce electricity. Obviously its intermittent, as is solar, so common sense would say you cannot use 100% of any intermittent power source, but you can use some to conserve fuel and reduce emissions.
While Pickens is trying to sell wind power...
Nuclear Power Worldwide: Status and Outlook
A Report from the IAEA
23 October 2007
“The US had 103 (nuclear) reactors providing 19 percent of the country´s electricity. For the last few decades the main developments have been improved capacity factors, power increases at existing plants and license renewals. Currently 48 reactors have already received 20-year renewals, so their licensed lifetimes are 60 years. Altogether three-quarters of the US reactors either already have license renewals, have applied for them, or have stated their intention to apply. There have been a lot of announced intentions (about 30 new reactors´ worth) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is now reviewing four Early Site Permit applications.
We are, can & should expand nuclear power electrical generation by just increasing the number of reactors at present nuclear power plants. Avoiding the numerous and excessive lawsuits & delays...
“The objective is to diversify”
well then you can “diversify” in wind with your money...
my money is on oil, oil shale, coal, nuclear and if folks want to invest their own dollars in wind or solar then so be it.
for the TRILLIONS of dollars just to get 2% return in wind power is a BAD INVESTMENT!
You got a Harley with this, Hoss! Why not saddle up and ride it?
Oh, so your seeing a return on "your" investment? LOL.
Since windmills only tap energy from winds close to the ground, the odds that they will actually affect climate is zip point bupkus. And dead birds stopped being a problem when the large, slow-turning Danish style turbines replaced the older models used at Altamont, where bird dicing was first noted as an issue.
But notice how the flat-earth lobby operates: if energy source X once had problem Y, and problem Y is subsequently fixed, then they will keep on raising problem Y as an objection. This is why we keep hearing the "nuclear waste is forever" mantra even though France and Japan have been recycling it for years. The US stores it because waste recycling is currently m ore expensive than mining fresh uranium. When we need the uranium and plutonium that waste contains, it will be waiting there for us in Yucca Mountain.
gezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...get a grip, will ya!