Wind… a Passing Fa[d].
There’s “renewable” and then there’s “f[rea]king inexhaustible.”
Over a half century ago the Russians hypothesized that hydrocarbons have been leaching more or less constantly from the mantle into the crust for billions of years. Turns out they were correct. Coal is not be “renewable” because it is indeed a fossil fuel.
Natural gas and oil are so abundant it staggers the mind. There are literally trillions of cubic feet of gas at accessible depth right here in the US… i.e. cheap cheap cheap. Ditto oil. Centuries worth. Enough to pay down our debts.
Now that anthropogenic CO2 – along with natural CO2 – have been thoroughly debunked as threats to “glooohbal waaahrming” and “climitt change” there’s absolutely no excuse to prevent exploitation of God’s Bounty in energy.
UPDATE: In the WSJ, Daniel Yergin: The Real Stimulus: Low-Cost Natural Gas (Subscriber content)
An unconventional oil and gas revolution is under way in the United States, but its full ramifications are only beginning to be understood. The basic facts are clear enough. Half a decade ago, it was assumed that the U.S. would become a large importer of liquefied natural gas; now the domestic natural gas market is oversupplied, thanks to the ability to produce shale gas through hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies.
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That aside, the economics of ‘wind’ in particular are pathetic. One engineer went on a rant a few years ago about machine costs, installation, maintenance, mechanical efficiency, net productive hours, intermittency, narrow wind-speed domain, the ramifications in supplementary systems such as gas-fired plants, the mechanical half-life (turbines do wear out…) – all at *huge* expense per megawatt compared to coal or gas… then there was the rant about birds and bats and ground-shake and wind-noise and the depletion of property values within sight of the ugly miscreants. If it wasn’t for subsidies – corporate welfare – GE and Siemens would never have gotten into the business (if one can call it “business” at all.)
So watch carefully: GE is a manufacturer of industrial gas turbine generators. Watch for upcoming GE ads… creeping into the newspapers and magazines touting the advantages of “clean, quiet, natural gas” power generation.