Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Answer Is Blowin'

Someone wrote a letter to the IJ today warning us all of the "wind power mercenaries" who are trying to dupe us into investing in alternative energy. Now comes T. Boone Pickens with his Big Idea, the "Pickens Plan."

I admit being a bit fearful of privatizing utilities as Pickens prefers, but can it be worse than what we have now? This is one of those times when I wish I had a crystal ball.


Peter said...

The US also needs to look at other renewable energy project, such as solar. Solar power on roofs eliminates the need for more distribution and transmission lines. Solar works on the peak hours of the day and is particularly useful in the western states.

Wind tends to peak late in the day and there would need to be storage capacity to store electricity for use in the peak hours of the day.

Steve said...

Peter, there are plenty of new solar projects. See this recent story which mentions there are 125 projects for BLM land.

I like renewables, but it will be very difficult to achieve any significant CO2 reduction with renewables. Even if they end up with 30% from renewables, which is on the high end, worldwide energy demand is projected to rise by 50% by 2030.

Energy feeds a nation's economic strength. It is very difficult for the US, being a leading economy, to figure out how much of that economy to sacrifice, especially when its cheaper to use coal and oil.

Of course, the trick is to make renewables more efficient, develop untapped renewables, and to also develop clean nonrenewable power sources. To this last point, I believe that in 100 years time, half the worlds power will be from nuclear fusion - we need to invest much more in fusion research.