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Friday, December 29, 2006

Energy From the Wind

In my home I have those energy saving fluorescent soft serve ice cream cone bulbs in all the lamps and lights. When I first started buying them for the house the wife went nuts on me but I was looking at a huge electric bill every month. It is important to me as an individual to use energy efficient household items where ever I can. I went and bought a tank-less gas water heater and had it installed. The endless supply of hot water on demand is awesome when you have five daughters taking showers and your last in line. I bought a wood pellet stove before they were even remotely popular and enjoy endless hours of renewable energy heat. We bought the top of the line front loading energy and water efficient washer and dryer set.

Is the up front cost worth it? I tend to think so. Then again I am a long term thinker when it comes to the cost of my energy use. The month to month cost is by far cheaper to operate than conventional household items. Needless to say I am a huge proponent of electricity generated from the wind.

It’s Free, Plentiful and Fickle

Wind, almost everybody’s best hope for big supplies of clean, affordable electricity, is turning out to have complications.

Engineers have cut the price of electricity derived from wind by about 80 percent in the last 20 years, setting up this renewable technology for a major share of the electricity market. But for all its promise, wind also generates a big problem: because it is unpredictable and often fails to blow when electricity is most needed, wind is not reliable enough to assure supplies for an electric grid that must be prepared to deliver power to everybody who wants it — even when it is in greatest demand. - New York Times

They make some great points in this article but I think that everyone involved is missing the big picture. Energy from the wind is not going to ever replace the main source of power to the electric grid. That is just common sense. Wind power is generated to infrequently to be a reliable source and I know it and so do the electric utilities. This nation or any other will never go completely free of coal, nuclear, natural gas or oil burning power generating facilities. I do have to say that every megawatt of energy created from the wind is better for this nation and the planet.

Carbon dioxide generated by coal, natural gas and oil burning generating plants are a huge contributor to global warming no matter how you look at it. I won’t even mention the problem with nuclear power generation! Wind power cuts that contribution to the atmosphere and the source of the power is free. Much like the family member we all have and love wind power generation is not reliable enough to take the lion share of the task at hand. It was truly never meant to do that and that is a fact.


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Grubby Kid

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