Sunday, July 10, 2005

Alternative Energy

Europe leads as we follow.

.........In June, Shell WindEnergy, E.ON UK Renewables, and CORE, a joint venture of British and Danish wind power companies, unveiled a plan to build the world's largest wind farm 12 miles off the British coast, where the estuary of the Thames River flows into the North Sea. The ambitious $2.7 billion project will add 1,000 megawatts of capacity, enough to meet one-quarter of London's power needs, by 2010.

I have always said that the current energy companies have the best ability and most to gain (or lose) in the move to new energy. Cooperation between these companies, environmentalists and government can move us most quickly toward prosperity and eliminate dependence on foreign oil. We have to quit allowing these to be competing entities and find a way to help them cooperate to bring America back to it's leadership position.

wind power has been growing at an average annual rate of 28% since 1999 and now amounts to 48,000 Megawatts of installed capacity worldwide. Nearly three-fourths of that is in Europe, where governments have made investment in renewable energy sources a priority. Europe gets 2.5% of its electricity from wind power, more than twice the proportion in the U.S.

Proof that today America is not in the leadership position here.

wind power remains a more expensive alternative than natural gas or nuclear power, government incentives play a big role, too. It costs 4 cents to produce one kilowatt hour from a gas-fired or nuclear power plant, compared with between 7 cents and 10 cents for wind, according to Britain's Royal Academy of Engineering. In Germany, which has the largest installed wind-power capacity on the globe, operators are guaranteed a fixed price for every kilowatt they produce. Siemens (SI ), which acquired Danish wind turbine supplier Bonus Energy last year, is bullish on the business. Siemens Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld sees wind power as a "megatrend."

Are we willing to pay the price today to reap the benefits of tomorrow.

Britain's first wind farm consisted of 10 turbines, each producing 400 kilowatts of power. That was 14 years ago. Today, turbines have as much as 10 times that output, thanks to strides in engineering, design, and aerodynamics. Given such improvements, investment costs have been falling by some 3% to 5% a year since the 1980s, according to the European Wind Energy Assn., a trade group in Brussels.

The more we put into advancing these new technologies the quicker the price will come down.

Sorry to keep harping on this but I think this is an extreme priority in the world today. We can lead the way or we can follow. To me America is about leadership. No worry about oil if we don't need a lot of it. I'm not talking about just wind but in all possible alternatives. That's why I'm so embarrassed by our current "leader" who in reality couldn't lead a colony of ants. Ok, maybe that's too harsh. He actually has gotten dollars to follow him better than most anybody. We have to have some people with the "vision thing" again. And some people that can communicate it to the country. We (America) are in danger of becoming an also ran.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US is currently, if slowly, building wind power jenerators. There is a project starting in Elida NM.

40 years ago the US granted restricted liscens to GE, Westing House, and Solaris to develop turbine generation systems. The liscens have expired, so any one can build these generation systems now.
The turbins have been instaled on waste heaps utilizing the methane produced by our waste. Propane is added to the methane for enrichment.
These systems can be adapted to use the waste gas from cracking towers. A single tower wastes enough gas to power Artesia, and half of Carlsbad. Many countries are doing this, but it is illeagle in the US.
The turbins do not meet clean air standards when burning waste gas. The gas burns far cleaner in a turbin than it does in an open flame It is ok to burn the gas in an open flame, since it falls under oil regulations. If you generate electricity, you fall under a different agency.

2:41 PM, July 13, 2005  
Blogger Dedanna said...

To me America is about leadership.

Sorry, Ron, that's just too doggone close to the premise that GWB used to invade Iraq and do every other trick in the book that he's done on -- that America is the "all powerful leader", that we are about "leadership", etc. etc.

Please, choose words more wisely and carefully.

We "lead" is too doggone close to "we have power over".

We should be acting as if we are no more or less or better than any other country, yet we act the most arrogant in the whole world in this regard. It's what gets us into trouble when it comes to diplomacy.

We should be taking notes on leadership from other countries, IMHO.

6:09 PM, July 15, 2005  
Blogger Ron said...

Dedanna: I think America has been a leader through time. Leadership in medicine, technology, science, education, freedom et al. These are things that a great country full of inventive and capable citizens should be proud of. There should be pride over this and not warfare, blood and guts. Just looking for a peaceful,positive way to unite our country.

7:45 PM, July 16, 2005  
Blogger Dedanna said...

My point is that we should be uniting the whole world, not just our country.

Our country is only one very small piece of the planet, yet we as Americans all act as if it's the only single piece there is.

And we do it to a very major fault.

In the process of helping to unite the world, our country's mess would fall into place all by itself (well, virtually, anyway).

10:35 PM, July 16, 2005  

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