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"wind power is about as dependable as, well, the wind."

Don Surber:

From the Scotsman: "Scotland's wind farms are unable to cope with the freezing weather conditions - grinding to a halt at a time when electricity demand is at a peak, forcing the country to rely on power generated by French nuclear plants."

Well, how bad could it be?

From the Scotsman: "Shortly before 5:30pm on [Monday and Tuesday], wind power production fell to 62MW and 61 MW respectively - just 2.5 per cent of its total capacity. At the same time on both occasions, the UK's electricity usage rose to about 60,000MW - one of the highest ever levels of demand. Electricity demand in the UK rarely rises above 60,000MW."

So let me get this straight, at a time when you need it most, wind power is about as dependable as, well, the wind.

Mr Surber isn't the only one questioning the feasibility of wind power:

After 30 months, countless TV appearances, and $80 million spent on an extravagant PR campaign, T. Boone Pickens has finally admitted the obvious: The wind energy business isn't a very good one.

The Dallas-based entrepreneur, who has relentlessly promoted his "Pickens Plan" since July 4, 2008, announced earlier this month that he's abandoning the wind business to focus on natural gas.

Two years ago, natural gas prices were spiking and Mr. Pickens figured they'd stay high. He placed a $2 billion order for wind turbines with General Electric. Shortly afterward, he began selling the Pickens Plan. The United States, he claimed, is "the Saudi Arabia of wind," and wind energy is an essential part of the cure for the curse of imported oil.

Voters and politicians embraced the folksy billionaire's plan. Last year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he had joined "the Pickens church," and Al Gore said he wished that more business leaders would emulate Mr. Pickens and be willing to "throw themselves into the fight for the future of our country."

How could an industry go wrong with people like Al Gore and Harry Reid leading the charge?

There's a lesson here for people with sense.


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Comments (24)

Last year, Senate Majori... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Last year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he had joined "the Pickens church," and Al Gore said he wished that more business leaders would emulate Mr. Pickens...

Two good sources of wind right there. Three if you count Pickens.

There's a lesson here fo... (Below threshold)

There's a lesson here for people with sense.

But anyone with and ounce of sense doesn't need a lesson. There's a lesson here for fools and charlatans, but I doubt they will learn it.

Pickens should send his wif... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Pickens should send his wife out to the Indian Reservation in East County, she only lives about 40 miles away. Last year a wind storm blew through there. ALL the turbine blades had to be replaced. Yep, real reliable energy source. No need for any backup. Sun and wind are all we need.

Looks like the minus voter ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Looks like the minus voter trolls just blew through.

Okay, here is my logic. I d... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Okay, here is my logic. I don't begrudge Mr Pickens his wealth. In fact, Mr Pickens wealth served a purpose because he can speculate on technology to a degree I cannot. He invested a large fortune in wind power and found it lacking at its present technological level. In fact, he probably figures that it just isn't a great investment for the time being and he will, as we should as well, move on. However, the "progressives" want to demonize the wealthy. Their insanity in the name of government would be to take the wealth and continue to subsidize their ideology that wind generated power is efficient no matter what reality says. Look how they subsidize ethanol. Mr Pickens made an investment and failed. Sometimes you win sometimes you lose. That's freedom and we learn from peoples' successes and failures. Mr Pickens serves his purpose as a wealthy speculator in the market.

What the press leaves out w... (Below threshold)
jim m:

What the press leaves out while they call T. Boone Pickens an 'entrepreneur' is that he made his money in the oil industry.

Toady he is just an energy speculator seeking to cash in on something trendy. He's making a series of short term plays that sound exciting and get a lot of hype. I'll bet he's still making money on these otherwise dead end investments simply because the media is hyping them so much.

The problem with the MSM an... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

The problem with the MSM and alternative energy salesman is they tell you all the good things but very little to none of the bad things when it comes to alternative energy. They push their agenda with little regard for the truth and in spreading real knowledge.

Wind power technology has made a good deal of advancements over the decades in reducing cost in producing energy. One of the main problems is its reliability and a way to financially reasonably store it. I believe a way will be found out or possibly finding industrial application that can make use of varying power. However it is not here and to pretend otherwise is foolish.

The problem with Wind, Sola... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

The problem with Wind, Solar or X is that people have decided on a solution. What is the problem we are trying to solve?

Is it a replacement for oil? Is Oil the problem ? if we had unlimited domestic oil would it still be an issue?
Is it pollution?
Is it Green house gases?
What are the byproducts of solar panels and how much energy does it take to produce wind farms.

We need reliable, highly efficient, economical and safe way to produce and distribute energy .
The method to obtain and dispose of waste should also be clean.
Modern Nuclear is clean, reliable and efficient.
It would also generate the power for those hybrid cars. (However some those batteries are more toxic than any oil spill. )

In the end we need more people working on solving the problems (real ones not the BS ones) instead of saying that Wind and Solar are not just an answer but the only one.

It's hard to beat coal to g... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

It's hard to beat coal to generate electricity to stay warm when there is no wind or sunshine, or your turbine is frozen.

It's a good thing it still powers about 1/2 of America.

Looks like the GOP hand-lic... (Below threshold)
Woop:

Looks like the GOP hand-lickers have been told by their oil company bosses to push some more bullshit propaganda dissing alternative energy.

Guess Exxon is having a bad quarter.

Ignoring the childish crap ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Ignoring the childish crap preceding this comment, I'd like to point out that windmills (turbines, whatever) are ... ugly. One by itself is OK, almost artistic, but a bunch of them together look like an oil refinery or a series of electricity pylons.

I just drove through Palm Springs on the way to Phoenix, and was struck by just how ugly they truly are.

Someone should have told T.... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Someone should have told T. Boone Pickens to go fly a kite although the analogy probably would have been lost on him.

Jay,You should see... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Jay,

You should see when one of these windmills overshadows a house. It's like someone is turning the lights on and off in the room all day. The flicker is incredible. It destroys the home value. They built a wind farm in Rockford Illinois saying that it wouldn't overshadow anyone, but they lied and it has made the homes nearly unlivable. The homeowners have to basically black out their windows to get rid of the flicker from the sunlight being blocked by the blades every couple of seconds.

woop a dupe-"Looks... (Below threshold)
914:

woop a dupe-

"Looks like the GOP hand-lickers have been told by their oil company bosses to push some more bullshit propaganda dissing alternative energy."


Have another swigga' kool-aid asshat and thanks for droppin' by.

"Looks like the Marxist Com... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

"Looks like the Marxist Commie Democrat hand-lickers have been told by Al Gore to push some more bullshit propaganda dissing clean coal and oil based energy."

There, fixed it for ya Whooped-Asshole.

Der it is. Truth hurts, don't it.

HcddbzNot a bad post... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Hcddbz
Not a bad post except for nuclear power leaves a long lasting waste and it is a problem.

Only the foolish think that... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Only the foolish think that eliminating oil is the solution to dependence upon foreign oil.

How exactly does anyone propose to eliminate the plastics industry? Plastics are just one vital part of the oil industry that is unrelated to fuel production. Yes we can recycle, but not all plastic products can be made from recycled goods.

The answer is a vital and productive domestic industry. The left will never allow that. Destroying American industry is part of their central dogma.

Jim m, I hadn't thought of ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Jim m, I hadn't thought of that. I'd previously considered wind turbines as nice, but more of a hobbyist-type solution, i.e., producing too little power to make much of a difference.

But on seeing fields of the damned things turning it really struck me how incredibly ugly they were (and I'd once considered the design as quite artistic), so Ted Kennedy had a point. But hundreds of 'em ...yow. They looked like mold on a piece of bread. (Here's a photo.) My wife mentioned that she'd read that they make a "whumpf whumpf whumpf" noise that drives neighbors nuts, but the flicker was a new one I hadn't heard about.

But not to worry. Wind turbines will never get the eco-nazis blessing, because they're basically Waring blenders for birds.

check this out for flicker:... (Below threshold)
jim m:

check this out for flicker:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyOImGHyJtQ

Wind power. It really blows.

How annoying to have them t... (Below threshold)
914:

How annoying to have them things in your backyard 24/7.

WayneSince most fu... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Wayne

Since most fuel process produce by product either through production or as a byproduct of use. Closed fuel cycle Nuclear will reduce the amount of actual waste by recycling a large number of the waste as compared to the current open when it just once through and done.

So we recycle the rod have lest waste and that waste can be put into the salt flats. The release into the air is water vapor.


There is also clean coal and natural gas. Liquified produce more energy than any ethanol and does not raise food prices and consume less energy to produce.

Again I am sure we might find a highly motivated individual to come up with better solutions if they are looking at trying to solve problems.

I'd wager this has worked o... (Below threshold)
studakota:

I'd wager this has worked out just the way Mr Pickens wanted it to. Mr Pickens has the various Reps. and Sens., from the states he will cross, with his "Line of Transmission", to help him get easements on the land necessary to transmit electricity from wind turbines. Now that it seems electricity is not going to be transmitted he might as well be allowed to use those easements for transporting natural gas, which was the intent all along. And I'm sure those slips of paper are written to state that if electricity isn't transmitted something else may be. And the rest of us can feel sorry for his monetary losses. LOL

The reason the left is so i... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The reason the left is so in love with ethanol is that they are in love with a return to an agrarian society. They somehow expect that they can have an agrarian society with all the amenities (TV, Internet, high tech medicine etc) that the industrialized world produces and maintains.

Of course history is full of tales of the left trying to force their agrarian dreams on society. Cambodia comes to mind.

HcddbzNever said oth... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Hcddbz
Never said other fuel source don’t produce waste just that nuclear does too. Other sources have a relatively short life. Nuclear does not. Yes they are getting better at reducing nuclear by-product. However it is still there. We have a good deal of the waste at “temporary” storage places for decades. The stuff stays active for hundreds of thousands of years. How much waste do you think we can generate in just a thousand years even if we reduce by-product by 90%? Sticking it in the ground may put it out of site but it is still there. Someday a major earthquake will hit one of the storage places and we will have a miss.




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