29 Sep 08 Eddie's Blog Global

What's great about wind energy?

My answers to this question might surprise some people. The first great thing about wind is that it can be harnessed to make electricity. Electricity, as a product, has an indefinite future ahead of it. There is no replacement; it is transported cheaply; it can cool you down or heat you up; it can drive your hair dryer or it can drive the train; it can carry out an MRI on your back so that each nerve can be seen; it lights up the television and it lights up all our towns and buildings. And my guess is that when some stranger from Cassiopeia beholds the ruins of the pyramids she will do so with the aid of light powered by electricity. The second benefit of wind is that it makes electricity without water; it directly converts the speed of the wind into electricity. All coal, oil, nuclear and combined cycle gas needs water to condense steam to water so that it can be pumped round the heating circuit again. Some people will remember that during the huge heat of summer 2003 the nuclear power stations along the Rhone had to be reduced to half load because the river was getting too warm. This doesn’t happen with wind turbines. From the Arctic Circle to the tropics wind turbines work. Wind is free. No one owns it. It happens and will continue to happen as long as the earth rotates about the sun and the sun continues to shine. I doubt if anyone will go to war over wind or that aircraft carriers will have to fly their FA18s to ensure the wind arrives. Wind is free. Wind plant costs a lot. One has to get over the high initial cost and once the debt is paid down, potentially low prices for wind generated electricity can be charged. Wind is free and its future costs are known. So as gas and oil fluctuate every which way (mainly upwards), wind costs are fixed. It has the solidity and certainty of the Pyramids. No nasty oligarchs are able to make wind more expensive for their personal gain. See the next blog for a continuation of this theme.