Alternative Energy Fiasco, Yet Some Think It’s Just Around the Corner


Are We Looking Toward “Alternative Energy Sources” Or Not?

First off, we keep hearing about how “we can’t drill our way out” of high energy prices, even though conventional wisdom would suggest that if you increase the supply faster than you increase the demand, then prices would fall. We hear that drilling now would bring new supply in 5 to 10 years. No one ever says how long it would take, if ever, for the “new technologies” (i.e. technology that doesn’t exist) or development of alternative energy sources. Now, here is the site for a group that wants to change our energy sources through tax incentives and action forced by the government. They support wind energy and solar power.

Here is the site

Natural Resources Defense Council

I have no idea how accurate their statements and figures are. I suspect that I would have a problem with some items. In the following links, notice how long it takes to develop the suggested energy sources…every time they talk in terms of 5-10 years if not longer. Sen. Obama has come out in opposition to developing new oil fields offshore or in ANWR, pointing instead to new technology as if an Executive Order will make it happen over night. Sen. McCain is now open to drilling offshore(after being against it) but not in ANWR where no one lives and the field could be brought on line in pretty short order since the infrastructure from the North Slope is already there. Sen. McCain’s homestate of Arizona is trying to be a leader in alternative energy, but wait till you hear who’s state is leaving them in the dust.

Who is Against Wind Power? I’ve seen one of the largest wind farms in the world in Canada. It was developed by Royal Dutch Shell. Gee…imagine that…and oil company developing other sources of energy beside oil. Don’t suppose because they are an ENERGY company? Anyway, you know who is blocking alternative energy sources…Massachusetts. I bet they don’t want to build nuclear plants their either, nor coal nor oil. They want the energy but its a “not in my back yard” attitude, or in this case, a not off my shore attitude. It’s been years ago but you know that people like Ted Kennedy, his cousins, Walter Cronkite and others didn’t want an offshore wind farm because they said it would spoil their view. Another group claimed it would endanger migratory birds, as if birds can’t navigate around windmills.

A judge has tossed out the naysayers. Here’s the story from Businessweek. Before you start chortling about the “liberals” who are standing in the way in Massachusetts, you will be surprised that none other than Mitt Romney opposed the clean energy source.

Who is Pushing Ahead with expanding wind farms both on an offshore? Texas, that’s who. The following article features a person who says that Texans know that the oil and gas can’t last forever and they are working to enhance the state’s energy producing capability with current wind operations in West Texas and developing offshore wind farms using existing facilities.

Texas Pushes Forward With Wind Energy

Who is Opposing Solar Power? How about your Federal Government. The Bureau of Land Management has put a halt to a planned gigantic solar complex in Arizona where the governor wants the state to be the “Persian Gulf of Solar Energy” and export power, namely to neighboring California. The BLM though has put a halt to the project for up to two years to do environmental studies. Keep in mind that the plant wouldn’t come on line anyway until 2015, or about the time more oil supply would come to market from drilling in ANWR.

US Suspends Solar Energy Projects

AZ Governor has opposition from the state If that’s not enough, the Governor’s own great idea is getting shot down by her own energy commission that won’t approve transmission lines to California. So, even if they do become the “Persian Gulf of Solar Energy” they have no way to export it.

AZ Corporation Commission Denial of Interstate Transmission

So…does this sound like we can turn to alternative energy in a short period of time? The politics and fighting and arguments will take longer than construction time, even if new technologies are developed. If the nation were all made up of Texas, then there’s a pretty good bet the energy turnaround would be going full force. But, it’s not. The bridge from a carbon based energy economy to something else will take time….a lot of time….and we need oil to sustain us until that day arrives. Tell you what the dirty little secret is though….In my view, a stronger dollar would lower oil prices faster than anything else. The rapid run-up of oil prices, set on world markets and not by any one state or organization, is directly in proportion to the rapid fall in the value of the dollar. Nevertheless, we need energy now while other sources are developed, if they can be developed. As of now, nothing is a more efficient means of energy than oil and natural gas. The Joules per unit is much greater than any other source except for perhaps nuclear….and in many quarters, speaking of clean burning nuclear power is akin pornography.

2 Responses

  1. Interesting thoughts, but I’d say the glass is half full. Last year, wind accounted for 35% of the new electric generating capacity installed in the U.S., second only to natural gas.

    I attended the groundbreaking for a new wind plant in upstate New York last summer. This summer, I spoke at the dedication. One year from spades in the ground to an operating power plant.

    For an authoritative look at what wind power can do, see the 20% by 2030 Technical Report from the U.S. Department of Energy at http://www.20percentwind.org.

    Regards,
    Thomas O. Gray
    American Wind Energy Association
    http://www.powerofwind.org
    http://www.awea.org

    PS: The Bureau of Land Management has ended its moratorium on solar.

  2. Thanx for your interest and response. I would question the BLM notation. The article I linked to was dated just a week ago. Is this something new? Also, wind energy is a great thing and I think the windmill farm is really cool looking. I think that it would enhance the view from Cape Cod. However, I must say that when people use percentages as part of a defense, I become questioning. See…if you have one say, lignite plant, and then the next year you have two…then one can say “we increased lignite energy by 100% and are the fasting growing energy concern” when in fact, you only have two lignite plants. I’d like to see the day when you can brag about wind generation in raw terms instead of percentages.

    Happy Independence Day

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