Skip to comments.The wind blows less when wind power is needed most
Posted on 08/05/2008 7:59:15 AM PDT by engrpat
As North Texans sweltered through another 100-degree-plus day, the windmills around Sweetwater turned lazily in the West Texas breeze, generating enough electricity to power about 250,000 homes.
Its not much barely 1 percent of the peak electricity demand Monday for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, operator of the transmission grid for about 75 percent of the state. But its about what is expected from the states wind-power industry, by far the nations largest, during the dog days of summer, when temperatures climb but wind speeds dip on the West Texas plains.
"In general, winds peak energy does not coincide with peak electricity demand. Its not a good match," said Andy Swift, director of the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
Thats not to say wind power isnt needed, he quickly added.
"Its something we as a state and a nation need to say focused on," Swift said.
When it comes to electricity, Texas uses more than any other state. Mondays peak demand of more than 62,000 megawatts easily outstrips Californias record of about 53,000 megawatts.
And the state generates more wind power than any other. Greg Wortham of the West Texas Wind Energy Consortium in Sweetwater, said about 6,000 megawatts of wind-power capacity is installed statewide, more than double No. 2 California.
The problem is, the wind doesnt blow all the time, so wind power fluctuates hour to hour and day to day. According to Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Texas windmills churn out about 38 percent of their capacity on average during the year. Thats still the best in the nation, just ahead of the Great Plains at 37 percent and well ahead of the Upper Midwest, the weakest at 27 percent.
(Excerpt) Read more at star-telegram.com ...
-—the other “solution”—solar panels—have somewhat the same problem from about October to April everywhere north of Denver——
The wind-power fanatics’ argument can be destroyed in two words: stationary high.
Well then, there is the solution to the problem.
Install the wind machines in Washington, where the wind never ceases, and supply the whole country. Finally, the politicians could contribute something positive.
T Bonehad Pickens is pushing wind and is heavily invested along with the dims he’s bringing along. Hundreds of acres and miles of polution windmills and nasty solar panels will require ongoing maintenance/replacement at a cost of what? The windmill chokepoint would be a serious national security threat. Drill for oil now is the only real answer and let American ingenuity, government incentives and private funding take care of the rest.
I saw a piece on TV about all the wind-mill towers in Texas where there once was oil-pumps standing idle (can't remember the show)....
They talked to proponents and opponents of these wind towers...
My first impression was that the towers were giant, ugly and overly imposing. The second impression as I viewed them was that only a few (on the wind-farm) were turning. Most were sitting still while only a few turned slowly.
They were promoting that they had plenty of wind out there and, not only there, but all around the country... It's only windy sometimes where I live in Virginia. I wouldn't want one in my backyard. I'd rather instead have a couple oil wells pumping oil like that guy in Indiana has in his back yard. Much less imposing and it makes him money.
Active solar doesn’t support the costs...maintanence costs are problematic. But there’s no reason that passive systems can’t be used. The initial investments pay for themselves within 4-5 years. Passive is the way to go!!!
“The windmill chokepoint would be a serious national security threat”
That is an excellent point!
Oil flows through underground pipelines, which makes it harder for our enemies to disrupt or bomb....but windmill and solar panel ‘stations’ would be like sitting ducks!
The billions of dollars of generators, windmills, and new transmission lines aren't going to do jack squat for actually making electrons when needed most.
It's like building a couple of very large generating plants (coal, gas, nuke, etc.) and turning them off for the summer. What good are they then?
Supplement the wind farm with solar panels.
I had dinner the other night with a couple of investment people. I learned that T. Boone Pickens doesn’t expect to make money on the wind towers themselves, but on WATER that he will transport along the same routes as the electricity, and also on other people’s land that will be expropriated by eminent domain in order to provide a route to bring the generated electricity to the cities.
At least so they said, and they usually know what they are talking about.
Hey folks, let’s calm down and take the common-sense approach.
Wind energy is not THE answer. It’s one of several that show promise.
The biggest drawback right now is transmission and developing a way to store the energy for use when it’s needed, not just in real time.
We can do that. Americans are problem-solvers.
We MUST DRILL NOW. But we must also continue to look for alternatives, developing multiple sources of energy so we can eventually thumb our noses at the Middle East.
I just signed a gas lease. I’d put wind turbines on the farm, too, if approached. I’m hoping for high-efficiency solar sheeting one of these days.
(By the way, a new wind farm is going up right now in North Central Texas, just south of the Red River, right in the I-35 corridor.)
Hydrocarbons, wind, solar, geothermal, fuel cells, etc. Let’s do ‘em ALL. It’s good for industry and good for the economy and good for America.
That’s not new for T-Boone. He’s been a water robbing opportunist for years.
Over the Tehachapi Pass, the wind hasn’t stopped blowing since Eve ate the apple.
Wonder what all the environment nazis will say when they realize there are no more birds because all the of the habitat is destroyed by these wind farms and birds are greased by the turbine blades?
What bugs me is the mixing of electric power and power for vehicles in the same sentence. They are two different animals though I admit related especially if plug-in hybrids make any inroads.
For electric power generation we need more nuclear power and more coal power. CO2 be dammed. Wind power is supplementary but will never be a major source of energy. Solar, not so good. Sun doesn’t shine much at night.
For vehicles T Boone Pickens is pushing CNG (compressed natural gas). Honda has such a vehicle. The fuel tank takes up all of the space of the regular tank plus half of the trunk space, and still has the net capacity of only 8 GGE (gallons of gasoline equivalent), so the range of the vehicle is only 220 miles. That is with a “tank” whose gas is compressed to 3600 PSI. Ugh!!
No really easy answers. We will need oil for many years to come.
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