jbeckton wrote:The problem is that even if wind is perfected it will never be sufficient. Solor power could be, fusion could be.
This is not easy to parse, but suffice it to say that the total amount of electricity that could potentially be generated from wind in the United States has been estimated at 10,777 billion kWh annually — three times the electricity generated in the U.S. today.
I believe that a diverse mix of power is preferable, because of different intermittency and storage profiles. Yes, solar can be a major part of this mix. Fusion is a dream in an opium den.
Coal is indeed cheap, but ultimately too dirty in too many ways, so watch the external costs become internalized.
Do you happen to know just how many turbines that would require? The cost of building and maintainig then would be monumental.
I understand that wind will be used where it is fiesable. My whole point here is that the base load of electricity in the US will never be sustained with wind power. It will always play a supplemental role and is therefore in my opinion insignificant. By insignifican't I mean less than 5% of the toatal production.
To me this is like spending more money on treating cancer than finding the cure. Sure we need to treat people inflicted but we must realize that we are not concentrating our efforts on solving the broblem at hand.
I gaurentee that while coal is available (at least another 150 years), no company is going to build that many turbines, they will not survive. Coal is cheap, this is a capitalist society, what can you do about it? Continue to increace the regulations and taxes? If you are convinced that the coal plants are the most to balme, I disagree. The automotive industry has the furthest to go.
If I were a dictator, I would say that we need to sustain ourselves another 30-40 years at most before renewable energy is sufficient. My plan would involve updating current coal plants with scrubbers while building nuclear plants all over the country. Withing 20 years we would be 70% nuclear and near the end of the life of those plants we would be ready to convert to renewable energy.
We would generate much radioactive waste but I beleive that it offsets the coal pollution.
This will never happen because people are unwilling to accept nuclear plants here, the same people who complain about smog and everything else. The usually have very little to offer as a solution but instead point out successful countries who are in great loactions to use renewable energy and don't have the energy needs of the US.