Monday, October 16, 2006

For a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of our energy: wind power!

At 20% "penetration," a typical goal (limited by the amount of excess capacity on the system that is free to balance the fluctuating wind load), wind energy would in theory replace only one forty-fifth of our energy.

Electricity accounts for roughly a third of all energy use, 20% wind would be a fifth of that third. (And that fifth requires four times the capacity of that actual output.) And the effective capacity (because of its variability) is yet a third of that output.

Even in theory, then, it is clearly an awfully destructive and expensive "alternative." In reality, it is even worse.

wind power, wind energy, wind farms, environment, environmentalism