Thursday, April 14, 2005

Tit bits

"Wind Energy an Important Contributor to Kyoto Plan" (news release):
"The installation of a minimum of 4,000 megawatts (MW) of wind energy
capacity in Canada over the next five years would produce enough electricity
to meet at least 15% of the projected increase in Canada's electricity demand
for the entire period between 2000 and 2010", says Robert Hornung, Canadian
Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) President.
That's about 4 billion dollars to (in theory only) cover 15% of only the increase in electricity use. In the U.S. that increase is generally assumed to be 2% a year, so assuming a similar rate in Canada electricity demand in 2010 would be 122% of what it was in 2000. 15% of that 22% increase is 3.3%. And electricity is only a fraction of total energy use, so industrial wind's contribution to the Kyoto plan is even further diminished. Even that very little something (based on the CanWEA's rosy assumptions of turbine performance) would require 3,000 turbines, each over 300 feet high, covering a total of 200-300 or more square miles. Besides the 4 billion dollars US for their construction, they would also require very expensive new high-voltage transmission lines. It seems obvious that conservation and efficiency would be a much more effective route. Of course, there's no profit for the energy companies in actually cutting back.

"Wind turbine on Tower Hill would be a beacon of hope" (letter):
Not only will the wind turbine become a major tourist attraction, but because of its proximity to our new hospital, it can also act as backup emergency power.

It can also act as emergency power for old-age homes and seniors' apartments in the case of blackouts, supplying power for elevators and respirators.
It should just be noted here that industrial wind turbines can not work without power from the grid. In a blackout, they are dead, too.

"Windmill Deemed Not Tall Enough" (news item):
[John Zimmerman, northeast U.S. Enxco representative,] said it will take time to perfect windmill technology ...

So far, Rapoza said, the windmill has produced a total of about 3,800 kilowatt hours [over 18 months], and makes enough electricity to power a small house.
The average residential customer in Vermont uses about 7,500 KW-h/year, so that's an awfully small house he's talking about: a third of the average. How many ever-larger turbines will industrialize ever more landscapes while the kinks of the technology (such as its dismal output) are still getting worked out?

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