November 9, 2007

Dreams of 20% penetration

Carl Levesque of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) writes in Renewable Energy Access (Nov. 7, 2007):
AWEA Policy Director Rob Gramlich provided a glimpse of the 20% vision technical report that is due to come out soon. The vision, which Gramlich emphasized assumes "stable and long-term policy," calls for a ramp-up in deployment of wind power capacity form the current 3,000-4,000 megawatts (MW) annually to 16,000 MW per year at peak. Gramlich also showed the conceptual map developed by American Electric Power of a grid that can efficiently accommodate 20% wind (as well as benefit all of the electric industry). The map calls for up to 15,000 miles of new transmission lines.
That's one new giant turbine every hour for the next 25 years (allowing 3 years to get up to that rate). In addition to the proposed 15,000 miles of new high-capacity transmission lines (mostly in rural and wild areas), 400,000 MW of new wind turbines would require 20,000,000 acres (31,250 square miles!) of newly industrialized land.

And since demand will also grow, all those wind turbines will have barely reached 10% "penetration" -- god save us from 20%! And, as well explained elsewhere, they will have done nothing to reduce the consumption of other fuels or their emissions.

Continuing this boondoggle is clearly madness. Enlarging it is sociopathic.

wind power, wind energy, environment, environmentalism, human rights, animal rights,