Talk:Debate: Pickens US energy plan
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Whilst wind energy is essential in a 'renewable energy' model and whilst I agree in general with what he is proposing (to produce the energy in a 'renewable' non-polluting way), I think there are also other methods we will need to adopt AT THE SAME TIME. To rely on a single source of energy is the weakness of this civilisation already, whether its oil or gas or wind, its best not to put all your eggs in one basket. There are several courses of action that are needed 'at the same time', such as energy conservation, reductions to be made from efficiency, locally produced power etc.
For a start energy conservation and insulation... In the UK we throw away 30% of the energy produced, by having inefficient systems & poor insulation. That's nearly a third can be SAVED before producing one single gigawatt of power. In the UK 10% is 'lost' in transportation accross a huge grid, so producing power 'locally' can save another 10% of present production. So just those two alone can 'save' nearly 40% of present consumption of 'domestic' power (industrial uses are not so easy to 'save' but combined heat & power technology is making good headway there too). Then there are other micro-solutions which can 'save' even more power from ever being produced in the first place... for example a solar water heater! A solar water heater can provide 50% of ALL the hot water a household uses in a year (even in the UK.. so in hot sunny countries this will be a larger percentage). 50% of all the hot water to be used for space heating and for washing can be produced for FREE once homes have solar water heaters on the roof. In the UK heating water for washing and central heating units amounts to nearly 40% of all the power consumed in (British) domestic homes! Of course for those in hotter climates who need air-conditioning to cool the home instead of to heat it, there's now heat-exchanger technology which takes the hot water and turns it into cool air (like a fridge does)! So with energy conservation measures like insulation & energy saving light bulbs and 'A' rated appliances coupled with micro-renewables like a solar water heater and the average home could SAVE nearly 50% of ALL domestic energy before you produce ONE gigawatt of 'renewable' electricity.
However it doesn't end there. Of course there are several OTHER renewable non-polluting technologies available such as solar Photo Voltaic (PV) which makes electricity directly, ground heat, micro-wind turbines & mini-hydro power etc. Photo Voltaics are getting more efficient by the day, with innovations that have seen 10X more power being produced per dollar from nano-inks that mimic photo-synthesis. Micro-wind turbines have seen research & development that has increased the efficiency dramatically (particularly with helix Vertical blade turbines) and there is a raft of other micro-renewable options which could be built into homes such as permanent magnet motors that appear to produce more energy than they consume, water 'smashing' pumps that appear to produce more heat than the 'pump' consumes and so on... and when given the R&D money these look like they could be very promising for future needs.
When all of these 'renewable' options are marketed vigorously (with marketing like.. its your patriotic duty to get renewable power for your home instead of that new kitchen or second car) then prices will fall just like prices fall when ANYTHING is mass produced and marketed vigorously and well over 50% of all domestic energy can come from renewables (in some locations it will be 100%+ so that you could 'export' power to the grid) & once you have the systems on your home you start 'saving' from day one (and of course the money 'saved' could go to pay off the mortgage quicker)! This leaves the money in people's pockets instead of sending abroad to enrich still further, some of the wealthiest people on Earth (the oil sheiks of the M.E.)... the ramifications are endless but the end result is always a wealthier and CLEANER world for everyone (not just us in The West). -- User:Devilsadvocate360degrees
con: wind energy installation cost is very high
the capital cost of wind energy is $ 0.8 Mn/MW. the low PLF of 15-20% ensures that actual capital cost rises much higher to more than $ 4 Mn/MW, which is very high if we compare with conventional technology and to sustain such efforts very high subsidies are paid to these wind farm companies from government.