The BP oil spill begs the rhetorical question: if a wind turbine flops over in the ocean, what is the environmental cost?
Last month Interior Secretary Salazar approved the nation’s first offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound. This decision was met with a lot of criticism claiming that it would spoil the view. In hindsight, given the BP oil spill, this seems like a pretty reasonable decision.
Almost two years ago Sr. Dooty wrote here about T. Boone Pickens alternative energy plan using wind power and natural gas. Again, in hindsight, seems like a pretty reasonable idea.
A TV commercial from a natural gas group says that wind power is a good alternative, but “it’s not always breezy.” This is false. The atmosphere is always moving. I frequently drive by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s National Wind Technology Center which has a number of wind turbines on the grounds. No matter now still the wind, the turbines blades are always rotating.
Offshore wind farms receive constant breezes due to the temperature gradient between land and sea and the diurnal temperature variation. It’s time we adopt these measures to assure proper stewardship of our planet.
Addendum: Other criticism of wind power is demand load, i.e., if the wind’s not blowing and the demand goes up, how do you meet the demand? T. Boone Pickens suggests natural gas power plants that can pick up the slack, but there is a simpler, more efficient process. Fuel cells. The electricity generated from wind turbines can be used to in the electrolysis of water, which provides the fuel for fuel cells.