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07/09/2012

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The U.S. is overly endowed with wind energy - when fast onshore wind, shallow water offshore wind and medium speed onshore wind resources are added up, it's close to 29 times or more electricty that this country is currently producing. And even when the natural gas /oil now used for room temperature heating, ammonia production and some electricty to replace some of the oil proucts used for transport are added in, we still have at least at least 15 times present usage of spare. So resource wise, lack of wind is not a problem, nor is "wind depletion".

But it costs money to tap the wind, and so far, Americans are unwilling to to pay what it really costs. And to invest $2.5 trillion and lose money on that does not make sense, which would be the case if investors (private or government) can't at least cover costs with sales of electricity. And not being able to make a profit on $2.5 trillion of investment (or more) will not get any private investment funds motivated, which is not good...

So, until it is actually profitable to make electricity (and not extraordinarily so, just to a "medium" extent), wind sourced electricity is not going anywhere in this country to the extent that it should (which should be as the MAJOR source of electricity in this country). It is and will be much lower cost than solar PV, even when it is made is USA wind turbines versus made with slave labor in China PV panels. So, allow wind to actually be profitable, and not just a way for the extremely rich to avoid paying taxes (which is how the present "initiatives" work, sort of).

We really need Feed-In Tariffs, big time, at least in states like NY which are plagued with casino gambling like pricing systems for electricity. That way, wind energy advocates also become job and business creation advocates, and the task of going renewable gets a lot easier to accomplish.

But, if you don't get the pricing system(s) for renewable electricity correct, wind energy will remain a trivial shadow of what it could be. So how about more articles about that, and less of these "warm fuzzy and meaningless" articles about a future that never seems to get paid for except by magic (just like nuclear reactor economics....)? Those offshore wind farms in Europe are happening becuase of both a need for jobs and the fact that they are being paid for by electricity consumers, so investors are likely to be able to justify these investments. Like the roughly $US 25 billion in offshore wind projects now actually UNDER construction, and not merely being planned. Money talks, and fertilizer walks is a polite version of the relevant expression in this case....

Dave Bradley
Buffalo Wind Action Group,

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