Wednesday, July 8, 2009

T. Boone Pickens Pulls Out!

Is this is a guy who can see which way the wind blows or just another green-wagon hopper? T. Boone Pickens announced today he would call off the erection of more than 600 huge wind turbines on the Texas panhandle. The problem - lack of transmission lines. He was banking on the government coming through quickly and constructing a "smart-grid" that could take his product (electrons) to market. Good luck waiting the eons it must seem to these NOW NOW NOW profiteers. They have no patience. There is money to be made and they want in today not 25 years from now!

The problem with big wind energy sources is that they are variable, inconsistent, and often located too many miles away from the people that would use the energy. The real hurdle to unleashing the floodgates of the "Saudi Arabia" of wind power that exists all over our fruited plains is an effective means of energy storage and transfer. If a hydrogen economy does emerge and the highly pressurized infrastructure comes to fruition the on-site conversion wind-generated electricity to isolated/pressurized hydrogen gas would be a meaningful option. NREL and Xcel Energy have been collaborating on this scheme for years. Why can't T. Boone use this technology at his wind energy outposts? Am I missing something other than profit-hunger-induced shortsightedness here?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I went to see him speak once in Lamar, Colorado. My understanding is that the guy is originally an oil and gas man. The first thing I saw when I arrived was sheet to sign up for a copy of T Boones new book 'How to lose and remake $1 billion in two weeks' Many of the attendees did not realize that signup was optional. T. Boone has 'green' tendencies, whatever the hell that means, but is a money man first and foremost. Case and point, he wanted to convert all major auto fleets to natural gas, clean burning methane, one carbon afterall, but whom would actually benefit from this? A natural gas man? Either way I left the talk a little weary of the man, which the Pueblo Chieftan 'summarized' in my quote. (Dont you love editors...)

The energy is there, but the transmission lines are not, also the AC that the east coast receives is of a different frequency than the AC the run microwaves, ect. in California. In order to change frequencies, it must be converted from AC to DC and back to AC, hells bells.

My understanding of what ol T Boone wanted to happen, was the erection of a new grid that links the east to the west. Without these lines the power can't profitably be delivered to the major markets on the coast Conversion must be pricey. I always figured that he wanted a piece on the right of ways that those new lines would guarantee, a very profitable prospect for a natural gas man. Perhaps hes a megalomaniac in disguise with Nacchio delusions or wants to finger federal judges for their adulterous tendencies. Either way I don't trust him...