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?

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