Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Solar and Wind energy makes great hot air...

Wind and solar power have been growing at a blistering pace in recent years, and that growth seemed likely to accelerate under the green-minded Obama administration. But because of the credit crisis and the broader economic downturn, the opposite is happening: installation of wind and solar power is plummeting.

Factories building parts for these industries have announced a wave of layoffs in recent weeks, and trade groups are projecting 30 to 50 percent declines this year in installation of new equipment, barring more help from the government.
"The credit crisis and the broader economic downturn" is only part of the puzzle reflected in the failing wind and solar energy industry. How about the growing skepticism on necessity? Or, more about the concerns that the wind energy farms are turning out to be a scam of inefficiency.

Wind is seasonal. So in the months that our electric demands are highest (June, July, and August), wind-generated electricity in non-existent or practically nil. Even during our supposedly "windy months," wind is often too weak to be useful and much of the time these windmills will sit idle producing nothing.

Even if our entire landscape were covered with wind turbines it would not reduce our dependence on foreign oil, clean our air, or lower global warming. Only 2.45 percent of all electricity in the U.S. is produced by oft-fired electric plants. And for every megawatt that is expected from wind turbines there must be the same number of megawatts in standby mode from conventional power stations, which must be kept idling, ready for immediate cut-in for when the wind turbines fail. And fail they do, with the fluttering and inconsistency of wind.
You can find examples of the absolute inefficiency and undependable aspects of wind farms all over the globe. Even at optimum performance (which seems to be rare) the production of usable electricity rivals the act of rubbing a balloon against your head.

Though its potential is large, solar radiation has a relatively low energy density and is intermittent. The low energy density requires solar energy to be harvested over large areas, affecting the size and material intensity of collection systems. Modern solar energy collection devices are inefficient and expensive compared to other energy conversion technologies. These drawbacks cause direct solar energy to continue to be a minor component of the global energy system.
The only reason the major banks were willing to support these two "going nowhere fast" industries was predicated on large tax credit incentives. Now, as everyone tightens the belt, those industries that are losing their funding are being weeded out of the portfolios of the investors, because THEY DON'T WORK...and likely won't work on anything resembling an efficient capacity.

The only way this industry continues is if Congress and our new 'Green' President hand these boondoggles tax money. Each day, more voters are getting the education that "Earth First" folks don't want you to get...Climate Change cannot be defined by models...wind and solar energy are not a valid all encompassing answer to oil dependency.