Monday, August 18, 2008

Wind Jammers - BANANA - updated

The innocent Greenie: "Replace all power generation by renewable wind, solar, biomass, etc."

The innocent Greenie: "And we will block increasing the capacity of the electric power transmission system.

But wind and solar are plentiful in remote locations. How can we use more of them without more transmission capacity?

The innocent Greenie: "Do you expect us to be part of the solution?"

In this year's great energy debate, Democrats describe a future when the U.S. finally embraces the anything-but-carbon avant-garde. It turns out, however, that when wind and solar power do start to come on line, they face a familiar obstacle: environmentalists and many Democrats.

To wit, the greens are blocking the very transmission network needed for renewable electricity to move throughout the economy. The best sites for wind and solar energy happen to be in the sticks -- in the desert Southwest where sunlight is most intense for longest, or the plains where the wind blows most often. To exploit this energy, utilities need to build transmission lines to connect their electricity to the places where consumers actually live. In addition to other technical problems, the transmission gap is a big reason wind only provides two-thirds of 1% of electricity generated in the U.S., and solar one-tenth of 1%.

... In California, hundreds turned out at the end of July to protest a connection between the solar and geothermal fields of the Imperial Valley to Los Angeles and Orange County. The environmental class is likewise lobbying state commissioners to kill a 150-mile link between San Diego and solar panels because it would entail a 20-mile jaunt through Anza-Borrego state park. "It's kind of schizophrenic behavior," Arnold Schwarzenegger said recently. "They say that we want renewable energy, but we don't want you to put it anywhere."
They continue with... it's just nonsense. On the one hand they say that using green power will be cheaper. But on the other, they oppose building the infrastructure to use the green power that they claim to want.

Update 8/27/08 The New York Times has a thorough story on the transmission shortage and wind power.

* BANANA = Build absolutely nothing nowhere at all.

Image via GNU public license.


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