Tuesday, May 24, 2005

BIG BAD WOLF IS NOW AN ENERGY FARM

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The three pigs got smart. When the wolf huffed and puffed they put up a windmill and a meter and got rich. So it is with wind energy.
Wind power could generate enough electricity to support the world's energy needs several times over, according to a new map of global wind speeds that scientists say is the first of its kind.

The map, compiled by researchers at Stanford University, shows wind speeds at more than 8,000 sites around the world. The researchers found that at least 13 percent of those sites experience winds fast enough to power a modern wind turbine. If turbines were set up in all these regions, they would generate 72 terawatts of electricity, according to the researchers.
Yes, there is a lot of untapped natural renewable energy out there!
That's more than five times the world's energy needs, which was roughly 14 terawatts in 2002, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
The researchers readily admit that existing buildings, land rights and other obstacles would make it impossible to set up turbines in every single one of the identified regions. But they point out that even 20 percent of those sites could satisfy world energy consumption as it stands today.
According to the map with the article, America is one of the windier places on earth. We are blessed with so much wind, 75% of the world's tornadoes happen here in America! So we have an excess of wind.

Here in the Northeast where I live people already tap wind energy in the hills. A college in MA proposed a wind tower just up Greenhollow Rd which is the road nearest to my mountain. It was turned down because they wanted to build it in NY but funnel the energy to MA. So my town voted it down. Moral to that story is, if you don't give the big bad wolf a share of the profits he will tell you to go blow. Heh.
"There is really a lot of wind out there that can be utilized for electricity generation," said Archer. "The 72-terawatt finding quantifies how much wind power is available.... It's like when people say how much oil is available on a global scale. It doesn't mean all of it will be extracted."

If anything, the 72-terawatt figure is likely to be on the low side. Most of the 8,199 wind-monitoring stations that contributed data to the map are concentrated in highly developed nations. So the researchers had to make broad and often conservative estimates for countries in Africa and Asia, and for other regions.

"They are probably significantly underestimating the total potential," said Christopher Flavin, CEO of the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental research firm.
Couple this with solar energy and it is easy to see that if we begin a big building spree now we can switch over...like a number of European countries are already doing.
Of the regions that are well-marked by the map, North America and parts of Northern Europe both have a high number of ideal spots for setting up wind turbines. To date, Northern Europe -- and Denmark in particular -- has made the best use of that potential. Approximately 20 percent of Denmark's energy consumption is fulfilled by wind power, according to the Danish Wind Industry Association.

The United States, on the other hand, generates less than 1 percent of its electricity with wind power.
In England, they are already talking about doing something serious about this. The government wants to encourage wind farms but just like in America, people find many things to object to and try to stop any developments. People think the present system is going to go forever. They can't understand that this present system is coming to an absolute end. And that the time to set up the alternative systems is today, not when the crisis is raging.

This is a politcal fault. People will change only if the media and the rulers decide it is time to rouse them. And advertisers have to want this, too. Right now, they don't and they can't so nothing happens.

Culture of Life News is happy the words, "Hubbert Oil Peak" have at least appeared in print and on TV even if it is only glancingly and I want to thank the National Geographic for being quite forward on this issue for they made this a front page big issue.

We all hope to see more action on this. I would like to put together a lobby group to visit DC and talk about all of this. If anyone is interested, we will discuss this some more.
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