Death to Dinosaur Power!
April 18, 2011 § 2 Comments
Disclaimer: This blog post may become a rant only because of my passion for the exploration and use of renewable energy, and not because I am attacking an individual.
I came across a piece of writing that a colleague of mine wrote three or four weeks ago. In one sentence, this individual stated in more or less words that wind power seemed to be the worst of all renewable energy attempts (from the reading this person had done).
For a little background information on wind power, I will use my knowledge from attending the 2009 WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition in Chicago, and what I consider to be a reliable source in Wikipedia. For this individual, I ask them if they had read that if all of the wind on earth was harnessed into electricity, we would be able to fulfill the energy needs of the earth seven times over? I would never suggest covering one seventh of the world in wind turbines. But the world has an endless supply of wind, however variable it is. If it is not blowing in one place, then it is blowing in another. The rotation of the earth allows for this endless supply. As of right now, only two percent of all expended energy is provided for by wind turbines.
To compare wind to solar, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Solar is constant for as long as the sun is out. But, it can be affected by clouds, and by the earth rotating away from the sun. Wind power on the other hand, can potentially produce power 24 hours a day, with the drawback being whether there is wind or not.
To go back to the statement, I would like to hear from this person if they have any better ideas for solving or at least slowing the dependence of the world on fossil fuels. There is no magic switch that we can flip so overnight we are newly dependent on renewable energy. Think about the difference if we added wind turbines enough to produce 10-20% of the current need for power. What about if we added photovoltaic solar panels or solar hot water heating systems to the roof of every building?
This shift has to start somewhere, and I am sick of hearing negative comments about positive motion. The sooner that we invest in renewable energy is the sooner that we will be further away from fossil fuel dependency, and the faster that research into more efficient renewable technology will take place.