Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Ill Wind From the East

President Obama says America's is racing China for supremacy in clean energy. And part of China's renewable investment is wind power: it's already "the country with the highest wind power installed capacity," a huge year-on-year improvement, formerly funded by huge government subsidies.

Were they NOfP readers, the Chinese National Energy Administration would have been able to foresee that much wind power is wasted:
The wind power capacity is limited, and we can’t use all the electric wind power. This is a reasonable fact. We thought we should use all electric wind power, it is a misconception. It is right to give up a part of electric wind power.
That's because:
there is an infrastructure problem that hasn't been widely reported -- many of China's wind turbines cannot connect to the country's larger electric grid. There are not enough cables, wires and related technology to bring wind-generated electricity from places such as rural Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Gansu, and Xinjiang. That is where most of China's wind turbines are located -- far from the densely populated hubs of China's northeast and south, where electricity is most needed

Currently, coal-fired power plants account for about 75 percent of electricity in China. Wind farms usually take up a lot of ground, which is hard to find in urban areas that need the power the most, and farms are usually a long way from the intended market, requiring expensive pylons and power-draining wires. Meanwhile, the system for managing and distributing the generated power -- the electrical grid -- cannot withstand anything unpredictable at this point. It is hard enough to balance demand that changes hour-by-hour with power stations that run continually, never mind input levels that change with the wind.
With all those wind turbines idle, China wastes billions of kilos of metal, rare earths and glass fiber plastics. In Scotland, 30 percent of windmills are idle; 25 percent in California. In the Peoples Republic, depending on the actual slack-rate, "heavy industrial manufacture of wind turbines [may emit] far more Carbon Dioxide emissions than what they will ever save when they finally do operate." Plus, of course, wasting millions of hectares of land.

What will it take for Obama to abandon his (crony capitalist) fixation on green energy and his addiction to wind power?

(via reader OBloodyHell, reader Warren)


Warren said...

You can't reason with Obama on this.

Ideology is responsible for his fixation on wind power, not facts or logic.

The only solution is to vote him out.

Anonymous said...

Roy said: Sigh. While Warren has a solution for Obama, what solution exists for those who, because of his not- actually-Green Green policy, voted him in. And will try to do so again.

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OBloodyHell said...

>>> What will it take for Obama to abandon his (crony capitalist) fixation on green energy and his addiction to wind power?

With luck, it will take the arrival of January 20th, 2013.

Well, granted -- that won't cause it's abandonment as much as its proper and appropriate insignificance.

OBloodyHell said...

oops: "its" abandonment. Argh!

OBloodyHell said...

Weird, for some reason the ' and " marks appear greyed and barely visible when appearing next to other letters on this computer (not my usual one)...