Monday, June 20, 2005
The answer is blowin in the wind.....
Oil nearing $60 a barrel. This is really worrisome, and apart from the fears regarding Nigeria, I was struck by the quote that "Experts say prices will continue rising because of a lack of refining capacity." So if capacity is being limited by production, shouldn't we be doing everything we can to help create new refinery capacity?
This is one of the reasons I'm anxious to visit the Prince Edward Island Wind-Hydrogen Village when I'm up there in 2 weeks. Yeah - I know, it's a geeky thing to want to see on vacation, but this is the future folks. If we can't reduce our dependency on oil, we're facing almost certain economic and environmental collapse in many nations worldwide in the not so distant future.
I think there is a huge opportunity in wind farms, and from Britain, to Nantucket, there are wind farms popping up all over the world.
Check it out and get involved.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:30 AM
3 Editorial Opinions:
One may not even think about solutions for either the lack of refining capacity or the exploration of new sources of oil/energy without the full weight of every touchy-feely, tree-hugging, Earth Day-loving hippie group bearing down and throwing conniption fits all over the world at the idea. It's always grounded in an anti-USA vibe, but no one seems to consider what the lack of oil/REAL energy alternatives in developing or third-world nations will do to ravage those countries. They just want to stop the Imperialists. Even to the detriment of the rest of the world.
I think wind farms are little too idealistic personally. We'd have to turn entire states into wind farms (and not the Rhode Islands of the republic either) for them to reduce our dependency on oil any in this country.
We wouldn't have to turn entire states into wind farms. The Dakotas and parts of Washington are perfect areas, as are most of the coastlines and island areas. And there's Alaska, the Arctic Circle, Canada, and Antarctica to think of. Wind is a better alternative to fossil fuel hands down. I'm a big fan of hydrogen solutions as well, and solar?? Biggest opportunity yet if we find more effective and efficient ways to harness the energy into smaller, more efficient fuel cell technology.
Windpower may not offset much of our dependency on foreign oil since oil only accounts for about 3% of all generating capacity in the U.S.. But that's not to say that the U.S. doesn't need to set some aggressive energy goals and work to achieve them. Hydro electric only accounts for 7% of our generation capacity and all other renewables only account for an additional 2%. There are too many politicians afraid to bite the hands that feed them. An article in the March/April issue of Solar Today states that Germany has made a resolution to transition to 45% renewable energy sources by 2050. They are already far ahead of the U.S. in terms of wind power, which provides 6.2% of their annual electric generation. They are also the number one consumer of photovoltaic (solar) panels in the world by volume despite having only half the solar resources of the U.S.
As far as the price of oil is concerned, an article in the 6-21-05 Wall Street Journal quoted one source predicting $90/barrel by the end of next March. In other words, it will not be a surprise if the price of oil breaks the 1980 inflation-adjusted price of $94/barrel within the next year. What are we waiting for? It's only a matter of time before China becomes the world's largest comsumer of oil and we will no longer be the number customer of the Middle East. We need to reduce our per/capita consumption starting today. The products and technology are available, but only a handful of sensible people seem to buy them. (I bought a Prius in February and love it!) Maybe a campaign involving a colored wrist band or magnetic bumper ribbon would do the trick. (sarcasim)
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