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« Worlds Largest, $1.8 Billion, 500 MW, Wind Farm to be Built off the Coast of UK | Main | The Return of The Energy Blog »

May 16, 2008



A very good point about wind in Northern Ireland.
Unfortunately though it's utility is limited to Ireland, due to grid connections, so it can service a relatively small population, and hits constraints of penetration earlier.
My comments were meant to refer to wind as a general resource for Europe, where few sites have such a good resource, as against the US where many do over large areas.

Fabio A.

Guys, I know I'm OT but this is the first place that came to my mind to post this request/info.

A famous Italian news paper focused on economic issues, is sporting an article that says that a Cold Fusion public experiment in Osaka University has successfully proven that the Cold Fusion phenomenon is real and indeed a nuclear phenomenon. Click on my name to go the the online article.

However, can't find confirmation of this news anywhere else on the net. Does anyone of you have any more info about it?

Kit P

Clee, how is California doing? Check Figure 5 and Table 4.

2008 Summer Loads and Resources Operations Preparedness Assessment


No new blog threads for 8 days? Are you still in the blogging business?

The site desperately needs a new press release to ignite a new conversation.



Dr Alan Williams (based in the U.K.) has come up with yet another attempt "to produce high air flow velocity using the buoyancy of warm air".

Is there any way of convincing a respectable engineering firm to at least do a feasibility study? Funding could be a problem. Does anyone know of such a firm?

JohnPeter JP Elverding

In Germany nameplates for major windmills are 6 Mw and up, costing the right side of 5.000.000 usd. Their height (tip at some 200 meters/600+foot) enable them to get more production of clean ernergy. So, 200 of these mills will give 200 x 6 = 1,200 Mw at less tha 1 billion dollars.
Why would one buy these 1,5 if better are available (3-4 is standard right now, supply is short with a delivery schedule of over 2 years, so by then you'll get 6MW for your money)

And I agree, wind is not the ideal source. Nor are sun, waves or fossiles. Hydro, like in Norway could be OK if you don't have to destroy otherwise usefull land.
Nuke is, well, nuke is..
But when we combine all of the above with a reduction of our power needs, by "green" building (natural heating and cooling) and better MPG cars, we might come to a nice solution. Not ideally, but we're getting there!

Kit P

“Is there any way of convincing a respectable engineering firm to at least do a feasibility study? “

Yes, pay, pay them $50K

In 2007, biomass passed hydroelectric as the largest source of renewable energy in the US partly because of drought conditions. What is happening now is all manner of renewable energy projects are getting built and producing energy. The reason is high fossil energy cost and state and federal policies that provide confidence investors will get a fair rate of return even if the price of fossil fuels decrease.

Pickens is not the only one buying equipment.

So George, 10 years ago, I might have been able to talk my company into donating my time if I could get the local utility to pony up to such a project. Good public relations.

Kit P

“but we're getting there!”

I do not know where JohnPeter is or where he is going. Sounds lost to me.

If there is reducing fossil fuel and ghg, Germany uses 68% fossil fuels to make electricity. Looking at Germany's neighbors:

- Switzerland 3% fossil, 40% nuke, and the rest hydroelectric.

- Sweden 9 % fossil, 40% nuke.
- France at 12% fossil, 85% nuke.
- Slovak Republic 27 % fossil, 51% nuke.

The plan in Germany is to close down nukes, build coal plants, and depend on Russia for natural gas.

Good luck with the bigger wind turbines.


Perhaps this has been mentioned already?

http://www.kombikraftwerk.de/ and documents here:


"..Scientists from the University of Kassel prove that Germany can power itself entirely by clean renewables in a secure way. In an ongoing experiment called the KombiKraftwerk ('Combined Power Plant'), they link 36 decentralised biogas plants, wind, solar and hydropower installations in a robust network to demonstrate that distributed power can replace both fossil fuels and nuclear power. The network is just as reliable and powerful as a conventional large-scale power station.."

Biopact is a fascinating website in its own right.

Artie J, Sr

Right or wrong, someone is doing something. We need to get away from oil, thadt's what is dragging us into war with bone heads.

Exotic Cars

Thats a good idea, but theres no better way to help preserve the environment by energy conservation.

Well renewable energy by all means of efficient technology still generates carbondioxide and other pollutants.

Renewable and Alternative Energy
Hottest Hybrid Cars

Still no news...

This site coming back?

Ike Solem

Stuck with no fossil fuels and an abundance of wind and sunlight, what do you do? Crawl into a cave and wait for the end? Maybe the Heaven's Gate routine is the best response to Peak Oil - I couldn't say. However, if all fossil fuels suddenly vanished overnight, could we deal with the situation?

If you wanted to go on living with lights at night and perhaps air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter, what would you do? Say you wanted to get around, power your factory, plant and harvest crops, take a jet trip? Would it be possible?

What you would need, first and foremost, is the storage and distribution system. You need some system that will suck up every electrical output from your wind turbines and store it and meter it out as needed - a tricky job, but one that electrical engineers should be able to figure out. The existing utilities can run the system, and have the expertise to do so. What it means is revamping the entire electricity grid, and building in distributed storage systems - because, unlike a gas turbine with an on/off feed switch, renewables are intermittent in nature.

If all you have is sunlight and wind, you will want electric vehicles and farm equipment and factories. As greencarcongress.com and others have exhaustively shown, that is also doable. For high-power manufacturing operations, concentrated solar PV can provide the necessary high electric currents. It would take years to decades of investment, but you could run an entire manufacturing sector on renewables - but every energy penny has to be counted.

Still, if you were stuck with no fossil fuels, you would miss them. Liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon fuels, as well as other petrochemical products, have some unique properties that electricity can't fill. The quite limited solution there is biofuels - any excess agricultural production in the future will be fed into liquid and biogas production - even landfills and chicken manure are being widely used as gas sources these days.

Thus, just as an thought exercise, it seems that modern human society could meet all basic energy needs with renewables (repeat: BASIC energy needs). There are no basic physical or technical barriers - just the typical socio-politico-economic conflicts - change is always painful, one way or the other.


jim frasier, you have to post more topics

Bob Wallace

"Still, if you were stuck with no fossil fuels, you would miss them. Liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon fuels, as well as other petrochemical products, have some unique properties that electricity can't fill."

We won't be stuck with no fossil fuels. It's just that they will become more and more expensive.

That means that once we bring renewables on line and move to electricity and/or biofuels for transportation fossil fuels will be used only where they are the 'best fit'.


And, yep, I think this site died.


Wind is a great source of energy. I love taking the family through Palm Springs and seeing all the Wind Turbines.

Still no news...

Is this still alive? I haven't seen it without articles for so long. Hope everything is ok.


I hope that all is well. This blog has always been one of my favorites. I'll really miss it if this is the end.

Ike Solem

Maybe he's fed up. About 75% of the comments on the blog seem to come straight out of the mouth of the fossil fuel PR industry, after all. I imagine that gets tiresome.

Luigi Aronson

Too bad this blog is dead. It was one of the things I used to read daily.


Hope you are doing ok. I too will miss this blog if it's done. One of the best.

Benjamin Cole

Traffic is way, way up at established energy blogs...this makes no sense. This is a valuable site. Hope all is well. Jim Fraser? Ill? Need help?

Still no news...

You all go to another one in particular? I guess we cold post there....If this one doesn't come back, actually this is the only blog I read.

Safety news

There is nothing stopping readers from posting new stories while Jim is otherwise occupied. One of the common occupational experiences that Jim and I share is hazard analysis. Like it or not, producing energy is hazardous. Pick your poison, falling from a wind mill, trapped underground with a fire using up the oxygen, ionizing radiation.

Here is a story you will not find in the NYTs.

Kit P

Officials see spike in mine safety trainees

““We have a lot more people interested in taking the 80-hour safety training course than we have seen in a while,” said Burge Speilman, owner of Mountaineer Mine Rescue and Safety, which has been training prospective miners the past 20 years.”


Maurice Arama

Carle Hage. Kit is perhaps not old enough butI am at 85 wriding when young on horse and coach from Bizerta to Tunis and not thinking that one day I would be flying on a jet to Canada, going through all the different new inthinkable things that happened in between. I am suggesting today to Phonix Motorcars to add to their SUT back of Truck, the Spiral turbine from Windside.com from Findland to be used as a Hybrid to recharge the Electrovaya battery on their Electric cars in order to prevent a too big demande on electricity if everyone swicht to Electric cars in the next decade. Also if anyone looks at the Windweb it will be seen that anyone could install a turbine on his roof and solve the transportation problem mentionned by Kit. Also Desalination would not occure since water would not be used to produce uged demande ofelectricity.Only abreeze would do

Maurice Arama

No I have not Sorry. Maurice

Kit P

Maurice I have actually been to Bizerta.

Yes, Maurice you can put a wind mill on your roof to charge your BEV. Since you have traveled by jet to Canada, tell us about your experience making electricity to power your car. You are old enough to have done it for 70 years. There is nothing new about batteries and electric cars.

There is a difference between what people can do,what they can afford to do, and what they actually do.

So Maurice how do you think the French would use desalination for North Africa?


It is heartening to see more and more people going the wind energy and the solar energy way. I suppose people are realizing that this will impact the bottom line in the long run because of the insulation it provides from fluctuations in fossil fuel prices. It helps when going green also makes economic sense.

David Taylor

Jim, where have you gone? This blog used to be my favorite website, because it provided lots of updates about a subject that I care a lot about. However, this year, you've only been updating the blog every few weeks. It's been a MONTH since you've posted anything. What's going on?

I am searching for a replacement blog...


I really enjoy your sight. Thanks for creating this I value the information and all the opinion. MAy you have happiness and health. PEACE PROSPER!

Still no news...

Sooo, anyone here know the guy who runs this? Any idea if it will ever come back?

This blog is dead

It's now officially one month since the last post. I'm officially declaring this blog dead and removing it from my bookmarks.

Good job shitting away a good core of readers, Jim.


I recently spoke with a former Texas state house legislative aide who was involved in the utility circles, and he claims that one of the big problems with wind in Texas is that patterns seem to have wind generating most of the capacity at off-peak hours.

This, along with solar, is why I have always been skeptical of the replacement ability of these technologies for NG, coal, and nuclear.

For small scale and local implementations, it seems that you could do battery banks to absorb some of the excess capacity, although I shudder to think of the cost, maintenance, and safety issues associated with that.

Stephen Boulet

Off peak would be the best time to charge plug-ins. ;)

Texas is big, so in theory wind farms covering a wide area can improve overall capacity factor and reliability.


Kit P.

Putting wind turbines in areas of Texas with poor wind resources will improve neither CF or reliability.


I was looking at the wind map at
and was amazed how the best wind resource in the US seemed to be the Texas panhandle, as if someone took the political boundaries and painted in that area. Though it would be nicer if it were 12m/s instead of just 9.

Considering that Texas has 20x the potential wind capacity as California, it's not surprising that with Texas having built up less than 4% of it's capacity, it has already outstripped California in total installed capacity. It'll be nice when Texas hits 1/3 of its potential capacity.

Kit P.

Thanks to Governor Bush, Texas is now a leader in renewable energy.

Cyril R.

There's development on new airfoils for turbine blades that get the amount of power @ 4-5 meters per second that normal airfoils get @ 7-8 meters per second.

Essentially, all class 2 wind regimes become class 4 or better, making wind cost-effective over most of the US.


Anybody know what is up with the creator of this blog? Did the dude die?

Ronald Wagner

Wind or solar energy can overcome its variations in production with storing energy on site. This could be done by producing hydrogen on site. The hydrogen could then be used to run generators as needed to even out energy production. Solar thermal can use molten salt solution to run steam or Stirling engines. Compressing air is another possibility.

We need to consider all the true costs of every form of energy. Especially when producing nuclear and other poisonous substances.

Steve Salmony

Wind and solar are good. We need to move fast to bring these sources of energy "on line" in the global economy.

If we can find ways to educate the opinion-makers and ‘talking heads’ in the mass media who are 'educating' us now, that could be a step forward in terms of successfully establishing behavior changes grounded in competence and improved reality-orientation.

The family of humanity is only now starting to learn unexpectedly and painfully about certain human-induced global threats that could soon be presented to the human community by the seemingly endless growth of per human consumption and unbridled production activities increasing exponentially and overspreading the surface of Earth in our time.

Let us the consider the way many too many economists, politicians and their super-rich benefactors who primarily govern the workings of the news media, report to us that Earth can indefinitely sustain people conspicuously consuming its limited resources the way millions of fortunate people worldwide are doing; but I fear these intelligent ‘dreamers’ have lost their reality-orientation with regard to human biological limits and the limitations of the bounded physical world we inhabit. The Earth is relatively small, evidently finite and noticeably frangible; it is neither an eternal provider like a mother’s teat nor is it an endlessly overflowing cornucopia. Unlimited expansion of the global economy without regard to limits to its growth that are inevitably imposed by a finite world is an end-all strategy, I suppose.

A planet with the limitations and the make-up of Earth cannot realistically be expected to much longer maintain profligate over-consumption and adamantine hoarding of limited resources as well as seemingly endless expansion of production capabilities by millions of people, mostly in the overdeveloped world, that we see occurring as a result of actions by a tiny minority of selfish people who possess the wealth and power needed to behave in this ostentatious way.

Obscene displays of consumption by self-seeking people with great wealth could be directly undermining the biophysical integrity of Earth as well as precipitating deleterious effects upon its environs. Please consider how scarce resources are being recklessly dissipated and global ecosystems relentlessly degraded at a much faster rate than the Earth can restore its resources and ecological services for human benefit. Unintended, pernicious challenges resulting from the unrestrained increase of per capita over-consumption of Earth’s finite resources and the unbridled growth of economic globalization appear to be threatening to ravage our planetary home.

Perhaps the current scale as well the anticipated growth of per human over-consumption and the global economy could become unsustainable well before the year 2050.

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001

Bob Wallace


If you check back in...

Would you please suggest forums where renewables are being discussed?

Forums that area getting input from people knowledgeable about the field.

Tristan Wibberley

Rip, based on the about page, I think the blogger is an elderly gentleman. So there is a very good chance. Although I've been looking for relevant obituaries in online media and haven't found anything.

I hope the worst hasn't happened because this was the best blog I know.

Fluorescent Lighting

Windpower is definitely ONE part of the energy solution for the future. A couple of wind turbine producers have recently closed some serious contracts for delivery between now and 2012. I'm on board.

JR Enthusiast

I just finished this book and it might interest you. It deals with all five pillars of your life (financial, relational, mental, physical, and spiritual) and shows you how to create true wealth (as in well-being!) in your life. The very practical applications have made a big difference in my life – and could do the same for you.

Here’s the link: harmonicwealth.com/read

Still no news...

And no-one to remove the above crap ^.


It's been more than a month since your last post? Where are you? We miss you.

Cyril R.

Hi Bob, one site you could check is www.theoildrum.com which has great quality posts on various topics, mostly (peak) oil but alternative/renewable energy and other topics as well.

Be careful though, the crowd is a bit doomerish. And sometimes you just have to scroll through the propaganda to get to the good posts. But it's a pretty good site most of the time with lots of visitors.


The energy we consume cannot be stored and we guzzlers refuse to obviate our doomed. Nevertheless, there is no infinite supply of energy- least of all being fossil fuel. Even suns burn out, explode and are recycled to form more suns, more planets. Do humans really have preeminence over nature? Well, let us see.

If we totally convert to nuclear power, there is only so much uranium in the ground. Sun power will only work during daylight. Other methods being explored are contingent upon a limited amount of materials being produced from the soil. The very best we can do is conserve and hope like hell perpetual, alternate energy sources will be invented or found or brought down to us from the Gods. There is no mandate coming out of Washington, no high court decision, no Manhattan-style Project to solve this one.

President Jimmy Carter, in his infinite wisdom, warned us about our lavish, wasteful way with fuel and it cost him his day job. Well, conservation will only prolong the inevitable. We will run out! We are drinking all the wine (on a global level) and there is no way to grow more grapes. I personally believe no one wants to look realistically (some may say fatalistically) at our consumption habits and our inability to find perpetual energy sources. Here is a realistic thought. There may be none available! In our present cognitive and technological state we may lack the ability to develop a source for sustainable energy.

Who among us have the foresight to determine what to do before the last drop of oil drips? Yet, we grandstand and create pages of statistical nonsense as to which methods are best (solar, nuclear, bio…). All seem doomed to failure. Perhaps our total dependence on fossil fuel was a mistake. An economy dependent upon one product to sustain a way of life is subject to collapse. Without a doubt our dependence on the combustion engine (in the form of a car) as our primary method to transport one human was a mistake. Additionally, the type of vehicle one drives in America has always been directly related to a person social standing. For those who don't choose to drive a car but take the subway, ride a bike, the bus, in order to accommodate a life-style beyond the car, their names are carved lowest on the social totem poll. On the other hand, fuel conservation, alternative methods such as building up the infrastructural for public transportation has never been seriously contemplated.

As long as we continue to feed the automobile and waste precious resources, we expedite our own demise. Did we expect to enjoy cheap gas forever and not understand how oil is priced on the world market? Here is how the price of all commodities is driven upward. Most Americans are functionally illiterate as to how the process works although our hunger for oil persists. (close to 20 millions barrels a day- 25% of the world's total) and the supply is low. Before we actually run out of oil, the price will levitate and balance with the demand. Consider China and India for a moment. They are comparable to growing industrial babies and their desire for sweet crude (low sulphur) will become ferocious. But the world output for these little toddlers will not be able to satisfy their appetite. The cost of future crude is going to be enormous. (China, India, Russia and the Middle East for the first time will consume more crude oil than the U.S., burning 20.67 million barrels a day this year- April 21, 2008 Bloomberg)

As for an appetizer- prices for corn, chicken, pork and soybeans are predicted to double within a year. This will happen because we choose to feed grain to our insatiable hunger for the combustion engine- that stupid, so-called sexy, automobile- another mistake in progress. We can refer to this as the Dinosaur AFF-ect whereby they could not foresee their approaching doom.

Remember the good old days before 1973 when gasoline was cheap? We could drive around town in our air polluting V8, run low on fuel, simple drive up to the pump and yell, "filler up". Then alone came Yom Kippur. You remember them- Sadat, Meir, The Sinai, The Golan and the OPEC oil embargo against the US and other western nations. We thought the shortage of oil was them-dammed Arabs holding out on us. Well, the oil embargo is 30 years behind us. Why has oil gone form a simple shortage in 1973 at $12.00 a barrel to $25.00 a barrel in 2003 trading at over $140.00 a barrel in 2008 and headed toward $200.00 a barrel in just 5 years? The answer is we have nearly exhausted the only developed energy resource.

Now there are some questions we might want to ponder. Can oil producing countries become self sufficient and never purchase oil form the world market? Would that not disrupt the market itself? Are we isolated from the ebb and flow of an ocean we are deeply entrenched? (Answers) Any statement from Washington declaring our desire to be free from OPEC is nothing but political grandstanding. As long as oil is traded America will purchase it.

Enter our existing president. In his finite wisdom (Mr. Bush) wants to ripe out the wilderness of Alaska and drill beneath the tundra in order to exploit more of that Texas tea. Bush urged congress to allow the pristine remoteness of the Alaskan wilderness to be exploited for the benefit of the American people. What benefit? So Americans can become free from Middle Eastern oil and return to the days of cheap gasoline? Those days are gone! Even if all world governments subsidized their oil it puts nothings back into the ground and does nothing to locate alternative sources. It would be a foolish and futile attempt to satisfy and addiction that borderlines suicide. This ancient tradition of wastefulness confirms our lack of dominion over the natural world. Because nature is not wasteful, it is circular. It comes back to the starting point renewed, fresh, and invigorated. Even a ragging forest fire only destroy trees, the forest is then transformed. Yet Bush is willing to exploit the last great American wilderness because the single developed energy resource is being depleted. He and his oil-invested cronies, unlike the dinosaurs, know the end is near. Its profit now or never.

So if present trends continue- and they most likely will- the last few billion barrels of oil will not be traded on the open market. They will become the property of a military victor. Under the pretext of national security we will fight throughout the Middle East, drill beneath the tundra- off the coast of California and the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere to secure that last barrel of Oil. Within the lair of oil Gods they will plan for war under the pretext of anything imaginable to position themselves for that last taste of crude. The die is already being caste- invading Iraq when it was not a threat and al Qaeda was never there before the war- forming a pretext to invade Iran to stop it from developing nuclear weapons- wanting to place military bases throughout the Middle East…

When the human species are gone it will be to a large degree our own arrogant, ignorant, self-centered doing- the complete mismanagement of our meager resources. And the combustion engine and our love affair with the horseless carriage will go down as human's biggest blunder. Good luck to you all and you have my deepest sympathy.


Since wind power is 75% inefficient this 1, 000 MW installation will produce power 25% of the time and conventional power will be required 75% of the time so little clean air benifit is realized. Also since 0.6% of our usage of oil is for generating electricity this widfarm and all the others will not save a drop of oil. This windfarm will garner 2 cents per kwh from federal taxes to generate this power and the power use will have to be mandated by law as it will be five times more expensive. this like all wind projects is a non-answer to a non-problem. We have hundreds of years of readily available, inexpensive energy to generate electricity. If the goal is to clean the air than nuclear energy can be built for one third the cost and is 90% efficient and has absolutely zero emissions. Nuclear power cost less than the two cent federal subsidy that we will pay for this wind power.
Wind and solar are simply pork-barrel projects that are useless in solving our problems.

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