Wind Power Surpasses Hydroelectric in a Crucial Measure


From The New York Times.



Thanks. It is not that surprising. Last Dec, sis and I drove from CA to Oh and back. Those wind critters are popping up everywhere like weeds. Going thru Tx, there must be a 50 or more mile stretch of thousands of them



That’s great to hear about wind power, and I think solar is also coming along nicely.

The article spoke of nuclear being more efficient, since it ran at 92% of its capacity, compared to wind at 32%.

Now the problem is – according to the ComEd guy who came to our parish environmental group in Aurora, IL around 1997 or so – that nuke plants have to run evenly 24 hours a day, which means that they have to be set at a level of least demand (during the night), then use back-up coal fired peaking plants for high demand times – usually about 20% to 25% of their electricity mix.

We spoke of pumped storage systems (which the article also mentions), in which water pumped to an elevated reservoir can be released through a turbine to generate electricity when needed – which would allow the nuke plant to run at a higher level, storing that extra energy at night.

Then I happened to bring up electric vehicles, and the ComEd guy got excited and said if enough people had EVs and plugged them in at night, they could cut their rates in half.

Now wind and solar could also work together, with wind farms spread around a state or region – when there’s less sunshine and at night, often it is more windy and when there’s less wind during the day, often it is more sunny; also when it is not windy in one place it might be more windy in another.

There are all sorts of ways to make alt energy work much more efficiently, without relying (much) on fossil fuel energy as back-up energy.

But I’d pick wind and solar over nuke and fossil fuels, since these are much less harmful when considering harm and death from uranium mining and fossil fuel extraction, shipping, piping, and processing, not to mention leaks, spills, combustion pollution, and waste problems (e.g., from coal ash) and accidents.


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