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8 Comments

  1. If the government could create good, high-paying jobs without any detriment by simply spending more money, why not spend $10 trillion a year? Hell why not spend infinity dollars per year?
    The premise is of course wrong; sound investments are required, it does matter what you spend money on. Everyone in the soviet union had a job, but they were all miserably poor.

  2. Fantastic article Rod. There are going to be some generators in surplus as a result of the expected “crash” of the wind farm funding. Mating those generators with small nukes is a made to order opportunity if the NRC and DOE still think we neeed more capacity on the grid. I am not suggesting dismantle of existing wind farms but using the excess generators now in the supply chain.

  3. Great post, Rod.
    So, potentially, nuclear energy advocates could start broadcasting the “worldwide” “decades long collapse” of wind energy, prevented only by “massive public subsidies” a la the claims that Amory Lovins has made about nuclear.
    This might be tempting, given the half-baked crow that Lovins and similar compatriots have been attempting to serve to nuclear advocates. However, I suggest that the temptation be resisted in favor of simply pointing out, and articulating, the advantages of nuclear. Including, for example, the fact that nuclear has become increasingly the preferred non-carbon option in fast-developing nations, where subsidies are a luxury that cannot be afforded.

    1. @Kit – I will admit that my knowledge of the geography in the Bonneville Power Authority balancing area is a bit limited. However, the document that I linked to that provided their legalistically worded objections to the massive development of wind under the assumption that BPA could continue to perform the services for an unlimited amount of wind capacity referred to a place called the “Columbia River Gorge”.
      http://www.bpa.gov/corporate/WindPower/docs/BPA_5-12-10-Post-WorkshopReplyComments(2).pdf
      In many dictionaries, gorge and valley are synonyms. For example, here is a quote from the Wikipedia entry for valley:
      In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.
      Would you care to revise your choice of the word “stupid” to describe my post discussing the limitations of wind?
      My claim is that without large direct subsidies, no bank will finance a wind project, especially in an area that is oversupplied with a limited amount of transmission available to sell the power to other markets. Even you will recognize that power only has value when it can be generated an delivered to a customer at the time that the customer needs the power. A certain amount of system flexibility is provided by throttle valves and spill systems, but at a certain point the system operators have to say “uncle” and tell generators that they cannot push any more power onto the grid without disrupting the stability.
      I think I understand the general issues far better than you give me credit for.

      1. The “Columbia River Gorge” is a specific place. I would oppose building wind farms in this scenic area because there are so many dryland wheat fields to place wind farms in the region.
        It is your logic that is stupid not your understanding of the area. I would say your logic was childish except that for your age. Once again I must ask why you oppose wind farms on the other side of the country from where you live?
        Second you are factually wrong. BPA does not object to wind farms. BPA is telling California that more power lines must be built if California is going to depend on power from then PNW and BC. This is not not a new topic. They have been saying it since Hector was a pup and before the first wind farms was built.
        I think you have a very childish understand of the issues. Yes, you were once a navy nuke but you lake an understanding of the electricity generating industry and commercial nuclear power specifically. Accept that and you are ready to start learning about the important role that nuke power plays.
        It is the responsibility of electricity generating industry to supply affordable and reliable power to its customers. Excess generating capacity does not make the grid unstable. Lack of generating capacity and transmission capacity does result does.

  4. We are seeing a drop-off in Wind Installations while ARRA government stimulus funds for the industry are actually INCREASING:
    ARRA funds scheduled to be spent on the wind sector (data taken from President proposed budget in Feb. 2010) as reported by Russ Choma of the Investigative Reporting Workshop[1].
    $1.05 billion (in the year ended Sept. 30, 2009)
    $3.08 billion (in fiscal year 2010)
    $4.46 billion (in fiscal year 2011)
    Government stimulus funds are actually continuing to ramp up and will continue to do so during the remainder of 2010 and 2011 if DOE holds to the President

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