Future Energy eNews

February 4, 2002

1) ENERGY INDEPENDENCE: BLOWIN' IN THE WIND - Follow-up to the Jan. 21 IRI FE eNews

2) Global Energy Business magazine review


Email received: "Jan 21 2002 Thomas Valone, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! What a great development of my vision. I hope a number of visionary, experienced executives will initiate forming public service Companies to build the windmills, selling bonds to raise the capital, building the mills, and using the profits to pay 10% yearly on the bonds. The bonds can be sold over the Net." --Rich Murray

  1. Reality Check on Windpower
  2. January 23, 2002 Correction to Jan. 21 eNews: The "7300 times as large" phrase starting the world energy section should be reduced to "7.3 times as large." The rest of the calculations are correct as they stand with wind reality consideration below.

    January 28, 2002 Correction to Jan. 21 eNews: The Environment News Service, who reported on the Irish Sea and United Kingdom windmill installations, apparently believe that a 3 MW windmill will generate full capacity all of the time! My calculations also fell into the same trap. Instead, Jed Rothwell (Infinite Energy staff writer) points out that a 3 MW turbine usually generates 1 MW average. The ones in the Irish Sea may produce as much as 40% of nameplate capacity. A nuclear or coal reactor, in comparison, usually produces 80 to 90% of nameplate capacity. It cannot produce 100% because demand fluctuates (and the wind fluctuates). Generator capacity has be enough for peak demand, not average.

    Therefore, instead of the ideal number of 150,000 windmills, the reality is more like 300,000 to 450,000 windmills to reliably generate 450 thousand MW for the proposed US Energy Independence scenario, because they generate 25% to 40% of the nameplate rating, assuming no losses in transmission.

    Minimizing transmission nightmares that presently plague the electric power industry is essential, by placing windfarms offshore from major cities. However, if transmission losses were encountered (see attached energy flowchart from the US Energy Association below) as normally is the case, maybe 1,500,000 windmills would actually be needed. This is the necessary OVERKILL with traditional centralized power: Two-thirds buffer for generation and more loss during transmission!

  3. Global Energy Business Trade Magazine

Global Energy Business, Nov/Dec 2001, explains why we would want to avoid transmission problems if at all possible. In the article, "Transmission in a Quandry" Douglas Logan points out there are "Too many uncertainties--about federal policy, generation development and trends, the profitability of bulk power transactions, the size of location of demand...are making investments in transmission infrastructure risky business indeed." Without federal oversight and coordination, the article finds the following complaint, "Transmission planners lament that they can't plan interconnections and system reinforcements to accommodate generation coming online more than two or three years out because they are not informed of new generation projects proposed for farther in the future than that." Read the whole article at http://www.platts.com/business/issues/0111/0111geb_transmission.shtml

It is worthwhile mentioning that the disturbing cover story is, "Sinking a Lot of Money into a Black Hole" and also available on line. The Platts Global Energy homepage www.platts.com/business also has a surprising play on words that should attract our attention: "Free Energy Info Sources." (It includes every US and foreign power company, government agency and nonprofit energy-related organization "energy links" http://www.platts.com/links.shtml, and four magazine listings.) Since McGraw Hill is obviously teasing and taunting us with the title "Free Energy Info Sources," IRI encourages everyone who has emerging energy information posted on their website to contact:

VP/Editorial Director, Robert G. Schwieger,

and request him to add your link to his "Free Energy Info Sources, Energy Links" under "advocacy."

Is there insurance against global climate change and volatility? Yes. Global Energy Business also reports that a firm like Weather Risk Management Association helps advise members around the world on insurance policies that eliminate the weather risk for their businesses. Since the U.S. offers free access to weather information, "weather market makers" have been able to write 1400 contracts amounting to $1.8 billion last winter alone. However, the Europeans, who on the surface support the Kyoto Protocol, in reality charge thousands of dollars for historical weather information from any single location! "It is difficult to reconcile the European moral stance on the Kyoto Protocol with the extraction of monopoly profits from the dissemination of valuable public good that is fundamental to the management of climate change...Unfortunately, European nations' policies on weather data (control) contradict their stance on global warming and its effects" says Global Energy Business. http://www.platts.com/business/issues/0111/0111geb_weather.shtml

Another interesting website for energy traders is www.energynewslive.com


Electricity Flowchart for US

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