Profitability and wind power

The Craziest Thing I Heard When I Was in France Last Week - Veronique de Rugy - The Corner on National Review Online

That's when everyone turned to the economist. His response was so French that I thought it was worth sharing it with you:

"First, I would like to dispute the idea that Eolienne windmills aren't profitable. Once one adds all the subsidies and financial support the industry receives from the French government and the European Community, it is losing very little money." He went on to explain that "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds."

It's not as if American economists don't say their fair share of stupid things, but if that's the definition of a profit in France, then I guess we have an explanation for many of our economic differences in the last 20 years.


Which is why I have little faith in the wind krep that's been peddled in the DE blogosphere. Wind is fine but it's not cost effective in many places. Delaware is a coastal state which means we'll likely enjoy more consistent wind but the idea that you're going to be able to deploy this across the nation is just not possible. If anything it would be a supplement to the major grid. The problem is that everyone seems to view this as a binary thing. Oil or Not Oil. We should be using Oil, wind, water, geothermal, nuclear, solar and anything else we can think of. Rather than looking to replace all of what we have now, look for ways to split people off the main grid and on to smaller ones. The whole house battery idea seems wise but unused. I've been thinking about getting one simply b/c of the number of times we lose power. Why not build houses better. Mine leaks like a sieve and I've been sealing it up for the last 10 years. If we had better building codes we could make houses that use much less energy with an increase in cost as low as 15%.

We have power problems here and the answer is not "drill baby drill" or "no nukes" it's somewhere in the middle.

Comments

Ditto with wind generation. All Delaware's wind is offshore which costs a ton to develop. Some of the Great Plains states might be able to get windpower to work meaningfully though.

Batteries don't scale well. Most power generation (with the possible exception of solar and wind) works better centralized than distributed.

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