Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Difficulties Facing Renewables

In addition to the need to use fossil fuels to build the equipment for renewable energy sources (raising the question of ultimately how “renewable” they are), a recent news item tells us that T. Boone Pickens’ plan to build the world’s biggest wind farm has been stymied by two problems: financing and the grid. Specifically, the credit crunch is limiting the funds available for financing renewable energy projects, and America’s grid isn’t up to handing the power that the wind farm would be feeding into it.

The lack of money for financing is crimping just about everything. We are also supposed to be looking forward to a revival of nuclear power, but the skyrocketing costs of these large-scale, high-tech installations is killing the nuclear renaissance even before it gets started. And while various costs are being quoted for upgrading the grid, they are all astronomical.

Thus, dreams of expansive wind farms, solar parks, and other installations need to be tempered with the reality of cost, which ultimately comes down to the price of fossil fuels.

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