Wind energy gasping for air
Getting "backup" generation in place that can quickly crank up when the wind dies down. But such "firming" or "cycling" is not only expensive but it can also be dirty. If coal plants are "cycled" up and down, they will release more pollutants per unit of output than if they ran full steam ahead.
Should U.S. lawmakers maintain the incentives and mandates or set out to smother them?
February 22, 2012
by Ken Silverstein
in Forbes Magazine
Government incentives and state mandates are allowing green energy to sprout in certain places. But the possible removal of some of those stimulants could cause the industry to begin gasping for air. Fiscal austerity is one cause. But so too is the growing skepticism of wind and solar energy and its variable nature.
Part of the discussion comes down to the age-old question as to whether government ought to be in the business of picking winners and losers. If wind and solar are competitive, they would make their way into markets, say free market thinkers. The flip-side of that is that... [continue via Web link]