Article

Wind does not negate need for coal

At a recent public meeting, someone said I was opposed to electricity produced by coal, nuclear, and hydro-as well as wind. Moreover, I was reminded that I was off the mark by saying wind technology could not prevent new conventional power plants from being built to meet increasing demand, pointing to a recent Parade magazine article reporting the governor of Kansas was building a 1000MW wind facility, obviating the need for a new coal plant. Here's reality. ...

At a recent public meeting, someone said I was opposed to electricity produced by coal, nuclear, and hydro-as well as wind. Moreover, I was reminded that I was off the mark by saying wind technology could not prevent new conventional power plants from being built to meet increasing demand, pointing to a recent Parade magazine article reporting the governor of Kansas was building a 1000MW wind facility, obviating the need for a new coal plant. Here's reality.

In our region, 58% of the electricity we get comes from coal. Nuclear produces 35%. If our common goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants, this percentage ought to be reversed.

Several new nuclear plants in the midst of highest demand (Montgomery/Anne Arundel counties) would also virtually eliminate the need for huge new transmission lines. Because of the way we must deploy reliable, quickly responsive generators to meet demand fluctuations, new coal plants will also be needed, unless we can bring online many new natural gas facilities (which seems unlikely due to cost and availability).

We could build these coal plants here-and condition them as follows: They could not accept coal extracted by mountaintop removal... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

At a recent public meeting, someone said I was opposed to electricity produced by coal, nuclear, and hydro-as well as wind. Moreover, I was reminded that I was off the mark by saying wind technology could not prevent new conventional power plants from being built to meet increasing demand, pointing to a recent Parade magazine article reporting the governor of Kansas was building a 1000MW wind facility, obviating the need for a new coal plant. Here's reality.

In our region, 58% of the electricity we get comes from coal. Nuclear produces 35%. If our common goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants, this percentage ought to be reversed.

Several new nuclear plants in the midst of highest demand (Montgomery/Anne Arundel counties) would also virtually eliminate the need for huge new transmission lines. Because of the way we must deploy reliable, quickly responsive generators to meet demand fluctuations, new coal plants will also be needed, unless we can bring online many new natural gas facilities (which seems unlikely due to cost and availability).

We could build these coal plants here-and condition them as follows: They could not accept coal extracted by mountaintop removal extraction techniques and they must be equipped with scrubbers to eliminate noxious emissions, including mercury. Ideally, they would also sequester CO2 emissions, but this may be so costly as to be impractical.

As for Kansas, Parade accurately portrayed what the governor of Kansas has done. One should keep in mind that Parade is a "feel-good" publication serving up gossip, celebrity worship, and infotainment as fillers for advertising. What the magazine did not do was to discuss the policy implications of what the governor has done, pretending a completely unreliable energy source can replace a highly reliable one.

My statements about this assume rationality, not political correctness. The governor of Kansas has placed the residents of her state at risk. At the very least, as consumers of electricity they'll be paying a lot more-both for the compensatory generation necessary to balance wind's volatility and for the generation that will have to be imported from elsewhere to replace the contribution the coal plant would have provided, again at greatly increased cost.

I've been in contact with groups representing hundreds of Kansas residents upset their governor would allow political ambition (she's seeking national office) to replace common sense. This couldn't happen in Maryland, could it...?


Source: http://www.therepublicannew...

MAR 14 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/13843-wind-does-not-negate-need-for-coal
back to top