Keeping Up on Renewable Energy

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Today’s New York Times features a dispatch from Portugal today, discussing the amazing growth as well as the pitfalls of Portugal’s rapid transition in building its renewable energy capacity. Nearly 45% of Portugal’s energy will come from renewable sources this year, outpacing many other countries, including the United States:

Although a 2009 report by the agency called Portugal’s renewable energy transition a “remarkable success,” it added, “It is not fully clear that their costs, both financial and economic, as well as their impact on final consumer energy prices, are well understood and appreciated.”
Indeed, complaints about rising electricity rates are a mainstay of pensioners’ gossip here. Mr. S

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4 comments on “Keeping Up on Renewable Energy

  1. Mr.Murder says:

    The small rural town next to me will be powered by a wind turbine in the near future.
    “The town of just more than 100 people will soon be using a wind powered turbine to to provide electricity for all its city buildings, including the water treatment plant, the city pumpings stations, and the city hall.” …
    “He soon found that Winrock International, an Arkansas-based pihlanthorpic, non-profit organization, had grant money available to help find better sources of energy.”

    “Sullivan was put in contact with E-Formative Options, professional grant writers based in Washington, D.C. The group wrote the grant for the city to submit Winrock. The grant was approved, bringing a budget of $430,814 to the project.”

    “The city of Burdette also had to contribute some funds: $4,000. That’s a small investment, Sullivan said, especially when you consider the that the turbine should be able to produce all the electricity the city uses in a year, estimated at $10,000.”
    -fair usage, local paper, The Courier News Fri.July 30th, 2010.

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  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Having to drive to Los Angeles over the weekend to attend to a minor family emergency, I drove the backway out of the Tehachapi mountains through the windfarms. It is astounding how these wind farms, at least in this area, are growing exponentially. Every time I pass through there I note an increase in turbines. But this time, the increase was noticably expanded. And the size of the individual units cannot be adequately expressed with a keyboard. They are huge beyond belief, the individual blades longer than a city block.
    Really, its refreshing to drive through them, as two of the current jobsites I am working on require that I drive through the Oildale section of Bakersfield, which is thousands of acres of environmental carnage wrought by our addiction to crude.

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  3. JamesL says:

    “… after a lengthy presentation on the company’s growth and market share in Germany and around the world, a company spokesman still admitted that without government subsidies it would be difficult to continue their development and production.”
    Add the price of oil based war to get a better handle on the real cost of energy. Real oil-based energy costs are hidden. Give wind power or any other alternate energy equal economic footing with oil–that is, the same amount of subsidy–and alternate energy is cheap right now, much cheaper than war.
    The extravagant US consumer is justly cited as the reason for this, but one can no longer ignore the US military’s absolute need for oil. Take away oil and the military industrial complex collapses. Them’s big bucks there.

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  4. charlie says:

    Funny, I think if we doubled the price of electricity (to what they pay in Portugal) we’d find greater saving very very quickly.

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