Why Is Wind Power Not Ready for Prime Time?

Let’s get one thing clear. There is a lot to recommend wind power. First of all, the wind is free. When the wind is blowing, you can feel it and when it’s blowing really hard, it’s almost irresistible. That’s how strong wind power can be. Also, when wind blows, it can continue to blow in the same area. It’s renewable. It’s not like you pump it out of the ground, burn it up, refine it, convert it and then to get more power, you need to pump out some more oil from the ground. It doesn’t work that way.

The earth has wind currents that flow over it pretty much predictably. So, as long as you have the right structures in the right places working at the right time, you can tap into a certain predictable percentage range of this available free power. That’s what’s so awesome about wind power. To a certain degree, it is predictable energy that is 100% clean. Nothing is being burned. Nothing is being converted into unhealthy chemicals. Better yet, nothing is being turned into a semi-permanent form that will continue to harm marine life, cause all sorts of plant damage and who knows what else unintended consequences.

You pretty much flush all those negative consequences down the toilet the moment you use wind energy. That’s the good news. Here comes the bad news. The problem with wind energy is precisely its geographic distribution and not all areas of Canada or any other country on the planet has a ready supply of wind that is available at a high enough intensity on a 24-hour basis. There are many windy spots on the planet, don’t get us wrong, but even in those places there is quite a bit of a fluctuation as far as wind patterns are concerned.

We’re not just talking about fluctuations within the year. Those can be planned around. Those can actually be easily worked around. The big problem is wind fluctuations in the course of a decade, in the course of 20 years or 30 years. Considering the fact that wind turbines are quite expensive regardless of how fast the prices are dropping now, this poses serious business planning issues. This is the core reality because this is still a business plan. The plan still has to sustain itself.

These projected goals and plans and equipment acquisition at the right places as well as land rights management have to all pay for themselves and this is going to be a problem. If the wind somehow someway cuts off entirely and this is not some farfetched doomsday scenario. This actually occurs quite a bit and on top of that, wind energy is not constant. It has to be generated onsite and then pumped somewhere to put into batteries and then consumed or pumped somewhere into live feed.

For either of those situations to be workable and practical, there has to be enough current going through. It’s not very portable because you’re fixed at certain areas of certain geographic regions. It’s also very expensive as I’ve mentioned earlier because the wind turbine equipment involves large scales. Have you ever seen a wind turbine mill? How about a wind farm? These things are huge and the investments they require is not a joke.

Given all these different factors, it would be safe to say that at the present time, when technology outside of certain lucky select areas is not ready for prime time, does this mean that it’s completely off-limits for all time? Absolutely not. As I have mentioned earlier, the price of wind turbine technology continues to sink. This points to some hope in the future.

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