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November 13, 2005


Don McArthur

Not with the oil men in charge in the White House.


Robert Cassidy

There are heaps of places with consistent winds and no ice that don't require shipping your electricity thousands of miles.

We have options for tidal power, ocean current power (effectively underwater windmills), ocean surface deployed windmills (no environmental windfield impact).

They all require long-term investment in power, which we totally suck at now, and they have environmental consequences, which are pretty minimal, but some people seem to be really, really concerned about the fate of sea bass.

John Robb

The problem with so many places in proximity with users is NIMBY. Hydrogen is great because it is a potential replacement for gasoline via fuel cells.


The problem with expanding this kind of wind power-to-hydrogen technology to provide large quantities of hydrogen for outside use is one of logistics. I live in the Arctic, where there is consistent winds and this kind of power generation is feasible, and even cost-effective given the cost of shipping in large quantities of fuel every summer. (Despite this, there has been little movement on setting such a system up.)

However, to expand significantly beyond local use would be incredibly difficult. The main part of which is access to places to build the windmills and continued access for maintenance purposes. The best option would be to build along the coast to allow access by boat in the summer and snowmobile in the winter, but that leaves several months when the 'mills are inaccessible. This also doesn't figure into how to get the power transmitted or hydrogen transported, either from the windmills or further to southern markets. You also have to wonder where the workers are going to come from and where you're going to put them.

phil jones

This story on a new kind of turbine looks interesting : http://smarteconomy.typepad.com/smart_economy/2005/11/smart_vertical_.html

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