Nuclear guys just can’t let the wind industry go

William Tucker at makes a good argument of not worrying about doomsday scenarios. In his column Dealing with abundance, he tells a good story about the Club of Rome’s 1970s computer simulation that predicted the world would soon run out of energy and other resources. The author’s analysis is that the future looked bleak

We’re doomed! The errant message from peak-oil documentaries

Pull up, search on “peak oil documentary,” and you’ll find dozens of apocalyptic videos detailing an impending world crisis that is certain to befall us any day now. The crisis is the downside of peak oil. This is a period that defines when the world’s oil fields have provided the maximum monthly rate, leaving

Vancouver’s “Eye of the Wind” turbine builds on its wildlife-friendly foundation

It’s not difficult to find information on the adverse affects of wind turbines on wildlife. Despite mandatory environmental impact studies and improvements in avian deterrents, I still don’t think enough safeguards are in place for such species at most wind farms. So it was a nice surprise to visit a turbine that’s created a home

More great uses for wind-generated power

Demand for electric power, thanks to the recession, has been almost flat for the last seven years and government forecasts for the next few years are not encouraging. Some of that lack of growth is attributed to improved efficiency. Not long ago, for instance, we replaced incandescent light bulbs around our house with CFLs and

Clever Brit proposes liquid air engine, and as another way to store surplus power

A clever Englishman and inventor, Peter Dearman, suggests running cars and trucks on a fuel limitless in supply: liquid air. Think about it. A liquid-air engine would have zero pollution and lack the complexities of a lithium battery or fuel cell. You might be surprised to learn that the idea is not new. Earliest reports

A few thoughts after touring a rare earth mine

Let me begin this blog on the tough job of rare earth mining with a few rhetorical questions. To what extent does sustainability matter to you? Do you consider the source or production processes involved in, say, your refrigerator when putting groceries away, or what about when buying electronics such as a new cell phone

Estimating the effects of the PTC based on turbines not built, jobs not created and taxes not paid

Wally Lafferty and Paul Dvorak Editor’s note: Mr. Lafferty and I published an earlier version of this editorial in the April issue of Windpower Engineering & Development. We now have the benefit of a more thorough financial review which is reflected in the dollar values here. Critics of the Production Tax Credit cite a report

Good news, Virginia residents: You don’t pay a penny more for benefits of wind power

Those rascally wind critics are at it again. This from Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, is not at all happy about wind’s success. He (mistakenly) says it comes through a series of tax subsidies that are giving wind a huge advantage at the expense of taxpayers. Here’s how he makes his case

Fighting the cold: Renewable hybrid systems may be the answer

One thing wind turbines have going for them is their capacity to withstand freezing temperatures, especially with the latest in blade de-icing technologies. The same doesn’t hold true for solar panels where even a relatively small amount of snow on top of a panel can seriously impact the energy output of a solar system. Panel

What I’ve learned from the wind industry

It’s 2008 and I’m about to attend my first-ever WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition. Standing at the entrance of the exhibit hall inside Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center, my nerves seem to be growing along with the hustle and bustle inside the room. Frantic final touches are being made before the doors officially open to