Reaching retirement: Recycling aging turbine blades

There’s a natural drive in industry to develop bigger and better equipment, and the wind industry is no different. Even the government through the U.S. Department of Energy is funding research for larger wind turbine blades (over 60 meters) that can work on larger turbines to capture more energy. Today’s global wind turbine O&M market

Please stop with the “Enough power for a 30,000 homes” metric

Hence, the number of average homes a wind farm will power is a meaningless figure.

Wind industry challenges are not secrets. Neither should be its benefits

Wind critics seem to find no half-truth too misleading and no benefit too good to ignore.

Nuclear guys just can’t let the wind industry go

William Tucker at RealClearEnergy.org 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 YouTube.com, 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