Geothermal Energy & Ethanol

jonathan flanders jon_flanders at compuserve.com
Wed Dec 4 21:44:38 MST 2002


>> not even windpower. <<

So what is the cost of windpower, as you see it? Isn't Denmark already
producing close to 20% of their electricity from wind?

The following from http://www.windpower.org/faqs.htm#anchor719774

"Can a wind turbine ever recover the energy spent in producing maintaining,
and servicing it?

 Wind turbines use only the energy from the moving air to generate
electricity. A modern 1,000 kW wind turbine in an average location will
annually displace 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from other electricity
sources, i.e. usually coal fired power stations.

The energy produced by a wind turbine throughout its 20 year lifetime (in
an average location) is eighty times larger than the amount of energy used
to build, maintain, operate, dismantle, and scrapping it again.
In other words, on average it takes only two to three months for a wind
turbine to recover all the energy required to build and operate it.

Denmark is one of the countries which is planning for substantial amounts
of electricity consumption to be provided by wind energy. Already (2002),
wind energy is covering 18 per cent of Danish electricity consumption, a
figure which will increase to at least 21 per cent by 2003."

Granted the above figures are from an industry source. But lets also take a
look at how a Danish wind power company, Vestas is doing.

from

http://profiles.wisi.com/profiles/scripts/corpinfo2.asp?cusip=C208B6190

<<During the year ended December of 2001, sales at Vestas Wind Systems were
9.52 billion Danish Kroner (US$1.28 billion). This is an increase of 47.6%
versus 2000, when the company's sales were 6.45 billion Danish Kroner.

The company derives most of its revenues in Rest of Europe: in 2001, this
region's sales were 5.09 billion Danish Kroner, which is equivalent to
53.4% of total sales. In 2001, sales in the United States were up at a rate
that was much higher than the company as a whole: in this region, sales
increased 415.9% to 3.37 billion Danish Kroner. Although the company's
overall sales increased, sales were not up in all regions of the world:
sales in Scandinavia were down 37.6% (to 524.00 million Danish Kroner) and
sales in Oceania fell 80.7% (to 11.00 million Danish Kroner)."

So wind power is growing rapidly, and wind corporations are making money.
Can wind replace all that oil does? No. But there is still time to start
conservation programs, time to stop suburban sprawl, etc. If this were
done, even more time would be bought to make the transition off the oil
spigot.

Of course capitalist governments, particularly like those of the virulent
Bush strain, won't take any such measures. Another reason to organize for a
workers and socialist, power. Not to mention to oppose oil wars.

The problem I see with your vision of a sort of grim barracks socialism of
scarcity, is that it will hardly inspire workers to struggle for a better
world. A better tack, in my view, is to talk about what could be done in
terms of energy research if we spent the money now wasted on the capitalist
military machines on solving this grave problem. It still is a beautiful
planet. Life can be better, much better. Only the insensate greed of
capitalism stands in the way.

Jon Flanders

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