American Elephants


Another Surprising Feature Of the Waxman-Malarkey Bill. by The Elephant's Child
July 3, 2009, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy | Tags: ,

One of the main features among many in the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill is the requirement that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions be 17 percent below those of 2005 by 2020 and that 15 percent of electric power generation come from “clean energy sources” such as wind, solar, biomass or geothermal by 2020.

Population increase is estimated to grow by 40 million more than that in 2005, a 13.5 percent increase.  So we need a 28 percent decrease in fossil energy use  which will mean a major decrease in such comforts as hot water, heating and air conditioning.  Not to figure how much energy is required for the vast fleets of electric cars that the administration is counting on.

Many states are unsuitable for the use of solar or wind as energy sources.  These states will have to buy power from more wind-friendly states at much higher rates.  Solar power is far more expensive, so wind power will probably be the greatest source of renewable power.  If there is no growth for for the intervening 15 years to 2020 we would need something like 600 billion KWh.  The typical wind-power plant produces about 3.3 million KWh per year.

Thus, in the eleven years to 2020, the United States would need about 180 thousand 1.5 megawatt wind turbines.  This means 45 new wind turbines per day!

And that does not count the new coal-fired plants needed for all the times when the wind does not blow.

I wonder how much 180,000 wind turbines cost?

(Thanks to Professor James Rust for this information from CCNet News)

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