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April 24, 2014

WInd Power Catching Up to Fossil Fuels

As equipment costs fall, wind power is gaining traction against traditional fossil fuels as a source of power.

Bloomberg reports that since 2009, “turbine prices have fallen 26 percent worldwide, bringing wind power within 5.5 percent of the cost of electricity from coal.”

The decision by Warren Buffett’s utility company, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., to purchase $1 billion worth of wind turbines demonstrates how renewable energy is becoming more competitive.

MidAmerican’s CEO explained that the “growing demand for wind power will offset waning use of fossil fuels [and] provide a hedge for our customers going forward in an era of reduced coal generation.”

  • LukeJohn

    Great, now we can kill even more endangered birds and bats. We can scar the landscape with thousands of noisy, ugly, high-maintenance windmills. Ugly transmission lines and toxic battery farms to store power.

    All so that we can make companies like GE richer and they can then pay more money to their pet politicians and government officials.

    • Jesse4

      You think other means of power production doesn’t kill birds and bats?
      You think strip mining doesn’t scar the landscape? You think conventional power plants don’t require transmission lines? All that just so you can make companies like Peabody Coal richer and so they can pay more money to their pet politicians and government officials.

      • LukeJohn

        I actually agree but we can work to clean those up, improve efficiency. Why add another, as problematic energy source to the landscape and claim that it’s ok because we’ve given it a “green” label.

    • EricFromTheHill

      Wind turbines don’t kill animals, and the aesthetic arguments against turbines are lazy to say the least. The “battery farms” you speak of haven’t ever been shown to be harmful to the environment. You should take five minutes and educate yourself on how turbines and batteries actually work.

      Who exactly do you think gets rich off fossil fuels? Are you really suggesting by implication that capitalism with renewable energy is inherently corrupt? How about the fossil fuel industry?

      • LukeJohn

        Educate yourself – It is an accepted fact that hundreds, if not thousands of birds and bats are killed every year by wind turbines. To the extent that the government is issuing a special exemption so that the wind farm companies are not prosecuted for the many endangered eagles that are killed every year.

        See this artical in the WSJ for instance: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303722104579242640493630608

        Battery farms not harmful??? Have you ever looked int to the toxic nature of chemicals used to make batteries, heavy metals, caustics, etc. Batteries only have so many charge/discharge cycles – then they gave to be replaced – look into the toxic waste generated by the disposal process.

        How are “aesthetic arguments” against them “lazy” – ask the Kennedys who protested a plan to put some off shore windmills near their holiday homes in New England.

        Who gets rich off fossil fuels? Try the government that makes far more from each gallon sold than the petrochemical companies. Try the super-rich backers of BOTH parties who are heavily invested in oil.

        The renewable energy industry is far from “capitalism” thanks to the heavy-handed government involvement and yes, it IS rife with corruption – as much or maybe even more so than conventional fuel.

        • EricFromTheHill

          NIMBYism doesn’t replace legitimate concerns. Also, you’re thinking of the wrong kind of batteries.

          If you think renewable energy is more corrupt and has more government involvement than conventional fuel, you’re delusional.

          • LukeJohn

            So if existing modalities, structures, etc. kill birds, it’s ok for new ones to kill more? With that attitude, you really need to go work or the government.

            I see that you’re an AGW/CC adherent too. If you buy that film-flam you obviously believe everything that your masters feed you. Next you’ll be telling me that Al Gore isn’t a greedy, incompetent windbag

            No wonder you don’t see the corruption in so much of the green energy sector.

          • EricFromTheHill

            Yeah, this conversation is a waste of time. You’ll never crawl out of your hidey-hole. Lucky for us people like you don’t get to make decisions.

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