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Energy Twaddle

December 13, 2010

Energy issues, from oil to electricity, can be complex, especially when some of the data can be conflicting.

There is one issue, however, where it’s transparent when someone is demagoging or speaking nonsense, and that’s when they say, “wind energy is a clean alternative to oil.”

The problem with that statement is that wind turbines generate electricity, and don’t produce oil.

Only one percent of our electricity is generated using oil, so wind turbines, no matter what, will not replace very much oil, if any, since a good deal of the oil used for generating electricity is in Hawaii where there are few options.

Alternative energy sources such as wind, may displace coal, but have no effect on our use of oil.

Congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman (D-FL), in an article in the American Legion Magazine said, “Wind turbines … and solar power … are examples of cleaner, job-creating and practical alternatives to oil.”

She was clearly demagoging against drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but she was wrong on two counts, neither wind nor solar produce oil.

And she is not alone: Yahoo! Green, and other sites, link wind and solar to the elimination of oil.

Wind won’t affect the use of oil until automobiles are primarily powered by electricity. The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) could change the existing paradigm sometime over the next half-century; however, battery-powered vehicles are not a certainty. Any wind turbine installed today might be retired by the time PHEVs have replaced gasoline powered vehicles in any significant degree. (Wind turbines have an expected life of twenty years.)

Until electricity plays a prominent role in powering cars, clarity of thought demands we do not talk about wind or solar displacing oil.

Equating wind with the elimination of oil distorts the truth and leads to a flawed strategy.

Any time you hear a person say wind is a clean alternative to oil, you instantly know that the person doesn’t know what he or she is talking about – or is demagoging to get headlines. He or she is talking nonsense – twaddle.

Wind generates electricity, and doesn’t produce oil.

[Scroll down for earlier articles.]

© Power America, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power America with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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