Sunday, February 24, 2008

I agree with J.T. Marsh

I agree with you, J.T. Marsh. The oil industry was demonized before people started worrying about climate change. So will any large entity (even a "green" one) that affects people, but seems to run on its own terms rather than the people’s. In Texas, arguably the most confident state in arguably the most confident country, I see ire for the renewable energy industry soon coming from this odd set of statements and facts from here:


“Texas has been looking at oil and gas rigs for 100 years, and frankly, wind turbines look a little nicer,” said Jerry Patterson, the Texas land commissioner, whose responsibilities include leasing state lands for wind energy development. “We’re No. 1 in wind in the United States, and that will never change.”


Much of the boom in the United States is being driven by foreign power companies with experience developing wind projects, including Iberdrola of Spain, Energias de Portugal and Windkraft Nord of Germany. Foreign companies own two-thirds of the wind projects under construction in Texas.

Texas is number 1? How about foreign companies are number 1? I’m confident that in the near future renewable energy is going to be the biggest and most important industry in the world. If that’s true, then we’re in trouble. Texans and Americans will have little to be confident about if we don’t step up and take a lead on this. We might start by knocking that two-thirds down in our own state.

In agreement with J.T. Marsh, I think we might see some negativity towards Big Renewable Energy because it has become big. I predict we’ll also see some negativity if our new energy is controlled by foreigners because I’m pretty sure I’ve heard complaints about foreign controlled energy sources before.

1 comment:

Sgt. Pepper said...

From an economic standpoint, it is bad that foreign companies will be enjoying all the profits from these wind turbines. From an environmental point of view, anybody that pays to get the windmills up and turning is helping reduce carbon emissions. Fewer carbon is going to benefit us all in the future even if it might hit us in the pocketbook now.

The main thing I got from the Bullock exhibit was that in order for some novel technology to "boom" it's got to make a very small number of people a very large amount of money. The pioneers have to get rich to bring more people into the industry and make it grow. That's the story for oil, cars, computers, etc. Those that bear the risk early get rich, but if the industry is going to have a huge impact, everyone is going to get in on it in a short time. As for "foreign controlled energy sources," these windmills will be plugged into ERCOT (I'm assuming) and I'm sure there are contractual issues preventing operators from "turning off the valve." (Surely ERCOT admins wouldn't be dumb enough to give them valves to control...) The wind farms are also going to employ Texans, which is going to be a huge blessing in the slowly disappearing towns of West Texas (where I hang my hat).

It is bad to lose money from local economies, but the whole idea of these wind farms is to expand alternative technologies that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. No matter who gets the industry started, their influence will become diluted as the industry grows. Yes, we need more local companies investing in wind, and I believe they will come around in the not so far away future. Until then, viva el poder de viento!