Thursday, August 30, 2007

So it's not just us

Great Britain's wind-power scheme seems to be turning into a bit of a boondoggle. Plants built where the wind isn't, where development pressure is high (but winds aren't), and with a power system that isn't prepared to deal with the variability of the electricity generated.

Of course, it's not a simple problem. The power grid wasn't designed for generators that go on and off all day long. There isn't a convenient way to store the electricity generated, and adding a system (some sort of flywheel comes to mind) adds to the cost and complexity, and therefore makes it less viable.

But at least they're doing something. Unlike the US, where the generally accepted solution seems to be more subsidies for oil companies that are already making record profits.

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