Wind energy not viable says CERN's head

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Debaser82, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. By Physics Today on June 3, 2009 12:12 PM

    Europe should scrap its support for wind energy as soon as possible to focus on far more efficient emerging forms of clean power generation including solar thermal energy, says Jack Steinberger, CERN's director general and a former Nobel Prize winner.

    Steinberger, said that wind represented an illusory technology — a cul-de-sac that would prove uneconomic and a waste of resources in the battle against climate change.

    “Wind is not the future,” he told the symposium of Nobel laureates at the Royal Society. Instead, he said, technologies such as solar thermal power—for which parabolic mirrors reflect the Sun’s rays to generate heat and electricity—represent a more promising way of supplanting fossil fuels. “I am certain that the energy of the future is going to be thermal solar,” he told The Times. “There is nothing comparable. The sooner we focus on it the better.”
  2. He may be a Nobel prize winner, but he doesn't seem to know when and where the 'sun don't shine'.

    There is room for both, and many more alternatives.

    An article from yesterday on a plan by the govt to build a windfarm to power 200,000 homes. They claim it is the environmental equivalent of removing 440,000 cars from the road in terms of benefits to the environment.
  4. Sorry 1 million cars.
  5. pspr


    One of the northern European countries invested heavily in wind energy and they are losing their ass on the project. They have decided wind energy has problems.

  6. jprad


  7. jprad


    Would it kill you to provide a link?

    In the meantime, it's probably not Germany.

    Wind provides over 6% of their eletricity while solar only .6%

    They're also concerned that solar is going to make their overall energy bills rise more than they'd like.
  8. pspr


    No problem, jprad. :D

    I'm all for alternative energy but we need to concentrate on the right technologies. Since we don't know what that is yet, we need to keep to the facts about these projects and try to keep politics totally out of any discussion. IMHO.
  9. Using wind as a counter-example to solar thermal is an over-simplification. Wind does not necessarily blow when the sun does not shine. Also, wind does not store the energy.

    There are a variety of ways to store solar thermal energy for release at night after the sun has set. One method uses molten salt as a thermal sink to store excess energy while the sun shines, then release it slowly over several hours during darkness. It scales with the size of the solar thermal plant and can produce a substantial % of the maximum peak output.

    There are many other promising energy storage systems, some of which can also be used to store excess wind energy when the wind does not blow.
  10. Cesko


    Windy thread.
    :D :D
    #10     Jun 4, 2009