Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Burying the lede?

Everybody knows about this story: Republicans block extra taxes on oil companies

But is anyone paying attention to this part of the story?
... Democrats also failed to get Republican support for a proposal to extend tax breaks for wind, solar and other alternative energy development, and for the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. The tax breaks have either expired or are scheduled to end this year.


I consult at a wind blade factory. Last summer they indicated a unit costs $2.5 to $3 million and payback was in ten years. Life expectancy is twenty years. They had better return on investment than coal fired steam generation, and I assume it has only gotten better since. The blades are made of balsa wood forms and fiberglass reinforced palstic (FRP). Normally three blades per turbine, with each blade over 150 feet long. They have the whole country mapped and know where they will make the most money (spin faster). FRP is made out of oil, so not so green in manufacture, but once up and running I do not see how you get any greener. 0 emisions, no posionous spent coal embers to dispose of. No trains and trucks to deliver coal to the boiler house. How cool is that?

Then I read that oil and coal have been leading the Not In My Back Yard campaign against wind, that they slaughter birds and are ugly and so forth. We can allow coal and oil to make huge profits, produce acid rain, destroy mountain tops, destroy marine life, belch CO out their stacks, etc etc, but heaven forbid they let wind power prosper. With all the money coal and oil is making, why don't they just join them instead of trying to beat them back?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/12/2008 3:45 PM  

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