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Energy

Guest Blogger Entry: The Wind Spin Primer

Clayton Bedwell is our expert on Wind, Solar & Alternate Energy. Check out his latest post:

With domestic wind energy development down 71% percent this year, it seems like an odd time for the oil industry to kick the anti-wind spin machine into high gear, but that’s exactly what’s happening.  Recently, The Wall Street Journal ran “Wind Power Won’t Cool the Planet” where Robert Bryce argues that the technical accommodations necessary to integrate the variable generation of wind energy into the grid ultimately result in little to no carbon reductions versus the traditional power plants they are replacing.  Considering the complexities of electricity generation and distribution in addition to the the havoc that variable generation technologies (wind and solar) can have on America’s aging grid system (designed for the constant generation of traditional power sources) Bryce introduces an interesting and unintuitive thesis only to sink the article with the choice of some of his source and how he interpreted others.

Greentech Media countered “Wind Power Won’t Cool the Planet” with “Undermining the Critics of Wind Power” which analyzes the winding path Bryce took to reach his conclusion.  Among much more, Greentech Media points out that of the three sources Bryce uses for support, he relies the most on “How Less Became More; Wind, Power and Unintended Consequences in the Colorado Energy Market,” (PDF Warning) a study by Bentek Energy, LLC which was funded by Independent Petroleum Association of the Mountain States (IPAMS). When the Bentek study made headlines in May it ruffled enough feathers to garner a response questioning the studies conclusion from Frank Prager, VP of Environmental Policy at Xcel Energy.  So like any story, the story of domestic wind development has two sides, and it doesn’t look like either one will be silenced anytime soon.

If you like wind, spin, and movies then check out the Cape Wind movie about the spin surrounding the development of America’s first offshore windfarm.  Release expected mid-winter.
Posted by Clayton

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