Dear Mr. Pickens: I Hate to Say I Told You So...

Here’s an excerpt from a RedState diary written by yr humble correspondent dated January 18, 2009:

Wind Energy: How Con-veeeen-ient!

T. Boone Pickens’ wind energy plan calls for blanketing the Great Plains [with wind farms], from the Texas Panhandle to the Dakotas.

That’s because that’s where the wind resource is best, right?

Wrong! That’s because “nobody lives there”, at least from the perspective of the good folks on the coasts and in the big cities.

Putting all those wind turbines in the Plains creates at least two knotty problems:
1) If “nobody lives there” is an excuse to industrialize the environment, what about ANWR, where the impact would be much less than the impact of thousands of wind turbines in the Plains states; and
2) How do you get that power to where the people live?

Wouldn’t it be cool if 75% of the population lived close to the source of their energy?

Well, guess what! They do!

Fast forward to July, 2009:

Pickens’s pullback could signal shift in the wind

BOSTON (Reuters) – Oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens’s step back from his plan to build the world’s largest wind farm in Texas shows how a brutal recession could change the way the United States invests in renewable energy. …

With credit costlier and harder to come by, and oil and natural gas prices down sharply over the past year, the nation’s nascent wind industry may begin to focus on smaller projects that are closer to major population centers rather than massive developments like 81-year-old Pickens envisioned, industry officials said. …

Some in the industry argue that the easiest way to overcome the transmission challenge is to locate wind farms closer to major population centers — namely, along the coasts.

“If you look at the 28 coastal states, they consume over 73 percent of the electricity in the United States,” said Jim Gordon, president of Cape Wind, which plans to build a $1 billion, 130-turbine wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts’ Cape Cod resort area, near Boston.


I hate to break it to you, guys, but you’re not going to find working in the marine environment all that hospitable. It costs a lot to build a structure that’s going to withstand the engineering loads that a giant windmill will create. It costs a lot to maintain such a structure. It will cost a lot to establish an infrastructure and acquire the specialized marine vessels that will work on your magic windmills.

We in the oil and gas business have been there, done that & etc.

Sometimes it feels like there are no grownups involved in making these decisions…

H/T dennism, again