More Green than Dirty Power installed 2007

This change cannot go unnoted. A big part of this is a direct result of the reality that the permitting process for coal fired facilities is both expensive and laborious. In the meantime a single windmill, with no waste management problems is easily permitted as shown by the sheer volume going up globally.

I am expecting the same rapid build out of geothermal power in Nevada. A major facility is going on line this September, and it was green fields project as little as a couple of years ago.

It a continental high power line is run from California through Nevada to the East Coast, Nevada could build out geothermal power plants just as fast as we could find markets for the power. This would just as clearly employ thousands of people throughout the state.

The importance is that alternative power has allowed massive amounts of capital to be deployed quickly and that this will easily survive the present difficulties. The risk in building one of these is negligible and it easily supports a two decade payout.

Windmill and geothermal plants have a huge number of potential sites and the land aspect is trivial and will remain so. The regulatory cost is likewise small. Expect that the next twenty years that these systems will take their place with a maximum market share of energy generation.

More Clean than Dirty Power Installed in 2007

Written by Hank Green

Monday, 26 January 2009

For all we talk about solar and wind power, they still produce tiny amounts of the United States' (and the World's) electricity. But now we've finally got some numbers reflecting just how exciting renewables are. In 2007, the U.S. the majority of new power installed was wind power, and total production of coal-fired power actually shrunk!

A total of 8.6 gigawatts of new power were installed in 2007 with around 5 gigawatts of that coming from wind. Almost all of the rest of the power addition came from natural gas.

Two coal fired power plants went online in 2007 for a total addition of just over a gigawatt. However, reductions and retirements of coal fired power elsewhere actually resulted in a 200 MW decrease in coal-generated power during the year.

That's freaking awesome.

Sometimes it's hard to see long term when we're all focused so much on the day's big breakthrough. But it's important to note that 2007 was a breakthrough year even though no one noticed. We can't just shut down all the coal-fired power plants in America, but we can start installing clean power instead of dirty power.

The Department of Energy apparently takes a long time to get these reports together, they just released these 2007 numbers about a week ago. But, frankly, I'm already holding my breath for 2008's numbers. You can read the
full report here.

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