Wind Farms Need Fatter Pipe

I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago when we took the Cub Scouts to the National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL) for an outing and public tour.

The obvious topic of alternative energy came up, and my friend revealed to me that the problem with our thoughts about using giant wind farms to harvest the renewable energy of wind for electricity comes from a lack of ‘big pipe’.

Some of the recent buzz about alternative and renewable energy remains focused on smaller localized solutions like solar energy power for your home, such as photo voltaic. This is a much bigger, perhaps enterprise-level attempt at a renewable energy solution.

Want to talk about what energy choices will help you sell your home more quickly? Call or email me today to talk about how to implement a strategy for making smart decisions with alternative energy when selling your home.

Apparently, the areas where we have lots of constant wind supply — the perfect location for windmill farms — are so isolated and remote, that we can’t transport the energy where we need it most.

Seems like a crazy conundrum, doesn’t it? But that’s really the next step to harnessing the full opportunity of wind generated power. A report from the U.S. wind and solar industries says that it’s neither technology nor political will that’s blocking the winds of change when it comes to energy production. It’s really simply the country’s outdated transmission infrastructure.

The U.S. Department of Energy already has agreed that large-scale transmission corridors, or the lack of them, are the primary obstacle to a full realization of the economic, security, and environmental benefits that could come to us from getting even just 20 percent of our nation’s electric energy from large-scale wind production facilities.

The wind projects are already in place. In fact there are around 300,000 megawatts of wind projects waiting to connect to the grid. That’s plenty of energy to cover around the 20 percent of our energy needs. There’s just no reasonable way to connect and transmit this electricity from the source of generation to the locations where we use it.

For the meantime, we have localized solutions to harness renewable energy resources. If you want to see an example or two, call or email me and we can get you in on the next tour of America’s greenest home, the Next West house in Boulder.

Zachary Epps, full-time professional Realtor® and EcoBroker® at RE/MAX Alliance Boulder


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