Wind Power Needs A Push: Greening The Grid Means Changing The Grid

09/27/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Dave Burdick Man about Boulder: dailycamera.com, biggreenboulder.com, fridayallweek.com

The New York Times published a story today that might have a few people worried about wind power.

That is a symptom of a broad national problem. Expansive dreams about renewable energy, like Al Gore's hope of replacing all fossil fuels in a decade, are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands.

The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not.

It's true, but it's not exactly a secret. And luckily, there is a billionaire with his own motives -- which is what these problems often require -- getting after it. The story continues:

In Texas, T. Boone Pickens, the oilman building the world's largest wind farm, plans to tackle the grid problem by using a right of way he is developing for water pipelines for a 250-mile transmission line from the Panhandle to the Dallas market. He has testified in Congress that Texas policy is especially favorable for such a project and that other wind developers cannot be expected to match his efforts.

"If you want to do it on a national scale, where the transmission line distances will be much longer, and utility regulations are different, Congress must act," he said on Capitol Hill.

Also, we should point out that lumping all clean energy into this isn't quite fair. There is progress being made on the solar front, for example, that could result in easily stored solar power -- you know, for a rainy day.

Clean energy just needs the right combination of adopters, scientists and billionaires. But think, billionaires, what you could do with easily stored (and packaged) solar power.