Monday, July 28, 2008

T. Boone Pickens Plan

My brother, Dan, asked last week about a plan by former oil man T Boone Pickens plan to dramatically increase the electricity generated by wind farms. After hearing Pickens on NPR I thought more of the rich gun shooting Texan on the Simpsons (pictured right), than I did a leading clean technology entrepreneur.

The plan is twofold. First, build a lot of wind turbines to generate cheaper and cleaner electricity. Next switch our cars from gasoline to natural gas. The basic economic principle is that if natural gas is not purchased to use in power plants its cheaper as a fuels so it can be used in cars.
Will it work? Asking a similar question on my college’s discussion board, my wife who works in the clean technology field liked the idea of generating more electricity through wind. Both wind and solar are getting close to cost competitive or are there, in windy and sunny places.
There are some problems with converting our cars to natural gas. This list of ten things to know about natural gas cars, suggests the transition costs from gasoline to natural gas cars are high and the pollution reduction might not be that high.

A better way to go might be the plug in hybrid. It seems the technology is getting closer where you could plug your car in some of the time and use gas other times. At least that was my impression after going to a Plug-in Hybrid conference in San Jose last week.
(Or the impression I got from the leading expert in my household, but since she does not have a blog so I guess my brother will have to take my word for it.)

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1 comment:

Scotty said...

Discuss Energy Environment Issues :
Energy Environment Forum
It will be great to have you there !