The viability of wind energy was part of an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on May 19. (subscription required on the link) That topic can get energy folks talking. It is a useful op-ed to read no matter where you live, not just New York, because it brings up an important energy concept for consumers.
The column was about New York and the ability of a wind project to fill the energy gap left by the pending closure of a nuclear plant up there. The point is about the energy gap that arises from the loss of a large output of one plant and attempted makeup of the loss with a smaller amount of energy from the wind farm. The gap will be filled using electric generation from natural gas. Three gas-fired generating plants are under construction in that region, the op-ed points out.
Politics aside, and technological facts front and center: Energy gaps and changes in carbon emissions are part of the energy discussion. Have to be. Our nation’s energy needs are based on a network, a system, not one facet of energy. Diverse resources have to work together to meet the needs of a society. There’s no one-sized-fits-all or one-source-fits-all answer. The pieces of the puzzle have to fit.
To make this clear from the ECC standpoint:
- Consumers of energy are our centerpiece. People in homes, shops, on the road, in schools.
- Wind energy: Terrific. Great idea. It makes sense. It can be an important source of energy.
- Nuclear: It has served us for a long time now. Carbon-free and abundant.
- Gas: A important facet of our nation’s infrastructure, lower carbon compared to some fuels. It has made an important contribution to energy self-determination for the nation.
Energy debates are not about one side having all the answers. We all have parts of the answers, and importantly, a lot of questions that need open, objective discussion. A smart technical-based decision-making based on consumers’ energy needs is a good foundation.