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Old 10-07-2008, 12:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
Mechanical Engineer
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Richmond, VA
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I don't see the humor either. Wind and solar aren't feasible. Oil companies, AFAIK, don't own coal mines or uranium mines (many DO on both oil and gas fields).

My dad works in the electric utility industry for a small-ish local division of a regional power conglomerate. One of his former jobs involved him supervising/organizing storm response crews and field work. Most of his experience with power customers informed him that while people don't like paying for electricity, the only thing that motivates complaints (often vocal and occasionally violent toward the crews) is *unreliable service.*

Solar and wind are UNRELIABLE. You can't count on a clear sunny sky or a stiff breeze. You can't flip a switch and bring up wind or solar generation. They are neither suitable for baseload (core reliability) nor peak load (meet demand as demanded). That means they're just worthless.

Sure, you can throttle-back other power generation (making them less efficient) and absorb the output of solar/wind generation through the grid, but you can NOT eliminate a single megawatt of generation capacity whether it be nuclear/coal/gas/oil because you have to count on at least occasionally supporting peak loads without any solar or wind input. Anything less means failure to meet peak loads which means a VERY ANGRY population.

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