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New Record: World’s Largest Wind Turbine (7+ Megawatts)

The world’s largest wind turbine is now the Enercon E-126. This turbine has a rotor diameter of 126 meters (413 feet). The E-126 is a more sophisticated version of the E-112, formerly the world’s largest wind turbine and rated at 6 megawatts. This new turbine is officially rated at 6 megawatts too, but will most likely produce 7+ megawatts (or 20 million kilowatt hours per year). That’s enough to power about 5,000 households of four in Europe. A quick US calculation would be 938 kwh per home per month, 12 months, that’s 11,256 kwh per year per house. That’s 1776 American homes on one wind turbine.

The turbine being installed in Emden, Germany by Enercon. They will be testing several types of storage systems in combination with the multi-megawatt wind turbines.

enercon-e126-emden.jpg

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These turbines are equipped with a number of new features: an optimized blade design with a spoiler extending down to the hub, and a pre-cast concrete base. Due to the elevated hub height and the new blade profile, the performance of the E-126 is expected to by far surpass that of the E-112.

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WiredForStereo of The Way explains the operation of these new turbines:

[The E-126]… has no gearbox attaching the turbine blades to the generator, in fact, the generator is housed just at the widest part of the nose cone, it takes up the entire width of the nacelle to generate power more efficiently, and provide longer service life with less wear.

Also like small turbines, these have inverters instead of synchronous generators, that is to say, a separate controller that converts the wild AC generated into something the grid can use. This means the rotor can run at more optimum and varied speeds.

Again like small turbines, this one does not shut right off at a predetermined speed due to gusts or just very high wind speeds. It simply throttles down by turning the blades slightly away from the wind so as to continue to generate power though at a lower production rate. Then the instant the wind is more favorable, it starts back up again. Many smaller wind turbines do something similar except have no blade pitch control, they use a technique called something like “side furling” where the whole machine, excepting the tail, turns “sideways” to catch less wind but continue operating.

Money, why else? Big things are cheaper per unit production. If you have 3 2 MW generators, you have to have three (at least) cranes to put them up, build three foundations, have to maintain three machines, and have three times the parts to fail. If you have one, it is larger and more expensive in itself to move, but not as expensive as having to move three smaller ones.

I don’t understand how people can be so concerned about birds becoming mush with modern wind turbines, especially ones this big. It only turns at 12 rpms. That means it takes five seconds to complete one revolution. That is slow but this is much bigger and easy to see compared to the whirring blades of old. The Altamont Pass turbines gave wind turbines such a bad name because they were built in the middle of the natural habitat of rare birds, the turbines were the small fast spinning type, and they were built using lattice towers, the kind birds love to nest in. These are slowly being replaced and all of the new ones are of the slower rotating kind. In the end, it comes down to this. Stationary buildings and moving cars kill literally millions of times more birds than wind turbines. And things like the Exxon Valdez spill kill millions of everything. So let’s go with the best option.

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A graph of the World’s Largest Wind Turbines.

Comments 439

    1. Wind farms are not an alternative form of free energy. They are an expensive ADDITIONAL form of energy.

      For every potential kilowatt of wind generated energy, an equivalent generating capacity, from conventional; nuclear, coal, gas, hydro… power station sits idle, as a back-up for when the wind does not blow.
      And when does the wind not blow? It does not blow in high pressure systems, of extreem heat, or cold. Just when the demand power is at it’s highest.
      Add to this the fact; “Regardless of what we are told wind turbines can produce – No wind farm anywhere in the world, has ever generated more that 28% of its stated capacity. Either the wind is too high, or too low, for the conventional inefficient, three blade turbines. The very reason we see them standing idle 70% of the time.

      Wind farms have a green image that has never delivered on it’s promise. I am a supporter of green technology but let’s have an honest debate on the subject, that is not lead by an industry that is driven by subsidy, to generate vast profits for shareholders. And government’s, keen to be seen as green, who in reality are only interested in short term solutions, regardless of the fact, they are wasting our money and precious resourses.

      Why is the established wind industry not investing in the more efficient “carousel” wind turbines?
      Why is so little going into wave and tide power generation?
      Why is so little going into saving power, and educating consumers as to the real cost of power generation?

      As consumers, if we took more responsibility for saving power, we could dramatically reduce the need for more power, regardless of how it is generated.
      But that means us being responsible and thinking about the consequence of our actions, inconvenience and making sacrifices – and we would not want that, would we?

  1. I live about 200m from a pair of massive wind generators and the NOISE is bloody annoying ALL THE TIME! it’s like you have an airplane (high speed wind noise) passing over head all the time and it never quite leaves the area. Also the strobing in the sun is irritating too, but nothing compared to the whoosh whoosh whoosh high speed tip noise all the time.

    I’d love to make all these wind developers live in the CLOSEST house to the wind generators, if they do that and still have no complaints i think it’s fine to put them up. MAKE THEM LIVE NEXT TO THEM!!! (i think you’ll notice they always live in some swanky part of London – no-where near a wind gen!)

    I used to love the idea of them until i lived in the shadow of two massive ones. (smaller than these though) the tip speed must be incredible and therefore like a speeding aircraft noise. hope no-one lives close enough to hear them

  2. I use the pool a lot so wear earplugs often. My most comfortable pair were custom moulded from a kit, they’re far more hygienic than standard earplugs and last for years. It’s far cheaper than having your ears custom made by an audiologist; I’d suggest them to anybody who uses them often.

  3. I once sat through a conference delivered by nuclear power plant designers. They spent hours telling us that nuclear power is safe, effecient when mass produced, and reliable. They said we have enough reserves to produce electricity for thousands of years. At the end of the conference, they had me convinced that nuclear is the best. I asked some of the nuclear engineers, “Wouldn’t it be great if the government would let us produce all our power in nuclear reactors?” Their response surprised me. They said, “No”. I couldn’t believe what I heard. They explainded that the best energy policy is a balanced one. We need a diverse portfolio of power sources that they explained. Wind power is excellent when the wind is blowing, but terrible when the wind stops. Solar is great during the day when the sky is clear, but it is terrible otherwise. Fossil fuel plants put lots of C02 in the air, and the supply is limited, but it relatively easy to build a reliable natural gas power plant when the population of a city grows. In short, each energy source has positives and negatives. Consequently, we need to find a mix that doesn’t exclude any source, including wind.

  4. correction this is the diameter of the rotor like the 126. The blades are approximately 75.5 meters in length each making approx. 230 feet long.

  5. 153 meter blades are now made on a siemens wind generator being the largest. with a 6 megawatt production capability.

    1. The blades are 75 meters. Diameter = 154 meters includeing the HUB. Just to correct you 🙂

  6. A 413 ft diameter turbine making a complete rotation in 5 seconds = blade tip speed of 177 mph. Seems fast enough to catch a bird.

    413*pi = 1298 ft
    1298/5 = 260 ft/sec
    (260/88)*60 = 177 mph

    1. Until a meaningful method of storage is developed wind will continue to be a waste of time and tax dollars. ~ Walt

  7. There are many companies lately that claim new records on “the largest wind turbines in the world”, including our company Design Thinking Solutions RSA. We moved away from that competition, because for us it is not a competition at all. Our DTS HAWT constraint kite design allow us to approach 50 MW per wind turbine @ 12 m/s wind speed, and at +/- a third of the capital cost of a 10 MW HAWT intended to be produced by European Companies. The three bladed conventional design competitions may continue amongst those manufacturers, as they have got a long way to go. All fluid stream energy converters follows the mass scaling law m=k*P1.5, there is a size limit to economic implementation. Independent of the concept considered, the scaling laws hold. This is true for DTS as well, but the wind energy extraction architectures pursued at DTS offers the opportunity to drastically reduce the proportionality constant when compared with the “industry standard” three bladed turbines. In our case it also means that the financial returns look much better when compared with conventional three blade wind turbines. Payback is much quicker. More technical information from DTS will not really contribute to the aforementioned.

    We also have an ocean current turbine capable of approaching 1000 MW per unit. The good thing about it is that it can produce a constant and large base load. The wind turbine designs are based on very low wind speeds in order to improve capacity factor, and be used in conjunction with hydro-electricity / pumping schemes storing / generating electricity as currently used, also in South Africa.

    It will remain the task of all renewable converter designers and manufacturer’s to convince governments and investors alike, to consider alternative energy converters to coal and nuclear power plants by “thinking outside the box”. Our company achieved our first goal in designing the “game changing” large DTS wind and ocean current turbines. Our second goal to get these machines into the market place, is on the way.

    With regards to nuclear power the following:

    The dangers / fatal flaw of any nuclear plant lay in the fundamental requirements with respect to design and construction. These stringent requirements are mainly to prevent the accidental escape of harmful radiation and or nuclear fuel from the plant over many years. Therefore, during an accident or incident where something goes seriously wrong inside the nuclear part of the plant, it is impossible to know what is going on in the inside, and what will be an appropriate corrective action. This uncertainty to know what is wrong in an enclosed nuclear power plant (entrapped with the most powerful fuel on earth) is a fatal flaw in old, and will remain so in also newly designed nuclear power plants.

    If the world politicians decide to drastically reduce the number of new nuclear power plants to be built in future, then the investors need to find alternative investment opportunities to consider.
    Anton Cordier.
    DTS
    cordiera@mweb.co.za

  8. Not the biggest , just the biggest allowed of the obsolete leonardo designs.The biggest is the horizontal Automatic feathering flat blade radial windmills that are subdued in corruption. this superior design works in 1000x,s more powerfull 24 7 currents and has no limits horizontally. the brainwashing programs work don,t they. you believe there is no other even when you see the 4 walls per rpm disappear and then close walls in unison.with far more power than a prop, the captured energy is unlimited verses a percentage yep brainwashing prevents even tests

    1. Steven, you are probably very intelligent and most likely an extraordinary engineer. But my god, you have no idea how to explain your thoughts!!! it must be very frustrating for you to be ignored like this. But Steven, people have no idea, what you are talking about. Just plain rambling…it is actually quite amusing. 🙂

  9. The wind sceptics should note that Spain, which is a big counrty, now gets an average of 20% of its electricity from the wind ………….& the record for 24 hours last year was 40%.
    And the new big mills have paid off their capital cost well before a new nuclear plant comes on line……………… ask the French!

    Interestingly one of the contenders to build the 6 GW of new offshore mills planned in France ( yes thats 1000 of the big new 6000KW ones)
    is “AREVA”….. who own all the nuclear power plants in France and Britain.
    The contract is worth about 10 thousand million euros & they are much easier to build than nuclear reactors…………. and no nuclear meltdowns!

    Britain has a similar plan to produce 25% of its electricity from windmills in the North Sea by 2025.

    Anybody wishing to cash in on this bonanza should consider buying shares in Gamesa who have built many of the newer 2 MW windmills in the states… This Spanish manufacturer is currently nº 3 worldwide & has been investing all their profits in research and new manafacturing plants in the US, India, China & now Brasil.
    The shares are currently down 80% on their pre crisis 30 euros+.
    Their new 6MW Offshore model will undoubtedly get a good share of the upcoming Frech and British offshore market in partnership with Northrop Grumman (who are doing the bit that goes in the water).
    Expect the shares to double over the next 12 months and then to double again the following year.

  10. To the very first post who said that ‘nuclear fusion would require money to deal with the harmful waste products’….there are none. It’s just Helium.

  11. At 12 rpm, the tips of those blades are doing close to 260 ft/second or about 176 mph. At the halfway point of the blade at the rated rpm, they are doing 85 mph. Just because it’s not spinning at a high rpm, does not mean the blades are moving slowly. Ever hit a bird in your car doing 60 mph? The car usually wins. 70 feet out from the center they’ll be doing 60 mph, which means that 88.5% of the total swept blade area is going over 60 mph at rated speed. Just something to keep in mind.

  12. Check Out the—> You Tube Video—> Be Jesus Windmill, A Design that Uses Newtons laws in almost a 100% way It will be much bigger than Hoover Dam Be cause it is also Horizontal With 4 walls closed against the winds and then opening every revolution . The Vertical one posted Should be at waysides charging Cars with its 4,000 watt 110v 220v alternator is not hooked up because of No funding/Help

  13. Until alternative energy production becomes economically attractive to private, corporate and public entities the use of fossil fuels will rise. The United States of America will continue on its course as the “world’s policeman” (translated “imperialist empire”) until it finds itself a hollowed out, third world banana republic. The equatorial countries will suffer most from global climate change. Result……famine, war, pestilence and death. The end. All this talk is just talk. Wake up.

  14. I think that if all wind power discussions were ceased; all wind power related info was ignored; all wind power politics and wind power production was terminated…. Then we would save far more embodied energy and mind heat/energy than when it started.

    How many tons of fuels(the best way to measure energy usage perhaps?) does it take to product football pitches of reinforced steel bar concrete, the windturbines, the plastic etc etc.

    Crazy idea eh?

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for methods that produce energy efficiently……..

    The three relevant laws seem to be Reduce, reuse, recycle.
    Local recycling must make more sense than extraction.
    I wonder about glass though, that is epic fail on a grand scale.

    Curent process……..
    recycle glass. ……..crush, melt, produce….. lots of energy involved.
    If there were only 100 types of glass bottle produced in the world, then glass could have local sterilisation centres and save a lot of energy.

    Well, it seems that giving the big guys contracts’ seems to be more financially motivating…………
    wonder why?
    Any thoughts on my thoughts are welcomed……

    This is a good thread!

    1. Newtons Law that are basis of all natural Energy.That are now converted easily and now more powerful than all polluting others combined ,has to overcome corporate greed.that so far is in dominant positions. This is now under Nuclear Stress.

  15. Although the discussion about politics and , the manifestation of USA based needs, is mind expanding, it has little to do with wind generators. Please also distinguish between USA, Canada, and Mexico as members of (North) America (s). Here on earth Americans deserve their autonomous perspectives since they portray regional and historically relevant perspectives related to reality. While solar is good most everywhere wind potential varies upon location. The intelligent application of knowledge will reflect a relevance according to regional needs. Large H.A.W.T.’s have ideal applications where wind prevails and potential risks can be avoided. Small units fast turning smaller blades are what seems to offend the Naturalist entity’s with bird hazaards, to V.A.W.T.’s tend to present a more sustainable visual image , and are less threatening . While there can be something to be gained from looking at different brands of large scale W.T.’s, it pales in comparison the knowledge gained by the decentralized modeling associated with small scale W.T. energy production reflect opportunities based on local applications of wind technology, relevant to locally sustainable knowledge of potential returns. Certainly if there is a desire to share this knowledge with the less fortune(ate) then the smaller scale knowledge base must be expanded, so that disseminated knowledge has relevance to small time users without Grid inter-ties and Megawatt power needs. This lower level of production actually is capable of meeting a lot of simple needs of 3rd world populations, while simultaneously helping us lower our demands, as a reorganization of our needs emerges from our demand. Ive always been excited about “New Record: World’s Largest Wind Turbines” , and even the often overlooked history of large V.A.W.T.S.

    1. one4gaia,
      I nearly stood corrected by your comment “Although the discussion about politics and , the manifestation of USA based needs, is mind expanding, it has little to do with wind generators” , till I realized that US politics are the source of 25% of the worlds energy and all its related (energy) problems. We should not take that out of the discussion. That would be putting our heads in the sand. One of the biggest problems with wind energy is that it is so incredibly easy to sell and misunderstood by the misinformed general public, who has no clue about the energy needs of our different societies.

      Can you imagine anything easier to sell to the general misinformed public that isn’t even is capable to distinguish between energy (kWh) and power (kW), not to mention: The second law of Thermo Dynamics (This incapability makes blogging on this blog sometimes very tiresome)? And all this misinforming is mostly done on purpose by politicians and of course wind-millers industry.

      The easy sell:
      Just plant a couple of those wind contraptions and we have energy for free, forever, totally clean and no more CO2 puked into our already with pollutants saturated atmosphere.

      And as long as you keep the general public misinformed, they will swallow this ridiculous pipe dream with gusto and look at those companies, organizations and institutions that really work on solving our global energy needs as if they are the real villains (surprisingly few exceptions here) behind our climate change.
      This selfish misinformation is costing humanity too much in every imaginable aspect.

      Here a copy of an earlier post of mine:
      Why wind energy is totally irrelevant and a complete waste of resources.

      With exeption for very localized, remote and very tiny (couple of kWdays) energy needs.

      1) Today humanity uses 426 Quads (426.000.000.000.000.000 BTU) of energy per year, of which the lion’s share comes from burning coal. (50 % worldwide, I don’t think that is a very bad estimate)
      That means: 213.000.000.000.000.000 / 20.000.000 (This is the amount of BTU one ton of coal produces when burned.) = 10.650.000.000 tons of coal are burned by humanity every year. With the result that we are pumping 10.650.000.000 x 2.86 (burning one ton of coal produces on average 2.86 tons of CO2 (plus a lot of other harmful stuff)) = 30.459.000.000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year.
      2) In ten years time humans will “need” or use 150 Quads more, thinking about the 3 billion people in the fast emerging (cannot call them developing any more, that would be disrespectful) countries like China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia etc., all sitting on very big coal reserves!
      3) Global warming has set in and one of its major contributors is CO2. Our days are counted if we don’t do anything about it!
      In my opinion it will be impossible to take coal out of the energy equation for the next 100 years, because all the renewable (now worldwide probably a energy contributor of less than 3 %) will not be able to off-set the amount of energy produced from coal and coal is the most available fossil fuel in those fast developing populous countries. Social pressures will force those fast developing countries to burn coal anyway (in a clean or dirty way). Wars have been fought for much sillier reasons. Therefore I am of the opinion that we have to develop the technology to burn coal in a clean and environmental friendly way, despite the extreme difficulties and extremely high costs. We cannot deprive humanity today of about 213 Quads (halve of its energy “needs” or usage) and we cannot go-on burning fossil fuels as we do today without destroying the global climate completely. Both ways (depriving or dirty burning) will bring war, death and mass extension for humans.
      I am of the opinion that all resources spend on Wind Energy is a total waste of time and resources because it only tackles 4 % of our total energy problem in about 15 years time!
      Please realize:
      20 % of our total energy needs go to electricity generation and the politicians want 20 % of our electricity from Wind Power in about 10 to 15 years time.
      20% of 20% = 4%

      These resources could be used in a much better and effective way.
      By for instance:
      1. informing the general public about our real energy needs and explain how much we waste.
      2. Educating the general population how to save energy.
      3. Creating a real awareness about every bodies personal footprint and make it a national and global sport to make those individual footprints as small as possible, through schools and television programs (through EDUCATION)
      4. Going for the technology to burn coal (and other fossil fuels) as clean as possible. Humanity is going to burn them anyway.
      5. Plasma Fusion and Super Conductivity are the only technologies that really can and will get humanity out of its energy predicament. But it will take decades before we have those technologies available.

      For me Wind Power is as ridiculous as putting sails on 300.000 ton Super Tankers to off-set 4 % bunker oil by WIND Power. (And when you make some simple calculations you will see that this ridiculous idea is of the same order of magnitude as Wind Power!)

      There for politics is inseparable from wind energy as long as politicians (especially those in Washington today) want to gain brownie points with the general public, misinforming them for their own personal hunger for voters and the bi-partisan bickering. And there for are digging a tremendous deep hole for the poor almighty US of A. Please realize we don’t want the US of A coming out of that self dug hole shooting, because there is nobody in the world that will be able to stop them. The rest of the world is too busy trying to solve the global energy problem instead of playing soldier.

    2. Gee since No Group has even tested or took seriously my Automatic Feathering Flat Blade Radial Windmill your comment is at best narrow minded. The worlds inventors deserve better.My invention is proof of stonewalling Like Thomas Edison’s Frying the Elephant to prove AC to dangerous History will prove It all. Blessings Steve

    3. First self serving uninformed mistake , is assuming that props or vawts or other designs now used for the miscalculation of mans ability to convert natural winds and tides energy that are excessive , related to our foreseeable needs second mistake is to assume The low effectives power of todays windmills will remain dominant.

      1. Another mistake would be to call it a windmill, instead of a wind turbine. Now stop writing nonsense, Steven.

  16. I would think that even the big energy and oil companies should be wise enough to see that if we were to use more wind, wave, and solar power now it could lead to the non-renewable sources lasting longer. thus allowing them to stay in the business of burning fossil fuels.

  17. I really cannot understand how anyone can talk about subsidies for wind energy and other sources and, at the same time, to forget that China is one of the countries that more invest in subsidies. For this simple reason, is impossible to win China, in any economical sense.
    On the other hand, if China and other countries develop models of small wind turbines, even without subsidies, maybe people will have solution for local electric energy problems.
    So, it is a question of time, for people see that this is a very siginificant source of electrical energy, especially for poor people and poor regions all around the entire world.

  18. It seems that in today’s society we are bickering and arguing with each other with regards to co2 emission levels any solutions to global warming when we all know the solution is wind, wave and solar energy. Here and now collectively we need to act. I feel that politics is holding us back. why invest billions of world currencies in nuclear fusion to then spend millions in decommissioning and getting rid of dangerous waste by products? Current wind turbines are very inefficient as they do not make the best use of the surface area that the rotor blades operate in. Current wave/tidal power stations use linear generators and again are inefficient as they depend on trough and crest variations of sea levels in the waves. Why not combine water flow rates with wind power and make offshore units that have the potential of similar outputs to nuclear fusion?

    1. I don’t believe anyone that works in the energy field and has a solid technical knowledge of the various energy technologies believes that wind, wave and solar are the solutions to our current energy needs.

      China is investing nearly 100% of their energy money in super-critical coal-fired boilers. Their CO2 emissions are growing by more than 10% per year, they passed the US last year as the No.1 producer of GHGs and by 2017 they will produce twice as much GHG as the US. India is on the same track but 20 years behind China. Debate on global warming is basically closed until a technology that is cheaper than burning coal is developed.

      The technologies you advocate are EXTREMELY uncompetitive and even if heavily subsidized could barely slow down the US GHG emission growth and much less impact global GHG levels. They could however cripple our ability to compete with China economically and lower the US standard of living significantly.

      One realistic way to lower US GHG production levels much more than wind, solar, biomass & geothermal could ever do, would be to pass legislation to promote the construction of super-critical boilers to replace the many hundred aging, low-efficiency, boilers currently on the US power grid. This is common sense but because it involves burning fossil fuels it will never happen.

        1. From the viewpoint of a US citizen who is well versed in US history, the notion expressed by Thomas C that the US standard of living should be lowered is unacceptable on at least 2 points. One, if TC is an American, then his statement exhibits a staggering ignorance of his own heritage. Two, if TC is not an American, then his statement is understandable as a jealous onlooker, similar to others we have had for decades.

          Further, dropping the notion that the “GHG problem” is a result of the US standard of living, as a matter of fact is without merit and just plain dumb.

          1. Burlap Jack, you know of course TC is right. But in a very different way as you probably be able to imagine.
            If TC is halfway intelligent he of course means the US standard of living has to go way up.
            Because:
            The US is drowning in debts, hardly producing anything anymore, spending atrocious amounts on the military, consuming mindboggling amounts of energy in extreme in-efficient ways, inventing all kinds of pretexts to go to war to shore up the ever falling dollar and satisfy its oil addiction all the while living in constant fear with obesity and crime rates soaring while popping anti depressants constantly.

            Remember the ridiculous request your President had for Angela Merkel (The Chancellor of Germany, this for the lesser versed Americans (80%) in international affairs) during the last G20?

            Please decrease your export surplus with US!

            Despite the fact that the Euro increased more than 90% in value compared to the Dollar during the last 10 years, Germany was and is capable producing very high quality products in very efficient ways that are very much appreciated in the US (just think about BMW, Mercedes, pharmaceuticals, scientific equipment, industrial machinery etc)

            Don’t believe it? Google it!

            Burlap Jack your notion that the rest of the world is full of jealous onlookers is in a way very frightening and puts you in the category of the Sarah Palins and Glenn Becks of think world (Come on lets saddle up the dinosaurs ! 🙂 Any clue what I am talking about?).

            You really think there many people in the developed and emerging countries are jealously looking on how your enlightened morons in Washington are digging and digging a deeper hole for the militarily almighty US of A, that half a century ago was a beacon of hope for the world?

            How mistaken you are……………………..
            A very Dutch (European 🙂 )
            Alexander66

      1. Actually Michael, what you say above is completely untrue and reflects our fears rather than the realities.

        China is investing more money in the renewable energy field than any other country. They lead the world in the number of wind turbines installed, solar panels and hydroelectricity. And the gap between their investment in this field and the rest of the world is continuing to widen. With an East coast rather than a West coast which is more suitable for large scale wave energy generation, wave energy is not likely to be their best energy resource going forward.

        The growth in China of coal-fired electricity generation you speak of is part of a total energy mix. And with the renewables still developing it is a critical part of meeting the exponential electricity demand growth in the short term and to take advantage of large coal reserves. China understands coal cannot be the base load generating fuel for the long term, but it also needs to invest in coal in the short term to meet demand that is still less than 1/10th the level used per capita in the United States.

        You are correct, the Renewable Energy technologies are in some cases very uncompetitive. Although it could be argued also that wind is very close to competitive and being emission free is virtually on-par if you consider all factors including benefits and costs of a specific technology. It is also worth noting that the Model T was very uncompetitive in comparison to today’s motor vehicles. Only through years of society buying and using motor vehicles was there sufficient R&D and economics to make the vehicles of today. Thank god my grandfather didn’t say, “Nah… that model T is inefficient… I am waiting for the super efficient Japanese version before I buy one of those horseless carriages!” If we don’t learn to walk, we will never be able to run.

        Forget global warming, we are about to run out of affordable oil. Whether we run our future automobiles on electricity or hydrogen it requires massive increases in the amount of electricity we consume. We as the developed world need to lead the innovation adopted by developing countries – Not because we want to feel good about ourselves, but because CO2 isn’t local it’s global. Even if those people who don’t believe in global warming are right… with 3 out of 5 people on the planet living in Asia and their economies and thus their electricity demand rising exponentially, if they do install all coal to meet demand the plume of black smoke and acid rain will fast become a North American problem. And I wont even tell you how nervous the people on the west coast of North America will be when more Asian nuclear plants go bang.

        Renewables are not competitive, but they are also not mass produced. Couldn’t mass production of wind turbines, solar panels and wave energy converters be just the thing the stumbling US manufacturing industry needs to reinvigorate jobs, inspire the next generation with a “can-do-attitude” and keep American money in the hands of America? America imports 2/3rds of it’s daily oil so every time you drive your car, you are just making someone in a far away land richer.

        Coal will always and should always play a role in the US energy mix… However the medium term future beyond oil will require electricity double or even triple what is consumed today. With thousands of miles of west coast, hot dry deserts in the south west and the middle america endowed with winds that will blow a dog off it’s chain it seems inconceivable to me that the US can’t see this as the greatest opportunity in decades to reinvigorate the economy, create jobs in the manufacturing heartland and stop the hemorrhaging of dollars to the outside world. Oh and by the way, we may just save the planet and make the world a cleaner and nicer place to live while we are at it!!!

      2. Pres. Reagon began slacking the day he opted to almost immediatly removed the solar water heater from the Whitehouse. Lead and Mercury is in coal, the coal which in time could run trucks without toxics.
        The energies of wind and geothermal are only bogged down by not having ambition enough to achieve.
        To avoid China is only challenging because of the Gipper. While being conservative is a challenge Ike and Teddy are my role models.
        To achieve energy solutions that achieve 1000 years theoretically. One time or another in the furture oxegen cools the Earth. Water distillation and turbine generation is the only solar power thats in that range. I think there is a sheppard in that one also to inspire hydrogen solution.

        1. Mike, my english may be kind of rusty, but….what the %&¤## are you rambling on about???

    2. @Ben Mercer It is way better to invest in nuclear energy as soon as a government can be seduced to guarantee the investments. Windmills pay themselves back in just 8 (land) to 12 (sea) years, depending on the size. At larger sizes this only increases. What that means is that you don’t have the investment risk of nuclear. What that means is that you would have to make your money from the actual production of energy instead of capital interest.
      If nuclear installations pay themselves back at all, they do it after 19 years (best scenario) to 33 years production. The production period starts 5 to 9 years after ground breaking. With an installation period over 9 years the nuclear installation will actually never break even during the production period, assuming facilities older than 40 years are normally closed down in favor of more modern alternatives. But who cares, right? Think about it. It will take 24 years (5 years between groundbreaking and production) or 41 years (9 years between ground breaking and production) to pay back the investment. This means that for 24 to 41 years you can ask an annual interest of 15% over your long term investment capital of say 5 bln (6% if you lend the money as a bank). After 30 years from ground breaking, as an investor you will already have doubled your invested capital. By then it has either been payed back already or you can just sit and strike up that 15% year in, year out. And the only thing that you need for that sweet, sweet interest is some safety guarantees from your local or federal government. So why would a person ever want to invest in wind energy? You can buy your own golf course from the profits you can make with nuclear. It doesn’t even matter if the nuclear installation ever actually breaks even. Others can deal with the polution later. Or why not just throw it back into the pacific like we used to? So what if the shrimp eat it. A little radioactivity can be healthy for you. We use it to treat cancer, don’t we? That worked fine until it was prohibited in the mid-nineties by some stupid law, i bet the democrats did that. And something like Japan or Chernobyl can only occur once in a million years and most times it happens somewhere else (except for Harrisburg). And it’s not as if we build the plants near sea or at fault lines, do we?

      (So, that’s me being sarcastic, but this is how the lovely guys and dolls that make the money from the nuclear plants actually reason away reason. They’re not easy to spot and may go by names of “trader”, “investment banker” or “lobbyist”.)

    3. My Design is not mentioned ,It is by far larger, In fact at Half the height and 150 or whatever t wide it would turn at each end two of the largest Generators ever built simultaneousness These mass energy machines are 1000x,s more powerful in currents and thereby smaller to produce as needed energy by just adding Blades and cowling’s to increase vacuums on downward sides.and widths of the 4 walls per superior power revolution. Of course the issue is embedded corporations with other old well developed Ideas Not mass energy

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