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Power Earth Science

Wind Could Provide 100% of World Energy Needs 867

Posted by kdawson
from the lotta-towers dept.
Damien1972 sends in a report on a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, which finds that wind power could provide for the entire world's current and future energy needs. "To estimate the earth's capacity for wind power, the researchers first sectioned the globe into areas of approximately 3,300 square kilometers (2,050 square miles) and surveyed local wind speeds every six hours. They imagined 2.5 megawatt turbines crisscrossing the terrestrial globe, excluding 'areas classified as forested, areas occupied by permanent snow or ice, areas covered by water, and areas identified as either developed or urban,' according to the paper. They also included the possibility of 3.6 megawatt offshore wind turbines, but restricted them to 50 nautical miles off the coast and to oceans depths less than 200 meters. Using [these] criteria the researchers found that wind energy could not only supply all of the world's energy requirements, but it could provide over forty times the world's current electrical consumption and over five times the global use of total energy needs."
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Wind Could Provide 100% of World Energy Needs

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  • Except (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:18PM (#28431093)
    Now people are whining [www.ctv.ca] about the noise and environmental impact.
    • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:35PM (#28431405)

      Most people whining about noise and environmental impact are talking about older designs, or do not realize there is a net improvement in environmental impact over the alternatives. The alternative to green power is not 'no power', but is dirty power. The NIMBY crowd would be more than happy to Luddite civilization into the stone age, and then complain about the lack of affordable power. Californians are the worst at this -- in the US, anyway.

      Newer wind turbines have the blades further away from the supporting tower, which reduces the noise considerably. The bird and bat deaths can be substantially mitigated by making sure your turbines are out of known migration paths, and by making the blades rotate slower. The number of bird & bat deaths that would result from a polluted environment by non-green power is a much more serious problem. Proper wind turbine technology & placement is a FAR lesser evil here, IMO.

      This report is ... interesting. Placing that many turbines in very remote areas is going to be ridiculously expensive to run transmission lines to, and deal with the effects of intermittent addition of energy to the grid. An electrical grid is a temperamental mistress at the best of times. The technology CAN be had, but it's not as simple as just hooking up a turbine to a grid without some real smarts in between. Also, having trained people available to do regular maintenance on such extremely remote sites (and getting replacement parts there) is not gonna be cheap.

      Still, better that that an unlivable planet. But we need to take a serious look at MODERN nuclear power, especially with re-using the waste, gas-cooled pebble bed designs, Thorium designs, etc. Trying to make ONE solution fix the problem is completely idiotic.

      • by paazin (719486) on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:17PM (#28431993)

        This report is ... interesting. Placing that many turbines in very remote areas is going to be ridiculously expensive to run transmission lines to, and deal with the effects of intermittent addition of energy to the grid. An electrical grid is a temperamental mistress at the best of times. The technology CAN be had, but it's not as simple as just hooking up a turbine to a grid without some real smarts in between. Also, having trained people available to do regular maintenance on such extremely remote sites (and getting replacement parts there) is not gonna be cheap.

        They already do this quite regularly with the oldest green source of power you managed to omit: Hydroelectric. There are a great deal of dams within British Columbia and Alaska out in the middle of nowhere - and they've been relatively successful and constant power sources.

        • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:24PM (#28432081)

          They already do this quite regularly with the oldest green source of power you managed to omit: Hydroelectric. There are a great deal of dams within British Columbia and Alaska out in the middle of nowhere - and they've been relatively successful and constant power sources.

          I think you misunderstand the scale we're talking about. There are comparatively few hydrodelectric dams in North America compared to the number of wind turbines being discussed here. The difference in number is _vast_.

      • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@gmai l . com> on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:41PM (#28432309)

        Most people whining about... ...environmental impact are talking about older designs, or do not realize there is a net improvement in environmental impact over the alternatives.

        You know, that statement works great in the context of nuclear power too...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Tumbleweed (3706) *

          > Most people whining about... ...environmental impact are talking about older designs, or do not realize there is a net improvement in environmental impact over the alternatives.

          You know, that statement works great in the context of nuclear power too...

          Indeed. WRT nuclear power plants, I can't say I'm all _that_ impressed by 4th gen. Water cooling is a pretty horrible way to go, very expensive, plus it limits your site selection at the same time it forces your site to be dangerous to locate on - it MUST

      • by mh1997 (1065630) on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:51PM (#28432437)

        The NIMBY crowd would be more than happy to Luddite civilization into the stone age, and then complain about the lack of affordable power. Californians are the worst at this -- in the US, anyway.

        You mean like Senator Ted Kennedy (www.boston.com):

        ...But, it turns out, Kennedy's antipathy to furtive rules changes and backroom power plays stops at the water's edge -- specifically, the waters of Nantucket Sound, which separates Cape Cod (where the Kennedy family has an oceanfront compound in Hyannis Port) from the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. A shoal in the center of Nantucket Sound is where Cape Wind Associates hopes to build the nation's first offshore wind farm -- an array of 130 wind turbines capable of generating enough electricity to meet 75 percent of the Cape and Islands' energy needs, without burning any oil or emitting any pollution. The turbines would be miles from any coastal property, barely visible on the horizon. In fact, Cape Wind says they would be farther away from the nearest home than any other electricity generation project in Massachusetts.

        But like a lot of well-to-do Cape and Islands landowners and sailing enthusiasts, Kennedy doesn't want to share his Atlantic playground with an energy facility, no matter how clean, green, and nearly unseen. Last month he secretly arranged for a poison-pill amendment, never debated in either house of Congress, to be slipped into an unrelated Coast Guard bill. It would give the governor of Massachusetts, who just happens to be a wind farm opponent, unilateral authority to veto the Cape Wind project.

        http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/05/07/kennedy_doesnt_play_by_the_rules/ [boston.com]

        • by bussdriver (620565) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:43PM (#28440705)

          Not so simple. As I recall, it was NOT boaters that were the big factor it was the small businesses and fishermen who raised hell over the Cape Cod wind farm with funding from the rich pricks who don't want to see them. Kennedy was being the good representative he is by keeping his voters happy by doing what they want - a SIMILAR issue came up with the fishermen getting upset over federal fishing regulations limiting them on their overfishing. Kennedy got them what they demanded and now many are out of business because fish populations continued due to the predictable decrease from their overfishing. They got what they deserved BOTH TIMES and would have hated their representative for trying to inject any wisdom to the contrary.

          I think its sad the way people shift blame to their representatives for THEIR OWN MISTAKES and wonder why the ones that tell them what they want to hear and throw a bone to the loudest groups. They get their power regardless of what they do on side issues (good or bad...) Some do good and some do bad but nearly ALL play politics where they must to get in and stay in. This is why you can't touch the corrupt farm lobbies or do much about all the welfare states (which are BTW all the 2004 "red" states.)

          People SAY they don't want waste etc; but when their rep brings waste into town-- they REWARD them with re-election. Sure I want nuclear energy-- but not in my backyard...

    • Re:Except (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:38PM (#28431479)

      Helen Fraser and her husband lived just over 400 metres from a turbine. She says the sound and strobing effect caused her to develop headaches and body aches, and her caused her husband's diabetes to get worse.

      Somehow I'm having a hard time imagining how diabetes is influenced by a big windmill. I suppose she could be ranting and raving about the turbine so much that her husband's stress levels affected his diabetes.

      • Re:Except (Score:4, Interesting)

        by godrik (1287354) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:54PM (#28433805)
        Oh I read a nice study on the impact of high voltage lines on the health of people leaving below. The study showed a correlation between the presence of these lines and strange health diseases.... even when the lines where powered down... Nocebo effect is the worst thing to fight.
    • Re:Except (Score:4, Insightful)

      by joocemann (1273720) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:43PM (#28431567)

      Now people are whining [www.ctv.ca] about the noise and environmental impact.

      People are generally ignorant, foolish, and short sighted when dealing with things outside their realm of knowledge.

      • I'd assume that those complaining about the noise live near the towers, thus making it well within their relm of knowledge. As a result I'm having a hard time seeing how your post is relevant.

        (I do agree that people are as you say, I just don't see how that's relevant in this case.)
    • NIMBYs (Score:3, Informative)

      by falconwolf (725481)

      Now people are whining [www.ctv.ca] about the noise and environmental impact.

      NIMBYs have been whinnying and blocking wind farms for years. Near Boston, Cape Cod is a good place for offshore wind farms however NIMBYs [greenlegals.com] including Kennedy has opposed them.

      Falcon

  • by Vuojo (1547799) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:19PM (#28431099)
    It just couldn't simply because there isn't wind all the time and we don't have any realistic way to store energy for calm days. Wind could be useful as a part of the energy production but with current technology there is no way wind could be used as the only energy source.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MichaelSmith (789609)

      It just couldn't simply because there isn't wind all the time and we don't have any realistic way to store energy for calm days. Wind could be useful as a part of the energy production but with current technology there is no way wind could be used as the only energy source.

      Personally I use copper wire to move electrons from place to place. My state runs partly on hydro electricity from Tasmania, 200km to the south across a substantial body of water. Apparently the submarine cable which does the job only carries electrons in one direction. The return path is through the water, which comes built in with charge carriers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        That's an interesting position, because apparently Tasmania is a net importer of power across the Basslink cable - so you aren't actually 'partially fueled by hydro power' so much as 'distributing fossil power to a state that doesn't have the hydro resources to fuel itself'.

        http://www.basslink.com.au/ [basslink.com.au] cites: In its first year of operation Basslink supplied 1920GWh to Tasmania and 450GWh to the National Electricity Market.

      • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:21PM (#28432043) Homepage Journal

        We have the following methods of storing energy from wind power, which are currently in production:

        1. gravity storage of pumped water.

        2. electrical storage of electricity in batteries.

        3. hydrolysis cracking of the dangerous substance H20 into hydrogen and oxygen for use in fuel cells.

        There are other methods, including the storage in ten ton weights, winched up from the wind turbines output, which are then dropped from a great height onto global warming deniers heads.

        Admittedly, this last method, while resulting in very satisfying splats, is not the most efficient method of storage available to science. But it looks really cool on video.

    • by FishTankX (1539069) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:32PM (#28431351)
      The answer to this is fuel cell plants powered by hydrogen derived from electrolysis. Supplemented by nuclear baseload power if desired. There have been some good advances in cheaper electrolysis latley.
    • by copponex (13876) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:34PM (#28431395) Homepage

      Every joule of energy we get on the earth, without tapping geothermal sources, originally comes from the sun. The only question is which source is the most economically (from an energy standpoint) obtainable and environmentally sustainable.

      Wind and sun to electric current seem to be the best bets, since they don't require any intermediate steps like biomass or super old biomass, also known as oil. Solar-thermal molten salt storage for overnight and cloudy weather with natural gas backups will probably be the winner for much of our electricity needs. Colder climates will rely on wind and geothermal differential generators.

      The important thing is that we invest now in technologies that allow high efficiency transfers of electricity, because we're going to need to balance the load across the country. This, in combination with building efficiency improvements and abandoning the urban sprawl model, should have us well on our way to sustainability.

    • Pumped storage, nanotech ultracapacitors, flywheels, fuel cells even will store energy for a calm day. If you have a fairly efficient electricity grid you won't even need to store that much because the chances are it will be windy in some place within reach.

      On calm days the sun usually shines so photo voltaic cells come into play. Don't like those? just use solar concentrators or stirling engine-based solar panels, wave energy, put alternators into the stationary bikes at the local gym.

      Of course the amount of energy required is greatly exaggerated these days because there are a lot of poorly insulated houses and an awful lot of people using incandescent lighting and 'wall warts' (and also wall marts) powering stand-by equipment are ubiquitous. It would be great if everyone had a 12v transformer providing power to 12v sockets around the house and maybe an ultracap that would store some energy so the transformer wouldn't be going all the time.

      I'd go off the grid if i could. I kind of feel people have become overly dependent on electricity - one day I was in a shopping mall in London and a girl actually started screaming the second the power went out. I have a generator and a 600w invertor here but the last time the power went I didn't even bother using them
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:19PM (#28431107)

    Right so this is assuming we put these rather large ugly things everywhere that hasn't already been greatly disturbed by people. I know they are excluding forests. but just because you don't have to cut down a tree doesn't mean it isn't a spot worth preserving.

    Personaly I think that we really ought to build more nuclear power plants. Yes there is waste but overall it is fairly clean and cheap and would do more for preserving the environment and supplying electricity than this would.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:19PM (#28431109)

    ... to have a noticeable impact on the Coriolis force?

  • by dov_0 (1438253) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:21PM (#28431147)
    The thing that always seems to concern me is this: is it possible for the large amount of energy pulled from the winds to change weather patterns even slightly? I know it sounds stupid, but could even a very slight change over the planet potentially have an impact? Perhaps it is safest that we diversify our energy production. So much wind, solar, atomic etc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by liquiddark (719647)
      For "sustainable" (ie we have a long term supply that we can't imagine exhausting) non-fusion-based energy, we're pulling the energy out of the ecosystem regardless. Solar and wind have more or less the same impacts, albeit at different points in the cycle. Wind impacts are problem more friendly than solar simply because the cross-section is vertical and blocks very little sunlight, whereas solar is largely lateral and therefore can't be implemented where there's a significant amount of vegetation without
    • Answer (Score:4, Informative)

      by TopSpin (753) * on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:59PM (#28431753) Journal

      2004 NIH study on this: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=526278 [nih.gov]

      Ambiguous results. Naturally "they" confuse the results by suggesting that energy extracted offsets the energy increase caused by global warming, thus a small net change and happy bunnies everywhere.

      My guess: pulling tens of terawatts of energy out of the atmosphere will effect the climate.

      Call it Atmospheric Thermal Depletion, and credit me. :)

  • by exabrial (818005) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:22PM (#28431175)
    Nulcear YES Wind YES Oil YES Solar YES Coal YES Natural Gas YES Tidal YES There is no one size fits all people! You 'open minded' people need to open your minds to the real problems and solutions we already have available!
  • tourism (Score:5, Funny)

    by binarybum (468664) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:24PM (#28431197) Homepage

    And Holland's tourism industry would crash, I mean without the windmills, why would you want to go to the Netherlands... I mean isn't that what draws all those young folks to Amsterdam these days?

  • Offshore (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:24PM (#28431199) Journal

    I've often thought that if it's economically viable to go to the trouble of all that engineering for offshore oil exploration, extraction and processing, surely it's viable to build vast offshore wind farms where there's plenty of room, plenty of wind, and no neighbours to object.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by westlake (615356)

      I've often thought that if it's economically viable to go to the trouble of all that engineering for offshore oil exploration, extraction and processing, surely it's viable to build vast offshore wind farms

      I think the keyword here is "vast."

      The permanent offshore rig is more or less a terminal.

      Impressive in size - but still a single, relatively compact, structure. That is not going to be true of a wind farm.

  • Energy storage? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rcw-home (122017) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:28PM (#28431261)

    This article doesn't mention anything about mass energy storage. Without that, if we try to increase wind's share of power generation too much, it'll destabilize the grid (I've heard figures of 20-30% for this previously, but can't find a convenient reference).

    Has anything panned out on that front? (i.e. been cheap enough for wide-scale use?) Pumped-storage hydro [wikipedia.org], Sodium-sulfur batteries [wikipedia.org], etc?

  • by MWoody (222806) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:29PM (#28431285)

    Let's fill the world with gigantic metal spinning blades suspended hundreds of feet in the air. What could possibly go wrong?

  • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:31PM (#28431317)

    From TFA: "despite these limitations, it is clear that wind power could make a significant contribution to the demand for electricity"

    I don't think they're saying that the would should be entirely wind-powered. They're pointing out that there's so much untapped wind power that we should stop thinking about wind power as only a minor source of energy and invest more toward developing the resource.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:33PM (#28431369)

    Scientists confirmed today that Global Slowing is real. After years of speculation, it's now been confirmed that our harnessing of wind power for our energy needs is slowing the Earth down, and within a matter of decades, the Earth will come to a complete stop. Scientists are currently unsure whether this Global Slowing can be reversed, but some have proposed using fossil fuels to create artificial wind to help the Earth keep moving.

  • by R2.0 (532027) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:34PM (#28431385)

    Sure, wind could do it. So could solar, if we spot a shitload of solar cells all over the world cover a decent portion of it.

    But is it practical? It seems like people are perfectly fine dismissing "clean" coal (aka carbon sequestration) as a pipe dream, technology doesn't exist, etc., and then turning around and throwing scheme's like these out there as perfectly reasonable.

    • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:44PM (#28431575)
      Building a wind turbine is proven, and cost effective. "Clean coal" or as we call it in real life, bullshit, has yet to be proven as either successful or economically viable. The faster we drive a stake through coal's heart, the better.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 0123456 (636235)

        "Building a wind turbine is proven, and cost effective."

        If it was cost-effective, then it wouldn't require massive government subsidies.

        Coal, on the other hand, _is_ proven and cost-effective, which is why there are so many coal-fired power stations.

  • by dougsyo (84601) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:35PM (#28431409)

    I was looking for a quote about "open mouth, change feet" - completely unrelated to this topic - just a few moments ago, and ran across this post that really fits:

    http://papundits.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/salazars-wind-power-first-open-mouth-then-change-feet/ [wordpress.com]

    The summary of the numbers in that article (replacing US coal-burning plants with offshore east coast windmills):

    So, we have, just for the towers nacelles and fans:
    - A workforce of 170,000 people, just to work at the plants to construct them.
    - 120 huge factories to construct.
    - Wind towers every 375 feet for the whole length of the Atlantic Coastline and stacked 38 rows deep.
    - Construct those towers, nacelles and fans at the rate of one every 8 minutes for 40 years, in the Atlantic Ocean.
    - $10.4 Trillion in today's dollars (conservatively).

    It gets more ludicrous than that, when you consider continental shelf, keeping shipping lanes open, etc.

    Admitted, adding on-shore windmills would be more doable, but still - it is quite pricey and impractical.

    Doug

    • by IdahoEv (195056) on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:04PM (#28431825) Homepage

      Large industries operate with those kind of numbers all the time. How many power plants have been constructed over the years, and what did it cost?

      The worldwide auto industry produces roughly 50 million cars a year [worldometers.info]. That works out to ~1.6 per second. Scary statements like "OMG We have to make one every EIGHT MINUTES" are peanuts to large-scale industrial production: we make cars roughly 750 times faster than you're saying we'd need to build turbines.

      Wind towers every 375 feet for the whole length of the Atlantic Coastline and stacked 38 rows deep

      The aesthetic impact of that is the only part of your post that gives me any concern. The rest is perfectly doable.

    • by Ifni (545998) on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:51PM (#28432433) Homepage

      I don't necessarily consider this pricey or resource intensive when you realize that what is proposed in nothing short of replacing roughly 100 years of nationwide power generation infrastructure, from scratch, in 40 years. Attempting to do that, with any technology, is what is ridiculous (though nuclear might be up to the challenge, haven't seen the numbers). That and attempting to do it with energy generation limited exclusively to the east coast, introducing insurmountable (or at least unnecessarily difficult to surmount) obstacles to distribution. Oh, and essentially barricading the entire eastern seaboard. So, yeah, it's a bad idea, but not because it costs $10.4 trillion and requires 170,000 people for 40 years.

  • But... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:50PM (#28431665) Journal
    What will lubricate the turbine bearings?

    how will we paint the machines?

    how will be mine the materials that go into these things?

    how will we make the fiberglas?

    without oil?

    RS

    • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bemopolis (698691) on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:17PM (#28431997)
      You're right — it will be so much easier to build these windmills after we've used up all of the oil.
    • Re:But... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anaerin (905998) on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:36PM (#28432243)

      What will lubricate the turbine bearings?

      Polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE for short (AKA Teflon®).

      how will we paint the machines?

      Soy/Rapeseed(canola)/nut-based oil pigment paints

      how will be mine the materials that go into these things?

      Mine? Use electric power. Though you could also recycle! 10,000 drinks cans = 1 turbine nacelle (Note: Completely wild guess, but you get the idea)

      how will we make the fiberglas?

      Glass-Reinforced Soy-based plastics? Carbon Fibre?

      without oil?

      There are already solutions to all your problems.

  • kite (Score:3, Funny)

    by confused one (671304) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:54PM (#28431703)
    But, once they use up all the wind, how will I fly my kite?
  • The original article (Score:5, Informative)

    by siddesu (698447) on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:56PM (#28431727)

    In case someone's interested, it is available free here:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/06/19/0904101106.abstract [pnas.org]

  • by Bemopolis (698691) on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:12PM (#28431923)
    3300 square kilometers is 1275 square miles, not 2000.
  • What are "needs" ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:38PM (#28432265)

    It bothers me when people talk about our energy "needs", as though without some particular number of number of Watts, the world ends.

    Are they better considered our energy "wants at a given price point"?

    When I hear "need", but don't hear a "for what" part soon after, I get suspicious. Was the term "energy needs" a rhetorical device introduced by governments or energy suppliers to distract from the fact that we can live on varying amounts of energy consumption.

    • +1 for Efficiency (Score:4, Insightful)

      by turing_m (1030530) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @06:08AM (#28436589)

      When I hear "need", but don't hear a "for what" part soon after, I get suspicious. Was the term "energy needs" a rhetorical device introduced by governments or energy suppliers to distract from the fact that we can live on varying amounts of energy consumption.

      Exactly. Especially seeing as how most of our so-called "energy needs" can be eliminated using existing technology. Using 3 tonnes of vehicle with the drag coefficient of a barn door to transport one person to the grocery store is not a need. Heating your non-insulated house so that you can walk around in shorts and a t-shirt in winter is not a need.

  • by cenc (1310167) on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:45PM (#28432371) Homepage

    Geothermal does not have the pollution problem, does not have visual problem, the problem of messing with birds or whatever, and the latest technology allows them to drill geothermal wells in very low temperatures or dry wells by pumping water in to the earth, rather than needing to find a particular geothermal friendly area. Even if just limited to areas naturally conducive to geothermal, there is likly just as many areas in the World where geothermal can be built (if you include all the places you can not build wind turbines like the middle of a city). Best of all, it is 24 hours, always on energy using the same technology we already use for our oil based society (drills, turbines, etc). It is "shovel ready" and producing energy right now all over the World.

    Can anyone give me something that beats all of that in terms of energy to cost (including environmental)?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by aXis100 (690904)

      Geothermal is far friendlier than fossil fuels or nuclear, but it does have alot of downsides - Complex machinery and processes, high water usage, high maintenance on the wells. All of those have a pollution aspect to them. Plus it's still releasing extra heat to the environment.

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