National Review Online suggests MIT may have found the “holy grail” of solar energy – a process which permits it to be stored.
The brief source article at Energy Matters claims that MIT researchers may have perfected a process which “takes many of the advantages of solar-thermal energy, but stores the heat in the form of a fuel. It’s reversible, and it’s stable over a long term. You can use it where you want, on demand.”
Yes, I know it’s early to jump to conclusions, but the thought did occur to me that, if this storage technology were to become commercially viable for the benefit of solar energy, industrial wind might end up on the pile of such other obsolete items as 8-track tape players and typewriters, quicker than you can say … well … unreliable!
You see, the key phrase in the Energy Matters post is, “you can use it (the stored energy) where you want, on demand!” The 747 size erector sets instead must wait for Mother Nature to cooperate with a breeze. Too little and too little or no electricity. Too much and the turbines must be shut down. If it is the optimum speed yet comes when not needed, it cannot be stored. In fact, it is even suggested that after “the $800 million paid for wind power by Ontario consumers all went to the US. It was either given away in the form of Zero Cost Power, Low Cost Power, or we (Canadian rate payers) paid US customers to take it off our hands when the surplus was too great.”
You probably recall how silly we thought it was to pay wind farms not to produce.
Of course, wind supporters will screech – what about hydro storage and batteries of the future and, and, and, and … c’mon, if you would just give us bigger subsidies we could figure a way to …!
Face it folks! – Wind Won’t Work!
It will be interesting to follow this innovation as it develops. I suspect the wind lobby will be watching!