Argument: Wind energy production is often too far from demand

Issue Report: Pickens US energy plan

Issue Report: Wind energy


Mark Landler. “Sweden Turns to a Promising Power Source, With Flaws”. New York Times. November 23, 2007 – to capture the best breezes, wind farms are often built far from where the demand for electricity is highest. The power they generate must then be carried over long distances on high-voltage lines, which in Germany and other countries are strained and prone to breakdowns.

In the United States, one of the areas most suited for wind turbines is the central part of the country, stretching from Texas through the northern Great Plains — far from the coastal population centers that need the most electricity.

“Pickens Plan Leaves U.S. Energy Security Blowing in the Wind”. Institute for Energy Research. 11 Jul. 2008 – Unfortunately, energy consumers can’t tell the wind to blow more when they need more electricity. Typically, the winds blow most consistently in the morning when electricity demand is low, and less during the afternoon when electricity demand is high. The hottest days are the days without wind, leaving the peak load to be met by conventional energies. Reliable operation of the electricity grid requires generation that can be turned on and off the “flip of a switch.” Wind power cannot provide this flexibility.