Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wind, yet again

Wind was again in the news this week. Some perspective:

1. Three sites off the coast of Maine have now been chosen for the testing of wind-turbine platforms in deep water, the first in the US, including one a few miles from Monhegan. (Monhegan's famous artists George Bellows and Edward Hopper might enjoy such a beast, Jamie Wyeth and Rockwell Kent perhaps not). Norway already has a deep-sea turbine in place.

2. Turbines in southern Maine are not producing nearly as much electricity as hoped. (Sites on undeveloped rural hilltops, and presumably the open ocean, apparently will be fine.)

3. Maine recently installed its 100th turbine. (California has 14,000.)

There was a report on NPR's Marketplace a week or so ago on Japan's efforts to conserve energy since the oil crisis of 1973-1974.

1. 40% of "green" patents are now held by Japan.

2. All Japanese companies must become at least 1% more energy efficient each year, and must have at least one employee overseeing the effort.

3. Every new appliance model must be at least as energy efficient as the latest release from a competitor.

The average Japanese now uses about half as much energy as the average American.

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