Storing wind energy in a bottle

  • Article by: HILARY BRUECK , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 4, 2008 - 5:36 PM
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  • Comments

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eroethkeMay. 4, 08 5:17 PM

I think you mean "Storing." The article is interesting, and would have been even better if there had been some analysis of the cost of the battery's impact on electrical costs.

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TK1May. 4, 08 6:22 PM

My dad is from South Dakota, back in the 30's they had wind mills for power and batteries in the basements so they were self efficient. Until the power companies had them disconnect and join the grid.

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bergweedMay. 4, 08 7:19 PM

As a result of the sky rocketing energy costs, the long dormant drive to invest and invent solutions emerges. Reasonably priced, efficient methods of storing energy are the new holy grail in technology. We are only a break-through away from thumbing our nose at OPEC.

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jilljoeMay. 4, 08 7:23 PM

wind power is a good thing and should be exploited as much as is economically possible but i am sick and tired of hearing about the food shortage being due to ethanol production. There are so many other factors at play such as drought or violent storms or even the fact that China has decided to join the twenty fist century by becoming an industrialized nation. Floods, early frost, global warming they all play a factor yet the only blame for the shortage falls on the ethanol companies who are employing rural America and taking cash out of the oil pockets, now who do you really think started blaming ethanol for the shortage. It all comes down to supply and demand, if there is a demand for more grain then the farmers will catch up at full production America alone could feed the worlds hungry.

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HedgamesMay. 4, 08 7:42 PM

As a casually interested lay person, I liked the depth to this article. It gave me much more information than I am used to reading in the newspaper but didn't bore me with more detail than necessary. It would be wonderful to see more of this quality of reporting!

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drschollMay. 4, 0811:27 PM

Congrats Strib, I almost didn't notice another accusation of ethanol starving the poor hidden in an article about windmills.

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Loon03May. 5, 0812:09 AM

The best non fiction book I have read in more than twenty years is George Monbiot's "Heat". It is no nonsense book about solutions that work and those that don't. Outstanding for cutting through all the green and not green garbage and just getting to the facts. By the way, he likes large scale wind power but is very down on home centered wind power.

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wchamberlinMay. 5, 08 1:41 AM

If this non-profit Midwest ISO has a monopoly on adding new wind sources and they have a seven year backlog, shouldn't someone have mandated long ago that they add personnel? How about helping the environment and unemployment at the same time? On a brighter note, it seems as though we are not too far from finding - if not the single silver bullet - at least a combination of energy sources to cut down on or eliminate this dependence on oil, which would be a great thing. I saw an article recently about putting solar installations in the desert - no, not photocells, but just simple huge mirrors which drive steam turbines - which said that that - albeit low-tech - is also a possibility given the current price of oil. Anyway, even if the price of oil takes a temporary dip, I hope that we continue to implement alternative solutions.

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skee0025May. 5, 08 4:06 AM

Too bad its decades away from being useful. Am I advocating that we stop development, No. But we need to get realistic about our energy sources. Solar energy has made great strides but it is still many years off from being a viable energy source and Wind is decades behind Solar. Wind is inefficient, unreliable, cost ineffective and land intensive. Face it we have 2 real options; nuclear and coal.

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skee0025May. 5, 08 4:45 AM

Our energy needs will only continue to grow along with the population. We know we are going to be needing new power plants, so we need to make a choice and get construction started. The longer we wait the bigger the problem is going to be. No matter which choice is made (nuclear/coal) we know that there are going to be legal challenges to construction. Rough estimate by my guess, 3-4 years to chose type/locations tack on 3 to 4 more years for legal challenges and then 2 to 3 more years in construction to bring new plants online. So we are looking at about a Decade from inception to completion and we are still wasting time arguing about non-viable renewable sources. By all means continue research and the sooner we can get these sources cost effective and reliable the better, but until then lets get on with the business of powering our nation.

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