Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

The G.O.R.E. Project: The Race to Build the Biggest Wind Farm

BusinessWeek’s Green Business section has a post from Adam Aston detailing the new race to build the nation’s largest wind farm—and the leading contender is…an oil man! From the article:
UK-based New Energy Finance released a note today summarizing some news in the wind market that really blew my mind. In fairly short order, the US has become home to the largest wind farms in the world. The title today is held by Texas’ Horse Hollow wind farm with 291 turbines and 735MW of capacity. The way things are going, that’s going to look meager in a few years. Oil-billionaire and newly minted green evangelist T. Boone Pickens (father of the Pickens Plan) is proceeding with a 4,000MW project in the Texas panhandle. Last week, an even bigger project stole Picken’s thunder: BP Alternative Energy and Clipper Windpower, a turbine maker, announced a project to treble their Rolling Thunder project in South Dakota to over 5,000MW. The project would involve some 2,000 turbines.
It’s great to see that wind is now being taken seriously. The technology has been around long enough and matured to a point that it is now being seen as proven in the eyes of big-money energy investors. I’m also glad to see such initiatives taking root in the heart of Oil Country. The only problem I see with giant wind farms is that they do little to help decentralize our energy production. This means that electricity created in southern Texas will need to travel hundreds—if not thousands—of miles over inefficient energy lines before it reaches its point of use. This could mean that a large portion of the electricity generated could be lost to system inefficiencies. The solution is community wind projects, if possible. Or even a wind tower for every home (which we’ll cover for The GORE Project soon). SkyStream seems to be the leading manufacturer of residentially-sized wind turbines. [Worth noting: a home wind turbine could just as easily be integrated into MIT’s ground-breaking energy storage system as photovoltaic panels—allowing the production of electricity when the wind isn’t blowing.] How SkyStream Works SkyStream in Action

The 5 Rules of Lean Thinking

Are you ready to co-create the future? These 5 Rules of Lean Thinking are a useful tool as we set out to collectively invent a post-market future.Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That […] Read More

Imagination, Purpose & Flexibility: Creating an Independent Farmstead – Q&A (part 1)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More

Using Permaculture Principles to Design Resilient Cities

The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods, and even cultures.Author Toby Hemenway (Gaia’s Garden) lays out how permaculture design can help towndwellers solve the challenges of meeting our needs […] Read More

Overshoot, Collapse, and Creating a Better Future

In 2016, Earth Overshoot Day happened on August 8—the day when we’ve exhausted the planet’s resources for the year, and are essentially borrowing from future years to maintain our existence today.Perhaps you celebrated this day with a counter-solution: a vegetarian meal, telecommuted, or turned off the air conditioning. There’s a lot more you could be […] Read More

Save Energy & Money This Winter: Seal Up Your Drafty House

Unless you’ve taken special preventative precautions, it’s likely that on cold days much of your house’s heat pours out through your (closed) windows. Most houses—especially old houses—have drafty, uninsulated windows that do little to prevent heat from dumping out into the cold night. Even if your windows aren’t drafty, the expensive heat your furnace has […] Read More
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