In a world that has been fossil fuel dependent for decades, many people and companies are finally realizing the financial, social, and environmental benefits of alternative energy and are going green. Alternative-energy is by no means a new idea. Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1921 "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect," and in his research he discovered how solar energy to be converted into electricity.
While solar power projects such as adhesive solar panels may be getting the majority of attention, wind power is being put to use for everything from converting salt water into drinking water to generating electricity. This concept of "going green" is so contagious that you might be surprised who decides to join the bandwagon.
Oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens decided to go green by investing in alternative energy. To start out, he’s already bought 667 1.5 megawatt wind turbines from GE and plans to put them in a massive stretch of land in Texas, which could quite possibly enable the wind farm to become the world’s largest, producing power to maintain 1.3 million homes.
Pickens’ project is scheduled to start construction in 2010, spanning the Texas counties of Roberts, Gray, Hemphill and Wheeler. The massive project would encompass 200,000 acres of land and the number of active turbines could be as high as 2,000. Some of the larger turbines will put out around 2.5 megawatts of power each. Keep in mind that that each megawatt can provide energy to 250 Texas homes as stated by American Wind Energy Association’s Susan Williams Sloan.
So why is the Pickens so interested in wind power? He believes wind power to be both stable and available. He states, "The Department of Energy came out with a study in April of '07 that said we could generate 20 percent of our electricity from wind. And the wind power is -- you know, it's clean, it's renewable. It's -- you know, it's everything you want. And it's a stable supply of energy."
What do the landowners have to say in the matter? Pickens' spokesman Mike Boswell says, "We have entered into a limited number of agreements with a limited number of landowners to put in some test towers." Boswell also states that the deal with the landowners should be finalized by the end of summer.
While it hasn't been built yet, Pickens financial expertise should get his wind farm off the ground and running. This project definitely looks like it's off to an interesting start. Will Pickens be as successful in the alternative energy industry as he was in the oil business? Only time will tell.
quote: Startup costs are of little concern to billionaires.
quote: We fill the energy gap by burning environMENTALists at the stake and driving steam turbines with the waste heat.
quote: i do though have issues with oil companies reporting record profits and still receiving subsidies and tax breaks.
quote: Billionaires can take tax payer money to help make more billions, but only if its not in oil?
quote: Then provide evidence that oil companies are getting an unfair tax advantage.
quote: windfall profits taxes just discourage domestic production and provide a benefit to oil importers.
quote: The oil companies specifically get huge tax huge tax windfalls, that's all the proof I need.
quote: However, on the whole I tend to agree. If the oil companies suddenly jack prices way up for no reason, then we talk windfall taxes.
quote: I would think nearly 100% of any new taxes on the oil/gas industry would go directly into raised prices. The actual dollar amount that each company makes would be relatively unaffected.
quote: Effective tax rate: 42.38%
quote: At present, the financial benefits of wind power are primarily the massive government subsidies that exist to underwrite it...subsidies that come out of the average taxpayers pocket, whether or not they realize it.