Japanese breakthrough may make wind power cheaper than nuclear

by steve on January 3, 2013

Imagine: no more dirty coal power, no more mining deaths, no more nuclear disasters, no more polluted aquifers as a result of fracking. Our entire society powered by the quiet “woosh” of a wind turbine. Kyushu University’s wind lens turbine is one example of the many innovations happening right now that could in the near future make this utopian vision a reality.

A surprising aerodynamic innovation in wind turbine design  the ‘wind lens’ could triple the output of a typical wind turbine, making it less costly than nuclear power.

 Yes, it’s a heck of a lot of wind turbines (about 2,640,000) but the U.S. & Canada with our endless miles of prairie and agricultural land are some of the few nations that could actually deploy such a network of wind turbines without disrupting the current productivity of the land (Russia and China also come to mind). It would also be a win-win for  provinces and states in the highest wind areas — all across Canada from British Columbia to Nova Scotia,   as well as the US Midwest.   And think of the millions upon millions of jobs that would be created building a 21st century energy distribution system free of the shackles of ever-diminishing fossil fuel supplies.
It’s also important to point out that growth in wind power capacity is perfectly symbiotic with projected growth in electric vehicles. EV battery packs can soak up wind power produced during the night, helping to equalize the curve of daytime energy demand. So the controversial investment currently being entertained by President Obama, and pushed by the Harper Government, to pipe oil down from the Canadian Tar Sands would become a moot point.
It is indeed a lofty vision, but the technology we need is now in our reach. And think of the benefits of having our power production fed by a resource that is both free and unlimited. One downside often cited by advocates of coal and gas power is that wind turbines require a lot more maintenence than a typical coal or gas power plant. But in a lagging economy this might just be wind power’s biggest upside — it will create lots and lots of permanent jobs, sparking a new cycle of economic growth in Canada & the US.  Call your politicians let’s move forward! JOIN 350.org!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: