A recent study by Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford.
Jacobson has conducted the first quantitative, scientific evaluation of the proposed, major, energy-related solutions by assessing not only their potential for delivering energy for electricity and vehicles, but also their impacts on global warming, human health, energy security, water supply, space requirements, wildlife, water pollution, reliability and sustainability. His findings indicate that the options that are getting the most attention are between 25 to 1,000 times more polluting than the best available options.
Energy and vehicle options, from best to worst, according to Jacobson’s calculations:
Best to worst electric power sources:
concentrated solar power (CSP)
solar photovoltaics (PV)
a tie between nuclear power and coal with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).
I am a big proponent of vertical axis wind turbines. I believe they have more real world uses than, their ‘bigger is better’ horizontal cousins. Across the windy plains of the Dakotas, or Texas, the large turbines will work fine. When you have acres and acres of land that can be dedicated to generating electricity, or where farmers can lease their land, these behemoths make sense. But what about the rest of us ? What about the more than 70% of us that live in and around towns, and cities? We have neighbors, we have limited space and we have costs to consider. I think vertical will be the only way to go.
This company has made substantial progress in the market place for both wind farms, commercial and residential installations. Helix Wind, www.helixwind.com . Unlike my previous posts on early entrants into the vertical wind market, see http://mygreensuit.com/2007/09/10/vertical-wind-turbine/ . Helix has built products that are quiet, efficient, and look good. I could see this is a back yard, knowing that it was producing energy and helping our environment.
See their video
Look for costs to continue to come down, as lower cost materials are used and mass production starts. Believe it or not the height required for most of these units in a residential setting, is 30 feet above the tallest trees in your surrounding area. Clearly, many people could get away with a simple, lower cost installation and start going green.