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Submitted by Chad Charles on
The high number (6-10 US cents/kWh) used by Heal must be commercial wind (100kW capacity machines and above) at the low end and residential. Since commercial installations dominate, and will continue to dominate trends, 6-7 cents/kWh can be used instead. It would be well to also put "transmission costs" into perspective. The need to milk the high wind areas of the central USA is overstated. Turbines are available with slightly larger swept areas for taking full advantage of lower wind speeds nearer to existing grid coverage and points of electrical use. The current Indiana wind farm boom is an example. The need for massive expansion of existing transmission lines is only necessary when planning and regulation fail speedy and economical integration. Finally, storage in the form of hydrogen does not have to wait for fuel cell technology to rapidly become a part of the solution. Hydrogen won from electrolysis can be added to natural gas up to 20%, supplementing a huge portion of a non-renewable resource. In addition, the natural gas / hydrogen mix has lends to a disproportional and desired reduction in SO2 and NO2 emissions. Further aspects entail the use of hydrogen as feedstock to displace oil in the petrochemical industry. The above mentioned uses for hydrogen would give it the foot-in the-door needed to ramp up production infrastructure.