How Will Wind Power Your Car?

Yesterday I pointed to a story about T. Boone’s promotional spending on the “Pickens Plan.” Today a FrontBurnervian points us to Thomas Firey’s critique of Pickens’ claims, titled, if you couldn’t guess at an appropriate headline, “Pickens’ Hot Air.” Bottom line:

If anything, wind-powered generation seems better suited to replace some coal-fired “baseline” generation. But since coal isn’t a transportation fuel, this displacement wouldn’t reduce the nation’s dependence on oil – unless there’s a breakthrough in battery technology that would make electric cars more practical.


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28 responses to “How Will Wind Power Your Car?”

  1. SB says:

    Picken’s doesn’t plan to use wind power for transportation. In his plan, the wind power will replace the energy produced by natural gas. The natural gas would then be used as a transportation fuel, cutting our dependence on foreign oil for gasoline.

    I’m not taking a stand on either side, I’m just saying that’s what he’s stated as his plan so far.

  2. DKC says:

    Wind power will replace a substatial amount of both, coal and nat gas. Nat gas would then be freed to use as a transportation fuel. Really is pretty simple. Someone can always find a bone to pick

  3. kerry_okie says:

    Convert the coal to oil. Hell, Hitler did it 65 years ago.

  4. Wes Mantooth says:

    How about sails? Wind power for cars. Done and done.

  5. DKC says:

    Wick: What is it about Pickens or alternative energy or both that you have an issue with? You have to at least give the guy credit for doing something. Yes he will make a huge amount of money, but so what…more power to him.

  6. Duane says:

    There’s an article on MSNBC explaining exactly how all this relates. That is, Mr. Firey wants to read it….

  7. Brandon says:

    Firey’s critique was exactly my point in my comment on yesterday’s blogpost. I can see the chain effect SB is talking about, but are the transportation industries taking steps to develop more natural gas-powered vehicles?

  8. SB says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head, Brandon. How quickly would the automakers start mass producing natural gas-powered cars?

    Currently, there are eight million natural gas cars in the world, but only 140,000 are in the US.(

    And if car makers can start churning out these nat gas cars, how long will it take for nat gas filling stations to become abundant?

  9. genius says:

    couldn’t the wind generated around the car while it is driving be used to create the energy needed to propel it forward?

  10. Jennifer Warren says:

    For sure, getting nat gas-fueled cars and the fueling up infrastructure is a needed next step, with some car makers heading electric however, the plug ins. That said, when people demand an alternative to oil-refined petrol, car makers will eventually step up. I don’t know which comes first though.

    There are loads of cars in Europe that run off diesel and a fuel called GTL, gas-to-liquids; it’s a synthetic that’s based off natural gas. There are duel-fueled (flex fuel)cars in Brazil and Europe.Wonder why we are doing more of this…If we got Pickens and Chesapeake together we could have a great demand-pushing campaign.

    And yes, wind energy is supposed to displace some coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels.If climate change legislation with any teeth passes, then coal will become more expensive as a power source. Lotsa variables.

  11. monkey god says:

    I’m for wind power but I’m suprised that all the animal lovers aren’t on this blog screaming about all the birds and bats being killed.

  12. Josh Pearson says:

    There are some really good statistics and information on wind energy here (AWEA site) for anyone who cares.

  13. microdermer says:

    As an example:
    The Honda Civic GX (CNG-fueled) sold in California and NY has a fuel cost of approx. $1.50/25 miles. Honda has a wall-mounted refueling module that converts the natural gas coming into your house into useable fuel. 200/250 mile range on a full tank.

    BTW, we (USA) have at least a known 70 yr. supply of domestic natural gas (current usage rates). Probably not so much if we convert major segments of our transportation needs to this fuel source.

  14. ll says:

    There is no energy source on the horizon that has the ability to take the place of cheap oil. We need a radical shift and– not how to power cars differenty, but how to drive less and use the energy for mass transit. Right now the cheapest solution we have is the energy we don’t use. Europe runs a similar stardard of living on half the energy. Start there.

    I call it the:

    “Put on a sweater if you are cold, take it off if you are hot, use mass transit, isulate your smaller house, shop local” campaign

  15. Wes Mantooth says:

    Here’s a scary, scary thought. If Jimmy Carter was right about this crap in the last 70’s, how was he wrong about nearly everything else? Blind squirrel theory?

  16. DKC says:

    @II: Is Al Gore secretly lurking around the blog?

  17. SB says:

    @II – Strictly relying on conservation is not a feasible strategy. We have to find ways to produce more energy. If we were running out of food, would eating a little bit less each day be a viable solution? No, it would just mean we’d die a little bit slower.

  18. Josh Pearson says:

    And besides, anybody who has seen SB put away food at Texadelphia or Mama’s Daughters knows that eating conservatively is NOT an option…

  19. Brandon says:

    I’m not the greenest guy, but I’m all for mass transit if it’s convenient. Maybe it’s because I’m now a NYC transplant and I have strong faith in mass transit, but if you live and work close to the DART lines there’s no excuse for you to not use that form of transportation.

  20. SB says:

    Not to overshadow my accomplishments at Jack In The Box and Cowboy Chicken…

  21. SB says:

    @ Brandon: The problem is that the majority of major American cities weren’t built up based on their mass transit infrastructure (like NYC was). I agree with you that mass transit is a great solution, but it’s gonna take time for the great sprawling metros (Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, etc.) to retrofit themselves with enough mass transit options to make a sizeable impact.

  22. Peterk says:

    coal to oil was actually developed during the 1920s in Germany. many US company’s looked into using it as oil supplies were diminishing during that same time period. However the discovery of the East Texas giant in 1932 effectively ended development in the US. and yes Hitler did use it to advantage. But that didn’t stop the South Africans. read more here

  23. ll says:

    I didn’t say to stricly rely on conservation, but it can give us the breathing room to try and develop clean fuel alternatives.

    And in the face of nothing else currently on the ground– its about all we have right now that can make a difference. If we could power down to using half of what we use and still live well– hey, what does it hurt. And golly what woulde it hurt even if there was unlimited oil.

    We are in the deep water here and most us can’t swim — many don’t even know they are in the water.

  24. Jennifer Warren says:

    Utah has 91 CNG (compressed natural gas) filling stations; filling up costs $.63/gallon over CA’s $2.50. CA has more refuelling stations than Utah.And the Honda Civic GX mentioned above is avail in NY and CA, with UT maybe up next.

    Loads on this type info on URL:

  25. JB says:

    I’m wondering how much of this whole “energy crisis” is based on true fact or based more on the market and fear of the future. China and India are just 2 countries going from oxcart to automobile in the span of a decade. I have read where even when that happens there is enough oil for at least 100 years. But……. If I were working for or invested in an oil company now, there would be nothing better that an “enviromental energy crisis” to help justify a higher price for oil. I mean, I suppose if I were a big Saudi Arabian oil sheik, this whole “America is going Green” thing would scare me enough that I would tell all my Opec buddies to slow down production so I could get more money now. This in turn will make Americans want to go even more “Greener” and the cycle then perpetuates. I guess what I’m saying is that this current “crisis” really makes some strange bedfellows and these current and even worse conditions (i.e. high oil prices) really benefit the enviromental movement AND the Oil companies. I don’t see things changing for a long time. Unless…You have somebody with a ton of cash and gonadal metallurgy to create some brand new market outside the perpetuating circle.

    Queue T. Boone…..

  26. If there was a way to sell the energy created by the sun, everything we use that requires energy would be solar-powered.

  27. billy says:

    you have to sellf solar panels, don’t you? As much as you hate to admit it, austin, capitalism works…really, it does.