GE’s ‘Brilliant’ Wind Turbines offer Cheaper Energy than Coal, Gas, & have Battery Storage

GE’s Brilliant wind turbines generate electricity more cheaply than coal or gas according to Clean Technica , and have battery storage for when the wind isn’t blowing:

Here’s a well-done video on the technology:

The Department of Energy issued a report in December finding that building out US wind power over the next two decades will actually be more affordable than continual reliance on coal and gas.

17 Responses

  1. So why not use this opportunity to call for immediate suspension of all subsidies for clean energy (and all other too)?

    • If it were truly universal, then we’d not only stop subsidizing fossil fuels, we’d also tax them for the actual economic cost of the damage of climate change.

    • people like you believe in an illusion of “free markets” … all markets are rigged by powerful interests and when we cut the hundreds of billions in subsidies to fossil fuels and force repatriation of the money Big Oil has hidden overseas so it can be taxed then we approach a more level playing field

  2. Renewable energy is a must. Making sense if used in decentralized, smart energy grids. Something which likely might not in GE‘s interest. Also, GE wind energy is just a tiny part of the GE multinational conglomerate.

    Sorry, Juan – this smells like greenwashing.

  3. This is well done, and interesting. But it’s not a documentary. It’s a promotional video by GE.

  4. My question is how much energy/resources does it take to build them. We have to start thinking of energy like a bank account. If we’re spending more (or breaking even) than we’re taking in, it’s a waste of time. Mining, production, transportation of all materials, maintenance and the inputs to maintenance efforts, installation expenditures, the green house gases involved in the TOTAL process, etc, etc. I see far too many agenda ridden “solutions”. Personally, if a business representative is talking, they’re lying. Well maybe They are selling which means presenting the very best picture possible. And we have far too many people accepting it all at face value.

    My read is right now we’re running around like the proverbial chicken with it’s head cut off in a wild effort to find a painless way to maintain our present lifestyle. And far as I can tell, it’s folks making a very, very good living doing the hyping. The rest of us are working our tails off to survive.

    • Net energy return -over the lifetime of the installation is something like thirty to one for wind. Maybe ten to one for solar. Energywise, at least its possible for a renewable powered economy to bootstrap themselves.
      Adding storage to windturbines or solar PV plants does make them play better with the electric grid. But note the total storage capacity proposed here is only 2minutes of the nameplate capacity output of the turbines. This sort of storage is meant to bridge power fluctuations with periods of twenty minutes or less. Enough time to allow the grid operator to make adjustments to slower reacting components of the grid -which would be some combination of demand and other sources which can be ramped up/down as grid stability demands. We are not talking about storing energy on windy/sunny days for use on calm/cloudy days.

    • That question has long since been settled. Both wind and solar are net reductions over time in carbon generation even with production considered. The right wing urban myth that wind turbines need natural gas supplements is ridiculous.

      Look at real-world examples of Denmark, Scotland.

      • Juan, I’m not sure what you mean about wind plus solar not needing natural gas supplements. In terms of covering for periods of low supply of wind/solar, they will need some sort of dispatchable backup. It will be quite a while before we have a combination of storage and demand response that is robust enough for a pure renewables grid. I don’t see that as a problem, we need to take one step at a time. The next step is a dramatic ramping up of the rate of deployment.

        CAL ISO is working to come up with an action plan, for grid stability with the 33 percent target. Its going to take a lot of hard work to get that to work. And much more for the steps after it.

        • No, I wasn’t talking about wind needing a baseline source of steady power. I was referring to a crazy conspiracy theory that all the turbines have natural gas installations on them that mean that they are not actually low-carbon. There are no such installations.

    • The Sahara can power Europe. But the grid has to be built and the venture capital has to be risked. Probably Europe has to come out of economic doldrums first.

      • I doubt the Sahara will power Europe, or even that that would be an optimal solution. Some solar imported from MENA would be beneficial, primarily because the weather in MENA isn’t very highly correlated with the weather in MENA. Most energy used by Europe will be generated more locally, and that reduces both real and perceived supply risk, as well as long distance transmission.

      • But has anyone asked the Arabs if they want to power Europe?
        Mavbe they would perfer to have losts of electricity for Egypt and Morocco and places in Between and if possible then Jordan and Syria and Lebanon and so forth and if there is any left after that Nigeria and Zaire and places to the south of the Sahara.
        The Sahara is a good reason that Europeans should be nice to Arabs rather than Americans. What can the USA offer Europe other than threats and problems? A good example for example?

        • Solar energy is not limited the way hydrocarbons are! Desertec would power Morocco as well as Europe. There is enough sunshine to go around.

        • Not to chase fine points, but as with sunshine, there may very well be enough food and water to go around, too. But all those Maslovian necessities are subject to the processes of “ownership and rent,” and manufactured shortages or simple grotesque accumulation so that a very few can sneer from their Dubaian towers at the starving rest of us.

          Folks kind of laugh at our modern mythology. All the apocalyptic/zombie/vampire stuff, and our wishful thinking about retribution through TV shows like “Dexter” and “Dark Blue” and stuff. But we’re moving into “Terminator” territory (see, current Detroit, and of course all that Autonomous Robot Technology stuff.) And “mastery” of biotechnology. And we’re setting the conditions for that endgame so nicely captured in “Soylent Green,” from the trashing of the planet to the terminal self-stimulation of the corporate elite.

          One hopes a new kind of spiritual wisdom, energy and strength will come to enough of us to do better than that. One hopes.

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