Source: October 24, 2008 issue of The Week magazine, page 13
"The Department of Energy predicts wind power could produce as much as 20 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030. Last summer, Iberdrola, the Spanish energy giant that owns wind farms in New York, announced it would invest another $2 billion to build more turbines in the U.S. It's doubtful, though, that significant additional power can be delivered to consumers without an ambitious expansion of transmission lines. Such a buildout will undeniably be expensive. But in the context of soaring energy costs, including a $700 billion annual tab for foreign oil alone, making accommodations for wind power may begin to look like a bargain."
The Pickens plan
"No one better exemplifies the shifting landscape of the energy economy than 80-year-old Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens. The former oil wildcatter is planning the largest wind farm in the world on 150,000 acres in the Texas Panhandle. His $10 billion project should be capable of producing 4,000 megawatts, enough to power nearly 1 million homes. 'I have the same feelings about wind,' Pickens says, 'as I had about the best oil field I ever found.' His 'Pickens Plan,' which he has advertised heavily on national television, calls for transforming the U.S. into 'the Saudi Arabia of wind power.' with wind turbines stretching across Texas and the Great Plains and a $200 billion investment in transmission lines to carry the power to load centers. Pickens also advocates a transition to natural-gas-powered automobiles. Pickens cites the the declining productivity of his oil wells as a key impetus for his new crusade. 'I like wind because it's renewable and clean,' he says. 'Decline curves finally wore me out in the oil business.'