Pickens revises his plan, gives up on wind?

March 4, 2010


In case you thought that after all the setbacks, T. Boone Pickens was giving up, he's reminding us that he's still around and he still has a plan (albeit a different one) to free America of its dependence on oil.

In a recent interview with the Houston Chronicle, Pickens outlined revisions to his original plan that was big on wind power and natural gas-powered cars.  To sum it up in five words:  less wind, more natural gas. 

Here are his main points:

  • Natural gas prices have fallen 70 percent in the last year making it more attractive than wind financially.
  • He's still committed to wind energy, but thinks even if we add wind power, we'll need natural gas to act as a back up until there's better power storage.
  • Discovery of more natural gas shales has lead him to believe that now is the time to amp up its use in generating electricity and converting 18-wheelers to run on it.  Doing so would decrease oil demand by 2.5 million barrels a day.
  • He believes Congress will pass an energy plan by Memorial Day, hopefully including the Natural Gas Act that would support converting trucks and fleet vehicles to the fuel.

I agree that power storage is a huge hurdle wind and other renewables have to overcome if we want to start replacing fossil fuels with clean energy, and until we get there, having natural gas fill in those gaps isn't a bad idea, but I am disappointed that he's lost the huge enthusiasm he once had for wind energy. 

It was nice having an ex-oil tycoon dreaming big about wind.

via Houston Chronicle


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