The Windmill Report

November 8, 2007 | 10 Comments

With all the news involved in oil lately there are some really bright spots out there in energy production.  The stand out is the windmill industry.

Windmills have been around for centuries, but their heyday is just now coming.  Windmill electrical generation units are in production now in Europe, the US and China.  These factories are for any cursory check sold out for years.  This fact and the realization that more manufacturing plants are being set up means something large is in store for electrical power generation.

It wasn’t very long ago that windmills were considered a fringe idea for electrical power generation.  Times have sure changed with engineering and market conditions making significant differences to the economic considerations.  It’s likely though the US States that mandated alternative sources for power generation triggered the huge growth in the US.  That growth triggered even more engineering and has driven competition into becoming a factor.

But Europe has felt vulnerable for decades and windmill companies there were significantly ahead of the US companies.  India has a serious windmill engineering investment and the past decade has seen Indian companies gain a noticeable worldwide market footing.

These factors have brought together a momentum of capital, engineering and investment conditions that has a note worthy result.  It’s an easy calculation to see that the installed windmill base worldwide will by 2010 exceed 25% of the US peak electrical demand, which is about 800,000 Mwe.  Over a very few years, windmills will have totaled over 200,000 Mwe of added power generation.

This is a truly significant accomplishment.  But there is a future factor to keep in mind.  Just because the 2010-year will see a crossing of a significant milestone these people, the companies and the customers will see a drive to more economical installations and the installations should increase by year and truly revolutionize the electrical generation prospects for the future.

It has impacts even now. MarketWatch reports today that Rio Tinto, a global mining company is exploring the sale of its US coal subsidiary, the second largest US coal producer.  I suppose that will make the green/global-warming crowd rather joyful.  It certainly isn’t good news for the Peabody Energy Corporation, the largest US coal producer, who it looks to be getting it squarely on the chin soon.  This is not to say coal will be disappearing anytime soon, but the wind will take an ever larger role away from coal leaving coal and nuclear in more and more of a electrical load balancing position.  It takes much less coal to keep a boiler warm than to run it at full load.

These are only the large-scale effects.  The local government effect has taught both good lessons and bad.  Yes, mandates will affect markets. No, they do not always have a positive effect.  It is noticeable that there are differences among the states as to the rate and percentage of windmill growth.  Some fine-tuning would be in order.  The long-term rate impact to consumers is projected, but as any businessperson, accountant or taxpayer knows projections have a way of missing the mark, sometimes in a very large way.

The other affect is that more capital is coming in that offers more development for both larger and smaller installations.  The capital is funding the development of more business building and home sized windmills with aerodynamics that look much more pleasing than the helicopter on its side and installation costs much lower than any photovoltaic solution projected so far.

Plenty Magazine has an article up that looks into the smaller windmill products and the page has scattered company names throughout.  There is a lot here to look at.

So its real now with lots more to come.  With the US reported to be adding 63% more total windmill output in 2007 alone and no end in sight for new installations large and small the (peak oil) energy crises has one solution well underway.  As the total US electrical generating base grows the pressure for more home charging of cars will only increase.  That’s the likely next target – transportation fuels.  One has to wonder, what will we choose and will we get to choose before the politicians and auto company executives decide for us?


10 Comments so far

  1. Mary Myatt on March 3, 2008 9:55 PM

    I am very interested in investing in these windmills I was wondering if you can give me some information regarding this.

  2. ERIC WILLIAMS on October 16, 2008 7:40 AM

    I would like to invest in windmill energy. Send me some info on the product.

  3. angelica mcwright on November 3, 2009 10:11 AM


  4. M Uzair Ali on January 13, 2010 8:42 PM

    i hav made a wind mill in small platform and i want to consult my working with you so that i may get some usefull precautionary measurements
    & being Pakistani I want my country out of electricity trouble & perform this work on larger scale

  5. aspergers syndromes symptoms on November 8, 2010 6:51 AM

    Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

  6. PVC Fonster on December 16, 2010 7:45 AM

    Keep on going with those great posts. I hope to come back soon for more writing.

  7. leona on March 29, 2011 1:45 PM

    hi this is a useful site! But for my homework i have been told to find out about the affects on peoples lifes of windmills and the good causes of it. maybe u should include that thankyou

  8. sriravika on July 17, 2013 10:40 AM

    my school assignment it was a super comments

  9. ravika on July 17, 2013 10:44 AM

    my life is a school beautiminds.i like my teachers

  10. ac service west palm beach on July 18, 2013 4:43 PM

    Do you believe this will be something which college
    and universities may take a look at too? Sometimes I feel
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