Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Is Google Suffering from Alzheimer's in its Old Age?

Google's Wind Scam: Is Google the Scammer or the Scammed?

Google claims to be buying up to 30% of the energy used to power its servers from wind, in an effort to be seen as an environmentally conscious power consumer.
Google (GOOG) is stepping up wind-power purchases to reduce emissions, even as it devotes most of its renewable energy investments to sun-related projects, a trade-off aimed at reining in costs as the company seeks higher returns.

Google drew 30 percent of the energy it consumed last year from renewable sources, virtually all of it from wind, up from 19 percent a year earlier. Yet of the $917 million that the company has invested in renewable-energy projects, about two-thirds—or $622 million —is channeled toward solar.

Wind power is at least 50 percent cheaper than solar energy, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That explains why Google, which consumes 2.26 million megawatt-hours of electricity a year, mainly for data centers that run its billions of Web searches, increasingly prefers wind. _BusinessWeek
But regular readers of this blog understand that electrical power delivered to consumers cannot be sorted by utilities according its source. The power that Google buys could be generated by coal power plants, nuclear plants, natural gas plants, or even by covert power plants that burn torrefied human corpses for fuel. There is no way to know how Google's particular power is being generated.
Q: If a customer signs up for the CTCleanEnergyOptions, does that mean that clean energy is being delivered directly to that customer’s home or business?
A: No. The clean energy that is being generated is being delivered to the electric system and this will displace an equal amount of electricity that would have been generated from traditional sources, such as nuclear, coal, oil and natural gas-fired generating plants. Once in the system, the electricity from clean sources (like the electricity produced from any generator) follows the path of least resistance and, thus, cannot be delivered to a specific location (home or business). _CTCleanEnergyOptions Q&A
So is all of this posturing by Google a big public relations stunt, or does Google actually believe it is buying wind energy? Probably a little of both, depending upon who at Google you are asking the question of.

But even if Google could be sure it was buying wind power specifically, would that be a smart buy? Only from a public relations point of view, if targeted toward a particularly stupid public such as coastal dwellers of the US Pacific coast, the US Northeastern coast, or Vermont.

In fact, if one were to choose a specific source for his electrical power, one could hardly do worse than wind -- except perhaps for solar in an Antarctic July or an Arctic January. Wind is an intermittent power source which typically does not blow when it is needed, but generally blows when demand is low. This means that since power generation must be instantaneously matched with power load, excess generation must be "dumped," or wasted.

This is what Google is signing up for -- the growing waste of unneeded power, and a growing risk of insufficient supply of power when it is truly needed. That is the cost of frivolous intermittent energy producers such as big wind and big solar, and it is an issue which the frivolous people who tend to endorse and support big wind and big solar choose not to discuss.

Fortunately, people such as Matt Ridley are willing to discuss the issue. As are people such as Robert Bradley Jr., and K Hawkins. (Much more from Master Resource)

And here is something that the people at Google -- the ones not suffering from terminal dementia -- should be sure to study.

Big wind is a delusion. The issue of big wind energy has been in the public eye long enough for intelligent and aware persons to look at it critically, without being influenced by the feel-good herd vibrations of green dominated media, politicians, academics, and big money lobbies.

Google is supposed to be a cutting-edge technology company, with clear-thinking leaders and planners. So what happened to Google? Does anyone know?



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