When the oil moguls start talking seriously about getting away from oil in favor of wind power, even the most hardened cynic might consider reassessing their views on issues such as Peak Oil and global warming.
Earlier this year, The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell; circulated a memo recognizing peak oil is upon us; but more recently, T. Boone Pickens; who made his billions from oil, is now heavily backing renewable energy sources like wind power in an effort to get away (to a degree) from the black stuff.
Pickens believes that the USA’s “wind corridor,” which runs from the Canadian border to West Texas, could provide a whopping 20 percent or more of the nation’s electricity needs.
It’s not just talk, his company Mesa Power is sinking $2 billion for starters in a multi-billion dollar project to construct the world’s largest wind farm in Texas.
Picken’s is no environmentalist (and I admire his honesty on that point), but he sees this as a way of decreasing dependency on foreign oil – while making a ton of cash for himself, investors and shareholders aso I guess :). That’s business.
“The Pickens Plan” also recommends switching from oil to natural gas as a transportation fuel. We had a vehicle converted to LPG (AutoGas) a couple of years back and certainly haven’t regretted it. While it’s still a fossil fuel, it’s cheaper and there’s less emissions involved.
While the plan does featur natural gas as an important component, I do see this as another step away from fossil fuel dependence, be it imported or otherwise – and that’s a good thing.
The other encouraging aspect is that businessmen of this power and.. er, caliber; waking up to the fact that “green” is good business and there’s a bundle of money to be made from a more sustainable approach to addressing energy needs.
While it’s not an altruistic approach in regards to humanity; T. Boone Pickens will have other fat cats sitting up, taking notice and seeing dollar signs – their primary motivator.
These initial steps will (hopefully) evolve into what I believe is the commerce of the future – one that has the environment as a centerpiece, rather than the victim. Our planet, or should I say; a continued reasonably comfortable existence for our species on this planet, depends upon it happening.