Oceans of Wind Power:
Converting wind to useful power
This company is going to take the winds over the oceans, and convert their kinetic energy into electrical power. This energy is ultimately derived from the same source as all other energy sources — the sun — and therefore it is an inexhaustible source. It is not stored solar energy like coal or oil, or even uranium which are ultimately limited, and polluting. The wind is a source of energy which will last as long as the sun shines, because the wind is created by the difference of solar heat falling on the equator, and the poles. The astronomers say the sun will shine for another four billion years.
The problem this wind energy system will solve is humanity’s need for truly massive amounts of permanent, reliable, clean energy.
The market for this huge, and untapped supply of energy which can be used by everyone forevermore is ultimately as big as any market can ever be. The first, and easiest marketplace for this energy to be sold is anywhere where energy can be inserted into any electrical energy grid.
The way money is earned is by the sale of the energy directly into the current energy grid, and secondly by manufacturing energy-consuming products which can be created using the power. Such high energy users as refining aluminum or smelting iron. Or in the special case of Google it would be information server farms.
The amount of money that is required for initial construction is a few million dollars. This is needed to acquire the relatively expensive, but required auxiliary components like ships to make the new but inexpensive primary components like kites, and other things function smoothly together. But then billions of dollars will be needed to ramp up as quickly as possible to stake out international claims to the best ocean areas. For initial research, and development there will be needed – 1 maintenance ship, 3 battery barges, 1 power-generating barge, kites and “propellers”, and occasionally a ship to the tow battery barges to and from a port with an electrical grid.
An exit strategy for the investors is to never get out because this source of income will last as long as the sun shines, and the wind blows. An exit strategy for an unforeseen failure is fairly straightforward because almost all of the physical components are made of large, and otherwise useful items such as (standard ships, standard ocean going barges, large self contained batteries), and all of them can be purchased used, and resold used at near their market value of the original purchase price. The various salaries, and administrative costs of the original founders could be largely paid for with negotiable stocks, and options. Thus, the risks to the original investors would be greatly reduced, and considering the possible returns to be the largest of anything ever made by man—quite modest.
The energy created can be sold directly for income through existing power grids from the first month after first being put to sea. It can be sold anywhere there is an existing power grid near the shore, but it may be most economical near to water where ships could off load the stored energy. Money could be returning almost immediately, and amortization costs should not be unknowable even during the experimental stages because most of the equipment is relatively simple mechanical off the shelf items.
The technology risks are not very substantial because most of the new technology is mechanical, and the electronic parts are primarily monitoring devices not essential to basic operations. For best use, and to avoid serious storms there will be a dependence upon good three day weather forecasting so the barges could be moved out of harms way. These weather forecasts are already available.
The biggest market risk is having prime locations being taken over by power starved foreign governments, especially China, because the power acquiring devices will be on the high seas, and presently there are no property rights on the high seas for wind on this huge scale. There are vast areas where presently there are zero people, but once these proposed devices are available those same locations will become some of the prime real estate locations on the planet.
The biggest execution risks are having the devices observed in the development stage, and keeping the most effective and efficient devices secret while they can be ramped up to a massive scale, patents secured and agreements made.
There are many basic patents which may be made because this is a new technology, but because this is such an important, and long lived project the patents will not be as important as staking out effective oceanic real estate claims early on.
Eventually, say twenty years from now when liquid fossil fuels are even nearer exhaustion, and becoming unacceptably expensive, and their pollution problems are rendering them absolutely unacceptable, then wind power, derived ultimately from the sun’s power will become the prime mover of human energy needs. That energy is available now, and the method herein proposed is how to harvest that energy for the next thousands of years.
Some problems, and spins.
This method of energy creation can be inserted directly into the existing energy supply systems in many different ways, but they will not require many of the users or suppliers to change their current behaviors except at the exact points of purchase.
Environmentalists should welcome this method of energy creation because it eliminates direct atmospheric pollution from fossil fuels. But, they are a contentious lot and will without doubt find problems. However, if these devices are properly placed on the oceans they will offer some controls over global pollution, and global warming because they ultimately derive there energy from the heat that is being transferred from the equator towards the poles where global warming is presently melting the ice caps. This is a win, win, win situation because humanity gets to use the power for its own purposes. That heat energy is currently being lost to human use, and is melting the ice which will flood the worlds lowlands. And not only does this method not create CO2, but some of the excess power when available could be used for sequestering CO2 by refining it out of the air and putting it into a less destructive form.
The entire system of energy collectors are modular therefore once a single reasonably efficient system is perfected it can be ramped up, and eventually supply everyone on the planet. I have also created a system for use over land and it can be done more cheaply for gigawatt size plants, but the greatest amount, and most reliable power is over the oceans, and that ocean system will not be much more difficult to develop than a land based system, and it can be scaled up much more easily to absolutely massive proportions.
All of the power used by humanity is ultimately derived from the sun, but most of the current usage is derived from limited supply of stored solar energy in the form of coal, oil, and uranium. Those are one use resources, and are inevitably going to be exhausted, but there use will probably pollute the planet before the are exhausted. Solar energy in the form of sunlight is naturally converted to wind energy, and that energy can easily be converted to power for human consumption.