America's midwest corridor has been called the "Saudi Arabia of Wind," and energy legend T. Boone Pickens has invested heavily in wind energy.
In the short video below, Pickens tells Motley Fool contributor Jason Hall about the economics of wind energy, and how renewables fit with traditional energy from gas, nuclear, and coal. Check out the video, or the transcript below.
Hall: Let's shift gears and talk a little bit about wind energy. You and I spoke earlier about how Berkshire Hathaway's MidAmerican Energy has invested a tremendous amount over the past couple of years, in adding to their wind.
You were really an early proponent of wind energy in the United States. Do you want to share a little bit more about your vision for wind, and how you see that continuing to play out?
Pickens: Wind will work. But it's priced off the margin, the power generated from wind turbines. The margin is natural gas. Natural gas at $6, you can do wind. But natural gas at $4, it's very, very hard to do. You're going to have to then subsidize to make it happen. If you want to do that, so be it.
The Germans have more coverage of wind turbines, and their country has more, than any other country. Why? Because it's a national security issue with them. We don't have that same issue. They subsidize to get wind power because they don't want to be so dependent on Russia for natural gas. They have a history with Russia that goes back to World War II. They just don't trust the Russians, so they pay, subsidize, and have wind energy.
Does it work? Of course it works. But it's expensive. Here, we do not have the same dynamics.
Hall: Because of the resources that we have.
Pickens: We've got the best wind in the world, from Sweetwater, Texas to the Canadian border. That corridor, you can put all the wind in there you want to put in there.
Hall: I've heard it referred to as the "Saudi Arabia of wind energy" before.
Pickens: Yes, that's exactly what you have. It's a huge resource, and you can't wear it out. It's there continually, it doesn't decline. But we also know the wind doesn't blow every day, so for power generation you have to baseload with either coal, natural gas, or nuclear.
All of that works, and we should use all of our resources in America.
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