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    September 21, 2007

     Texan green capitalism

    If any gentle readers are unconvinced that wind energy is now economic, this report should clinch it. T. Boone Pickens has put together a consortium to build a 4GW wind farm in Texas at a cost of $10bn. Pickens, a peak oil believer, has been called many things during his long career as a robber baron, but not I think accused of green sentimentality.

    You can't generalise much from this to other windy prairie states. Texas has an implicit carbon tax through the successful effort by environmentalists to block construction of new coal-fired power stations, so raising the return from wind. A real carbon tax would have returned the rent to the people of Texas; an implicit one gives it to Pickens and other needy billionaires. But second-best beats no cigar.

    (Follow-up to previous post on Texan green socialism).

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