I love the wind plan, that is part of exactly what we need but the fact remains, though we would definitely benefit from a "manhattan wind project" as proposed, would the oil companies unfetter Washington to allow the actions that will be necessary in their industry to facilitate such a huge initiative? After all, though a great deal of the oil money is going outside the country a lot of it is fattening the US oil companies. I am glad that as a giant in the oil industry Pickens is making a stand on the importance of a shift but will all those other guys (particularly the foreign importers with big money lobbies in Washington) tow his line? A good analogy that we've seen played out in the last 10 years is how the music industry reacted to p2p sofware eroding the CD business. They resisted embracing the technology to make the best of it (ala licensing deals with sites such as Itunes, Rhapsody) to the very end, to this day still trying to defend an indefensible and obsolete business model. We can no doubt expect the oil companies (to be fair it will be done for fear of investor wrath) to drag their feet when faced with the prospect of a clean and infinitely renewable source of energy enacted on such a large scale that directly competes with their very profitable business.
I'd like to read more about how Pickens plans to spur action among his industry colleagues to take action to promote something that will certainly reduce profits over at least an extended short term of 5 - 10 years. Are their investors willing to eat that penalty and facilitate the change? It won't be easy.
A bit about the technology, in this post I mentioned the importance of funding further research in the area of electrical storage, I mentioned the need for a real current battery using superconductivity. Imagine the position our country would be in if after implementing a wind plan on the scale indicated in Pickens Plan we are able to fund more research (with the money we are saving instead of exporting to foreign countries) and actually are able to create efficient superconductors for such batteries. We would then be able to store nearly unlimited amounts of generated current and can use that in a non real time fashion domestically and for export. We would be instantly in a position to be the "Saudi Arabia" of wind in the exact same sense they are of oil...having both a production and export capability. As it stands generated electric power must be created and used in real time, it can't be stored on a massive offline scale and delivery requires an established infrastructure, SC current batteries could be shipped like refrigerators loaded with "juice". Given the advances (ceramic , high temperature SC) that have been made on the paltry funding of such research thus far, we could be in a position to deliver a one two punch to world wide energy needs by targeting just this area.
Something to think about.