The solutions needed for wind mill blades may be found in nature. Maybe we should study birds and see how their wind structures are evolved to adapt to certain conditions and apply these principles to turbine blade design.
I think we should demand that all levels of government look at geothermal heat pumps as the main and preferred source of heating and cooling for all houses and buildings. This combined with sound insulation practices, solar panels and ever evolving battery technology could remove heating and AC from the grid altogether.
Nega-watts are always better than Mega-watts any day.
The new swimming pool in my community has an energy form of a different mix. Geothermal and waste heat from the nearby hockey stadium are used to heat both the pool,gym and public centre while the new structure also collects rain water for use in the toilets.
Sports complexes when planned as multi use facilities can seriously reduce the amount of energy used as compared to when built as stand alone structures.
Ideally we could compare Hydrogen production with other energy production forms. Even at %40 efficiency we are not far off from the tar sands which produce at about 1 barrel of oil to refine it into a marketable product for every 3 barrels actually produced. Remember that the CO2 emissions from renewable energy production and storage are zero whereas the Tar Sands in Alberta (and Bakken shale deposits also) are probable greater than coal.
Myself I would favour using existing hydro facilities and pumped storage as well as another type of storage that utilizes "holes" in the water or pumped storage in reverse to store excess electricity production. This is pegged at about %70 efiiciency.
You should include in that list a group called Ethical Oil disguised as a promoter of the Tar Sands instead of imported Mid East oil. Their aim is the same. To promote oil development and use above all else.
I think rather than refueling stations we should be concentrating on storage exchange stations. A driver would simply exchange the empty storage container for a filled one. This would eliminate the need for expensive infrastructure such as pipelines and could use the already available electrical grid to produce the hydrogen from excess renewable energy with filling stations strategically located for safety, transport and access.
Dennis: I like your way of thinking. Efficiency and conservation should and must take precedent over all other developments. This is the only way renewables will overtake fossil fuel based energy systems.
Excellent article. I would have hoped that the author would have commented on Flow Batteries and the recent development from Harvard researchers regarding the use of quinones, an inexpensive and environmentally sound chemical that makes the storage of large amounts of electricity possible.
Peter: The use of abandoned mines located at sea level could also be used for hydro storage. The idea is to install low head-reversible pump generators just below sea level in a mine. The mine is flooded through the generator feed stock pipe with sea water thus generating electricity. To store electricity the generators are reversed pumping water out of the mine and into the surrounding ocean. The beauty of this system is that the water level or head at the generator will be constant since the ocean level doesn't change a great deal. There are quite a few abandoned mines along the eastern seaboard of NA which can be used for this type of operation and the "hole" created by the mine is already available reducing the costs considerably. Just think of the irony. Abandoned coal mines used to store electricity from renewables.
Peter: BTW here is a link to a proposal the government of Belgium has for storing wind generated electricity. You may find it interesting.