Kathryn Siranosian published a blog entry about Hurricane Rick and she got me to thinking. While I believe it should be named Himmicane Rick and that has nothing to do with this article, hurricanes could be good for the energy business.
You may ask, “How so, Fred? Don’t you remember Hurricane Katrina and the oil shortage and price increases?” Yes I do and the loss to the oil supply was not even measurable as the oil companies knew it was coming and shut down the oil rig platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and secured the wells to reduce or even eliminate seepage.
The gasoline prices rose temporarily in response to speculators who expected the shortages and tried to make some money on it. They lost as oil production resumed as normal a day after the hurricane left.
Now, as we all know, most herricanes are full of vitriolic, rancorous, and malicious anger, and are seemingly dedicated to the destruction of anyone or anything that gets in their way. After a couple of unsuccessful marriages, I thought about trying to harness this power for the good of mankind, rather than its obliteration.
Kathryn states “Maximum sustained winds remain near 180 mph, with higher gusts. While fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next 24 hours, Rick is expected to remain an extremely dangerous hurricane for the next day or two.”
WOW! Just think of the electricity that could be generated by windmill farms based in the areas that hurricanes inhabit. Just think of hundreds or even tens of thousands of windmills churning out megawatts of power with 180 mile per hour winds.
In fact, they do not need to be based there all year around. Take them into dry-dock for maintenance during the off-season and tow them back to sea just before the start of the hurricane season.
Let’s see, how could we harness the hurricane even better? AHA! I remember several episodes on the Deadliest Catch on the Discovery channel and the crab boats with their crabby captains (we now know that crabs got their name from the captains of the boats that fish for them) fighting for their lives during a hurricane on the Bering Sea.
In Part 2, I will provide even more methods of capturing hurricanes and harnessing their power.