One of the toughest sells for contractors is the upfront costs of a new HVACR system, regardless of how quick the energy efficiency or environmental preservation paybacks might be.

So one has to wonder if authors Mark Jacobson and Cristina Archer had any upfront costs in mind when they wrote a study that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As reported by USA Today, the study contended that wind power “could easily satisfy the global human energy demand.”

According to the story, “The scientists used a computer weather model to show that there is enough (wind) to exceed the total demand by several times.”

To harness this power, the authors said wind turbines would be needed. About 4 million turbines each 328 feet (100 meters) high would be enough to “provide more than half the world’s power demand.”

So, I guess that means we would need 8 million to do the entire job. And did I mention that, according to the authors, one-half of the turbines would be on land — and one-half in oceans?

According to the online publication, “Most of the commercial-scale turbines installed today are 2 MW in size and cost roughly $3.5 million installed.”

So take that basic number, multiply it out, add on who knows how much more to do turbines in the ocean — and you have to wonder why a potential customer would fuss over a new HVACR system that saves money from power probably generated by the burning of coal and a system not leaking any global warming refrigerants.

Maybe a good reply to a fussy customer would be, “Have you thought about running your aging, energy-inefficient unit with a wind turbine? I’m sure the firm of Jacobson & Archer would be happy to help you.”

Publication date: 10/22/2012