Wind power is awesome, but windy days just don’t have the best reputation when small talk turns to the weather. I mean, I get it: Who wants to have a picnic when the wind keeps trying to flip your plate and steal your napkin?
With the exception of windsurfing and sailing, a calm, sunny day makes basically all outdoor activities more enjoyable. But windy days do have benefits, and they deserve more recognition when congregating around the water cooler to talk weather and sports.
So the next time you’re in the elevator or a checkout line and friendly chit-chat turns to the wicked wind awaiting your exit, here are five ways to turn the conversation positive and give wind the credit it deserves:
Small Talker #1: “It sure is windy out there! Hopefully it dies down before the weekend.”
Wind Lover #1: “Why would you want it to die down? Wind energy prices are half of what they were just four years ago; that means some of those whirling turbines are producing energy that’s competitively priced with natural-gas fueled generation. Do you hate clean, renewable energy that’s competitively priced with fossil fuels or what?”
Small Talker #2: “So much for a bike ride after work. This wind is ridiculous.”
Wind Lover #2: “If by ‘ridiculous’ you mean wind energy works ridiculously well with natural gas to create a more balanced, responsive and modern electric system then, yes, this wind is ridiculous. Highly efficient natural gas generation is flexible, and it can be easily ramped up or down as wind turbine operators manage fluctuating wind power on the grid, thereby maintaining a highly reliable system. That’s soooo ridiculous!”
Small Talker #3: “This wind, I tell ya. It just won’t stop.”
Wind Lover #3: “I know! It’s lovely, isn’t it? I mean what’s more satisfying than opening the door to a gust of wind and thinking about all of the potential savings if fossil fuel prices happen to rise? Isn’t wind energy a great hedge? Thank goodness wind energy is purchased at set prices through long-term agreements to protect us from volatile fossil fuel prices. And thank goodness for these windy days!”
Small Talker #4: “This wind is something else, isn’t it?”
Wind Lover #4: “This wind is totally something else: It’s generating clean energy! Wind power requires no water, it’s emission-free and it has helped Xcel Energy reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent since 2005, with a projected reduction of 30 percent by 2020. Something else indeed.”
Small Talker #5: “I’m so, so sick of this wind!”
Wind Lover #5: “What do you have against kites?”
There you have it. Now go forth and give poor Mr. W the credit he deserves.