《经济学人》:风能发电遇到困难
日期:2011-06-24 11:03

(单词翻译:单击)

Renewable energy in the north-west
美国西北部的可再生能源

Tilting at windmills
风能发电遇到困难

Teething troubles in the clean-energy sector
清洁能源领域中的问题开始出现

Jun 16th 2011 | SEATTLE | from the print edition

THE melting snows of spring and early summer are justly celebrated by Aaron Copland and Walt Whitman. But they are causing a lot of trouble in the Pacific north-west, as a federal power agency pushes private wind turbines off the grid in what critics call a case of favouritism towards electricity generated by federal dams.

春季夏初,冬雪融化,这正是阿隆.柯普兰的音乐和威廉.惠特曼的诗歌中所赞美的时节。但现在融化的冬雪却给太平洋西北岸地区带来了麻烦。因为一家联邦电力机构把私有企业风机发电所产生的热能并出电网,而此举被批评人士看成对联邦水电站的一次政策性偏移。

The region’s wind power companies are enraged and are petitioning the regulators. Encouraged by politicians and their subsidies, they have invested hundreds of millions of dollars over the past six years on a 14-fold increase in generating capacity.But this year, as an unusually large snowmelt surges into the rivers of Oregon and Washington, the wind lobby is howling about government perfidy. “You can’t trust the guy who is running the grid,” says Robert Kahn, executive director of the Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition.

这一下激怒了当地的风力发电公司,他们正在向政策制定者请愿。这些公司在政客鼓动和政府津贴的诱惑下,在过去的6年间投入了数以百万美元,电力产能因此翻了14倍。但在今年,随着罕见的冬雪大量融化,涌入俄勒岗州和华盛顿州的河水流域中,风能发电的游说者对政府的出尔反尔大诉苦水。西北及内陆电力联盟的执行经理,罗伯特.卡恩就抱怨道:“你没法相信管理供电网络的人。”

The guy in question is the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a venerable federal bureaucracy that markets power from 31 federal dams in the Columbia river basin. Thanks to monstrous chunks of concrete like Grand Coulee Dam, completed 70 years ago and still the largest hydroelectric facility in North America, the north-west gets more of its power from hydro than any other region of the United States.

卡恩所指的是邦纳维尔电力局,它是一所受人尊敬的联邦机构,管理着哥伦比亚河域盆地31座联邦水坝所发出电力的市场销售。70年前建造的大古力水坝,凭借其庞大坚固的建筑结构,至今仍为北美洲最大的水力发电站。而美国西北部水力发电供电量要比美国其它地区都多。

BPA managers say near-flood conditions in the Columbia river—and strict laws protecting the river’s endangered salmon—give the agency no choice but to disconnect the windmills as it grapples with a large power surplus. Not making electricity is not an option on the river, the BPA argues, because only a limited amount of water can be kept out of turbines and spilled over federal dams. Too much spill dissolves too much nitrogen in the river, which can kill migrating salmon. There is a particular irony in the agency’s concern about fish, since the development of the hydroelectric system is largely responsible for destroying the Columbia as one of the world’s great salmon highways.

BPA的管理者认为,基于哥伦比亚河几近泛滥的现状,再加上旨在保护其流域中濒临灭绝的鲑鱼的严格法案,使他们在面对电能过剩,需要消减时,只能将风力发电产生的电量并出电网,除此之外,别无它法。BPA随后解释道,并不是说非要进行水力发电不可。因为只有额定的水量能流经涡轮机组,注入水坝中。太多的溢水量使水中氮含量过高,导致游入哥伦比亚河的鲑鱼致死。BPA对于鲑鱼的担忧在人们看来,纯粹是个笑话。作为世界上最大的鲑鱼水域之一的哥伦比亚河,生态环境早已被破坏,而水力发电机组的发展要对此负很大的责任。

Be that as it may, in the early morning hours of May 18th, BPA did something it has never done before. It took all the region’s wind turbines offline for about five hours and it expects to continue to pull the plug on them for a few hours almost every night until well into July, when enough snow in the Cascades and northern Rockies will have melted for the excess run-off (and therefore the excess power) to subside. Until then the BPA will be giving electricity away, and paying the transmission costs of utilities willing to take it.

也许就是出于这样的考虑,在5月18日的早间,BPA采取了前所未有的行动。即:将哥伦比亚河地区所有的风力涡轮机发出的电能并出电网5小时,预期之后几乎每晚都将并出电能几小时,这一行为要持续到7月。直到卡斯克德和北落基山的融雪流过(因此产生了过多的电力)并减弱后。到那时BPA会把风力发电产生的电能免费并入其它电网,并负担公用转输所要支付的费用。

The clean-energy glut was predictable, given the tendency of snow to melt in the spring and given whopping increases in the region’s wind-generating capacity. Since 2005 wind capacity has surged from 250 megawatts to 3,500 megawatts, and is expected to double again by 2014. More effort by BPA to link this new capacity to grids in California and British Columbia could have avoided the need to idle those wind turbines, or so a number of power experts reckon.

源于春季冬雪大量融化的趋势和此地区风力发电量的大幅度增长,人们已经预计出清洁能源产出会过剩。从2005年起,风能发电量从250兆瓦激增到3500兆瓦,到2014年人们预计这一数字会在3500兆瓦的基础上再翻一倍。如果BPA花力气将风能发出的电力并入加州和不列颠哥伦比亚省的话,将有机会避免风能的浪费。一些专家也认可这种观点。

“The crime is that we have been nearsighted,” says Angus Duncan, chairman of Oregon’s Global Warming Commission. “We are not thinking as far ahead today as we did in the 1930s and 1940s, when we started building dams.”

俄勒岗州的全球气候委员会的主席,阿各斯.邓肯谈到:“出现这一憾事的原因是我们缺乏远见。在上世纪三四十年代,我们建造水坝的时候,并没有考虑到七十年后会发展成什么样子。”

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重点单词
  • commissionn. 委员会,委托,委任,佣金,犯罪 vt. 委任,委托
  • bureaucracyn. 官僚制度,官僚主义
  • strictadj. 严格的,精确的,完全的
  • hydroelectricadj. 水力电气的
  • tendencyn. 趋势,倾向
  • excessn. 过量,超过,过剩 adj. 过量的,额外的
  • administrationn. 行政,管理,行政部门
  • willingadj. 愿意的,心甘情愿的
  • ironyn. 反讽,讽剌,讽剌之事
  • spillv. 溢出,洒,使 ... 流出,泄漏 n. 溢出,流