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Wind Power

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

The power of the wind can help in saving us loads of fossil fuel energy and the planet itself.
 


Edited by Becker1 - 1/21/11 at 4:00pm
post #2 of 17
I live on a small island. Now, swathes of our most beautiful countryside are being scarred by HUGE windfarms. In Scotland they are even being sited in areas of outstanding natural beauty and places of historical importance.

Whilst I think wind power is something to be harnessed - I DON'T believe that siting them in all areas of the countryside is acceptable.

Lots of foreigners loved Mel Gibson's Braveheart. This area is now known as 'Braveheart Country' (blech) - just have a look at the scale of the windfarm - when you see how small Stirling Castle looks, you will see why I am only cautiously in favour.
The shocking picture that shows how a wind farm has disfigured one of Britain's loveliest landscapes | Mail Online
post #3 of 17
Where do you draw the line though? Can a wealthy neighborhood block them just because they don't like the looks? In the US it is called nimby, not in my backyard.
post #4 of 17
I don't think wealth is the question.
Would we Americans be happy to erect them so that they block views of Mt. Rushmore?
How about lining the perimeter of the Grand Canyon?

I don't think wind power is the "answer", any more than I think having a car run on water, or having everyone become vegetarians are answers.
Everything comes at a price.
I do think that over-investing in one technology while not investing in others is a mistake.
Striking a balance seems to be the most sensible way to go.

But back to the original reason for the post, I think the wind turbines in that location are a definite blight on the landscape.
And it's not even my neighborhood.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #5 of 17
I don't think it has anything to do with any of the follow up comments.

it's 5 mostly nonsensical posts - five so you can post a link - followed by #6 which is spam inviting you to invest in wind power.
post #6 of 17
You obviously don't know Scotland, MaryB... the windfarm is right behind a council housing scheme (isn't that called 'the projects' in the USA?). We're fairly egalitarian here - despite the idea that we are so much more elitist than say, the USA.....

If you READ my comments, you will see that I am not against windfarms, per se - but w have plenty of areas in Scotland more suitable - this is a fairly built up area, but in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Just Jim has hit the nail on the head.
post #7 of 17
My comment is where do you draw the line? Here the wealthy on the east coast are blocking wind development offshore because it will ruin their view.
post #8 of 17
Hmmm its a hard question which will probably not be settled.

Here, the only place there seem to be wind farms is on grazing lands. Must drive the cows nuts with all that humming. I wonder if it affects the beef - can they rest and ruminate properly, or will it be poorer quality because they are stressed? They'll get used to it probably.

Wind farms are booming here. With so much open space - I say use it. There's an organic free-range chicken farm here - a big business too - which utilises wind energy for its farm, they are "Nicholls Chicken" in Tasmania, if anyone wants to google them. I take my hat off to them. Plus their product is not that much more expensive than caged chooks - tastes a mile better too.

http://www.fortysouth.com.au/article...nChooks_50.pdf

But the line needs to be drawns somewhere as MaryB puts it. I think the sensible thing is to put the on agricultural land. That's not too complicated really.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #9 of 17
DC, that is what they are doing in Wisconsin and it has caused quite an uproar here. Lots of people in favor, and lots of people sporting yard signs saying "Good neighbors don't host wind farms." Of course many of these same people see no problem with the new coal plants being erected in the western part of the state. Again, it's that "Not In My BackYard" mentality. I know I would much rather see a wind farm then watch all the crap coming out of a coal fired power plant. Personally, I kind of like the look of wind turbines and don't mind them breaking up the landscape. At least it is a better alternative than some choices. I am not claiming it is the best solution but it sure is better than many options, ie. coal fired plants, building dams, etc. and any help it can give us in easing the use of these alternatives is a good thing in my book. I fully understand that they can't replace these other options, wind turbines just don't produce enough energy, but if they can lower our reliance on these other, more destructive options then so be it.
post #10 of 17
We already subsidize farmers not to farm.
Put wind machines on non-producing farmland.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #11 of 17
This is slightly off topic, but I'd like to add it.

In this country, the government is subsidising the purchase of solar panels for energy production in domestic dwellings. Quite often there will be more power available at times than that household can use, so it gets sold back to the public power grid, making the cost to the householder very attractive, lessening their power bill, and using a free resource (the sun :) ) to do this. Totally win/win. WIth the govt subsidies, it ends up usually costing the householder pretty much zero.

Is this happening elsewhere?
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #12 of 17
The USA has some subsidies/tax credits at the state and federal level. As far as utility buyback that varies from state to state with some offering an acceptable buyback price and other states tacking on so many fees that selling back will end up costing you more in the long run.
post #13 of 17
Yeah, but what do you do with the "bird kill"?

And besides, what happens when we convert all the "wind power" into electricity, hm?

"Wind" is the movement of energy from one place to another, "wind power" converts some of that energy into electricity, thereby reducing the effective transfer of energy from one place to another.

Will "man" become responsible for destroying "wind energy" as well?
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Chef,
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post #14 of 17
Sunshine said...

WIth the govt subsidies, it ends up usually costing the householder pretty much zero.

Sure, DC, but who pays for the subsidies? That would be you, the taxpayer, helping pay everybody else's subsidies. (Can't help this... I'm an economist. They don't call economics "The Dismal Science" for nothing.) :o

The problem with wind power is that the wind doesn't blow steadily all the time, even in Teddy Kennedy'r front yard off Cape Cod. If you don't care if your power is steady - for lighting, heating, air conditioning, running traffric signals, air-control radars and radios, manufacturing... whatever, then wind power is really neat. If you do need to have a steady supply, you must have a backup source with sufficient capacity to keep all these nice things going without interruption when the wind dies down.

There is no way to store electrical energy (except for pumped storage - look if up. It goes with hydropower.) And it doesn't work with wind or solar energy without big infrastructure modification. And I hardly need remind you the sun doesn't shine 24/7.

Only nuclear, oil, gas, hydro, and coal plants will provide steady supply. Our president says nuclear power is a legitimate aspiration for Iran, but not for us. China is building coal plants every day; the the President has promised to pass laws that will bankrupt any new coal-fired power plant. We've pretty much exploited most of our hydro resources.

China and Russia are exploring for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, but we can't according to our government; to say nothing of Alaska or our coastal waters.

Put you head down between your legs and kiss your standard of living goodby.

Enough rant for this week.

Mike
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post #15 of 17
No one here is claiming wind power is the only solution. In fact, I state that quite clearly, but if it can even start to help us cut down on emissions from coal fired plants than I am all for it. If you want to keep your "standard of living" then we need to be looking into all options and quit acting like fossil fuels are the end all/be all of the energy world. Let's face it, someday it's going to run out. Whether in our life times (very doubtful) or in our grandchildren's times (highly probable), it will run out. Thinking otherwise is just ignoring facts. We need to be looking at wind power, solar energy, nuclear power, and other new technologies to help ease the fossil fuel crunch. I also like the idea of water turbines that use the deep ocean currents to create power. Don't get me wrong, I am not some left wing activist, but I am concerned about the amount of CO2 we are putting into the air, most of which come from the burning of fossil fuels and let's face it, as more countries strive to pull out of 3rd world status our limited resources will have to be divided among more and more people, ultimately meaning that sometime, in the foreseeable future we will all be reminisceing about the "good old days" when we only paid $4 a gallon for gas. But I'll be the first to admit I love my creature comforts and that is why I think we need to develop all avenues of energy production.
post #16 of 17
You're right Mike I'm sure about the subsidies - I am no economist (my bank account agrees!) Stored energy in hydro is the only way to go as far as storing energy available, but surely sharing other sustainable energy across a large enough grid would lead to some advantages.

But any saving is a good saving, this all leads into carbon footprint/emissions territory, and I don't have enough energy to go there.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #17 of 17
As far as bird kill they did studies here that proved the kill number was LESS than a tall building. The old lattice towers that were replaced with the round tubular style were bird killers because they were tempting nesting sites.

For storage there is no reason they can't use excess electricity to crack water into hydrogen and oxygen and burn that is a turbine, the only emissions will be water that could be captured and reused.

The biggest issue facing wind energy is getting the power from the wind farms to the population centers. There are 4 or 5 projects on hold near me because of the lack of transmission line capacity. Look up Buffalo Ridge in Minnesota to see one of the larger wind farms.
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