So do you think they are a good idea?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthn … study.html
I just read it - and it proves to be that "going green" is not going to stop making it hotter!
Wind farms mixing up the cooler ground air with the upper warmer air pushed average temp in the past decade by almost 2 degrees F - well this is Texas .. or hell ( is there a difference?)
Humans are affecting the planet but not as much as the great precession.
http://voices.yahoo.com/2012-maya-aztec … 52638.html
Did this article get reprinted from "The Onion"?
Did this article get reprinted from "The Onion"?
And, a change in a localized temperature around a wind turbine is NOT climate change. This is no more climate change than having a bonfire or a background grill causes climate change.
Circulating the immediate air is just that: Circulating the the air.
Two useful links to this conversation, (which I feel needs to be revived, it's too important for us to let misinformation go about unheeded):
http://www.epa.gov/heatisland/about/index.htm about the effect on temperature that city buildings cause.
http://www.ias.unu.edu/urban/index.php/ … te-change/ further science about cities and climate change.
Interesting articles and fact-driven.
Yet, we don't see anyone calling for curtailment of operation of or construction of urban buildings. In fact, there are increasing numbers of people claiming that a revitalization of urbanization is the "solution" to climate change.
My sense is that alternative energy---including windmills, have become the target of the so-called "right" because, quite simply, they represent progress and movement away from the fossil fuel industry.
Progress how? Higher prices, forcing usage reductions and uncomfortable homes? Dead birds? Ugly scenery? Massive use of raw materials and labor to build both windmills AND power plants?
Question: has anyone ever looked at the rate of return; how many years it will take to replace the fossil fuels used on making those things, from digging ore to trucking them down the road to stringing wire to to years of maintenance way off the beaten path, in terms of how much fossil fuel they save after being built? We absolutely know they cost more money than they "save", but what about fossil fuels? Do they actually save any or is that a net loss, too?
Well you have to wonder, don't you? The gasohol greenies absolutely insisted it was good for us all, it was progress to put the stuff in our gas. And it costs more fossil fuels to do so, but it pads the pockets of the greenies making the claim, so we're still doing it even as more and more people understand the real costs of that "progress".
Are windmills the same? Has anyone every looked into it?
Domestic cats kill birds at the rate of knots
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
In some parts of Europe the cost of the energy produced by wind farms is lower than that of nuclear energy.
The problem perhaps lies with the organisations who are accepting the subsidies for wind farms and amassing huge profits from them.
That's not quite correct, mbug. Circulating air is not the same as heat retention at ground level. The negative effects of global warming are seen at ground level when the average temperature exceeds that of recorded average temps. Anything that raises the temperature - is contributory because heat is not being allowed to escape. It's interrupting the natural cooling cycle.
It has nothing to do with ozone depletion, however, but it could be detrimental to areas with high wind farm populations.
The only reason I'm iffy on wind farms is due to the large amount of birds killed by them. I've walked in some of the biggest wind farms in Wyoming and the ground was littered by fowl in various states of decomposition. That's why some have named them "eagle killers."
Birds...really? The #1 killer of birds: The household cat. The #2 killer of birds: Automobile windshields. Any concerned public calling for curtailment of cat populations and/or car windshields?
And no, there is very little scientific evidence to support claims that wind turbines raise temperatures or affect cooling cycles. And what does exist suggests affects to be in the same range as affects from power lines.
It's apparent that you've never walked beneath the turbines in a large wind farm. I'm not talking about the little birdie your cat caught. This is about protected migratory species chopped up by the hundreds. How many Canadian Geese has your alley cat taken down? How many eagles?
That's what I thought.
I'm curious about your claim that power lines affect natural cooling cycles to a like extent as that of wind farms. Please be so kind as to link us to your 'evidence.'
I hope you realize that you're undermining your own desire to back all wind farms - all the time - by making the power line assertion, seeing as the energy from the turbines must be transferred via power lines.
Whatever...and what makes you so sure that I have never "walked beneath turbines [on] a large wind farm"?
The bottom-line is that every alternative energy technology---every new and innovative technology, has been met by uninformed and misinformed critics and by those critics invested in maintaining (generally for personal financial gain) the so-called "status quo".
After all, telegraph lines were supposed to make men sterile; telephone lines make is all sterile; television cables make us all wish we were just all sterile.
While I can't prove you have not walked on a wind farm - your post about small birds and cats leads me to believe you have not seen the carnage from large migratory birds.
You could be correct when you say that new energy technology has been met with uninformed criticism. But, in the same vein, there is a lot of misinformation being pumped in the media about the fossil fuel industry.
I've never heard the "sterile" stories, but I'll take your word for it. My position is that people should take the time to learn about a topic before insisting one way or another about its effects.
Met by the naysayers, but pushed and promoted by those with a very definite finger in the financial pie. Maybe, just maybe, the naysayers are right to take a close look at such obvious conflict of interest.
When the man wanting to sell me a windmill tells me it will save the world if I will only give him money, I generally think twice before opening the pocketbook.
The vast majority of people promoting renewable energy make no financial gain.
In fact as I support a wind farm project in India (giving turbines to isolated villages to improve their quality of life) I make a considerable loss.
Every energy source has down sides, anyone who says otherwise is a fool. But that does not make them all equal--some have worse downsides than others.
....and being able to take a balanced view of the various technologies helps. There is so much emotion displayed when people argue, that any factual information quickly gets a back seat and lost in the noise.
Yes, there are people who's only motivation is to make more money out of an enterprise, regardless of how it effects anyone else. Yes, there are conservative-minded people who don't want to risk anything new, period. Yes there are people who will cry "Ban it" when the slightest thing goes wrong with new technology. But look at history.
Steam engined trains suffered huge and horrific crashes in the early part of the 20th century. The scenario of great metallic monsters, belching smoke and steam, crashing into each other and throwing the passengers about and out the windows, could have caused people to say, "Ban steam trains." Yet modifications to the mechanics and signaling systems brought about improvements and - we all learned to live with them.
Come back to the current situation where, because of a couple of sensational mishaps, nuclear power has been given a bad name and banned from consideration as an "alternative." If sufficient effort was put into research and innovation, with a large task force of scientists and engineers giving it their attention, maybe this could be a legitimate part of our desire for electricity - along with some wind power and some solar power, etc.
Take a similar attitude to coal-fired power stations and we can include that as part of our "energy matrix" too. It all depends on courage and commitment to find solutions to any problem.... just call it "opportunity" rather than a problem.
Let's not be too narrow minded.... let's keep options and our vision open to new ideas.
"Let's not be too narrow minded.... let's keep options and our vision open to new ideas."
Getting people to realize there is a problem in the first place is also a major hurdle to overcome.
My local electrical company is forced to buy power from wind farms, at a considerable premium over their normal power costs. It has gotten to the point that water is sloughed through hydroelectric plants without being used in order to be able to buy that wind generated electricity.
And still the wind farms cry for more and continue to build, fighting any legislation to limit what the power company is forced to purchase. And my power bill goes up, not to protect the environment but to pad the pockets of the greenies.
So yes, getting people to realize there can be a problem out there is a major hurdle.
Getting people to see the big picture, the overall state of the human race, is the MAJOR hurdle.
Getting people to see the BIG PICTURE, and not only what affects them personally, and what is only seen from their back yard.
Overall state of the human race - greed. Greed to have what we don't have yet, greed to live an easier life, with more luxury and the "good things" we all want.
Unfortunately the big picture here is that that greed takes energy. And when we change forms from potential to kinetic and ultimately heat by burning things (oil, coal, wood, hydrogen, etc.), by nuclear fission, by fusing hydrogen (we can't yet, but we'll learn) it all means global warming. Pollution from fossil fuels means more solar energy stays around, but "creating" energy also harms and as the rest of humanity joins Europe and North America it will compound on itself.
So ultimately the answer is to either conserve energy or move away from Mother Earth.
Is the "real problem" one of honesty in all walks of life? That company that screws you has its own agenda - maybe they see it as essential for the economy in order to pay: first the fat checks for top brass; secondly, if they feel like it, wages for the bottom iron. Are they being open and honest to the point of fair play and equity?
If not, can the likes of you and I Do anything about it? I suggest you might need some courage, moral and otherwise, but surely you have a hope.
Of course it's one of honesty - it almost always is.
But what can I do? In this matter I can write my legislature, encouraging a change in the laws that are screwing us at the benefit of the wind people. I can make the stance public, going against the popular belief that ALL such energy is ALWAYS a good thing, and take the flak it generates. I can conserve myself, using as little energy as possible whether it is electricity, travel or that needed to get fresh water to my home.
Agreeing with and "promoting" are two different animals. Most people agree that our world will be a better place to live if we keep it clean and the air healthy to breathe.
But when it comes to the actual promotion of wind farm technology or another much-ballyhooed solution, there is often someone very different behind the push. You might "support" wind farms, but do you support increasing the cost of energy to such an extent that people die because they cannot afford to heat houses in winter or cool them in summer?
Currently, there is a run on LP (propane) for heating rural homes. Already, we've seen people catch their houses on fire trying to use hot plates to warm up a room because they could not afford the cost to fill their propane tanks.
It's great to want to do something to help the world in general. But, it's another thing completely to try and force your agreement on those who might suffer because of it.
I'm thinking of installing a wind turbine - a different cylindrical type - but I don't advocate getting rid of a very inexpensive source of energy that allow even the poor to heat and cool their homes. Coal.
I have only done a brief surf for information and came up with these two links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power … pean_Union
http://www.awea.org/Resources/Content.a … umber=5547
Could it be that the savings which the generating companies are making are not being passed on to the consumer? Or at least the domestic consumer?
It's no small matter in Europe, where an enormous expansion has apparently taken place in wind power generation.
That could be a part of it, Jonny, but there are other aspects that make wind power more expensive. First, mining and converting coal into electricity is cheap, relatively speaking. Another important factor is that energy is not stored on the grid, which means wind energy is subject to the wind blowing. A calm day means no generating.
The cost of coal can rise, however, if there are additional carbon taxes added, but since most of the coal-fired plants are already operating - new construction costs are not being passed on to the consumers.
I think eventually we'll see better fuel cell storage capabilities, which could bring down the cost of wind energy, but right now, all the new costs are being factored in - and without a reliable (and cost effective) method of storing energy, wind is still not going to power us on a calm day. And, in areas of the nation where it's not windy, energy has to be transported via large high wires.
I'm not opposed to any of that, but right now consumers are struggling to make ends meet and they can't absorb these higher energy costs. There's no reason we can't continue to advance our wind/solar technology while we keep using coal to provide low-cost energy.
While greenies are objecting to minute amounts of mercury emissions from coal-fired plants (which must, by the way, meet emission standards now), we're finding high levels of mercury in some types of road salt runoff.
It's all become such a political football. Follow the money trail. There's no profit to be made by stopping the spread of mercury-laden salt on our roads - so we don't hear about it. There is HUGE profit to be made in alternative energy fields however.
What does the term "greenies" mean?
Is this supposed to be a slur of some sort that bolstered an argument that cannot stand on its merits?
You might well consider coal generation cheap, but when you factor in ongoing health costs and the enormous amounts of energy involved in its mining and transport, it is very expensive.
It is certainly true that wind-power generation is not locally consistent. You need a large grid to equalise over a large area. Transmitting at very high voltage as Direct Current could help reduce losses. We need another source for the "base supply," which can cover windless and sunless hours. Also to boost at peak times, so a variety of sources must be maintained.
I am saying positive mentality and consistent research will do much more good than negative "ban it" attitudes. And a morality that bans greed not windpower.
A large grid does not help the storage problem unless you have windmills all over that large grid. Quite unpractical, and just as you say you have to have enough ready power to go at any moment. Very expensive, even when shut down, as the people still have to be there to push the "on" button any minute.
So no, don't ban it but don't go crazy, either. Wind farms in areas of high, consistent winds are valuable. Farms where production only happens half the time aren't even if laws setting artificially high rates make them economically viable.
Johnny, any "savings" from wind are very definitely relative. In my area (NW US) a good deal of electricity comes from hydro; a very nearly free source now that the dams are paid off. More comes from gas and a little well-maintained coal plant; again relatively cheap and, for coal, very clean.
The result is that wind power costs considerably more than current sources and as a result bills are rising because the law requires the power company to purchase wind. With high profits clouding the picture, wind farm owners are only too happy to dig into the pockets of every person around and will (and are) fighting like mad to prevent any limits on how much the power company must buy from them.
Then add in the storage problems, and the problem is exacerbated. At the end of the road there is nothing saved by buying wind power, costs rise dramatically and more power plants still need to be built, manned and ready to go on-line at the drop of a hat. More costs, then, and all to provide profit for a handful and kill lots of birds.
mmmmm.... people will believe anything, won't they? Especially when it's got anything to do with their potential for reproduction. You will even get individuals imaging they can become sterile from visiting an X-Ray department at the hospital (with I can assure you is NOT possible).
I guess we should just go back to burning coal.
What do you mean, "go back" to burning coal? Coal-fired energy is increasing worldwide. The US saw a small decrease in 2009, but then it increased again.
Coal use is second only to crude. That's why it's so important not to pull the rug out from under cheap coal energy - at least not until we can come up with something else reliable and cost efficient on a widespread basis.
There are costs associated with fossil fuels that are not included in the per unit pricing.
For example, the emissions from a coal-fired power station can contain more radioactive particles than you would ever get from the running of a nuclear powered station.
If a lot more research is put into the technology of coal that might change things for the better.
But, at the end of the day, coal (like oil) is still a finite resource.
I have NO idea why there is any resistance to solar, wind, and hydro power. It makes no sense to me.
People resist change. They are comfortable with how things are for the most part, oil etc. is currently the easy option. People like ease and the status quo.
I don't think I'd say it's "resistance." I just think since we can't store energy on the grid, those sources are still not quite ready to replace fossil fuels.
And, of course, the cost.
I think you're not understanding how the grid works.
Energy produced by alternative sources (wind, solar, hydro, etc.) is transferred to the grid. Whether you have a wind farm or one wind mill or one solar panel in your backyard you can transfer energy to the grid.
The more energy transferred from alternative producers, the less energy that is produced using fossil fuels.
I don't think YOU know how a grid works. The grid is "full" so to speak, at all times. When the wind suddenly blows and additional power is put into the grid, it has to be taken off line somewhere else. You must close the hydro gates, throttle down the gas plant or cool the reactor of a nuke plant.
Then the wind dies and that power is needed again, but re-starting isn't always so simple. The nuke plant takes hours or days to re-start. The gas is quicker, but the hydro is shut down because you had to spill all the water while the wind was blowing.
So when you start talking about thousands of small alternative sources they generally cause more trouble and cost than they are worth, fossil fuels or not. The grid works best with constant sources of power - it's bad enough that demand varies but when the source does too it is enormously difficult just to keep things running.
Do some research on "selling" power back to companies and how it is done---especially by individuals and businesses who sell-back energy they produce with wind, solar, hydro. In fact, many utility companies pay premium dollars for energy that they can buy from windmills, solar panels, hydro-sources from the general public as well as from businesses.
Nobody is shutting anything down or restarting anything---and you probably know this.
That's the problem, though. Unless renewable technologies aren't organized and put into place starting in the very near future, there simply won't be the resources left to build the new infrastructure that will be needed to put in the new system.
What will most likely happen is that the resources will be used up, or at least past the critical point, before people really start realizing there's an actual problem. They may even see the problem, but think it will be solved "somewhere down the line" perhaps with new technology. And then there are those, like big corps who are profiting from those needed resources now, who are greedy and just don't care.
The idea that we're "running out" of fossil fuels is promoted by organizations with their own agendas. Granted, we have a finite amount, but we haven't even made a dent in our resources to date. A conservative estimate is that we have at least 200 years of fossil fuel resources before we reach depletion.
So - we have some time. We do need to continue to work to develop RELIABLE alternative sources of energy - but what we have - to date - is not adequate. Sure - "organize" them, but don't expect to "put them in place" until you can do so without pricing consumers out of the market.
Who have we helped if we implement an energy resource that is so expensive and sporadic that demand far outweighs supply and people can no longer heat and cool their homes? That's what we're looking at right now. The alternatives are not yet cost-effective or reliable enough to replace fossil fuels.
I don't know if you remember when Obama was first running for office but he made a comment that his environmental agenda would bankrupt the fossil fuel industry. Since he's been in office - he's come to understand that in doing that - he would leave the citizens without an affordable source of energy for their homes. So - he backed off and drilling has actually increased.
Sometimes, it's better to look past the rhetoric to what's actually happening. We hear a lot about carbon emissions, ozone depletion and climate change, but we only hear what special interest groups want us to hear.
Livestock, for example, are one of the biggest contributors to methane gas - but because it's more popular to bash fossil fuels - you rarely hear anything about the amount of methane produced globally from livestock sources.
It's all really about money right now. So, it's important to take time and research the data before prematurely implementing alternative programs.
You can equally say that there are people who will pull out every trick in the bag to promote fossil fuel generation if they feel the "alternative camp" is getting heard to much. Big companies with big bank accounts and big executives needing to support their luxurious lifestyles will work hard to slander the opposition. So it comes down to "who do we (want to) believe."
Maybe in the United States of America things are different. Maybe in Europe there is a wider variety of business methods and accepted processes that allow wind and solar energy to flourish. Maybe what you are saying about the costs/expense of wind power in the United States is true, but can it automatically be accepted as the same in Europe? We here in Australia tend to follow American methods, and we are similarly reticent to follow the alternative energy path. We have a fair amount of installations, yes, but no where near the amount we aught to have by now, in view of the hot and sunny climate we have, and the wide open spaces we control..... including lots of open coast line in the southern latitudes, with heaps of consistent westerly winds.
There needs to be much wider consideration here than just what you have experienced in America.
Honestly, in the US there is a great deal of alternative energy production being utilized from hydro to solar to wind. I live in New York (no where near NY City) and alternatives abound in the form of hydro, wind, and solar. Several businesses and thousands of homes are off the grid or partially on the grid.
This is true nationwide. What is being said here my the naysayers is simply not true in terms of the current state of the techonology or in terms of public policy.
Nellis Air Force Base is off the grid---a very large solar array.
Solar accounts for about 1 tenth of one percent of power generated in the US. Wind is a little better, at around 3%. Hydro, our oldest source of power, is much, much higher at about 9%.
Perhaps there is a "great deal" of wind and solar power, but that "great deal" is a very relative term. Compared to the total generation it is very, very small.
http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.o … iew/solar/
http://www.windenergyfoundation.org/abo … nergy/faqs
As of September 2012, the top 20 (in terms of on-site solar capacity deployed in the US) are: Walmart (WMT), Costco (COST), Kohl’s Department Stores (KSS), IKEA, Macy’s (M), McGraw-Hill (MHP), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Staples, Inc. (SPLS), Campbell’s Soup (CPB), Walgreens (WAG), Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Toys ‘R’ Us (TOY), General Motors (GM), FedEx (FDX), White Rose Foods, Dow Jones (DJ), Snyder’s of Hanover (LNCE), ProLogis (PLD), Hartz Mountain Industries, and Crayola.
Other companies that are significant users of solar power include Apple, Bloomberg LP, Del Monte Foods, GE, Google, Intel, JC Penny, Kaiser Permanente, Lackland Storage, Lord & Taylor, L’OREAL USA, MARS SNACKFOOD, US Foods LLC, Stop and Shop, Merck, REI, SAS Institute Inc., and Tiffany & CO.
As you can see from this list, the naysayers are wrong.
Thanks for all that information - new to me. So if domestic users are being hit with higher costs, proportionately, where is the problem coming from?
Domestic users are not hit with higher costs. That is just a bunch of naysayer nonsense.
In fact, most states offer lucrative rebates for individuals who purchase wind or solar systems (basically reducing your out of pocket cost for buying and installing a home system) and many offer tax rebates as well--which gives you credits against your state and federal income taxes if you buy/install a system.
And, many utility companies not only pay substantially high per kilowatt hour fees TO customers who produce electric through solar or wind (most people making about $500-1000 per month) and sell it back to the utility, but they also charge a lower kilowatt hour usage charge for energy purchased from the grid if your consumption from the grid is lower than their average customer.
Not to mention the average of about $5000/windmill that is paid to any landowner who allows windmills or solar arrays to be put up on their properties.
There is no problem, It is a win-win situation if one deals with reality...
And S.E.Johnson Company (major producer of home cleaning products) is basically running all of its facilities on wind power.
Starbucks, McDonald's, Ohio State University, University of Wisconsin, Texas A & M University, Oklahoma State University, use wind power.
The following companies are 100% operated with wind or solar:
Whole Foods Markets
Kohls Department Stores
The City of Austin, Texas
Pearson (textbooks, educational consulting)
Carnegie Melon University
Herman Miller, Inc.
Mohawk Fine Papers, Inc.
The Empire State Building
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
The City of Santa Monica, California
The North Face
Philadelphia Eagles (football)
National Hockey League
This is a fraction of a very long list.
You're joking, right? The empire state building operates totally by wind/solar power?
Peak demand for that building runs 9.5 MW of electricity. That's 9,500,000 watts of power, and 32 sq feet of solar panels (there is no windmill on the ESB) produces around 100 watts. Which means the ESB has 296875 square feet of solar panel, or a square 500' on a side of nothing but solar panels. It isn't there - a quick look at the top of the building shows that pretty plainly.
Now add in the energy consumed via natural gas, and it is absolutely ludicrous to think that the Empire State Building runs 100% on wind and solar power. Who are you trying to kid here?
As far as the wondrous claim that all those places use wind power, so does my home. The local utility buys power from windmills, meaning I use some of it. Nearly every location in the country uses some wind power.
Nor do I believe for one instant that all the NHL rinks in the US have huge solar arrays and windmills on their roofs to keep the ice frozen and the people warm.
This entire discussion has become ludicrous. I don't know where MBug is getting his info - but there's really no way to reason with someone who buys into that kind of make believe.
The City of Austin does try to use wind energy, but they still mainly use fossil fuel to generate their electricity.
This whole discussion is like watching greenies nail jello to a tree. Very little of what MBug is posting is anywhere close to being accurate. Like the Kohl's claim. Kohl's is trying to switch to renewable energy -but they are certainly nowhere near 100%. That's a just a blatant falsehood.
What's the point?
Do some research.
You clearly have NO idea what is going on in the industry or how it works.
And yes, the Empire State Building is at 100% "green" power. It is one of the largest consumers of wind and solar energy in the world.
You are pretending that you think that windmills and solar panels need t be on top of, or adjacent to, buildings to provide energy. This is nonsense and you know it.
I did; did you? Do you have any concept of the power requirements to freeze a stadium full of ice and KEEP it frozen with thousands of people in the stadium?
http://www.esbnyc.com/documents/sustain … ewDeck.pdf
And just where are these windmills the ESB owns? Or do you mean the power from the grid, the same power everyone else uses?
Sorry, but I think you need to give further thought to this. I have about 10 square feet of solar panels and they are rated at 320 watts nominal. These are older versions of panel, not the highest efficiency. How do you arrive at only 100 watts for 32 square feet?
I feel that it has become just an argument, with different people having different ideas that are all arguable.
When are we going to get REAL facts instead of beliefs?
Wow - it has been too long since I looked at Solar panels. I may end up buying one for my RV after this; thanks for pushing me to look again.
When checked several years ago, a 4X8' panel ran about 100 watts. Now it's a 4X2' panel, although I don't think one should ever expect to see that much on a daily basis. Even time of year will degrade it, unless the angle is reset daily and even hourly.
But definitely my bad there.
Solar is very expensive and takes a lot of land. Wind is very expensive, takes a lot of land and kills animals. Hydro is cheap, but kills fish.
You cannot, for instance, transfer power to the grid from a windmill and do it cheaper than the utility can purchase power from a coal plant. The cost then goes up, and people get hurt when they cannot afford the power you want to sell. I know - it's happening in my state right now.
And when people are hurt by that increase, when they cannot maintain a comfortable home or even, sometimes, a livable one, they don't care one iota about fossil fuels being used.
Hydro-power harnesses things like pre-existing waterfalls to produce electric. I live in western New York---think Niagara Falls. ALL of our electric is produced by the Falls, and in fact, we export the extra power.
As for wind power, did you know that windmills are put up on farm land and animals graze below them? There are extensive wind farms in California (and other places including New York) that have been in place for over 20 years producing power and living harmoniously with animals and farms.
Solar does NOT require land. In fact, you can have solar panels on your roof top and supply enough energy to power a home. Solar panels can be, and are, installed on rooftops not only of private homes, but of commercial buildings including city buildings.
Huh? yourself. Very, very few "natural" waterfalls are used for hydro power, including Niagara - the falls have been heavily modified for power production. I live in the NW, where a great deal of power comes from dams (it does take some kind of spillway to force water through the turbines - just watching it fall doesn't produce much). There is even a 1 or 2 mile section of cliff, called "thousand springs", that is a hydro plant. As a result of that plant the "thousand springs" is now the "half dozen springs" - the modifications have shut off hundreds of springs shooting out from the cliff wall. Huge natural beauty shut off forever from people seeing it in exchange for a few kilowatts of power.
Sometimes windmills are put on farm land, sometimes not. And when they are it takes valuable real estate that could be used for farming to support the windmill and maintenance vehicles going to them. And yes, they do kill thousands of birds each year; the tips of those blades are moving at speeds far, far beyond what any bird has ever seen and they do not recognize the danger. The result is dead birds, but of course killing animals is a small price to pay for power.
Solar panels absolutely require space. You can put a few on your roof to charge a battery, but that's about all. I helped wire an apartment complex that had the roof covered with solar panels; payback is in the decades, not months or even years and does not include maintenance. There is a remote commercial swimming pool near me that operates totally from solar; the panels cover several acres but are necessary to run the pumps and one small freezer selling ice cream. A few panels do virtually nothing to provide power in amounts used by people today. Solar plants don't even use them, but other methods for heating a liquid to drive a turbine.
And at the end of it all, none of those are dependable. Droughts shut off most hydro (not Niagara, I presume). Darkness absolutely kills solar production and the wind doesn't always blow. And every time any of those things happen we are kicked right back onto the fossil fuel plants; plants that could have been upgraded and made more efficient with a fraction of the money spent on the new dam, the windmills and solar panels sitting there doing nothing.
Solar still requires huge cells if you intend to have any energy for a cloudy day. On a residential basis - solar is typically only supplementary. Same as a home wind generator.
Once your home's cells expend their stored energy - you better hope you're still connected to the energy grid.
You folks are clearly not up to speed on current technology ranging from production to storage.
As for farmland and agricultural production, the only place we lose agricultural production to alternative energy is ethanol production---corn product.
Oh? Can you give me a link to a solar cell that works in the dark? Or in a rainstorm? A better storage mechanism (more efficient, including cost consideration) than the lead acid battery invented in 1859? What is the cost of an inverter to provide power for a refrigerator, freezer, lighting, TV and furnace blower and what is it's efficiency? (Hint: it is well over $3,000 and with an efficiency of only around 90% depending on manufacturer)
How long can you run those things on a bank of 10 expensive ($2,000) but high quality lead acid batteries tonight? (Hint: they won't begin to last the night out).
It is you that needs to come out of La La land and back into reality. I see in my newspaper that a new nuclear plant is finally being constructed; the first in decades. Didn't see specs, but would bet that the one plant will provide more power in a year's time than all the solar plants in the country put together. The future isn't in solar plants, wind farms, or wave action (though all can play a part); it is nuclear, and specifically fusion. I also see where the big test facility has created fusion that produced more energy that it took to kick it off; in another 10 years we'll be able to build a fusion plant for commercial power. But we'll have the greenies crying for more wind farms instead, because...because...because fusion might blow up the world. Or, if the truth be know, because wind pads the pockets of said greenies.
Mbug- I believe it's you that needs to brush up on your understanding of technology and the energy grid.
As far as not losing Ag land to wind farms....well, tell that to Colorado.
http://www.environmentcolorado.org/repo … -landscape
I find that people have this amazing ability to read something and somehow go "Oh, that supports my claim!" I... I... I have to ask...... Did you read the article? Did you? Honestly? Honest to God, did you read the whole thing?
"Wind farms can cause warmer temperatures"
They will also speed up or slow down the rotation of the Earth depending on which way they are facing.
Um, yes, there is quite a lot of 'looking into it'. Every tech has up and down sides but renewable methods win overall. And yes, using less energy should be part of the plan too.
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