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  • #46
    Originally posted by danlb
    I'm not real close, but the Altimont Pass windfarm is 10 or 15 miles from here.

    They have problems from occasional grass fires, but not too many bird problems. It's amazing to see the many different designs. The grass fires are caused by downed power lines.
    I watched the Altamont wind farm from my office every day. They had (and continue to have) bird kill issues. They entered into a consent decree when they were on the verge of permit non-renewal due to bird kills. Altamont kills a lot of birds.

    Unlike the birds that hit my windows and occasionally strike my car, these are protected and endangered species (raptors, owls, and eagles). The issue regarding bats and wind energy development was cited in the Wall Street Journal recently (page A3, December 10-11 issue). The Altamont settlement was also mentioned in that article.

    In California, wind energy production is about 180 degrees out from peak demand (which is typical for wind, and unlike solar). Without storage, CALISO has their hands full with this folly. Lastly, my marginal rates are > 35 cents/KWhr. Welcome to the land of fruits and nuts.

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    • #47
      I have a dream. I dream that in my lifetime it will become common practice to build all structures with PV shingles. All of these structures would generate electricity and send the excess into the grid. So if it is cloudy in one area and sunny in another area, things would balance out.

      For night time when the whole area is dark, power could be stored. We have a pumping station here in Michigan that pumps water from Lake Michigan up into a man made reservoir at night when demand is low and then lets the water out via generators to create power at peak demand times.

      I say bring all of the generators and solar you want into my backyard. And yes I do have a small wind turbine that I use to generate power when I am dry camping in Arizona over the winter. It does make some noise, but when it does, it is putting out a lot of power so I don't mind hearing it. I would much rather listen to a wind generator than a petrol fired generator.

      Brian
      OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

      THINK HARDER

      BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

      MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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      • #48
        Unfortunately, there will always be that contingent of people who oppose any type of technology or progress.
        Sometimes, I find it laughable. "Tree huggers" that don't want the wildlife "murdered"...yet, are up in arms when a Cougar eats one of their own...
        Teachers complaining bitterly about low wages (California, years ago)...Out of curiosity, I walked through the parking lot...Most of the teachers, making the most noise, all drove Mercedes Benz and BMW's...coincidence?
        "Save the Earth" rally, near San Francisco....Hundreds of "Tree huggers" camped out....How did they get there? in various large carbon footprint vehicles and elderly Volkswagen buses, spewing unburned hydrocarbons and partially burned oil residue...

        I'm actually glad we have people who want to go back to nature...it's a good counterbalance for the ones who love their gadgets and progress....Sort of like "The Jetsons" vs. "The Flintstones"
        I've had conversations with people who would live in a cave, hunt with a crooked stick and wear animal skins....but, they adamantly refuse to give up their Mp3 players and their "smart phones".

        A lot of people swear they would rather drive a hybrid or an electric car....yet, when they go to leave, climb into a huge SUV...or worse yet, drive out the charge on their electric car and complain bitterly while they sit, quite motionless, beside the road, waiting for a huge diesel powered tow truck to haul them in.

        Which brings me to the argument at hand.... What do some of you propose we do when all of the oil and coal is burned up? All of the natural gas is gone, and the forests are under government protection?? Nuclear power? Wind turbines? I guess each one of us will have to make that decision when the time comes....If you want to use your iPod, smart phone, or Mp3 player, we're going to have to get usable energy from somewhere.

        True, the Black Forest is beautiful. But, without electricity, you might as well live in a cave.
        No good deed goes unpunished.

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        • #49
          Unfortunately, there will always be that contingent of people who oppose any type of technology or progress.
          I don't oppose them because of birds ..the looks of them ..the noise or being a tree hugger

          They simply don't pay for themselves ..they are subsidized...and you have to have manned power stations for when the wind doesn't blow...all costs are hidden unless you delve into the costs ..the general public don't delve ....we are being duped...

          all the best.markj

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          • #50
            Do you hear what I hear?

            One of my (non-machining) pastimes gives me an opportunity to spend a lot of time outdoors, usually far from people, and frequently in Germany. A place I visit often is not terribly far from Black Forest's home (though not in the Black Forest), and is also in a hilly region where there are several large wind turbine installations in the line of sight.

            I am blessed (or cursed) with rather acute hearing - I used to be a professional musician. I can definitely hear a low "wop, wop" of the turbine blades from 1.5 or 2km away, even when it's not particularly windy and the blades are rotating slowly. On a windy day, the "wop, wop" turns more to a drone. I think there is also an infrasound component to the noise of the blades, but that's very hard to describe, as it's really at the edge of hearing.

            I flew from Brussels to Vienna recently, which is pretty much a course diagonally across central and southern Germany. The weather was clear, and it was easy to see the wind farms on pretty much everything resembling a hill - like bunches of giant white asparagus all over the place.

            I regard them as a much worse eyesore than the handful of nuclear plants which they are supposed to supercede, but which will actually have to be replaced with additional coal and lignite plants, since the wind energy is too inconstant.

            I also dread to think what will happen to the asparagus farms when the current government subsidies for "green" electricity generation dry up, as they inevitably will. I suspect the companies which own the turbines will quietly be dissolved, and the expensive task of decommissioning the rotting towers will fall to the taxpayer by default.

            Good luck, Black Forest! I'm off to the Black Forest for my Christmas holidays tomorrow myself, and I look forward to seeing pinetrees rather than turbine towers.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by Tony Ennis
              I'll believe in windmills (in the USA) when powers companies buy and erect them without getting government subsidies. If they are cost effective as the proponents say, it will be a no-brainer and farms will pop up everywhere.

              Exactly. That it requires massive subsidies to place them and operate them seems not to count against their 'profitability' in those dedicated to them. And taking several hundred million in tax to support them while providing a few million in potential employment is also seen as a winning strategy.

              If power companies are dying to install these then by all means, purchase the land and install them. Personally I see them as an eye-sore, and unlike other generation means they tend to be placed right in the locations that I least like to see giant mechanized whirling contraptions.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by photomankc
                Exactly. That it requires massive subsidies to place them and operate them
                along with what Saltmine was saying, most environmental initiatives are driven by people wanting to 'feel good' about themselves. Some twit comes around and tells kids in school to turn the shower off between lather and rinse....while the government employing him so highly encourages population growth that another mile of countryside gets paved over every year, more pavement houses and cars. Politicians pick up on this human need to feel good about themselves and the whole thing becomes little to do with fact and just to do optics and manipulation.

                an imperfect system.

                otoh, if you didn't subsidize renewable energies and create an industry, how else would better technologies evolve and develop? The change from oil to whatever is too monumental a change to wait until crunch time, so i don't mind a bit of subsidizing creating these industries maybe a little before their economically viable time. While some seem unable to grasp this (ie, the notion of 'peak oil' isn't take as real by some), looking at the long term chart showing how oil consumption has increased vs a graph of the decrease in reserve discoveries makes it inevitable that our current behaviour is not sustainable.
                Last edited by Mcgyver; 12-20-2011, 01:54 PM.
                in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                • #53
                  This may be interesting to you all

                  clickable movable map of europe with the live info on what's being generated now by wind turbines hydro from each site.. etc

                  http://www.rwe.com/web/cms/en/206488...e-energy-live/

                  all the best.markj

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    There was a tv program on BBC recently called "windfarm wars" that had a similar story to yours..

                    It shows how the villagers fought their case and what type of data was recorded..the professionals they hired and how they got shafted by the gvmt for the greater good.
                    and the eventual outcome

                    UK based..but aspects may apply..its on rapidshare and filesonic if you want to watch it.

                    Rob

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                    • #55
                      here's something Ive noted in the uk...when temperatures plummet below 0 degree c...there is usually no wind ...so when people most need the electricity ...the wind turbines cant give you it .

                      all the best.markj
                      Last edited by aboard_epsilon; 12-20-2011, 05:43 PM.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Mcgyver
                        otoh, if you didn't subsidize renewable energies and create an industry, how else would better technologies evolve and develop? The change from oil to whatever is too monumental a change to wait until crunch time, so i don't mind a bit of subsidizing creating these industries maybe a little before their economically viable time. While some seem unable to grasp this (ie, the notion of 'peak oil' isn't take as real by some), looking at the long term chart showing how oil consumption has increased vs a graph of the decrease in reserve discoveries makes it inevitable that our current behaviour is not sustainable.
                        I understand what are saying but I don't entirely agree. Perhaps some incentive into research but not the placement of inefficient plants to "make it viable". It seems quite simple to me that for instance, oil-based fuels, will continue to be the economical fuels right up until they aren't. The tap is not going to turn off one day and we all go dark and cold. It will get more expensive until the alternatives come to a price point that makes them competitive. When that happens the development begins in earnest. Until then building it out and forcing fitting it simply wastes resources. It never develops at the rate it would were it actually self-sufficient and it's largely then used to play favors and rewards and try to 'engineer' the economy as in your first paragraph.

                        I'm all for the alternates and their development but I'm not for subsidization at gunpoint to make certain groups feel better about themselves. Bottom line is I want a warm house, the means to get to work, and lights and machine tools and I want the energy to do that at the minimum cost the market can provide it to me for. I don't oppose all regulation, but when people come in and simply decide that we all must use what they decree better and if it cost me 60% more then that's just tough I get pretty aggravated by it.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by saltmine
                          Which brings me to the argument at hand.... What do some of you propose we do when all of the oil and coal is burned up? All of the natural gas is gone, and the forests are under government protection?? Nuclear power? Wind turbines? I guess each one of us will have to make that decision when the time comes....If you want to use your iPod, smart phone, or Mp3 player, we're going to have to get usable energy from somewhere.
                          Originally posted by aboard_epsilon
                          They simply don't pay for themselves ..they are subsidized...and you have to have manned power stations for when the wind doesn't blow...all costs are hidden unless you delve into the costs ..the general public don't delve ....we are being duped...
                          i agree with both of you. i think that a large portion of the current "green" technologies are not even close to cost effective, or for that matter even environmentally better. everyone likes to skew numbers to their own benefits. i'm sure these hybrid 50mpg+ drivers aren't figuring in the taxpayer contributions to them or the manufacturers when they compare to my 13 mpg fuel hog.

                          electric cars will require a battery replacement at some point that will cost more than the car is worth, thus making its lifespan shorter than a conventional combustion engine car, causing more cars to be made sooner, which can't be green. lithium doesn't grow on trees. there are limited deposits in the world, so how long will that last, and how unhealthy and unfriendly to the earth is the mining required to get it?

                          rare earth minerals along with a few dozen other materials are equally scarce, like used in solar cells and permanent magnets for motors and turbines. how bad are we disturbing the ground in the rush to get these, and how fast are we depleting them in the name of green energy when the technology may not be perfected?

                          the problem is exactly as saltmine states though: how long do we wait on these before we start to use them? i can guarantee that if we were to run out of petroleum fuel tomorrow, the general public would throw a tantrum and blame the government for not planning ahead. a week before those same people would have been complaining about an increase in taxes that went to renewable energy.

                          if you can figure a way to not spend the money until the technology was 100% perfect and less expensive than its predecessor, i'm all ears. i believe that they call that research and development, and i don't think there's any way to avoid it. fuel costs have gone up consistenly over time, so i don't think its reasonable to assume that the next generation of cleaner energy will be cheaper. the whole point is to make an alternative that is sustainable - the problem is people think that since the wind and sun and water are free then the power generated by them will be free too.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by photomankc
                            I understand what are saying but I don't entirely agree. Perhaps some incentive into research but not the placement of inefficient plants to "make it viable".
                            yeah, I was more offering a counter point, I'm not much for regulation or subsidies usually....just that this one feels like there 's some shades of grey. I also don't really know the extent of the cost, just that they aren't fully economically viable at least in Ontario, with Ontario hydro paying a premium (that's my understanding of how we're subsidizing it)

                            Maybe it feels like there might a competitive advantage gained by a little subsidizing early on until waiting for oil to be $500 a barrel? The leaders in this market and technology will generate significant wealth as it becomes economically viable/necessary
                            Last edited by Mcgyver; 12-20-2011, 07:02 PM.
                            in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Mcgyver
                              yeah, I was more offering a counter point, I'm not much for regulation or subsidies usually....just that this one feels like there 's some shades of grey. I also don't really know the extent of the cost, just that they aren't fully economically viable at least in Ontario, with Ontario hydro paying a premium (that's my understanding of how we're subsidizing it)

                              Maybe it feels like there might a competitive advantage gained by a little subsidizing early on until waiting for oil to be $500 a barrel? The leaders in this market and technology will generate significant wealth as it becomes economically viable/necessary
                              Trouble is ..that if it does reach $500 a barrel ..and it then becomes viable ..but viable only for the rich ..everyone else will by then be living in poverty .

                              by then perhaps one of the overunity guys will have given his invention to the world ....or maybe some of Teslas suff will finaly be brought together.

                              all the best.markj

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                              • #60
                                Energy

                                Dont take it the wrong way I do embrace new technology if it works and doesnt let me down when required to do its bit.
                                However until a source of energy comes along which can provide base load when required then I'll use my noisy gen sets.
                                Michael

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