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Doofus McFancypants 02-04-09 02:30 PM

WOW - interesting reading + rant
Rant Alert

I was looking up info on a book my brother was telling me about.
"Ill Wind" - basically scientists use a bioremediation microb to clean up an oil spill and it ends up being airborn and eating ALL plastic.. needless to say - chaos ensues.
Ill Wind

i was searching for "Ill Wind" and found SEVERAL webpages slamming windturbines. Some where old pages back when it was "Cool" to bash windpower - and some were recent.

I am glad people can express there concerns about seeing something they do not agree with- This is america and we have the freedon to do so...
but COME ON PEOPLE. Would you rather see a Wind-turbine's on the horizon or Coal plants - or even worse "Hail Osama" banners.

SVOboy 02-04-09 06:06 PM

Once the realize it's going to be cheaper soon, they may change their tune, :)

Bob McGovern 02-14-09 04:40 PM

It's always fun to research who is behind the anti-wind websites and blogs. Many are NIMBYs; I always ask people opposed to wind turbines in their viewshed how much electricity they use per month, and whether the "big ugly coal plant in someone else's back yard" is their idea of fair. Inevitably, the most frothing haters of turbines use 40 kWh per day; I dismiss them by saying, "come talk to me when you aren't driving new capacity, okay?"

Some opponents are legitimately concerned about wildlife impacts; they can be usefully informed about low bird mortalities near wind turbines, with the sorry exceptions of Altamont and Gibraltar. Foot Creek Rim here in Wyoming did extensive bird mortality research as part of their site approval. They have about 200 large turbines and found two dead birds a year. Find a lot more than that under power lines! Utility lines serving the Pinedale gas rigs killed over 200 golden eagles last year.

Some (slightly better informed) critics argue that wind turbines are inefficient and require a good bit of energy to build and install. I answer that ALL utility power generation -- coal, gas, hydro, and solar thermal -- relies on fluids turning rotors, and all are desperately inefficient. Physics sets the maximum efficiency of any turbine at 60%, in an ideal world. Add friction, drag, turbulence, alternator losses, transmission losses, and home inefficiencies and you're below 10% of the input potential. Further, wind turbines of all scales repay their energy debt in less then six months; fossil plants take lots of energy to build, too, but they never pay it down.

Some free-marketeers grouse that commercial wind power depends on tax breaks and subsidies to compete. It's worth informing these people about the staggering tax advantages and subsides the US government gives to coal, gas, oil, hydro, and nuclear industries. Wind subsidies are chump change and merely level the field.

But a large number of anti-wind sites & "grassroots movements" are paid for by fossil fuel PR coalitions -- including some of the most rabid "bird kill" sites. The coal power industry, especially, views wind as a threat because they know coal is suffered only for lack of alternatives. They want to drive a wedge between wind developers and their natural allies, people concerned about the environment.

BTW, I have no connection to the wind power industry beyond the borders of my own yard.;) Just kicking in some strategies to counter disinformation that's circulating.

Daox 02-14-09 06:15 PM

Good info bob, thanks for sharing. :)

Higgy 02-14-09 11:14 PM

Hey, I've been hearing about the big wind turbines giving people headaches because of the pitch of noise that they make (can't remember if it's high or low pitch). Is there any validity to this? And I'm talking about the big white ones not the ones we use for our homes. Is that true or is that just the guys trying to get rid of these things making stuff up?

Bob McGovern 02-15-09 12:15 AM

Given that the large turbines rotate at around 40 rpm, it would have to be low frequency. Subsonics can certainly travel some distance thru ground or water, but I'm guessing the headache story is another bit of propaganda. Amazing how people near wind sites will start feeling headaches after reading a story like that, too.:)

I've stood under the big'uns, directly beneath two hundred commercial wind machines, and they are quiet. Basically you can't hear the blades above the ambient wind required to turn them. The trucks on the highway 2 miles away were louder than the turbines.

Now my Bergey 8-footer ... that's another matter entirely.:( It sounds like a police helicopter when it's really shrieking outside.

Higgy 02-15-09 10:47 AM


Originally Posted by Bob McGovern (Post 2084)
Now my Bergey 8-footer ... that's another matter entirely.:( It sounds like a police helicopter when it's really shrieking outside.

LOL...ya I can imagine the smaller ones being noisier on windy days.

I was thinking the same thing about the big ones as I've driven very close to them before and have never really heard anything personally...but then I don't live nearby one so I have no idea. But ya, power of suggestion can have an effect too.

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