Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wind Farm Agreements Are A Necessity

More problems on the Wisconsin wind power front, this time at large proposed project north of Madison.

I sympathize with neighbors who say the turbines are noisy and discombobulating: let's hope that better siting can resolve the objections, as the state and nation need alternatives to coal plants and wind offers some real, immediate benefits.

4 comments:

Festoonic said...

This is an issue in Maine, too, but I can't help but notice that no one asked the people of Appalachia whether they wanted their mountain tops shorn off in pursuit of the coal that keeps the lights on in prettier places like Maine and Wisconsin. It ain't about scenery, I'm afraid. It's strictly about class. Excellent blog, by the way.

crackbaby said...

Here we go again. Like so many industrial-scale ideas of the past, industrial-scale wind power generation also has significant adverse impacts on people and nature. In this case, wind turbines cast noise, light and pressure "shadows" on nearby residents resulting in an assortment of adverse effects.

Add to that the need for new powerlines and utility corridors which put critical electrical transmission systems at greater risk of nefarious activities, if you will.

So, perhaps the question or problem statement is not how to site these enormous, visually disruptive (not that they are not interesting to see, however), wind turbines but why do we want to invest so much in a wind power model that relies on the costly and problem-plagued transmission system we now have.

Wouldn't it be smarter to develop a second generation of turbines modelled after the one running in Fitchburg, WI just south of Madison. These cylinder turbines are small but powerful and can power several homes with moderate winds.

This solution is particularly important for rural areas that are scattered across the landscape and which require the most long-distance transmission lines to get power. These rural towns have been seriously hurt over the past thirty years; providing an opportunity to reduce their costs of energy could be the shot in the arm many towns desperately need.

Brutus said...

Iv'e seen the cylinder turbines, crackbaby. Quite impressive. "Green Builders" may be offering these, or should be. It would be a wise choice to offer incentive as it could use existing grid(?) As for the large turbines, subsudized factory farms SHOULD be willing!

Anonymous said...

Wind farms are a childish idea. They produce a low amount of electricity at a high cost. They are clean, smart, "free", and even a child would see the advantage. Unfortunately, to produce anything greater than a fraction of 1% of energy, we would have to plant a million of them all over the country. With the huge maintenance costs, they would force rates to rise. If we want "Clean", we'd be better off building more hydroelectric plants, though these stress ecosystems. So perhaps the answer is nuclear, but then we have the waste. You can't win with electric. We need Tesla.