Thursday, December 24, 2009

Save the Earth Somewhere Else

It seems that some people don't want wind turbines in their backyard, or in the waters by their homes. According to this article,
A proposal to construct a massive wind turbine farm, capable of producing 1,000 megawatts of power, over 100 square miles of Lake Michigan, a few miles offshore from Pentwater and Ludington, has many residents howling.

At a meeting in Ludington last week, residents gasped and jaws dropped when developers unveiled drawings showing 100 building-size turbines spinning within sight of Lake Michigan beaches.

"Would anyone put these in the Grand Canyon? This is our Grand Canyon, our beautiful spot," said Pentwater resident Mary Stiphany, adding that the hulking turbines would obstruct views and hurt tourism. "It would be such an eyesore."

The response is an indication that making the dream of alternative energy real in a spot as treasured as the Great Lakes may be harder than imagined. The plan also raises questions that have yet to be answered about offshore wind power in Michigan, such as where turbines belong, how leases would work and who would issue permits.

Satellite data show that some of the strongest winds in the country are offshore, including winds over the Great Lakes.
Personally, I wouldn't want all of those wind turbines in my neighborhood either. They're noisy and ugly and they take up a lot of room. Has anybody ever bothered doing an Environmental Impact Statement on these monsters? Way back many years ago in my college days, working for a local suburb, I had to go out and gather data on a city project to extend a sidewalk, so that an environmental impact statement could be prepared. But this 100 square mile, bird-killing eyesore gets a pass? Apparently we now ask no questions of the apparently green.

While I wouldn't want wind turbines in my backyard, I could easily coexist with a nuclear power plant. They take up much less room to put out the same amount of energy. They're much less of a blot on the landscape. They're much quieter. They don't kill birds. They don't put out any of that nasty carbon dioxide stuff, which by government decree has become a pollutant. And according to Yahoo Answers,
By comparison, the Fermi nuclear power plant near Monroe, Michigan sits on a site of about 2 square miles and produces 1,150 megawatts of electricity 24 hours a day for 18 months straight.
They reliably produce the energy we need to run a modern society. Yes, they produce waste. There will always be some kind of waste or downside to any method of energy production. I can't help thinking though, that most of the growing monetary cost to nuclear energy production and waste disposal is due more to political considerations rather than actual cost. Those brilliant scientific minds who have half of the population of the Earth afraid of climate change caused by that new pollutant, carbon dioxide, have also created a climate of fear when it comes to nuclear energy. If there is any scientific validity to that fear, I'd like to see it so that I too, can be among the enlightened.

When it comes to solar power,
At 5 acres of solar panels per megawatt, you need 5,000 acres of solar panels to equal 1,000 megawatts of electricity. Those solar panels only work at peak power levels during the sunny times, so, on average, they only put out about 25% of their rated capacity. That means you really need 20,000 acres of solar panels to generate 1,000 megwatts of electricity per hour, on average. 20,000 acres is 31.25 square miles.
And the greenies don't want solar panels (or wind farms) in their backyards either.
The New York Times reports on Sen. Dianne Feinstein's latest effort to spur block the development of clean, renewable energy facilities:

Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation in Congress on Monday to protect a million acres of the Mojave Desert in California by scuttling some 13 big solar plants and wind farms planned for the region.

But before the bill to create two new Mojave national monuments has even had its first hearing, the California Democrat has largely achieved her aim. Regardless of the legislation’s fate, her opposition means that few if any power plants are likely to be built in the monument area, a complication in California’s effort to achieve its aggressive goals for renewable energy.
So where is the energy to power our country supposed to come from? Maybe The Professor has the answer. Washington and the greenies sure don't.

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At 11:34 PM, Blogger MightyMom said...

hmmm, perhaps our own natural energy reserves?? oh yeah, and nuclear energy!!

yikes. what a load of morons.

by the way, Merry Christmas Harry. I hope that your family is doing well.

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Harry said...

And these morons are running the country . . . into the ground.

Thanks for the holiday greetings. The family is fine.


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