Update on solar and wind power – solar #30

Here are a few articles on the economic problems and environmental damage from wind energy: survey of broad issues, intermittency, & pushback.

10/1 – Why Not Wind – Brief summary of the shortcomings of wind plantsCheck out the full article for detail comments on each of the following key points:

It’s energy from the weather.

Turbines kill birds and bats.

Wind industrializes open space.

Such and such a country got 85% of its electricity from wind.

That would be Germany and that stat is only true at whatever peak of the day the wind is blowing strongest. Average production is a small percent of that artificial stat.

Wind saves CO2 emissions–or does it?

The cost of wind remains high, in spite of being an industry over 30 years mature.

There are reports that wind turbines can cause something called “wind turbine syndrome”.

Wind turbines can decrease property values in the area near the turbines.

Wind can never replace coal, natural gas and other fuels used for electrical generation.

Wind is harmful to the economy, the environment, birds, people, scenery, and CO2 levels. Can someone explain to me why is consider otherwise?

9/25 – Things Worse Than Nuclear Power – Why Intermittency Matters, Part I – Intermittency is the issue of power only being available when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. That is a serious issue for both wing-toasters and slice-and-dicers. The article goes in-depth on why intermittency is such a problem.

It isn’t just the need to have instantaneous backup power sources for when the sun goes down, or a cloud bank passes over a solar farm, or the gusts fade for a moment. There is also the technical issue of switching back and forth. Also the huge output spike in middle of the day pushes wholesale prices to the floor or even go negative.

The even deeper levels of instability in the entire electrical grid is over my head to even summarize. All those issues will be multiplied as the portion of power from wind and solar increases.

10/1 – Associated Press – A decade after welcoming wind, states reconsider – the cost in state subsidies, visual pollution during the day, light pollution at night from the flashing lights on top of the towers, noise, and encroachment on populated areas are starting to generate pushback. The article discusses resistance developing in Oklahoma.

Turbines are given a five-year property tax exemption which helps investors and hurts the local government. To make up for the hits to local finances, the state reimburses the counties. The state provides a further subsidy for all ongoing production. Concerns are the heavy subsidies of the state level could squeeze out funding for other projects such as schools, highways, and prisons.

The heavy volume of lobbyists hired to defend the corporate interests are stopping any efforts to impose any hint of regulation.

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