(Update: Solar #25)
Germany is in the midst of moving toward getting 40% to 45% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, which is six years from now. The goal for the whole of EU is 35%. By 2050, the German goal is 80% from renewable. They plan to do this with zero reliance on nuclear energy.
Some of the destructive implications are spelled out in detail by the Wall Street Journal article, Germany’s Expensive Gamble on Renewable Energy. The article more explanation than I’ve seen elsewhere.
Here are a few summarized highlights. If you are interested in reading the rest of my article, you will really want to check out the full WSJ article. It is excellent.
Continue reading “Germany’s plans for renewable energy”
Just a few articles on green energy that caught my eye.
8/7 -WSJ – Wind Power Hopes for Sea Change – Lots of delays and cost overruns building the large off-shore wind farms in Europe. The Meerwind facility had 80 turbines located 50 miles offshore. Getting the electricity to shore takes converters that cost a billion Euros each. Article doesn’t say how many are needed for 80 turbines.
Economics are a bit of a problem. From the article:
Continue reading “Update on green energy – 8/20”
A few more articles on the damage from wind power. Seems that wind power isn’t good for birds, nearby little mammals, humans, or for reducing net emissions.
Official permission to slice-and-dice golden eagles – 6/26 – ReWire –Feds Set To Issue First Eagle Kill Permit to California Wind Facility– Continue reading “Update on wind power, 7/22”
If you have read more than, oh, say 5 consecutive posts on this blog, you know that technology in place today for solar and wind power ranks poorly on any scale of value I can think of. Whether I look at the cost of energy, level of environmental damage, devastation to wildlife in general, loss of protected species in particular, general disruption, exorbitant costs, visual pollution, noise pollution, corruption caused by crony capitalism, or damage to cultural artifacts, it is obvious to me that slice-and-dicers and wing-toasters are lousy sources of energy.
What is a better way forward? For the near term, abundant oil and natural gas.
Longer term? I don’t know.
And that is the point.
Continue reading “A way forward for a better energy future without slice-and-dicers or wing-toasters”
Here are a few articles on the environmental damage from solar and wind energy.
Oh. And I expect to never hear another word about the horrid amount of water used to drill an unconventional oil well. The Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project in Riverside County will initially use as much water as it takes to drill 1,369 fracked wells and in addition for each year for 50 years will draw water sufficient to drill 130 wells.
Wing-toasters, or unknown numbers of streamers
6/17 – ReWire – Bird Deaths Continue Through May at Ivanpah Solar – Number of dead birds at the Ivanpah toasting facility dropped slightly in May to 80 birds and 2 bats. Scorching, singeing or melting feathers was visible on 44 of the birds. Several had burns on their bodies. Severe impact of not covering the whole facility when looking for birds is described in the article as follows:
As only about 20 percent of the facility is covered by the carcass surveys, it’s reasonable to assume the actual month’s death toll is upward of 300 or so.
Continue reading “Update on solar and wind power – 7/2 – solar #21”
I’ve been referring to solar farms as wing-toasters and wind farms as slice-and-dicers for some time.
Found a few articles that explain why wind turbines have earned that well-deserved title:
4/30 The ECOreport – How Much Wildlife Can USA Afford to Kill? – Lots of footnotes.
Don’t go to the link unless you can stomach photos of large raptors sliced into pieces. Staff at wind farms are picking up chunks. One eagle was beheaded.
Continue reading “Visuals explaining why wind turbines deserve name of slice-and-dicer & why the number of sliced birds is undercounted”
Here’s another data point for the cost to build out a large wind farm along with the 700 mile transmission line. Can’t have a huge slice-and-dice operation without a way to move the electricity to a buyer.
The Denver Business Journal reports Anschutz-backed Wyoming wind far, biggest in North America, files for permit.
Here is one key paragraph with lots of data:
The Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Program wind farm is being developed by the Power Company of Wyoming LLC, a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corp. It involves 1,000 wind turbines capable of generating up to 3,000 megawatts of power — enough to support the electricity demands of about 900,000 homes.
Cost of the constructing the turbines is $6B per the article, and is based on 2008 plans.
In addition, a 725 mile transmission line will carry the power across Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and end up in southern Nevada. Cost of building that line is $3B per the article.
Key info for future reference: Continue reading “Cost to build a 1,000 turbine wind farm and associated transmission line”
Here’s a few articles on the environmental issues with solar and wind energy. Since the uncontained, unresearched, unquantified environmental damage from slice-and-dicers and wing-toasters is not particularly good, I can’t call this series more good stuff like the other updates on this blog. So here are a few updates including more consequences of wind power, impact of natural gas, and two articles on solar facilities in California:
4/28 – Syracuse, byline AP – 4 dead after small plane crashes into South Dakota wind farm in fog Continue reading “Update on solar and wind power, 5/9 – solar #20”
In the first article I’ve seen on the issue, North Dakota regulators are looking at the decommissioning plans for the aging slice-and-dicers in the state. They are considering a requirement to provide some sort of financial assurance that there will be money available to pay for disassembling the towers.
The estimated costs for decommissioning from three different operators for their specific slicers are $68,700, $82,567, and $75,720. The average of those three point estimates is $75,662. Let’s call that $75K each. That is the cost per turbine.
Continue reading “North Dakota regulators looking at how to make sure someone is around to pay for taking down wind turbines”
Here are a few data points on the cost of building various kinds of facilities to generate power. Accumulated for future reference.
3/27 – Bismarck Tribune – North Dakota regulators approve peaking station turbines – Continue reading “Cost of building various types of electricity sources”
Here’s a few articles on the environmental and economic issues with solar and wind energy.
Since the uncontained, unresearched, unquantified environmental damage from slice-and-dicers and wing-toasters is not particularly good, I can’t call this series more good stuff. So here are a few updates on opportunity cost, the views of wind power hardware will last forever, more solar farms approved, and regressiveness of solar subsidies.
One of many problems with massive subsidies for wind and solar energy is doing so diverts attention and effort from developing new technologies. Some amazing things not yet invented could possibly some day actually be efficient, competitive, environmentally friendly, and not kill off lots of protected birds, non-protected birds, endangered animals and threatened plants.
Walter Russell Mead makes that point on 3/23: Chinese Firm Races to the Bottom of Global Solar Market.
Continue reading “Update on solar and wind power, 3-24-14 – solar #17”
Here’s a few more ideas on the downsides of solar and wind farms that I’d like to pursue when I can. In the meantime, I’ll throw out a few more concerns for my future research.
How many birds get missed in the official counts?
In addition to birds found at solar sites, how many are mortally wounded by the solar flux but have enough energy to fly another one or 20 miles before giving in to their injuries?
In addition to birds found at the sites, how many get eaten in between the surveys of the site?
Continue reading “A few other things I wonder about solar and wind farms – solar #14”
More good stuff on the open frontiers: energy, space, education, publishing. Good info but only time to summarize in a paragraph:
2-9 – Grumpy Economist – Mooconomics – Superb article assessing current state of MOOCs from a professor who actually taught one. Most of the technology looks like it is still very much version 1.0. Continue reading “More good stuff on the open frontiers – 3-3-14”
The Economist points out the astounding costs of building wind farms in the ocean – Rueing the waves – Britain is a world leader at something rather dubious.
England has over 1,000 turbines offshore. It gets more electricity from offshore than all other countries put together, according to the article.
By 2020, just seven years from now, the country is committed to generating 30% of all electricity from ‘renewable’ sources. Oh, nuclear doesn’t count in the calculation. Currently Britain is at 13% according to the article.
The cost of offshore turbines is staggering.
Continue reading “How to make wind farms a worse idea – put them offshore”
Now basking sharks are getting involved. Not basking as in getting a summer tan in a chair on the beach, but basking as in appearing to lounge near the surface catching some rays when they are actually just catching plankton. In this situation though, the sharks are shutting down a wind farm instead of getting killed by the farm, which is the way we do things in the US.
Wikipedia says basking sharks are not aggressive. They have large mouths and a different sort of gill arrangement so they can catch plankton, their main food.
Continue reading “First sliced eagles, then toasted migratory birds. Now sharks are getting in the way of clean energy.”