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Wind Power August 10, 2006

Posted by Kilgore Trout in Economic, Evironment, Local, Local Blogs.

How do people feel about expanding wind power in upstate NY?

Here’s two blogs with two different opinions.

against wind – http://batr.net/cohoctonwindwatch/

for wind – http://yeswindcohocton.blogspot.com/

The view against wind has some points, like ruining the scenery, noisy, high maintanence, hurts land value, causes earthquakes… ok some of their points are better than others. I take issue with this site mainly because they don’t allow comments so there is no disscution, but if they dont want feed back I guess thats up to them.

I think the pro-wind side is pretty self explanitory, clean energy. And I must say that if these turbines really do only go ten years before major overhaul then there must be a better design out there. Its just a generator, the only thing that should have any change to wear is the bearings, and this day they should be able to make a bearing, even big ass bearings that can last more than ten years.



1. chillychumpy - August 10, 2006

Thanks for bringing this up, KT. Something has to be done about our sending money to dictatorships in the middle east via oil buys.

Being a more mechanical guy than me, what do you think of this: http://rochesterturning.com/?p=87

2. Pat Mooney - August 10, 2006

Im in favor of windfarms in New York. I have yet to see any logical reasons not to have them. Id rather see windmills than open coal mines and smog from the coal boilers or have the risk of a nuclear fallout. Wind is a clean resourse and we are crazy not to use it. It is just one of many cleaner renuable energy resources we need to take advantage of.
Anyone not in favor of windfarms is very nearsighted. Do i want to see nothing but windfarms, NO, But i dont think thats an issue right now. I think we have very few options if we want to continue using energy at the rate we do. We could always go back to the 1800’s lifestyle but not many people want to live that way. They have my vote.

3. JL - September 7, 2006

Here’s the logical reasons not to pursue them: The problem is that after 60,000 of these industrial wind turbines and 20 years of industrial wind development, not a single coal plant has been decommissioned, not one. Industrial wind is new to NY but not to the world. So, your point about having wind *rather* than coal is simply not correct. You will have these 3,000 wind turbines planned for NYS most in western NY and you will have the same if not more coal and nuclear plants and now you’ve sprawled wind industrial parks all over rural areas and not much to show for it. You do realize it takes 192,000 acres of land to equal a single conventional power plant? You say you don’t want them everywhere? It would take 180,000 wind turbines to reduce industrial GHG by 1%? To supply that 20% of promoted clean energy you are going to sacrifice environment and land the size of the state of Virgina? Onshore wind will never provide more than 5% of capacity and even the Amercian Wind Energy Association is now admitting that wind cannot be counted on for capacity due to wind’s variability. So, this isn’t a choice of wind *OR* coal, nuclear, it’s a choice of wind and still more coal (150 new plants planned as of 2006), nuclear with wind doing very, very little for the impact it caused on the environment. Remember they aren’t putting these in industrial parks or brown fields, they are picking the pristine mountian areas, ridgelines and natural settings. Do you really want these industrial items in the Adirondack (sp) state park? They are being heavily promoted there by a developer.
Then there’s the world view, well China is rich with coal and is planning to match and exceed the US in coal use by 2015.
So what about reducing carbon emissions you might say? Well it takes 150 wind turbines (several windfarms) to offset the emissions of a single jumbo jet. The irony is because wind can’t be counted on for base capacity, that usually hydro is throttled back when wind does produce some output on the grid. Denmark sold most of it’s wind output to Norway, who gets majority of electricty from hydro thus eliminating any GHG savings.
Finally, there’s the reducing oil crowd. We do not generate electricity with oil in this country (less than 1% in 2005), wind will not reduce a single barrel of foreign oil.
So go ahead and vote them in, they aren’t going to solve any problems and you will have the same coal and nuclear problem you have now and again you’ve just compounded our problems with the environment at the taxpayers expense. Wind isn’t going to fix the coal problem. People want so desperately for wind to be the answer that they are willing to look the other way at just about every environmental cost wind imposes. It’s a developers tax haven. Look at history of this industry, it booms and busts with tax breaks. Destorying the environment in the name of saving it doesn’t make sense.

4. Kilgore Trout - September 7, 2006

I know that Wind alone is not the answer to fossil fuel. If your numbers are correct then it may just be a waste of time. At the same time every little bit helps. We need sustainable power, coal, oil, and nuclear are not sustainable. Sure we could use nuclear for quite a while but what to do with all the waste? keep stuffing it into the side of a mountain thats riddled with fault lines and hope that theres no earthquakes for the next 10 million years? So once again obviously Wind is not The solution but it might be a part of the solution untill we can find something better. As for state parks I will oppose any developer trying to move into state parks for just about any reason. I don’t use a definative cause maybe someone will come along with something that makes it worthwhile, but I doubt it.
The easiest and best thing would be for us to simply try very hard to reduce our energy consumption. If we could do that then we wouldn’t need to build new power plants.

5. JL - September 7, 2006

We are destroying some pretty nice places that environmentalists would normally be up in arms about with these sprawling industrial complexes to hopefully provide ‘a little bit’, to ‘maybe’ be a tiny part of a solution to a very large problem. Hoodwinked is the word that comes to mind. Industrial wind is one of the boldest industries encroaching on the environment today. My numbers are all backed up with verifiable data. http://www.cohoctonclean.blogspot.com

6. Kilgore Trout - September 8, 2006

I just took a very quick peak at your site and already I can say that it looks better than the other anti-wind cohocton site, if for no other reason than it allows for comments.

Sustainable energy is critical for our survival, if what you say is correct then Wind very well may not be a part of that future. MY question is this, besides hydro, what other sustainable energy systems are available? Eventually we need to come up with more efficient solar power because one way or another all energy comes from the sun (besides geo-thermal) so the closer we can get to the source the more efficient the system should be. I did in passing just mention one other viable energy source, geo-thermal.

7. Gerald Duffy - October 15, 2006

Lets take away our tax money and see how long these pro wind people stay on board. China s polution is reaching the USA, and the will be building more coal fired plants this year as well as India. Wake up coal is the power sourse for the near future. Clean coal up and stop wasteing my money on these wind turbines which are destroying what rural places are left in NYS. Do people realize they want to put 400 ft plus towers along the St Lawrence River and in the Adrondack Park? Gold Scchs and JP Morgan are going to get fatter on this coperate welfare.

8. Kilgore Trout - October 17, 2006

Coal is not the answer. Wind might not be either and Im dead set against any corporate takeover of public lands, but Coal is never going to be clean. You ruled out Coal in your argument for it, the two nations that are building up coal plants are creating enought polution to stretch across the pacific ocean, and thats what you want to emulate?

And my point is about sustainable energy, Coal is not sustainable.

9. JL - January 26, 2007

To point about China and coal Kilgore is that industrial wind is simply a taking a few drops from a bucket that is filling up with water rapidly. At our full penetration of industrial wind there will be NO reduction in GHG (carbon emissions) because China is adding a new coal plant every week to ten days (NY Times article)! So we aren’t reducing or helping anything. It’s like the guy that rides his bike to work along the interstate and goes around telling everyone to ride their bikes to work with any belief that they are solving the problem. They aren’t and it’s all about SCALE. Industrial wind does not scale nor help with any base demand and it’s not been shown to help with peak demand either. Wind produces power not when it’s needed, but when the wind decides to blow.
Carbon emissions are going to continue to INCREASE with or without industrial wind. Coal plants will continue to function with or without industrial wind. Not a single conventional plant has been shut down because of industrial wind power to date. And it never will be.

That’s the point about coal. So attack the problem at the source, get cleaner coal. We could cut mercury emissions 85% (Southern Company) by installing coal filters. 85%! Wind gets talked about in terms of single digits and again not REDUCING, but AVOIDING. Two very different words.

Don’t be misled into thinking industrial wind will solve anything. It simply creates more problems. So the choice is not wind OR coal, it’s coal and also now we have to deal with industrial wind ruining our countryside. For what? If these people were in a sinking cruise ship, industrial wind represents bailing with a coffee can. You may be doing all you can, and true you are bailing water, but you aren’t effective because your effort doesn’t scale. Attack the problem at the source — clean coal — slow down the leak, and then move onto getting rid of the coal.

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