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Is Wind Power the best answer?

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posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 03:13 AM
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The UK government in trying to met it's reewable enrgy targets wants to spend 100bn pounds (nearly 200bn dollars) on building 7000 new wind turbines across the UK (BBC news link). Given the inherent problems of unpredictable intemmitency associated with wind power is this the best solution to provide a substantial chunk of electrical power in the UK?

At present only 3% of the UK's electricty comes from renewables, most of which is wind. To meet the 15% renewable energy target would require 40% renewable electricity production, which is a large jump. The national grid can take the small fluctuations in power that are linked to a small wind generation capacity but if 40% of our electricity were produced by wind then if we had a large storm the grid couldn't take the surge and where would we get the power from if there was not wind on FA cup final or Wimbledon final days?

Should this government spend this much on one renewable source or perhaps should it look to spend elsewhere aswell in other renewable areas. Perhaps it should look more closely at tidal barrages, which could produce upto 12% of the current UK electricity demand with predictable intermittancy. Of course barrages have environmental impacts which need to be considered as well. Perhaps the money should be spent on forcing solar PV on all new build houses or investing in tidal stream or wave devices.

So what do you think is the best way forward to generate renewable power?

[edit on 27-6-2008 by Iggus]




posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 03:17 AM
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reply to post by Iggus
 


I'm sure they have picked the windiest places.
I used to live in the UK and my wife is Scottish. From what I know, there's nothing intermittent about the wind up there.
It would be helpful if you provided some links for these plans including the proposed locations of these wind farms.



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 04:03 AM
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It would be helpful to show where they plan to build to them but of course this is a government announcement and so they haven't got a clue themselves yet.

As I am sure you know, for wind power to actually generate there must be a minimum wind speed and to generate at there potential the wind speed has to be relatively quick. These numbers are in the range of 3m/s to about 15m/s, min to max. Even in Scotland, which is a windy but wonderfully beautiful part of the world (north of Glasgow
) they couldn't generate permanently and there may be a few objections by people about spoiling the view, as there always is.


sty

posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 04:33 AM
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some areas of UK would give more than 6000 hours of usefull wind every year , quite good! I guess it is far more effieicnt than solar, Brown got it right this time. The potential is basicly unlimited, however I would not rush on a large - scale project without testing on a smaller pilot-project first..



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 04:35 AM
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Actually, i think we should look at expanding on the current windpower technology.

I mean, there's only one set of fans per tower, and we know that the blades create wind themselves simply by pushing air around.

In the future if we went down this road i'd expect to be seeing the kind of technology that multiplies energy output.



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 06:04 AM
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here's a wind farm near me here in california . this system is tied into the pre-existing grid of power . it doesn't replace the existing power generation plants it only adds to it and takes away from the pressure's of high demand .
when the wind get's to high they automatically shut themselves down and we rely on the other parts of the grid to make up for that situation .
all and all it helps the environment and most people never even have to see it from there house .wind farm



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 08:24 AM
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A newspaper report highlighting the problems of wind power in the UK is linked here. This shows the difficulty of using wind power in the UK.

If the USA provided the same percentage of power as the UK is aiming for with wind power they would need to generate about 800TWh per year. That would need about 55,348 5MW wind turbines working at a utilisation rate of about 0.33, which is about average.

Now think about how the grid would cope when there isn't any wind. You need some sort of backup supply to cover the dips, which tends to come from non-renewable power sources.

Denmark, which has the largest power production by wind, has a main link to the rest of Europe so that it can export any excess power easily and import any when needed.

Finally, Anti-Tyrant, the wind turbine is moved by wind and doesn't create wind. It does create turbulence in the wind current and this turbulence isn't good for other wind turbines. This is the main reason why you can't have lots of wind turbines very close to each other.

Does nobody think then that other forms of power should be examined?



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 08:40 AM
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First off what most people do not realize is that the energy produced by the 'system' is not stored, even temporarily. Energy is produced to meet 'real time' demands. That said these wind farms are an additional source of energy for the 'system' and will not / can not be the soul provider of energy because people still want electricity when it is not windy.

Secondly, I believe wind power is an excellent choice for adding alternatives to the 'system'. It is highly productive compared to other sources, it is more affordable, and you do not have to worry about resource issues (See silicon and solar power).

One alternative energy WILL NOT allow the dismantling of the old sources within the 'system'. As I already noted, and so have some others I believe, many of the staple Alternative Energies (Solar, Wind) produce intermittently when power demand is constant. To build an entire 'system' of alternatives many different kinds must be used to be able to consistently produce power. There is also the issue of 'spikes" in demand, that is peek hours when a particular region uses more energy than at other times of the day, causing further complexities in the development of an alternative based system.

reply to post by Iggus
 

In response to the article you provided I would say they are taking the negative truths contorting them or exaggerating them and using them to dismiss the benefits.


[edit on 30-6-2008 by Animal]



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 08:45 AM
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Hey I'm just wondering if it's possible to have wind power on every house!?

Then when it's windy we store up our own power, and when it's not windy, hopefully there is enough power stored up to last until it's windy again? Is that how it works? excuse my ignorance.

Edit: oh I just read the above post, is there a way to store energy then? like a giant rechargeable battery?

[edit on 30-6-2008 by _Phoenix_]



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 08:49 AM
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reply to post by _Phoenix_
 


Every house may be pushing it as the urban fabric dramatically alters the flow of wind, which hampers the ability to capture it for production.

Still you raise a very important point and that is the break down of the centralized 'power grid'. The easiest solution to the intermittent nature of wind and solar power is the creation of a storage facility on site to store extra energy that can then be used when it is not sunny or windy.

You do not hear this discussed a lot because it spells disaster for the energy companies who want to continue to make massive sums of money while raping our planet and slowly poisoning us all. Such a technology is a 'democratizing technology' in that it allows citizens to 'break free' from systems of dependence and control. Something corporations and governments do not want to see happen as a good people is a dependent people.



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 08:51 AM
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I was aprt of the group that fought against the wind farm proposed on the Western isles. (we won thankfully).

Lets have a quick look at some points.

1) for every turbine there needs to be an anchor base. Each base is on average 1000 tonnes of concrete. A 500 turbine 'farm' therefore needs 1/2 million tonnes of concrete.

2) each wind farm is placed in a remote location - these locations need road access... for the windfarm on lewis there needed to be roughly 100 miles of roads built that were strong enough to take lorries 24 hrs a day.

3) Peat. Most of scotlands wind farms are built upon peatlands. Now, peat is 70 % stored CO2. Dig up a tonne of peat and you get .7 of a tonne of CO2 released into the air. Our 1/2 million tonne wind farm concrete means digging up 1/2 million tonnes of peat... releasing 350,000 tonnes of CO2 into the air.

Thats more CO2 into the air in construction than can ever be saved during the wind factories entire life time.

Thats not including the tonnage of peat dug up for roads and facilities.

Now we get to the power available.

Do you realise that for every watt out put there needs to be a back up to match the out put watt for watt in case of failure ?

In that case it would be smarter to build a nuclear station, have it running at the wind farms full capacity 24 hours a day, save millions of tonnes of concrete having to be produced (massive CO2 damage in concrete production alone) save that 350,000 tonnes of CO2 being released into the air from diggin up the peat...

and lets not forget the damage to the world as we dig up the materials to make thousands of miles of cables and pylons...

Wind farms are a con to make people think they are needed. They are not. They are wasteful, damaging, bad, far worse for the environment than any other source of power, and lets not get started on the damage they have to peoples health who have to live near them.



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by Animal
reply to post by _Phoenix_
 


Every house may be pushing it as the urban fabric dramatically alters the flow of wind, which hampers the ability to capture it for production.

Still you raise a very important point and that is the break down of the centralized 'power grid'. The easiest solution to the intermittent nature of wind and solar power is the creation of a storage facility on site to store extra energy that can then be used when it is not sunny or windy.



Yes interesting.

To me the combonation of solar panels and wind power and some sort of storage like a battery sounds good.

And with the future of nanotechnology maybe solar panels can work even better?? I think I have heard about that somewhere. But that's not for quite a while thou.

[edit on 30-6-2008 by _Phoenix_]



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 09:02 AM
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reply to post by Dan Tanna
 


You bring up good points.

Also aren't they bad for birds?

[edit on 30-6-2008 by _Phoenix_]



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 09:19 AM
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reply to post by _Phoenix_
 


Very bad.

In Norway they have decimated the sea eagle population a masive 77 %.

the same was feared for Golden eagles in the hebrides, and that was a major campaign waged by the RSPB.

BBC news / RSPB

The link shows many arguments and dangers to both birds and bats... This next quote is from Austrailia..




THE DEADLY TOLL OF WIND POWER
‘The Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area is also a symbol of the wind industry's biggest stain - the killings of thousands of birds, including majestic golden eagles, by turbines. The result has been a wrenching civil war among those who are otherwise united in the struggle to save the planet and its creatures. It's been nearly a year since a controversial legal settlement was forged among wildlife groups, wind companies and Alameda County regulators. That agreement, opposed by some parties to the dispute, promised to reduce deaths of golden eagles and three other raptor species by 50 percent in three years and called for the shutdown or relocation of the 300 or so most lethal of the approximately 5,000 windmills at Altamont. But five scientists appointed by the county say the settlement and accompanying efforts to reduce bird deaths are not on track to meet the 50 percent goal ...“We are deeply distressed about the continuing bird deaths and about the companies not being on track for the 50 percent reduction, ” said Elizabeth Murdock, executive director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, a chief plaintiff in the lawsuit that has reshaped the battle over the birds.



Oz news link: Wedge tailed eagles 'black hole'

and this link is many many articles surrounding wind farms and wild life

windy farms

I am a survivalmentalist... my wife is an environmentalist... we go well together...lol



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 09:46 AM
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Speaking as one who operated large high voltage bulk power systems for many years, one of the biggest problems with wind farms is voltage control.

Wind tends to gust and not blow that steadily and it's the up and down power output that creates problems.


What does look like a very workable situation is a small wind turbine at each house.
Locally we have one recently installed at a large home.
It's quiet and even though it's on a 30' pole it doesn't strike me as being problematic.

It looks like, during moderate weather - not like the heat we've been dealing with lately - 101-107 degrees F the last couple of weeks - the turbine will be sufficiently large to operate the whole house and make the meter spin backwards as well.

The installation looks to cost around $15,000. USD and when installed in a more average size home it would take about five years to pay itself off.

My friend and several of his neighbors are going to have a meeting with the turbine company in a couple of weeks and when I have some more information I'll post that along with some photos.



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 10:30 AM
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I am completely convinced that, at this juncture of humanity, our only way to dig ourselves out of this situation is through large-scale implementation of nuclear power. It is the safest and cleanest way to provide massive amounts of power to the energy grid.

Before you dismiss this argument, please take a close look at the following link:

www.ap1000.westinghousenuclear.com...

The above is the latest generation of nuclear power plant. Pretty cool, huh?

I know that there will be a lot of people that will deny this. But I think the fears of nuclear power have been greatly exaggerated, mainly by people who want to keep the cost of energy high.

People, people – nuclear power generation is really a panacea for most of our energy ills.

I feel the arguments against nuclear power are the same as were made originally about AC power – it was considered TOO DANGEROUS to EVER to implement in households. Edison proved this by filming the electrocution of an elephant! Edison stood to gain a lot of money from the rejection of AC power, and the adoption of safer DC power.

I use to think nuclear power generation was dangerous – but have come to realize it is no more dangerous than any other type of power generation – a lot of distortion at play here, folks. Deny ignorance.



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 10:37 AM
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Thanks, Dan Tanna, for your info. Maybe what is a good alternate energy source for one region would not be good for another.

Animal, Desert Dawg, ironman433


There is no one exclusive alternate source for energy production, but rather a mix should be used. So, Iggus, yes, definitely ocean power should be explored, too.

When I hear talk of disadvantages of alternate energy sources, I have to go back to the same argument of disadvantages for oil, coal, and nuclear. For ex, let's see, would I rather see a new oil rig or a nuclear power plant structure or a wind farm? Would I rather contend with the spent nuclear fuel rods or storage problems from renewable energy? Would I rather contend with an oil/coal/nuclear corporation or a corporation in alternate energy? Hmmmm...

What if, instead of investing in warfare for energy resources, each person was given the tax dollars to convert their residence to personal energy production? What if...



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by desert
What if, instead of investing in warfare for energy resources, each person was given the tax dollars to convert their residence to personal energy production?


I think this is an excellent idea, especially for suburbanites and people living in rural areas. (Not sure this would be as good for city dwellers, though.)

In particular, Animal suggest the problem is "storage" of energy. I wonder why a hydrogen fuel cell, rechargeable from solar arrays on the roof of your house, is not a standard feature of all homes? I would think this would be as common as hot water heaters.

Perhaps, as you say, it requires some sort of tax incentive? Or maybe it requires a bit more technology to get us there?

I see that Honda is working on something like this. See this link.

www.gizmag.com...

The above idea definitely works for me! I would like to see something solar powered, as opposed to converting natural gas. That doesn't seem like too high a bar to jump. We will see.

[edit on 30-6-2008 by Buck Division]



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 02:07 PM
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reply to post by Buck Division
 


that's until you have to dispose of the waste and keep it guarded forever or until another Chernobyl happens. considering that GW will be all but dismissed at a time when these proposed nukes will still be in operation, i'd call it case of effective PR.


the key to real, tangible reductions in energy consumption is the use of heat pumps in an interconnected way. you're currently running your fridge in a heated room in wintertime, how much sense does that make? the key to fuel cost is diversification, build a gas liquefaction plant in Alaska already and throw it on the market, take smaller villages off gid using less efficient but locally abundant renewable fuel, etc.

and if it's got to be nukes, please bury them. no expensive armored shell required anymore and if it goes poof, it's safely locked away.



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by Long Lance
reply to post by Buck Division
 

that's until you have to dispose of the waste and keep it guarded forever or until another Chernobyl happens. considering that GW will be all but dismissed at a time when these proposed nukes will still be in operation, i'd call it case of effective PR.


I think I've argued this with you before, Long Lance -- to no avail. (Pretty sure we've had this discussion.) We don't agree on how bad Chernobyl really was, what the chances of it happening again are, or how long we need to guard nuclear waste, or how dangerous the nuclear waste actually is.

I don't want to engage you in this argument now, because it detracts from your point below, which is RIGHT ON, and I haven't seen this mentioned before anywhere:



the key to real, tangible reductions in energy consumption is the use of heat pumps in an interconnected way. you're currently running your fridge in a heated room in wintertime, how much sense does that make? the key to fuel cost is diversification, build a gas liquefaction plant in Alaska already and throw it on the market, take smaller villages off grid using less efficient but locally abundant renewable fuel, etc.


No question that diversification, in a creative way (like above) is what we need. It's out of the box thinking. Gas liquifaction, based in the Artic? That is a cool idea, for sure (pun intended, but I'm serious!)


[edit on 30-6-2008 by Buck Division]



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