Clean Energy ?

  These days we are always hearing this or that politician talking about the need for clean energy.

   Most times they are talking about either solar or wind generated energy. They feel because the energy is generated by the sun and the wind and that there are no bi products from that generation, that these are so-called alternatives to fossil fuels, that create that naturally occuring element CO2.

  For right now I am going to focus on wind generated energy. Right here in little old Delaware , we have been talking off shore wind for years. We also currently have a bill in our state Senate(SB #119), that would require traditional power companies to incorporate even more energy generated by alternative sources , in the energy they supply to their consumers.

  Obviously our legislators care nothing about the cost raising effect this will have on the consumer.

  But let’s examine the reasons they use for pushing such legislation. The number one reason is that they say it is a clean energy. But is it?

  Now to decide whether wind generated energy is clean or not I believe you must look at the whole industry, not just the end result.

  For example, do you know that in one commercial wind turbine there can be as much as two tons of rare earth elements. Most of these come from China, a place not known for their environmental consciousness. So, many of the same people who are in favor of wind energy and who are against mountain top mining of coal, have no problem with China strip mining for the elements needed to build the wind turbines.

  You also must factor in the production of the sub parts. These parts are not made by hand. They are manufactured in factories, and while I am sure these factories attempt to impact the environment as little as possible, there is no way it  zero percent.

  When you are talking about land based turbines , you are talking about a single turbine needing a cleared flat area of 3-5 acres. You will have to build access roads, power lines and substations. You will have an increase in traffic to these areas. Now remember that these projects aren’t built-in downtown Dover, no they are built out in rugged remote areas. These lands are often deep forest that are forever ruined by these wind projects. So again, the same people who won’t let oil companies drill in ANWAR, are oh so willing to allow wind farms to be erected on the beautiful Appalachian Mountains.

  What is the impact to animal and humans from living around these wind turbines? Well in many cases the noise, shadow flicker and vibration from the wind turbines have caused health problems in many rural homeowners, forcing some to abandon their homes. As for animal life around the turbines, the highest risk is to birds and bats. It seems that especially raptors(birds of prey) such as American Bald Eagles are prone to strikes. This is due to the fact that they have extremely good eyesight but cannot see fast-moving turbine blade tips(125 mph),this is known as “motion smear”. Songbirds are also prone to strikes due to the fact that they migrate at night.

  A recent ongoing study by the National Park Service, indicates that moderate noise can have major impacts on animals. The intrusive noise generated by commercial wind projects is well documented. So once more, many of the same people who are so concerned about reducing CO2 outputs so as to protect animal habitat, are just as willing to intrude on animal habitat.

   Now of course here in Delaware we are talking about offshore wind turbines. And while the impact on people may be reduced due to the turbines being offshore, the impact on the environment will be the same. Birds will be endangered. The amount of boating traffic for routine maintenance and repair will be an issue.The risk to recreational boaters cannot be ignored. There will have to be underwater power lines. These lines will come ashore in the most environmentally sensitive areas along our coast, our wetlands. Again major power lines will need to be run and substations built. Do our environmental friends not care about the wetlands? Do they not care about the birds?

  Now finally we need to look at another aspect of wind generation that very little is known about, due to the fact that as a commercial industry it is a very new one.

  The final impact on the world may be, how do we at the end of the turbines life cycle, remove and re-cycle the materials used in the construction of the turbines? Danish researcher, Per Dannemand Andersen, writing in the International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, stated, “”Because the wind-turbine industry is relatively young, there is only a limited amount of practical experience on the removal and recycling of wind turbines,” Dannemand Andersen says, “It is likely to take more than 20 years before a substantial amount of practical experience regarding the dismantling, separation, recycling, disposal, etc., of wind-power systems is gained.”

  Twenty years ? Before we know the impact of removing and re-cycling these environmental nightmares. How is that acceptable to the environmentally active people in our society?

  How come with so much knowledge of the very real impact on the environment by these turbines, and so little knowledge on the impact of removing and re-placing and re-cycling them. Why has President Obama not put a moratorium on all new construction of both land and offshore wind turbines?

  I also suggest that Blue Water Wind create a $1 Billion  fund for the loss of those jobs that have yet to be created and the environmental impact if they ever actually build the windmills.

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6 Responses to “Clean Energy ?”

  1. justmeint Says:

    What is needed are energy systems that are inexpensive, clean, and self contained, do not rely on fossil fuels and can be developed and maintained locally. You think I am dreaming I can feel that in my bones! Yet over the past (give or take ) hundred years or so, scientists, inventors and various curious people, have developed ideas and innovations, that would help us move totally away from our reliance on the presently accepted norms of oil, coal and gas – aka ‘fossil fuels’. Consider the work of Nikola Telsa and Stanley Meyer for starters!

    If our governments are sincere in their attempt to reduce carbon emissions, and also reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, then why have they hidden this information from us? It is known that they have had knowledge of most of these innovations and scientific discoveries for a very long time. How do you define ‘sincerity’? Or better still can you say ‘sincerity’ and ‘government’ in the one breathe? An oxymoron!

    http://just-me-in-t.blogspot.com/2010/06/define-sincerity.html

  2. frankknotts Says:

    justmeint, there is only one renewable energy source that requires no additional production process, instead of requiring large areas of land, it actually reduces a need for large areas of land. It reduces ground water seepage. It increases the amount of re-cycling.It uses proven technology to generate energy from an un-ending source. Its only draw back is that it produces CO2, but with the outing of the global warming lie, that seems to be a secondary concern.
    Waste to energy is the most viable source of alternative-renewable energy out there.
    By using our trash to generate energy, we reduce the land needed for landfills, also reducing the risk of seepage from the landfills into our water supplies. Re-cyclable materials are pulled from the single stream supply of waste, the technology uses the tried and true, steam turbines to generate the energy,it is not a fossil fuel, it would seem to be an un-ending source.
    This technology is being used already. It works and it solves several problems not least of all our need for energy.
    And before someone tells me about the methane already being trapped at landfills and then used to run generators, please, this barely runs the time clock at the landfill. I am talking about towns using their trash collection to then supply electricity to the same town. It is a revenue source for these small towns and can be expanded with little more than adding more turbines. And with the latest scrubbing technology, odor and Co2 are kept to a minimum.
    But because here in Delaware there is a prohibition on incinerators we can’t even consider this source of energy. Allen’s Poultry was going to put one in Harbeson to burn chicken litter from their growers to power their plant. This would have saved the business money, been another revenue source for our farmers and would have reduced the burden on our energy companies, but the environmental wackos blocked it. And for all I know the power companies may be a part of blocking it also, it would have been a loss for them.

  3. Bill Says:

    Frank,you’re right about using methane to generate electricity. It’s not going so well! I’ve been to the landfill over there off Hardscrabble Rd and asked the guy in the back what they were doing. There are all kinds of pumps,pipes gauges,machines,fans etc. He explained they were trying to generate electricity through the natural decomposition of solid waste. According to the guy I spoke with,it’s not working that well and there are a couple pf pipes that burn off the excess methane. I thought, why can’t that excess methane be used for power generation? Believe me,those guys know what they’re doing there and applaud them for a frustrating task at hand.
    I didn’t realize that these wind turbines require so much land. Excellent point in that if oil drilling causes habitat encroachment, so do these wind turbines. Sure,there has to be manufacturing to make the parts for these turbines. Where’s our manufacturing gone? CHINA! Like you say, their environmental controls are abysmal!
    As far as Allen Family Foods over there in Harbeson,I don’t have a problem with their incinerator using chicken waste to power their plant. Isn’t that “recycling?” I’ve lived in Harbeson now about 5 years and not that far from the plant. In the 5 years living here, I may have noticed an odor or two maybe 3 times? With that it’s only been a moment.
    I support clean technology not something that can’t be recovered on cost in about 20 years!!!

  4. frankknotts Says:

    Bill, the burning of the chicken waste again has multiple benefits. It would create energy and reduce the amount of nitrates . This would give the farmers a place to get rid of their waste, which is an ongoing problem for them

  5. Bill Says:

    Frank,one of the things that I failed to mention was the NIMBY attitude (Not In My Backyard) which has put a stop to construction of oil refineries,nuclear plants, and coal generated power plants.
    With current technology available, the construction of these structures with the regulation and permit regulations in place should make these almost “perfect.”
    Remember how Kennedy thought wind turbines were a good idea as long as he didn’t see them from his compound? How arrogant!

  6. frankknotts Says:

    Agreed. Just look at the waste collection site on Rt 5 south of Harbeson. If you come by there and don’t know what it is, then there is a godd chance you won’t know what it is. They did a good job of making it aesthetically appealing to the surrounding area. And I have seen people from the site out on the road picking up the loose paper that escapes. So it is also a matter of good management.

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