Sunday, September 27, 2009

[wind farms] what's all the fuss


Unlike in posts involving such issues as Common Purpose and Them, which I'll vehemently debate with anyone, your humble blogger comes to this issue as a WindFarm virgin.

We're told that they are awful for the environment, that they are an eyesore, that they do not produce anywhere near the power that is claimed for them. I really can't say. They're certainly not beautiful, spread out like Brown's cows over the countryside but if they're contained within a narrow area, in rows, then why not?

There was a bank of these on the road from Catania to Modica, in Sicily, high on the hill in the distance and they didn't seem too bad. The blades were all turning in unison, in some sort of futuristic ballet in plasticized nature .

When one considers the alternatives - the Tar Sands of Alberta or the nuclear waste dumping off the Ivory Coast, then windfarms seem, to me, to be the least worst alternative, apart from solar panels, of course. Solar panels are great for countries such as Australia and there are many on roofs, especially the further north you go.

For Britain, with its scant sunlight and for the Netherlands, open to the elements, windfarms would seem a sensible idea. Perhaps you can correct me on this.

17 comments:

jailhouselawyer said...

The trouble is if those cows break wind the turbine behind them is going to blow the smell our way...

Ross said...

The problem with windfarms is that they tend to pop up everywhere meaning that a lot of people object to them.

A conventional power station annoys a much smaller number of people because a much smaller number of people are next door to it.

dearieme said...

Your picture should be captioned"Two Sources of Shite". Wind farms are just subsidy farms - they are an utterly dud idea; you should be ashamed of yourself for entertaining the preposterous notion that they have any merit at all.

James Higham said...

JHL - it's a point.

Ross - that's a question of government then or local planning. I can see how that's going to get emotive - councils are only after the money.

I can't be ashamed of myself, Dearieme, until I understand the issue and until someone tells me to be ashamed of myself, which you have now done.

How about giving me some links for this evening?

dearieme said...

I believe I've mentioned Papa Haydn before.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2WLA5rPV00

dearieme said...

But have I proposed a spot of Scott Joplin before?

dearieme said...

Or there's Tiny Parham - I've got a double CD of this jolly stuff.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS-jcm07u5g

James Higham said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szrqtgAd3h0

That's what I have so far. Joplin - can't remember.

dearieme said...

Or would you like a demo of how much better Blues tends to be at the hands of a decent jazz band than under assault from a bunch of teenage guitar-thrashers?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRRR7jZKbVY&feature=PlayList&p=919DBCD3A7699502&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=6

James Higham said...

All good -shall sort out and theme.

dearieme said...

If I may say so without giving offence, Hob, your blog has always seemed to me to be a bit Rossini-deficient. Here's a guitar-bashing candidate.
Bugger I've lost it - see next comment.

dearieme said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1zwZjxFHHQ&feature=related

Right, I'm off to do some weeding. Pip, pip.

James Higham said...

:)

Lord T said...

The problemwith wind farmsis that they are not consistent. Even our biggest source of wind, Politicians, shut up every now and again.

Then we face brownouts.

Nuclear is currently the only way to go but if we must be green and spendmoney on things that make a few pompous asses feel good then then lets go solar. It at least has a future as we can improve throughput on them with enough investment in the panels themselves and the batteries.

CherryPie said...

I had a big discussion about the merits of wind farms when I was away. Apparently they are not all that efficient and if they over produce energy it cannot be stored. That would explain why half the turbines I saw up north were not in operation.

The person I was discussing this with thought that hydro electric power was the most efficient, renewable and least damaging way of producing power.

Lord T said...

Hydro is but it has very specific requirements that are very damaging to ecosystems because of the flooding required. Remember all the fun with the Chinese one and yet they are still putting in coal power stations.

Anonymous said...

Wind farms are great. They produce power around 80% of the time. We have a large site near us and often spend time up there with the kids. I call them progress. Let industry invest in this technology and it will grow. The wind turbines are getting more and more efficient. The first turbine near me was 300kw now we have 3000kw machines. They also provide good jobs for local people.