We Need To Rethink Coastal Wind Farms

I am not going to go into details on the number of dead whales found on the East Coast since exploration for wind farms began. I am going to focus on the more basic problems caused by off-shore wind farms. On Saturday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about some of the problems with the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC (Atlantic Shores) project planned for the New Jersey Coast.

The article reports:

While the Biden administration and other environmental activist groups boast that the Atlantic Shores South project, nearly nine years in the making, is another milestone in the country’s harvesting of green energy, a former U.S. Department of Energy engineer raises alarm bells that not only is this project detrimental to tourism, the ocean’s ecosystem, but it will actually raise energy costs to as high as 80% over the next 20 years.

…“Project 1 and Project 2 are expected to generate up to 2,800 megawatts of electricity, enough to power close to one million homes with clean renewable energy,” according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. 

And while Atlantic Shores South says this project will generate $1.9 billion in economic benefits for the Garden State, an analysis by Edward P. O’Donnell with Whitestrand Consulting found that consumers from residents to commercials to industrial all across the state will see a massive hike in their electric bills. 

The article concludes:

As concerning as it is for Stern to see his electric bills go up, he’s worried about how this green energy project will impact marine animals like whales. 

“The underwater noise from all phases of this, the vessel surveys which use noise devices to characterize the seabed, then the noise from when you pile drive the foundations, and then ultimately the operation of these huge structures create a lot of underwater noise,” Stern said. “We’ve looked at it extensively and we believe it’s going to cause great harm to the whales, to the dolphins, particularly the whales that have to migrate to New Jersey to get where they’re going.”

But according to Stern it gets worse as commercial vessel traffic, military, and fishing boats won’t be allowed in the wind complex.

“So they’re going to be squeezed into these narrow corridors,” Stern said. “And it turns out that the corridors that they’re going to be squeezed into also happens to be a migration corridor for the whales. Now you’re creating, not only a hazard to the whales but a hazard to the vessels.” 

In the Bureau of Ocean of Energy Management’s Environmental Review, the agency acknowledged that the Atlantic Shores South would have a major impact on the North Atlantic White Whale, less than 400 remaining in the wild. 

Stern, who organized Save Long Beach Island in an effort to push back on the project, said there’s also a fear with community members that the windmills, a major eye sore just miles away from the coast, will negatively impact tourism. 

The Long Beach Island Chamber of Commerce said in an email that it was against the project, but did not want to make a comment. 

“What are we doing this for?” Stern said. “People come out and say we have to do this for climate change, but even the agency’s documents say it has a negligible impact on climate change because there is a much bigger dynamic going on there with the rest of the world.”

Stern, along with his comrades in Save Long Island Beach are not giving up and said they will be taking this to court. 

“This is an energy boondoggle,” Stern said. “Unfortunately, it’s also a hazardous boondoggle, and I believe the country will regret this.”

It’s time to re-evaluate.

 

There Really Is Something Ironic About This

Lately those opposed to constructing wind farms off of our coast have cited the number of dead whales that have washed up on our shores since we started exploring on our shores and building platforms for those wind farms. There is also a move (which I admit I was unaware of) to construct floating solar farms. Aside from any other considerations, how much toxic liquid would a broken solar panel release into the ocean? I have no idea–I am simply asking the question.

On Thursday, Watts Up With That posted the following headline:

The World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm Wrecked by a Storm Just Before Launch

That can’t be good.

The article reports:

h/t Dr. Willie Soon; Who could have predicted acres of fragile floating structures would be vulnerable to bad weather?

Madhya Pradesh: Summer Storm Damages World’s Largest Floating Solar Plant at Omkareshwar Dam (Watch Video)

Indore: A summer storm on Tuesday damaged a floating solar plant at Madhya Pradesh’s Omkareshwar dam. The floating solar plant, situated in the backwater of the dam, is the biggest of its kind in the world. A joint venture between  Madhya Pradesh Govt and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), the project was nearly completed and ready for its launch. A part of the project became operational last week.

The project near the village of Kelwa Khurd, aimed at generating 100 MW of electricity, with additional capacities of 88MW at Indawadi and 90 MW at Ekhand village. However, on Tuesday, summer storms with the speed of 50kmph hit the project and threw the solar panels all around the place. No employee was fortunately injured.

The article concludes:

Plastics tend to disintegrate under tropical sunlight, especially when in contact with water or water spray. Ultraviolet from the sun drives exotic chemical reactions, which leads to chemical breakdown.

Metal sitting in water is difficult to manage, even stainless steel is not immune to corrosion. All metal structures in contact with water need to be protected with sacrificial anodes or comparable protective measures. Electricity and metal are an especially bad combination, any electrical fault which causes a current to run through metal in contact with water can cause corrosion to occur thousands of times faster than normal.

Let us hope developers and politicians take the hint, and stop throwing our money at inherently flawed ideas like floating solar arrays.

Sometimes things that look really good on paper just don’t work.

 

This Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone Who Has Been Paying Attention

On March 25th, American Experiment posted an article about renewable energy.

The article reports:

Bloomberg recently ran a very interesting interview with Brett Christophers about his new book The Price is Wrong: Why Capitalism Won’t Save the Planet.

In the interview, Christophers argues there’s a widespread misconception about what’s needed to expand the deployment of renewables and transition away from fossil fuel generation. 

Christophers makes the following argument:

The basic argument is simple, and it’s something that the world doesn’t want to admit: The business of developing and owning and operating solar and wind farms and selling electricity is kind of a lousy business. 

Whether new solar or wind farms get built is ultimately about the expected profitability of those assets. Even though the generating cost aspect has become increasingly beneficial over time that doesn’t necessarily mean that the expected profits are going to be there. 

Generating costs are only part of the costs that a company that owns and controls a solar or wind farm, and sells the electricity, incur. There are also costs associated with delivering that power to where it gets consumed. 

For renewables the delivery costs tend to be higher than they are for conventional power plants because conventional power plants on average tend to be located closer to centers of demand. 

That’s because unlike conventional power plants, renewables like solar and wind farms require huge amounts of land to produce significant amounts of power. 

Unless governments are willing to either assume the burden of renewables development through public ownership…they will have to keep subsidies and tax credits in place indefinitely or else renewables investment will collapse because of the unfavorable economics. 

The article concludes:

The author obviously favors wind and solar and later advocates for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. However, it is interesting that he acknowledges there is no economy-wide business case for wind and solar without government support.  

It’s time for our politicians to be honest with Americans about the cost of ‘green energy’ both in dollars and in damage to the environment. The people who advocate for electric cars fail to mention the children mining lithium in Africa or the environmental devastation lithium mining causes. Those who favor offshore wind farms fail to mention the number of whales that have died in the implementation of those wind farms or the number of birds that are killed by either wind farms or solar farms. Let’s do the complete research before we back something that is more damaging than what we originally had.

Destructive Carbon Emission Mandates

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

The Marxist Left is out to destroy our country. Period. Anyone who does not recognize this is either blind or part of the problem. Karl Marx in his book, The Communist Manifesto, stresses the importance of finding an issue that allows the government to control the people. Well, the Democrat Marxists have found that issue: the manmade CO2 climate change hoax. Regrettably, we have some Republican legislators who have been going along with this non-scientific, unproven belief that threatens to destroy our country and our standard of living.

Recent declarations by respected climate scientists are increasingly showing that there is no evidence that CO2 emissions have any impact on climate conditions. In fact, they have argued that increasing CO2 levels enhance plant growth essential to man’s survival. The climate has changed dramatically over millions of years as a result of natural causes such as solar flares, earth orbit, tilt of the earth, ocean currents, and other changes having nothing to do with man’s actions. Climate change, whatever the causes, is not an existential threat to mankind. What is a threat are the extreme actions being taken to combat a non-existing problem. No modern civilization can exist without adequate, inexpensive energy from fossil fuels. We are committing social suicide by going along with the elimination of fossil fuels.

Let’s look at some things occurring in North Carolina that are heading us down the road to economic catastrophe. First, in 2021 the General Assembly passed and Governor Cooper signed HB 951 which established the requirement to cut carbon emissions from electric power plants 70% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This will require massive expenditures on solar and wind farms and the construction of massive battery centers to store electricity, since wind and solar are intermittent sources. Who makes the solar panels, the wind mills, and the battery components? You guessed it; our global enemy China. It is estimated that the average consumer’s electric bill will quadruple and there will be massive electricity shortages. Germany, which tried to rely on solar and wind, had to reactivate their coal fired plants to handle the demand for electricity this winter. The cost of electricity in Germany is three times higher than in the United States. Meanwhile, we have the technology to have the cleanest coal fired plants in the world and have a 200 year supply of coal; which we are now sending to China.

Second, the Cooper regime is proceeding with the construction of offshore wind farms. One off Kitty Hawk and the other of the southern coast near Bald Head Island. Again, these will be built by foreign countries and use Chinese components. Just think how vulnerable these wind mills will be to attack in the event of war.

I hope I have made my case that these actions are a real threat to the citizens of North Carolina; and all for no legitimate reason. Manmade Climate Change is a Marxist hoax! We need to pressure the General Assembly to (1) repeal HB 951 establishing CO2 emission mandates; (2) block the construction of wind farms off the coast; (3) remove all state tax incentives for solar and wind energy projects. Before you cast your vote this year, find our where each candidate stands on this issue. It is a looming crisis that must be stopped.

Recognizing The Major Problems In The Environmental Movement

On Wednesday, Stream posted an article by a former environmentalist listing five reasons why he gave up “green policies.”

Here is the list:

Failed Climate Change Predictions

Science is about accurate prediction. If Newton’s theory had failed to predict how apples fall, then it would be useless.

Few scientists have been as bad at this (basic) job as climate scientists. In one of the most comical episodes I’ve ever seen, climate scientists erected signs in Glacier National Park predicting its glaciers would be gone in 2020 — only to be forced to leave the signs after the predictions proved false. For a year, tourists to the park were met with a monument to the legacy of climate science: They stood looking simultaneously at glaciers … and the sign that promised, on the good authority of climate science, that the glaciers were not there.

Where Did the Wild Spaces Go?

Thoreau said of nature: “We need the tonic of wildness.” Thoreau was right about me at least. One of my primary motives for being an environmentalist was that I believed natural wild spaces were good for the soul.

…And that brings us to wind farms. I hate wind farms. They kill birds and destroy forest habitats. The blades are made of materials that fill waste dumps and can’t be recycled. They require lithium batteries that have to be mined with methods that create the very kinds of problems the “clean energy” movement is supposed to solve.

Politics Over Facts

Speaking of facts: The relationship between science and politics only works when the causal arrow between them goes from scientific facts to politics.

Bullying Over Debate

One of the clear signs that a movement is rotten is when it resorts to silencing its opponents rather than debating them. The modern “green” movement contains the worst set of bullies I’ve ever seen; indeed, they serve as primary fodder for my forthcoming book called Liberal Bullies.

Lack of a Cost/Benefit Analysis

Even at the height of my pro-environmentalist sentiment, I wasn’t opposed to all oil drilling. I know we need energy; I use it every day. I just wanted moderation that purposefully preserved a significant amount of wild nature. Well, across the board, the green movement increasingly just bludgeons us with simple-minded ideas that ignore the obvious costs of their policies.

Keep in mind that list comes from someone who at one time supported the green energy movement. It’s time for the rest of the supporters of the movement to wake up.

 

When Sustainable Energy Isn’t Sustainable

On January 20th. a website at Substack called Energy Bad Boys posted an article about the Nobles wind farm in Minnesota.

The article reports:

In 2007, Minnesota began its quest to power the state with wind turbines and solar panels when the Next Generation Energy Act (NGEA) was signed into law. This legislation mandated that 25 percent of the state’s electricity come from “renewable” energy sources by 2025.

These mandates, along with generous federal tax subsidies and monopoly utilities seeking to maximize their government-approved profits by building new infrastructure, led to a building boom in wind turbines and solar panels.

From 2007 through 2022, Minnesota built thousands of wind turbines totaling 3,690 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity and 1,143 MW of solar capacity en route to meeting the mandates in 2020, five years ahead of schedule.

However, many of the turbines built to comply with the 25 percent mandate are already being refurbished or “repowered” long before the end of their supposed 25-year useful lives. In fact, one of these wind facilities, the Nobles wind farm, has already been repowered after just 12 years in service.

But why was Nobles refurbished more than a decade before the end of its useful life at a cost of $240 million? The official reason provided by Xcel Energy for repowering Nobles was to spur economic activity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and extend the retirement date of the facility from the year 2035 to 2045.

This story makes for a good newspaper headline, but the data tell a very different story. Digging deeper into the reasons surrounding Xcel’s decision to repower the Nobles facility illustrates how our state and federal energy policies are causing America’s energy decisions to grow increasingly irrational.

The article also notes:

Currently, there aren’t enough transmission lines to move the power generated from these wind facilities to other areas of the 15-state regional grid that could use it. This is because the existing transmission lines can only transport so much power at a time, similar to how water flowing down a sink is governed by the width of the drainpipe. As a result, the oversupply of electricity frequently causes power prices to go negative, which sends a signal to wind turbine operators to scale back supply, at least it works that way in theory.

In reality, the PTC pays wind projects $26 for each MWh of electricity the facility produces, whether or not that electricity is needed. The subsidies mean that electricity generated from wind farms could potentially be sold into the market at a price of negative $25 per MWh and still turn a profit for their owners. This is why the areas with the most wind turbines see the most negative prices, which you can see in the map below.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is only one of many illustrations of the fact that the government is subsidizing the quest for a perpetual motion machine that will never exist.

 

This Green Energy Thing Just Isn’t Working

On Friday, John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog about the current state of green energy.

The article reports:

Wind and solar are both terrible methods of generating electricity, both expensive and unreliable. The one thing that can make the situation worse is the drive to electrify everything, including motor vehicles. The impracticality of this “green” vision has become blindingly obvious, and the “green” movement has begun to fall apart.

The article cites a few recent articles on the subject.

From the Telegraph: “Electricity prices ‘must rise by 70pc to pay for more wind farms.’”

No new wind farms will be built off Britain’s shores unless the Government lets operators earn more money from the electricity they produce, the chief of the nation’s biggest generator has said.

Tom Glover, country chair of RWE’s UK arm, said the price offered by the Government to wind farm operators must rise by as much as 70pc to entice companies to build.
***
His warning follows the disastrous result of the last offshore wind allocation round in September, which ended in a humiliation for ministers with not one company offering to build new offshore wind farms.

From Robert Bryce: “Ford Lost $62,016 For Every EV It Sold In 3Q.”

The bloodbath in Ford Motor Company’s EV division continues. On Thursday, Ford reported an operating loss of $1.3 billion in its EV division during the third quarter. That translates into a loss of $62,016 for each of the 20,962 EVs it sold during the period.

That’s a smaller loss than the company recorded in the second quarter, when it lost $72,762 for each EV and the $66,446 it lost per EV during the first quarter.
***
In its October 26 press release, Ford provided an additional comment on the EV losses, saying, “According to the company, many North America customers interested in buying EVs are unwilling to pay premiums for them over gas or hybrid vehicles, sharply compressing EV prices and profitability.” …

That’s a truth bomb of the first order, one to which veteran observers of the EV hype should rightly reply, “ya think?” Consumers, that is, consumers who aren’t part of the Benz and Beemer crowd, have been unwilling to pay premiums for EVs throughout the century-long history of the EV business. The question that Ford shareholders should be asking the company’s management, and CEO Jim Farley in particular, is obvious: “What the hell took you so long to recognize that customers aren’t willing to pay high prices for EVs?”

I don’t know if I can ever forgive Ford for what it did to the Mustang!

This is what happens when the government interferes in the free market.

Maybe We Should Check On This Before We Proceed

The following appeared in my Facebook group (Right Wing Granny) today. I will admit I know very little about this, but I thought I would share it so that people who understand these things would see it. This needs to be investigated before we start constructing wind farms offshore.

FINALLY the federal ocean windfarm licensers are looking into what happens to ocean water currents – hence the lobster larvae and other wildlife using those currents- when an offshore windpark’s multiple turbines consistently reduce the speed of the wind that strikes a given sea surface. https://penbay.org/…/boem_studies_offshore_windimpacts…
As BOEM now writes, soliciting proposals for wind research:
“Offshore wind facilities have the potential to alter the local and regional physical oceanographic processes that drive larval and sediment transport. “
” Hydrodynamic and particle tracking models will be utilized to assess how the introduction of commercial scale offshore wind energy facilities affect local and regional hydrodynamics under average seasonal conditions.”
And well they should. As noted as far back as 2008 by oceanographer Goran Brostrom, “wind shadows” form over several square miles of sea surface per operating wind tower, destabilizing the water current structure with sudden upwellings and downwellings, as well as thermal changes that accompany such vertical water movements. The whole mess can wreak havoc on the natural current’s riders as it and they pass through a veritable gauntlet of fixed or anchored windfarms.
Unfortunately this proposal will limit itself to “Offshore Wind Impacts on Oceanographic Processes: North Carolina to New Jersey”.
Surely we of the Gulf of Maine ought to have these studies done and pronto! For enormous floating wind fields are proposed as global investors dream of yanking terawatts of energy from the Gulf of Maine’s water current structure.
Shouldn’t we know what is going to happen to such processes as the Maine coastal current before we fool with it.?

A New Twist On Environmentalism

There is a lot of questionable science behind the push for ‘green energy.’ In some ways the quest is reminiscent of the quest for the elusive perpetual motion machine. One of the main reasons we have the wind and solar farms we have is that they are heavily subsidized by the government. Because the government has gotten involved, the free market has not invented the technology to make green energy truly effective. Why should they when competition is not a factor? Less than perfect technology has its challenges.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article with the following headline, “Wind Energy Collapsing In Germany.’

The article reports:

The expansion of wind power in the first half of this year collapsed to its lowest level since the introduction of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) in 2000. All in all, just 35 wind turbines were build with an output of 231 megawatts. “This corresponds to a decline of 82 percent compared to the already weak period of the previous year”, according to the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) in Berlin.

“This makes one nearly speechless,” said Matthias Zelinger at the presentation of the data. The managing director of the Power Systems division of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) spoke of a “blow to the guts of the energy turnaround”. This actual development doesn’t match “at all to the current climate protection debate”.

The article notes the cause of the decline:

The most important cause lies in the legal resistance of wildlife and forest conservationists fighting new wind farms. The BWE President referred to an industry survey of the onshore wind agency. According to its findings, more than 70 percent of the legal objections are based on species conservation, especially the threat to endangered bird species and bats.

The article concludes:

The conservationists have a point. One of the worst features of both wind and solar energy is that they are terrible for the environment. They use up an enormous amount of land that otherwise would be available for agriculture, development or recreation. They are eyesores. And they kill huge quantities of wildlife.

It isn’t the most important reason to oppose corrupt subsidies and mandates for “green” energy, but the fact that these energy sources are bad for the environment is one more nail in the coffin.

Somehow I don’t expect to see this news in the mainstream media.

Going ‘Not-so Green’

On Friday, WattsUpWithThat posted an article about the promotion of off-shore wind farms by some eastern states in America. The article details some of the problems with off-shore wind farms.

The article cites the cost of the wind farms and the cost to consumers:

The governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia have signed executive orders or passed laws to procure offshore wind systems valued at billions of dollars. Officials are eager to win leadership in what is perceived to be a new growth industry. The US Department of Energy has funded over $200 million in offshore wind research since 2011.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a law in 2016 requiring utilities to purchase 1,600 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind systems over the next 10 years. The law requires that wind systems be “cost effective to electric ratepayers.” But history shows that costs are likely to be far above the New England wholesale market price of 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Massachusetts paid solar generators a subsidy of 25 cents per kilowatt-hour during the state’s solar build-out in 2013. Rhode Island’s Block Island wind system, the first offshore system in the United States, now receives over 27 cents per kW-hr, with an annual guaranteed rate increase of an additional 3.5 cents per kW-hr. New England residents must enjoy paying renewable generators more than six times the market price for electricity.

When we lived in Massachusetts, we were able to choose the source of our electricity. Since we lived in an all-electric house, it was to our advantage to choose carefully. We chose a company that got its electricity from Canada in order to avoid the increased cost of Massachusetts’ going green. I am not sure if that option is still available to Massachusetts utility customers.

The article explains the problem of wind turbines and hurricanes (which do happen on the east coast):

Specifications call for wind systems to withstand gusts up to 156 miles per hour, but this isn’t good enough for some of our Atlantic hurricanes. Last September, hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico with Category 4-strength winds and destroyed many of the wind turbines on the island.

Strong hurricanes occasionally collide with our eastern coastal states. The Great New England Hurricane of 1938 brought Category 3 winds to New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 delivered Category 2 winds along the coast from North Carolina to Maine. Hurricane Carol in 1954 and Hurricane Gloria in 1985 brought Category 3 winds to the shores of the wind system-promoting states.

Finally, the Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane of 1821 passed through most of the proposed wind turbine sites with up to Category 4 wind strength. The expensive wind systems planned by Atlantic States could all be destroyed by a single well-placed hurricane.

Offshore wind turbines are expensive, prone to early degradation, and in the case of the US East Coast, at risk in the path of strong hurricanes. State officials should reconsider their plans for offshore wind systems.

I sometimes wonder if our search for green energy is similar to man’s search for the perpetual motion machine. It would be wonderful, but the laws of physics seem to indicate that this may be more of a challenge than first thought. There may be green energy in our future, but it won’t happen until the government gets out of the way and lets someone make a huge profit in the free market. That is called incentive!

When Green Energy Kills Wildlife

On Monday The Daily Caller posted an article about the impact of ocean wind farms on the sonar capabilities of whales and other marine animals. It is known that wind farms impact radar when they are near airports, so it is not really a surprise that they would have an impact of the navigational systems of marine mammals. This report of the death of a family of whales near a wind farm comes from the United Kingdom.

The article states:

The U.K. coastguard received reports of a minke whale calf that had become separated from its mother Friday evening. By the next afternoon, it had been found dead at the mouth of the River Ore, and its mother washed up near Felixstowe. On Sunday, another dead adult whale surfaced, indicating that an entire family could have been killed.

…“There are studies that show that the sounds created by the operational noise of the turbines create vibrations under that may in fact disorient marine mammals like whales,” Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association who regularly discusses the impacts of noise on marine mammals, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “In the case of what looks like this mother and calf, they go on the wrong path and end up disoriented then beaching themselves. The sound kills.”

Both construction and ordinary operations noises from offshore wind turbines can travel immense distances under water. This harms whales, dolphins, marine mammals and fish that communicate with noises in order to breed. For this reason, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) guidelines show that high noise levels can cause marine mammals like whales and dolphins to go deaf and disrupt their vocal communications.

The acoustic disturbances from constructing wind farms and from the wind farms themselves are harmful to fish and water mammals. Combined with the fact that the wind cannot be depended on to generate electricity 24/7 and a backup fossil fuel energy source is needed for those times when the wind dies down, wind energy is not yet at a point where it makes sense. In America, wind farms are killing some of our most magnificent birds. We need to either improve the wind farm technology or look in another direction for alternative energy sources.

Wind and…

English: A barn and wind turbines in rural Ill...

English: A barn and wind turbines in rural Illinois Deutsch: Eine Scheune und Windturbinen im ländlichen Illinois Français : Une Grange et des éoliennes dans la campagne de l’Illinois Português: Um celeiro e turbinas de vento na Illinois rural. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night I had the privilege of hearing John Droz, Jr., speak on the topic of alternative energy. Mr. Droz is part of the Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED). an informal group of PhD‘s and other individuals involved in energy and environmental matters. As a physicist, Mr. Droz approaches the concept of green energy from a scientific perspective. Unfortunately, because the issue of green energy has become politicized, that approach is not generally heard. The group maintains the website WiseEnergy.org.

The issue last night was windmills–are they truly green energy and do they make sense scientifically? Recently Carteret County prevented the construction of a wind farm in their county, and there is now a company that may want to place a wind farm in Craven County. The discussion was a scientific approach to wind energy.

Mr. Droz explained that because a constant wind could not be depended upon, wind power alone cannot deliver electricity around the clock unless it is backed up by a conventional electrical source–coal, gas, wood, etc. So when you are talking about wind power, you are automatically talking about wind and.. That is something I have not often heard mentioned by the advocates of wind power.

There is also the issue of the impact of large wind turbines on residents nearby. In February of 2013, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about wind power in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Falmouth is a town on the western end of Cape Cod, and theoretically would be a wonderful place to harness wind power–there is almost always wind. However, after the windmills began turning, residents complained of headaches, interrupted sleep, vertigo, and other symptoms. The Board of Selectmen voted to remove the turbines, but the town voted not to remove them (the removal might cost as much as $18 million). The town was examining other solutions–buying more property around the windmills (not cheap–property in Falmouth is expensive and there would also be the loss of real estate taxes paid to the town) and curtailing the hours the windmills operate. Obviously, neither solution is perfect.

The bottom line here is simple–from a scientific perspective wind power is not practical. There may come a time in the future when the technology advances to the point where wind energy does not need a fossil fuel back-up and the impact on people living near the turbines can be minimized, but we are not there yet.

The most important thing I learned last night was that if Craven County wants to protect itself from the damage wind mills would do to the county, there are some very basic things that can be done. First of all, the public needs to become aware of the facts about wind energy. Second of all, Craven County residents need to make sure that the Board of Commissioners is aware of the facts about wind energy. At that point, it is a matter of drafting basic legislation that will protect the country from the environmental damage that a wind farm would do to the community.

This is the link to the slideshow used in the presentation last night.

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Environmental Disasters Don’t Matter If They Are Caused By Liberals

The liberal viewpoint on the environment has always been interesting. It is generally more about feeling good that actually accomplishing anything. I am not in favor of dirty air or dirty water, but I am in favor of common sense, and sometimes that puts me at odds with some environmentalists.

The most recent example of the environmental double standard is related to wind farms. Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line yesterday about wind farms and eagles.

The article quotes the Associated Press:

An investigation by The Associated Press earlier this year documented the illegal killing of eagles around wind farms, the Obama administration’s reluctance to prosecute such cases and its willingness to help keep the scope of the eagle deaths secret. President Barack Obama has championed the pollution-free energy, nearly doubling America’s wind power in his first term as a way to tackle global warming. .

“This is not a program to kill eagles,” said John Anderson, the director of siting policy at the American Wind Energy Association. “This permit program is about conservation.”

This may not be a program to kill eagles, but unfortunately, that will be the result of this program.

The article continues:

There’s a basic rule of PR crisis communications: you don’t use the phrase “this is not,” because that’s a sure tip off that it is.

All of this is worth remembering the next time an offshore oil spill kills a large number of birds, which occurs about once every 20 years.  The total annual bird kill from windmills is likely orders of magnitude higher than the number of birds killed from oil spills.  There’s a reason I’ve referred to windmills as “Cuisinarts of the Sky.”

The article further reports that Congress may consider letting wind energy tax subsidies expire rather than being renewed. This would end the discussion about the eagles–wind energy cannot exist without subsides. The subsidies to wind energy are another example of the government attempting to pick winners and losers and actually only picking losers. I am not opposed to wind energy, but we need to let the marketplace decide what works and what doesn’t–not Congress and the President.

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Picking Winners And Losers When Enforcing The Law

CBN News posted a story today which illustrates what happens when the people in charge of enforcing the law do not respect the principle of equal justice under the law. The case involves the death of two ducks in a waste pool next to an oil drill site.

As you read this story, please keep in mind the following, reported by Fox News on August 16, 2011:

Case in point: In the Bay Area, when activists in the 1980s demanded a cleaner planet, the state responded with the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area. The state-approved wind farm, built with federal tax credits, kills 4,700 birds annually, including 1,300 raptors, among them 70 golden eagles, according to biological reports generated on behalf of the owners.

…Pine Tree is one of the wind farms in Kern County and is operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. According to an internal DWP bird and bat mortality report for the year ending June 2010, bird fatality rates were “relatively high” at Pine Tree compared to 45 other wind facilities nationwide. The facility’s annual death rate per turbine is three times higher for golden eagles than at Altamont.

“Politics plays a huge role here,” Smallwood said. “Our leaders want this power source so they’re giving, for a time being, a pass to the wind industry. If you or I killed an eagle, we’re looking at major consequences.”

I am asking you to keep this in mind as you read this story. Bud Brigham, head of Brigham Resources, was charged with killing two ducks who died in a waste pool next to one of his drills in North Dakota.

The article at CBN News reports:

“A Justice Department appointee apparently chartered a helicopter to go search for this,” Brigham told CBN News, “and flew around to all the different well sites in western North Dakota.”

…Those in the helicopter found 28 dead birds in the waste pools of seven oil and gas companies, and the prosecutor used the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act to charge the companies with criminally killing the 28 birds.

When Congress passed the act, it was intended just to stop poachers or hunters deliberately killing migratory birds. But that didn’t stop this federal prosecutor going after Brigham and the other oil executives.

In Brigham’s case, he and his company were charged with killing two ducks.

“And for two mallards there were cash fines, but also, as CEO, I could potentially serve two consecutive six-month terms in prison,” Brigham said.

As previously mentioned, there have been no charges brought against windmill companies.

Fortunately, the judge in the case tossed it out, stating that if the government were allowed to put Mr. Brigham in jail, they could theoretically imprison a cat-owner whose cat had killed a bird.

Those people in the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency who sent out the helicopters to find the birds and those in the Justice Department who prosecuted the case need to be removed from office. This sort of activity does not represent equal justice under the law–it represents the government picking winners and losers–something the Obama Administration is known for doing.

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Calling For Sunlight

Today’s Boston Herald posted an article about the Cape Wind Farm Project and the lack of transparency in the approval process.

The article reports:

In a letter provided to the Herald, the alliance cited a trove of bombshell internal Federal Aviation Administration emails that suggest the agency buckled to political pressure and downplayed fears that the 440-foot tall spinning turbines would interfere with radar and ensnare small, low-flying aircraft.

The Herald reported Saturday that FAA documents obtained by Parker’s group through a public records request contain repeated references to political support for the proposed 130-turbine project five miles offshore of Cape Cod.

“You’ve got a very clear green agenda from the Obama administration, and very clear agenda from the Patrick administration, wanting to have America’s first offshore wind farm, seemingly at the expense of public safety,” Parker has told the Herald. “It’s like offshore wind at any cost.”

The article and the comments remind us of some of the problems with the Cape Wind Farm Project. Aside from the question of whether political pressure played a part in its approval, there is the fact that it will raise the cost of electricity significantly for Massachusetts residents. There is also the fact that the life of a wind turbine is approximately 25 years before it will need to be removed. What a mess! This will never be a practical project–it will never save consumers money, and we will still need carbon-based back-up electricity to ensure that Massachusetts residents have electric power 24 hours a day! It would make much more sense to refine the technology for natural-gas generated electricity (which is extremely environmentally friendly) and save consumers money and generate jobs in America (America is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas).

Man has been looking for the perpetual motion machine since the beginning of time (that is one of the few things I remember from high school physics!). Green energy is simply another reflection of that quest. At some point in the future, there may be viable green energy, but the government will accomplish nothing by forcing the issue!

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