As an ardent and passionate supporter of the environment, which is usually sacrificed because (wo)man aren’t too keen, in general, to adjust their consumerism habits. To do this would require ‘compromising’ their quality of life. So, here’s my take on wind energy generation. And since my focus in graduate school was in wind, I couldn’t let this one slide…

An engineer doesn’t look for a perfect solution, s/he looks at the available trade-offs and chooses the one with the best balance of cost to benefit. Until wind farms are shown to have more environmental costs than their fossil-fueled and nuclear competition, they should be considered a positive addition to our energy portfolio.

Its In My Backyard!!

It's In My Backyard!!

BELIEVE ME, I am doing my best to compel the renewable energy (RE) technology industry to be more transparent about ALL externalities involved in the life-cycle cost analysis–something CONG (coal oil nooklar (natural) gas) have never been accountable to revealing.

Personally, I’m all for hybrid RE systems that produce power closer to where they are used, and perhaps only require the distributive energy network for access. Overall, distributive generation/micro-grid/power scenarios just makes more sense to me than behemoth centralized scenarios. I am confident the work will I am doing will facilitate more of the former.

Also, here is some information on bird kills as a result of WTGs (wind turbine generators)…

Mike Barnard covers this on his blog.

There is a great energy industry strategy input document that analyzed avian mortality across wind, nuclear and fossil fuel generation. Replacing all fossil fuel generation with wind turbines world wide would save roughly 14 million birds lives annually. Wind farms and nuclear power stations are responsible each for between 0.3 and 0.4 fatalities per gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity, while fossil-fueled power stations are responsible for about 5.2 fatalities per GWh.

Predators, plate glass windows on buildings, cars have a MUCH bigger impact than WT generators.

Not that long ago, I caught an article in a hunting magazine that explored the disturbance of habitat by the turbines. The article cited that wind turbiners create about a 20% decline in nesting success–that’s still 80% nesting success. Once the turbines are up and generating, there is some income for the landowner. Also, wetlands and grasslands will be preserved instead of conversion to housing developments (sprawl) or tilled for more corn. I understand, once urban sprawl or land tilling is instituted, the failure rate for nesting becomes pretty much 100%.

I’ll still choose a WTG, as a part of a hybrid RE system portfolio, over a coal-fire power plant for visual aesthetics, too. Even tho, I suppose the coal power plant cadre could argue they are creating more ‘business’ for the health care industry. Ah, hem…

Just think of all the jobs were creating...

Just think of all the jobs we're creating...

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