Tuesday, February 26, 2013

No More Wind Farms

I have written about the energy situation before. I have said that I am convinced we will have a new method to generate electricity probably within the next twenty years. Even if it does not happen that soon, we are sitting on top of trillions of cubic feet of natural gas that can be used to generate electricity and power vehicles for, at least, the next century. So ultimately, all this hoopla about renewable energy is just a means to shovel public money out to political "friends".

So stop building those big ugly wind farms now. What brought this to my mind was a headline telling about the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts. They want to tear down two towers that were built there. Their main complaint is the noise. They say that sometimes the noise sounds like a jet engine. Just what you don't want in your back yard.

If these monsters looked like the old fashioned Dutch style windmills, at least they would be quaint and picturesque. The ones that I have seen are neither. They tower over the landscape adding absolutely no charm. They are glaringly white with enormous rotors making them look like giant helicopters gone sideways. In short they are ugly as sin.

Another feature of this supposed energy of the future is that they are extremely difficult and expensive to repair. Generators need frequent maintenance. Bearings freeze. Wiring shorts out. Parts rust and break. So now instead of having one or two big generators in a power house, you have hundreds of them sitting a hundred feet or more up in the sky. People have to go up there to analyze the problems, get parts, then go back up to install those parts. That is extremely high cost maintenance. Eventually they will be abandoned and left to blight the landscape.

It wasn't too long ago that drilling was stopped on an oil farm, I think, in Texas. If memory serves some little lizard that no one really cares about was getting upset and stopped reproducing or some such. But, it seems it is OK that these wind towers kill birds on a regular basis, including eagles, hawks, and owls. Do I see hypocrisy at work here. Maybe just political expedience.

We do need a new source of electrical power. But that doesn't mean we have to grasp at every half baked straw that comes along. Technology will solve the problem. It always has and always will. Politicians sometimes see what they want to see and it is not their nature to dig very deep for details. They just want quick headlines then on to the next big crisis. They also dislike hearing things that disputes their personal worldview. Sometimes the best solution is to have the patience to wait for the right solution.

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