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kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 6155
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votes: 28
Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:55 am    Post subject: Wind power: failed technology. Reply with quote

I have been doing some research the last couple of days, to confirm a belief that I had about wind power. Turns out, wind generation is worse than even I thought. It is the only form of power generation that actually makes nuclear look cheap.

http://planetgore.nationalrevi.....NhOGU1Yjg=
http://www.spiked-online.com/i.....icle/4259/
http://www.spiked-online.com/i.....icle/4173/

That should get you started. Wind power is a dead and, and a failed technology that should be abandoned by rational governments everywhere. Unfortunately, most governments appear to be irrational; another problem with having a really big one.

PS. Also there is this.

http://www.smalldeadanimals.co.....12540.html

Looks like a California condor to me. There are only something like 377 in existence, and they were extinct in the wild as recently as 15 years ago. The solution is probably to sue Syncrude for killing... ducks?
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also in my research, I found that the generally cited capacity factor of 30% is generous at best. US wind has averaged only about 20% over the last decade. Can you imagine buying a huge 6 megawatt e-126 from Enercon, for whatever exorbitant price, but only actually getting 1.6 MW of unpredictable output? Any other product in the world, people are going to be asking for their money back.
cosmostein





Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 7436
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Location: The World

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its about perception, not actual production.
Windmills "look" green and snuggle Mother Earth therefore they are good.

If we really wanted cheap, emission free, and generally safe power we would have nuclear plants providing 100% of the energy in North America.

Wind and Solar get their love from the Coal Lobbyists, because for every failed attempted to get eco-power another coal plant gets thrown up somewhere.
RuralandRight





Joined: 30 Dec 2008
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votes: 5
Location: Rural Canada

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that Nuclear power is the way to go in the future I believe it currently costs about 5 cents a kilowatt, where wind power costs about 10.5 cents and solar is about 50 cents.

I was shocked to see that video posted by Kate this morning. A friend of mine has 2 of those 'giant fans' on his farm north of Shelbourne Ontario, they don't take up much grazing land, he has never found dead birds under them, and he receives a fat cheque every month for having them on his land.

It is unfortunate to see a raptor killed by wind power however raptors are killed regularly by power lines.

Slightly off topic ... I posted on another topic about a fight in the township I live in to save good farm land from being covered by solar panels ... surprisingly we actually won against the Solar power company and Ontario Liberals plans to cover 380 acres of class one and two farm land with solar panels that the energy produced would cost 50 cents a kilowatt (subsidized by the Ontario taxpayers).

Article:Lights out on solar farm

Chalk one up for Common Sense!
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RuralandRight wrote:
Chalk one up for Common Sense!

Congratulations! What a "good news" story!!

-Mac
krackerjack121





Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 157
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RIght and Rural,

Who wanted to put the solar farm here? The landowner or the government?

Rocky
Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small scale wind power is okay. So called "micro-generation".


The large scale ones aren't cost effective and I agree they're more about political optics than practical policy.
FF_Canuck





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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votes: 17
Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Blue wrote:
Small scale wind power is okay. So called "micro-generation".

There's definately savings for the end user in supplementing their power usage with wind power. Solar still seems to be more efficient at passive heating than at conversion to electricity.

cosmostein wrote:
If we really wanted cheap, emission free, and generally safe power we would have nuclear plants providing 100% of the energy in North America.

Agreed. There was an article that I think kwlfayette linked, explaining the relevance of energy density to problems of power generation. One of the points is that despite nuclear being the best from the density perspective, it has the unfortunate problem of being introduced to the public first as a weapon, and that continues to bias public debate on the use of nuclear power.

Were it not for that, and shoddy Soviet maintenance at Chernobyl, we might already be generating significant amounts of our power needs with nuclear plants. We've probably lost decades of advancement (and with it, cost savings) to that accident of history.
RuralandRight





Joined: 30 Dec 2008
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votes: 5
Location: Rural Canada

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

krackerjack121 wrote:
RIght and Rural,

Who wanted to put the solar farm here? The landowner or the government?

Rocky


Both, but the Liberal government backed down on plans to include covering class One and Two farm land with solar panels in the new McGuilty Green Act.

Correction: I posted earlier that wind power cost 10.5 cents a Kilowatt.

According to Lorrie Golstien of the Sun.

Quote:
He's using taxpayers' money to massively subsidize wind -- paying 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity generated from wind turbines (19 cents for offshore projects) compared to the normal cost of generation of four to five cents.

http://www.torontosun.com/comm.....1-sun.html

So hard working Ontarians get to pay an increase in hydro rates not on our hydro bill but out of our taxes thanks to Dalton's Green Shift.
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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votes: 28
Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FF_Canuck wrote:
Cool Blue wrote:
Small scale wind power is okay. So called "micro-generation".

There's definately savings for the end user in supplementing their power usage with wind power. Solar still seems to be more efficient at passive heating than at conversion to electricity.

cosmostein wrote:
If we really wanted cheap, emission free, and generally safe power we would have nuclear plants providing 100% of the energy in North America.

Agreed. There was an article that I think kwlfayette linked, explaining the relevance of energy density to problems of power generation. One of the points is that despite nuclear being the best from the density perspective, it has the unfortunate problem of being introduced to the public first as a weapon, and that continues to bias public debate on the use of nuclear power.

Were it not for that, and shoddy Soviet maintenance at Chernobyl, we might already be generating significant amounts of our power needs with nuclear plants. We've probably lost decades of advancement (and with it, cost savings) to that accident of history.
Note that the Chernobyl was actually rejected for licensing in the UK because of the design. I have been doing a lot of reading on that two. You look at deaths per terawatt hour, scale, emissions, nuclear is ahead of all other generation. It has the smallest footprint, requiring the least area, only one square mile, to generate the same power that other forms need more.

One thing I don't understand is, if small scale is cost effective, why not large scale? Everything else in the world, you make more of them, you sell and use more, the costs go down. I am thinking it is the same amount of bad whether it is large or small.
fiscalconservative





Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Wind power: failed technology. Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
I have been doing some research the last couple of days, to confirm a belief that I had about wind power. Turns out, wind generation is worse than even I thought. It is the only form of power generation that actually makes nuclear look cheap.


Nuclear power IS cheap.


That should get you started. Wind power is a dead and, and a failed technology that should be abandoned by rational governments everywhere. Unfortunately, most governments appear to be irrational; another problem with having a really big one.

PS. Also there is this.

http://www.smalldeadanimals.co.....12540.html

kwlafayette wrote:


Looks like a California condor to me. There are only something like 377 in existence, and they were extinct in the wild as recently as 15 years ago. The solution is probably to sue Syncrude for killing... ducks?


This idea that wind projects kill birds in large numbers has been debunked. The claim is based mainly from data from one wind farm in California that for various reasons has caused problems. Studies at other wind farms show very few bird kills.

Picture windows, cellphone towers, power lines, cars kill way more birds. Should we stop building then (though I would agree Syncrude and the ducks was silly as well).
FF_Canuck





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 3360
Reputation: 73.4
votes: 17
Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
It has the smallest footprint, requiring the least area, only one square mile, to generate the same power that other forms need more.

I was under the impression that regulations generally required a much larger area surrounding the plant in which land use would be severely restricted - no farming ... etc. I haven't been able to confirm that, though.

kwlafayette wrote:
One thing I don't understand is, if small scale is cost effective, why not large scale?

That's the old 'one size fits all' fallacy of composition - the assumption that everything that works for an individual is going to work as well for the collective. For individuals under the right circumstances, who have modified their homes and lifestyles appropriately, there can be cost savings. But it would be a mistake to assume a mass conversion to wind power is possible or desirable because a few individuals can do it.
skuleman





Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 5
Reputation: 1.3

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see a simple solution to see if we really want wind power.

In Ontario Ontario Power Generation is proposing to "buy" wind power at about 19 cents per KWHR when the current price is 6 cents.

Simply put a check-box on peoples bills, I want the 19 cent wind power please, and increase their bill accordingly. If enough people are willing to pay the 19 cents let them buy it and put up the windmills.

Personally, I'd also like a check-box that says would you like to buy 3 cent per KWHR power from garbage incineration, and also do your part to keep our environment pristine - that's a check-box I'd select in a heartbeat :D
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What really limits wind is the spikes and the unreliability. You do not know exactly how much wind you will get tomorrow, or if the wind will coincide with demand, or if there will any at all in 3 days. The only way, and I mean the only way, that wind works, is if you have a storage system for the excess power, that will smooth out the spikes and drops for you. This can work for a home, but you have to have a substantial number of deep cycle batteries and equipment to control the charge and such. And it is not cheap, I was talking to a guy from a local wind/solar place, and he said for $8000 I could get a small turbine that would generate about 600 kw/hrs in a year; the problem there is that I use about 1000 kw/hrs a month. So there is not really that much money to be saved for the initial cost.

Battery storage for individuals actually works, but there just isn't anything like an industrial level storage system that works on the scale needed for utilities. Elevating water is known to work, and this is about the only way you could do wind power effectively; build a huge reservoir, maybe by cutting the top off a formerly picturesque mountain. You pump water up when the wind blows, and put it through a hydro generator when the wind is not blowing. Even this does not work though, as the capacity factor for wind is only 20% to 30%. How do you get enough power for 100% of the time, when you are only pumping water 30% of the time? You still need a full sized conventional generating station to cover the shortfall.
Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
One thing I don't understand is, if small scale is cost effective, why not large scale?


Because when it's large scale the government is usually running the show.
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