Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
So, before we proclaim victory against our profligate use of fossil fuels in the last 50 years, politicians and environmental groups might ponder the huge costs in dollars and environmental damage before 20-storey windmills festoon our coastlines, our sea lanes and our beautiful Quebec hills.
Jon Boone addresses wind power for the Mid-Atlantic region.
This brief paper reviews and evaluates key aspects of energy policies and plans announced by New York State officials, and contrasts their electricity plans with those of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) which is responsible for the reliability of New York's electricity grid. Both sets of plans have major implications for the people of New York.
Economist Dr. Robert Michaels explains the flaws with NREL's JEDI modeling when evaluating the job creation and economic impacts of building renewable energy facilities.
It is broadly accepted that wind turbines do not emit CO2 at the point of generation. However, in common with all types of power station, it is emitted during their construction and, through damage directly inflicted on the construction site, over a much longer period. The total debt will vary from site to site but will comprise some or all of the following;
• Emissions arising from fabrication (steel smelting, forging of turbine columns, the manufacture of blades and the electrical and mechanical components);
• Emissions arising from construction (transportation of components, quarrying, building foundations, access tracks and hard standings, commissioning);
• The indirect loss of CO2 uptake (fixation) by plants originally on the surface of the site but obliterated by construction activity including the destruction of active bog plants on wet sites and deforestation;
• Emissions due to the indirect, long-term liberation of CO2 from carbon stored in peat due to drying and oxidation processes caused by construction of the site.
It is important to recognise that peat is a major store of carbon accumulated from dead plant remains over many millennia. It is held in perpetuity because the bog’s wetness and acid conditions prevent the access of oxygen and inhibit the growth of bacteria which would otherwise rot the vegetation. Draining peat for construction reverses both these long-term processes: the soil is exposed to the air, the carbon is converted to CO2 and released slowly to the atmosphere.
Several papers from the wind industry in Denmark and the UK have addressed the first two points with estimates of payback time ranging from about six to 30 months.
However, the industry rarely, if ever, considers the last two. This is a fundamental omission as their contribution to the overall CO2 debt, in particular the last, can be far greater than all the others put together. This paper outlines a procedure for quantifying it.
The guide has been prepared to enable anyone with access to the Environmental Statement (ES) that forms part of a Planning Application (PA) for a wind farm to estimate its CO2 debt. (If some of the requisite information proves to be unavailable, this ought to provide grounds for postponing consideration of the application and the commissioning of further assessment.)
The results of the calculations described should be submitted to planning authorities or Public Inquiries as part of the arguments used in assessing the merits and demerits of an application.
Eric Rosenbloom reports:
"The data are gathered mostly from news articles, some from government and company documentation. The list includes proposed (and possibly rejected) as well as operating facilities. Ridgeline facilities described only by length instead of the whole area taken are not included. "
Impatience to solve current problems has resulted in aggressive RPSs with strict deadlines. Although we agree that renewable technologies will help attain social goals, mandating rapid, massive deployment of these technologies will result in high cost, disputes over land use, and unreliable electricity, leading to a public backlash against these policies. The United States needs to focus on the goals, provide substantial incentives to meet them, and avoid polices that exclude economical ways to meet them.
Eric Rosenbloom, a resident of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, addresses why wind power does not live up to advocates' claims, why its impact on the environment and people's lives is far from benign and how money invested in wind energy could be better spent.
This study focused on nocturnal migration
patterns and flight behaviors during the peak
periods of passerine and bat migration during fall
2005 at the proposed Highland New Wind
Development in Highland Count. Virginia. The key
results of our study were: (I) the mean overall fall
passage rate was 385 targetsikmh; (2)mean
nightly passage rates ranged from 9 to 2,762
targetshh, (3) the percentage of targets passing
below 125 m agl was 11.5%; (4) the estimated
turbine passage rate of nocturnal migrants passing
within the airspace occupied by each proposed
turbine was 3.4-24.7 migrantslturbineid during the
fall study period; (5) fall migrants flying at or
below maximal turbine height consisted of 88%
birds and 12% bats; and (6) passage rates, flight
altitudes, and visual observation rates of birds and
bats did not differ between the two survey sites
within the project area.
Ontario needs to return to rational decision-making when it comes to ensuring that current strategies meet future power generation
needs. Current policies, such as the promotion of wind power, reflect public concerns about global warming at the expense of
securing a stable and economic energy future. If such publicly popular but economically unsound policies continue, the province’s
prosperity will be seriously jeopardized. In this provocative paper, one of the world’s leading experts on electricity generation traces the history of electrical utilities in
Ontario and why their continued existence is essential to providing power cheaply and efficiently. In fact, he urges continued promotion of utilities as the best way to ensure that Ontario’s carbon
footprint is reduced while maintaining its economic well-being.