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AS with so many of their policy positions, Robin Harper of the Greens (Letters, May 31) chooses to ignore the fact that, like so much of the Green policy rhetoric, their approach to the vexed question of nuclear power and climate issues is one which would reduce us to living in mud huts and eating grass.
To wit: is any modest climate bill worth the political cost, knowing they might not get any other bill passed this year or next?
Then, there's the question the utilities and green jobs advocates will have to answer: is this the market certainty they have been clamoring for?
Wind power in 2004 accounted for just 0.36 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, and solar power, even less - in spite of nearly $7 billion invested in research and development, and billions of dollars more paid out in tax credits, subsidies and other forms of support. Take away hydropower, and renewable technologies account for a tiny fraction of the electricity generated in the U.S. And while those percentages are probably on the rise at the moment, that's being driven not by a real market for these alternatives, but by government subsidies and renewable-energy production quotas, which foist the additional costs of these still-not-ready-for-prime-time technologies off on taxpayers or utilities customers.
The alleged solutions have more potential for catastrophe than the putative problem. The conclusion of the late climate scientist Roger Revelle, Al Gore's supposed mentor, is worth pondering: the evidence for global warming thus far doesn't warrant any action unless it is justifiable on grounds that have nothing to do with climate.
Bravo to the northern caucus for speaking out to protect their region. The lawmakers of the Northeast Kingdom, who sometimes feel like outsiders in Montpelier, demanded to be heard.
Congress and many state legislatures, including Minnesota's, are exaggerating the potential for renewable energy, especially from wind, solar and biofuels.
By assuming that wind can supply 20 percent to 25 percent of our electric power in the coming decade, or that farm fields can replace oil and gas fields, our representatives can avoid voting on hard choices.
Pennsylvanians are sick of centrally planned, highly regulated, gimmick-driven economic policy. It hasn't worked, and now they want results.
And is there a greater example of useless, wasteful government scheming than the commonwealth's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard?
We're missing the point with all these half-baked ideas that will somehow lead us to some environmentally sound utopia of the future. Climate change isn't being caused by too many plastic bags or ignorant car owners idling their cars for hours on end. No, global warming is caused by four things - fossil fuels, natural gas, coal and petroleum........."Right now in Alberta they have numerous wind farms that are producing energy, but that's only when it's windy," Weaver said. "You can't just shut off a coal burning plant when it's windy and switch to wind power, it doesn't work like that."
The global warming problem is serious enough that we should set politics aside and attack the problem in the most effective, economic manner. We should simply require that CO2 emissions be reduced (or apply a financial disincentive) and then get out of the way and let the market decide on the best approach.
These examples show that offshore wind technology is advancing so rapidly that sacrificing Nantucket Sound for a project like the one currently being proposed is shortsighted. In the near future, the public could get the same benefits from building an offshore wind plant farther out to sea with far fewer negative impacts, and at the same time avoid being saddled with what may well become an obsolete technology.
It's time for a truce. In reality, nuclear and wind are not competitive, but complementary. And beyond that, large amounts of both are essential, if we hope to continue meeting our power needs while cutting back on the fossil-fuel emissions that are heating up the global environment.
Are these three legislators so committed to mountaintop wind development that they will not even bring an open mind to the table? They seem determined to keep us frozen in the days of early 2008, when the Legislature threw all of our energy eggs into one basket - wind turbines.
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Denmark looks like a pincushion with those 5,300 giant wind turbines, and they say it gets 20 percent to 30 percent of its electricity from wind. But those are just turbine name plate numbers. Most of Denmark's wind power can't be used by its grid at the time it's generated. And there is no way to store it. So it has to be dumped off to other countries such as Norway and Sweden at a financial loss. Those countries have hydro, and they can use the excess power to pump water back up behind the dams. The actual contribution of wind to Denmark's grid is less than 7 percent.
We need to introduce simple arithmetic into our discussions of energy.
We need to understand how much energy our chosen lifestyles consume, we need to decide where we want that energy to come from, and we need to get on with building energy systems of sufficient size to match our desired consumption.
While the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry recognises that there is a role for renewable energy sources as complementary inputs to Victorian industry, the stark reality is that renewable energy will not provide a commercially viable alternative supply for Victoria over the medium to long term.
Evidence is everywhere, though, that the population of California is growing and will continue to grow into the foreseeable future. If we do not create more energy, the per capita amount available will decline. ...Proposed alternate sources of energy - wind, solar or bio-sourced - have their virtues and their shortcomings. To imagine that they would somehow supplant current sources of energy or might be sufficient to supply future demand, is the product of a fervent puerile imagination. (The technical term for this kind of thinking is "scientific sciolism,") ... To date, the execution of the alternate energy resource program has distorted market realities, causing consumer prices to go up directly and indirectly.
Department of Natural Resources officials announced that industrial wind development seemed appropriate for state land in Garrett County because so much private land will soon be planted with massive wind turbines. Given last year's legislative wind deregulation bill, so rife with cronyism, they're right.
Now all a limited liability wind corporation need do to set up shop in Western Maryland is apply to the Public Service Commission, negotiate in secret with the grid for transmission line access, and get the PSC to hold a public hearing in the area. Even if 500 residents came to the hearing to oppose the project, with only a few approving, this outpouring would have no outcome on the permit.
Yet the Government (UK) tilts, irrelevantly, at windmills. Why? Because the only way to combine efficient generation with lower CO² emissions involves nuclear power and no one wants to be the first to say so.
One cannot expect much more than the usual "green tears in red eyes" from its chief executive formerly employed by Greenpeace, and its continual misleading information on targets, supply to homes, capacity factors - and putting the blame on everyone else.
In these days of the expectancy of apologies all round, they do not apologise for all the heartache they bring to residents of previously happy communities, where the dreaded windfarm applications tear them apart, devalue their property and cause health problems.
I would ask the Nova Scotia Government to take a serious, long, hard look at this whole industry and take some leadership by declaring the minimum standards by which wind energy projects must abide. A responsible, intelligent set of standards could set the way for the rest of the country! Use the experience of those who have had turbines for decades and learn from their mistakes.
Blindly surging ahead into wind energy without considering health and safety factors and reasonable enjoyment of a resident's property is not looking after your constituents - the people of Nova Scotia.