A wind energy company that has proposed a wind farm project in north Canadian County made its most aggressive move yet to win over the community. But after hosting two public information sessions Apex Wind Energy was left with the assurance that many still don't want wind turbines built anywhere near them.
It was a government subsidy industry where in exchange for creating conscience-soothing but otherwise inefficient windmills and solar panels, the government gave the makers piles of cash consumers never would. ...The reason the Spanish example is so important is that it demonstrates how the whole green energy "revolution" was really an ideologically driven green boondoggle from the start.
Wildlife advocates argue they're not on some quixotic quest - not tilting at windmills. The extinction of dozens, if not hundreds, of animal species by man's encroachment over the years is powerful evidence that we must zealously protect endangered species.
We cannot allow Darwin to just sort it out.
We're not opposed to new energies, just the notion that taxpayers - and, potentially, a huge pool of rate payers - must subsidize their viability. Congress needs a thorough debate on this issue as well as other attempts to implement green and global warming policy through federal regulatory agencies.
Don't get me wrong. The donations are commendable. OG&E doesn't have to give away any money in compensation for pushing prairie chickens off their homes.
No other energy company has stepped up to the plate with a similar gesture.
But will it really save the birds?
As wind use becomes more popular nationwide, landowners need to be aware of lease potentials and pitfalls. Corporate Learning at Oklahoma City Community College has received inquires from landowners who have requested information on how to negotiate a land lease. In response, OCCC and the Phillips Murrah Law firm joined forces to present the Wind Power for Landowners seminar.
The Times noted, however, that while policymakers and environmentalists "love the idea of generating clean power from the sun, wind, water and geothermal sources to displace imported oil," the Cape Wind problems illustrate how locally, "there is often opposition to the hardware needed to make renewable power work: big windmills, acres of solar panels and large-scale transmission lines."
Wind energy could supply up to 20 percent of the nation's power supply but the two variables few talk about are reliability and transmission. The places where the wind blows the most -- like western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle -- also have few residents or businesses that need the power. To achieve the kind of wind power percentage that some states are mandating will require between 12,000 and 19,000 miles of new power lines criss-crossing the country. That kind of power line construction will cost up to $6.4 billion.
Wind power is one of the solutions to our energy needs both here in Oklahoma and beyond, as well as providing a new industry and the jobs that support it. ...Also noteworthy is the potential for wind energy to be not so green after all. Wind farms, like any type of development, built on the wrong site can have a negative impact on the environment. Strides toward solving one conservation problem should not inadvertently cause another.
The wind is free, but the cost of harnessing its power doesn't come cheaply. Each wind turbine can cost more than $1 million.
Transporting the power from western Oklahoma to the population centers is even more expensive. Texas, for example, is investing almost $5 billion to create its own transmission system.
Construction of the enormous infrastructure needed to transform wind energy into electricity and move the power to market can have profound negative impacts on native habitat and wildlife resources. Some direct mortality can occur when birds or bats collide with rotating turbine blades or lines and towers, but by far the greatest impact comes from the displacement of prairie species by the tall structures, roadways, power lines and other development features associated with wind power generation and transmission. Another threat is for species such as the lesser prairie-chicken, which has declined to teetering on the precipice of listing under the Endangered Species Act. ...By placing wind power related structures within already disturbed sites, much of the natural resource impact and cost can be avoided. Such enlightened action can entail some increased up-front economic expense. So, the question becomes one of foresight versus short-term, economic expediency and continued natural resource decline.
For two years, I leased private hunting land northeast of Woodward where wind turbines were built. It was a nightmare. The land the turbines were on wasn't even huntable.
The turbines had to be serviced, sometimes 24 hours a day. It seems like they were broke down or repaired constantly.
Work trucks were in and out of our lease 24/7. The dirt roads became over-used and were badly rutted out. They even had to hire security officers to protect the turbines, which caused even more traffic.