Library filed under Pollution
WHILE a stick-figure army of windmills is set to invade the landscape thanks to the State Government's new renewable energy policy, there is growing evidence that wind power will have little impact on the greenhouse crisis.
Scientists are becoming uneasy about New Zealand's rising greenhouse gas emissions, and hopes of reaching a 2012 target are fading.
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.
Do you ask your barber if you need a haircut? His business depends on cutting hair. The business of climatologists and global warming researchers depends on lots of research dollars being thrown at studying global warming. If there were no perceived problem, there would be no funding. So the first order of their business is to create a problem showing the need to fund even more research.
I respect Mr. Watts’ desire to address emissions. Unfortunately, at least with respect to electricity generation, there is no 'silver bullet'. The only practical solutions, in addition to conservation, are 'safe nuclear' and 'clean coal'. Wind energy has become a 'symbol' in efforts to address emissions from electricity generation. The 'inconvenient truth' is that wind energy is ineffectual.Editor's Note: Submitted to the Burlington Free Press in response to Richard Watts' Op-ed published 7/21/06 which is also below.
It is routine these days to read in newspapers or hear -- almost anywhere the subject of climate change comes up -- that the 1990s were the "warmest decade in a millennium" and that 1998 was the warmest year in the last 1,000. This assertion has become so accepted that it is often recited without qualification, and even without giving a source for the "fact." But a report soon to be released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee by three independent statisticians underlines yet again just how shaky this "consensus" view is, and how recent its vintage.
When the turbines go up, it’s not just the scenery that suffers, it's the atmosphere too. Ed Douglas reveals the environmental costs of wind power
Furthermore, they note that research on possible future changes in hurricane frequency due to global warming has produced studies that "give such contradictory results as to suggest that the state of understanding of tropical cyclogenesis provides too poor a foundation to base any projections about the future.".....Perhaps of greatest significance of all to the issue of future hurricanes and the destruction they will cause is the nature and degree of human occupation of exposed coastal locations.
Your carbon footprint? Carbon offset-buyer beware. It’s a gimmick designed to part you from your money without providing any measurable environmental benefit.
Exxon spokesman David Gardner said the company believes the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may pose significant risk and that it has reduced greenhouse emissions at plants and refineries. "Our actions on carbon dioxide are widely misunderstood by many," he said in a telephone interview. He said cogeneration, or using waste heat and steam to produce electricity at plants, has reduced greenhouse gases by nine million metric tonnes per year. But Exxon has not set emissions limits and it does not invest in the production of wind and solar power because the company does not believe those technologies are economically viable yet, he said.
European and Asian companies are paying more attention to global warming than their American counterparts. And chemical companies are more focused on the issue than oil companies.
The Guidelines require that “In order to facilitate a viable wind energy industry, planning applications need to include sufficient information and explanation to allow responsible authorities to come to sound and timely decisions”. Unfortunately, the application for a planning permit by Macarthur Wind Farm P/L fails to include sufficient information. The panel should therefore recommend that the a permit not be granted, and should ask the proponent to resubmit its application with (i) A full estimate of all economic costs of the proposal, both internal and external. (ii) A soundly based forecast of greenhouse gas abatement outcomes, based on the best available data and an independent, peer reviewed computer modelling of the NEM (iii) A full, project specific, assessment of the energy and greenhouse gas costs of the proposal itself, including all directly and indirectly associated activities.
...the MEA Report can be used to estimate the value (avoided emissions) of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) by providing both REC suppliers and stakeholders with information that can be used to communicate the environmental benefits of RECs and works to enhance the overall REC marketplace. Editor's Note: As noted below under Methodology [emphasis added], this report appears to substantiate the point that wind energy would not backdown "baseload" generation.
These developments suggest that however more convincing the scientific case for serious global warming may become, most world leaders are recognizing that near-term emissions reductions aren't a sensible way to begin moving to a post-carbon energy future.
TULSA, Okla., Jan 31, 2006 -- BUSINESS WIRE Syntroleum Corporation (Nasdaq:SYNM) and Sustec AG, a private company based in Basel, Switzerland, announced today ....a joint venture aimed at converting coal and other carbonaceous materials such as petroleum-coke, residual fuel oil and biomass into ultra-clean fuels.
Proponents of the Little Equinox Mountain wind facility say it will create jobs, create tax dollars, and enhance tourism. Your readers in Manchester, Vt. might be interested to know how that argument played out when FPL Energy similarly invaded our community in 2004
BREWER - As wind power begins to blow into Maine, state regulators on Wednesday considered its potential to squeeze increasingly expensive - and less environmentally friendly - fossil fuels out of the region's energy mix.
On Thursday the seven states decided to proceed with this plan, which stands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their power plants by 10 percent by 2020.
In reality, nobody has a fog what will happen. This is Virtualia, not the UK. During the last year, global warming has been predicted to lead to wetter winters, drier winters, another ice age, blazing-hot Mediterranean summers killing thousands, greater biodiversity and less biodiversity
A group of Northeast states has postponed the announcement of a landmark agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants after Governor Mitt Romney raised objections to the pact late last week, two government sources familiar with the agreement said yesterday.