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Eric Rosenbloom's weblog focusing on wind power issues.
I was asked to review the prefiled testimony and exhibits of Matthew Rubin for the East Haven Windfarm and to provide an independent opinion regarding the claimed environmental benefits, estimated benefit values, project footprint and noise impacts and general wind project economic issues.
To help guide our own internal policy on wind energy, VNRC has developed a list of criteria that we feel is appropriate to consider for wind energy development. These criteria are not exclusive to state owned land, but rather focus on developing a vision for siting wind energy infrastructure in Vermont. We have included specific considerations for State lands as well. The goal is to integrate the need to develop new in-state sources of renewable energy with protection of existing environmental values and public policy goals.
Given its location, Gray County would have displaced mostly NGCC and some oil fired generation. Using the average 2003 NGCC heatrate for the sub-powerpool (7,478 Btu/kWh) and the average CO2 content of natural gas (116 #CO2/MMBtu), the project may have displaced only 158,000 tons of CO2 in 2003 (0.00207% of 2003 US estimated emissions according to the USDOE report entitled Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States, 2003 (issued December 13, 2004). (Note in 2002, the output was less and it would have displaced only 140,000 tons).
Eric Rosenbloom writes: "Although Greenpeace's answer to wind-farm.org, Yes2Wind, includes a link to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), I was not surprised to find almost nothing from IPCC about wind power. In one 1996 Technical Paper, "Technologies, Policies and Measures for Mitigating Climate Change," wind is discussed among other renewable sources. The study is interesting. It examines seven areas of human activity that affect the emission of greenhouse gases, especially CO2. The main topics are buildings, transport, industry, and the energy supply itself to these three areas. Also of concern is agriculture, which accounts for only 5% of human CO2 release but 50% of CH4 and 70% of N2O; forests, the clearing and degradation of which in low latitudes adds 1.2-2.0 gigatonnes of carbon (GtC) to the atmosphere per year, while mid- and high-latitude forests remove 0.5-0.9 GtC/yr; and waste treatment, which adds carbon in the form of methane (CH4)."
We are in continued public hearings to consider the application of the Desert Claim Wind Farm. I would like to remind everybody that the record is closed at this point for public testimony. What we are doing this evening is we have taken receipt - and we did that actually midpoint last week - of the revised development agreement for the project. What we intend to do this evening is to engage in Board discussion in terms of setting a timeline for further review and any other comment as the Board deems appropriate and then ideally with instructions to staff in terms of how we proceed from this date.
...additional radar studies would be required to see if spring migration patterns are different than those measured in the fall. Typically spring migration is shorter than fall migration with fewer numbers in the shorter period of time. How this will affect the numbers of birds passing through the rotor swept volume is unknown. It is important to determine the seasonal timing, altitude and numbers of migrant birds passing over the proposed project site and the effects of weather upon their passage over a greater part of the whole year. In addition, it is possible to determine some of the bird and bat species passing through the project site by accoustical sensors to determine which species, that make vocal calls, are migrating through the site.
This thesis studies the impact of large amounts of wind power on the Nordic electricity system. The impact on both the technical operation of the power system and the electricity market are investigated.Editor's Note:The author's focus on the averaging effect of a multitude of small wind turbines spread over a large geopgraphical area understates the reliability problems associated with wind power, particularly the cascade effect as wind turbines drop off-line.
If there was ever a sterling example of NIMBY (and I’m reluctant to use such a disparaging term when describing the legitimate concerns of citizens for their community) your position is it. I find it absurd that you consider the hills of western Masachusetts any less of a national treasure than Nantucket Sound, and suitable for “wind factories.”
Instead, the Government insist that onshore wind farms are the answer to meeting both our energy needs and our carbon dioxide emission targets, despite the fact that: • wind farms only generate energy when the wind is blowing, and then not too hard • they can't store energy, but only pass it on for immediate use, • they are sometimes opposed by local communities for sound environmental and economic reasons, and • they can only make a tiny contribution to achieving our renewables target .
More Than Half The Voters Sign Petition
After reading about and listening to the debate over giant wind turbines for a number of weeks now, it is the opinion of this writer that they are not a good idea for Garrett County, and we should do what we can to keep them out of here.
“America can't afford to have an energy policy that's tailored to what's "in" politically. We need to focus our efforts on expanding meaningful alternatives to fossil fuels that can have a major impact on achieving energy security and reducing global warming.”
In the UK, the parallel objective is to generate 10% of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources by 2010. Renewable electricity has become synonymous with CO2 reduction. However, the relationship between renewables and CO2 reduction in the power generation sector does not appear to have been examined in detail, and the likelihood, scale, and cost of emissions abatement from renewables is very poorly understood. The purpose of this report is to analyse a wide range of technical literature that questions whether the renewables policy can achieve its goals of emissions reduction and power generation. To some, renewable energy has the simple and unanalysed virtue of being “green”. However, the reality of this quality is dependent on practical issues relating to electricity supply. ......In conclusion, it seems reasonable to ask why wind-power is the beneficiary of such extensive support if it not only fails to achieve the CO2 reductions required, but also causes cost increases in back-up, maintenance and transmission, while at the same time discouraging investment in clean, firm generation.
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.
Large-scale use of wind power can alter local and global climate by extracting kinetic energy and altering turbulent transport in the atmospheric boundary layer. We report climate-model simulations that address the possible climatic impacts of wind power at regional to global scales by using two general circulation models and several parameterizations of the interaction of wind turbines with the boundary layer. We find that very large amounts of wind power can produce nonnegligible climatic change at continental scales. Although large-scale effects are observed, wind power has a negligible effect on global-mean surface temperature, and it would deliver enormous global benefits by reducing emissions of CO2 and air pollutants. Our results may enable a comparison between the climate impacts due to wind power and the reduction in climatic impacts achieved by the substitution of wind for fossil fuels.
In August 2004, Chautauqua County Citizens for Responsible Wind Power submitted a letter to the NYSERDA Board of Directors outlining our concerns about NYSERDA’s involvement with the proposed Chautauqua County wind energy project. Mr. Vincent DeIorio initially responded to us in a letter dated August 24, 2004. Mr. Peter Keane then provided a supplemental response in his September 29, 2004 letter. We find that both of these letters do not address the core issues outlined in our August 2004 letter. The following summarizes our concerns in context of the responses provided by NYSERDA to date:
A new simulation finds serious and previously unrecognized environmental threats from massive wind farms in the American Great Plains. A recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research by scientists from Princeton and Duke Universities indicates massive wind farms would significantly increase local surface drying and soil heating, which in turn would impact agricultural or range use on or near the wind farm. The modeling experiment used current wind turbine and rotor technology to assess local climate impacts from a simulated wind farm with 10,000 turbines, arranged in a simple, square array of 100 by 100 turbines, each spaced one kilometer apart.
...some wind power facilities, such as the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA) in eastern Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, California, are causing severe environmental impacts to raptor populations due to bird kills from collisions with turbines and electrocution on power lines.
..modern commercial wind projects present their own set of environmental problems due to the massive scale and numbers of the turbines, the high wind-energy potential of our ecologically sensitive mountain ridges and coastal waters, and the absence of any reliable pre-development assessment process.