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  • Kennedy and the Wind Farm

    Posted by David Foster on August 23rd, 2007 (All posts by )

    I’m not usually a fan of Greenpeace, but this is pretty funny.

    One thing that does need to be pointed out, though…

    Wind tubines, solar power, etc are unlikely to have much direct impact on the price of gasoline, because relatively little electricity comes from oil. The primary sources of electrical power in the U.S. are coal, natural gas, and nuclear. Alternative electricity sources could have an indirect effect on oil consumption, however, by reducing natural gas prices relative to oil and hence letting nat gas displace oil for some uses, such as heating. But it’s not as simple as “crank up the windmills and watch the oil imports go down.”

    None of which provides any excuse for Kennedy.

     

    9 Responses to “Kennedy and the Wind Farm”

    1. david still Says:

      Kennedy and other on the Cape and close by are self-serving when it comes to wind farms.And so too everyone else. And that, snarky postings aside, we confront the mess we do. Now, how about posting SOLUTIONS we can live with?

    2. Jonathan Says:

      If you can’t live with modern coal, gas or nuclear power generation plants then the problem isn’t a technological one. In that case the only solution is to start electing officials who won’t dodge infrastructure issues or pass laws and regulations that allow environmentalist wackos to block construction of new generating capacity. If the voters in your state aren’t willing to elect such people there isn’t much that anyone else can do about it.

    3. Shawn Says:

      That is funny. I’m a Mass resident and I still can’t figure out who votes for this bum. Now he’s a hypocrite.

    4. Phil Fraering Says:

      Greenpeace are also hypocrites. They _invented_ the death-of-a-thousand papercuts,
      not-in-my-backyard political tactics, and basically made it impossible for anything power-related to get built regardless of merit. Now they’re going to act suprised that these tactics are effective against offshore windmills?

    5. dearieme Says:

      Mr Kennedy and a stretch of shallow water? Cruel.

    6. Anonymous Says:

      “Now, how about posting SOLUTIONS we can live with?”

      Stephen Den Beste did a couple of posts on USS Clueless pretty much demolishing wind power as a solution to anything. Power generation needs to be a constant feed propostion to fit in the existing grid system. Wind is by nature episodic feed, and even with batteries (the making of which wouod cost more energy) or technological changes in the grid such as those Germany is undertaking, wind power would require a tremendous amout of farms in order to contribute significantly to the nations electricity needs. Mostly, wind farms turn out to be symbolic.

      On top of this, you have got to consider the maintenance materials such as lube oils, and the production costs (in terms of energy) before calculating how green a “solution” is. The cardboard McDonalds wrappers used now are less energy-friendly than the old styrofoam – however, they do biodegrade. But environmentalists claimed an energy victory there to justify their meddling. Personally, given how many fast food wrappers I pick up off of my rural route property, I’m glad that the styrofoam is a thing of the past, but I make no fairy tales about the energy costs. I’m willing to spend a few cents more per container in electrical generation to obtain biodegradable packaging. I have a feeling that when those costs are considered, wind turbines look significantly less green than their supporters make them out to be.

      Many of us on this blog do support the one best solution available right now – nulcear. I live within 25 miles of a nuclear plant. David Still – would you protest a nuke facility being built that close to your house?

    7. John Jay Says:

      That last comment was me.

    8. david foster Says:

      I think we are in for a period in which multiple power-generation technologies–nuclear, coal, hydro, nat gas, biofuels, wind, solar–until it becomes clear what technologies can be pushed how far and what issues develop at commercial scales. For example, wind and solar will become more attractive IF better energy-storage technologies emerge. There will also be regional differences–solar will make more sense in the Southwest than in the Northeast.

      The problem is that absolutely nothing will be buildable without years of litigation. We may be in for a period of serious outages and very high power prices. People like Kennedy, Edwards, and Gore will be fine with big private generators, and will never accept any responsibility for the harm caused by their policies.

    9. John Jay Says:

      David Foster – the cost of production and maintenance of solar cells is going to have to come down quite a bit before they become economical even in the SouthWest.