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Windmills Take Toll on Wildlife
Los Angeles Times ^ | December 8, 2003 | Rone Tempest

Posted on 12/08/2003 11:20:40 AM PST by Willie Green

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To: biblewonk
It's used up where I've seen it. you can't use modern irrigation systems around it, you can't build modern cities around it. You can maybe do some second thing in a half-assed form around it, but that's like saying that because you could play handball on the wall around a nuclear powerplant the land isn't used up. The bottom line isn't cost perkwhr, it's also acrage per kwhr, and I know the equation well enough to know that as the technology currently stands windpower is a joke and needs to be retracted to the experimental stage (along with solar) until some big leaps are made.
101 posted on 12/08/2003 2:13:22 PM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: discostu; biblewonk
they were jsut commenting on how many are turned off at any given time, no comparing.

Not sure what you mean. Modern turbines have 98.5% uptime. Again, if you're looking at Altamont Pass, you're looking at the equivalent of Model 'T's. Or, at best, '62 Ramblers.

And even in the modern wind farms a lot of turbines are turned off at any given time because they need to be tuned to particular wind speeds and won't be on if the wind isn't going the right speed.

As I understand it, they produce electricity at wind speeds from 9 MPH to 50 MPH. That's the "right" speed. Put 'em where the wind blows, and they're turning. Look for an average-windspeed map on the 'Net. When I drive by the wind farms in NW Iowa or SW Minnesota, it looks like 1 or 2 of every 100 is stopped. That's just my observation.

It's becoming all the more apparent that you use canned responses.

Not sure what gives you that impression. If I come across as terse and/or short-tempered, it's because I've learned over the years that, no matter how much data we 'believers' post, the FR crowd has no desire to learn the facts about wind power. With a very few exceptions they are more than happy to simply, in effect, follow Rush's lead when it comes to wind power.

102 posted on 12/08/2003 2:14:28 PM PST by newgeezer (A conservative who conserves -- a true capitalist!)
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To: discostu; newgeezer
No 1 windfarm (with thousands of turbines) makes megawatts but costs the same as a nuke plant that makes gigawatts. Which is the simple truth and is why windfarms are not ready for primetime.

The average windmill today is about 1.3 mw. 1000 of them could cost 1.3 billion dollars and produce 33 percent of nameplate power. A 1.3 gw nuke would cost what a billion dollars or so plus refuelling and produces about 85 percent of nameplate power. Once again your numbers are way off because you don't really know much about modern wind power. All that really matters is cost per kwhr and wind power is about 3-5 cents per kwhr. Nukes are pretty close to that.

You repeatedly exagerate a difference of about 50 percent in cost to thousands of percents. Maybe you need to update from your 1980's data and realize that windpower is here now.

103 posted on 12/08/2003 2:16:40 PM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: newgeezer
That's still a junky uptime, the competing systems have uptimes that goes months or years without a break. In Altamont we're looking at the equivalent of Chrysler K cars, it's only 20 years not 80.

You're responses come off as canned because each one is built around an ASSumption of why I think windpower isn't there yet, and each one of your ASSumptions have been wrong. You assumed it was because I was anti-green, not the case. You assumed it was because I hadn't bothered to do any research, not the case. Here you're assuming I'm following Rush' lead, again not the case (I hate talk radio and don't give a damn what Rush says about anything anywhere at anytime). Windpower simply isn't there yet, the technology isn't efficient enough or reliable enough. Someday soon it may be but it's not now. The only part of it I'm against is implementing it when it is not yet a viable power source, it should only be implimented in experimental blocks until it's ready. When it's ready it'll be great, until then we're sinking a lot of time money and land into it when we could get a better return on other power sources.
104 posted on 12/08/2003 2:22:58 PM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: biblewonk
Way to play with the numbers, Altamont has SEVEN thousand turbines and doesn't even produce 1 GW. Maybe you need to deal with NOW instead of imaginary projections.
105 posted on 12/08/2003 2:25:54 PM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: discostu; biblewonk
Way to play with the numbers, Altamont has SEVEN thousand turbines and doesn't even produce 1 GW. Maybe you need to deal with NOW instead of imaginary projections.

You're the one playing with numbers. You're the one who keeps on bringing up Altamont Pass, as if it's the end-all measure of wind power's viability. What is your point? Is it that a 1970s nuke plant is more efficient than a 1980s wind plant? Fine. I'll concede that. Happy now?

Maybe you need to deal with NOW instead of imaginary projections.

Altamont Pass is not "NOW." For someone who claims to have done so much "research," you're awfully reluctant to let go of those Altamont Pass turbines when trying to make your points.

As biblewonk said, maybe you need to pull your head out of your 1980's data and realize that windpower is here now, especially if you're going to presume to tell the rest of us to "deal with NOW."

106 posted on 12/08/2003 2:54:04 PM PST by newgeezer (A conservative who conserves -- a true capitalist!)
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To: discostu
In Altamont we're looking at the equivalent of Chrysler K cars, it's only 20 years not 80.

Your (as you put it so well) "ASSumption" is that wind power generation technology has advanced no more than that for automobiles over the past 20 years. That is wrong. But, it might explain why you continue to focus on Altamont Pass.

Windpower simply isn't there yet, the technology isn't efficient enough or reliable enough.

If 3-to-5 cents per kWhr isn't good enough for you, what will it take? Oh, I know. You're hooked on that "land use" thing. Well, maybe it won't work for the coastal folks. But, here in flyover country, we normally have such a glut of corn and soybeans that the farmers welcome the chance to produce something more profitable on the land.

Maybe it's a matter of perspective.

107 posted on 12/08/2003 2:54:07 PM PST by newgeezer (A conservative who conserves -- a true capitalist!)
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To: newgeezer
The article is about Altamont, get over it.
108 posted on 12/08/2003 3:03:23 PM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: newgeezer
Car technology has actually advanced quite a bit in the last 20 years: electronic fuel injection, anti-lock brakes, airbags, side mounted airbags, hemis, computer controlled everything, now the new Mazda engines.

That's right land use is important to me, land is a non-renewable resource after all, we only have so much of it and if we use it all up on an inefficient method of generating electricity it'll be a pain to tear those crappyt things down and put up something that actually gives us a good ROI. I live in fly over country, more lame ASSumptions on your part. STOP ASSUMING START READING.
109 posted on 12/08/2003 3:07:10 PM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: camle
Let's see.... the Taliban and the Bin Laden freaks want to revert back to the olden times.... the eviro weenies want to revert back.....

Hmmmmmm.....

The enviro lefties are the TALIBAN
110 posted on 12/08/2003 3:11:54 PM PST by Michael121
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
"It's amazing how flexible the greens can be when one of their pet projects collides with an endangered species."

When leftist worlds collide...

111 posted on 12/08/2003 5:11:38 PM PST by okie01 (www.ArmorforCongress.com...because Congress isn't for the morally halt and the mentally lame.)
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To: Slicksadick
So that makes approx. 150,000 x 365 = 54,750,000 in GB

And "University of Wisconsin researchers found that cats kill an estimated 19 million songbirds each year in that state alone"
http://www.windstar.org/features/clearinghouse/a_freecats.htm

and 50 states X 19 mil = near a billion or so....
which is amount that Straight Dope says: "Cats kill an estimated one billion birds a year in the U.S"

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/010831.html

You'd need a lot of wind mills to come up equal to that number.
112 posted on 12/08/2003 6:46:24 PM PST by bwteim (BWTEIM=Begin With The End In Mind)
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To: newgeezer
the point is: these units are supposed to be operating and
producing power, but they are prone to malfunction. Also,
they won't produce any current if the wind is blowing
7mph or less.
113 posted on 12/08/2003 7:05:54 PM PST by upcountryhorseman
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To: discostu
and I know the equation well enough to know that as the technology currently stands windpower is a joke and needs to be retracted to the experimental stage (along with solar) until some big leaps are made.

You've shown me that you really don't know much at all about modern wind power. I see a lot of that around here so don't feel too bad.

114 posted on 12/09/2003 5:44:06 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: newgeezer
Is it that a 1970s nuke plant is more efficient than a 1980s wind plant? Fine. I'll concede that. Happy now?

How so. The Rush Limbaugh types don't seem to know what the word means. Efficency is a measure of the amount of energy lost in the conversion but even that is not relevent to the cost of the energy.

115 posted on 12/09/2003 5:45:57 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: discostu; newgeezer
Way to play with the numbers, Altamont has SEVEN thousand turbines and doesn't even produce 1 GW. Maybe you need to deal with NOW instead of imaginary projections.

It's funny to hear Rush describe those toys as huge. They are tiny. In 2002 the average windmill size installed in germany was 1.5 mw. At altamont it is less than 100kw. Altamont needs to be "repowered" but there are too many political issues preventing that. Meanwhile the new windfarms in Texas are composed of actual modern windmills. I realize you simply don't like them because you've been given your marching orders. The ironic thing is that you don't really understand your arguments at all yet use the phrase "canned answers".

So how do you feel about the Lord?

116 posted on 12/09/2003 5:50:23 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: newgeezer; discostu
But, here in flyover country, we normally have such a glut of corn and soybeans that the farmers welcome the chance to produce something more profitable on the land.

Tut tut. Farmers give up 10 percent of their land to earn 3 to 5000 dollars per year in electricity. The land is not "used up".

117 posted on 12/09/2003 5:52:31 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: upcountryhorseman
the point is: these units are supposed to be operating and producing power, but they are prone to malfunction. Also, they won't produce any current if the wind is blowing 7mph or less.

The bigger point is the cost of electricity from a modern wind farm on a good site. It is getting very close to the cost of nuclear energy. It is already cheaper than gas fired electricity. Coal is certainly the cheapest and we have lots of coal. This is swell because it gives us time to wring more kwhr per dollar out of windmills.

118 posted on 12/09/2003 5:55:32 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: upcountryhorseman
One of my favorite models is the Vestas V80. It's 80 meters and is rated at 1.8 to 2.0 mw. One of them is equal to about 20 to 30 at Altamont pass. Why do you suppose the larger ones make power cheaper?
119 posted on 12/09/2003 5:57:57 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: Slicksadick
I found a number on cats, 150,000 killed per day by cats in Great Britan alone.

My cat does her share... about a bird every two weeks.

120 posted on 12/09/2003 6:18:44 AM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Free! Read my historical romance novels online at http://Writing.Com/authors/vdavisson)
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To: biblewonk
You've shown me that your arogance far exceeds your knowledge. And your refusal to show the slightest amount of evidnece of your claims shows you KNOW that wind power isn't there yet.
121 posted on 12/09/2003 7:03:34 AM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: discostu
I'm not arrogant but I am a bit frustrated. You simple refuse to acknowledge that wind energy is within a couple of pennies of the cheapest sources is a pretty viable thing. You make it sound like wind power is still 20 cents per kwhr.
122 posted on 12/09/2003 7:06:31 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: biblewonk
So you're "rebuttal" is to mention some idiotic claim of some idiotic radio jaw flapper I've already stated on this thread I don't listen to (and don't even know if he really made it, and given how fast and lose you are with the facts I seriously doubt it) just to "refute" it. STRAWMAN.

More insults and outright LIES. I've told you why I don't think wind power iu ready for the here and now. I never said I don't like them, I've even said I think they WILL BE the right answer in the future. Too bad your reading comprehension is too abysmal to understand that means I do like them I just realize they aren't ready for prime time.

Then you raise a 100% unrelated red herring. Thanks for proving beyond any possible doubt that you have not one single fact to back up your position. Go back and do some reading, then you'll learn the truth: wind power has promise but that promise is not yet realized.
123 posted on 12/09/2003 7:09:05 AM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: biblewonk
The land is used up, get over it.
124 posted on 12/09/2003 7:09:40 AM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: biblewonk
Where have I said that?! Nowhere. I aknowledged that wind power was cheap in dollars. You are LYING!
125 posted on 12/09/2003 7:10:40 AM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: biblewonk
If they're so competitive, why do they need subsidies?
126 posted on 12/09/2003 7:19:56 AM PST by upcountryhorseman
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To: discostu
You sure got up on the wrong side of the bed today. I'll pray for you.
127 posted on 12/09/2003 7:20:10 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: biblewonk
Don't pray for me, just don't lie about what I said. It's right there on my profile page, I hate lies and the people who tell them. I never said the dollar cost of wind power was bad, I even aknowledged that it was good, but the land cost is too high and the reliability too low. Those have been my complaints the entire time and they've been made very clearly. When you lied about my position that made you an enemy and so you shall remain until you retract and apologize.
128 posted on 12/09/2003 7:29:29 AM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: upcountryhorseman
That's a good question until you realize that there are subsidies and tax breaks for the other sources also. Look at some of the things on the current energy bill, I'm sure it's posted around here somewhere. The first one that always comes to my mind is the 35 billion dollar black lung fund for coal.
129 posted on 12/09/2003 7:36:49 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: discostu
-- from what you said earlier-- Let's see we have an energy source that costs almost as much to build as a nuclear power plant, costs almost as much to maintain as a nuclear power plant, takes up much more space than a nuclear power plant (like 10 to 100 times the space), and produces an insignificant portion of the electricity (like 1/100 to 1/1000 the electricity). Sounds like a silly energy source to me.

I guess you don't understand what you are posting then. This implies a very very expensive form of energy. It would have to be about a thousand times as exensive as a nuke, but as I said, you don't understand what you are saying. No wonder you get offended when I actually understand it and sum up.

130 posted on 12/09/2003 7:40:56 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: biblewonk
And by the data you presented that is correct, the dollar costs for wind and nuclear are about the same: they're both cheap over the long haul with a big initial investment. Problem is in the space of one good windfarm you could put multiple nuclear power plants and get more energy.
131 posted on 12/09/2003 7:43:18 AM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: discostu
And by the data you presented that is correct, the dollar costs for wind and nuclear are about the same: they're both cheap over the long haul with a big initial investment. Problem is in the space of one good windfarm you could put multiple nuclear power plants and get more energy.

As I said before, you are stating that a billion dollars worth of windpower produces 1/100 to 1/1000 the power as a billion dollar nuke. Is that not what you meant?

132 posted on 12/09/2003 8:11:09 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: biblewonk
I was talking about LAND. Get it LAND. You're the one that keeps bringing in dollars. I'm talking LAND, where wind power is GROSSLY inefficient. LAND. Can youu finally get that through your skull?! LAND.
133 posted on 12/09/2003 8:15:52 AM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: discostu
Well you sure said it wrong. I think it is your skull that has a problem is you can't express yourself and then get mad at people who read what you say instead of what you mean. And then you want an apology and declare someone as your enemy. You need some medication or something.
134 posted on 12/09/2003 8:23:52 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: biblewonk
No you read it wrong, because you know the land issue is a loser you continue to try to recast what I wrote to be about the money. Typical action for people who know they're wrong, spin the conversation away from their weakspots. Then when I aknowledged the dollar cost similarities you were stuck, so you LIED and said I didn't aknowlesge the dollar cost similarities. All I need is for you to take a long walk off a short peer. You lied. You know it. I know it. You're not going to aknowledge it so you should just go away.
135 posted on 12/09/2003 8:26:31 AM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: discostu
I'm rubber and your glue. That's what you did to me and added pissyness to boot.
136 posted on 12/09/2003 8:41:09 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: biblewonk
No. I told you I wouldn't consider wind power a viable alternative until it had the same land/ wattage efficiency as nuclear power. You then started talking about dollars, I aknowledged the dollar cost was similar, then you LIED and said I inflated the dollar cost. And now you're resorting to childish insults to cover your LIES. Just walk away, I've seen your true colors and am not impressed.
137 posted on 12/09/2003 9:20:33 AM PST by discostu (that's a waste of a perfectly good white boy)
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To: biblewonk
Oh, well. FR's full of them. I have to admit, though, this one's unique. "Watts per acre" is a novel way of looking at it.

Surely his home uses up no more than 100 sq ft. of "LAND" per person. Any more than that would be a waste, wouldn't it? By the same token, most highways aren't nearly as efficient as train tracks.

The guy must lose a lot of sleep over all the LAND wasted.

But, since I'm not talking about Altamont Pass, I'm off-topic.
138 posted on 12/11/2003 8:14:08 AM PST by newgeezer (A conservative who conserves -- a true capitalist!)
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