Skip to comments.Broken down and rusting, is this the future of Britain's 'wind rush'?
Posted on 03/18/2012 11:31:42 PM PDT by george76
A breathtaking sight awaits those who travel to the southernmost tip of Hawaiis stunningly beautiful Big Island, though its not in any guidebook. On a 100-acre site, where cattle wander past broken Keep Out signs, stand the rusting skeletons of scores of wind turbines... a technology that is supposed to be about saving the environment is instead ruining it.
In other parts of the U.S., working wind turbines are killing hundreds of thousands of birds and bats each year, but here the wildlife can perch on the motionless steel blades.
No one who has driven past one of Americas mega wind farms today can fail to be struck by how few have blades that are turning, even in strong winds.
The truth is that even fewer may be producing electricity than it appears. Many are switched to a mode in which the blades continue to turn just to keep oil moving around the mechanism, but no electricity is produced.
Unfortunately, the frenzy of windmill building during the wind rush didnt just ruin the view, but also devastated the wildlife.
No one noticed until far too late that the 5,000-turbine wind farm at Altamont Pass is on a major migratory path for birds. The National Audubon Society, Americas RSPB, has called it probably the worst site ever chosen for a wind energy project.
An estimated 10,000 birds including up to 80 protected golden eagles, 380 burrowing owls, 300 red-tailed hawks and 330 falcons were being shredded each year in Altamonts massed banks of turbine blades
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
The sound floats on the winds of Ka Lae, this southernmost tip of Hawaii's Big Island, where Polynesian colonists first landed some 1,500 years ago.
Some say that Ka Lae is haunted -- and it is. But it's haunted not by Hawaii's legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are "Na leo o Kamaoa"-- the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm.
The voices of Kamaoa cry out their warning as a new batch of colonists, having looted the taxpayers of Spain, Portugal, and Greece, seeks to expand upon their multi-billion-dollar foothold half a world away on the shores of the distant Potomac River. European wind developers are fleeing the EU's expiring wind subsidies, shuttering factories, laying off workers, and leaving billions of Euros of sovereign debt and a continent-wide financial crisis in their wake. But their game is not over. Already they are tapping a new vein of lucre from the taxpayers and ratepayers of the United States.
Much more at the link
The raw materials have to be mined, and mining metals is expensive. The ore has to be refined, the refined metals further purified, because windmills need precision alloys, and the materials shipped to the manufacturing site.
Then the windmill has to be built - with expensive precision machinery that itself embodies a lot of energy. Then the windmill must be shipped to the site, usually a bleak, lonely place with insufficient infrastructure, which also must be built.
It's not enough just to put the things up: they must be maintained. So must the access roads, the power grid, the worker's huts, the storage for the equipment, the cranes that are needed to lift said workers to turbine height... And, by the way, who is going to climb a 1000-foot tower to change a quart of oil, and how much energy will that take?
My provisional conclusion, in case you hadn't guessed, is that these high-tech windmills are a net sink of energy - during their entire useful life they will not generate as much energy as is consumed by their manufacture, deployment, and maintenance. A classic boondoggle.
I have tried to imagine a closed cycle windmill economy devoted to the maintenance and replacement of a fixed number of windmills. It's difficult because so much of the required energy is in fuel and ore refinement. Can you imagine a windmill powered steel plant?
Indiana has a bunch of wind farms. A map at the link shows that a significant area of the state is taken up by them. I think it is Meadow Lake that lies in part along I-65 north of Lafayette ( Purdue. ) It's about a 10 mile drive through the turbines. They are impressive for the space they take up, to be sure. They are usually turning, but I always wonder if and how much they are generating.
The Wiki link above cites future completion dates of 2010. Maybe nobody cares anymore.
Whatever energy was consumed was in the cost of producing them. So it isn’t that big a mystery.
Did they ever make economic sense? Hell no. They simply lowered everyone’s standard of living through increased cost of energy...
Q: What color are the turbines? A: Usually white or light gray.
Q: What color most attracts insects? A: White or light gray.
Q: What eats all those attractive insects? A: Birds!
I’ve traveled through there many times and you’ll see below the info you’re looking for......
White County Wind Farm you drove through on I-65.
Obamas Chinese-made, stimulus paid-for windmills dont run when the temps get above 90 degrees. They could burn out in the heat...
They dont run when its too COLD...
They dont run if the wind is gusting over 38MPH...
They dont run if there is no wind above 8MPH...
They dont run in icing conditions...
They dont run during storms...
The BEST Purdue University has been able to get out of the HUGE, federally-subsidized White County Wind Farm is LESS THAN 30% Efficiency..
30 FREAKIN PERCENT EFFICIENCY!!!
“30 FREAKIN PERCENT EFFICIENCY!!!” That’s a better kept secret than CIA files.
The writer doesn’t understand the wind mill process. The purpose of wind energy is not to make electricity but to skim federal funds. Although a lot of money, most of the money, is wasted, the skim is carefully protected and invested in something profitable.
The Democrat party is but a big criminal enterprise
Fixed it for you!
You nailed it, but I can't help but think the government money will dry up and then we will eventually have magnificent rusting edifices to government waste dotting the landscape across the US.
We are being screwed by these envirowhackos.
The Dutch used windmills in the 15th century but as soon as more stable methods to produce power were discovered, windmills were used only on small farms and small businesses and were not FORCED ON THE REST OF THE WORLD.
Look at this beautiful graveyard of rusting skeletons.
Apples to durians, trying to equate old, decrepit wind turbines of the 1980s with today’s modern turbines.
Ah, but energy production was NOT the goal of building these things.
Making liberals feel good about themselves as “good people” who “care about the erf” was the goal,
and that was accomplished, so they don’t even care if they produce one watt of electricity after they’re built.
I've been to that abandoned wind farm several times on visits to Hawaii.
It is creepy. It's a beautiful but lonely, desolate place. The dead and decaying wind mills give it a post-apocalyptic feel.
As others have noted, a fitting monument to the waste and stupidity of Government programs and political plundering.
I had a discussion like this with an environmentalist friend once. I asked him to convert all inputs into a common unit so they could be compared.
Raw materials to energy equivalents.
Labor to energy equivalents.
Management talent (a rare resource) to energy equivalents.
And on and on. Finally I asked him if it wouldn’t be easier and more accurate to just convert everything to dollars and judge the best option in those units. I don’t think it had ever occurred to him before.
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