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March 23, 2007



Jim of The Energy Blog wrote:
Such sites are abundant in the U.S. and would increase by 20-fold the available land area that can be economically developed for wind energy.

There has never been any U.S. land area that could be economically developed for wind energy.

Doug W

How do you develop land for wind energy? You find a site with adequate wind and drop a turbine on it. No "development" is needed aside from clearing a spot for the tower's base.

Ronald Brak

I don't really understand what Nubuddy wrote, but in Australia we've been using wind power for over 100 years, mostly for pumping water, and it has proven quite economical.


Developing land for wind turbines usually involves constructing roads to bring in turbine components and construction crews, and then later to bring in maintenance folks. Also, the turbine does no good until it can connected to a load somewhere, so transmission lines need to be constructed - more land development.

greg woulf

I'm starting to think that people are intentionally coming to try and spread garbage on these sites to discredit renewables.

They're not paving over fields to make Wind turbine power fields I promise you that.

The field that I know of that's local for my brother is built in between a farmers fields. It makes a kind of hum, that's not even loud enough to be annoying. The dirt path that the farmer always used is the only road to the towers.

They did dig a trench for the transmission lines, but the covered it back up with the same dirt they pulled out. I'm sure that at some point they come out of the ground and rise up to a typical overland transmission line, but the fields aren't covered in lines or poles.

These blades are for just the kind of installation that's near me. Low wind installations in agricultural areas are big.

Farmers are finally getting a break. They can lease the tower space and still harvest right around them.

People just want to control things seemingly. There's nothing ugly about wind, with the slower modern turbines there's no more bird kill.

People would travel to Holland to see windmills for goodness sake. To me there's nothing as inspiring as seeing a field full of wind turbines surrounded by a field of green and growing corn.

Harvey D.

greg woulf.

You have my vote.

barry hanson

Thank you Greg, well said.

Wayne Bond

The first use would seem to me to be to power irrigation pumps; saving diesel and other fuels. (Large irrigation fields) The excess power would be sold to the power grid as farmers with methane power plants do now. Or an arrangement could be made with the farmer to limit his capital investment; with the power co. getting the over capacity, which would be 90% or more.
It is wetlands and algea, not trees that give us much net carbondioxide reduction. Decomposing trees give off carbondioxide and decomposing algea becomes peat on the bottom of the wetland. Trees are good when used in buildings etc. where they are prevented from decomposing.


Hear,Hear. Stand up and be counted, Greg. Rest assured only a few individuals are out there to seemingly undermine peoples efforts. Apparently stoic and staunch in their beliefs and unmalleable in acquired near sighted convictions. Those of us who believe change is good and certain efforts should be applauded and not be subjected to random diatribe , hopefully will see in our lifetime, peoples ideas " outside of the box " come to fruition.

Sumyung Guy

"I'm starting to think that people are intentionally coming to try and spread garbage on these sites to discredit renewables...."

You're not the only one thinking that, Greg. Excellent description of how wind power is helping out farmers, I applaud you on that. As far as these folks coming on here and flinging monkey-poo at any story about an advancement in solar or wind, I have a 2-word phrase that comes to mind: blog trolls.

Mike C

The field that went in on a mesa close to my area required quite a bit of development. There is no pavement, but miles of new roads were cut to service and erect the turbines. An O&M building was built on-site, and there are overhead transmission lines running across several miles to tie in to the grid.

Having had a relationship with the landowners (several families own land on this mesa) I have no doubt that this project was the best thing that could have happened for these folks. Yes, they can still use their land for livestock, but to say that wind energy does not require land development is simply incorrect.


Greg Woulf wrote: Farmers are finally getting a break. They can lease the tower space and still harvest right around them.

Why would you want the farmers to get a break? They do not engage in valuable enterprise.

The wind towers also are not valuable. They are paid for by tax dollars, and do not pay off.

greg woulf

Nucbuddy, as far as I'm concerned you're just jumping on the bandwagon of people that would rather the next generation pay for the lifestyle we want to live today.

Wind farms pay for themselves, and trail only Coal plants in payoff time. There are tax incentives, but there are also tax incentives for coal, gas and nuclear.

The difference between wind farms and the others is that the cost for wind farms is right up front, as opposed to up front, fuel consumption during, and decomission at the back end costs.


Nucbuddy, I am not sure whether it is or isn't good to pay farmers for doing nothing, but the link you provided depicts a scary situation, whereby good intentions were "kidnapped" by greedy interests.


In 2004 Nucbuddy had the somewhat dubious honor of being the first known recipient of a previously-urban-legend sex act known as a "Donkey Punch" in a commercial production when Alex Sanders punched him in the back of the head in "Guttermouths 30."


"Why would you want the farmers to get a break? They do not engage in valuable enterprise."

Agriculture is not a valuable enterprise? I realize that the agriculture business gets unfair subsidies and protectionist measures and such but come on, we all need to eat.

I have often seen comments on posts (here and elsewhere) where people will look at working enterprises and say "It won't work", or they will make statements to the effect that any energy source that does not meet all needs is useless.

If every wind power site is only a scam to get government money, why doesn't someone do the math and add up all the government transfers of funds and expose the whole conspiracy. Why don't those taxpayers advocate groups do the sums so that people commenting on blogs could point to a site that exposes the scam rather than just make claims without providing anyone with any evidence.


Hrmm, nuclear definantly gets interesting when you look into the tax situation.

UK ratepayers are being asked to pay a 375$ yearly tax for nuclear for the next 20 years.

France, the supposided leader in nuclear is some 80% owned by the government.

Also, apparently any money nuclear power plant operators in the US earn, and put into a fund to pay for the decommisioning of the power plant.
A genuine tax shelter.


But what I thought was rather interesting was this presentation:

In short
Nuclear is an exercise in figuring out the far end of the spectrum for

Long term discounting
And External Costs

In general, what I thought was rather interesting is the underestimation of the cost of nuclear fuel, and the cost of nuclear fuel reprocessing.

Kit P.

While nothing is cooler than nuke power, windmills are pretty interesting too. Thanks to the cost of imported LNG, windmills are economical too. What I can not understand , is why those who detest transmission towers (the most difficult siting issue), love windmills?


Woot wrote: Agriculture is not a valuable enterprise? [...] we all need to eat.

We do not need to eat anything grown in dirt.


Grow it all in chemical toxins derived from fossil fuel, right buddy? Great plan for the future of humanity. Keep talking it up!

Anyone remember the film "Dr Strangelove"? Hehehey.


"What I can not understand , is why those who detest transmission towers (the most difficult siting issue), love windmills?"

500 kilovolt DC transmission lends itself to buried or underwater powerlines. No capacitive loss to ground as with AC transmission. No stray voltage or electromagnetic radiation health related issues as with AC either.

And the capacitance of HVDC transmission lines could actually be used to store grid power in huge regional and local loops thousands of miles long linked together to form a nation wide distributed renewable energy storage, transmission, and generation system.

Kit P.

Amazingdrx, thanks for not accusing me of trolling but you did not answer my question. What you did was suggest an alternative. By your logic, we should bury transmission lines, do you also think windmills should be buried too?

I know a very reasonable man who thinks that is what we should do just that with windmills. We gave a common environmental interest where we meet every year alternating between his city and mine. He found the newly built windmills very ugly. One of the reasons the windmills got built is the transmission lines were already there.

So have people like Amazingdrx wanting to build windmills in other peoples' backyard but they do not want to see the transmission lines.

Here is the really cool part of the story. A very large CCGT was also proposed near the same location because of the convergence of gas pipelines and transmission lines. The added generation from wind kept the gas plant from being built.


Amazingdrx wrote:

We do not need to eat anything grown in dirt.

Grow it all in chemical toxins derived from fossil fuel, right [...]?

No. As my link suggested, it would be grown, if it were grown at all, with chemical nutrients made with nuclear power.


Ultimately, it may not be necessary to grow any nutrition at all, if all nutritional chemicals were simply synthesizable.


Nucbuddy consider the ramifications of sythesizable nutrients. The digestive system would be inert as well as the tracts. I worked on zero waste nutrients while attending school and could not come up with a plausible solution. You are in essence fooling with Mother Nature and design. Would like to hear more!



How would eating food, that happened to be synthesized in a chemical factory, cause one's digestive system to become inert? Are you talking about IV-injection of nutrition?


Sorry it took so long to get back to you Nucbuddy. As far as food stuffs synthesized in a chemical factory. I am in fact addressing oral nutrition, caloric uptake with minimal or zero waste and full assimilation.


Well, I agree that flushing-out would be important for health. Blood vessels, kidneys, bladders, livers, prostates, mammary glands, GI tracts, etc., all benefit from frequent and liberal flushings. To flush a GI tract, the diet must have fiber. The issue of whether or not a diet contains fiber would seem to be unrelated to the origin of the food making up the diet.

The cost of this flushing lies in the wasting of some proportion of nutrients. As with organs of a body, so with organs of an economy. Bodies and economies develop morbidity when penny-wise/pound-foolish end-use efficiency is preferred over supply-side efficiency -- which efficiency makes nutrients, and therefore organ-flushing, cheap.

A penny-wise/pound-foolish person is referred-to in the DSM-IIIR and the DSM-IV as an obsessive-compulsive person. More details are here:

In psychoanalytic typology, it is referred-to as the Anal Character.

Calamity Jean

Farmers in Texas refer to wind turbines as "the new oil rigs" because they make so much money from them. If that development wasn't economical, why are the electric companies paying the farmers for the space?

It's true that wind turbines will occupy some area that was previously farmland, but oil wells, open pit coal mines, hydroelectric reservoirs, and nuclear power plants all use more. Choosing what sources to use for power means making trade-offs between between land use, monetary cost, and pollution (including carbon dioxide). From that point of view, wind power looks like a bargain to me, "and right purty too".

Kit P.

Wind is economical because of a $18/MWh PTC and because Texas uses lots of natural gas to make electricity. CJ, if I showed you some pictures of a reclaimed open pit coal mine do you think you could tell the difference between a windfarm? Wind is not a very good way to make electricity nor is environmentally friendly.


Good destruction-by-windfarm photos are here:

The PTC for windpower is $19/mWh for 1996 and 1997. If it is renewed for the 1998-1999 period, I believe it will be $20/mWh. (It goes up with inflation).

Kit P.

Cool pictures. I have actually been passed on a two lane road by an over-sized load carrying a wind turbine pedestal. It was a school zone no less.

The most expensive MWh is the MWh that is not available when needed. The Mwh with the largest environmental impact is the MWh that is not available when needed. While I think we should build solar and wind as fast as we can, please spare me the BS about what a good economic or environmental choice it is. Also do not tell me that it will make a difference. For all practical purposes, wind and solar is a scam.

If claims are made that a source of energy is clean, economic, and or sustainable then it is reasonable to expect the people making the claims to provide information to support their claims. If you know what to look for, scams are easy to spot.

Vertical wind turbine

The newer models of vertical wind turbines keep getting smaller, sleeker, and more efficient with each new design. Besides the benefits previously mentioned, recent models currently boast of the following; a lower profile on rooftops, not subject to the same regulations as their horizontal counterparts, less noise, almost no vibration, lower maintenance and repair costs due to fewer moving parts, and self regulation spin speeds in high wind circumstances

Windmill power

Yeah i don't think too much development is needed, I think you just need an open space - no doubt loads of money is wasted in the "development" of these sites. I love being part of this renewable energy evolution!

Ben from the
wind turbine electricity

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