Friday, June 24, 2005

Futurepundit on Wind Energy

Over at Futurepundit earlier this week, Randall Parker engaged in a detailed discussion of wind energy and its drawbacks:

I like scenic vistas. I don't understand why environmental groups are willing to support wind power. Would they rather ruin scenic vistas than build nuclear power plants? I guess so. They even want to use taxpayers money and higher electric prices to subsidize the ruin of scenery. How about you? do you mind seeing wind towers 20 miles off on mountain tops or coast lines? I can see putting them 30 miles offshore beyond view of most people.
As we mentioned on Wednesday, nuclear has a much smaller footprint than wind, due in part to its tremendous advantage in operational efficiency.

Now does that mean we should stop investing in wind power? No, not at all. Wind is a promising technology that someday may provide more electrical energy than the small fraction that it does today. But when it comes to meeting near-term demand for electricity in the next 25 years, nuclear needs to be part of the solution.

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1 comment:

Rod Adams said...

Eric:

Couple of comments about wind:

1. Humans have been capturing and using wind energy for thousands of years. Hundreds of thousands of very intelligent and dedicated engineers, businessmen, and government leaders have chosen to use more reliable and controllable energy sources.

2. Last week I was in southern Wales and saw a wind installation with a rather jarring effect on the vista. I had been noticing just how many power lines there were in the area with tall towers, when I saw about a dozen wind turbines that were each nearly 2 times taller than the high voltage towers. They were probably 10-20 miles away, but they were clearly the largest structures around.

3. Some people might never go to sea, but there is a lot of activity out there that would be significantly affected by off shore wind installations. Shipping lanes will probably be avoided because of strong pressure from the companies using them, but small boaters and fishermen do not need thousands of new, giant navigation obstructions. Sailors - like me - need to tell people that off shore wind is not unencumbered, we use it already and will fight to keep it available.