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Steve Hunts

I'm not too crazy about nukes myself.  The disposal issue is enough to kill it for me.  Doing some searches I found this link-

http://current.com/items....tes.htm

Had not heard this b4.  It would not surprise me if it were true though. Too many people on the planet, plain and simple.  Ever hear about Peak Oil and the Olduvai Theory by Duncan and others?

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  • Stuck in KS

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I think the future is going to bring more decentralized power.  Storage and generation would be on an individual level and there would need to be far less transmission at all.

Each small town should bury the kind of small nuclear reactor that powers ships...  That would be cool.

And the big towns/cities we could just drop it on, right?

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WIPartridge

The bad deal with wind is that, like was mentioned earlier, it's only being pursued as heavily as it is because of "green power" mandates.  One question I have is - why can't power companies count their existing hydro assets as green power toward these mandates?  Hydro is as carbon friendly as it gets!  I have ties to We Energies, who runs 14 hydro plants near where I grew up, and guess what? They're putting up wind turbines across the east central part of the state because of green power mandates, in part because the megawatts coming off these hydro plants don't count!

IMO...wind technology is great for the backyard power generator (just like solar) but is NOT going to do any good as a large scale producer.  Like it or not, nuclear, coal, and biomass are the answers to that question.  Say what you want about coal, but it's CHEAP and EFFECTIVE.  And pollution control equipment is to the point that the negative environmental impact is a fraction of a fraction of what it used to be. We will continue to use this cheap, available, local resource until it's gone, like it or not.  What will replace it?  I don't know, but my money's on nuclear.  It just makes the most sense.

Small wind turbines and solar panels in yards and on rooftops is probably the way of the future (I'm talking the way out future here).  They just need to make those things affordable to the average consumer, then that will revolutionize the nation's energy.  Nuclear, coal, biomass and gas will take care of the rest of the power baseload (with small amounts of hydro, wind, tidal, etc. to top it off.).

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I wonder if windmills like this were once considered an eyesore? After all, they were a disruption to the natural surroundings.

windmill.jpg

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ANF grousin

Transmission lines are ugly as hell too and nobody wants one of them through their backyard either....Guess we'll play NIMBY on that too....I know I sure as hell feel that way about the transmission lines, especially knowing that the 500kV it's carrying through my backyard is going to a bunch of pansy a$$ NIMBY's in a major city 150 miles to my east that I could care a less about. Oh wait, that may be the problem with the whole discussion.....

There is the biggest problem with wind, the need for all the extra transmission lines.  Every little windfarm needs its own set of power lines, which ends up being a lot more lines to put up and maintain then you would need from a power plant.  And since all the windfarms are out in the country instead of in the cites, people who enjoy country living get to put up with them also.  The people in the major cities could care less about what it is doing to rural landscape as long as they get to make the calls.  So why shouldnt I call on reverse NIMBY'ism and tell them how to figure out how to get their own green energy.

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If those wind turbines were economical and could operate without a subsidy, I'd think more positively about them.  Every time I see those blades spin, I think of a grist mill at the bottom just grinding up bushel baskets filled with my money.
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If those wind turbines were economical and could operate without a subsidy, I'd think more positively about them.  

You could say the same thing about dams, nuclear, coal, oil...pretty much all of our energy is subsidized in one way or another.

DonQuixoteWindmill.gif

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Stuck in KS
I guess it takes the same amount of acreage to produce the same power with a turbine as it does a coal plant?

No. Who said that?

No one.  But now you see my point.

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calgaryrookie
Transmission lines are ugly as hell too and nobody wants one of them through their backyard either....Guess we'll play NIMBY on that too....I know I sure as hell feel that way about the transmission lines, especially knowing that the 500kV it's carrying through my backyard is going to a bunch of pansy a$$ NIMBY's in a major city 150 miles to my east that I could care a less about. Oh wait, that may be the problem with the whole discussion.....

There is the biggest problem with wind, the need for all the extra transmission lines.  Every little windfarm needs its own set of power lines, which ends up being a lot more lines to put up and maintain then you would need from a power plant.  And since all the windfarms are out in the country instead of in the cites, people who enjoy country living get to put up with them also.  The people in the major cities could care less about what it is doing to rural landscape as long as they get to make the calls.  So why shouldnt I call on reverse NIMBY'ism and tell them how to figure out how to get their own green energy.

city, rural, big deal. People in both places use power. There is generation in both places. Hard to say you want all the conveniences of modern life but shouldn't have any of the impositions because you want to keep your area "pastoral".

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bosco mctavitch
I guess it takes the same amount of acreage to produce the same power with a turbine as it does a coal plant?

No. Who said that?

No one.  But now you see my point.

I don't see your point--why is relative acreage the deciding factor?  

A few examples of why your argumeent (as I understand it) is flawed--let me know if I misunderstood your point.

*Wind power does not have to be centralized the way most power plants do--just as one example there is a vast and virtually untapped "acreage" of space on top of tall buildings in cities...rent could be charged for wind turbines on each one commensurate with their ability to produce power that would feed the grid, or a building owner could produce their own power (whether this is 100% of the necessary power is irrelevant) and make money from tenants, essentially operating as their own power company.

*Land used for wind power is not EXCLUSIVE to that use--wind turbines can be placed amongst existing uses such as farm fields and ranch land, as the footprint of the turbines themselves is pretty small and in some cases many of the needed access roads are already in place.

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Stuck in KS
Relative acreage is not the deciding factor.  It doesn't make sense for many more reasons than that.  It's just a rebuttal to the critics of NIMBY critics.  Looking at my own backyard, I'd rather one coal-fired or nuclear plant than to erect as many windmills as it would take to make that power.
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calgaryrookie
Relative acreage is not the deciding factor.  It doesn't make sense for many more reasons than that.  It's just a rebuttal to the critics of NIMBY critics.  Looking at my own backyard, I'd rather one coal-fired or nuclear plant than to erect as many windmills as it would take to make that power.

Really? I'd MUCH rather have a windfarm 100 yards from my house than a nuclear plant.... or even a gas fired plant.

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Stuck in KS

There are plenty of places to put coal-fired plants that wouldn't bother anyone (from an aesthetics POV).  Older/retired military facilities are a great example.

EDIT:  The number of places that could hold a coal-fired plant vs enough windmills to make as much power are starkly different.

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bosco mctavitch

I'd agree with Calgaryrookie ont his, I would much rather have zillions of windmills out my back door than a coal fired power plant...I lived downwind (and a long way away) from a lot of coal fired plants growing up and the collection of dead lakes that resulted is still there...that's a no-brainer for me.

Also, there may be more places that will "fit" a coal fired or nuke plant, but remember that you are thinking only in a centralized "power plant" mindset...I really believe that the future will have much more in the way of a decentralized system of generation.  Even if we were to keep a centralized generation scheme, we use our land in the US very differently than the rest of the world--we have astronomically more space available for such things than most other countries.  That's a good thing, but to say we don't have the space is laughable in my opinion.  Haven't you driven across across the country?  Think of all the rent money those farmers could get by letting a power company build a windfarm...at the same time as they retain their land and their farms.  I understand there are many who would choose not to do this, and probably many who would--but I think it's simply not realistic to say it's an issue of space.

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