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The Price of Solar

08/18/2014 10:47 AM

interesting yet disturbing power generation of concentrated solar powerhttp://sploid.gizmodo.com/the-worlds-largest-solar-plant-is-killing-birds-meltin-1525107821

so powerful it acts as a "Death ray" on passing birds

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#1

Re: the price of solar

08/18/2014 11:13 AM

Do you have any links reporting the numbers of fish/birds/aquatic mammals that either go through the water turbines, or are caught and die in diverters/screens, in a hydroelectric facility?

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: the price of solar

08/18/2014 11:23 AM

Wind farms are not avian friendly either.

The up-side to the wind farm south of our Minn. place:

Buffalo Ridge Wind Farm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is that the turbines are all built in corn fields, which means that the dead birds fertilize the corn crops.

It's a win-win for everybody, but the birds.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: the price of solar

08/18/2014 11:37 AM

I decided to not mention wind turbines... another hot button for the detractors. Few people seem to think about the fishes...

This isn't really the price of solar, as the thread title says. This (animal casualties) is the price of modern society, industrialization, convenience. The search continues for a no-fault, no-trouble, no-expense, no-casualty, non-polluting energy source.

WHY won't the damn gubbamint open up that vault of alien technologies and let us have this energy source? All we get this year is Ping-Pong balls being pushed around in a fish tank.

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#4

Re: the price of solar

08/18/2014 11:38 AM
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#5
In reply to #4

Re: the price of solar

08/18/2014 11:45 AM

You have just been put on the solar energy lobbyist hit list of troublemakers.

If these "save the world" power generation schemes didn't produce profit for big business, lobbyists and the politicians they bribe, we'd still be burning whale oil.

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: the price of solar

08/18/2014 12:32 PM

Should I go into a protective custody program?

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: the price of solar

08/18/2014 12:40 PM

Yes! Plastic surgery and a name change are in order, too.

The CIA already knows what you had for breakfast this morning.

Chances are they've already briefed the lawyers for the lobbyists.

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#27
In reply to #5

Re: the price of solar

09/25/2014 11:50 AM

No we would not be burning whale oil! We would be burning our own turds by now because the whales would have been long gone. With ping pong balls on the forefront, what is next, treadmills for earthworms? You know, just pour in a small amount of water at the bottom, add the worms, and off they scoot!

I suspect the only place where birds are in danger from concentrated solar is in large facilities. Small scale use of solar does not involve large open areas where light is concentrated above 1 Sol.

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#6

Re: The Price of Solar

08/18/2014 12:10 PM

Between the power lines, the windmills, the deathray solar thingys, and jet planes flying all over the place,,,,it's just not safe to fly anymore.....anybody have any sneakers in a size 1/3rd??

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#7

Re: The Price of Solar

08/18/2014 12:19 PM

This always seemed like a stupid, inefficient way to generate electricity to me.

We've got plenty of room to generate solar power on top of our existing buildings and above our parking lots, but it should be used to produce hydrogen, which can be used to power anything...including cars.

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#10

Re: The Price of Solar

08/18/2014 1:35 PM

I had read about this and thought it was just bad luck that the birds flew into these areas, but apparently the mirrors look like water, making them magnets for thirsty birds, which have a serious impact.

Evidence is mounting that the resulting concentrated solar flux poses a serious risk to wildlife, as would the 2,500 or so acres of mirrors resembling surface water.

http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/concentrating-solar/solar-power-tower-company-our-competitors-kill-birds-too.html

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#11

Re: The Price of Solar

08/18/2014 3:43 PM

Solar fried chicken anyone?

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#12

Re: The Price of Solar

08/18/2014 10:34 PM

Koala populations have to compete with traditional energy sources like coal and gas.
Life, energy and mother nature is something of a balance ... and we make choices.

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#13

Re: The Price of Solar

08/18/2014 10:51 PM

"effectively turn into a gigantic death ray" Really? Eleven birds in one month? Some were only injured?

Since when did we lower our expectations, of "gigantic death rays", to such dismal performance?

So kitchen windows are more effective killing machines than gigantic death rays. And both require that the birds fly into them.

This must be a huge embarrassment to the "death ray" industry.

We need to build more effective gigantic death rays, so articles like this, cannot even begin to compare a solar concentrator to them.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: The Price of Solar

08/19/2014 8:28 AM

Tit for tat. The oil companies have been fined 100s of millions for a relative few dead birds.

Not a peep about these dead birds, because "green" is good. More hypocrisy.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: The Price of Solar

08/19/2014 10:10 AM

There's a LOT more to an oil spill than the dead animals, don't you agree?

Pumping 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico seems to me to be worthy of a huge fine.

The oil companies have been fined for a lot more than "a relative few dead birds".

Go stand in the corner!

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#18
In reply to #15

Re: The Price of Solar

08/19/2014 5:26 PM

Yep, 10,000 gallons a day, every day, just off the coast of southern Ca, but it's okay when mother nature murders birds.

http://www.masterresource.org/2013/06/oil-drilling-reduces-seepage-california/

Does it matter if a bird gets fried in the sky or drenched in oil? Lets have the jackbooted government thugs put the same fines on the solar/wind companies as they do the oil companies, and I'll shut up and go to the corner.

Some idiot politician or bureaucrat shouldn't be able to pick and choose who gets fined for dead birds depending on their donor list or which technology they "like" better.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: The Price of Solar

08/19/2014 5:48 PM

"Some idiot politician or bureaucrat shouldn't be able to pick and choose who gets fined for dead birds depending on their donor list or which technology they "like" better."

Okay, but these idiot bureaucrats should be able to levy fines against an operator who grounds an oil tanker while negligently operating thus:
Exxon Shipping Company failed to supervise the master and provide a rested and sufficient crew for Exxon Valdez.
The third mate [of the Exxon Valdez] failed to properly maneuver the vessel, possibly due to fatigue or excessive workload.
Exxon Shipping Company failed to properly maintain the Raytheon Collision Avoidance System (RAYCAS) radar...

Negligence... cause harm... avoidable...

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: The Price of Solar

08/19/2014 6:26 PM

Absolutely! There was no excuse for the Valdez spill.

The BP spill on the other hand...

If our bureaucrats would have granted permits for shallow water drilling, there's no way the oil companies would have been out that deep. They hated being pushed out there, knowing there was easy, and way safer, near shore oil they could have been pumping.

My point is:

Solar/wind = Dead birds = a necessary cost of clean energy.
Oil = Dead birds = Lets get those greedy bastards. Lets use taxpayer money to show pictures of oil slicked birds to the public. Lets fine them out of business!

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: The Price of Solar

08/19/2014 6:29 PM

"Lets fine them out of business"

The get plenty in tax breaks and subsidies to pay for hundreds of lawyers and any piddling fines they might have to pay.

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: The Price of Solar

08/19/2014 7:05 PM

I'm a free market type. Nobody should get subsidies, nor should the government be picking winners and losers...I don't care if it's Haliburton or Solyndra. Politicians are pigs.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: The Price of Solar

08/19/2014 7:15 PM

Quit it. We're agreeing way too much.

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: The Price of Solar

08/19/2014 7:37 PM

Hell, I don't even have to bother ranting anymore. You've got it covered.

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: The Price of Solar

08/19/2014 5:56 PM

Let's sue the Earth!

I don't believe you'll ever, "shut up and go to the corner".

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: The Price of Solar

08/19/2014 10:22 AM

I sort of remember hearing a few peeps about something called the Exxon Valdez.

According to Wiki, "Immediate effects included the deaths of 100,000 to as many as 250,000 seabirds, at least 2,800 sea otters, approximately 12 river otters, 300 harbor seals, 247 Bald Eagles, and 22 orcas, and an unknown number of salmon and herring."

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: The Price of Solar

08/19/2014 12:02 PM

I still have a t-shirt from Alaska after the spill.....It says

"Exxon Valdez--We paved the Alaska marine highway"

dark humor from a truly sad accident

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#28
In reply to #13

Re: The Price of Solar

09/25/2014 11:55 AM

Apparently the Myth Busters could not even manage a "death ray" suitable to match that of Archimedes' ship burner.

On a more serious note, there are at least two other ways to generate solar energy using convection, no focusing, similar areas of collection, but no one can afford the chimneys. One scheme would stabilize a human-made tornado (vortex) to generate power from waste heat in a power plant, enough to increase the output of the plant by 15-20% (conservative estimate), depending on pre-installation heat rate.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: The Price of Solar

09/25/2014 5:40 PM

I really like that idea, and haven't heard a word about it in a long time.

There's something shameful about it being the year 2014 and seeing that we are concentrating sunlight to boil water. I was frying little brown ants with my magnifying glass by the time I was 6.

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#26

Re: The Price of Solar

09/16/2014 5:15 AM

A few years back, I had a look possible deterrents for birds on runways at airports. This is a problem that still persists to date. This is a similar problem to birds entering fields of wind generators. One may want to link up with biologists and bird experts who might be able to input into such a problem solving exercise. E.g., there could well be a natural feature in birds that could for a part of the solution. Alternatively there could be regions or patches that birds simply avoid for some reason. One might even want to consult birding enthusiasts - These guys might be able to assist as they spend endless weekends bird-watching. Hence, one solution might be a natural deterrent. Another might be an artificial deterrent for birds.

Just off-hand, I thought of something based on sight, smell or magnetism.

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