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Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

Posted January 31, 2010 7:43 AM

The 10-year debate over the Cape Wind project proposed for Nantucket Sound, MA, will come to a head in April when a final decision is issued by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. The 420 MW capacity system includes 130 turbines to generate 75% of Cape Cod's power needs. Lawsuits brought by opponents contend that the wind farm, rising 440 ft above the surface, will be an eyesore and navigation hazard. Are these considerations sufficient to take the wind out of the first offshore wind system in the U.S.?

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#1

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

01/31/2010 1:31 PM

While I have generally been opposed to large scale wind-power, my objection has been simply because the amount of power available from such installations does not seem to balance to costs involved. However, when people start to object to something like this on esthetic, environmental or other grounds, I tend to take notice. This sounds like the same sort of thing that all but crippled nuclear power in this country for decades.

The problem here is that, in my observation, those who march with signs all to often have only the vaguest idea of what it is that they are actually protesting. What is really interesting to me though is, who is paying for the propaganda to stir up the masses and the lawyers filing the lawsuits?

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#7
In reply to #1

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 12:13 AM

Native American tribes, supported by the Massachusetts historic preservation office, have filed suit to stop the project.

From CNET:

Two tribes of the Wampanoags, who are descendants of the people who greeted the 17th century Pilgrims to Massachusetts, say they have long opposed Cape Wind because an unobstructed view of the ocean is vital to their culture, which calls for them to greet sunrise each day.

More info here about the project itself.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 12:16 AM

The question remains. Who's paying the lawyers?

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 12:28 AM

At first glance, I would say this alliance, along with the Native groups mentioned. I'm not sure that opposition runs any deeper than local interests and monied landowners. Unless you're implying something else that has a bearing on the decision?

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#11
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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 12:37 AM

A wise man once said, follow the money. In fact, I can think of at least a few classes of people that might have a vested interest in seeing such a project fail. Some of which might be rather wealthy enough to pay for attorneys and for whatever it might take to stir up other troubles. And, it's hardly the first time such a thing has happened, if this is in fact what it is.

My point here is that I would very much like to know who is paying the fees for the attorneys that are filing the injunctions. I'd also like to know who's been talking to the tribes. And please believe that I am perfectly willing to admit the fact if I am proven wrong.

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#12
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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 12:44 AM

I do understand that there are those who would pay to have the wind taken out of this project's sails (sorry), or any like it. A preliminary search doesn't reveal much, but if I find more I'll pass it on.

As it stands, I think the project has a fair chance of receiving its federal permit in April. But you never know.

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#14
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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 6:54 AM

Well that would be big oil. So much negative propaganda is spread that it becomes impossible to know what to believe and how valid the "facts" really are. Many oceanfront towns are installing turbines. Locals who live right below them do note some low frequency noise. They also kill the occasional seagull, but those are the only two real issues I've heard of.

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#67
In reply to #7

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/10/2010 9:35 AM

So are they also suing the Medical Industry because syringes wash up on the beach? The Fishing Industry for catching all the fish, Chemical companies for poluting the waters and air? I want to sue my parents for not sending me to college. Has anyone tried explaining global warming to these Natives? Sorry, just want to understand this and I don't.

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#38
In reply to #1

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 2:13 PM

The coal industry, that's who. The alliance to protect Cape Cod is headed by a former coal executive

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#61
In reply to #1

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/09/2010 5:28 AM

Sir, Dr Moose;

Your query as to backers for "grassroots" oppositions with obvious bucks is what we have noted to the supposed anti American and anti-Israeli protests in the Palestine, Iran, and even broke Afghanistan riots and marches with poster and billboard sized signs, often with Kodak quality photographs on them, and mostly all written in English, but held by people in rags who probably can't hardly read or write their own national language, never mind be able to write that English hating sign. In thseose "refugee camps" in Palestine, destroyed neighborhoods, living like rats in a maze, but if a child is killed, a lifesized poster photo is distributed in hopes of making the news.

With power generation needs outgrown current municipally accepted industries, we can expect the signs and marchers to come out against whatever is proposed that's different and we know who will be paying for those organized oppositions that see their record profits coming to a time of depletion, if the communities are committed to financial survival of individual households and the schools, govt bldgs, commerce. Everyone needs for some of these monthly bills to get off their backs, and poor suggestions are bound to be proposed which will obviously benefit the producers of those industries, but we must stick to benefitting the people of the community in all changes to power usage. For the Cape, with all that water powering past the shores every 6 hrs, hydro should have been the logical conclusion to benefit the people of shore communities, with water all around, use water. But I don't have any figures to flesh out the actual available power production per acre.

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#2

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

01/31/2010 6:14 PM

Where I live wind power has proven itself to be an outstanding success. We cant get them installed fast enough in my state.

Our present limitations are the grid capacity, which we are expanding by substantial levels, to export that power and the rate of which the actual wind farms can be installed. Otherwise they are generally viewed as a highly profitable and publicly welcomed endeavor here.

The real down side to wind farms is location. Initially they got a bad name because crooked and clueless politicians got them put where little usable wind was available which unfortunately is still going on to some degree today. If the realistic payback time exceeds the life expectancy they are not worth it.

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#3

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

01/31/2010 11:18 PM

The noise wind turbines make is a low frequency "thud" that drives some people nuts. Many a noise pollution battle has been generated over this.

Putting them out to sea may minimize the noise pollution some and may also minimize the risk of personal injury that could occur when one of those monsters fail, which does happen.

Cape Codders who are fighting this on aesthetic grounds are on a weak footing IMO, but I wouldn't worry if I were them.

The first time a strong Northeaster blows through the area, the horizon will be clear of wind turbines and the beaches will be littered with composite debris.

L.J.

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#4
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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

01/31/2010 11:26 PM

Hello L.J.

I confess that I've not researched this carefully. I was aware that in a high wind and if not feathered, these things can tear themselves apart. However, I was unaware of a high rate of catastrophic failure. Could you elaborate?

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#16
In reply to #3

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 7:44 AM

Actually it is the southwest wind that we worry about in Nantucket Sound.

This area is protected from the northeast by the mainland. The northeast storms are a problem in Massachusetts Bay, not Nantucket Sound.

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#17
In reply to #3

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 8:41 AM

Ted Kennedy thought they would interfere with his sailing, and should be put closer to the unwashed masses. Now that he has attained the status of 'Good Kennedy' it should go forward.

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#5

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 12:03 AM

Ted's dead--Should give the project more impetus... I thought I had read about a huge Windfarm project going into the upper Midwest, over 100 sq. miles, with Govt' funding and GE, Siemans and other large conglomerates participating--The problems mentioned were "line loss and grid infrastructure " Wish I could remember where I saw the article.--I drive through Altamont Pass frequently, ( behind the San Francisco Bay/ Oakland area). When it blows , everything is great---But oftimes, those huge turbines are just sitting motionless. I wonder how they factor the input of these turbines into the "Always on, constant need", Grid?--Not an Electrical engineer.--Would love to learn more.. C-MAC

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 12:16 AM

Have family history on the Cape. There are 10 years of arguments on this subject, including economics as well as asthetics. These are not, "Offshore," as the Texas Towers were, but between the southern shore of The Cape and Nantucket and Marthas Vinyard. A very busy waterway and source of much economic content.

They will be visible in part from the most popular summer swimming beaches.

I live in California now and cringe everytime I take Route 1 along the Southern California coast and am forced to view the remaining Oil Platforms close to short.

Progress ?

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Anonymous Poster
#15
In reply to #5

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 7:38 AM

Unfortunately, Senior Senator John Kerry who is also very much opposed to the project is still alive.

His family owns Nashon Island near the proposed wind turbine project.

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#86
In reply to #15

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/12/2010 7:53 PM

You may have just answered why there is a Cape Wind project at that site, since there is no more fun in politics than to come up with, and promote something to be a really big thorn in somebody's side, when somebody puts out a lot of bills. It is the very essence of the political game to have something out there that your opponent, or somebody you want to control, doesn't want to see come about, then you have something they want, or at least, they want to get rid of and will have to trade bills with you for it. Since the project must have had to pay big bucks for a site study along with all the other consulting fees paid out to cronies, then it could not have been a fluke to have been sited around Nashon, since that site would have had the attention of both Ted and John. A few yrs back, when I could walk, I had the honor to represent the interests of several bowhunting groups and the sportsmen's group at a state legislature, and learned a lot about how our gov't works. Unfortunately for this world, it isn't too different anywhere else, at any other time, only the lingo and threads change; people are still motivated for the same things. The game players care little for what the bills they are playing will do to or for this country, they only care what if they can get the votes, and how they can get the votes for it, if it has a big enough payoff to their bosses or some other contributor.

This is why it is so important to get our heads out of the sand on this energy crisis and go for what's right, and make sure that it gets gotten for in the right way, not the usual way, not us paying some chinaman's or indonesian's paycheck out of our nation's unemployment. There is no one best thing we should stick the whole country with, for new power plants; because every area has some good best way to go, such as plenty of rivers (not needing any damming or damning) for the micro hydro generators that can be easily built from American-poured and tapped parts and American assembled turbines/generators and power control electronics & distribution lines, or perhaps there is someplace best suited for a few smaller wind turbines, but certainly, every rooftop of every structure can be outfitted or retrofitted with the solar collection roofing "tiles", and if nothing else, then all these measures will certainly go to cutting back on the number of nuclear power plants needed now, and remember that the electric vehicles coming will be also taking away from the gas station and tapping into the home outlet or commercial outlets. Batteries can be manufactured here also. I don't see any reason for nuclear power to be trying to kick away any other type of power industry when these uses don't always overlap, and no one can really think that every county in every state can hold a power plant or two.

To be realistic, in light of what our political games are that hold our energy future in it's greasy grips, folks who do want what's right for America and American jobs need to be glad for the company of each other, even if we know our answer is the right one, we all do know which are the wrong ones, and they start with the same people who talk about the myth of 'foreign oil", clean coal as if it was more than a theory, and American economy stimulus money going to a Chinese company to provide their solar collector materials for us to put together and install to save us some money on foreign oil. I was 25 when I first heard about solar electric, and here we are 37 yrs later getting ripped off for 16 mpg vehicles right off the lot brand new.

It would seem that there has to be some other configuration of wind turbines that can make electric energy, without being 500 feet tall and rattling teeth miles away or annoying the yachters at martini times? How is it that the farmers put up a small windmill to power their well pump and run lights or some machinery, and such a thing wouldn't at least give some power to some appliances or lights in a residence or small business?

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#6

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 12:04 AM

I just finished a steam generator replacement at a nuke plant here at home and one of the things that I heard from a few people was that if the wind turbines were put up in Texas and in that area, the cost of building up a grid for them would be comprable to building 3 brand new nukes (which are already attached to the grid). I realize that wind energy is a good idea but this and photovoltaic just would not put out enough energy in comparison to gas/coal/nuclear/thermal generated electricity. A bit of help, yes. An answer, or replacement? No.

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#13

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 1:20 AM

I can not help you determine who is paying the lawyers, but I must really question the idea that these 130 turbines will supply 75% of Cape Cod's power needs. First of all, in Germany, when they began approaching the 20% level, the grid collapsed, because the system was not designed for rapidly switching between variable power sources. Apparently, the Spanish have made some progress, and have recently published results suggesting their grid can tolerate about 50% wind-generated power. But 75%? Sounds like a pipe dream to me...

Next, experience in the Netherlands suggests that these offshore turbines have a life expectancy of 18 months before major overhauls are required (my understanding is that it is the transmission between the turbine itself and the electrical generator that is the most common system to fail).

Next, experience suggests that one gets significantly less than 30% of the rated power over time from these installations. Furthermore, wind can not replace conventional power, because one must still have full capacity on standby for when the wind stops blowing (especially if the system is designed for "local" consumption).

Next, there are horror stories of abandoned turbines (most of the stories I have heard come from the Northeastern US). It seems that when they break, no one has the responsibility to fix them or to remove them, leaving some poor farmer with a bunch of useless towers in his field. When there isn't enough money in the budget to repair/replace these turbines on an 18 month cycle, who is going to be responsible for removing them?

While this may not concern those of you living out in the "Empty Quarter", land-based wind farms generally require about 50 hectares of land to generate 1 MW of energy (depending, of course, on the characteristics of the wind). Nantucket Sound is not, of course, offshore, so one could expect a similar amount of surface area for this installation. So we are talking of something on the order of 2000 hectares of surface area for this installation. How big is Nantucket Sound?

Now, let us compare the environmental impact, construction costs (adjusted to current value), maintenance costs and other operating costs of the Connecticut Yankee nuclear power station, and make a rational decision about what the best solution might be...Instead of paying a bunch of lawyers to argue arcane issues.

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#20
In reply to #13

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 10:37 AM

Thank you for a well written reply Mr. cwarner 7 11. It seems that most of the starry eyed environmentalists miss the fact that you still have to have units on spinning reserve to ramp up for compensation when the whirligigs quit turning. Nuclear plants are the most efficient means, short of hydro, to produce reliable supplies of electricity. You just have to educate the "washed masses".

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#21
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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 12:44 PM

Thank you. Just between you and me, I find nuclear less environmentally harmful than hydro- hydro destroys about 5 hectares of land for each MW (depending, of course, on local geography)- land that should be covered with trees to prevent flooding and maintain seepage into the aquifer. The 5 hectares of land for the reservoir generally represents significantly more lost forest...

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#22
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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 12:52 PM

You're right on the destruction of land by a hydro. The cost of building and operating a hydro is much cheaper than the cost of building and operating a nuke. However; as I've pointed out in some other threads the cost of building a nuke has been inflated tremendously by senseless, knee-jerk, regulations imposed by the Government in response to the Greens, etc. I am a strong advocate of nuclear power and will be until someone can convince me and my 40 years of experience in the electrical utilities business otherwise.

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#23
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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 4:08 PM

Don't downplay run-of-the-river hydro, which we have in abundance here. Most of these ponds are quite small; basically a wide spot in the river, minimal impact.

I certainly agree with you on nuclear, and the smaller units are more efficient than the large ones.

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#24
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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 5:23 PM

Jerry, I've always been interested in run of the river hydro units; but, I think of a different sort than what you have in mind. I've always wondered if you could do something similiar to a steamboat's paddle wheel connected to a generator. The wheel would be fixed in position on a barge and floated to the middle of the river. The barge, and therefore the paddle wheel, would be built to fit the river. I have seen a lot of places in the third world that would benefit from something like that.

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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 6:07 PM

This has been tried, but is not very efficient. If I have any information, it would be printed material that Circumstance has not been kind to my endeavors at archiving. I will look all the same.

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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 2:36 PM

Cape wind will be connected to the same grid that supplies the entire east coast. So the 70 percent figure is a estimate based on the predicted power produced compared to demand on cape cod. At any given time it will be a very small part of a pool that supplies a very large region.

Cape wind is required to put in escrow the funds to decommission the towers at the end of the life cycle. A test tower has been collecting data for a few years. The towers will be equipped to handle storms.

The opposition has been very fast and loose with the facts. The concept of these 'environmentalists' shilling for big coal is kind of bizarre.It is also strange that the Indian tribes have teamed up with rich, vacation home owning, white people.

It is funny that the same people who don't want to look at the wind mills are fine with the air pollution and the single hulled barges filled with crude oil navigating in the same waters.

The other thing people seem to miss is that the area in question, horseshoe shoals, is to shallow to navigate. So no one sails there now.

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#18

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 8:45 AM

It baffles me why they install wind towers offshore. I would assume there is much more potential energy located in the water currents than the air currents above the surface. There still will be the navigation problem, but at least the eyesore is gone.

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#19

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 9:16 AM

Personally I would prefer the use of windmills to pump water (fresh or salt) to a high reservoir and then use it a as battery of Potential Energy to power hydroelectric feed to the grid on demand. Using reversable generator turbine/electric pumps can also take up huge surpluses of power in low consumption periods from coal fired stations. We have a very successful system running here in South Africa on surplus power (without the windmill Pumps)

http://www.eskom.co.za/content/Drakensburg%20FA%20Pg%2001-06.pdf

http://www.eskom.co.za/live/content.php?Category_ID=806

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#26

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 6:54 PM

There are always a few very one sided issues that continually come up with every large scale alternative energy or renewable energy power production system.

First off I cant count how many misinformed people seem to think that wind farms make large areas of land unusable, they just dont. That land becomes multi use not non use. Whatever farming ranching or other large land usage operation continues on the same as it ever did right under the wind generators. Go to any wind farm and have a look for your self if you don't believe it. What was happing on that land before they where built continues to happen on that land after they where built. Thats why people in my region of the country like having more wind power put here. We have a high average wind speed so that multi use aspect make our land more productive and thusly worth more not less! Do some honest research and talk to someone who has a wind farm and a wind generator on their land if you don't believe me.

Grid capacity is another issue. People continually complain about the cost of upgrading the national grid systems and blame the AE and RE stuff for it. Thats not accurate or true, the grids need updating because they are old outdated and over worked because more people need more energy regardless of what source it comes from. If the bigger power lines and updated systems don't go to an AE or RE power source they will just get run to the next new coal, gas, or nuclear power plant being built.

Hydroelectric dams are not all bad. They are what keeps millions of people who live in former flood zones form getting flooded out on a regular basis. Power production is only part of their overall purpose. So is water storage. Read your history books. One of the most important human endeavors since the beginning of time has been how to manage water so that it isn't trying to kill us by drowning one week or dying of thirst or starvation the next.

Another issue is simply how we manage our overall power production. Plainly put so far we do it very poorly. Thats where the real reliability and system capacity issues come from. I cant begin to fully elaborate on that one. Just take California and what they have done in the last number of years as an example of how to do it wrong on a large scale. Thats all I can say on that subject.

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#27
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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 7:04 PM

Good answer my friend.

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#28
In reply to #26

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 8:59 PM

It sure would be nice if the environ types would back off and not get in the way of a few nukes getting built here in California. The new types are supposed to go together a whole hell of a lot faster than the first generation. Something like 1/2 the time compared to those built in the 70's and 80's. But no, you have people like the mayor of San Fran saying that he wants to close down all of the power houses in his area in order to help the green movement. It sure would be good to see how fast the people in that area would last without any power generation going on for their consumption.

G/A going to you...

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#40
In reply to #28

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 2:40 PM

Show me a nuke plant that can buy insurance on the open market and I would be for it. The fact is they cannot and exist only when governments exempt them from liability.

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#42
In reply to #40

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 4:40 PM

I believe another major insurance carrier just pulled out of Florida.I don't think that would make the state uninhabitable. This is truly a poor arguement.

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#43
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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 4:55 PM

First of all houses in a flood zone are not a good idea. And if one power plant melts down the damages would be measured in the billions. It is a terrible idea to build nukes. We have a nice fusion plant a safe distance away. It's called the sun.

We waste more that half the power we produce through inefficiency. There is energy everywhere. We need to be more intelligent in the way we use power.

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#44
In reply to #43

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 5:36 PM

You make some good points. We do indeed waste a lot of electricity, which is because there must always be enough generation capacity on hot standby to meet peak demand at any moment. The obvious solution to this is simply to develop energy storage in the form of huge capacitor banks, batteries or some other such means, to store the necessary energy during off-peak hours.

The problem with solar energy is that it's not very efficient and not very reliable. By the time sunlight gets to the planetary surface, it has been attenuated by around 90%, and what remains is constantly interrupted by the diurnal cycle and by clouds. To best utilize solar energy requires orbiting power satellites, beaming the power down to the surface. Had Obama and his congress suggested that we spend those "stimulus" billions on that, it would have succeeded in stimulating the economy.

Regarding nuclear power, the fact is that it has an exceptional safety record, with the U.S.Navy's nuclear safety record being perfect. Furthermore, nuclear power is virtually non-polluting, especially in comparison to coal and petroleum fired plants. Yes, nuclear waste is nasty stuff, but there is not all that much of it to begin with, and it's fairly easy to deal with, once all of the hysteria has been brushed aside. Most of it can be fairly easily recycled into more usable fuel. From an engineering standpoint, the only drawbacks of nuclear power are politics, hype and hysteria.

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 6:44 PM

You seem to gloss over the terrorist threat. A nuclear power plant requires a standing army. Perfect record or not. Accidents happen. One of the basic elements of a civil society is that business assumes the liability that they incur. So far every every nuke operating is insured by a government. A policy on the open market would render the power un-competitive. Solar power is very reliable and predictable over a reasonable time window. We just need big grids and storage.

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#46
In reply to #45

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 7:45 PM

Sir, I say again, once the hype and hysteria are brushed aside, nuclear power is a superior option to coal or petroleum. You are free to disagree, but show us the numbers by which you do. Your objection on the basis of insurance is a purely artificial cost, again based upon hype and hysteria. Nuclear power plants are designed from the ground up to minimize radioactive releases and to insure than any such releases cannot go far in the first place.

As for the threat of terrorism, that is a constant danger no matter what you are doing, and the proper solution to terrorism is to take the fight to them and stomp the bastards back into the sand that they came from.

As for land-based solar, again, show us the numbers. What I know of solar energy is that it streams by at an average rate of 1.4KW/m2 at Earth orbit, or 1AU. By the time it gets to the surface it is attenuated to 300W/m2 at the equator, and considerably less most other places, and constantly interrupted by the day/night cycle and by clouds.

Furthermore, conversion efficiency ain't all that great. The very best photo-voltaic cells are around 20% efficient, and are very costly. Less expensive cells are little more than half as efficient. Solar thermal generation, using solar heat in the same manner as a conventional or nuclear plant, would be about the same efficiency as a conventional plant, but it might be difficult to set up a big enough mirror to collect enough sunlight to power a really big plant.

So, let us assume that we are getting an average solar flux at earth surface of 150w/m2 at our plant. Let us assume that we are getting a 25% conversion efficiency, which means that each square meter is yielding us about about 38 watts. and let us further assume that our plant gets an average of ten hours of sunlight a day, year around. (These assumptions might be a little charitable.) This nets us 38 watt hours per square meter per day.

Your average house uses around 2 kilo-watt hours per day, which is 53m2 under these assumptions, plus sufficient storage to cover the hours of dark and cloud.

Total US electrical power consumption is estimated to be on the near order of 19.2 tera-watt hours per day. To supply that, our hypothetical solar infrastructure would need more than half a million square kilometers of collector. Now figure that it terms of the price of your collection and storage devices plus the cost of the land!

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#47
In reply to #46

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 8:06 PM

Dr. Moose-

Some figures I have come up with for land use demand for various sources of power:

Biofuels- 200 hectares per MW

Wind Energy- 50 Hectares per MW

Solar Energy- 20 Hectares per MW

Hydro-electric- 5 hectares per MW

All the above are based on local conditions here in Panama. Hydro-electric is, of course, very sensitive to local geography, and may require significantly more.

I do not have relevant data for conventional nuclear plants, but I suspect it requires significantly less land than most other sources (including hydrocarbons and coal, when one considers fuel storage requirements). However, have a look at what Toshiba has on the drawing board (currently seeking licensing in Alaska) for a mini-nuke. 25 MW, if my memory serves me right. NO terrorist threat. NO meltdown threat. Major drawback- political resistance.

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 8:15 PM

Good answer, but now convert that to mega-watt hours and figure in the amount of storage needed to balance the peak load. It's that peak load and the lack of storage that is killing us.

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#50
In reply to #48

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 9:21 PM

Storage is the Achilles heel of all these pie-in-the-sky "alternatives", and no one has even come close to demonstrating a viable solution (I happen to be working on one utilizing tide energy, but we are talking years before we have proof of concept!). Meanwhile, the only option is to keep conventional systems on standby (i.e., burning fuel) for when the wind stops blowing or the sun stops shining...

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#49
In reply to #46

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 8:24 PM

First off while terrorism is indeed alway a threat, putting a large container full of deadly poison near population centers is a much more tempting target. Solar power tends to be distributed and is constructed with non-lethal materiel so it does not require the robust defense a nuclear plant does.

Second your efficiency numbers are out of date. The good pv cells are approaching 40 % and in the south west, solar thermal power plants are producing power at competitive prices without subsidies using concentrating collectors to drive steam plants.

Also a large part of the power we use is wasted. Leed certified buildings and increases in appliance efficiency will help a lot.

But even taking your numbers at face value A piece of dessert a few kilometers across would do the trick.

So what we have is a storage and transmission issue.

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#51
In reply to #49

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 9:32 PM

Focusing on the safety issue for a second---one needn't always fear the terrorists when we can do it ourselves. Witness the explosion that killed 5 people at the combined cycle gas-fired plant under construction in Connecticut this past weekend. A gas leak! In a population center!

I'm all for solar and wind and geothermal, and nuclear, too. I'd just as soon see new nuclear construction as new gas-based construction.

A piece of dessert a few kilometers across would do the trick.

I'd pay to see a piece of pie that large.

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#53
In reply to #49

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 10:58 PM

Regarding terrorism and targets, I might point out to you that a small plane crashed into a large natural gas storage facility could easily produce a multi-kiloton explosion, which is more than sufficient to wipe out a fair sized city. Nuclear power plants on the other hand are by their nature, very hard targets. Triple-redundancy and multiple fail-over are the way it's done, not to mention the sheer solidity of construction. Damage to the control systems for example, will cause redundant systems to automatically damp down the reactor, as will damage to the piping or any of dozens of systems. This is why nuclear power has such an excellent safety record. The simple truth is that it would just about take a direct hit with a nuclear weapon to take out a nuclear power plant. Though I suppose a modern heavy bunker-buster might be able to at least shut it down.

My research on photo-voltaic cells indicate that 40%+ efficiency has only been attained in laboratory-scale experiments using multi-junction cells. These have been used thus far primarily for spacecraft. Admittedly, prices of these types of cells are coming down, and some companies are claiming as little as $3/watt, which isn't bad. But, we are still looking at $6000 for a two kilowatt array, and that is before we start thinking about switching and storage. And I might add that the prices of the materials involved have been skyrocketing.

Never the less, assuming 40% conversion efficiency, one would still need 320,000 square kilometers of solar arrays before switching and storage. That amounts to a square 526Km on a side, or a circle 640km across, if you prefer. Either way, that's a lot of desert.

As for solar-thermal plants, I did say that I expected they would operate at efficiencies comparable to any other thermal plants.

Still and all, it's the storage that is the problem with solar, and wind too. What do you do when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing? Storage on that scale remains impractical, which means you still need either conventional or nuclear plants to take up the slack.

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#64
In reply to #53

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/10/2010 5:02 AM

Another factor not considered with large scale solar panels (I'm talking these theoretical umpteen thousand square kilometer projects) is that on this scale, the color change of the ground leads to significant increase in surface temperature, which changes the wind patterns and alters the local climate.

Basically the thermal island effect noticed in cities, only on a much larger scale.

I don't think this is environmentally desirable.

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/10/2010 8:03 AM

We are pumping thousands of tons of carbon into the air on a daily basis and you bring up the "thermal Island effect" Yes it might be a factor. My guess is that if you could measure it, it would be a few orders of magnitude less than the carbon it offsets. But I'm guessing there is a oil company that would pay you to raise the alarm. Fear, un-certainty, and doubt are the tools of the people who are invested in the current system. That is why nothing changes.

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#68
In reply to #65

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/10/2010 3:21 PM

Nothing changes because the payback isn't worth the grief inflicted by the self appointed Guardians of the Social Good and the government's army of bureaucrats acting on behalf of the same.

A friend of mine built his own solar collector to make domestic hot water before the idea had gained any real recognition. Using the formulas available at the time, it was 108% efficient; which points out obvious problems with the formula. It was made from home made boxes covered with old windows and utilizing a profusion of old car radiators to act as the heat exchanger.

Needless to say, the town officials took a dim view of my friend's green efforts, and the project was eventually decommissioned.

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#70
In reply to #68

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/10/2010 11:31 PM

Rooftop solar hot water heaters are a really great idea, and, although I generally am not supportive of solar energy as a primary source of electrical energy, I am a strong supporter of rooftop solar water heaters- to the point of recommending, sourcing and installing them as a part of my consulting business. The main issue is that most commercially available units are about 5 times the cost of a conventional hot water heater, and most of my clients are not "do-it-yourselfers".

How do you measure "efficiency" of such an installation? Efficacy would be a better measure, I believe. Do you still have hot water when you have had very little sun for three days? If so, you have a good system. (This is important for a couple of clients of mine who happen to be running resort hotels. They are generating their own electricity, and the actual savings in fuel consumption are difficult to quantify, but estimates suggest we are looking at more than 10 years payback for the difference between the cost of the solar heaters vs. conventional heaters. It will probably be less, because the cost of diesel keeps going up. A significant benefit to these hotels is that these big solar collectors on the roofs add to their "Green" credibility...). One of these hotels is using direct solar energy to partially keep their water storage tanks topped up, but would not be able to rely on this completely for their water system. We also see a lot of windmills pumping water in remote location to keep stock tanks topped off.

These sorts of applications actually make sense. General electrical power generation? Most "Green" solutions are actually more disruptive of the environment than current approaches (especially nuclear), and without a viable storage strategy, they are a waste of scarce resources, because they do not replace the need for conventional generating facilities...

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#69
In reply to #65

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/10/2010 11:16 PM

Have you ever actually seen one of these mega-solar installations? In Southern California, between San Bernadino and China Lake somewhere, is an older solar farm that I have visited- not photovoltaic, and not a thermal tower, but a large field of articulated reflectors, probably heating water.

Nothing grows under these reflectors. No plant life means no animal life (and, of course, no carbon sequestration, but we don't need to go there). No plant life means no absorption of solar radiation, which means higher temperatures. Deserts, especially in the United States, are not dead zones.

If you want to put your solar farms in other areas, the environmental impact is the same- nothing grows under them. You are removing land from the natural environment- about 20 hectares for 1 MW of energy, if you have a good sunny site.
You are not REPLACING any other method of producing energy, only reducing your fuel consumption, because you still need the backup when the sun ain't shining. For wind, you generally need 50 hectares of land for 1MW. It makes sense that wind requires more land than solar, because wind is one conversion step away from direct solar- winds are produced as a result of thermal gradients which are caused by uneven heating from the sun. So, wind is naturally going to be less efficient than direct solar...

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#83
In reply to #69

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/12/2010 6:39 PM

thanks for the image of the solar maga-installation being "unfriendly" to earth, but there would appear to be plently of small scale, residential, commercial and municipal uses for solar collection and distribution. My vision is that every roof surface would be a solar collection unit, including vehicles. Roofing collection material is already being done commercially, and flexible collection material available that would allow shaping to vehicle surfaces. If a backpack can collect power for radio and cellphone batteries, why should I be paying the electric company for lamps and other low-draw electric usage inhome or at the shop? Every school that is cutting out music, arts, sports and even toilet paper and educational materials, because of insufficient budget, should all be looking at investing in overhead-cost cutters like these to be able to plan on a less expensive school budget in a few years time when the collection materials were paid off in reduced electricity costs to the county or school district.

Now, if we were actually writing out paychecks to Americans who made the materials and built the parts that these solar or hydropower units consist of, then we'd really be doing something good for America all around. One of the best thing I can say for nuclear plants is that it is Americans being paid to build them, for the most part.

Yesterday the news exposed the idiocy built into so much of our bureaucracy, when one of the stimulus programs, selling solar systems, was found to be importing Chinese solar collection cell material, and it was only last year that a statistic showed a 20% increase in American based solar manufacturing businesses. Before we even think about how we can fix our energy needs in North America, perhaps we better find a way to fix what's broken in the decision making sector first, since we can come up with all the fixes we want, but some Washington guy with someone in his pocket is liable to just sign away all the benefits to some hongkong, Indonesian, or other foreign beneficiary while we go without grocery and bill money here. It is so important to me that America be smart again, and put Americans first, even if it takes some kind of radical stand against the status quo that has had no problem seeing Americans be the world bankers' cash cows and blaming us for 45% unemployment in some pop. sectors, elderly going hungry and without medical care in the world's best medical system, if you believe G.W.

We have the perfect opportunity in this need for change in our energy industry, since everyone has something at stake, something to gain, but way too much to lose to let any govt, economy, pet dogs, energy biggie, nor the halfA .. to get in front of us and take our say away from US in this. There is the time when concensus and committee is the only way to get in all the ideas/plans and get the best ones picked and implemented, and this is it.

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#85
In reply to #83

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/12/2010 7:19 PM

I have often argued that each alternative energy source has its place in the mix. Rooftop solar is fine- so long as one adjusts power consumption to meet the availability. But as a major source of grid power on demand? Wind is wonderful in a remote location where there is no other viable source of energy for something like pumping water out of the ground- as long as you can live with the idea that the wind isn't constantly blowing. I would also like to point out that a few years back, I was relying on wind for all of my transportation needs (unfortunately, age has dictated that I rid myself of the boat). But as a major source of grid power on demand?

Actually, the projected growth in demand for energy world wide suggests we can not afford to ignore ANY potential source. But, to optimize the benefits, we must fit the source to the application...

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#73
In reply to #65

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/11/2010 1:44 AM

But I'm guessing there is a oil company that would pay you to raise the alarm.

People are always making this claim but where's the money? It's always someone else "they" pay, certainly not me. I have never been paid by them, nor would I ask to be as it would hinder me from being honest. Most of the people making this claim are paid to promote the opposite view, but they never seem to be accused of allowing that to bias their views, no matter how much they have fudged the figures or distorted the truth (eg "climate-gate")

In fact, I believe most of this claim is a red herring to avoid examining the issue on it's merits.

When you look closely, a lot of the global warming is simply an artifact of the heat island effect. Almost all measuring stations have been affected as urbanization creeps out towards, and over, the measuring stations.

There has been a real increase in global temps, but not as large as claimed. (We are still well below the average temperatures of the medieval warm period - a period of significant prosperity.) Because of the length of their records, heat island affected stations are usually the ones used as "base stations" to obtain the trends so sometimes they "adjust" the figures to compensate, (in other words apply a fudge factor), and then claim the result is accurate and realistic. However, the "fudge factor" used is based on assumptions as to what it should be doing, so of course the results are automatically skewed in that direction.

With uncertainties of several degrees from each station, we are then told, in all seriousness, of rises of 0.2C. Not mentioned is+- 2 or 3 C uncertainty.

Fear, un-certainty, and doubt are the tools of the people who are invested in the current system. That is why nothing changes.

This is a strangely cockeyed statement. The major tool of the anthropogenic global warming fraternity has always been "fear, doubt and uncertainty" as to where we are going, therefore the prudent course is to rush headlong into action to eliminate the "uncertainty" and "doubt" leaving only the "fear" to ensure those lovely research grants keep coming.

Any one who dares to point this out is immediately pilloried with the smear that they are somehow being "paid by vested interests", when it is vested interests who are paying the alarmists!

Why would big oil want to put any spoke in the wheel of solar and other alternative energy systems? They are some of the biggest investors in the area and are making heaps out of it.

They actually have a vested interest in encouraging solar and wind energy while discouraging nuclear and hydro, which is exactly what we see happening.

End of rant

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#75
In reply to #73

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/11/2010 8:24 AM

The coal industry is opposing Cape Wind. They put all these bogus arguments about how expensive the power is. The reality is that the power will be sold on the spot auction and the price will be determined by fuel prices, just like now. They have complained that because of the grid, that the power will go the the rest of the country. Sort of a ridiculous argument but one that gets traction with the un-informed. They are even complaining about the couple thousand gallons of mineral oil for the backup power even while all the single hulled barges filled with millions of gallons crude navigate through the canal daily.

Back in the 70's Exxon built an all solar house, off the grid. It was several million dollars. It "proved" that solar was too expensive. (and soaked up federal grants that could have been used for useful research).

If you buy into the "Global warming is a myth argument", you are not paying attention. Dig into "climate gate" you will find some very artful PR but no smoking gun. The fact is that there is indeed clear consensus that co2 is heating the atmosphere. It is also clear that the oil industry has a strong economic interest in keeping the price of oil high. If you follow the money you will see the millions Exxon spends on "astro turfing".

We have fought two wars in the middle east for the right drive around in SUV's. The rest of the civilized world consumes much less power then we do while maintaining a much higher standard of living (longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality, more vacation time, better food). Mean while we here in America are fighting for the right to keep wasting power in the name of freedom. Europe is moving ahead with all kinds of energy projects while we litigate endlessly over one little wind project because someone might "GASP!!" have to look at a wind tower. Pathetic..

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#87
In reply to #73

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/12/2010 9:46 PM

...and knowing this is how we can beat them at their game, since we know that big oil is coming at wind/solar promotions because they know that on the grid-scale, these do not produce power similar to what nuking things can, within the context of the wind/solar energy collection materials available now. But, one house, one subdivision, one mall and municipal site at a time, we can install solar collectors, mini hydro generators, or windmills. Why not run all our lights, small appliances and power up storage batteries or vehicle batteries from a rooftop solar or windmill, or from our stream if we have one near? Why not expect an investment group putting in a whole mall of franchises and big name stores to also put up a solar collection rooftop or to pay for a battery of micro stream hydro generators somewhere in that town to offset what they will be drawing off the area grid? So, knowing that our little rooftop solar or stream generators can only serve one residence or business at a time, then we should expect that the enemies of our pocketbooks should not put up much of a fight against this quiet little revolution, and when the plants start opening up to meet the demand for all of those little solar collectors, micro hydropower generators or rooftop pinwheel windmills. They should be happy when we take them up on their suggestion that we accept alternative energy and then thank them for their insistence, in all their P-R ads congratulating themselves on how much they were doing for us. If we have a hard time finding any American-made ready to go alternative power systems in the stores, that shouldn't be a surprise, since no one thinks we 'll really do it, nor will we really come together as communities, as neighborhoods, as families, to find what we need, get it put together and install it as surplus power sources. I believe we can. I know some have, but we always call them wierdos, freaks. We can never think about wierdos as smart, way ahead, but every innovator always was; smart, way ahead, not afraid to do something different, something new, especiallly if it was going to get the job done better. That is what America was known for; getting the job done better. Now we are a nation of bill payers trying to be just like someone else, not better, not smarter. The smart ones are the ones who can tell me how I'm supposed to shave off money from what I don't have to go out and buy parts and motors to put together that micro hydropower unit into my stream, or to afford enough chinese solar collection tiles for my roof or front field, and all the power lines to connect it to a battery storage. I have read the strong dissuasion by those who do not think a hydropowered home is a smart home, and have read that I might cover my whole roof in solar collectors but not be able to power the current usage level we have nor be able to afford those materials in a lifetime of earnings. Okay, so it would seem that the real dilemma we have is lack of truly effective energy collection materials and systems, and of affordable materials for alternative energy collection systems. If Ben Franklin could make a battery similar to what we still use, that may be a clue as to lack of scientific study and development in that area. Like Ben, I have been fascinated with the concept of all that free electricity from lightning bolts, and have been researching fluidic lightning collection ponds, but it came down to, like Ben, getting that lightning to cooperate. I have some great drawings, sans the math part, for the collection and draught to storage pools underground, but the part about how/when/where lightning would feed the pond is unanswerable, and who knows? It may be that by drawing down lightning unnaturally, that I rob the atmosphere of it's vital static charge and ruin rain cycles, like cloud seeding is said to have done for Africa.

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#63
In reply to #49

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/10/2010 4:55 AM

This 40%+ has been achieved with special multi layer cells in research labs.

Real efficiencies are no better than about 25%. Not bad when the theoretical maximum for a single layer cell used to be quoted as 22%.

Solar thermal could achieve quite high figures as the potential boiler temps are very high. One problem not often mentioned is that when the sky clouds over (which it does, even in the desert) the concentrators are unable to concentrate and the plant ceases working.

To allow for this, there must be stand by power of the same capacity.

This is also needed at night because we have not yet managed to get a concentrating solar thermal plant (or normal solar cells) to work at night.

The question of terrorist risk to a nuclear plant I have dealt with in a previous post here.

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#66
In reply to #63

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/10/2010 8:17 AM

Actually in Spain they have a plant that has a great deal of mass in a big tower that produces a thermal up draft when the sun shines on it. The mass of the tower is great enough so that the power flows night and day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_updraft_tower

Also it is important to remember that the cost of energy drives efficiency. So higher prices will produce a drop in demand as people invest in more efficient technology. And contrary to the hype that comes from the oil industry. It does not mean a drop in the standard of living. Quite the contrary. Efficiency is a very good investment. More efficient technology is usually much cheaper over it's life-cycle.

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#74
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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/11/2010 1:58 AM

How does artificially driving up prices via bureaucratic schemes such as carbon trading improve our standard of living? (Increases employment - all those extra bureaucrats need to be employed, at our expense. Also Europe have found nearly all of it has been scammed with no benefit to any one, except the criminals.)

Efficiency gains don't come from higher prices as such. They are driven by a desire to make more profit.

As older plant is phased out, overall efficiency improves.

Look at the efficiency of coal fired power stations.

While energy prices were low and coal prices low, the efficiency increased significantly to enable a profit to be made out of low priced power.

If power prices rise, you make a profit anyway, so why bother increasing efficiency?

Historically, the trend has always been that when the producers are squeezed by low prices, they work hard on improving efficiency. When prices are high, they don't have the same pressure.

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#62
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Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/10/2010 4:46 AM

What precisely could a terrorist do to a nuclear station?

If he breached the external containment vessel, there is no pollution released.

If he damages the reactor, the containment vessel prevents any radioactive leak.

As far as radioactive waste is concerned, the problem is not about radioactivity, it is about ill informed pressure groups and politics.

Many years ago, containment of rad-waste was solved by means of both borosilicate glass entrainment and synrock. Both approaches lock up the rad-waste so that any leakage into the environment is so slow as to be of no environmental consequence.

Technically, the problem is solved.

In fact, it is not even as big a problem as popularly painted.

Much is made about 6 billion year half life (1 small constituent of high level waste, another has a few million years but is also a small component). If this waste is separated out (which is not hard or particularly energy intensive) and relocated between the moderator and the radiation/neutron shielding, all the long lived products absorb neutrons and transmute into short half life waste.

Many of the non radioactive decay products are actually reasonably valuable and would be worth extracting, but again, politics intervenes and places so many restrictions that it is no longer a proposition.

The accident and safety record of nukes is far better than any other form of power generation and the environmental effects are actually minimal, unlike the hype which dates back 50 years or so when these appeared to be a real problem.

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#71
In reply to #62

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/10/2010 11:52 PM

I agree---I don't have the real stats, but, how long have we had a Nuclear Navy, and what is the track record? Now, these enlisted men, who run and service these ships, are not nuclear scientists, they are enlisted men, with officers who have more experience. The service record is still exemplary. My 2$--C-Mac

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#72
In reply to #71

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/11/2010 12:05 AM

Hey Mac. Actually, it's usually the enlisted men who have more experience, and usually a great deal more common sense than their officers. I retired as a second class Petty Officer, about equivalent to a Sargent. Junior officers used to cringe when they would hear my quiet voice behind them saying "Sir, I am required to advise you..." There is a certain amount of humor there, in that I lost track years ago of all of the publications, instructions and and procedural guides that I wrote. I am reminded of a quote from Star Trek. "Don't quote me the book, I wrote the bloody thing!" Capt. Montgomery Scott.

As my grandfather told me almost half a century ago, there are two kinds of engineers, be they military or civilian. There are those who sit at desks in clean, air conditioned offices, and never understand why their designs don't work. And then there are the kind who roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty. I am proud to say that I, like my grandfather before me, am the second kind.

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#76
In reply to #62

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/11/2010 10:56 AM

Chernobyl. Three mile island. All the "incidents" that were never reported because regulators had to save face for the nuclear community. Sure it works, and it's got a pretty good track record. But why not harness the "limitless" energy from our Sun? FOREVER. I believe anything more than a thousand years is pretty much forever, but what about the people living 1100 years from now?

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#77
In reply to #76

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/11/2010 11:01 AM

Tell me how you plan to store it until it is needed, and you will have me on board...

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#78
In reply to #76

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/11/2010 11:07 AM

Do your homework. The main problems with solar have been pointed out in this forum repeatedly. The only truly good way to harness solar energy is to place the solar power stations in geosynchronous orbit and beam the power back down, though this is not without problems either. If this were ever seriously proposed, I would be absolutely in support of it, as would every serious thinker within this community.

As for the "incidents" you speak of, I suggest you start by citing places and dates. Without hard data, I would have to call that accusation meaningless. Two accidents in 50 years (Three Mile Island and Chernobyl) is a pretty impressive safety record, and as I recall, Three Mile Island wasn't all that serious.

I say again. Do your homework before you post here.

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#79
In reply to #76

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/11/2010 12:00 PM

I might point out also that, any time a worker at a nuclear power plant so much as slices open a finger or scrapes a knuckle, it has to be treated as a radiological incident for the same reason that these workers are required to wear film badges, because they work in a radiological environment. Never the less, a scraped knuckle hardly qualifies as a nuclear accident, or even an incident.

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#80
In reply to #79

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/11/2010 12:05 PM

Just yesterday, as I boarded a small commuter aircraft to return to the city, I reached down to gather up the seatbelt to fasten it, and something pricked my finger- sufficient to result in several drops of blood staining my trowsers before I could get the wound wrapped up in my handkerchief. Should I have reported this as an air travel accident?

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#81
In reply to #80

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/11/2010 1:20 PM

It does make you wonder, doesn't it?

The truth though is that nuclear plant workers receive less ionizing radiation than the fellow holding the traffic sign on the road construction site. *Shaking Head* As I've said before, hype and hysteria.

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#82
In reply to #62

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/12/2010 5:58 PM

thanks, sceptic, for fleshing out the realities, for people like me who were fed a steady, subliminal diet of nuclear panic even while nations were planning and building nuclear-powered electrification plants all over, which they forgot to mention. The difference between nuclear bombs and nuclear power (with it's waste products) never really is made clear, never separated.

One reason for that lack of separation is that not everyone is satisfied with traditional things that go "boom", they seek out the biggest, baddest "boom" they can find and seem to have all the money in the world to go at their destruction causes.

We live in a world of fiends and fools and some just ignorant folk who cannot imagine the repercussions of deeds and materials produced and set loose into the world. Most people think anything that's for sale in a store must be safe and beneficial. Most people believed that all of a sudden, eggs and dairy butter was gonna kill us, even though these foods have been eaten obviously since before recorded time, as earliest records include them. Cholesterol medicines sales required the hype about "good and bad" cholesterol, even though our Creator put all those cholesterols into our bodies with purposes and interrelationships.

Just one example of all the stuff we are clever enough to manipulate in our environment, but not Godly enough to control everyone's use of.

Your clear description of the professional processes for containment, security and longterm storage/waste of nuclear plants is what would be possible if only you and I and other conscientious folk were around these materials. We don't control the world or any cuckoos in it. Perhaps there is low contamination potential for most nuclear plant waste, but that's because we probably aren't sitting around trying to come up with stupid, rotten stuff to do with nuclear waste. And, just as a forinstance, if nuclear products weren't so attractive to bad guys, it wouldn't have rated mention in bin Laden's plans, nor be the darling of Iran's crazies.

But, I'm no hater of nuclear power, and the fact that we use it here for electrification is proof of how useful it is, although I don't know of anyone bragging about how cheap the electric bills are in their nuclear-powered area. We just cannot confine our concerns to "best case" scenarios, since the devil was let loose into our world with lots of deceived demons that have no problem infecting human minds with their evil ideas and intentions.

May I please just counter the nuclear option with the undefeated ideas for including solar, hydro, wind power technologies as timely options, along with the hydrogen fueled vehicle engines. Since it seems that our nation would need to build more nuclear plants to satisfy our grown needs, then it would seem all of these power answers are starting on equal footing, other than the need for R & D on turbines and batteries efficiency. It is really going to be hard to handle seeing some Japanese or Chinese or Russian company come up with the winning tickets on that, if we let the need sit around unaddressed by our academics, techs and manufacturers.

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#54
In reply to #43

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 11:38 PM

Why not go along with that hack mayor from San Francisco and do away with the plants in that vicinity (or wherever else)?

I know many, many people in the power generating business that would love to do this to a community of this size to get their point across - You need Us.

If we are not making good use of the power being generated, why not get rid of the ugly, irritating eye sores?

I mean for a photovoltaic system to power the likes of New York city, I have heard that the array would need to be the size of Vermont...hell, we can even use the idea of imminent domain and kick WHOLE communities out of their houses in order to start using that "safe" fusion plant that is 93 million miles away.

Whether it is gas, coal, nuke, wind, sea currents, thermal (steam from the ground), solar (going to photocells), or solar mirrors (super heating liquids into steam in order to turn a steam turbine) something needs to be done in order to keep up with the growing demand for power.

Huh? Wait something was done... obama said that he would lift the EPA emmisions on older plants of ALL sorts in order to keep them burning longer - hell that'll help out a ton when cap and trade comes into effect.

Photovoltaic is a great idea, it is not going to run whole communities though, just as it is not going to be running this nation in the future.

Can we as a country learn to be more effecient? Maybe. I know that there are plenty of people that are "trying" to do their part(s) - all you have to do is look at the way that those terrible little flourescent lamps are being pushed onto us all of the time. Energy Saver? Maybe... Full of mercury and bad for the environment? Yes.

Go figure.

Cheers Ferris

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#29
In reply to #26

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/01/2010 9:04 PM

The large wind farms I have visited are not very multipurpose- two come to mind off the top of my head, both in California. There is one outside Livermore, near San Francisco, and the other near Palm Springs. Neither of these are multi-use. In areas where there are large open spaces, the concern is not all that critical. There have been studies in Europe, where there is less open space, that conclude land dedicated to wind farms is significantly limited in multi-use applications...In the Dakotas, West Texas, and other areas where land is not at such a premium, wind farms are more viable.

Regarding connection to the grid, the problems encountered that I have cited have occurred in Europe, not the United States. The problems encountered in Germany resulted from widely distributed wind sources switching on and off more rapidly than the grid could handle it, especially during peak load periods. As I noted, the Spanish have apparently overcome some of this issue, having operated at nearly 50% total demand being supplied by wind for extended periods.

Regarding hydro electric, my opinions are based on experiences here in Panama, where large expanses of primary rain forest are continually being destroyed for such faclilities. I have evidence that the installation of a hydro electric facility, by modifying the natural drainage, has depleted the subterrainian aquifer, on which people downstream rely. There is also significant negative impact on surface water flow, on which many farmers depend. Not all hydro facilities are necessarily bad, but hydro is not a panacea- and many of the environmental impacts of such facilities have been ignored in the past.

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#59
In reply to #29

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/09/2010 5:00 AM

thanks for that fact, of the hydro electric power plants being used for over 60 years in some places are not good design nor in horrifically destructive implementation: altogether, the fact that the design for harness of hydro energy has been detrimental to our mutual universal HOME is proof further that it is our technology that must change, in concert with locale planning under local residents input, with all sciences contributing to the safest, most efficient and reliable electric energy production. The point of wind plants relative (failure) (no one wants to say it out loud) is again proof to be compared to the success of combined hydro turbines in moving natural water bodies, especially rivers and shoreline areas of strong tidal movements, with addition of available solar collectors, successes such as that English island, Ei, or something like that, and many other communities on many continents but especially remote places that adapt to available energy harnessing for their lifestyle needs. Every roof or available sunny ground should have solar collectors. Why flip a switch and pay through the roof when the roof could be paying you? This technology has not had that significant breakthrough in collection materials or storage and distribution yet, but neither have we seen universal concetration on this development. Without our wholehearted commitment to change, to breaking free from that power company and gas company's monthly bill, we will not see any developments that benefit us; only developments that make the corporate sponsors of power sales richer while we still pay through the nose. Alternative energy now....without sacred cows to particular industries or technologies; if it's broke, fix it. If someone has background to the Cape Wind project, I'd love to hear it, esp. from locals who know at least on the surface, what the oppositions have been, and if other technologies were even proposed and researched other than 440 ft wind turbines. thanks

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#30
In reply to #26

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/03/2010 4:26 AM

"They are what keeps millions of people who live in former flood zones form getting flooded out on a regular basis." I am sure that this is correct in many cases, but come speak to the families in Mozambique who have their homes destroyed and their families killed by flooding every few years because the "natural flood planes" are not being cleared every rainy season because some pratt put in a damn dam.

I know, I have to fly up there regularly in a milatry helicopter to rescue them.

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/03/2010 4:18 PM

Sorry but my references come from the civilized and modern parts of the world where proper engineering and public works projects where done decades ago by people who didn't want our parts of the world to be well, a crappy place to live really.

I cant do anything about some other places poor civil engineering issues brought about by bad political planning and in site. Just because someone screwed it up in Mozambique doent mean flood control in my part of the world is a bad thing.

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/03/2010 8:08 PM

And Americans wonder why the whole world despises them?

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/03/2010 9:31 PM

Here we only despise anonymous cowards

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#36
In reply to #32

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/04/2010 12:25 PM

So what if we get despised by everyone who didnt plan and work to develope them selves like our country did. WE became who WE are by finding the best of the best and getting them to come here and do our public works projects right the first time.

Perhaps the reason so many other places are still crap and a half in comparison is because they don't get the best of the best to do the work right the first time but instead get the corrupt politician and his village idiot friends to do the work.

Figure it comes down to simply you get what you pay and worked for. WE did and thats why it doesn't suck to be us!

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#84
In reply to #30

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/12/2010 7:05 PM

dear guest;

the subject of hydropower is not always a discussion of "what a dam can do for us", and, sorry, I didn't realize you may not have read the discussion prior to that which described current micro units that are small enough to be installed even in streams and small rivers, with best results being a "battery" installation of many smaller units altogether feeding the power storage batteries site, which regulates the power from there out to facilities connected to the system. Manhattan has such a site in one of the 2 rivers, and it seems it was designed to record available power generated and to answer opponents who feared little fishies would swim into these units and be chummed. The news item was that these micro hydrogenerators foiled all arguments against them, as they were feeding power to nearby commercial buildings and sonar studies showed all size fish swimming around these without a problem. Come to think of it, I never have seen a fish swim into the side of a dock, or boat or seawall, so why wouldn't a NY F & W biologist have been able to easily beat that baseless idea?

What has me really concerned about this, is that you all seem not to have heard about micro hydropower success studies, while the fantasy about "clean coal" technology was draped all over Obama's campaigning, state to state, in every newspaper, when it appears that there is not actually any such operable machinery usable by any grid. If I am wrong about that news report on the lack of any usable clean coal technology for electrification, pls. let me and MSNBC know. thanks, fastmari

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#34

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/03/2010 11:28 PM

Geez! You should have just come right out in front and said so. Then we we wouldn't be burdened with: undocumented situations, concerning undocumented bad engineering, in an undocumented location, at an undocumented time, concerning an event that that has not been documented to those on this site. Opinions are great, but please keep them relevant to music,food, clothing, and movies. Thank you. C-Mac

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#35

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/03/2010 11:31 PM

# 34 in response to # 32 , Guest. Did not clarify---C-Mac

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#37

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 11:17 AM

Another case of "The Few" dictating their needs/wants over "The Many"

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#41

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 3:40 PM

The imaginative but ludicrous misinformation that 440 foot wind turbines could be a navigation hazzard ..... overlooks that they are about as difficult to miss as an Island..

This sort of diversion keeps us from the only true element in this discussion... Someone doesn't want to look at these Turbines.

And because of all the smoke and obfuscation, few realize that the ordinary sea haze, cloudy days, sun reflections and the like will mean that only very keen eyes will ever glimps this necessary future, and only occasionally.

Why not a lie etector test for each side.....

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#52

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 10:48 PM

to all interested in the cape's wind saver; it may seem trite to note that any permanent structure rising 440 feet within sight of an island, where there aren't many places to hide other than the bathroom or behind drawn shades from, is essentially getting "in the face" of the inhabitants of said island, and must be considered as either intentionally sabotaging itself with its inappropriateness, as laid out, or that "opponents" must include those who believe their "being indisposed by an inesthetic govt appliance" was worth some sort of substantial payoff, along with the many "influential" and wealthy landowners, business and vacation folk who know how to dial Boston's State House or lean on their country club contacts. There is just no way to say how much say all islanders had in the details of this project's look, feel, impact and benefit, because what our govt so frequently considers to be their considering the citizens opinions, and expertise, is seldom more than miniscule condescendence and outright impudence toward competing scientific or professional theory or developments that paid politically correctness does not suffer from. We should have done more to rigorously enact protections as Pres. Eisenhower warned against the mil-industrial complex he saw as America's #1 enemies.

Should the Cape Wind project truly be swept aside by the shadowy forces which refuse to allow any of us off their grid billing system, that may be the worst of all the impacts of the waste of all that consulting and preliminary money on just another thing of hope that we cashcows are being denied....like that football getting yanked out from in front of our gullible kick, poor Charlie Brown. How can he ever trust or hope again? We may have become the dumbest nation on earth now; we just pay and pay and pay, watch football, baseball, basketball, wrestling, racing, 6th grade humor for 38 year olds, allow our lives to be imprisoned by outrageous credit schemes from cards to homes to "insurance" and "medical coverage" ripoffs at the paycheck and at the doctors, drugstore, hospital, dentist and optometrist again and again....why do we put up with it? We hear of all kinds of businesses and people who just don't pay taxes, and they are rich, well known, and never get caught, but the little guy or woman with the little paycheck, let them not get something right on a return and they are hundreds of times more likely to get auditted than anyone earning over a half million a yr. Go figure that out, because I know we all thought " change" would have started with that. And next would be that we could afford medical care, and that all that money taken out of our paychecks would be what paid for it, not that plus the month's grocery money, the rent or mortg. money or phonebill money. About the number one cause of bankruptcies for over 15 yrs, and no one bothered to do anything about it? And we really thought that was what "they" were talking about when "universal medical coverage" first got brought up for federal legislation, seriously, and come to find out its just another bribery deal that serves up everyone on platters to the same medical "insurers" who have been bankrupting us for 2 decades? We don't need a tea party, we need a dose of retribution against these highest profiteering corporations that mostly roll our dough out into other bogus investments, and finance the move of American jobs oversees, so that you can hardly understand any of these phone clerks from the insurance, the banks.

The Cape Wind project needs new backing, maybe a renovated project scale, such as lowering those turbines down from 440 feet, since anyone who has ever been out off of Cape Cod or Nantucket can tell you it's windy as hell and there's no nearby mountains or treeline to block the wind, and there's not too many 440 foot waves to surmount. The problem with too many over-indulged mariners who like to blast around, day and night is that it doesn't take much to be a navigational hazard for them, and small aircraft are supposed to be looking out for blinking lights around them, so we really do need to address the aesthetics of these structures with their siting being key, and height with adequate warning lights and the newest motion activated warning broadcasts modules for every tower, such as landmines should have built in, but then not all landmines are commercial products, are they? There are less occupied sections of the island, and low visibility paints. There would appear to be so much customization that a landmark, groundbreaking project could do in order to save it's own life, rather than be a right off the shelf commercial sale for some Wash. DC crony. We can hope for more, we can demand reasonability if not outright change, and someone must be held accountable for all that wasted money if nothing actually begins to bless Nantucket with cheap, truly clean electric power, such as we all should have had for the last 50 years in this bovine nation. I want mine and I appreciate that you brought this crucial matter to this forum, to my attention which our censored socialist news media, owned by the same people who run the banks, has forced a blackout on, so no one would get any ideas about truly clean, cheap or free electric energy. We all should just keep paying $100-300 a month for, forever, while they toss silly things like nonexistent clean coal or more nuclear plants at us, or the really big laugh, "domestic oil and gas", as if any of the oil and gas corporations in the world are purely patriotic or nationalistic entities....as if we don't know those familiar names from the '50's on the neon signs and gas pumps to now be so inbred with every other energy corporation's profits and processes. The real sign of our weakness as a people is that we really do feel guilty when some creep angrily accuses "socialism" against those who cannot afford the medical care that they so desparately need, which premiums for are taken out of their paychecks, so that they cannot afford to live even below their means anymore, they suffer with illnesses and agonies they shouldn't have to if this truly is the nation with the best health care industry. Just another ripoff; all this talk about "change" to the energy industries, the healthcare industries, the paycheck ripoff industries, the banking and mortgage industries that all got rich by overvaluing our homes and then making us pay for it at the sale, at the annual prop. tax bill, at the monthly mortgage year after year...and they took all that undeserved, unearned profit and still blew it somehow, someway, and we just stared blankly and then turned the channel back to the ballgame.

If not now, my dear countrymen, when?

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#55
In reply to #52

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/08/2010 11:59 PM

Having had your rant, what do you propose that we do about it?

What you have ranted about is what is called "Crony Capitalism", which is what you get when commercial concerns lobby for a regulatory climate favorable to their businesses. And there is little point in crying foul, as any one of us would do the same in those circumstances. These people are simply trying to protect their investments and maximize their profits.

The real problem is that the energy, health-care and insurance sectors are so heavily regulated all ready. And in health care in particular, don't forget the costs of malpractice insurance, which makes the cost of practicing medicine ridiculous. The problem is that too many unproductive businesses are not allowed to fail, and, such as the banks and insurance companies that you rail against, are in fact allowed to become fat at public expense.

The simple truth is that, if the free market were permitted to do it's job, EG if all of this regulation were dismantled and people were allowed to vote with their wallets, health care, and health care insurance, would be a fraction of the cost that they are now, we would almost certainly be energy independent.

What would have happened if giants like GM and Chrysler, AIG and others had been allowed to fail? Certainly it would have been ugly, but the market would in all probability have rebounded a hell of a lot quicker than it has. I don't know about anyone else, but I've been unemployed for a year and a half, and thank God for the Navy pension I earned, or I'd be either dead, on the street or living in a homeless shelter.

I might suggest that one of the best solutions to this problem might be the "Anti-Incumbency" movement that has been bandied about for the last few years. The problem with professional politicians is that they tend to lose touch with the people who put them into office in the first place. Perhaps there should be term limits on all classes of elected officials? Maybe hold top salaries of public officials at 50% of those in the private sector? It would also be a good thing to disband the unions of so called public servants.

Most importantly, it seems necessary to trim back the Fed to it's proper size and scope. Start by striking all laws from the books which favor one business over another, and dismantle all of the bureaucracies that have been formed to administer and enforce those laws. Especially those whose only purpose seems to be to butt into the private business of the citizen.

A simplified tax code would be a good thing too, say a flat 5% tax on all income and profits. Drop capital gains taxes, estate taxes, and so forth. Both JFK and Ronald Regan demonstrated that lower taxes stimulate the economy and increase federal revenues.

So, there's my two cents. What's yours?

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#57
In reply to #55

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/09/2010 4:16 AM

DrMoose-

Two points- first, we could get the government back to where it belongs if we would stick to the original constitution. Read the 9th and 10th ammendments- if it ain't spelled out in the document, the government has no business sticking their nose into it.

Second point. It is upside down taxing income. Tax consumption. Income represents what you add to the commonwealth (i.e., labor, capital, etc.). Consumption is what you take out of circulation. Taxing income discourages people from producing. Taxing consumption discourages people from spending, and encourages savings, which makes more wealth available to be loaned to more producers, rather than having to invent wealth by disguising risk in derivatives...

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#58
In reply to #55

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/09/2010 4:42 AM

Sir, Dr Moose:

thanks for the thoughtful counter, filling in the many holes to my small thoughts, and the reminder that what we are and have been living in and through is riddled with every type of problem which shows failures in the choices made by individuals in power, or of wealth, choices that benefitted their person, their business, whether for insurance, or industry contracts, or regulatory failures, or medicine, representation of the people has been let down in moral and criminal ways, instituting variance upon variance, deception and fraud upon more and more until we are a civilization of loopholes, things stuck between lines, until there is perfectly justified thieving on all sides, with money ruling the day. It may be ranting, but it is one way to prevent falling into the mental rut of accepting wrongs, turning until I run out of cheeks to turn, bankruptcy continually returns uninvited, undeserved, surgeries and therapies are unaffordable, despite weekly $100 premiums paid for me by my always-working husband, it is a farce when that viciously depleted paycheck is asked to then fork over hundreds more just to use the insurance we thought we had. Then, finding out that the doctors can't do anything for you except charge you more for more tests, more ineffective and dangerous prescriptions that also are unaffordable, and there is no real responsibility practiced to the patients.

We raise heritage breed turkeys and some other fowl, trying to keep a few dairy goats, but there is no way to make a profitable or even sustainable income from the situation where feed is too expensive and its contents are not our choice of true nutrition, but a corn product base with unknowable amts of whatever else ends up in there, and around our few acres flow all other manner of animals, trying to prey on our little birds, hawks nesting above our house the last 4 yrs, black rat snakes some 8 ft long and fat from all my chicken eggs they ate run all over day and night trying to squeeze into cages and seek out stray nests, possum, coon, fox, feral cats, hungry and dumped dogs, all seeking to take from our flocks their lives, and from us our property and responsibility to succeed in their defense, something like our money in the bank that gets eaten up left and right with fees, charges, overcharges, erroneous charges, overpricing of every little necessity or desire. Should there be no regulation to control the hordes of predators, or locks on our doors or vehicles, free access to our little bit of providence for our family and selves?

I propose that the real problems with regulation can be ironed out as soon as we get responsible, moral management types with close following of the concerned public to have both the realities of the human ventures needing regulation then to be rewritten with a mission statement, an objective; that which the venture must be allowed to accomplish if it is a benefit or even just benign product or activity, but to be tempered by the acknowledged dangers being picketted off with regulations that demand public and employee safety, also for the community and world environment protection. No one has the right to try to make a buck off a product that hurts people in the current method of making it, or of it's affects hiding toxic potentials, something like the fabric protector spray that was finally removed frrom production, for the fumes contained things that could eat holes into your lungs or brain and deform fetuses and stuff....a very popular product, with benefit to those who want their fabrics protected, but hiding deadliness for some at some later time. It is sad that the employees lost their jobs when that plant had to cut the line out and their plans cut, their income and needs cut out. This "recession" couldn't even be acknowledged by the former administration, and they are actually trying to blame it on the successive and current administration, while the bankruptcies have been rolling over lives, plans, needs and hardearned properties for 20 years, with plants closing and going overseas, dumping lives out the door while those banks and the Fed, and all those in Representation of the people knew full well there was malfeasance in the regulatory agencies practices and that the wealth of the nation had been plundered and diverted into mazes of legaleze out the back door into investors slippery ledgers, but its all gone now, and the same "folks" who were supposed to be guarding that chickenhouse the first time, are reappointed to those management, decisionmaking posts again, to make sure not one thing is changed that can affect the bankers and corporations, like utilities, from being free to enterprise our paychecks, to ensure the continued indebtedness of Americans. I read thru the "solar charity" website and found not one helper for us, only faroff nations and places we cannot actually go to see how responsibly the funds are used to "free" Africans and Malawians and S. Americans from poverty caused by trying to keep their cell phones charged and having to buy kerosene to cook or light their hut. I get that concept, sort of, but damn, man, can we not get the same break here? If it is recognized that the price of electricity and other power is too much for people to bear, and that current battery technology is suspiciously inefficient, but it produces streams of money for producers of batteries without any real effort to install solar collection on toys, phones, electric poles. My main conviction is that construction and design industry should be given mandated installation of solar collection equipment on every rooftop or suitable sight on every municipal, government, commercial and residential structure built or before a resale. period. That is the only way to be serious about destroying dependency on that boogeyman 'foreign oil", by the real commitment to alternatives such as hydropower units in every moving water being utilized for local power production, and wind turbines wherever any breeze was known to have blown at some time. The idea that wind turbines had to be 440 ft hi is nonsensical, and it would be my focus on the water below those turbines to also be outfitted with hydropower generators, for the waters never cease to flow in and out, with some places more active than others but they do not stall out like wind can, the tides are fairly constant. It was announced that the experimental hydro units in the Manhattan rivers was blowing off all the fears and oppositions about safety for fish, watercraft, etc, and fish-finder studies at each generator showed that the fish swam around these without fail, like bats in the dark flying around branches. Why doesn't every river have hydro units producing power for nearby residences, making commercial sale of iindividual units for businesses nearby, so that initial expenses are back into the black, free to be a benefit to the people, to our country.

If we could again commit to telling the truth and not bowing to the fraud, the graft, the fears of losing something to a tyranny that has you by the paycheck and in your taxes and in your debt, your home, your car, even our phones are on stupid service plans, the tv tied monthly to huge bills or no programs, and we call ourselves "free". We had a shot, it was actually buzzing through the corporate controlled cable fakenews shows; that the people might topple these parasitic institutions over them that did not deserve what they were taking from them, that the deal had to be made more just for "all". We saw that women and blacks deserved a fair deal and changes were made from the top down to change things to accomplish that. We see a place with a tragedy, a huge terrible disaster, and we run to help with all we can muster to help them, yet here at home, we allow things to creep over all of those who cannot fathom that mortgage or loan fine print, nor the bank fees or the medical bills charges just looking like only the wealthy should have been going for medical care.......we look for someone to fix this, but unfortunately, someone is going to have to be "us', and it is not foreseen what it will take to create the impetus for such a revolution to our love of being on the sidelines.

I just thank you for hearing me, and hope you will consider that the wind project, ill-planned or not, was a first for people. England has an island somewhere off of some continent, Eon or something like that, which is solely electrified with solar and hydroturbine. I don't know what sort of payment islanders make for up.keep and their residential attachments to the "grid", a building of batteries and outlets, but they have proven that even with older equipment, electrification is possible without nuclear waste improbabilities and dangers, without fortunes in oil importation that also enrich our familiar oil names with record profit highs that somehow they announce without grief for the people's money they took at the pump and at the home heating barrel, which impoverishes us, we Americans, without any recourse. We have the right to demand real alternative energy production locally as a benefit and a profit to each household and to commerce. This cannot be done without regulatory guidance, mission, clerical management and technical production, and the commission of energy producing equipment suitable for each locale, such as Manhattan did with its waters. They may well have added solar on the area rooftops, for the area is paved with highrise and multistoried structures where solar or wind could be producing and adding in to available traditional powerlines already installed.

Can you see your neighborhood hooked up to an alternative? If a small village and great cities can arrange and manage individual mail delivery, electric or phone providence, water, gas, property taxes; then they can oversee the local power alternatives, like minigrids, and fair division of cost for power consumption should be an income-scaled deal, instead of halfway, as we see govt subsidence for certain people of diminished capacity or income, why is it only right for some to scale costs for housing, taxes, etc this way, but not vital utilities?

Dr Moose, do you remember during the first tremors for the auto industry; the talk then was that those divisions without expected work could be reconfigured to produce alternative energy technology and machinery right in the assembly and production lines, and those areas devastated by hurricanes, the Mississipi floodings, these would be the first recipients of this equipment, to get their renovations right ,with new power production plans. Those homes and businesses were being renovated and rebuilt with energy efficient materials and utilities and can you see how every other citizen should have the same blessings for their own home, their neighborhood and community, so that they are not being herded into poverty for their old age, unprotected when feeble and having no reasonable income coming in, only bills at the same rates that the millionaires have down the road. Most millionaires do not show regard for their poor neighbors, which is the whole rationale for subdivisions; to ensure surroundings of peers and like incomes and property values. No tawdry trailers or rundown properties welcome. The halls of congress and the pentagon are similar in that they have become militant in their dealings with only certain "people", certain business entities, such that there are, was it 3, 30 or 300 lobbiests for every representative. We never saw any accounting or repayment or criminal charges for any of the crimes committed in Afgan or Iraq with our money going to crony parammilitary companies having some sort of hold over whoever makes the decisions and is supposed to oversees the satisfying of the deal for services rendered, for our sake. Not one real accounting or charge. There is almost a subwar below the war, and that one is a war for our money and to build up the empire that Iraq offers the takers. We secured the oil fields and said to hell with the museums and palaces contents. No one cared where Iraq's troops went after we got into Bagdad as long as they got out of the Iraq uniform. We all know what went on with the big brass looking the other way, and it fires me up when that happens because it always means someone with less power than them is getting jacked up some way.

Speaking for those who've been jacked up a few times, it doesn't have to happen, it shouldn't happen, and names don't scare me. Only partisans scare me, because of the warping of thinking that partisanship creates and the usurping of the nation's authority as their own, I just want reasonable people to desire justice for all, then we will have liberty. It is not freedom, to be free to suffer, to be shamed and having everything taken away, to be ill until you die, to eat the crap that you can afford and not what your condition needs, This is the near future for the boomers entering retirement now and for the next 15 yrs to be a public burden even longer than that. It only got real for high rollers when their investments and 401K's tanked now, their property overvaluation came down below what they had leveraged out of it for those bogus failed investments....now what, they say, but not for the 'others" of lesser incomes who have been getting tricked for the last 25 yrs with falling incomes and lost jobs, even entire communities failing with lost industries or environmental tragedy. Now its real and it should be logical to expect that a real change to the setup that has been impoverishing and enslaving Americans can now be changed so that parasitical corporations be reduced, recycled, reused in some way beneficial to the people of the community, not to a few investors some where else.

I write to my senator, I write to charity and missions folk; people who are physically and vocationally able to voice and work in changes on the ground. I can hardly walk, need another hip replaced and more spinal surgeries that no one in NC does and my insurance doesn't cover and we already cashed out on a refi to the max to get the last spinal laser surgery and months of physical therapy so I could actually turn myself over and get out of the bed, and move about with crutches, canes and walkers for more than 2 minutes at a time before the spinal cord being crushed would drive me to the ground, my legs useless, the pain unbearable, years of this and I was about to die with heart attacks, organs failing, but decided not to die, that I was Mari, I had angels and God on my side, I had more life in spite of my family seeming to be oblivious to the fatality in the dark bedroom at the back of the house month after month, year after year. I can sit upright now, walker myself around the house, just can't get my hands free of canes or walkers to carry, to move things, to do anything unless I'm in zero grav position in the bed to relieve the spine. Drugs are a joke for this pain, and doctors and "folks" would rather see someone writhe and moan unceasingly in pain rather than bear any drug addiction. I will walk in my woods again, I will pull back my bow again and seek my meat in the wild. I may not be able to drag anything out again, or carry my own stand, but I will hunt, I will adapt to limitations and changes so that I can do what I am supposed to do as a blessing to my life. This is my philosophy and vision for my nation: we can adapt to new technology and limitations and changes and moral supervisions over our industries and utilities and government needs the watchdogs so our chickens don't get et.

I am trying now to write legislation for the enactment of construction mandates for alternative energy design and installation for all new and renovated municipal, governmental, commercial and residential structures, with oversight for the most efficient local planning and commissioning of power distribution and consumption.

I don't know of any other such legislation yet, and I am now compiling known arguments against such a radical overhaul of construction models for electrification of structures, so that I will be ready, and so that I can realistically be prepared for modifications to this proposal. If you can think of anything pro or con you would like to kindly offer me, I'd be grateful for your time and thoughts.

thanks, mari

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#56

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/09/2010 2:11 AM

I fear I have made an error in my calculations and all of my numbers are off by a factor of ten. Thus the amount of land area required for photo-voltaic power would be 32,000 square kilometers rather than 320,000. I apologize for the error.

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#60
In reply to #56

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

02/09/2010 5:08 AM

Dr. Moose

Do you know anything about the parallel development in photovoltaic cells compaction, much like that of the magnetic tape compaction revolution over the last 30 yrs, from vinyl to 8 track, eventually to cd, dvd, and mp3, etc? The photovoltaic cells, instead of being a vertical cylindrical shape would actually be a movable crystallization, or crystallization that light energy could track down into as the sun's rays changed slant on the collector, yielding more activity per horizontal measure. I thought there was the presence of a fluidic content to the cells, also. thanks mari

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#88

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

03/01/2010 8:52 AM

Just came across this. Clears up, somewhat, who's putting up $ to block the project:

...bulk of the opposition to Cape Wind over the years has come from a multimillion-dollar campaign backed by oil and gas money—not Native Americans trying to protect territory they regard as sacred. At the forefront of the effort has been William Koch, who alone has spent more than a million to oppose the farm via a group called the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.

Koch is the founder and president of the Oxbow Group, and has made his fortune off mining and marketing coal, natural gas, petroleum, and petroleum coke products. He's the son of Fred Koch, founder of oil and gas giant Koch Industries, and brother of David and Charles Koch—who have supported conservative groups like Citizens for a Sound Economy (which later merged with another group to form FreedomWorks) and Americans for Prosperity, which has campaigned against both climate legislation and health care reform. Bill Koch used to work for the family business, but split off in the early '80s, prompting a nasty feud with his brothers business that dragged on for nearly two decades. In that time, however, he built a dirty energy empire all his own, which has helped fund his Cape Wind crusade.

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#94
In reply to #88

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

03/02/2010 8:11 AM

He also owns an estate at Cape Cod, and is a yachting enthusiast.

I suspect that has more to do with his opposition than anything to do with coal, oil or gas.

The local estate owners are a very wealthy and powerful bunch and it would make more sense if that was their motivation.

If oil & gas interests are the only reason, why aren't they fighting wind farms in Texas, where they have a bigger vested interest than Cape Cod?

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#89

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

03/01/2010 8:07 PM

Just finished my 8th trip through the Altamont wind farm corridor, (Behind Livermore Ca.,) and except for one day, all of the turbines have been standing still---Zero, Nada etc. The one day they were turning, it was marginal at best, with only 50% of them turning. How do you expect the base grid to be able to accept this type of load input? How is it regulated? And, if it is blowing, what is done with the energy if not needed? I would say combine with hydro, and , as mentioned before, use the power to pump water up hill, and store it---BUT, that requires dams and more turbines. Maybe get them to fire up huge gyros or flywheels, with magnetic bearings, and slowly bleed off the power--Now that would require some major engineering.. All of this stuff is "Therotically practical", but if we are to do something NOW, it requires something that can be built and WORK, now. Nuclear works, is compliant with the Green team agenda, and would buy a lot of time until we can move onto the next great idea. My 2 cents..

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#90
In reply to #89

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

03/01/2010 8:59 PM

C-Mac-

Unfortunately, the proponents of wind energy generally do not promote tours of existing wind farms...Wonder why that is? Are they afraid the truth might come out?

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#91
In reply to #90

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

03/01/2010 9:22 PM

They probably don't want you stepping over the aviary carcasses (one of the reasons mentioned to block more wind farms)--Many of the advocates (politically, that is), lobby for all these "new ideas", without any engineering info , and then , lo and behold, when asked to put it into THEIR neighborhoods, find ways to block it--(Wind is too noisy, kills birds, is ugly etc.) They never come up with engineering reasons on why this may not be feasible in the first place--It is always emotional, or feel goodism--- I am an ENVIRONMENTALIST---I do not pollute personally, or litter, I engineer my property so that all of my rain runoff stays on site and perks, I use solar hot water, I keep my cars in good running condition, I recycle all that I am able to. That is just being a good citizen. I do not like stepping in my own "poop". (or my neighbors either). But these are practical solutions that make sense, and are doable by everyone. Large scale solutions , that affect us all, and require either Local , State, or Federal Government engineering and funding had better be built on sound, practical data, not, political rhetoric, based on appeasing a voting base, kissing babies, and photo-ops. My 3 cents.

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#92
In reply to #91

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

03/01/2010 9:35 PM

Ah Ha! I am greener than you! I don't own a car

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#97
In reply to #92

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

03/02/2010 8:02 PM

Wish they had an icon for a stuck out tongue!!! Your arms must get tired!! Try that car thing , living in Los Angeles. One of the reasons I need to get outta here.

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#98
In reply to #97

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

03/02/2010 10:20 PM

No way I could live without a car, were I still living in the US...But, I still get a kick out of throwing the car thing out there when people accuse me of not being green enough...

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#99
In reply to #98

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

03/02/2010 11:22 PM

Where in Panama are you? I have spent much time in Nicaragua, and have visited Panama once-Do you get Simon Black's , Sovereign Man, blog? Lots of stuff on Panama, the banking system, real estate, etc--Sort of an ex-pats journal, with a lot of info about places around the globe--mac

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#100
In reply to #99

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

03/03/2010 12:26 AM

I operate out of Panama city, but most of my activities are focused in the Darien, Islas de Perlas and occasionally the highlands of Chiriqui. The highlands of Chiriqui are generally too cold for me- I prefer the Darien, but it is rather iffy getting Internet connection in the Darien...

Never heard of Simon Black, need to look him up...

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#103
In reply to #100

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

04/28/2010 11:11 PM

CWARNER---Sorry to be off link for so long--Thought he discussion was dead, and it rearranged itself--Did you ever find a link to Sovereign Man? Simon Black? He discusses many of the areas you have been in--Chiriqui also,, Bouquet, I believe. E-Pat commununity. I spent time on the water front in Chiriqui--Isla David and other offshore islands, surfing and fishing--Very hot for me, and I am from Hawaii---Hope all is well, C-Mac

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#105
In reply to #103

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

04/29/2010 1:04 AM

I've been reading Simon Black's dailies for a while now- not sure he is real, although a lot of the information he puts out seems valid from here. What bothers me is his pitch, "Want to know more? Send me $25,000 and I will tell you how to reach the REAL shakers and movers..."

"Hot" is relative. Here in Panama city, the temperature rarely, rarely exceeds the low 90's (Fahrenheit), but that is with 99% humidity- especially along the coast. Actually, the mountains get downright balmy at times (although I do not believe snow has ever been recorded on even the highest peaks in Panama). You might remember how cold Boquette can get, if you were there in the winter. If you want hot, try Phoenix in August...

I do my best to avoid ex-pat groups- they tend to be self-centered, holier-than-thou idiots with an overblown sense of their own adventuresome spirits (What? Leave the air conditioned apartment to explore the last example of pristine rain forest north of South America? Are you crazy? They have head hunters and poisonous snakes out there! And panthers and cougars and Harpy eagles and who knows what else...)

Charlie

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#106
In reply to #105

Re: Crusading for Wind Off Cape Cod

04/29/2010 1:31 AM

Ahh-A man of my own heart--I have sailed around a bit, built boats, crewed boats, for some very uppity clients, currently build and remodel upscale residences in Los Angeles.. Have surfed and fished all of my life, coming from Hawaii, and have toured all through Mexico, El Salvador, Many trips to Nicaragua (Still own some land there), and Panama. Ex-Pats are the most boring people I have ever met. They are either escaping something they could not confront , in a previous life, or are trying to find something that they could not create anywhere. Most have a sincere hatred for the United States (What ever that is), and have a distain for whatever President was present at the time of their departure. What upset me most about Panama, was the clearburning of many native tropical forest lands--I took boats , out into many of the islands in the Gulfo]Chiriqui, and the difference was amazing, between the old growth and the new , 2nd generation , 3rd generation growth--Sad, to my eyes--Never been to Darien , but have heard great stories, some back to the 40's and 50's--Just another place I would love to visit---What is your skill?

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