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I'm sorry, but this excerpt from an interview with a JLF "Report" writer is flat out hilarious.

Bakst: Well, a wind farm is a cute way of describing what is a massive line of wind turbines, and wind turbines are not cute little windmills. They’re massive industrial wind turbines, which are 475 feet potentially, maybe even higher, which is about the height of a 47-story skyscraper.

Martinez: Forty-seven stories?

Bakst: Yes, I think it would be taller than any building in Raleigh, actually. So that’s massive.

Martinez: That’s huge. In fact, they are somewhat controversial. We’re talking about one possibly in Carteret County, we’ve heard about suggestions for wind farms in the western part of the state. Is it simply the size that makes them controversial?

Bakst: Well, for local communities it’s certainly the size of it. For electricity consumers and the public, it shouldn’t just be the size. It’s the fact that wind power is really a bad form of electricity.

Martinez: Why is that?

Bakst: Well, the wind has inherent problems. It doesn’t blow all the time, so for wind power to actually have any electricity from wind turbines, the wind has to be blowing just right. It can’t be too slow, can’t be too fast. So, most of the time you’re not generating a lot of electricity through the wind turbines, and even when you do, you’d be using the wind power to meet peak demand. Unfortunately, when the grid manager is looking to get electricity to meet peak demand, you can’t count on the fact that the wind is going to be generating electricity at that particular time.

Martinez: Because we haven’t yet figured out a way to control the weather.

Not only is wind power a "really bad form of electricity," we haven't figured out a way to control the weather? OMG! Who knew? Sort of like we haven't figured out a way to control the world's oil supply?

Whatabunchaclowns.

Comments

they were acting weird about wind power at civitas too

The Civitas poll asked (emphasis mine):

Do you support or oppose allowing 500-foot tall wind turbines to be constructed along our coast and mountain ridges?

When they asked about oil they said "off the coast" not "along the coast" and rather than stressing the NIMBY construction aspect they took the scientific approach of "exploration."

Despite every attempt to push the poll, they still found 63% of NC in favor of wind power, and only 18% opposed. This is less than the opposition to "exploration."

Then, in commenting on this result, Deluca stated that the respondents probably aren't very well educated on wind power, and that they probably don't even know what it is. He stated that the real meaning of the response is that North Carolinians need energy, and that they probably are hoping that the wind turbine is perched atop a coastal oil platform, and everyone laughed.

A card, that Deluca. Of course, after Hawke, he comes off as a reasonable moderate.

- - - - -
McCain - The Third Bush Term

More fun from Dole

"If they're thinking of coming to North Carolina to commit crimes, they darn well better not do it," Dole said. "Because we're going to catch them."

We?

The Other John Locke Conspiracy Radio Interview Show?

Bakst: Well, for local communities it’s certainly the size of it. For electricity consumers and the public, it shouldn’t just be the size. It’s the fact that wind power is really a bad form of electricity.

Martinez: Why is that?

Bakst: It's hard to find a Maytage repair man to climb up the 475 ft Windmill.

Little Ricky: Gosh! What if we put up 475 ft flat solar panel on top of the Giant Wildmill to power it?

Bakst: Well that starts another problem. We than have to ask the Federal Space Program for permission to erect the Solar Panel and assure them that we are not a ET listening Station.

Little Ricky: Oh! But what if we combine all three energy programs into one with the Russia Space Program?

Baskst: Fool! Don't you know we are at War with the Communist Space Alien Lizards? Where did you get your science training?

Little Ricky: Uh! I went to a on-line vocational Auto Repair school in Texas with my wife.

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"If they're thinking of coming to North Carolina to commit crimes, they darn well better not do it," Dole said. "Because we're going to catch them* UnLaw and DisOrder Chaos Liddy

I wonder if she means that Bush will be arrested in front of the BlackWater Compound in North Carolina?

Nature bad, total control good

That was funny. The unpredictability of wind power would explain the massive prevalence of those turbines and the fact that they're popping up across the country. Oh and all those other countries too. Apparently no one told the gentleman speaking those words about the interconnected nature of the power grid and how excess capacity is shared among utilities to keep generation to a minimum because excess generation is wasted money. If the utility managers understand nothing else they get not wasting money (that isn't going into their pockets). We just installed a massive solar field here in Colorado, I wonder if we could get this Baskt person to interpret the unpredictability of the sun for us as well.

Thanks for the laugh. And isn't anyone there looking into tidal surge generation?

Put the Room Fans on John Hood credit card please?

We just installed a massive solar field here in Colorado, I wonder if we could get this Baskt person to interpret the unpredictability of the sun for us as well.*pagandenman

Great! Just this week a neo-con Bush supporter at the John Locke foundation read Mr Basketcase [Baskt] story about Windmills and their negative affect on the planet Earth as a source of power in the 21 st century.

Being a person concern with the planet Earth and a concern person who voted for Bush twice, he rush out to Wal-Mart and bought out their complete stock of small room fans starting a Windmill farm in his house plug in.

No doubt this is a major breakthough with concern retarded Republicians in the energy field.

Solar thermal is different

Solar thermal is able to very efficiently store energy in the form of a fusible salt. During the day, the salt is melted using the excess heat not being used to generate power. At night the melted salt re-solidifies releasing heat. Wind power generation has no such convenient energy storage mechanism.

Furthermore, given that solar thermal is a heat source, once you get to the actual power generation stage it is basically the same as a conventional nuclear or coal plant (which are simply heat sources as well). A steam fired turbine is run by the heat source using the Rankine cycle and connected to the electrical grid in the conventional manner. That also means there is a throttle where the operator can control just how much energy is put into the grid and how much is added to / removed from storage. For wind you literally are at the mercy of the wind.

Plus we can accurately predict when the sun will rise and set. The wind? Not so much. Like all solar sources, they are best located in a location where the sun mostly shines during the day (duh). Even so, because of their efficient energy storage, solar thermal can be much more easily set up to continue to generate power during cloudy days.

For those reasons, and numerous others, wind power, compared to solar thermal, is much more difficult to use effectively.

You need to call up and berate Teddy Kennedy who is opposing windmills off the coast of Cape Cod because they might interfere with sailing his yacht. The locals in Carteret county are fighting like hell to prevent the installation of windmills as well. People in the Blue Ridge Mountains ("green" groups in particular) who worry about "the viewscape" are fighting like hell to prevent installation there.

Solar trough is good too

In Australia they have a deal they call the solar trough which is similar to that. It uses steam generated by a mirrored trough to heat water for thermal storage, I wonder if that would be more economical for your average Joe?

Spoken like a true lineman!

Hey you. Thanks for stopping by for a first hand look at the flat-out ignorance we have to deal with around here.

You guys have clouds? OMG. There goes the sun!

Not only that,

the dang sun disappears at sunset for like, I don't know, 8-12 hours!!! I mean that's half a day. How do you justify building something that can create energy for only half a day, and less when it's cloudy?

/ snarks

Could you put a solar farm in the same place as a wind farm ... like planting squash and pole beans together? Here in the lovely but steamy South we usually get wind with clouds and lots of very still but very sunny days in the summer.

edit: Cool. I googled and yes, you can, and in NJ, they have.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Siting these things is critical

You could put a solar farm in the same place as a wind farm but it's unlikely that one specific location would be the best bang for the buck for both technologies. The company I climb poles for, Xcel Energy, covers 8 states from Minnesota to New Mexico. They generally site wind farms in Wyoming, and are discovering that the southern central valley of Colorado that I live in is best for Solar. It's more sunny here than Hawaii and the altitude and cool temps combine for record breaking efficiency of the installed panels. The land costs are important too, some ranchers and farmers will go along with dedicating a small footprint to a wind generator but not 80 to 160 acres of continuous land to solar panels so the solar farms have to be just and only that.

An interesting tid bit here is that the greedy blood suckers I work for would have never gone for renewables on their own. It took a Colorado statewide ballot initiative that required publically owned utilities to generate 20% of their total generation from renewables to get it done and the industry fought it tooth and nail.

Tidal surge generation?

Thanks for the info, Pagandenman. I wanted to comment on your last sentence about tidal generation, as I think it has great potential also. I know there's one of those backward(pun) European countries(Denmark or Netherlands)that will be installing these tidal generators, but apparently we have some smart guys too! Seems we have this never ending ocean current running between Florida and the Bahamas(Gulfstream) and I read that this will be engineered for electrical generation in the coming years. I'm glad we still have "doers" who have the sense to ignore the negative crowd.

That was good

I love the way, given some incentive like $130 barrels of oil, that we can piece together enough bits of energy to replace coal and natural gas fired power plants. Now if we can just ramp up the transmission system to broad base the benefits during peak loads life will be really good.

unpredictable weather works for me

We have had our solar panel array on the roof now a couple of months, these rainy spring months, and with all that rain and clouds - we got a check back for the power we generated(less the huge amount stored in batteries)and it was something like 3/4 of our electric bill for the month.
You know, I was just reading Texas Monthly and they pointed out that one good thing Bush did while governor was to promote wind power, and Texas now has big and profitable wind farms. I am still waiting for South Dakota to be the Saudi Arabia of wind.

Incentives are growing!

I checked around at your state regs. NC does have net metering for all public utilities, private and REA's need to be petitioned for acceptance. There is (thru Dec 2008) a 30% energy tax CREDIT for installing solar up to $2K total, and that's from a short look. :) So for those who are resourceful it's possible to get a nice chunk of the installation money back really quickly.

That is amazing...

The efficiency of those panels must be greatly improved in the last few years. And no moving parts!

still a long way to go to be affordable

First - we have 36 solar panels on our exact south-facing, up on a hill roof. Second, we cut a few big trees to decrease shade on them. Third, there are more efficient ones, more affordable ones, but still, the installation costs remain high. Tax breaks are only a modest help.

We have made our home larger(in process, still) to accomodate our needs of home office and other things. At the same time, we have made it much more energy efficient, so that while we are producing energy, we are cutting our general usage by improvements.

The energy we produce is bought at a higher rate that the energy we are using, which is an incentive.

My husband is much more expert at the details, but that gives you an idea of how it is working for us. Today, we are dealing with one of those problems of building: a pipe from the solar water heater melted and burst in our attic, so newly painted walls now have large spaces cut out of them, and fans on to dry things out. Yesterday was NOT one of those perfect spring days, that is for sure!

nanosolar

This is so NOT a paid advertisement. A company called nanosolar has actually begun production of the $1.00 per watt solar cell. They use proprietary construction and are backordered 18 months at present, but at this cost the energy is actually cheaper to produce than from a coal fired power plant. How this works when dovetailed with an individuals power company buy-back agreement changes the production cost vs. buyback equation, but I think this is pretty amazing. Interesting tid bid? A large amount of the startup was funded by google. :) (I should stop, I'm pretty sure I'm becoming annoying here)

No need to stop.

This is an interesting discussion.

I saw this month's Mother Earth magazine on the stand two days ago. It's cover story was about communities who are pooling resources to add solar panels.

I think it's timely. We are poised to make big strides in this country after the Commander-in-thief is gone. We can start catching up with other countries who have been making the switch to solar and wind power.

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

As installation costs

As installation costs plummet you'll see new housing developments with integral PV/Solar thermal installations. The community pool will be heated with solar energy, the houses will have PV shingles and be grid-connected via community rectifier boxes. Homeowners will receive a monthly or quarterly check for their share of the power generated. Very exciting times ahead.

Oh, if you're into irony, GW Bush, aka "commander in thief", is probably the greenest occupant of the White House in history. His home in Crawford was designed to take advantage of the latest solar energy options available at the time and recycles waste water to nourish the (desert appropriate) plants and ground cover used on the ranch. In '86 the solar thermal system Carter had installed to the WH was removed because the roof started leaking under it (the 200 year old trusses couldn't handle the weight and it was deemed too expensive to retrofit) but in 2002 the Bush White House began quietly phasing solar power back in, in places where it made sense to do so. The pool has a solar thermal heating system now and the Parks Department mounted a PV system on the roof of a maintenance shed.

No. Not annoying. Very welcome,

and very informative, but not annoying. I love this new energy stuff, mostly because it's proving the can't-be-done crowd wrong over and over and over again.

And I didn't know Google was doing this kind of thing. The difference funding makes to whether or not new technology reaches the "doable" stage, the "cost effective" stage, or gets stuck in the "way too hard, can't be done" stage is amazing.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Solar vs Wind turbines

Turbine farms are heavily subsidized and are being sold almost like timeshares: You "buy" a turbine and, once placed, you get income less the operating costs. Just like PV it takes a long time to recover the cost of placing the turbine so in many cases people are using these as tax dodges. They're noisy, fairly unsightly (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) and tend to chop up passing birds.

Solar goes "right to the horse's mouth", so to speak, to get power. It's clean, friendly, and no animals were harmed in the excitation of these electrons. Personally I'd rather see solar thermal farms where they build turbine farms now: the conditions are ideal and they're much less intrusive to the environment.

N&O has a good editorial on 3rd party ballot access

The remedy here is for the General Assembly to loosen the rules, placing North Carolina somewhere in the middle of the ballot-access pack. Then small but legitimate parties will be free to play the worthwhile role they do in most states.

More here.