Wind Power News: Opinions
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
After years of battling the powers that be in relative anonymity, in January the Burlington Free Press named Annette Smith “Vermonter of the Year.” That’s a much kinder title than some others have applied. The Bennington Banner once labeled her “a one-woman wrecking crew.” Off the record, green energy lobbyists have been even less kind. When multibillion-dollar industries want something done in a small rural town, many people would assume it’s a lost cause for any average resident to fight . . .
Bats are known to be some of the world’s savviest acrobats. Using their mysterious sonar system and shape shifting wings, bats adeptly swerve and swoop and dive in flight to avoid collisions with both stable and moving objects,. And yet bats stand no chance against a 200 meter high wind turbine with blades the length of a football field, spinning at speeds up to 275 km per hour. Even if their tiny bodies can avoid a blunt force collision with . . .
The 10-year goldrush of wind developments has begun to fundamentally change the landscape of the north of Scotland. This is of major concern, because our wild landscapes are the main drivers of tourism and the backbone of the economy of the Highlands. Renewable energy is an important part of our nation’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gases. But so too is protection and restoration of deep peat, which keeps carbon locked in the ground. When this resource is disturbed by the . . .
Gov. Cuomo doesn’t like nuclear energy. Last month, he finalized a deal that will prematurely shutter the Indian Point Energy Center, the twin-reactor facility that supplies about 25 percent of New York City’s electricity. Cuomo doesn’t like natural gas, either. In 2014, after a years-long moratorium, he banned fracking, the process used to get oil or gas from underground rock formations. But there’s one thing the governor just loves: wind energy. Indeed, three days after the Indian Point closure was . . .
It is exquisite that we are to place our energy future in renewables, the energy source most prone to the beast that we are trying to slay: climate change. Non-renewables, by contrast, are least reliant on climate. Come hell or high water, coal, gas and oil can be pumped, refined and burned. Fossil fuels are our natural store built from eons of climate change. They are our insurance against the effects of climate change. The climate change gambit has always . . .
There are physical and economical limits to renewable energy generation in the real world. A vision of 100 percent renewable energy is a denial of the physics and engineering of the electrical grid. It is like climate change denial because it ignores the empirical evidence and replaces it with a desired world instead. It is dangerous because it creates a false sense of what is achievable, leading to support for policies than can’t work.
Expecting to initiate a formal rulemaking in March of this year, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) invited final public comment on its pre-rulemaking draft Wind Energy Standards rule at a workshop held on January 27, 2017 in Farmington. The Wind Energy Standards rule will address certain standards in the Wind Energy Act that are not addressed in current DEP rules. DEP held a similar workshop and received written comments during the summer of 2016 on the initial draft . . .
The definition of “Kafkaesque”: “Describing something that is horribly complicated for no reason, usually in reference to bureaucracy.” Neighbors of operating and proposed wind projects are watching in disbelief as they witness the Public Service Board (PSB) issue Orders affirming the rights of the wind industry while putting neighbors through expensive, time-consuming legal processes that tramples neighbors’ rights and provide no relief. Paul Brouha of Sutton lives 6,385 feet from the nearest turbine in the Sheffield Wind plant. He filed . . .
Two years ago, when I would receive a press release about a solar farm, I’d assign a story. We’d shoot photos, interview the participants, and lay out where the power would flow, and who would benefit. Now, a new solar farm is hardly worth a short business story. Solar has become ubiquitous, and by that, I mean solar panels are sprouting up everywhere: in fields, on top of industrial buildings, on top of single-family homes, on retired dumps and polluted . . .
On Dec. 12, Deepwater Wind, developers of the Block Island Wind Farm, announced it had “flipped the switch” and the turbines were in commercial operation, producing “clean, affordable” electricity for the people of Block Island, Rhode Island and (presumably) New England. Let’s review the bidding and assess the value of this project. The electricity ratepayers of Rhode Island deserve an accounting. The main benefits of the wind farm, proclaimed by its proponents at the outset of the project, were: ● . . .