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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 09:16 PM
Original message
U.S. wind report blows away records
Source: Power Engineering

The growing number of wind power projects in the United States is shattering records nationally as well as around the world, according to a Department of Energy report.

Wind power projects make up 42 percent of new U.S. generating capacity, according to the 2008 Wind Technologies Market Report. That's a 60 percent increase from 2007. Overall, wind delivers around 2 percent of the total U.S. generation mix.

In 2008 alone, 8,558 MW of new capacity and $16.4 billion were invested. That helped the United States keep the title of world leader of yearly capacity growth at 25,369 cumulative MW. Germany ranked second at 23,933 MW.

<snip>

The report also says that installed project costs continued to rise in 2008 but turbine prices were starting to decline toward the end of the year. Projections among industry prognosticators range from 4,400 MW to 6,800 MW of wind likely to be installed in the U.S. in 2009. After a slower 2009, most predictions show market resurgence in 2010 and continuing for the immediate future.

Read more: http://pepei.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?S...



The report pdf is here: http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/ems/reports/2008-wind-technologi...
or here: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/pdfs/46026.pdf
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. Some great news! Thank you and rec'd! nt
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AnOhioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. Great news....keeping it kicked and rec'd
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prostomulgus Donating Member (188 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. Great news for the big energy corporations.
Not so great for the birds.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Actually, it's great news for the birds!
Modern turbine designs move slowly enough for birds to fly around them.
Most birds are killed by cats and windows.
The number killed by windmills is insignificant compared to cats and windows.
The reduction in air pollution and global warming will be much better for the birds than those dirty old coal plants.

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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Very interesting. Thanks.
I'm glad to know that.
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Celefin Donating Member (256 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #3
29. Birds and windpower (some science)
Article by Sovacool, B.K. (2009), journal source: Energy Policy

I am only posting the abstract, as it is not a freely available article and thus under copright, sorry.

>>>>>
This article explores the threats that wind farms pose to birds and bats before briefly surveying the recent literature on avian mortality and summarizing some of the problems with it. Based on operating performance in the United States and Europe, this study offers an approximate calculation for the number of birds killed per kWh generated for wind electricity, fossil-fuel, and nuclear power systems. The study estimates that wind farms and nuclear power stations are responsible each for between 0.3 and 0.4 fatalities per gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity while fossil-fueled power stations are responsible for about 5.2 fatalities per GWh. While this paper should be respected as a preliminary assessment, the estimate means that wind farms killed approximately seven thousand birds in the United States in 2006 but nuclear plants killed about 327,000 and fossil-fueled power plants 14.5 million. The paper concludes that further study is needed, but also that fossil-fueled power stations appear to pose a much greater threat to avian wildlife than wind and nuclear power technologies.
<<<<<

It has to be said that he factors in habitat loss from climate change at 4.98 fatalities per GWh for fossil fuel plants. This is an estimate based on other scientific papers and not observed fact - still I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand.

He cites survey data from the US GAO (2005) on bird mortality and on wind development in California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming (the 10 states with more than 90% of total installed wind power capacity) and concludes that sources for avian mortality can be ranked as follows:
collision with windows: 97-976 million
feral cats: 110 million
pesticides: 72 million
collision with communication towers: 4-50 million

The National Academy of Sciences (2007) put the estimate of wind farms' share in anthropogenic bird deaths at 0.003%.

-------

So whatever valid argument you want to use against windpower (and there are quite a few, but this is the same for any energysource), avian mortality shouldn't be used. Go down that road and you'd have to prohibit fx the use of mobile phones or electricity generation in general. Or driving. Or agriculture.

As for windpower beeing just another money-spinning scheme... you're most likely right on that, sadly.

Have a nice day ;)
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. Terrible news, but it makes a lot of people happy.
Does nothing to help the environment. Nothing.

Creates massive industrial blight and noise that's both irritating an potentially harmful. They explode the lungs of lots of bats.

But they enrich the people who build and install them, and they make a lot of well-meaning people happy.

Wind Power BLOWS.

See the following:
http://www.keepersoftheblueridge.com/faqs.html
http://www.nortexwind.org/index.htm
http://www.stopillwind.org/index.php
http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com /
http://www.savewesternny.org /
http://www.wind-watch.org /
http://www.epaw.org /
http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/?p=166
http://www.rivercitymalone.com/?p=654
http://spectator.org/archives/2009/04/21/the-unbearable...
http://notesfromotherside.blogspot.com/2009/04/more-on-...
http://www.pest-03.org / (Power Engineers Supporting Truth)

Or just watch this series of videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNxvkrgoPLo&feature=rela...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_utFV2ukOtU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOd5tSZF3A4&feature=rela...

There's more, but you get the idea. :)

The United States is a LIBERAL Country.

:dem:

-Laelth
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kimmylavin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Okay, but...
One of the other reasons for alternative energy sources is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, or oil altogether. And that would be good for the environment.

Its just one step...
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 02:13 AM
Response to Reply #8
20. No doubt. We need to do that.
But for every wind turbine that produces electricity, a gas-fired generator must always be running in spinning reserve to supply current in the event that the wind stops blowing. In other words, we burn the same amount of fossil fuels whether we have the windmills or not. They have a net negative effect on the environment. They do not reduce CO2 emissions.

But, as I said, they make a lot of people feel good.

:dem:

-Laelth
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 04:19 AM
Response to Reply #20
26. No, we don't "burn the same amount of fossil fuels whether we have the windmills or not"
Edited on Fri Jul-17-09 04:22 AM by bananas
That's so wrong it's not even junk science, it's comedy.
Next you'll tell us we never sent men to the moon because they couldn't survive past the Van Allen Belts.

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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-18-09 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #8
36. No energy source will ever reduce our need for oil.
Oil isn't only used for generating energy. The other 50% is used to make plastics and other industrial chemicals. Unless you've got some Star Trek tech, we can't yet make complex organic molecules from energy alone ;)
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kimmylavin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-18-09 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. Okay, then 50% reduction.
And are you kidding me?
They come up with new Star Trek tech every day.

Just give it time. :)
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. lol there we go.
I was waiting for this post.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 02:13 AM
Response to Reply #9
21. Happy to oblige.
:)

:dem:

-Laelth
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. If we want to continue to use electricity, sacrifices have to be made.
There's no free lunch of this one. Frankly, I would like to see less particulate matter out there.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #10
22. Me too. Coal has to go.
The particulate matter is bad, and the CO2 is as bad if not worse. That has nothing to do with windmills, however. Windmills, because the wind doesn't blow all the time, can never replace base-load current producers like coal and nuclear plants. Never.

:dem:

-Laelth
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diane in sf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. bullshit, again
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #11
23. Thank you for your kind opinion.
:hi:

:dem:

-Laelth
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. Explode the lungs of bats?
Please elucidate, right offhand that doesn't make any sense to me.

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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 02:10 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. Presumably, they create low pressures that bats lungs can't take.
The bats just drop dead because their lungs collapse or explode. I am not sure how that works.

Here: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/08/25/wind-turbine-b...

:dem:

-Laelth
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #6
16. What a load of bull.
Does nothing to help the environment. Nothing.

That's nonsense. Anything we can do that reduces carbon dioxide production is helping the environment. Coal power stations are the only alternative to quickly adding power to the grid, and they are the WORST source of CO2 in the world! It does lots to help the environment.

Creates massive industrial blight and noise that's both irritating an potentially harmful.

What? Have you ever even heard one? They make a completely non-irritating whoosh that you can't even hear because the wind is blowing so hard. Consider, in Marshall, Minnesota where the Midwest Center for Wind Energy has a bed-and-breakfast at their rental meeting site, you can sit in the middle of 250 turbines majestically turning in the sky, and the wind starts out at 8mph in the morning and whips up to close to 50mph during the middle of the day. You can't hear, you can't walk... the wind is completely nuts. Who cares if there's a wind turbine whooshing quietly when the wind is whistling in your ears so hard you can't think?

You obviously have never been on a wind farm. It's totally uplifting. Gorgeous.


They explode the lungs of lots of bats.

I have never heard such bull-hockey. I didn't see a single dead bird, bat, or other animal anywhere around the turbines I visited. I stood at the base of them, walked around them, looked at everything. It's farm country... the ground is uneven and you have to stare at it all the time you're walking so you don't fall, walking between crops and across rows. There were NO DEAD BATS ANYWHERE. This is just silly. Totally silly.

But they enrich the people who build and install them, and they make a lot of well-meaning people happy.

I swear when I see posts like yours that we have plants from big energy in our midst.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 02:28 AM
Response to Reply #16
24. Wow! Unadulterated wind industry propaganda. A rare treat. LOL.
Bats: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/08/25/wind-turbine-b...

CO2 production: As you very well know, for every wind turbine that produces electricity, a gas-fired generator must always be running in spinning reserve to supply current in the event that the wind stops blowing. In other words, we burn the same amount of fossil fuels whether we have the windmills or not. They have a net negative effect on the environment. They do not reduce CO2 emissions.

Industrial blight:


Palm Springs, California


Abilene, Texas


Wingate, Texas


Somewhere in California

Oh, yes. Those are beautiful. :rofl:

:dem:

-Laelth
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #24
28. You don't understand 'spinning reserves' at all
The conclusion that large amounts of wind energy can be added to the grid with only minimal increases in the use of reserves is supported by the experience of grid operators in European countries with large amounts of wind energy, as well as the results of a number of wind integration studies in the U.S. The table below summarizes the results of some of these studies.

(Table)

Because wind energy output adds almost no variability on the minute-to-minute time scale, very large amounts of wind energy can be added to the grid with virtually no impact on the use of spinning reserves. While modest amounts of wind energy have very little impact on the systems hour-to-hour variability, as the amount of wind increases, it may be necessary to add non-spinning reserves to accommodate the more gradual changes in electricity supply caused by wind energy. Fortunately, as explained above, non-spinning reserves produce far fewer emissions than spinning reserves.

The following example further illustrates that the net emissions effect of any additional reserves to accommodate wind energy is inconsequential:

"On average, adding 3 MW of wind energy to the U.S. electric grid would reduce the emissions from fossil power plants by 1,200 pounds of CO2 per hour. Adding this amount of wind would at most require anywhere from 0 to 0.01 MW of additional spinning reserves, and 0 to 0.07 MW of non-spinning reserves. It is likely that these reserves would be provided by zero-emission hydroelectric resources, but even under the worst-case scenario that an inflexible fossil fuel plant with an efficiency penalty of 1.5% must be used for reserves and that all of the non-spinning reserves would actually be activated, the increase in emissions would still be less than 1 pound of CO2. Even under this worst-case scenario, the emissions savings of wind energy (1,200 pounds) would outweigh the added emissions (less than 1 pound) by a factor of 1,000."

http://www.awea.org/pubs/factsheets/Backup_Power.pdf
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #24
32. Blight? Those look like they're in the middle of nowhere
Whose view exactly are they spoiling? I live near a crude oil tank farm and I wouldn't mind augmenting the view with some of those turbines.
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-18-09 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #24
37. As a matter of fact, they are quite beautiful
so thanks for the great shots :D
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #6
18. Please explain where we should get our electricity from...

...or are you one of those that think we should go back to pre-industrial civilization and have *NO* electricity?
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #18
25. No. I am not a Luddite.
Americans want electricity. In fact, we will need a lot more of it if we want to stop burning fossil fuels.

I don't know the answer to this dilemma. I just know that wind turbines are not the answer because the wind does not blow all the time. A back-up power plant must always be running to replace missing current if the wind stops blowing, and we use natural gas plants for that.

:dem:

-Laelth
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 04:24 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. Here's what we do.
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City Lights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
7. What a pleasant surprise!
Great news!

Recommended.
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
12. Or 2 ap1000 reactors.. (2)
can generate that, 247/365 no matter what the weather. Lot less than 16 billion. Hence why we sell them to China.

The target is the tristate area. That would require that output times 1000, even on still days with no wind. Trillions of dollars and lots of chipped up birds?

Interested in the output curve, MW/hr over weeks.

Who earns a salary? Is it more than the average worker at Indian Point?
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Would you please stop asking such inconvenient questions?
it's harshing the mellow around here

;)
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-16-09 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Nuclear Bombshell: $26 Billion cost $10,800 per kilowatt! killed Ontario nuclear bid
At $10,800 per kilowatt, two AP-1000's would be a lot MORE than 16 billion.
See http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
33. Like 26 billion? And they work on calm days..You think china paid that?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanmen_Nuclear_Power_Plant

Funny math, my power is less than 7c a kw/h residential. Nuclear powered grid.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-18-09 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. China hasn't paid yet - just like Finland
Finland got a fixed cost contract from Areva.
Areva lost so much money on the deal, they're trying to renegotiate.
We still don't know (1) how much it will cost to build or (2) how much Finland will have paid after it's finished (if it's finished).
Finland is already paying in other ways - they expected this plant to be online by now, so they're using fossil fuels which put them behind their Kyoto agreements which costs them money.
Areva won't do fixed-cost anymore.

The China deal is complex, and includes technology licensing so that China can build its own AP1000's.
We don't know (1) how much it will cost to build or (2) how much China will have paid after it's finished (if it's finished) or (3) the terms of the technology license (China has licensed the technology so it can build its own AP-1000's - Westinghouse may have sold below-cost as a loss-leader, expecting to make it up on future licensing fees) or (4) other parts of the deal we don't know about.

The price you're paying may not reflect the full costs, a lot of plants were sold for pennies on the dollar as part of bankruptcies and energy deregulation.

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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 12:33 AM
Response to Original message
17. Put some turbines near the Sotomayor hearings... lots of wind generation there
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
30. Put up some more here around Fargo. Plenty of wind around here!
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
31. Unfortunately, wind is still only supplying one third of one percent of US energy consumption.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/renew_energ...

Fossil fuels and nuclear supply 94%, with conventional hydro adding another 2% or so. There are major efficiencies to be gained in American energy use, but even so wind electricity has a long way to go to if it wants to make a dent in fossil fuel consumption.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
34. awesome!
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-18-09 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
39. oh i thought the thread would be about the 2 burritos i ate last night
never mind
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