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Stimulus package must be huge. Let's build wind farms from coast to coast.

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DuaneBidoux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:23 AM
Original message
Stimulus package must be huge. Let's build wind farms from coast to coast.
I'm thinking perhaps a 100 truly massive wind farms that will also help us with energy. While I am all for bridges, roads and schools I would prefer a lot of money going to mass transit. Obviously some money needs to be used, especially for highways and bridges I prefer we concentrate on bridges (for simple safety reason.

And with this money to car companies we must DEMAND that the focus becomes to develop fuel efficient cars as their primary product.

As much as I know this may make me unpopular on DU I do believe we must drill more domestically (although I want to state out of the arctic preserve).

Finally we could make our biggest advances in energy independence simply by having a comprehensive conservation plan that helps homeowners with insulating and better windows (and we need to try and see if we can make this stuff domestically). Obama could make a truly big.

They talk about 500 billion dollars, hell we need to make it a trillion if necessary (Krugman says we can't be afraid to do what the country needs because of the deficit). Hell, if we can spend trillions on Iraq we can spend a trillion on our own country.

I'm worried that with all these moderates in Obama's cabinet we are not going to do what we need, and I'm afraid if we short change ourselves on this round we won't get another chance to do what we need to save ourselves from a depression.

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natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. yea but not in nantucket sound----sarcasm
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GodlessBiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
2. Have you seen the one outside of Palm Springs? Amazing and beautiful...
knowing all of those big things are generating clean power for us.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
31. imho
they are ghastly looking

they totally mar the landscape

fortunately, it doesn't matter there, since PS has been ruined already anyway
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mkultra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
3. is it me or is there something sexual about the phrase "Stimulus package?"
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 08:40 AM by mkultra
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DuaneBidoux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. That's okay sex is one of the finer things in life.
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mkultra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. truly. I have conservative friends who stil see sex as taboo
frankly i feel bad for them.
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
20. It's you. nt
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mkultra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. what does "nt" mean?
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
4.  I think where they are located is very critical
I don't want to see a windfarm in Nantucket Sound. And no, it's not NIMBYism. I don't mind additional windfarms in VT, as long as they aren't too big and are placed in the right location.
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DuaneBidoux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Obviously location is a prime consideration. Conditions must be right but...
having them only in the great plains or in western Texas (where people would have no issues) makes distribution to some of the highest use areas problematic.

If you have never been west of the mountain range that runs just east of San Francisco and Oakland reserve judgement about aesthetics--it is one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen. It's like this giant field of poppies or something that goes on for mile after mile after mile--and I tell you as sure as shit that it is beautiful.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
6. And we accidentally change the weather drastically
by sucking all the wind energy out of the system??

:shrug:

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DuaneBidoux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Yes, there are effects. There have been very extensive studies on windmills and their impact on the
environment and they can find absolutely none (if you don't mind how they look) except for bar one. Yes, you're right of course, it is basic laws of energy and physics--there is always something somewhere that changes because of what you have done. The study I read said that if the entire energy of the US was produced by windpower with massive windfarms everywhere the environmental change made by the total of the windmills would be that over the course of 100 years the rotation of the earth would slow down in a range between .4 to .10 seconds in a 24 hour period (it took the energy for our homes out of the force behind the rotation of the earth).

We must even as progressives except that everything humans do has a consequence and we have to be willing to accept some of the measured and thought out risks for the overall benefit of the earth and of humans.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
42. The atmosphere is a lot taller than windmills.

You might as well say the same thing about tall buildings.
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tabbycat31 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
7. you can build them off our coast
like they're already doing in Atlantic City (apparently they're a tourist attraction too). Just as long as there's no oil wells in their place.
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DuaneBidoux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. You know something else incredibly cool?
Aparently in some warmer locations they are causing coral and other sea life to begin to congregate around the poles in the water. And entirely new and rich and vibrant sea ecosystem begins to spring up. I dive and wow, I can only imagine how that would be 20 feet under.
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tabbycat31 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #15
29. that's awesome
I love the coral reefs. my parents took me snorkeling as a teen and love it.

I'd love to raise live coral at home eventually (our aquarium shop has a great selection of coral, but I'm not even ready to raise saltwater fish).

I say bring em to the coastline of NJ. Too bad it's not warm enough for coral though.
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Thrill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. Worried for what? Obama and Rahm have already said they are going big
Austane Goolsbee said they are coming in with a bang.

Obama reiterated this today
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Life Long Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
9. It would be nice to stop dumping billions upon billions into a
a never ending war, and start dumping it back into this economy.

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DuaneBidoux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Sometimes I literally shed a tear (and get angry) thinking about where our country could be with the
resources wasted on a war justified from lies. I think I heard somewhere a radio commentator saying that with the money we have spent in Iraq we could have gotten S.S. solvent clear inth the mid 50s plus insure all the uninsured. How can thinking about this not break the heart of any human who thinks about other humans?
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Born_A_Truman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
10. I would love to see artists involved somehow
create works of art along with alternative energy. I've seen some pretty neat cell towers that looked like pine trees.

Living in a small desert town in the Mojave, they are considering putting a giant (2000 huge mirrored panels) solar farm on a dry lake that is across the small valley from my home. Actually it is my view from the living room. Not thrilled since there are thousands of acres that have no homes anywhere near them between us and Las Vegas.
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DuaneBidoux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Awesome idea and imagine, we could help some artists WORK. cool.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 06:58 AM
Response to Original message
16. How about solar farms instead?
Or solar on top of every building in the country? I'm not a fan of windmills because they severely change the landscape and cream birds in the process.
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. I think both will be needed. At least, it looks like that's case, for now.
I think there are advances in windmills that decrease the danger to birds. More than a kindness concern (although that is a big concern), migratory patterns of birds cannot be interfered with, w/o causing a snowball environmental damage effect.

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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
19. I'm on board your trolley car! All aboard!!!!!! nt
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
21. The whole country is not good for wind farms.
It blows all the time here in the southwest, especially in the spring, but this is not considered a 'windy' area. The plains of the mid-west are the best for wind. The northwest and southeast are good for hydro, because there's a lot of water, which I don't have where I live. I do have a lot of sun for solar, but other parts of the country do not.

I took a class called Energy Basics last year, and I learned a LOT about what we can and cannot produce. There is no blanket answer for the country, but I do agree that this administration needs to focus on energy. I hope that the auto bail-out, or whatever it's going to be called, has some strict energy efficient production contingencies in it.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. That's why Al Gore supports beefing up our electrical transport system. (nt)
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. To the point of no loss? I can't see that happening. nt
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. So what if there are inefficiencies in the lines when talking about renewable energy?
Just build another fan. Problem fixed.
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Then you are defeating your purpose.
We're talking energy efficiency, not energy inefficiency. There will be a cut-off when the loss in electricity transport will not be offset by the source (wind). Then we're wasting, time, money, energy and resources.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. I'm sorry, I'm not following your logic. (nt)
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. well...
if you're losing $50 worth of electricity in transport, then you spend $100 to make more electricity, you're losing money. and power. a lot of electricity is lost as it's transported through the grid. that's why it's not transported very far from where it is produced. we don't make electricity in california to transport to vermont. too much is lost to make it cost effective. or effective at all. does that make sense? it's getting really late for me....... lol
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. Once the turbine is built and it is running, I imagine that it's upkeep is not going to cost much.
Edited on Sat Dec-06-08 10:47 PM by w4rma
Especially since there are no raw materials to continue to pump into the thing.

Anyway, our electricity transport system needs to be upgraded. That's what Al Gore has been pushing for.
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. It does need to be upgraded,
but I guess my original question was can we put wind farms (or solar, for that matter) where they produce the most energy, then transport it to places where it can't be cleanly produced without losing much, even after an upgrade? There will always be some loss, and we will have to make enough energy to offset that loss. I don't know if that's possible, so that's my question.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. Al Gore seems to think we can. He proposes a "national smart grid".
  • Incentives for construction of concentrating solar-thermal power plants in the southwest, wind farms in the Midwest, and plants in geothermal "hot spots."

  • A $400 billion investment over 10 years to build a "national smart grid" to distribute renewable energy, which he said would quickly offset the annual $120 billion loss from power grid failures. The power grid can be outfitted so that consumers have better tools and information for conserving energy.

  • Aid to automakers to convert to the production of plug-in hybrids. Smart-grid technology that enables the cars to be charged during off-peak hours.

  • A nationwide effort to retrofit buildings, which account for 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, to be more energy-efficient.

  • Climate regulations to cap carbon dioxide emissions.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10092364-54.html
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. Thanks!
I am going to read more about this.
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. An afterthought....
This is what I was originally saying, too, is that we have to take advantage of the various sources of power, like wind, solar and water. The OP said to build wind farms coast and to coast, and that is what I was objecting to, since it's not plausible. We need to produce electricity close to where it will be used, so we can minimize the losses in transporting it. Algae is getting to be a popular choice, since it creates itself naturally, and can be produced on site, eliminating some transport costs.

I wish Obama would create a place for Gore. Did someone once say Energy Czar? Or Climate Czar? :)
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
23. I really hope this is part of the stimulus package
We could use the closed (and closing) auto factories to build the mass transit vehicles and wind turbines. It would utilized people who are already skilled in manufacturing and solve our energy and environmental issues.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
28. only in an ecologically responsible way--they are often huge bird killers; some locations are bad
we need to fund research into solar cells
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Have you seen the comparitive studies on bird kills?
Turns out that more birds run into buildings than turbines.

Bats, OTOH, seem to avoid buildings.... but hit turbines.

I agree that we need more research into energy production, but it won't come without a fight and lots of FUD being spread by big coal and big oil, about how turbines kill or cause cancer, how solar cells kill or cause cancer, how hydro kills or causes cancer, how nuclear kills or causes cancer (see a common thread?)
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. birds run into buildings b/c lights are left on at night; chicago, under Daly, has
a lights off at night policy

lots of other major cities are getting on board

no, i don't see a common thread....

your logic is flawed

there are legitimate concerns about how wind power is used, where located, etc....

raising those concerns does not mean one is siding with big oil or big coal or anything, just big Sierra Club
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GoesTo11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
37. How about some big indoor recreation centers
so that in northern areas there's something to do during winter?
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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
41. wind farms make sense in some places...
not so much in others. You need enough, yet not too much wind, for one thing. Eg, deserts are not great places for wind, but perfect for solar.

We have many options available to us and they all need to be (and likely are being) considered regionally.

Here in Maine, we have 3 geographies where wind farms are feasible: northwest mountains, north central mountains and coast.

We also can make good use of solar in the summer, when we have 17 hours of daylight.

One thin film solar company made it to financially viable last year and commercially available this year. They have attracted major investors, but at least this year sell only to large commercial sites. We need to help them ramp up production to make it available at the individual level as well.

We also can potentially make good use of tidal power, which has been in research in the Bay of Fundy, NS, for some time now.

Drilling will take 10+ years to produce a drop of extra oil, and what extra oil we get should be directed to the new manufacturing effort, not gas for cars.

The technologies above are available now. We need only ramp up production. That in itself may take a year or two, but it's a hell of alot faster than 10 years to an outdated technology.
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SKKY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
43. Wind Farms alone probably wouldn't do it...
But in addition to what you've suggested, huge solar panel fields in New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Nevada would put us well on our way to energy independence. If we're brave, and willing, we could produce 75% of our electricity naturally by 2015- easily.
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