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This T. Boone Pickens must be quite one man! I have seen him on the financial channels, and was impressed with his foresight and exeptional common sense.

Let's face it, the US imports most of its oil from some rather unstable countries. On top of that offshore platforms are very sensitive and unstable to frequent hurricanes. I would think it should be important to free oneself from such predicament.

Why doesn't he run for president?

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Probably more effective than drilling a bunch of holes offshore. I always thought Siemens of Germany was the largest producer of wind turbines. Too bad that one of our troubled car makers doesn't get into that business.

I just visited T. Boone Pickens' Energy Plan site and found it very interesting.
http://www.pickensplan.com/?c=Google&a=Pickens-Keywords&k=pickens

Even an oil multibillionaire like him has seen the light, and wants to do something for his country. Very noble and smart.

Very smart but not 'noble' - he is heavily invested in natural gas and windfarm manufacture. I am not dis'in' him - making money in a 'good cause' is a good thing, but let's not canonize him just yet.

I like his plan and his wind map is pretty and pretty interesting. I remember reading the other day that no place on earth has as many tornadoes as 'tornado alley' (we need to export more trailers, I think). Looking at the maps, it looks like Russia and the US would be the major players in land-based wind farms.
Take a look at the 2nd picture - that is a cool idea but would it be considered an 'attractive nuisance'?

Attachments plan_3tiermap.jpg 32.94 KB windfarm.jpg 2.36 KB
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Just saw this in the news:
Denmark's parliament on Monday approved the construction of a 400 megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbine park. The park will generate enough electricty to power 400 000 Danish homes. Denmark is home to Vestas, the world's biggest supplier of wind turbines.

I think wind energy is the energy of the future. I wrote a couple of papers on it in school and also a site proposal study in Newfoundland. Newfoundland is one of the windiest places in the world but are only now starting to look at small land based wind farms. Its funny how our premier danny williams, along with the rest of the province, are so concerned with the huge offshore oil deposits and hydro grnerating plant (which flood huge expanses of land), but they dont seem to be intersted in the cleanest, most plentiful resource we have: WIND.

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GrimJack, finally a good use of the otherwise wasted space above our highways. Looks like the old eggbeater windmills should work well and could even be mass produced by our sluggish car manufacturers.

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Not easy being green! The New York Times has an article about 'grid congestion' -

The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not.
When the builders of the Maple Ridge Wind farm spent $320 million to put nearly 200 wind turbines in upstate New York, the idea was to get paid for producing electricity. But at times, regional electric lines have been so congested that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down even with a brisk wind blowing. - The grid today, according to experts, is a system conceived 100 years ago to let utilities prop each other up, reducing blackouts and sharing power in small regions. It resembles a network of streets, avenues and country roads.

“We need an interstate transmission superhighway system,” said Suedeen G. Kelly, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The link will probably expire in 24 hours and become a 'pay per view' link as it ages.

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Wind energy is a complete farce.
Not only is it utterly unreliable, but it's also not at all "good for the environment".
Wind turbines are meat grinders, each one of them when built in a migration route for birds (which most places where there's good wind are) can kill thousands of birds a day.
They've actually had to remove several windfarms here because of that, others had to be relocated to less favourable spots or turned off during certain times of day and year.
Then there's the noise, which is quite loud when you're near them.
And of course the massive environmental cost to build the things in the first place.

They're bad, bad enough that the regional government here has banned any more from being built and dictated that replacement units for ones that are removed from service must be both smaller in size and have higher power than the ones they're replacing.

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Wind energy is a complete farce.
Not only is it utterly unreliable, but it's also not at all "good for the environment".
Wind turbines are meat grinders, each one of them when built in a migration route for birds (which most places where there's good wind are) can kill thousands of birds a day.
They've actually had to remove several windfarms here because of that, others had to be relocated to less favourable spots or turned off during certain times of day and year.
Then there's the noise, which is quite loud when you're near them.
And of course the massive environmental cost to build the things in the first place.

They're bad, bad enough that the regional government here has banned any more from being built and dictated that replacement units for ones that are removed from service must be both smaller in size and have higher power than the ones they're replacing.

JW - many of those objections can be used against most sources of power. Does that make them a complete farce?

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OMG jwenting you got to be kidding me, i have read professional and governmental environmental assessments of windfarms and the actual "farce" comes from people who think they kill thousands of birds. Thats rediculous, the placement of a wind farm has to assessed to insure they are not built in migratory paths, among many other things. Any government which would build one in a migratory path probably has brains no bigger then the bird flying into it.

Noise is the greatest environmental impact of any wind farm, but when i say greatest it is still minor. The noise from the largest farms are an ocillating hum which is a million times more tolerable then living next to any semi busy road (even relaxing i find).

Wind power is one of the cleanest, greenest energy sources there are but its people like you spreading your negative propaganda that holds the growth of an amazing and ever increasingly efficient technology, such as wind turbines, back.

I cant remember nor do i want to look at what other junk you have written on this topic, but it sounds to me like your just against any green improvement.

Lets just continue on, F * * * our children they'll be alright in the hell which we create for them.

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Steven, JW is a pretty extreme reactionary (in the old sense of the word) - he does not like change and he does not like anyone who disagrees with him.

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well thats too bad, people need to be open to change since the world dosent stop for anyone, no matter how close minded and irrational.

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I live near several of them, kiddo. And I've SEEN the carnage.
It's the eco-idiots who spread disinformation.

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I live near several of them, kiddo. And I've SEEN the carnage.
It's the eco-idiots who spread disinformation.

Well, I see you still deal in emotional content rather than intelligent discourse

Votes + Comments
Don't make me show you a mirror. (No points either way in DL.)
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(Windmills) They're bad, bad enough that the regional government here has banned any more from being built .......

Gone with the wind!

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I live near several of them, kiddo. And I've SEEN the carnage.
It's the eco-idiots who spread disinformation.

The carnage hey? thats factual! They probably have turbines with no painting on the props. This is a common procedure now on installations to reduce the already extremely low percentage of bird kill. Having painted tips and different color props is shown to reduce birds from flying into them, but for the most part, as i have previously stated, They should be placed in not migratory paths.

Btw, dont refer to me as kiddo if your the one who is acting like a child. It just makes you look stupid.

You do understand the possible ways of getting energy are pretty much limited to Hydro, Fossil fuel generators, Nuclear and wind, dont you? Of all these, wind power is the least detremental to the environment. Please before responding with BS please read this

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I've worked in energy research, kiddo.
And you're the one getting your references from the ecoweenies...

Nuclear is far cleaner than is either wind or solar.
Best would be to build massive solar collectors in high orbit, beam the energy to earth.
Of course that would have to be done without launching everything from earth, we'd first need to build permanent living quarters in space, engineer ways to mine the asteroid belt for the raw materials, etc. etc.
That's all technically feasible, construction could start within a decade, 2 at most, IF we had the political will to do it. Sadly we don't as no politician thinks of anything that doesn't bring him votes in the next elections in 4 years or less, and these programs would not provide a financial return in more than that.

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The US at least is "fully loaded" when it comes to solar energy.

All it needs is a politician who isn't in the pocket of big oil to make a committment, and a hell of a lot of problems would be solved.

Take this recent SciAm article for example.
Sure, it's a lot of money, but it looks like loose pocket change compared to say the current Iraq war. How many more $1T+ wars is the US going to get into in the next forty years to "secure" it's drug of choice?

And it doesn't need all the complexity of sending stuff into orbit either. More than enough of the sunlight makes it down to the ground.

Wind energy is solar energy just one step removed.
Now if you could catch a hurricane, that would be something special....

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I've worked in energy research, kiddo.
And you're the one getting your references from the ecoweenies...

Nuclear is far cleaner than is either wind or solar.
Best would be to build massive solar collectors in high orbit, beam the energy to earth.
Of course that would have to be done without launching everything from earth, we'd first need to build permanent living quarters in space, engineer ways to mine the asteroid belt for the raw materials, etc. etc.
That's all technically feasible, construction could start within a decade, 2 at most, IF we had the political will to do it. Sadly we don't as no politician thinks of anything that doesn't bring him votes in the next elections in 4 years or less, and these programs would not provide a financial return in more than that.

Wow, a measured response with barely a lapse into name calling.

The other investment that has to be made is in the 'infrastructure'. Here in the US, it is not only the bridges, roads, and dams that are in need of upgrading - the power grid needs a serious upgrade. A deep rethinking of the grid needs to happen as there is no storage capacity; if more power is being produced than can be carried or used, production has to stop. Currently, carrying capacity is the major blockage but one can envision a time when more power is produced than can be used.

One form of storage is water behind a damn, another would be pulling fuel rods from a reactor, another would be shutting down coal-fired plants (I have not done the research necessary to know if this is feasible <anyone?>); I don't think that there is a way to store wind power or solar power (well, duh!, it just occurred to me that it could be stored as hydrogen). This implies that if there is too much power(for whatever reason), wind/solar power should be the last to be taken off the grid, then water and so on.

The orbiting solar collectors are a very good idea especially combined with a space elevator. The beaming of the energy bothers me somewhat because of the beam. Could the beam be safe? What e/m range would it be in? Could part of the elevator be a <super>conductor for the energy?

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I've worked in energy research, kiddo.

You really want me to believe that? I have a bridge to sell to you!

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Energy beams from space hey? lol

Somebody like star trek?

listen oldman, Im familiar with the extreme side of energy production and storage but common were talking feasibility. Right now the technology and manufacturing plants for wind power are already in place and the price is droppping on these turbines as the years go by. One of the least efficient technologies out there now is in photoelectric cells for electricity transfer from photons of light and the extra spectrum of electromagnetic energy located above our atmosphere is hardly worth the billions of dollars of R&D. That money could be spent on the crapy health care of of a few "developed" countries.

Since you refer to me as kiddo, maybe ill call you senior. yes senior. Ok senior, the begining of this debate started with the "carnage", now come on do you really think the huge beam of energy to earth wouldnt cause any"carnage". Give me a break. You should go back to watching star trek.

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You really want me to believe that? I have a bridge to sell to you!

you'd better. My thesis deals with nuclear waste analysis.
Unlike most of the "experts" here and screaming on television, I hold a degree in physics (specialising in nuclear physics).

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you'd better. My thesis deals with nuclear waste analysis.
Unlike most of the "experts" here and screaming on television, I hold a degree in physics (specialising in nuclear physics).

I would like to read your thesis. Send it along.

Nuclear physics hey, so why not comment on some of the more intellectual content that this thread was started for. I want to learn form others and if physics is you cup of tea enlighten us with some interesting facts or theories.

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it was never published in English, and as far as I know is still classified (for commercial reasons).

Suffice to say that 90% at least of the scaremongering about nuclear energy is based on no facts whatsoever, and most of the rest blown way out of proportion.
This scaremongering however has caused laws to be put into place in most countries that make it impossible to make optimal use of nuclear energy and reuse nuclear fuel elements.
These laws also mean that the amount of nuclear waste that needs to be stored is way larger than would be needed if all engineering capability to reduce the volume were used, and that storage both be more risky and longer lasting than strictly needed.

If we were allowed to recycle nuclear waste, we could refine it into fuel for nuclear power stations both of the standard type and fast breeders, and split the rest (a fraction of the total) into different categories, from non-nuclear waste that can be dealt with as chemical waste (or recycled and reused, like steel for example) to different grades of radioactive components, the bulk of which would only need storage for a short period (though being extremely dangerous to handle during that period) because it is highly radioactive with very short halflifes.
The technology exists, engineers just need to gain permission to employ it (and commercial incentive to build the required facilities of course).

Fusion has been shown to be technically feasible, but at the moment isn't commercially viable as the reaction cannot yet be sustained long enough.
For the few seconds it has been kept stable though, there has been a net gain of energy from the latest research reactors, turning nuclear fusion as a source of energy from a scientific experiment into an engineering problem.
A lot of work needs still be done here, work that may take decades depending on funding and problems encountered.
Personally I don't believe that we'll see large scale fusion plants in our lifetimes because of this, but if funding doesn't dry up because all of it's diverted (as is happening now) to "green" pipedreams like wind and earthbound solar collectors our children or grandchildren should see it.

But the real solution to the planet's energy hunger will likely have to be found out in space.
Large solar collectors collecting energy and beaming it to earth (or beaming it to the space anchors of space elevators, and piping it down through those, using them as high tension wires as well as transport devices).
That too is an engineering and political problem rather than a scientific one (except the space elevator, which requires materials which are as yet theoretical).
It will require permanent habitation in space, as well as large scale manufacturing and mining in space as it's far too expensive to shuttle everything up from the earth's surface.

Space might also be the ideal place for those fusion power plants. Place them in orbit and you don't need as many safety precautions and very thick shields and walls to contain runaway reactions as there's noone around to get hurt.

And of course if we expand into space with permanent settlements, we also alleviate the population pressure on earth.

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Sounds like your already out there ;)

Just kidding man, but i still dont see how you can shut down wind energy and then promote something with possible environmental and monetary costs as high as what it seem the space idea would be. I dont know, but it seems to me the safer option would be wind farms.

maybe the problem is, where you live has had a bad experience with them. I know there not popping up all over the world because they suck.

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windfarms won't ever be able to reliably provide energy on anything approaching a decent scale.
Even if you place them at minimal distance on every inch of free ground they're only going to give you a fraction of required energy to keep the world running.
And that would have you cut down all the forests for starters...

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Well you sound like you may know a far bit about energy needs and production but i still say wind farms are the future of energy. Maybe not supplying all the energy we need but certainly reducing the need for fossil fuel power plant and therefore taking a huge chunk out of greenhouse and toxic gas emissions.

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"greenhousen gasses" are a farce, a hoax. The sole viable reason to reduce fossil fuel use is to gain energy independence from the Muslim radicals in the Middle east and other hostile regimes like Venezuela.
And by drilling at home the US can achieve that in short order.
For Europe the situation is more critical as we don't have the massive resources the US does, so we're dependent on inputs from Czar Vladimir's Russia.

Toxins released by burning fossil fuels are no problem, are actually less than what is produced (over the entire lifecycle) by wind and especially solar.

In fact, it is at the moment not possible to produce more energy over the entire lifetime of a solar or wind plant than is needed to build and later demolish it.
They're that inefficient. 20-30 year lifespan at most, and 50-100 years to recover the energy and materials investment.

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you got to be kidding you honestly think greenhouse gases is a joke. people that dont believe that greenhouse gases such as CO2 cause heat insulation in the atmosphere dont know enough about chemistry to be talking about it.

Let me guess you think the trees will take care of it.

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In fact, it is at the moment not possible to produce more energy over the entire lifetime of a solar or wind plant than is needed to build and later demolish it.
They're that inefficient. 20-30 year lifespan at most, and 50-100 years to recover the energy and materials investment.

I would be very interested to see where this info came from. would you like to cite your source.

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research institute I graduated did the math, taking everything into account from the trucks used in the mines producing the raw materials (and the coal for a coal fired plant) to the maintenance vehicles, etc. etc. etc.
Of course they couldn't get it published as that would mean the end of their funding (that's the reality of environmental and energy research these days, if your conclusions don't fit the alarmist opinion you can't publish).

But someone else wrote about it recently: http://www.redorbit.com/news/business/1541562/solar_panels_take_100_years_to_pay_back_installation_costssolar/index.html
While focussing on solar, the figures are similar (if not quite as bad) for wind.

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