Saturday, February 23, 2008

More Wind from Texas

I realize there has been a lot of hot air blowing from Texas the past seven years - but this breeze is very cool.

18 comments:

Lynnise said...

Wind power is a great alternative for energy. While it does present a problem for some wildlife. With more time and money, wind turbines could be developed that are less of a threat to birds and wetlands, along with the increased ability to supply a large amount of energy. This could reduce the dependence on fossil fuels for energy.

Drew Moxon said...

I was a little unclear about the threat to wetlands. Is it just from the threat of land development for the wind turbines?

David Johnson said...

They should also install solar panels at these farms as well, because some of the energy not harnessed on still hot days could then be captured with the panels.

Anonymous said...

Energy from the wind definitely has its pros and cons. ONe thing I have heard is that they are really loud. I have heard of people living a mile away from one and having to get sleeping pills in order to sleep at night cause they are so loud, like a jet engine in your back yard. It seems that energy from wind turbines is better then oil or coal and with investments rising in the field the efficiency should increase, but wind is only a part of the answer to the nations energy questions. It seems oil needs to be replaced with a variety of different sources and not just one. Becoming dependant on any one source is how we got here in the first place.

Jonathan Forte

Geoff Czaplijski said...

It's good to see that some places are actually implementing alternative energy technology rather than just talking about them. I think wind power has great potential for being a staple energy source. They may not be greatly attractive, but an eyesore is better than polluted air and global warming. I wonder how many birds/bats are being killed by them though.

Anonymous said...

even though wind power has its ups & downs, it seems like (from this article atleast) it can be positive for both the surrounding economy(jobs) and for the environment at the same time as an energy alternative.
as far as wetland threats go, it seems like the biggest threat from some articles I've read is of wind farms being built on wetlands themselves.
http://www.windaction.org/opinions/12221
(rachel bisesi)

Drew Moxon said...

I agree with Jonathan's comment about only having one source. After reading that wetlands article that Rachel posted, it does seem like this may not be the best place for the turbines. I think each area should have a power source that fits the area. Desert areas and the like should use solar, windswept plains should use wind power and if there is not suitable source for the area (areas with irriplacable wilderness, for example) then they can import energy used from other areas. Although this does create the problem of infastructure, I have seen realtively environmentally friendly, underground lines that can carry the power to the needed areas.

MGraham said...

You have to give Texans credit they do like to go all the way. This is an example of how new sources of energy can re envigorate communities. In this case abandoned oil fields and arid areas. Isn't that something that the germans and Spaniards are the ones helping us set up these air farms when the turbines are made by GE.

Adam Flora said...

Wind power is a great idea. I agree it will take different forms of alternative engery in different areas of the country to hopefully phase out or greatly reduce coal and natural gas usage. I believe that solar power can be a great assest to the southeast instead of just areas in desert climates.

logan clark said...

I agree with most by saying that wind power does seem like a smart alternative despite the noise pollution. When it comes to disrupting the migration of different species of birds, I have heard that skyscrapers kill more bids than these windmill structures would. When it comes to clean energy, its seems as though wind power would be a viable option, especially if they are placed away from communities to eliminate noise pollution.

Steven Olszanowski said...

I do not believe the negative aspects of wind energy compare at all to the ultimate potential it has, not only for our domestic energy needs, but for global energy demand as well. I think it would be a good idea to start installing wind farms in developing countries to get them off on a good environmentally and ecologically sound start to their energy policies. This article further solidifies my (and I’m sure many others’) idea that alternative energy will boost GDP and create more jobs. I think that the economic lag time actually has a negative exponential curve in that the faster we switch to alternatives, the faster the economic lag will subside. Any thoughts?

Adam M. Rountree said...

As someone who was born and raised in Texas I feel the need to comment on a comment in tis article, "Some opposition in Texas has cropped up as well, including lawsuits to halt wind farms that were thought to be eyesores or harmful to wetlands." For any of you not familar with texas or oil fields, there is definitely nothing wet about them or romotely near them. Secondly, only very scarce populations live within miles of the fields. So as long as the benefit outweighs the cost, wind power is a clean alternative to foriegn oil or domestic coal.

Daniel Trevor said...

I was in Germany during the summer of 2006 and it's truly amazing how many wind farms you see when traveling through the country side. For the most part every small town has it's own wind farm, and according to the family i was staying with this alternative energy has payed off tremendously. In fact, if the turbines create more energy than is needed the towns can actually sell the excess power to other towns or cities and extend their profits. I never once heard any of them complain about eyesores or noise pollution. And, personally, I find it hard to believe that the negative aspects associated with wind could remotely compare to the smog and other problems that arise from burning fossil fuels.

Ian Cronogue said...

I can't believe how much they are paying to landowners to use this otherwise barren land $39,000 a month (78 x $500). With that sort of money at stake it seems that many land owners will be battling over who gets to host these giants. Also, I think Dave has an interesting idea to put solar panels with the wind mills to harnest energy on the hot days as well. While I'm sure it would be expensive it is an effective solution.

Jonathan Ziemba said...

I love this article and the idea of wind power as an alternate energy. I had no idea of the amount of power you create. someone in class said if you put turbines from NY to Florida you could fuel the entire country? Im sure the technology can improve to be environmentaly safe and i am very interested to see how these turbines develope

chris mobley said...

I think that wind energy is a great idea. It is the cleanest source of alternative energy and also has no negative externalities. However there may be a few problems with figuring out how to store this energy or what to do when there just isn't sufficient wind to run the turbines. Another problem if they are placed offshore, is that any coastline is prone to hurricanes which could easily wipe them out. I think it would also be a good idea for solar panels to be put in place at these locations to harvest all the energy possible even when sufficient wind isn't available.

jonathan ziemba said...

I'm very happy to see that wind energy is becoming popular because it is the cleanest way to provide energy. I would also like to read more about how these turbines will threaten wetlands but over all- wind is the best pick. I remember someone in class saying something along the lines of: wind turbines from NY to texas would power the whole nation... Wind power is a great alternative fuel.

lauren fields said...

well this article is very comforting for me. i am a native Texan and historically ive always been given a hard time because Texas hasnt always been the greenest state in the union. now i can more justly defend my birthplace. and on top of that, i know what im doing after i graduate. i am no longer worried about finding a job bc my plan is now to return to my grandpa's cattle ranch, setup 100 turbines and live off the compensation for the rest of my life.