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Also, they disrupt the electrical grid. IOW they suck.
"Inefficient" compared, again, to what, and on what axis?
The grid problems are to a certain extent real, but they are problems with the grid, not problems with wind energy specifically -- hydro, solar, or any other energy source without a predictable yield all have the same issues. And this is merely one of a number of reasons why our aging, obsolete electrical grid needs serious upgrading.
In any case, it is not a bad investment because it gives additional margin on the grid. If we weren't constantly debating austerity in the country, someone might be able to speak up and say that this would be a great public works project.
The electrical grid, much like the highway system, has been neglected for too long. Some might say that the interests that benefit most from both have had a hand in that. I don't know if that's the case or not. But it's long past time that the grid was updated to be able to easily accept supply from alternate power sources.
There's something about coming up over a rise in the road and happenng upon a windfarm like Charles has shared with us in this photo--it steals my breath every time, even if it's the shitty looking assembly of turbines between Boulder and Golden. There's a large wind farm in Iowa that gives me a thrill every time I drive past it. I think it might be the sense of progress, of finally someone is doing something other than what we've always done since we became so dependent upon the xcels and comeds or whoever provides you with the ability to leave every light in the house on,
Is Charles going to post all week from his time in rural America? I hope so. This is the first thing that Charles has posted in a long time that hasn't pissed me off.
@7 & @16, the Great A'Tuin is, sadly, going to stop swimming through space soon. Damn, maybe the Mayans were right.
I'd love to see turbines on the median of every interstate highway supplying power to high speed trains going down the middle of every interstate highway.
I'm breathing in the fumes from the crackheads next door.
Or maybe just W.WA imbeciles who use a whole can of lighter fluid.
Does it matter.
I'd move, but the whole world is now about 80 percent imbeciles.
You can't escape.
As for the rest of you who wish to opine on electrical generation: it's better to say nothing than to look foolish. Remember that, won't you?
Of course, the people who believe god looks like a human rarely believe humans are apes. In fact, I honestly can't think of a better way to alienate half of rural America than to suggest that their God is an ape. I'm looking forward to a full account of your travels. Please stay out of tiny towns at night.
For the record, wind power IS centralized into farms like the Lower Snake River facility. The problem with wind is it changes output regularly, which makes it unreliable - it must be backed up by other sources. The people talking about "fixing the grid to accept wind power" don't know what they're talking about. It is a nice step away from fossil fuel plants though.
While it's true that it's a transitory power source, much like solar, system operators are figuring out how to integrate them into the generation portfolio. Bonneville recently made some sort of announcement about dispatching wind into the NW grid. I haven't read it, but I believe it addresses the problems encountered last spring when there was record runoff and the dams were just spilling water to get rid of all the excess.
Summer vacation = gunfire and two-stroke engines, the bed music of my life for the next few months.