There may be a place for wind-generated power in our limping, too-late transition from coal to perhaps something else. But I don’t see it coming in the form of the massive bladed towers (it CAN be done but it should NOT be done, engineers) and it most certainly does not belong on Appalachian forest ridges. Why?
Serving Suggestion for Today: Read all of Chris Bolgiano’s letter to President Obama. You’ll enjoy her pleasant irony and sarcasm and puns even as you’ll learn from her heavily fact based opinion. Many of you (if you’re “from around here”) will agree with her 100%. Excerpt below:
Glossy ads for wind power always show turbines in open fields, never in forests. That’s because every turbine requires up to five acres of deforestation. Hundreds of turbines are being built here, burgeoning to tens of thousands if the U.S. Department of Energy indiscriminately pursues its “20% Wind Energy By 2030â€³ program. Do the math, and factor in the forest fragmentation that multiplies the loss of habitat, and the super-wide new roads that destroy the last remote, wild ridges.
Still want wind in your electrical future? I do. But let’s do better than the Giant Ridgetop Bird Killers. Revisit Humdinger’s Windbelt. You read about this here a couple of years ago. The technology continues to improve and is easily scalable. Why must we always pursue the Bigger Hammer approach? Because those technologies that do the best job of distributing Max Bucks get the nod.
Here’s another promising wind-energy alternative to those giant ridgetop birdkillers:
Thanks, Fred. I’ve been feeling guilty about fighting the proposed windmills on the ridge behind our house in Meadows of Dan. I felt they were wrong for so many reasons. I’m looking forward to the U.S. taking the lead in alternative energy.
I wish I knew the answer …. what a great essay by Chris!
The windbelt sure is an interesting concept! Thanks for sharing the website.
Thanks for connecting us to Humdinger’s windbelt. It was good to see it has gotten so much coverage in the mainstream press. Hopefully it will be widely implemented and soon.