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SengaMcp

Renewable energy schemes

I see on Aunty that the windfarm at Whitelees is due to open soon.

I'm a dedicated greeny of many years standing, but I have concerns about the options. While I'm sure they're better than oil, gas, coal and nuclear power, I still worry about their effects on the environment and creatures/people living near them. There's a wind farm not far from us and every time we pass it I'm aware of the noise. Creaking groaning and yes, humming. The higher the wind, the louder the noise levels. Is noise pollution an acceptable cost?

Solar panels on everyone's roof is another option. Admittedly not so useful in Northern Scotland in the winter when light levels are low. At least there's no negative impact that I can see.

Wave power? Looks good, but there have been stories lately about the effects on sealife of noise pollution (mainly from sonar devices). What impact would there be from the turbines inside the berms? The Anaconda thingummy seems like a possibility, but again what would be the effect of the turbines?

Something has to be done about our reliance on fossil fuels, but are these options the way to go? Are there any other alternatives? Has anyone done any impact studies that you know of?
dosser

Re: Renewable energy schemes

SengaMcp wrote:
I see on Aunty that the windfarm at Whitelees is due to open soon.

, I still worry about their effects on the environment and creatures/people living near them. There's a wind farm not far from us and every time we pass it I'm aware of the noise. Creaking groaning and yes, humming. The higher the wind, the louder the noise levels. Is noise pollution an acceptable cost?




It's still on the cards that we're going to get one on a  raised peat bog near here.

At a public meeting, David Bellamy turned up to talk against it. Apart from the fact that raised peat bogs are a rare and unique wildlife environment (and often legally protected elsewhere in Europe) the noise pollution from these things seems to be off the scale. There were accounts of farm workers who couldn't bear to W*** nearby fields for more than a couple of hours; another story about a student who could only now get to sleep by putting on headphones and playing loud music to herself in bed. There was another account which, although it sounds a bit neurotic, I could just about imagine it. It was of a woman who, subjected to the throbbing hum of a nearby wind farm 24/7, had begun to believe that  her heart rate was being taken over by it.

The thing that pisses me off most about these and other projects is the fact that Scotland already over-produces electrity. We export it to England and Northern Ireland. So if England still needs more power, let them build their bloody eyesores in England.
AG

I walked in tae Bowbeat wind farm twa years ago.

It wisnae a particularly windy day but ah wis astonished at the noise these individual things make. Standin surrounded by them aw wis really pretty eerie and ah widnae like tae live within earshot uv thum attaw.

Each muckle pole the turbines sit oan tap uv is screwed oantae concrete foundations the same size as twa double decker busses. Concrete production produces massive amounts of CO2 so they're no anywhere as green as they'd huv ye believe. Oan tap ay that, they merr 'n likely widnae be gettin built attaw withoot huge the goverment subsidies they attract.

Ah remember Artoo makin some very good comments aboot wind farms in another place. Mibbae he'll come back and gie us the benefit uv his wisdom again in here.
AG

Re: Renewable energy schemes

dosser wrote:


It's still on the cards that we're going to get one on a  raised peat bog near here.


Ah'd be very surprised if that wis still the case Dosser but ah'd be very interested if you ken otherwise.

The monitorin station thit wis there hus been moved - tae no too many miles further south. So the're no quite gie'n in yet.
dosser

Re: Renewable energy schemes

AG wrote:


The monitorin station thit wis there hus been moved - tae no too many miles further south. So the're no quite gie'n in yet.


That's whit I'd heard. It's no quite the died-duck I'd hoped.
SengaMcp

That's mair or less wit ah thot. So, wit real alternatives ur thur? Wans wi nae noise ur ither kinsa pollution? Ither thin solar energy ah mean. Ah huv n=ma doots solar energy cuid provide enuff fur wur 21st cenchury needs, even if ra panels wis oan ivvery buildin inra country. It wuid w**k weel in conjunction wi sum ither power source though.
dosser

Oh aye, and the ither totally mental aspect o' windfarms is the fact that, when the wind drops, you still need all your other conventional power stations on standby and immediately ready to fill in.

Other things that emerged from that public meeting I mentioned were these wee points.

In strong sunlight (it happens now and then) the rotars can flash so that you get almost a strobe effect - fun fer epileptics, eh no!

It's a myth that these projects bring jobs to the area - even in the very short term. Specialist labour hustae come ower fae Denmark tae dae the building w**k.
AG

dosser wrote:
... when the wind drops, you still need all your other conventional power stations on standby and immediately ready to fill in.

<snip>

... Specialist labour hustae come ower fae Denmark tae dae the building w**k.


Aye there's a fair bittae irony there. Ah wis readin no long ago that despite years of massive investment in wind power, Denmark hus discovered that it is still unable tae decommission a single conventional electricity power station.
Neil

Ah sometimes think wind turbines are a diabolical plot bi the newclear industry. They pick the worst possible "green" generation system, pit it in the worst possible places (windmills are best on large plains, nae hilltaps) an then say "see, we tried, but renewables are jist nae up tae the job. Better build newclear."

Wind is jist nae reliable enough for a country's power generation needs, an if they must big the damned things they shuid big them in places like East Anglia. They'll only ever be guid for energy that kin be stored, like mibbe hydrogen generation, but they'll nivir provide a base load.

The best o aa renewables is tidal power. The tides are a hunner percent predictable an there's enough energy roon Scotland's coasts for aa oor needs an then some. Ye jist need tae big fairms o turbines in diffrint places so's the tide's runnin at ae spot faan it's slack watter at anither. Again, that's a hunner percent predictable.
SengaMcp

Aye, Neil it luiks great on paper, but is thur no ra semm problem wi noise pollution?
Neil

Ah huvna heard o ony whales complainin.

The turbines turrin a lot slower than the wind eens because watter's a lot denser than air so there's a lot mair energy in the stream. Think o the diffrince in rotatin speeds atween a boat's propeller an an erryplane's propeller. An that's anither thing, if we hinna fucked up the seas wi the soon o aa the boat propellers Ah canna see a puckle lectric turbines makkin ony diffrince.
SengaMcp

Aye but see, ra latest theery is we huv mucked upra seas wi noise, like frae props an sonar.
dosser

SengaMcp wrote:
Aye but see, ra latest theery is we huv mucked upra seas wi noise, like frae props an sonar.


Thon's reckoned tae be why we keep hearin' o' whales and dolphins gettin strandid.
Neil

Anither theory aboot thon is that it's tae dae wi chainges in the Earth's magnetic field. There seems tae be some guid supportin evidence for the magnetism theory.
dosser

Oh aye, and dinnae forget that, because watter's denser than air, any noise travels faster and further than it does through air.
AG

Military sonar kin be mega powerful. Some sources consider it responsible for whales and dolphins deliberately beaching themselves.
dosser

AG wrote:
Military sonar kin be mega powerful. Some sources consider it responsible for whales and dolphins deliberately beaching themselves.


Deliberately? Ye mean tryin' tae escape the noise?

Hmm, hudnae thocht o' that. Ah jist thocht it confused them by jumbling there own communications.
SengaMcp

dosser wrote:
AG wrote:
Military sonar kin be mega powerful. Some sources consider it responsible for whales and dolphins deliberately beaching themselves.


Deliberately? Ye mean tryin' tae escape the noise?

Hmm, hudnae thocht o' that. Ah jist thocht it confused them by jumbling there own communications.

That's wit ah thunk annol. Ahmur shure ah read it sumwhaur.
AG

Quote:
Since the Navy began conducting sonar experiments in 2000, dozens of whales have fatally or near-fatally stranded themselves on beaches in the Bahamas, the Canary Islands, Japan, Hawaii and Washington State. NOAA is still investigating the stranding deaths of 37 whales from three different species off the North Carolina coastline last year and has expressed concerns that the Navy's proposed testing facility could disrupt the endangered right whale's annual migration through the area.


http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/disc.html?gpp=1813&pst=541352

Not proven conclusively. But if ah wis subjected tae 100 times the level of acceptable noise ah'd be tryin tae get away fae it as well.
Heidy

Ah hiv disertaytit afore an so hus Artoo oan the praktikle weys o generatin power but it seems tae hiv gon in wan ear an oot ra ur wi youse shower o inattentive gits so Ahm no goannie bile ma cabbage twice! Evil or Very Mad
Fey Hag

Whit happened tae Wavegen on Islay?
SengaMcp

Thur still gaun. Here's thur website.
Fey Hag

Cummin your wey anawl

Quote:
This project builds on the reliable technology proven at the Limpet plant on Islay, grid connected since 2000, and to be installed in Ente Vasco de la Energía’s Mutriku project, in the Basque Country, Spain.  
SengaMcp

Did ra wind farm get his goats?

Hmm...
Fey Hag

Weel thirs a guid chance he's dubbil dippin Confused
Chookie

Ah fun iss:-

Monday, August 4, 2008

'Make every building a power station.' That was the demand issued by a group of environmental and economics experts a fortnight ago when they came out with their Green New Deal.

It doesn't mean installing a steam turbine in your living room; microgeneration, or making your own energy, for decades the realm of long-haired families with glazed expressions, is stepping out of the fringes.

But is the Green New Deal's aim possible? At the moment, less than five per cent of Britain's electricity comes from renewable sources - and there are just 100,000 installations of wind turbines, solar panels or ground source heat pumps nationwide.

The potential is there, though: according to the government, 40 per cent of Britain's electricity could come from microgeneration by 2050, while Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute estimates 53.6million microgeneration technologies could be installed by 2050 - equal to 1.7 units per dwelling.

'If the right policy mix is in place, we think at least 10million households could have their own power generation by 2020,' says Marian Spain, strategy director of the Energy Saving Trust (EST).

'Most of the problems aren't about the physical structure of the house, there isn't a real barrier to it,' she says.

'They're more about the upfront cost of doing the W*** and the fact people don't understand this new technology and don't know where to go for information. Builders aren't used to doing the W***.'

So if it's technically feasible, how can we turn our homes into power stations? And, more importantly, why should we?

The current system is massively inefficient: centralised power stations lose more than 60 per cent of their energy through heat waste and transmission losses.

Last month, EU adviser Jeremy Rifkin told the European Energy Review that we need a 'third industrial revolution', matching the rise of the internet with a new energy regime. He advocates the development of a 'smart grid'.

'We take the same technology we used to create the internet and we make the power grid of the EU smart, distributed and intelligent,' he says.
'Millions of buildings are producing their own locally generated power, stored in the form of hydrogen, the way we store digits in the form of media.'

That would make quite a dent in carbon emissions. 'Ten million households generating their own power would save 30 megatonnes of carbon, which is about five per cent of Britain's greenhouse gases,' says Spain. 'It's the equivalent of taking all heavy goods vehicles and buses off the roads.'

Yet the government failed to provide any microgeneration targets in its renewable energy strategy, published in June. And according to Hugo House of green supplier Good Energy, existing financial support needs overhauling.

'The grants offered as part of the Low Carbon Building Programme were capped at £2,500 last April - and applications dropped off dramatically,' says House. 'Before then, people could get in the region of £8,000 for a solar system, which was a real incentive.' He believes the cap should be removed and people should be paid more for electricity they generate themselves.

Beyond financial considerations, confusion surrounding different technologies also needs to be cleared up.

The EST is funding field trials to test them in domestic settings and find out where they W*** best. It's also expanding its advice service to give help on microgeneration.

'People still think solar panels [pictured] only W*** when it's sunny,' says Spain. 'It really is a misunderstood piece of technology.'

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