More Shear madness

The madness continues because you can’t legislate against stupidity.

Shear Wind Inc. has signed a major deal with Enercon Canada Inc. to supply wind turbines for a proposed $150-million wind farm, the company announced Friday night.

The renewable energy company is developing the Glen Dhu wind power project to supply renewable power to Nova Scotia Power. The green electricity is scheduled to begin generating later this year.

The company wants to install 30 turbines — 14 in Antigonish County and the remainder near Baileys Brook, Pictou County.

ignoring known ineffectiveness

Aase Madsen , the Chair of Energy Policy in the Danish Parliament, calls it “a terribly expensive disaster.”

Is anyone there in lululand  doing a cost/benefit analysis? Anyone?

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5 responses to “More Shear madness

  1. The Enercon manufacturing plant, in Germany, will benefit.

    The key question is, what are the statistics on wind speed at the deployment site? I looked at the specifications for the turbine. The nominal power (2 MW) applies at a 13 m/s wind. (I cross-checked this with an independent calculation based on airfoil theory and found the number to be reasonable.) The issue is, however, that power goes as the cube of wind speed (flattening off at higher wind speeds — and then the machine breaks). That means that half the wind speed gives only one-eighth the power…

    As you say, variability in power production can be difficult to accommodate within a grid. I suspect that wind turbines will, one day, have a place for energy production… perhaps for making hydrogen as a step in the process of making synthetic petrol when fossil reserves run low.
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/news/2008/january/03010801.asp

    A neighbour and I looked into installing a wind turbine in the back yard. The capital cost was too high relative to the power produced. We considered doing it anyway, just to have the satisfaction of setting Council off into a tail-spin. Still, the ratio of cost-to-mirth was just too high.

  2. Thank you for your analysis – cost/mirth or cost/benefit. There are countries in Europe which have been down the road that our province, and to some degree our country, is heading and the recent but very available economic info should be a warning not an encouragement. We feel that ideology, not reason or science, is driving the process and has control of the (our) money. We have been looking at the issue of alternative energy sources mostly from a public policy or corporate policy point of view. Individual efforts might be more viable if public and corporate systems were set up fairly to encourage them but we have the impression the odds are with the house and against the small consumer/producer.

  3. I’m worried that political types are making big decisions that will use up all our capital and lock us into ineffective technologies… Politicians just aren’t up to it.

    The time is not right for locking into this or that technology. I think there needs to be a lot more basic and applied science done in conjunction with pilot studies. I don’t think we have economically viable alternatives to fossil fuels at the moment.

    There are lots of things to explore. I like the ideas in this one:
    http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/18582/?a=f#afteradbody

    Of course, throwing a log on the fire is a most satisfying way to stay warm in winter… and long may we enjoy such simple pleasures!

  4. Hmmm CO2 conversion to energy. Great idea. And plants do it best.

  5. Wolfvillain

    Hm, regardless of whether this particular type of sustainable energy production is effective or not (which that National Post seems to find it isn’t, unfortunately), there are some good points in these replies.

    With so much goodwill towards green energy within the public, and, accordingly, amongst some in the political realm, it’s easy to imagine the river of new green dollars being squandered on things that make good sustainability report bullet points and photo ops, not ones that actually contribute significantly to energy production and pollution reduction. A few solutions that some would argue as being the most pragmatic (focusing on clean coal in the short term) or effective overall (nuclear) are extremely unsexy and harder to built support for.