We could have had some of these on Wills Ridge in Floyd, if we had just gone with the flow and decided to be green at all cost. Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed and we can observe what others have done. Wind turbines may play a part in our future, but more work has to be done before they can be considered environmentally safe or economically sensible.
To see more images: http://knoxville.craigslist.org/pol/3746100243.html
The US has had wind farms since 1981, what the left and the green
movement don't want to talk about regarding windmills is (as usual) the
truth. The truth is: windmills, like solar panels, break down. And
like solar panels, windmills produce less energy before they break down
than the energy it took to make them. That's the part liberals forget:
making windmills and solar panels takes energy, energy from coal, oil,
and diesel, energy that extracts and refines raw materials, energy that
transports those materials to where they will be re-shaped into finished
goods, energy to manufacture those goods. More energy than those
finished windmills and solar panels will ever produce.
There are many hidden truths about the world of wind turbines from the pollution and environmental damage caused in China by manufacturing bird choppers, the blight on people's lives of noise and the flicker factor and the countless numbers of birds that are killed each year by these blots on the landscape. The symbol of Green renewable energy, our saviour from the non existent problem of Global Warming, abandoned wind farms are starting to litter the planet as globally governments cut the subsidies taxes that consumers pay for the privilege of having a very expensive power source that does not work every day for various reasons like it's too cold or the wind speed is too high.
The US experience with wind farms has left over 14,000 wind turbines abandoned and slowly decaying, in most instances the turbines are just left as symbols of a dying Climate Religion, nowhere have the Green Environmentalists appeared to clear up their mess or even complain about the abandoned wind farms.
"Some say that Ka Le is haunted--and it is. But it's haunted not by Hawaii's legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are "Na leo o Kamaoa"-- the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm. . . The ghosts of Kamaoa are not alone in warning us. Five other abandoned wind sites dot the Hawaiian Isles--but it is in California where the impact of past mandates and subsidies is felt most strongly. Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy's California "big three" locations--Altamont Pass, Tehachapin, and San Gorgonio--considered among the world's best wind sites. . . California's wind farms-- comprising about 80% of the world's wind generation capacity--ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills. . ."
The problem with wind farms when they are abandoned is getting the turbines removed, as usual there are no Green environmentalists to be seen. The City of Palm Springs was forced to enact an ordinance requiring their removal from San Gorgonio. But California's Kern County, encompassing the Tehachapi area, has no such law. Imagine the outraged Green chorus if those turbines were abandoned oil drilling rigs.
The truth is: wind energy is just a tax scam. Ben Lieberman, a senior policy analyst focusing on energy and environmental issues for the Heritage Foundation, is not surprised. He asks:
"If wind power made sense, why would it need a government subsidy in the first place? It's a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end."
And therein lies a lesson for those who seek to make fortunes out of tax payer subsidies, and for those who want to live in a dream world of "clean energy", the whole renewables industry of solar, wind and biomass is just an artificial bubble incapable of surviving without subsides from governments and tax payers. The Green evangelists who push so hard for these wind farms, as usual have not thought the whole idea through.
Altamont's turbines have since 2008 been tethered four months of every year in an effort to protect migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit. According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society, 75 to 110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-tailed Hawks, and 333 American Kestrels (falcons) are killed by Altamont turbines annually. A July, 2008 study by the Alameda County Community Development Agency points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont Pass wind turbines. Audubon calls Altamont, "probably the worst site ever chosen for a wind energy project." The same areas that are good for siting wind farms are also good for birds of prey and migrating birds to pass through, shame for the birds that none of the Green mental midgets who care so much about everything in nature, thought that one through when pushing their anti fossil fuel agenda. After the debacle of the First California Wind Rush, the European Union had moved ahead of the US on efforts to subsidize "renewable" energy--including a "Feed in Tariff" even more lucrative than the ISO4 contracts. The tax payers who paid for the subsidies to build the wind farms, then paid over the odds for an unreliable source of power generation, will ultimately be left to pick up the bill for clearing up the Green eco mess in the post Man-Made-Global-Warming world.