Wind power costs

Not only are wind farms killing about 83,000 raptors (eagles, falcons, etc.) a year, they’re getting a free pass for these repeated Federal crimes. And the administration is covering up the problem:

“And PacifiCorp, which operates coal plants in Wyoming, paid more than $10.5 million in 2009 for electrocuting 232 eagles along power lines and at its substations.”

So wind farms should be paying about $3.8 BILLION a year in fines. Actual amount paid? $0.

Who do we fine for the millions of birds feral and free roaming pet cats kill?
And the pet snakes turned loose?
Finally, who pays for controlling the snakes in Guam?

I submit that the birds that flew into the wind turbines died of apparent suicide.

@circuitsmith - last I checked, cats aren’t taking out golden eagles, falcons, etc…I’ve seen this excuse from the wind power folks, starlings aren’t under Federal protection.

The most birds killed by human structures are city skyscapers who leave their light on all night. One Eastern bank building does a daily bird sweep early in the morning. Some 15,000 birds are killed needlessly every year by tall buildings in that city.

My biggest issue with wind power is its extremerly high cost and intermittent service. While coal fired plants produce power at 5 cents per kilowatt hour, wind mills need 50-80 cents!! per kilowatt hour, more than ten times as much. Inother words, they have to be SUBSIDIZED! California has a so-called “feed-in tariff” (FIT), a nice word for subsidy. The producer gets, say 50-60 cents per kilowatt hour, and this gets spread over the entire network cost. The consumer pays for this luxury.

However the utility cannot add these windmills into its generation inventory base since there is no guarantee that the wind will low. As a result we will only get a small part of our power from windmill due to unaffordability and the fact they work only part of the time.

The Dutch have been using windmill for almost 1500 years. At present there are some modern windmills in this very windy country, but just enough to provide a couple of percent of total demand and keep the environmentalists happy. Greenpeace International is headquartered in Amsterdam. The Dutch get their electric power form very reliable and cheap to operate natural gas powered plants that generate power for about 7 cents per kilowatt hour.

Denmark has some of the most expensive power costs in the world; they get 30% of their power from wind, and pay 3-4 times as much for electricity as the average US customer. Regardless of the propaganda Al Gore spouts, wind and solar power will always play a minor part in our power supply; we can’t afford to have it play a major part.

Well written Doc.

I have to say that I don’t consider it reasonable to hold the power company responsible for the death of the raptors anymore than someone hitting an Eagle with their car should be charged with a crime. These are not acts of intention or neglect, simply unavoidable impacts of progress.

Mankind cannot and has never been able to progress without having some impact on wildlife, but we, man, exist here too. Some impact has to be expected and accepted. This is our earth as well as the raptors. Raptors impact the rhodent populations, we in turn impact the raptor populations. Sorry, but that’s the way I feel.

So we enact a federal law against something, they break that law, and it’s ok? While others are fined heavily? The law doesn’t say ‘except for wind power’, or ‘except when it’s really important.’

And note that I just mentioned the raptor kills. Over 573,000 birds total per year, something like the building issue mentioned by @Docnick .

I agree that it’s tragic BUT, the wind farms, substations, and all of the associated wiring was put into place with government approval after tons of paperwork and billions in taxpayer money.

On the one hand the government is saying great idea to put wind energy out there and on the other they’re saying pay up because you’re bad.
The end result is a fine (really a tax) that will be passed on to the ratepayers.

By what means do the wind mills kill 573,000 birds each year? And who is doing the counting?

And, btw, I don’t particularly support the wind farms and seriously doubt that they are economically worthwhile. We might get a better return for our investment by connecting the tread mills and stationary bikes at the fitness centers to generators.

“By what means do the wind mills kill 573,000 birds each year?”

By means of blade-bird collisions, don’t you think?

Nobody should have been fined IMHO. Intent or neglect should be factors in this.

I don’t like the wind mills. I think they pollute the landscape and aren’t cost effective. But I’d sure like to see more geese flying into them. Once in a while a jet will take one out but they are truly a health hazard leaving their waste all over parks and chasing little kids when they get near. They used to fly south in the winter but now they stay around Minnesota all year round harrassing people. Geese and rabbits-man.

"Intent or neglect should be factors in this. "

But they’re not factors, not part of the law. And it doesn’t require a lot of foresight to know that putting a large spinning propeller up on the ground will kill birds.

If we want to change the law, then they should try and do it. I’d like to hear the environmental discussions on both sides. But right now it’s being ignored, and the consequences covered up.

All the wind mills in NH and MA and NY that I know of were put in place while GW was president. I don’t know why you think this is a political issue.

I guess I’d expect birds to fly around them. The tip of the blades typically travels 5 times the windspeed maximum, and I would have thought that a bird that can escape a predator (raptors do attack other raptors in mid air) could avoid the props. I have, however, read about windmills killing birds, so I believe it’s true, although the estimates do seem unrealistic to me.

Read the link, then you’ll see why I brought in the political angle.

And apparently the birds are not flying around them. If they were, there wouldn’t be a problem.

I just read the link. I see your point now. But we’re talking about an administration that even took Arizona to court to try to stop them from enforcing federal immigration law. We’re talking about an administration that does whatever they want, laws be damned.

I may not agree with the law as written, but politicized enforcement is the seed of the kind of corruption that permeates dicatatorships, and it permeates this administration and everything it does. Even in battle their decisions are apparently politically based if you believe the testimony of the chief decision makers that were in Benghazi during the attack…and I do. To deny the special ops team authorization to fly immediately to am embassy under attack is appalling. As a veteran and an American I am appalled. I’m getting angry just writing about it.

Um, MB, Arizona didn’t try to enforce federal immigration law. They created their own law that allowed racial profiling, and as a result, brown-skinned American citizens were arrested and illegally detained. I’m guessing your complexion is light enough that you don’t have to worry about this.

Contrary to what some conservatives will tell you, the states (like Arizona, Texas, etc.) are not sovereign.

No, Whitey, that is not what they did. And there were no brown skinned Americans arrested there solely based on the color of their skin. What they did was pass laws allowing cops questioning non-citizens for other crimes to check whether that person is here illegally. Citizens of all colors and aliens here legally were treated as citizens. That was and is enforcement of federal immigration laws currently on the books.

Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas have a serious problem with illegal immigrants crossing the border to commit crimes, including but not limited to drug trafficking, illegal arms trafficking, and in some cases home burglary. The Arizona laws were targeted at the border towns and the illegal crossings. As they should be. I abhor racism, but I also think it’s time we defend our own national sovereignty and border security.

The nightmare that is the drug takeover of Mexican border towns is very hard to control.