07 September 2009

Sing Along for Labor Day

Billy Bragg's version of The Internationale.

06 September 2009

Wind Turbines that even I might like.

In an earlier post, I stated my opposition to wind turbines on the grounds that they are detrimental to wildlife and mar the landscape of otherwise pristine areas. I felt that the trade off was simply not worth it, because the wind turbines cannot produce the amount of power that is generated by more traditional means (gas, coal, nuclear etc.) The harm of wind turbines, versus their damage to the environment, has put many environmentalists in an uneasy position because although the power is 100 % green, there is an ecological trade off that must be taken into account.

A recent development in Europe has given me some hope that a compromise that benefits everyone could be at hand. A joint Norwegian-German effort is testing a wind turbine at sea which is anchored to the sea-bed instead of being built in shallow water. The benefits to the power companies is that prevailing winds blow much harder and at a constant rate when the turbines are located far offshore (beyond the visual horizon.) The benefit to the environment is that more clean energy is produced, the turbines can be located outside of bird fly-ways and they cause no visual damage to the seashore since they could be positioned far out to sea. Although many hurdles exist before the turbines can be installed in large numbers, the technology looks promising.

To find out more about this project, click here.