Monday, 1 June 2009

The trouble with Wind Farms - economic and environmental

There are problems with wind farms. Opposition is growing. The following Southbeach models were developed as examples to show the dilemna and contradictions. If you disagree with these models, develop some of your own, and send them to feedback at southbeachinc dot com.

Europe's largest wind farm is not producing enough power. So advocates for wind farms are advocating an expansion of scale. As if 140 turbines 110m high were not enough! Here's the problem. Large wind farms near to be close to areas of population, to drive down costs of power distribution and servicing. But they also have to be in area of open ground and subject to high wind. That means, the green areas close to conubations are precisely those at risk, and valued by the community. Here is another view:

In this model shows the insufficient power production of wind farms counteracting the economic case. That case can only be made by contributory factors of location, location and location. The expanding scale of wind farms, and their ideal location (for the economic case to be made) are in contradiction. The economic case is strongly related to the availability of the wind 'resource'. Environmentalists are split:

And it's not just industrial scale problems faced by Wind Farms. Noise, even for single turbine units 'micro generation' is already disturbing animals, and neighbours. To make matters worse, the high winds required for more power (see models above) are precisely the conditions under which turbines produce more noise. It's a lose lose situation.

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