Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wind energy is for the birds! Actually it is AGAINST the birds! I thought Wind Energy was clean...Sounds kinda nasty to me...

Wind energy is already expensive to produce (per kilowatt hour, minus the subsidies it recieves) and if well-intentioned interest groups have any input, it will get more expensive. The problem: Birds are victims of the spinning blades and the American Bird Conservatory would like to require additional environmental impact studies and additional regulations imposed to be more "bird-friendly". 

From American Bird Conservatory:

""Wind power has the ability to be a green, bird-friendly form of power generation, but can also adversely affect birds. Birds can die in collisions with the turbine blades (up to 14 birds per megawatt per year in the U.S., with a median rate of around 2.2 birds/MW/Yr according to industry estimates), towers, power lines, or related structures, and can also be impacted through habitat destruction from the siting of turbines, power lines, and access roads. Some birds, such as sage-grouse are particularly sensitive to the presence of turbines, and can be scared away from their breeding grounds several miles away from a wind farm.

Potentially all night-migrating songbirds are at risk of colliding with wind turbines, as are raptors and waterbirds when wind farms are sited in areas they frequent, particularly wildlife refuges. Greater Sage-Grouse are particularly sensitive to the presence of wind turbines near their breeding grounds.

American Bird Conservancy supports alternative energy sources, including wind power, but emphasizes that prior to the approval and implementation of new wind energy projects, potential risks to birds should be evaluated through site analyses, including assessments of bird abundance, timing, and magnitude of migration, and habitat use patterns.

Wind energy project location, design, operation, and lighting should be carefully evaluated to prevent bird mortality, as well as adverse impacts caused by habitat fragmentation, disturbance, and site avoidance. Wind power projects should be sited on areas with poor habitat where possible, such as heavily disturbed lands, (e.g. intensive agriculture). Excellent guidelines to prevent adverse impacts of wind power generation on birds are already in existence, but these need to be turned into mandatory regulations. Read ABC’s complete position statement on wind.
Cost of production is a determinant of Supply. When additional costs are incurred complying with regulations, ceterus paribus , then supply decreases (shifts left). Moving up to the left along our demand curve, from Point "A" to Point "B", we reach a new higher market price ("P1) and a lower market quantity ("75"). (HT: Environmental Economics)


  1. Where I live, it is almost always breezy, and I often think I'd like to get a wind tower or two. But we're also on a major flight path for geese. I think we'd be choppin'em up all the time. No bueno.

    Blog looks good, Gene. New look for the new year?

  2. I am originally from New England (born in Maine, lived in NH and Niagara Falls for a year. Why there are no wind mills in Western NY is beyond me. I remember the wind NEVER stopping for a second. It is just about the same here in Texas. T. Boone has/had the right idea for wind farms in West Texas...The change in the blog is a case of "too much time chasing too few chores"--boredom! I cant figure out how to center the blog title without having the asterisks or any other marker on either side...In between trips to the refrigerator I am pondering your tax policy solution to debt/credit...I am slow, but I usually get there eventually. :)

  3. Gene -- It might depend on your blog template. If you already tried what I'm about to suggest, well, don't be insulted by how simple I tried to make it.... On my test blog I can center the title as follows

    I take the title text I want to have, and put the word CENTER before it, and also put the word CENTER after it. (Don't capitalize those magic words.)

    And then to activate the magic, put ANGLE BRACKETS around the words CENTER. That is, I put SHIFT COMMA before the word CENTER and I put SHIFT PERIOD after the word CENTER. Make sure you do BOTH words CENTER.

    Now you are ALMOST done. So far, mine looks like this:

    <center>Arts TEST blog<center>

    Now we need to add a slash... the one just to the right of the comma and period keys and the M key.
    We add it BEFORE the SECOND word CENTER, like this:

    <center>Arts TEST blog</center>

    The browser knows that CENTER is a magic word, a command, because it is inside the angle brackets.

    It knows that the FIRST "center" starts the magic, because there is NO SLASH there.

    And it knows that the SECOND "center" stops the magic, because there IS A SLASH there.

    And now you know HTML.

  4. Or, you know, you could put up a graphic :)

  5. I did follow your advice and it centered the text...Thanks! Learning HTML is for me would be like learning how a car engine works...I just want to turn the key and it work. When it does not, I go buy a new car. That is only a slight exaggeration...


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