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Drunken blowhard levels windmills

One can usually trust the Democrats to support programs such as alternative energy, new sources of power that will replace the horribly dangerous nuclear, the dirty filthy coal, the rapacious wood, or the foreign-sourced oil (which also feed the evil oil companies). But Ted Kennedy, the "Lion of the Senate," has declared war on windpower -- at least that which might slightly infringe on the view from one of his many estates, this one on Cape Cod. This modern Don Quixote has decided to climb on a poor seahorse and set sail against a plan to build a wind farm off the shores of Massachusetts, one that has the potential to supply much of the Cape's current energy needs.

How appallingly typical for Kennedy and those of his ilk. Full of grand ideas and lofty ideals, as long as THEY don't have to live with them or abide by them personally.


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Comments (27)

I think you may have the wr... (Below threshold)

I think you may have the wrong end of the stick on this one, Jay. I suspect that the reason that Senator Kennedy opposes the development of the windmills is less hypocrisy than consistency.

"Progressive" solutions are about collective action not private action. If it had been a publicly-financed and -operated windmill, I'll bet he'd have been all for it.

I've come to the conclusion... (Below threshold)

I've come to the conclusion that Alternative Energy sources like Solar and Windpower are really just props to counter-argue doing something real to address the oil issue.

Very few places have enough wind on a consistent basis to be of value on a national level as an alterantive. Solar is similar in that Sun is only available roughly 1/2 the time and if you live in a place like Michigan you have 58% cloud cover when you do you Sun. I also question the pracitcality of Solar with the output per square foot, but I'm sure someone will flash some stats that'll say you can power New York with 100 sq. ft. of collectors.

However, the left/environmentalists use these as a placebos to quell the public from doing some thing "rash". "Rash" behavior in their minds is more drilling or turning to Nuclear. So when it comes to putting one in their backyard, they have no trouble shooting it down.

Well We should not have to ... (Below threshold)
John Edwards:

Well We should not have to listen to the complaining about higher energy costs then, this is exactly what We get under the lefts enviro policies..As for that drunken blowhard swimmer, maybe they should declare His Saddam palace be confiscated under eminent domain and the windmills put up for the public good..sounds like a reasonable sacrifice..

Jay,I like the "Te... (Below threshold)


I like the "Ted Quixote" thing.

Kennedy is being responsible by grasping the potential dangers of electrical power surges induced during his bouts with alcohol induced bloviation. Perhaps he might consider a safer alternative: expanding the Pilgrim nuclear plant located up the road a bit in Plymouth.

Why can't he realize his state has benefited from that plant for decades.

Sorry David S, but his is t... (Below threshold)

Sorry David S, but his is typical NIMBY attitude by the Massive One from Mass, nothing more, nothing less. Also, while Wind Generators can not provide the same consistent energy output as a base load unit, they do provide a valuable resource in a mix of energy sources that lowers our need and reliance on foreign oil. I all for that.

jpm100: So you only get sun... (Below threshold)

jpm100: So you only get sun 58% of the time where you are? I have an idea here, a really amazing, ground-shaking idea for you: try putting batteries in your Michigan PV system. See, when the sun isn't shining, you can run your system off the batteries. Neat, huh? I thought of it first.

Better yet, run a hybrid system on your house, one that includes a micro-hydro generator or a small wind generator, like a Whisper 405a, so that when it's dark and/or cloudy and windy, your system is still being charged.

If you take the time to size your system correctly and buy the requisite number of panels and batteries, what have you, you will be happy.

As for powering New York City, that's the wrong approach, as is the wind farm idea, whoever pays for it. Energy alernatives should be built into individual houses and buildings, including gas-powered generators: just one of the systems in your house, like the plumbing.

If the wa-a-a-ay far right has officially taken up the notion that solar power doesn't work, you're in trouble, big trouble. To say that solar power doesn't work is just ignorance in its purest form -- unless, of course, you're just shilling for the coal people on the sly.

We know that stuff never happens here, though, right?

Just as the only time th... (Below threshold)
B's Freak:

Just as the only time that they feel a murderer can never return to the streets is when he kills a Kennedy.

As for powering New York... (Below threshold)

As for powering New York City

Why don't tall buildings have windmills on them? They could even stick out sideways, over the street, to catch the strong winds channeled between the buildings.

astigafa-Solar pow... (Below threshold)
Brian the Adequate:


Solar power currently cost at least 21 cents a kilowatt hour which is at about 2.5X of that of the current average spot price of about 9 cents per KWH (Forbes magazine, I am too lazy to find a link). This is due both to the high cost and low efficiency of the current technology (18% efficiency is good). As the technology gets better and/or the costs for other fuels rise, solar could get into the mix. But as of right now, people believe that solar power doesn't work because right now it is not economical.

Whoever does make it economical will probably get very rich and plenty of people are trying to do so. There may be someone in a lab as I type this making the big breakthrough, but the reality may be that it may be that the 21 cents per KWH is a basement price.

As for the idea of taking everyone off the grid and building energy sources into each individual building, the efficiency gained by the larger generators for any of the current technologies (except for solar) currently far outweigh the transit costs of the electricity from the centralized generators.

So astigafa, on the ignorance front, Pot, Kettle black.

Good idea, John. Windmills... (Below threshold)
Nell E:

Good idea, John. Windmills with big sharp steel blades sticking out of tall buildings would also act as terrorist suicide hijacker deflectors.

Brian, I resent being cast ... (Below threshold)

Brian, I resent being cast as the Kettle in your last remark unless you have some rationale for it.

Does this remind anyone of ... (Below threshold)

Does this remind anyone of Kennedy's support for forced busing in the '70's. He was all for that because his children went to private schools. Seems like he's being pretty consistent to me. This is why the people of Taxachusetts re-elect people like Kennedy and Kerry. They want elites to tell them what's good for them. You get the government you deserve.

B_the_A,"As for th... (Below threshold)


"As for the idea of taking everyone off the grid and building energy sources into each individual building, the efficiency gained by the larger generators for any of the current technologies (except for solar) currently far outweigh the transit costs of the electricity from the centralized generators."

This is true, for distributed electrical power generation ONLY (including fuel cell and gas turbine generator solutions).

HOWEVER, if the application inlcudes both electrical power generation AND cooling/heating then overall fuel efficiency can reach 80% for large buildings such as shopping centers, public buildings, hospitals and universities as well as factory complexes with a 7/24 demand for environmental and process heating/cooling and power.

The United Technologies web site is a resource for insight into the potential of distributed power generation revealing cogeneration as the component that gets us to the tipping point.

Disclaimer: I have no relationship with UTC, not even as a stock holder.

Hmmm.Solar power: ... (Below threshold)


Solar power:

The first embodiment of the concept that economy of scale is somehow wrong.

Not for nothing have they c... (Below threshold)

Not for nothing have they called you Brian the Adequate, Brian the Adequate.

The idea, as stated, ya cranky old wingnut, is not to legislate or otherwise require any of this, nor to force it on a municipality. It's a reasonable enhancement for plugged-in homeowners, and a good-sized grid intertie can be had for about $10-$25k, which could be folded into a mortgage fairly painlessly. Talk to your realtor; the value of your house will increase beyond your investment.

Unless you want to go on record as saying that backup power is a bad idea...

Meanwhile, people who have the conviction that they must have solar if only to spite the oil and coal industries can and have successfully gone off the grid -- this, BTW, is a multibillion dollar industry worldwide. Don't sneer at it.

Have you looked into why solar is so expensive? Most PV panels are being snapped up as soon as they're manufactured. Are you saying that the market is wrong? Are you a Marxist? It's so ineffecient and undesirable that you can't nail the stuff down without getting on a waiting list, and the price goes up on an hourly basis. Yeah, just bad technology.

Listen: We're going to build a house Down East here in Maine on a long, spehgetti plot. The only buildable spot is about a half-mile from the road. The cost of getting municipal electric to our house was going to be about $30k more than setting up a PV/hybrid system (good rise with a southern exposure, running water at the bottom of the hill, plenty of fall, all rights owned). Can you do math? Why are you arguing with this? It is. It works. Get over it. "We're here, drink beer, we're use to it."

Solar is great for the well... (Below threshold)

Solar is great for the well heeled hobbyist. For the rest of the world, the start up costs vs the ROI are just a tad high.

Solar is great for the w... (Below threshold)

Solar is great for the well heeled hobbyist. For the rest of the world, the start up costs vs the ROI are just a tad high.

Dude: it fits in a mortgage. People shell out an additional $12k just to build garages. Talk to your realtor. And the price will come down, it will. Checked out Iowa Thin Film Technologies Inc. lately? Or the Shell Group, for that matter? The price will come down when the production side catches up -- we don't even need breakthroughs. The panels we're using in space are 35% efficient. Coming soon to a solar array near you.

What we do not need is big, honking public projects that run up costs and break down on a vast scale and all that. Self-reliance is where it's at, man.

This is not what the Arch Hack Kennedy is thinking, of course; some other tail is wagging that dog.

Cost of a wind generation s... (Below threshold)

Cost of a wind generation system in Oklahoma: $40-50,000 to generate roughly 25% of a homes energy requirement. (This factors in the "still" days.) ROI= 25 to 30 yrs

Average time spent owning a home= 3-5yrs

Added value as determined by Appraiser and Mortgage company. Less than $10,000 (if any) in my area. Plus, many consider the small windmills, not to mention the large ones, eyesores (asked teddy kennedy). Same applies to the panels of solar arrays. Note: I have been a Real Estate licensee for 17 years and a builder for 15 years.

Solar power does not work effeciently yet. I looked into it for my home (along with wind), most companies were in California. Everyone, very bluntly, stated that the only reason solar is "cost effect" in CA is due to government subsidies, plus the high cost per kwh (KiloWatt Hour)

My home is 50-70% more energy efficient than the average new home. I used PolySteel an Insulating Concrete Form or IFC for the exterior walls, btw. Massive energy savings, plus, quieter, stronger (withstand 300+ winds, stop projectiles, fire resistant, termite resistant, earthquake resistant, etc) My ROI= 5 to 7 years.

Point? Most people are looking in the wrong direction for energy savings. One day we will have efficient solar power and harness the power of lightning, but we are not there yet.

If interested check out www.polysteel.com for much more detailed information. They'll even send you information free of charge.

As soon as solar power beco... (Below threshold)

As soon as solar power becomes cheap enough and efficient enough for widespread use, the "green" lobby will start opposing it.

I feel Solar Power would be... (Below threshold)

I feel Solar Power would be very good, it could be used all over the middle-east, since there is a lot of sun here. It would also help spread peace as there would be no wars for oil anymore.

Living in Arizona, I find s... (Below threshold)

Living in Arizona, I find solar as a great source of energy for heating the hot water (I have a hybrid system w/ electric backup for heavy usage days), and for heating the pool. Aesthetically, both are, for want of a better term, unsightly. Sure, I could put more panels up and try to generate electricity, but I don't own enough property to cover with solar panels to generate the necessary current to power an air conditioner.

As for the off the grid approach w/ batteries, I always found the enormous hidden cost of battery replacement as something thats typically glossed over during the sales pitch (Prius is a fine example, as is a solar powered home).

jpm100- I apologize for any... (Below threshold)
Brian the Adequate:

jpm100- I apologize for any inferred offense, I meant that statement to imply that astigafa was showing ignorance, not to suggest equivalence between you and s/he/it.

Secondly, astigafa I apologize you are not ignorant, your fallacy is to generalize from your relatively unique condition to believe the condition to be general.

With your house, the solar option makes economic sense. However, the thread is cleary more to address the other 99.999% of the population.

Not only do I understand math, I can do a little trick called amoritization. That is a little thing required to calculate the cost of capital improvements when one purchases said improvement on credit.

You do realize that the bank expects you to repay your mortgage right? Maybe you have even heard that the Bank will make you pay interest on the mortgage?

At the current rates (6.5%) on a 30 year mortgage the cost in interest (even assuming you itemize and are in the 33% marginal tax rate) your electric bill would need to have averaged 160 a month just to pay back your investment over a 30 year horizen.

Assuming the solar system last 30 years without maintainance costs of course.

To give you a concrete example of grid costs, My last house was 100% electric with ceiling cable heat (which is about as inefficient a heating system as one could imagine) a 20 year old AC unit through the 95 degree central IN summers and an unusually brutal winter with two midget money suckers who never turned off any lights and took long hot showers only averaged a $120 a month electricity bill.

So again, read this slowly so you can get it astigafa. IF you can readily draw power from the current power grid (like 99.999% of the population), THEN solar power is currently NOT an economical choice for home power.

Let solar costs come down (as I sincerely hope will happen) or have a major (3X) rise in grid power costs and the situation will change in favor of more solar power.

As for where all of the solar units are being utilized, the primary market is places like your new home (sounds wonderful BTW I am jealous) where there is NOT a readily available connection to the grid.

Forbes pegged like 90% of all solar going in today as government subsidized installs in rural China.

heptacableguy - Go... (Below threshold)
Brian the Adequate:

heptacableguy -

Good point, I should have been more specific. particulary since we had looked into using our incinerator at work to generate the electricity to run the plant. We nixed the plan when the fine folks at said if we generated any of our electricity we better be sure we could make it all cause they would cut us out of the grid. Savings in power costs were not worth the risk of production interuption.

...Very first comment:... (Below threshold)

...Very first comment:

""Progressive" solutions are about collective action not private action. If it had been a publicly-financed and -operated windmill, I'll bet he'd have been all for it."

Indeed, and it would have been an unmitigated failure.

For decades, massive scale windmill projects have been the source of energy in Denmark and other European areas, without damaging (indded, actually helping) tourism or the environment. So what are we hearing from Kennedy and his fellow opponents? The same arguments that have been discredited long ago.

Ask yourself this: If there were any genuineness to the arguments that this project is environmentally harmful, why would CLF be so stridently in support of it?

Brian the Adequate,<p... (Below threshold)

Brian the Adequate,

what you were seeking has actually been done before using "unfired" microturbines:


Of course, the grid utility company is not going to tell you about this possibility...

I'll second ctm and Brian.<... (Below threshold)

I'll second ctm and Brian.
If you are on the grid, solar is not currently cost effecctive.
Some places, like the South West US that get plenty of sun year round are in a better position, just like windfarms on the edge of a mountain range.
Now, I am not spouting off here, I work in the power industry. I work with customers to reduce their reliance on the grid (and in some cases, put some juice back on the grid).
Until non-grid solutions come down in price (initial investment AND maint), they will remain supplemental or specialty applications for 99% of us.
astigafa, your are a special case. Not everyone has a waterfall and good sun exposure on a couple of acres of NE land.

that is, you are, not your ... (Below threshold)

that is, you are, not your are...






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