Measuring wind turbine efficiency vs. absolute numbers is like measuring solar on absolute efficiency - neither calculation represents the real benefit.
I disagree with your assumption that a 100 percent efficient turbine would not allow your match to do out. The incoming wind occupies space (volume) so the air behind the turbine does have to be removed before new wind can blow through the turbine. Therefore, the basis for efficiency measurements is not well defined (that I understand to this point - maybe someone else has done the calculations.
The real measure (or question) is, does wind power provide an economically viable option vs. current available options. If so, then all other options should be exhausted to the point where prices increase on a limited commodity until wind does become a viable option. Research should be done in advance to make sure that wind is available as a technically feasible option for consideration long before it is economically viable.
As long as government subsidies and feed-in rules penalize other generation methods and solar gets priority for capacity utilization during sunny hours (over coal), the real technical and economical feasiblity is not fairly valued.
I repeat myself because it is important. There is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats. Both parties are in it for themselves and not the country. That is why George Washington in his farewell address warned us about political parties and their destructive ends.
I think the wind thing has problems on a large scale. I think the small scale might just fit the bill for most people, and lower the bill considerably. But it will take some clever engineering on the blade thing to make it work.
I didn't mean to stir Jerry up. It just comes naturally. Sorry, Jerry!
If a wind turbine is 100% efficient (which they are not, of course), you could stand downwind from the turbine and light a match, and it would stay lit. The turbine would absolutely and completely "kill" the wind. A 5MW wind turbine is absorbing at least 5MW from the energy in the atmosphere. Is that a big amount? I haven't done the calculations, but I have to think that very large scale implementations, absorbing GW's of power from the atmosphere has to have some effect on atmospheric conditions.
Maybe Jerry is right, and it is 1/100000000000000000 of a %, but I think it would be more significant than that.
Congress over the last 10 yrs has put up laws for a free market in energy but Repubs have blocked it every time. They actually pay PR firms to have people posts on list like this one to keep new competition down like RE especially as RE is widely spread and they can't profit from it as it takes their customers away and they enjoy huge subsidies.
Between costs of coal, oil pollution, protecting international oil companies, dictatotrs for free, oil wars, etc costs to the taxpayer, IE you, me is $1T/yr in increased taxes. And they don't want to give up those subsidies by paying the real, full cost. Repubs use to say they were for full cost accounting but stopped when they found out it showed how bad their policies are when audited.
Here in Fla they are making ratepayers pay for new nuke plants 10 yrs in advance of them making power. hey make money on it even if they never make any power from them!! Yet it's illegal here to sell electicity from any source or to anyone, not even selling power to charge EV's!!!
This has stopped 30k jobs just in solar in Fla alone. Until we take US/Fla congress back from the corporatists/repubs it's not going to happen here.
Dave Palmer obviously you don't or don't want to understand this land use. Wind takes little land, only 100'x100'/large turbine at the most. The land is still available for farming, fishing, mining, and most anything else one needs.
The amount of land mentioned is for spacing large turbine apart, not that it needs to exclusively for WT's. It's things like this propaganda used by big energy to keep other energy sources they can't control from happening.
Next on WT's affecting the climate is another piece of propaganda as it has as much effect as a hill. The amount of power taken from the atmospheic winds is probably 1/1,000,000,000 % if 50% of world power came from wind. That is fa, far, far, far, far less than the effects of foosil fuels on the climate.
Wind is a great energy source but only one of many we'll need. For normal people having their own energy source like wind, solar, CSP, biomass CHP, tidal/river generators, NG to keep oil prices reasonable as they dwindle and stop coal from it's massive damage, costs or we can be like China polluting ourselfs to death. It also insulates from energy price spikes.
I'm old enough to remember even Repubs, back when they had some, came to their senses and passed the EPA bill under Nixon because many of our cities became unlivable from pollution then with smog so bad many were dying, our waters so polluted some even caught fire which was the last straw along with birds dying off from pesticides, etc. Do you really want to go back to that?
First of all, you don't understand Fascism. A private individual can't be a fascist. Only governments can where you just think you own the company but the government really does. That describes America.
Second, those old, tired numbers you throw out about the deaths, etc. is fiction and you know it. Coal is safer than every, you just don't like it.
And don't tell me about Republicans. They are nothing more than Democrats with the ability to fool the public into thinking they are not the Democrats.
Again, big oil has its claws into the political system because it is fascist.
Warren you obviuosly are biased and lacking in actual facts vs your made up ones.
It;s coal that is so hugely subsidized but now it's being forced to stop killing 30K and hospitalizing 200k/yr in the US alone among it's many other costs in our taxes and healthcare costs to clean up their mess. This comes to about $200B/yr!! Google coal costs and try to learn something.
Obama is for clean coal but big coal doesn't want to change to make that so. Or do you think big corps should be allowed to poison, hurt others so they can't make large amounts of money while forcing the costs onto tax payers? I can think of multiple ways big coal can meet the EPA pollution standards like making syn fuels and using the waste heat to make electricity, etc. This makes little pollution as it's taken out early in the process of gasification plus gives us gasoline, diesel, petrochemical alternatives .
As someone who actually has to make cost effective power sky turbines are a joke with huge practical problems. Though if they can overcome them they get the same help as other RE. But again utility power of any type won't be able to compete with smart home, building systems of many types.
Right now my biggest hurtle to making clean power is repubs, a few coal state dems that are bought and paid for by big energy who in Congress and here in Fla make it illegal to sell electricity. Without that ability it's near impossible to get financing of units. So much for a free market repubs say they are for.
I'm all for getting rid of all energy subsidies as long as the social costs are included in them instead of in my taxes, healthcare, etc costs. Shouldn't big oil, coal pay all their costs? The present corporate welfare system is far more facist than Obama ever has been or will be.
Just look at all the facist money from Koch brothers, etc now going against Obama, others that want big energy to pay their own costs instead of foisting it on taxpayers, keeping the gold and giving Americans the shaft.
@warren: President Obama is not trying to shut down coal. Record-low natural gas prices are trying to shut down coal. (And they're doing a pretty good job, too).
The Wall Street Journal is not known as a particularly pro-Obama media outlet, but you don't have to take their word for it. Ask the companies that are shutting down their coal-fired generating stations.
"It has nothing to do with environmental policies -- this is an economic decision," an electric utility spokeswoman is quoted as saying in this article.
@Ann: You're right that the study doesn't propose putting turbines everywhere. As the study shows, putting wind turbines everywhere would easily meet the world's energy needs many times over.
But in order to meet the more modest goal of supplying 50% of the world's 2030 energy needs, and assuming that half of the turbines go on land and half in the ocean, the study's authors still propose dedicating 0.5% of the total land area of the earth to wind turbines. That's a lot of land (185 million acres).
In order to do this, they call for building 4 million 5 MW wind turbines. At $10 million each, this is a $40 trillion capital investment.
Don't get me wrong; I think the study shows that we could generate a lot more energy from wind than we currently are. But it also points to some of the limitations of wind power.
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