Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Give Me Shelter

Yesterday I went back to the Bay Area (specifically, Fremont) to visit a friend, and meet his wife and baby, before they move back to Washington State. I took the Central Valley route, south on I-5 and west on I-580 over the Altamont Pass. No, I had no Rolling Stones playing at the time.

On the crests of the foothills at Altamont are almost 5000 wind turbines. Not one of them was turning that I could see. It was a semi-cloudy November day in the Bay Area and even if the wind was light, not one windmill was turning.

How reliable is that?

5 comments:

DADvocate said...

I'll keep saying this, wind power is a bust. Too much land, too little electricity, too unreliable, kills too many birds,...

I'm still skeptical about hybrids. I see battery disposal/recycling as a big challenge. And, for plugins, the power still comes from somewhere. Right now diesel/biodiesel looks best to me.

MikeAT said...

@DADvocate

Something else to contemplate on batteries in cars. Have you ever any battery (flashlight, cell phone, cordless phone, etc) work as well as promised?

I doubt they will work this well here.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Oh Darren, 5,000? Try 14,000 abandoned wind turbines - http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/wind_energys_ghosts_1.html

And of course it'll be every last one of them if the subsidies come off which, at this point, doesn't look to happen any time soon but ought to.

Anonymous said...

MikeAT : "Have you ever any battery (flashlight, cell phone, cordless phone, etc) work as well as promised?"

Um ... yes?

My iPad gets 10 hours with my typical usage pattern. Just like Apple claims.

I don't see any problem with non-subsidized hybrids. If people want to purchase them (for whatever reason ... fuel efficiency, style, feeling green...) then I don't see how this is any worse than people buying non-hybrids.


-Mark Roulo

Ellen K said...

The sheer size of the turbines is fearsome. There are some near the Texas Oklahoma border. It would take a gale force to budget them unless they were engineered with almost no friction and perfect balance, which is almost impossible on the volatile clay substrate of North Texas. I also wonder how animal rights people feel about wind turbines knowing how they disrupt migration of many species. I think it's a total waste of money which is probably why T. Boone Pickens bailed out of his plan to run the world's largest wind farm in the Texas panhandle-because it's a total economic failure.