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Forum Post: What are the ecological problems with green energy?

Posted 2 years ago on April 14, 2012, 1:29 a.m. EST by Pequod (17)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

A Federal building near my house put in a bunch of solar panels in the field next to the building. That field is just about dead to plantlife. How much sunlight needs to be gathered to replace a barrel of oil?

Same with wind. Do windfarms change weather patterns when used in large farms? I know they kill lots of birds.

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6 Comments


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[-] 1 points by Shule (2243) 2 years ago

I know of a project in Virginia where a wind mill is being erected to see how many birds may be killed by the wind mill before going forward and putting up a huge offshore wind farm.

There is also the strobe effect from when sunlight flickers through a windmill's blades which can drive animals (and people) within the effect mentally crazy ( sort of like chinese water torture.)

I'm not against windmills, I'm actually for them as they are better than coal, oil, or nuclear energy, but one has to acknowledge there are issues as all methods of creating power have their negative side effects. We always talk about alternative energy, but what we really should endeavor for is the alternative to energy..

[-] 2 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

I'm not so sure it's the wind generators themselves that are the problem but rather the design...

There are several designs available for smaller wind generators which are actually more efficient and less damaging to wild life, best of all, the potential for strobe effect reflection of sunlight is nearly 0.

Solar is still most often viewed as huge panels collecting light, with all the maintenance issues and the simple fact that in order for them to be even 20+% efficient they have to swivel to follow the rotational pattern so they can collect optimum light.

Yet there are new models and materials becoming available, such as solar collecting roofing materials and even solar collecting paint.

As for the original question, do windmills change weather patterns when used in large farms, one could look at history to note that this is unlikely. Wind power was the energy source of choice in Europe for at least a couple of centuries.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

The "alternative to energy" is lethargy.

I'm sure there is a huge market for lethargy out there

[-] 2 points by Shule (2243) 2 years ago

Actually using energy (that is the energy other than what comes from yourself ) is lethargy; that is the problem. If one knows how accomplish things by not using energy by doing things yourself or by being efficient, i.e. being smart in how you consume, that is known as ingenuity. There seems to be a lack of that, especially in the U.S.A..

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

Thanks. We have seventy solar panels, sixty batteries, and a three phase inverter system. I guess there was lots of energy involved in producing these items, but the only maintenance they require is demineralised water to top up the batteries.

[-] 1 points by ogrdanny (73) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 2 years ago