The Big Picture


This entry was posted in WTF?. Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to The Big Picture

  1. Lineman says:

    Your tax dollars at work as well as a jump I’m your energy prices…Oh and the added benefit of making chop suey out of your Raptor population…Ain’t life grand when stupidity rules..

  2. paulb says:

    Thank you EPA. As I understand it the Utilities said we need more power plants. EPA said we really think windmills are the answer. Build a few hundred of them and then we will talk. Last time the Utilities went to the EPA with windmills are not solving the issue EPA said tough. Build more windmills.

    This is the government our elected officials stood up to ensure government can continue when the new guys show up. Unelected by the public, but spending the public purse as they like.

    Make america great again. Go after a bureaucrat.

  3. Veeshir says:

    My favorite pic is a helicopter de-icing a windmill, usine more energy than that windmill could generate in a year.
    It’s about the bribes paid by Big Windmill to politicians.

    Remember, green science is neither.

  4. Judy says:

    Not to mention, the trucks to haul everything in, concrete trucks to put the base in, manufacturing of the re-bar in the base, rock crushing for the roads to bring in all the equipment into said fields and pastures. Replacing all the black-top roads, bridges and such that are ruined hauling all those heavy loads in.

    The hum, yes, they hum. The tornado signature on a Doppler radar, which is spooky if you live in a tornado prone area. The owners get a 10 year tax abatement, which just happens to be the life expectancy of one of those gizmos.

    And they locals, who, by and large, didn’t want it; got it crammed down their throats anyway.

    • Ragnar says:

      I wish I could remember what TV show it was – maybe Build It Bigger. But some company in Colorado contracted an AN-225 to fly to China to pick up a couple wind mill blade molds and then fly them to Denver airport. Then they were transported by truck to the company. No idea how much that cost, but renting the worlds largest airplane and having it fly around the world probably cost an enormous amount of money.

      Just saying that these windmill farms the watermelons are demanding are not cost effective at all.

  5. Steven Schultz says:

    Why oh why, is the answer always big! What would have happened if the guberment required all new homes to be energy efficient ? And to require new homes to have solar panels on their roofs.
    I know, supposedly none of those green things “work “. But, my thought is that if everyone reduced their energy dependency by 10%, then these towers wouldn’t be needed.
    Sad to think that the “only” answer is bigger is better.


    • rick says:

      Steve, CA is requiring all new homes to have solar. But it is not the absolutely fantastic thing. Research how it is being received by the people. Also, absent subsidies,does residential solar make sense?

      • arc says:

        Only if you want off grid power, thats the only place it shines. That or emergency lighting + an HVAC incase of grid down.

  6. Joe says:

    Hate to bust the bubble of all those on the right,, but windmills are more energy efficient than coal, gas, oil, etc. The pay back of the energy used to build a windmill is actually about 7 months!!!!!!
    But then, you all don’t want the truth, or the facts! Nor do any of you want to actually fact check that meme!
    So, the meme is a hoax. but you all believe in that because you are worse than those on the left when it comes to real facts!

    • Wirecutter says:

      So show us the facts. You’re doing exactly what you’re accusing us of doing.

      • Joe says:

        Did you comprehend the part :FACT CHECK? or is that beyond your pale?

        • Wirecutter says:

          Did you not comprehend when I told you to provide the facts? You’re the one that challenged me, asshole.

          • Joe says:

            Typical of someone who hates facts, calls me names.
            Adios guy….you and the rest of the so called conservative nutjobs have fun calling REAL conservatives nasty names….you are nothing but trolls and RINOS.

            • Wirecutter says:

              You’re leaving? Right on.

              You come on to my site, tell me something I posted is wrong, tell me to check my facts and then insult me because I don’t follow your orders.
              Fuck you. I’m not 14 years old and you’re not my father. I don’t take orders from you.
              And then you get offended when I get pissed?
              Now, had you included links supporting your claim in your comments, I may not have agreed with them or their sources, but I would’ve posted them, same as I did your comment.

              BTW, I’m not a Republican, I’m a registered Constitution Party voter. And you need to look up the definition of a troll.

              • bikermailman says:

                Don’t let him get to you, he’s a troll. Or a bot, the AIs are getting scary good lately.

            • Tim in AK says:

              “Typical of someone who hates facts”

              Except that when you were asked, nicely, to provide some facts……you provided exactly ZERO, you mouthy little fucktard.

      • Jeremy says:

        A typical large generator is 3 megawatts and costs about $3 million to build with out subsidies. If the generator can produce 24 hrs a day, which in most areas is unlikely, the payback at standard energy rates is 338 days. The seven month figure comes from the inflated charge they put on people who sign up for wind energy with their utility company. Like If you don’t sign up, they don’t hook you to the grid that has wind turbines??? RIGHT!!!!
        I don’t buy into the green energy hype, but anything we can do to improve our energy for the future is a step in the right direction.
        What I would like to see is a generation system that can be placed in a river with a 2MW generator hooked to a tube containing a spiral blade. Such a thing would be less harmful to fish as the only impact point would be the face edge which would be impacted at what ever rate the current was moving.
        People go on about raptor deaths like it is a bad thing. The wind farm north of me has seen an increase in prairie chickens because the they use the towers as protection from the hawks which are NOT endangered. The chickens ARE.

    • kennymac says:

      Funny, Ontario experienced skyrocketing electric prices after adopting windmills. The costs are why they have cancelled future projects.

      “The Ontario government has moved ahead and ordered the winding down of 758 renewable energy contracts.

      The new Energy minister Greg Rickford made the announcement in a media release Friday afternoon.

      Rickford claimed in the release that the move would save Ontario $790 million.”

      Minnesota experienced the same high rates after adopting wind power.

      “The high cost of our failing wind policies
      Why Minnesota’s electricity costs are above the U.S. average and emissions are rising.”

      The biggest problem with expensive alternatives is the fact that they are intermittent and require two systems be built and maintained. Two systems are more expensive than one.

    • Aesop says:

      You’ve provided no “facts”, you’ve simple engaged in gainsaying. (If you don’t know what that is
      a) Google is your friend
      b) you’re not tall enough to post here.

      Just because you assert something isn’t proof of its veracity.
      It only tells us what you believe is true.
      Truth is not a poll.

      That being said, wind power’s point is not energy gain, or neutrality.

      You don’t put in windmills to replace other sources, you use it because there are no other sources.

      If you’re in BFE, a mountaintop, or on a sailboat, a windmill is brilliant.
      If you’re fifty feet from high-voltage lines, it’s asinine, unless it’s sole purpose is as a back-up in case the entire grid goes down.

      That’s all it’s every been good for, and all it ever will be.

      Anything else is people worshipping retards for their wisdom.

    • Jayhawk46 says:

      7 months is pretty optimistic. It is based on capacity factor which is realistically not 35%, but closer to about 20%.
      A 2 MW turbine at 100% would make 48MWhrs in a day, right?
      Applying a 20% Capacity Factor would make that 9.6 MWhrs \ day or 3,504 MWhrs per year. With me so far?
      I checked with some data from MIT and assuming a worst case to make steel from ore is about 18.9 MWhrs per ton, or 4,917 MWhrs for 260 tons.
      Bear in mind that this is the raw steel that hasn’t been fabricated yet and doesn’t include the rare earth materials, copper, etc plus the energy used for transport, errection and the installation of the infrastructure to support it.
      So we’re already to 17 months just for the raw materials.
      If you assumed double for the rest, you’d be out around three years, which is not too bad until you got to all of the other baggage that comes with wind turbines:
      1) Dead wildlife including raptors and bats. Turbines are situated in areas with maximum wind, which coincidentally is also where the birds fly.
      2) Inability to apply pesticides and herbicides to crops via aircraft. This leads to increased chance of low crop yield or crop failure due to infestation.
      3) Biological effects to humans from shadow flicker and low frequency noise.
      4) Need to maintain “spinning reserve” for when the wind isn’t blowing. This is almost always in the form of a gas turbine or coal fired plant.
      5) Inability to work below -4 degrees F. Not a problem down south, but a big problem in IL, IA, MN, KS, NE, SD, ND, etc.

      The biggest problem I have with wind turbines is their intermittency. Even if you assumed a 20y lifespan, it takes 2,077 2 MW wind turbines to take the place of one 1100 MW nuclear plant. At 20% capacity factor, wind is simply not reliable enough to provide baseload generation.

      So, there’s your truth, Joe. The meme is somewhat more exaggerated than your statement, but it still doesn’t justify destroying our baseload capacity to attempt to power our nation on unicorn farts and rainbows…

    • Exile1981 says:

      Actuaĺly I used to work for a power company. Wind turbines were considered a loss leader,

      The cost for a 2MW rurbine is about 6 million installed, we knew a turbine would generate 20%;of its rated power on average… so 0.4 MW. Power during non-peak times is about $20/MWH and here mostly turbines generate at night not on demand. So the repayment on a 20 year life turbine is 85 years. Ours lost money but wete considered a PR expense.

      What most people don’t look at is the enviromental cost of making the magnets in a modern turbine. More toxic waste is produced making those magnets than a comparible natural gas dual cycle power plant will ever make during its life.

      • Elmo says:

        Thank you. I’m going to print this and save it for future reference.

        • Exile1981 says:

          That 20% of rated capacity came from a pro-wind government study. They looked at thousands of turbines and found that over a year they produced 20% of the rated power.

          Some of our older ones were as low as 15%. The problem is the units require a fairly narrow band of wind speeds to work in; too little wind and they don’t turn and too much wind and they have to be shut down and feathered to avoid damage to them.

          • Elmo says:

            This is the part that got me-
            “Ours lost money but were considered a PR expense.”

            I’m in California, going to 100% ‘renewable’ by 2040. I currently pay a baseline of over 21 cents and have to endure the never ending ads by my power provider that “Together, we’re building a better California”.

  7. rightwingterrorist says:

    Not too long ago I drove through OK and KS, up into CO from TX.
    Large swaths were lousy with those things. Some politicians and their buddies are making a ton of money off of your backs.

  8. Stevie says:

    I drove across Canada this summer and those stupid turbines are everywhere on the prairies and along the Great Lakes etc. In addition to the points made above, they also ruin otherwise beautiful vistas and are placed on what used to be lovely hills and shorelines. It is despicable and disgusting

  9. Want to drive the libs nuts just make it a requirement that every wind turbine in service publish it’s power output monthly and if it doesn’t; start the process of tearing the thing down.

    In Oregon and Hawaii there are huge abandoned arrays of turbines from the eighties. Idiots still point with pride to the useless icons,not knowing they are dead.

    • MN Steel says:

      Yeah, I remember FTXs in the Kahuku Range on the North Shore…

      We were all told “Stay the hell away from those windmills, some Pogues nearly got squished a couple months ago when the top fell off one…”

  10. Guairdean says:

    I believe the environmental damage done by the windmills hasn’t been properly evaluated. When you take energy out of the wind, you slow it down. Energy can’t be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. When you slow down the wind, complex weather patterns shift. The cumulative effects have not been studied. With that said, however, the existing research contradicts the meme. and explain it well. explains the origin, and flaws, with the meme itself.

  11. Mike_C says:

    I haven’t exactly got a dog in this fight, but it’s an interesting question on many levels and I’d like to know the answers. A quick web search gives a few scientific papers on break-even for wind turbines. This one:

    by Haapala and Prempreeda (behind paywall, unfortunately) appears to be often cited, including by this SaskWind site; their interpretation of the Haapala and Prempreeda paper is quite readable, but keep in mind, as you can tell by the name, SaskWind’s position clearly comes from a pro-wind bias:

    Now a bias doesn’t mean they are wrong, or that they are liars, and a bias you know of is better than a hidden one, but make up your own mind. Also, I have no idea about Inderscience, but I suspect it is a family of predatory journals. Predatory journals are “pay for play” set ups that mimic actual scientific journals, but their peer review is lousy to nonexistent, and the “science” is usually terrible. Getting published just takes money. One guy famously got a “paper” accepted that consisted of nothing but the phrase “Fuck you!” [or something very like that] repeated thousands of times. For those of us who are actual researchers, a guy showing me his paper published in a predatory journal is like a guy showing up at the family Christmas dinner with a strung-out crack whore on his arm. Sure, you have a date, and you’re gonna get laid, but it’s a matter of shame and not pride.

    This paper by Smoucha et al:

    Seems grossly reasonable to me at a quick glance, but 1) I am not an energy expert, nor trained in industrial economics, and the last real engineering I did was over 20 years ago, and that was in digital signal processing; 2) the paper is in an OMICs journal. OMICs may have cleaned up its act, but at the beginning was widely considered a “pay for play” family of predatory journals. Anyway, maybe some of you real-world engineering and business types can give this paper a more definitive thumbs up or down.

    Here are some anti-wind sites:

    And this is a pro-wind article from Scientific American. But IMNSHO SA is now fully pozzed with social justice-type nonsense taking precedence over actual science. Which is a darned shame, since it used to be an excellent layman’s science journal.

    Back to work. I’m supposed to be editing a book chapter. Damnit.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Oh sure, blame me for keeping you from your work.
      Thanks for the links, I appreciate that.

      • Mike_C says:

        Oh, I’ve got a metric crapton of excuses for not doing my work. But I’ve got my mite for the evening done :-). After having put off this particular project for some weeks now….

        I was kind of hoping that “Joe” above would step up to the plate with some references, but guess that’s not going to happen.

  12. paulb says:

    I dunno but back in the 70’s we determined we would have to have a windmill on every ridge on the country as well as half of it covered with solar panels to match what we were doing then.

    Lat figures I found where for 2016 and at that time the total output of all green energy was 5% of the total.

    I do not care who you are or what agency you quote but is is beyond doubt that the most efficient form of energy production is Nuclear. Nothing else comes close.

    If we all want to go back to living like we did 100 years ago the green crap might be able to meet out needs.

    And before someone says that individual homes could add solar panels the cost of producing the panels, the charging controller and the batteries you need for when the sun does not shine you are in the hole. and the batteries need to be replace every few years. Even a solar set up with a windmill and batteries would be hard to manage.

    If you are out in the boonies of Arizona or New Mexico you might be able to do it.

    If windmills are so good why to they not put them off the coast of Maryland? I don’t know why we need the pollution if they can have it.

    • Jeremy says:

      Because Maryland is too close to Washington, and with Congress in session almost every week of the year the things would fly off the towers.

  13. ZombieDawg says:

    Well…look no further than South Australia for a “fact check” on the illusion of the viability of renewables.
    Spend some time here to learn the reality.
    Also :

    Try $1 BILLION for a backup battery to power the grid for 1 HOUR when solar and wind fail.

  14. Chuck says:

    And California adds to the insanity: California law will wean power sector off fossil fuels by 2045

  15. Veeshir says:

    If something needs subsidies for decades that’s a pretty good hint it’s not profitable.

  16. Lineman says:

    I could get you numbers that would make you so pissed off you might end up ending Joe and also we can’t do anything about it anyway so why bother….I will just say this though and every research done won’t include this because it might make people rise up and do something…No who am I kidding…Solar and wind not only are you paying more for it the company makes surplus that they have to pay someone to take off their hands…Isn’t that a kick in the head…Your government at work and some fat cat is getting richer while you end up poorer…Ah but no one gives a shit we are just to fat and entertained aren’t we…Sad That…

  17. Kafiroon says:

    So after all the proceeding commentary; I have one simple question.
    Where are you getting your instant-on electricity when the wind slows or quits?
    And No. It is Not from batteries.

  18. bradoplata says:

    I almost hit a windmill blade that was stopped on a crossing with my train. Got my train stopped, but almost hit it on general principle because it would have been a good story.

  19. warhorse says:

    wind and solar have their uses, but it isn’t energy production for mass consumption.

    say you have a cabin in the middle of nowhere. you’re not hooking that to any grid…it would cost way too much if you could do it at all.

    hook up solar and a small wind generator, maybe even small-scale hydro down by the creek..and you’d be ok.

  20. Bacon says:

    Although I’m generally a numbers guy, I think that in discussions about energy folks tend to focus too much on the numbers and miss the point, which is system design. Think about it, what’s the actual purpose of having a grid? Consistent delivery. A grid is not a production system, it’s a distribution system.

    Our national energy system is neither efficient nor particularly reliable. Forget about how much metal and energy it takes to build windmills, think about the resources it takes to build and maintain a national grid and keep it operational. Then compare that to how frequently we hear about power outages and bullshit like rolling brownouts. The only reason the grid continues to work at all is that we pour enormous resources into maintaining it.

    A distributed system would be cheaper overall and much more robust. If we relied on smaller scale local production and distribution then any disruptions would also be localized. With no grid, we reduce vulnerability of the entire system, we reduce regulatory costs, and we reduce the costs of being tied into the grid. So even though power production would be more expensive (due to fewer economies of scale), overall costs should be similar or lower to what we pay now.

    The best part about it is that people could produce their own power and be responsible for it, which would lead to a cascade of related effects such as greater self-sufficiency in other areas. Also, local power producers would have to compete with self-generation options, so the market would set prices without the significant distortions created by PUCs and other regulators. (I think many folks don’t realize how little of our bill consists of power costs and how much consists of system charges.)

    Although I think prices would actually drop, I’d be willing to pay higher power costs in exchange for not having to deal with monthly bills, meter readers (aka trespassers), utilities easements, having my trees butchered along the powerline right of way, etc. Also, several folks mentioned how ugly big wind farms are; I figure that small windmills and rooftop panels are much nicer looking than utility poles and miles of wire stretching across the landscape.

    • Lineman says:

      Better stick with your numbers because your way off base on most of what you wrote…

      • Bacon says:

        Now, “Lineman”, you wouldn’t by any chance be just a bit biased in the matter, would you? Nah, I’m sure someone who identifies by their profession must be completely objective about it.

        In any case, if you want to disagree then try bringing facts instead of snide comments.

        • Lineman says:

          Ahh Bacon if you were relevant to me in anyway maybe I would educate you in this matter…But since your not and anyone with half a brain can look up how the grid came to be Im not going waste my time…Oh and I’m setting up to produce my own power that’s why I said most of what you wrote…

          • It’s a free country and if you want to use your own money to ‘produce my own power’ than God be with you and good luck.

            However, to be truly independent; we expect you to forgo the state and federal subsidies, and no you shouldn’t remain connected to the “Grid” for backup in case things don’t work out.

            Incidentally, ‘distributed system’ backed up 100% by commercial gigawatt power utilities prove the lie of solar and wind by their very existence.

  21. MadMarlin says:

    Wow, this was a hornets nest! Lots of comments and good discussion. But I hate trolls about the same as the Green Party nut jobs and the Democrats/Liberals/Socialists/Pinko Commies.

  22. Gordon says:

    I call BS. Most of that steel will be recycled steel.

If your comment 'disappears', don't trip - it went to my trash folder and I will restore it when I moderate.