Renewable Energy

  laurie53 07:37 20 May 09

Europe's largest on shore wind farm is about to come on-stream

click here

When complete it will have 220 turbines and produce enough power for 180,000 homes.

Now I'm all for renewables and environmental care, and I know we've got to make a start somewhere, but 180,000 homes isn't even a medium sized town, and that doesn't include any businesses or services such as street lighting.

If the whole country is not to become a forest of turbines, starkly beautiful though they may be in the right setting, we have got to find more efficient, or at least less obtrusive, methods.

  John B 07:46 20 May 09

I suspect that in the medium to long term nuclear power will have to provide the answer; like it or not (I'm a not).

  interzone55 08:49 20 May 09

180,000 homes is quite a big town, bordering on city size.

Rochdale, where I live, is a pretty big town and and only has around 30,000 households.

Wind power is only part of the answer to our future power needs. As John B says, Nuclear is the ultimate answer - after the initial build it's very cheap, and creates zero emissions. We just need to find an acceptable answer to the problem of disposal...

  BT 08:56 20 May 09

The winds moving around the earth drive the whole climate system. If we extract the energy from the wind are we not altering the way the wind affects the overall scheme of things. Maybe the amount we take is only minute in the whole overall amount but surely it must have an effect eventually.

  Quickbeam 08:58 20 May 09

"We just need to find an acceptable answer to the problem of disposal..."
We could always send it to Kazakstan click here perhaps not...

  bjh 09:02 20 May 09

I was wondering about this effect a while back, but it is probably more than compensated for by the deforestation we have carried out; resistance from how many trees is equivalent to a wind turbine...

The effect is minute in a global weather context, but probably shouldn't be ignored completely.

  Quickbeam 09:03 20 May 09

If science ever finds an way to neutralise nuclear waste, we will move into an era as life changing as the industrial revolution was.

  Bingalau 09:30 20 May 09

I was recently in Germany and there they have large numbers of wind turbines all over the countryside. They are not bothered by whether it spoils the scenery or not. It seems some farmers are opting to have them on their land because not only do they get free power for themselves but they also get paid for the surplus power going in to the national grid. I believe some of them have even given up on actual farming as it is easier to make a good living from accommodating more turbines. Can't say I blame them. I suppose if they ever change to nuclear energy they will be just as quick to dispose of the turbines. We meanwhile, are still contemplating out navels.

  peter99co 09:35 20 May 09

I use wind and solar in a small way and if I had the money would upscale to run the whole house needs. A grant would be nice but the technoledgy is still not cheap or long lasting yet.

  Quickbeam 10:04 20 May 09

But with an ever increasing population, can we afford to have millions of acres switching over from food farming to wind farming? It's not a real solution.

  oresome 10:59 20 May 09

I'm not sure that wind farms are located on land fit for farming, but if they are, is there any reason why the two can't run alongside one another?

An area the size of Wales would be needed to support wind farms sufficient for the UK's energy needs according to this mornings news, so it's never going to be other than a small contributor.

It will be interesting to see if they turn out as benign as first thought regarding enviromental impact. I suppose if they become very large scale weather patterns could be influenced. There is already concern over the impact on migratory flight paths of birds.

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