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View Diary: Green diary rescue: Solar panels on White House at last, wind farms rising, deniers no smarter (66 comments)

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  •  they've been having similar issues (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Idaho07, northcountry21st, patbahn

    in Germany, with residents being less than fond of their "new neighbors" because they're a bit noisy and obstruct views. I think some of the criticisms are fair, especially if it's true what you say that they can't connect the turbines to the grid. But in Germany, overall wind power is really ramping up and 2012 was a record breaking year for wind power. The thing is, if people don't want fossil fuels, they don't want nuclear, and they do want to maintain their modern lifestyles, there's going to have to be some concession. I think some sound and aesthetic noise is not asking too much considering the alternatives.

    Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

    by citisven on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:36:41 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  You're right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citisven

      We can't have it all without inconvenience or worse. For every person who gains something, anther loses.

      The most interesting comment I've heard came from a farmer who bought his own turbine, long before the big commercial ones showed up.
      He said he really liked the idea of owning one; here, any excess power generated by any private source has to be purchased by the power companies by law. It's a relatively simple matter for the companies to connect a small household turbine onto the grid.

      In practice, he and his family soon grew weary of the blade noise and flash- during bright sunlit days, which are plentiful here, the blades throw bright spots everywhere, followed by shadows. The effect can be dizzying.

      He asked my bro if he wanted to buy his windmill cheap; he has had it feathered now for years, even when there's a power outage.

      On the other hand, I've seen several of the small ones on local ranches, set far uphill or away from ranch dwellings that are in daily use. Location, location, location.

      Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

      by Idaho07 on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:55:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so true, location is what it comes down to (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tlsmith, Pam from Calif, grich01, navajo

        and that's where the U.S. has such an advantage, because it's such a big country with so much open space. There really should be no need to build the big industrial wind turbines so close to population centers.

        The other point you raise is really important too, the centralized versus decentralized. A lot of the folks in Germany who were some of the earliest proponents of clean power are not too happy with the big power companies taking over and would rather see smaller mills in more locations and owned by local people. In one of the towns I visited in the black forest, a bunch of local residents had formed a co-op that runs a wind mill on the hill behind the town. I know it's not possible to get 100% of renewable energy from these kinds of decentralized grassroots sources, but it's a valid concern to not let the big corporations take over the whole game. I think it has to be a mix.

        Anyway, here are a couple more turbines on a mountain near Freiburg, Germany, right behind a popular restaurant.
        freiburg_002

        Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

        by citisven on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:41:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  a dull paint job should eliminate flash (0+ / 0-)

        and the low speed turbines make less noise.

        •  It's not the speed of the blades. It's the size. (0+ / 0-)

          Standing as close to a wind turbine as is legal is really the only way to fully understand these things, I believe.

          They are a LOT taller and bigger than they look in photos. The ones here are about 200 feet high, and each blade is about 75 feet long.

          The blades don't rotate very fast even in the highest winds, but are so big they emit a very low pitched rumble, almost down to sub-bass territory.

          Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

          by Idaho07 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 02:59:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  infra-sound, (0+ / 0-)

            we have a lot of these turbines out there, i suspect some people very sensitive to infra sound and others don't notice it at all.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            20% of people react badly to infra-sound,  i suspect
            we will need to model this and determine what the
            tolerance levels are for people

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