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Old 07-06-2017, 04:29 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,769 posts, read 1,037,800 times
Reputation: 5940

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https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/...ental-impacts/

This article draws attention to some of the negative environmental impacts that a switch to alternative energy production would bring about. It calls for deeper, more extensive studies on environmental impact like those required for conventional power plants.

Among those discussed: land use-- solar arrays would require 18 million acres of destroyed natural habitat. For perspective, all the trash dumps in the country now only total <1000 sq mi.

There would be 700 million tons of rare earths required to build enough wind mills for our energy needs, but unfortunately, world wide rare earth reserves only total 140 million tons.

The need for raw materials in building enough PV & wind installations for our needs would be unsustainable: huge amounts required and then replacement every 20 yrs. Conventional plants last 50 yrs and materials requirements are minuscule by comparison. Turbine blades, BTW are made from petroleum based chemicals.

Impact of wind turbines on bird & bat populations are well known. Human health is adversely affected by noise & flicker-effect of turbines.

Given that the negative effects of co2 production from coal/gas fired plants is arguable and that 75% of such plants would need to remain operating as back up, the negative effects of alternates seem to outweigh their benefits.
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Divided Tribes of America
13,552 posts, read 5,463,703 times
Reputation: 5298
Wattsupwiththat.com is a notorious crank website. I wouldn't trust it as a reliable source.

Nonetheless, wind and solar are indeed problematic because of their low energy energy densities. One needs a lot of solar panels and wind turbines to generate meaningful amounts of power. That means a lot of land, materials, and money. And that's not to mention the fact that one has to keep all of those conventional power plants on stand-by for times when the sun is not shining and the wind isn't blowing.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:42 PM
 
Location: DC
6,510 posts, read 6,430,643 times
Reputation: 3112
100% pv, which isn't being proposed, takes up less space than US golf courses.
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Old 07-06-2017, 05:23 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,769 posts, read 1,037,800 times
Reputation: 5940
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freak80 View Post
Wattsupwiththat.com is a notorious crank website. I wouldn't trust it as a reliable source.
WUWT is the most visited science blog on the internet. Contributors are usually respected scientists and those who comment are often accomplished researchers or engineers. The head of the UAH satellite temp program is a frequent blogger and commenter.

Not a "crank" website, but definitely in the "skeptical" corner because that's what the science says you outta
be.

And even if you don't like the site, can you argue against the content of the article?
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Old 07-06-2017, 05:26 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,769 posts, read 1,037,800 times
Reputation: 5940
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
100% pv, which isn't being proposed, takes up less space than US golf courses.
Golf courses are grass, trees and bushes. PV installations are equivalent to pavement.

That's real green of you. Perhaps you should go for a drive in your Corvette and think of other ways to save the planet?
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Divided Tribes of America
13,552 posts, read 5,463,703 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
100% pv, which isn't being proposed, takes up less space than US golf courses.
Call me a skeptic on that.

Can you show me the maths?
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:03 AM
 
Location: NH
2,230 posts, read 2,282,596 times
Reputation: 2932
You cant have your cake and eat it too. If alt power sources are going to "consume" too much land, harm too many animals and require the use of fossil fuels as a back up energy source that tells me one thing; we are overpopulated. Technology has caused overpopulation but technology is also finding ways to use alternate power sources so put less strain on the environment. Society these days is always about change yet they don't want to change their own lifestyle to help protect the environment. Living solely off of alternate power is doable in my opinion but people need to embrace the change which would be nearly impossible as most people throw a hissy fit if they lose their wifi on their phone for 5 minutes. If its time for a change, we need to make a change, its all or nothing, or the little that is done will not matter.


Why do we need acres upon acres of land polluted with solar panels? Why not just equip every house with their own solar power in rural areas and transform roads into solar panels (as I know the technology is out there) mixed with scattered wind turbines and hydro power? Not enough power to match what we have now...well that's the change that people need to embrace.
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Old 07-07-2017, 11:02 AM
 
Location: DC
6,510 posts, read 6,430,643 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Golf courses are grass, trees and bushes. PV installations are equivalent to pavement.

That's real green of you. Perhaps you should go for a drive in your Corvette and think of other ways to save the planet?
PV arrays have very low albedo, much better than grass.

I have a Porsche.

Renewable electricity is my thing. That's contribution enough. Every new wind farm or pv plant shuts down another coal plant.
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Old 07-07-2017, 11:08 AM
 
Location: DC
6,510 posts, read 6,430,643 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freak80 View Post
Call me a skeptic on that.

Can you show me the maths?
My memory was faulty. 33% pv requires as much space as our golf courses. Of course much of our pv is going on roofs, which is a freeby.

The Future of Solar Energy | MIT Energy Initiative
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Old 07-07-2017, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Divided Tribes of America
13,552 posts, read 5,463,703 times
Reputation: 5298
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
Every new wind farm or pv plant shuts down another coal plant.
Only if said coal plant is replaced with a natural gas plant.

That's the problem with wind and solar. They lock us into fossil fuel dependency, since economical grid-scale electricity storage technology does not exist.
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