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Author Topic: wind power generation will increase global warming?  (Read 981 times)
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June 09, 2012, 07:03:14 PM
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please feel free to answer here or there https://www.rugatu.com/questions/46/does-wind-power-generation-disrupt-the-wind-currents-at-a-global-scale-and-cause-global-warming

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June 09, 2012, 07:48:25 PM
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You link to this:
"Studies have shown that towns where there is a significant production of wind power, tend to be warmer than towns that are not. If done at a global scale, will this increase global warming? Will it affect seasons and regular weather cycles, crop cycles, etc.?"

Local warming does not mean global warming. The effect of the wind farm may be to disallow cool air to fall near the turbines, this is not creating heat, this is moving it.  The cool is staying higher up.  No new energy is imparted to the atmosphere to cause 'global warming'. 

While a very small effect, pulling power out of the wind actually reduces air temp globally as you are pulling energy out of the system.  The energy is re-released where it is used, making heat equalizing it out..  A traditional power plant burning fuel adds heat both at the generation point and at the use point as well as the majority of the heat due to trapping more of the suns energy with CO2 exhast. 

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June 09, 2012, 09:26:01 PM
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What wind power will do is dramatically push up the value of agricultural land.

http://www.ted.com/talks/david_mackay_a_reality_check_on_renewables.html

This guy is a climate change believer and a renewables believer.  But the scale of the land required for what he says is incredible...its definitely a reality check.

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June 09, 2012, 09:57:45 PM
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You link to this:
"Studies have shown that towns where there is a significant production of wind power, tend to be warmer than towns that are not. If done at a global scale, will this increase global warming? Will it affect seasons and regular weather cycles, crop cycles, etc.?"

Local warming does not mean global warming. The effect of the wind farm may be to disallow cool air to fall near the turbines, this is not creating heat, this is moving it.  The cool is staying higher up.  No new energy is imparted to the atmosphere to cause 'global warming'. 

While a very small effect, pulling power out of the wind actually reduces air temp globally as you are pulling energy out of the system.  The energy is re-released where it is used, making heat equalizing it out..  A traditional power plant burning fuel adds heat both at the generation point and at the use point as well as the majority of the heat due to trapping more of the suns energy with CO2 exhast. 

I think this may be too simple. I could imagine (no data) that massive enough windfarms would have an effect on albedo and various ecosystems (thus affecting CO2 sequestration, etc). This is just based on the idea that anything on a huge scale will have some effect on climate. Anyway most people don't care about global warming per se, they care about any effect this would have on "seasons and regular weather cycles, crop cycles, etc". So altering weather on a large scale by a means other than CO2-induced warming should be seen as equally undesirable.
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June 10, 2012, 10:19:38 AM
 #5

http://www.ted.com/talks/david_mackay_a_reality_check_on_renewables.html

This guy is a climate change believer and a renewables believer.  But the scale of the land required for what he says is incredible...its definitely a reality check.

Not a bad talk, but it really just drives home the point that the majority of the problem with unsustainable energy consumption is simply idiots who neither know how much energy they use nor even care.  This guy is a physicist, and admits that he eliminated 50% off his heating bill simply by reading his meter and setting his thermostat properly.  If that's typical for a physicist, the average person doesn't really stand a chance.

As for the rest, it comes off as very anti-biomass, which may make sense for Europe but makes no sense in the Americas or Africa.  Consider that I can heat my house with 1/4 acre of miscanthus.  But consider also that my house is smaller than average, and better-insulated than average, and in a warmer climate than most of Europe and in a country with 1/8 the population density of the UK.

Really, though, no one should have the slightest pity on the British for wasting all of their fossil fuels on warfare and empire building rather than planning for sustainability.  Like "oh you overpopulated your little island with its miserable climate and consumed all your resources attempting to subjugate half of humanity and supporting a failed welfare/warfare state?  Tough shit, deal with the consequences."

In general, Europe is fairly screwed on the energy issue unless they can expand renewables into Northern Africa in a major way or, you know, sacrifice their quaint brick siding and learn to insulate their ancient houses properly.  The British are just double-screwed, and it's really only karma catching up to them for harboring the world capital of ponzi economics criminals that they actually bought into their own bullshit and believed that finite resource consumption could go on forever.  Oops.

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June 10, 2012, 02:52:30 PM
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Biomass has the same issues.  If you own vast tracts of land, global warming will make you phenomenally rich.  Whether its rich via biomass or wind turbines is a matter of detail.

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June 11, 2012, 03:31:37 PM
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Biomass has the same issues.  If you own vast tracts of land, global warming will make you phenomenally rich.  Whether its rich via biomass or wind turbines is a matter of detail.

Or do both.  There's a limit to how closely you can space wind turbines and still get effective generation, so grow stuff between them.

Makes harvesting a bit of a bitch, but it's perfectly doable.
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