Cal Fire: Wind Turbine Generator Caused Wildland Fire that Charred 367 Acres

by on August 1, 2012 · 34 comments

in Government

Photo: East County Magazine

by Miriam Raftery/East County Magazine

July 31, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – With County Supervisors poised to consider approval of Tule Wind and a wind ordinance that could open much of fire-prone East County to wind energy development, a wildland fire that started at a wind turbine facility in Riverside County last month provides fuel for opponents concerned about fire risks posed by industrial-scale wind projects.

“The fire started with the windmill itself,” Captain Greg Ewing with Cal Fire/Riverside Fire Department informed ECM today.

Despite extensive area cleared around the base of each  turbine, Ewing said, the blaze still spread into a wildland fire that swiftly engulfed 367 acres. If not for prompt reporting by a witness, it could have been far worse.

According to Cal Fire’s report on the incident, The View Fire occurred in the Whitewater area east of Cabazon in Riverside County on June 17, 2012 at a wind facility near Cottonwood Road and Desert View. A caller who dialed 911 initially reported seeing flames and “one confirmed windmill on fire” at 9:15 p.m.

By 9:33 p.m., CHP stated it had received multiple reports that there were “several windmills on fire” along with a ridgeline near I-10 and Haughen-Lehmann Way. Callers also reporting “popping loud noises” as the turbines burned. Both ground crews and aircraft battled the blaze.

Residents in the box canyon were evacuated, including 90-year-old Barbara York, who had time to grab only an overnight bag. York was “frantic,” the Desert Sun reported at the time.

At 12:34 a.m. on June 18, Cal Fire’s report on the fire indicates that a request had been made for Edison, since power lines had caught fire in the middle of the wind turbines. More than 100 firefighters fought the fire through the night.

The blaze was ultimately stopped at 367 acres, including 100 acres of public lands on Bureau of Land Management property. The final report blames “equipment”, specifically a “generator” and “arcing” for the fire.

Asked directly whether the generator that caused the fire was an actual wind turbine, Captain Ewing confirmed, “Yes ma’am.” He also confirmed that ground had been cleared around the base of each turbine, the blaze swiftly spread to become a wildland fire despite those precautions. Captain Ewing did not know the precise cause of the turbine malfunction. “Several companies lease the land,” he noted. “Other companies own the windmills and others service them.”

Asked whether Cal Fire intends to seek compensation for the firefighting costs, Ewing replied, “I can’t comment on that.” He did not have the total cost of the firefighting efforts to quell the wildfire.

Wind developers have claimed that clearance around turbines, coupled with improved technology, make prospects of fires slim. Earlier this year, a representative from Iberdrola (developer of Tule Wind) assured ECM that the odds of a modern wind turbine causing a fire that escapes to become a wildland fire were infinitessimal.

It only takes one wildfire to scorch hundreds of thousands of acres, putting homes and lives at risk, as San Diegans well know. Is that a risk worth taking, for the promise or renewable energy from wind?

When comparing the viability of wind to other options such as rooftop or parking lot solar, should the potential costs of firefighting–as well as potential liabilities for damages to property and lost lives–be factored into determining projects’ long-term costs and benefits?

The BLM has already approved construction of 65 wind turbines in Phase 1 of Tule Wind on BLM land in McCain Valley. On August 8, the County Supervisors will consider whether to follow planners advice to turn down an application form Iberdrola for five more turbines on County land.

The bigger issue for Supervisors will be whether or not to approve an upcoming sweeping wind ordinance that could open wide the doors for large-scale wind turbine developments, each with dozens or even hundreds of towering wind turbines in fire-prone areas of East County.

In rural East County, where 100-mile per hour gusts quickly transformed the Harris Fire into a raging inferno during the 2007 firestorms–a nightmarish repeat of the 2003 Cedar Fire.  Dubbed the Santa Anas (or “devil winds”) by the Spanish, the winds are common in East County during the hottest, dryest season.  Thus it is prudent for County officials to give serious thought to potentially serious consequences should a turbine malfunction in a remote location.

Homeowners near the View Fire were fortunate that a witness spotted the fire and reported it promptly, before homes or lives were lost. What happens if a turbine fire occurs in a remote East County location in the middle of the night? Will flames engulf homes, or in the case of Tule Wind, campsites in the path of the fire? Could the County be held liable if wind turbines that it approves cause a devastating wildfire?

These are troubling questions that deserve satisfactory answers.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar JEC August 1, 2012 at 9:01 am

Wind turbines are the best option available – less impact than coal, oil, nuclear, or hydroelectric. More efficient than solar, wind turbines are in our future. The fires mentioned happened in and around one of the oldest wind farms in California. The industry is experiencing age for the first time and it raises a few points that will be addressed. But don’t let the good be a victim of the perfect.

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avatar Maddy August 5, 2012 at 9:05 pm

With respect I would be fascinated to hear your justification for stating that wind is more efficient than solar. Wind efficiency for industrial complexes being typically only 10% operational for 90% of their rated capacity. Nor has any conventional electricity generator ever been able to be switched off due to the gross unreliability of wind generation.
We rely on both solar and wind on our farmlet. Dollar for dollar of installation costs, solar wins hands down over wind. The sun comes up every day. It doesn’t blow every day though!

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avatar KPK August 3, 2012 at 10:32 am

Wind turbines produce such a ridiculously small amount of electricity for their cost and resulting blight of our landscape. It takes 1000-1500 large wind turbines to produce teh same amount of electricity as an average nuclear plant. Get rid of the subsidies, let the industry sink or swim without corporate welfare. Spend our money on research for better green energy.

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avatar JEC August 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Really – fascinating, but it’s about the facts. Wind turbines produce the lowest cost electricity available based on capitalization. The reason why even Texas has wind turbines and France, Denmark, and yes, San Diego Native Americans are investing heavily into wind turbines, because of the pay off. Germany solarized the nation; homes, parking lots, highways, even a nation that far north, and it enable them to turn off their last nuclear reactor last year. Regarding subsidies, it’s true, nuclear has received too much taxpayers money. Is not Ward Valley a public problem handed to us by the nuclear industry? And I agree about ending welfare for private utilities. Why do we tolerate the highest electric rates in the country? If we could truly select the best, do you think we would select Sempra? I think not. In the end pick your poison; nuclear waste or the visual blight of wind turbines?

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avatar Think True August 4, 2012 at 7:08 am

JEC,

The facts? Yes you are correct that facts count — but not the “facts” you’re touting. The true story of wind energy is that it is an expensive scam that would cease to exist without the massive local, state, and federal subsidies (highest per kw produced). During the past few months the mere threat that the massive U.S. federal subsidies will not be renewed has thrown the wind industry around the world into turmoil. They spend millions on PR and lobbyists to ensure the Congress will do their bidding on this.

Wind Turbines are green tokenism at it’s absolute worst. Feel green, do nothing to help.

Some fact checking…

Germany — has not shut down all of it’s Nuclear Reactors but has accelerated the shutdowns — all remaining are planned to be phased out by 2022 (was to be 2036). In the meantime Czechoslovakia is gleefully building Nuclear Plants 45 miles from the German border to take advantage (make money) by selling the power to Germany — they are realists and will capitalize on Germany’s renewable fantasy — the German public will be the one’s footing the bill.
Denmark — Citizens will not allow anymore onshore wind to be built and pay the highest electric rates in the EU. (This uprising against the out-sized machines is typical as the proliferation of the industrialization of the important landscapes reaches a tipping point. There is no illusion of the “majesty” of the turbines in the EU.)

I’m tired of typing but other readers are encouraged to use “the google” to verify all wild claims for the efficacy of wind energy and other renewables — if you are one of those still in the thrall of the wind industry PR machine — you will be shocked.

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avatar Merrylyn Sawyer August 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

You are so correct. We are being overwhelmed with wind turbines in Maine, yet they produce less than 2% of our total electricity production. That is with over 200 turbines turning. When you factor in the gas plants that need to be online so they can jump to 100 percent production when the wind dies down, we are not saving a lot of energy using wind. Figures prove that wind , anywhere, blows less than 33 percent of the time. That means other forms of energy production need to be available all the time to pick up the loss of no production from the turbines when there is no wind. You are absolutely right on about eliminating federal subsidies. We need to let the various types of power production level the field without government intervention.

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avatar JEC August 4, 2012 at 9:09 am

I stand corrected, Merkle stated a policy to phase them out. Think True (a bit of hubris) are you suggesting a single solution? Nuclear perhaps? Because you seem to have nothing good to say about any option. Oh yes, there are those who over state in search of profits. A common feature of all industries I’d say. But Merrilyn in Maine provides and illustration of that pursuit. In the end it’s all about location. For example Mexicali relies on geothermal – has for fifty years. And The Geysers north of Napa has over 1,500 mw of installed capacity. Point, it’s adapting to location. The Danes don’t want more windmills on the land (they have very litttle land) but is it not true people resist change, all change. TV antennas were ugly but we learned to accept them. Placing windmills where the wind blows only a third of the time is not smart, nor very cost effective. The same is true of alternatives – all alternatives. But as for nuclear, it’s a half science. Every plant is drowning in it’s own waste. The French at least do re-processing which the U.S. could also do, but no one wants to pay the price – it’s expensive, ask the French. But even handling 2/3rds of the waste the French still have no idea what to do with what’s left and the Polynisians aren’t likely to let them resume dumping it in their ocean. The goal is to find solutions that aren’t simply deferring the cost down the road. We have a green house gas problem; we are changing the biochemistry of the planet. That must also be included in the solution. I’m sure you agree with the value of being comprehensive.

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avatar Think True August 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

JEC,

Well thanks for setting up a straw man (no I’m not advocating for Nuclear — thanks for imagining my motives). I don’t have all day to dally but I would recommend starting from the idea that we don’t have a crisis of production, we have crisis of consumption. Perhaps a few hours with Ozzie Zehner’s book, Green Illusions, would be time well spent? And although, I’m not in lock-step with everything in that book, it comes a lot closer to where I’m at than anything you have falsely ascribed to me.

By the way — TV antennas are still ugly — always will be.

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avatar starzzguitar August 9, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I agree with you KPK. The propeller on a stick design is very inefficient, but they keep erecting these monstrosities. There are better designs available, such as a vertical spin design that won’t kill all the birds in the neighborhood.

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avatar Jim Wiegand August 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

The public also needs to get it in their heads that the propeller style wind turbine is having a disastrous impacts upon birds and bats. The undisclosed and declining Golden Eagle population around Altamont and the rapidly declining Whooping Crane population are perfect examples. They also have to understand that they have been lied to by the wind industry and their government, both of which have been are working together on this cover-up for 28 years.

Over the last 6 years several hundred Whooping Cranes have gone missing and their critically endangered population is rapidly declining. This year over 100 whooping cranes went missing and many of the lost members fell victim to the thousands of wind turbines now located in the central flyway. The USFWS is aware of all this, especially in light of their newly adopted USFWS methodology of “estimating” Whooping Crane numbers. The new USFWS methodology was put in place so the declining Whopping Crane population the could be exaggerated. Only 192 were counted this year but their population is now being estimated 27% higher at 245. The stark reality is that free flying Whooping Cranes have only a few short years left in the Central Flyway because of the wind industry. But you will never hear this from the USFWS.

The USFWS, the CA Dept of Fish and Game, and the CA Energy Commission all know that Condors can no longer fly free and must be manipulated with feeding stations to keep them from the turbines. This big lie or charade must stop or else this industry will end up exterminating many bird species around the world. Raising these dying species like the condors in zoos is no answer be when their world has been destroyed by the wind industry.

The soon to be built North Sky project will kill the Condors that wander from their feeding stations as they attempt to ride on the same wind currents they have used for millions of years. But the public will never hear about it from this slimy industry. This has been going on for decades with the blessings of the USFWS, which has in place rigged or what they call “Voluntary Guidelines” for the wind industry. It is long over due that the Interior Department and USFWS to start doing the job they were meant to do instead of running interference for the wind industry.

For decades the wind industry mortality studies have been deliberately designed with flawed methodology. Examples of this flawed methodology include searching turbines that are not operating, by looking in a small search areas around the turbines, by looking bodies every 15 or 30 days instead of looking every day, by not using dogs which could quickly find every fallen bird or bat, by not counting the permanently disabled or mortally wounded, and by allowing employees/lease holders to pick up bodies. In a few short years the wind industry will be killing at least a 1000-1500 eagles a year in the United States. This number will include several hundred bald eagles. Eagle populations across this country will be decimated because they can not withstand this mortality and many of the industry’s planned projects lie in eagle habitat.

I have seen every conceivable argument and tidbit of propaganda justifying wind energy from every corner of the world and there is one element that is nearly always overlooked. Regardless of the energy source and the arguments, no one should ever condone the fraud that has carried this industry for decades. With this industry, there never has been a level playing field. If the public insisted on proper mortality studies the results would be staggering.

One would think that any politician would want to separate themselves as far as possible from the unethical conduct and devastating impacts caused by the wind industry, but I am not a politician. There are also alternatives to wind energy and even bird safe wind turbine designs.

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avatar mark duchamp August 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Jim is correct, our most precious wildlife is being wiped out by wind farms.
This is the one website that is truthful about it:
http://www.savetheeaglesinternational.org

Unlike other NGO’s, we receive no money from anyone.
This allows us to speak the truth.

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avatar JA Rovensky August 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm

It has been very interesting reading the story and comments. I live in South Australia, we also have concerns about turbines fires taking off and causing destruction of homes and lives, but our Government takes no notice they just change the Planning regulations so the companies have a free reign. Fortunately one Local Authority this week rejected a project, the first under new un-democratic regulations. Where the Companies can appeal decisions but the citizens cannot. Anyway enough of that. It is interesting to read the emphasis on arguments against turbines in USA. The death of so many Eagles, Bats etc is devastating. We here are looking at trying to get some sense in the siting of massive 100′s of massive 140+mt turbines away from the endangered Southern Bent-Winged bats caves and environment as well as endangered birds. However we here as well as many people in USA, Canada, UK, EU are also suffereing, for many many people these massive turbines are causing health issues which destroy their lives. The worldwide movement to have these health issues researched is slow, Governments are only interested in appearing to be doing something about the enviornment while they are doing this they are actually destroying it. There are so many other ways to produce renewable energy, but the wind industry appears to have taken hold in the minds of those who have the power. Wind is free, but to make electricity generators and gearboxes are needed – they are not environmentally friendly nor cheap. The wind passes by and continues on its way the structures and its workings have short working lifespan and break down frequently – they are expensive to maintain and keep operating – therefore they are not cost effective, they are not producing the energy they say they can, it is intermitent. So why continue to support it – WHY, because it makes money for someone somewhere – but for the end user who just keeps paying out with higher energy costs and through subsidies the companies are given by Governments from the taxes you pay – so you pay twice.

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avatar Jim Wiegand August 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

The appearance of doing something has been in their playbook for over 25 years. Just look at Altamont Pass. Since the beginning, more and more turbines with more and faster rotor sweep have been put in. And now with the new larger turbines being installed, Altamont is going to kill even more because these larger turbines are the most deadly yet for birds and eagles. But the scumbags put together a pile of bogus studies to help sell them as being safer to the public. Now even more eagles will die at Altamont but you will not hear about it because rigging access is also in their playbook.

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avatar Merrylyn Sawyer August 5, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Thank you, JA Ravensky, for writing from Australia. Another hidden cost and hidden blight to the landscape, at least in Maine, is the construction of massive new power lines, with H towers parading through heretofore unbroken wilderness. Plus we have huge substations situated tens of miles from the wind projects. All this construction is proving jobs, so it is being lauded. However, when the turbines die in 10-20 years, we will have all these paths through the forest with these huge towers and massive lines, carrying what???Once the turbines are decomissioned, new ones will not be put up. By then the public hopefully will have come to their senses about the wastefulness of wind power. Between destroying wilderness and mountain tops and killing eagles, bats and hawks, wind power projects do not have much good to promote them. I have tried to obtain bird and bat death numbers from Maine Audubon and the Natural Resources Council of Maine, both agencies who are “supposedly” concerned with the mortality. I have not been able to receive any numbers from anyone. Are they really counting? And as has been remarked here, it is not a daily count. Predators can clean up the dead birds in a day or two, so counting one day per month is useless. I need to stepup my drive to get some numbers on the projects in Maine. If I obtain any I will post them.

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avatar Yvonne McRae August 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm

The driving force with the wind turbine industry is the mighty $$$$.
Governments look as far as the next election and don’t give a hoot for birds, bats or much else in the planet’s environment. There are turbines close to me and they turn sometimes. I have seen the figures for output and 19 percent of installed capacity is about right. But the world demands ever increasing amounts of energy, no government will suggest limiting productivity, and greedy developers will always have their collective hands out for more tax payers’ funds.
Greed is the driving force for most of the world’s ills.
We interfere in Nature’s web of life at homo sapiens’ peril.

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avatar Jim Wiegand August 5, 2012 at 11:06 am

I call it robbing the taxpayer or a corporate raid. Magnify it a million times and it is all sort of like the thousand dollar hammers once sold to the Pentagon. We have to pay for this crap.

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avatar mark duchamp August 5, 2012 at 10:12 am

To understand what subsidized energy is all about, read this:

http://goo.gl/g7JDV

It’s about financing electoral campaigns, this is why politicians are so keen about it.

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avatar JEC August 5, 2012 at 11:29 am

Wow – so much support for the coal industry. Or is it? One comment – it’s driven by greed and selfishness – ever present. Perhaps we can agree that greed is part of the human condition. Politicans, campaigns, industries, power, it’s all tied up with greed. So, having said the obvious has not every technology has been misused? Sure. Are some turbines getting put up because of political money? Probably. But wind turbines are being installed all over the world, and in many places without government or taxpayers subsidies or help. Islands in the tradewinds for example, both public and private. Plus please remember there are methods for storing energy produced by wind to be used at a later time so that sense that the wind must always be blowing is not on the mark. But clearly the design and location matters. The blades of new turbines turn much slower also there’s design for verticle turbines, to reduce bird deaths. But the drive for profits help take aways from the opportunities for improvements. So we have heard here many complaints about windmills. Perhaps there are other ideas. It’s the marketplace of ideas – please share. Are we not all looking for the best solutions?

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avatar Jim Wiegand August 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Killing off the propeller style wind turbine and promoting new turbine designs would be a good place to start.

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avatar mark duchamp August 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Wind turbines don’t do the job, period. It’s a scam. Look at Germany: going back to coal after covering their country in wind turbines:

http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16136728,00.html

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avatar JEC August 5, 2012 at 9:01 pm

A number of like minded folks seem to have linked up – your opposition to a 100 year old industry that only now, with the need to stop burning fuels is expanding is curious. This may be an opportunity to enlighten. First, let’s acknowledge that all industry is in pursuit of the $$$$ and it certainly can screw things up. But, let’s move on. Also, are we not at this very moment using electricity generated through a number of nefarious methods, many of which we personally oppose but still use? There is a list of recognized methods to generate electricity – burning stuff like coal, natural gas, methane, oil, biofuels each of which has their problems. There’s nuclear, but as a half science unable to cope with the waste by-products that are deadly to every living thing, well. There’s hydro – damning up rivers, creating lakes, using the tides also each with associated problems.

We currently burn a lot of stuff and pile up more nuclear waste using aging increasingly unreliable plants (e.g. SONGS). We have a inefficient centralized grid some of which was built over a 100 years ago. We depend on aluminum to carry high voltage power thousands of miles; wire with a rather short life span. I don’t know. I’ve studied the alternatives and see windmills as an effective part of a distributed system that offers the potential to eliminate burning and reduce greenhouse gases. In the balance would it be correct to say the impact on birds outweighs the impact of burning, in your opinion? Are you aware of better alternatives? -30-

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avatar mark duchamp August 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Better alternatives, you say? Windfarms are not an “alternative”, as shows the example of Germany, a “green energy” champion which must come back to coal to keep the lights on. http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16136728,00.html

So it is quite simply spurious to ask for an alternative to replace windfarms.

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avatar rick trujillo August 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm

What portion of the world has no electricity? That’s the starting point for thinking earthlings. It’s about …how about this, the joy and well being of children being able to read at night and the adult obligation and necessity of education.
They (the 1+%) ain’t going to do a damn thing because their priority is and will always be $$$$$ to maintain their power (pun intended). This means they can’t own or be in charge of any energy resources, agreed? Their future is no future for us!
That leaves it to us, the equality folks. People who generate fair and reasonable ideas around sharing (opps, another pun).
Can nuke power be harnessed? Big question, despite the abominable history, (remember, they have been in charge and still are, so, can’t really believe them) but relevant, yes? Can our wind and sun make the difference, along with biofuels?
Is there really any need to build any more combustion engines for personal travel? Are there enough vehicles to cope ie fix them forever or until we build a better way? (wow, new jobs and a guaranteed growth industry).
It’s generally a power trip (pun not intended) and all of us who make it possible (pick your appropriate adjective ie complacent) for the wealthy to thrive, ( and boy do they thrive, yes?) by exploiting the wealth wage slaves create, worldwide, ought to consider our future, not their forever claims it’s about us when it ‘s always about their continued existence. Again, the joy of children all children, I think, trumps just about everything, especially for the little ones, on the receiving end of darkness, who get to star gaze, dream and little else til the sun rises.

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avatar mark duchamp August 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Please, get to the point, Rick.

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avatar Colin August 5, 2012 at 11:26 pm

The Germans are finding out that reality and green agendas don’t meet. The German government has finally admitted that closing their nuclear power plants is not viable. Wind turbines and solar are NOT going to power their industries.

The conservative Die Welt writes:

“Just over a year ago, the chancellor said that companies and consumers will have to be supplied with affordable electricity in the future, too. But that certainly hasn’t happened. Owing in no small part to the fact that the ‘energy turnaround’ is driven by the state and not the markets, taxes and levies on electricity are rising considerably — and today they represent greater revenues that automobile or tobacco taxes. That puts the people under pressure and threatens industry. EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger, who was handpicked by Merkel for the job, has warned of Germany’s deindustrialization. One might want that as a goal, even though the British example is a bad one. But one cannot continue Germany’s tradition of small and medium-sized manufacturers and major industries of production and manufacturing if the question is left open of where the affordable electricity that keeps all the assembly lines moving will come from.”

“The pressure created by the shutdown of Germany’s remaining eight nuclear power plants over the next nine years is immense and counterproductive — because it will drive up electricity prices.”

The tabloid Bild writes:

“The energy turnaround cannot be allowed to make electricity so expensive that factories are forced to close and people lose their jobs. The energy turnaround cannot become so expensive that the average family must pay €100 ($126) a month for electricity alone.”

“That’s why the state must stop driving up energy costs with its special taxes. That’s why a stop must be put to soaring profits at energy utilities that come even as the people moan under the weight of rising energy costs.”

Don’t hold your breath for Germany to shut down their nuclear power plants.

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avatar JEC August 6, 2012 at 7:53 am

Complaints and condemnation come easy – construction and praise is hard to find. Still looking for that better idea least we’ve all become misbegotten misanthropes? And Mark d’s link doesn’t work, but Germany, along with all of Europe, is in the middle of a crisis – shards of solutions are being cast about – (I attended a presentation by German home minister 2 years ago – on their solar panels – and distributed grid system – didn’t mention wind.)

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avatar Jim Wiegand August 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

What part of fraud, bogus studies , collusion, and corruption do you not understand. There will never be any viable solution to energy demands with a system that rewards the criminals. So any ideas should start with this problem first. The best ideas can and will be buried for decades under a corrupt system. You say you have studied the alternatives and see windmills as an effective part of a distributed system that offers the potential to eliminate burning and reduce greenhouse gases. I have news for you. I have studied as well and I have never seen an honest study, report, or survey generated by the wind industry. We need to be talking about collusion and criminal behavior first because this overrides anything you believe to be true. So if you are not an independent researcher and expert in these matters of which you speak, all you have is an opinion. I happen to be loaded with facts and I can tell you these guys are crooks.

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avatar RB August 6, 2012 at 9:31 am

We need large hamster wheels to generate energy. And we should use any kid with a BMI over 25 to run these wheels. We could use the wheel and these chubby, little cherubs to produce energy, fight diabetes, increase fitness, and create a work ethic. Three hours on the wheel and these kids would be glad to stop to do homework.

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avatar JEC August 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Only the coal industry sees a future in coal. Consider – Japan, heavily reliant on nuclear shuts off all for over a year. Oh yes, sure there’s challenges. You note the challenges in front of us. But Japan demonstrated where there’s a will there are ways. As I see it, it’s not a question of choice. We must stop burning. Period. We have changed the biochemistry of the planet. I can see solutions in a chorus of technologies working together close to the source. It’s fair to say you do not by your reference to ‘suicidal green policy’. You condemn efforts to find solutions, are quite thorough in pointing out the down side of the options while offering no solutions yourself. It’s a cynical world – any one of us could work for the coal industry or nuclear industry for the purpose of frustrating the ability to achieve concensus. We can only tell by the positions we take. I’m oppose to burning, and nuclear. I seek solutions relying on proven technologies (no pie in the sky). Consumptions patterns will continue to change but our ruling dinosaurs have us stuck in the past on production and distribution. And I’m sure the issues in Germany are all settled – not. Check out the World Future Council.

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avatar Jim Wiegand August 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I know what you are doing here on this site. So I will repeat myself . If you want to promote wind, killing off the propeller style wind turbine and promoting new turbine designs would be a step in the right direction. This is a solution of sorts because harnessing wind energy has great limitations. You also need to stop avoiding the collusion and criminal behavior that fuels this industry.

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avatar David Warner November 21, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Very true JEC. I completely agree with you. Though wind energy supplies very small amount of load at a time, but the question stands before is Environment Pollution and Global Warming.

I just want to ask the people supporting coal and nuclear energy that after decades of development have they been enabled not to contribute to environment pollution and carbon emission completely. Nope, these are the main reasons of carbon emission today. Though wind turbines generate quite a small amount of energy, they are more efficient among the renewable energy sources available today and help to generate energy in a cleaner and greener way.

As far as accidents are concerned, there are also very good examples of nuclear reactor accidents are available and those who support also know very well about them and the number of lives devastated by them.

Machinery failures do occur at times and WTs are at a growing stage and continuously developing as compared to coal and nuclear energy. But, criticizing WTs because of a few accidents is completely insane.

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avatar mark duchamp August 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm

My link works, if you copy and paste it:
Link fixed by editor…

Brown coal makes a comeback amid protests

For some reason, the two commas in sequence don’t agree with the software of this page. Another solution is to google the title of the article: “Brown coal makes a comeback amid protests”

You’ll see in it how Germany is building 23 coal-fired power plants, and planning for more.

How sad it is to see California, once the most advanced “country” on earth, now self-destructing with a suicidal “green” energy policy. How long before Californians, like the Germans, see the danger?

See my previous post on the financing of electoral campaigns: here is the crux of the matter. It’s about what I call “legal corruption”. I repeat the link:
http://goo.gl/g7JDV

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avatar mark duchamp August 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm

JEC says ” I’m oppose to burning, and nuclear.”

You’re opposed to burning, yet you promote an energy that perpetuates burning. Windfarms’ erratic production must be buffered by fossil-fuel power plants spinning in stand-by, or ramping up and down their production to compensate the vagaries of the wind. In so doing, they burn twice as much fuel, like a car in city traffic as opposed to highway driving. This is why nowhere in the world windfarms have reduced the use of fossil fuels. See: http://www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=4540

You also say: ” I seek solutions relying on proven technologies (no pie in the sky). ”

This is precisely why you should stop promoting windfarms.
With the subsidies we wasted on falsely “green” energy, we might have found a REAL alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear.

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avatar Mike Barnard September 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Mr. Wiegand is still peddling his outrageous lies about whooping cranes.

What does the current Manager for the Aransas National Wildlife refuge say about the whooping cranes that winter there?

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A record whooping crane flock is expected at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge for the second straight year. Refuge manager Dan Alonso said there could be enough cranes making their annual migration to the area to break last year’s count of about 280.”We’re eagerly anticipating approximately 300 birds this year,” Dan Alonso said.
Alonso said recent rainfall of about 2 inches has replenished drinking water sources for the whoopers, and about 20 ponds created by windmill pumps are available for the birds to drink.

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So why would Mr. Wiegand be telling such an unsupported whopper? Well, it might be because he’s VP of an anti-wind lobbyist group, the misleadingly named Save the Eagles International. It might be due to the fact that he’s actually an antiques dealer who hates wind turbines and who studied undergraduate biology 40 years ago, not the wildlife biologist and raptor expert he makes himself out to be. Of course, the president of that organization is Mark Duchamp, also liberally spread across these comments.

The reality is that the USFWS, most major bird preservation organizations and the wind industry are working very hard to ensure that whooping cranes aren’t hurt by wind farms. Proposed power lines have been rerouted, wind farms cancelled and wind farms shut down when whooping cranes are within a mile. No whooping crane has been recorded as even startled by a wind farm.

Mr. Wiegand has been challenged with this information and not only continues to spread this outrageous and defamatory lie, he directly defames the amazing people that have been working to bring whooping cranes back from extinction over the past 40 years.

All references, quotes from real experts and links are here:
http://www.quora.com/Wind-Power/Are-wind-farms-killing-endangered-whooping-cranes/answer/Mike-Barnard

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