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THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Things that come up in the daily operation of a ranch.
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Re: THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Postby Silver » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:00 pm

Soapweed wrote:
Silver wrote:
Soapweed wrote:
One of my friends from Oregon says the government, in its infinite wisdom, is taking out dams which provide hydro-electric power. There is nothing more efficient than water-powered electricity, and to do this is nothing short of treason.


Hydro electric dams are no friend of the environment. They are putting in another big one a few miles from home, and 8 billion dollar debacle that will flood historic farmland and pollute the water with mercury for generations to come. Alternative energy projects can produce power for as little as 1/2 price per megawatt hour. There are a great many reasons that hydro is a dinosaur and should become extinct like one.


There could be valid reasons not to build new dams, but why take out ones that are already in place and working very well?


Are they working well? Dams have a limited life expectancy. This is a good read: https://www.internationalrivers.org/getting-old-dam-aging-and-decommissioning

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Re: THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Postby Faster horses » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:24 pm

TexasBred wrote:
Big Muddy rancher wrote:I concur on Soapweed's view of wind energy but as one who live between two coal powered generating station I don't really like seeing what they have done to the land that has been mined. I will concede that they are doing a better job of reclaim then they had done in the past.
Since here in Sask, the power corp is a "Crown" I didn't care for they way they dealt with landowners and how the rules didn't really apply to them.

of the most beautiful pasture land and hay fields you'll see down here are reclaimed mining land. We don't have hard coal but a lot of lignite is mined and used to fire plants and the land reclaimed to look awesome. And the power plants run very cleanly. Yet at the same time it is not unusual to see half dozen long trains loaded with nothing but hard coal coming from Wyoming and other places to fire power plants in other areas of the state. (Even on Warren Buffet's Burlington Northern trains). :lol2: :nod:


When we went by Gillette last week, there were 130 train engines sitting idle. One coal plant had just laid off another 150 workers, leaving only 100 working. We wonder, is Warren Buffet being subsidized somehow since not many trains are moving?

In the Casper paper there was an article on ex-coal employees applying for work at the prisons. Seems to be a correlation between
so many out of work and the crime rate rising. Who would have thought it? :mad:

Another article talked about reclamation. When coal isn't moving, money isn't being generated and there isn't as much money readily available for reclaiming the land. Wyoming has always done well with reclamation, even as far back as the '70's. We looked at a place for lease there in 1975 and part of the deal was reclaiming the land. I agree with TexasBred. Some of the best pasture in that part of Wyoming is reclaimed land.

What is happening in America is an atrocity.

I hope I didn't hijack the thread.
"All the Democrats know how to do is lie and “forget.”--Trey Gowdy

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Re: THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Postby Mike » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:15 pm

High levels of mercury occur as a result of decaying matter from the plants and trees that are submerged.


If this is true we're in a world of doom anyway from Mercury. 71% of the earth is covered in water. And you can bet there is decaying of plants around the clock.

So..............when plants decay underwater, high levels of Mercury is the result? I always thought Mercury was an element found naturally in the soil?

Mercury itself isn’t a bogeyman, as it occurs naturally at low levels in rock, soil and water throughout the world. But about halfof all mercury released into the atmosphere today comes from the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, with contributions from waste incineration, mining and other industrial activities. This mercury pollution falls directly into the ocean and other water bodies or onto land, where it can be washed into waterways. In this form, mercury poses little danger because living things can get rid of it quickly. But bacteria convert mercury as it’s carried down from the ocean surface, turning it into a highly-toxic form called methylmercury.

The food chain takes it from there, as methylmercury is absorbed by phytoplankton, which are gobbled up by zooplankton, which are then feasted upon by small fish and onwards and upwards as the amount of the toxin grows in ever-accumulating quantities. The largest predatory fish in the sea, like sharks and swordfish, can have mercury concentrations in their muscles – the meat of the fish – that are 10 million times higher than those of their surrounding habitat.

Of course, the only level higher on the food chain than the largest fish is occupied by humans. And so accordingly, seafood is the source of nearly all the methylmercury that we acquire in our bodies. There’s still much to be learned about the effects of methylmercury on adults – susceptibility to mercury could be genetic, or the result of diet or stress. But there is little debate that methylmercury presents the greatest risk to fetuses, infants and children, whose growing brains and nervous systems can be adversely affected.

So how do we reduce our exposure to mercury? The answer requires both difficult changes to the world’s energy supply and simpler consumer choices.

When it comes to energy, the good news is that, despite major pushback from the power industry, the U.S. EPA’s rule to reduce 90 percent of the mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants survived a recent Senate vote. Since half of all human-generated mercury released in the United States comes from coal power plants, that’s a huge step forward towards safer fish. But the bad news is that even as the U.S. is about to choke off its mercury emissions, Asia is filling the void because two-thirds of human-generated mercury now originates from the rapidly-industrializing region. Scientists are seeing strong indications that those emissions are a major source of mercury in the North Pacific Ocean.
Last edited by Mike on Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Postby Brad S » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:31 pm

FH, the efficacy of coal is certainly part of the due diligence that Moreland is requesting so you're not hijacking the thread.

Moreland's case is compelling, but lost on us yahoos and hayseeds. Wish he'd consider spending some time in Lincoln (or Washington while I'm wishin).

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Re: THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Postby Silver » Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:18 pm

Mike wrote:
High levels of mercury occur as a result of decaying matter from the plants and trees that are submerged.


If this is true we're in a world of doom anyway from Mercury. 71% of the earth is covered in water. And you can bet there is decaying of plants around the clock.

So..............when plants decay underwater, high levels of Mercury is the result? I always thought Mercury was an element found naturally in the soil?



Some more reading for you:

Scientists have only relatively recently become aware of what now appears to be a pervasive reservoir contamination problem, the accumulation of high levels of mercury in fish. Mercury is naturally present in a harmless inorganic form in many soils. Bacteria feeding on the decomposing matter under a new reservoir, however, transform this inorganic mercury into methylmercury, a central nervous system toxin. The methylmercury is absorbed by plankton and other creatures at the bottom at the aquatic food chain. As the methylmercury passes up the food chain it becomes increasingly concentrated in the bodies of the animals eating contaminated prey. Through this process of bioaccumulation, levels of methylmercury in the tissues of large fish-eating fish at the top of the reservoir food chain can be several times higher than in the small organisms at the bottom of the chain.

Elevated mercury levels in reservoir fish were first noticed in South Carolina in the late 1970s. Since then they have been recorded in Illinois, northern Canada, Finland and Thailand. The problem is in fact probably much more widespread that the few studies done suggest: scientists from Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans say that fish mercury concentrations 'have increased in all reservoirs for which pre- and post-impoundment data have been collected.'

The best researched case of reservoir methylmercury is at the La Grande hydrocomplex in Quebec, part of the huge James Bay Project. Ten years after the La Grande 2 Reservoir was first impounded mercury levels in pike and another predatory fish called walleye had risen to six times their pre-reservoir level and showed no signs of levelling off. As fish are a major part of the traditional diet of the local Cree native people, mercury levels in their bodies have risen dangerously. By 1984, six years after La Grande 2 Dam was completed, 64 per cent of the Cree living on the La Grande estuary had blood mercury levels far exceeding the World Health Organisation tolerance limit.

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Re: THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Postby Mike » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:01 am

Just don't eat the fish. Problem solved. Seriously.
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Re: THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Postby Silver » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:36 pm

Mike wrote:Just don't eat the fish. Problem solved. Seriously.


Or eat at all for that matter. Unless they starting making ag land again and I wasn't aware of it we should be preserving every square inch of it that we can.
Beyond the mercury and the loss of prime agricultural land is the fact that this is overpriced electricity. Alternatives can be built to produce electricity for half of what hydro cost per megawatt hour. I'm not a big fan of governments throwing my money around like there is no end to it, and forcing good people off the land in the process.

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Re: THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Postby Mike » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:03 am


Cost

Hydropower is the most efficient way to generate electricity. Modern hydro turbines can convert as much as 90% of the available energy into electricity. The best fossil fuel plants are only about 50% efficient.
In the U.S., hydropower is produced for an average of 0.85 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh). This is about 50% the cost of nuclear, 40% the cost of fossil fuel, and 25% the cost of using natural gas.


Recent data shows that in Wisconsin hydropower is produced for less than one cent per kwh. This is about one-half the cost of nuclear and one-third the cost of fossil fuel.
Hydropower does not experience rising or unstable fuel costs. From 1985 to 1990 the cost of operating a hydropower plant grew at less than the rate of inflation.
Only 2,400 of the nation's 80,000 existing dams are used to generate power. Installing turbines in existing dams presents a promising and cost-effective power source. However, in the last 10 years the Department of Energy has spent $1.2 billion on research and development for other renewable sources like wind, solar, and geothermal, but only $10 million on hydropower.


Renewable

Hydropower is the leading source of renewable energy. It provides more than 97% of all electricity generated by renewable sources. Other sources including solar, geothermal, wind, and biomass account for less than 3% of renewable electricity production.
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Re: THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Postby Silver » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:55 pm

Mike wrote:

Cost

Hydropower is the most efficient way to generate electricity. Modern hydro turbines can convert as much as 90% of the available energy into electricity. The best fossil fuel plants are only about 50% efficient.
In the U.S., hydropower is produced for an average of 0.85 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh). This is about 50% the cost of nuclear, 40% the cost of fossil fuel, and 25% the cost of using natural gas.


Recent data shows that in Wisconsin hydropower is produced for less than one cent per kwh. This is about one-half the cost of nuclear and one-third the cost of fossil fuel.
Hydropower does not experience rising or unstable fuel costs. From 1985 to 1990 the cost of operating a hydropower plant grew at less than the rate of inflation.
Only 2,400 of the nation's 80,000 existing dams are used to generate power. Installing turbines in existing dams presents a promising and cost-effective power source. However, in the last 10 years the Department of Energy has spent $1.2 billion on research and development for other renewable sources like wind, solar, and geothermal, but only $10 million on hydropower.


Renewable

Hydropower is the leading source of renewable energy. It provides more than 97% of all electricity generated by renewable sources. Other sources including solar, geothermal, wind, and biomass account for less than 3% of renewable electricity production.


In this part of the world where I pay taxes, the dam currently being constructed 20 minutes from my home with taxpayers dollars will cost well north of what you are quoting to produce power, in fact double what many alternatives are. The cost of alternatives is falling dramatically right now, while old school hydro is going up. You seem to have a real love affair with hydro, but it is in fact yesterday's technology. If you were to spend some time googling up to date info you could learn that for yourself.
While my provincial government has been figuring out how to spend billions of dollars on an expensive hydro project, the province of Alberta (Atco power or Enmax I think?) built a natural gas fired plant that produces a similar amount of electricity to the Site C dam (the dam in my area) for about 1.5 billion dollars. Even factoring in the price of natural gas it's not hard to figure out that the cost per megawatt hour is significantly less that what our 8 billion dollar (like a gov project ever comes in on budget) dam will ever produce power at.
I would say your info is far out of date.

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Re: THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Postby Mike » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:47 am

Sorry to bust your bubble on Hydro, but natural gas may not always be as cheap as it is now. Just a few years ago it was cost prohibitive. I'm paying as little as $.06 per KWH on some meters and we have an abundance of hydro plants. Could geographical features and terrain have a say? Probably. I'm guessing it's partly because we have real rivers here. Not those little shallow, narrow creeks they call rivers up north.

Hydro is the REAL Renewable power source. Just not enough rivers.
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Re: THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Postby Silver » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:32 pm

Mike wrote:Sorry to bust your bubble on Hydro, but natural gas may not always be as cheap as it is now. Just a few years ago it was cost prohibitive. I'm paying as little as $.06 per KWH on some meters and we have an abundance of hydro plants. Could geographical features and terrain have a say? Probably. I'm guessing it's partly because we have real rivers here. Not those little shallow, narrow creeks they call rivers up north.

Hydro is the REAL Renewable power source. Just not enough rivers.


You should probably quit guessing Mike, it's not working out for you. You have the whole internet at your disposal to find some unbiased information, it may serve you well to take advantage of it.
It may interest you to know that the 3 largest man made lake in North America are not in the US lol. One of the 3 is in my back yard :wink:

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Re: THOUGHTS ON WIND ENERGY by Steve Moreland, June 12, 2016

Postby Mike » Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:16 am

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.


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