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March 18 News: Battle-proof wind farms survive Japan’s trial by fire; Plan to build twin coal-to-gas plants vetoed; What’s next for wind?

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"March 18 News: Battle-proof wind farms survive Japan’s trial by fire; Plan to build twin coal-to-gas plants vetoed; What’s next for wind?"

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Battle-proof Wind Farms Survive Japan’s Trial by Fire

Despite assertions by its detractors that wind energy would not survive an earthquake or tsunami the Japanese wind industry is still functioning and helping to keep the lights on during the Fuksuhima crisis.

Colleagues and I have been directly corresponding with Yoshinori Ueda leader of the International Committee of the Japan Wind Power Association & Japan Wind Energy Association, and according to Ueda there has been no wind facility damage reported by any association members, from either the earthquake or the tsunami. Even the Kamisu semi-offshore wind farm, located about 300km from the epicenter of the quake, survived. Its anti-earthquake “battle proof design” came through with flying colors.

Mr. Ueda confirms that most Japanese wind turbines are fully operational. Indeed, he says that electric companies have asked wind farm owners to step up operations as much as possible in order to make up for shortages in the eastern part of the country:

“Eurus Energy Japan says that 174.9MW with eight wind farms (64% of their total capacity with 11 wind farms in eastern part of Japan) are in operation now. The residual three wind farms (Kamaishi 42.9MW, Takinekoshirai 46MW, Satomi 10.02MW) are stopped due to the grid failure caused by the earthquake and Tsunami. Satomi is to re-start operations in a few days. Kamaishi is notorious for tsunami disaster, but this wind farm is safe because it is locate in the mountains about 900m high from sea level.”

The largest wind farm operator in Japan, Eurus Energy with about 22% of all wind turbines in Japan, is a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO) which operates the Fukushima nuclear facility. Right now, it is likely the company is very happy about its diversified portfolio:

While shares in the Tokyo stock market have fallen during the crisis, the stock price of Japan Wind Development Co. Ltd. has risen from 31,500 yen on 11 March to 47,800 yen on 16 March.

Wind represented 39% of all new electricity generation capacity installed in the U.S. in 2009. How can wind grab the rest of this $60B pie? [Greentech Media]

Wind power is cheap. At around 7 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), including subsidies, wind turbines can already compete with natural gas combined cycle plants that produce power at 6 to 9 cents per kWh. So why are utilities still building gas plants? In the U.S. in 2009, natural gas plants represented 43% of all new generating capacity installed, and wind represented 39%.

The intermittent nature of wind power puts it at a major disadvantage: gas plants can provide power 24 hours a day. Compressed air, batteries or other types of storage can offset this liability, but at around 5 cents or more per kWh, storage isn’t cheap. But if wind could get down to 4 cents per kWh, and storage continues to lower its cost, wind with storage could eventually dominate the electricity generation market.

So how do we get there?

Based on a basic cost breakdown for a traditional 2.5 MW turbine (see pie chart below), the most promising areas for shaving costs are the blades, gearbox, generator, and tower, which combined represent 53% of the total turbine capital cost.  Of all these pain points, the gearbox, and the potential for direct drives, has garnered quite a bit of attention. After all, 24% of the total turbine cost relates to the gearbox and the generator.

Small wind companies are going in a completely different direction, trying to deliver electricity at the point of use rather than at a large centralized farm that requires costly transmission. Another way to buck the trend is with vertical axis turbines that look more like an old-fashioned lawnmower turned on its side.

Can the current models be tweaked — or do we need a start fresh?

And if wind really wants to take the remaining 61% share of new electricity generation from natural gas and coal — how can storage be incorporated in an economical fashion?

Dems Blast Oil Speculators

… Democrats are turning to their own dual argument — one that links oil-futures markets to fuel costs and attacks the GOP for proposing to cut the regulation of “speculators.”

Pinning an increase in gas prices on oil speculation is not a new maneuver for Democrats, who made similar calls for stricter regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) when gasoline hit $4 per gallon in the summer of 2008. But the Democratic return to blaming pump prices partly on Wall Street comes as Republicans press to cut CFTC’s budget by one-third, giving Democrats a fresh pushback against the GOP message that reining in EPA would help drive gas costs down.

“There is no question” that speculation is playing a role in the rise in gas prices, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who empowered CFTC to crack down on oil futures traders in last year’s financial reform law, said in an interview.

The $56 million cut to CFTC included in the House GOP’s continuing resolution (CR), which passed Feb. 19, means the commission would “lose the ability to restrict that speculation,” added Frank, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee.

Many in Frank’s party have hammered home that point in recent days. The House Democratic leadership circulated a memo last week that warned the GOP-backed CR would require CFTC to cut its staff by “about 2/3,” diminishing its power to “monitor the energy markets for fraud and manipulation, which could lead to higher oil prices.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), a member of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over CFTC, recalled yesterday that “even the threat of the specter of that kind of restriction several years ago brought [oil] prices down.”

The Pulse: Quinn Vetoes Plan to Build Pair of Coal-to-Gas Plants

Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed legislation Monday that would have allowed coal gasification plants to be built on the Southeast Side of Chicago and in Southern Illinois. “Our investments in clean coal must not come at the expense of consumers,” said Mr. Quinn, echoing critics who said the Chicago measure would result in an increase in gas bills by requiring that utilities buy substitute natural gas at a fixed rate for 30 years from a subsidiary of the Leucadia National Corporation, which wanted to build the Chicago plant.

The bill promised that the $3 billion project would save customers at least $100 million. Opponents questioned whether Leucadia could keep its pledge to capture and store 85 percent of the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions, the major driver ofclimate change.

Hoyt Hudson, a spokesman for the company, said the carbon dioxide would be pumped to the Gulf Coast, where it would be used to force oil out of depleted wells, or to sites in central Illinois where it would be stored underground. But no commercial-scale sequestration facility exists in Illinois, and the pipelines needed for either plan would have to be built “” raising financial, political and environmental challenges.

A Texas company, Denbury Resources, has proposed a carbon dioxide pipeline from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast, but that plan is stalled until other gasification plants are built.

“The veto was definitely a disappointment,” Mr. Hudson said. “But our supporters are still encouraging us to come back, and we’re contemplating that.”

Congress Emits Half-Truths in Spin War Over Mass. V. EPA

In the continuing political battle over the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases, Democrats and Republicans rarely take aim at the most deserving target: the Supreme Court.

As Democrats are fond of noting, it wasn’t the Obama administration but the Supreme Court that decided in its 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA ruling that greenhouse gases could be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

The court told U.S. EPA to conduct the analysis that led to the so-called endangerment finding — in which EPA concluded that greenhouse gases were harmful — that triggered rules that Republicans in particular are now railing against.

Like other major Supreme Court decisions — including the 2006 wetlands ruling in Rapanos v. United States that still has lawyers and EPA officials befuddled — the justices gave little thought to the practical or political impact of the decision (Greenwire, Feb. 7).

As a result, how lawmakers interpret the ruling varies wildly, depending on the party and environmental predilections of the specific lawmaker.

“The Supreme Court gave EPA permission to act, but it did not mandate it to act,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), author of a bill that would strip the federal government of any authority over greenhouse gases, said in an interview. “I think EPA is overstepping what it should be doing in terms of impacting Americans’ ability to compete globally.”

In Its Crusade Against EPA Climate Rules, Has the GOP Gone Too Far?

Lately, the amount of time House Republicans have dedicated to crying over spilled milk would make even the casual observer suspicious.

Fortunately, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is savvy enough to detect that particular brand of crocodile tears unique to Capitol Hill.

However, she still might have to consider changing her title to chief EPA mythbuster if representatives keep using congressional hearings as a forum to boo-hoo to her about cooked-up regulations they know are fallacies yet continue to insist her agency is preparing to promulgate.

Though she sometimes cracks a knowing smile from the witness chair, Jackson is always her gracious, measured and down-to-earth self when she patiently explains to one committee or another that the Environmental Protection Agency does not now “” and will not in the future “” regulate cow flatulence, farm dust or milk spilled on dairy farms.

Those familiar with the hearing room-as-theater scenario in the nation’s capital are accustomed to these sorts of ploys. But even hardened veterans are questioning why Republicans are persisting with this sideshow act when they have created a serious firestorm on center stage by trying to slash EPA’s budget by one-third for the remainder of the fiscal year and threatening to prevent Jackson from deploying the Clean Air Act to curb emissions from heat-trapping gases.

‹ Carbon Zero: A short tour of your city’s future

Global Boiling: Population Flight From Growing Desert Of Central Texas ›

45 Responses to March 18 News: Battle-proof wind farms survive Japan’s trial by fire; Plan to build twin coal-to-gas plants vetoed; What’s next for wind?

  1. A subject worth study: How vulnerable are the various power plants to extreme weather?
    We already know that plants that require fuel transport are at risk if rail and road are blocked by flood and debris.
    But is solar vulnerable to hail? Wind vulnerable to hurricane? Do we know?

  2. caerbannog says:

    (I wanted to post this in the “Applied for Environmental Media Training…” thread where it would be more on-topic, but comments there are closed).

    Google to the rescue?

    (Linky: http://globalwarming.einnews.com/article.php?oid=RO99+rZ/nZRgJw)

    Excerpt:

    Google Takes on Climate Change Skeptics with New Technology Effort
    The search giant has brought together a team of 21 climate researchers to improve the way the science of global warming is communicated using new media.

  3. Sasparilla says:

    Thank goodness for Gov. Quinn’s (IL) veto of the backroom deal bill to create two coal to gas conversion plants in Illinois with guaranteed capacity purchases for 30 years at fixed prices, goodness knows there was alot of money and power pushing this bill. One more CO2 generating bullet dodged (for the time being, they’ll probably be back).

  4. Sasparilla says:

    For Beam Me Up Scotty’s question regarding Wind and hurricanes….I believe the blades on the large Wind turbines change pitch depending on the wind condition – since the turbine has a sweet spot of RPM that gives it the best generating efficiency and as the wind speed increases the pitch on the blades flattens so that the RPM of the turbine is kept in that sweet spot.

    When wind speeds exceed a certain amount the turbine is stopped (I’m sure of that) and since the pitch is adjustable on the blades I’m guessing the blades are “feathered” when its stopped so that they don’t produce a spinning force at all (aircraft with multiple engines and propellers have used this since before WW2 to decrease the drag of a failed engine).

  5. Jim Groom says:

    Beam Me Up Scotty asks if hail is problematic concerning solar panels. That is good question to which I can only add the following. I observed a demonstration by a local solar dealer some time back in which he used a driver to send a golf ball directly into his panels. No damage of any kind occurred. Perhaps someone else will have more info regarding possible hail damage.

  6. dp says:

    “a traditional 2.5 MW turbine”

    like clean tech, traditions are getting cheaper every year

  7. paulm says:

    According to data from the United States Geological Survey, there were 1,085 major earthquakes in the 1980s. This increased in the 1990s to 1,492 and to 1,611 from 2000 to 2009. Last year – and up to and including the Japanese quake – there were 247 major earthquakes, which puts us on a path to yet another increase.

    There has also been a noticeable increase in the sort of extreme quakes that hit Japan. In the 1980s, there were four mega-quakes, six in the 1990s and 13 in the last decade. So far this decade, we have had two.

    Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Climate+change+quakes+link/4447200/story.html#ixzz1Gybk34x2

  8. Joan Savage says:

    Last year, a turbine twisted off its foundation in a wind farm in upstate New York and the cause was unknown. It landed near its own base. There were not severe weather conditions at the time.

    http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2010/03/cause_of_collapse_at_fenner_wi.html

    Perhaps we can become more knowledgeable about metal fatigue and torque, as well as differences among manufacturers.

    Swapping out a faulty wind turbine is not trivial, but I have to suspect that it is much less perilous than storing spent fuel rods in a nuclear power plant.

  9. BobS says:

    Even the worst hail storms could be protected against by some chicken wire, mounted ca. 5 cm, 2 ” above the panel…

  10. Marge Asprey says:

    Very interesting article. The general news doesn’t say anything about the survival of Japans wind power survival during earthquake and tsunami. That is great news.

  11. Colorado Bob says:

    But is solar vulnerable to hail?

    The golf ball sized hail one year on my cheap Chinese panels had zero effect.

  12. Colorado Bob says:

    Fun with CQ Moneyline: Nearly $200,000 for the President’s election came from one company’s executives, who happen to work for the nation’s biggest operator of nuclear power plants.

    You can bet they are now applauding Obama’s continuing drive for federally-backed industry loans despite the horror in Japan.

    Nearly 250 executives with the Chicago-based Exelon Corporation wrote checks for Obama’s 2008 campaign that eventually totaled $197,261. Obama’s closest Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, got $700 from Exelon workers.

    http://blogs.cqrollcall.com/trailmix/2011/03/obamas-nuke-tie.html

  13. Colorado Bob says:

    According to conservative columnist Ann Coulter, this whole Japanese nuclear crisis is overblown and “radiation is actually good for you” and the media isn’t reporting its benefits enough.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/coulter-radiation-is-actually-good-for-you.php?ref=fpb

  14. dbmetzger says:

    Can big things have small beginnings?
    Namibia’s Energy Concept
    Africa possesses huge potential when it comes to the production of alternative energies. Hydropower alone could cover the current electricity requirements of the entire continent. However, fossil fuels continue to be the biggest sources of power. http://www.newslook.com/videos/297982-namibias-energy-concept?autoplay=true

  15. Colorado Bob says:

    The analysis indicated that the greatest total rainfall for the past week was over 300 mm (~11 inches) and was located over Alabama and Mississippi. Some of the extremely heavy rainfall in this area was associated with tornado spawning thunderstorms.

    Much of the eastern United States was affected by rainfall totals of over 50 mm (~2 inches). As the weather system moved east, some of the most impressive rainfall totals in the Mid-Atlantic fell between Baltimore, Md. and Charlottesville, Va.

    On Thursday, March 10, Baltimore set a new daily rainfall record measuring 2.61 inches according to the National Weather Service. Charlottesville received 2.33 inches of rainfall from the system.
    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/TRMM_Satellite_Reveals_Flooding_Rains_From_Massive_East_Coast_Storm_999.html

  16. Colorado Bob says:

    (Reuters) – Exhausted engineers successfully attached a power cable to Japan’s tsunami-crippled nuclear station on Saturday in a race to prevent deadly radiation from an accident now rated at least as bad as America’s Three Mile Island in 1979.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/18/us-japan-quake-idUSTRE72A0SS20110318

    Now we see just how much of the plants systems were damaged by the quake and tsunami.

  17. Colorado Bob says:

    Now we see just how much of the plants systems were damaged by the quake and tsunami ……….. And explosions .

  18. Colorado Bob says:

    (Reuters) – Exhausted engineers successfully attached a power cable to Japan’s tsunami-crippled nuclear station on Saturday …..

    One wonders if any wind generated electrons are flowing to Fukushima .

  19. MarkF says:

    i learn a great deal from posts and comments at this site, thanks all of you.

  20. Prokaryotes says:

    Google Takes on Climate Change Skeptics with New Technology Effort

    “If we were well informed as a society — and if policymakers were well informed — then they would be taking the risk that climate change should be taken seriously.”

    Higgins pointed out that the Google fellowship is geared just as much toward influencing those who believe that climate change poses serious consequences, but may not yet grasp the science.

    “The vast majority of people don’t know and understand the details of climate science,” he said. “The science of climate change spans 20 to 30 disciplines and sub-disciplines, at least … It is an enormous amount of information, and distilling it is a bit of a challenge.”

    Kelly Levin, a senior research associate at the World Resources Institute, a conservation group, said she hoped the Google program could tackle that challenge by engaging wider audiences in the scientific discussion.

    “Given the pace and scale of human-induced climate change, it is of great importance that climate change science, and the urgency of addressing the climate change problem, is communicated effectively to the public and decision makers,” she said.

    She added: “Involving the public more directly in the scientific process could increase the acceptance of ideas and help scientific advancements inform governmental policies.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/18/idUS181024956320110318?pageNumber=2

  21. Prokaryotes says:

    Google Takes on Climate Change Skeptics with New Technology Effort

    The search giant has brought together a team of 21 climate researchers to improve the way the science of global warming is communicated using new media

    Climate change skeptics who have created a political megaphone in Washington may finally meet their match in the world’s largest search engine.

    Climate change skeptics who have created a political megaphone in Washington may finally meet their match in the world’s largest search engine. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/18/idUS181024956320110318?pageNumber=1

  22. Prokaryotes says:

    A Different Kind of Tsunami: Climate Refugees
    It’s not so much the planet we need to worry about, it’s each other. And ourselves.
    http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2011/03/18/a-different-kind-of-tsunami-climate-refugees/

  23. Prokaryotes says:

    Japan’s nuclear crisis pales in comparison to destruction from global climate change

    As horrific as nuclear meltdowns are, they pale in significance to the global meltdown of climate change. The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant reminds us of the mortal threat we pose to the living earth itself. The good news? We can do something about that crisis.

    It is irrational for a society to rely on a form of energy that has to be protected by guards armed with submachine guns because it poses a catastrophic risk to the millions of people and animals living downwind of it. Pilgrim I and the more than 400 other nuclear plants throughout the world should be shut down.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2011/0318/Japan-s-nuclear-crisis-pales-in-comparison-to-destruction-from-global-climate-change/%28page%29/2
    YES and YES!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Wind farm for Los Angeles? There is a recent study that claims we don’t get enough wind in LA for wind generators, but I think it’s quite flawed. We have kite surfers in Long Beach and Seal Beach most days and the area around San Pedro is rightfully called Hurricane Gulch by sailors. The LA Harbor breakwater would be an ideal place to locate wind generators (little aesthetic impact because we already look at huge cranes in the port). Wondering how to get this studied and built?

  25. Prokaryotes says:

    How the Koch Brothers Fund the Climate Change Denial Machine

    The Koch brothers, owners of Koch Industries are major funders of organizations that create propaganda which denies the reality of climate change. David Koch expressed doubts to the New Yorker magazine last year that climate change is caused by human activity. He also extolled the benefits of climate change, if it happens, stating that it would result in longer growing seasons in colder climates. “The Earth will be able to support enormously more people because far greater land area will be available to produce food,” he said.

    The Koch Industries website contains an article that begins by claiming that the company practices environmental stewardship. A couple of paragraphs down, the article states that the company also believes “over-zealous environmental regulation can be destructive.” The article goes on to criticize measures that would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    Greenpeace released a report last year about the Koch foundations supporting organizations that oppose “progressive clean energy and climate policy.” Koch gave $24.9 million from 2005 to 2008 to “organizations of the climate denial machine,” the report states.

    The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative think tank, is one of the organizations that has benefited from Koch money. According to Greenpeace, ALEC’s total grants from 1997 to 2008 from the Koch foundations were $408,000.

    The ALEC published a whitepaper titled, EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck: Strategies for State Legislators. The whitepaper states that the “highest priority should be to get the state on record as calling on Congress to stop this regulatory train wreck.” It cites the “Resolution Opposing EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck” as a model resolution. Wyoming and Indiana adopted the resolution this year.

    The resolution asks Congress to pass legislation that would prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, impose a moratorium on any new air quality regulation for at least two years, and require the Obama administration to undertake a multi-agency study identifying all EPA regulatory activity and the cumulative effect on the economy, jobs, and American competitiveness. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/03/koch-brothers-funding-climate-change-denial-machine/comment-page-1/

  26. Prokaryotes says:

    Exclusive: Barker defends solar incentive cuts
    Climate change minister insists slashed incentives will put feed-in tariff scheme on a firmer footing

    Climate change minister Greg Barker has today defended controversial government proposals to slash the level of feed-in tariff incentives available to large solar installations, insisting the changes are necessary to protect the integrity of the scheme and “rectifying the mistakes of the previous government”. http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2035473/exclusive-barker-defends-solar-incentive-cuts

  27. Bob Wallace says:

    PV and hurricanes. My solar panel racks are rated at 125MPG wind speed. That means that one would expect some panel/rack failure close to the center of a major hurricane and close to the shore. Most likely rooftops going away is going to be the larger problem.

    But remember that rooftop/parking structure PV is widely distributed while nuclear is very localized. A hurricane would take only a small percentage of a state/regions solar production but might take out a reactor.

    And broken panels don’t make the area around them uninhabitable….

  28. Prokaryotes says:

    Going green and clean tech is the only way to go. Because once there are disasters fossil energy and nuclear simply cannot deliver very good. And that consumer level demands a change becomes also clear. World wide nations pause and stop nuclear plants. Important is that this situation is now used to benefit the clean tech sector. First indicators are the rise of solar shares.

    My guess is japan will build more wind parks in the years ahead instead of nuclear. They might even phase out nuclear entirely now.

    Solar Stock Rally Extends As Japan Nuclear Crisis Grows http://blogs.forbes.com/ericsavitz/2011/03/15/solar-stock-rally-extends-as-japan-nuclear-crisis-grows/

    The next 24 month will be crucial for decision making, my guess is even later this year other nuclear shutdowns will occur from varies situations. For example france will be forced yet again shut down plants and import electricity from the UK during heat wave.

  29. Bob Wallace says:

    Japan needs more electricity quickly to replace what they’ve lost. They might offset some with efficiency (and that’s a good thing), but the quick way to get more power on the grid is to install wind, solar and geothermal.

  30. Gord says:

    Our experience with our 12 square meter PV array has been uneventful over the last 4 years and 5 months. It has had branches from an overhanging tree fall on it but they left not a scratch.

    Check it out: http://bit.ly/e0mDEv

    We also see the distributed nature of solar PV generation as a built-in redundancy.

    The only downside occurs when the Grid is off line. Your inverter that works to feed in generation from the panels must see properly constituted AC for a period of time before it opens a switch and sends power to the Grid. This is a safety feature for the utility linemen as much as anything else. The effect it tries to avoid is called ‘islanding’ and would be deadly for workers because, from their point of view, the wires they are working on are dead.

    However a dead Grid does allow for some absurd situations to occur. You may have 3000 watts of generation on your roof but in an ‘grid down’ event you can’t use the power you are generating for your own house. With no Gird you suffer like everyone else who has no power.

    If you want power when the Grid is down you need a battery. We have one and have never had a household power outage since it was installed.

    However, in our area we cannot get on a feed in tariff (FIT) program because we have a battery. We could scam the system if we wanted to. We could charge the battery at night at low rates and blow it out along with the generated power, to the grid during the daytime at the FIT rates per kWh. It would be a money maker!!

    For those who value household safety and independence over money, we strongly recommend getting the battery.

  31. Ted Nation says:

    Comment #30 above partially covered my point but I will share what I posted mid-day on a discussion site anywar:

    “If Japan gets through this crisis without major radioactive contamination its going to need a vast amount of replacement generation over the short term. Its already reasonably efficient in its use of electricity so the major short term solutions that can be put in place quickly are wind and natural gas. This should provide a major incentive for wind generation manufacturers to expand rapidly. In fact, my guess is that wind will become the major supplier of long term generation and that the gas generation put in place following the crisis will be used in the long term to even out the peaks and valleys of wind supply. Something tells me that the Japanese population is going to resist building new nuclear plants and is going to demand a close look at existing nuclear plants and their gradual phasing out. The Islands have a lot of geothermal potential for long term base load. Maybe Japan can provide the example to convert the world to save alternatives?”

  32. Malcreado says:

    #30- unfortunately the fastest to get elelctricity back online is desel generators. Wind and solar would probably come in after that. Geothermal, nat gas, and othier large infrastructure would take considerably longer.

  33. Malcreado says:

    >PV and hurricanes. My solar panel racks are rated at 125MPG wind speed

    Hurricanes at least give you warning. People board up windows, I would think you could do something with the pv panels as well till the worst has passed.

  34. Prokaryotes says:

    The science strongly supports clean tech …

    More Mega Earthquakes in a Climate Changed World Say Scientists

    There has been an increase in the numbers of earthquakes over 6.0, over the last few years. For the first half decade till 2006, there were about 13 earthquakes a year over 6.0 according to statistics at the USGS (13, 13, 13, 12, 13).

    But in the last few years, the frequency of major earthquakes (over 6.0) increased to 20, 17, 21, 25, and in just the first 3 months of this year we already have had 7 large earthquakes.

    After the Haiti earthquake in 2010, followed by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in Chile in January, at 7.1, followed by two averaging 6.7 in February, and also in February a 6.3 in February in New Zealand (in a part of the country not prone to earthquakes), now we have the 9.0 mega quake with a 7.2 aftershock in Japan, in March.

    At last year’s American Geophysical Union meeting geologists were already questioning whether there was a climate change link underlying the increasing frequency of unusually large earthquakes, according to Mathew McDermott at Treehugger. The Haiti earthquake was then just the latest example.
    http://cleantechnica.com/2011/03/17/more-mega-earthquakes-in-a-climate-changed-world-say-scientists/

  35. Prokaryotes says:

    n the case of regions like Haiti, the deforestation – caused by years of drought, caused by climate change – is rendering the earth’s crust more unstable, posited geologist Shimon Wdowinski at the meeting. Deforestation leads to erosion and mudslides – and Haiti is 98% deforested.

    The 2010 disaster stemmed from a vertical slippage, not the horizontal movements that most of the region’s quakes entail, supporting the hypothesis that the movement was triggered by an imbalance created when eroded land mass was moved from the mountainous epicenter to the Leogane Delta.

    Other evidence of a deforestation link comes from Taiwan, which also has experienced earthquakes after major storms in Mountain regions.

    But other forces are at work as well. As early as 2009, scientists were beginning to develop a theory connecting climate change to earthquakes. (Japan’s Earthquake: The Climate Change Connection)

    The theory is that melting glaciers, due to climate change, are now relieving weight on the crust, and beginning to shift the pressures on the earth, and that this could be behind the recent increase in major earthquake frequency. (Which has repercussions for glaciers too: 40 Million Tonne Iceberg Dumped in Lake by NZ Earthquake)

  36. Prokaryotes says:

    Japan’s horror reveals how thin is the edge we live on
    Climate change may not be responsible for the tsunami, but it is shrinking our margin of safety. It is time to shrink back ourselves

    Global warming didn’t cause the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Miyagi coast … http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/18/japan-horror-thin-edge-climate-change

    Global warming contributed to the earthquake or made it stronger.

  37. Prokaryotes says:

    Now NHK reports about the fire which came with the tsnuamis, from dirty oil. Another reason to push electric vehicles.

  38. Bill Waterhouse says:

    wind farm @25 was my post that came up anonymous – would appreciate suggestions on how to get it seriously studied

  39. Dr.A.Jagadeesh says:

    Yes. Wind energy has a role to play in Energy Mix. Now that Giant Wind Turbines(around maximum capacity of 6 MW) available both offshore and onshore wind farms will advance in leaps and bounds.

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

  40. Raul M. says:

    Sprint had a TV program on it’s premier
    offering a while back which was rather
    futuristic. It had audio with drawings to
    tell the story of a man who woke up one
    day to find the world changed. His journey
    was to return to a place in the NW USA
    to reunite with his wife and children. It
    Incorporated many ideas such as effectual
    Newly poor in a newly poor world, wandering
    through society that had stopped suddenly
    and rotting, also the effects of man’s triumphs
    when not maintained. There were many other
    concepts that were included in the story and
    the story could be said to be educative and
    progressively challenging.

  41. ToddInNorway says:

    Hi Dr. A @41, there are several technology developers with prototypes of wind turbines of 10 MW capacity, and American Superconductor claims to be able to scale this up to 20 MW. The age of super productive, super profitable wind turbines is just starting.

  42. Malcreado says:

    #36- the case of regions like Haiti, the deforestation – caused by years of drought, caused by climate change

    Haiti’s deforestation is due to people cutting the trees to make charcoal for cooking. It is more energy deficit than climate change. Fortunately the solution can be the same, renewable energy.

  43. Steve says:

    # 2: I clicked on your link and read the article ” Google to the rescue”. The comments at the bottom of that article (4 long pages) was illustrative of a full frontal denier community attack. I would characterize it as a “SWARMING” . I assume the oil oligarchs PR firms are targeting Google because they fear Google’s reach and financial clout; that and Google obviously being uppity for daring to educate the public about the dangers that civilization is facing and challenging the big polluters. Some of these denier comments threatened to take their search engine business elsewhere. Beyond pathetic.