Wind: A Conclusion

Wind is a complicated subject - and I doubt that I've managed to address all the issues (although I think I hit on some major ones).

As is usual when it comes to energy and the climate, the jury isn't out so much as it's intensely disoriented - no matter what side you're on, you can really pick your conclusions and find (pseudo-academic) papers to support them, which doesn't really help the issue.

At the core, the biggest issues with windpower seems to be the simple act of deciding on where they should go. Right now, sites are a little more limited than would be ideal - too far away from anything else, and you end up wasting a lot of energy on transmission costs (power lost as it travels through the wires). Maybe the B-Man's smart grid will help with that - but we'll still have to consider pretty carefully where we put these things. Too close to people might create some health problems - which are still debated - and very possibly annoy them. In the path of migratory birds or next to a big bat cave might also be bad (it seems likely, for example, that Wayne Manor doesn't run on wind power). Off-shore is good, unless your windfarm can be seen from Ted Kennedy's porch, and so on and so on.

Above all, though, wind power's yields depend on the wind going past the turbines - and that's something that needs to be pretty carefully considered. But is it worth the above to get better energy yields? I don't know the answer.

A geology student I know thinks that wind power is actually far more ideal for the West Coast than the East Coast, because more wind blows in off the Pacific ('cause it's bigger; also, something to do with ocean currents). That's unfortunate, because most wind power is being developed in the Northeast part of the United States. Ah well.

Personally, none of the wind critics I've read or spoke to have made me think that wind should be condemned. We're a little lacking in totally renewable resources; we should probably make use of all the ones we can - especially if we want to achieve 450 by 2050. And man, we do. We do.

So that's wind. Y'all learn something? Next up is nuclear, I think - and man, that'll be fun.

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