Moon Rise behind the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm

The wind was blowing pretty hard today putting all kinds of dust and other stuff in the air. At dusk I decided it was time to head home and as I was driving down Snow Creek Road I noticed the moon rising behind the wind turbines.


Each of these units is a horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT). They are called horizontal-axis because the main rotor shaft is horizontal. The blades are attached to an electrical generator at the top of a tower and they must be pointed into the wind. The units have a gearbox so the generators can turn at a speed higher than the relatively slow blade rotation speed.


The blades are about 150 feet (46 meters) long and the towers are about 300 feet (91 meters) tall. That makes them really huge and really expensive to transport and assemble in the field. Many of the wind turbines are smaller than these units.


Coolness factor aside, the wind turbines are a scam. The turbine owners make money because of guaranteed government subsidies and tax credits (i.e., paid for you and me). Most of us have a surcharge on our electric bills to pay for "green" energy. A megawatt of wind-generated electricity costs about 11 or 12 times as much to produce as a megawatt of coal- or oil-generated electricity.


The government subsidies are more vital to the wind industry than the wind is. Without the subsidies, wind cannot compete against coal and oil. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (July 9, 2008) pointed out that, "In 1999, 2001 and 2003, when Congress temporarily killed the credits, the number of new turbines dropped dramatically." When the subsidies stop, the turbines are more or less abandoned until the subsidies resume.


On top of everything else, wind turbines generate their energy at the wrong times. A quick weather lesson . . . High pressure weather systems bring cold winters and hot summers and low wind levels. Low pressure weather systems bring warmer winters and cooler summers and lots of wind. These meteorological realities mean that wind makes its biggest contribution when demand is lowest and its smallest contribution when demand is highest.


Wind was a great source of power in the Middle Ages. But we have far better technology now. If the government did not force wind power on us, we wouldn't have it. It's just not practical.


Sorry about the rant.




Update 1: This photo was used to accompany an article by Matthew McDermott (New York, New York) on January 27, 2009: Double US Renewable Energy Generation Within Three Years: President Obama


Update 2: This photo was used to accompany an article by Paul Ryan, Newcastle wins $20 million Clean Energy Innovation Centre, on February 20, 2009.


Update 3: This photo was used to accompany an article, Careers, on the Land Agent Services LLC website on March 10, 2009.





  • bluemarla 5y

    Wow. You really captured a beautiful photo!
  • Deep Ecology Hub 5y

    Hi, just thought I'd let you know I used this photo here on my website and linked back to you. Cheers for the great image.

  • TinaCathou 5y

    W O W! I looove the colours!
  • lonnie 5y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Our favorite Flickr shots ! , and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • PurpleHazeStudios 5y

    I love that! would be great for my website about alternative power.
    I would love to have you wonderful picture, if you give me the permission I will link the foto to your stream and credit you.

    if you're interested, write me!
  • v_jorden 5y

    Beautiful! This photo is our Image of the Day at
  • irenetlk 5y

    I used your beautiful pic for a poetry post. Hope it's ok. Thank you..

    the moon is
  • Ben VanderVeen 5y

    It is a beautiful shot. But I too disagree with your assessment. Look at the Gulf Oil Spill. This huge disaster proves time and again, clean energy is our only smart option. Wind power has gotten more powerful, more smart, and with a new national grid, it can compete just as well as any other energy source. I want to keep our country clean, don't you?
  • Pete Zarria 5y

    It is such a pity we turned down the help from other countries with top technology to collect spills. Wouldn't a competent administration go a long way to helping? Or did the campaign money from BP have anything to do with Washington's glacial response? Perhaps if we drilled in ANWR then these things wouldn't happen, or do you have a jet that flies on solar or wind?

    In other words, its oil for a ways longer until something else works out better. Alternatives still aren't ready and the research needs to continue while oil continues its usefulness to the world's poor.
  • Emilio 5y

    This is a wonderful shot!

    Seen at the group:
    My Flickr Fav’s**
  • Claudio T1 5y

    Seen at the group:
    My Flickr Fav’s**
  • Marlon Malabanan 5y

    Congratulations! your shot is hard to duplicate.
    You're invited to share your shot at

    Hard to Duplicate Group.
  • Rhonda Marie Rose 4y

    Truly amazing shot....
  • Jose Ferreira Jr. 4y

    great shot!
  • Noizeman 4y

  • Bolt-Thrower-PCs 4y

    Chuck Coker

    I would like to use this incredible photo by permission as well...


    Could you tell me how I can go about submitting a request?

    ~CostCraft 01
    Alternative Energy Solutions /// Energy Smart,LLC.
  • Ben VanderVeen 4y

    This is a really nice shot, but I disagree with your sentiment. The last two years have shown that "traditional" sources of power have HUGE drawbacks. Mine explosions, oil spills and nuclear meltdowns are way less "practical" than something quiet, clean and benign like wind energy.
  • Baracca 4y

    Superbe ambiance lunaire !
  • Francesco Paraggio 11mo

    Hey Wind Lovers! you should be interested into the windfarm travel app i just published for IOS and Android
  • Chuck Coker 10mo

    Things that make you say WTF!? I found this photo branded www altfast ru.

191 faves
Taken on January 10, 2009
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