Moon Rise behind the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm

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    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.

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    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.

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    Ks of W, OrangeCounty_Girl, bossco, and 159 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. arcataberry 55 months ago | reply

      Beautiful. And to think Sen. Ted Kennedy didn't want wind turbines to interrupt his view from his house in Hyannisport. A man of the people, indeed.

    2. aaronlang 54 months ago | reply

      Beautiful shot! Love it! Although I do have a different perspective on wind power than you. Anyway, I would like to express our appreciation for your putting your photo up with a Creative Commons license, enabling us to place it at our site to show English language students along with a bit of text. Your photo was part of our topic of the week page and we are writing now to say thanks. Yes, that was a some weeks ago that we put it up. Still, better late than never.... The photo is up at aaronlanguage.com/weekly_English_topic/144_september_20_2.... Your name is under the photo, which links to our credits page at aaronlanguage.com/credits.html. Your name there links to your profile here at Flickr. Thanks again for this terrific shot!

    3. bluemarla 53 months ago | reply

      Wow. You really captured a beautiful photo!

    4. Deep Ecology Hub 51 months ago | reply

      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.

      Thomas

    5. TinaCathou 51 months ago | reply

      W O W! I looove the colours!

    6. kk7k 51 months ago | reply

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

    7. PurpleHazeStudios 50 months ago | reply

      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!

    8. v_jorden 49 months ago | reply

      Beautiful! This photo is our Image of the Day at www.writropolis.com/content/moon-rise

    9. irenetlk 47 months ago | reply

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

      the moon is

    10. BenjaminV 47 months ago | reply

      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?

    11. Pete Zarria 47 months ago | reply

      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.

    12. Emilio74 47 months ago | reply

      Congratulations!
      This is a wonderful shot!


      Seen at the group:
      My Flickr Fav’s**

    13. I am marlon 43 months ago | reply

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

      Hard to Duplicate Group.

    14. rhondamarierose73 41 months ago | reply

      Truly amazing shot....

    15. CostCraft 01 37 months ago | reply

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

      Caveman,

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

      ~CostCraft 01
      Alternative Energy Solutions /// Energy Smart,LLC.

    16. BenjaminV 37 months ago | reply

      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.

    17. Baracca 30 months ago | reply

      Superbe ambiance lunaire !

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