Wind Energy to Benefit from High Tech, Higher Turbines

September 14, 2016


A scaled-down gale blows over a flat plate set inside the tabletop wind tunnel. Despite the low lighting and hazy Plexiglas view portals, we can clearly see the frenzied fluttering of streamer ribbons, called telltales, in the field of little wind vanes that carpets the exposed test surface inside.

At first, each unruly telltale flies every which way, clear evidence of unsteady air flows gusting within. “OK, that’s off,” the researcher says.

“Here’s on…” Almost like a sorcerer’s spell, an otherworldly, blue-violet halo emerges at the front of the plate and hovers corona-like, casting peculiar purple shadows onto the walls. The telltales meanwhile become suddenly and strangely obedient, instantly swinging round in near unison, aligned by an insistent new wind.

“Off,” she says. The ribbons flap arbitrarily as the eerie electric flame fades. “On.” More purple haze and parallel ribbons.

“Off, off…and on.” The odd glow, curious order, and incessant roar of the fan drop away. By the time the lights come on, a whiff of ozone hangs in the air and everyone in the room is grinning uncontrollably.


And for good reason. We just watched moving air being controlled by plasma, the lesser-known, fourth state of matter which also exists in the blistering core of our sun. And while such lab demonstrations are both uncanny and awe-inspiring, these so-called plasma actuators could produce far more impressive benefits in the real world, especially for the aviation and wind power industries, and maybe even the trucking business.

On airplane wings, for example, tiny plasma actuators could help planes fly more safely, more efficiently, and with greater stability and control. They can speed, slow or divert air flows in ways that can cut drag, fuel use, and CO2 emissions by as much as 25%, researchers estimate. Some experts even think that these devices might someday replace conventional flight control surfaces such as flaps and ailerons. Imagine witnessing the ghoulish purple glow of the lab demo from the window seat of a transcontinental flight.

More immediately, aerodynamicists are looking to place the same technology on the huge, vulnerable, and costly blades of wind turbines to improve their efficiency, extend their lifetimes, and even help them more effectively cope with gusting winds.

Technology advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, according to a survey of the world’s foremost wind power experts led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Experts anticipate cost reductions of 24%-30% by 2030 and 35%-41% by 2050, under a median or ‘best guess’ scenario, driven by bigger and more efficient turbines, lower capital and operating costs, and other advancements

The findings are described in an article in the journal Nature Energy. The study was led by Ryan Wiser, a senior scientist at Berkeley Lab, and included contributions from other staff from Berkeley Lab, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, and participants in the International Energy Agency Wind (IEA) Wind Technology Collaboration Programme Task 26.

The study summarizes a global survey of 163 wind energy experts to gain insight into the possible magnitude of future wind energy cost reductions, the sources of those reductions, and the enabling conditions needed to realize continued innovation and lower costs. Three wind applications were covered: onshore (land-based) wind, fixed-bottom offshore wind, and floating offshore wind.

“Wind energy costs have declined dramatically in recent years, leading to substantial growth in deployment. But we wanted to know about the prospects for continued technology advancements and cost reductions,” said Wiser. “Our ‘expert elicitation’ survey complements other methods for evaluating cost-reduction potential by shedding light on how cost reductions might be realized and by clarifying the important uncertainties in these estimates.”


What’s interesting about the graph is that, for onshore wind, these are prices that are already very much available.  Academic experts not always current with what aggressive capitalists are up to.


Most of the anticipated technological improvements are less futuristic, and easier to foresee – for instance, larger, more efficient turbines.

Washington Post:

In a nugget of very good news for the renewable energy sector, a survey of 163 wind energy experts has found that in the coming decades, the cost of electricity generated by wind should plunge, by between 24 and 30 percent by the year 2030, and even further by the middle of the century.

One key reason? New wind projects are about to get even more massive, in both the offshore and onshore sectors. As turbines get taller and access stronger winds, and as rotors increase in diameter, it becomes possible to generate ever more electricity from a single turbine.

“Our experts clearly anticipate a significant potential for further cost reductions, both onshore and offshore,” said Ryan Wiser of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who conducted the study with colleagues from several other institutions, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an International Energy Agency task force on wind energy.

35 Responses to “Wind Energy to Benefit from High Tech, Higher Turbines”

  1. PeterVermont Says:

    I would appreciate a post about Makani Wind Energy and other variations of flying turbines. The promise is that they access higher altitudes at less cost. Makani says it acts like the tip of the turbine blade where most of the energy is collected.

    • redskylite Says:

      I got very interested in Altaeros’s BAT technology and plans to exploit the power of the higher winds at altitude. There were media reports of a trial of the kite technology in Alaska during 2014, but haven’t heard any news since. Development and results seem to be very slow and regular wind turbines are coming along fine. Maybe harnessing the full power of jets streams is an elusive goal, rather like cold fusion.

      • rayduray Says:

        Re: “Maybe harnessing the full power of jets streams is an elusive goal”

        Jet streams tend to meander. Even more so now with climate change making the northern jet stream highly unpredictable and highly variable.

  2. Lionel Smith Says:

    Is this not another form of boundary layer control (BLC), a familiar concept to those who have been up close and personal with aircraft such as the McDonnell F4 Phantom? Also used on the Royal Navy’s Scimitar and Buccaneer aircraft. On these aircraft BLC was implemented by taping air off the engine compressors and blowing it over trailing edge flaps (all three aircraft types), leading edge flaps (F4 and Bucc’) and tailplane (Bucc’ only) in the landing and launching configurations to achieve more lift at lower forward airspeeds.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Yes, it appears to be another form of BLC, but based on some very different physics. As Andy Lee says in another comment, the fact that it produces ozone is a huge idea killer (and the fact that they are saying it might be applicable to the freakin’ TRUCKING industry indicates that we have some Solar Roadway types lurking on the fringes here—-scammers everywhere).

      The same goes for “flying turbines”. Don’t waste your time looking at them for anything but entertainment, PeterVT and redsky. An intriguing idea, but just a distraction from what should be the real goal—-BIG honking turbines that are taller to reach the faster wind, more efficient, longer lasting and cheaper to build.

      Of course, if we don’t start taxing carbon and driving fossil fuels out of the market, it won’t matter how much wind we build and how “cheap” it is in 2050. We will have passed SHTF time long before then.

      • Lionel Smith Says:

        DoG, given your common interest in reading books to improve ones understanding of the environmental state we are in I wonder if you have come across the work of Derrick Jensen, in particular and excuse a Wiki ref : Endgame, note the twenty Premises?

        Jensen on Endgame, Part (volume) One.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          No, I haven’t read End Game (and at 931 pages am not likely to, although it looks good). The link you gave is to a 57 minute Youtube lecture, and I don’t have time for that either (….so many books and ideas, so little time!)

          I DID read the Wiki link in its entirety and DO agree with nearly every last one of the briefly stated 20 “premises”.

          Jensen echoes what Gilding, Diamond, Weisman, and others have said (including me and Pogo). “We have met the enemy and he is us.” The science is clear—-the problem lies in human psychology and the unnatural economics-sociology-politics that have grown from it that will keep us from reacting to the science until it’s too late.

  3. And what will the co emissions be in 2050?

    How warm will the world be and how high will the oceans be?

  4. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    As fascinating as plasma is, and how promising its application may seem applied to turbine blades, I’m afraid that “whiff of ozone hangs in the air” is a show stopper.
    We can not exchange one form of pollution for another, so let’s make do with what we have and keep it clean.

  5. redskylite Says:

    More records falling, more reason to expedite the changeover, more good news for a country, like where I reside, with persistent trade winds.

    Vattenfall Bid For Danish Offshore Wind Project Is Cheapest On Record.

    Swedish power company Vattenfall has turned the offshore wind industry on its head, by placing the lowest bid on the Danish Near Shore Wind Tender for two offshore wind projects located in the Danish North Sea.

    Vattenfall announced this week that it had won the Danish Near Shore Wind Tender (DNS), submitting its final bid of 0,475 kr/kWh (€60/$67.33) on September 1 for the two projects, Vesterhav Syd and Vesterhav Nord. This marks the cheapest offshore wind bid, 20% below the previous record low set by DONG Energy in July.

    • By “more records falling” do you actually mean a record lack of unspoiled countryside? Modern wind power is a contest to see how much of the landscape can be rendered industrial, at ever greater viewing distances as they get taller. Anything green about that was lost at least 15 years ago.

      Most of the canned green excuses for ruining nature are covered in depth here:

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Ah, we hear from another self-righteous one who can’t see the forest for the wind turbines, and he links us to a site called “evil noisy people”, no less? LMAO!

        That site contains a huge pile of propaganda that has buried within it this comment: “In case you think this is a rant with no solutions…” and lays out those “solutions” for all to see:

        It says “I’m all for rooftop & parking-lot solar panels or putting them over train tracks and canals. They are much greener than wind monsters because they don’t increase the human footprint, which was never solely about carbon until recent attitudes took hold. Geothermal is another good renewable source, along with small, non-dense wind turbines (under 50 feet tall) and safer forms of nuclear power. The whole centralized model of building “energy farms” and moving electricity over long transmission lines (additional sources of blight) needs to end. True green = small footprint”.

        That is a quite feeble set of “solutions” and answers only the question of “What’s wrong with this guy?” (Answer, he’s a motivated reasoner of the first order). And “recent ATTITUDES?” What about recent SCIENCE that tells us that humanity’s carbon footprint IS becoming a life-and-death problem for the planet.)

        That paragraph finishes with “But unless people practice restraint and use more birth control, our long-term existence on this planet won’t be guaranteed by any technology. Fossil fuels built this whole mess and it will be hard to sustain without them”, and THAT is something we “evil noisy people” can agree with.

        Yes, unfortunately, making these Cyclopean machines even larger IS good for the planet, at least for now when we are trying to fight AGW and have few better means of doing it. Maundering about “machine-free scenery still mattering”, we evil noisy people having “sold out”, and questioning our “ethics, or eyesight” rates little more than a GFYS to a condescending and arrogant moron.

        And I hate to tell you, but Aldo Leopold has been dead for ~70 years, having died before AGW was in the news. It would be interesting to see what he would say about the present state of affairs and the “solutions”, but your picking out a quote from him and misusing it in this way is insulting to his memory.

        • I can almost guarantee you that Aldo Leopold (master of the LAND ethic) wouldn’t have gotten stuck on your carbon-tunnelvision whereby you discard everything else that matters about the physical environment.

          If every wind turbine, including the ones that have ruined so many mountains, was replaced with a horsehead oil pump of much smaller stature, you’d probably call them ugly because you’re convinced that nothing but carbon matters. You can tell a True Believer by their complete dismissal of any logical or aesthetic opposition to their cause. It’s a simple fact that putting thousands of hulking, noisy machines in places where there used to be no such machines,is going to bother a lot of people and rightfully so.

          I quoted this in another reply and I’ll quote it again:

          “Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and esthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” (Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic, ASCA 224-25)

          Other famous people who would have surely hated wind power are Henry Thoreau, John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Ansel Adams and Edward Abbey. Another old hand who’s still alive, James (Gaia) Lovelock, spoke and wrote strongly against them in 2013, calling them “industrial vandalism.” Take up your name-calling with a guy like that who knows what you really are.

          John Muir wrote about something wind power is quickly destroying, especially when it takes over mountains and proclaims itself the tallest point on them. “In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world – the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware.” (John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, (1938), page 317)

          If you pay attention to any negative news coverage, you’ll see the tide is turning against wind power all around the world because there’s just too much of it in plain sight now. It can no longer be even partially hidden in strategic locations. My blog title contains the word evil, because destroying silence and nature tends toward evil. Wind power is just a continuation, in the most hypocritical way, of the whole mess Man has made of the world.

          • seek7516 Says:

            You can ALMOST guarantee what Aldo Leopold would have done? Do you talk to the dead often? Or, more likely, to your Magic 8-Ball..

            It is not “logical” to dismiss wind turbines because of “esthetics” when AGW due to rapidly increasing CO2 is threatening the actual existence of ALL LIFE ON EARTH. Ask Lovelock how long he thinks we have left until the SHTF.

            You say “It’s a simple fact that putting thousands of hulking, noisy machines in places where there used to be no such machines,is going to bother a lot of people and rightfully so”. Poor babies! Better than being “bothered” by death in the Sixth Extinction, which is now underway and fueled in large part by our reliance on fossil fuels.

            And again, the operative part of that Leopold quote is ” A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity and stability of the biotic community”.

            God save us from fools who say “Other famous people WHO SURELY WOULD HAVE HATED WIND POWER are Henry Thoreau, John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Ansel Adams and Edward Abbey”. How can you make such a bald assertion? (That’s a logic term, and since you don’t seem to be familiar with logic, perhaps you should look it up). SURELY WOULD HAVE? Talking to our Magic 8-Ball again, are we? That’s the only way one can say what long dead folks might think on AGW and the need for wind turbines.

            You say “Another old hand who’s still alive, James (Gaia) Lovelock, spoke and wrote strongly against them in 2013, calling them “industrial vandalism.” Nicely cherry-picked TWO words from Lovelock—-I have been reading Lovelock for decades, and his thoughts on climate change are MUCH broader than your narrow and biased plucking. (And his middle name is Ephraim, not Gaia, you moron).

            ‘My blog title contains the word evil, because destroying silence and nature tends toward evil”. WTF! Are you founding a new religion now? One in which Satan is replaced by wind turbines? LMAO!

            You close this installment of the Gish Gallop with something we can almost agree on—-Wind power is a symptom of the whole mess Man has made of the world, but the hypocrisy lies with those who would zero in on it only when there are so many other “symptoms” out there.

            (and this may again appear as coming from seek7516—-curse you WordPress)

        • One more thing, wiseacre: If you search for Aldo Leopold and wind turbines, you come up with articles like this.

          Leopold is just a footnote in your snarky apathy about disappearing scenery. So what if he’s dead? You can’t pretend to read his mind since you show little consideration for much that he cared about. It’s just carbon, carbon, carbon to you people. News flash: Wind power will not stop climate change! It’s built and backed up with oil, coal, gas and nuclear. It sets a terrible example for environmentalism by destroying so many things for nil gains. Look into the systemic failure of Germany’s Energiewende, which actually ended up burning more carbon to back up sprawling wind projects.

          Nobody with a depth of respect for the land or sea is going to accept wind power on faith. All the energy wasted on bigger wind turbines could be used for rooftop solar, birth control, conservation, living smaller, etc. You mock my list of solutions but they’d eliminate the need for wind power in many cases, and people should scale their lifestyles as well. All the braggadocio about larger and larger turbines reeks of anti-environmentalism and conspicuous consumption, but you’re too stuck on carbon to see it.

          I’d like to see Big Wind go out of business in under a decade when global subsidies hopefully dry up. It could become a spare parts & maintenance operation, while smart resources are funneled to Earth-friendly technologies that don’t take up so much blasted space or kill flying animals, or annoy ground-based ones.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            You and Carl Johnson are the ones who are pretending to read Leopold’s mind.

            What you call “articles like this” is just more half-assed OPINION from someone like you who wants to put words in a dead man’s mouth. Yep, you are a “looker upper” with little apparent science background—-you ARE a good parrot though, as evidenced by the mish-mosh of ideas in your last two paragraphs.

            You need to get help with your Dunning Kruger problem. I am one “ground-based” animal that you are annoying greatly with your incessant BS here on Crock.

      • redskylite Says:

        If you had bothered reading the link I attached, instead of relying on your pre-formed prejudices, ideas and responses, you would have noticed that the link is talking about OFFSHORE wind turbines (i.e located in the ocean/sea). How an Earthy does that affect the country side ?.

        I have spent a good proportion of my working life in onshore oil fields, and can tell you they really dick up the country side. A graceful wind turbine is a pleasure to see after the ugly sprawl of oil exploitation sites.

        How about opening your mind up to new ideas and absorb what is necessary to give future generations a chance at a reasonable life at least in some geographic locations.

        • That’s a red herring, really. Industrializing the oceans is just as much of a mess, and more expensive. There’s all kinds of opposition to offshore wind turbines because they can’t put them out far enough to not screw with the horizon. America’s first offshore wind plant in Block Island, RI was praised on the surface but many people were/are not happy with it. You must know the battle over Cape Wind, and so on. A number of projects off the British coast were blocked for the same reasons. The wind crowd chides those protesters as rich NIMBY types, whereas if those same people objected to fracking or a nuclear plant, you know who’d join them.

          Think of the total mass of a wind turbine compared to the relatively pea size of its generator. It’s the most mass-inefficient power source Man has invented. On top of the machine size, the gross acreage spread is enormous. It violates basic environmental & economic tenets like Small Is Beautiful and Less Is More. Most technologies are trying to shrink for efficiency while wind power is growing like industrial cancer and proud of it. This very article proves it.

          “Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and esthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” (Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic, ASCA 224-25)

          • redskylite Says:

            Typical, now you are just completely changing your tune from “The Countryside” to a new tune “The Ocean”., and not answering my points at all.

            Instead of just more and more negativity why not suggest your solution to the excess carbon emissions ?

            It’s very easy to criticize but not so easy to forward solutions.

          • seek7516 Says:

            Lord love a duck, but we’ve got ourselves a real “Gish Galloper” here, folks. Endless streams of clueless BS screaming about THE VIEW. I have thought back through my many science courses, and NOWHERE was THE VIEW mentioned as a necessity for any life forms on earth—-air, water, certain chemical elements, a certain temperature range are needed, but NOT a “VIEW”.

            The concept of “scenery” is a purely human construct, and it’s a shame that RS in all his hubris gets so wrapped around the axle about something that is essentially meaningless in Gaia’s world.

            And RS is so PROUD of his half-assed logic—-he conflates opposition to fracking and nuclear power with opposition to wind turbines, maunders on about “mass” (did he mean volume?), “pea-sized” generators (which are the size of a bus and packed with heavy machinery and not hollow like blades), and the “enormous gross acreage spread” (LOL) of a turbine.

            Lastly, RS is a “looker upper” who thinks quoting a long dead “famous name“ has any meaning. Has he even read any of Leopold’s work? Too bad that his understanding of the English language is so weak that he doesn’t even understand what Leopold really said. The operative words in that quote are:

            “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity and stability of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” For morons like RS, that means fight AGW in any way possible to preserve “integrity and stability”—that’s “ethics”, and I feel sure that “beauty and esthetics” would take a back seat in Leopold’s thinking if he were alive today. He would be in the forefront of any and all efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, and would regard wind turbines as a necessary evil beauty and esthetics-wise (and one which doesn’t take up much space and is easy to dismantle, as addledlady so nicely pointed out).

          • dumboldguy Says:

            WordPress has done it again. It flipped me to an old and unused account for some unknown reason.

            seek7516 = dumboldguy

            (So, RS, you don’t have yet another person pointing out your deficiencies here, not that it would dent your excessive self-esteem if there was)

  6. […] Source: Wind Energy to Benefit from High Tech, Higher Turbines | Climate Denial Crock of the Week […]

  7. Making these Cyclopean machines even larger is good for the planet? Where did I miss the part about machine-free scenery still mattering? You fans have sold out. What happened to your ethics, or eyesight?

    “To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.” – Aldo Leopold

    • addledlady Says:

      The great advantage of wind turbines is their small footprint on the surface (esp. compared to the visual space they occupy). I’ll confess that I’m one who actually likes the things. That hypnotically slow movement with all the power behind it is a bit like moving water or a fireside or other things that tend to engage the eyes and “stop” a busy brain.

      However, it’s entirely possible that the Next Big Thing in improved solar technology could mean that people will prefer to replace old turbines with that new technology rather than bigger better turbines. At that point, dismantling them will show their advantages. Once removed, all that’s left behind is a roadway – probably needed by farmers or firefighters for access to the area – and a concrete pad. A much better legacy than an abandoned fracking site. Certainly crops or grazing animals won’t need to be excluded from the area – they can continue with it or without it.

      • “Small footprint” is complete BS and you know it. You can be so dumb that you don’t even begin to understand why people object to wind power. It’s the size, stupid! More specifically, the size and total spread of each project, and how it affects views all around it. You have to know that’s true.

        Plans to drill for oil in the the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge would have affected “only 2,000 acres” per that same ludicrous tower-bases definition of occupied land. A wind array affects all the acreage bordered by the outermost turbines. Cut the bull and be honest, at least with yourselves.

        Wind turbines are also violating the tenet of not building more roads in wilderness, and their roads are some of the widest ever built to accommodate trucks carrying extreme oversized loads. You know this is all true, yet you can only cackle at anyone who brings it up.

        • addledlady Says:

          It’s not just the size when it comes to turbines. When we’re talking about tall objects in a farming landscape, the ones that really get to me are the towers supporting high voltage power lines.

          I found this picture but it really doesn’t look the same as the ones that worry me. When I am (or rather was) driving to visit my husband working in the north of South Australia, there were a couple of landscapes that I found a bit scary. The particular design of the towers is not quite like that image – and it always affected me as though I was in a movie with hulking robotic giants ominously, unstoppably, trudging through the terrain with no care for anything in their path. The particular vantage points that were sort-of-but-not-really scary were those where they seemed to be coming directly _at_ me. (The fact that it was me and my car moving at speed rather than the “robots” advancing doesn’t change the visual impact.)

          Wind turbines on the other hand seem elegant and benign, doing their relaxed thing over there on the hilltops without bothering anyone. Of course, that might be because I grew up with those ubiquitous noisy Metters windmills, spinning frantically when the wind picked up a bit, rattling, creaking and squeaking near farmhouses and scattered occasionally throughout the paddocks where cattle needed to get water from their troughs. Being woken by them on a windy night, or not being able to sleep because of the racket outside, did not endear them to me.

        • redskylite Says:

          You have obviously never seen an onshore or offshore oil extraction operation, a wind turbine on the same site would be insignificant. Wind turbines will be dwarfed by CO2 scrubbers that will be needed to clean up the mess that decades of uncontrolled fossil burning has created. And please stop giving links to one out dated book. And last do not call addledlady names, it is highly offensive.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          “….complete BS—–You can be so dumb that you don’t even begin to understand —stupid!—-Cut the bull….”, says RS

          You ARE an arrogant and nasty little toad, aren’t you you, RS? Addledlady is a respected member of the Crock community who is far too polite to respond to your BS, so I’ll do it for her.

          Anyone who conflates the environmental dangers of oil and gas drilling with that of wind turbines because they disturb his freaking VIEW is deluded. I would also dispute “some of the WIDEST roads EVER built to accommodate trucks carrying extreme oversized loads”. Wind turbine blades are looooooong, not wide, you moron.


    That’s a sobering interactive map showing the extent of wind factories in America, which now has about a fifth of the world’s turbines. We could turn a huge chunk of open vistas into pinwheel circuses and brag about how green it all looks. When I say “we” I mean people who don’t value the landscape. The poser environmentalists want to save seafronts but the interior can go to hell. They won’t even consider putting all those wind dollars and truck-trips into benign rooftop solar or safer nuclear plants.

    In some areas you can drive 50 miles and always see them looming somewhere, yet the echo chamber of wind power promotion keeps lying about their effects on scenery. Why is that? Anything that’s really green shouldn’t need a propaganda team.

    Apparently the Southeast has a dearth of wind and has been mostly spared so far, along with remote parts of the West, but wind nerds want to keep increasing tower height to grab whatever lurks above a certain height. No place is safe from these ugly sticks.

    It’s a crock, all right. An expanding crock of blight.

    • As a random example, look at this section of Texas near Sweetwater where wind turbines have hijacked much of the viewshed for about 500 square miles. Southwest of there near Forsan, the ground is pocked for miles with drilling sites, but wind turbines stick out more on the horizon for obvious reasons.

      Texas isn’t known for respecting the land, which plays right into the wind industry model. You think no oilmen have slithered into the wind power game? Wake up, it’s all the same mindset. They’re playing green people for dupes.

      That site is very useful in conjunction with Street View. If the development has been around long enough you can find each project and virtually drive through it to see how wonderful the new scenery is.

      America, the land of wind open spaces. Was.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Nice map—very useful if one is looking for places to put wind farms—-there’s a lot of room for more of them. I have driven across Texas, and seen wind farms that went on for many tens of miles. Considering that they were lined up on rop of ugly brown hills, they were actually an improvement to the “view”.

      An awful lot of them show up in N Iowa and S Minnesota also, probably in the middle of corn and soybean fields—-the farmers probably like the $$$ they get from them and I’m sure it’s far more than the value of the crops that they would have grown on the small footprints of the turbines.

      Few humans on the planet “respect the land” (or the air or the water or the oceans). The capitalists and free-marketers are playing all of us for dupes. Your time would be better spent working against Citizens United than against wind power

      And it’s simply awful that wind turbines have “hijacked MUCH of the freaking viewshed for ABOUT 500 square miles” in Bumfuck, Texas. For comparison, the half-dozen biggest coal strip mines in Wyoming are destroying about 350 square miles of landscape—-I mean ALL of it by digging it up and turning it over to get the coal underneath, as opposed to the negligible damage done by erecting a wind turbine every few hundred feet—-the strip mined land will never be the same for centuries at a minimum, and the near 2000 square miles of Appalachia that have been subjected to mountain-top removal will need geologic time and forces to recover. Add the damage to the environment done by oil and gas extraction and keep telling us that wind turbines are SATAN.

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