Strange beauty

Written By: - Date published: 1:18 pm, March 21st, 2010 - 9 comments
Categories: energy, Environment - Tags:

Is it just me or does this building have a strange beauty? Wind turbines have a hypnotic effect – but there are also a couple of other facts that appealed to me about this project. From the Guardian:

  • As well as generating a predicted 50MWh annually, the turbines will also generate money an estimated £16,000-£17,000 annually through the government’s feed-in-tariff, which starts on 1 April (mmm NZ is a long way away from that sort of feed-in technology!)
  • Wind speeds at the tower’s base are not enough to make a wind turbine useful, but at 42 storeys up they are capable of 35mph gusts

If you feel like delving further there’s this photo collection, including: ‘

a Wind turbines and sheep mingle atop the hills of Manawatu, Tararua in New Zealand. This windfarm provides enough electricity to meet the needs of 145,000 households.

9 comments on “Strange beauty”

  1. gingercrush 1

    And what happens every time Wind Turbines are proposed in this country? We get mass reaction of “OMG they’re so ugly. Strange theories about how wind turbines are bad for nature and all the rest of it.

    I’m not a huge fan of wind turbines. Not because they ruin the landscape. (I really had to laugh at the idiots in Central Otago who were complaining how wind turbines would ruin the ugly brown stained fields that is most of Central Otago). But because they’re not actually that cheap to run. They’re not that efficient and the idea we should build great wind farms just seems strange. Instead of thinking big New Zealand should think small. No need for great lots of turbines all in the same place. Much better that we get as many farms on-board as possible and shift their reliance away from the National Grid and instead on wind technology. Likewise there are numerous small towns in this country that shouldn’t have their power supplied by the National Grid but instead a few wind turbines dedicated to each town. Clearly that won’t work for every town. But it seems much better than what we’re currently doing with power generation in this country.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      “the ugly brown stained fields that is most of Central Otago’

      …as any one can confirm by googling “Centarl Otago” and selecting ‘images’.

      And you reckon vto is out of touch with the sensibilities of your typical South Islander.

      Geez mate, talk like that around the National voting demographic in my family could get you beaten.

  2. Rich 2

    You can get an export meter in NZ and people do.

    What we don’t have and the UK does is a preferential price for sustainable electricity that results in a distributed generator getting a price that’s better than the prevailing grid price (which includes thermal).

    However, since NZ already generates around 66% of electricity from renewables (as opposed to Britain’s 5.5%) any premium for renewables would be quite small.

    Subsidising distributed generation further would amount to paying a distributed generator more than a large scale windfarm. I don’t see a reason for this. Hippies might want to believe that small is beautiful and we should be generating our power from home windmills and fermented chicken shit, but in reality, medium to large windfarms and hydro are the way we’ll get to 100% renewable.

    (It’s interesting that in 1980, we were at 91% renewables and have gone backwards ever since).

  3. Steve 3

    Wind turbines are fine, they pollute the landscape but big deal.
    Now turbines in buildings is a no go. It means build taller buildings for more power. Then the tall structure blocks the sunlight.
    Big buildings made for vertical farming, self powered.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    No. 2 is an awesome idea and one we should probably be thinking about adapting to Cook Straight.

    One means we could use to decrease use of power is installing hot water cylinders on all houses (These should be mandatory on all new houses). Government pays the upfront costs to install them and then charges the home owner (the “loan” would be fixed to the house not the person so if the house is sold the new owner continues the payments) a fixed amount for a number of years to cover those costs. The pay-off would be a significant reduction in power use and GHG emissions.

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