Windfarm good news in the US

To: "'Birding-aus'" <>
Subject: Windfarm good news in the US
From: "Brett Campbell" <>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 14:24:55 +1000

While I agree with your last email on Demand management, I do not agree that
Solar is the single answer. Energy generation must be looked into at a
regional scale as a "one solution" energy production method will simply not
work. The use of solar energy while useful for a large part of Australia may
be feasible but in the cooler areas may not be as efficient as Wind. In
addition not all wind turbines are as threatening as each other to birds
(See previous post on alternative turbine design by Mick Roderick).

Greg, before a statement is made that Solar is the answer, you must consider
the ecological and greenhouse emission costs in provision of resources,
manufacturing, transport to a solar farm site (if this was to be large scale
rather than single house use) and the transmission costs from a solar farm
in terms again of, resources used in transmission lines and ecological
impacts of clearing habitats for these lines. 

In particular with Solar, I do know sand reserves, particularly the high
quality silica sands needed are limited (without extracting from deep
offshore reserves which is shunned by many parties). While there are huge
reserves on the coast these are beneath some of our best conservation
reserves, while in the west there are also large deposits of sand but what
habitats will be lost in the increased extraction required? So where do we
get this material from, and then how and where are we taking it to and what
greenhouse gasses are used in transport, what energy is used in its refining
process etc.

There are also criticisms of Biogen projects on emissions from burning
agricultural waste products however, there has been a counter argument that
firing waste products such as cane mulch, or tea tree waste actually
produces less Greenhouse gas emissions than allowing this material to decay
as the CO and CO2 are less than the Methanes (larger molecule) and CO2
produced during decomposition of this material and is much less than the
inefficient burns of these materials in paddocks. I am not a chemist so can
provide no supporting info either way. The comment is just to highlight the
need to look at the bigger picture.

I believe strongly there is not one answer (apart from phasing out Fossil
fuel usage) and that a combination of wind, solar, tide, geothermal, biogen
etc and (dare I say it) even nuclear must be considered in its entirity
before broad statements can be made. I have no attachment to any particular
energy source but do understand there are more issues involved than just
bird strike, as loss of habitat for the alternatives may be just as
threatening for some bird species, or in providing alternative sorces are we
exacerbating Greenhouse gas production in the short term?. 

While writing this I received Evans post and it seens you beat me to the

Brett Campbell

No Carl,

That was supply management.  Demand management, in this context, is when you

reduce the demand for a commodity by reducing the need for it.  With power 
this can be achieved by turning off computers and lights in offices when 
no-one is there (yes it commonly happens that they are left on over the 
holiday periods), turning off appliances at the powerpoint rather than 
leaving pilot lights on, turning off lights in the home when no-one is in a 
room, building solar friendly houses that don't need air conditioners, using

the new fluorescent light bulbs (the old incandescent ones are being phased 
out anyway), installing solar hot water systems etc. etc.    These things 
all reduce the demand for electricity from the grid.

And doing this is important for the survival of our birds.

Greg Clancy

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