Monday, July 18, 2005

Green power or not?

Another area of state planning that is the subject of significant community protests are the wind farms. South Gippsland is a windy place for sure and thus ideal for wind turbine power, one would assume. However secrecy in the licensing and other blunders have given rise to considerable community concern. I suspect "wind energy = green energy" in the minds of a few state politicians and that they got carried away! They granted a number of sites to operators without consulting the local councils or residents (sound a familiar story?)

From a technical perspective wind energy has a significant limitation, it is nearly impossible to efficiently store the all the potential electricity from fluctuating winds. In Germany where they have lots of wind turbines they estimate that these can only supply up to 11% of their capacity, they still need conventional power stations to supply the base load.

There is one wind farm already established just behind Toora, which claims to be the regions smallest town. I was interested to find out the noise level, which is an often quoted complaint? And not having a tape recorded I took some pictures ;)

I can't help but notice the cows don't seem too disturbed

[geotagged geo:lat=-38.6542 geo:lon=146.3390]
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