A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘wind energy

[NEWS] Ten JSTOR Daily links: Beowulf, grain and beer, Sinclair, birds, TV, books …

  • JSTOR Daily considers race as a subject for discussion in Beowulf.
  • JSTOR Daily suggests the possibility that grain was domesticated not to produce bread, but rather to produce beer.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at how the wild rice of North America resisted efforts at domestication.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the Outer Banks Brewing Station, a North Carolina brewery powered by wind energy.
  • JSTOR Daily shares a classic essay by Upton Sinclair from 1906 on the issues of the American economy.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at the history of the pet bird in the 19th century United States.
  • JSTOR Daily considers the ways in which streaming television might not fragment markets and nations.
  • JSTOR Daily reports on how Sylvia Beach, with help, opened legendary Paris bookstore Shakespeare & Co.
  • JSTOR Daily reports on the surprisingly democratic origins of the Great Books of American literature.
  • JSTOR Daily reports on how the horror movies of the 1970s and 1980s captured a new female audience by having more appealing girl and woman characters.

[VIDEO] Windmill turning, Exhibition Place

The Windshare Turbine at Exhibition Place turns relentlessly, continuing to generate clean power.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 31, 2019 at 5:17 pm

[ISL] Five #PEI links: Province House, City Cinema, Joseph Glass &Jews, wind energy, Borden-Carleton

  • Peter Rukavina shares a photo of Province House in Charlottetown now hidden by its exoskeleton for much-needed repairs.
  • CBC PEI reports on the bid of the PEI Film Society to take over City Cinema, the only independent cinema in Charlottetown.
  • CBC PEI reports on the work of Joseph Glass to document the Jewish history of Prince Edward Island.
  • Skinners Pond is among the locations being studied for new wind energy plants, CBC notes.
  • Will the Confederation Bridge fabrication yards at Borden-Carleton be turned into a solar farm, as the PCs propose? CBC goes into detail.

[NEWS] Five links on the Ontario of Doug Ford (@fordnation, #onpoli)

  • Ford and Horvath have already clashed over the question of police oversight. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Brian Budd at The Conversation suggests, drawing from experience elsewhere, that an effective way to deal with Ford Nation populism is for the NDP to adopt a like platform aimed towards those Ford Nation voters who want something better.
  • Michael Babad at The Globe and Mail notes that, for a variety of reasons both structural and contingent, the economy of Ontario will have to experience slower growth in the future.
  • John Ivison notes that Doug Ford’s closing down on wind energy contracts sends a terrible message to businesses seeking secure long-term deals in Ontario, over at the National Post.
  • Doug Ford is being unclear as to what sex ed curriculum, exactly, will be in Ontario schools come September. The Toronto Star a href=”https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2018/07/24/doug-ford-stokes-further-confusion-over-tories-sex-ed-plans.html”>reports.

[NEWS] Five links on the Ford government in Ontario

  • TVO noted how three former leaders of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, having failed to successfully challenge the Liberals, watched Doug Ford get sworn in as premier.
  • Martin Regg Cohn notes that lower taxes in Ontario under Ford will come at a great cost, over at the Toronto Star.
  • Andray Domise at MacLean’s suggests that the Ford government will be marked by rule by antagonism, by “echthrocracy”, here.
  • The cancellation of wind energy projects may hit some Ontario companies hard, but it is not clear that the Ontario government can do that without compensation. The Financial Post reports.
  • I agree entirely with Andrea Horvath’s opinion piece on behalf of refugees coming to this province, here in the Toronto Star.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 17, 2018 at 4:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Four Ontario links: minimum wage, Toronto, Petersborough, Prince Edward County

  • A new TD report suggests the introduction of a $15 minimum wage could cost up to 90 thousand jobs by 2020, especially if the shift is too quick. Global News reports.
  • Torontoist notes the ongoing debate over what to do with the land suggested for Rail Deck Park. (I prefer the park.)
  • blogTO notes the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough is set to expand and move to a new location.
  • Opposition–ill-grounded opposition, I would say–to a new wind energy project in Prince Edward County is growing. Global News reports.

[PHOTO] ExPlace Windmill, Exhibition Place

Windmill #toronto #exhibitionplace #windmill

Yesterday, I photographed WindShare‘s ExPlace wind power generator, 91 metres tall and built in 2002, dramatically against the sun. This was the closest I’ve ever been to it, but this tower is visible throughout the west end and far up Dufferin Street. For the curious, the Toronto Star has an article going into greater detail about ExPlace’s history.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 12, 2016 at 12:43 pm

[LINK] “Norway Losing Out to Sweden in $6 Billion Wind-Power Boom”

Bloomberg’s Jesper Starn suggests that Norway is losing out unnecessarily to Sweden in the quest to develop its wind energy resources.7

I do wonder whether Norway sees a pressing need to develop it. As the article notes, it’s already largely self-sufficient in electricity production, and oil exports are ever abundant. Electricity generated at wind farms might be a welcome additional source of capital, but is it needed?

Norway and Sweden are jointly seeking to add 26.4 terawatt-hours of new annual renewable energy production by 2020, or about 9 percent of all output last year from all energy sources in the region. Before joining, Norway expected to build half the system’s wind power, or about 3,000 megawatts of capacity, requiring investment by developers of at least 36 billion kroner based on an average cost of 12 million kroner per megawatt, according to Norwea.

Sweden’s wind output rose 38 percent to an unprecedented 9.9 terawatt-hours last year, according to its energy agency. That compares with the 9.4 terawatt-hours generated at EON SE’s Oskarshamn-3, the biggest nuclear reactor in the Nordic market. One million megawatt-hours is one terawatt-hour.

While Norway gets 97 percent of its electricity from hydropower, it joined the system to boost security of supply when cold, dry weather draws on water reserves and to help meet renewable energy targets. It adopted European Union goals the year before, committing it to meet 68 percent of all its energy needs including transport and heating with green sources by 2020 from 58 percent in 2005.

What Norway and Sweden didn’t foresee was how a drop in power prices would force renewable energy developers to scrutinize project costs, such as the countries’ treatment of asset depreciation, according to Peter Chudi at brokerage Svensk Kraftmaekling AB in Stockholm. Year-ahead Nordic electricity prices have fallen 21 percent since 2012.

“Those in Norway were surprised that the margins for new projects got so squeezed that it came down to the different tax rules for write-offs,” Chudi said Sept. 4 by phone. “If prices for power and green certificates were higher, the tax difference wouldn’t have got the same focus it has now.”

Written by Randy McDonald

September 9, 2014 at 7:40 pm

[ISL] “Vodka distillery owners leaving P.E.I.”

As reported by Teresa Wright in the Charlottetown Guardian, the founders of the Prince Edward Distillery–a potato vokda distillery in eastern Prince Edward Island–are leaving the province. The incredulous reactions at the newspaper website, and on Facebook, are shared by me.

The province happens to be very heavily invested in wind energy, even being a net exporter of electricity to the mainland from wind farms at North Cape and elsewhere. Inasmuch as there’s a lack of scientific evidence that there are health side-effects, and inasmuch as the people involved received nearly a hundred thousand dollars for their business (happily remaining active), it’s difficult for me to see this as anything but a reaction based on aesthetics not anything objectively real.

Arla Johnson, one of the owners of the Prince Edward Distillery in Hermanville, says she and her partner, Julie Shore, are opening a second distillery in Nova Scotia.

Operations in P.E.I. will continue, but the two owners are moving to the mainland due to their concern over the Hermanville-Clear Springs wind farm project.

[. . .]

Shore was a vocal opponent of the wind farm during the initial approval phase of the project in 2012. In her role as the spokesperson for the Hermanville-Clear Springs Property Owners Association, she urged the provincial government to reconsider the project, citing concerns over diminished property values and potential negative health effects.

The project went ahead after 71 per cent of area landowners within a one-kilometre area around the development site signed agreements with the province for the 30-megawatt wind farm development.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 21, 2014 at 10:10 pm

[BRIEF NOTE] On Wind Turbine Syndrome’s possible existence

Metro Toronto this morning included a report by an Australian researcher arguing that claims wind turbines are associated with ill health are products not of biological illness but social contagion.

Professor Simon Chapman, an associate dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, mapped out the history of health-related complaints about wind turbines in Australia and found they don’t follow logically from the development of wind farms, but instead follow the growth of anti-wind turbine activism. The paper has not yet been peer-reviewed.

He found the majority of complaints — 68 per cent — came from just five of the country’s 49 wind farms, which are also at the centre of activism. There were no complaints from all of Western Australia and many other very large wind farms.

Chapman collected health-related complaints about the country’s wind farms made to Australia’s government, directly to wind companies and in Australian media finding that 120 people complained between 1993 and 2012. That is the equivalent of one in every 272 residents living within five kilometres from a wind farm.

“I find it implausible that if wind turbines in themselves were harmful, there would be whole farms using the same equipment, mega-wattage, everything, where people weren’t saying they were affected,” he said.

Wind farms have been in operation in the country since 1993, but health complaints didn’t start in earnest until 2009, when anti-wind activists began widely publicizing health-related concerns and a controversial American doctor dubbed the phrase “Wind Turbine Syndrome”, said Chapman.

[. . .]

“I don’t doubt that when people say, ‘I’m suffering,’ that they’re suffering,” he said. “But the problems that people speak of are very common in all communities. The question becomes not whether they have those problems, but what’s causing those problems.”

He argues people have mis-attributed their common health problems to wind farms because of activists’ campaigns. Some may have even become more ill because they believe that wind farms make them sick — a phenomenon called the “nocebo effect“, he said.

For balance’s seek, Metro Toronto included an interview with a local anti-wind turbine activist.

Ontario anti-wind farm activist and researcher Carmen Krogh says she’s received calls and emails from many people who are upset to hear Australian professor Simon Chapman’s claims that wind turbines don’t make people sick.

“I feel profound grief and sorrow about that,” she said. “This is upsetting already vulnerable people who are hurting.”

According to Krogh, one of the major failings of Chapman’s study is he did not base his research on the personal accounts of Wind Turbine Syndrome sufferers. When she sees people willing to abandon their homes over the issue, it is powerful proof of real suffering, she said.

Krogh, a trained pharmacist who lives in a rural area north of Ottawa, said she also experienced acute sickness from wind turbines on a vacation in Northern Ontario.

“The main thing was this feeling of general unwell. It felt like there was something wrong with my heart,” she said. “It was beating funny, and there was a vibratory sensation, a very unpleasant sensation.”

Those feelings went away shortly after she left the area, accompanied by a very severe headache, which took a few days to dissipate, she said.

It was only years later, when she heard about other people’s symptoms, that she connected the dots, she said.

Five years ago when a wind project was proposed for her area, Krogh began researching Wind Turbine Syndrome and reaching out to other people who have become ill. She said their symptoms are caused by wind turbine noise, including audible noise and inaudible infrasound. In many cases, it’s the noise and vibrations that keep people up at night, taking a serious toll on their health.

Krogh’s claims seems less credible to me in that strong belief–the sort that would lead people to sell their houses–is not in itself automatically proof of anything, while her citing the feelings of people who identify themselves as sufferers is problematic. Against this, there are peer-reviewed studies claiming otherwise, while Chapman’s ScienceDaily announcement of his paper is worded rather confrontationally.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm