Wind Turbines II

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Mike from Canmore wrote:

Fidel wrote:

[url= report backs NDP call for early coal phase-out[/url]

It's easy to phase people out of work - not so easy to phase them back into the job market. While coal needs to be phased out asap - equally there needs to be an employment strategy to place these people in skilled, high-paying secure jobs.

But our governments don't even try. Actually, Mike, I think the goal is to run up provincial and federal debts and maintain as high an unemployment figure as possible. Capitalists are in trouble today, and what they need, and what they want, Mike, is a lot of public debt in order to charge us usurous rates of interest on as we pay it back over several generations. And public debt is premium quality debt today. Afterall, there are 33 million co-signers. We're good for it, and they know it. Capitalists don't want to invest in green economy. Not really. They want taxpayer handouts same as usual before they venture into anything new. Take this "public benefit" charge we're seeing on our light bills today. Who benefits? Is it you and I, or is it McGuinty's rich friends getting in on this green energy giveaway by the Liberals in Toronto? Public benefit charges to cover green energy projects that will mainly benefit private enterprise. If that sounds Orwellian, Mike, it's because it probably is.
Mike from Canmore wrote:
Just saying we'll create a green economy is not good enough. What is needed is a direct transfer program of employees from one workspace to another... When people leave all that infrastructure goes to waste and new infrastructure has to be built elsewhere where the influx is being had.

Yes we have a massive infrastructure deficit across the country, for sure. And their answer is to let private enterprise borrow the money at "market rates" - then they will build it - and then Canadian taxpayers can foot the bills for cost overruns. The way capitalism really works is that taxpayers get the end of the cow that needs feeding. And we both know who gets the money-making end of the beastie, don't we.

Mike from Canmore wrote:
By raising labour questions - will I again be accused of delaying environmental goals? Or will labour hold more weight compared to the health concerns of a few rural communities.
It's a capitalist system afterall. And the way social democrats in Nordic countries approach the problem of unemployment and "destructive creativity"(and sometimes even creative destruction) of the "dynamic" capitalist market place is to provide well trained and educated workers at every business downturn and up-tick according to the manic moodswings of the capitalist business cycle. That takes money though. What a concept! That in a capitalist system we actually have to invest in people in order to realize returns on investments. Nobel prize winning economists from Chicago(before the Friedmanites) stated as much. And the Nordic countries have no choice, because in most Nordics and Northern European countries there is little oil and fossil fuels to give away to the Yanks for a song. Much of their natural resource wealth was depleted long ago by marauding capitalists who extracted resources and profits and are now long gone from the party with money in hand. Yes, and there are many ghost towns across Canada where similar things have happened over the last 140 years. Natural resource economies are the way of the past, and we know now that with fossil fuel export based economies there tends to be corruption in high places. I think Canadian governments were corrupted long ago. We need a modern and competitive electoral system if we want dynamic and competitive workforces and modern and green economies Nordic style. We won't get there by voting for thundering nitwits like McGuinty and Harper though.

Bookish Agrarian

Charter Rights wrote:

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Basic equipment would include (and I will assume decent used equipment in my cost- nothing fancy, but servicable.)

75-100 hp tractor $20 k for sure

loader tractor (definite need if there is livestock)  15 K

Plough  3k

cultivator 1500

disc 1000........


Or in the case of the Amish....


A good sturdy horse.....$3000

A pull behind plow.... $2000

A family that does not mind spending all day in the sun planting seeds, hand cultivating and watering...priceless....

Actually most of the Amish/Mennonite's in our area now use tractors (some with steel wheels) or have their field work done for them by their neighbours with tractors.  Many also have feed lots, large chicken enterprises, industrial sized pork barns, or massive conventional gardens.  It is simply not true that Amish/Mennonite equals organic.  Not by a long way. You are at least a generation behind when it comes to what the farm business part of their lives is like.  My favourite local thing to see, because it goes against so many sterotypes is the horse drawn sprayer a number of the local vegetable farmers use.  Because it is drawn by a horse it goes much slower than a tractor so they end up spraying the bejeezus out of stuff, but all kinds of people buy their 'naturally raised' vegetables.

What I listed was the basic equipment needed to run a farm, it is at the bottom end in terms of size with those prices.  Having a small tractor -which is what a 75-100 hp one is hardly makes you a corporate farmer.  You will need that equipment, or its equivalent, whether you are using hp or horse power to pull it.  A simple plough is not enough.  You need to break the land up after you plough regardless of the of plough or the technology used to pull it.  This is old technology - discs, cultivators, harrows, rollers.  The only difference is size and whether it has a place to sit on it.  If you have livestock in our climate you still need to put hay away.  So whether you use a haybine, or a mo/co it really doesn't matter- it costs money.  If you put in hay the 'old fashion' way you need a bigger, higher barn than if you are using round bales, or even small squares - so the cost is not all that different when you pencil it out.  Owning and operating a threshing machine - necessary for grain harvesting beyond a few hard scrabble acres - costs money too.   I know a number of Old Order Amish and Mennonite farm families through our farmers market and as neighbours.  Many of the young people have to take off farm jobs too because the cost to buy and stock a farm is getting out of reach for them too.

Methinks you are wearing some rose coloured glasses.


Mike from Canmore wrote:

Sven wrote:

Mike from Canmore wrote:

Question: Does becoming allies mean progressive rural folk have to swallow the urbanite's narrative of wind turbines? Sounds like the voice of my oppressor rather than my ally. 

According to Anne Bishop, author of Becoming an Ally, "Allies are people who recognize the unearned privilege they receive from society's patters of injustice and take responsibility for changing these patterns."

What are the unearned "privileges" possessed by urbanites relative to ruralites??

That's just silly make-believe nonsense.

Voting power for one. Many agree that Toronto would never allow turbines to be erected along their shore line yet they have no problem imposing construction zones on rural Ontario. If there was a balance of power b/w urban and rural perhaps there would be no turbines at all because no one would take them.

Mike, I am sorry if you view me as your oppressor but I think this is clearly an exaggeration.  I was tempted not to even respond to this but these few lines are just wrong in so many ways and no one else called you on it, so I had to.

Suggesting a balance of power between urban and rural is anti-democratic.  Here are some facts.  Rural Canadians are currently over-represented in parliament at the federal level and within essentially all provinces.  As the extreme example PEI has one MP for about 34,000 people while in the GTA, one MP represents about 100,000-160,000 (depending on the riding and which election numbers you use etc.).

If you shift more power to rural areas, one thing is guaranteed... a Conservative majority.  But aside from a partisan argument, it is simply unfair and against the spirit of democracy.  You are trying to frame everything as a rural-urban debate but it isn't.  I am an atmospheric scientist from immigrant parents, but let me enlighten you on who my "fellow urbanites" are. They are the soccer mom, the Bay Street banker, the Sharia-promoting imam, the Chinatown grocer who does not speak any English, the Transvestite on Church Street, the Orthodox Jew on Bathurst, the university student, the transit union worker, the unemployed artist, etc. etc.  If you can simply group us all as a bunch of "urbanites" implying that we somehow vote as a single block (to oppress you), then you really don't understand the diversity of cities.

Here is an innovative idea.  How about everybody gets one vote and they are all EQUAL.

After slavery ended in the US and blacks wanted the vote, a popular suggestion was giving them 3/5 of a vote, implying 3/5 of the rights of a white person.  Suggestions like counting a rural vote for more are not much different.  Every self-identified minority group can make a similar case, a balance of power between 'rural and urban', 'jew and gentile', 'gay and straight', 'white and non-white', 'francophone and anglophone', etc.

Toronto is about 50% visible minorities, so if you want to reduce the voting power of people here that is not progressive at all, it is regressing back to racist laws and 3/5.

Sorry, I have gotten drawn into this urban-rural argument, even though this is not how I see the issue at all.

Let's get back to talking about wind!


Bookish Agrarian

You like to lecture a lot, but you really don't listen much do you.  Even in 'rural' ridings in Ontario- which according to you seems to be everyone outside of downtown Toronto- real rural people are outnumbered greatly by the urban centres we are attached to.  And here's a shocker for you, if you did something like actually bothered to base your prejudices on something like data, it is those urban places in which the decison is made on who represents the riding.  There are very few ridings in Southern Ontario where even if the entire rural population voted for the local Marxist Leninist that riding wouldn't be represented by someone elese.  Do some homework before you start lecturing rural people.  Or even try listening to us- you might find we have some interesting and progressive things to say- even if they challenge your prejudices.


[url= Liberal, Tory policies both wrong[/url] Orangeville Citizen

AS WE SEE IT, there are serious problems with the ‘hydro’ policies of Ontario’s two main political parties, the McGuinty Liberals and the Hudak Conservatives.

Having opted out of the nuclear power alternative as too costly, the Liberals have effectively put all their eggs in one “green” basket labelled the Green Energy Act.

The result is the prospect of wind turbines, many of which will be produced in the province thanks to a [u]$7- billion deal with South Korea’s Samsung,[/u] sprouting up just about everywhere, with no guarantee that wind will produce much electricity when it’s badly needed. 

Worse yet, the prices to be paid for wind-produced electricity are astronomical when compared with those from our existing nuclear, coal and hydro-electric plants.

And while developers of new wind projects are guaranteed huge returns on their investments, local municipalities may well wind up getting less than nothing from projects in their midst, since the token $40,000-per-turbine assessments won’t begin to offset potential losses in assessment if critics are right and the value of nearby properties collapses.

Meanwhile, Tim Hudak’s provincial Conservatives have jumped on the anti-wind bandwagon to a ridiculous extent,...

Of course, what’s really at issue in the wind debate is how best to shut down the province’s two remaining coal-fired generating stations while being able to keep the lights on.

The answer to that question ought to be of concern to all Ontario residents and not be obscured by partisan politics.

Nanticoke is just another one of McGuilty's broken election promises from 2003. At least we're stimulating green economy in South Korea. Gotta hand it to our Liberals in Toronto.


I just read an article in BusinessWeek about German wind farms generating too much power.  So much so that the owners of the juice\turbines are asking customers to keep their lights on, because otherwise they aren't making enough money.

And to Charter Rights.  The Amish and Mennonites around here really enjoy using gas powered lawn mowers, and gas powered generators to power equipment on their farms.  I'm sure there are divisions within the communities but I believe the main concept that ties them together is being against motor vehicles in all forms, including tractors.

The turn around on your point would be something like: why don't you walk everywhere or keep a horse yourself instead of using public transit and\or owning a vehicle.   

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Mike from Canmore wrote:

Fidel wrote:

[url= report backs NDP call for early coal phase-out[/url]

It's easy to phase people out of work - not so easy to phase them back into the job market. While coal needs to be phased out asap - equally there needs to be an employment strategy to place these people in skilled, high-paying secure jobs. Just saying we'll create a green economy is not good enough. What is needed is a direct transfer program of employees from one workspace to another.

Policy can no longer be viewed in silos - the impact of change must be measured across all sectors especially jobs and damage done to the local communities. Too many ghost towns are being created as is. When people leave all that infrastructure goes to waste and new infrastructure has to be built elsewhere where the influx is being had. 

By raising labour questions - will I again be accused of delaying environmental goals? Or will labour hold more weight compared to the health concerns of a few rural communities. 

So, pro-coal, anti-wind ... but concerned about health. Sure. Yeah. Got it. Huh, huh ... NEXT!


Where did Mike from Canmore say that he is pro-coal? It just said something about creating jobs for those that loose it because of the conversion from fossil fuel to sustainable fuel.


Maybe we should hang on to those coal fired power plants, it might not be to difficult to convert them to bio-mass fired power plants. The government could then support local landowners by buying sustainable bio-mass from them.  These power plants would then kick in when there is not enough wind and sun to power the province.

Buddy Kat

There appears to be plenty of issues regarding the super huge turbines…health and environmental . Perhaps the smaller versions for household use are the ticket. These seem to be not bad for a new entry level turbine. I would imagine in the years to come the efficiency might even be better.


Charter Rights wrote:

Sven wrote:

For those advocating the use of personal wind-turbines to either wholly or partially replace industrial-sized wind farms, what would be the per-household cost to generate the (roughly) 11,000 KwH of electricity used annually by a typical Canadian household?  And, how does that cost compare to the cost of generating that same amount of electricity using industrial-sized wind farms?

I was doing some reading on the subject this weekend and it sounds like a 5 KwH to 10 KwH rated wind turbine would be needed in order to make a significant contribution to a household's electricity needs.  For a wind turbine of that size, a residence would ideally have a land mass of at least one acre and a tower for the turbine of between 80 feet (24 meters) to 120 feet (37 meters) in height.  If that is the case, then most urban and suburban lots would not be large enough to operate a wind turbine of a size needed to make a significant contribution to an average household's electricity usage.  In addition, a turbine would need to be in an area with average wind speeds of about 10 MPH (about 17 KmPH).


I looked at it about 6 years ago when I was building my last house.

5 kw would require massive lifestyle changes. Our 5kw gasoline back-up generator only produces about 30 amps, for a few essential circuits (well, septic pumps, freezers, microwave and a couple of lights. 10kw would require a modified regime. 15kw would do most energy efficient houses.

65 foot 5kw wind generator and tower installed $65k. 5 kw invertor about $15k. When the purchase was capitalized, and considering the purchase price of electricity, it had about a 45 year payback. I would have had to pay for the privilege of using wind.

There is really no payback to using wind or solar for privated generation UNLESS the parts are scrounged from cheap junk (which makes them pretty unreliable). So there is no "profit" from producing private power in this manner.

Even still the commercial production of wind power runs about $8 per MW which is far more expensive than nuclear, hydro-electric, gas, oil or coal. Wind is pretty much only a novelty right now and as commercial wind becomes more integrated we will find our electric cost jump way up.


A lot of myths being promulgated about the costs and dangers, at least according to the CWEA. To some extent the same is true of nuclear, especially wrt radiation. Wind is hardly a novelty in Germany or Denmark. In any case, the cheapest source of energy is conservation, and there are zero net energy and passive houses, even in Canada. Of course there are plus and minuses with NZE houses.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Closing for length. 


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