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Archive for Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Proposed federal wind regulations would benefit Kansas

February 24, 2009

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— A federal renewable energy standard would produce thousands of jobs in Kansas, environmentalists said Tuesday.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and 22 other governors have urged President Barack Obama and Congress to approve a requirement that utilities provide 20 percent of electricity from renewable sources, such as wind, by 2030.

A federal renewable energy standard “would transform our Kansas economy,” said Nancy Jackson, executive director of the Climate and Energy Project of the Salina-based Land Institute.

According to a U.S. Department of Energy study, a renewable energy standard of 20 percent would produce 11,000 construction jobs in the western portion of the state, more than 1,800 long-term jobs, $20 million in payments to landowners, and $20 million to counties where the wind turbines would be located.

Emil Ramirez, of United Steelworkers, a member of the Kansas Blue Green Alliance, said the proposal would “put Kansans back to work.”

He added, “Every wind turbine requires hundreds of yards of concrete, miles of steel re-bar, copper wire and electrical connections, and skilled labor to install it all.”

The bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition has urged Obama and Congress to enact the renewable energy standard as a way to create jobs, reduce dependence on foreign oil and help the environment.

In Kansas, Sebelius has called for a 20 percent renewable energy portfolio by 2020, but the proposal has been weakened and put in a bill that would allow the construction of two 700-megawatt coal-burning power plants — a project that Sebelius has repeatedly vetoed.

State lawmakers are expected to debate the coal-burning plants later this week.

Comments

RoeDapple 5 years, 10 months ago

Wow, that headline has me believing the new POTUS might really walk on water! This administration can regulate the wind!

walleye9898 5 years, 10 months ago

What we really need in KS is a net metering law. Put that in place and quit letting the giant energy corps. and KCC run the State and shaft the consumer!

Without net metering I have no direct financial incentive to recoup my investment and I sure as heck don't want to give it away to Westar for free.

FreeEnergy 5 years, 10 months ago

There could be no better investment in America than to invest in America becoming energy independent! We need to utilize everything in out power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil including using our own natural resources.Create cheap clean energy, new badly needed green jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.The high cost of fuel this past year seriously damaged our economy and society. The cost of fuel effects every facet of consumer goods from production to shipping costs. After a brief reprieve gas is inching back up.OPEC will continue to cut production until they achieve their desired 80-100. per barrel.If all gasoline cars, trucks, and SUV's instead had plug-in electric drive trainsthe amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota.There is a really good new book out by Jeff Wilson called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now.

OnlyLawrenceRepublican 5 years, 10 months ago

I thought people in lawrence are opposed to exporting energy though.

Danimal 5 years, 10 months ago

I could get excited about this. IF, note that it's a big if, Kansas changes their power laws this could be a good thing for our state. It would be really easy for every home to have their own little wind turbine and produce most of their energy if we would make the laws conducive to such a thing.

Mixolydian 5 years, 10 months ago

Every single time I've driven out west on I-70 by the Ellsworth exit those hundreds of windmills there are never moving. They look pretty all sitting still in a row for acre after acre, but not a kilowatt of juice to be had.

The oil pumps are churning up and down though.

nut_case 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm all for clean energy and especially energy independence - and wind is as good as any, I suppose. But I think the last thing we need is a federal mandate - which can only result in a higher electric bill.

Sadly, it looks like we'll all be loosing in the future - coal is going to be slapped with a CO2 tax and alternative energy is still very expensive. Either way, the consumer pays higher electric rates and big corporations win either because their product is 'mandated' for use or they are running a 'cap and trade' scheme that we pay for.

I say develop the technology to the point where it is cost competitive with - or cheaper than- current electricity prices, then deploy it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

"Every single time I've driven out west on I-70 by the Ellsworth exit those hundreds of windmills there are never moving"

I was out there a couple of weeks ago, and while many of them weren't turning, quite a few were turning at a pretty good clip. Since they were all getting about the same amount of wind, I suspect that there is some technical reason they are not operating.

Chris Ogle 5 years, 10 months ago

I suspect that there is some technical reason they are not operating.

Maybe they work for Westar..

Travis Shinkle 5 years, 10 months ago

20% renewable energy requirement = 400% increase in price for the consumer...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

Wind turbines on every home in Kansas, particularly in urban areas, will most definitely not happen.

But it could make sense at nearly every farm home west of Topeka. Nearly every town, regardless of size, similarly situated could also install wind generators near town to supply much of their electricity needs. Even in urban areas, turbines could be installed on the tops of some tall buildings.

Solar panels could also be installed roofs throughout the state, on both residential and commercial structures.

hipper_than_hip 5 years, 10 months ago

Obama said last night that he wants clean coal generation. How does that effect the Holcomb expansion?

gphawk89 5 years, 10 months ago

"Every wind turbine requires hundreds of yards of concrete, miles of steel re-bar, copper wire..."

Agreed. So has anyone done a study to determine how much energy will be required to create the raw materials needed to build each wind turbine? Seems like it would take quite a bit of energy to mine and refine the concrete, steel, copper, etc. How many years will each turbine have to run before it reaches a break-even point with regards to recovering the energy that was needed to create it? Will the turbines even last that long?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

"How many years will each turbine have to run before it reaches a break-even point with regards to recovering the energy that was needed to create it? Will the turbines even last that long?"

Yes, the calculations have been run, and yes, they do last that long.

gphawk89 5 years, 10 months ago

Bozo - "Yes, the calculations have been run, and yes, they do last that long."

Do you have a source to back that up? Not doubting you - but I would like to see the calculations. If they do last that long (or longer) I'm all for them.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 10 months ago

Wind turbines can be powered by unicorn toots.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

Did_I_say_that (Anonymous) says…

"Do you have a source to back that up? ….”

Apparently not."

Took about 30 seconds of googling to find this-- but for the willfully ignorant, that's apparently ample justification for remaining, well, willfully ignorant.

From the Danish Wind Industry Association--

http://www.windpower.org/en/tour/env/enpaybk.htm

"Energy Payback Period for Wind Turbines-- Two to Three Months Required. Modern wind turbines rapidly recover all the energy spent in manufacturing, installing, maintaining, and finally scrapping them. Under normal wind conditions it takes between two and three months for a turbine to recover all of the energy involved. This is one of the main results of a life cycle analysis of wind turbines done by the Danish Wind Industry Association. The study includes the energy content in all components of a wind turbine, and it includes the global energy content in all links of the production chain."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

You're the one who first chose to insult, DIST. Don't get so snippy when someone responds in kind.

gphawk89 5 years, 10 months ago

I am not at all surprised at bozo's opening insult, but am surprised at his slow response.

Interesting article nonetheless. The reason I asked stems from memories of a visit to the defunct South Point wind farm on Hawaii a couple of years back. That mess did not instill much confidence that turbines were all that reliable.

Bill Griffith 5 years, 10 months ago

The Tradewind project north of I-70 is in two phases. The first (east) phase is up and running and selling wind power to BPU, Midwest Energy, and Sunflower. The western phase is still under construction and will not be "turned on" until it is completed. I believe they may also be looking for one more buyer of some of the juice-but I am not absolutely sure on that. The South Point wind farm in Hawaii was an example of how not to run a wind farm. The interesting concept for an RPS as far as Kansas is concerned, is that the utilities in the state do not want a state RPS but do want a national RPS. Reason-they can market the energy to other states with a poorer wind regime. In Kansas there is not much new demand for electricity and they would have to back down some other power source that they have already invested in.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

I was not responding to you, gphawk-- you asked a reasonable question in a respectful way-- sorry I didn't reply sooner. I really don't monitor all threads 24/7.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

"Bozo, how is noticing that you did not respond being snippy?"

You clearly have the same internet search tools available that I do. But you chose to do nothing but snipe. That, DIST, is being snippy.

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