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What is the future of wind energy in Kansas?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 6, 2014

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Photo of Colin Hughes

“I think it’s a good way to locally produce clean energy. It will bring jobs and it won’t have any negative effects on the climate.”

Photo of Bill Congleton

“It’ll be huge in the next 30 years. It is a natural resource that we have to take advantage of. ”

Photo of Nate Goering

“It’s great that we’re seeking alternative sources of energy that will help economically. As long as we’re responsible with how it might affect the environment.”

Photo of Sara Hale

“I’m definitely pro wind energy. I love driving through western Kansas and seeing all the big mills. It’s a great renewable energy source that we should take advantage of. ”

Comments

Bob Smith 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Why do you people hate wild birds? "…How many birds are killed by wind farms each year? No one knows for sure. Recent estimates of the number of birds killed by wind turbines ranges from a low of 100,000 birds/year to 440,000 birds/year (calculated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). If 20% of the nation’s electricity comes from wind power by 2030, ABC estimates that at least one million birds per year will be killed by wind turbines, probably significantly more…." https://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/collisions/wind_faq.html

James Howlette 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Know what birds also hate? Acid rain. Why do you hate birds?

Kendall Simmons 8 months, 2 weeks ago

And why do you hate putting things into perspective?

How many wild birds are killed by hunters each year? Or killed by predatory wild birds? Or by neighborhood cats? Or...here's a good one...how about by flying into glass windows. Shall we ban them all, too?

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has made reasonable and well-thought-out suggestions, rather than inflammatory, counterproductive attacks like "why do you people hate wild birds?"

They say reasonable things like "Wind power has the potential to be a green, bird-friendly form of power generation, but it can also adversely affect birds."

They also provide data estimates on far more than wind turbine deaths...which provides much-needed perspective.

Indeed, the 2013 estimate on death by wind turbine for the 2012 period is 573,00 birds (and 880,000 bats...which you failed to mention. Should I ask you why you hate bats??? Didn't think so.)

And, at the link you pointed us to (focused only on wind energy), the ABC said "By 2030, there will likely be more than 100,000 wind turbines in the U.S., and these are expected to kill at least one million birds each year—probably significantly more".

However, the following data is also provided by the ABC, albeit elsewhere:

The 2012 estimate of bird deaths by flying into towers? 6.8 million.

Flying into power lines (based on a 2005 estimate, which is old data, but it's apparently what they have)? 175 million.

Oh. And the current estimate of the deaths of birds in 2013 from flying into glass? 300 million to 1 BILLION!!!!

Obviously, all of these estimates of birds that are already being killed by other types of man-made structures are FAR greater than the "one million birds each year—probably significantly more" that is merely estimated for 2030...16 years in the future...from wind turbines.

So how about, instead of attacking people who support wind energy with your "Why do you people hate wild birds?"...why don't you encourage them to read about and support the actual efforts of the ABC? And, no...those ABC efforts do NOT involve hating anything.

Richard Heckler 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Expensive Expensive Expensive ! - subsidies to a mature industry distort electricity markets by granting nuclear power an unfair and undesirable advantage over safe, clean energy alternatives.

No contemporary energy source is as environmentally irresponsible, imposes such a high liability on taxpayers, or is as dangerous as nuclear power.

Industry efforts to "greenwash" nuclear energy make a mockery of clean energy goals. Although nuclear reactors do not emit carbon dioxide, promoting nuclear risks to reduce greenhouse emissions is the classic jump from the frying pan into the fire!

  • The insurance industry won’t insure against nuclear power plant accidents. Nuclear power plant operators rely on a government-backed "Price-Anderson" insurance scheme that limits their liability in the event of an accident or attack. Have accidents happened throughout Nuke power history...absolutely.

  • The Department of Energy admits that "Economic viability for a nuclear plant is difficult to demonstrate." Since the inception of commercial nuclear power in the United States 50 years ago, this industry has been propped up by huge government subsidies.

  • Estimated "energy recovery time" for a nuclear power plant is about 10 to 18 years, depending on the richness of uranium ores mined for fuel. This means that a nuclear power plant must operate for at least a decade before all the energy consumed to build and fuel the plant has been earned back and the power station begins to produce net energy.

  • By comparison, wind power takes less than a year to yield net energy, and solar or photovoltaic power nets energy in less than three years

  • Who wants to spend our tax dollars to promote the construction of new nuclear reactors? Energy legislation before the House would authorize production tax credits for new nuclear power plants, which would cost $5.7 billion by 2025, according to the Energy Information Administration.

  • Throwing more tax dollars at nuclear power will not make it safer, cleaner or more economical. Further, these subsidies to a mature industry distort electricity markets by granting nuclear power an unfair and undesirable advantage over safe, clean energy alternatives.

http://www.citizen.org/cmep/article_redirect.cfm?ID=9720

Richard Heckler 8 months, 2 weeks ago

What is the future of wind energy in Kansas?

The Sam Brownback administration is as toxic to clean energy as coal emissions are to the planet.

8 months, 2 weeks ago

If you make a list of things that are used in the country that need energy in order to work, it will be a very long list, which is why a variety of energy sources are going to be needed. While wind turbines might be great for some things, solar power might be better for others, and coal and nuclear for still others.

Think about how many animals are killed because of human needs and activities the next time you pull up to a McDonalds or KFC.

James Nelson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Has anyone else noticed that up until about 2 years ago Sam Brownback was singing the praises of wind energy? Most conservatives in the state legislature, however, who are deep into the hip pockets of ALEC, the corporate sponsored nationwide organization that so conveniently bribes, er, makes large donations to the re-election campaigns of conservatives willing to advance the best interest causes for large corporations across America, are fighting against wind energy.

And come to think about it, I have not heard a peep out of the governor about his support for wind energy in a long time now. Perhaps he has learned to care more about those donations than the welfare of Kansas and Kansans.

DUMP CONSERVATIVES. THEY ARE NOT IN IT FOR KANSAS. THEY ARE IN IT ONLY FOR THEIR OWN SELFISH, GREEDY REASONS.

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