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CaneSelvatico

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Hi Bentwings,
it is estimated that there are around 1.7 million birds killed by wind turbines in the US which represents 0.016% of the bird population in the country.

However there are somewhere between 100 million and 1 billion birds killed by flying into glass such as glass skyscrapers every year, no one is sure of exactly how many but the numbers are huge. Plus the fact that those same towers use enormous amounts of concrete, steel, glass, copper, plastics etc much of which is non recyclable and of course given the amount of land in the US there is no real need for them they are more of a prestigious project (such as Trump tower) which the rich and Corporate bodies use to show us mere mortals how rich and powerful they are. At least wind turbines contribute to us all.

By the way, insects aren't nasty they outnumber us by factors of trillions and are some of the most useful creatures on Earth.

TerryD

Sadly the greatest threat to birds are cats, both domestic and feral. Millions of birds are killed by them every year. If you have a cat get it de-clawed immediately. Between cats and glass buildings we have lost over 3 billion birds in N. America in the last 20 years. I am staggered by that number. Even the researchers doing the counts couldn't believe it. We are heading towards a huge wildlife extinction just as fast as we can.
If you count the total bird killed by wind turbines that's a very small number, compared to other factors(skyscrapers and cats). Unfortunately if you look at the species of birds in that number the pictures get darker, as mainly big and endangered bird (that have very low reproduction rate) are killed by turbines, birds that cats don't hunt.
 

HMEL

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The problem with this type of calculation is the boundary conditions when comparing these systems. There is no way electricity is produced and distributed at 100 percent efficiency. Even windmills have theoretical losses as they can not totally extract all of the wind energy. On a side note not one of the wind installations I have seen stand economically on their own without subsidies. ( Tax Dollars). Electric cars are getting a free ride on the grid at the expense of all who use it.

Anyone who makes such claims never puts the calculations on paper. Economic arguments can be made some based on thermodynamics. But the arguments that are driving this are based on effects on the climate real or perceived. The ice and ev are two separate energy systems and not comparable on efficiency alone. The components and materials for electric vehicles can not be extracted without massive amounts of fossil fuels.

So unless numbers and assumptions are stated when making these statements of efficiency they are basically worthless for use in any type of economic comparison.
 

L98fiero

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The problem with this type of calculation is the boundary conditions when comparing these systems. There is no way electricity is produced and distributed at 100 percent efficiency. Even windmills have theoretical losses as they can not totally extract all of the wind energy. On a side note not one of the wind installations I have seen stand economically on their own without subsidies. ( Tax Dollars). Electric cars are getting a free ride on the grid at the expense of all who use it.

Anyone who makes such claims never puts the calculations on paper. Economic arguments can be made some based on thermodynamics. But the arguments that are driving this are based on effects on the climate real or perceived. The ice and ev are two separate energy systems and not comparable on efficiency alone. The components and materials for electric vehicles can not be extracted without massive amounts of fossil fuels.

So unless numbers and assumptions are stated when making these statements of efficiency they are basically worthless for use in any type of economic comparison.
As with any system, when you consider the total cost, efficiencies get a bit different, oil is cheap only if you assume there will be no significant environmental costs and the costs of rectifying the damage or the destruction of, in the worst estimates, 80 - 90% of humanity. I doubt we will solve the problems here and a Princeton University study shows that what we say or think will have no statistical significance on how policy is made but it is something to think about.
 
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Reading these posts, about electric "100% efficiency" etc, is not the whole story. Battery electric car manufacturers have to declare the "equivalent CO2" figures for comparison with ICE fuel burners, so e.g. the leaf is about 45gms/km compared to a small ICE car at 95gms per km of CO2... So in terms of poisoning the planet with FOSSIL FUEL CO2, the battery cars go twice as far on the same pollution.
(My data is not up-to-date, just approximate = what I remember before retiring from the business).
The kW/km to CO2/km figures have to be converted using a GOVERNMENT figure for electric generation. (Based on the previous year's data for fossil fuel consumption by generators versus total electric generation of the country).
But possibly not everyone wants to use all the facts, Politicians almost never do.
K2
 

Mosey

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If you count the total bird killed by wind turbines that's a very small number, compared to other factors(skyscrapers and cats). Unfortunately if you look at the species of birds in that number the pictures get darker, as mainly big and endangered bird (that have very low reproduction rate) are killed by turbines, birds that cats don't hunt.
My cat is completely indoor and no the threat to the birds. My neighbor's cat is a free roaming killer. Nothing I can do about her. She is owned by a former Director of Environmental agency.
I keep hoping my resident Redtail Hawks get her.
Seems to me that this discussion as humorous and full of vacuous rhetoric as it is should be better on another forum.
 

Ken I

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To quote the skeptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg - cats kill non-endangered species like sparrows, Jays etc. They do not kill large raptors (they actually kill cats) - wind turbines are a major threat to the larger and more endangered species.

Large soaring raptors can be seen to “suicidally” circle wind turbines for no apparent reason. It is thought that the raptors pick up on the wingtip vortices and cruise around in them looking for a free “lift” as they do for thermals. Clearly seen in the video link below…..

https://www.youtube.com/watch/na6HxKQQsAM

Theoretical wake vortex of a wind turbine.
theoryVortex.jpg

Actual wake vortex made visible by unusual weather conditions.
actualVortex.jpg

Glider pilots will tell you they share the airspace with soaring birds (modern gliders have better “sink” rates than birds) and you can watch them adjust their flight to remain in the thermal and the glider pilot following his variometer finds himself flying the same course as the birds.

A soaring bird crossing the downwind vortex trail would, on exiting an area of lift will turn back in to it and on subsequent crossings reverse the direction of turn – by this navigation method it zig zags or circles up towards the turbine. Once the bird passes the turbine it turns once again to find the “thermal” it was using. This then becomes the “suicidal” behavior we see.

Clearly the fatal footprint of a wind turbine is very much larger that the physical space it occupies.

It has recently been discovered that birds flying in typical “V” formations do so for reason of energy conservation – stealing a little bit of lift from the wing vortices of the bird diagonally ahead – this behavior was previously thought to be a line of sight issue.

birds.jpg


This behavior is typical for large migratory bird species – also at risk from the presence of wind turbines.

Migratory birds travelling over water typically adjust their flight paths to fly over islands to gain the benefit of any thermal lift. An offshore wind turbine would look like a tree, obviously must be supported by an “island” – so they adjust their flight path – through the rotating turbine which in most cases are large enough to transect the typical flight altitude of migratory birds. Again birds adopt these altitudes to best make use of thermals and conserve energy.

The above behavior patterns explain the disproportionate mortality for larger birds, particularly large soaring birds like raptors and migratory species.
Wind power is endangering species that have survived numerous ice ages, sea level changes etc - Global Warming poses no threat to them - Wind Turbines are positively lethal - refer the following link that suggest that environmentalists are in a state of denial over this inconvenient truth.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8807761/wind-farms-vs-wildlife/

This by an Oxford professor of ornithology and an expert on species extinction.

Refer to the following article in which windpower companies are using bird mortality figures and sampling guidelines for 50-60m high wind turbines on 100-130m wind turbines in order to “gloss over” the damage being done to bird (and particularly raptor) populations. They also indulge in wishful thinking such as 30 day periods between surveys when they know from other studies that most carcasses are removed by scavengers within 10 days thus underreporting avian mortalities by anywhere from 2 to 10 times the real values.

Wind turbines kill up to 39 million birds a year! - CFACT

The Irish Sea is festooned with offshore wind farms and sea bird numbers have fallen drastically – the greens are in denial and are trying desperately to find some other plausible cause – preferably finding some way of blaming man/climate change as the cause.

Admittedly causality remains unproven but a drop of 50 to 80% in some seabird populations, concomitant with the growth in offshore wind farms, is certainly alarming.

As Wind Farms Overwhelm The Irish Sea, Isle Of Man Seabird Populations Plummet

There's always more to any argument than that propounded in the sales brochures.

And yes this topic is probably better on another forum - so that's it from me.

Regards, Ken
 

HMEL

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As with any system, when you consider the total cost, efficiencies get a bit different, oil is cheap only if you assume there will be no significant environmental costs and the costs of rectifying the damage or the destruction of, in the worst estimates, 80 - 90% of humanity. I doubt we will solve the problems here and a Princeton University study shows that what we say or think will have no statistical significance on how policy is made but it is something to think about.
What is said and what is thought is the basis of established policy. It goes back to the fundamental principal that laws are based on society mores. Princeton University should know this and too accept the fact what we think has no significance ignores the fact that we vote for those who establish the policy. To think otherwise is defeatism.

Policies are political and they fail either because the people who establish them are removed or because they are unworkable.

80 to 90 percent of humanity loss due to climate change has no calculated basis and can not be calculated nor estimated. Why not use the number 100%. Much greater fear factor.

In the case of this energy policy and climate change it will probably fail because Its based on poor science , poor economics, and very poor engineering. Much will be learned as we are now entering the first phase of the Grand Solar Minimum cycle. It will be interesting to see how this goes.
 
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re: "80 to 90 percent of humanity loss due to climate change has no calculated basis and can not be calculated nor estimated. Why not use the number 100%."
Sports people (and TV commentators, etc.) oft quote "120% performance", etc., and I wonder if some politicians would even go so far as that?
We (engineers) may appreciate the use of numbers and statistics, so killing "120%" of the population "sounds worse" - though impossible, so it is quite likely that some politicians may do so! I heard a headmaster quoting that he believed "100% of his pupils were above average. We don't agree with statistics in this school!", when a reporter suggested that average meant 50% were below average?
The ONLY statistic that makes sense is that, "100% of people die". I once added up all the percentages of deaths by smoking, car accidents, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a few other things and got well over "100%"!
Maybe James Bond had the answer? - "You only die twice"?
So who can talk sense and make decisions?
K2
 

terryd

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re: "80 to 90 percent of humanity loss due to climate change has no calculated basis and can not be calculated nor estimated. Why not use the number 100%."
Sports people (and TV commentators, etc.) oft quote "120% performance", etc., and I wonder if some politicians would even go so far as that?
We (engineers) may appreciate the use of numbers and statistics, so killing "120%" of the population "sounds worse" - though impossible, so it is quite likely that some politicians may do so! I heard a headmaster quoting that he believed "100% of his pupils were above average. We don't agree with statistics in this school!", when a reporter suggested that average meant 50% were below average?
The ONLY statistic that makes sense is that, "100% of people die". I once added up all the percentages of deaths by smoking, car accidents, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a few other things and got well over "100%"!
Maybe James Bond had the answer? - "You only die twice"?
So who can talk sense and make decisions?
K2
Hi K2,

A similar comment was made by an education minister a few years ago - I forget who it was - who reckoned that the education system was to be improved by his government so that every pupil would be above average! It says something more about politicians than education.

TerryD
 

Gordon

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It is possible to be above average in relation to a larger group. Your family can all be above the average weigh of the average weight of your country.
 

terryd

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It is possible to be above average in relation to a larger group. Your family can all be above the average weigh of the average weight of your country.
Of course that is simple statistics,

But not everyone can be above average in a particular group such as the whole school population of a country which was my point.

TDX
 

lohring

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terryd

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Wind power contributed 24.8% of UK electricity supplied in 2020, having surpassed coal in 2016 and nuclear in 2018.....

 
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That "24%" is probably better than the efficiency of your car... (and mine?). But (like my car!), as winds only blow for part of the time it cannot make "100% of the supply" - unless we create HUGE storage of "electricity" to buffer the wind dwell periods. - Maybe flood Yorkshire with a pumped storage system? - That's about the size of it. - Or dam the Bristol channel from Cornwall to the Pembrokeshire coast?
K2
My tongue-in-cheek just got bitten in my enthusiasm!
 
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Oh, I just remembered, If ALL the cars, lorries buses etc. had huge traction batteries, we probably could store enough wind electricity to feed our homes etc. for a couple of hours until the wind starts again? - So, the Consumer will carry the bill for the "Energy storage" required... as long as he doesn't drive on calm days...
K2
 
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More thoughts..
When the batteries are so worn that they are less useful for vehicles, we can stuff them in our homes, just when the fire risk of self-discharging cells is starting to increase above "car safety" levels, so from the newly created "flammability risk" of Lithium-ion batteries as they age, our house insurance will increase disproportionately. (?!)
Did you know that on a road car transporter of maybe 7 or 8 cars you can only carry 1 battery electric car? Or on a railway transporter of 20 cars or so, you can carry 2 (max) battery electrics? That's (International?) Government regulations for you...
So how can we deliver all the battery electric cars they want us to own?
The consequences of Smart phones becoming aflame was one thing, but the risk / consequence of a LARGE and aged lithium-ion battery becoming aflame in your house is really a lot worse....
I think?
Maybe we should keep them in a bomb shelter at the bottom of the garden?
K2
 

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The near term quick development of electric vehicles, most likely because our carbon footprint is being used by nature to stomp us down, will make a progressive advancement by this familiar phrase: "Two steps forward and one step back". Here is an example this month of the one step back! Chevrolet Volt Owner Charged $30,000 For New Battery
 
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