The “Clean Energy” bill will not be on the November ballot in Maine in 2012 because the required number of signatures could not be mustered. I believe this happened because most Mainer’s have come to realize that this would not have been a “clean energy” bill at all. Maybe it should have been called the “Wind Industry Initiative “bill or the “Clean Energy Hoax” bill. However that may be, it is clear that the “clean energy bill” is a complete and misleading misnomer.
Industrial wind turbines DO NOT provide clean energy. CO2 is being sequestered all the time. It happens wherever water, CO2 and sunshine work in vegetation through a process called photosynthesis. This process produces the Oxygen we and all other animals need to breathe and live. An industrial wind turbine cannot do this. When wind industry front agents say this they say they mean that wind turbines do not produce CO2 and the energy they produce offsets the CO2 that would be produced by fossil fueled electricity generation. They CAN NOT sequester 1 molecule of CO2 and produce Oxygen as could as the acres of trees clear cut to make space for an industrial wind turbine.
Industrial wind turbines DO NOT provide clean energy. The workings of a turbine is a matter of using the wind to move propeller like blades which turns the shaft of a generator to produce electricity. The only problem is that this process if grossly inefficient. So, engineers worked to develop and more efficient generator. This meant reducing the friction in the system and using very powerful magnets to set up a magnetic field in the stator (stabile, nonrotating) field through which the rotor (rotating coil of wire) could move cutting the lines of force of the stator to create electric current.
Researchers discovered that they could make alloys of metals that had incredible magnetic properties. Permanent magnet stators made using alloys containing the rare Earth called Molybdenum provided about the most highly effective generators. These magnets are so strong that discs of the alloys brought together to repel each other required much force and when mounted on a rotor in a generator provided a nearly frictionless system for turning a rotor in a stator. But, how do we come by the much prized rare earth element?
This material is not actually rare. It was only called that because of the historical circumstances that occurred as it was discovered and located in the periodic table of the elements. In fact, China is currently the largest supplier of the material and almost all countries are exploring its mining. The problem is that strip mining for this ore is difficult and the pits it is mined from become contaminated with highly toxic materials. Strip mining this needed special ore that leaves a lake of poisonous chemicals, requires the use of large amounts of diesel fuel which, as it is burned, releases large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Now the needed ores must be processed and refined to be used in the manufacture of an industrial wind turbine. These processes all require burning fossil fuels and burning large amounts of fossil fuels are burned all through the manufacture of these machines. This releases more CO2 into the atmosphere. Once manufactured, the turbines must be loaded onto ocean vessels and be transported by ocean to wherever they are intended to be installed. These vessels are powered by many tons of fossil fuels and release megatons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Once they arrive at their destination, the turbines must be offloaded to heavy duty vehicles which must transport them to their installation site. More diesel fuels pump more CO2 into the atmosphere. These vehicles require very special roads for the delivery operation. The roads must be wide enough to make the turns. The roads must be deeply packed and packed hard. They won’t just ride along on a logging road. Diesel powered equipment must be used to prepare the installment roads and final site and that means creating wide hard-packed barriers to small wildlife, compartmentalizing off species which need to meet. This is just one of the Hellacious assaults on wildlife habitats performed by industrial wind turbines.
Next they must be installed. This is no little feat. The columns to hold the turbine can be 400 to 500 feet tall or more. The casing and the turbine is many tons and each fiberglass blade on the windmill may weigh over 7 tons. And the machines huff out even more CO2. So much fossil fuel must be burned in this process that, before they ever start turning, each industrial wind turbine is responsible for releasing megatons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Once tested and fully installed the turbine needs close maintenance including lubrication with lots and lots of, you know what, oil! And if they don’t have the required lubrication they can, will, and have burst into flame and throw burning materials out into the forests around. Fire fighters are powerless to put them out and must tend to fires that reach the ground. Of course this if difficult if they are sited on remote forested mountaintops and ridges in the wilderness of Maine. Just what is a remote fire warden to do?
Industrial wind turbines provide anything but clean energy and the only renewable part of Industrial wind turbine electricity is the expensive tax and electricity rates needed to artificially prop-up (subsidize) the wind-power industry.