Alternative power sources


This showed up on another forum

"Some time ago ago there was a very detailed article in an American science magazine that calculated the total energy budget to build a wind turbine. The paper took things back to the energy costs, for instance, of building the quarry truck to get alumium ore to the plant, processing it etc.

The final analysis was that even with optimal winds, effective positioning, and a 25% increase on the anticipated working life, they would NEVER pay back the total energy used.

(But of course, all that is irrelevant, since this was a scientific paper, and wind farms are all about politics and ensuring your friends make lots of money.)"

My preference would be for tidal power rather than wind, tides are consistent and predictable compared to wind turbines, also less visual and environmental impact. Do the costs compete with wind turbines in terms of return on investment? in terms of KWh per buck.

They are currently trying to get planning approval for a large "wind farm" a few miles offshore here, in the order of 250 turbines, the way I see that would be that the cost of getting the power from the turbines to the shore should be about the same in terms of cabling and any other infrastructure, the only differences would be the turbine installations being either wind driven above surface or tidal flow driven below surface.

Geo thermal sources could also do with further investigation.

Discuss ... .. ...

Corno Dolce

Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler
As a partial solution to energy needs I perceive "Tidal Turbines as being far more effective than "Wind Farms". Tidal forces are much more reliable than wind currents, as we all know.......


New member
You are correct Mike. Wind Turbines and Solar Panels are all about political Help-A-Buddy. Back in the late 1970's a friend in New Mexico who worked for the Department of Energy told me that the Los Alamos Latratories were working on Geo-Thermal power. To the best of my knowledge nothing ever came. There have been a number of other plausible solutions which have died a slow lingering death at the hands of our political masters who are not interested in solutions.


Any one else seen the pictures of the wind turbine that caught fire in Scotland........due to high winds?



Chief assistant to the assistant chief
Solar energy is the only way to go when we have the technology to use it that is. Regarding the costing of 'Wind Turbines' would not this apply to most things that are being considered??


Further thoughts:-

Searching on the web, I have yet to find an independent discussion of the alternatives; no single site discusses more than one source, leading me to think that X university's study is funded by the wind farm fraternity, while University Y is funded by the Hydro companies, University Z's funds coming from the Solar or Geo thermal lot.

I would suggest that different technologies suit different places, obviously no one will try and sell tidal power in Arizona or the Sahara, by similar reasoning why try to sell wind power to a place where the wind varies from dead calm to near hurricane force gales, like the UK which also happens to be surrounded by tidal water, which is constant and prdictable.

The place for wind farms (if anywhere) should be in places where the wind is more constant and predictable. In UK it seems to me the majority are more likely erected for the subsidies, and we could be in danger of so many being built that too much reliance is placed on them (no back up when we get a long period of calm or gales?).


A few years ago I was reading that extracting methane gas from rubbish land fill sites was going to provide all the power we needed. I guess the wind farm nuts put paid to that. Probably too economical and without the large subsidies. Any one heard of this project?



But we seem to have shot ourself in the foot there, more and more recycling means less rubbish for landfill.

In my view here in UK the obvious answer is tidal power, as I said above we are surrounded on all sides by tidal water; problem is you can't see much of underwater turbines, so there is not much to point to saying "look how "green" we are".

Geo thermal also sounds like viable project, solar panels should be OK in the Sahara but less use in lands heavily populated - especially with the amount of sun we don't get. Again Solar panels like wind turbines are highly visible and make for easy publicity, yet are (over) sold in places with less of the required energy (sun or wind)