GEOL 1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 30: Wind Farm

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21 Sep 2020
Hao Tran
Physical Geology
Notes: Geol 1
Wind Power
Winds generate about 5x more power than total global energy consumption
North Dakota could provide 1/3 of US electrical needs
2008: Wind generates 1.5% of global electrical supply
20% Denmark, around 15% Spain & Portugal,
10% Germany & Ireland
Wind Advantages
1. Cost down 80% in last 20 years (disputed)
2. Energy Payback only about 1 yr
Wind Disadvantages
1. Not consistent in many areas (wind is not always blowing)
Areas defined by classes 1-7
< Class 3 = wind energy not viable, class 3 or above = ok to use)
2. Best sites often farm from population centers
3. “Not in my backyard” Syndrome
Home turbine: 30 ft tall, blades 7-25 ft long
Industrial Turbine: 20 stories tall, blades about 100 ft long
Case Study: Cape Cod, MA
People objecting to a windfarm that would be built 5.5 miles offshore
Ruining our View” (very rich area)
WARP Turbines
Wind Amplified Rotor Platform
As efficient but more aesthetically pleasing
Is it Safe?
Concerns about birds being killed
Government has reduced fines for wind farm bird deaths for the
next 30 years (wind turbines kill 1 bird/yr on avg)
What about the Safety of other Animals?
Bats, insects, ppl only care about the cute animals
PT 4: Biofuels
Use of biological materials as fuel
Ex. Wood
Renewable IF managed properly
Grow algae, then convert their lipids into biofuel
Algae farms = oil crops
Algae Advantages
1. Doesn’t need freshwater
2. Doesn’t need cropland/soil
3. Waste is biodegradable
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