8/28/2009

Wind power meets its snail darter

This is pretty ironic, but with everything in life there are trade-offs.

(From Bloomberg) — Iberdrola SA and E.ON AG’s turbine dreams for the windswept Texas Panhandle may be stymied by the mating rituals of the Lesser Prairie Chicken, a bird whose future could slow the pace of U.S. renewable energy growth.

Developers are scouring the sagebrush and grasslands of potential turbine sites for the ground-dwelling chickens, E.ON chief development officer Patrick Woodson said. Once plentiful in the southern high plains, the bird now has a high priority for listing under the Endangered Species Act, a move that will affect where as much as $11 billion in turbines can be built.

Federal protection for the chickens will hamper Texas’s plan to add 5,500 megawatts of wind power in the region by 2013, a 60 percent increase for the state. President Barack Obama wants to double all U.S. energy from renewable sources such as the wind and sun in three years to reduce dependence on imported oil and the greenhouse-gas emissions blamed for global warming.

“The windiest parts of some of these states seem to be the areas that still have bigger concentrations of prairie chickens,” Woodson said in an Aug. 13 interview. “We need to plan for a worst-case scenario, which would be a listing.” . . .

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1 Comments:

Blogger TooMuchTime said...

This is SO rich! The environmentalists have no idea what to do.

We've run into a similar issue in CA. The Altamont Pass has wind-powered generators all over the place. The environmentalists demanded them because it's "renewable" energy.

Unless, of course, if you happen to be a bird. Since dead birds can't be "renewed" to fill out numbers on the ESA lists. In this case the generator blades are like giant Ginsu knives.

So, the renewable energy environmentalists are arguing with the endangered species environmentalists and nothing is getting done.

Well, we do a few kilowatts of energy occasionally. Unless a bird gets hit. Then the blades slow down and "renewable" electricity amounts drop.

8/28/2009 4:22 PM  

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