Wind energy growth and limits
- Crisis Energetica.<www.crisisenergetica.org> October 27th. 2004.
Spain, has now 7,049 MW installed wind power, world second to
Germany, with 15,600 MW and above USA with 6,371 MW. The number of
turbines exceeds of 10,000 and are now visually perceptible from
everywhere in Spain (Northwestern, Canary Islands, Southern Spain,
in the Gibraltar Strait, in the hills, north of Madrid, or in the
They are very visible, because always occupy the "loins" of
the hills or mountain passes, or the slopes from valleys to plateaus,
like in La Mancha, where the biggest fields are now taking exactly
the same place than the mills Don Quixote attacked with his spear
several centuries ago.
The incentives of the Spanish Government for wind energy, are as
For onshore and offshore fields:
90% of the tariff for the first 15 years and 80% from then onwards.
The wind industry is planning to grow up to 20 to 30,000 MW installed
power and they are seeking for offshore platforms, a possible
indication that the best fields are reaching a peak in the country.
The Association of Wind Energy Producers are now claiming that the
main distributors to which they are connected, are sometimes putting
them off-grid, thus eroding their forecasted income, budgets and
recovery plans, according to some official sources.
The Royal Decree on this matter does not clearly specify the
conditions, but in the rights of the producers under special regime
"To transfer to the system, through the power utility or
its production or surplus of electric energy, whenever the grid
technically allows it"
Based on that, the power utilities are proceeding to put off-grid
some wind farms for instance, during the nights on certain Sundays,
when consumption is in the deepest valley and when the farms exceed
some 12-17% of the total supplied power, according to an official
source. Power utilities, even being part of the wind business, are
starting to feel the limits of this erratic flows into a grid that
needs stability, when percentages of wind energy grow on total.
The Greenpeace director for Spain has promoted the wind energy, in a
public recent debate in TV, comparing the present installed wind
power with the 180 MW nuclear power plant of Zorita. However, he
missed to observe that the load factor of the wind power makes the
whole and impressive 7GW of installed wind power, equivalent to not
more than 1.5 GW plants of nuclear coal or combined cycle plants.
The Spanish nuclear power installed power is about 7.9 GW which
represented the 23% of the total electricity supplied in 2003. The
Government now in power, promised in the past elections that they
will close down the nuclear power plants within 20 years from now.
Should the wind generators have to cover the nuclear power plants,
considering the different load factors, the present wind farms will
have to multiply close to 6 times, probably more.
Besides, and if economic growth continues at the path of the last
decade, in 20 more years, Spain will be consuming a 75% more than
now, thus forcing the wind farms to multiply tenfold.
This opens the debate on several aspects:
· Ten times more wind farms in the country will certainly have
a visual and environmental impact ten times higher than today, which
is already considerable.
· The availability of wind fields of higher classes will, most
likely, had passed the peak by then, in this 200,000 square miles or
500,000 square Km. country.
· It is not yet clear how that exponential growth will affect
general wind flows or the evolution of the natural wind streams
· Or even the possible interferences, beyond the classic
distances of 1.5 times between adjacent turbines and 5 times between
ranks , if fields multiply at this level.
· Offshores are also creating problems with fishermen a very
powerful industry in Spain and with the international navigation
channels, specially in the Gibraltar Strait and the Gulf of Cadiz,
where most prospects are have initially been drafted.
· The percentage of 23% is sensibly higher than the one forcing
today to the power utilities to put off-the-grid the wind farms to
avoid the network to collapse due to instability.
· But still Spain will have only 23% of its electricity coming
from wind power.
· It is doubtful how the wind farms, so much developed in
technology today, will evolve, as a stand alone business, if the
Spanish Government eliminates the present substantial subsidies.
- On Sat, Nov 13, 2004 at 03:37:21PM -0600, Abernethy, Virginia Deane
> If 12 or 13% of the population is foreign-born, and close to 33%Even Carl Horowitz, no friend of immigration, acknowledges the lengthy
> of the federal prison population is foreign-born, a significant
> proportion of the foreign-born are coming here and committing
record showing that immigrants commit no more or possibly even fewer
crimes than the native born. See pages 9 and 10 of the following:
> Or are they just caught in disproportionate numbers????That's one possibility. A few others are that they commit more serious
crimes, that they commit similar crimes but receive longer sentences,
that they have poorer legal representation, etc....
The factor I'd be most curious about is socioeconomic status. Nowadays,
most federal crimes are drug crimes. People with low SES are more likely
to use or deal drugs and, if caught, to have difficulty affording a good
attorney or getting into a rehab program, so they would therefore end up
in prison at higher rates and/or longer sentences.
What we need is data comparing immigrants with native-born of similar
ethnicity and socionomic status.