Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Noise That Never Stops

The New York Times reports on a gigantic Brazilian wind farm. The farm is located in an area where the wind never stops… surely a good thing in the wind farm world.

It just shows you what we can do when we can harvest the wind as what the Times calls “a natural resource:”

At night, blinking red dots fill the sky, and the sound of whooshing rotating blades is everywhere — constant reminders of the wind’s abundant presence here on Brazil’s Atlantic coast and its harvesting as a natural resource.

At daybreak, towers rising nearly 400 feet peek out high above the canopy of palm trees, like gigantic dandelions.

Here is the good news:

On this part of the Atlantic coast, the wind blows constantly and in one direction consistently, giving Brazil a steady stream for energy production. The country is now the world’s eighth-largest producer of wind power, according to the Global Wind Energy Council, a trade association, with wind farms operated by Weg, Siemens Gamesa, Wobben Windpower, among other companies.

Among the benefits are these:

A mile from the beach, the view of the turbines reminds the rural area’s residents of both the possibilities and the impact of the industry.

At Morro dos Martins beach, about 80 miles northwest of Natal, Damiao Henrique, 70, plugged electric cables to a pump so he could water his bean plants. A fisherman and farmer, he was removed from his old strip of land and sent a few yards closer to the shore to allow space for a wind farm.

“But I am O.K.,” he said. “As compensation, I received energy from the company, and now I can water my beans more easily.”

Surely, it’s a good thing that Henrique can water his beans more easily.

Other residents have been disappointed:

Other local residents said the promised benefits had not appeared.

“The mayor said there would be schools,” said Maria Venus, 47, who owns a grocery store in Morro dos Martins. “They opened a music school for the community, gave us some guitars and after a year all was put on hold.”

But there is a problem:

And then there is the noise.

“Oh yes,” she added, “they also left this noise that never stops.”

It’s a trade-off. You get cheap energy and you save the planet. On the other hand, the noise never stops. We have heard these stories before. These wind turbines are expense. They are rotted by the salt air. And they damage your health by subjecting you to the “noise that never stops.”

Do you want that in your backyard?


Sam L. said...

Eventually, one is supposed to be able to tune it out. Eventually can be a long, long time.

Gringo said...

Which is why wind projects are better in sparsely populated areas, such as the Permian Basin in West Texas. Another sparsely populated area with a lot of wind would be Patagonia.

Anonymous said...

Why are these renewable energy sources labeled cheap energy? Do the research. They’re more expensive.

Kansas Scout said...

Eventually they will all be abandoned and will become rusting eyesores on the vistas of our beautiful nation. Here in Kansas, failed Gov. Brownback pushed for these things that are not really green after all. Good riddance to him. Now we are stuck with these hideous objects.