The Oil Drum: New York City

Helping New Yorkers understand, prepare and adapt to the implications of Peak Oil

Sunday, July 24, 2005

NIMBY Now, Regret Later?


From the NY Times today. Upstate, where there is lots of great land that is perfect for Wind Farms, different communities are making different choices about the placement of wind turbine farms. The different sides of this debate are not your classic industry vs. environmentalist or even Liberals vs. Conservatives clash that usually strike up about power generation. The lines in this battle to increase NY State's Green Power have a lot more to do with money and the view out of your window.

Gov. Pataki and many local government officials have joined forces with cash poor but land rich folks in favor of erecting wind farms while local residents who worry about noise and a disruption of the "natural beauty" that exists without wind farms. Tom Golisano, perennial gubernatorial candidate, has joined the protest against the wind farms.

This is the type of backward attitude of "Not In My Back Yard" NIMBY that people may live to regret in the coming years as energy production will be a very lucrative business for rural communities in the peak oil future. Obviously there needs to be a better job in selling the benefits economically to the local community and perhaps spreading the benefits around a little more.

Some good information about wind energy from the article: Each wind turbine costs $1.5-2 million dollars and can generate the electric for 1,000 homes.

While it will never replace all electrical needs due to the mismatch in peak demand and supply, it can help to reserve coal and gas for peak times and take care of the base demand during its peak generation times. Or they can be used to charge batteries or separate water into Hydrogen for car fuel. Or they could be co-located with solar panels that have a different peak time, thus together generating electricity at almost all times.

Personally if I lived in upstate, I'd love to see windmills and solar panels outside my window!

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