Thursday, March 04, 2010

I see electricity generated in three different ways

I live in a cool place, cause I can see three different electricity generating ways from my window. There are wind turbines whirling (at least some of them some of the time), peat-fired power plant, and a hydroelectric dam (well i can't really see the dam, but it's right there behind the buildings. )

They all claim to be the desired new ecological renewable energy. Some people complain about the view harming effects of wind turbines, but in Oulu they are centrally placed to create Image of Oulu as new technology green supervillage.

Via Coyote blog comments I found this article making the case, that wind power is really troublesome, and No solution to anything. I don't know. I have anti-wind bias, probably mostly due my curmudgeonry and the unfounded believe, held by many (and which I find rather annoying), that we can just abandon both coal and nuclear power, if we just want and demand wind power.

Hydroelectric dams are praised by everyone as long as we are not building any new ones. Peat I find problematic. Is it a renewable or not? And does it matter. If wetlands are going to release a lot of methane and carbon dioxide even when we do nothing to them, maybe we are better of draining the swamps and collecting the peat. Who has a good take on peat and it's effect. What was the news about the historic spike in methane level caused not by humans, but by wetlands formed when the last ice age ended? And aren't the methane releasing wetlands that are going to form when Siberian permafrost melts one of the positive feedbacks that are going to cause catastrophic warming? My uninformed opinion right now is, that we are better of without the wetlands (the swamps, bogs, peat swamp forests, moors, muskegs, pocosins, mires and whatnots) forming methane and burning the peat for electricity.

I find nuclear energy fascinating. And I would rather have a nuclear power plant to look at from my window, than a peat plant. The air quality is not always the very good in Oulu for a city this size. And people really are afraid of nuclear plants, so maybe my rent would be lower. People are fine with city air quality killing people, but if the same amount of health problems and death would be caused by radiation everyone would go mad with rage against the nulecule breaking machines.

The picture is from wikipedia.

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