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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mine gets it from the wind.

New Wind Energy: http://www.newwindenergy.com/

This is 100% wind generated. And they are striving to build as many new wind farms as possible. I went by the one nearest to my home...it was pretty cool.

I buy 500kWhs per month at $12.50. This is in addition to my regular power bill. I use about 300kWh, so the extra helps cover the power usage of my car (which gets driven about 5000 miles a year).

There are many ways to change your energy sources.

Green-e has a website that will help you find the best renewable sources in your area.

Look for new renewables. This means new investments in wind, biomass etc.

http://green-e.org/your_e_choices/e_choices_index.html

If renewables are not available in your area you can still buy renewable certificates from companies outside your area. This will offset your usage but will apply it to another powergrid, which is just as good as putting it in your powergrid.

Again, you can look to my provider for such a service.

http://newwindenergy.com/nationwide_...7-22_smll.html

Thanks for reading, and if you don't already - I hope you join me in using clean renewable power.
 

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I pay a premium through my local power provider to receive electricity from alternative sources. Though, considering I live in an apartment, I'm sure I'm merely subsidizing their exploration of these alternatives. Either way, I'm happy to be doing something.
 

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My computer gets its power from mostly gas/oil power. Not so good for the environment. I don't have a choice, because I live with my parents. I try to get them on green power, but I don't want to have my power from not so animal friendly power supplies (wind&water). So I think I will save some money and when I have enough money I will buy a solar power unit.
 

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my energy is from wind source as well. it only costs an extra $2.50 for every 100 kWh and since i only use about 100 kWh a month, it's a small price to pay.
 

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There is tons more Wind power due to be implemented

around the UK (mostly in offling seashore/coastal areas I think).

I'm all for green power... and the bit extra that you tend to have to pay will hopefully even out soon or even become cheaper, who knows(?)... I hope so!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
"DTI (Dept of Trade & Industry I think) is forecasting that the next generation of offshore wind farms could generate power for 1 in 6 UK households by 2010 and put Government well on track to meeting it's legally binding target to obtain 10% of the country's electricity supplies from renewable sources by the end of the decade.

On the same day (July 14, 2003), the industry's professional body, BWEA, has released the results of new opinion poll research among UK bill payers, which shows a vast majority are supportive of Governments ambitions as laid out in the Energy White Paper to double the renewables share of the generation mix to 20% by 2020. The survey also revealed the continuing high level of support for wind energy, with a massive 74% of bill payers polled in favour of increasing the use of wind power in the UK. Todays announcement from government to expand offshore wind therefore comes with the support of three-quarters of Britain's tax payers.

In addition to powering 4 million homes across the country, successful projects built under 'Round 2' could also lead the way for a new industry with tens of thousands of jobs in construction, installation and maintenance of the next generation of wind turbines, creating a huge opportunity for Britain to become a world leader in this exciting new power sector."
 

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I get my power from an outlet in the wall.

I was debating whether to post on this one, but I figured what the hell.

First of all, I think you're all doing a good thing by voting with you dollar, or pound, for green sources.

But....

I did just want to make a quick point: conservation is still important. By saying you get your power from wind might mislead someone into believing that their power is clean and therefore it's time to crank the AC. Power is a fungible good; once it hits the grid, there's no discerning whether it's coming from a turbine or gas fired plant. The existing wind farms are going to put out as much power as they can regardless if they're selling it to you at a premium or to your power company at market rates. Fluctuations in demand are going to be met with ramping up conventional power sources or flipping on gas fired peaking stations. Enough people crank their AC, it will result in an increase in conventional production not the wind blowing faster.

So, in other words, short term it doesn't do jack. But by voting with your dollars, it does demonstrate a stable market, hopefully at premium prices, that will assist in the creation of additional windfarms.

On other note: there are some marketing companies that claim to green power that include gas fired units. This sucks. Often these gas fired units are simple cycle peaking stations which are really inefficient. While natural gas units do avoid SOx and particulate, they're not any better than coal in terms of NOx and CO2. Coal has done a pretty good job on cleaning up the SOx and particulate, so I don't see paying a premium for nat'l gas, particularly if they are less efficient units.
 

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Unfortunately, I, too, get my power from the wall socket.... Like Vegantastic, I am a dependent and have little choice.

I conserve all I can, though -- but it would help if our windows were in more opportune locations. Stupid architects!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
sorry vick I think you are not getting the whole picture here.

1. "conservation is still important"

Nobody (sane) would argue this point as being incorrect.

2."there's no discerning whether it's coming from a turbine or gas fired plant"

I agree the power getting to my house is not 100% wind. It may not even be 1% wind.

The point is the grid is filled with all the power that is consumed in its area. When I buy wind energy my power grid must purchase the 500kWh of wind I pay for. This replaces the grid's use of 500kWh of coal/nuke/etc. power. Thus my powergrid pollutes 500kWh less. Plain and simple.

3. "The existing wind farms are going to put out as much power as they can regardless if they're selling it to you at a premium or to your power company at market rates."

When more consumers start buying energy from alternate energy sources the demand will begin to surpass the supply...

This lowers prices for alternate fuel and forces power companies to build new alternate fuel "manufacturing" facilities.

4. ""Enough people crank their AC, it will result in an increase in conventional production not the wind blowing faster."

Again, if those people are buying clean power, it will force the production of new clean power facilities. If those people are using conventional fuels, it will indeed result in conventional production.

5. "there are some marketing companies that claim to green power that include gas fired units"

If you have a doubt as to the cleanliness of the fuel, check green-e.org.

In the short term and the long term it does everything.

It is people (forgive me) like you, that hurt the environment in the short and long term.

One final thought...

If everyone used non-polluting, renewable fuels would it really matter if everyone wasted electricity?
 

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"Again, if those people are buying clean power, it will force the production of new clean power facilities."

Eventually yes. But not today, tomorrow or a month from now. (In other words, not short term.) If the combined sales ever exceeded the combined output from wind power then yes, it would demand the creation of additional wind farms. My guess is that the combined demand is FAR from the combined production. If you have stats to disprove me, let me know. Even if the sales doesn't exceed current production, your efforts will demonstrate a premium market for the juice and could help other farms get built. That's a good thing.

But...

The fact is when enough people flip on their AC, it results in a increase in production. That increase does not come from wind. Accounting doesn't change the physics.

"It is people (forgive me) like you, that hurt the environment in the short and long term."

Yes, I know. But let me expand on that: It is people like US that hurt the environment in the short and long term. Don't start claiming immunity just because you pony up some extra cash at the end of the month.

WE use juice, that creates pollution. You're buying juice that the power company would have bought anyway. By throwing extra cash at it, your are 1) paying the salaries of those at the marketing co and 2) solidifying a market for alternative power. This is a good thing. I'm not denying it. But don't go around thinking you've bought personal salvation for twelve fitty a month.

So what I do? I dropped $50k and four years on an engineering degree. If I can make even a slight improvement on a power plant, I will make a hell of lot more difference than you and your $12.50 a month. Hell, I probably helped the environment more on a power saving fan drive system (currently used on London double deckers). And what's more, I get paid doing it. I love life. Does that mean my farts don't stink? No, they stink.

"If everyone used non-polluting, renewable fuels would it really matter if everyone wasted electricity?"

Probably. I don't really believe that wind is the total solution, so it matters what other sources you consider. Whatever the source, it is likely to be capital intensive. Do you keep building more and more turbines, more and more transmission lines just cause people can't remember to turn out the lights. What about the birds?

I don't believe in something for nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I pay for 500kWh of renewable energy that would not be in my powergrid unless I paid for it.

If I chose to just use the normal electric mix I would be polluting my area with 500kWh of coal/nuke generated power.

My power company is only forced into buying a very limited amount of renewables by the govenment. They are not going to buy more because renewables cost more than coal generated power, unless I tell them to.

They must buy the type of electricity I tell them to, at least for my kWh usage.

"The fact is when enough people flip on their AC, it results in a increase in production. That increase does not come from wind. Accounting doesn't change the physics.it results in a increase in production. That increase does not come from wind"

If I increase my power usage from 350kWh per month to 800kWh per month and buy renewable energy the increase in production to cover that 450kWh comes from renewables.

If a person that uses conventional power boosts their usage the same, their 450kWh come from conventional sources.

The bird issue has been dealt with. In the first years of wind generated power migratory paths were not looked at, and the tops of the towers were hospitable to birds, so they nested there and died in the turbines.

This is no longer true.

"So what I do? I dropped $50k and four years on an engineering degree. If I can make even a slight improvement on a power plant, I will make a hell of lot more difference than you and your $12.50 a month. "

I don't agree. If everyone paid $12.50 more a month there wouldn't be a need for that conventional power plant you slightly improved.

I advocate building renewable generation plants and closing non-renewable plants.

The only way this will happen is if the public buys renewable energys.

They use the same transmission lines.

There is an environmental footprint for all forms of power, but wind, solar, and biomass have much lower footprints than conventional power.

It sounds like you are advocating this stance...

"since it isn't perfect yet, don't do it"

my stance?

"it is so much better for everyone and everything in this world, so why wait?"
 

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"I pay for 500kWh of renewable energy that would not be in my powergrid unless I paid for it."

You are deluding yourself.

Listen, taking into account what is out there today, right now, short term etc. (in other words, not including what gets built by solidify the market)....

There are X number of turbines in the country, producing Y amount of power. Do you believe by contracting a certain amount of that you have affected Y amount of production? How? Did you make the wind blow harder? Or do you believe that if you didn't buy a certain portion of it, the wind power producers would simply ground out the electricity or turn off the turbines? Believe me, anything that gets produced gets consumed, and you're not affecting production (short term).

I agree with the bird issue; I was just being argumentative. Birds do still get killed by turbines, but not by a much greater rate than buildings or power lines.

"If everyone paid $12.50 more a month there wouldn't be a need for that conventional power plant you slightly improved."

First of all, I have no control over what others do. I'm comparing my contribution vs. yours, not mine vs. a population of angels.

Secondly, I don't believe wind is the total solution (there's a thread not too far down the list that give my position on wind.) You think that if everyone just ponied up an extra $12.50/month, the world's energy production problems would be solved. BS. If everyone where to start specifying wind energy, the price would shoot way the hell up until the only those rich enough to bid on the ?2% of current production could afford it. It would spur an incredible growth in building wind farms until eventually the demand and supply curves crossed. But these curves would cross at a much higher spot than +$12.50/month.

"It sounds like you are advocating this stance...

'since it isn't perfect yet, don't do it' "

No. I think I stated atleast twice that you were doing a good thing. My only point, besides entertainment, was to stress that conservation is still critical. I'm glad I did post because I believe you are deluding yourself on the actual benefit your money is buying.

Personally I believe that if you are confronted with the choice of using a certain amount of money to either contract some wind power or to pay for a more efficient AC, you should pay for the AC. Ideally you should do both, but we don't live in an ideal world.
 

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i agree with you, vick vega, it's true that short-term, purchasing green energy isn't having a real effect on the situation. i'm not quite sure why pghmountainbkr fails to see the logic, but it's certainly correct. but i think we all agree that that alone isn't a reason not to support alternative energy projects such that they grow in the future. without the additional prices that consumers are paying for this green energy, power companies would have no incentive to produce more wind turbines.

however, i'm a little uncomfortable with your use of short-term and long-term. i guess it really boils down to what we mean by the two, because i don't know that these "long-term" effects are really so far down the road. they are certainly not immediate effects but i wouldn't call them long-term either. perhaps we can rename them to immediate-term and short-term, instead of short-term and long-term?
 

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i just thought i'd add this, maybe to help pghmountainbkr understand. if you're looking at your own effects and that's it, yes you have succeeded in reducing your pollution and dependency on non-renewable sources. however, if you look at the whole picture, there's no immediate reduction in pollution or increase in green energy. the green energy is simply being allocated differently - namely, it's going specifically to you and other wind power users instead of the power company indiscriminately choosing where it goes.
 
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