Thursday, January 23, 2020

Green?  50,000 Tons Of Non-Recyclable Wind Turbine Blades Dumped In The Landfill

Funny, no one seemed to consider what to do with the massive amount of wind turbine blades once they reached the end of their lifespan.  Thus, the irony of the present-day Green Energy Movement is the dumping of thousands of tons of “non-recyclable” supposedly renewable wind turbine blades in the country’s landfills.

Who would have thought? What’s even worse, is that the amount of wind turbine blades slated for waste disposal is forecasted to quadruple over the next fifteen years as a great deal more blades reach their 15-20 year lifespan.  Furthermore, the size and length of the newly installed wind turbine blades are now twice as large as they were 20-30 years ago.

Honestly, I hadn’t considered the tremendous amount of waste generated by the so-called “Renewable” wind power industry until a long-term reader sent me the link to the following article, Landfill begins burying non-recyclable Wind Turbine Blades:

Hundreds of giant windmill blades are being shipped to a landfill in Wyoming to be buried because they simply can’t be recycled.  Local media reports several wind farms in the state are sending over 900 un-reusable blades to the Casper Regional Landfill to be buried. While nearly 90 percent of old or decommissioned wind turbines, like the motor housing, can be refurbished or at least crushed, fiberglass windmill blades present a problem due to their size and strength.

“Our crushing equipment is not big enough to crush them,” a landfill representative told NPR.

Prior to burying the cumbersome, sometimes nearly 300-foot long blades, the landfill has to cut them up into smaller pieces onsite and stack them in order to save space during transportation.

Wyoming isn’t the only landfill accepting worn-out wind turbine blades.  They are also being dumped in IOWA and SOUTH DAKOTA.  Although, there’s probably a lot more landfills across the country, especially in Texas, that are accepting old wind turbine blades.  Texas has the largest amount of wind-generated energy in the United States at 27,036 MegaWatts, followed by Iowa (8,965 MW), Oklahoma (8,072 MW), Kansas (6,128 MW), and California (5,842 MW). (source: Wikipedia)

So, with Texas powering more wind energy than the next three  states combined, they will be discarding an enormous amount of wind turbine blades in the state’s landfills over the next 10-20 years.

Now, why is the Wind Power Industry discarding its blades in landfills?  Unfortunately, due to the way the blades are manufactured, it isn’t economical or practical to recycle them even though some small-scale recycling has been done. 

The wind turbine blades are a toxic amalgam of unique composites, fiberglass, epoxy, polyvinyl chloride foam, polyethylene terephthalate foam, balsa wood, and polyurethane coatings.   So, basically, there is just too much plastic-composite-epoxy crapola that isn’t worth recycling.  Again, even though there are a few small recycling centers for wind turbine blades, it isn’t economical to do on a large scale.

As I mentioned, the wind power units built today are getting much taller and larger.  Check out the 83.5 meter (274 feet) long wind turbine blade being transported for a 7 MegaWatt system:

This picture was taken in 2016.  So, in about 15-20 years, this blade will need to be replaced.  Just think of the cost to remove three massive blades this size, cut them up, transport them to the landfill and cover them with tons of soil.  Now, multiply that by tens of thousands of blades. According to the data from Hochschule Bremerhaven & Ahlstrom-Munksjo, the wind industry will generate 50,000 tons of blade waste in 2020, but that will quadruple to 225,000 tons by 2034.  I have read that some estimates show an even higher amount of blade waste over the next 10-20 years.

I don’t believe the public realizes what a horrible waste of resources that wind energy is when you start to look at the entire operation from beginning to end. Wind energy is definitely not RENEWABLE.  And, even worse… the wind turbines are not lasting as long as the 20-25 years forecasted by the industry.  A study that came out in 2012 by Gordon Hughes, researching the relatively mature Dutch and U.K. Wind Industry, suggested that only a few of the wind farms would be operating for more than 12-15 years.


EPA’s Science Blowout: Air pollution revisited

A unique event in regulatory science just happened. One that could only have occurred in the rock ’em, sock ’em Trump era.

An Environmental Protection Agency science advisory panel informed the EPA administrator that 25 years and $600 million worth of the science underpinning the agency’s flagship air quality regulatory program is essentially worthless. Many of these problems are discussed in a new report from the Texas Public Policy Foundation, “The EPA’s Pretense of Science: Regulating Phantom Risks.”

Though this is a huge victory for those of us who have been critical of the EPA “science” for decades, it has come almost too late. The Clinton, Bush and Obama EPAs used this “science” to inflict trillions of dollars’ worth of compliance costs on Americans, not to mention incalculable lost economic opportunities.

The EPA’s Clean Air Act Science Advisory Board wrote to Administrator Andrew Wheeler on December 16 that the agency’s most recent assessment of the health effects of particulate matter like soot and dust (PM) in outdoor air is not comprehensive, systematic or adequate for determining that PM caused health effects.

The immediate regulatory implication of the letter is to inform Wheeler that there is no scientific basis for further tightening of the national air quality standard for PM, consideration of which EPA is undertaking as required by the Clean Air Act.

PM in outdoor air was first weaponized by the Clinton administration in 1997 as part of its controversial bid to tighten the air-quality standard for ozone (ground-level smog), then estimated to impose as much as $100 billion worth of compliance costs per year. EPA tried to offset these costs by claiming that its new standards would prevent 20,000 premature deaths per year. When valued at $5 million per prevented death, the ozone regulation was magically paid for.

When EPA’s outside science advisers and Congress separately challenged the EPA’s claim that PM killed by asking for the supporting scientific data, EPA ignored the science advisers and the brusquely told Congress that the agency saw no useful purpose in providing the data.

Reluctant to challenge anything environmental, the Bush administration failed to get a grip on the EPA and the agency staff proceeded to strengthen its PM case not with better science but rather with more science. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to get thousands of papers published claiming that PM killed.

The stage was then set for the Obama administration, which launched the war on coal behind the claim that reducing coal plant emissions via regulation would prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths every year. Obama EPA administrator Lisa Jackson even testified to Congress that PM “doesn’t make you sick …  it just kills you,” and that if PM was adequately regulated, as many as 570,000 lives could be saved every year.

Not only did the Obama EPA continue to ignore congressional requests for the underlying scientific data but it also ignored a House subpoena for the data.

To manage the problem of overly inquisitive outside science advisers, EPA replaced its largely independent outside air-quality science advisers with panels of almost entirely EPA-funded university researchers.

By stiff-arming Congress and rigging the statutorily mandated scientific review process, EPA successfully prosecuted the war on coal, driving the largest coal companies into bankruptcy and erasing 94 percent of the market value of the coal industry.

Then came the Trump administration.

The first thing to go was the EPA’s system of “pal review” from its outside science advisers. With new conflict-of-interest rules, Trump EPA administrator Scott Pruitt banned agency grantees from serving as reviewers. Pruitt then proposed to ban reliance by the agency on scientific data that wasn’t made publicly available upon request, setting off a furious response ginned up by those hiding their research data. Pruitt’s successor, Wheeler, then dissolved the extant panel of Obama administration-chosen PM science advisers.

And after available science advisory panel slots were filled with Trump administration picks, a more balanced board of science advisers has now, by majority vote, returned the panel back to where it was in 1996, when it first advised Clinton EPA administrator Carol Browner that the EPA had no evidence that PM caused premature death.

The claims, actions and consequences of this EPA saga have been extraordinary. Massive funding of university researchers to make dubious claims of mass death, arrogant hiding of taxpayer-funded scientific data, agency disregard for congressional oversight, rigged peer-review, destruction of the coal industry, huge ongoing compliance costs and much more.

And the drama is far from over. Wheeler will in 2020 make the final decision on the air-quality standards and the science transparency rule. Meanwhile the other side is furiously working to undermine both efforts while doubling down on their claims that PM kills. But their data remains secret.


UK: Wind farms built to tackle climate change could be final nail in coffin for seabirds, RSPB warns

Wind farms built to tackle climate change could be the "final nail in the coffin" for sea birds, the RSPB has warned as it publishes a new report into their feeding hotspots.

The UK is a globally crucial place for these birds, as it contains 8 million breeding pairs. They are in fast decline - seabirds have faced a 70 per cent drop worldwide since the 1970s, and numbers continue to fall.

When the birds feed, they fly out to sea to find food sources such as sandeels. The RSPB has tracked over 1,000 of Britain's four most threatened bird species — kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills and shags — and found they feed at certain "hotspots". Many of these are sandbanks where small fish are found - which happen to be the places developers find it easier to build offshore wind turbines.

The new research, published in the journal Biological Conservation, found that the hotspots are bigger than all the Special Protection Areas in the UK, where human activity on bird life is curbed.

It has also identified areas in which the building of infrastructure including wind farms should be banned, the RSPB said.

Gareth Cunningham, the bird charity's chief marine policy officer, told The Telegraph: "We are in the middle of the climate emergency and one of the methods for addressing that is offshore wind. Currently there's very little monitoring done on offshore wind farms.

"Wind farms need to be built where the sea is fairly shallow, sometimes this means they are built on areas which are meant for foraging.

"The new data shows where birds go so we need to not put offshore wind in these hotspots. We need environmentally sensible installations. We have a biodiversity emergency — we don't want to make this worse while tackling climate emergency. We need to deal with climate change but we need to make sure the measures we take to address climate change aren't the final nail in the coffin for seabirds."

Wind farms can harm these little birds because collision with the blades can cause death as they try to fly to their feeding spots. Even the birds which wisely dodge the structures are harmed; they are forced to take large detours, putting chicks at risk of starvation as they wait for their parents to return.

Dr Ian Cleasby, lead author of the research, said: “The sight and sound of hundreds of thousands of seabirds flocking to our shores is an amazing natural spectacle and something that we must help protect for future generations to enjoy. The results from this research provides better evidence that allows us to identify important areas of sea that should be part of protected areas and help to improve how we plan for development at sea to reduce conflicts between the needs of our seabirds and human activities at sea”

This comes as the government commits to a Seabird Conservation Strategy, to be published in December 2020, and has designated new Special Protection Areas for terns in the Solent  and near Middlesbrough .

These new areas will protect the birds from human activity, such as fishing or outdoor recreation. The new and extended locations join 47 existing sites in English waters.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: "As the devastating impacts of climate change are only too visible, it is vital that we take decisive steps now that make a real difference to help protect our wildlife and allow vulnerable species to recover.

"We have already protected important nesting sites for seabirds, such as the little tern, and these new and additional protections to their feeding grounds, together with the development of a new strategy to protect our seabirds, will help the coastal environment recover, develop and, importantly, thrive."

Tony Juniper, Natural England Chair, added:  "Many of Britain’s sea and shorebird populations are globally important and for that reason we have a particular responsibility to protect and enhance them. I am delighted that, following an extensive evidence-based assessment by Natural England, these new areas, confirmed today by Government, will help to do that. They will ensure that species of conservation concern, such as terns and waders, have access to secure food sources, including during their critical annual breeding seasons."


Regulatory Action Center Supports EPA's Cost-Saving Methane De-Regulation

FreedomWorks Foundation's Regulatory Action Center (RAC) is driving comments in support of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) reform on methane. This new rule would remove regulatory barriers erected by the Obama administration. It would save the American taxpayer tens of millions of dollars and help lower energy costs for U.S. households. You can make your voice heard HERE to support this crucial reform.

Existing Obama-era regulations on methane impose stringent regulations for the transmission and storage of methane. This means that even though the mere storage of methane did not contribute significantly to air pollution, the Obama administration counted it against organizations that store and transmit methane as if it had polluted the environment. This is predatory regulatory overreach at its finest.

The Trump Administration, under the leadership of Administrator Wheeler, has ruled that the Obama EPA erred in its judgment. In order to be regulated under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act, the agency must determine that there is a significant impact on air pollution. Otherwise, any regulation is unlawful. The EPA also expects minimal environmental impact by this de-regulation, because of its allowance for modifications and the aforementioned issue of methane storage not contributing to air pollution.

EPA’s regulatory impact analysis estimates that the proposed amendments would save the oil and natural gas industry $17-$19 million a year, for a total of $97-$123 million from 2019 through 2025. This is cost-saving to the American taxpayer and is an important step towards lowering the energy bills for all Americans.


Tony Abbott says 'every extreme weather event' in Australia is being used as 'proof of climate change' by eco fanatics who have become 'religious' in their beliefs

He is clearly still aware that global warming is hokum

Tony Abbott says climate change zealots are wrongly using 'every extreme weather event' as undeniable proof of global warming, with the former prime minister denying it was the main cause of Australia's unprecedented bushfire crisis.

Mr Abbott launched a stinging rebuke of eco warriors at an event for the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank, in Washington D.C. on Tuesday - where he also lauded US President Donald Trump's first term in office.

The former Liberal Party leader and volunteer firefighter said deadly bushfires were inevitable in Australia and pointed to the century-old Dorothea Mackeller poem 'My Country' which describes the country as a land 'of droughts and flooding rains'.

Mr Abbott said climate change activists were almost 'religious' in their beliefs that global warming was to blame for the ongoing fires, which have devastated a record amount of land.

'I'm not one of those people who sees the current bushfires as confirmation of all we have feared about the changing climate,' he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

'I see the current bushfires as the sort of thing we are always going to be prone to in a country such as ours.'

Mr Abbott said those who believe climate change is the most important factor in extreme weather events use it as the reason for fires, floods and Hurricane Sandy - which devastated the Carribean in 2012.

'If you think climate change is the most important thing, everything can be turned to proof. I think that to many it has almost a religious aspect to it,' he said.

Mr Abbott, Australia's 28th prime minister, led the country between 2013 and 2015 while served 19 years as a volunteer firefighter for the Rural Fire Service.

He supported Prime Minister Scott Morrison's stance that climate change had some role in causing bushfires, and praised his response to the state of emergency caused by the fires.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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