Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Landscape vs Wind Turbines

So, as promised, today I come with the topic: " Is the combination Wind Turbines-landscape good or not?".

Some of you may be thinking now: "Yes, sure they are!"; others, "Are you crazy? They're horrible!". The more "raw" people will be "This guy lost his mind, that's too relative and who cares...". And we continue further on...

That's it! This is how fundamental this question is. As an example I remember a story from one professor I had back when I was doing my degree.He called the "coffee machine story". (he was one of the "big-mans" behind the growth of wind energy in Portugal... country that, for  the most distracted, just set last month the new record of time operating exclusively on renewable energy, 107 hours! Very proud! Good to break the ice and appear in the international news for good reasons!)

What's the story of the coffee machine? Back in the beginning of the Wind energy in Portugal he was getting a coffee in a conference and, at separated times, met two old colleagues from the time when he was studying.
So, he ran into the first, who immediately started to complain about a wind farm that was installed in the North:
- "What are you doing with those ugly machines? I cant even look now.. I'm almost covering my car's windows full of old landscapes photos to enjoy the way back! What will be the next step?!"
Of course, a big disappointment for someone that was putting so much heart into the wind turbines. 5 minutes after, comes the other old colleague:
-"How are you? It's amazing this new thing of wind turbines! Now every time I leave my home to work I go looking at them, such an excitement. Every morning I start wondering: Will they be rotating or not today?"

This shows the extent of the disparity between comments regarding the wind turbines vs the landscape. It happened in seconds! 
Personally, I like them. When it come to the offshore ones, I even like to go the coast and see them. But I understand those who don't. Maybe seeing it everyday is not the same and well, this is it, everyone has different connections with the landscape.

Apart from the "small talk", there's one fundamental thing above all the criticism, the aesthetics and the "beautiness", to me these equipment are still one of the best shots that we have for "clean energy". They are big in power, have quite an acceptable life-cycle footprint and the environmental impacts are still among the less worst ones. Inside our system they are everyday more economically competitive and yes, they kill birds...but not all these people say...

Yes, I know...I know...There are other alternatives, and renewable energy is not everything when it comes to saving the world.
I agree, maybe the timing of renewable energy is not yet there. I know that we should focus on what we have first and make things more efficient, energetic efficiency.
Yes, today we have such deep issues to solve first and so many "fires" to control that nobody knows where to look...  

But one thing for sure, I don't think we can disregard the wind turbines only because the look bad in the landscape. I believe that going from the current system to a sustainable system will only be possible through giving up on some things. And that will reach everyone.

For everyone, in all the directions you can criticize the wind turbines (landscape impact, enviromental impact, uncertainty, killing of birds, etc etc) or even in any kind of critic you might do in your life, explaining your point without a well sustained alternatives is not an option. Simply not valid.

In the end, there is not that much of relative when it comes to the fundamentals of common world's well being.
We are still in the phase of general awareness. Irony for our sophisticated minds. 

And you, what do you think about all this? 

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