Renewable Energy Jobs

Michael asks…

What is affordable clean energy?

I need a couple of facts about ” affordable clean energy” … Its for a project….Any facts greatly needed!! Thanks

( please make it understandable for a 12 year old)

Windmill Farms answers:

Renewable Energy Payments are a competitive alternative to Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s).

Although the intent with both methods is the same, to stimulate growth in the alternative and renewable energy space, REP’s have proven to offer benefits to local jobs, businesses and economies while making the growth fundable and lendable by financial institutions.
Renewable Energy Payments are the mechanisms or instruments at the heart of specific state, provincial or national renewable energy policies. REPs are incentives for homeowners, farmers, businesses, etc., to become producers of renewable energy, or to increase their production of renewable energy. As such, they increase our overall production and use of renewable energy, and decrease our consumption and burning of fossil fuels.

In a broad stroke, Renewable Energy Payments, sometimes known as a Feed-in Tariff place obligations on utility companies to buy electricity from renewable energy sources, often small, local companies, for a fixed period of time. The underlying premise being that with fixed payments the once volatile renewable energy projects now become lendable and attractive for financing, thus stimulating growth and innovation. Proponents of Renewable Energy Payments argue that this policy has proven to stimulate local economies, innovation and small business growth because in its truest form REP’s put everyone, whether small business, individual, or farmers on an equal footing with large commercial titans of industry.[1]

Representative Jay Inslee of Washington says “We can give homeowners, farmers and communities across America investment security that they can take to the bank. We know from experience in Germany, Spain and dozens of other countries around the world that this policy approach spurs unparalleled and affordable renewable-energy development.” [2]

The alternative to Renewable Energy Payments are what are called Renewable Energy Credits, which have been likened to the Alaskan Bridge to nowhere in a recent filing by the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy. (FARE)[3]

Daniel asks…

Are renewable energy(solar,wind) jobs economically lucrative?if not so why?And do they generate jobs?

Are these jobs dependable with?and can it be a career or would it be foolish to go into it?PLEASE EXPLAIN IN DETAIL.

Windmill Farms answers:

I think the question here is about short tern stability vs. Long term growth.

For example, in the short term you could ignore renewable energy and efficiency and go learn how to install and sell old, tank based, hot water heaters. But, if you do a little bit of research, you’ll quickly see that those old style hot water heaters are being replaced by on demand water heaters which are much more efficient, as well as by solar hot water heating systems of various kinds which cost just about the same and pay for themselves within 3-5 years.

Solar thermal and plumbing is probably the best bet for job security right now and the area that will grow the fastest in the shortest amount of time because it is less expensive than PV.

However, the price of solar panels is dropping rapidly because silicon manufacturing has finally ramped up to meet the supply needs of solar panel manufacturers. This means, with PV cost dropping, and states like VT passing tariffs about selling energy back onto the grid, more people will be opting for solar.

I think RE is a smart sector to move into. Find a manufacturer or a distributor or get NABCEP certified and go out on your own!

Maria asks…

where i can find job as renewable energy engineer?

Windmill Farms answers:

Do a google search for “green jobs” “environmental jobs” “renewable energy jobs” and other such combinations there are companies which deal solely in environmental jobs. You could also search for companies which manufacture these products many have an employment section on their website.

James asks…

Renewable Energy?

If you wanted to start a career designing and working with renewable energy like solar, wind, hydroelectric ect., what would your job title be?
If I were to start a career studying renewable energy specifically solar and trying to improve on it in the world, what would my occupation title be?
I dont want to work as the person actually buiding it, I want to be the person that figures out how the energy works. I want to work basically with all energy types but want to work on find the best way to store and produce energy. More lik a scientist wrather than an engineer.

Windmill Farms answers:

It would likely depend on which of those energy systems you were working with.
If you generalize, and work on all of them together, you may be called a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’

Robert asks…

Jobs in renewable energy?

Windmill Farms answers:

Collect your farts in biscuit tins and sell them to energy companies.

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Wind Power Facts

Jenny asks…

What costs more, nuclear power or wind power?

What costs more per kwh, nuclear or wind power? How should I debate nuclear over wind?

Windmill Farms answers:

Nuclear has a higher up front cost to build (for obvious reasons), but lower cost per kwh when compared to wind.
If you are debating this though, try this approach.
Nuclear power is a base load power supply system. That means it will always run 24/7 and supply large amounts of electricity (average for Generation II plant is about 1000 MW)
Wind power could never be a base load provider for the fact that it is so unpredictable. Also, when the wind does kick in, utility companies have to ramp up or down their systems to accommodate for this extra power coming into the grid. This makes wind cumbersome when compared to nuclear which will always run when asked and not change rapidly.
Wind could maybe be a peak load system, but the wind doesn’t really blow much when electric demand is peaking (wind usually blows at night.) Wind, while it looks good on paper, isn’t very friendly to utility companies due to the constant ramping up and down of base and intermediate load systems. Everyone is so caught up in the green revolution though that they want to see more wind turbines though.
To wrap this up….Nuclear has a higher initial cost for construction, but very low cost per kwh. Very reliable, no pollution except for waste (average Nuclear power plant will produce about a refrigerator full of waste a year, AND THAT’S IT!). No CO2, no SOX, no NOX. Nothing but water vapor and waste.
Wind is cheaper up front, and has no variable fuel cost, but is unpredictable. Not as efficient in the long run.

Helen asks…

How expensive is wind power?

How expensive would wind power be to the USA if we started using it as a primary resource? And also, how much could it save us?
If someone can answer this, please site a source. Thanks!

Windmill Farms answers:

Hey Lucky, your question is a little broad based, but I’ll take a stab at it. Renewable energy seems to have an incredible following of misinformation. Having used solar and wind to power our own home for the last 11 years, I’m always amazed at how many people are willing to offer their advice on wind power, having never even laid their hands on a turbine. Wind power will probably never be our primary source of grid energy in the US, but not for the reasons listed here. There is enough wind energy in North and South Dakota to run our entire country, that’s a fact you can look up in several places. But it would be stupid to do that because you would have to completely reconfigure the grid to make use of it. It does however put to rest the idea that we need millions of square miles of them. The best source of power for our country is a diverse one, some wind, some solar, some hydro, biomass, and even coal and nuclear should be in the mix.

One of the great things about wind energy is that its spread pretty evenly over the middle third of our globe, which just happens to be where all the people are. Having to put them in the middle of nowhere isn’t true at all, just take a look at Amsterdam, Ne. They have over 60 working wind turbines including the offshore units, all within 25 miles of the city center. There is even one right on the property where their large coal fired power plant is. The last 4 times I was there, they were all running, and nothing was coming out of the coal plants stack. This clearly illustrates what they were made for. Back in the US, we are rapidly building new farms. Virginia has a new farm on the foothills that will boast over 120 turbines when it is complete in 2 years, the story is true in about 37 of our 50 states right now. This explains how wind power is doubling every 2 years right now.

Cost is a bit more nebulous to ascertain, but consider this. Nuclear advocates have been claiming low cost electricity for 30 years now, yet if you look at our grid source to unit expense ratio, the highest cost electricity is always where the nuke plants are. Chicago is classic, they have 13 operating plants around the city (usually 8 or 10 of them are running) and they boast the second highest utility rates in the country at almost 25 cents per kwh. The cheapest happen to be in the Pacific Northwest, home of the highest percentage of hydro sourced grid power. There was a fantastic article in The Wall Street Journal earlier this year comparing nuclear to wind. It didn’t look at cost estimates, only historical data. For the first time, wind came in under the cost of nuclear based power last year, and the spread is continuing to widen. It will take a few more years to get wind below the cost of oil or coal, but it will one day get there. This is why all the new turbines are suddenly going up, the utlitiy companies have finally figured out what many of us have known all along. Once you build a turbine, you don’t have to feed it anymore. It will need maintenance, but then so do all those coal and nuke plants.

None of this even addresses the environmental aspects of wind power, but if you’re curious about that, click on my avatar and check out some other answers I’ve posted. On a smaller scale, our little home sized turbine is rated at 900 watts, and we have a 1.4 kw solar array. The two combined provide us with about 85% of our homes electricity, the rest comes from the grid. All the equipment cost us about $13,000 11 years ago, some of that we got back in tax incentives and grants. But our electric bill since then has always been around $5 per month. There is also the fact that our home has not been without electricity for even a minute in all that time, hard to put a price tag on that. So to answer your question, what is the cost? It’s a little hard to quantify. If you’re curious about it, my suggestion is don’t waste your time asking hacks like me online for information, go to the source, I will list several below. Good luck Lucky, and take care, Rudydoo

Donald asks…

need help with calculating power generation for thermodynamics class?

the question reads: 2 sites are being considered for wind power generation. site : the wind blows steadily at 7m/s for 3000 hours per year. site 2: wind blows at 10 m/s for 2000 hours per year. assume wind velocity is negligable at other times of the year. it say hint: note that the mass flow rate of air is proportional to velocity.
i have not found an equation in my text to enable me to solve it. i would like to see the equation and steps to solve it.

Windmill Farms answers:

Calculating the power that can be generated by the wind requires a bit more
analysis then a simple formula.

The power generated by the wind on a wind turbine is given by:

P = M?


moment of blade: M = r x F_m

relative wind velocity: ?,
which I believe is the vector difference of the
linear velocity of the blade and the wind velocity.

Moment force of the blade: F_m
which is a vector sum of the lift force F_l and drag force: F_d
F_m = (F_l)sin? – (F_d)cos?

Blade radius(i.e., moment arm of the moment force): r

lift force: F_l = ½ ? A?²C_l
drag force: F_d = ½ ? A?²C_d

Other considerations are conversion efficiency, blade
design, height of structure.

So you see that it is a bit more complicated to arrive
at a accurate determination of the power generated.

Notice however, that in the first formula stated above:
P = M?, that the higher velocity the higher the power
generated. In fact, the force of the wind is proportional
to the square of the velocity and since power in general
is the product of force and velocity, then: P = Fv => v³.

So that, the power of the wind is proportional to the
cube of the velocity. And therefore, the site having
higher windspeed; possibly due to higher elevation
would generate the most power.

Then again the other site offers 1000 more hours per
year of wind generation and if you could build a taller
tower to attach the blades so as to increase the wind
speed, then perhaps this site would be the better choice.

Hope this helps!

John asks…

Is it worth my while investing in natural energy for my home?

I was thinking about investing in some Solar Panels and a small Wind Turbine to power my home.
I live alone and do not consume lots of electricity.

From what I hear I am looking at waiting at least 10 years before I see them pay for themselves.
Is this true? Are they really more trouble than they are worth?

Because if the cost-benefit ratio is too unbalanced, I might as well just stick to nuclear power.

Windmill Farms answers:

Hey X, what you’ve been reading is basically correct, you are looking at probably 10 + years for your financial payback. If that is what you are after, probably better to spend a few dollars making your living space a bit more efficient, which will cut down on your current electric bill, and put the rest in long term bonds. You’ll get your money back faster with the investment.

We live in a home that is completely powered by the wind and sun. It still has the utility company connected, which I now use as my storage battery for excess power, and then I can draw on them if I need extra down the road. There is a small fee for that too. The original reason we got involved is because at the time, our power was always going out at inconvenient times, and later for environmental reasons. If, as you say, the cost benefit ratio is too unbalanced, you might as well stick to nuclear, then I’m guessing environmental benefits are not of interest to you. Lots of people grow tomatoes in their garden even though it’s easier and cheaper to buy them at the store, or the farmers market if you want fresh. For them it’s therapuetic to make something of their own, and provide at least a sustainable patch of green grass in a world of commercial vegetable fields. The only difference between them and us is we just grow electrons in our garden, even though it is probalby cheaper to buy them commercially, from the nuclear plant, or someplace else. There is also the fact that our home has not been without power for even a minute the last 13 years now, but it’s hard to put a price tag on something like that.

If you really think you might want to get involved a little without having to bet the farm, try starting small like we did 13 years ago. A couple of golf cart batteries, one 70 or so watt panel and a few miscellaneous parts and we were lighting our kitchen and bath and running a few small electronics, like a radio, cell phone charger and so on. And within months when the next power outage came, those items continued to function, free of charge or gasoline. Home Power Magazine liked our small starter idea so much years ago they ran a small article on it. If you subscribe, you can use their online archive search engine and look for an article called, “Small System First.” If you’re handy with stuff around the house, it might be a good project for you. Check out the magazine and some other sources below. Good luck X, and take care, Rudydoo

Joseph asks…

Where does the energy to power appliances come from?

Where does the energy that powers electrical appliance’s in one’s home come from?

Windmill Farms answers:

The fact of the matter is that the overwhelming majority of electrical power generated in the USA is generated by burning fossil fuels. Of the fossil fuels, coal is the predominant fuel. Hydroelectric power is a distant second to coal. There is some power being generated by nuclear power plants, but it has been many years since a new plant has been built. Other more environmentally friendly electrical power generation methods include wind powered turbines and solar energy which are considerably more expensive sources of electricity at this time. There are also some small power generating plants that run on combustible material otherwise destined for landfills and some small projects burning the methane gas captured in landfills.

I hope this information helps.

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Micro Wind Power Plant

Charles asks…

McCain supporters: what are the policies of McCain that you most strongly support?

Why are you voting for him?

Windmill Farms answers:

1) McCain’s health care plan-
It puts you in control of choosing the plan that fits you best.
You currently pay your entire plan, McCain wants to give you an extra $5,000 to help pay for the costs.
Benefits are currenlty deducted from your pay. With McCain’s plan, deductions from your pay stops. That means you keep your pay, instead of losing it to deductions. Translation, you get a raise. Your employer is not going to pay you less just because deductions are not taken out. So now you have McCain’s $5,000, plus the extra wages you got because deductions are no longer taken from your pay to go choose a great plan. The average plan costs $5,800. McCain’s giving you $5,000. You got a raise, and can easily afford the other $800 bucks throughout the course of a year. Additionally, currently you have to pick a plan from your state. McCain’s going to open up interstate plans. That means you can pick a plan from any state. Some states have plans with very few government mandates. Mandates are things like a plan must cover aids, or tattoo removal procedures. The more stupid mandates a plan must cover, the higher the premiums are. That is why premiums are currently so high. With McCain’s plan, you can pick a plan almost free of stupid mandates.

2) McCain’s tax plan-
Extend the Bush tax cuts, which benefit everybody contrary to left wing opinion. Add additional cuts. Do not raise taxes on anyone. The average small business has a revenue of $3.6 million dollars. The average revenue of a small business with a web site is $5.03 million dollars. Raising taxes on incomes over $250,000 is obviously devastating to small business. Small business represents 80% of new jobs in the US. Small business represents 45% of US payroll as well. There are 8.1 million small businesses in the US with 100 employees or less. Think of it this way, can a small business even afford to pay 10 employees and offer them benefits if that business earns less than $250,000? No, it cannot. The only businesses Obama’s tax increases will not affect are micro businesses, not small businesses. McCain’s tax plan is obviously better for the economy, and far better for small business.

3) Foreign policy-

Senator McCain is well traveled. McCain has already sat down with many world leaders. McCain has a realistic grasp of trade issues, and national security issues. McCain favored the surge, and it worked. McCain knows that Bill Clinton put in place a trade deal with Colombia that sucks for the US. That deal costs the US $1 billion a year to send goods to be sold to Columbia, and Colombia sends goods to the US to be sold for free. That deal sucks, and McCain pointed that out last night.

4) Energy Independence-

McCain is for Nuclear Energy. McCain wants to build 45 new nuclear plants in the US. Nuclear power is the most critical answer to supplying Americas electric needs. McCain knows that solar and wind combined can only provide 30% of Americas energy needs. McCAin is also in favor of immediately drilling for oil. Alternative fuel sources will not be ready for decades, and that is just reality. America needs to add domestic oil to the worlds supply, to keep prices at the gas pumps from going so out of control.

5) McCain believes better times are ahead for America. His policies will make that a reality. Washington needs to be changed. America does not.

That is why I’m voting McCain.

Daniel asks…

Trying to make my home as ecofriendly as possible…and trying to save money…?

Can you list literally everything (in order of importance) of what I need to do to make my home as good and green for the environment, thanks.

I will be choosing best answer at 9 am tomorrow.

Windmill Farms answers:

I’m a residential builder that only builds very energy efficient new homes. Not as much experience with retro-fitting, but I’ll give it a shot. Of course these all depend on your local climate. You didn’t say if you lived in a hot/temperate/cold area, so I’ll assume temperate.

This is in order of bang for buck.

#1 : Seal drafts. No-More-Gaps is very cheap, and is by far the cheapest way to potentially dramatically improve your house’s ability to stay warm, so less heating required. But a very serious disclaimer on that. If you live in a rocky area (especially granite), and you have a concrete basement of slab, you might have Radon, a dangerous gas. Get tested for it if you’re unsure. If you do, you can still seal up, but need to give the house a good air out once a day or so.

#2 Water saving taps/toilets/devices. These save lots of water, and if it’s hot water being saved, you’ll also save a LOT of energy from not needing to heat that water.

#2 Light bulbs. Get rid of the incandescents and halogen downlights. Replace the incans with CLFs, and the halogens with CREE LEDS.

#3 Insulate insulate insluate. Roof first, as it’s easy and gets best results. Walls are next but can be hard to install as wall cladding needs to come down. A trick is to only insulate the top half of the outside walls of the living rooms. Top half because heat rises so that’s were the insulation is most needed… Do floors next, especially if they’re timber. Use perforated concertina foil. If you have a slab put foam sandwich board around the outside edge.

#4 Shade selected windows. Use trees and/or shade screens to help shade summer sun from westerly windows.

#5 Solar hot water. Bigger investment but that’s what it is. An investment that WILL pay for itself given time (7 years if you’re replacing electric). But more than money, these save a LOT of energy so are an essential part of any ecofriendly house.

#6 Better appliances. This doesn’t have to costalot, but you need patience. Basically, if you need something, buy the best available that you can afford. Not just the best efficiency, but also the overall quality, as an appliance that lasts for 30 years is MUCH more eco than one that blows up in five years… And the most important one of all is your fridge, as this is the only appliance that is turned on ALL the time, so gives you the best annual saving. Get a good fridge.

#6 Renewable energy. Very fashionable of course, solar PV panels don’t cost as much as they used to, mainly because most people have access to grants/rebates/etc. For example in my State I can get a grid-connected 1kw system for about $5,000 installed. 1kw is not big, but a very efficient house will be able to to get virtually ALL it’s (annualised) power needs from it. Wind/micro-hydro are a bit more specialised and not really suited to most people (yet).

#7 Double/triple glazing. Another big investment, especially for a retro-fit. It’s important to know there’s crap double glazing and VERY good double glazing. Crap is aluminium frames with 3mm glass/6mm air gap/3mm glass glazing. For very good you’d get timber (plantation of course!) with 4/10/4 or more, with a low-E coating and argon gas in the air gap.

#8 Water harvesting/recycling. Water tanks are easy to fit to downpipes and can at least be used for gardening and toilets. People also use the water for washing and drinking, but that depends on you air/rain quality, and if you have lead products on your roof (DON’T drink water from a roof with lead on it!!!). Water recycling is cleaning grey water (laundry & bathrooms) and black water (toilets and kitchen) for another use. The simplest and cheapest is to just run greywater out to non food producing plants like lawn. The best is to get a recycling unit that turns ALL waste (grey and black) into A+ quality water! These are very good if you’re in a very dry area.

#9 Get rid of all the toxic materials. Can be pretty hard, as virtually every product we use has chemicals of some kind. Some are pretty safe, some are VERY unsafe. Get rid of asbestos (use a professional company to do this) and lead-based paints. There’s much better paints coming out now that are toxin/VOC free.

#10 Rebuild. If the house is an inefficient crappy design, the ultimate is to totally demolish your home, and then rebuild it using as many original materials as possible (except the crap and toxic ones!). The house design can then be vastly improved, and done with a small overall impact for a huge gain. Of course this is probably not going to happen, but it’s nice to throw out there…

I haven’t included stuff like recycle/compost/grow food/etc, as these are more lifestyle than actual house, but hey do them too!

Hope that helps, and all the best.

Robert asks…

do you think global warming is really that bad?

I believe global warming is not at all bad. i like the fact that britain will have longer summers and have palm trees on our coast in ten years time. should we really stop it. i believe not
you are all a buch of hyper condriacts. war wont be a event of global warming or will mass exstintion. You are all over reacting.
you are all a buch of hyper condriacts. war wont be a event of global warming or will mass exstintion. You are all over reacting.

Windmill Farms answers:

Not everyone shares your view.


check this map

.There are many signs in Nature ,all over the world .
Perhaps you do not live in nature and are unaware that there is a problem
this is becoming one of the biggest problem Of Global warming

it becomes also becomes a problem when animals and people die

and when agriculture is severely affected
One degree raise in temperature already means 10% crop loss

Global warming is but a component, in a group of destructive forces at work such as ;deforestation,desertification… Wind and Water erosion,soil and water contamination ,irresponsible or wasteful utilization of bio resources and air pollution.
All concepts which are definitely not part of the Natural Processes of the Natural world;_ylt=AiaA9_uP2qeYnmOmlMCwh8bsy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20080331024200AAtDrJL


A while ago one of NASA’s top scientists concluded that the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free within five years, much faster than all previous predictions.

When the north pole is gone , you may have polar bears soon in America ,looking for a home ,

Calculations do not include the accumulative ,speeding up ,factor with time. The increase in water temperature will get faster all the time as well as the melting, when the ice is all gone the deeper cold Ocean currents will be drastically affected,which in turn will affect the warm currents,since all moving bodies of water are connected in series.

This will affect coastal climates ,world wide ,almost instantly. All aquatic flora and fauna will be affected,many dying off and others becoming invasive,

And recently In Chiapas ,and Tabasco in Mexico .more then a million people became homeless overnight with water coming up to their roofs ,because of rains from super evaporation from the forests,this had never happened before. Millions of animals died.

In India 3000 people died because of super storms .

.A few years ago in Europe 3500 people,died during a heat wave ,many of them in France .

Right now the average death toll annually is 150.000 due to Global warming

. These figures are already out of date and are expected to double soon.

In Northern China millions of people are running for their lives because regular dust storms so far have buried 900 villages under the sand and the whole of northern China is turning into a dessert.

The Sahara is growing by 7 kilometers a year all around the edges ,like a slow burning fire shriveling up their neighbors In the Kalahari huge rivers have dried up and thousand of species are gone due to their habitats disappearing .

The biggest changes are invisible at micro biotic levels species are becoming extinct ,others are multiplying ,

This affects the insect populations that follow ,and changes in that ,affect all that follows in the food chains ,

in the last 300 years half of the planets forests have gone
and in the last 50 years
half of our wet lands ,rain forests and ice fields .and 3000 species of animals .

We are now witnessing a mass Extinction of animals and plants of Biblical proportions,equal since the disappearance of the dinosaurs

And then on top of that comes the story of the effects of pollutants released into Nature and especially the Air ,by MAN

A cocktail of events and a lot of the ingredients have MAN written all over them

So it is safe to assume that we should look at ourselves ,just a teeny bit ,for possible improvements ,and rectifying Eco errors that are with in our powers.
There is a series that you can download easy ,called
bbc,Planet earth by David Attenborough.
About 15 —700mb videos

this is a photographic team that has been filming Nature stories all over the world ,for a very long time .

In 3 of the episodes called –the future–saving species(this one covers extinction and the importance of species)
the future–living together ,ice worlds ,

they compare films they made before of places and species to what they are filming now in the same places.
Many scientists give commentaries as well .

John asks…

Do you think God repents?

Do you think that God repents, for anything bad he might have done unintentionally?

If so, who is he asking for forgiveness?
Or…do you think God exists…
why or why not?

Windmill Farms answers:

God is a Holy and Righteous God, who therefore does not sin, He is a Spirit Being whose nature transcends our understanding, Imagine how huge/vast the universe is, he made it in a unique design, carefully planning and controlling the positions and rotations of all planets and stars,
designing the force of gravity etc impeccably,
designing each cell and micro-organism uniquely, and things that we dont even know, it wud be queer to compare or even think such a magnificent Being can suffer from our follies and failings and therefore be in need of repentence.
He plans everything for its own purpose in its own season,
what makes man sin is his evil desire-lower nature/ the desire of his flesh, yet God is Spirit without a lower nature.

God is love, all he does is love perfectly and desire your love, transgression is far from him and he hates it therefore can neva do bad or that which he hates.

I know God exists because I have felt Him in my life,
“Our hearts are restless until they rest in him”, and when your heart/or another finds Him, ur spirit/soul will know and experience a completion,
inner peace which isnt delusional or drug induced
How come pple believe in the existence of the Devil but not of God, who is mightier,?
Just cos u dont see him dont mean he doesnt exist-can u see the wind….no but only its effects and presence, same as God only GREATER
so just cos one doesnt see bacteria with their bear eyes doesnt mean it doesnt exist, so if microscopes hadnt been invented some myopic individuals would have denied their existence!
Oh and I know God exists cos he hears my prayers, when Im low, he comforts and stills my soul
when Im fearful I gain strenghth in him
sum may say its the power of positive thinking etc, but who created that brain that thinks, and some of us arent real optimists, there is no way Id highten my Spirit like that with only positive thinking.
God exists because mankind lives,reproduces,overcomes
and die because plants grow and die
because animals do the same and
because miracles happen everyday, its not chance but Gods will cos what are the chances of a baby surviving a hurricane when unprotected-nil/ probability, 0.00001 if not less and yet it happens,

Sandra asks…

Why do I have mosquitoes at my house when there isn’t any standing water?

Ever summer we have a mosiquitoe problem at my house and I am sick of getting eaten alive! There is no standing water around my house, other than some neighbors have pools. But this hasn’t been a problem until recently. Any suggestions are welcome!
I live in Arizona. So it’s not humid and it’s hard to keep the doors closed with my animals wanting to go outside and coming back in. We do need to check the gutters.
I don’t leave the door open, I just open it and shut it to let my animals outside.

Windmill Farms answers:

If I understand you correctly you have had mosquito problems in the summer even before your neighbors had pools, so it is not likely that the pools are a problem. Highly chlorinated water is not a good breeding place for mosquitos anyway. As a biologist, my guess would be that you have three different things going on. First, the fact that you have animals is a negative because the animals have a higher basal temperature than you do and are more attractive to mosquitos. It is true that mosquitos home in on carbon dioxide, but they are also very heat sensitive and even the Carbon dioxide from your pets is at a higher temperature than human carbon dioxide. Second, I suspect that you live within a mile or so of an area that does retain water even during the heat of the Arizona summer. It could be a well-watered golf course, a botanical garden, a spring, or a plant nursery. Lots of other places would qualify too. There only has to be a film of water for mosquitos to breed. The larvae which are suspended in water while they develop need only about one eighth of an inch of water to be be perfectly healthy. There are raised in labs that study mosquitos in a very small amount of water. Even a well irrigated lawn or dense shrubbery, particularly evergreens, will serve as a reservoir for adult mosquitos. They like to sit in areas of high humidity until they are ready to start their feeding flights. Remember, we are talking about micro-climates when we talk about where adult mosquitos and their larvae are found. Literally Thousands of mosquitos could be harbored in the ground cover that might be used to outline a driveway or walkway. It just needs to be moist and shady. A mosquito is very small and a place that you might consider sunny will offer plenty of shady patches for hundreds of mosquitos. Finally, some people are just more attractive to mosquitos than others. We really aren’t sure exactly why, but two people sitting side-by-side wearing no fragrances and using no repellent can have completely different experiences with mosquitos. There isn’t anything you can do about your natural fragrance, but you may find that if you change the artificial fragrances you wear, deodorant, after shave, cologne, perfume, soaps, shampoos, etc. That you will be far less attractive to mosquitos. Wearing repellant all the time is not fun, and probably isn’t that healthy either.

For more than a dozen years I lived on a salt marsh in the deep south and really struggled with those huge, hungry mosquitos. The solution for me was to fog the yard each night with a mixture of insecticide and repellant. It also helps if you have a lawn to treat the lawn with a pelletized insecticide. This can greatly reduce the amount of safe cover available to mosquitos. Avon makes a product called skin so soft that some people swear by as an insect repellent of low toxicity. Mosquitos and sand gnats just don’t seem to like the way it smells. It can be diluted greatly with water and still works pretty well. Finally, the propane or kerosene powered insect repellers work pretty well if you are not in a place that has too much wind.

I may be that none of this will work for you. I hope it will though. The place to continue working on the problem if none of this helps is with your county extension service. There are ranchers and others for whom mosquitos are a continuing problem and the county extension service usually knows what is going on with treatment in your area. Good luck!

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Vertical Wind Power Plant

Daniel asks…

Why is the tidal difference greater in some places than others?

Why, for instance, does the Bay of Fundy have the highest tides in the world?

Windmill Farms answers:

In addition to the moon’s gravitational forces (which causes all tides), I believe the differences are due to the geometry of the water mass (i.e. How deep is it?) It seems that the deeper the water, the more water molecules that can be affected by the gravitational pull. It may also have be due to the coastline depths. It seems to be that a body of water would be most effected if a) deep water in the middle and then b) a long shallow shore where the water could recede the most.

This is just a guess based on logic.

…. Sorry, I was wrong….here is the correct scientific answer:

The Highest Tides on Earth
Occur in the Minas Basin!!
The tides on Earth are strongly influenced, in addition to astronomical factors, by the sizes, boundaries, and depths of ocean basins and inlets, and by Earth’s rotation, winds, and barometric pressure fluctuations. Tides typically have ranges (vertical high-to-low) of a metre or two, but there are regions in the oceans where various influences conspire to produce virtually no tides at all, and others where the tides are greatly amplified. Among the latter regions are the Sea of Okhotsk, the northern coast of Australia, the Bristol Channel on the west coast of England, and in Canada at the Ungava Bay in northern Quebec, and the Bay of Fundy between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The tidal ranges in these regions are of the order of 10 metres.

The highest tides on Earth occur in the Minas Basin, the eastern extremity of the Bay of Fundy, where the average tide range is 12 metres and can reach 16 metres when the various factors affecting the tides are in phase (although the highest tides occur typically a day or two after the astronomical influences reach their peak).

The primary cause of the immense tides of Fundy is a resonance of the Bay of Fundy-Gulf of Maine system. The system is effectively bounded at this outer end by the edge of the continental shelf with its approximately 40:1 increase in depth. The system has a natural period of approximately 13 hours, which is close to the 12h25m period of the dominant lunar tide of the Atlantic Ocean.

Like a father pushing his daughter on a swing, the gentle Atlantic tidal pulse pushes the waters of the Bay of Fundy-Gulf of Maine basin at nearly the optimum frequency to cause a large to-and-fro oscillation. The grestest slosh occurs at the head (northeast end) of the system. Because Earth rotates counterclockwise in the Norhern Hemisphere, the tides are higher in Minas Basin (Wolfville-Truro area) than in Chignecto Bay (Amherst-Moncton area).

Although it is the gravitation of the Moon and Sun that raises the tides, the energy in the churning waters is extracted from the rotational energy of Earth spinning on its axis. Near Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, a tiny portion of this energy is being converted into commercial electrical energy in the only tidal power plant in the Western Hemisphere. The peak output of the Annapolis Basin generator is 20 megawatts, about 1% of Nova Scotia’s electrical power capacity.

Tidal friction both lengthens the day and increases the size of the orbit of the Moon. The day is lengthening by about 1 second every 50,000 years, imperceptible on a human time scale, but of profound significance to Earth’s rotation over a few billiion years. If the Sun does not first incinerate our planet, in the distant future there will come a day that is as long as the lunar month (each then equal to about 40 present days) and a more distant Moon will stand stationary in the sky, as does Earth now in theh lunar sky. But this situation will not endure, for solar tides will still be present and will cause the Moon to approach Earth once more.

Paul asks…

How does 275 Billion sound?

I am writing a science fiction novel set 5000yrs in the future. Humanity controls a massive interstellar civilization that governs 3000+ worlds across roughly 1800 star systems. Earth is the capital of said civilization and I gave it a population of 275 billion. I am looking for opinions, concerns, criticism, suggestions, or questions about this so that I can formulate counterarguments to defend the population figure.

Abundant energy is provided by innumerable fusion reactors and environmental power sources (solar energy, conversion of thermal energy to electricity, wind, tides, etc). Waste heat is vented via cryomagnetic pylons that extend beyond the atmosphere and into space. Buildings and arcologies are constructed vertically. Food is genetically engineered, cloned, and grown in vertical arcology greenhouses, as well as imported from off-world. Fresh water is provided by desalinating ocean water. Nanotechnology (nanocrobes) break down waste material and sewage to its base molecular components before returning it to environment. Sufficient oxygen is provided by plant life (75% of Earth is a sanctuary, protected under law) as well as nanotechnology that mimics botanical respiration. Carbon emissions are virtually non-existent due to a variety of substantially more advanced technologies and strict development and zoning laws. Am I missing anything? If so please relay.

Windmill Farms answers:

The planetary and galactic habitation zones are quite small compared to the overall coverage of each stellar system and each galaxy.

Let’s say your advanced civilization spreads only throughout the Milky Way. And, as Sagan likes to say, there are billions of stars in the MW and each other galaxy as well. Then the habitation zone (HZ) is about 1/3 E9 stars because only about 1/3 the MW fits the criteria for life.

Same thing for each star system, about 1/3 the planets fall into a HZ around the star. 1/3 are too close and 1/3 are too far from the solar heat, which is necessary for water in liquid form and life. Other things that led to life on Earth have to be present as well for a planet to spring forth life: a stable axis inclination, a giant Jupiter like planet to sweep away meteors and comets, a rocky rather than gaseous basis, magnetic field to shield us from solar radiation, M class stable star, and more. In sum, the probability of life yielding and supporting planets around the 1/3 billion stars in the MW is very very small.

My point is this…3000+ inhabitable worlds around 1800 stars is very very unlikely. 1800 worlds around 1800 stars, i.e., one planet per star, is far more believable. In fact, I’d put that number down to somewhere between 1 (ours) and 10 out of the 1/3 billion stars in the HZ.

Let’s be optimistic and WAG 10 inhabitable planets in our galaxy. They will be rocky planets like Earth; gaseous, like Saturn, will not support our kind of life. So they will not be giants; they will be about the size of Mars, Venus, or Earth. In which case, no more than 6 billion inhabitants per planet seems about right. That’s what we now have on Earth and that is clearly pushing our limits to get along together and to exploit the planet’s resources.

Sources of energy may become more efficient and/or plentiful through technology, but they all eventually deplete…even the so-called renewable sources create entropic heat that cannot be recovered and reused. So, once again, I think the current 6.7 billion people on Earth represents about as many humans as we would want on any of the ten supposed life sustaining planets. Therefore, I think 60 to 70 billion inhabitants in the year 5000 CE is more defensible than your 275 billion.

Another major flaw is your future mode of emigration to these other worlds. Even the closest of star system, Alpha and Proxima Centauri, are more than 4 light years away. If you want scientific plausibility, do not invoke worm holes and other such nonsense for bypassing the speed of light limits. My point is this, even if you account for the migration of the human species by taking decades or centuries to travel to an inhabitable planet, governing that planet from Earth would be next to impossible.

How, for example, would Earth quell an impending riot on Bob, the inhabited planet surrounding Alpha Centauri? I think the only plausible scenario is that each planet must be autonomous; not controlled by Earth at all.

It is commendible to attempt writing a scientifcally defensible scifi story. But it is extremely difficult to do…even Sagan in Contact had to invoke worm holes and alien technology that could not be explained. There is a reason for the fi in scifi.

What you do not want to do is use 21st century technology in the year 5000 CE, some 3000 years later. No DVDs, no LCD flatscreen TVs, etc. Etc. Etc….you get the picture. Study the latest in physics and chemistry discoveries and engineer them into the next technology. For example, how would you communicate light years across the galaxy…easy, harness quantum entanglement, which is instantaneous across the universe, let alone the galaxy.

My point is this…the best scifi is written by those authors who have a physics, chemistry, biology, or other scientific background.

Richard asks…

How does 275 Billion sound?

I am writing a science fiction novel set 5000yrs in the future. Humanity controls a massive interstellar civilization that governs 3000+ worlds across roughly 1800 star systems. Earth is the capital of said civilization and I gave it a population of 275 billion. I am looking for opinions, concerns, criticism, suggestions, or questions about this so that I can formulate counterarguments to defend the population figure.

Abundant energy is provided by innumerable fusion reactors and environmental power sources (solar energy, conversion of thermal energy to electricity, wind, tides, etc). Waste heat is vented via cryomagnetic pylons that extend beyond the atmosphere and into space. Buildings and arcologies are constructed vertically. Food is genetically engineered, cloned, and grown in vertical arcology greenhouses, as well as imported from off-world. Fresh water is provided by desalinating ocean water which is resalinated upon being returned to the seas. Nanotechnology (nanocrobes) break down waste material and sewage to its base molecular components before returning it to environment. Sufficient oxygen is provided by plant life (75% of Earth is a sanctuary, protected under law) as well as nanotechnology that mimics botanical respiration. Am I missing anything? If so please relay.

Windmill Farms answers:

It would make sense. If we made Earth a sanctuary, means we got smart about resource use & wouln’t be breeding like rabbits. With a population under control you could easily have planets with only 1-2 billion people or less.

Asimov’s universe has planets with only a few thousand people as well as the Capitol planet, Trantor, everything was covered (looking like the Death Star) and around 40billion people on it.

Betty asks…

Should all sports stadiums be environmentally sound?

I’ve noticed that the trend of building brand new sports complexes has slowed down a bit due to the deteriorating economy. Since the early 90′s, almost every professional baseball, basketball, and football franchise has built a brand new stadium. Each complex cost the municipal government hundreds of millions of dollars. I wonder why they didn’t spend a few more to add solar panels, helical wind turbines, rainwater collecting cisterns, and geothermal heating pumps. Further, I think all the facilities should have methane digesting toilets with bidets. The output each stadium returns to the grid may not be equivalent to that of a power plant, but it could be close. What do you make of this idea?

Windmill Farms answers:

They don’t because operating costs comes out of another budget for which those who design and build the stadium are not responsible for. Why would they spend more to save someone else some money? Now, if they had to put up a certain percentage of an operating endowment up front then they may be motivated to build more efficient facilities.

I don’t think the general public in North America would know what to do with a bidet and a methane digesting toilet would have difficulty with the typical stadium usage which spikes during events but is non-existent between events, they would work better with a steady stream of “input”.

Vertical axis wind turbines though cooler looking are less efficient than horizontal axis wind turbines. This is mostly because the wind represents a load perpendicular to the axis of rotation hence making it difficult to design efficient bearings.

With solar panels, they should be solar thermal panels producing heat to run absorption chillers for the air condictioners. This would be much less expensive than photo-voltaics and more efficient. Once the air-conditioning needs have been met, some roof space can be used for photo-voltaics for energy demands that can only be met with electricity.

Rain water cisterns are fine but you should include porous or permeable pavement. It’s important to get the surface water to percolate into the ground else our ground water resources will suffer.

Sharon asks…

Flux core welding test?

I have a job offer at a hydroelectric plant in mass. I have a mig certification for 4g with a 1/4 in backing on 3/8 mild steel. How different is fcaw with no gas than mig? They are using flux core because it is outside in the wind. Do you know what the test will be. Will i have a backing strip or not. I have never heard of using fcaw for a open root. How hard is it?

Windmill Farms answers:

Hello From texas….The flux core welds nearly the same..maybe a tad slower.remember that there is no gas so if you want to drag or weld vertical you need to push the wire….***do this though*** they will issue you some sort of coupons to weld on. Don’t start with these weld on the table if you have to but get your machine set first. Also If the space between the plates is more than twice(say .050) for .025 wire then move it a little closer…You’ll probably get .035 or .040 or even larger core wire. So make your root weld as clean as possible. Take a piece of tungsten with you like goes in a tig and use it to clean any scale off the edges. You should do just fine. Don’t let them pull a cut to bend from the ends of your coupons. And If they allow it mark your own face and root bend. If they X-ray see if they will let you see the film..Sometimes they just blow you out because you look wrong..As far as the test goes it will be two pieces of A36 with a bevel . You have to tack all this together.One last thing here if there is no backer which i doubt you will have it You might need to use a little circular motion on your root if the gap is set. That way you’ll let the puddle cool on one side while your on the other…On your filler and hot pass do what you need to and watch for undercut especially if the inspector is watching. For a cap you can use a round steam cap or a fig 8 lace if your way out on the hot pass. If your going to work at a power plant and testing on mig you will probably be welding duct work or flume or stacks so they want a welder who can be a little of everything to them…Good luck with the test It should only take about an hour and a half but if you need longer do..Also don’t be afraid to ask for grinders files and whatever…Your the boss on your test…not them…from the E

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Does Wind Power Create Greenhouse Gases

Richard asks…

why do we need eind energy?

Windmill Farms answers:

Probably u mean wind energy
Wind energy is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions when it displaces fossil-fuel-derived electricity. The intermittency of wind seldom creates insurmountable problems when using wind power to supply up to roughly 30% of total electrical demand (low to moderate penetration), but it presents challenges that are not yet fully solved when wind is to be used for a larger fraction of demand.

Susan asks…

Why are so many people climbing on the Wind Turbine wagon?

when they do not create energy only replace what the regular power plant puts out. do not save any greenhouse gases because the main power plants cannot be turned off and on like a light and must stay running only disengaged from the turbine until the wind stops, cause health problems, Audio ear problems, balance problems, the pressure change kills bats by exploding their blood vessels as happens when a diver acends to quickly and does not decompress, there fore stoping the bats from consuming about 1000 insects and hour opening the door to higher sickness issues caused by misquito’s, dairy stock milk reduction due to stray voltage which could come as far away as 50 miles, radar interference, are taller than the statue of Liberty, breaking radio and satelite signals. interfering with GPS signals, many contracts signed by Farmers sold to the Chinese? Where is the benefit. Any studies coming out in favor of these are not based on Scientific evidence, only studies done with 1/2 milliion dollar energy grants from the government?

Windmill Farms answers:

I totally agree with you. Wind turbines are not a good solution to our energy problems at the moment, in there current implementation. I think a much better solution to harnessing wind power will be devised shortly, perhaps in a large distributed network in existing civil infrastructure. I have always thought that if a whole city, would use something like piezoelectric wind harvesters (I will explain shortly), and connected them together across the grid, then perhaps a significant amount of power could be harnessed and supplement the power grid.

The afore mentioned piezoelectric wind harvesters (PWH) will consist of quartz fibers, integrated in curtains, blinds, awnings and as separate installations. When the piezoelectric effect from the bending quartz crystals is harvested (probably high voltage, very low amperage), via the specialized and currently being digitally prototyped, electrical harvesting mechanism, the high voltage, low amperage output could be transformed and added to the grid.

If many of these type of PWH enabled fabrics could be used in place of the current textiles in curtains and other furnishings, perhaps the collective power of these items could help with a new lease on wind energy.

Jenny asks…

What do you think of Pickens Plan?

Put up a bunch of wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity for the USA. Use Natural Gas to power cars.

This would:

Build plants and create jobs in the USA for building wind turbines and solar panels. Employ those who install and maintain them.

Reduce the need for foreign oil from the Middle East.

Reduce greenhouse gas emmissions. Natural Gas is very clean burning.

Boost the American auto industry if they see the light and start building natural gas hybrid vehicles.

Seems like a no brainer.

Windmill Farms answers:

The wind part is great. The natural gas vehicles part doesn’t make any sense for several reasons.

1) Converting all of our cars to run on natural gas would be a massive undertaking.

2) We really don’t have that much natural gas to begin with – around 3% of the global supply and already 25% of global consumption even before converting cars to run on natural gas. Very similar numbers to another fossil fuel – oil.

3) It would be more efficient to use the natural gas in power plants and then use the electricity to power electric cars.

For further details, see the links below.

James asks…

What are some advantages and disadvantages in solar powers?

Windmill Farms answers:

Some advantages:
1) Are beneficial for the environment

2) Do not damage the ozone layer

3)t is a renewable resource. We do not have to worry about the sun ever going away (after all, if it did, we would be dead). Although it may disappear behind a few clouds for a few minutes, disappear completely at night, or for hours during the winter, we can always expect it to come back in full force.

4)Solar power is non-polluting. Unlike oil, solar power does not emit any greenhouse gases or carcinogens into the air. Solar power is good for the environment (at least, it certainly is not harmful like other sources of power!)

5)The light and energy from the sun is free. In other words, once you have your solar lights or solar panels set up, etc., you are not going to have to pay to run them.

6) Solar cells require very little maintenance, greatly because there are no moving parts that must be maintained.

7)Solar cells can last a lifetime.

8) Solar power is silent powered. The methods used to find and extract oil can be very noisy. Even wind power can create a lot of noise. Solar power, on the other hand, is completely silent.


The main disadvantage of solar energy used to be that it cost too much. But with costs plummeting all the time as technology becomes better this really doesn’t hold up anymore.

So really, I can’t find any disadvantages other than if for some insane reason you like paying through the nose by your energy supplier, with no control or influence on price, lurching from one energy price rise to another. You can minimise the impact of this effect and offset your costs and reduce your bills. You will be independent!

Hope this helps

Good Luck

Sandy asks…

How to heat a greenhouse without gas or electricity?

Ok, I have a greenhouse 10′x8′ footing and is about 8ft tall. Made of PVC pipe frame with one layer 6 mil plastic. There is a 6′x8′ concrete slab inside and pebble on the perimeter of that slab. I have one side connected to my bedroom sliding glass door, single pane. I live in Orange County, Ca where the temp RARELY gets below freezing at it’s coldest.

I would just like “supplemental” heating heating but I do not have the ability to use anything plugged in and I want to stay away from gas.

I’m looking for a great idea maybe having to do with heat storing or even efficient use of solar energy. This is only going to be used during the winter times to keep a “tropical” climate. I am going to add misters as a humidifier.

This is what I have though of and/or come across so far…

1) run a pipe to my roof, paint it black and force air through it and circulate it back to the greenhouse. Problem is, I need to move the air and powering any type of fan that is plugged in won’t work. I can use a solar panel to power a fan but the amount of energy may not even be enough to raise the temp a degree or two. (if anyone knows a good way to move air using only what nature provides, that would solve my problem)

2) Run a vent hose from my tiny attic. Problem is, I would have to cut a hole in the stucco… I am not an owner so this won’t work. I could attach to any out-put of heat from on TOP of the roof, but I am not sure there is a good enough source to tap into. (my clothes dryer is on other side of house, cannot use – to far to reroute the energy/heat)

3) I read somewhere that you can lay a bunch of hay and the composting energy can heat the area. This is a very messy Idea but it may work. But, I would rather not take up too much space inside the greenhouse.

4) Since I have PVC frame and plastic on outside, I would double layer the plastic on the inside and create an air pocket, but this is only good for insulation purposes really. The heat will dissipate to easily as soon as the sun drops.

5) Someone suggested to use a mass of hot water as a heat storage device. Problem is, takes up space inside the greenhouse and needs energy to heat and maintain heat in the water.

6) Use wind energy to power a small turbine to move air through pipes. No problems with this, except it is not all that windy where I live.

So far the most appealing way is by running pipes on my roof and painting them black, but the real question then is, how do I move the air?

If anyone knows of a good (small) fan that can be hooked up to use only solar energy… I might be able to make that work.

If anyone has any ideas on how to heat a greenhouse with nothing but initial cost, then PLEASE reply an answer. Even if it does not work, I may be able to modify a good idea into a workable, great idea!

Windmill Farms answers:

Use a small solar panel, battery and pc cooling fan to force the air through the black pvc pipe on the roof and circulate to the greenhouse, this should help with the concept.

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Uses Of Wind Energy Today

George asks…

Why don’t Japan use geothermal energy as they are situated on the ring of fire?

Windmill Farms answers:

Well, you have an idea there. Actually, they are already using some geothermal energy but it’s pretty minuscule. Japan has in the last 2 years been making plans to expand in this area.

Here are some articles on some of the ideas:

Volcanic Japan could be geothermal energy leader: US expert
A prominent US environmentalist said Wednesday Japan should focus on developing geothermal energy, saying the volcanic island-nation could become the global leader in the field. “Japan could make geothermal energy the centre of its new energy economy just as the US or China will make wind the centre of theirs,” Lester Brown, president of the US-based Earth Policy Institute, told a news conference.
“There are no leaders in the world today in this field. There is no industrial country in the world that now has a well established geothermal industry” Brown said at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan.
Japan, located at the crossroads of four tectonic plates and on what is known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire” and dotted with volcanoes…


Japan taps into power of volcanoes with geothermal energy plants
Japan has announced plans to build its first new geothermal power stations in nearly two decades in a bid to tap the nation’s domestic energy sources. Jan 2009

In 1950 coal supplied half of Japan’s energy needs, hydroelectricity one-third, and oil the rest. In 1988 oil provided Japan with 57.3% of energy needs, coal 18.1%, natural gas 10.1%, nuclear power 9.0%, hydroelectic power 4.6%, geothermal power 0.1%, and 1.3% came from other sources.


Japan should Use geothermal energy as an Alternative Energy Resource
By Anney on October 31st, 2010

Modern day Beppu Japan uses geothermal water and heat in buildings and factories and has 4,000 hot springs and bathing facilities that attract 12 million tourists a year.


Japan is one of the most distinguished volcanic countries in the world, and geothermal energy is its precious domestic energy. And as it emits very little CO2, it is also regarded as an effective means to deal with global warming issues as well as wind and small-to-medium scale hydroelectric power. However, geothermal energy has some difficult tasks. The initial investment cost is huge, and some measures are indispensable for preservation of natural scenery around the development site, and guarantee of the hot-spring utilization without any influence.

In Japan, actual survey for geothermal energy resources has begun around 1950, and the first geothermal power station started its operation in 1966. After 35 years, 16 geothermal power plants in the 14 geothermal power station sites (excluding small power generation facilities for household use) are currently operating in Japan. Total authorized rated output reaches 530 MW, or 0.2% of the whole Japanese power capacity of 250 GW. Actual power output of the geothermal power for FY 1999 was 3,440 GWh, and this is account for 0.3% of 1,000 TWh, the whole power output in Japan. Japanese geothermal power generation capacity accounts for 6% in the world and ranks sixth, following USA, the Philippines, Italy, Mexico and Indonesia.

Besides power generation, heat of geothermal energy itself is directly used. Heat of hot spring is utilized as heat source of air conditioning, greenhouses, fish culturing, thawing on road, and hot water supply for some facilities including swimming pool. Total amount of direct heat consumption in Japan reaches 1,000 TJ. Recently, sub-underground heat, which maintains even temperature throughout the year, is drawing public attention as a stable heat source. The sub-underground heat is utilized with geothermal heat pump or ground source heat pump for air conditioning. In Japan, seasonal variations in temperature are marked, and constant heat demands exist throughout the year. Further, heat use is considered as an effective measure to mitigate heat island phenomena in the urban area.


Hope this helps!

Mark asks…

Why can’t solar and wind energy be stored in hydrogen?

One of the problems with solar/wind energy is that there is no easy way to store the energy produced. This means expensive, environment-destroying transmission lines have to be built from a solar / wind farm to the destination where the energy will ultimately be used. The opposite is true for nuclear, coal, & gas. Simply don’t burn the fuel, and it will remain unused indefinitely. You can store it as long as you want to and move it from place to place and release the energy to do work only when you need to.

So yeah… unfortunately wind and solar farms generate energy that has to be used immediately. You can store small amounts in traditional batteries, but there is no way you can store enough to power a whole city for a year.

Here’s my idea: Use the electrical energy from wind and solar farms to break up water via hydrolysis into oxygen and hydrogen. Release the oxygen into the air (I’m sure no one will complain that we’re “polluting” the air with life-giving oxygen!) and store the hydrogen. Yes, it’s a flammable gas but with today‘s technology and safety devices, it can be safely stored and transported. Then, whenever you need energy, simply burn the hydrogen. Those of you who have taken Chem 101 know that the only “waste” product from burning hydrogen is 100% pure water.

It’s a win-win environmentally and energy-storage wise. There’s no need for toxic chemicals in batteries to store energy, and there’s no need to burn anything that creates smoke or other toxic waste products or pollution.

I’m sure I’m not the first one to think of this. So my question is… why isn’t my idea being implemented on a mass scale? What’s wrong with it?

Windmill Farms answers:

The problem is that there is little widespread dependency on wind and solar power, and is largely used for specific, small scale applications where nearly all of the power gained is utilised as a ‘top up’ to conventional power sources. This means there is little to no surplus in energy gains, and if there is then it is unlikely that the facilities would be available (or affordable) due to its limited usage.

The current profitability of wind and solar power is low enough as it is, and it is highly unlikely that small, renewable energy companies, while having to compete with large and well established fossil fuel companies, will be able to afford the facilities for cost effective hydrogen production and storage on a large enough scale. Most renewable energy companies are still fighting to regain the costs of initial project developments; it’s unlikely there will even be a surplus to convert to hydrogen in many cases as these companies are selling all the energy they can at the rate they can supply it.

Chris asks…

Why can’t solar and wind energy be stored in hydrogen?

One of the problems with solar/wind energy is that there is no easy way to store the energy produced. This means expensive, environment-destroying transmission lines have to be built from a solar / wind farm to the destination where the energy will ultimately be used. The opposite is true for nuclear, coal, & gas. Simply don’t burn the fuel, and it will remain unused indefinitely. You can store it as long as you want to and move it from place to place and release the energy to do work only when you need to.

So yeah… unfortunately wind and solar farms generate energy that has to be used immediately. You can store small amounts in traditional batteries, but there is no way you can store enough to power a whole city for a year.

Here’s my idea: Use the electrical energy from wind and solar farms to break up water via hydrolysis into oxygen and hydrogen. Release the oxygen into the air (I’m sure no one will complain that we’re “polluting” the air with life-giving oxygen!) and store the hydrogen. Yes, it’s a flammable gas but with today‘s technology and safety devices, it can be safely stored and transported. Then, whenever you need energy, simply burn the hydrogen. Those of you who have taken Chem 101 know that the only “waste” product from burning hydrogen is 100% pure water.

It’s a win-win environmentally and energy-storage wise. There’s no need for toxic chemicals in batteries to store energy, and there’s no need to burn anything that creates smoke or other toxic waste products or pollution.

I’m sure I’m not the first one to think of this. So my question is… why isn’t my idea being implemented on a mass scale? What’s wrong with it?

Windmill Farms answers:

It is an issue of energy density. Power per kilogram of fuel. Hydrogen is so light and fluffy, it is hard to compress it enough to make that energy density anywhere close to that of gasoline or diesel fuel. By the time you do get it compressed enough, now you have to cryogenically cool it, or it is at too high a pressure. All this compressing and cooling takes energy and equipment you just don’t need with other energy sources. Ultimately, it takes more energy than it is worth to make it economical.

Now, if you can figure out some kind of molecular sponge to absorb the hydrogen and then release it on demand at a high density, then you’ve got a game changing technology. People are working on this right now.

Linda asks…

Why are Scientists Looking to use Wind Energy instead of Water Energy?

Science Test.

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind is in abundant supply and can be accessed virtually anywhere in the world.

Water – that is, usable water – is getting in shorter and shorter supply. 96% of the world’s water is found in the oceans and is highly saline (salty).

Ground water, fresh water lakes, and rivers account for another 3.5% approx. Ultimately 99.5% of all the water on earth is not easily available for human and animal consumption.

The World Health Organization (info on their website) sees a coming crisis in the world’s access to usable, drinkable, potable water. It is one of the greatest needs currently for third world nations… And then there’s all that watering of golf course greens… (I digress… I love golf – it’s a guilty pleasure as an environmentalist!)

So – even though there are about 6.1 Billion people on the planet (and growing) – there are already over 1 Billion without access to potable water meaning dealing with diarrhea, schistosomiasis, or trachoma, or infestation with ascaris, guinea worm, or hookworm… All associated with poor drinking water and inadequate sanitation.

Wind power is the cleanest energy to produce and the only quibble some may have is the death of birds from the windmills – BUT – there are far more deaths in one country from powerlines than there would be if the whole world full of the wind turbines required.

See below for an AMAZING, comprehensive study as to why Wind turbines are best and Ethanol is worse than the gasoline of today. I am now a Wind-Energy convert and have ditched my prior long-standing preference for Ethanol and bio-diesel fuels. I hope this study gets the attention it deserves because Ethanol will be a bigger air polluter than gasoline.

Again, wind turbines = the cleanest energy possible without the misperceived fears that nuclear energy can convey.

Donald asks…

How does Wind, Solar, hydro, Bio power, and Geothermal used today?

How can these energy sources be used??
What are some current examples of its usage??

Windmill Farms answers:

This is a very broad question. The broad answer is they all are used to generate electricity. In turn, this electricity is fed to the grid to supply homes, businesses and industries. One thing to note, depending on the state, these sources are considered renewable and some percentage of all the power used in a state may be required to be from these sources.
As far as examples, there are power plants that use these sources. California has at least one example of each kind of power plant.

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Wind Energy Definition

Jenny asks…

Can wind carry radiation?

Windmill Farms answers:

Short answer: No.

Longer answer:

It’s important to know the difference between radiation, radioactive material, irradiated material, and radiation contamination. So, some definitions:


Radiation — Radiation is energy that comes from a source and travels through some material or through space. Light and heat are both types of radiation; so is ionizing radiation.

Ionizing radiation– radiation produced by unstable atoms. Unstable atoms differ from stable atoms because they have an excess of energy or mass or both. Unstable atoms are said to be radioactive.

Radioactive materials — materials, such as solids, liquids, and gases, that consist of unstable atoms that give off ionizing radiation. Different radioactive atoms (such as uranium, cesium, plutonium, etc.) behave differently in terms of how they travel through the environment and what kind of damage they can do to living cells.

Irradiated material — any kind of substance that has been exposed to radiation.


What the wind can carry is particles, including radioactive materials and irradiated materials.

When radioactive materials come in contact with live things, like people and foods, we say that they have experienced radioactive contamination.

Contamination in the form of gases, liquids, or solids that are released into the environment can contaminate people externally, internally, or both.

Take a look at the two websites below for more information on radioactive contamination.

The source of irradiated materials right now is the Japanese nuclear plants that are overheating. When an explosion occurs, these particles are spewed up into the air. From there they are carried by the wind in whatever direction it blows.

However, substantial dispersion takes place, both vertically and laterally. Its intensity varies inversely with roughly between the square and the cube of the distance. So they will be extremely diluted–compared to their concentration when emitted– by the time they reach, say, North America.

Keep reading the scientific analyses, which will get better as the circumstances are understood. For example, I’m not sure at this moment whether any containers that contain the radioactive fuel itself have ruptured.

Michael asks…

sustainable energy…?

what else is there besides wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, hydro
is there any else???

Windmill Farms answers:


NB: by definition Sustainable Energy is the provision of energy such that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Charles asks…

What is Energy produced by atomic reactions?


Whats energy produced from burning organic matterials such as wood?
Whats energy produced by heat beneath earth’s surface?
Whats energy that turns a windmill, which pumps water or produces electricity?


Windmill Farms answers:

Energy created in a nuclear reaction is called nuclear energy, or atomic energy.

Energy from sunlight is stored as chemical energy in wood and other organic material, using a process called photosynthesis. This energy is released as heat when wood is burned.

Geothermal energy is produced by heat beneath earth’s surface.

It is wind energy that turns a windmill, which pumps water or produces electricity.

Gasohol, sometimes called ,E10 is a fuel mixture of 10% anhydrous ethanol and 90% gasoline that can be used in the internal combustion engines of most modern automobiles and light-duty vehicles without need for any modification on the engine or fuel system.

Waste also referred to as rubbish, trash, refuse, garbage, or junk is unwanted or unusable materials.

Hydroelectricity is electricity generated by hydropower, i.e., the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy. Once a hydroelectric complex is constructed, the project produces no direct waste, and has a considerably lower output level of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) than fossil fuel powered energy plants.

Geothermal power (from the Greek roots geo, meaning earth, and thermos, meaning heat) is power extracted from heat stored in the earth. This geothermal energy originates from the original formation of the planet, from radioactive decay of minerals, and from solar energy absorbed at the surface.

Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available renewable energy on earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Biomass, a renewable energy source, is biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms, such as wood, waste, and alcohol fuels. Biomass is commonly plant matter grown to generate electricity or produce heat. For example, forest residues (such as dead trees, branches and tree stumps), yard clippings, wood chips and garbage may be used as biomass. However, biomass also includes plant or animal matter used for production of fibers or chemicals. Biomass may also include biodegradable wastes that can be burnt as fuel. It excludes organic materials such as fossil fuels which have been transformed by geological processes into substances such as coal or petroleum.

Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. In outer space, solar wind is the movement of gases or charged particles from the sun through space, while planetary wind is the outgassing of light chemical elements from a planet’s atmosphere into space.

James asks…

A few questions about energy resources?

a few questions here:
1) Are solar collectors cheap?
2) Are wind generators cheap?
3) What are some reasons not to use solar collectors?
4) What are some reasons not to use wind generators?
i need these for a project.

Windmill Farms answers:

Depends on your definition of “cheap.” You can get a small (1 inch by 1 inch) solar collector for perhaps $20. Building a big one like you see on rooftops can be done for $200 minimum. Buying a rooftop kit runs $600 at least and can cost over $10,000.

Now I don’t know of any cheap wind generators. You are probably talking thousands of dollars for a wind generator. And building one is no easy task. It has to be anchored sufficiently to handle the strongest wind.

Solar collectors have no real disadvantages other than cost. The flexible sheet style solar collectors contain cadmium, a toxic metal. Wind generators are tall and unsightly, and most likely violate the zoning laws where you live. They are also not cost effective. Plus, the spinning turbines can kill birds. The noise can be distracting, and get you into a lawsuit with your neighbors. Windmills are best employed far away from civilization.

George asks…

Are geothermal, tidal, solar, and wind energy all inexhaustible?

Someone asked me which one was exhaustible I said none, they looked at me like I was stupid.

Windmill Farms answers:

Inexhaustible means it’s something we can’t use up and then it’s gone.

For example, we won’t run out of sun no matter how much we use (although we may run into a practical limit as to how many solar collectors we can put up without blocking each other). Theoretically the sun will die in 5,000,000,000 years or so, but until then, we can use it’s power without using it up.

We won’t run out of heat at the earth’s core no matter how much we use. It may be *theoretically* possible to use up the heat in the core so fast that it cools to uselessness, but there is really no geothermal system that would actually do that, so for all practical purposes it is inexhaustible, at least for as long as tidal and gravity induced heating of our core keeps it going.

As long as we have weather (which will likely be until the sun dies or our atmosphere dissipates) we will have wind. Wind speed may be reduced on the downwind side of wind farms, limiting how big they may be, but the farm itself won’t run out of wind. The same goes for tides — as long as we have the sun and the moon, we will have tides.

As you can see, there are, technically, some situations where these types of power will no longer be viable, but it is so far in the future that, for practical purposes, we won’t run out just by using them — which satisfies a practical definition of “inexhaustible”.

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Renewable Energy Group

Donald asks…

Renewable Energy Essay?

I am doing an essay for my English class about solar power. I wanted to start it off with some frightening facts about what will happen if we keep using nuclear power, coal, oil…
Is there a good website with these facts?


Windmill Farms answers:


Covers the science of global warming, believed to be caused primarily by greenhouse gases, particularly CO2 released from burning fossil fuels. Coal, gas & oil all contribute to global warming.

The problems of nuclear aren’t anywhere near as bad; environmental groups just have an irrational hatred of nuclear power. Nuclear power releases very little CO2 (just the CO2 from building the power station and mining/processing the fuel). In terms of human deaths per unit of power, nuclear is very safe. Far safer than coal or gas, this blog has a graph showing hte results of some research:

Including radioactivity dangers etc, nuclear causes about 0.04 deaths per TWh (TWh = a billion kWh or ‘units’ of electricity). Coal causes about 25 deaths for the same electricity, mostly from air pollution.

Fossil fuels kill thousands and thousands of people every year and cause severe health problems.

Nuclear is nowhere near as bad: wind/solar/hydro might be slightly better, but biomass (a renewable power) is worse.

Thomas asks…

environmentalists group?

is there a group or organization i can join for people who are interested in saving the environment. You know, like animal lover have PETA.

Windmill Farms answers:

I recommend Renewable Energy Access.

I am a member of this group

This is a mainstream group, not a crazy left wing group that will make the mainstream Democrats vote Republican.

We do not need any more Presidents like George Bush. Some of the environmental groups are so crazy they scare the daylights out of some of the Democrats.

That is how George Bush got himself elected in the first place.

Nancy asks…

what is Renewable Energy Boot Camps?

what is Renewable Energy Boot Camps?

Windmill Farms answers:

The name implies that these are short structured training seminars for renewable energy.
These may be hosted at a facility that accommodates groups of students in a intensive training courses. The should include hands on and class training. Technical, government, and safety issues should be covered for installations and functioning of Wind, Solar (both Thermal and PV) and micro-hydro.

Chris asks…

Non-renewable energy resources?

Nonrenewable energy resources include coal, oil, and natural gas.

My question is, what are some common challenges with managing nonrenewable energy resources?

Windmill Farms answers:

They all involve extracting, transporting, refining, burning and cleaning up the mess from burning.
They all contribute to poisoning the environment and or causing global warming.

They involve enormous costs that are not apparent to the consumer. They are all subsidized heavily.

Http:// is the source of the following.

“Total of all oil-related external or “hidden” costs of $825 billion per year.
This total is nearly twice the figure authorized for the Department of Defense in 2006.
To put the figure in further perspective, it is equivalent to adding $8.35 to the price
of a gallon of gasoline refined from Persian Gulf oil. This would raise that figure to
$10.73, making the cost of filling the gasoline tank of a sedan $214.60, and of an
SUV $321.90.”

“The Energy Policy Act of 2005 added an additional $85 billion in subsidies over 10 years, according to consumer group Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS, 2005), and legislative activity to bring still more continues. Earth Track’s preliminary subsidy estimates (Exhibit 2) for 2006 peg federal support at between $49 and $100 billion per year. This is well above the 2003 estimate. Neither the 2003 or the 2006 estimate includes credit subsidies to energy enterprises, which would boost the totals by a few billion dollars more.”

“The federal government provides the oil industry with numerous tax breaks designed to ensure that domestic companies can compete with international producers and that gasoline remains cheap for American consumers. Federal tax breaks that directly benefit oil companies include: the Percentage Depletion Allowance (a subsidy of $784 million to $1 billion per year), the Nonconventional Fuel Production Credit ($769 to $900 million), immediate expensing of exploration and development costs ($200 to $255 million), the Enhanced Oil Recovery Credit ($26.3 to $100 million), foreign tax credits ($1.11 to $3.4 billion), foreign income deferrals ($183 to $318 million), and accelerated depreciation allowances ($1.0 to $4.5 billion). ”

“Tax subsidies do not end at the federal level. The fact that most state income taxes are based on oil firms’ deflated federal tax bill results in undertaxation of $125 to $323 million per year. Many states also impose fuel taxes that are lower than regular sales taxes, amounting to a subsidy of $4.8 billion per year to gasoline retailers and users. New rules under the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 are likely to provide the petroleum industry with additional tax subsidies of $2.07 billion per year. In total, annual tax breaks that support gasoline production and use amount to $9.1 to $17.8 billion.”

“Beyond program subsidies, governments, and thus taxpayers, subsidize a large portion of the protection services required by petroleum producers and users. Foremost among these is the cost of military protection for oil-rich regions of the world. US Defense Department spending allocated to safeguard the world’s petroleum resources total some $55 to $96.3 billion per year. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a federal government entity designed to supplement regular oil supplies in the event of disruptions due to military conflict or natural disaster, costs taxpayers an additional $5.7 billion per year. The Coast Guard and the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration provide other protection services totaling $566.3 million per year. Of course, local and state governments also provide protection services for oil industry companies and gasoline users. These externalized police, fire, and emergency response expenditures add up to $27.2 to $38.2 billion annually.”

“Environmental, health, and social costs represent the largest portion of the externalized price Americans pay for their gasoline reliance. These expenses total some $231.7 to $942.9 billion every year. The internal combustion engine contributes heavily to localized air pollution. While the amount of damage that automobile fumes cause is certainly very high, the total dollar value is rather difficult to quantify. Approximately $39 billion per year is the lowest minimum estimate made by researchers in the field of transportation cost analysis, although the actual total is surely much higher and may exceed $600 billion.”

“Considering that researchers have conclusively linked auto pollution to increased health problems and mortality, the CTA report’s estimate of $29.3 to $542.4 billion for the annual uncompensated health costs associated with auto emissions may not adequately reflect the value of lost or diminished human life. Other costs associated with localized air pollution attributable to gasoline-powered automobiles include decreased agricultural yields ($2.1 to $4.2 billion), reduced visibility ($6.1 to $44.5 billion), and damage to buildings and materials ($1.2 to $9.6 billion). Global warming ($3 to $27.5 billion), water pollution ($8.4 to $36.8 billion), noise pollution ($6 to $12 billion), and improper disposal of batteries, tires, engine fluids, and junked cars ($4.4 billion) also add to the environmental consequences wrought by automobiles.”

a few of the things listed in the above paragraph are related to automobiles in general, not just oil, but you get the picture.


Here are different studies from different years, so you get varying numbers, but no matter how you look at it, it’s way too expensive to continue using fossil fuels for energy. And they wonder why the economy is having problems.

With a clean electric grid based mostly on solar energy there would never be any fuel to mine refine or transport and no pollution. Here’s how we can achieve that.


Article from Scientific America Jan 2008

Sharon asks…

Why is petrol a non-renewable energy source?

question says it all?

Windmill Farms answers:

Normally, oil found in underground reservoirs is not renewable within human timescales…it takes many years for nature to produce it although some people believe that some forms of oil are abiotic in nature….they are produced by ongoing processes within the earth and possibly utilize bacteria and are not the result of buried organisms.

However, oil can be made by human methods and a renewable resource. We have the technology today to convert the billions of tons of garbage and waste products we produce every year into oil using the same methods that occur in nature…extreme heat and pressure….only much faster than nature provides. All of our current and near future oil needs in the US could be met by using that waste and garbage and renewable crops to produce oil. Any carbon-based product can be utilized in this process…the millions of old tires we dispose of every year, sewer sludge, food wastes, wood pulp, consumer garbage and waste, even renewable, fast growing junk crops. The process is known as Thermal Depolymerization.


Another method is called “biomass catalytic cracking” used to produce oil rather quickly.

“One group pursuing innovative fuel technologies has recently benefited from an influx of capital and the addition of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a senior adviser.

Housed near Houston, Texas, biofuels company KiOR has been scaling up its proprietary method of converting plant matter–such as wood chips–into a “high-quality, renewable crude oil that is a substitute for conventional crude oil,” according to the website of its Silicon Valley parent firm, Khosla Ventures. This technology has definite potential, but what is really interesting is the way it works.

Called “biomass catalytic cracking,” KiOR uses a unique chemical to catalyze, or greatly speed up, the “cracking” of larger plant compounds into smaller oils that can be refined for practical use. Their goal is to build small processing units that will be used in rural areas to produce energy, yielding only water and ash as waste products. The process can generate “green oil” in seconds, in contrast to the crude oil that supposedly required millions of years to develop”

Some info on abiotic oil…….


“ScienceDaily (Sep. 12, 2009) — Researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm have managed to prove that fossils from animals and plants are not necessary for crude oil and natural gas to be generated. The findings are revolutionary since this means, on the one hand, that it will be much easier to find these sources of energy and, on the other hand, that they can be found all over the globe.”

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Wind Power Cost

Lisa asks…

How much will it cost to build a East Indiaman?

Hello everybody! This is probably something I won’t be able to do but I still want to know. If I were to build a wind powered boat, a East Indiaman, how much would the construction cost? Like I said it’s probably something I won’t be able to do but I still want to know. Also, if some of you don’t know what a East Indiaman is check images of the Black Pearl. Danke Schon! :)

Windmill Farms answers:

I believe these guys spent 6 million US

Michael asks…

How much would it cost to build a complete green Vertical Farm?

One that could feed 50,000 people and supply fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, fish, and poultry all in the same building, but separate chambers. All while using solar, hydro, and wind power to supply electric. The use of all types of ponic farming can be used, but no soil(dirt) should be used.

Windmill Farms answers:

So for this you’d need your renewable energy source most likely solar. You’d need a hydroponics system, and most importantly you’d need to build your tower to support it all.

The costs would run far into the 10s of millions…

You also wouldn’t be able to include fish and poultry in this equation if you wanted them to be healthy.

Jenny asks…

How much does hydroelectric power cost?

Im doing a project for school (im at school right now :D) and I need to know how much hydroelectric power costs to make, and how it can be used. Thankss SO much!

Windmill Farms answers:

Here are some costs to generate electricity…

Tidal – 2 – 5 Cents/kW-h
Geothermal – 4.5 – 30 Cents/kW-h
Wind – 4.0 – 6.0 Cents/kW-h…
Natural Gas – 3.9 – 4.4 Cents/kW-h
Coal – 4.8 – 5.5 Cents/kW-h
Hydroelectric – 5.1 – 11.3 Cents/kW-h
Nuclear – 11.1 – 14.5 Cents/kW-h
Solar – 15 – 30 Cents/kW-h

Nancy asks…

Why are we not focusing on nuclear power, the cheapest and cleanest energy source?

It costs less than a tenth of wind power.

Windmill Farms answers:

Not sure, but most of these idiots don’t realize that most of Europe uses nuclear power.

Ken asks…

How does alternative energy give us energy Independence?

If you can’t make all of your solar panels in your country, how is that energy independence? If you have to pay China for solar panels, then the sunlight is not yours.

What is the true cost of of solar and wind power per kilowatt hour, not counting subsidies? What energy source will be used when there are cloudy days and no wind, and at night?

Will you in the future be crying about BP and Exxon as “big lithium”?

Windmill Farms answers:

So many people are on board for alternate energy, yet the whole thing just can’t get off the ground. I knew someone that had solar powered system to heat their swimming pool. It did not work that great. After a few years they abandoned the system and used a gas heated system instead. Worked much better.

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Micro Wind Turbine

Mark asks…

Energy harvesting materials?

I need info for my chem assignment and my teacher has banned wikipedia so am kinda lost…could someone please help’s realLy urgent!

Windmill Farms answers:

Piezoelectric crystals or fibers generate a small voltage whenever they are mechanically deformed. Vibration from engines can stimulate piezoelectric materials, as can the heel of a shoe.
Some wristwatches are already powered by kinetic energy (called kinetic watches), in this case movement of the arm. The arm movement causes the magnet in the electromagnetic generator to move. The motion provides a rate of change of flux, which results in some induced emf on the coils. The concept is simply related to Faraday’s Law.
Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) consist of the junction of two dissimilar materials and the presence of a thermal gradient. Large voltage outputs are possible by connecting many junctions electrically in series and thermally in parallel. Typical performance is 100-200 uV/degreeC per junction. These can be utilized to capture mW of energy from industrial equipment, structures, and even the human body. They are typically coupled with heat sinks to improve temperature gradient.
Micro wind turbine are used to harvest wind energy readily available in the environment in the form of kinetic energy to power the low power electronic devices such as wireless sensor nodes. When air flows across the blades of the turbine, a net pressure difference is developed between the wind speeds above and below the blades. This will result in a lift force generated which in turn rotate the blades. This is known as the aerodynamic effect.
Special antennae can collect energy from stray radio waves or theoretically even light (EM radiation

Lisa asks…

i would like to go green for my heating what is the most efficient system to go for. ie ground source , solar?

i would like some kind of system that provides 24/7 realy so can be self sufficient

Windmill Farms answers:

Go for a hybrid system. Ground-source heat pump for your space heating and (depending on your location) a solar water heater on top of that.

If you want to up the green ante, you could switch to a green tariff from a credible supplier or, even better, generate your own by putting up solar pv panels, micro wind turbines and other such gizmos. Then you’d be going hardcore green and self-sufficient!!

Some organisations can help you find installers and providers; here in the UK, for example, there’s

And make sure you check with your local government before you make any big moves on this: they might have a some incentives or grants to help you out with some costs.

It’s really great you’re looking into this – good luck with it!

James asks…

With the pieces listed in the details, what would be the best way to build a wind turbine?

I am looking to create a small wind turbine system that will harness, store, and convert wind energy into useful electricity that will be able to charge a cell phone, and keep several LEDs lit for several hours. I am confident in my design for the turbine, but the electrical components are still confusing me.
Here’s what I have so far:
Dynamo and micro dynamo (DC motors from an old discman)
2 Stepper motors (motors from an old printer)
Floor fan motor (Reads 120V/60Hz)
Coffee grinder motor (Also reads 120V/60Hz)
PC cooling motor
200-Watt power inverter (Output: 115V AV/60Hz Input: 12V DC Modified Sine Wave, more info)
Lithium Ion battery (7,4V 2200 mAh)
Old cell phone and charger for testing
LED panel

What I think I will need:
Voltage rectifier (to make sure the wind turbine charges the battery instead of allowing the battery to turn the turbine)
12V rechargeable battery, ideally under 5 pounds (I think there are scooter batteries that would be able to achieve this)
Proper wires and wire connectors (I don’t know what gauge I need, or what max length I can use. I know the length of wire increases resistance)

My questions for this project are:
How should I configure the generator, fan, and power inverter in a way that will achieve my goals of charging a cell phone and powering a light?
Is there any danger to “overcharging” the rechargeable battery? If so, how would one prevent damage to the electrical system without stopping the turbine from spinning?
If I keep the fan running at X speed for Y amount of time, the LEDs to be lit for how long?
Is there a way to visually show how much power is left in the battery?

Windmill Farms answers:

Suggestion – Break down the the project – Start with how many amps or watts of power you need – That will determine what you will need for powering and for how long. Direct current is easier to work with but cannot travel as far because of the resistance – if it close by and has minimal power requirement, use a heavier gauge wire to reduce resistance. AC will travel farther and carry more voltage and amps – think of how a car’s electrical system works. The turbine needs to have a safe way of reducing the output or you face an overload. – The closer you can get the generator/alternator without the aid of mechanical adaptation the more efficient it will be. A direct connection to the turbine may be ideal and will only need a voltage regulator to adapt to your battery. You can use a appropriate volt meter to keep an eye on your battery status. Good Luck !!

Donna asks…

how to live in a caravan with no electric?

Windmill Farms answers:

Dress warmly – It is cold out there!
Insulate and make a coffee can candle heater. It can be the difference between uncomfortably cold and frostbite or dead. If snow is piling up on the van be careful about the fumes.

Now if you just want to be off grid, then get a good quality solar panel (or a couple of not so good ones), a deep cycle battery, charge controller and a DC fridge. An optional micro wind turbine and an inverter for small AC loads would be nice. This would allow you to keep up with Y!A and listen to music.

Lizzie asks…

Designing a House that’s Eco Friendly?

For my senior project in school I have decided to design an eco-friendly house. Not knowing many different things that can be incorporated into a house to make it efficient, I was wondering if anybody knew any design techniques or any websites that could help point me in the right direction.

Windmill Farms answers:

There are a million things you can do, so I’ll just make a list that you can research:

1. Highly reflective roof (to reduce heat island effect and save energy)
2. Build it near bus lines
3. Use pervious concrete instead of a paved driveway (this allows stormwater to be absorbed back into the ground instead of running off.
4. Use dual flush toilets and high efficiency faucets
5. Xeriscape (an alternative to landscaping)
6. Rainwater collection system (aka rainwater harvesting)
7. Use greywater to irrigate your lawn (greywater is the water that comes from places like your sinks and dish washer).
8. For energy efficiency, make outside walls out of SIPs, straw bales, or ICFs. (sorry…look those up)
9. Use good insulation.
10. Solar panels or micro-wind turbines
11. In the northern hemisphere, have lots of south-facing windows and less north facing windows. This allows you to collect heat from the sun in the winter without losing a lot of heat.
12. Use recycled materials
13. Use local materials that don’t have to be transported far
14. Use rapidly renewable products like bamboo or cork floors
15. Low VOC paint (that means it will be healthier to breathe)

Good luck!

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