[Coral-List] Need for more oil

Eugene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Wed May 19 10:12:18 EDT 2010

For those calling for  offshore windmills I have reproduced a letter 
published in the St. Petersburg Times a couple of months ago. It was 
written By Dr. Robert Weisberg who is one of the leading authorities 
on the loop current and currently providing vital information on the 
Gulf spill trajectory.

The title of the letter is OVERBLOWN ENERGY SOURCE
     Alternative energy schemes are overhyped to the point of being 
folklore. Hence it is not surprising that well-intentioned 
suggestions are published, such as the one that the answer to west 
Florida's energy needs "is blowin in the wind."
      Unfortunately the folklore itself is overblown. Based on 10 
years of offshore wind observations plus commercial specifications 
for a GE 3.6 megawatt wind turbine, Florida's west coast can on 
annual average provide about 1 MW of power per turbine. Rated 
capacity is not achieved because the wind must blow 7 knots just to 
turn the blades.
      Given that the TECO Big Bend power plant is rated at 1,800 MW, 
we would need 1,800 of these turbines to replace that one power 
plant. And these turbines are behemoths, equivalent in area to 
tilting Raymond James Stadium on end. Sitting 1,800 of these along 
the coast line 1 km apart would require stacking them three deep from 
Tallahassee to Key West. Just imagine the coastal community uproar to 
this invasion of the coastline.
     The reality is that wind energy can merely supplement, not 
replace power generation by conventional means. Similar can be said 
of other overhyped methods. The real alternative is nuclear, but few 
wish to speak about that.
Robert H. Weisberg, distinguised university professor, College of 
Marine Science-USF
      I (Gene) might mention that I serve on the MMS science advisory 
committee and the offshore windmill subcommittee. At our last meeting 
I learned more about the windmill problems from  an MMS official.
1. They violate the clean air act because boats have to used to service them.
2. They violate the Antiquities act (visual impairment of the scenery).
3. They interfere with certain native American spiritual practices.
4..The Coast Guard has not determined how to light them.
5. Bird strikes.
6. Bat strikes.
All of these problems have to be overcome not to mention a certain 
high profile Family that does not want to see the Cape Wind project 
off their coast. A similar problem exists with Native Americans 
concerning a proposal for 100 windmills in Rhode Island Sound.
     I personally have no problems with windmills but then I have no 
problems with offshore rigs..they remind me of offshore lighthouses 
which in the Florida keys  are considered poetic and beautiful 
cultural resources. Gene


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
Marine Science Center (room 204)
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- 

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