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Hurricane Sandy Highlights the Safe, Reliable Nature of Renewable Energy Sources

The safe, reliable nature of renewable energies such as solar and wind has been overlooked up until recently. With the passing of hurricane Sandy, which disabled New York City’s power grid, some people have started to notice that renewable energy sources were virtually unaffected, and not once was there any worry of a leak of combustible fuel or radiation.

The wind and solar farms in the northeast caused no anxiety, whereas officials were keeping very close eyes on nuclear power plants, and even shut down three in New Jersey and New York.

John Kourtoff, president and CEO of Toronto-based Trillium Power Wind, explained that “renewables at their core are simple bio-mimicry based on nature. This simple and closed aspect makes them successful when storms and natural disasters happen, whether hurricanes, earthquakes, or tsunamis.”

Related Article: The U.S.-EU Green Energy Divide

Last year’s disaster at the Fukushima is a perfect example, when a tsunami devastated the nuclear power plant, yet left the local wind turbines un damaged.

He mentioned that wind and solar do not need additional energy inputs to produce electricity, they merely take advantage of energy that is readily available. There is no fear of disruptions to supply of natural gas, oil, or coal.

Nor is there any fear of a cascading failure, whereby the failure of just one part of the system can bring down the entire power generation process. If a wind turbine loses a blade, or a solar panel breaks, the rest of the farm continues to operate as normal.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com



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  • Mel Tisdale on November 03 2012 said:
    Sure, they are marvellous (as long as you ignore how much they ruin beautiful, picturesque countryside), until the wind stops blowing or the sun stops shining, such as every night, of course! When that happens, there has to be back-up and if nuclear is not an option because the Green brigade's battalions of bra-burners and tepee dwellers have had their ill thought through way, then it has to be good old CO2 emitting fossil fuelled power stations. And let’s not forget that unless we spend a fortune upgrading the grid to carry the extra load caused by the wind not blowing in the right place, then we will have to have that back-up running idle because the 45 minutes it takes to spin up a gas turbine generator is too long compared with how fast the wind can die or the sun go behind clouds.

    The obvious route for power generation surely has to be LFTR reactors that run on thorium. Had Fukushima been run on them, it would have been a non-nuclear event. Furthermore, it is capable of load following, unlike its ageing relatives, which means the grid is just fine the way it is. We know that the Chinese are working on their development and it will be a pity if the West has to buy the technology from them instead of having its own in-house sources, especially seeing as experimental thorium reactors first ran over 50 years ago. But seeing as they are no use in making bombs and it was the height of the Cold War, they were dropped.

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