Wednesday, February 12, 2014

As the Wind Blows

While a guy might sit around in Germany and assume that there's never any substantial arguments between locals, bitter feuds with politicians, or journalists yanking on the public's chain for "progress"'d be wrong.

Over the last couple of weeks....things have been developing with a new wind-turbine energy farm.  You know the type.  A syndicate of sorts....gets up investment capital....does some research.....and finds the perfect place to put up a dozen-odd wind-turbine structures.  Typically, they go and find open rural property out....far enough away from culture, society and protectionists.....that it never runs into difficulty being approved or built.

Well....some Mainz folks got around to this idea of a wind-turbine farm....up on the Taunus ridge area of the Rhine Valley area....with the city of Mainz and Wiesbaden within that view.

Logic?'s on the it captures a fair amount of wind for the operation.  No one will say enough for thirty-hundred-and-sixty-five days....but you'd probably have enough wind for at least ninety-percent of the time.

Well....all of this was cruising along, until it got out of the Mainz community, and into the Wiesbaden community (across the river).  They aren't in the same state, and they tend to be of limited agreement on things.  It's hard to imagine two cities....barely a mile apart....separated by a river, and having this much of a negative feeling on things.

So, as the local press in Wiesbaden (the Kurier) reports.....the Wiesbaden folks are fairly hostile over these 200 meter towers being constructed (figure 650-odd feet tall, which makes it a fairly noticeable thing from any point of the valley).  Multiply that by a dozen-odd structures....all built on top of the ridge itself, and you put a remarkable landscape obstacle out there.  

I noted at one point...."landscape vandalism" got brought up.  It's hard to define....other than things looking out of place.  Back three hundred years ago....locals might have said that about the various Dom (Catholic church buildings built), and over the last hundred years.....folks might have said that about bridges being built.  Times change.....people accept things more than in the past.

So, the fight is on.  One city insisting on being part of some approval process....even though the structures are to be built on the other side of the river, by the approving city leadership.  Are the Mainz political folks pumped up for a fight?  It's hard to say.  Arguing about landscape purity, or suggesting economic or landscape vandalism....won't help much in this type of discussion.

At the heart of this discussion?  Well....those nuke plants are on a list to be shut down.  You basically need to build wind-turbine operations a bit faster than the original concept of a decade ago.  Building turbine operations in a non-windy area....makes no sense.  I suspect the Mainz leadership will point this out, and claim that there's a limited window of time to get active and think about the future.  Yeah.....landscape be damned.

For an American, it's an interesting debate.  You sit down, pondering a problem, come to a solution, and then discover that by fixing one merely open the door for a second problem....where more discussion is required....another solution necessary....and the potential for a third problem down the road a bit.

1 comment:

DirkH said...

Same thing happening in the US;
(blog by Pierre Gosselin, American living near Osnabrück, blogging mostly about German renewables madness and obsession with Global Warming)