The Future of Energy: Wind Power


Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it is an in-depth analysis I divided it into six posts so that we could discuss each part separately.

62 Siemens wind turbines of the type SWT-2.3-101 turn here in the wind park West Wind near Wellington in New Zealand.?

Wind Power,

Wind power has been around for thousands of years. 200 years ago, the Fens in the UK were drained using wind-driven pumps. Because they were expensive to build and operate, and the wind often did not blow when needed, these were soon replaced by low-pressure steam driven pumping engines that, by today?s standards, were very inefficient and extremely expensive. The drive for efficiency and low cost led to their being replaced with higher-pressure steam engines, diesel engines and finally, by electric pumps.

Wind power today suffers from the same problems it did hundreds of years ago – expensive machinery, low average output and the vagaries of the wind.

Wind farms do not generate much in light winds and they must be shut down in strong winds. Typically, they generate less than 10% of their rated output for 30% of the time, and more than 80% for only about 5% of the time. A wind farm provides expensive electricity at unpredictable times – often when it is not needed.

Read more »

What do you mean new discovery? She is alive and well in New York

The new species, Mystacina miocenalis, is related to another bat, Mystacina tuberculata (above), which still lives in New Zealand's old growth forests.

The new species, Mystacina miocenalis, is related to another bat, Mystacina tuberculata (above), which still lives in New Zealand’s old growth forests.

And here was me thinking the old bat was alive and well in New York, not near prehistoric Lake Manuherikia in Central Otago

New Zealand researchers have discovered the fossilised remains of a previously unknown species of bat that foraged on the ground and burrowed using its feet and wrists.

The find suggests New Zealand was home to walking bats 16 million years ago.

Although only thought to have weighed 40 grams, the ancient species was three times larger than its modern cousins.

The fossil was found near prehistoric Lake Manuherikia in Central Otago, which was once part of a subtropical rainforest.

The new species, Mystacina miocenalis, is related to another bat, Mystacina tuberculata, which still lives in New Zealand’s old growth forests. ? Read more »


Need a new bat, get a Laver & Wood


James Laver is a good bastard…I met him down in?the?Hawkes Bay picking up some clays to go shooting…which he loves almost as much as cricket.

He also gave me a tour of his bat factory where he makes custom bats.

Fairfax did a profile on on him that is worth reading.

Kiwi cricket bat maker Laver & Wood is having a good World Cup with orders up 20 per cent this month, before today’s final is even played.

The firm, based in the tiny Hawke’s Bay town of Waipawa, near Napier, says Black Caps fever may be behind the upsurge in trade, which is likely to be between 35 and 40 per cent higher than March last year.

Global interest in the tournament has also pushed its Facebook followers to 27,000, with many enquiries being made online as fans and players browse between overs.

Sales and marketing manager Anthony Van Dorsten said the firm was benefitting from “dual screening.”

“We have been enjoying an upswing in sales over the last couple of years, but a lot of our enquiries are coming through online channels, and we have to assume that part of the reason for that is that fans are browsing for cricket products as they watch the games or shortly afterwards.” ?? Read more »

Evil bat killing wind turbines


It is time to put an end to the bird and now bat killing wind turbines.

WIND farms may be killing legally protected bats by causing internal organs to ?explode?, according to wildlife experts.

The Bat Conservation Trust says it has evidence that pressure caused by turbine blades causes the animals? lungs to “pop”, causing immediate death.

Bats are a protected species in the UK, and deliberately injuring or killing them carries the threat of six months in jail and a fine of up to ?5,000.

Conservationists believe bats are dying while hunting insects that are attracted by the heat generated by turbine blades.

They have suggested that even if the bats avoid the turbines, the change in pressure created by the spinning blades is capable of bursting their lungs.

Anne Youngman, Scottish officer of the Bat Conservation Trust, said: “People think that the danger is the bats getting hit by the blade, which does happen.

“But the danger to them is really barotrauma, were they are literally popped from the inside.? Read more »

Face of the Day

The face of the leaf-nosed bat found in Vietnam:

A new species of bat whose face bristles with leaf-like protrusions has been discovered in?Vietnam, a new study says.

When scientists first spotted Griffin’s leaf-nosed bat in Chu Mom Ray National Park in 2008, the animal was almost mistaken for a known species, the great leaf-nosed bat, said Vu Dinh Thong, of the?Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology?in Hanoi.

Still, Vu Dinh and his team, thinking there was a chance the bat might in fact be new to science, used nets to catch some of the docile animals.

“While captured, some similar body-sized bats, i.e. [the] great leaf-nosed bat, reacts very angrily,” he said by email. “But Griffin’s leaf-nosed bat seems quite gentle.”