Wind energy: benefits and a view change.
Today, I simply want to share with you something lovely that happened to me. An excellent memory, an anecdote, on step further… Sometimes, when you look back, life seems to be a simple concatenation of events that take you right the spot in which you are in at right now. It looks like if everything took you to the experience you are living right now, the circumstance you need to undertake, the people you talk to.
In that turmoil –living– I met Lula and Jor, two friends who look like a geyser of art and audiovisual productions. I am filming the Ecocube with them, a section of “The Magic Cube” which is emitted by LU 89 TV Channel 3, from La Pampa province, with the objective of bringing awareness to kids from 8 to 16 years old, on the environmental issues regarding our daily living (we will share with you these chapters in any moment, we are waiting until they are in the air here in Santa Rosa, in order to upload it to Youtube and share it with you).
Yesterday, shot a chapter on wind energy, and when I spoke about it with Lula and Jor, they took me directly to shoot beneath a huge wind energy generator in General Acha (a nearby town). I have always read about the great big wind generators, who hug the wind, asking Nature for a little bit of her energy for our usage, , but I have never seen one, I was never able to hug one of them, and thank him the same way I thank a tree for its ecosystemic services.
When we got there, we walked a couple of kilometres through a dirt road, with a sky covered by clouds, and a strong, constant and unidirectional wind was blowing (3 characteristics that make our Patagonian winds one of the best worldwide for wind energy generation) while in the horizon, two wind energy generators were standing, baptized as “The Pampero” and “The Hurricane”, one staring west, and the other one south.
They were obvious… like statues in the middle of the flatlands… moving serenely, no one hurries them, but they are invoking many strong things, a new way of life, the first human sculptures which will say: this is how the human being started changing its vision.
It has been said that the wind turbines produce visual contamination as well as a lot of noise. That they disrupt the landscape. But, instead of destroying the landscape from its vowels (extracting minerals and fossil fuels from the Earth), isn’t it better to have those symbols of change standing there, as a reminder, as a piece of evidence proving that our energy demand must be quenched with clean, renewable energy?
It is true that a subtle buzz exists when they turn, but in reality, it is a very subtle sound. At 300 meters from it, the turbines make a noise of only 40 dB’s, which is less than the environmental sound:
- Inside a house or an office (50-60dB),
- Inside a car (70-90dB),
- Inside an Industry (100-110dB)
- A drill in the street (120-130dB)
Besides, this kind of problem can be solved with new turbines, new lubricants, new technology, as new investments in a local level are made to promote the national industry of wind turbines. In addition, this kind of energy production allows us to bring energy to isolated communities, which are far away from the grid, promoting an homogeneous development of society.
Wind energy, simply put, is an energy which you can see… it is an energy which does not require us to find it beneath the Earth as we do with fossil fuels and minerals. It is there, in the wind… and as long as we have the Sun heating our Earth, winds will keep on generating themselves (around 1 to 2% of the energy provided by the Sun is transformed into wind), and it is up to us to find ways (cheaper and more efficient) to “trap” that energy which is given to us by the world.
Standing there in the middle of nowhere, staring those giants while the rotated, I started to quiet my mind, and I believed again that our destiny in our world is not yet shot, nor has a script, anything… it is pure potential…
Manuel Lozano, from Chascomús (Buenos Aires), an innate volunteer activist, true in his actions, coherent in what he says and does with his 27 years old, said a few motivational words in the TED talks given in La Plata, Argentina, a couple of months ago, which I share with you today: “I invite you to believe”. And certainly he does, demonstrating that the social change is inevitable –it is already at work– and big utopic actions from our politicians are no longer needed, but the simple action of all the people, with little actions which demonstrate that this new generation of humans know how to get along with each other and manage, once and for all, our planet in a sustainable way.
“There is no economic problem and, in a sense, there never has been. But there is a moral problem, and moral problems… need to be understood and then transcend them.” – E. F. Schumacher, 1977 in “A guide for the Perplexed”
Untill next week,
Antonio Vicente Madrid. “Energías Renovables. Fundamentos, Tecnologías y Aplicaciones”. Editorial AMV Ediciones y Mundi-Prensa. Primera Edición. Madrid, España, 2009.
Thanks to my Mum, for sending me Manuel’s video and to Lula and Jor, friends of Time (that time that slips away from the clock), for making my dream of hugging a wind turbine come true. Thanks!