Article on alternative power in the White Mountains
There's an article on alternative power (solar pv and wind) in the latest issue of Home Power magazine (Aug/Sept 2008 issue) page 76 "Off the Beaten Path"
Talks about the AMC Hut's sustainable technologies.
Wind power has its uses, but it can be serious eyesore. There's one in Hull, MA that sticks up above one of the last large open spaces along the South Shore of MA. When you come down Rt 3A in Hingham, you can see it above the otherwise pristine World's End reservation. It's a trade-off to be sure, but I'd hate to see views of the White Mountains become dotted with windmills. I was reading about them in the Adirondacks in last week's Boston Globe, I believe. Lots of cons to go with the pros.
Out here we have huge windfarms. Not too big of deal here, because it's as flat as can be. Very little view to ruin. It's interesting that the windfarms generate returns on the weather radars which look like t-storms. The University of Illinois, where I work, is installing a few to create power for the university. I also see the blades being transported on the highway from time to time. They're enormous.
Here are some webcams mounted on a ferry between mainland Finland and Hailuoto Island. On both shores you can see windmills. There is also a webcam on the western shore of the island. More windmills. Apparently the Finns are really into wind power.
I like the idea of wind farms but I'm not all that pleased with the look. When I was in southern NY State (near Arcade, NY) there are hundreds of windmills on the hills. I guess it's no different than a coal plant spewing yellow smoke into the air though, so of the 2, I'd rather see windmills.
I think mini windmills are the way to go for residential use. They don't have to be on hundred foot towers, and don't have to be the 3 bladed kind (there are vertical helixes and now round ball shapes).
There will never be one new energy solution though for the entire country. It will be a mix of different solutions. If you live near a stream, hydro power, if it's sunny most of the time, solar pv (and solar hot water). Lots of wind, wind mills. Even a mix of these is probably a smart move since the sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow. Hydro is the most consistant of them, but of course in New England, water freezes