Sadler hilary 17430393_edc171_assignment2_b

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The construction of Ceres Wind Farm, York Peninsula

Text of Sadler hilary 17430393_edc171_assignment2_b

  • 1. The construction of Ceres Wind Farm in the York Peninsula: is it beneficial or not beneficial to the environment? Sadler_Hilary_17430393_EDC171_Assignment2B (Renewables Australia, 2014)

2. Inquiry This inquiry is about: The construction of Ceres Wind Farm in the York Peninsula, South Australia; 197 turbines are being built across 18,000 hectares of farmland; Turbines will measure 152 meters high and 114 meters wide; Are wind farms beneficial to the environment? Investigated: what damage the wind turbines will do to the environment, the main benefits of wind farms, whether or not the wind farms benefit the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and what studies have been conducted. Sadler_Hilary_17430393_EDC171_Assignment2B (Mr Ross Tech Class, 2013) 3. Research Questions 1. What damage would the construction and functioning of the turbines do to the environment (land and wildlife)? 2. What are the main benefits of building a wind farm? 3. Are wind farms beneficial to the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions? 4. What studies have been conducted in relation to the causes of carbon foot print? Sadler_Hilary_17430393_EDC171_Assignment2B (Poly Kraft, 2012) 4. Key findings 1. What damage would the construction and functioning of the turbines do to the environment (land and wildlife)? Land Land would be affected very little as wind farm are usually built in hilly areas; Very little impact to land when constructing as it only takes approximately 3 months to install; Wind farms are usually built on land that has already been cleared (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2013); If wind farms are not successful and need to be removed, land can be turned back to original condition (Jaber, 2013). Wildlife/Birds/Bats/Fish Many deaths of birds and bats due to change of air pressure (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2013); Birds can change their flight direction when nearing wind turbines (De Lucas, Janss & Ferrer, 2004); Wind farms produced offshore can disturb and cause death to birds, fish and other marine animals, moreover, a study conducted shows wind farms that are offshore can help increase fish populations (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2013). Sadler_Hilary_17430393_EDC171_Assignment2B (Delegation of the European Union to the United States, 2014) 5. Key findings 2. What are the main benefits of building a wind farm? Benefits: Creating more jobs in construction, maintenance and operation of wind farms; Provide income to rural areas via lease payments to people who provide the land; Wind energy is always available; Wind turbines do not use water to function, so can be used in drought stricken areas; Wind energy does not pollute the air or water as electricity is only produced through wind; and/or Wind turbines are less expensive as they do not use fuel to run(U.S. Department of Energy, 2011). Sadler_Hilary_17430393_EDC171_Assignment2B (GeoEngineering Watch, 2014) 6. Key findings 3. Are wind farms beneficial to the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions? In South Australia 28% of electricity is produced by wind. South Australia has build more wind power in the last few years which has resulted to emissions reducing annually by 3.1 Mt C02-e (Osmond & Osborne, 2014). An average size wind farm in NSW that powers approximately 60,000 65,000 houses, greenhouse gas savings will be approximately 200,000-600,000 tonnes per year (Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water NSW, 2010). the power made by wind replaces the power made by coal or gas and therefore reduces the greenhouse gas emissions (Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water NSW, 2010). (Osmond & Osborne, 2014) Sadler_Hilary_17430393_EDC171_Assignment2B 7. Key findings 4. What studies have been conducted in relation to the causes of carbon foot print? Climate change is increasing; Human activity is mainly responsible for causing climate change; Most of the greenhouse gasses have been formed by burning of fossil fuels to make energy (EPA United States Environment Protection Agency, 2014); Australia has been named as one of the highest polluters (Carbon Neutral, 2009). Sources of Australias Emissions: (Carbon Neutral, 2009)Sadler_Hilary_17430393_EDC171_Assignment2B 8. Conclusion Based on the information it shows that wind farms: Have little impact on the environment; and/or Have many benefits; Australia has been named one of the worlds highest polluters (Carbon Neutral, 2009). Wind farms are a critical source to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that is destroying our environment. It has been proved that South Australias greenhouse gas emission have been reduced due to wind farms being built in the last few years with emissions reducing annually by 3.1 Mt C02-e (Osmond & Osbourne, 2014). Sadler_Hilary_17430393_EDC171_Assignment2B (Australia Government, 2014) 9. Call to action We should and need to act now to reduce greenhouse gas emission and slow down climate change. If we want future generations to enjoy Earth the way we have then something needs to be done now to make sure our beautiful environment stays the way it is today. More wind farms should be built throughout Australia and the world, in rural areas or offshore, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sadler_Hilary_17430393_EDC171_Assignment2B (OffshoreWIND.biz, 2013) 10. Reflection What new knowledge have I gained? Before inquiring At the start of this inquiry I had the impression that wind farms did not benefit the environment greatly and that wind farms would cause damage to the environment. After inquiring Wind farms are beneficial to the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions largely; Wind farms do little damage to the environment; Australia is named one of the worlds highest pollutants; and/or There are many benefits on constructing a wind farm. Sadler_Hilary_17430393_EDC171_Assignment2B (Reflect for Conversation on the web, 2014) 11. References Adams, A. S, & Keith, D. W. (2007). UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACTS OF WIND FARMS ON CLIMATE. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 88(3), 307-309. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/232636614?accoundid=10382 Australian Curriculum. (2014). Assessment and Reporting Authority, Education Services Australia. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/ Carbon Neutral. (2009). Australias Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Retrieved from http://www.carbonneutral.com.au/climate-change/australian-emissions.html Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water NSW. (2010). NSW Wind Farms and Greenhouse Gas Savings. Retrieved from http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/climatechange/101002windghgsvng.pdf De Lucas, M., Janss, G. F., & Ferrer, M (2004). The effects of a wind farm on birds in a migration point: the Strait of Gibraltar. Biodiversity and Conversation, 13 (2), 395-407. Doi. http://doi.org/10.1023/B:BIOC.0000006507.22024.93 EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2014). Climate Change: Basic Information. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/basics/ Hickman, L. (2012). Are wind turbines increasing carbon emission?. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2012/jan/09/wind-turbines-increasing-carbon-emissions Jaber, Suaad. (2013). Environmental Impacts of Wind Energy. Retrieved from http://www.jocet.org/papers/057-J30009.pdf Osmond, D & Osborne, L. (2014). Wind Energy Delivers Cost Effective Abatement in South Australia. Retrieved from http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/pricing-sa-electricity-grid-high-wind-penetration-2005-13-14148 Pasqualetti, M. J. (2004). Wind power: Obstacles and opportunities. Environment, 46(7), 22-38. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/224022514?accountid=10382 Sadler_Hilary_17430393_EDC171_Assignment2B 12. References (cont.) Watts, O. (2013). Yes, wind turbines really do save carbon emissions! Retrieved from http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/climatechange/archive/2013/05/20/yes-wind-turbines-really-do-save-carbon- emissions.aspx Union of Concerned Scientists. (2013). Environmental Impacts of Wind Power. Retrieved from http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/renewable-energy/environmental-impacts-wind-power.html U.S. Department of Energy. (2011). Wind Energy Benefits. Retrieved from http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/pdfs/49053.pdf Renewables Australia. (2014). Wind farm [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.budget.gov.au/2009- 10/content/glossy/infrastructure/html/infrastructure_overview_31.htm Poly Kraft Machines. (2012). Man and question mark [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.polykraftmachines.com/inquiry.php Mr Ross Tech Class. (2013). Man with magnifying glass and question [Image]. Retrieved from http://tw.aisj- jhb.com/dross/2014/01/05/investigate-stage/ OffshoreWIND.biz. (2013). Wind farm offshore and land [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.offshorewind.biz/2013/01/31/siemens- to-build-offshore-part-of-noordoostpolder-wind-farm-the-netherlands/ GeoEngineering Watch. (2014). Wind farm in drought [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/californias- engineered-drought/ Reflect for Conversations on the Web. (2014). Hand holding world [Image]. Retrieved from http://engage.cs.washington.edu/reflect/ Delegation of the European Union to the United States. (2014). Hand holding environment. Retrieved from http://www.euintheus.org/what-we-do/energy-and-environment/ Australian Government, Department of Defence, Defence Support Group. (2014). Environment in Australia [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.defence.gov.au/environment/ Sadler_Hilary_17430393_EDC171_Assignment2B