Friday 17/8/2007 Page: 19
THERE'S a renewable energy that is proving to be more than just a lot, of hot, air. And, if you ask Michael Jones, the answer is blowing in the wind. "I believe that's it, not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," he said. "This area has good potenial for using wind energy." The Grassy Head resident, is so keen to see wind energy propel into popularity, he is organising a local wind energy group. The group held their first meeting yesterday in Scotts Head. "A wind turbine can generate the same amount of energy as solar power, for around hail the price," Michael said. "In Australia, we have better potential for wind energy than Spain, who is generating 27 per cent of all their electricity from wind. It makes a lot of sense to utilise wind to produce energy."
Michael and his family live on a 30-acre property, and are planning on installing a wind energy system to power the house. "An average household uses approximately 12 kilowatts a day. A two kilowatt turbine working at maximum velocity would rim household lights, computers, a fridge, stove and other appilances," he said.
When working as an ecologist, Michael became aware of the effects of climate change. "I was mapping mangroves in the Northern Territory, and saw them expanding landward. I look this as a sign of sea eve rise," he said. "Then when I read The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery, I found it very worrying." These events spurred Michael to give presentations on climate change to local community groups, and become interested in alternative forms of energy. He said he would like to see wind turbines become common features on small holdings. "Just like you see television aerials on every house, I would like to see wind turbines become commonplace," he said.
To generate wind energy, you need an area with relatively high average wind speeds, and little or no turbulence. Like solar panels, wind turbines produce power from a renewable energy source. They basically consist of a set of blades connected to a generator or alternator; whether directly or via a gearbox, which produces power as it is turned by the rotating blades. The power from the turbine is used to charge batteries for later use, and a regulator is required for use with wind turbines. Grid interactive wind energy systems are less common, but are available.
Mobile Recycling Facts:
- Australians uprade or exchange their mobile phones every 18 to 24 months, resulting in nearly 16 million old mobile phones cluttering people's homes and offices across Australia, of which four million no longer work.
- Mobile phones are not biodegradable and contain small amounts of potentially hazardous substances such as cadmium in NiCad batteries which if not managed properly can be harmful to the environment.
- By recycling mobile phones, more than 90 per cent of the mobile phone product materials can be extracted and reused such as plastics, gold, silver, copper and nickel.