September 22, 2011

W is for Windmill

Aptly called giant electric fans by the locals, twenty whopping windmills grace the northern coastline of Ilocos Norte facing the windy North China Sea.

Ilocos Norte, 2010

The 23-storey windmills standing 236 meters apart were installed in 2005 and were the first source of clean energy in the Philippines. Together they produce over 30-megawatts of electricity and supply 40% of the province's energy needs. Yet, to put this into some kind of perspective, the entire province consumes only about half the energy of one of Manila's larger shopping malls!

It's hard to grasp the sheer size of the windmills. Each windmill with 41-meter blades stands 70 meters tall and weighs 104 tons. Its tapered tower of steel measures 4.2 meters thick at its base. Look again at the relative small size of the people in the first photo!


There's plenty of environmental incentive to build these alternate energy projects. But unfortunately, without government subsidies, this renewable energy source would hardly be financially viable, even considering this privately-operated one stands to earn millions of euros in carbon credits.


This final photo was taken near sundown from a platform built along the highway specifically for tourists to view the spectacular scenery.


We're sharing stories with the letter W at Alphabe-Thursday and the shadow shot is for, well, Shadow Shot Sunday.

37 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

They're quite controversial in Canada, Francisca, because of birds getting killed.
I'm sure you've seen the huge wind farms near Palm Springs. I remember the first time I saw them, I was so surprised, because it was years ago and no one was even talking about them here yet.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Karen S. said...

They used to be windmills! I saw an old map the other day of the area where we live and on it they had each land owner's name and a windmill marked if they owned one...we are getting these around here, more and more, and just got a letter in the mail trying to sell to each and everyone of us !

Francisca said...

Kay, I am aware of the "turbines kill birds" argument, but after reading the available scientific evidence, I am convinced that on the balance, this is a common eco-myth.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What I have heard and read is that they USED to kill birds (those first ones in CA that Kay mentions above), but that now they are made to turn more slowly and so they are safer for the birds. We probably saw them first around the same time Kay mentions -- got home and looked up info (in the days before Internet). It's because of that time that we've remained interested.

One year on a roadtrip we saw a parade of huge trucks trundling blades (one per truck) down the freeway. That was amazing too.

Stacia said...

There's something oddly beautiful about windmills, I think. They are such a simple but outstanding example of form and function.

Cezar and Léia said...

This is so RIGHT ecological idea, I love your pictures, you did a fantastic work with your camera!
The beach with white waves is magnificent.
You are so right, it's a spectacular scenery!
Léia

jfb57 said...

What a great set of photos! Stunning. I know some folks think they are ugly but I think they have a beauty of their own!

Karin M. said...

Stunning shots .... great ...
LG: Karin

☆☆Mumsy said...

Fantastic shots of the windmills, and the information is awesome. There should be more windmills everywhere to supply energy!

Leckeres für Mensch und Katze - Goodies for a pleasant life said...

Great photos :)

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I long for the day these are used world wide, in the areas that lend themselves to it.

I live in such a place. There is too much controversy.

Jo said...

Those are hugh!...great "W".. windmills.
~JO

joo said...

I love your photos very much, but my my attitude towards the windmill farms is a bit ambiguous. On the one hand I understand they are ecological source of energy, but on the other hand, there is this discussion about birds and what is more too many of them simply spoil the landscape.
Have a great afternoon:)

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Wonderful photos. We have about ten of those big windmills in one of the canyons here. You can see them for miles!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love your pictures! I am all for using wind!

The Cello Strings said...

love these shots.

wonderful windmill share.

ladyfi said...

Wow - what mighty mills - and so good as they create renewable energy.

Lovely pictures too - dramatic and strong!

Jacob said...

Superb photos, Francisca! I especially like the last one - the light and the colors and the clouds and the water!

The first time I saw these was driving into San Francisco many years ago...I couldn't believe it...they were like trees covering the hills and I had no idea what they were all about...

Beth said...

Beautiful pictures. Maui, HI has beautiful windmills capturing the wind which helps eliminate having thousands of barrels of oil shipped there.Here is a picture of Maui's windmills (I did not take this picture). http://www.mauitropicalsoaps.com/graphics/windmills1.jpg
Beth

Halcyon said...

Great shots. I especially like the first one. It seems to stretch on forever.

lissa said...

they always look alien to me somehow but I think wind power is an energy that we all try out

Ann said...

when I went to Christchuirch, they have a windmill, not for power but for location namesake only.

Your photo has a lot of windmills, do people complain like some people do?

Andrea said...

I've never been there but saw lots of photos already. But yours are different because of the big waves and the quality of the sky, very timely for your visit. I saw a mountain side full of windmills in Honolulu, but theirs are not that tall. This January i will be going to the North, and i hope the sky will cooperate too. Hi Francisca.

H said...

I have mixed feelings about these things. I don't find them ugly and I long for renewable energy sources to be widely used, but on an island which is so densly populated, I also don't want wind farms spoiling the wildness of what little space we have left.

Gattina said...

We have them here too, I think they are built now nearly everywhere. I think it is a very good invention !

Anita Johnson said...

They are huge, aren't they? Last year we were driving and passed these huge things on trucks. I had no idea what they were...finally it dawned on me...HUGE blades for wind turbines. I'm not sure i like them on the landscape, but they make great photos!

Pondside said...

I wish we`d build more of them instead of relying on coal or nuclear plants. When we visit Denmark we see that these are extensively used and they are not as noisy as some would have you believe.

Judie said...

I soooo support this type of energy! I know many people don't like to look at them, but frankly I just don't care! This is a terrific post, and your photos, as usual, are wonderful!!!!

Cheryl D. said...

Getting energy from wind it an awesome idea!

Sylvia K said...

Stunning captures, Cisca!! The windmills are amazing indeed! The water and waves are gorgeous! The windmills are not nearly as controversial here as they were, although there are still those that protest them. I have some mixed emotions about them, too, but not sure what other answers there are. Hope you have a great weekend!

Sylvia

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

The windmills make great shadows!


SHADOW BOLD

Shadow bold and shadow bright,
Shadow with me day and night,
Shadow taller than a tree,
Tell me what you think of me!


© 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Desert shadows here and here

chubskulit said...

I would have never thought this being in the Philippines, lovely shots Francisca.

My shadow post,your comment will be highly appreciated.

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Excellent photographs.

Regards and best wishes

EG Wow said...

Love your photos of these wind turbines. Here people talk about the undercurrent of noise and motion in the bedrock that supposedly makes people sick. Whether it's true it makes people ill or not, I don't know.

Jenny said...

I see these in California and they always fascinate me.

Their sheer size and power is really overwhelming.

And then sci-fi aspect of their appearance...especially if you see them at sunset and they are all backlit with pink and gold...just eerie!

Thanks for a wonderful link this week.

A+

Ingrid said...

Hi Cis, great pics!! It brings also back in mind all the controversial reasons already mentioned in the other comments... In NL they even discuss about these mills whether they can be installed 15 km OFFshore > landscape polution....
I guess we need a kind of review of the term 'beauty'. Like we had with the piramid in front of The Louvre f.i.
Greetzzz, Inkie

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