Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ugly truths

It was only after a while in my Civ. Eng. training that I realised an ugly truth.

Foundations are the most important aspect of any project. They take the most time, cost the most money.... but once the mostly trivial, pretty, above-ground bits are in place, few will even know they are there.

Well, unless they fail.

I was minded of this by an article about a US windfarm that is all nicely in place, but essentially delivering very poorly on its promise, by virtue of there being no infrastructure for it to deliver what it generates.

It's a sorry metaphor for so much I see in matters mega-green these days. Loads and loads of cash and attention given to high-profile, high-vis symbols of 'solutions', but very little thought it seems given to the highly necessary preceding infrastructures that these need to rest upon to actually deliver meaningful deliverables.

And why should there be, when targets, votes and subsidies seem to revolve around the pretty facades rather than any substance below.

Greenbang - Texas ponders its ‘thousands’ of idle wind farms

BBC - Wind power supply to be boosted

I just hope that this is part of a genuine attempt to deliver renewable energy to a positive enviROI, and not some box-ticking, target-meeting effort. I write this looking at a piece on a wind farms in Texas that make mighty purty lookin' twirly doo-dads, but are not, as such connected to anything as the visible, sexy bits were stuck up first, with little thought to unsexy infrastructure. And for the life of me I still cannot understand (though suspect and dread) why such reports use terms such as 'could' and 'hoped'. Don't they blooming well know???! This aspect interests me a lot more than 'controversy' over the odd shredded seagull.

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