“The Wind Farm Scam”

Even if you accept the theory of man-made climate change, wind turbines are a rotten way to reduce CO2 emissions, or to improve energy security.  Wind farms are only viable with a complex structure of indirect subsidies, which amount to very nearly doubling the cost of electricity.  The complex subsidy régime appears to be designed as a stealth subsidy, making it very difficult for the public or the media to see the sums involved.  While the industry disingenuously argues that there are “no direct subsidies”, wind involves a total subsidy of as much as £60 per MWh, which falls directly on electricity consumers.  The burden on consumers will grow as our government attempts to achieve its heroic renewables targets (as a recent OfGem report has confirmed).
 
And the bitter irony is that wind farms will do little — or perhaps nothing — to reduce CO2 emissions.  Because wind is unpredictably and continuously variable, wind power requires conventional back-up, and the more wind capacity in the system, the more variability, and the higher the required percentage of back-up to ensure continuity.  Even the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) accepts a figure of 75% back-up required.  Generating industry players like E.ON say over 90%, while a recent House of Lords Report suggests that we’ll need 100% back-up.  The back-up will generally be gas-fired power stations, which will be run intermittently, variably and sub-optimally to compensate for wind variation — and therefore run inefficiently, with higher costs and emissions than necessary.  These higher emissions may well outweigh the CO2 emissions savings from wind.  Certainly Denmark, with the highest intensity of wind generation in Europe, has amongst the highest per capita emissions in Europe.
 
BWEA argues that with enough wind-farms, wind will be less intermittent because “while the wind isn’t blowing in one place, it’ll be blowing somewhere else”.  But the data show a strong self-correlation in wind speeds across the UK, so total wind output for the country as a whole can also be extremely and unpredictably variable.
 
These, at least, are the conclusions of a new book, “The Wind Farm Scam, an Ecologist’s Evaluation”, by Dr. John Etherington.  Formerly Reader in Ecology at the University of Wales, Dr. Etherington is a Thomas Huxley Medallist at the Royal College of Science, and a former co-editor the international Journal of Ecology.  Since retiring from the University of Wales, he has devoted himself to studying the implications of intermittently available renewable generation, and especially wind.
 
I am reminded of the comment from Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), who said “There is a danger that we will come to see wind turbines as redundant relics of our compulsion to do something”.
 
The book is sufficiently technical to be reassuring, with extensive references, yet still accessible to the interested general reader.  It is also an invaluable reference source for information about wind turbines.  It includes a forward by Christopher Booker, and a cover blurb from TV biologist David Bellamy, who says: “Wind power is a swindle … Please read this book to find out why”.
 
The book is published in the Independent Minds series by Stacey International at www.stacey-international.co.uk, price £9.99.

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35 Responses to “The Wind Farm Scam”

  1. Pingback: “Even if you accept the theory of man-made climate change, wind turbines are a rotten way to reduce CO2 emissions, or to improve energy security.” – Roger Helmer, MEP « Allegheny Treasures

  2. Tony Smith says:

    I have yet to find anyone that can prove to me that a modern wind generator, in its life time, recovers the amount of energy that goes into its constructionand maintenance (& subsidies).
    When you consider the smelting energy needed to extract the copper and other metals and chemicals,the energy used in starting/turning the generator prior to its start-up into wind, the wages of the guys that build it, maintain it, repair it, paint it, grease it, etc, etc not to mention the tax payer who has to do many year’s work to pay taxes to subsidies the generator; ( well there are accountants/solicitors and quangoes involved who also have to be paid.) In short, wind generators are not cost effective, indeed very far from it and I have designed and built one so I know what I am talking about.
    Regards
    Tony Smith
    ppc, Battle & Bexhill
    UK Independence Party

    • Anon says:

      It takes 9 months for a full sized turbine to recover the energy invested in manufacturing. The average windmill is expected to last 20 to 30 years. This figure may be optimistic, but provided only that it is possible, it shows turbines to be extremely economical. http://www.nationalwind.com/files/NationalWindTurbineFacts.pdf

    • Good point Tony. In the UK, many turbines are placed on peat soils. Peat is stored carbon. Dig out enough for a big turbine (a hole the size of a pair of semis), plus cable trenches and service roads, and you’ve moved that carbon into the atmosphere as CO2. That will never be recovered in a month of Sundays. Ignore the BWEA propaganda point about six months, by the way, and note the weasel words “in manufacturing”. What about transportation, erection, groundworks, trenches, service roads, grid connection and extension? What about excess CO2 emissions from back-up gas-fired stations on spinning reseve, and forced to run intermittently to compensdate for intermittent wind? And the life of off-shore turbines is not 20/30 years — more like 20/30 months. If you’re lucky.

      • Martin Lee says:

        Roger

        You may have a point about the peat, but have you any evidence? You certainly do not have a point about the extra carbon dioxide produced by back up generation. Many detailed studies have been done and all show that wind turbines reduce total CO2 emmisions compared to the case when a gas turbine produces the electricity directly. While the American Wind Energy Association claim a negative effect (see the link I provided else were on this site) independent reports suggest that the back up negates between 0% and 4% of the carbon savings produced by the wind turbine, ie the wind turbine saves between 96% and 100% of the carbon dioxide which would have been produced in another plant if it had to produce the power instead of the wind turbine.

        Martin

  3. Argyll Eagle says:

    I am amazed how ignorant our politicians are regarding the true scientific facts and statistics regarding wind power. They would sooner believe the spin and propoganda of the wind farm industry and a few misguided, so called green organisations rather than becoming truly informed by reading the objective technical/scientific reports on the subject.

    All political leaders should insist that the “Wind Farm Scam” book is read by their party members. If this happened the ineffective wind farm industry would cease immediately.

  4. John Twidell says:

    Dear Mr Roger Helmer – you are wrong on so many aspects of wind power. Here are some:

    1. All generation into the National Grid requires ‘back up’, e.g. nuclear power stations which ‘drop out’ suddenly about once per year and also the link with France. All generators share the present ‘back up’ methods, so nothing extra is needed now for wind. Of course, when wind is a dominant supply in about 10 years, then the control of the National Grid will have adapted accordingly, e.g. with the management of loads and other methods of modern ‘back up’.

    2. Every rotation of a grid-connected wind turbine puts electricity into the grid with no carbon emissions, and so if the total load is constant, other generation elsewhere decreases, which is most likely to be fossil-fueled generation. Thus wind turbines in the UK reduce carbon emissions.

    3. Denmark, Norway and Sweden cooperate in a united grid operation. Danish wind power flows to these other countries as well as being used in Denmark. No wind power is ever wasted. At times of less wind, Denmark imports power. Historically Denmark uses much coal and that is one reason why wind power is welcome, so to reduce coal dependence, which has indeed been successful.

    • Grant Perkins says:

      John Twidell,

      I think your paragraph 1 entirely misrepresents the reality of electricity supply management, backup considerations and effect of instantly volatile wind based energy on management of the electricity grid.

      In addition have you actually considered what level of investment, effort and immediate here and now CO2 output (assuming that is a concern) would be required to build enough wind turbine installations in the next ten years to make wind the ‘dominant’ source of electricity?

      If it were not for your other paragraphs I would assume you were being satirical. Perhaps you are?

      Paragraph 2.

      Nope. In fact in the short term building the turbines and infrastructure (massive concrete supports for a start) will more likely increase CO2 output. That surely should be a problem for you if CO2 release NOW is an issue

      If things go well the whole installation might last 25 years and will then need to be entirely replaced. Repeat the CO2 output again …

      You also seem to be basing the premise on the ‘If the total load is constant …’ premise. Clearly is isn’t and I didn’t think anyone claimed it was. It seems unlikely that it will be for the foreseeable future. What makes you see thing differently?

      Your paragraph 3 …

      As I understand it the Danes have much better opportunities for balancing their grid with other countries than we have in the UK but it is still problematic for them and there are time when they have to PAY others to absorb spikes of surplus output to avoid grid melt down. But they also have to pay above contract rates for topping up supply when wind output falls too low. (Neither is the wind benefit a cheap source of electricity.)

      The UK does not currently have similar options. However no doubt our EU owned energy suppliers will be more than happy to increase their bills to provide themselves with such links so that they can ‘import’ expensive short term non-contracted supplies when their consumer funded wind input fails to meet demand.

      Yours is a nice enough dream John, but I don’t think it has basis in reality for the UK.

      Best regards,

      Grant Perkins

  5. Grant Perkins says:

    In the last few days I have been revisiting some analysis I started 3 or so years ago comparing the official register of ROC’s issued by OfGEM to the the claimed installed capacity of renewable energy installations. Specifically wind farms in this case.

    For some reason pre 2006 information is no longer available directly from the OfGEM web site and my earlier extracts were for specific locations rather than the whole claimant base so getting more than 3 years of analysis is a challenge at the moment.

    Nevertheless despite a huge variation in actual output versus claimed potential month by month and year by year there does seem to be an interesting pattern to be considered. For example February seems to be a wind challenged month assuming the generators are always claiming their credits and doing so ‘on time’. I would find it difficult to believe they are not. (But not so difficult to believe the data records are of questionable accuracy!)

    Yesterday I stumbled across a web site that describes a piece of software that can be used to assess the potential financial viability of a wind installation. It is interesting that not only is potential efficiency restricted by a well documented factor to not much more than 50% but that off-shore installation seem to have a much higher maintenance down time than officially estimated.

    So with only 85% availability and a 50% (approx) efficiency factor working close to optimum performance the logical conclusion is that the best that could be achieved is about 43% of rated output. That is probably optimistic, even off shore. Halve that again would seem the prudent thing to do for calculations – so yes, 75% backup required … as a minimum since that would still leave us right on the edge of the narrow safety margin as it is calculated in these modern times.

    Regards,

    Grant Perkins

  6. Martin Lee says:

    Both John Twidell and Grant Perkins statements above are correct. Though in my opinion the back up capacity required for wind power will be nearer to 100%. The important thing is to realize that back up plant, while required for days with no wind, does not need to run and burn fuel on days when there is wind. So for 1,000MW of wind turbines installed you may need 950MW of other plant as back up. (we already have 1,000MW of plant generating our power now so we don’t need any new plant until it wears out) Assuming that the load factor of the wind turbines is 0.25 or 25% then they will have produced over a year 2,190,000MWh of electricity. This will have saved the fuel required to have produced the same amount of energy. Taking the most pesimistic figures possible, ie. that the plant taken out of service is a combined cycle gas fired plant with an efficency of 58% this equates to a saving in carbon dioxide of 716,000 tons per year.(327kg per MWh)

    BWEA claim a figure of 1,130,000 tons per year for 1,000MW of installed wind power. We’ll never know for sure the real answer, though my guess is that it will be nearer the BWEA figures than the figures I calculated as it makes more sense to turn of a less efficent generator than the most efficent. So for ease of calculation I would suggest a figure of 1,000,000 tons of CO2 saved per year per 1,000MW installed.

    World installed capacity at the end of 2008 was 120,000MW saving 120 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. This is only a small percentage of total world wide emissions ( about 0.32% ) However globaly wind power has been expanding at rates of 20% per year, taking this forward to 2030 wind has the capacity to save 8% of existing emisions each year, It therefor represents a substantial proportion of what can be done to reduce CO2 emissions along with other renewables like solar PV,wave, tidal etc along with nuclear power, and the realy large potential of energy savings from more efficent homes and transport systems.

    What ever we do will be hard but we should not throw away a saving of 8% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions to save a view, that our grandchildren might not see if we fail to prevent global warming getting out of hand.

    Martin Lee

    • Grant Perkins says:

      Martin,

      As a matter of interest do you have any suggestions as to what sort of backup facilities might be available to go from off to on almost instantly on demand and supply 100% of the country’s energy needs without resulting in any disruption?

      Around 30 years ago in a time when computers were peripheral to life rather than central to it a sudden black out nationwide might have been little more than an inconvenience. These days a day without power could be immensely catastrophic and my understanding is that there are few options for “instant on” (i.e. with a few hours warning) so I am keen to know what you see as the solution to the standby problem.

      Your phrase “We’ll never know for sure the real answer, ….” seems, to me, to sum up the attitude of many who talk about the apparent need to reduce energy consumption now for reasons of attempted “climate control”. The entire concept relies on the fact that as everything will change we will indeed never know what would otherwise have happened.

      Quite frankly anyone today who would be encouraging their children to have children born to exist in an enforced world of reduced circumstances has two problems.

      Firstly they are at odds with the underlying policy of the main global politicians who would wish to control and reduce world population (so long as they were not affected themselves and retained superiority.)

      Secondly I can’t see why anyone would, or indeed will, vote to significantly reduce their standard of living and life expectancy and still wish to have children. Therefore such schemes will need to be forced upon most of the populations of the planet.

      So from my perspective there seems to be little point in being concerned about the welfare of grandchildren. Unless you obliterate history they will read about a better past they missed out on and hate their parent and grandparents for throwing it all away.

      All this effort on the assumption, as yet still extremely debatable, that there is a human forced climate change issue of a worrying scale causing a problem and, if we accept that, that we can do something about it AND in a controlled way.

      Much simpler concepts related to the ‘natural’ use of plants, insects and other creatures in bio-engineering interventions seem more often than not to cause bigger problems than they solve. And that in an area that is well studied and comparatively well understood. Frankly I would not wish for my children to introduce any child to the sort of experimental world that is likely to be the result of the developments that you seem to espouse.

      I might do some comparative work on the numbers you put forward for the UK and relate them to estimates form others and to global expectations but they are somewhat meaningless in any event unless you can provide a more substantive response to the standby question since ignoring numbers there misses the entire point of any attempt at the analysis.

      Best regards,

      Grant Perkins

  7. Martin Lee says:

    Grant

    If you have a look at this web site which shows the Spanish wind power output you will see that the changes happen over time.

    http://www.ree.es/ingles/operacion/curvas_eolica.asp#

    These changes are managable by using Hydro power stations of which we have some in the UK, pumped storage of which we have quite a bit, about 3GW at present and could find places to build quite a bit more, gas turbines again we have quite a few of these, coal fired power stations which are quite happy to cycle from part to full load over a day. Transfering power over the interconnectors to France, Netherlands and Ireland. At the end of the day only nuclear power is realy inflexible and needs to run at constant load. Even this might change with those proposed to be built over the next 10 years. I guess that at some point there will be problems which require new solutions but at the moment we have plenty of head room to install lots more wind power in the UK with our existing solutions.

    Both Spain and Germany are already producing around 10% of their electricity from wind and Denmark is producing around 20%. Ireland expects to hit 10% next year.

    In fact earlier this year for perhaps half an hour Spain produced more than 50% of its electricity from wind power with out a problem. If you have the time a search of the RED web site might produce an old news report about this.(from the link I gave above go to the home page)

    Denmark has had problems in the past with having to export wind power at very low values partly because there are lots of CHP plants which were given priority access to the grid. I belive that they are now looking at ways to turn some of these off and produce the heat they require from excess wind power.

    I’m sorry that you think we are all so gready that we can’t try and make sure that our children do have a world to live in. Personaly I’m more optomistic that we can do some thing, though I agree that the world won’t be the same as it is now. It’s already changed a lot in the 40 plus years that I can remember.

    Martin

    • Grant Perkins says:

      Martin,

      Your last paragraph is typical of a melodramatic appeal based on nothing of consequence.

      I heard about the Spanish ‘greater than 50% of demand’ I understand it was for a short period in the middle of the night and relied on their pumped backup facilities and other ‘free’ energy sources not just wind power. When they can do the 24/7 for a month in the middle of winter with no loss of service I may be impressed.

      One of the reasons we have so much imported fuel for electricity generation these days is that the potential for pumped storage, as you propose for the instant backup option, is that there are few if any new locations available on this small island that would allow such developments on the scale required. If there were the chances are that we would already have opted for or would now be discussing hydro generation. I suppose we could sacrifice Scotland and Wales and build huge water storage facilities and pump them full with wind power but some locals may not find that idea acceptable. Still, the Chinese did it …

      Of course the environmental consequence would be a huge unknown but we can leave those sorts of ‘benefits’ to the grandchildren.

      Wind generation can drop rapidly from an optimum level. Opening a gate to generate from a hydro source is probably the only relatively rapid response that we currently have the capacity to engineer. Gas powered generator are the next best it would seem – assuming we have gas available and at an economical price. Of course it still takes a few hours to get it on stream, more than a few if it was at a standstill saving fuel.

      The rest are currently nowhere in terms of ‘instant on’ as I understand it – but then maybe that is the wrong strategy since France seems to manage with most Nuclear so presumably the ‘base load only’ concept can be adapted.

      But you mentioned it as cycling from part to full load over a day. My neighbour, a retired power station engineer, would suggest somewhat longer for coal in an ideal management situation and also point out that running at part load is not very fuel efficient.

      Basically your proposition seems to rely on a massive change in infrastructure. Irrespective of whether such a rushed and enforced change would or would not work (and I rather doubt that a project of that scale would be trouble free when few if any simpler and smaller ones are) the work and construction required would result in an immediate boost in output of the very gas you seem to fear. How do you reconcile that with the calls of the Gores and Browns of this world to cut CO2 output radically and almost immediately? (otherwise it will already be too late, etc., etc.)

      More ominously, how do you think the developments could be achieved in the time scales you talk about even if the finance was a possibility?

      Personally I am very cautious about any claims made by energy generation companies or new technology developers and countries like Denmark who see significant potential for significant income and kudos from their ‘expertise’.

      It’s the same sort of circumspection that leads me to doubt that Gordon Brown’s skills in the field of economics saved the world’s banking system.

      Best regards,

      Grant Perkins

  8. Martin Lee says:

    Grant

    I’ve found a link to an American report from the magazine for profestional electrical engineers in North America. Basicly it backs up what I said above, though I appear to have a diferent figure for the German wind turbine output aparently it was 7% not the 10% I noted. I’m not sure where I picked up the 10%. Anyway here is the link

    http://www.ieee-pes.org/images/pdf/open-access-milligan.pdf

    Martin

    • Grant Perkins says:

      Hi Martin,

      Thanks for the link. I have read through it once so far to get a flavour, It is edited in an even handed style but I’m not yet sure if its position is really more biased than it seems. The praise of the energy sharing capability of, say, Denmark seemed to skim over some, issues I have read of elsewhere. I need to re-discover those documents.

      Meanwhile I stumbled across an interesting PPT from someone representing the National Grid at an international meeting somewhere. It puts the challenging of balancing loads and what is needed in terms of long distance grid networks into perspective. It struck me that with renewables the ‘free’ local energy is only a good think if perpetually reliable. If not the wide area spread (noted in your linked article) means, for most countries, sharing generation facilities with other countries. So it really only works across borders – a driving force for global integration perhaps?

      Meanwhile I have revisited by ROC analysis to see how the ideas in your referenced paper pan out. To be frank the generation capacity across the UK, whether for the large commercial farms alone or including many much smaller ROC claiments, mostly seems to go up and down at the same time when analysed for APR 2006 to Aug 2009. At least that is how it looks on a monthly basis. February, for example, is nearly always a low output month everywhere.

      Typically the data have question marks enbedded. Whitelees in Scotland for example is touted as the biggest on-shore wind facility in the EU. Althogh officially opened this year it has been generating since early 2008. As far as I can se its maximum monthly claims have not yet (up to Aug 2009 – just seeking out any fresher data as I type) exceeded figures from early 2009 or even mid 2008 as yet. They are will below the rated capacity.

      So if I do a full scale comparison against rated capacity from the date of e the first claim it will be wrong. I could skip the first 3 to 6 months perhaps whilst allowing theings to ‘bed in’. But in the case of Whitelees there could still be claims of unfair analysis.

      On the other hand why not use day 1? So far as I can tell things have not realy changed much since then so it will make little difference to the numbers.

      It seems so typical of Government collated data that attempting to run even the most simple even handed analysis proves to be impossible without major effort and even then you can’t be sure about the results. That seems to be what government is about. Nothing more, nothing less.

      Grant Perkins

  9. Martin Lee says:

    Hi Grant

    I’ve had a quick look I guess that the latest data on the OFGEM web site is for August as you said. Rather slow compared to Spain or Denmark where you can get the data within a few minutes.

    February does have lower load factors than January or March for the wind turbines I have taken the data for (my data set is all large machines in Orkney) So while one of the lowest load factors of the winter months Oct to March its not down by a large amount and is higher than all the summer months April to September. In fact for Orkney the December figure was lower but it looks like some machines did not operate during December.

    At the end of the day though the savings in fossil fuel are what matter. For Orkney I calcualted a figure for the year 1st May 2008 to 30th April 2009 of 15 million litres of diesel. Of course the fuel saved would more probably have been coal or gas, but I never see coal or gas to visualise but I do often put 40 litres of diesel in a car so I can visualise this.

    Orkney is a very good place for wind power and pruduces an annual average load factor for all machines of 0.35 I guess that a figure of 0.25 is more typical for the UK. There are now about 4,000MW of wind turbines in the UK so production for next year should be around 8,700GWh of electricity saving around 1,960 million litres of diesel equivalent per year. Perhaps not much among 60 million of us but its still over 32 litres each person, or perhaps around 100 litres per car.

    Its small but not insignificant.

    At the end of the day we need to do much more before we start to run out of oil, gas and coal even if we ignore the issues of climate change, global warming or what ever people wish to call the efects of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Martin

  10. Val Martin says:

    Hi all.

    Denmark installed 5,200 turbines of an average height of 62 meters since 1990. It had 5 nuclear power stations then and still has them. It had several conventional stations. It has not managed to decommission any power station to be replaced by wind. It sells its wind power to Norway at a loss. The problem is that assessing wind power requires a degree of technical experience or training. I simply built a miniature system. There are 3 problemms: 1) the wind blows intermittently and unpredictably 2) there is no co-relation between times of high wind speed and times of high ectricity denamd. 3, wind must be balanced by conventional generation of between 80 to 100 per cent. The only way wind can contribute is if we accept unanounced black outs and if we accept that, we can save up to 30% CO2 emmissions without any wind power whatsoever. It is now becoming accepted that as wind power increases as a percentage of the grid, conventional capacity increases. Even sceptics did not foresee this, it means that if we increase wind warm installation, we have to be prepared to burn more fossil fuel than with no wind at all. I ‘m apraid mother nature is not about to oblige with out hopes for renewable energy. Pity but thats the facts

    Val Martin

    Val

  11. Martin Lee says:

    Hi Val

    Try this site out which has some real facts. 50% to 85% electricity from wind AND using less fuel than they did before.

    http://www.fairisle.org.uk/FIECo/

    I know its real I went there in summer 2007

    Martin

  12. Martin Lee says:

    Roger

    You are right in sugesting that Fair Isle is not a large industrial economy. The point I was making was that the contribution by Val Martin was not correct. If you would like some evidence from a large industrial economy (USA) then try this report, though it is produced by the wind industry in the USA using their governments own statistics and will have a pro wind spin to it.

    http://www.awea.org/newsroom/pdf/08-27-10-Wind_and_emissions_response.pdf

    I guess the truth lies between the AWEA report and Val’s assertions but much nearer to the AWEA stance than Val’s, which as an ex power station engineer just does not stand up to practical experience.

    Wind turbines output changes relativly slowley look at the figures for Ireland. These are well within the 400MW of reserve capacity kept to ride through the loss of a large generator set. They will only be in trouble in fact if the output is more than 400MW below the forecast and if they do get it wrong then they have the option to bring on other generating sets to make up the shortfall. This might as a one off be expensive but it won’t happen very often.

    http://www.eirgrid.com/operations/systemperformancedata/windgeneration/

    Perhaps you could persuade the energy minister to produce the figures for the UK or even better to produce daily reports of wind turbine output as is done in Ireland then we could see the real figures not the figment of someones imaginiation.

    • John Twidell says:

      Roger Helmer MEP started this with his praise of Dr Etherington’s Book ‘The Wind Scam’. I read the book in detail and had a 6 page critique published in the academic journal ‘Wind Engineering’. The book is a mix of fact and falsehood, with some considerable misconnections about the operation of modern wind turbines and of the Uk National Grid. Essentially Etherington is scaremongering from a basis of lack of knowledge. I invite Ehterington’s supporters, including Country Guardians, to read the critique which has been permitted to be copied on http://www.embracemyplanet.com/critique-wind-farm-scam

  13. John Twidell says:

    Etherington’s book has nothing whatsoever to do with any unnamed Danish state-owned company. I have always suspected that Roger Helmer never actually read the book that he praises so much. Please keep to the subject.

  14. Martin Lee says:

    John Twidells comments on “The wind farm scam” are very good and in the area which I know about are very accurate. I guess that John knows more about wind power than the rest of us commenting on this site put together.

    His comments on the need for back up are 100% correct, please read his comentary.

    Martin

  15. Martin Lee says:

    Just had a look on the web for a Danish company pulling out of wind power. Cant find anything other than that DONG who are a large off shore wind farm developer as well as being a large electricity supplier in Denmark are selling a 15% stake in an off shore gas licence. Here’s the link

    http://www.energy-pedia.com/article.aspx?articleid=141910

    Martin

  16. Axel says:

    Windfarms, eh !
    apart from the economic arguments; now just pour yourself a stiff drink, sit down in the chair and watch this horrific report if you dare. This is just one of a myriad of similar reports from all around the globe. Where turbines are built, raptors are slaughtered …

  17. Martin Lee says:

    Axel

    Its true that the area in Calefornia mentioned in the report has a bad record with respect to the killing of birds. Claiming that this applies to many other wind farms is not true, at least as far as the UK is concerned. All wind farms have to go through an environmental assessment and if a large number of bird deaths are expected then the wind farm does not get built. The wind farm in the report is akin to the Ford Model T motor car, designs have moved along a lot since then. It would be foolish to avoid getting in your car because of the very poor safety record of cars of Model T era as modern cars are very much safer.

    Martin

    • Axel says:

      You wish that were true , Martin.

      Alas this problem is far more widespread than windmill operators would like to admit. It is a fact that the areas with most wind are the same as those preferred by large raptors. Furthermore dead and injured birds then attract others to feed on this carrion, and a raptor can spot such an opportunity from many miles away.

      So then just how far will such birds travel in search of a meal? The answer is much further than the distance between the fartherst apart wind turbine schemes, ergo no bird is safe from destruction.

      See the excellent article by Christopher Booker, published in the Telegraph, earlier this year. Wind turbines: ‘Eco-friendly’ – but not to eagles http://is.gd/eYUyd

      I will not labour this point however as the arguments are practically interminable. The fact remains however that NO WIND SCHEME is economically viable, when compared with Nuclear for instance. Official figures just released by Ibedrola Power for their schemes in the UK showed efficiency of less than 20%, a disasterous performance. No scheme was able to produce continuous power for more than a few days at a time with long gaps when the wind was either too strong, or was below the threshold required to engergise the generators.

      The reality is that on many ocassions where the blades are seen visibly turning, they are NOT Generating ANY electricity at all, and may well in fact actually be consuming electricity. Such large schemes are actually uneconomic, and rely on grants, subsidies, exhorbitant feed-in tariffs, and carbon-certificate flummery.

  18. Val Martin says:

    The contribution of a wind farm is not measured by the output but by the capacity credit (firm capacity in USA). “This is the amount of conventional generation plant that can be shut down and replaced by wind without endangering supply”. If a system have 2000mw of wind and 500 mw of thermal plant can be shut down, the capacity credit for wind is 500×100/2000= 25%. To establish the saving on CO2 in the entire system multiply result by wind penetration. i.e. if wind is at 12% level then 25% x 12% = 3% saving. The figure for Europe is about 1.6% and falling. As the level on wind in the system increases the capacity credit decreases and falls to zero. zero x any figure = zero. Demand is stagnant in Ireland peaking annually @ 5,000 mw. Thermal capacity was 6200 in 2009 + 1167 wind. That is set to rise to over 9,000 + 4,000 wind in 2016. Therefore demand then will be 5,000 (or maybe 6,000) and capacity will be 13,000 mw over twice that required. Why are we installing such capacity to burn fuel? It’s to accommodate wind – of course! Get it – add wind power -burn more fuel.

  19. Val Martin says:

    (quote 4 wind energy companies set to soar) (see above)
    Why not check the present fortunes of Vestas, who make Turbines in Denmark for sell world wide. Just search under “Vestas cut forecast for wind energy company” You will see that orders have been cut from Germany and Spain where they installed thousands or turbines and are still pumping more co2 into the air than ever. There is an interview with the CEO. In one part he is talking about cutting 600 jobs and in another he is on about enploying 3,000. John Etherington is not the only critic. The Irish Acadamy of Engineers, Howard Heyden Physisist. The figures dont add up I’m afraid.

    • Too right Val. In the UK, we really need to be building back-up for about 90% of our planned wind power output, but sadly no one has told Chris Huhne.

      • Axel Morris says:

        Actually Chris Huhne is a complete shill for these so called “green projects”. I believe that he full well knows and believes the real arguments and the truth, but therein lies his dilemma.

        Huhne is a member of the secret cabal known as, “The Green Fiscal Commission”, where before coming into offic he met with current climate minister Greg Barker, and such luminaries as Lord Oxburgh, Lord Stern, and even Duncan McLaren of Friends of the Earth.

        There they listened to lectures from such persons as Vince Cable, and others, on how to impose so called “green taxes” upon the British Public and Industry. Now they are in office they intend to carry out their heinous plans, despite any self-evident truths now exposed to them.

        Read more about this on the main index page of the Fraudulent Climate Website.

  20. Since this post was written, there have been some successful local campaigns in the UK – which have managed to prevent the construction of wind turbines. Of course, this expression of “people power” could and should continue – throughout the country. Petitions, letters to politicians, sources in our local and national media must be utilised – as methods of resistance.

  21. Regarding the tread above about fairisle ‘s turbines and diesel generators . This is my response : log out of here of go into wikipedia . When there search under fair isle . Read all about it . Its population , social scene , education , industry . Etc . I ‘ll give you a clue : check out its education resourse . Some of you will figure it all out . The rest wont . Them i ‘ll go through the laborious process of explaining it to them . Regards val martin

  22. The usual calculations of output, backup, etc., miss the point that these machines are the biggest intrusions ever pushed into rural and wild places. They are a visual and sonic attack on peaceful countrysides, made entirely hypocritical by their planet-friendly theme. I’ve coined the word windschmerz to describe this mechanical plague (like weltschmerz aka world sadness). It’s the overriding feeling that Man will never stop destroying nature. If these eyesores are the new green, nature is in big trouble (already).

    Wind power blight matters intrinsically to millions of people and animals. Wind turbines are a colossal aesthetic blunder that doesn’t require number-crunching to analyze. All you need is eyes, ears and an environmental conscience. They aren’t fixing existing industrial scars, just adding the them. The moment they began expanding beyond their experimental beginnings, and growing ever-taller, they lost green credentials.

    Wind energy is the opposite of small-footprint thinking that real environmentalists favor. It appeals to a soulless engineering mindset that enjoys disrupting nature and raking in subsidy money.

    http://cutt.us/blightfornaught

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