New report shows that wind turbines don’t deliver

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I’ve just come across a report by energy consultant Duncan Seddon in the Australasian Power Technologies publication. The title is “Do wind farms/gas turbines save carbon?”.  (Of course he means “CO2 emissions”, not carbon – but I’m delighted to see the explicit link of turbines plus back-up).

Find the report here, page 25: Hat-tip to Benny Peiser of GWPF for drawing my attention to it.

The answer to the question, in brief, is “on average, no”.

For some time now I’ve been familiar with (and have repeatedly quoted) the paper by Professor Gordon Hughes of Edinburgh University “Why is wind power so expensive”, which makes the point that the very intermittency of wind means intermittent operation of the gas back-up, which means that you burn more gas, and emit more CO2, per MWh, than you would if you ran the plant properly.

I’ve tended to use formulations like “intermittent wind farms export inefficiency to the associated fossil fuel back-up, so that the emissions savings you hoped to achieve from the wind turbines are largely off-set by inefficiencies in the gas-fired power station”.  So far so good, but how largely is largely?

The Seddon paper sets it out.  He looks at a large number of (on-shore) wind farms across Australia, and presents voluminous figures for output and efficiency.  He finds that the relative output (actual annual output as a percentage of rated capacity) varies from 22 to 42%, with an average of 33%.  He also finds that where the relative output is less than 32% (that is, give or take a percentage point, about the average) there are no net savings of emissions.

This is a stunning result.  The wind industry likes to pretend that every MWh generated by wind turbines represents emissions saved at a fossil fuel plant.  This report shows that’s just not the case.  What we’re seeing is that on above-average output, there are some emissions savings, though nothing like at the level claimed by the industry.  And below average output, the turbines are actually achieving negative savings – in other words, increasing emissions.

It’s a very reasonable inference that on average across the fleet, the CO2 emissions savings achieved by wind turbines are close to zero.  And since emissions are a surrogate measure of gas consumption, it follows that the net electricity production of the wind farms is also close to zero.  We would do better just to build combined cycle gas, and forget about the wind turbines.  This would also save the UK tens of billions of pounds.

It could be even worse than this.  In another statistical study, this time for the Renewable Energy Foundation, Professor Gordon Hughes shows that across different countries and for both on-shore and off-shore turbines, the output declines by as much as half over ten to fifteen years. Seddon’s 33% average looks very like early-years performance of wind farms.  Give them a few more years so that output declines, and they will all be in Seddon’s “no emissions savings” range.

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57 Responses to New report shows that wind turbines don’t deliver

  1. neilfutureboy says:

    Clearly, a this comes out and is not censored by our “legally balanced” state broadcaster every single “environmentalist” who actually believes in cutting CO2 will declare themselves 10s of thousands of times more enthusiastic for nuclear and windmills.

    However in this less honest reality the Luddites will keep lying and the state fascist broadcaster will keep censoring and lying.

  2. John Latham says:

    This is timely given the government’s announcement that they are not now investing in onshore wind or solar but putting the resources into offshore wind farms.

    • Anthony says:

      Is this correct? Or is the government making a farcical reduction of 5% in onshore subsidy – as from next year – which will hardly be a deterrent to windfarm developers. While 5% of £3million (what our planned WT farm will earn) is a lot of money (£150,000), it still leaves an awful lot of profit left. So, from their point of view, it is still worth having a go at getting planning approval.

      This government, led by its LibDem renewables-worshipping partners, is destroying our countryside and our health, for the sake of what? Appeasing Brussels?

      Anthony

      • John Latham says:

        You are quite right Anthony. I responded on impulse to something I see as tinkering at the edges. Unfortunately, as long as the Lib Dems are on board, there is unlikely to be a long term strategy on energy which is desperately needed and should be based on practicalities not green dogma.

      • Steve Gilkes says:

        There are no health impacts from wind, sorry just imagination. There is no need to tinker with the onshore prices, the Colonel Nimby planning process has already stopped it, so be happy! General business economics would suggest that taking away 5% would halve the profit so deter the mere money-grabbing.

      • Anthony says:

        I now realise you are in denial.

  3. Anne says:

    THE ALIENS HAVE LANDED. .

    Imposing in there hundreds,
    Such an army on display,
    Those alien grey metal monsters
    I saw while on my way.
    Aliens on our shores have landed,
    So tall, backs straight and true,
    At night they watch through flashing eyes
    Of red, at me and you.

    Some have scaled the mountains,
    Others near schools and homes,
    Of one thing I am certain,
    Those aliens have no souls.
    No “whispering” from their ranks at all,
    An unearthly sound they make,
    It envelops each and everyone,
    No more can humans take.

    Three giant arms revolving,
    Enveloping all around,
    They’re here to ‘save the planet’,
    The biggest “con” I have found.
    Such hideous tall grey monsters,
    Invade green and pleasant lands,
    To stay for generations,
    Unless the people make a stand.

    These aliens feed on power and wind,
    Without either, they will die,
    They’re NOT environmental friendly,
    They’re for profit, (at a cost), that’s WHY.

  4. tallbloke says:

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    UKIP MEP Roger Helmer reports on a study showing that wind turbines don’t reduce co2 emissions. Remind me why we install these bird and bat killing sleep deprioving subsidy sucking monstrosities again…

    • We install them for political reasons. This is what happens when government takes over every aspect of our lives including energy production. Politics combined with the legal profession of course.

      Is there a political solution? Or are we just barking up a wind folly?

      • Steve Gilkes says:

        “bird and bat killing sleep depriving subsidy sucking monstrosities again”; nice one! All other power generation kills bird and bats in equal numbers, Roads are noisier than wind farms, all power is subsided, I think Hinckley Point is pretty monstrous as I live close down wind!

  5. Chris says:

    What, the wind industry or government fail to tell you is that, when these wind farms work, in the background, gas fired power stations are running in the background; spin reserve.

    In the Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plants the energy in the exhaust gas is used to raise steam in a Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG). Both the gas turbine and the steam turbine are connected to separate generators which are then connected to the grid. The problem is that the HRSG does not like to be cycled up and down, due to the nature of steam. Not ony does this cause thermal stress on the components but it also has a large impact of CO2 and NOx emissions.

    Since it takes hours to start up a CCGT plant, they are run hot, in spin-reserve, ready to kick-in when the wind power decreases. Even when the wind farms are producing electricity, CCGT plants are running idle, pumping out emissions.

    Problems are:

    • extra fuel is used per MWh exported.
    • higher levels CO2 are emitted per MWh exported.
    • higher rates of NOx emissions occur when the plant is required to stop and restart.
    • as a consequence higher, maintenance, operational and capital, costs per unit of power generation is incurred.

    CCGT’s are run hot so that they can switch on rapidly. This means they are emitting green house gases while not providing any power. On top of that, you get the mechanical wear and tear due to the thermal stresses.

    The time taken to re-start is variable but is of the order of 3 to 8 hours for a cold start, depending on the required degree of temperature matching between the gas and steam turbines.

    Now include the economics where the CCGTs don’t get paid as much to spin-reserve as they do to supply. But, the cost of maintaining the CCGTs is the same in either spin or generating mode.

    Wind rarely produces more than 25% of its faceplate capacity and hence it needs 75% backup – which due to the necessity of fast response times needs OCGT generation (CCGT can respond quickly but the heat-exchanger systems upon which their increased efficiency relies, cannot – so CCGT behaves like OCGT under these circumstances). CCGT produces 0.4 tonnes of CO2 per MWh, OCGT produces 0.6 tonnes. Thus 0.6 tonnes x 75% = 0.45 tonnes. Conclusion: Wind + OCGT backup produces more 0.05 tonnes of CO2 per MWh than continuous CCGT.

  6. catalanbrian says:

    Your arguments would carry more weight if you were to produce a list of reports on wind turbines from unbiased and independent sources, rather than the usual gang of anti renewables “experts”, whose agenda is well known. Of course the usual collection of antis will agree with you and will come up with all sorts of anecdotal “theories”, but none of this has yet been able to produce a sound and valid argument against renewables and particularly wind. If something is not correct you should remember that no matter how many times you say it is correct does not make it correct.

    • Graeme No.3 says:

      Perhaps catalanbrian, your answer would have greater credibility if you listed those countries where lots of wind turbines have caused CO2 emissions to drop substantially.

      Don’t bother putting Denmark or Germany on the list. What savings the Danes have made have been from Combined Heat & Power units (80% efficiency) supplying area heat to whole suburbs. The operation of these is hindered by wind power in that when those “farms” start up and dumping the surge of electricity at any price, the CHP units can’t produce electricity at those low rates but still have to supply heat. A sort of backup in that their output falls, but their emissions stay the same.
      Germany is building brown coal fired stations to backup all those wind farms. The first 5 were announced before any decision to shut down some nuclear stations was made. In fact more reliance on “renewables” is causing german CO2 emissions to rise.

      You are suffering from the BIG POND delusion; i.e. all you have to do is produce some electricity and dump it into a “big pond” and it will be available whenever you need it. Electricity grids don’t work that way.

      • Steve Gilkes says:

        And hence is proven the need for integrated power production strategy not a pseudo-market designed for gamesmanship.

    • neilfutureboy says:

      There is always, by definition, “a sound and valid argument” against subsidy, particularly when those proposing it wish to pay for it by digging into other people’s pockets.

      This is not to say there can never be more powerful counter arguments, though in the case of windmillery none of the hundreds of thousands of state funded spinners have been able to come up with any which proved truthful. Indeed none of them have come up with anything which could survive honest debate as the state broadcasters have repeatedly shown they know by depending on censorship of dissent as well as lying.

    • dave ward says:

      “Your arguments would carry more weight if you were to produce a list of reports on wind turbines from unbiased and independent sources”

      What, like the “Unbiased” sources quoted by wind turbine company Airvolution:

      Recommended links and independent sources of further information about renewable energy and policy.

      Government Policy
      Department for Energy and Climate Change
      The Scottish Government
      Welsh Government

      Renewable Energy Associations
      RenewableUK
      Scottish Renewables
      Renewable Energy Association
      European Wind Energy Association

      Wind Energy Statistics & Reference
      DECC Renewable Energy Statistics
      DECC Renewables Map
      DECC Energy Flow Chart 2011
      Investment and Jobs from Renewables Flow Chart 2012
      UK Wind Energy Database
      Centre for Sustainable Energy – “Common Concerns About Wind Power”

      Environmental Organisations
      Greenpeace
      Friends of the Earth
      World Wildlife Fund

      Campaign Groups
      Action for Renewables
      Yes2Wind
      Pro Wind Alliance

      Educational Resources
      Met Office Climate Guide
      Centre for Alternative Technology
      National Energy Foundation
      Greenpeace – EfficienCity

      Two can play at that game, matey…

    • “no matter how many times you say it is correct does not make it correct”. Tell that to the Government and wind propagandists. Show me one piece of evidence that wind turbines reduce CO2 emissions. I’ve been looking for years and asking the Government, but I get nothing back

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Brian from Catalan, here is one of the best well sourced rebuttals with an explanation of the pseudo science surrounding the renewable dream.

      http://www.templar.co.uk/downloads/Renewable%20Energy%20Limitations.pdf

    • Richard Mann says:

      The onus is on you, catalanbrian to prove to us that Wind works.
      We would be happy without wind turbines. If you really want them, you have to justify the claims!

      • neil craig says:

        If he just wished to build a windmill, or a nuclear power station on his own land the onus to provide proof should not be on him. But if he wants subsidy it definitely is, with the initial assumption that, because it needs subsidy, it isn’t truly viable.

        Of course, no such evidence is produced and the ecofascists never apply their alleged principles or nuclear or shale.

  7. michael hart says:

    Thanks for posting this, Roger. I think I am actually one of your constituents.

  8. Doug Proctor says:

    The efficacy of wind power to the “problem” of fossil fuel usage is part of the entire eco-green, CAGW/anti-fossil fuel dilemma: whatever we do now is just a set-up for the future when the goods will arrive.

    Everything in the eco-green agenda provides costs now and postulated benefits later. Subsidies for wind power and solar and electric cars and ethanol and geothermal and tidal power are all about creating a groundswell of activity that, we are promised, with result in low cost, high efficiency systems. In the future. The unstated assumptions are that the technological fix is simply a matter of working hard on it, and even subsidy industries will compete with each other and, in the process, improve their products to the point they do not need subsidies.

    Both of these assumptions are debatable.

    We’ve been trying to build better batteries for 100 years. But better hasn’t translated into “excellent”. For flashlights, absolutely, but not for high-storage needs. Strangely, the problem we are told with solar power is that the Chinese made the panels TOO CHEAP: our industrial strategy on improving the economics of solar panels failed because the costs came down too much? We’ve had wind turbines for decades, and yet we still have non-cost effective systems: but of course we have. When you have <32% efficiencies in the field (weren't the Europeans' something more like 22%), and your lifespan is not 25 years but more like 12-15, a 50% increase in efficiency or decrease in installation cost only brings you to <48% (33%) and a LOWER subsidy.

    A global solution from a regional answer is flawed from the git-go. With all the steroids of the world, a fly-weight boxer will never defeat a heavy-weight.

    • Steve Gilkes says:

      Will you leave this “efficiency” issue alone? Wind turbines are 80% efficient at extracting energy from the wind they intercept. The figures you quote are capacity factor. This is just an arbitrary result of the chosen rotor size and generator rating. The ratio chosen gives the best cost benefit ratio. It is fundamentally unimportant. And the turbines do last their 20 year design life just as well as the thermal and nuclear plant.

      • Anthony says:

        The longevity of these machines is hotly disputed in the report by Professor Hughes, of December 2012.

      • Steve Gilkes says:

        With reference to Hughes work, it is just wrong. The “Renewable Energy Foundation, which does so much to promote all forms of renewable energy, has not published enough information to find how Hughes gets his results. The general case is that turbines installed in the 1990’s in the UK are mostly either still running or have been replaced by newer models that offered a better return.

      • Anthony says:

        All of Hughes’ data is publicly available on the internet, from where I got my copy of his report. He published technical data for UK and Denmark so tech experts can see for themselves. He has been very open – unlike some elements of the pro-onshore wind lobby.

      • Steve Gilkes says:

        Unfortunately I have not found his source data, or can I understand his methodology. He makes a fundamental error of understanding by suggesting that capacity factor is a measure uniquely related to how good is the technology of the turbine. The biggest effect on capacity factor is simply the ratio of the rated power to the swept area. This varies by the region of 10% between different options of the same machine, so cannot be seen as a measure of improvement or degradation unless comparing.exactly same set of machines over time. Moreover, his results showing a drop of 50% in the output of wind farms is unrecognisable from any other set of data. I would be pleased to see the data and the methods.

  9. michael hart says:

    So catalanbrian, what is your solution for what happens when the wind doesn’t blow in the coldest months of winter?

    Or when it blows too strongly so the windmills are shut down to stop them breaking?

    Or your engineering solutions to build all those masses of steel and concrete for less money and make them resistant to seawater corrosion?….

    The list goes on. Do you have anything other than unspecified attacks on the motives and competencies of those who disagree with you?

    • catalanbrian says:

      I don’t think that I have yet suggested that the entire production of electricity should be by wind, so in answer to your first and second points some other form of power generation would be required. In any event I believe that you anti renewable people overplay the problem of too little/too much wind. There is rarely a time when there is no wind over the entire UK, so provided locations are properly planned for there should be little interruption resulting from this.

      I am not an engineer so I am not in a position to speculate on the question of seawater corrosion, although I am sure that the experts are on top of this. I am sure that you are aware that a significant amount of oil is produced from offshore platforms and there does not seem to have been any insurmountable problems in this area, so I assume that the corrosion problem (if indeed there is one) has already been addressed.

      You accuse me of making unspecified attacks on “the motives and competencies of those who disagree” with me. Well perhaps so but from the evidence I have seen on this page the motives of the people who are anti renewables seem to be ideological rather than practical. As far as competencies are concerned I would comment that much of the flim flam presented by these people by way of “statistics” and information has been trawled unscientifically from websites and other sources produced by others with whom they agree. That does not indicate show any special degree of competence.

  10. cornwallwindwatch says:

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch and commented:
    to make the rich richer and the poor poorer Tallbloke? A small amount of electricity generation is just a bonus.

  11. Brian H says:

    Not that emissions are a problem. Only the effort to curtail CO2 is a problem.

  12. purslane says:

    I couldn’t find the figure referred to in Seddon’s article. Where is it?

  13. Steve Gilkes says:

    A number of you here have been caught by a very poor piece of work. Wind “back up” is not OCGT, it is a mix of what ever we have; coal, CCGT, OCGT and pumped storage. The wind is predictable like the demand. Most of the variation can easily be dealt with by the coal and CCGT. The fine tuning on demand and wind is dealt with by the pumped storage. The effect of ramping the gas and coal is quite small so don’t worry about more CO2 with wind turbines than without.

    Then we can spend more energy worrying about the sight of a 7 metre wide object 20,000 metres away, sorry, excuse my French, a 2 1/2 yard wide object, at 22,000 yards.

  14. Ex-expat Colin says:

    The Guardian today…ooo-er !!

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/06/wind-turbines-landscape-billionaires-energy-policy
    “Wind turbines trash the landscape for the benefit of billionaires” – Simon Jenkins

    An interesting round up of the state of play in UK I thought. Neta showing about 7% from Wind. I think the wind blows clean thru DECCs empty heads mostly. Got to keep that energy mix going and dependency not so much on storage as inter-connectors and LPG vessels. Just turn one round as required (a big ship that is).

    • Steve Gilkes says:

      Jenkins had a loopy moment when he let his Victorian desire for a sheep-infested, deforested landscape overcome any check on his facts. He should know better.

  15. catalanbrian says:

    Anthony. I think that you should take Prof Hughes’ findings with a pinch of salt. He is well known for his anti wind stance and his research on wind power has been described by energy experts at Imperial College London as ‘economically irrational, a nonsense scenario’ and ‘economically absurd, spurious and misleading’.

  16. Steve Gilkes says:

    I wouldn’t waste the salt……..

  17. Neil craig says:

    Steve, bearing in mind how much time “environmentalists” devote to denouncing us for being paid by Big Something or Other, perhaps you should have introduced yourself as an employee of the windmill industry. Of course that cuts both ways and you do appear to have expertise not displayed by most renewabilists here.

    As such perhaps you could say when you expect, at least the onshore side of your industry, to be able to compete in the commercial market rather than depending on subsidy, as so often promised for some time in the future.

    • Steve Gilkes says:

      To Neil Criag,
      I didn’t see the necessity to declare my day job, as no-one else has done, and my name is in plain view and quite unusual, so no hiding there. Perhaps you would like to declare your interest.

      On costs, the Mott MacDonald report is one I came across immediately,
      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/65716/71-uk-electricity-generation-costs-update-.pdf,
      It shows that a new gas plant power (figure 7.3) provides electricity at £65/MWhr (without carbon costing), coal is 60, onshore wind 85, nuclear 95, offshore wind 175. I think this is with something close to current actual gas prices and with the current locations for onshore wind. With the carbon pricing assumptions (i.e. polluter pays), onshore wind and gas are equal cheapest at 85. Given the current strike prices, these numbers look reasonable.

      In some markets, wind is considerably cheaper. UK wind cannot use the most windy parts of the country due to planning restrictions, development costs are high due planning costs and planning induced project failure rates. With good wind sites and low development costs, prices are much lower, The Scottish farms of the early 2000’s were paid £35/MWhr, current US projects average £40 and go as low as £20. No Deletion due to the Real Price there.

      But wind isn’t there to reduce the cost, it is there to reduce the CO2 pollution. It could do this at negligible additional cost, With Carbon pricing and in comparisons to nuclear, it even does quite well in the UK.

      Does that help?

      • Neil craig says:

        Thank you Steve, it does. As I have written previously, comparing known Chinese nuclear costs to ours shows it is being artificially increased by government action at least 4 to 8 fold which puts that £95 in perspective.

        You acknowledge that wind “isn’t there to reduce cost but to cut CO2”. So you will acknowledge that if we are not experiencing catastrophic global warming; or indeed if one accepts that Britain’s contribution is negligible; or that the entire “cuts” in CO2 from the Kyoto process would be minor; or that far more good could be done by spending the money on other humanitarian measures as Lomberg proposes; or that the reduction in CO2, after including standby costs is negligible; or that there are geoengineering solutions at a fraction of the cost then we should not be wasting money on windmills. I happen to believe the evidence is for all 5.

        Or, if the real objective is genuinely to cut CO2, then nuclear is far more effective, cutting virtually 100% whereas wind only works about 1/4 of the time, as well as nuclear being far cheaper.

        PS Though I blog regularly on these subjects I have no financial interest beyond the interest we all have in low bills and a growing economy that high energy costs are preventing.

    • catalanbrian says:

      My view, for what it’s worth, is that I am more inclined to listen to what Mr Gilkes has to say on the matter, especially because he works in the industry and is thus probably the only one posting here who is an expert on the subject. The rest of you just seem to be anti wind, and for that matter anti all renewable energy. Because of this you keep on spewing out the same old ‘facts’ in some attempt to convince everybody else that your particular viewpoint is the only correct one.

  18. Brian H says:

    The Invisible Hand (You WILL pay the Real Price) will eliminate windpower from all modern systems. But there will be a lot of collateral damage during the deletion.

  19. Steve Gilkes says:

    Going back to the headline topic, if you follow the analysis here
    http://joewheatley.net/how-much-co2-does-wind-power-save/comment-page-1/#comment-2309
    you will find that given the real mix of displaced and modulated power plant, then use of wind plant results in gaining 97% of the CO2 savings from the displaced CCGT systems. In addition at night in the UK, wind displaces coal, giving considerable savings.

  20. Brian H says:

    Suicidal savings. The displaced coal must hunker off to the side, starving for profitability, until the wind blows too soft or hard, and then make do with un-subsidized rock-bottom rates. When it’s gone, wind will lose its backstop, and blackouts will ensue. Some savings!

    • Steve Gilkes says:

      Brian, in too many places to mention, you will see that all electricity production is subsidized. The renewables/nuclear ones are just more obvious. Thanks to very low coal prices, coal does very nicely. Everyone knows what the likely mix and capacity factors are because the statistics of demand and non-dispatchable sources (wind and nuclear) are well known. Prices can be well set.

      Coal plant is shutting down because it pollutes (Sox, Nox and CO2) so badly. At the moment, nobody will build more because of teh possibility of a carbon tax, and the current non-feasibility of CCS.

      • Brian H says:

        Gilkes;
        Horse feathers. Per MWh, wind and renewables are a couple of orders of magnitude more heavily subsidized. Further, other sources pay taxes FIRST, and get some tax breaks. Renewables lose money FIRST, pay no taxes, and get profit from handouts.

        Big difference, and it’s been going on for decades with no sign of improvement.

        CO2 is pollution only by perverse EPA definition. Sox and Nox are scrubbable. Coal plants are shurring down because they are being barred from earning their own way. By Leftist politions and bureaucrats.

      • Neil craig says:

        Steve I think it is disingenuous to claim that the falling price of coal is a “state subsidy”. Actually the reason it is falling is because US shale gas is replacing it in the USA. There is an absolute difference between commercial costs and state subsidy or state regulatory parasitism.

        I previously answered your post by giving 6 reasons for doubting the need to subsidise wind to cut CO2. I would be interested to know if you have any factual dispute. In particular with the last point – that nuclear is far better at cutting CO2 than windmills (as well as cheaper, less visually intrusive, safer, continuous & not producing unhealthy low frequency sound).

      • Steve Gilkes says:

        Neil, you asked for a breakdown, but I really should end the conversation after this, because we will both be able to find evidence that supports opposing views in which we each believe.

        I am not sure of the meaning of comment on Chinese Nuclear; to clarify, the Atkins report takes all the relevant costs and reasonable financial return in to account for the actual UK situation.

        Climate change: Accepted by all important decision makers
        Britain’s small contribution: Maybe, but we all have to make one if you want China and India to follow.
        Kyoto process: I don’t understand why “entire cuts” are “minor”.
        Lomberg’s humanitarian aid priority: I would like to read more on this one, thanks.
        Negligible CO2 saving: The saving from wind are substantial, operated in the real system. All the papers that I have read on the lack of savings have been based on one mistakes; that wind exits in some system only with open cycle gas turbines because wind is unpredictable, and this is compared with an all CCGT system. Actually wind is very predictable. Coal and CCGT can be adjusted in plenty of time to match most of the change. The rest could be done by OCGT, but in the UK at present the pumped storage and hydro systems are used so the wind is 97% effective in returning a CO2 saving.
        Geoengineering: I didn’t know it was so cheap; I will have to read more.
        Nuclear alternative: Personally I think the risks are too high. The current technologies can not be modulated, so they cannot make up too much of the system. The cost appears to be roughly the same as onshore wind.

        Presumably, your motivation to reduce energy costs also means you are campaigning to deal with the real cause of recent price rises, the wholesale gas prices? As I have shown above, with fewer planning restrictions, UK wind could be our cheapest form of new build electricity.

        Another clarification: I didn’t imply that coal prices are reduced to the low level by subsidy, I believe it is due to cheap fracked gas displacing coal in the US, leading to a glut.

        Thanks for the discussion.

      • Neil craig says:

        On the Kyoto process being minor this is the BBC (from some time ago):

        “Most climate scientists say that the targets set in the Kyoto Protocol are merely scratching the surface of the problem.

        The agreement aims to reduce emissions from industrialised nations only by around 5%, whereas the consensus among many climate scientists is that in order to avoid the worst consequences of global warming, emissions cuts in the order of 60% across the board are needed.”
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4269921.stm

        Since minor action has put those countries doing it into the worst recession since the 1930s I doubt what is allegedly actually needed will be done. The only practical way to cut that much CO2 would be going nuclear which those who, even while claiming to believe the alternative is catastrophe, generally oppose

        Here is a link to my favourite geoengineering – stratospheric sulphur crystals:
        http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.co.uk/2006/12/geo-engineering-politically-incorrect.html
        “what if the cost to get started was not trillions of dollars but $100 million a year — less than the cost of a good-size wind farm?”

        I think you are right that we will not persuade each other but I hope you and others find the links informative.

  21. Brian H says:

    typo: shurring shutting down …

  22. Brian H says:

    typo 2: politions politicians

  23. Jordan says:

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    Jordan

  24. Pingback: 30 Million Birds are Killed by Wind Farms Every Year

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