The hidden costs of wind energy

The wind industry loves to claim that it’s approaching “Grid Parity” with proper grown-up generation.  But to do this they simply ignore the layer after layer of extra costs associated with wind.

East Midlands Airport, 2011

East Midlands Airport, 2011

There are all the regressive subsidies to landowners, which (by and large) take money from poor people and pensioners who use electricity, and give it to wealthy land-owners and operators.  There are the payments made to operators for doing nothing when their production is surplus to requirements.  There are all the costs of back-up: the opportunity cost of capital sunk in back-up power stations that operate way below capacity.  The higher cost (and higher emissions) of those gas-fired power stations that are obliged to operate intermittently to complement variable wind output.  There are all the grid adaptation costs to deal with small-scale distributed generation, in a system originally designed around large base-load power stations.

Then there are the costs of operation and maintenance, which I am advised are coming in much higher than planned – especially for off-shore turbines which operate in a harsh and corrosive environment.

But recently, I’ve discovered a whole new category of costs of which I was previously unaware.  Wind turbines can – and do – have an adverse effect on the radar systems that keep commercial aviation on course (and of course on military radars used in a similar context).  That’s why all wind turbine planning applications have to go to the National Air Transport Service (NATS) for approval.

What I didn’t realise – until recently – was that NATS have been funding a major programme of up-grades to their equipment, designed to enable them to operate more effectively in the face of interference from wind turbines.  The first phase of this programme is costing £14 million.  I shall be writing to NATS to ask for their best estimate of the total cost of the programme.  But here is an example of what seems to be a significant initiative in the Scottish borders.

Here it is in their own words: “We have poured a huge amount of our own resources into working with the industry on mitigation. We don’t have to do this, it is over and above our core role as an Air Navigation Service Provider, but we do so in the spirit of supporting the UK’s renewables targets”.

I understand that NATS is funded by levies on the airline industry.  So you get to pay for this up-grade programme, either as a passenger, or as a customer for any goods transported by air.  Or both.  And it’s being done explicitly to enable more wind turbine applications to be approved.

The costs and the waste involved in the wind industry are mind-boggling.  All in pursuit of climate policies which themselves are hugely open to question.  In primitive and historic communities they conducted human sacrifices to appease the weather gods and to ensure good harvests.  Our modern climate policies are equally absurd and ineffectual.  But I suppose we should be grateful that in these modern times all we are sacrificing is wealth and prosperity.

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98 Responses to The hidden costs of wind energy

  1. Come to Roger’s event at the House of Commons 5th November 1pm-3pm
    Roger Helmer UKIP MEP – A practical UK energy policy
    explaining what is needed and how the EU is driving the UK’s energy crisis
    (UKIP’s Energy Policy explained)

    Email your MP and ask them to attend. Share the link below in your email.
    Registration Link:
    http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/repealclimateact-tickets-14058494335

    Share on facebook and twitter. Cheers! Fay

  2. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Advertising my old company here for stealthy blades:
    http://www.qinetiq.com/media/news/releases/Pages/stealth-turbine-trial.aspx

    Not that I am proud to know about that and its a fairly old story. Somebody has to do it I suppose..for the money. Might as well be them.

    Then there is the military aspect and our specialty in very low flying. So MoD likely finds itself in a situation. I know it does.

  3. Jane Davies says:

    The madness goes on………

  4. Charles Wardrop says:

    Certainly still appropriate to retain human sacrifices, in the sense of full political retribution, for the near-traitrous merchants of most “green” policies, e.g. Climate Change Acts and all wind turbine installations, whether off/onshore, which have been known, for many years, to be national own goals, of unacceptable cost:benefit ratios.
    Even if E. Milliband were useful otherwise, his record on this is disastrous.
    Less said about Salmond, Gummer, Yeo and their like, the better, but they owe us a sacrifice or two!

  5. Ian Terry says:

    Ther are loads of hidden costs and they are very well documented but the great British media machine choses to ignore them or pay very little lip service. The BBC is still in denial. Non of the red tops seem to be banging home who is paying for all of this. Not just domestic consumers but also industry are beginning to feel the hit especially if they are the first to be forced to be operating under reduced power just to keeep the domestic lights on. All the subsidies should go, if you cannot make a profit from your product and efficient operation you should walk away from the market place. They (RE Lobby) still do not except that 25% (being generous) is not efficient and if the land owners were taxed about 85% on their windfall, unearned income then realiity would statr to kick in. The idiots in power especially in Scotland who have passed 1000s of turbines without the capacity and connections for proper distribution should be made to kneel in the sand and await their fate Chinese Fashion. All over the world there is poverty and high energy subsidies and green taxes are making it worse. Would NATS be so obliging for a small community lead project nothing to do with RE? NO Someone had better start smelling the coffee and PBQ. How much have we spent on all this rubbish? How much power has been generated? How many of the population are now in fuel debt and poverty? How much CO2 been really saved? How many millions have been spent on shutting turbines down especially when certain companies are buying excess power from the French Nuclear stations at giveaway prices causing the grid to be overloaded? How many 1000s of acres been taken out of production due to turbines and their full infrastructure needed to maintain them? How many hours have fossil fuel power stations spent being on standby?
    The questions are endless and all we get is the saving the world garbage.
    It is all over the world and nobody yet is looking at the health implications that are slowly but surely rearing their ugly heads especially in the USA driven by yhe no win no fee brigade

  6. Jane Davies says:

    I know we are talking wind energy here but what about the thousands of acres of now unproductive farm land that are covered in solar panels. I would think food production would be of equal importance if not more!

    • Ian Terry says:

      Spot on. But will the idiots listen? A 90 year old lady told me: You cannot eat trees. You cannot eat golf balls. You cannot eat electricity. That sums up the “productive” use of land in Scotland. All are subsidised by the tax payer one way or another

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Our sufficiency in home grown food is perhaps 30-40 million souls. Little more to add really, the outcome will be starvation one day.

      I lived through WW2 and remember rationing when we had a population of 55 million in the UK, not just England.

  7. Philip Rock says:

    Roger, you said at least all we are sacrificing in these modern times is wealth and prosperity.

    With all the inefficiencies involved: with intermittent operation of infill power sources; uneven output and even completely idle standby sources; mounting offshore and onshore maintenance programmes; additional unforeseens such as mitigation of the complications caused to air navigation service provider, and so on, is it not possible that, if it were the case that we human beings are influencing world climate change, that these inefficiencies are using up any net reduction of climate changing energy consumption and environmental pollution and thereby increasing our feared effect on climate?

    Notwithstanding of course the falsity of the claims about man made climate change.

  8. Katie says:

    Nobody has mentioned the cost to our wildlife yet. Only today a leading charity has linked wind turbines to the dwindling numbers of Bewick Swans. I would imagine that many migrating birds as well as those that hunt around wind farms are at great risk. Bats too. It’s been known for many years that turbines do great damage to these species. Roger, please consult the European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) as they highlight the plight of birds and bats and Mark Duchamp is particularly involved in this fight. They work on behalf of the whole of Europe. A recent report has just stated that more raptors have been killed by turbines in a given period than by poison or shooting. I wonder how many of these birds and bats are picked up by the landowners/farmers so as not to show the full extent of the carnage? Many wind farms are being given permission where there are many protected species including otters, badgers, red squirrels, bats and water voles. How can this be justified. Even wild land in Scotland is being ignored and the planning system here is not fit for purpose. More and more people are feeling the effects of wind turbines on their health and this is another hidden cost. Water courses and water tables are being contaminated and people have been very ill. There are numerous cases of water pollution but it is all being ignored. The water has high concentrations of cancer causing chemicals in it but this is also ignored. I wonder how long before we get mega health problems coming to the fore in the UK? A great source of information is Scotland Against Spin where all this is recorded.

    Good luck Roger and keep up the good work. UKIP gets my vote for this issue alone.

    • Harry says:

      Total drivel.
      Far more birds are killed by road traffic. Also foxes, badgers hedgehogs etc
      Are we going to shut down all our highways?
      Far more birds are killed by feral cats and foxes.

      • Katie says:

        How can it be total drivel when raptors are being killed in areas where there are no roads or windows? In the middle of the California hills hundreds of Golden Eagles are being killed and other species same as in Australia. So much so that many species will be extinct soon. A wind farm operator near us actually advertised a post which involved going around picking up the carcasses of dead birds and bats. With so many wind farms out to see some of our birds do not stand a chance. The RSPB has already shown concern over 2 wind farms being considered off the coast of Scotland where Puffins and other birds are already at risk of wipeout. These turbines will be yet another hazard so I don’t see how they are helping anything! Get real.

      • Harry says:

        These stories are .largely fiction made up by the wind turbine Nimbys.
        Birds are well adapted to avoiding aerial predators. Wind turbine present little problem for them to avoid.
        You suffering is all in the mind, a form of paranoia.
        People is South wales for example have had to suffer coal mining for over a century to provide electricity.
        For some reason you seem to think you should be excluded.

      • Katie says:

        It’s you that’s paranoid. Either that or just ignorant. You obviously think you know more than the RSPB. Is it Harry Belefonte?? Talk about blowing your own trumpet!

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Harry have you looked at gridwatch? http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

        You can see the contribution made by the Wind Turbine industry updated every few minutes. This site was put together by an engineer in the generation trade, and we are left to draw our own conclusions from the data. Renewables have all been a failure on cost effectiveness, and none would have been built without massive, on going bribes extorted from consumers. The whole is examined in great detail, and if you find any errors why not let us, and Gridwatch know.

      • Katie says:

        Well done Brin and talking common sense at last. Yes, the gridwatch site is great to see just how little wind contributes at any time let alone when the wind doesn’t blow. The expense of all of this is scandalous and note that not one power station has been turned off yet because of the efficiency of wind!! I have been talking to a power engineer who works for Scottish Power and he agreed with me that the grid is getting harder to keep stabilised with the more wind goes onto it. What a sham.

      • Harry says:

        Gridwatch is run by a computer geek who knows nothing about the electrical power generation and generation industry.
        He goes under the name of “The Natural Philospher” on news groups if you want to see his coresspondence

      • Katie says:

        It doesn’t matter if you know anything about energy or not. Data from the grid is just what it is. Data and it is easy to understand that wind is rubbish. You dont’ have to be an overinflated engineer to understand it!!

      • Katie says:

        Read this then. The madness of it all know no end. Germany is using more coal, India, quite rightly, is refusing to commit to expensive energy and Japan has high CO2 emissions because they have given up on nuclear. And we continue to put our country at risk by going down the renewables route. It is tantamount to treason and a disgrace that our politicians have not got our best interests at heart.

        India will not sign any deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions at UN climate talks in Lima that threatens its growth or undermines its fight against poverty, the environment minister said Friday. The minister branded poverty as the worst kind of environmental disaster which “needs to be eradicated immediately”, adding that no one should dispute the right of the poorest members of society to have access to energy. “Poor people have aspirations we must fulfil them, we must give them energy access,” he said. –AFP, 5 December 2014

        Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions rose in fiscal 2013 to the equivalent of 1.395 billion tons of carbon dioxide, its worst total since comparable data became available in fiscal 1990, according to the Environment Ministry. Emissions in fiscal 2013 were up 1.3 percent from fiscal 2005 and 10.6 percent from fiscal 1990. Since Japan has set a goal of reducing emissions by 3.8 percent by fiscal 2020 from fiscal 2005, the latest result underscores the major challenge it faces in achieving that target. –Japan Times, 5 December 2014

        Germany is set to import around 50 million tonnes of hard coal in 2014 which would be just below last year’s record of 51 million tonnes, coal importers’ lobby VDKI said in a statement. Coal generation is still the backbone of German power supply in a country set on moving away from nuclear power and favouring renewable energy over fossil fuels. The country in January to September used hard coal for 43 percent of coal generation, of which 17 percent was hard coal and 26 percent domestic brown coal, industry statistics showed. With power prices historically low, generators are opting to burn more coal instead of more expensive gas. –Business Recorder, 5 December 2014

        About $1 billion in Japanese funding that Japan claimed was part of a UN initiative to help developing countries take action against climate change went, unnoticed, towards Japanese companies for the construction of three coal-fired power plants, the Associated Press reported Monday. The slip-up highlights major gaps in oversight when it comes to funding climate projects in developing countries. The three power plant projects, built in Indonesia by Japanese companies, were listed as “climate finance.” But the U.N. has no formal definition of what constitutes legitimate climate finance, nor does it have a watchdog agency to ensure climate dollars end up in appropriate places. –Zoe Schlanger, Newsweek, 2 December 2014

        1) India Won’t Sign Climate Deal If It Threatens Its Economic Growth
        AFP, 5 December 2014

        NEW DELHI (AFP) – India will not sign any deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions at UN climate talks in Lima that threatens its growth or undermines its fight against poverty, the environment minister said Friday.

        Prakash Javadekar, Indian Union Minister for Environment and Forests, speaks to media at a press conference in New Delhi on Dec 5, 2014. India will not sign any deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions at UN climate talks that threatens its growth or undermines its fight against poverty, the environment minister said Dec 5. — PHOTO: AFP

        Speaking ahead of his departure to a key round of talks in the Peruvian capital, Prakash Javadekar said he was heading into the negotiations with “an open mind” but warned the Indian delegation would not “shy away” from tough debate.

        “Any agreement… will be by consensus,” Javadekar told reporters in New Delhi. “Our growth cannot be compromised.”

        The minister branded poverty as the worst kind of environmental disaster which “needs to be eradicated immediately”, adding that no one should dispute the right of the poorest members of society to have access to energy.

        “Poor people have aspirations we must fulfil them, we must give them energy access,” he said.

        Negotiators from 195 countries are gathering in Lima for talks which end on Dec 12, hoping to agree on a draft agreement to address climate change that will be adopted in Paris next December.

        Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have already set an outside target of limiting global warming to 2 deg C over pre-industrial levels.

        China, the United States and Europe have also unveiled emissions pledges.
        Energy-starved India is seen as one of the major obstacles to a deal as it is heavily dependent on coal-fired power plants and millions suffer regular power cuts.

        Full story

        2) Japan’s CO2 Emissions Hit Record: Higher Now Than 25 Years Ago
        Japan Times, 5 December 2014

        Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions rose in fiscal 2013 to the equivalent of 1.395 billion tons of carbon dioxide, its worst total since comparable data became available in fiscal 1990, according to the Environment Ministry.

        Emissions over the year through last March rose 1.6 percent from a year earlier due largely to the expansion in fossil fuel-based power generation, the ministry said Thursday. Thermal power generation, which generates large amounts of carbon dioxide, has increased sharply since the 2011 Fukushima disaster began, leading to the idling of all of the nation’s nuclear power plants, which had produced about a third of its electricity.

        Emissions in fiscal 2013 were up 1.3 percent from fiscal 2005 and 10.6 percent from fiscal 1990.

        Since Japan has set a goal of reducing emissions by 3.8 percent by fiscal 2020 from fiscal 2005, the latest result underscores the major challenge it faces in achieving that target.

        Full story

        3) ‘Green’ Germany Set For Near Record Coal Imports In 2014
        Business Recorder, 5 December 2014

        Germany is set to import around 50 million tonnes of hard coal in 2014 which would be just below last year’s record of 51 million tonnes, coal importers’ lobby VDKI said in a statement. With power prices historically low, generators are opting to burn more coal instead of more expensive gas.

        The total would be made up of 37.5 million tonnes of steam coal for power stations, 10 million tonnes of coking coal for iron- and steelmakers and 2.5 million tonnes of coke, a related product, the group said, adding this was based developments from January to September.

        “Third-quarter imports, at 7.9 million tonnes into Germany, were only slightly below the same period of last year,” it said.

        Coal generation is still the backbone of German power supply in a country set on moving away from nuclear power and favouring renewable energy over fossil fuels. The country in January to September used hard coal for 43 percent of coal generation, of which 17 percent was hard coal and 26 percent domestic brown coal, industry statistics showed.

        With power prices historically low, generators are opting to burn more coal instead of more expensive gas, which only held 10 percent of the generation market in the nine months.

        Despite stable imports, VDKI is increasingly concerned that its utility customers are becoming unprofitable because of low power prices.

        These partly result from priority given to green energy on power grids, where it causes supply pressure. Operators of hard coal-fired plants say they need to earn between 50 and 60 euros per megawatt hour of electricity to cover production costs, but are only getting 35 euros/MWh in the wholesale market.

        Full story

        4) Oopsie! $1 Billion In UN Funds To Fight Climate Change Built Coal Power Plants Instead
        Newsweek, 2 December 2014

        Zoe Schlanger

        About $1 billion in Japanese funding that Japan claimed was part of a UN initiative to help developing countries take action against climate change went, unnoticed, towards Japanese companies for the construction of three coal-fired power plants, the Associated Press reported Monday. […]

        The slip-up highlights major gaps in oversight when it comes to funding climate projects in developing countries. The three power plant projects, built in Indonesia by Japanese companies, were listed as “climate finance.” But the U.N. has no formal definition of what constitutes legitimate climate finance, nor does it have a watchdog agency to ensure climate dollars end up in appropriate places.

        Japan allocated the funding to Japanese companies under U.N. loans described as “thermal power plants,” with no indication that they were coal-fired projects.

        The funding came from a pot of money established by the U.N. in 2009, when wealthy nations pledged to accumulate $30 billion in climate finance over the following three years. At the time, Japan agreed to provide about half that sum.

        Full story

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Harry it seems that the data and facts presented are unarguable, is that why you attack him as a geek, and say he knows nothing about the industry?

        He obviously knew exactly how to access the data stream, and how to process it.

        I think he knows more about the industry than you or I do.

      • Katie says:

        Well said Brin. Gridwatch is a reliable source of information. This guy is probably intelligent enough to listen to people who know what they are talking about and he is prepared to learn. That is called progress.

  9. osseo says:

    I’m afraid it’s not just money we’re sacrificing. Climate Act 2008 means higher fuel costs, means winter heating is less affordable, means more people die of cold.

    • Harry says:

      Fuel/electricity costs are going to go up regardless of where it is sourced.
      The days of cheap electricity are gone.
      Anyone that tells you any different is a liar.
      Expensive energy is better than none at all.

      Due to inaction by Nu Labour, massive spending is needed right now.

      It’s only in the last fifty years we have had central heating warming the whole house.
      What do you suppose happened before that?

      • Katie says:

        Many people died? I thought we had progressed since then? Obviously some of us want to go back to the dark ages. What about your car, computer, tv, radio, fridge freezers etc etc? You want to live without them too. What a joke.

      • Katie says:

        ‘Expensive energy is better than none at all’

        Oh really, well if you rely on wind farms then you will sometimes have non at all and it will be expensive. I hope you enjoy being cold and paying a fortune for it. Where are you going to get your power from when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining????? Might I suggest fossil fuels?

  10. Harry says:

    Mr Helmer is only bent on garnering in the NIMBY vote.
    His technical knowledge is actually zero.
    Wind turbines are actually one of the cheapest forms of electricity generation.
    They are only part of the a renewable energy system and were never intended to work alone.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/13/wind-power-is-cheapest-energy-unpublished-eu-analysis-finds?CMP=EMCENVEML1631

    We need renewable energy to free ourselves from fuel dependence on these nasty foreigners too.

    • Katie says:

      Yes, you obviously don’t live NEAR a wind farm and one of those ignorant people who call those who have to suffer Nimby’s. Roger is spot on with all of his observations which is also verified by the energy experts and ex operators of the national grid. I wonder who wrote the report you quote. The wind industry????

    • Katie says:

      Nasty foreigners? Nearly all the developers of wind farms are foreigners! Our money taken straight from us and out of the country. Now there’s sense.

  11. Pingback: Wind Turbine Science Project Hypothesis

  12. Up-Date: I am advised by NATS that they have reached an arrangement to get developers to defray the cost of the adaptation of radar systems (though the NATS blog which I quoted clearly stated that NATS had paid for the programme). I’m glad that developers, not NATS, will meet these costs — but it is an additional, not previously recognised cost of wind energy, and the poor bl**dy consumer gets to pay one way or the other. See http://nats.aero/blog/2014/10/making-progress-tackling-impact-wind-turbines/

    • Katie says:

      As you say Roger, we pay every way. At the moment I am incensed by the reports of people along the proposed HS2 line being offered compensation at such an early stage. They are to be offered the current market price plus 10% plus moving costs. Oh, if only people around wind farms were so lucky. We have a wind farm 4km away but one has been consented only just 2km away which will be clearly visible from our home. It will be stuck on top of beautiful hills and the turbines will be 110m high so not small. When we tried to sell our home every person that viewed immediately wanted at least a 20% reduction in the asking price. This has been repeated for every person in the area that has tried to sell. The government still refuses to compensate home owners and some still deny that house prices are affected. I wish they would apply this compensation to wind farm victims. We would move tomorrow! I note that homes near shale gas sites will also be offered compensation. Compensation for what? No noise under their homes and no sight of the works. Something is very wrong with the government’s approach to this problem.

      • Harry says:

        Aha Another NIMBY.
        Other people have had to put up with coal mining for over a hundred years just so you can have electricity. Stop whining woman! It’s your turn now,
        Others are going to have fracking.
        Other people had to put up with canals, railways and motorway construction over the last two hundred years.
        For some reason you think you are sacrosanct.
        Why is this?

      • Katie says:

        Talk about ignorant. I presume these people you refer to bought their homes knowing that a coal mine was nearby and got it cheap? Quite a different scenario when you buy thinking you have bought in a rural area only to find it has been industrialised and you get woken up on a regular basis. Get some brains!

      • Harry says:

        When the coal mines were sunk (many in the (Victorian period) by the Plutocrats of the time there was absolutely no regard for the common people. Land was undermined, ground water and springs polluted, and colliery waste was tipped wherever was cheapest. These problem remain to this day, some can’t be resolved, they just have to be lived with.
        New open cast mines have been opened in South Wales near Merthyr Tydfil so the process goes on.
        I see UKIP is a protagonist of fracking. You can bet this lady won’t want fracking either.
        NIMBYs never do. Lack of public spirit and selfishness.

      • Katie says:

        Bring it on. I am all for fracking because it will be good for the economy. I would rather have a gas drill near me than a wind farm and at least it would bring us reliable energy unlike the monstrosities opposite my home which sometimes don’t move all day!

  13. Ian Terry says:

    For Harry

    Hey man you are some sad dude. There are always two sides to every story but a lot of what Katie says is true. The trouble is whatever side you are on you believe the propaganda and with the renewable lobby they are playing for very high stakes and they do not give a stuff how high the bills go with backdoor taxes and the numbers that will join the fuel poverty/debt queue as winter progresses. With Germany burning brown coal and China going the same route all this “save the world crap” is just that crap. I can see where she is coming from. Live on the HS2 route you will be compensated, be surrounded by turbines, your properties in the area do not sell even when the prices are over 35% down. The people we have in government are the moment are short sighted and minded and cannot see outside the box. High energy costs not only impact on the poorest in society but it has a massive effect on high energy industrail companies. That impacts on investment and jobs. Ther is nothing to be gained by calling people NIMBYs because if this government suddenly decided to erect turbines in the middle of the towns and cities there would be riots on the streets as their property prices collapses. People who live in rural areas live there to enjoy the countryside and all that entails. For some wildlife is a source of great pleasure. Your previous comment on the fact that turbines are cheaper not when you stop the subsidies and stop fossel fuel power stations ticking over to provide power when the wind stops or the sun goes in if it is solar. You really should research the people you attack. Our host has considerable knowledge on the whole energy sector. I think a lot has to be said when you quote the Guardian, not exactly the most balanced of newspapers. Most of our renewable energy is already in the hands of nasty foreigners. Dear energy is not better than nothing at all. It just means that fewer people and industries can afford to use it. That impacts on jobs etc as previously stated but also increases the problems to the NHS as people in cold damp houses are more suseptable to illness. We (the UK) have to get rid of all this unreliable energy production in the short term as a £1.5 trillion debt dictates that without a strong manufacturing base we are condemned to years of austerity. The Chinese are way ahead of the west when it comes to new forms of nuclear energy research and development when they crack it there will be no holding them back. You appear against fracking whatever you might think it hasn’t done America any harm. We need to get our act together very quickly if the UK is to get itself out of the mess it finds itself in at present. The hard facts of life are that for over 60 years politicians have never applied themselves to understand the energy processes that are essential to provide stability to every area within the consumer market. Sadly sometimes the ladies are right nearly all of the time and we never listen to them because, that is a man thing.

    • Katie says:

      thank goodness for a man who knows how to use his brain. I was getting fed up dealing with numpties.

      • Jane Davies says:

        You did good Katie!!!

      • Katie says:

        Jane, I was beginning to think that apart from Roger Helmer only us women could see the futility of it all! We need change at a political level and I hope it comes soon.

      • Harry says:

        You shouldn’t believe everything brain dead politicians and journalists tell you.
        They tell people what they want to hear in order to curry favour or sell newspapers.
        None of them has any appreciable technical knowledge.
        Few of the information/”opinions” they hold have any bearing on reality.
        Every industrialised country in the world is erecting wind turbines, (even in the Middle East)
        Yet friend Helmer with no qualifications on the topic is going round spouting garbage. (He’s not the only politician doing this. Others have financial interests in the fossil fuel industry).
        There is no lie, politicians won’t tell to hang on to power.
        You should know this by now.

        Wind turbines are only part of the package.
        Other parts include solar power, tidal, wave, geothermal, co-generation, micro generation and minimal gas.
        Also vital will be the smart grid.
        It will take decades to get the system up and running.
        Until the total system complete, it will be dysfunctional from time to time.

      • Katie says:

        Yes, agree Harry. None of our politicians has any knowledge about energy but there are some sensible ones that are listening to the engineers and professors of energy that DO know what they are talking about. It is precisely because the policy of energy has been left with brainless politicians that it is all going so horribly wrong. I do not just read the papers, I have attended meetings with directors of the national grid, professors, engineers and scientists who all believe we are heading for a disaster. You only have to look at Germany to see the horrors unfolding. Why do you think Europe is in a mess economically? All our big industries are leaving and taking the real jobs with them. We need a strong economy and this is what you get with cheaper energy. Our money would be better spent on research and development into safer nuclear and using cleaner gas turbines. Three companies in Scotland, all of which have had millions of taxpayers money thrown at them, have recently gone bust. They have been research wave power. Turns out we would need hundreds of the turbines along our coastlines causing a hazard to shipping and mammals for a meagre amount of electricity. The subsidies needed for wave or tidal would make prices 12 times what they are now. We are supposed to be moving forward, not backwards. Without fossil fuel backup we won’t have any lights on. It will be a gigantic disaster if our grid fails without warning. It is all totally unnecessary and will not ‘save the planet’. All it is doing is making some very rich for a technology that does not work on its own without back up. Deiter Helm, Professor of Energy and a lecturer at Oxford University made a very interesting speech in the House of Lords recently. You should try and google him and listen. You will learn a lot. Oh, and by the way, he has no vested interests!!

      • Katie says:

        As an afterthought, have you ever thought of becoming a politician yourself Harry? There are many who have vested interests in the wind/solar/biomass industry and who wouldn’t listen to good advice for this reason. You would have the right qualifications for this post. This is why our energy policy should not be left in the hands of politicians but left to the people who know what’s best as it has been for many years.

      • Harry says:

        I am an electrical engineer (retired)so I know what I’m talking about.
        Roger Helmer has no clue. He (and UKIP) has latched on to the issue because he thinks he can garner in a few votes. The facts of the matter don’t bother him.
        There’s a lot out there in the pay of the fossil fuel industry too.
        Europe is in a mess economically because it is a socialist organisation and becoming more so as these ex-commie, basket case countries join. Parasites on the West.
        Socialism always fails everywhere it is implemented..
        We need renewable energy to replace fossil fuels as they become more expensive and scarce, because fossil fuels are shortening all our lives with the pollution they generate and because it gives us independence from foreign fuel sources which may well be cut off in the mid-term future. (Situation in the Middle East)
        Setting up a renewable energy system will not be easy or cheap and halfwit NIMBYs don’t help.
        But it is vitally neccesary.

      • Katie says:

        Ha,ha,ha. ROFL. You contradict yourself in so many way. Fossil fuels are not expensive but renewables are and that’s a fact. You say you are an electrical engineer. Funny that because most of the engineers I have spoken to think renewables are a non starter. They cannot function without being subsidies which means they don’t pay their way. I wish my husband could get subsidies to help him with his business!! Good job not all companies run like this or we would be more broke than we are now. The price of gas has fallen and so has coal and oil. Just explain to me what we would do without fossil fuels????? Do you think it acceptable to have no power for days on end? We don’t need foreign gas if we exploit our own supplies. There are many countries that can supply the materials for nuclear and they are not middle eastern. Same as coal and oil. I suppose you think all these other professors, engineers who actually work on the grid and lecturers are all less intelligent than you are? What a big head you sound. A right know it all who probably knows nothing. I am obviously wasting my time debating with an idiot so will end this now.

      • Katie says:

        Not worth reading if it is in the Guardian. Too biased like the BBC. Don’t waste my time. I suppose you vote Green??? We are planets apart.

      • Harry says:

        No, the Greens are a bunch of commies. Doomed to fail.
        I support UKIP but only for it’s policies on the EUSSR and immigration.
        A lot of the rest of the stuff is barking mad.
        Including it’s energy policies and it’s “energy spokesperson”.
        The Guardian is best for technical topics though I agree it is lefty.
        Don’t bury your head in the sand, it is a socialist attribute. Know your enemy.

      • Katie says:

        Well at least we agree on one thing, and that is we need UKIP. I am a member and have been for 3 years now. Most people never agree with everything a party does but I feel UKIP speak for the people of Britain. As you are an engineer can you tell me how you would operate the grid to provide stable and constant electricity when there is no wind?

      • Harry says:

        Wind turbine are only part of the package.
        We will need all the other renewable energy technologies also.
        And the Smart grid.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_grid
        It will take decades to make the total conversion hence there can be no delays in starting the work.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Harry there needs to be small scale development of any new technologies, going for broke on unproven inventions wastes resources that we all pay for. Your smart grid follows the just in time philosophy employed by our now defunct industries. Little room for error, and little spare capacity to cover the odd catastrophic failure of plant.

        I can see folks having their loads adjusted for them in future, with smart meters increasing prices at peak times and heavy loads being banned, or just disconnected to balance the supply. Not good for rail transport, industry or elevators.

        We have a problem with large scale electricity, we can’t store it in any realistic fashion. We can store energy in other ways though. Perhaps electricity, which we have taken for granted, will be not be used for heating water or houses but only when high grade energy is required.

        My hobby horse is wind powered hydraulics, pump water to a height and you have stored energy on tap so as to speak. Hydraulic motors are very efficient with very little loss, google Armstrong and his Tyne swing bridge. A steam donkey engine pumped water to a pressure in his hydraulic accumulator, and once full it would open and close his bridge for a week.

        The thing is though folk need to be encouraged, not just beaten with carbon taxation which is counter productive. Having bought carbon credits from an undeserving third World Country, who then spend the money on hardware, fuel and motors. This means their low carbon economy is then becoming a carbon producer. No gain in the holy cow of carbon reduction at all. Reward folk who increase efficiency, use less electricity and innovate technology.

      • Katie says:

        To my mind, the so called “smart grid” is yet another politically derived bit of nonsense as a means of getting them off the hook for their undoubted incompetence!

        At the moment, the UK has interconnectors to the Netherland and France (from which we virtually always import electricity) plus one to Ireland which largely exports electricity.

        The smart gird is a figment of the wishes of politicians in the belief that renewable energy will always be generating electricity somewhere in the EU. That is rollocks – it is simply not so!

        Yet again, it’s a means of trying to offset the FACT that renewable wind is a frigging waste of space, cost and time! It simply will NOT work – if you connect two unreliable sources of electricity to the grid, you will NOT get a reliable source of electricity – QED

        It will be just a way to turn off your appliances when they feel like it and you will have no control over anything in your home. There will be times when electricity will be expensive and people will be afraid to use it. A step back into the dark ages I am afraid. We are supposed to be a forward moving country but I don’t think this is happening

      • Jane Davies says:

        Agreed!

  14. Brin Jenkins says:

    Harry, I ask you to comment on the grid watch site please. Most of your comments and observations are dealt with, and debunked, including a link to a very green Professor, who actually argues that electric cars are a nonsense, and why.

    • Katie says:

      Well done Brin. Take a look at this link then to see just how mad our politicians are. We are now not allowed to subsidies fossil fuels for back up. What a stupid predicament. We need fossil fuels to back up wind and solar but now because operators of these fossil fuelled plants cannot make a profit because we have to take wind/solar first we have to subsidise this as well. We should leave it to the industry to function without subsidies and then we would only have systems which make a profit off their own backs. Renewables would be out of the window as they do not generate enough to function without subsidy. How can you expect people to run power stations if they have one arm tied behind their backs?

      http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/legal-challenge-to-governments-25bn-subsidy-scheme-for-fossil-fuel-industry-9907303.html

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Unbelievable Katie, I wonder seriously, is the incompetence it seems, or a deliberate act of National suicide?

      • Katie says:

        Agenda 21 comes to mind or a federal republic of Europe seeing as half this tripe comes from the EU. Since when did they decide what we could do regarding energy and our economy? I am sick of it and will be glad to come out. By the way Brin, are you from and living in Wales where the wind farm stuff is nearly as bad as it is in Scotland?

  15. Brin Jenkins says:

    Katie I live in Cornwall, I loved sailing before I swallowed the anchor and I do understand the wind, and what you can’t do with it. Often I see windmills whirling around, and there is no wind, they are being driven from the grid to apparently make it look good.

    I agree 21 seems probable.

    • Katie says:

      I live opposite a large wind farm. It has been nothing but a pain in the backside to my friends who have had to leave their homes. 2 families leaving the valley is not good news. I have developed tinnitus and when the wind is blowing towards our home I do not sleep well. I never put it down to the wind farm but since monitoring my sleep I am more inclined to believe it is the effect of low frequency infrasound. I may be wrong but it all seems a big coincidence. We have 2 more wind farm which have been consented recently and a further large wind farm being decided to the rear of us. Quite frankly people are worried sick. The whole area is one big wind farm now and was once a beautiful area to live in. We cannot look anywhere now without seeing dirty great turbines and in some cases hearing them. I know that some days especially if there is a risk of ice the turbines run on power from the grid and if they stop because there is no wind they rely on the grid to get them started again and to turn them to face the wind. We also know that Scotland has received more money than anywhere else in the UK for wind farms to be shut down when the wind is too high or the grid is overloaded which happens on a regular basis and yet they still keep consenting more. It is one major rip off for consumers and a nice little money earning for the developers and landowners.

      • Harry says:

        You have a mental condition and need to get help. Really!
        Lots of people get tinnitus. Nothing whatever to do with wind turbines.
        Your morbid fears are quite irrational. There’s a name for this condition,I can’t just recall it. I’ll post it when I remember.

      • Katie says:

        This is getting better and better. You are now a doctor and I have a diagnosis. Oh what joy! I only wish I was as talented as you.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Harry over the last few days you have shown disrespect for many, a little more moderation in your writing would go a long way perhaps.

        Most of what you say is opposite to our viewpoint, some of us have a qualification, and some don’t. Any thought out opinion is worthy of debate, when we are shown an hypothesis it can be debated under the rules of logic as we understand it, Bowels driven opinion and insults carries little weight.

        Brin

        • Harry says

        November 18, 2014 at 6:43 pm

        Total drivel.

        November 19, 2014 at 3:11 pm

        You suffering is all in the mind, a form of paranoia.

        December 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm

        a computer geek who knows nothing about the electrical power generation and generation industry. He goes under the name of “The Natural Philospher” on news groups if you want to see his coresspondence

        November 19, 2014 at 3:17 pm

        The days of cheap electricity are gone. Anyone that tells you any different is a liar.

        November 18, 2014 at 6:49 pm

        Mr Helmer is only bent on garnering in the NIMBY vote. His technical knowledge is actually zero. Wind turbines are actually one of the cheapest forms of electricity generation.
        They are only part of the a renewable energy system and were never intended to work alone.

        December 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm

        Aha Another NIMBY. Other people have had to put up with coal mining for over a hundred years just so you can have electricity. Stop whining woman! It’s your turn now,
        Others are going to have fracking.
        Other people had to put up with canals, railways and motorway construction over the last two hundred years.
        For some reason you think you are sacrosanct. Why is this? I see UKIP is a protagonist of fracking. You can bet this lady won’t want fracking either. NIMBYs never do. Lack of public spirit and selfishness.

        December 5, 2014 at 5:10 pm

        I am an electrical engineer (retired)so I know what I’m talking about.
        Roger Helmer has no clue. He (and UKIP) has latched on to the issue because he thinks he can garner in a few votes. The facts of the matter don’t bother him. Setting up a renewable energy system will not be easy or cheap and halfwit NIMBYs don’t help. But it is vitally neccesary.

      • Katie says:

        Thanks Brin. I did not state that my problems were definitely caused by the wind turbines. I only said my symptoms started a couple of months after they were erected and it seemed to be connected to the way the turbines were facing. I do hate people that dismiss everything when they don’t have to live near them or experience what others have to. The noise that 2 families I was friendly with suffered was horrendous and they had to put up with it for 6 years before they were bought out. Both were sorry to leave but had no choice if they wanted peace in their lives. They do not deserve to be called NIMBYs and all too often it is people who have no understanding of the situation that throw these accusations.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Mine started just after my wisdom teeth were extracted, I can’t blame the dentist though. All part of living and my tooth problems needed dealing with!

      • Harry says:

        The opinions of people with no qualifications are worthless.
        Especially on technical matters.

      • Katie says:

        My God, you get more obnoxious by the minute! Most of my comments have come from reports and meetings involving people who are far higher up the chain than you Harry!!

      • Harry says:

        Drivel.
        Antone with technical knowledge would not make such comments.

    • Katie says:

      Love Cornwall but it is a long time since I was there. I understand you have a lot of problematic wind farms too. Ok for those who don’t live near the things but if you do, well, life is never the same. People just don’t understand until they are put in that position.

    • Harry says:

      Total drivel.
      I fly and the wind at ground level bears no relationship to that at high level.
      I find your ignorance astounding.

  16. Harry says:

    No steam driven device will ever be efficient.
    Pump storage is useful, however the sites we can use it are fairly limited in the UK

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Replying to your last two S.A. mails in one.

      Not all energy is electrical, or needs to be. The London Hydraulic Company were supplying power to much of London before the Electric Companies got off the ground, LHC closed in the 1960’s and their manhole covers may still be seen occasionally in the streets.

      Nuclear plant is steam powered, and pretty darned efficient. In any case I was not advocating we return to donkey steam engines, but using wind powered pumps to do pump water directly. With a governor controlled swash plate operating the piston throw the pump would vary the load on the sail operating at a maximum efficiency. Not just a faster rotation as the power of the wind increased like current turbines. Turbines are shut down as blade tips overspeed to avoid destruction. Water under pressure is potential energy, stored cheaply and without degradation until called for. Hydraulic motors are the most efficient of all motors.

      Pumped storage is not just reservoirs and lakes, I did mention Armstrong and his hydraulic accumulators, A very clever piece of engineering that you have not considered, and didn’t google.

      I don’t understand how I have talked drivel? Perhaps you might explain in a civilised way how my experience Ocean navigating is drivel compared to your flying? Don’t repeat the altitude statement, of course I understand winds, air and cloud movements, also have just a little understanding of meteorology and storms.

      • Harry says:

        If Armstrong’s devices were of any use we would still be using them today.
        Just another dead end/redundant technology.
        Nuclear power is extremely inefficient. Only around 10% of the fuel is used then it has to be reprocessed.
        The steam part of the plant is exactly the same as use by coal fired plant and is hence around 50% efficient.
        So the overall efficiency is around 5%.
        Most of the heat generated is dumped.
        And no-one knows how to deal with nuclear waste.
        Reprocessing the fuel is uneconomic.
        Winds above ground level are always at a far higher speed. So if even if there is no discernible wind at ground/sea level, it means nothing. This is why wind turbine are tall and situated on hills where possible.
        Hence your remark about wind turbines turning in zero wind is drivel.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Harry you have made some bold assertions. I live close to Turbines and have made a point of stopping and observing them, on more than one occasion they were turning briskly, not just picking up any slight breeze. I have also flown sail planes, so will be just as aware as yourself of wind shear. Windmills are best at pumping water, not generating electricity. Hence my remark on wind turbines is not drivel. Which charm school did you attend?

        It was the promise of free electricity in the late 50’s that killed off the London Hydraulic Co. Tower Bridge, the stage at the Drury Lane Theater were all water powered, and many of the small workshops.

      • Katie says:

        Brin, I fear we are beating our heads up against a brick wall where Harry is concerned. He claims to be knowledgeable about everything but then states the ridiculous. I have been in meetings and have personally spoken with many professors of energy and scientists so I feel confident in what I am saying. Just because I don’t have a degree in science doesn’t mean I am incapable of learning and reading for myself. There are some excellent sources of information out there and not all with biased interests. I am going to give up on this debate as I know the type of person Harry is and they are not worth the effort.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        I fear your correct Katie, I also have no degree, but I have an HND in physics from the 50’s so I have an understanding. I think the smart grid and super grid rely on future developments too much. With a very high DC potential coming out of the Sahara there will be problems. 1 The desert is dust, high voltages attract dust so the panels would soon lose efficiency. 2 Grid losses are currently over 20%. The technology for converting GW of energy from DC to AC are theoretical solid state devices estimated to cost the National debt.

      • Katie says:

        And so we are back to square one. This debate has been all about the costs of wind and renewables and this super grid is going to cost billions of pounds and we still won’t manage without fossil fuels. It’s all a big economic disaster and that is where I’m ending this debate. Thanks for your informative input.

      • Katie says:

        Nuclear power facilities can produce energy at a 91% efficiency rate 24/7, while maintaining the method with the lowest emissions. Wind turbines can operate at around 70% efficiency but not all the time. The wind has to be blowing at the ‘right’ speed. Even the wind industry only claims 30% average efficiency but it is nearer to 22% for most wind farms. Hadyard Hill near me officially records only 19% so I hardly think that’s worth celebration. You still haven’t answered how you are going to maintain the grid 100% without fossil fuels. The smart grid is not the answer.

      • Harry says:

        You really do not understand the definition of the word efficiency do you?
        You should have paid more attention at school.
        This is why some people’s opinions are worthless.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_conversion_efficiency

      • Katie says:

        Capacity factor is the amount of electricity actually generated divided by the amount of electricity which could have been generated (times 100) assuming the machine operating at capacity. Onshore wind is around 25% and offshore just over 30%. Capacity factors for coal and gas depends on how these generators are used by the grid controllers – using them largely as backup for wind reduces the capacity factor (but this is done deliberately and not weather dependent). Nuclear capacity factors tend to be higher as they are used as base load generators and can’t easily be ying yanged up and down like gas plants. I think we have to assume that nuclear, gas, coal are infinitely better and they do not depend on the wind blowing. They provide base load which is something wind cannot do and something the grid needs to operate. So, we are back to our first question, how can you operate the grid without fossil fuels as a constant backup?? On that note I am giving up corresponding with you because you are clearly a leftie with no reasoning.

      • Harry says:

        Aha.
        So now your education has progressed a little!

      • Ian Terry says:

        Harry. Why is it then that a windfarm near to me with nearly 50 turbines has an operational efficiency of 21% and has been as low as 19% and that is from the engineers that run and control the site? Strange that isn’t it. As usual what gets written from the test beds doesn’t always happen out in the real world. Gas condensing boilers have an efficiency in the high nineties but that means three fifths of naff all when they are installed to a old system in a badly insulated property with 600m thick walls

      • Harry says:

        Why are you suddenly raising the issue of home heating?
        My own house is a passive house that needs no heating system.
        These are the house of the future.
        Why do you drivel on about subjects that you have no understanding of?
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_solar_building_design

      • Katie says:

        Interesting that you only referred to efficiency and not capacity.

        Oil and coal produce about 45% capacity
        Gas 38%
        nuclear 35%
        wind 33% Only at the right wind speeds and not at all on a windless day!
        solar 22% Only during the day with good sunlight and not at all at night.

        Practical Power and Conversion Efficiency

        German aerodynamicist Albert Betz showed that a maximum of only 59.3% of the theoretical power can be extracted from the wind, no matter how good the wind turbine is, otherwise the wind would stop when it hit the blades. He demonstrated mathematically that the optimum occurs when the rotor reduces the wind speed by one third.

        In practical designs, inefficiencies in the design and frictional losses will reduce the power available from the wind still further. Converting this wind power into electrical power also incurs losses of up to 10% in the drive train and the generator and another 10% in the inverter and cabling. Furthermore, when the wind speed exceeds the rated wind speed, control systems limit the energy conversion in order to protect the electric generator so that ultimately, the wind turbine will convert only about 30% to 35% of the available wind energy into electrical energy.

        Note that the power output from commercially available domestic wind turbines is usually specified at a steady, gust free, wind speed of 12.5 m/s. (Force 6 on the Beaufort scale corresponding to a strong breeze). In many locations, particularly urban installations, the prevailing wind will rarely reach this speed.

        Hence why wind cannot provide base load power for the grid. I rest my case.

  17. Brin Jenkins says:

    Katie lets give up on leftie trolls, not because opinion is different, but because of rudeness, and insufferability.

    I was trained as a boy in the RAF, my postings were to experimental establishments.

    I worked in a Bio Physics Lab in Farnborough, on test and development of cutting edge electronics with Solartron, Southern Instruments, and Microcell. Never did I meet educated and qualified men like this.

    • Katie says:

      I feel you a right Brin. The voice of an intelligent man. Anyone claiming the amount of intelligence that Harry claims to have would approach this in an entirely different way. He quite obviously belongs to the brigade of idiots who have got us in this mess in the first place.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        The physics that interests me most is conservation and the reuse of energy. Do you understand the laws of energy? I ask because I just don’t know what others do understand.

        We can not make, or destroy energy. We can only convert it from one form into another. All our energy came from our Sun. Pretty well every element in the periodic table came from directly Sun, Others, including Roger, have covered this much better than I on this blog, but that’s the physics basis.

        On theories, well thats all they are, unproven hypothesis, often supported by observation. They are not the law or often even the truth, but may be useful in a possible explanation of a mechanism.

        The Carbon Theory is flawed, data has been massaged, lost, fiddled, all in support of man made Global warming. Its one theory after another, unproven but still used as a proof for man made Global warming.

        Consensus opinion is no proof of the truth, taught opinion is not science.

      • Katie says:

        I do understand that energy is a constant and cannot be created or destroyed. What we have is there, full stop. I also understand that when we convert energy to power we lose some. I also fully understand that the figure used by the warming theorists have been and continue to be manipulated to suit themselves and that teaching this theory in schools is disgraceful as it is not a proven science. The world temperatures have been changing throughout history even before the combustion engine was invented and there were hardly any people on the planet and if we think we can defy natural events then we are mad.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Spot on, you understand it well. Was this taught at your school, or the university of life?

        I picked up a physics O level textbook in a charity shop a few years ago, just to see what was being taught for O levels. The book opened at a page that boldly stated in capital letters “Windmills are good.” That’s a perfect example of teaching opinion, rather than how to think. Once upon a time physics books did not go out of fashion, what was contained was a timeless solid grounding. Theres no wonder we have a generation of pseudo experts now, knowing the taught opinion, they passed the exam?

        I’ve picked up an infection, this has grounded me so I have spare time on my airbook. I don’t always sit with it, well not always!

      • Katie says:

        School of life Brin although I did take my O levels and passed them all. My school teachers wanted me to go to higher education but I was from a single parent family after my dad died and my mum struggled financially so left school and got a job. I am a housewife now but do voluntary work for the Heart, Chest and Stroke Association in Scotland.

        Since becoming involved in wind farms I have done a lot of research myself and spoken to many people involved in this issue. Many have been highly qualified people. The internet is a great source of information as long as you can intelligently sort out the research papers written by people with vested interests against the people QUALIFIED to comment without vested interest. It is the latter I go by. Poor you, I was in the same situation a year ago when I had a knee replacement so did a lot of pouring over the internet then. Am happy to say it was a great success and I worked hard at the exercises and still do today. Hope you feel better soon.

  18. gmlindsay says:

    The average efficiencies of power generation are 35% for coal, 45% for natural gas and 38% for oil-fired power generation. What this means is that 35% of the energy in coal results in electric power, the rest goes “up the stack” as heat. the highest efficiencies observed are 42% for coal, 60% for CCGT (combined cycle gas turbine) natural gas and 45% for oil-fired power generation. CCGT with heat recovery (local heating) can raise the efficiency to around 80%.
    Capacity factor for such plants is dictated by their operational requirement (grid demand, maintenance etc). For example if they were running flat out 24/7 with no maintenance, the capacity factor would be 100%. Wind, on the other hand is weather dependent and onshore wind capacity factor averages around 25% (some turbines have a CF less than 25% and others above 25%)🙂

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Its seems that the wind energy being free, the wind to electricity conversion efficiency is not critical. We are fairly unconcerned how much wind is in effect wasted as a percentage, its a dissipated energy in any event.

      What is more important are the vagaries of wind, the lack of storage capacity for when demand outstrips production, and the cost of any electricity generated. With designed generator over capacity much of the device is always underutilised, and I fear at the end of a turbines useful life, no profit would have be made without subsidies.

      Ergo, logically non should have been built except for evaluation pilot schemes.

      The same would also apply to solar panels, more consistent over a calendar period but no storage, and no production in non daylight hours. I carried out my own research for a solar borehole system, in Feb we see only 12% of July’s expected output. I was able to up my water store to 400+gals overcoming non productive times, rather than batteries to store the electricity. The system in fact has now been discontinued, the short 24v borehole pumps jamming in the 4″ pipe when being pulled for cleaning. If Shure ever build longer 24v pumps it could be restarted.

  19. Harry says:

    Living in the past both of you.
    Energy is not power.
    You don’t even understand the stuff you have cut and pasted.

  20. Brin Jenkins says:

    Terry, smart arsed has a passive solar heating system, so there! We must all be idiots because we do not have the same, but hey I can live here with myself and my wife OK.

    Have a look at secondsandco.co.uk for cheap insulating panels. If you suffer from excessive heat loss they can show big improvements in the right places. Single glazed windows might be improved by fitting a double glazed unit right over them, not the opening ones of course. I had a half round window with three panels. A one a one inch gapped unit means its now triple glazed for around £33. My house is 1600 somthing so it is not registered with any State Energy system, but with foam plaster panels fitted to ceilings and one wall thats 6 ft thick we manage in comfort and a bit of history. I hope that might be of use to you.

    • Ian Terry says:

      Thanks Brin. Not a problem really as for my sins designed heating systems for British Gas and also worked in Housing development. Fully understand insulation. Just finished a project in a 1890ish property where the insulation fitted (Trisol) has reduced the steady state loss by over 53% and the oil consumption has gone from 1 tank a month to 1 in 3.The reason for my mail was to highlight that test bed tests don’t stake up in the field but that silly little shit hasn’t the brain or savvy to open his flies before he sets off on one. My biggest fear for the world is that people like this nutter Harry live to breed.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Thanks Terry, I understand perfectly. With my old cottage the insulation is fair, but tends to be an on going project as energy costs soar. British gas wanted £30K to bring a gas supply 300 yds from the nearest property, so I’ve had to go wood burning. Works fine but at 78 I would have prefered an easier and cleaner route. I will be pleasantly surprised if we avoid load shedding this Winter and have some kerosene for lamps just in case.

        Just got up to inhale steam for my head cold.

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