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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

How much electricity does wind power provide?

There are now thousands of wind turbines desecrating our countryside. Putting aside how we feel about this, let’s see how much electricity wind power stations actually provide. Let’s see what the wind lobbyists are getting excited about.

The graph below says it all really. No matter how hard the lobbyists huff and puff about wind, this graph shows the facts: This graph shows the electrical power generated over the last six months in the UK and the amount provided by wind energy.

Wind Power Production- Actual

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Pitiful, isn’t it? You can find this graph HERE, where you can play with the individual power providers to see where our power is actually coming from.

For the government to come anywhere near close to it’s targets for renewables, how many turbines do you think they will need? Considering the billions of pounds we as consumers have invested in wind so far and the £200 billion  extra they believe will be necessary to achieve these targets, do you think that this is money that is going to be well spent? Our countryside is already plastered with wind farms and protest groups are springing up everyday to fight these ugly leviathans.

The Guardian published this interactive map of windfarms in Britain:

Guardian Windfarm Map

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

You can find this map to play around with and zoom in to the highest detail, HERE

Have a play with both websites. These are the facts. How much wind produces and where they want to plonk more industrial sites in our countryside. These sites don’t deal with glossy PR. They show the unvarnished truth.

Tell me what you think about it. Be as frank and as blunt as you like.

8th FEB EDIT: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

I have expanded the graph to make it easier to read for the last couple of complete weeks. The figures speak for themselves. You can see that wind produced very little power at all.

Wind Intermittency

(CLICK GRAPH TO EXPAND)

45 comments:

  1. Our leaders signed up to a target they really knew nothing about. The decision made at 0300h over that "just one more then" beer.

    Wind power, its free! It's green! It's a no-brainer! (IRONY)

    That's what it comes down to in my view - to quote a line from Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park)- "they were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn't stop to think if they should".

    Imbeciles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really need to get this message out there. I am always amazed at the lack of knowledge of the general population when it comes to wind energy. We need to educate and inform. It's vital that we get the message out there. We have the support of 101 MP's at Westminster now. Now we need to get the public on-side to give more support to these MP's to convince the waiverers to look again at the facts.

      If everyone could stick a link up to this post (I know that's asking quite a bit from some) it would help. The message is still a tiny voice. It need amplification. Bloggers can help enormously here.
      Thanks

      Delete
  2. Excellent, Alan.

    It's obviously terrible news what's going on on the continent, but I'm hoping it might provide a wake-up call to the idiocy of pushing for wind. Thank heavens for coal and oil which are keeping us warm. Germany and Italy are shivering and they decided to ditch nuclear. They're now finding how much good the turbines are right now and they're rushing to get oil power stations back in action.

    There's only one argument left for the wind lobby and it is that *when* the wind blows at the right speed we (supposedly) save fossil fuel.

    That's the last argument open to them really. And now they're finally confessing that we need permanent back-up, that we need to have three times the capacity we'd need if we didn't have turbines kicking around.

    Given that that's the only argument left for them, all that remains is to show the savings are bogus. If you factor in the fossil fuels that are needed to produce, install and maintain the turbines, and the increased inefficiency of the backup plants that need to be run at on-off rates, there is no advantage left.

    Any rational person should see that wind is the biggest mistake made by government and the intelligentsia in recent times.

    Will they admit it and learn their lesson? Aye right.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That is spot on Andy. We need to get the message out there that wind is expensive, anti-competitive, and a nonsense.

      Delete
    2. I'm from Germany and I can tell you, nobody is shivering here.

      Delete
    3. I am pleased to hear it 'Anonymous' (you can always leave your name at the end of your comment).
      The interconnectors with Poland and the oil power stations being brought back online are probably saving your country at the moment.
      For a good look at Germany's current energy problems I would recommend this link: Germany's Green Energy has already failed

      Delete
  3. Well,you already know what I think Alan. Utter madness. Disgusting, criminal, mindless vandalism. Let's hope that these b*****ds are held to account at some point.

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    1. Indeed, Gibson! We need to get the facts out there. Facts deal with the PR companies' spin far better than yet more spin.

      The facts show that politicians have made a complete and utter balls-up of our country's energy policy.

      Delete
  4. What is so worrying is that so many of them still believe it is the answer. I can only assume that when these arguments are put to them, they put there fingers in their ears and go
    'La La La La La La La La .....' until it has gone away.
    And as politicians they will NEVER NEVER EVER take responsibility, because they will ALWAYS blame someone else.
    In that respect they are at about the same level as little children.
    (No I didn't, Jimmy did it)
    The only good point is that people are slowly beginning to come round to understand this issue, and realise exactly how pointless and costly it is.
    The bad point is that so few of them are politicians!
    And the numpties at F.O.E (that spells FOE, interestingly) still cannot see it, no matter what.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hello fella!
      :-)
      The thing I find the most depressing is that while we are slowly regaining lost ground and getting the message out there about this scam, more and more onshore windfarms are being approved, built and going in for planning. We might slowly be gaining on the buggers, but they are laughing all the way to the bank... with OUR money and OUR ruined landscapes.

      Delete
    2. And most of the money goes to foreign companies. :(

      Delete
    3. That's probably one of the most galling things Andy. We are putting our own least-able-to pay population into fuel poverty and most of the money taken from them is going off-shore.

      Delete
    4. In terms of Scotland Alan (and I appreciate it's not just 'us') whoever would have thought that a Scottish government would be responsible for the movement of money from the least well off to the wealthiest,in the form of landowners and foreign companies.

      Delete
    5. Hi Gibson - I agree. It's actually quite shocking. It is another across the board tax akin to the Poll Tax. You have to pay whether or not you can afford it.

      Delete
  5. What does one graph tell us? Nothing. You can take this single information, and build it into your mindset. You should, for example, also take into account how much money (subsedies, ...) was put into wind compared to conventional energy to be able to compare their efficiency. When you now also take into account the cost of the climate change as well as harvesting of oil, gas, coal, you're maybe able to make a somewhat meaningful statement. But whatever you believe, coal and oil will soon be depleted, so you will be forced to look elsewhere, so you can now close your eyes or face the reality. But it looks like you already got your opinion and are not open minded for alternatives.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hello "Anonymous" (you can always leave you name at the end of your comment so everyone knows who we are chatting with)

      This graph actually tells us a great deal: Even with thousands of wind turbines their net contribution to energy supply is negligible. They supply power at huge cost. Their energy is not "free". It is putting poor consumers further into fuel-poverty and making business less competitive.

      Wind turbines make virtually zero effect on CO2 emissions as they require 80% back-up spinning reserve.

      I suggest you click on the link "Wind Power Stations" I have made available on the RH side of this blog so that you can find out the facts for yourself, rather than take in the wind industry's spin on things.

      By the way "Coal and oil will soon be depleted" is another myth put about by the Wind industry.

      Delete
    2. Looks like you are not open to ideas either Mr Anonymous.
      But then if you are anonymous you cannot really have an opinion can you.
      AND....No one here is against a VIABLE alternative, just against non viable one!
      As a civilization we must find an alternative, but it has to be functional and sustainable and work.

      Delete
    3. I agree, Andy. Whatever choice is made, it should be sustainable and affordable. Wind energy is certainly not affordable on a large scale and it is not sustainable as it doesn't reduce our reliance on fossil fuels - which are required to balance the Grid due to problems of wind's intermittency. In fact, wind increases our dependency on Open Cell Gas Turbines, (which is far less efficient than CCGT gas power stations) which is increasingly being imported.

      Delete
  6. Let me add one example: This is a comparission between nuclear and wind: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/31435107/Unbenannt.jpg

    Is wind still so pitiful now? Compare all the money that was put into nuclear and the gigantic lobby they have to wind. Nuclear had also much more time to develope.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Anonymous (I am assuming you are the same Anonymous that has made the previous two comments :-) )

      Thank you for that graph. The one thing that is striking about the graph is the appalling intermittency of wind and the consistency of nuclear power. This intermittency puts huge pressures on the Grid (see the link I have provided you earlier for the potentially catastrophic effects this is having on balancing power in Germany)

      As to costs - well here in the UK we are commissioning a further ten nuclear plants, as both the present government and the preceding one have both realised the economic effectiveness of nuclear with in the UK energy production fleet. There are numerous independent papers that you will find in the links I provide that show nuclear to be cheaper than wind, including all subsidies and decommissioning costs.

      In Germany there is currently a mad scramble to get oil power stations back online because of your foolish shutting down of your own nuclear and coal plants. You currently import nuclear generated power from both France and Poland because of those decisions.

      Delete
  7. One more thing, Alan, regarding wind power at the moment. As we've always pointed out, when we get a ridge of high pressure sitting on Britain for weeks on end in winter, the reality of wind power really hits home. So on average over the past couple of weeks wind output was roughly between 0.1% and 1.7% of our needs. We've survived because of coal. And the interesting thing is the interconnector was down to 0%. The Europeans were keeping their power to themselves. So in an emergency forgetting about the fabled interconnector so beloved of the greenies. Who's got power ain't going to give it away to the UK. We've been told we'll get a better interconnector with Norway, but there are only so many dams in Norway and there'll be a queue from Germany and Denmark to have priority access to Norwegian electricity when we get conditions like these.
    Cut the pie any way you like, wind will never work. It will bankrupt this country, it is already killing people because of fuel poverty and power cuts, and as you say the only fat cats will be the Spanish and German companies that are milking the subsidies we all pay.
    Now, if they did a brainscan of the pro-wind greenies, what would they find? Lots of loose bearings probably.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Andy
      It is interesting to see that even in Germany, where "Anonymous" is commenting from, the enormity of the problems facing their National Grid is not known in general public circles. Germany's problems are far worse than our own as well, due to shutting down nuclear plants and coal plants. German Industry is now lobbying hard to Angela to reverse these idiotic decisions.

      Delete
  8. This is getting more and more stupid. You recommended me a link to an organisation that denies the climate change and sais it is a "lie". I can not take this crap serious. It's like denying the fact that the world is round.

    Also, you seem to have a problem with me that I'm "Anoymous". That's the internet my friend - I'm not forced to tell you my identity, and if you would think a little longer, many other people here don't do. How can I tell if your real name is Alan Sloman, and even if it is, I bet there are thousands or Alan Slomans worldwide. What about "Andy B." or "afootinthehills" - you didn't care about them either - because they are "on your side" right, and everybody who's not "on your side" is against you, an ENEMY! That's how your little, easy world is constructed, isn't it?

    Regarding your other answers to my statements like "By the way "Coal and oil will soon be depleted" is another myth put about by the Wind industry." - I must think you're joking, because if you're not... I can not help you if you're denying facts.

    German people are aware that the grid is having problems with the new energy forms, but this can be solved. Many people think that energy production will be decentralized (yes, with wind and sun), this could also help to reduce the problems with the grid.

    What you don't consider when talking about nuclear power is all the stuff that the people have to pay for, the storage of the nuclear waste which costs billions and is never regarded when you talk about the "costs". Later generations will thank people like you for glorifying nuclear, when they have to deal with the remains.

    Regards

    ANONYMOUS! FROM GERMANY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello again, Anonymous from Germany

      I think your comment speaks volumes. You obviously haven't a clue about energy supply: To be recommending "sun" in the mix for Germany is to only add to the problems of balancing your grid.

      The problems of nuclear waste are being reduced with the newer technologies for more modern nuclear energy plants and so will soon be a thing of the past. However thousands of wind turbines littering the countryside and thousands of miles of overhead power lines, haul roads and the billions of tons of concrete and steel foundations will be more difficult to deal with.

      As to your identity, I only asked out of politeness - a common courtesy you seem to lack.

      I'll leave your comment here for folk to marvel at.

      Delete
    2. You're focusing on problems that are solvable and let them appear as if they are not. Single aspects, pieces of the whole problem, pointed out without seeing them in context.

      I personally think that some steel foundations are nothing compared to Fukoshima or the german problems with the "Asse" - a nuclear storage place where water is leaking in so that there has to be spent billions of € to get the nuclear stuff out and somewhere else - and guess who's paying? Not the guys that caused it (energy providers) but the taxpayer. Mind these costs when comparing nuclear to wind energy.

      Beside all the argueing what's right or wrong, people would not build wind farms if they would not be profitable and would not generate enough energy to justify the costs to build them. That's simple free market economy.

      Again, there is nothing like an identity for commentaries in an internet blog.

      I think most people will marvel at statements like "there is no climate change" or "fossile fuel won't deplete".

      Regards

      Anonymous

      Delete
    3. Anonymous:
      Let's get one thing straight. This is my blog: It is not an open discussion forum on the internet, and you are commenting here because I am interested in other people's views. Politeness and common courtesies are pre-requisites to being able to post your comments on here.

      "Beside all the argueing what's right or wrong, people would not build wind farms if they would not be profitable and would not generate enough energy to justify the costs to build them. That's simple free market economy."
      That comment really is very funny indeed. If you need me to explain why it is so funny then there really is no hope for you!

      Your understanding of the very basics of the funding of energy supply is woeful. I would encourage you to spend some time reading the documents I have linked to in the side bar to get informed.

      Individual problems with construction of plants the world over does not take away from the fact the nuclear in Europe has a pretty good safety record. Granted, in the past there has been unwarranted secrecy over accidents but this is now becoming far less common.
      The problem (as I am sure you are aware) with Fukoshima was one of a gigantic earthquake and a bund that was not built high enough for the ensuing tsunami to protect the back up generators to cool the plant. I don't think the northern European plain is expecting too many huge earthquakes or tsunamis, or perhaps you know differently?

      No-one on this blog has ever suggested that there is no climate change.

      New coal, oil and natural gas reserves are being discovered all the time, and with rising energy costs they are becoming more and more economic to utilise. It is not ideal to use fossil fuels as it does lead to greater CO2 emissions but certainly no more than those associated with wind energy and its required back-up.

      Nuclear is an energy source with virtually no CO2 emissions which is why France and the UK have nailed their colours to its particular mast.

      Delete
    4. Beside all the argueing what's right or wrong, people would not build wind farms if they would not be profitable and would not generate enough energy to justify the costs to build them. That's simple free market economy.

      If they are that profitable, then WHY do we have to pay such HUGE subsidies to the developers to get them put in.
      Why is it that these same companies are so worried about the pending removal of these subsidies.

      If it is truely profitable, thenj therse companies can truely afford to pay up front without the need for hbuge govt handouts, and also the need for the tax payer to pay up front for energy that they are getting in the main from an alternative source.

      I agree as I have said before that we cannot rely on fossil fuels, but this knee jerk reaction to wind just makes no sense.
      Even our royal family agree (they are German by the way).

      AND.. As for Global Warming.

      Well, the jury is out on the cause of that one.

      Yes there is global warming at present.
      Yes there is depletion of the ozone layer
      Yes there is shrinkage in the polar ice caps

      BUT.. On a cosmic scale we really do not know if this is caused by us as a species, or if it is just part of the evolution of the planet.

      AND.. As a final note, Wind will NOT save the planet.

      AND.. I do not know what will, but it isn't wind.

      Delete
    5. Spoken in Andy's inimitable style. One small point, though:
      Do we consider our royal family to be German these days? What about our Phil - Greek, I thought... (originally)

      :-)

      Delete
    6. Well strictly speaking no. I stand corrected on that one.
      But.. His wonderful wife is a bit ... in origin somewhere I believe

      Then again, strictly speaking I do not consider myself to be Norman! :)

      No Wisdom then......

      Delete
  9. I appreciate the fact that you let people comment here who got another opinion.

    I doubt that you can recommend any objective sources or documents after your recent recommended link to http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/ - to recommend a link to an organisation that denies climate change is (almost) the same as stating it, that's what I meant in my above comment. Because of this I won't spend my time reading this kind of "objective sources", because as an mechanical engineer I learned to look at a problem from all sides without fixating on one opinion. That's exactly what happens here, a narrow view on such a complex topic. You always accuse me that I don't understand the "basics of energy supply" - may I ask what makes you an expert on this topic so you can pass this judgement? All this sources that fit into your mindset? It's always easier for people to have a "good and bad"-mindset like in films (Lord of the Rings) instead of seeing the whole thing and being impartially. But that's a crutial part of solving a complex problem. I think hardly anybody has the whole view of the problem energy supply because this topic is just too complex - and people that state they got the ONE and EASY solution must be either GENIOUS, because nobody else seems to be able to find this one and only perfect solution, or they are foolish.

    There was an earthquake and a tsunami, but out of an engineers sight these factors are just the same technical requirements like anything else, for example centrifugal force on turbine blade. If those requirements were calculated wrong in an highly developed country like Japan, also all other calculations or assumption CAN be wrong! You talk about "nothern Europe", but as soon as you say "Europe" you can also take Tchernobyl into account which can potentially affect us all. It's not enough to build safe nuclear plants in the UK, for safety all the plants must be safe that can affect us.

    You say that new reserves "become more economic" due rising energy costs. That's a funny way of thinking. They become more and more rare, that's why they become expensive, and that's why they now extract fossile ressources that would've been much too expensive to extract a few decades ago. So in reality, those reserves doesn't become "more economic" but there is simply no other choice. Which also makes renewable energy forms more and more economic, by the way, because they can't deplete.

    Regarding CO2-emissions, when I google "Atomenergie Co" (german for nuclear energy co2), the FIRST link that google shows is an article called "The tale of Co2-free nuclear power". I didn't read it and don't want to state anything. But in the internet - as you may have noticed - you can find sources for EVERY opinion. There is even a website that claims the earth is flat. No joke. You can get "proves" for EVERYTHING. But in an engineer's view, you have to sort out all of the crap stuff and find the truth between all the dilettantism.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. One last heave, eh?

      After practising as a Consultant Civil & Structural Engineer for ten years I built my own business up in project management. That discipline teaches you to sort the wheat from the chaff so that you can observe the real problems and then find a solution for them.

      Energy supply is indeed a complex topic. That is why (if you bother to read them) I have listed a whole range of documents that are written in simple English from many differing sides of the argument. That way people can come to their own conclusions. It just so happens that more and more people are now coming to the same conclusion as I have posted above. For instance, 101 MP's have written a letter to the UK Government arguing for subsidies to be cut to wind farms.

      I *do* understand the fundamentals of energy and a great deal of the detail behind UK energy production.
      Clearly, you do not.

      Your argument against fossil fuels becoming economic also shows you to be ignorant of the economics of energy sourcing as well.

      If you have any further constructive comments, I will gladly publish them on this blog. If, however, you continue with attempts to rubbish reputations then I shall not. It's your choice.

      Delete
    2. You don't happen to work for a Renewable Energy Company do you Mr Anon, and live in a city by any chance.

      Just a polite question.

      Because the implications of much of your argument would appear to be that Wind is the only alternative.
      Which obviously it is not.
      As I said before what we need to be doing is investing in viable alternatives, not getting suckered into one course of action.

      Delete
  10. I said earlier that if one did a brain scan of the pro-wind supporters what you would find is a lot of loose ball bearings. Anonymous from Germany has amply proved the point. 'Nuff said.

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  11. You know, what I find deeply insulting about people like Anonymous is that they have convinced themselves that the best that the human race can do in terms of energy production, after having come up with marvellous feats of engineering, is end up with a form of "production" that requires thousands of tonnes of concrete to support a structure that generates palsy amount of electricity per year, plus thousands of miles of cables and hundreds of pylons to get electricity from remote areas to where it is needed, plus the need for very expensive and very inefficient maintenance to keep these structures going out at sea or on the hills. Every time the bearings or the gearbox give way (and it happens a lot more often than we'd been told), they've got to flit a huge crane or a huge support ship out to an individual turbine that produces pitiful amounts.

    I mean, you really have to work hard to come up with a WORSE form of energy production than wind. It's bad design, bad engineering, it's truly the triumph of stupidity, and an insult to the achievements of the human spirit.

    But then, the likes of Anonymous don't much care for that. They LIKE turbines precisely because they take up so much space and are so inefficient. They like the statement, the holier than thou attitude.

    A plague upon their house.

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    1. Hmmm Andy. Whilst I agree with the sentiments in both your comments above it might have been kinder to express them in more measured tones.

      It has to be said that the economics and crude engineering of wind energy leave a lot to be desired.

      Wind ruins landscapes, causes ill-health to those unfortunate enough to have turbines as neighbours and robs the least able to afford its energy.

      It's a ghastly mistake.

      Delete
    2. Or for an alternative view....

      Onshore wind power is the most effective form of renewable energy we have in the UK at present (in other parts, large-scale solar might be more effective; in the longer term, we might also do well here with wave/tidal energy which could be a good complement to wind but isn't really ready for prime time yet).

      Wind produces a very small percentage of UK electricity but that is because we do not have near enough wind turbines. (Nobody is aiming for 100% energy from wind in the first place, but we should be a lot higher than we are.) Large scale onshore wind is significantly cheaper than other renewables, and energy/CO2 payback time - including both building a turbine, and the transportation/trucks/concrete used for installing it - is shorter.

      Energy storage and transport is not good enough in general but it is still more than good enough to cope with a large factor of increase in wind capacity. That technology needs to improve, but it doesn't need to improve tomorrow.

      The renewable subsidy is a tiny proportion of the average energy bill. Is it even noticeable compared to wholesale price increases?

      Wind turbines are beautiful, as well as being a symbol of hope for the future - pretty much the only one around in these times. We need more of them in more places. I live in an area of the country that, although perfectly okay, is not exactly an AoNB. If I go up on a small local hill so that I have a bit of a view, why can I only see one small windfarm (six turbines), in the far distance? This is a densely populated area that uses plenty of energy and already has the infrastructure, so building windfarms here is efficient from an energy transportation perspective, and there are clearly some parts that do get enough wind (though it's obviously less windy than, say, the North of Scotland).

      There are even people who objected to a recent planning application for a windfarm... right next to a MOTORWAY. Hello? What the. This is not an unspoiled landscape. This is a totally f***ed over landscape, with traffic noise far louder than any number of turbines.

      I fully respect the right of people to object to windfarms nearby... provided they are willing to detail exactly how their community is going to make the equivalent energy/CO2 savings. You're all going to cut out all air travel for the next ten years, stop using your cars, and build a biofuel plant? No. Get a grip and deal with a few pretty windmills.

      Obviously there is no point debating an opposite opinion in a place like this - it's a personal blog, that's fine, you can enforce a personal opinion however wrong it might be. No doubt you can make some reasonable-sounding reply. So I won't be back to read it, but seeing as you didn't delete the previous Anonymous's comments - kudos for that - I'm hopeful you might leave this one too.

      Perhaps it might provide a little reassurance to others who drop by that there ARE people - even people who enjoy rambling and hillwalking - who don't share the anti-windfarm opinion.

      And for the record - if anyone wants to build more wind turbines near where *I* live, work, or walk? BRING IT ON. Hell yes. In my back yard.

      Delete
    3. Hi there, Alternative Anonymous!
      :-)
      Thank you for your comment. In fact, because of the way you have argued your case, it gives me the opportunity to reply in the well ordered fashion detailing why I disagree with you.

      I'll make my case by replying to each point in turn. This will be a long comment and so I will break it down into sections:

      Section 1:

      1) "Onshore wind power is the most effective form of renewable energy we have in the UK at present"

      Yes. Onshore wind is effective, in that it supplies electricity, when the wind blows. The problem with wind generated electricity is two-fold: the first problem is one of intermittency. You will see from the graph above (the last image) how wind fluctuates and dies at the whim of our weather patterns. This causes problems with National Grid, who have to balance the supply of power with the demand for power. As you will see from the graph, the demand side is fairly predictable. The supply side though, with wind included is afar from predictable. This means that generation must be on hand at all times to make up for the sudden loss of wind. This supply in reserve is known as spinning reserve and is usually supplied by Closed Cell Gas Turbine power stations. Turning CCGT's on and off makes them far less efficient - dropping their efficiency by up to 20&. It also shortens the life of the turbines quite considerably.

      Because of these problems new Open Cell Gas Turbine power stations are going to be built, at great cost, which can be "turned on" and "off" far more easily. The downside is that they operate at even less efficiency than the CCGT's.

      The second problem is with the lack of reduction of CO2 emissions:

      Having spinning reserve running (at about 80% of capacity) means that the effective reduction of CO2 to the environment by running the wind turbines is all but lost (there is a very slight saving of CO2 up to a saturation point of about 8% of energy supply.)

      Of course, there would be far more CO2 savings if it was possible to switch off the coal fire power stations, but this is not physically practical as it would cause damage and the mechanisms of control are not nearly sensitive enough to cope with the fast changes required for wind.

      Delete
    4. Section 2:
      "Large scale onshore wind is significantly cheaper than other renewables, and energy/CO2 payback time - including both building a turbine, and the transportation/trucks/concrete used for installing it - is shorter."
      Yes - I agree, 100%. But this doesn't make it a cost effective energy source.

      Ignoring our differences of opinion on whether or not we should have more turbines, what you allude to in your next point, ("Energy storage and transport is not good enough in general but it is still more than good enough to cope with a large factor of increase in wind capacity. That technology needs to improve, but it doesn't need to improve tomorrow. ") is in fact a major headache for wind. Most windfarms are built in the western and northern fringes of Britain - away from population centres. This means that the National Grid needs major additions and extensions to run the additional power to the population centres. It also means that there are very large power losses in the extensive cable runs, making wind even less efficient than it already is!

      This produces unsightly new pylon routes running across landscapes hitherto unspoiled by industrial devices. This is a serious drawback. It also requires individual substations at the site of every windfarm.

      By the time you factor in the work required to National grid and include the subsidies paid to windfarms through ROC's, Mott MacDonald (the Government's own energy advisors) estimate that the current unit price of electricity will double from approximately 12.4p per kWh to 25p per kWh. These are the Government's own Advisor's figures. These figures are on top of any price rises for power generated by gas due to market forces.

      So, your assertion that the additional cost of wind power on electricity bills being "tiny" is now seen in perspective.

      Delete
    5. Section 3:
      "Wind turbines are beautiful.."
      :-)
      Obviously this is entirely subjective but I respect your opinion. However, the Royal Chartered Institute of Surveyors obviously do not. They hae written comprehensively about house price devaluation in houses blighted by the proximity of wind farms. In Denmark, this house price devaluation has to be taken into account when planning a windfarm and the devalued amount paid to the affected householders. This does not happen here in the UK and this is perhaps one reason why every time a windfarm application gets slapped in, protest groups spring up all around the affected area. The RICS and the home-owners probably carry more weight than your or my opinions on this.
      :-)

      There is also the vexed problem of flicker from windfarms which means that, according to the House of Lords, no home should be within 2km of a large commercial wind turbine. This reduces the number of sites available in England considerably. In rural areas, noise is also a major limiting factor and local planning authorities are now waking up to their responsibilities and refusing planning on noise grounds alone. Bearing in mind that the existing windfarm noise regulations were drafted in cahoots with the wind industry (this is currently being investigated by a parliamentary committee) this situation can only mean that noise levels will prove to be wholly unacceptable to residents under certain wind conditions. Noise causes stress illnesses and major damages have already been settled in court by wind farms.

      Delete
    6. Section 4: (Last one! - Honest!)
      "I fully respect the right of people to object to windfarms nearby... provided they are willing to detail exactly how their community is going to make the equivalent energy/CO2 savings."
      As I have demonstrated earlier the CO2 savings produced by wind turbines are minuscule. But, perhaps more importantly, it is not up to existing residents to prove anything. If a developer wants to develop he has to show that his development will have no adverse effect upon his neighbours.
      Now you may well welcome a windfarm next door, but I am pretty sure your neighbours won't, for the reasons already given.

      You say that there is no point in debating your points in "a place like this".
      I do hope that you realise that there is every reason and I hope I have answered your points in way that you are happy with. Please feel free to browse all the links in the "Wind Power Stations" labels at the top right of the blog for any further information.

      I hope you go away from here understanding why there is such a groundswell of "anti-windfarm" opinion in the country. I have not even begun to outline why I think it is a bad idea to desecrate our wild land, but you seem like an intelligent person and so I'll leave you to figure that one out.

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    7. Wind turbines are beautiful

      Architecture is like Poetry and Art, it is subjective.
      You think they are beautiful and good on you.

      Personally I think they are ugly monstrosities.

      But heh ... with luck someone will build one in your garden and make you happy.

      Hopefully a 400' one for your children to play with and admire.
      You can even paint it with luminous paint on the base, so you get illumination when it is not running during the blackouts.

      If we all held the same view, what a boring world it would be!

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    8. They are building turbines in Sweden at the moment that are 198m tall. Yes - that's not a misprint. It's the Enercon E-126 turbine that has a plated capacity of 7.58MW.

      198m = 650 feet tall. Wouldn't fancy that in *my* garden!

      Delete
  12. i see a lot of arguements or reasons that wind is not effective onshore, would this still be the case for offshore wind farms and wave energy? i dont really understand these things perhaps someone can enlighten me

    cheers steve

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Steve
      Off-shore wind energy is even more expensive than on-shore due the the higher construction and maintenance costs of building turbines out at sea.

      There is generally less opposition to turbines being built off-shore as peoples homes and lives are blighted to a lesser degree. However, there are schemes, such as the array off Tyree where the population are massively against them.

      Harvesting wave energy is still in its infancy and all the schemes constructed so far have been of a very small scale.

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  13. hi alan thanks for the reply. may i ask if construction off offshore wind farms is more expensive than the construction of oilrigs which have to be taken out to sea also? as for the wave reply , thank you for informing me and i look forward to finding out more in the future about its pros and cons.

    thanks steve

    ReplyDelete

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Thank you!