It’s true: Wind farms built on peat soils produce absolutely no Carbon Dioxide savings at all. Just let that thought settle in for a while.
No CO2 savings at all.
Repeat it a few times. Go on. It’s unbelievable isn’t it?
For the last twenty years the IPCC has been warning you of the impending terrors of anthropomorphic global warming (AGW) or “man made global warming”. Apparently this is all your fault, for needlessly driving to the shops, cooking roast dinners every Sunday and sitting in front of the fire in the winter when it’s a bit chilly. Because of your selfishness, according to the environmental Taliban, the sea levels are going to rise, the earth is going to warm by six degrees, weather will behave in a far more erratic manner and your hair will catch fire.
But don’t worry, because the green brigade have come up with a cunning plan: In Britain we are going to shut down all those nasty coal-fired power stations that pollute the world with the evil CO2 and build wind powered power stations instead. Tens of thousands of them. All over your countryside. What’s not to like about that? They’ll add to the visual interest in the muddy places outside the cities.There’s nothing there of any interest to the green urbanite anyway! Wind power stations are “carbon free” and provide us with limitless free energy. Problem sorted then!
What’s that? You don’t want your countryside littered with gargantuan industrial turbines? Now then, don’t complain because, remember, “it’s all your fault. If you hadn’t been using all that energy in the first place we wouldn’t need to do any of this. This is for your own good. Trust us. We know best!”
That’s the line we have been sold by our governments, Friends of the Earth, WWF, Greenpeace and all the other charlatans who profess to know a hell of a lot more about this than you.
In Scotland, such is the sway of these green intellectuals, that Alex Salmond has promised to supply 100% equivalent of Scottish energy needs from renewables by 2020. He’s gone about this with gusto (sorry!) and has rammed huge wind farms through the planning system, riding rough-shod over local communities’ wishes.
The Scottish Government went out of it’s way to prove that wind farms were jolly good things for saving the planet, and published a study in June 2008, which was updated with corrections in June 2010 to show how the the CO2 calculations were made. It is a highly technical document which provides a tool to calculate the CO2 balance of a wind farm, from construction through its operation and then its final decommissioning. If you have the mind for it, it can be utilised on a case-by-case basis for every single wind farm, so each case can be determined on its own merits.
With many thanks to the Scottish Wild Land Group’s magazine, I have found that the very same authors of these two reports have now come up with a startling discovery: I quote:
“The Scottish Government’s renewable energy strategy has been called into question by a letter published in the high-profile academic journal Nature. The majority of wind farms in Scotland are built on peatlands in windy upland areas, and are justified by their supposed ability to reduce carbon emissions from electricity production. This justification depends on an earlier study by the authors of the letter to Nature, in which they concluded that wind farms would help to reduce carbon emissions, especially when sited on mineral soils but also when sited on well-managed peatlands.
Now, however, the authors have found that wind farms built on peatland are unlikely to provide any reduction in carbon emissions after all, even when the peat is not drained
and is restored after construction, and write that “the construction of wind farms on non-degraded peats should always be avoided”. This is a hugely significant conclusion, and one that undermines the basic rationale of the UK wind industry. If it is not possible to build wind farms on peat without releasing more CO2 than you save, how can their continued construction be justified? It now appears more than ever that Scotland’s renewable energy strategy is nothing more than a fig leaf to hide politicians’ lack of action on climate change – and an economically and environmentally ruinous one at that.”
So, Alex Salmond can stick his wind turbines where the sun don’t shine. They don’t do what they say on the tin!