Climate Craziness of the Week: Denmark evicting citizens to clear cut forests for wind turbines

I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t read this message of a Danish group opposed to the plan. Greens clear-cutting trees in a national park and evicting people, whoda thunk?. Seems like a case of “we had to destroy the village to save it“. Here’s the description of the park from the Danish National Parks website:

The west of Thy has been designated as the first Danish national park. The National Park, Thy stretches for an up to 12-kilometer-wide belt along the Jutland west coast from Agger Tange in the south to Hanstholm in the north. It is an enormous and unspoiled natural area totaling 244 km2 – almost the size of the Danish island of Langeland. In the National Park you can go between outstretched, wind-swept wilds and aromatic pine trees. You can also throw yourself into the sparkling waves of the North Sea or bike through cool dune plantations.

I’ve reposted the message from the opposition group below.

Dear environmentally aware citizen of the world!                                   http://www.nationalttestcenter.dk

Copenhagen, December 2009

The Danish government plans to clear forests and destroy unique nature for the benefit of industry.

The Danish environment minister Troels Lund Poulsen decided, on behalf of the government, on 30th September 2009, that the clearing of 15 km2 of forest in the north west of Denmark will take place. A test centre for the development of offshore windmills is planned to take up 30 km2 of land in the Thy region, near Østerild. This deforestation will create an increase of 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emission, the equivalent of the CO2 emission of 100,000 people per year.

The government will force the local population out of their homes. The reasoning behind this is said to be for the benefit of the Danish windmill industry, which will in turn create more Danish jobs. The regulations to finalise the evictions goes against Denmark’s constitution and is therefore clearly illegal.

In current plans, the area is categorised as a recreational area, where the set up of windmills is prohibited.

The region is one of Denmark’s most beautiful areas. With its rugged landscapes and grand views, as well as many rare species of animals, birds and plants, the area is representative of authentic Danish nature. There are very few areas of Denmark left, where one can experience darkness at night and complete silence.

The windmills, which are 250 meters tall, are planned to be along a 6 km linear south/north stretch. This will prevent birds in the international Ramsar-area, Vejlerne, which is situated to the east of the test centre, from flying west to the EU-habitat area Vullum Sø and to Thy National Park just south of Hanstholm.

The Danish government has not consulted properly about the plans. The Danish citizens had little time to put forward comments of the project. The hearing has only been 11 days long, with 9 of those being a national holiday.

The environment minister has decided that a report on this projects impact on nature and the wildlife will be completed by early December 2009. The consequence of this is that it is impossible to produce a well documented scientific report, to act as the foundation for a political decision.

The local population has formed an association, “Landforeningen for Bedre Miljø” (The Association for an Improved Environment) with the aim to inform about the environmental consequences for both the society and nature, if plans for the national test centre are followed through. So far, “Landsforeningen for Bedre Miljø“ has tried, in vain, to persuade the Danish government to produce a more thorough investigation of the project’s impacts on the surroundings.

The association is discontented with the planning process so far, because they have neglected ordinary, well-known, democratic principles, which Denmark otherwise uses every opportunity to talk about across the world.

If you, as an environmentally aware citizen of the world, thinks that questions ought to be asked concerning this unjust conduct towards our future generations inheritance of the nature, please spread the word about this planned national test centre.

###

Chris Horner of Pajamas Media has a summary of the issue:

President Obama was caught flatfooted by the embarrassing truth about Spain’s “green economy” after he instructed us — on eight separate occasions — to “think about what’s happening in countries like Spain” as a model for a U.S. future. Spain, of course, is suffering an economic meltdown from enormous public debt incurred through programs like a mandated “green economy.”

But Obama also just implored Spain to drastically scale back or risk becoming Greece. A flip he immediately flopped, by pushing hard to enact the Kerry-Lieberman “path to insolvency” bill based on … Spain. (Cue Benny Hill theme.)

So, embarrassed — or perhaps shameless — Obama changed his pitch: “Think about what’s happening in countries like Denmark.”

Of course, the experience of Denmark — a country with a population half that of Manhattan’s, not exactly a useful energy model for our rather different economy and society — is no great shakes, either.

But it gets better.

In my new book — Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America — I describe the absurdity of the “free ice cream” theories of the “green economy” our statist friends now embrace as their latest raison d’etre for a controlled society. My mother-in-law — visiting from Denmark — is reading my book with a particular interest in its exposé of what her heavily taxed labor pays for in that country.

The book also prompted her to relay an amazing new anecdote to the case study referred to by the Danes as “the fairy tale of the windmills.”

In the northern region of Jutland called Thy, Denmark is forcing people off of their land (“Kelo” is apparently Danish for “Kelo”) and — wait for it — preparing to clear-cut fifteen square kilometers of forest, and eventually thirty, in order to put up more of the bird- and job-killing monstrosities.

These giant windmills are not even intended to fill an energy gap for the Danish economy. No, they are to be onshore experimental versions of massive new off-shore turbines — with the facility to be rented out to wind mavens like Siemens.

The argument they are forwarding for doing this is not just the typically risible claim that this is necessary for the environment. After all, “[the] deforestation will create an increase of 400,000 tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of the CO2 emissions of 100,000 people per year.”

They are also forwarding the argument that this must occur in order to create Danish jobs.

Of course, “creating jobs,” to the extent such mandates can do this (as they are typically net job killers), appears much more necessary after the state first made it difficult for the private sector to do such things. Denmark enforced what methods, and what quantity of those methods, are acceptable for producing electricity. It always turns out that the acceptable ways are inefficient, intermittent, and expensive. Which sort of explains the need for mandates.

read the rest here:

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139 thoughts on “Climate Craziness of the Week: Denmark evicting citizens to clear cut forests for wind turbines

  1. Denmark gets premium bucks selling the “green” energy to other EU countries (they smartly use little of it themselves). Hence the big push.

    One little nuclear-plant taking a mere hundred acres can produce more power far more reliably than a country-size “wind-farm”.

  2. “Curiousgeorge says:
    May 24, 2010 at 9:11 am
    Theme song submission for them. $$$$$ ”

    Very nice! Here’s a newer version – i recommend to start them in parallel ;-)
    The Flying Lizards, “Money”:

  3. 250 meters tall? Was that right? Just asking. That’s 820 feet tall? Is that accurate?

  4. Just paint the blades of these windmills a dark green, the pedestals a grainy brown like bark, put a big smiley squirrel face on the hub, and pretend they’re modern pine trees. Or call them electricity-generating pine-wheels.

    Someday Europeans will wake up, but I doubt it will happen before they’ve ruined much of their union.

  5. The group you link to appears to be Danish, not Dutch! Good story though.

    REPLY: I got interrupted while writing, slip of the keyboard, fixed thanks -A

  6. Slightly off topic, but what is this?

    “The Danish citizens had little time to put forward comments of the project. The hearing has only been 11 days long, with 9 of those being a national holiday.”

    Nine national holidays within 11 days??? What a way to run an economy.

  7. eng: Denmark doesn’t get ‘premium bucks selling the “green” energy to other EU countries’. It has to give it away to avoid grid balancing problems. The Scandinavians use it to pump water uphill to boost their hydroelectric power. Denmark consequently has the highest priced electricity in Europe (I believe).

  8. Either bribes are succulent when buying windmills or the GMF changes are affecting people in the northern hemisphere, or both.
    Anyway quite an army of Quixotes, like WUWT´s Anthony, are needed to tear all those damned windmills down.
    BTW, who plays Sancho´s character here? “The dogs are barking, Sancho my friend, which means we are moving forward”

  9. Me, I’m not fussed….. They should probably build a Coal fired power station, or Nuclear.

    Anyway it sets a precedent for industry in the area. When the Windmills fail, it can be called industrial land and put to good use at a later date;-)

    Poor ol’ greenies. They wander about , never quite knowing who’s using them or for what purpose…. Useful idiots. :-)

  10. La ventura va guiando nuestras cosas mejor de lo que acertáramos a desear; porque ¿ves allí, amigo Sancho Panza, donde se descubren treinta, o pocos más, desaforados gigantes con quien pienso hacer batalla y quitarles a todos las vidas, con cuyos despojos comenzaremos a enriquecer?; que esta es buena guerra, y es gran servicio de Dios quitar tan mala simiente de sobre la faz de la tierra.

    “Fortune,” said Don Quixote to his squire, as soon as he had seen them, “is arranging matters for us better than we could have hoped. Look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants rise up, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes. For this is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.”

  11. Joni Mitchell had it right…

    Pave Paradise — put up a parking lot.

    Whoodda thunk she was talking about the greenies.

    Have a look at Wind Concerns (Ontario Canada) for a lot more information that is just as senseless.

    Log the forests, pave the farms kill the cows. Nothing like green policy.

    http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/

    Happy camping all!

  12. In Russia, many forests are protected from logging by law, unless they are damaged by fire. So loggers burn huge tracts of forest in order to open up the land to logging.

  13. This story can’t be real. Even the worst greenie government coudn’t be that stupid.

  14. I thought that I had read somewhere that Denmark had stopped building (growing?) any more windmills.

  15. This simply serves as an illustration that all the talk of CO2 this and global warming that is a diversion. Obviously, in this particular case, net CO2 gain or loss isn’t even considered, much less the motivation to proceed. Apparently, around the globe, there are people that believe we need to be weaned from cheap and reliable energy. As to why, I’ll let the readers come to their own conclusions.

  16. Same kind of crazy plans here in Finland. A huge wind farm is planned right next to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Kvarken Archipelago. The original plans even overlapped the area.

  17. Wait until these AGW alarmists find out what slowing the wind with windmill farms will actually do to the climate, specifically evaporation, now there is a real factor which could cause mild droughts downwind. The earth relies on the wind velocity to magnify and facilitate evaporation providing water vapor for later downwind rainfall. Altering the hydrological cycle also plays in but I have no exact idea how or magnitude, but it will.

    Here’s a link these children can start to learn about the world they are playing with:

    http://www.kidsgeo.com/geography-for-kids/0105-evaporation-and-wind-speed.php

    I don’t know what the prevailing winds are over Denmark but I guess the countries downwind can just file lawsuits on Demark to recover the damages from loss of rainfall they used to have before the wind farms went in. This rush into generation by the wind could end up being the most expensive form imaginable and the cost not being in dollars.

  18. Totalitarianism for “the greater good”

    Land grabs and taxes for wind turbines are for the greater good. Wind turbines rank higher than trees.

  19. “”pat says:
    May 24, 2010 at 9:16 am
    Some sort of contagious insanity grips liberals.””

    Pat, you said that much better than I would have.

  20. I do believe this coverage is below the standard on wattsupwiththat.com. The story has many angles and has been covered in Danish media for months. Yet only one angle, from some green group resenting windmills, is presented. And the site linked to is filled with factual errors.

    Makes me wonder how many other stories on WUWT only focuses on one side… hmm…

    /Mikkel

  21. Having it both ways.

    Here is Joe Romm arguing against mountain top removal and mandating planting of trees after coal mining.
    On the same page, they hve PERMANENT deforrestation for wind turbines and install them on mountain tops. So it is 1,000 tons of concrete poured for the base of each wind turbine platform.

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/04/02/energy-and-global-warming-news-cleantech-investments-soar-epa-sets-water-standards-to-curb-mountaintop-mining-pollution-cape-wind-inks-turbine-deal-siemens/

    This is Not about the environment.

  22. JP says:
    May 24, 2010 at 9:48 am

    For this is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.”
    This is a righteous warfare indeed!

  23. When I saw “Climate Craziness” I immediatly thought about the “mammoth” report that’s out there.

    But this Danish windmill biz is really nuts. It almost qualifies as another “gate”.
    A real example of having reached a political tipping point. A tipping into absurdity.

  24. JP says:
    May 24, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Awesome quote! I’ll add another:

    As King Solomon said, “I have seen all things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14)

  25. Hi, I know this area and it is indeed windy. If there potential is there, why not use it? The trees will grow again, though it’s unlikely the wind will stop, so why not use the energy ?If these trees were being cut down in Oregon to build new holiday homes, would posters be as concerned? Or is the concern about cutting down trees not related to the trees, but with regards to why they have been cut down ? As a lefty environmentalist skeptic on climate change I try and see all sides of the argument, wind power does indeed have a place in generation of power along with Nuclear power stations, it’s a question of balance and how we exploit all resources wisely and economically. Nuclear power stations are also pretty expensive, and in the UK at least they have never been seen as an economical option. However, they are in the main, like windpower and hydro, environmentally friendly. I have lived in the same area as coal mines and windpower, and I know which one I prefer.

  26. Ouch, wait until the AGW Scheme collapses and there is no justification for this stupid idea. They will be left with rusting turbines, large maintenance fees, dead birds and spotting energy outputs – be careful what you wish for….

  27. Mikkel May 24, 2010 at 10:29 am,

    What matters are the basic facts being reported: that the government is clear-cutting trees in a national park and evicting people to build windmills.

    Are you disputing that?

  28. The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha ..a novel written by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, was published in two volumes a decade apart (in 1605 and 1615). . Coincidently, at the beginning of the Maunder Minimum, now, after 400 years, at the beginning of a New MM, the story repeats iself:
    From these:

    To these:

    Cyclical madness.

  29. This is some sort of revenge on the wrong people for the embarassment of the failed socialist world economic takeover at the Copenhagen CO2 summit in Nov 2009. This sort of thing is the beginning of the end, though, for the foolishness that sane people have allowed to flourish for a couple of decades. Meanwhile, with the Euro sharply down over the Greek economic crisis and shakiness elsewhere in the EU, I estimate that there is still a lot of downside for shorting the Euro if things like the Danish craziness are still actually being contemplated. I hope J Hansen shows up to protest this, even though it isn’t aimed at coal. Our only hope for the Danes here is that the clear-cut will discover coal reserves for the future when this unbelievably humiliating self-immolation going on in Europe (and which we are trying to emulate here) is over.

  30. Henry chance says:
    May 24, 2010 at 10:32 am

    So it is 1,000 tons of concrete poured for the base of each wind turbine platform.

    hmm.. So, how much energy is used to make the cement for this platform? Lets call it Ec
    And how much energy is used to make the windmill? Lets call it Ew

    Then how much energy will this windmill actually produce over it’s lifetime? Call it Ep

    so we have (Ec+Ew) -Ep

    I suspect that the equation would show a very large positive number!

  31. The “job killers” meme is from that Spanish paper? any other source for that claim?
    and the bird killer meme… that’s an ultra-green complaint, as valid as “CO2 is a pollutant”, just try to find bird death stats.

  32. .

    I refer readers to my WUWT article entitled “Renewable Energy, Our Downfall”. A slightly alarmist title, I admit, but one that is justifiable. The important aspect here is the reference to the research document on Danish wind farms, which concluded that Denmark has never used any of the wind power it has generated – because it is too unreliable and intermittant. It sells the power to Scandinavia instead (at a loss) where the ‘instant’ hydro power can cope with the huge fluctuations.

    Renewable Energy, Our Downfall

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/25/renewable-energy-%e2%80%93-our-downfall/

    Hugh Sharman, – Why Wind Power ‘Works’ in Denmark

    http://www.incoteco.com/upload/CIEN.158.2.66.pdf

    This pdf makes interesting reading, as it highlights the long periods without any wind power, which means that all wind power has to be 100% backed up by other more reliable generation methods, which have to be burning and turning to cope with the sudden fluctuatiuons. So just what is the point of windelecs (wind turbines)?

    One reasonable use would be in Holland, where 25% of electrical energy is used for pumping water. Windelecs could do this task easily, because it does not really matter if the water is pumped this week or next week. But when it comes to food production, and distribution, plus all the other computer, transport, communications, and safety functions that rely on electricity in a technological society – we need the power 24/7. Wind cannot guarantee electrical supplies, which is why it can and will bring entire nations to their knees.

    .

  33. It is just a matter of energy….of how much energy you put in fighting against collective madness.

  34. Gareth Phillips says:
    May 24, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Maybe you did not see that they have to clearcut 15 to 30 square kilometers of forest to do it? Are you insane, comparing that to controlled logging that is proven net forest positive??

    And who told you that nuclear plants are not efficient? AlGore or someone on Facebook? They are the most efficient, air pollution free (CO2 is not a pollutant, of course, but sulfur and oxides of nitrogen, I mean), and are not known to be efficient endangered bird and bat swatters as are the infernal animal extinction machines (IAEMs).

    I think that all wind power advocates, by law, should wear those little pinwheel beanies in public, so we don’t expect too much from them in any thoughtful transactions.

  35. @Phillip Bratby says:
    May 24, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Denmark consequently has the highest priced electricity in Europe (I believe).
    ————————————————————————————–
    you are correct, and the price of nov. 2009 has been “value-added” with an extra “power saving advice tax”

    End-user prices for EU Domestic consumers, nov. 2009 (3 x PgDn):

    http://www.energy.eu/#Domestic

    From my latest bill of 14/5-2010: Dkr 2.11/kw = $ 0,35/kw

  36. Smokey says:
    May 24, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Are you disputing that?

    ———————————————————–

    Yes! This is a very complex case, summarized here by a press release from people opposing the windmills. The post contains many errors and exaggerations, as does the linked-to page, and both shows very little knowledge of political and justice systems in Denmark. The post provides a skewed view of the issue.

    /Mikkel

  37. @Sordnay says:
    May 24, 2010 at 11:21 am

    The “job killers” meme is from that Spanish paper? any other source for that claim?
    and the bird killer meme… that’s an ultra-green complaint, as valid as “CO2 is a pollutant”, just try to find bird death stats.
    —————————————————————————————-
    Funny you should say that, we do have an eagle park in the same area

    http://www.eagleworld.dk/

  38. Gareth Phillips
    Wind power has no place in the generation of power in my experience, surrounded as I am by a mix of on and offshore windmills that have rarely been seen to turn since I started watching in December 09. Don’t just take my word for it, visit this site and see the percentage of generated output in UK that they represent on a daily basis – 0.4% on a good day and 0.2% which was the average over the bitter winter months.
    Watch out to see the ex ministers of the past UK govt. appear on the boards of the energy companies that are cleaning up on our enforced payments of the renewables levy fraction of our energy bills, and watch the new lot squeal and jostle to win their places at the same trough in five years time after the fixed term parliament.

    http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm

  39. The thing I like the most about windmills is the money it made for my business, about 3 mill. before I got out ;-)

  40. I think Spain’s economic problems have something to do with
    something that got out of hand on Wall Street … not green
    technology

  41. So, what exactly is your position? That wind turbines shouldn’t be built in an effort to try to reduce our dependency on oil/gas/coal? It’s one thing to be skeptical about AGW (as I am), but that doesn’t negate the wisdom of moving towards clean, renewable energy sources. Who cares if a few trees are cut down in the process?

    REPLY: Look at the net gain/loss of CO2 for cutting down trees replacing with wind turbines. Then there’s the hypocrisy. If the same area was cleared for a nuclear power plant, the screaming from the greens would be deafening. Windfarm?, oh OK free pass on that. -A

  42. @Mikkel says:
    May 24, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I do believe this coverage is below the standard on wattsupwiththat.com. The story has many angles and has been covered in Danish media for months. Yet only one angle, from some green group resenting windmills, is presented. And the site linked to is filled with factual errors.

    Makes me wonder how many other stories on WUWT only focuses on one side… hmm…
    ————————————————————————————-
    ..and you used all them words to tell us that ?, how about showing all the other angles and factual errors then – makes one wonder if there are any…

  43. I see windpower every day – powering small trackside control units by the railway on my daily commute into the City – the City of London, that is.
    They are usually augmented by a solar panel – and I think that that is a good use of windpower. Comparatively remote, small power use, fairly clear from local obstructions. And probably provided with a battery.
    By the way – has the Danish government consulted the mariner about the location of their 250m tall windmils? there has been an active debate about a windpark off Aberdeen, with improved locations following a good consultation. Will seafarers off Denmark get that?

  44. @DD More says:
    May 24, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Nine national holidays within 11 days??? What a way to run an economy.
    ————————————————————————————–
    We don’t run actually – just blowing with the wind in a lazy laid-back kind of way as there was no tomorrow ;-)

  45. The planed expansion of Heathrow and Luton have been canceled because of planned CO2 emission reduction programs of the new UK Government.

    Sell your Euro’s if you have any, sell your real estate and leave the continent before it’s too late.

  46. Our green governor is trying to cover Michigan with wind factories to create jobs. I’m in northern Michigan near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the state was working on a Wind Zone Resource report last summer. The Board identified the park (it’s on Lake Michigan) and much of the surrounding area as prime for massive wind development. The folks at the park service weren’t too pleased:
    “In general, I’d say we’re a very green organization and naturally
    support eforts to improve the availability of renewable energy,” said
    Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore deputy superintendent Tom
    Ulrich. “But, as part of the National Park Service, we naturally do
    have some concerns about what so many large windmills might mean for
    the resources it’s our mission to protect, and to the experience of
    the many visitors we’re here to serve.”
    Interesting to note that the one member of the 11 member Michigan Wind Energy Resource Zone Board that was chosen to represent the public was hired as VP of sales for a wind turbine firm last summer.
    I’m keeping track of their shenanigans at

  47. Always be wary of capitalist endeavors with social pretenses. Good things rarely come from such a toxic mix of greed and entitlement.

  48. The most famous area for windmills is Holland. If you go visit Kinderdijk, south of Rotterdam, there is a collection of still-functioning windmills that are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

    Today, the Alblasserwaard region is drained by three giant corkscrews driven by diesel or electricity. When I visited them, I was told that windpower is too unreliable for such a crucial task as water management in Holland.

    http://www.kinderdijk.com/historie.htm

  49. Larry Geiger said:
    May 24, 2010 at 9:33 am

    250 meters tall? Was that right? Just asking. That’s 820 feet tall? Is that accurate?
    _____________

    http://www.nordicenergysolutions.org/solutions/wind-power/offshore/testing-the-windmills-of-tomorrow

    —quote—
    [16.10.2009]
    ….The test site will enable the industry to try out prototypes, and to test the off shore windmills of the future on dry ground. Off shore windmills can be as tall as 250 meters, have a wingspan of about 100 meters and weigh an incredible 500 tons. A windmill of this size needs an area on the ground of about 10000m2.

    The new site will be placed in the municipality of Thisted.
    —end quote—

  50. “mikael pihlström says:
    May 24, 2010 at 11:51 am
    I think Spain’s economic problems have something to do with
    something that got out of hand on Wall Street … not green
    technology”

    The spanish economic problems are caused by Wall Street? Now you’re talking like a socialist. The spanish economic “boom” was caused by an unsustainable (economically unsustainable) construction boom. Just like Ireland they built houses like crazy; projects financed by cheap money. Every such bubble bursts some time, whether it’s in the US, in Ireland, in Spain or in Dubai. It’s misallocation of resources, plain and simple. Politicians love to create such bubbles – for a while it creates employment and the politician goes through for an economical mastermind and gets his re-election.

    Next stop China. And then you can crow your “Wall Street” again.

  51. Cute
    The forrest fires in California had 2 issues among others. They disallowed removing dead wood and old growth. They fought building logging trails or forrest service roads.

    But for this idea, they can sweeep 30km2 clean.

    1 tower is 850 tons. It takes 4 tons of coal in the process to make one ton of steel.
    These towers are a boom for the coal business. Another un intended consequence.

  52. Liberal environmentalism is a disease of Progressive dementia, akin to stellar mass gravitational collapse to a singularity. The first small steps are attractive and seem almost rational but subsequent steps become Progressively disconnected from reality until reason itself becomes irretrievable. Think of is as the blue event horizon of the massive black hole called Socialist Environmentalism.

  53. As others have already pointed out Denmark receives no direct electricity benefit from its windpower. It needs to export the electricity to Scandinavian countries in order to benefit from their more reliable hydro- electic power.

    What Denmark has done is find a ‘niche market’ for windpower, precisely because windpower can never be anything more than this and certainly not the panacea that many environmentalists seem to believe it to be.

  54. Actual data about the production of renewables in the UK, including wind from 2004 onwards:

    http://www.clowd.org.uk/

    UK Renewable Energy Generation – Monthly and Yearly Data.

    Maintenance and operational costs:

    http://www.windenergyupdate.com/operations-maintenance-report/index.html

    It is as always many times more expensive than calculated. But we, consumers are going to pay the bill anyway. My cost of electricty is now doubled due to energy tax used to pay for PV and wind.

  55. Gary says:
    May 24, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Reminds me of things such as this – http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/31/business/worldbusiness/31biofuel.html

    You can find a lot of this crazy stuff going on. Palm plantations are now being classified as “forests” so, at least on paper, there is no net loss after they replant. It’s amazing to me how little thought is put into these type schemes before they are implemented.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    It is all about “legislating” uneconomic “pie in the sky” so someone can make a fast buck. The biofuel in the USA is a similar disaster but Monsanto and Cargill (grain traders) posted record profits in 2008 while third world countries had food riots.

  56. mikael pihlström says:May 24, 2010 at 11:51 am
    I think Spain’s economic problems have something to do with
    something that got out of hand on Wall Street … not green
    technology

    Words spoken by a true liberal market whiz.

    Investors are leery of Spain because of its shrinking economy, 20 percent unemployment rate and fiscal deficit. Santander and BBVA, Spain’s largest banks, reported earnings that beat analysts’ estimates last week and said Spanish bad loans were stabilizing.

    Spain had very little exposure to the leveraged debt in the US.

  57. This story just missed by a few days entry into my new book Wind Power Fraud.

    By my calculations wind turbines have an Energy Returned On Energy Invested ratio of 0.29, which is worse than photovoltaic solar at 0.48. Wind and solar, like most alternative energies, are not sustainable.

    From the period 1990 thru 2005, Denmark’s average CO2 emissions have increased, not decreased, as they added more and more of these worthless wind turbines.

  58. Mikkel says:
    May 24, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I do believe this coverage is below the standard on wattsupwiththat.com. The story has many angles and has been covered in Danish media for months. Yet only one angle, from some green group resenting windmills, is presented. And the site linked to is filled with factual errors.

    Makes me wonder how many other stories on WUWT only focuses on one side… hmm…

    /Mikkel
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Fine Mikkel, instead of throwing stones how about educating us to the other FACTS. Many of us do not read Danish so we are unaware of the different side to this issue. WUWT brings up stories such as these to DEBATE. If Anthony is wrong and you have good solid fact to prove it than do so.

  59. That’s quite the business deal Denmark’s leaders have carved out for themselves.
    Take the people’s money and land, build wind farms, and rent them out for profit.

  60. Unbelievable. I took the liberty of forwarding the link to this story to everyone in my group (and about a dozen other holdouts in the rest of the circle), and the response was unanimous – this is madness. I think it perfectly highlights the ‘cost of doing something’ as opposed to doing nothing.

  61. @Mikkel says:
    May 24, 2010 at 10:29 am

    ..and you used all them words to tell us that ?, how about showing all the other angels and factual errors then – makes one wonder if there is any…

    ———————————————————————-

    That would require much more space than available here in comments. My point is that this goes far beyond the windmills. To focus on one very small topic, and only from one side, in a large political issue does not make sense at all.

    Anthony, in my view, chose the wrong story for Climate Craziness of the Week. The story is not crazy, no Danish laws, or the constitution, has been, or will be breached. No more than business as usual, in an established democracy.

    /Mikkel

  62. Gareth Phillips says:
    May 24, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Hi, I know this area and it is indeed windy. If there potential is there, why not use it? The trees will grow again, though it’s unlikely the wind will stop, so why not use the energy ?
    __________________________________________________________________________
    As Far as I can tell there are two problems. First this is a unique area – “The region is one of Denmark’s most beautiful areas. With its rugged landscapes and grand views, as well as many rare species of animals, birds and plants, the area is representative of authentic Danish nature. There are very few areas of Denmark left,…”

    The second and worse is that it is being rushed through so the impact is not studied and the Danish people are not consulted. In my experience whenever this happens it is because there is a lot of money to be made by someone, politicians have been paid off AND the decision is bad for the people/environment. Otherwise what is the rush?

  63. To follow on from my post at 11.43, the best part of 3,000 wind turbines are on most days producing up to 0.5% of total generation from all sources and our previous govtt legislated that 15% must be produced by wind by 2015. Not to be outdone the new coalition intends to legislate for 30% wind power by 2020 – that’s 60 times the present actuality.
    These people have little or no grasp on reality and yet we allow them to run our affairs.
    We are undoubtedly as stupid as they are.

  64. dave38 says:
    May 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

    “… how much energy will this windmill actually produce over it’s lifetime?

    (Ec+Ew) -Ep

    I suspect that the equation would show a very large positive number!
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Ec = energy to produce, transport and cure cement plus the energy required to clear “pad” prior to laying the cement.
    Ew = energy to mine, smelt ore cast steel and fabricate windmill plus produce the factory plus transport materials
    Ep = Energy produced over the projected life time of the windmill minus the down time from when it catches fire and burns.

    Yes those are the numbers I really, really what to see quantified.

  65. I learnt recently that in the UK, and therefore probably everywhere, wind turbines cannot be left idle for too long or their blades get overstressed and can bend or break. Therefore they are powered up BY the Grid to rotate. So folks, when you see wind turbines running they are just as likely to be USING energy as producing it. Maybe they should be sited around sailing lakes to generate wind on calm days.

  66. Henry chance says:
    May 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    “….1 tower is 850 tons. It takes 4 tons of coal in the process to make one ton of steel.
    These towers are a boom for the coal business. Another un intended consequence.

    _________________________________________________________________________
    Henry do you have the were with all to work up some very rough ball park figures on how much energy the building of a windmill will take?

  67. DirkH says:
    May 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    “mikael pihlström says:
    May 24, 2010 at 11:51 am
    I think Spain’s economic problems have something to do with
    something that got out of hand on Wall Street … not green
    technology”

    The spanish economic problems are caused by Wall Street….The spanish economic “boom” was caused by an unsustainable (economically unsustainable) construction boom… they built houses like crazy; projects financed by cheap money.”</blockquote

    That's how it ought to read, Mike.

    It amazes me that people trash "governmental socialism", yet advocate for the greedy bastards that own the government and profit from the socialism.

    get your heads on straight, it is one and same problem. we have socialism, and it is socialism for the rich.

    our government have been bought and paid for, and are being used to rob us.

  68. DirkH says:
    May 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    “mikael pihlström says:
    May 24, 2010 at 11:51 am
    I think Spain’s economic problems have something to do with
    something that got out of hand on Wall Street … not green
    technology”

    The spanish economic problems are caused by Wall Street….The spanish economic “boom” was caused by an unsustainable (economically unsustainable) construction boom… they built houses like crazy; projects financed by cheap money.”

    That’s how it ought to read, Mike.

    It amazes me that people trash “governmental socialism”, yet advocate for the greedy bastards that own the government and profit from the socialism.

    get your heads on straight, it is one and same problem. we have socialism, and it is socialism for the rich.

    our government have been bought and paid for, and are being used to rob us.

  69. Charles S. Opalek, PE says:
    May 24, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    This story just missed by a few days entry into my new book Wind Power Fraud.

    By my calculations wind turbines have an Energy Returned On Energy Invested ratio of 0.29, which is worse than photovoltaic solar at 0.48. Wind and solar, like most alternative energies, are not sustainable.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    First is the book available on Amazon and second can you do an article for WUWT on the economics “Energy Invested ratio” We really need that info to clobber our Senators with here in the US of A.

  70. James says:
    May 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm
    Think of is as the blue event horizon of the massive black hole called Socialist Environmentalism

    …and that massive black hole menaces to swallow the whole occidental civilization!That is why one of its first promoters, Maurice Strong, has moved to China…

  71. Apply some common sense. Say we have one windmill unit suplying electricity at some price p, probably well above market price (why else would they need constant subsidy). In order to keep a steady output (asume sufficient wind speed 50% of the time) we need a parallel system to store energy in for use in the remaining time. The only system available now is pumping water up, and later running it through turbines, generating electricity. There is bound to be a substantial loss (friction) going both ways in this system, so a rough estimate would be that three such windmills at price 3p are needed to supply steady energy output from one such windmil. PT scandinavian hydroel. plants fill out the buffer role, but were we to rely fully on wind the price of these would also have to be added.

  72. dave38 says:
    May 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

    “… how much energy will this windmill actually produce over it’s lifetime? ”

    It’s not as simple as that.

    Here in Washington State we get 85% of our electricity from nuclear and hydro.

    The state has a 15% ‘renewal energy standard’, nuclear and hydro does’t count. One could say ‘wow’, we will be able to be 100% carbon free if we add 15% windmills.

    The windmills don’t run at peak load time. The wind blows primarily during the spring and fall. Our peak load is summer and winter(heating and cooling).

    Adding 15% windmills will mean we simply turn down the hydro electric dam and nuclear plant during the spring and fall, saving absolutely zero emissions and burn coal during the summer and winter when we don’t have enough capacity because the wind doesn’t blow in the summer and winter.

    I’m a big supporter of wind power, when it can be effectively implemented in a cost effective manner.

  73. I live in New Hampshire on the coast, 50 miles or so where they projected the Cape Cod wind farms. They were shot down by Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, of course, because of the NIMBY effect.

    They had some good arguments, however, based on studies. The liberals can pay for good science when it is in their interest. Here are some of the “Vineyarders” arguments, (some are plain silly, like ruining the artists’ vistas) besides the main issue that they are net energy negative :

    1) Lifetime – they are touted to last 15-20 years without maintenance. Truth be told, in practice it averages out to 4-5 years.
    a) Bearings – they are of high tolerance steel, but they wear out, and go out-of-round. This causes vibrations that increase as the bearings wear, more or less from the get-go. This produces efficiency loss, of course, but moreover the vibrations begin to stress the foundations. Think of billions of little earthquakes. Think of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
    b) Even when set up in concrete pads directly on top of granite strata, the vibrations enable the 1000 ton behemoth to start drilling into the strata, starting with the edges and the weak points in the subsurface. In the sea, sand is a good abrasive. The turbines go out of vertical with a time frame related to the fitness of the material it is perched upon.
    2) Migrating birds – someone here said this does not happen. Untrue. Birds follow the prevailing winds when they can, just like ancient mariners used to navigate east or west, utilizing different winds at different latitudes. Where the wind farms are most feasible are thus in the migrating bird routes. Raptors, like eagles and osprey, and bats are swatted by these behemoths especially in high winds that blow them into the rotors. See the eagles cut in half near Danish rotors.
    3) Noise pollution – they are noisy, especially when the bearings are in between lubrication cycles (yes, each rotor requires tons of petroleum lubricant each period) or they are worn. This could impact whales and dolphins adversely (I did not make this up – it seems like the lamest argument – but the Greenpeaceniks have tried to stop submarines from communication using this argument, also).

  74. Lots of birds who are used to living in that area are going to get hacked to pieces by the windmills.

  75. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again “the law of unintended consequences” at work.

    As someone once said on WUWT (I paraphrase):
    “You can’t reason with someone that doesn’t want to be reasoned with.”

    We are heading for a co2 driven calamity. God help us!!!

  76. Mikkel says:
    May 24, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    “…..That would require much more space than available here in comments. My point is that this goes far beyond the windmills. To focus on one very small topic, and only from one side, in a large political issue does not make sense at all…..
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Fine. Point us to some sources we can use google translate. Outline some of the points. Show us why this is not a clear cut politician/corporate back scratching fiasco. Because an area containing “rare species of animals, birds and plants” it is NOT a small topic. In the state of California, the delta smelt, is causing a regional drought and the loss of one of some of the most productive farmland in the USA.

    ” The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday proposed that the delta smelt, a tiny fish indigenous to the Upper Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in northern California, be designated a threatened species, an action that could pose a threat to the state’s vast water delivery system.

    The humble smelt – it grows only to about three inches in length – could have an economic impact on California that would make the current controversy over the northern spotted owl that threatens the logging industry in the Pacific Northwest look tame by comparison.” http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-1087183.html

    “….The pump restrictions may be good for the delta smelt, but they’re awful for California. As a result of the restrictions, thousands of acres of farmland in the once fertile western San Joaquin Valley are drying up, 85,000 Californian farmers and laborers are out of work, and whole towns are dying. In Mendota, a century-old farming town west of Fresno, unemployment has reached 41 percent. In nearby Firebaugh, the unemployment rate has reached 40 percent. Overall, the pump restrictions are expected to cost California’s agriculture industry upwards of $500 million per year, indefinitely….” http://www.thedcwriteup.com/tag/delta-smelt/

    So give me some really good reasons why Danish rare species should be sacrificed to the windmills but the delta smelt is so holy it can cause the economic devastation on an area about half the size of Denmark.

    San Joaquin Valley, California, comprising about 10,000 square miles, while Denmark occupies 16,621 square miles.

  77. peterhodges says:
    May 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    “….get your heads on straight, it is one and same problem. we have socialism, and it is socialism for the rich.

    our government have been bought and paid for, and are being used to rob us.”

    Truer words were never spoken. Socialist and Environmentalists never look behind the curtain to see WHO is really benefiting from all the legislation. The Grace Commission report notes that 100% of personal income tax goes to pay interest on the national debt, the lion’s share of which goes to the banking cartel that we know as the Federal Reserve.

    “Resistance to additional income taxes would be even more widespread if people were aware that:

    * One-third of all their taxes is consumed by waste and inefficiency in the Federal Government as we identified in our survey.
    * Another one-third of all their taxes escapes collection from others as the underground economy blossoms in direct proportion to tax increases and places even more pressure on law abiding taxpayers, promoting still more underground economy-a vicious cycle that must be broken.

    * With two-thirds of everyone’s personal income taxes wasted or not collected, 100 percent of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal debt and by Federal Government contributions to transfer payments. In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services which taxpayers expect from their Government.” http://www.uhuh.com/taxstuff/gracecom.htm

  78. On my Dad’s farm in Zambia we had windmills, five of them. Each was located next to a dam which was a circular concrete contruction about 50 feet in diameter and about eight feet deep. The windmill cranked a pump at the bottom of a not-too-deep borehole and pumped water into the dam. It was and still is a perfect arrangement. We used the water from the dams about once a week for irrigation. The dams were always just about full when we wanted to pump from them.
    We didn’t care when and for how long the windmills turned and cranked the pumps because we were SAVING the output.
    There’s the crux of the matter. Windmills are fantastic when you can SAVE their output. They are USELESS when you have to depend on the vagaries of their output for your economic survival.
    Oh, we also provided access to the dams to ducks and we raised fish in the dams, too (Kafue tilapia, referred to as bream. Very tasty!).

  79. Glenn says:
    May 24, 2010 at 11:53 am

    “So, what exactly is your position? That wind turbines shouldn’t be built in an effort to try to reduce our dependency on oil/gas/coal? It’s one thing to be skeptical about AGW (as I am), but that doesn’t negate the wisdom of moving towards clean, renewable energy sources. Who cares if a few trees are cut down in the process?”

    Clean? Have you considered the “dirty” steel mills required to make the windmills? Or the redundant refined aluminum and copper required to operate wind generation farms? Clean? How so? Of course, being a capitalist as I am, I like to consider cost also. I can’t speak for Denmark, but here in Kansas, it’s about $0.17/kwh for wind generated electricity, coal $0.03, nuke $0.05. Why are we trying to replace our dependency on fossil fuel again? Oh yeh, because we don’t want to mine or drill it here. Typically, when one speaks of “clean” energy, most today are referring to the CO2 output. Constraining CO2 emissions seems to be the major impetus behind going to wind generated electricity. While windmills alone seems to save on CO2 emissions a bit, when combined with deforestation, it is hard to imagine any CO2 savings at all. Why is the world putting windmills up? It isn’t for the CO2 emissions savings and it isn’t cost savings and it certainly isn’t reliability. As mentioned in the article, some put forth the position that it could be a jobs creation project. As it works in the U.S., most of the windmills are made by China, and put together with Chinese steel. So, in a way, we are creating jobs, just not here, but we get the extra bonus of putting a few nails in the coffins of our coal and steel industry. (I just for the life of me can’t figure out why our economic recovery is taking so long.) It is impossible for me to believe this was unintentional. While I can’t speak for anybody else, my position is, it’s time for a cleansing.

  80. harrywr2 says:
    “…..I’m a big supporter of wind power, when it can be effectively implemented in a cost effective manner.”

    I would be too, if I were to ever see it happen.

  81. “Sordnay says:
    May 24, 2010 at 11:21 am
    The “job killers” meme is from that Spanish paper? any other source for that claim?
    and the bird killer meme… that’s an ultra-green complaint, as valid as “CO2 is a po…”

    Actually in Southern Alberta part of the daily maintenance is picking up the dead bats and birds … there are large studies going on because the bats for example, are actually killed by the low pressure at the blade tips, not by being struck. There are lots of bird hits, anyone who has done a modicum of research knows …
    Just Google it.

    eg: http://www.troymedia.com/?p=10037

    “Recent data cited by the Golden Gate Audubon Society show that wind farms in California’s Altamont Pass kill more than 7,000 birds a year, including 94 golden eagles and more than 1,600 falcons, hawks and owls. Wind power advocates are quick to point out that Altamont is a worst case because of its high-speed turbine blades, and it’s true that newer technology is much more bird-friendly. Yet, the toll remains high and the species killed important. Michael Fry of the American Bird Conservancy estimates that wind power turbine blades kill at least 75,000 birds a year.
    And a 2007 report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences pointed out that peregrine falcons and other raptors that “are lower in abundance than many other bird species” are attracted to the same windy areas favoured for power turbines. Regardless of the exact figure, no one can deny that the North American wind power bird toll is significant and that eagles, falcons, hawks and owls are the more vulnerable, not the hugely plentiful game birds.”

  82. dave38 says: “…So, how much energy is used to make the cement for this platform? Lets call it Ec. And how much energy is used to make the windmill? Lets call it Ew. Then how much energy will this windmill actually produce over it’s lifetime? Call it Ep. so we have (Ec+Ew) -Ep. I suspect that the equation would show a very large positive number!”

    And I suspect you’re wrong. Can you post actual numbers, or is this some sort of gedankenexperiment?

  83. @ Gail Combs says:
    May 24, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    peterhodges says:
    May 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    “….get your heads on straight, it is one and same problem. we have socialism, and it is socialism for the rich.

    our government have been bought and paid for, and are being used to rob us.”

    Truer words were never spoken. Socialist and Environmentalists never look behind the curtain to see WHO is really benefiting from all the legislation. The Grace Commission report notes that 100% of personal income tax goes to pay interest on the national debt, the lion’s share of which goes to the banking cartel that we know as the Federal Reserve.

    Let me take this opportunity to inform folks that, in the USA at least, we are not totally controlled by the Federal Government; provided the States and their citizens have the cojones to stand up and be counted. There are avenues which can be legally pursued by the States if the Federal burden becomes too onerous or in other areas in which the Federal Gov’t is neglecting it’s duties.

    One such recourse is noted below.

    http://uscode.house.gov/uscode-cgi/fastweb.exe?getdoc+uscvie

    Sec. 109. Maintenance of other troops

    -STATUTE-
    (a) In time of peace, a State, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,
    the District of Columbia, Guam, or the Virgin Islands may maintain
    no troops other than those of its National Guard and defense forces
    authorized by subsection (c).
    (b) Nothing in this title limits the right of a State, the
    Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, or the
    Virgin Islands to use its National Guard or its defense forces
    authorized by subsection (c) within its borders in time of peace,
    or prevents it from organizing and maintaining police or
    constabulary.
    (c) In addition to its National Guard, if any, a State, the
    Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, or the
    Virgin Islands may, as provided by its laws, organize and maintain
    defense forces. A defense force established under this section may
    be used within the jurisdiction concerned, as its chief executive
    (or commanding general in the case of the District of Columbia)
    considers necessary, but it may not be called, ordered, or drafted
    into the armed forces.
    (d) A member of a defense force established under subsection (c)
    is not, because of that membership, exempt from service in the
    armed forces, nor is he entitled to pay, allowances, subsistence,
    transportation, or medical care or treatment, from funds of the
    United States.
    (e) A person may not become a member of a defense force
    established under subsection (c) if he is a member of a reserve
    component of the armed forces.

    Also found this on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_guard , which lists the States currently having a State Defense Force (SDF ).

  84. peterhodges:

    I have difficulties arguing with people who copy and paste my utterances, change them into their opposite and don’t remove my name.

  85. Evicting people from their homes for windmills.How disgusting.
    Oh sorry,I misspoke
    Evicting people from their homes for mining.How disgusting.

  86. Its even worse.

    Each new turbine may actually be contributing to CO2 emissions. This is due to the inefficiency effect on base load coal and gas fired power stations.

    http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/hidden-fuel-costs-of-wind-generated-electricity/

    I believe Denmark has higher proportional installed wind capacity than Holland and Germany, which are the countries examined in this study. Denmark is a special case since they do use Norwegian and Swedish hydropower as a buffer. Nonetheless Charles Opalek in his comment above confirms that Denmark’s CO2 emissions have risen, despite the increasing wind capacity.

    So not only are the trees being felled but the result would likely be use of MORE coal and gas than if the turbines are never built. That goes for off-shore turbines also. I don’t think CO2 has much warming effect, but it is hypocritical to build wind turbines to save on CO2 when you know they will actually cause increased CO2 emissions. Then charge a very high price for the resulting expensive power.

    Then there’s the poor birds.

  87. Everyone should see this:

    I think I’ll put a Vesta turbine right in my back yard!

  88. It’s nice to have a solar panel for your cabin in the woods, but you’ll never get as much energy out of it as was used to construct it, and scaling it up doesn’t help. Geothermal has some regional possibilities, but with major limitations. We have three useful and economical sources of large-scale energy:

    – Hydro
    – Hydrocarbons
    – Nuclear

    The dozen others are just a big circle-jerk.

    /dr.bill


  89. bubbagyro writes of the efficiency of nuclear power.

    I would draw to his attention a book published by the late Petr Beckmann (a genuinely cantankerous individual and at the same time one of the most pleasant correspondents I’d ever had occasion to swap letters with) in 1976, The Health Hazards of NOT Going Nuclear, in which he examines the value of light-water fission powerplants and their fuel cycle from a public health perspective as well as considering the efficiency of this mode of power generation relative to the coal cycle, hydroelectric sources, and so forth.

    Not surprisingly, the work does not suffer much by its date of publication. Dr. Beckmann was an eloquent and principled critic of “sham environmentalists” and in the days before the Web became available as a venue for sharing information and opinion, he operated a bulletin board system (BBS) in which I recall having for the first time encountered rigorous scientific considerations of the anthropogenic global warming blunder back in the late ’80s.

    Much of his extemporanea on “the greenhouse effect” is archived online today, and reads as prescient. Were he alive today, I suspect that Dr. Beckmann would be high indeed on Algore’s “Enemies’ List.”

  90. jorgekafkazar says:
    May 24, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    dave38 says: “…So, how much energy is used to make the cement for this platform? Lets call it Ec. And how much energy is used to make the windmill? Lets call it Ew. Then how much energy will this windmill actually produce over it’s lifetime? Call it Ep. so we have (Ec+Ew) -Ep. I suspect that the equation would show a very large positive number!”

    And I suspect you’re wrong. Can you post actual numbers, or is this some sort of gedankenexperiment?
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    I think you need to check this out http://www.windpowerfraud.com/

    “Wind turbines have an embarrassingly low and unsustainable Energy Returned On Energy Invested value of 0.29. The installation of wind power facilities will consume more than 3 times the energy they will ever produce.” Charles S. Opalek is a registered Professional Engineer BS in Mechanical Engineering

  91. “REPLY: Look at the net gain/loss of CO2 for cutting down trees replacing with wind turbines. Then there’s the hypocrisy. If the same area was cleared for a nuclear power plant, the screaming from the greens would be deafening. Windfarm?, oh OK free pass on that. -A”

    Agreed Anthony.

    It’s gross madness and hypocrisy IMO: Since all the BS is about alleged CO2 AGW/CC and forests being an important carbon sink to save the Planet.

    So it’s all Greenie and Political Al Gorish Tyrannical UN like BS the whole CO2 AGW/CC Movement and all their Greenie Save Gaia from unprecendent ‘Tommyrot’ Manmade Global Warming afterall. Just as we thought it was in the firstplace!

  92. Hello Anthony,
    Thanks for yet another interesting contribution!
    However, you might want to make one correction. A careful reading of the opposition group letter seems to indicate that the windmills are not being constructed within the Thy National Park, but just to the east of it. They say that ” A test centre for the development of offshore windmills is planned to take up 30 km2 of land in the Thy region” (which includes more than the national park), and that “the area is categorised as a recreational area” (not a national park). Further, they say “This will prevent birds in the international Ramsar-area, Vejlerne, which is situated to the east of the test centre, from flying west to the EU-habitat area Vullum Sø and to Thy National Park just south of Hanstholm.

    Nevertheless, the windmills sound like they will do little to enhance the Danish environment.

  93. Philip Foster says:
    “…wind turbines cannot be left idle for too long or their blades get overstressed and can bend or break. Therefore they are powered up BY the Grid to rotate.”

    I nearly fell off my chair. They have motors in them? So a slowly turning windmill may in fact be taking power out of the grid? Can anyone confirm this?

  94. Curiousgeorge says:
    May 24, 2010 at 3:16 pm
    Let me take this opportunity to inform folks that, in the USA at least, we are not totally controlled by the Federal Government; provided the States and their citizens have the cojones to stand up and be counted. There are avenues which can be legally pursued by the States if the Federal burden becomes too onerous or in other areas in which the Federal Gov’t is neglecting it’s duties.

    One such recourse is noted below.

    http://uscode.house.gov/uscode-cgi/fastweb.exe?getdoc+uscvie

    _________________________________________________________________________
    George I come up with a 404 error for that URL. Can you re post it.

    We in the USA do have a couple of other recourses such as the state tenth Amendment resolutions (state soverignty resolutions) and state Nullification:

    “When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as that state is concerned.” source

    Another little known avenue is Jury Nullification. A jury has the right to look at a law and decide whether it should be enforced.

    “The primary function of the independent juror is not, as many think to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking various laws, but rather to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical abuse of power by the government. The Constitution guarantees you the right to trial by jury… Jurors can say no to government tyranny by refusing to convict.

    ….You, as a grand juror, stand as the first bulwark against government tyranny. While you must protect us all from dangerous people who harm others, you must always be aware the your first job is to protect harmless people from unfair, unjust and unreasonable government laws. When laws encroach on private individual rights, you cannot be required to enforce them by returning an indictment. When you refuse to indict harmless people, you help to protect us all, you included, from out-of-control government actions. As an independent grand jury, you also have the right to initiate your own investigations on evidence presented to you, and to indict anyone if you feel they are guilty of wrongdoing, including those government employees and elected officials who are not upholding an oath of public office….” Fully Informed Jury Association

    The American jury actually has the power to veto bad laws. A juror has the power to judge both law and facts. “In 1804 Samuel Chase, Supreme Court Justice and signer of the Declaration of Independence, said The jury has the Right to judge both the law and the facts” http://www.fija.org/docs/JG_Jurors_Handbook.pdf

    I am hoping we do not have to use any of these second lines of defense but US citizen should know them especially the information about grand juries “…to indict anyone if you feel they are guilty of wrongdoing, including those government employees and elected officials who are not upholding an oath of public office….”

  95. The last ten years or so have been amazing. If the Greek playwrights thousands of years ago had written a tragicomedy about it, it would have been rejected as being too ironic and not credible.

    George W Bush has an energy efficient home in Texas that runs on solar and geothermal, and is energy independent. Al Gore has mansions that are energy hogs. His mansions consume more power than 100 average homes. He flits around the world in private jets warning about carbon pollution while he makes billions trading paper carbon credits to his soft-headed sycophants.

    George W warned people to evacuate Katrina. The pundits in essence said not to listen to him. Many died while the mayor of New Orleans had 1000 buses that could have evacuated all the threatened residents, but they stayed in place, waterlogged. The mayor was reelected.

    Now Obama has allowed a leak to fester in the Gulf. His executive mandate, under the Clean Air and Water Acts, say that the President shall do everything to mitigate oil spills. His administration had no fire booms available, nor did he allow the spill to be burned off in the early days. He borrowed fire booms from Europe 8 days after the spill occurred. Too late, it has thinned and spread.

    During all this time, the Congress had mandated freebees for the conversion of grain to ethanol, while Africa cries for the diverted grain, and millions starve. The Copenhagen meetings tried to rough-neck the developing countries to sign on to an accord which would strip them of the right to bring their countries forward through utilization of cheap energy. They rebelled, wisely.

    All of this happened while we fools-on-the-hills watched, laughing and crying at the same time. What a comedy of errors! Now these bureaucrats want to squeeze more money through foolish wind and solar power, yet these are to date unproven, nay wasteful technologies?

    This is more than an Oxford debate. This is the future of our children’s children. We have got to get this major issue right the first time.

  96. Michael Cejnar,

    Philip Foster is right. I regularly drive past the many hundreds of windmills in the Altamont Pass in Northern California. Most days are windy, but occasionally we drive through on a day when there is little or no wind. Nevertheless, there are always some windmills turning when the large majority are motionless.

  97. @ Gail Combs says:
    May 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Sure. Sometimes the .gov search results will not open from a external link so just in case, you can repeat the search here: http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml . Search for Title: 32 , Section: 109 in the appropriate search boxes.

    There’s all kinds of interesting and useful info in the USC for those with the patience and grit to wade thru it. But when challenging the government, one best have all their ducks in a row and quacking in unison. And be prepared for a long, hard fight. Most people just don’t have the fortitude (or fortune ) to do it.

    The original link: http://uscode.house.gov/uscode-cgi/fastweb.exe?getdoc+uscview+t29t32+2231+0++%28%29%20%20AND%20%28%2832%29%20ADJ%20USC%29%3ACITE%20AND%20%28USC%20w%2F10%20%28109%29%29%3ACITE

  98. Michael Cejnar says:
    May 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm
    Philip Foster says:
    “…wind turbines cannot be left idle for too long or their blades get overstressed and can bend or break. Therefore they are powered up BY the Grid to rotate.”

    I nearly fell off my chair. They have motors in them? So a slowly turning windmill may in fact be taking power out of the grid? Can anyone confirm this?

    ===
    Hate to break the news, Mike, but an electric generator is an electric motor. Spin it, electricity comes out. Pump electricity into it, it turns. So when you put, say, a 2.3 kW turbine up, it’s like a 60-ton 3,000 hp electric motor on top of a 300-foot steel tower. 7th grade Earth Science.

  99. When initiating a new oil field, it is customary to have a ground-breaking ceremony. When starting a new air turbine project, everybody gathers to break wind.

  100. @Tom_R says:
    May 24, 2010 at 9:59 am
    This story can’t be real. Even the worst greenie government coudn’t be that stupid.

    Many commentators here seem to believe this is not happening in their back yard. It is. This is a letter I sent to a newspaper in upstate New York a year ago:
    ===
    Editor
    Watertown Daily Times

    I grew up in rural Wisconsin.and spent my adolescent summers at my aunt’s place on the St. Lawrence. I know and love the people and lifestyle. Not terribly cosmopolitan, sometimes, but peaceful, close to the earth, and very, very human.

    I returned home recently for a visit and discovered that huge swaths of rustic Wisconsin countryside had been vandalized by armies of monstrosities the size of the Statue of Liberty, with a Boeing 747 pinned to her nose. Now Wolfe Island, Ontario, has been desecrated the same way, and plans are afoot for Amherst Island and Cape Vincent. Ye Gods, has everyone completely lost their minds?

    Their whooshing and low-frequency thub-thub-thub, audible at disturbing volumes for up to five miles in the mountains or over water, prevents people from sleeping, upsets livestock to the point that productivity decreases sharply while miscarriages rise, and drives away all wildlife (who do not have to worry about mortgages or property values) within a three-mile radius. No deer, bear, or even squirrels. Offshore turbines in Great Yarmouth, England, are causing baby seals to be born dead or to be abandoned by their overstressed mothers. The FAA-required strobe lights disfigure the clear night sky. Our beautiful Wolfe Island now most resembles a poster for a low-budget science fiction movie.

    But, of course, low-budget they aren’t; the towers cost upwards of $2 million each to erect, and about $1 million each to take down and decommission. (When the various investors and fly-by-night energy companies have taken turns depreciating the things, will they take them down? Or will our grandchildren live in a landscape of rusting 300-foot hulks topped by broken fans, leaking chemicals into our land? Looking now like the B-movie aliens after they lose the war…)

    Industrial-grade heavy-duty access roads have to be hacked through the forest. The smallest available industrial turbine is 1.5 MW, the equivalent of a two thousand horsepower electric motor, weighing on the order of 60 tons. The truck carrying it has to be able to get through. The nacelle containing the turbine is the size of a large bus; the armature must be turned regularly — even if there’s no wind — to keep it from sagging under its own weight, like the drivetrain on a battleship. Just to counter the CO2 from producing the tons upon tons of cement needed to anchor the towers, these things would have to operate near full capacity for over six years. They are not the cute little windmills behind the barn, or the picturesque features of the Dutch countryside. In operation, the tips of the fan blades are moving at more than 200 mph; I hope the terns (and the eagles, and the falcons) stay alert in the middle of the night.

    Not to mention, of course, that each turbine contains well over 60 gallons of chemically-sophisticated motor oil to lubricate its complex gearbox and bearings. When — not if — it starts to leak into your streams, rivers, and pastures as these notoriously unreliable machines age, what effect will that have on your drinking water — and your fishing, since all the game for hunting has cleared out? What effect on your peace of mind will it have when a lightning strike disintegrates a blade — throwing ten tons of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and aluminum, white-hot, in huge fragments, for distances up to half a mile, while igniting the lubricating oil 300 feet above the woods? (This sort of event has occurred several times in Germany, with turbines substantially smaller than those planned for Cape Vincent [NY].) In the Wisconsin winter, the turbine blades regularly throw huge chunks of ice, weighing several hundred pounds, up to a thousand feet from the tower. Would upstate New York be so different?

    But perhaps this is all worthwhile if we’re saving the planet? Nope. Wind power is so variable that backup fossil plants have to be kept fired up constantly anyway. No carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced. Denmark, the most turbine-ridden country in the world for more than a decade, has not been able to shut down a single power plant and, because its small electrical grid can’t absorb the fluctuations, has had to dump most of its hugely expensive wind wattage to the much larger grids of Sweden and Norway at (as we say) fire-sale prices. Denmark, Germany, and Spain — the leading European wind enthusiasts — have all put moratoria on any further wind installations, because of both public outcry and the budget drain of government subsidies. England, Scotland, and Wales are all in an uproar over the destruction of their countryside and coasts.

    Moreover, after twenty years and $50 million of tax-supported research, the small coterie of UN scientist-bureaucrats trumpeting global warming have been totally unable to come up with any solid evidence that carbon dioxide is the cause of the warming (which has now apparently stopped, or at least paused for 30 years), much less that any additional warming will cause catastrophes.

    All the evidence, from increasingly sophisticated satellites and deep-diving ocean buoys, is that climate fluctuates in response to natural cyclic changes in ocean currents and solar activity, and that the worldwide sea level has been rising at about eight inches a century for the last five thousand years or so, and is still doing so. So there is no reason to worry about CO2, a plant fertilizer, a necessary part of all life on this planet, in the first place. All this devastation of the landscape is for nothing. Less than nothing. Wind power is a fraud based on a fraud.

    But the story is always the same. The wind promoter comes into a quiet rural area, stages several community presentations, pure Madison Avenue professionalism, promises jobs and a great boost to the local economy, chats up the local leadership, and paints rosy pictures of a prosperous environmentally-correct future in the industry of tomorrow. Landowners are wooed with talk of huge commission checks for the generated power.

    If there’s any local resistance, the promoter buys the cooperation of said local leadership to paint it as NIMBY — he, of course, would not live within 50 miles of one of the things — and environmentally irresponsible (hah!). If this doesn’t work, he’ll buy a few county, state, or provincial politicians to simply deprive the local jurisdiction of any authority over turbine siting, as they did for example in Wisconsin. In Oregon, wilderness noise regulations prevented development of a wind installation, so of course in 2004 the wind promoters had their friends in Salem change them. In New York, Attorney General Cuomo’s investigations of wind developers’ bribery is continuing, and you now have an “Ethics Code”. Doesn’t that give you a warm fuzzy feeling?

    So the phalanx of giant towers goes up anyway. It’s always the same story — in Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wales, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Sweden, Missouri, Scotland, New York, Germany, Kansas, Hungary, Italy — the modus operandi never varies. The Internet is full of sad little websites put up by local community groups who opposed this vandalism of their countryside and their quality of life; they’ve posted their letters of opposition, their legal pleadings, and finally the horror-inspiring pictures of what happened to their woods and fields — and to their children, who often fall asleep at school because the turbine noise keeps them from sleeping at night. It is excruciating to see this over and over and over.

    Jobs? The construction crews and engineers are brought in from outside — the leading turbine manufacturers are all European — and the long-term local jobs amount finally to one or two. The local economy? Politicians love to trumpet hundreds of millions in investment in the area. Now, If these hundreds of millions were to build a steel plant, or a giant amusement park, or a conventional nuclear power plant, it would indeed provide hundreds of long-term, high-paying jobs. Yes, these monsters will generate countless millions in tax breaks, taxpayer subsidies, and “carbon credits”. But not for the local people; they’ll be lucky to get two jobs and maybe a fancy maintenance truck. The money will all flow to the financiers (like Al Gore’s business partners in Goldman-Sachs) in New York City. The turbines produce essentially no useful power, and no local jobs, but very efficiently blow our money into fat cats’ coffers.

    The huge turbine towers will earn their installation cost back in tax breaks and subsidies (subsidies and tax breaks at your expense) in less than three years. Then, of course, shell fly-by-night company A sells the turbines to shell fly-by-night company B, which then gets its years of boodle at taxpayer expense. And so on.

    Until finally the turbines stop working. Again, they cost over a million per tower to decommission, and the wind magnates can afford much pricier law firms than landowners — as the landowners already know, having discussed the amazingly small size of their commission checks with the company. Does anyone seriously think these ugly monstrosities will be taken down and the land restored in twenty years?

    Is this the legacy you wish to leave your grandchildren? The people of New York must fight against this nightmare takeover by the eco-industrial complex. You must fight to save your environment from, for God’s sake, the environmentalists. So future generations will not look around and say, “This must have once been so beautiful. I wish I could have seen it then. I wonder why they did it.”

    Sincerely,

    Craig Goodrich

  101. Gareth Phillips says:
    May 24, 2010 at 10:42 am
    “If these trees were being cut down in Oregon to build new holiday homes, would posters be as concerned?”

    Denmark is 16383.86 sq miles of land area.
    Oregon is 98,386.
    For many, many reasons- not least of which is thick forest everywhere- Oregon is nothing at all like Denmark.
    Tell me- is it even possible to get lost in Denmark?

  102. Tom_R says:

    May 24, 2010 at 9:59 am
    This story can’t be real. Even the worst greenie government coudn’t be that stupid.

    A fundamental economic law, known for centuries as the Law of Supply and Idiots, states clearly: There is never a shortage of idiots.

  103. It would be nice to have a few useful facts rather than the eco-propaganda: “Deforestation will create an increase of 400,000 tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of the CO2 emissions of 100,000 people per year.” Unfortunately, we aren’t told how many turbines will be installed or how many years they will provide power. If the turbines provide power for 4000 people for 25 years, the project would break even on CO2 emissions. Danes consume about 715 watts per capita of electricity (Wikipedia), so a “1 MW turbine” would provide power for 1400 people under optimum wind conditions and perhaps an average of 300-600 people under realistic conditions. So perhaps 10 turbines operating for 25 years could compensate for CO2 emissions from deforestation. However, the installation probably involves at least 100 turbines, so the CO2 emissions from deforestation are likely to be minor. On the other hand, we also need to add the CO2 emissions from manufacture and installation of the wind turbines and the emissions from any fossil fuel plants operating in inefficient standby mode that are needed provide power when the wind slows. (Back-up power in East Denmark comes from Swedish CO2-free hydroelectric power, but this isn’t the case for West Denmark.)

    The US has developed a subsidized biofuel industry based on ethanol from corn that does little or nothing to reduce CO2 emissions. We certainly don’t need to waste more money on expensive wind power that does the same.

  104. When I hear a Socialist say that the Government will “Create Jobs” a want to puke.

    Look to the DDR, and you will see how a 45 year lasting experiment on that worked out.

    When “The Berlin Wall” fell, all socialists ran into hiding. Too much og the truth came out wide open. They just couldnt stand that the light fell on the great socialist experiment. Now it seems they silently crawled back….as GREEN.

    I discussed this with an old socialist, and his conclusion was that even though socialism failed in the DDR, it was a neccessary experiment.

    A neccessary experiment!

    Now it seems this wind Park is considered as a neccessary experiment. I think I agree. It will be interesting to see how it works out. The problem is; Will we see the true numbers, or will the data be “fudged” ?

  105. The broken notion in all “Jobs Bills” and “Jobs Programs” is the notion that what matters is “jobs”. That is a very broken notion.

    You can have full employment at any time. Just have the government instruct every person that they are to take a teaspoon out to the nearest dirt. On odd days they dig a hole. One even days they fill it in. Then send them a government check.

    One Small Problem:

    You are consuming spoons and not making any new ones.

    (You are also consuming your human capital for no net gain too).

    It’s not a question of JOB creation, it’s a question of NET WEALTH creation.

    If you are not creating NET INCREASE IN WEALTH then you are simply consuming your capital stock and producing NET INCREASE IN POVERTY.

    It really is that simple.

    Yet somehow that simple truth escapes our politicians (and most other lawyers too from what I can see, though there are some exceptions); and is strangely lacking from most of the population as well.

    The simple fact is that we need to use about 95% of our total labor and capital stock just to keep things going as they are. We can get between 2% and 5% of real economic growth (increase in national wealth) during good times. If you pee away 4% or so of your wealth per year (be it on ‘jobs bills’ or ‘stimulus’ or ‘green plans’) you will end up sliding into ever increasing poverty.

    And the current global governance pattern has us squandering closer to 20%…

    Put more succinctly:

    It’s not about “Guns or Butter” it’s about “Machine shops or Cattle Farms”.

    (The classic paradigm for decision making in government expenditures is a problem called “guns or butter” meaning do you spend for defense or food consumption. My point is that missing from that metaphor is the means of production AND of increase of production. It really ought to be “Guns or Butter OR Machine Shops or Cattle Ranches”. The implication of “guns or butter” is that it just magically comes from taxes. What ought to be emphasized is that every government tax and spend on “Guns or Butter” cuts down on the private expenditure on “machines shops or cattle ranches” and results in a net reduction of potential increase in national wealth. Sadly, I think most politicians never get past the “guns or butter” metaphor and never get a clue about machine shops and ranches…)

    So Denmark is indulging in a “jobs bill” and destroying real wealth in the process…

  106. Quite apart from wind turbines being useless, noisy, a waste of money and what else, I just think they are an absolute eye sore, a visual insult. Mind you, I love windmills (I’m Dutch) but there are limits. Last year I went back to Holland. I rented a car and drove North, towards Den Helder and across de Afsluitdijk, an area I had not been for a while. It is a part of Holland where the landscape resembles that of paintings by the Old Masters: low horizons, wide green pastures, cows grazing under expansive skies, poplars bent in the wind, a windmill in the distance. But no more. They’ve put up those bloody wind turbines everywhere. What I saw brought tears to my eyes. They dominate and scar the landscape – just as a psychopath would slash a painting. Holland has been turned into Teletubby land. And I’m guessing the situation isn’t much better in other countries. And what for…..? How come there is no organised resistance from conservationists and other people who really care about nature, culture and the environment against these ghastly eco-contraptions?!?

  107. I know only one word in Danish: bondfangere

    Oh, and another song for your delectation:


  108. Craig Goodrich posts here a helluva letter-to-the-editor he’d “sent to a newspaper in upstate New York a year ago” on the subject of wind turbines as a economically non-viable and environmentally hostile power generation option.

    Damn. This piece really deserves wider dissemination than a mainstream media periodical would afford it, and greater persistence on the Web than a comment on a Web log post. Would the author be interested – if he can find no other venue – in submitting it as an article to Ken Holder, the editor at The Libertarian Enterprise?

    Once its online at such a site, it will at least generate search engine hits. And that, by Bastiat, it surely ought to do.

  109. Gareth Phillips: “Hi, I know this area and it is indeed windy. If there potential is there, why not use it? The trees will grow again, though it’s unlikely the wind will stop, so why not use the energy ?If these trees were being cut down in Oregon to build new holiday homes, would posters be as concerned? Or is the concern about cutting down trees not related to the trees, but with regards to why they have been cut down?”

    No, the concern is that the Danish government, at huge taxpayer expense, is cutting down a forest for the sake of a bunch of incredibly inefficient and costly wind turbines that are not needed. That’s reason enough not to use it (the wind energy), to answer your first question. The reason there would be less fuss over holiday homes, is that taxpayers don’t pay for holiday homes. I’ll forgive you for not seeing the obvious though, Gareth. You did say you were a “lefty.”


  110. kwik writes: “When I hear a Socialist say that the Government will ‘Create Jobs’ I want to puke.

    Welcome to that sociopolitical perspective that I once heard a wide-eyed Republican groundling receive with the whimper: “My God! He’s pro-choice on everything!

    For theoretical reinforcement (as if you haven’t come across it already, kwik), I recommend the writings of Henry Hazlitt, his predecessor in common-sense economics, Frédéric Bastiat, and Ludwig von Mises.

    There’s something of a start, at least. When I bumped into him at a convention 22 years ago, Ron Paul told me that his conversion to the support of political economics predicated on the protection of individual human rights got started when he’d read von Mises’ Human Action. I replied that mine began when I’d stumbled upon a copy of Henry Hazlitt’s The Conquest of Poverty.

    I didn’t tackle von Mises’ Big Damn Book until some years later – but, then, bear in mind that I got through medical school pretty much entirely on the accessibility of the Lange series books. Dr. Paul, gynecologist though he is, was a swot in school on a grander order of magnitude than I.

    (Though you’ve got to admit that Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine sure looks better on your bookshelf, the most recent Appleton & Lange Review of Internal Medicine is a boatload less dated and a whole lot easier to page through for immediately pertinent and clinically useful information. Cheaper, too.)

    Then, of course, there’s the economist who caused my father to build an archive of Newsweek issues in the basement (I regret never having discussed that with him), one Milton Friedman, who gained Nobel laureate status for having demonstrated that for every job “created” by civil government, two objectively even more valuable jobs in the productive private sector were destroyed.

    I recommend taking Dr. Friedman cum granum salis, of course.

    Well, hell. Happy reading, kwik.

  111. @Craig Goodrich
    May I use your letter at my sad little web site/blog http://no2wind.org ?
    Trying to stop the vandalization of the countryside that you experienced from taking place across the lake in northern Michigan.

  112. “I try and see all sides of the argument, wind power does indeed have a place in generation of power along with Nuclear power stations, it’s a question of balance and how we exploit all resources wisely and economically.” – Gareth Phillips

    I’m not sure where you get the idea that Wind power has a “place” in electrical generation. Nuclear would obviate the need for wind power. Wind power apparently only exists to garner public subsidies. Wind power (the most expensive way to generate electricity) only serves to increase our utlity bills and taxes.

  113. The report in question is dated Dec. 09. Have there been any new developments?

    @Mikkel May 24, 2010 at 10:29 am says, “The story has many angles and has been covered in Danish media for months.” Has ground been broken, or is it on hold?

  114. Michael Cejnar says:
    May 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    So a slowly turning windmill may in fact be taking power out of the grid? Can anyone confirm this?

    Yes, they require fairly large amounts of electricity to operate – perhaps 50% or more of their rated capacity, and may very well actually use more than they produce.
    From http://www.aweo.org/windconsumption.html

    “Among the wind turbine functions that use electricity are the following:

    * yaw mechanism (to keep the blade assembly perpendicular to the wind; also to untwist the electrical cables in the tower when necessary) — the nacelle (turbine housing) and blades together weigh 92 tons on a GE 1.5-MW turbine

    * blade-pitch control (to keep the rotors spinning at a regular rate)

    * lights, controllers, communication, sensors, metering, data collection, etc.

    * heating the blades — this may require 10%-20% of the turbine’s nominal (rated) power

    * heating and dehumidifying the nacelle — according to Danish manufacturer Vestas, “power consumption for heating and dehumidification of the nacelle must be expected during periods with increased humidity, low temperatures and low wind speeds”

    * oil heater, pump, cooler, and filtering system in gearbox

    * hydraulic brake (to lock the blades in very high wind)

    * thyristors (to graduate the connection and disconnection between generator and grid) — 1%-2% of the energy passing through is lost

    * magnetizing the stator — the induction generators used in most large grid-connected turbines require a “large” amount of continuous electricity from the grid to actively power the magnetic coils around the asynchronous “cage rotor” that encloses the generator shaft; at the rated wind speeds, it helps keep the rotor speed constant, and as the wind starts blowing it helps start the rotor turning (see next item); in the rated wind speeds, the stator may use power equal to 10% of the turbine’s rated capacity, in slower winds possibly much more

    * using the generator as a motor (to help the blades start to turn when the wind speed is low or, as many suspect, to maintain the illusion that the facility is producing electricity when it is not,‡ particularly during important site tours) — it seems possible that the grid-magnetized stator must work to help keep the 40-ton blade assembly spinning, along with the gears that increase the blade rpm some 50 times for the generator, not just at cut-in (or for show in even less wind) but at least some of the way up towards the full rated wind speed; it may also be spinning the blades and rotor shaft to prevent warping when there is no wind§

    It may be that each turbine consumes more than 50% of its rated capacity in its own operation. If so, the plant as a whole — which may produce only 25% of its rated capacity annually — would be using (for free!) twice as much electricity as it produces and sells. An unlikely situation perhaps, but the industry doesn’t publicize any data that proves otherwise; incoming power is apparently not normally recorded.”

  115. I jumped the gun. Thatcher isn’t dead yet, but I also can’t find any evidence that she is some kind of “climate change,” Cap & Trade, or Al Gore advocate to this day. Arguably she got the CAGW band wagon rolling in her efforts to fight the coal unions.

  116. To respond to Michael Cejnar: Of course wind turbines have motors – generators are motors and motors are generators: Put electricity into an electric motor and you get rotation, rotate the electric motor and you get out electricity – Faraday showed this more than 150 years ago. Electric cars use their motors as generators when braking. And the information about turbines comes from a power company!

  117. @ wayne May 24, 2010 at 10:12 am
    Can Windfarms alter the local micro-climate?
    See: Winds turbines produce clouds and a loss of efficiency
    /Quote
    As you view this stunning image of the Horns Rev windfarm, you really begin to appreciate the ability of humans to alter their landscape like no other known species before us. We have the ability to create micro-climates using huge turbines, creating cloud formations on the ocean. What sort of micro-scale effects from these turbines are felt by the wildlife and others? Can we really make clouds? Amazing…
    /Quote

    http://waweatherscience.com/recent-news/winds-turbines-produce-clouds-and-a-loss-of-efficiency/

  118. @ “”pat says:
    May 24, 2010 at 9:16 am
    Some sort of contagious insanity grips liberals.””

    Yes, the Green Drones really are THAT stupid / insane / etc. – and since they do everything A** backwards, what else would you expect?

    Thank God, trees grow on their own in spite of the Green’s worst efforts, reforestration will occur eventually.

  119. Philip Foster says:
    May 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I learnt recently that in the UK, and therefore probably everywhere, wind turbines cannot be left idle for too long or their blades get overstressed and can bend or break. Therefore they are powered up BY the Grid to rotate. So folks, when you see wind turbines running they are just as likely to be USING energy as producing it. Maybe they should be sited around sailing lakes to generate wind on calm days.

    It’s also that the rotor shaft distorts. I’ve long advocated that there should be bi-directional metering on these beasts to see if they actually generate any power.

    DaveE.

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