Does money grow in wind farms?

Wind turbines are a poor way to harness energy – but a very good way to generate public subsidies, says Andrew Gilligan.

By Andrew Gilligan from The UK Telegraph

Published: 7:00AM BST 13 Jun 2010

A general view of Europe's biggest onshore wind farm, Whitelee Windfarm on the outskirts of Glasgow Photo: PA

A general view of Europe’s biggest onshore wind farm, Whitelee Windfarm on the outskirts of Glasgow Photo: PA

From the summit of Plynlimon, in the deep country of the Cambrian Mountains, there is a 70-mile panorama of the Cader range, hill after green-blue hill stretching into the distance, from the peaks around Bala to the shores of Cardigan Bay.

It was a view that caught the breath. It still does, in a different way. The view from Plynlimon now is of more than 200 wind turbines, nearly a tenth of Britain’s onshore total, stretching across ridge-lines, dominating near and far horizons. The author George Borrow wrote a whole chapter on Plynlimon in his classic 19th-century travelogue, Wild Wales. It’s not so wild these days.

Last week’s decision by Miriam González Durántez, wife of the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, to join a leading wind-farm company has thrown the spotlight on one of Britain’s most controversial industries.

Mrs Durántez’s firm, Acciona, is seeking planning permission to add another 23 wind turbines to the view from Plynlimon, filling up some of the remaining skyline not yet occupied by them.

To opponents, land-based wind-turbines – there are currently 2,560 – are, in the words of the chairman of the National Trust, Simon Jenkins, “creatures from the War of the Worlds”, industrialising the countryside, invading precious landscapes.

Supporters are no less high-pitched. At the annual conference of the wind farm trade body, the BWEA, John Prescott, Mr Clegg’s predecessor, stormed: “We cannot let the squires and the gentry stop us meeting our moral obligation to pass this world on in a better state to our children. So let me tell them loud and clear: it’s not your backyard any more – it’s ours!”

The then energy and climate change secretary, now Labour leadership contender, Ed Miliband, said that it “should be socially unacceptable to be against wind turbines in your area – like not wearing your seatbelt”.

Yet like so much else in the climate change debate, the emotions – on both sides – get in the way. Presenting wind farms as either an alien scourge or a moral crusade obscures what is surely the real question: are they effective at reducing CO2 emissions? Do the benefits they bring outweigh the costs they impose?

Read the rest of the story here:

h/t Neil Jones

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170 Responses to Does money grow in wind farms?

  1. netdr says:

    I read somewhere, possibly on WUWT about companies that make electricity at night from solar cells by shining lights on them.

    Because of the magic of subsidies they could suffer the huge inefficiencies of producing electricity in this manner and still make money. [If not sense.]

  2. latitude says:

    “Germany – which has the largest number of wind turbines in Europe – “is building five new coal power stations,—- which it does not otherwise need,—- purely to provide covering power for the fluctuations from their wind farms.”

  3. A C Osborn says:

    real question: are they effective at reducing CO2 emissions?
    Are they effective at producing electricity at a reasonable cost is the real Querstion.
    The answer is NO!

  4. Jim Cripwell says:

    Let me put in my plea that when specifiying the generating capacity of WF, the units should be megawatthours per year, not meagwatts. The same Dimensions, but different Units.

  5. Ronaldo says:

    Nice to see this in the paper edition also.

  6. Pops says:

    Talking of corruption:

    “Just weeks after party leader Nick Clegg became Deputy Prime Minister, his lawyer wife Miriam accepted a lucrative job with Acciona – the world’s largest provider of wind farms….”

    http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1285898/Chris-Huhne-pushes-tougher-action-climate-change-mean-wind-farms.html

  7. _Jim says:

    The then energy and climate change secretary, now Labour leadership contender, Ed Miliband, said that it “should be socially unacceptable to be against wind turbines in your area – like not wearing your seatbelt”.

    Fellow lemmings – to the sea!

    .

  8. tmtisfree says:

    Of course building wind turbines is only for the benefice of the capitalists. Given the subsidies and the long-lasting contracts (25 years), the wind electricity is currently bought 5 times the nominal (read nuclear, I am from France) price here.
    Who care if wind energy is produced mainly at night when nobody needs it, when the ROI is so interesting. I had requested a permit to build 10 1MW turbines on my own fields with a German firm as primary investor: it was refused last year because of the local watermelons: they don’t like others making money. I appealed the administrative decision on January 2010. Result in September or October.

  9. Roger Sowell says:

    The electric power from wind turbines generally replaces (backs out) equivalent power from natural gas-fired power plants, therefore the economic attractiveness of wind turbines increases as the price of natural gas increases. There was a brief period in 2008 when natural gas prices exceeded $12 per million Btu (US dollar), and wind turbines enjoyed some success. Lately the price of natural gas has tumbled to the $4 range, and is expected to remain there for a very long time. see this link for natural gas prices : http://futures.tradingcharts.com/chart/NG/W

    The improvement in technology for extracting natural gas from shale and tight sandstone formations has greatly increased the supply of natural gas, thus driving down the price. Another source of natural gas that pushes prices downward is the development of previously stranded gas via LNG plants with shipping to consumers in large LNG tankers. This abundance is expected to exist for many decades – even if no further technology improvements are made. Stranded gas is the term for a natural gas field without a local demand, that is too far from such demand for a pipeline to be economically attractive.

    To compensate for the inability of wind turbines to compete economically, governments offer subsidies. As government spending has spiraled out of control recently (see e.g. Greece, southern Europe, California and other US states, now Japan), cutbacks are inevitable. One can only wonder how long subsidies for such things as wind turbines will continue, that is, what other spending will be cut ahead of wind turbine subsidies.

    Yet there are some areas where wind turbines work fairly well, as for example California. The mild climate (yes, climate) in California allows wind turbines to run year-round without issues due to icing or snow build-up. See this link for details on California’s entire renewable power production, with wind as the light blue section.

    http://www.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

  10. DirkH says:

    Well, what you need is giant gravel batteries.
    Not kidding:

    http://www.favstocks.com/gravel-batteries-offer-a-solution-for-renewable-energy-storage/2014342/

    German article:
    http://www.freitag.de/wissen/1020-leuchtender-schotter

    They say 80% efficiency and dirt-cheap per kWh. My BS meter says scamsters, but who knows…

  11. Gail Combs says:

    Even those in favor of windmills do not like the monsters and think them inefficient: http://nov55.com/wdm.html

    This guy lists all the problems of wind power (as well as a plug for his book) http://www.windpowerfraud.com/

    The only use I can see for windmills is the traditional one of using them for moving water up hill. Two lakes with a generator between is the only reasonable possibility for making the blasted things anywhere near viable for a country’s energy needs. That system would at least allow the energy to be stored so it could be used as needed.

  12. Chris H says:

    These useless garden ornaments are not just a waste of taxpayers money, they are harmful; to the countryside, the wildlife and the humans unfortunate enough to live too near them.

    The same head-in-the-sand denial of their true nature that characterises proponents of AGW is coupled with the cynicism and greed of the wind industry to create an unholy alliance.

    The sooner governments emerge from their collective insanity and start building nuclear power plants the better.

  13. Bruce Cobb says:

    “John Prescott, Mr Clegg’s predecessor, stormed: “We cannot let the squires and the gentry stop us meeting our moral obligation to pass this world on in a better state to our children. So let me tell them loud and clear: it’s not your backyard any more – it’s ours!””
    This is the general attitude of the Warmist/Alarmist Climate Bedwetters, characterized by moral superiority, and ends- justify- the -means, anti-democratic principles, grounded in their anti-scientific C02 hobgoblin claptrap. It’s enough to make one sick.
    Wind power is a scam operating within a scam.

  14. bubbagyro says:

    We should all be singing, “Bye, Bye, Blackbirds”.

  15. Curiousgeorge says:

    According to this article http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20006361-54.html , wind is the worst offender, in terms of land use, compared to all other electrical generation; except biomass burning which is really ridiculous.

  16. DirkH says:

    latitude says:
    June 13, 2010 at 8:45 am
    “Germany – which has the largest number of wind turbines in Europe – “is building five new coal power stations,—- which it does not otherwise need,—- purely to provide covering power for the fluctuations from their wind farms.”

    Might even become 10. The greens are fuming, the BUND (german environmentalists) protests because we can’t have CO2 emitting plants, can we? They just ignore the fact that the plants are needed as spinning reserve. And there is absolute silence in the German media about the connection between increasing wind and solar capacity and the need for conventional reserve capacity. German journalists don’t seem to have any knowledge about this connection. It makes you shake your head in disbelief. How can a modern industrialized nation have such a complete lack of intelligence in the media and in the political class. German greens are either dishonest or share the same lack of knowledge about energy creation. Don’t know which, not that i care about them. It’s like a supertanker heading for a cliff with the captain in a koma.

  17. Eric Anderson says:

    Roger Sowell,

    Interesting that “small hydro” is included as a “renewable,” but regular hydro is not. Do you happen to know the basis for the distinction they are making?

  18. DirkH says:

    One amusing fact about wind energy in Germany: Further increase in capacity hits an obstacle – the necessary power lines are lacking. How come? The energy companies that own and build the grid are forced by law to provide this transport capacity and buy every kWh from every windmill so how can they evade it?

    Very simple: When you plan your new overhead power line, make sure you plan it through a corner of a nature reserve or close to a new settlement (we can expect the inhabitants to be rich officials and green engineers with young families who love nature so they moved out of the city. They will *hate* the view on a new power line in their backyard.).

    You’ll have two protest initiatives in no time fighting your project in court – and as long as that’s going on – no power line to the shiny new wind turbines, no way you can pick up the valuable green kWh’s from the subsidy mills, sorry kids, you’ll have to wait…

    (Heard this on german state radio, NDR info, so it’s official. Unfortunately i find no transcript on the web.)

  19. Henry chance says:

    Hansen and the rest of the cabel oppose mountain top removal for coal mining. Mountain top removal has no underground cave ins and fires.
    Now they want mountain top removal for wind turbines. A wind farm has many times the foot print of a single mine.
    Watch your bill double in a year for wind turbine power.

    Don’t forget much of the price of electricity from wind turbines is hidden in personal income taxes.

  20. Karl Maki says:

    Using the figures provided in the article who wouldn’t want to build a few turbines? They provide a government guaranteed 7% return on investment, and they don’t even have to really generate any electricity to gain it — they only need to be built.

    It recalls Douglas Adams’ brilliant economic theory known as the “Shoe Event Horizon”, wherein an economy converges on producing nothing but cheaply made shoes and eventually collapses. With subsidies like these, Great Britain is on a path where nothing is made but windmills that produce no power since it matters not where they are built, only that they exist.

  21. Allen Cichanski says:

    Obama will of course, use the Gulf oil spill to push for enormous subsidies for wind and solar. Part of the plan is to use lots of pictures of oil soaked pelicans as another reason to stop drilling and cut back on oil usage. In fairness, I wish the MSM would show a picture of birds maimed, decapitated and killed by windfarms. Are we really so stupid as to go along with this “sustainable” energy crap?

  22. Mack says:

    Wind does not work.At the attached link scroll down to see the real-time delivery of power to the UK grid. The UK has c4500Mw of wind capacity installed.Just now wind is delivering 0.4% of the power needed. In real terms wind is working at 3.15% of its CLAIMED efficiency.I can assure you that this has been the case for over 6 months now with very little improvement on some days and a lot worse on many.last weekend at one stage wind was generating 11Mw. Don’t be fooled by the wind industry,look for yourself. I bet that this site will be taken off line soon as the truth hurts the scammers http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm

  23. Mack says:

    PS about that neat site “This BMRS website provides near real time and historic data about the Balancing Mechanism which is used by the National Grid (System Operator) as a means of balancing power flows on to and off the electricity Transmission System in Great Britain.”

  24. Steve says:

    Actually, you don’t have to manufacture windmills to make a profit. Last I checked, a majority of new installed windmills in the US are foreign made. But, those good ole government subsidies provide a profit to those who install them. Anyone know who will pay to have old windmills removed from our land and farmers’ lands?

  25. Roger Sowell says:

    @Eric Anderson, re small hydro is renewable but large hydro is not.

    California is unique in some ways – and this is certainly one of them. Whether large or small, hydroelectric is equally renewable from a practical standpoint. But, the goal of the greenies is behind this distinction.

    This link discusses this pretty well:

    http://www.energy.ca.gov/portfolio/documents/2004-05-19_meeting/comments/TURN_CALWEA_04-05-17.PDF

    It appears from this 2004 document that small hydro has favored status as counting toward the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) – which seeks to have 20 percent of all power sold in California be from renewable sources by 12/31/2010, and 33 percent by 2020. The RPS’ intent is to encourage installation of new renewables. The near-impossibility of installing any new large hydroelectric projects in California means that only small hydro has a chance of development. Greenies throw a fit when a large dam is proposed – hollering something about drowning a shrub, or a couple of gophers. They turn a deaf ear to the fact that more habitat for fish and ducks will be created. Amazing how they have selective hearing. Never mind that California has mountains and valleys out the wazoo, just perfect for hydroelectric projects. Never mind that California has woefully inadequate fresh water storage that creates water shortages, periodic low-rain years, and a growing population. Oh, no. Can’t have any new water reservoirs with dams that could provide hydroelectric power. That would be simply far too logical in California.

    From the link just above, the key quote is:

    “The objective of the RPS program is to protect California’s existing base of renewable resources and promote the development of new renewable generation within or outside of the state in order to promote environmental objectives, lessen the use of fossil fuels, and reduce energy price volatility.”

  26. UK Sceptic says:

    So much for protecting the environment, eh?

  27. Ed Caryl says:

    Follow the money!

  28. kwik says:

    “Creatures from the War of the Worlds”.

    Very well said. Thats what they look like!

  29. Katabasis says:

    @Bruce Cobb – I don’t know if we have a special branch of self-regarding and utterly shameless opportunists who will do or say anything as politicians here in Old Blighty (UK). The likes of Prescott and the Milliband brothers are simply beyond belief.

    John “‘I don’t want to be a member of the House of Lords. I will not accept it.” Prescott has now apparently given up the class war to become a Lord.

    Given what he said above regarding wind farms and “the gentry”, it is beyond belief. Especially as his excuse for now becoming a lord was apparently due to pressure by his wife, who wanted to be a “lady”.

  30. Navy Bob says:

    The money quote, as Bruce Cobb observes, is: “it’s not your backyard any more – it’s ours!” Mr. Prescott, possibly inadvertently, revealed the true Stalinist motivation underlying state-sponsored environmentalism – expropriation of private property.

  31. Mack says:

    My first post on UK wind has vanished into the ether !! here it is again
    “Wind does not work.At the attached link scroll down to see the real-time delivery of power to the UK grid. The UK has c4500Mw of wind capacity installed.Just now wind is delivering 0.4% of the power needed. In real terms wind is working at 3.15% of its CLAIMED efficiency.I can assure you that this has been the case for over 6 months now with very little improvement on some days and a lot worse on many.last weekend at one stage wind was generating 11Mw. Don’t be fooled by the wind industry,look for yourself. I bet that this site will be taken off line soon as the truth hurts the scam merchants http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm

  32. Mack says:

    Wind does not work.At the attached link scroll down to see the real-time delivery of power to the UK grid. The UK has c4500Mw of wind capacity installed.Just now wind is delivering 0.4% of the power needed. In real terms wind is working at 3.15% of its CLAIMED efficiency.I can assure you that this has been the case for over 6 months now with very little improvement on some days and a lot worse on many.last weekend at one stage wind was generating 11Mw. Don’t be fooled by the wind industry,look for yourself. http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm

  33. tarpon says:

    I wonder, does the wind farm owners think the wind harvesting will get more efficient, or that electricity will get so expensive that the wind farms will be competitive. I wonder …

    Since nuclear power is about 1/3 the cost of coal generated electricity, you have to go hmmm.

  34. Martin Brumby says:

    @Eric Anderson says: June 13, 2010 at 10:06 am

    “Roger Sowell,

    Interesting that “small hydro” is included as a “renewable,” but regular hydro is not. Do you happen to know the basis for the distinction they are making?”

    I can help there. Hydroelectric is regarded as a ‘Mature Technology’ (in other words:- it works) and thus doesn’t get any subsidy. Similar for nuclear.

    The reason all the “renewables” get enormous subsidies is that they don’t work or rather, like wind, they produce power when it isn’t needed and in such an unpredictable and variable way that no power distribution company would touch it if they weren’t legally obliged to do so.

    Check out:-

    An excellent book from the same publisher as the brilliant “Hockey Stick Illusion” by Andrew Montford.

    Big Wind in the UK managed to produce just 0.8% of our electricity needs for the three months of “weather – not climate” December – February 2010. For days on end nothing was produced – almost certainly the wind generators were USING more electricity than they produced.

    Is it any wonder that OFGEM (the UK’s Energy Regulator) has stated that the average domestic electricity bill (doubled in the last 5 years) will increase around three fold in the next decade. A quick look at the maths suggests that it will be worse than that.

    Look at this report from a bunch of AGW alarmists – but at least, as Engineers, they HAVE done the maths!
    http://www.raeng.org.uk/news/publications/list/reports/Generating_the_future_report.pdf
    Just read that – every conceivable renewable PLUS 70 nuclear or large coal plants with CCS (which also doesn’t work). And that is just to meet the 80% reduction in emissions that we are legally committed to!

    Buff Huhne and the Liberal Democrats (the back end of the pantomime horse which forms the UK Government now) want to go to 100% reduction by 2050 (will we still be allowed to breathe?) and scrap all nuclear! And you think Obama and Jackson are stupid!

    The people pushing this scam must be held to account.

  35. Fenbeagle says:

    Gail Combs says:
    June 13, 2010 at 9:39 am

    says….
    The only use I can see for windmills is the traditional one of using them for moving water up hill. Two lakes with a generator between is the only reasonable possibility for making the blasted things anywhere near viable for a country’s energy needs. That system would at least allow the energy to be stored so it could be used as needed.

    ….The article is specifically mentioning Lincolnshire. As a resident of the Lincolnshire Fens can I point out the error in your proposal?

  36. DirkH says:

    “Navy Bob says:
    June 13, 2010 at 11:18 am
    The money quote, as Bruce Cobb observes, is: “it’s not your backyard any more – it’s ours!” Mr. Prescott, possibly inadvertently, revealed the true Stalinist motivation underlying state-sponsored environmentalism – expropriation of private property.”

    Actually, it’s Marxist, not Stalinist – it’s plank 1 of the 10 planks of the communist manifest.
    “1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. ”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_manifest

  37. Onion says:

    The irony of socialists decrying country squires is that windfarms transfer wealth from taxpayer to landowner. The PM’s aristocratic father-in-law stands to coin it from installing heavily subsidised windfarms on his land

    yet another reason to eat the rich

  38. h.oldeboom says:

    Maybe an important note of interest and to be followed up; since 1990 windforce in the Netherlands decreased linear with roughly 30%. In January, Febrary and March this year there was a decrease of 50% compared with previous year.

  39. Darrin says:

    Roger Sowell, wind energy does not replace gas/coal/hydro or any other power generation. They have to run in conjuction with wind because wind is not reliably consistant. Just because an area averages Xmph wind does not mean it wont stop blowing for 10min-couple ours. Therefore the capacity has to already be up and ready to pick up the load.

    Also, as to why hydro is not considered renewable. In Oregon the greenies claim it is not renewable because of the impact on salmon runs. At the same time they are trying to protect the seals who consider damn their personal salmon larders because that is natural. Go figure.

  40. Ecotretas says:

    Please take a look at the book “The Wind Farm Scam” and see what it has to say about wind energy! A good UK perspective!

    Ecotretas

  41. Ian F says:

    As soon as I saw “Are they effective at reducing CO2 emissions?” I knew this fellow Gilligan was in the bag for AGW ie. believes CO2 is the problem. What I wished I had seen was “As [increasing scientific opinion] now shows, it’s all based on a false premise, because CO2 is not causing any identifiable climate change anyway”.

    Where are all the clever scientists and speakers who know this? Why do we never see any letters from them to the Editor of the UK Telegraph and other papers, that the PUBLIC will see? Oh, yes, there’s plenty of blogs and excellent people like James Delingpole; and there’s all the proof that is needed, but it’s not getting into the MAIN paper.

    Just a day or so ago in the Telegraph appeared the words “the devastating effects of climate change” in a reference to a new NASA project. This is what the public read.

    After all this time, after Climategate and all we see on WUWT and elsewhere, it is really so frustrating. Can’t someone with some push DO something?

  42. Mack says:

    @ Fenbeagle says:
    June 13, 2010 at 11:31 am
    “.The article is specifically mentioning Lincolnshire. As a resident of the Lincolnshire Fens can I point out the error in your proposal?”
    Are there no suitable sites in the Lincolnshire Alpine region?

  43. Navy Bob says:

    DirkH – true, but Stalin, like Mr. Prescott, was Marx’s theory made flesh.

  44. Roger Sowell says:

    @Martin Brumby: actually, California had 3 small hydro projects that received $2.7 million in subsidies since 1998 – for a total of 31 MW installed capacity.

    But as I said earlier, California is nuts. In many more ways than one.

    Installing just 3 such plants in more than a decade should give an idea of how difficult it is to obtain a construction permit from the greenies.

    http://www.energy.ca.gov/renewables/new_renewables/index.html and see table near the bottom.

  45. DirkH says:

    “Mack says:
    June 13, 2010 at 11:20 am
    My first post on UK wind has vanished into the ether !! ”

    Using the substring “sc*m” does that to your text… after a while, a moderator will pick you out of the spam bin. Seems to be a fixture of wordpress.

  46. 1DandyTroll says:

    I wonder where all the people from the population growth will go in the next 20-30 years?

    I believe EU calculated the need for some 50 million more people coming into EU, and that’s on top of internal population growth. So where will all them people live, especially considering that some parts of some countries are strenuously against things like skyscrapers since they’re so ugly and they destroy the otherwise perfectly good skyline, not to mention the view.

    If people want propeller heads in a back yard, they can have ‘em in their own back yards.

  47. Ric Werme says:

    h.oldeboom says:
    June 13, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Maybe an important note of interest and to be followed up; since 1990 windforce in the Netherlands decreased linear with roughly 30%. In January, Febrary and March this year there was a decrease of 50% compared with previous year.

    One of my favorite mysteries is the 30 year decline in average wind speed at Blue Hill Observatory in Massachusetts.

    http://www.bluehill.org/climate/annwind.gif
    http://www.bluehill.org/climate/200909_Wind_Speed.pdf

  48. kramer says:

    James Lovelock once said it takes over 900 square miles (he used kilometers, I converted to miles) of wind farms to generate 1GW of electricity.

  49. Enneagram says:

    The Brave Don Anthony Quixote Watts and his faithful esquire Charles “The Moderator”, while fighting against Windmills:
    “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”

    “What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

    “Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.”

    “Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone.”

  50. Ric Werme says:

    Jim Cripwell says:
    June 13, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Let me put in my plea that when specifying the generating capacity of WF, the units should be megawatthours per year, not megawatts. The same Dimensions, but different Units.

    Given how few people understand the difference between watts and watthours, I fear you may be tilting at windmills. :-)

  51. Enneagram says:

    The dead corpses of these giants will be the laugh of the following generations. Future teachers will teach their pupils how a bunch of fools, turned crazy by their masters by making them drink Kool-aid instead of milk, invented and built up these silly structures, with the sole purpose of depriving the world and its inhabitants of real sources of energy and so to obtain the Global Governance of all the fruits of the peoples´ hard and daily labour.

  52. nofreewind says:

    A 2MW wind turbines costs 3.5 million. Financed for 20 yrs at 7% that is $330,000. Add another $70,000 for land, local kickbacks, and maintenance to yield $400,000 in costs. If it has a 30% output of capacity it will create 5.3 million kWh’s. Wholesale electricity sells roughly for 5 cents per kWh to yield $262,0000, not even close to meeting the costs of construction. So the Gov’t gives an enormous amt in subsidies to make up the difference.

    Now here is what is unique about this problem. The public gets nothing out of it. There is no benefit to the quality of electricity, in fact the opposite is true for many factors. Same plug, same power, not a soul notices a difference for the better. But the reality of wind. Is that we are sacrificing the future of our children and descendants for this dream. We are leaving our children a landscape covered with these monstrosities AND because we would never pay for this NOW, we simply add it to the deficit and pay interest on the turbines FOREVER. Because a turbine is not like constructing a road, where you put up front capitol costs and then receive benefit for many years. Although they frame it that way, build it and get FreeWind forever. It is the opposite, what happens in reality, is that we will pay the interest on the electricity produced today, forever more. This is like taking a vacation, putting it on your credit card, and just paying the interest forever. Because electricity is like a vacation, used for a temporary time and forgotten soon enough.

  53. Enneagram says:

    Every megawatt of this foolishness will be paid by one gigawatt of men´s muscles energy.
    That is the 21st.century slavery, the fair redistribution of energy to the service of the Few Lords of the Investment Banks, the same inventors of the 19th and 20th centuries “Ponzi schemes” and most invisible, untouchable, and ethereal “derivatives”.

  54. nofreewind says:

    The public is scammed because they Want To Be Good. Most of us have an altar in our head, pushing us to morality and doing the right thing. Why do terrorists blow up bombs and kill people. Not because they are being bad, but because in their own heads they are being good. The perverted version of Allah in their head calls them to action to be good. Most people think that wind turbines are good, they represent “goodness”, just look at the variety of commercials on our TV’s now that have nothing to do with wind, but there is the turbines spinning in the background. The symbol of goodness. So people are willing to ignore the subsidies, the environmental destruction, all of the arguments they ignore because they want to “be good”. And the NGO’s (non-governmental orgs like Audubon, Greenpeace, WorldWildlifeFund etc0 all use that power of Wanting To Be Good to their utmost advantage, that is why the Global Warming Scam works so well, people want to be good.

  55. Stephen Brown says:

    Windmills generating power?
    Here’s the other side of the coin … Windmills USING power!

    http://www.aweo.org/windconsumption.html

    A lot of what meagre amounts of power the ‘mills generate appears to be used on site and power has to be put into the ‘mills under often-occurring circumstances. It makes them even less appealing as a power source for the public.

  56. nofreewind says:

    Here is one simple formula that everyone should know.
    Susquehanna Nuclear is supplying much of the power for this computer and my home right now. They create 2400 MW of electricity almost 24/7 365 days per years. Some years they produced that in 100% of the hours, non-stop.
    To replace that amount of energy – how many turbines.
    Take 5,000 (five Thousand) 2 MW turbines that supply about 25% of their nameplate capacity to yield 2500 MW. We need 5,000 turbines and that woudl not even replace the nuclear plant, we would always need it, because regularly, not occasionally, but regularly, the turbines would produce less than 10% and many times just 1-5% of their capacity.

    The 5,000 turbines will be placed on mountain ridges in many states, completely destroying the ecosystem.
    http://premium.fileden.com/premium/2009/6/11/2474018/nofreewind/boone_fragmentation.pdf
    (slow loader)
    At least 20,000 acres will need to be clearcut to build the turbines and 10′s of thousands more will be affected by fragmentation. But no matter, everyone is quite content, because they know the sacrifice is worth it, because they are “being good”.

  57. Jim Cripwell says:

    Gail Coombs writes “The only use I can see for windmills is the traditional one of using them for moving water up hill. Two lakes with a generator between is the only reasonable possibility for making the blasted things anywhere near viable for a country’s energy needs. That system would at least allow the energy to be stored so it could be used as needed.”

    An interesting comment. Here in Ontario, Canada, we would seem to have everything required for “pumped storage”; large numbers of hydro dams and lakes already in place, and a substantial WF generation capacity. At Niagara Falls, pumped storage is used on a daily basis; the falls are a tourist attraction, but tourists only view them by day. So at night, the falls are “turned off”, and the power generated is used to pump water into a storage lake, to be used the next day.

    One would thought with all these facilities, and all the expertise, we would be in the forefront of using WF for pumped storage. Yet we dont have a single project even in the planning stage. I have tried to find out why, with absolutely no success whatsoever. I suspect pumped storage from WF is simply not that straightforward.

  58. Stephen Brown says:

    With regard to my previously posted link, here’s the “mother-link” wihich has side links to other, very informative articles. All assertions appear to be well referenced and some interesting (and real) experts make a variety of telling comments about wind powered electricy generation.

    http://www.aweo.org/problemwithwind.html#Links

  59. Martin Brumby says:

    @Roger Sowell says: June 13, 2010 at 12:06 pm
    “@Martin Brumby: actually, California had 3 small hydro projects that received $2.7 million in subsidies since 1998 – for a total of 31 MW installed capacity.”

    I think the clue here is the word “small”. 10 MW each is peanuts.

    In the UK you will be able to get very attractive subsidies for anyting small and inefficient. Like Cameron with his little wind turbine on the roof. Like the people with solar panels. Like those who put some pathetic turbine into a neighbouring stream.
    The way it works is that you feed the electricity into the National Electricity Grid and are GUARANTEED about four times the amount you pay for electricity FROM the grid.

    The Germans went down the same route and now pay Billions for electricity which turns up when it is least needed.

    But I have absolutely no doubt that, if there was a planning application for a large hydroelectric dam in England or Wales (I think there are a couple of modest schemes in Scotland that might be built), not only would it get no subsidy but it wouldn’t get permission to be built anyway!

    The Severn Barrage (which has been planned for at least 60 years now and which, potentially could be the largest tidal barrage in the world) will not get built. The greenies wouldn’t want to upset the ducks that roost there.

  60. Mick J says:

    Jim Cripwell says: June 13, 2010 at 9:16 am Let me put in my plea that when specifiying the generating capacity of WF, the units should be megawatthours per year, not meagwatts. The same Dimensions, but different Units.

    meagwatts sounds about right to me, the international abbreviation for meagrewatthours. :)

    Mick

  61. harrywr2 says:

    Wind is really like having an employee that shows up when they feel like it, they demand to get paid whether or not any work needs to be done.

    Of course if one wants to have ‘reliable electricity’, then one has to hire additional employees who show up when needed.

  62. DirkH says:

    Wind across the U.S. has slowed down by 10 % over the last 30 years:
    http://www.windaction.org/news/22240

  63. Mack says:

    Ric Werme says:
    June 13, 2010 at 12:19 pm
    Are you saying that we should forget the FACT that wind is not working when needed,but that we should allow folks to roll up the output for a year and and allow the sc*m to continue ? Last Sunday lunchtime in the UK wind was delivering 11Mw of the total load of some 44500 Mw . Get real chaps, wind is a waste of time be it in hours or megahours :)

  64. LarryOldtimer says:

    When I see or hear the words moral obligation I know that it is religion of one sort or another.

    The most heinous acts against humans recorded in history have been justified by the perpetrators by what they claimed were moral obligations.

  65. George Turner says:

    1DandyTroll

    I believe EU calculated the need for some 50 million more people coming into EU, and that’s on top of internal population growth.

    Hey, why not just install little generators on the turnstyles at the EU borders?

  66. D. King says:

    Enneagram says:
    June 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm
    The dead corpses of these giants will be the laugh of the following generations.

    Yes, and their advocate’s genetic lineage will be seen, with
    Darwinian trepidation, as something to be avoided.

  67. Dave Wendt says:

    Quite predictably, we are being inundated with images of oil soaked birds in the Gulf from everyone of the legacy media sources. Given that such images are considered to be “good television” by media professionals and their consultants, and the public’s continued interest in the Big Spill the prevalence of these images is entirely understandable.
    What is less understandable is the fact that the opportunity to collect and display this type of “good tv” image has been available at the base of nearly every one of the thousands of wind turbines that has been erected in the last decade. YouTube is loaded with videos of this avian armageddon in progress, but very few are from legacy media sources. Of those that are virtually none are from sources in the good old US of A.
    If even the middle ground estimates of wind turbine bird kills are close to correct. the turbines have killed and are killing more birds than even the worst case projections from BP’s leaking well.
    I don’t expect that pointing out this blatant hypocrisy will in any way change their behavior, even if I could miraculously persuade a hundred thousand people to join me in emailing every legacy media source to protest it. However, it does perfectly illustrate that, despite constant proclamations to the contrary, this has never been about protecting the “environment” but about insuring the implementation of the distopian agenda of the statist collectivists.

  68. Keith at hastings UK says:

    As well as being appalingly inefficient and costly. I read that wind turbines even fail on the greenies own terms of CO2 reduction. The inefficiencies of ramping up and down the associated conventional reserve – easiest done via open cycle gas turbines, whereas combined cycle (gas turbine exhaust driving steam turbine) are much more efficient – means MORE Co2 is produced than if one just generated conventionally without the wind power. The German figures were used, I recall. And then there’s all the CO2 to build them, etc, reflected in the price….
    And yet mad Governments press on. A case of “we must do something. Oh, look, there’s something, let’s do it!”

  69. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Darrin, re wind power not replacing gas/coal/hydro or other power.

    The clear fact is that wind power certainly does replace those you mention. For one who operates a power grid, wind (and solar) plants generally are allowed to produce as much as they can, whenever they can. The other power plants such as ones you listed, are then reduced in rate according to a plan so that the grid retains adequate supply and stability. Where this gets tricky is when wind power becomes a significant part of the grid’s load, and the grid operator must decide whether to take a non-wind plant offline because it cannot be reduced any further. It appears that grid instability occurs at approximately 30 to 50 percent wind and solar.

    With the present wind technology, what wind does not replace is other power plants – such as gas/coal/hydro. Until economic grid-scale storage is available, this is our situation. As Gail mentioned above, using wind to pump water uphill is a good idea. However, there are far too few sites for pumped storage hydroelectric plants. Consequently, there are several companies developing power storage systems, such as batteries, capacitors, compressed air, and high-speed flywheels. None of them yet works at grid scale and at low cost.

  70. DirkH says:

    Sweet rethoric of microgeneration:
    “But we are not forgetting the role which schools can play in educating our children on the issues of climate change. By sowing the seeds at an early age, we can grow our future citizens into a responsible, energy and climate change aware population.

    We want to see renewable technologies in every school in Scotland. A number of schools are reaping the benefits already. We will fund a Schools Development Officer to spread these benefits much more widely.

    We want to win the hearts and minds of our children, therefore we will join up with education initiatives in the curriculum and through Ecoshools and Careers Scotland. As our children are learning about energy and climate change – they will be seeing it in action.

    Sowing the seeds at an early age… reaping *benefits*. Yeah, you’ll be dependent on benefits, get used to it in a tender age… Wait, we got a photo with it:

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/This-Week/Speeches/Greener/oilclimatechange

  71. Fenbeagle says:

    Nofreewind
    You are looking to produce 2,500MW from 5,000 turbines? Well we have over 2,500 wind turbines operating here, so for example, taking some figures from NETA (Great Britain) ‘Generation by fuel type’ table, print outs on the days…
    7th June ….Wind 0.0% (4MW) last half hour (4MW)
    5th June ….Wind 0.0% (3MW) last half hour (2MW)
    3rd June…..Wind 0.0% (11MW) last half hour (10MW)
    out of a total of aprox. 38,872MW generated by all means
    Today, as I write? it is…
    13 June……Wind 0.6% (191MW) last half hour 0.6%(193MW)
    You will have a harder time hitting 2,500MW than you imagine, I think.

  72. Stephen Brown says:

    OMG! Look what the UK Government has just proposed!
    If this rubbish gets adopted we will cease to exist as country.
    No industry. No jobs. no nothing. USA beware! This is coming your way right now.

    http://programmeforgovernment.hmg.gov.uk/energy-and-climate-change/

  73. DirkH says:

    “Stephen Brown says:
    June 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm
    OMG! Look what the UK Government has just proposed![...]”

    My sincere condolences. Unfortunately you don’t qualify for the Trillion Euro safety net as you have the opportunity to devalue your own currency. Hey! Why don’t we play a game: We devalue the Euro and you devalue the Pound and we’ll see who reaches US Dollar parity first?

  74. Gail Combs says:

    Fenbeagle says:
    June 13, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Gail Combs says:
    June 13, 2010 at 9:39 am

    says….
    The only use I can see for windmills is the traditional one of using them for moving water up hill. Two lakes with a generator between is the only reasonable possibility for making the blasted things anywhere near viable for a country’s energy needs. That system would at least allow the energy to be stored so it could be used as needed.

    ….The article is specifically mentioning Lincolnshire. As a resident of the Lincolnshire Fens can I point out the error in your proposal?
    ___________________________________________________________________
    I am in favor of nuclear and hydro. I only made the comment because I had considered it for my farm if they go through with this madness. I am on a windy ridge with a stream and a good drop but it is still way too expensive. For home use there is a small turbine that works on about a 2 meter drop. If I recall correctly one farmer came up with a system that will work on a one meter drop. The biggest head ache is all the miserable permits.

    Please do point out the errors, I am all ears. As I said I am considering a small set up if the madness continues. For England perhaps the drop should be in and out of a cave. As I recall England is hollow. I spent about a month “IN” England and Wales but I did not spend much time on the topside.

  75. Mike G says:

    My power station is replacing its main turbines due to age. The 900 MWe turbines are being replaced with new more efficient turbines which will result in a 23 MWe increase in station output (we operate at a 95% capacity factor). Done on each unit, this is a 46 MWe increase in capacity. How many multi-million dollar wind turbines, operating at some ridiculously low capacity factor, does it take to equal 46 new MWe of emission-free electricity?

    If our governments were truly in this for the environment, they’d take these subsidies and use them to upgrade the existing coal, nuclear, and natural gas powered stations, not that we need any subsidies, but we’re more than willing to do our part in this.

    The only problem with this is our economies would survive and greenhouse gas levels would not go down to the levels they can achieve through economic ruin.

    PS: This station also has margin for a 100 MWe power uprate for each unit, which can be done for an almost laughably low $/MWe. But, because of the government-generated weak economy, that 200 MWe of 95% capacity factor emission-free power is left for the future

  76. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    Damn turbine flash can cause epileptic seizures:

    http://www.mfe.govt.nz/rma/call-in-turitea/submissions/186changeappendix3.pdf

    As an epilepsy patient, I know a few things about this. These things are a blight.

  77. Gail Combs says:

    Jim Cripwell says:
    June 13, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    …..One would thought with all these facilities, and all the expertise, we would be in the forefront of using WF for pumped storage. Yet we dont have a single project even in the planning stage. I have tried to find out why, with absolutely no success whatsoever. I suspect pumped storage from WF is simply not that straightforward.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    I think it is more of a political issue than an engineering issue. Hydro is now considered “evil” because it changes the landscape and might hurt some rare species. So instead we are stuck with useless bird slicers. Look at the mountains we have in North America. If you really want “clean” power hydro makes the most sense.

    The fact that hydro and nuclear are already considered “evil” should clue you in that this is a straight scam designed to bankrupt the EU, N. America and the rest of the countries who are stupid enough to sign on. The ultimate goal is a world government with a new aristocracy pedaled as “socialism”

  78. pat says:

    Euroasia and North America could be covered in an ice sheet and The Weather Clown, James Hansen would still announce it was the warmest year ever.

  79. P Solar says:

    Well, what you need is giant gravel batteries.
    Not kidding:

    http://www.favstocks.com/gravel-batteries-offer-a-solution-for-renewable-energy-storage/2014342/

    German article:
    http://www.freitag.de/wissen/1020-leuchtender-schotter

    They say 80% efficiency and dirt-cheap per kWh. My BS meter says scamsters, but who knows…

    BSmeter, dead on!

    Using electicity to create heat is “plane stupid”. Using pure directional energy to create low order random movement heat energy. Converting heat back to electricity is only about 30% efficient.

    To propose it as a means of storing energy is either grossly incompetant or fraud.

    In pumped hydro the energy is stored as gravitational potencial energy, in principal 100% recoverable. The inefficiencies come from the machines used to raise the water and reconvert the kenetic energy of falling water to electricity.
    75-80% is pretty good for any real life situation.

    Many pumped hydro systems are to get around one of the big problems of nuclear plant. They cannot adapt to demand. To produce less expensive power they need to operate flat out 24/7. Even when there’s no demand.

  80. drchassis says:

    In Ireland, the capacity factor for wind has been around 30% for the last few years. However, this year,with all the extra global warming we’ve been having, the capacity factor is down around 20%! I assume it’s very similar in the UK. I think the greenies/lefties had been counting on AGW making the world windier and wetter. Doesn’t look like its gonna work out that way…still they get to keep their massive feed-in tarriffs, which effectively puts a floor under how much they earn per year.

  81. Tom in South Jersey says:

    I’ve got one word…. NUCULAR. ;)

  82. Ken Finney says:

    >>> o.h
    >>> Maybe an important note of interest and to be followed up; since 1990 windforce in the Netherlands decreased linear with roughly 30%. In January, Febrary and March this year there was a decrease of 50% compared with previous year. <<<

    OMG! What are we gonna do when we run out of wind??!!!! It's worse than we thought !!!!

  83. HBCRod says:

    Onion says:
    June 13, 2010 at 11:38 am

    The irony of socialists decrying country squires is that windfarms transfer wealth from taxpayer to landowner. The PM’s aristocratic father-in-law stands to coin it from installing heavily subsidised windfarms on his land

    yet another reason to eat the rich
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    The Prime Minister’s father in law is Sir Reginald Sheffield and he is already coining it with 8 turbines on his land in Lincolnshire, with more planned. How can we expect David Cameron to be impartial when his wife and his children stand to inherit some or all of it!!!

  84. DirkH says:

    “P Solar says:
    [...]
    BSmeter, dead on!

    Using electicity to create heat is “plane stupid”. Using pure directional energy to create low order random movement heat energy. Converting heat back to electricity is only about 30% efficient. ”

    Thanks, i couldn’t point my finger on it but now that you say it… I just thought “How could we have missed such an efficient storage all those years?” It’s not like battery makers are not doing R&D.

    Bonus round: The funniest emission-free system i ever heard of: the Natron locomotive.
    German:
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natronlokomotive
    google translator:
    http://translate.google.de/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fde.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FNatronlokomotive&sl=de&tl=en

  85. Bohemond says:

    “our moral obligation to pass this world on in a better state to our children”

    There is a special corner of Hell reserved for hucksters who play the mark for an easy buck by saying “it’s for the children.”

  86. jorgekafkazar says:

    kwik says: “‘Creatures from the War of the Worlds’. Very well said. Thats what they look like!”

    More reminiscent of The Tripods.

  87. Ric Werme says:

    Mack says:
    June 13, 2010 at 1:21 pm
    Ric Werme says:
    June 13, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Are you saying that we should forget the FACT that wind is not working when needed,but that we should allow folks to roll up the output for a year and and allow the sc*m to continue ? Last Sunday lunchtime in the UK wind was delivering 11Mw of the total load of some 44500 Mw . Get real chaps, wind is a waste of time be it in hours or megahours :)

    Not at all, I was merely noting the many posts and articles where the writers clearly don’t understand the difference between watts and watthours.

    No value judgment at all. Well, that and the Don Quixote reference.

    Would you feel better if I sang “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha?”

  88. PaulH says:

    Of course, getting serious about wind means that a new grid will have to be built:
    http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/energy-answer-not-blowin-wind

  89. Bro. Steve says:

    Every windmill you plug into the grid actually increases the cost of electricity. Wind farms are really just tax farms. See: http://www.otherbrothersteve.com/?p=5382

  90. This is Not original (see over here), but is just too good not to use in a thread like this, devoted as it is to Alternative Energy.

    Caveat – only works for the US, and then, only for a while.

    “It’s still not as effective as harnessing the rotational energy of Grave-Spinning-Founding-Fathers.”

  91. Roger Sowell says:

    There is an ironic twist to wind-power, and that is that as more and more wind-turbines are installed, the demand for natural gas decreases. Thus, the price for natural gas also decreases. Yet, wind-turbines need high price for natural gas to be economically attractive investments.

    T. Boone Pickens recognizes this, and has proposed a new market for natural gas: transportation fuel. This is actually not entirely new, but has not achieved a main-stream status. The increased demand for natural gas created by cars, trucks, buses, and trains would increase natural gas price, and make wind-turbines more economic.

    It is also ironic that the greenies are defeating themselves as they require (or subsidize) methane capture from landfills, cattle feed lots, and other sources of bio-gas and bio-mass. This increases the supply of natural gas and reduces the price – again, working against wind-turbine economics.

    There are also viable production plants that convert natural gas to gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel analogs. Shell has been producing liquid fuels from their GTL process since 1993. This technology also increases demand for, and the price of, natural gas.

  92. _Jim says:

    Roger Sowell June 13, 2010 at 6:45 pm :

    There is an ironic twist to wind-power, and that is that as more and more wind-turbines are installed, the demand for natural gas decreases. …

    Your source on this?

    Not looking for an academic cite, just point me to what you looked at to come to that conclusion …

    .

  93. wayne says:

    h.oldeboom says:
    June 13, 2010 at 11:39 am
    Maybe an important note of interest and to be followed up; since 1990 windforce in the Netherlands decreased linear with roughly 30%. In January, Febrary and March this year there was a decrease of 50% compared with previous year.
    ––––––
    What, wind velocities decreasing some 30-50% from the wind farms in the Netherlands?

    That is exactly what I fear. Lower winds will drastically affect the local climate and for the worse. This time not just some possible one degF warming, but real changes. Loss of evaporation could ravish our lands with decreased rainfall downwind, for it is evaporation which is throttled by the winds more than any other factor.

    Solar panels or solar collectors are primary energy sources, great. They collect directly from the sun and eventually will return all back in the same way the absorbed solar radiation in the first place. I have nothing about them. A small lone windmill to furnish one cabin electricity, no problem.

    These monster wind farms are a different story. They are deriving energy from a secondary and to some degree tertiary energy source within the climate mechanism. If slower wind were harmless, that would be one thing, but it isn’t harmless, it isn’t the same as collecting solar energy directly. Any good meteorologist can tell you more of the dangers ahead from retarding the winds on huge scale.

    I feel these subtle secondary effects on climates will cause these to be dismantled within a decade unless mankind at a local level is willing to live with the bad consequences. This has to be the most asinine thing that mankind has ever conjured up.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  94. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Jim, re a citation for wind replacing natural gas.

    This is, as I wrote above, the entire basis for The Pickens Plan advanced by T. Boone Pickins. If you do a search for the term “Pickens Plan” his website gives information.
    But there are also sources such as this one from the Wall Street Journal:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2009/08/10/blown-away-wind-power-makes-electricity-cheaper-in-texas/

    and my own blog analysis of this at

    http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/windmills-make-cheap-natural-gas.html

    Of course, if an electric utility grid has little, or zero, natural gas-fired plants, probably using coal, then the analysis would be based on coal. In the wind-available areas of the U.S., natural gas is the fuel of interest. The largest states at this time with wind-power are Texas, then California, with growth in the Great Plains states of Oklahoma, Kansas, and north of there.

  95. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Wayne, re windmills causing slower wind speeds and ecological harm.

    This is not an area for concern, as the amount of energy in the wind is many orders of magnitude greater than what wind-turbines extract from it. Air masses (wind) extend thousands of feet into the atmosphere – yet wind-turbines reach only a few hundred feet. The wind blows over vast areas, yet wind-turbines are wide-spread.

    Aircraft pilots receive briefings on “winds aloft.” It might be interesting to do a search on that phrase. The winds aloft charts can be confusing, so here is an explanation (taken from aviationweather dot gov) :

    Sample winds aloft text message:
    DATA BASED ON 010000Z
    VALID 010600Z FOR USE 0500-0900Z. TEMPS NEG ABV 24000
    FT 3000 6000 9000 12000 18000 24000 30000 34000 39000
    MKC 2426 2726-09 2826-14 2930-21 2744-32 2751-41 275550 276050 276547

    Sample message decoded:

    DATA BASED ON 010000Z

    Forecast data is based on computer forecasts generated the first day of the month at 0000 UTC.
    VALID 010600Z FOR USE 0500-0900Z. TEMPS NEG ABV 24000

    The valid time of the forecast is the first day of the month at 0600 UTC. The forecast winds and temperature are to be used between 0500 and 0900 UTC. Temperatures are negative above 24,000 feet.

    FT 3000 6000 9000 12000 18000 24000 30000 34000 39000

    FT indicates the forecast location, the numbers indicate the forecast levels.

    MKC 2426 2726-09 2826-14 2930-21 2744-32 2751-41 275550 276050 276547

    This example shows data for MKC (Kansas City, MO). The 3,000 foot wind is forecast to be 240 degrees at 26 knots. The 6,000 foot wind is forecast to be 270 degrees at 26 knots and the air temperature is forecast to be -9 degrees Celsius. The 30,000 foot wind is forecast to be 270 degrees at 55 knots with the air temperature forecast to be -50 degrees Celsius.

    Wind direction is coded as a number between 51 and 86 (vice 01 to 36) when the wind speed is 100 knots or greater. To derive the actual wind direction, subtract 50 from the first pair of numbers. To derive wind speed, add 100 to the second pair of numbers. For example, a forecast at 39,000 feet of “731960″ shows a wind direction from 230 degrees (73-50=23) with a wind speed of 119 knots (100+19=119). Above 24,000 feet the temperature is assumed to be negative, therefore the third pair of numbers indicate a temperature of minus 60 degrees Celsius.

    If the wind speed is forecast to be 200 knots or greater, the wind group is coded as 199 knots. For example, “7799″ is decoded as 270 degrees at 199 knots or greater.
    Wind direction is coded to the nearest 10 degrees. When the forecast speed is less than 5 knots, the coded group is “9900″ and read, “LIGHT AND VARIABLE.” [end explanation]

    Note that the higher wind speeds, 55 knots at 30,000 feet have extremely high potential for wind-turbine power production. What the existing wind-turbines extract from under 1000 feet and winds of 10 to 25 miles per hour is trivial in comparison.

  96. Stephen Brown says:

    Another article concering windmills in the UK from the Daily Telegraph. The ad hom attack on David Bellamy is interesting.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/7823157/David-Bellamy-joins-march-against-wind-farm.html

  97. Anthony Scalzi says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aGDZMpv5Y9Vo&pos=13

    Windmill Boom Curbs Electric Power Prices for RWE

    On windy nights in northern Germany, consumers are paid to keep the lights on.

    Twice this year, the nation’s 21,000 wind turbines pumped out so much power that utilities reduced customer bills for using the surplus electricity. Since the first rebate came with little fanfare at 5 a.m. one October day in 2008, payments have risen as high as 500.02 euros ($665) a megawatt-hour, about as much as a small factory or 1,000 homes use in 60 minutes.

    The wind-energy boom in Europe and parts of Texas has begun to reduce bills for consumers. Electricity-network managers have even ordered windmills offline at times to trim supplies. That hurts profit for wind-farm operators, said Christian Kjaer, head of the European Wind Energy Association, which represents RWE AG of Germany, Spain’s Iberdrola SA and Dong Energy A/S of Denmark.

    “We’re seeing that wind energy lowers prices, which is great for the consumers,” Kjaer said at his group’s conference in Warsaw this week. “We as producers have to acknowledge that this means operating the existing plant fewer hours a year, and this has an effect on investors” and profit.

    Just posting this as a counterpoint to those who are claiming that windpower causes more expensive electricity. Now, the overproduction at off-peak hours might be matched with underproduction at peak hours. This might also explain why the apparent capacity factor for wind power has been declining recently. As installed capacity increases, the utilities are taking turbines offline at off-peak hours because of the overproduction of power.

  98. kwik says:

    Roger Sowell says:
    June 13, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    There is an ironic twist to wind-power, and that is that as more and more wind-turbines are installed, the demand for natural gas decreases. Thus, the price for natural gas also decreases. Yet, wind-turbines need high price for natural gas to be economically attractive investments.

    T. Boone Pickens recognizes this, and has proposed a new market for natural gas: transportation fuel. This is actually not entirely new, but has not achieved a main-stream status. The increased demand for natural gas created by cars, trucks, buses, and trains would increase natural gas price, and make wind-turbines more economic.

    It is also ironic that the greenies are defeating themselves as they require (or subsidize) methane capture from landfills, cattle feed lots, and other sources of bio-gas and bio-mass

  99. kwik says:

    kwik says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    June 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Roger Sowell says:
    June 13, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Obs, sorry about last post, Accidentally clicked “Post Comment”. What Sowell is describing, is that new generations of humanity is discovering “The invisible Hand” of Adam Smith.

    It is very costly for us all that this will have to happen like this. Wouldnt it be better to teach the young at school in Adam Smiths philosophy, instead of Marxism?

  100. Mack says:

    drchassis says:
    June 13, 2010 at 3:18 pm
    “In Ireland, the capacity factor for wind has been around 30% for the last few years. However, this year,with all the extra global warming we’ve been having, the capacity factor is down around 20%!”
    Do you have a source for those % claims? Are there any official sources or is it all guesswork and fantasy as in the USA ?
    Are there are any other national sources such as the UK neat site?

  101. Mack says:

    Anthony Scalzi says:
    June 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Interesting to note that wind produces a lot of its output at times when demand is low and none when it is actually needed. In Western Europe cold weather is normally calm,thus when demand is high there is no wind which means in simple terms that wind is an expensive folly. Wind has not enabled the closer of a fossil fuel power station anywhere in the world. Germany ,as has been pointed out ,is building 4 new coal fired stations to supply the power needed to keep the idle turbines ‘alive’ as they can consume as much as 50% of their rated power to keep the ‘permanent’ magnet alive . to turn their 160+tons into the wind to stop them falling over ,the heat the blades in cold weather and to start them rotating when the wind starts to blow. The ‘best located’ windfactory in the UK only managed 7.5% of its rated output last year ,the others considerably less as can be seen in real time at http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm This site shows the reality as opposed to some sales pitch.

  102. Chris Wright says:

    @Mack,
    Thanks for the link, it’s very useful. I see that currently wind power is contributing a massive 0.2%.
    Does anyone have a link that shows graphs over weeks and months of total windpower generation, both for the UK and other countries? This site does have a graph but, because the wind component is so tiny, you need a microscope to see it.
    **********************
    This is a very good article by Gilligan, a journalist I respect. It took up a whole page in yesterday’s printed Sunday Telegraph. I really hope that our politicians wake up to the nonsense that wind power is, but I’m not very optimistic. And having a Lib Dem in charge of our energy: now that really is a climate disaster!
    I learned something else elsewhere in the Telegraph yesterday: Prince Charles is also strongly opposed to wind power. Maybe there’s hope for him yet….

    There was another bombshell in yesterday’s Telegraph, courtesy of Christopher Booker. Mrs Thatcher, together with Houghton, had a major part in the establishment of the IPCC, a fraudulent organisation that threatens to cost the world countless trillions of dollars. AGW was very convenient for her in her fight with the miners. She spoke of our obligation to save our children from the horrors of global warming.
    But it appears that in recent years she has seen the light and has become a climate change sceptic. Booker reports that towards the end of her last book (Statecraft, 2003) she makes it clear that she does not believe in AGW and even pours scorn on it. As an example, she quoted the 2.5 degree rise of the MWP and stated that the effects were beneficial. She also poured scorn on Al Gore.
    From Booker’s quotes, it seems that most people here at WUWT would agree 100% with what Mrs Thatcher wrote about climate change. If only she would speak out about this more publicly….
    Chris

  103. Bruce Cobb says:

    Anthony Scalzi says:
    June 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aGDZMpv5Y9Vo&pos=13

    Windmill Boom Curbs Electric Power Prices for RWE

    On windy nights in northern Germany, consumers are paid to keep the lights on.

    While that is all very interesting, it really has nothing to do with the COST of producing wind power. The fact that some customers may benefit at particular times from an overabundance of supply is immaterial.

  104. WillR says:

    There is a study of wind power in Onatrio Canada that will be of interest to some people.

    Watts with The Wind is available at the Ontario Wind Concerns site. Further information is available at the main page.

    At times as little as 4MW of the 1,100 MW name plate capacity is unavailable.

    Wind conditions in central Canada provide little opportunity for power at peak load factor times. Mostly the power is available in the evening and early morning hours. Hot weather and cold weather usually indicate that wind power will not be available.

    This would likely indicate similar conditions in the bordering states of the USA.

  105. _Jim says:

    Roger Sowell June 13, 2010 at 7:59 pm :

    @ Jim, re a citation for wind replacing natural gas.

    This is, as I wrote above, the entire basis for The Pickens Plan advanced by T. Boone Pickins.

    I think Pickens has Pickens’ best interest at heart; since most likely he’s not the Christ reincarnated (is he?)

    For instance:

    Does T. Boone Pickens Have A Personal Agenda? by Dan Bimrose

    A Reality Check on
    the Pickens Energy Plan
    by Vaclav Smil

    .

  106. Dr. Lurtz says:

    Note 1:
    It is dirty coal, evil natural gas(CO2), death nuclear, good renewable s (that don’t work), and clean oil. The Middle East Countries spend billions to buy our politicians and citizens.

    The beginnings of World War 3 are on the horizon. Iran said it is OK to lose 50 to 70 million of their people to achieve their objectives.

    As the War begins, Middle East Countries are funding climate change studies. They feel that they have nothing to lose, since all they have is sand and bad climate. Our politicians want to stop using Middle East Oil, but the alternatives (example: clean coal, nuclear) are dismissed due to the BILLIONS of “under the table money” from the OIL industry.

    Until a break-through technology is created, we will continue this climate change pseudo-science religion.

    Note 2:
    Could it be possible that the oil spill in the Gulf was sabotage? Most man-made crisis are “set up” by putting low-intelligence people in charge that follow the politically correct agenda.

    Just a thought…

  107. Enneagram says:

    Ric Werme says:
    June 13, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Really we are witnessing tha eternal fight between EROS (Life) and TANATHOS (Death), between a Nobel Knight and his not less noble esquire and evil. This why we now understand what Nobel men and women are: Noble is who can not EVER abandon his or her ideals, who fights for them, and who can not even imagine or figure out to exchange his/her ideals for a retribution. It´s really impossible for them such a thing.
    This is why, under the perspective of the evil ones, a nobel being will always seem like Don Quixote of La Mancha, a madman running after phantoms.
    This is a QUEST!, and a Quest though initiated by Anthony Watts and his nobel esquires, we do follow!

  108. Billy Liar says:

    Roger Sowell says:
    June 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    ‘Note that the higher wind speeds, 55 knots at 30,000 feet have extremely high potential for wind-turbine power production. What the existing wind-turbines extract from under 1000 feet and winds of 10 to 25 miles per hour is trivial in comparison.’

    You have forgotten that the air at 30,000 feet is considerably less dense than the air at sea level therefore the energy in the wind is probably little changed. So unfortunatley, windmills at 30,000 feet are probably as useless as windmills at ground level.

  109. Nuke says:

    tmtisfree says:
    June 13, 2010 at 9:23 am
    Of course building wind turbines is only for the benefice of the capitalists. Given the subsidies and the long-lasting contracts (25 years), the wind electricity is currently bought 5 times the nominal (read nuclear, I am from France) price here.
    Who care if wind energy is produced mainly at night when nobody needs it, when the ROI is so interesting. I had requested a permit to build 10 1MW turbines on my own fields with a German firm as primary investor: it was refused last year because of the local watermelons: they don’t like others making money. I appealed the administrative decision on January 2010. Result in September or October.

    That ain’t capitalism. At best, it’s crony capitalism. A better description is economic fascism.

    True capitalism relies upon the free market, not favors bought and sold by politicians.

  110. Enneagram says:

    Oh, summer breeze
    oh, windy nights,
    we´ll have you no more,
    those evil giants swallowed you up,
    killed you down….
    just for nothing,
    for the pride, the money, the pleasure
    of those silly few
    who cried the world was warming
    only to please their evil heart
    and not only removed forever wind and breeze
    from lives of men, women, kids,
    but Sun and warm, trees, life.

  111. Bruce Cobb says:

    “like so much else in the climate change debate, the emotions – on both sides – get in the way. Presenting wind farms as either an alien scourge or a moral crusade obscures what is surely the real question: are they effective at reducing CO2 emissions? Do the benefits they bring outweigh the costs they impose?”
    That’s funny, those aren’t the questions that come to my mind at all. But then, I’m not a believer in the C02 bogeyman. The real REAL question is, why would any nation in its right mind want to sabotage their own economy in this fashion? Gilligan, like a lot of his fellow travelers seem oblivious to the fact that their cozy CAGW/CC craft is about to be shipwrecked. Perhaps he’ll get emotional about that.

  112. mkelly says:

    Since KE= 1/2*m*v*v wind demands a v of some level to work. No v no energy. You pay twice for the same energy with wind. Once for the gas/coal etc plant that must be there and once for the wind. Very inefficient.

    As someone above noted m (mass) in the formula above is a cylinder described by the blades of the windmill times the density. Less density less KE.

    There is no benefit to have wind as a primary, secondary or any ‘ary for general use. Put it on your house if you want but if you’re a believer stay unplugged from the grid and see what happens.

  113. Roger Sowell says:

    @Jim, re Pickens Plan for Pickens’ pocket.

    What difference could that possibly make if Pickens grows richer, especially as it is the American dream to start a business, provide a valuable product or service, and grow rich, as Pickens has done incredibly well. Probably the same dream exists in most other countries.

    The reality is that, at least in California, the elements of the Pickens Plan have existed for decades. We have wind-turbine generators, reducing the natural gas burned in power plants, and gas-powered vehicles reducing the demand for petroleum-based fuels. There is nothing wrong with his plan, especially the part about reducing imports of oil from the Middle East.

  114. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Billy Liar: you have a point at the 30,000 foot level. Air is thinner up there.

    But the main point is that even from 10,000 feet and below, there is a huge amount of energy in the wind that is never disturbed by man’s tiny wind-turbines. Wind-turbines are like specks of dust on a flea climbing an elephant’s back. The elephant won’t notice it at all.

  115. Mack says:

    So, 30,000 feet is the ideal place to site wind turbines? Qomolangma Peak is about 1000 feet short of that but I can’t see there being room for more than one turbine there.The repair crews would need to be rather fit to access the tower.Come to think of it ice might be a problem,oh,and what about transmission losses ? 30000 feet is a long cable.Can we work on this a little?

  116. Mack says:

    Roger Sowell says:
    June 14, 2010 at 9:03 am
    “We have wind-turbine generators, reducing the natural gas burned in power plants, and gas-powered vehicles reducing the demand for petroleum-based fuels.”
    Any verifiable data on that please? I have given a link to the real-time data on wind in the UK and from this you will see that wind is not making any contribution towards closing down any fossil fuel plants. It is actually a parasite on the national grid as the idle turbine are leeching power to stay ‘alive’ .You may sometimes see windmills slowly rotating when there is little or no wind,they use electricity form the other power sources to do this.[ it keeps shafts from bending and bearings from getting flat spots etc. ]

  117. Enneagram says:

    Someone gave a link, time ago, here in WUWT, to a Finland page which showed that windmills’ efficiency in Finland reached only 2.35%, that means almost 50 times more hardware to get the same amount of energy. It would be good to have that link again.

  118. mkelly says:

    Subsidizing CO2 Emissions via Windpower: The Ultimate Irony
    by Kent Hawkins
    June 10, 2010

    “In general, the studies show that as wind penetration increases, the effect on fossil fuel and CO2 emissions worsens. Specifically, at wind penetrations of about 3% (as is the case in the Netherlands), the savings are zero. At 5-6% (as for Colorado and Texas) the “savings” become negative, that is, emissions actually increase due to the presence of wind power.”

    The above can be found at http://www.masterresource.org/2010/06/subsidizing-co2-emissions/#more-10349

  119. DirkH says:

    “Anthony Scalzi says:
    [...]
    Just posting this as a counterpoint to those who are claiming that windpower causes more expensive electricity. Now, the overproduction at off-peak hours might be matched with underproduction at peak hours. This might also explain why the apparent capacity factor for wind power has been declining recently. As installed capacity increases, the utilities are taking turbines offline at off-peak hours because of the overproduction of power.”

    Please note:
    -There might already be variable tariffs with smart meters in Germany, but i have never been offered one so i can’t profit from this. I also have never heard of anyone taking advantage of this.
    -I pay a premium on my electricity like every over consumer in Germany (except for energy-intensive industries – they are excempt) to finance the feed-in tariff for wind and solar.
    -The utilities are obliged to take all “renewable” kWhs produced. They can’t just order wind turbines offline in Germany except for when they own them.

    So electricity for the consumer does not become cheaper but more expensive. The market gets distorted by political prize-fixing and this results in a less efficient market. Otherwise, there would be no money in the game to build wind turbines. Actually, the entire purpose of the German Renewable Energy Law is the distortion of the market.

    At the moment, 2 cent per kWh are the tribute we pay to the green religion; this is expected to grow with 6 % a year. See
    http://www.bee-ev.de/3:333/Meldungen/2009/EEG-Umlage-steigt-Erneuerbare-Energien-sind-keine-Preistreiber.html
    (for non-German speakers, you’ll understand the figure anyway)

    This source says 9% of the consumer end prize is for renewables:
    http://www.der-strompreis.de/zusammensetzung-strompreis.html

    So that’s what we have to pay. I’m not saying it’ll destroy our civilization but that’s the cost at the moment in Germany; it’s another levy so the green industry can get its subsidies.

  120. DirkH says:

    “Anthony Scalzi:
    “That hurts profit for wind-farm operators, said Christian Kjaer, head of the European Wind Energy Association, which represents RWE AG of Germany, Spain’s Iberdrola SA and Dong Energy A/S of Denmark.

    “We’re seeing that wind energy lowers prices, which is great for the consumers,” Kjaer said at his group’s conference in Warsaw this week.””

    Oh yeah, and your source is a wind industry lobbyist. So he’s probably not living in fantasy land; he’s getting paid to spread this strange twist on reality.

  121. RACookPE1978 says:

    Anthony Scalzi says:
    “Twice this year, the nation’s 21,000 wind turbines pumped out so much power that utilities reduced customer bills for using the surplus electricity. Since the first rebate came with little fanfare at 5 a.m. one October day in 2008, payments have risen as high as 500.02 euros ($665) a megawatt-hour, about as much as a small factory or 1,000 homes use in 60 minutes.”

    —…—…—
    Er, uhm, OK. So watt?

    At least twice (in the past two years!) 21,000 wind turbines (at how million dollars/Euro’s/wasated money each for construction and at three times the price of un-subsidized power!) allowed a reduction in electric rates “as high as” (a tricky little phrase there that can hide all sorts of maipulations in rates and times, eh!) 500 Euro per MWatt-hour – about what 1000 homes use per hour.

    Ok.

    So, a reduction of 500 Euro for each MegWatt-hour saved, or 500 Euro’s for that hour divided among the energy used by 1000 homes for an hour.

    21,000 windmills running for two years saved the average household 2.00 Euro for one hour’s electricity.

    Twice. In the whole year!

    Wow. Is that a selling point or for wind turbines

  122. Wind power by my calculations has an Energy Returned On Energy Invested ratio of 0.29. It will take more than 3 times the amount of energy to manufacture, install, operate, and decommission a wind farm than the energy it ever produces. This alternative energy, like solar, hydrogen, and so many others, is unsustainable, and thus a total waste of money and resources.

    If 20% of America’s electric generation was replaced by wind power, CO2 emissions would theoretically decrease by a measly 0.0094%. In reality, CO2 emissions are not reduced at all, but increase due to fossil power plants running in ‘spinning reserve’ or cycling erratically trying to keep up with unpredictable and undispatchable wind power.

    If 20% of America’s electric generation was replaced by wind power our oil imports would be reduced by a paltry 0.292%.

    Wind power will not reduce our reliance on fossil power plants. Germany’s experience has shown that by 2020, up to 96% of any new wind power brought on line, will have to be backed up by coal fired power plants.

    The only thing wind power does is make developers, manufacturers, land owners, brokerage houses, and banks rich at the expense of tax payers and electric bill payers.

    Get the facts. Read Wind Power Fraud.

  123. Dave Wendt says:

    Anthony Scalzi says:
    June 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aGDZMpv5Y9Vo&pos=13

    Windmill Boom Curbs Electric Power Prices for RWE

    On windy nights in northern Germany, consumers are paid to keep the lights on.

    Twice this year, the nation’s 21,000 wind turbines pumped out so much power that utilities reduced customer bills for using the surplus electricity. Since the first rebate came with little fanfare at 5 a.m. one October day in 2008, payments have risen as high as 500.02 euros ($665) a megawatt-hour, about as much as a small factory or 1,000 homes use in 60 minutes.

    The wind-energy boom in Europe and parts of Texas has begun to reduce bills for consumers. Electricity-network managers have even ordered windmills offline at times to trim supplies. That hurts profit for wind-farm operators, said Christian Kjaer, head of the European Wind Energy Association, which represents RWE AG of Germany, Spain’s Iberdrola SA and Dong Energy A/S of Denmark.

    Utility companies don’t exist to pay their customers to take their product. The fact that they are resorting to these extraordinary measures suggest the presence of severely distorting externalities at play which are forcing these decisions. I’m not familiar with all the facts in these brief incidents, but a couple scenarios come to mind.In many jurisdictions utility operators are under increasingly onerous quotas for purchasing “green” energy, which the inherent inefficiencies of alternative energy generation make harder and harder to meet. The utilities in these cases may have felt the need to purchase wind generated energy they didn’t need when it finally was available in quantity, figuring the hit they would take for giving it away would be less than the penalties they would face for failing to meet purchase quotas.
    A more ominous scenario is that the systems they have in place to shutdown wind turbines to balance the electrical grid were not up to the task in these high wind situations and they needed to create instant demand to keep their entire grid system from doing a nice imitation of a ball of steel wool in a microwave oven. I really hope that was not the case because, while the first scenario I suggested could be cured by a rather simple legislative fix if they ever wake up, trying to balance your electric grid by calling up people in the middle of the night to have them turn on lights and ac is a recipe for only one thing in the long run…maximum darkness

  124. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Mack, what kind of verification do you require? Are you incapable of doing your own research?

    Here’s a link to California source of energy from 1997 through 2009. You can see for yourself if wind made any contribution to California’s energy portfolio. The total for the 13 years was 1.4 percent – not much as a percent, but the quantity was 52,000 Giga-Watt-hours. The Texas experience is much greater, both as a percent and total power production — you could look it up.

    http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/electricity/electricity_generation.html

    For natural gas vehicles in California, I suggest you do a search for natural gas vehicles California. Or you could just look up the metropolitan bus statistics for Los Angeles, San Diego, and cities in the Bay Area.

    Then, note that the buses previously burned diesel fuel – which they obviously are not burning after conversion to CNG. You might also look into the Pickens Plan website as I gave above.

    I am beginning to wonder, do you think I make this stuff up? On Anthony’s website, with millions of readers each month?

    As to wind shutting down fossil-fired power plants, that will not happen until grid-scale storage is available and economical, as I wrote earlier. Wind does not do that. You could do a search on electrical power storage, perhaps at one of the US National Laboratories.

    What wind-power does, as Pickens says, is allow a country to avoid importing oil from the Middle East. You could look that up, too.

    As has been well-known for decades, wind-power production is very site-specific. (you could look that up, too). Where wind-turbines are sited in areas with calm air for long periods, the parasitic action you describe could occur. There are thousands of unexploited sites in the USA with good wind, both onshore and offshore. (perhaps a search of the wind map of the USA would be useful to you here). These can and will be developed to reduce Middle East oil imports, but only when vehicles are converted to natural gas, or electricity.

  125. DirkH says:

    Re wind power surges and negative electricity prizes in Germany: To clarify things, it’s the bulk prizes on the electricity exchange in Leipzig. As soon as supply exceeds demand, prizes will drop and can become negative. The energy is then taken by Swiss and Swedish and Norwegian Hydro utilities who use it to run pumped storage (and get some money for taking the excess energy).

    German article:
    http://www.microtarife.de/node/114

    It’s not part of any end consumer tariff by now.

  126. Mack says:

    Roger Sowell says:
    June 14, 2010 at 1:54 pm
    Instead of being abusive you could,as I did, give a link to an independent source of real time power output from all of the sources feeding into the grid. Here is the link again http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm
    You see the 52,000 Giga-Watt-hours means absolutely nothing if that power was not available when needed.Power usage is constantly variable and if the power source is incapable of meeting the demand then it is not viable,realistic or economic.

    Above, Charles S. Opalek, PE says: “If 20% of America’s electric generation was replaced by wind power our oil imports would be reduced by a paltry 0.292%. ” and all you can offer is this rather rude “What wind-power does, as Pickens says, is allow a country to avoid importing oil from the Middle East. You could look that up, too. ”
    Let me put the outputs that you are using into a perspective. If you are freezing your butt off in the depth of winter and there is no wind to deliver the power needed to keep you and your family alive then you need real power and that can come from nuclear .coal or whatever.Without it you die. Wind has to be backed up by conventional means at all times and as I have pointed out above It is actually a parasite on the national grid as the idle turbine are leeching power to stay ‘alive’ .You may sometimes see windmills slowly rotating when there is little or no wind,they use electricity form the other power sources to do this.[ it keeps shafts from bending and bearings from getting flat spots etc. ]
    Right now wind is producing 0% of the demand in the UK O f the demand for 34199Mw it is producing just 13 MW,thats correct THIRTEEN Mw.

  127. drchassis says:

    Someone above asked about the Irish capacity factor – the source for the capacity factor figures in Ireland are from http://www.eirgrid.com and they are not fantasy.
    The historic figures are in the generation capacity reports, and the current figures can be obtained from the 15 minute data Eirgrid publishes. The irish wind energy association has info on installed wind (IWEA). The very cold january, february, and march we had in 2010 are traditionally the times when wind is strongest. This year, those winter storms didn’t come – lots of high presssure, frost, and snow, but not much wind.

  128. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Mack. ok, hey, you’re the expert, obviously. You apparently can not read what I wrote that wind-power production is very site-specific. I could care less if the wind is not blowing in some certain spot where a windmill was built. If the UK builds windmills and gets nearly zero output, that’s their problem. Somebody should have done a proper wind-availability analysis beforehand. Also, using bold type to emphasize and repeat your point is childish. Look, dude, I read it the first time, and responded to it.

    The indisputable point is that wind does work, and quite well, where it is sited properly. You can disparage wind all you would like (and apparently you like that considerably), but the hard facts are that wind in Texas provides approximately 5 or 6 percent of the total grid power, and in California it is approaching 2 percent. You could also look at the daily chart from the link I posted earlier showing California’s daily wind production. You could look it up.

  129. 1DandyTroll says:

    George Turner says:
    June 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    ‘Hey, why not just install little generators on the turnstyles at the EU borders?’

    Because it would only generate electricity for a couple of seconds per persons, which would equal some 2.5 million times per year, which mean they’d only generate electricity every ten second or so. Be easier and much more efficient to install a smallish 2KW windmill for a smaller sailboat on top of the border gate since it would be affected by the up draft as well as wind from anywhere else.

    The real ironic seem to be that if the rest of the western world allowed people in Africa to actual develop in the same way the western world has they wouldn’t need to move, and (and this is the actual irony) EU wouldn’t need em. A bigger irony is, if the rest of the world doesn’t let Africa develop with oil, coal, and even nuclear, where will the industries go (India, China, and Mexico are getting “too” expensive faster than most seem to have expected. Look at China, 20 years ago nobody expected China to be where they are today technological and economically, and India isn’t far behind.) Imagine this that EU with 500 mil, US with 300 mil, Russia with 122 mil, Mexico with about 112, Ukraine with 46 mil, Canada with 35 mil, Australia and New Zeeland with 27 mil, spells the need of the western world of only about one billion people. China and India have the need of about 2.5 billion. Add Africa with about 1 billion, and South America with 385 mil, Central America with 42, south east asia with 590 mil. Add two geographically small countries (less then Texas and New Mexico) like Pakistan and Bangladesh and you add more ‘an 330 million people.

    Greenies thinks it’s ok to undermine the people of Africa, Asia, and the Americas, and pretty much all western governments listen to greenies these days. That’s why the numbers add up the way they do, because how the policy makers act today project the numbers of tomorrow.

    So if you want to make fun of something, make fun of yourself for not making sure other people have what you have, like the need to not have to move not just to a neighboring county, not even a neighboring country, but half around the world to live in your backyard–is your backyard any good at all?

    Sry couldn’t resist the rant. :p

  130. Mike G says:

    @ P Solar

    Actually, nuclear plants can adjust load quite well to match demand. It’s just that demand is always there to run them at 100% power 24/7/365. They are the cheapest power to run. So, they’re always the first to load and the last to unload.

    True, we can’t change power level as fast as fossil units. But, we can change it fast enough. We’re out of practice doing it, though, unless you consider the French.

    Once we double or triple the number of units in N. America, we’ll have to dust off those load follow procedures and perform a few PM’s on some little used equipment. Those will be slightly more interesting times.

  131. RACookPE1978 says:

    Mike G says:
    June 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    My power station is replacing its main turbines due to age. The 900 MWe turbines are being replaced with new more efficient turbines which will result in a 23 MWe increase in station output (we operate at a 95% capacity factor). Done on each unit, this is a 46 MWe increase in capacity. How many multi-million dollar wind turbines, operating at some ridiculously low capacity factor, does it take to equal 46 new MWe of emission-free electricity?

    If our governments were truly in this for the environment, they’d take these subsidies and use them to upgrade the existing coal, nuclear, and natural gas powered stations, not that we need any subsidies, but we’re more than willing to do our part in this.

    The only problem with this is our economies would survive and greenhouse gas levels would not go down to the levels they can achieve through economic ruin.

    —…—…—

    An 1100 MWatt nuclear power plants in Spain completed generator upgrades in November 2009 to a higher density stator design and gained 56 Megwatt increase for the same rated nuclear fuel consumption as before. Its sister plant is scheduled to get the same upgrade this year. A third just overhauled their HP turbine, condensate, and feed pumps to improve efficiency (reduce waste) and that gained 4 MegWatt each “free” energy.

    So, from just these fice power plants, we have created 150 MegWatt of “free” energy, at 95% power on-line efficiency, continuous delivery. No government subsidies. No tax monies. Profit to the companies involved. Pay to the mechanics, millwrights, machinists, pipe fitters, crane operators and truck drivers and cafeteria workers and everybody nearby.

    Five widely-separated wind turbines charging 3 times the price of nuclear electricity have to be built (around the country) to deliver rated power of one. And regional wind loss kills all 5. Line losses of resistance and transformers limit electric power distribution to just over 600 miles: Beyond that point, you lose more than half your electric power to (useless) heat in the copper in the power lines. (Sure, you can get voltage through incredible distances with no losses, but not power. I can run a garden hose two miles down the road and get water pressure at his house to fill a pot of coffee. But I get no flow to fight the fire in his kitchen.)

    150 MegWatt of free power at 95% reliability.
    And to equal it with 2 MWatt windmills, we need to build 375 wind turbines.
    At 1 km spacing between windmills, we need nearly400 km of high voltage power lines to hook up these new wiindmills.
    400 km of new roads and mountain cuts and bridges and access points to service them.
    400 km of concrete, copper, and steel WASTED on “feeling good” with government subsidies. To “maybe” produce “some” power at times of the day when nobody wants it.

  132. RACookPE1978 says:

    Roger:

    When you tried to show the energy in the jet streams (the cross-continental 30,000 foot high speed winds blowing from west to east), you followed Gore’s methods and conventiently forgat a few practical things.

    They are at 30,000 feet. You can’t get that energy from 30,000 to ground level.

    How do you create that energy at 30,000 in the first place? The blades and rotor and stator of wind turbines weight more than contemporary jets.

    The jet stream move daily, hourly, and seasonally. They move unpredictably and uncontrollably. How do you “anchor” a VERY LARGE NUMBER wind generators while letting all of them move hundreds of miles north and south continually? How do you anchor a wind generator to create the relative motion required to spin the blades?

    Can you tell me how to harness the energy in the storms and winds of Jupiter?

  133. Doug Badgero says:

    To expound on some comments and correct some misconceptions:

    I have worked in the nuke industry for 25 years. Mike G is correct we can load follow but we don’t typically since we have the lowest variable operating cost out there, save hydro. Therefore, if we can operate at 100%, we do operate at 100%. A nuke plant costs a lot to build (we have a high levelized capitol cost) we, as a country, should not build nukes that have to load follow. This creates too much idle capitol, in simple terms they are too costly to build to allow to sit idle.

    People are paid to buy wind power because the grid operator has no place to put it. This is because of the inadequacies of the grid in these areas. This is not completely unheard of in the power industry. It is not unusual for the cost of electricity to be negative in areas when you are trying to transport large quantities of power through that area. Power companies need real load to be used along the line to control system voltage.

    Finally, wind can produce some power where it is appropriately cited. However, it is not economically competitive by any reasonable measure. It costs a fortune to build (more than nuclear) and it is not dispatchable – the wind blows when it wants to. Therefore, not only do you have to pay for the wind farm, you also have to pay for back-up power capacity – probably nat gas. When wind is available it will displace the power with the highest variable operating cost that is operating at the time. This will almost certainly be nat gas and almost certainly not “dirty” coal.

  134. Henry chance says:

    Roger Sowell says:
    June 14, 2010 at 9:03

    The reality is that, at least in California, the elements of the Pickens Plan have existed for decades. We have wind-turbine generators, reducing the natural gas burned in power plants, and gas-powered vehicles reducing the demand for petroleum-based fuels. There is nothing wrong with his plan, especially the part about reducing imports of oil from the Middle East.

    Wind generated electricity doesn’t reduce dependency on forein oil.
    Apparently you don’t know how little oil we obtain from the middle East either. My company was involved in ramping up Enron and it’s wind fiasco in California.
    Between government subsidies, legislation and mandates, California has no idea how much damage Enron did to them financially. Coal isn’t from the Middle east oil. We don’t import NG. Pickens got smart and is backing out of his big GE wind turbine order. Obviously Sowell hasn’t read an engineer study that tells us why wind turbines produce so little of name plate capacity. The final stupid move is to store electric in a battery before it powers the wheels of a car. That is incredibly wastefull.
    Do we see any arguments other than emotional to support going to wind farms?

  135. Roger Sowell says:

    @ RACookPE1978 at June 14, 2010 at 4:49 pm; re wind power at 30,000 feet.

    I’m not advocating wind power from 30,000 feet altitude. The point in an earlier comment was that wind-turbines disrupt the local wind and adversely impact the environment. My point in response is that air masses are much larger than merely the first 600 feet, where wind-turbines operate.

    But as a speculative exercise, yes, I have read of schemes to tap the wind energy from very high altitudes. I don’t believe they will ever exist, but in theory they could.

  136. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Henry chance June 14, 2010 at 5:57 pm;

    “Wind generated electricity doesn’t reduce dependency on forein oil.”

    Yes, it does, as I wrote above, and as T. Boone Pickens advocates. Your saying it doesn’t does not refute the facts.

    “Apparently you don’t know how little oil we obtain from the middle East either. ”

    You have no basis to make such a statement. If you read my blog, you will note that I am very much aware of the USA’s petroleum industry, having worked in it for decades.

    “My company was involved in ramping up Enron and it’s wind fiasco in California.
    Between government subsidies, legislation and mandates, California has no idea how much damage Enron did to them financially.”

    No comment.

    ” Coal isn’t from the Middle east oil.”

    Very true.

    ” We don’t import NG.”

    False. Apparently you have not kept up with the LNG import terminals built in the USA. There is also one in Baja California, Mexico, which gasifies then transmits via pipeline the natural gas into California. (presumably you mean the USA by the term “we.”) And, as you used the term “NG,” you apparently are not aware of the large gas pipelines from Canada through which natural gas is imported into the USA.

    ” Pickens got smart and is backing out of his big GE wind turbine order.”

    Pickens does what is best for him, as should we all. My guess is that Pickens was counting on the price of natural gas to keep increasing, but the abundance of shale gas and imported LNG surprised him. That is one of the risks one takes in business, that technical innovation will happen and make one’s plans obsolete. Had natural gas price increased, Pickens would have his wind-turbines operating.

    “Obviously Sowell hasn’t read an engineer study that tells us why wind turbines produce so little of name plate capacity.”

    Again, you know very little about me or you would not make such a statement. I am an engineer (and an attorney) and I have rather extensive experience in design, finance, economics, permitting, and legal aspects of renewable power projects, not just wind. But in short, poorly-sited wind-turbines have low capacity factors. Well-sited wind-turbines have much better capacity factors. For example, when offshore wind-turbines are eventually installed offshore Corpus Christi, Texas, in shallow water, their capacity factors will be very high. That is a very stable wind.

    “The final stupid move is to store electric in a battery before it powers the wheels of a car. That is incredibly wastefull.”

    Wasteful is not the proper criterion. Economics is the proper criterion. The higher efficiency of electric motors compared to piston engines, plus no power consumed for idling, plus partial recovery of energy losses in braking, make electric-driven cars advantageous. Batteries are but one of the many types of power storage system. Batteries are used in some applications, such as Catalina Island offshore Los Angeles. The choice of batteries at Catalina was driven by environmental regulations that preclude starting diesel-powered generators as demand increases.

    “Do we see any arguments other than emotional to support going to wind farms?”

    Reducing imported oil from the Middle East comes to mind.

  137. Roger Knights says:

    In the current, July issue of Popular Mechanics, p. 73, it states:

    “One of the best ways to balance wind’s now-it’s-here-now-it’s-not quality is to construct grid connections between different regions of the US. … A recent Stanford University study found that when many wind farms are interconnected through the grid, about one-third of the electricity they generate can be counted on As a reliable source of around-the-clock power. And a University of Delaware study published this spring concluded that an offshore grid, connecting wind generators along the East Coast, could provide relatively stable output, says Walter Kempton, a lead author. ‘In the eastern US, storms typically move along the coast. Thus, if offshore wind farms are connected by a transmission line, the power from the whole set is more consistent.’
    ………
    “With the latest turbines able to generate pollution-free electricity at less than 5 cents per kilowatt-hour, it wouldn’t be smart to let wind go by the wayside ….”

    I’m skeptical. Comments?

  138. Mike Borgelt says:

    For heavens sakes. By Roger Sowell’s own figures California gets 1.4% of its electricity from wind. This is meant to be a *good* place for wind. Two thirds of three fifths of four sevenths of SFA.

    We’re going to have to build the nukes sooner or later, better sooner and we can forget all the alternative (non)energy scams.

  139. fenbeagle says:

    NETA wind figures for all of Great Britains wind fleet (last half hour)…0.0% (9MW)

  140. Mack says:

    fenbeagle says:
    June 15, 2010 at 1:34 am
    Reading some of the comments above ,that would suggest that someone made a miscalculation in locating the UK where it is :) :) .I hope you noticed my reference to the Lincolnshire Alpine District as a suitable location for pumped storage, as a former member of the Royal Leamington Spa Mountain Rescue unit I am familiar with the topography of the Fens.
    But to wind.It would seem that all the folks who have made knowledgeable comments here are aware of the failure of wind to deliver any worthwhile power when needed.The story is the same all across Europe and most of North America and Canada,only California and Texas seem to have tamed the wind .

  141. Mack says:

    @ Roger Sowell says:
    June 14, 2010 at 8:07 pm
    “For example, when offshore wind-turbines are eventually installed offshore Corpus Christi, Texas, in shallow water, their capacity factors will be very high. That is a very stable wind. ”
    When and will you say,now where have I heard those words used about wind before?? Oh yes,It was in Germany ,Norway, Finland , Scotland, England, Ireland etc etc.Wind has not delivered in any worthwhile fashion ,anywhere. It is a parasite on the grid and a net consumer of electricity and no amount of wishful thinking will make it otherwise.

  142. Chris Wright says:

    From http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm,
    for the past 30 minutes the total UK wind power output was a massive 30 MW, about 0.07 per cent of total. And over the last 24 hours wind output was also 0.07 per cent of total.
    These Martian monstrosities are destroying our precious countryside and yet they’re barely capable of powering more than half a dozen hair dryers (okey, a slight exaggeration).
    Is the world – and, more importantly, our government – going mad?
    Chris

  143. WillR says:

    Here is a reference to the Ontario Grid:
    http://www.ieso.ca/imoweb/marketdata/genEnergy.asp

    Go to the link. Choose one of the last few days and look at the wind grid output. Just scroll through the display until you see “Wind Power” it is laid out as 24 hours of production. Compare it to the other generation options, such as Nuclear and Hydro.

    It is not significant when you consider that the claim is that we have 1,089 MW of installed capacity. I know how to read a load graph. We have at best 550MW and we routinely get close to zero output.

    I made a previous link to a paper on the Ontario Experience. Wind Power does not work. It is about the subsidies and who can rake off the most cash through tax-payer subsidies.

    Our politicians enable the carpet baggers.

  144. Fenbeagle says:

    Mack says:
    June 15, 2010 at 3:16 am

    says… as a former member of the Royal Leamington Spa Mountain Rescue unit I am familiar with the topography of the Fens.

    …Yes, the Fenland mountain rescue team, has hit hard times, and may have been ill conceived, but currently is being retrained to rescue stranded motorists on the Fens with electric cars charged by wind turbines.

  145. Mack says:

    WillR says:
    June 15, 2010 at 5:20 am
    Thank you indeed for that link ,the data therein confirms that it is not just in Europe that wind fails to deliver.The data for June 13th shows that wind is indeed sucking power from the grid.

  146. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Mike Borgelt, re California wind at 1.4 percent.

    Yes, that is a fact. It approaches 2 percent in some years. The fact is that California has very few places where wind energy is viable – and as dumb as California is sometimes, it is not so dumb as to build wind-turbines where there is zero or insufficient wind. I cannot say the same for some other countries, as others mentioned in earlier comments. California’s wind-turbine installations are not expected to increase much, ever. Until, that is, the second generation of turbines become economic, those that produce power from mid-level winds.

    Thus, wind energy as a percent of California’s total electric power will likely decrease in the future. That is not a slam on California, but is a reality of the available wind resources.

  147. Mack says:

    Ok folks,looks like wind is not going to supply any worthwhile power at any location. But your common purpose politicians will continue to hand out massive subsidies to their cronies and others how ill continues to build these useless eyesores all over the most beautiful parts of YOUR countryside and mountain wilderness.

  148. Mack says:

    who will, fingers are bad today :)

  149. Ralph says:

    .

    I shall post this link again – Why Wind Power Does (NOT) Work in Denmark
    (don’t be sucked in by odd the title – it is about wind power NOT working)

    http://www.thomastelford.com/journals/DocumentLibrary/CIEN.158.2.66.pdf

    .

  150. DirkH says:

    “Roger Knights says:
    June 15, 2010 at 12:28 am
    In the current, July issue of Popular Mechanics, p. 73, it states:

    “One of the best ways to balance wind’s now-it’s-here-now-it’s-not quality is to construct grid connections between different regions of the US. … A recent Stanford University study found that when many wind farms are interconnected through the grid, about one-third of the electricity they generate can be counted on As a reliable source of around-the-clock power.[...]”

    This is the same vision Merkel has sold the UK. German and Norwegian and other companies will build large offshore windfarms for the UK and Siemens will build lots of high voltage DC lines, a European Supergrid. The hope is that by shifting the power around Europe it becomes less intermittent. I think they expect losses of 5% per 1000 km. Got that number from the desertec page, the Club Of Rome pet project in Hamburg that wants to extend the system by solar thermal power in the Sahara.

  151. Doug Badgero says:

    Regarding wind turbine capacity factors:

    A well cited wind turbine will have a capacity factor around 30%. This is a function of wind speed distribution. A typical wind turbine will have a cut in speed around 8 mph and a full load speed around 20-25 mph and a cut out speed around 50-55 mph. The cost of manufacturing a wind turbine is not dominated by the size of the generator. Therefore, the generator is over sized to capture the extra energy available from the wind when it does blow at the relatively high velocities. However, these high velocities occur relatively infrequently. This simple fact is why wind turbines have a relatively low capacity factor. There are a few locations that have a more steady high velocity wind resource but these are very limited. Offshore resources may have a higher average velocity but I doubt that makes up for the extra construction and maintenance costs, which are substantial.

  152. Roger Sowell says:

    Some facts about the wind energy industry are at this link, from the State of Texas, USA. There is an extensive bibliography at the end.

    http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/energy/renewable/wind.php

  153. Roger Sowell says:

    A reference for wind energy in California, USA, from the California Energy Commission.

    http://www.energy.ca.gov/reports/2003-01-17_500-02-034F.PDF

  154. wayne says:

    @ Roger Sowell:
    June 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Roger, I’m not worried about how much energy is collected from the wind, your right, it’s tiny. In fact I’m not worried at all. Concerned with the SURFACE winds, yes. That may have an effect on evaporation and then we MIGHT have some bad effects. Just that simple.

    By the way, I took a momoent to calculate 55 mph at 35600 compared to 25 near surface and it’s not that much increase due to the 250 mbar not 1000 mbar pressure. That was interesting. Then it made sense, (55^2/25^2)*(250/1000) = not much.

  155. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Wayne, not to be too much of a critic, but a calculation such as you did above needs relative air densities, not merely air pressure. The air is far colder at altitude, which increases the density. Therefore, one must also account for the difference in temperature, and do this in absolute degrees, either Rankine or Kelvin.

    Also, the proper valuation of wind for wind-turbine purposes uses the wind speed cubed, not squared. But, you are on the right track.

    As to changes in evaporation due to diminished winds caused by wind turbines, again, zero cause for alarm. Dust on a flea on an elephant.

  156. Mack says:

    Roger Sowell says:
    June 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Thank you for this link.However it is of historical interest only as it is quiet a few years out of date. Just for some perspective on wind in California, the claims of 30% efficient for Altamont Pass have been steadily reduced to 9% now as the the results are not as had been claimed .Would anyone correct this with hard fact if I am incorrect?

  157. biddyb says:

    I can’t remember how many years ago, but I first became involved in looking at wind turbines when a couple were mooted close to a friend’s house. At first, being a bit of a greenie, I thought they were a good idea but as I became more involved I learnt more and more about them and became thoroughly disillusioned with the idea. The developer termed it in the huge numbers of local homes that the turbines would provide green electricity for (based on the installed capacity), never mentioning the load factor, about 20% around here; a massive PR exercise in persuading the locals that it would be a good thing to have them, even going so far as to claim they would be good for local tourism. The one thing about this area is that it is beautiful in that gentle english way with some fabulous views unfettered by pylons or other monstrosities and many of the local people rely on tourism as their source of income. The thought of these mega-structures dominating the landscape for miles around was too much, especially as they are not static. (I drove to Germany recently and found my eye being distracted by these rotating beasts as I belted down their motorways – not good). Anyway, we fought off the application but were not too euphoric as the developer said he would be back. And back he came with a vengeance – an application triple the size having persuaded a different landowner to sign a deal (I think the rent is about £25k per turbine but someone may correct me there). That application was fought off and the developer withdrew the application at the final hour but is back, AGAIN, with a slightly reduced number.

    The profits that can be made from the turbines regardless of the load factor are so huge that it is worth their while to keep banging on at it until they finally get permission and the last government was adept at moving the goalposts to make it more and more difficult for local people to find planning grounds on which to object. The rent that landowners receive is peanuts compared with the profits the developer receives and most of that profit is derived from the huge subsidies paid for by UK residents surreptitiously concealed in their electricity bills. This new coalition government seems little better in the “greenie” department and have been equally persuaded by the wind lobbyists.

    When I was first researching government policy, I discovered just by trawling the UK Parliament website that the renewable energy committee was sponsored by all the green energy companies, so what chance was there ever of hearing a dissenting voice. All such details now seem to have been removed from the website – funny, that.

    I have been reading these comments and trying not to add my own but the anger and rage I feel when wind turbines are mentioned has finally got the better of me. If there were no such massive subsidies around then developers would not be so frantic to screw the public and it really makes me angry that I am paying these damn subsidies to them through my electricity bills for the negligible benefit in power generated. We are facing a time bomb in this country when we shall be forced to close power stations to meet some EU emissions directive and we will be facing massive power shortages. The last government did not face up to its responsibilities in resolving this issue and this new one better wake up PDQ or we will be in real trouble.

  158. Mack says:

    netdr says:
    June 13, 2010 at 8:37 am
    This was a possible fraud in Spain involving a small amount of power but it was not proven.The story was carried by El Mundo last April but I do not speak Spanish so can’t help further with this.

  159. Mack says:

    biddyb says:
    June 16, 2010 at 4:36 am

    I fully sympathise with your comment, the fraud has to be seen first hand and up close. The outlandish claims made by the proponents of wind power do not stand up to scrutiny in the UK where you can see the damage caused to the environment for no return. The former member of the British Government [soon to be a lord if you don't mind] John Prescott has been very prominent in the land grab, his connections to common purpose are well known so this will come as no surprise. Science and Engineering have been swept aside by politics yet again

  160. Roger Sowell says:

    Wind projects thrive – at least they do in the U.S.A.

    “The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the governors of 10 East Coast states signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on June 8 that formally establishes the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium. The new consortium will promote the development of wind resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) along the East Coast, primarily by coordinating state and federal efforts relating to permitting, environmental studies, technical and financial barriers, and the infrastructure needed to deploy and maintain offshore wind power plants. The MOU was signed by the governors of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. ”

    source: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/news_detail.cfm/news_id=16093

  161. Mack says:

    Roger Sowell says:
    June 16, 2010 at 10:35 am

    “Wind projects thrive – at least they do in the U.S.A. ”
    You confuse an extension of the scam to fresh fields with actual benefits to the general population. Wind is a parasite on the grid and its proponents are parasites on the wealth of the public.

  162. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Mack, re confusion. I sympathize with your plight. It has to really be sad to know that some wind-turbine installations actually do work as advertised, and contribute to the grid. One must wonder, then, why the others do not. It is not the technology.

    Three words come to mind: Location, location, location.

  163. biddyb says:

    Dear Mack,

    Please don’t mention that ghastly man’s name again. Prescott (there, I’ve said it) should be ashamed of himself, but I suppose someone who is so irrational will never be able to see and understand the damage that he has done because of the massive chip on his shoulder. He was only in Government to make Blair credible to the unions. He was supposed to be in charge of transport policy – um, what exactly did he achieve? Exactly nothing. But he went on to batter the environment through the planning process, all because he thought he would be destroying the privileged middle classes. I can’t quite believe that someone could be so small-minded but he went on to prove it time and time again.

    At least Regional Spatial Strategies are scrapped and local councils can make their own planning strategies, but whether that will include being able to resist wind turbines remains to be seen, given the way the coalition seems wedded to green policies to hold back climate change (small quantity of scarc, please note).

  164. Roger Sowell says:

    This is probably piling on at this point, but on June 15, 2010, wind produced just under 5 percent of the total kWh in California, or 3000 MW average output over 24 hours. That is just a bit more than three times the annual average of 1.4 percent. With a rough value for average capacity factor of 24 percent from several industry studies, that would imply that the capacity factor for that day was a bit more than 75 percent.

    The technology works.

  165. Roger Sowell says:

    Correction, just over 1,000 MW, not 3,000 MW. Mea culpa.

  166. Fenbeagle says:

    Roger Sowell
    Is it possible to supply a link or referance to that information please? (The 1,000MW, not the 3,000MW obviously)

  167. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Fenbeagle, yes, of course. See link below. This is updated daily and shows the previous calendar day’s renewable energy production in California. Thus, the data for the 15th is not shown today, but at the bottom of the page there is a link to earlier dates.

    The 16th is shown as I write this, with wind production of 25, 809 MWhs in the 24 hour period. This of course averages out to just over 1,000 MW of steady production. About the size of one nuclear reactor’s output.

    http://www.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

  168. fenbeagle says:

    Roger Sowell
    Thank you, I am obliged to you, that link is most helpful and informative.

  169. WillR says:

    Some time ago a few members/posters at this blog had the pleasure of calls and visits from the police regarding Climategate.

    At least, some people believed that a crime had been committed. This morning this story appeared in Wind Concerns Ontario regarding police of The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) visiting members of Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO) to determine if a crime was being contemplated.

    It makes for an interesting morning read over coffee when you realize that you are now likely the target of background searches and criminal investigations for a crime that you might contemplate in the future. I have variously seen this in fantasy and science fiction described as “Future Crime” and “Thought Crime”. What more could I say?

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