News bites: The Green Energy Collapse

From the GWPF, a collection of headlines:

Across the world, unsustainable subsidies for wind and solar are being cut back.—Lawrence Solomon, - Financial Post, 3 December 2010

The French government is planning to suspend feed-in tariffs for new photovoltaic installations above a capacity of 3 kilowatt hours for a period of four months, according to a draft decree discussed at a government meeting on Thursday. --ENDS Europe, 7 December 2010

Solar developers are set to abandon France following the government’s recent announcement that it will freeze all new projects larger than 3kW in order to prick the “speculative bubble” building up around the industry. –ReCharge News, 6 December 2010

Germany will not guarantee that existing rules for feed-in tariffs for solar power will be continued after 2012, environment minister Norbert Roettgen said on Wednesday.—Reuters, 1 December 2010

According to Mr Eberhard Holstein of Vattenfall Europe Sales, the rapid expansion of renewable energy sources under the present regulatory environment in Germany will lead to a collapse of the power market. Mr Holstein at the Energy Brain days in Berlin said that “We need to decide whether we want a planned economy or market economy.” He said that should no changes be made to the current legal framework in Germany, then the country would have moved to a de facto planned economy.- Steel Guru, 7 December 2010

Few will be surprised if the United Nations Cancun climate talks end in failure. The real surprise is that for the last two decades people seriously believed there was a realistic prospect of securing broad international agreement to restrict CO2 by all the major emitters. –Ruppert Darwall, The Wall Street Journal, 7 December 2010

Three years after he led the charge to require consumers to ditch their comfortable old incandescent lights in favor of those twisty CFL bulbs, Rep. Fred Upton now wants to be the man to help undo that law as the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. –Fox News, 7 December 2010

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69 thoughts on “News bites: The Green Energy Collapse

  1. You know Anthony, each and every one of those has one common underlying thread…

    ..desire to control

  2. The Green Bubble has burst, like a methane bubble from a fresh Cow pie….
    Our own local economy has been under attack by the Wind industry, and
    if, by some chance our local politicians can wake up and smell the sliced
    prairie chickens, our great NE Oregon scenery won’t be left with post bubble
    industrial debris….

  3. Good for Upton for learning better. We ALL believe nonsense and make mistakes–but some of us can learn from and correct them while others persist in madness.

    The faster we help our neighbors and reps to learn better, the better for the REAL “environment.” Ask any chemist what is the most magnificent chemical reaction of all, and he may tell you photosynthesis. Then ask him what CO2 will do for plant growth and food for man and beast.

    Then ask any farmer whether crops do best in cool weather (Spring and Fall) or hot weather (summer).

  4. Don’t get too close to that broken CFL! A dose of mercury vapour was released into the surroundings, but at least you “saved” some electricity. ;->

  5. I remember playing with balls of Mercury in HS Chemistry class, rolling them around in my hands, like the other high achievers in my school. Maybe that’s my problem. :-)

  6. OT Funny, I had one of those CFLs blow out on me last night. It’s only been there for 3 years. The tube itself didn’t seem blown, but the internal ballast bit the dust hard, as evidenced by all the glue-like gunk blown out the sides and the smell of burnt electronics.

    Yes, I’m going to throw it in the garbage.

  7. I think that the issuance of the death certificate for Green Energy is premature. The country that will soon have the world’s largest economy, China, is on a track to expand green energy production by an enormous amount.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2010/12/04/china-adding-500-gigawatts-of-renewable-power-by-2020/

    China’s plan is to get a total of 500 Gigawatts of renewable energy on the grid by 2020. It explodes wind power from a mere 25 GW on the grid now, to a staggering 150 GW, a six-fold increase on the previous already ambitious plan.

  8. Lady Life Grows says:
    December 7, 2010 at 9:56 am
    Good for Upton for learning better.
    ======================================
    Lady, I honestly don’t see that Upton has learned a thing.
    Before, the green liberals were making a huge noise/stink, so he thought he
    was doing what it took him to get elected.
    Now the tea party/conservatives is making noise, and he’s just doing what he thinks he needs to do to get elected.

  9. I hope you’re right! It would give me great pleasure to NOT see my slice of Kansas prairie polluted with the wind turbines that are being heavily promoted locally.

  10. I have several old home heating thermostats with the mercury capsule switch, maybe even a few old mercury position-sensing switches. Plus one or two old mercury thermometers.

    I can shut down any government building in an instant! Beware the deadly mercury vapor! Run away in fear from the tiny shiny drops of liquid metal!

    Mwah-ha-ha-hah! ]:-)

  11. Unfortunately there is no sign of common sense breaking out in freezing Blighty if this story is to be believed:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1336246/Britain-needs-20-000-wind-turbines-stick-green-targets.html

    I’ve just checked the UK electricity industry summary page: http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm
    And am not the least bit surprised to find that out of a total metered capacity of 2430MW we are currently(sic) getting a paltry 149MW….

  12. Jeremy said at 10:07 am
    Yes, I’m going to throw it in the garbage.
    God be with you – – if you’re in San Francisco!

  13. CFLs are only good for their rated lifetime if the power is clean, and they’re not switched on and off a lot.

    It should be made a meta-law, that anything Congress want’s to force the public to do, has to implemented by all of the civilian side of the Federal Gov. first. Want to phase out incandescent bulbs in favor of CFLs. First do for all the congressional buildings, judicial buildings, executive buildings.

  14. Upton doesn’t need to do what’s needed to get elected, he has a very safe seat and hasn’t had any competition from the democrats in while.

  15. Three years after he led the charge to require consumers to ditch their comfortable old incandescent lights in favor of those twisty CFL bulbs, Rep. Fred Upton now wants to be the man to help undo that law as the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. –
    ========================================================

    THAT IDIOT WANTS TO HOLD A GAVEL? He should thank his lucky stars the people of Michigan are a bit more forgiving(naive?) the the rest of the conservative world. He shouldn’t be in a position to make decisions for the rest of the country.

  16. RE: Incandescent bulbs. I’ve noticed in the last year or two, that incandescent bulbs seem to burn out far more rapidly than they used to, and I’m beginning to suspect that the quality of GE and Sylvania bulbs has been deliberately degraded in order to “encourage” purchase of CFL’s and/or LED bulbs. If anyone has any information in this regard, or is experiencing the same thing, I’d be delighted to know about it.

  17. Soo looking forward to the EUrocrats following the led of the USA in regard to the heat balls (incandescent lightbulbs to you and me)!

  18. Each and every one of these seven points is a blow against what I call “Greensturbation” – the practice of self-gratifying ones “Green urge” with someone elses money.

    I have to admit, I didn’t think the CFL thing would fold so quickly. Yay….

  19. Feed-in tariffs for wind power in the US are $.015 per KWh, about 1/2 of the cost of production from coal burners or nukes. But if I recall correctly, feed-in tariffs for solar power in Germany were at about $.34 per KWh. This is a ridiculous number and the solar power equipment manufacturing industry has been taken for a ride by government agencies.

  20. Curiousgeorge says:
    December 7, 2010 at 11:47 am
    ==================================
    George, look for commercial or long life bulbs. I get them on Ebay.

    About the CFL bulbs. Do any of you guys know why one would constantly burn up?
    I have a ceiling light that’s hard to get to. So I thought one of the CFL’s would work better because it would last longer. I went through 3 of them, in a little over one year.
    The base will actually burn, smoke, and you can smell something burning.

    I replaced it with an incandescent……

  21. The only CFL I like is in the bedroom, ‘cos when I turn it on in the morning it takes so long to get bright that its easy on the eyes and wakes me up like the sun rise.

    Elsewhere I have gone over to halogen bulbs, that do save 30% energy/give more light for the same wattage (good for older eyes!), with ordinary incandescent for rooms one goes in and out of, like utility rooms or downstairs toilets. CFL useless for multiple short switchings. And CFL light colour is rather awful. Still, they are more or less given away here in UK. 10p each, thats about 16 cents. No doubt my taxes or electricity bill pays for the real cost.
    I’m in favour of sensible ways of saving energy, irrespective of CO2 (non)issues

  22. Jeremy says: “I had one of those CFLs blow out on me last night. It’s only been there for 3 years.”
    Wow! I have never had a CFL last any where near a year. You are fortunate to have yours last 3 years.

  23. Dan in California says @ December 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm. “Feed-in tariffs for wind power in the US are $.015 per KWh . . .”
    You may have some misunderstandings about wind energy. The $.015 per kwh is the subsidy that the federal government gives to owners of wind-power electricity. In addition, the owners typically get breaks on property taxes — avoiding some property taxes altogehter — where as nuclear and coal-fired plants face the highest property tax rates. Moreover, in Idaho, for example, wind-generated rates are over 8 cents per kwh.

  24. Here in the UK, supermarkets are practically GIVING away mercury-loaded ‘low energy’ lamps (actually energy companies ARE giving them away).
    Of course, what has happened is a classic case of politicians being way behind the curve – while they were extolling the virtues of low energy lightbulbs, the industry was busy developing LEDs – ten times as efficient as low energy lamps and virtually everlasting. I always viewed low energy lamps as the ‘eight track stereos’ of the lighting world (instantly obselete) – but you know what politicians are like when they get an idea fixed in their heads – take CO2 for instance..!

  25. Mr. Watts. It appears Cancun has failed. Maybe common sense is finally prevailing. I have followed your blog for many years and your influence can not be underestimated. Thank you for your tireless efforts. William.

  26. I work in the energy efficiency industry. I now refuse to specify solar PV systems. To fund the installations, the State of NJ created an artificial markets selling SREC’s. The utilities are required to buy an ever larger percentage of power from renewable resources (hydropower doesn’t count). The SREC’s have been bid up to hundreds of $$$ per megawatt. Since that program was put in place, electrical rates in my area when from about $0.12 per kWh to over $0.18. Its now cheaper per kWh to run a small natural gas fired generators than pull electricity from the grid. My tenants are having a hard time affording their energy bills now (I made the apartments as efficient as possible). Green energy is making us poor!

    Now I wonder, when the fiat SREC market is finally done away with (its not sustainable), what will happen to all those who depend on the revenue stream to pay for those panels? Without SREC’s the millions in financing provided to put panels on homes will no longer have a revenue stream to pay back that financing.

    I want no part of it…..

  27. latitude says:
    December 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Curiousgeorge says:
    December 7, 2010 at 11:47 am
    ==================================
    George, look for commercial or long life bulbs. I get them on Ebay.

    About the CFL bulbs. Do any of you guys know why one would constantly burn up?
    I have a ceiling light that’s hard to get to. So I thought one of the CFL’s would work better because it would last longer. I went through 3 of them, in a little over one year.
    The base will actually burn, smoke, and you can smell something burning.

    I replaced it with an incandescent……

    The problem is heat build up in a ceiling fixture. The CFL bulbs in my experience work best in very well ventilated light fixtures like the torchiere style floor lamps or the old style lamp with the slightly conical (cylindrical) shade open at top and bottom.

    I have some CFL bulbs I use in the living room and my computer room which are left on for hours at a stretch in this type fixture, and they have been problem free for over 2.5 years. I use the daylight bulbs which do not have the sick green color, and they work just fine for me.

    One note, I have found that it appears some (all?) of these bulbs have a thermal over protection circuit in the base. If they get too hot, they shut off, and appear to be dead. If you let them cool completely to room temp and put them back in they will work fine most of the time. This is what clued me into the heat issue.

    Do not use CFL bulbs in inverted fixtures like a ceiling light that restricts airflow to the base of the bulb and traps heat.

    I also have had horrible luck with the Sylvania CFL bulbs. Several of them died very quickly. I never buy their CFL bulbs any more as a result.

    Larry

    ["Turn on only once, leave on ever hence" seems to yield longest life. Robt]

  28. An Inquirer says: December 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Dan in California says @ December 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm. “Feed-in tariffs for wind power in the US are $.015 per KWh . . .”
    You may have some misunderstandings about wind energy.
    ————————————————————–
    I was trying to simplify it. My message is that Germany, Spain, and Japan have had unsustainable subsidies that skewed entire global industries. But I get your point on property taxes. Kinda like the difference between freight railroads that pay property taxes on their land, while gov’t owned commuter railways do not pay taxes.

  29. Reducing the subsidies for PV is the only way to force the industry to become cheaper. It forces them to optimize their production processes and reduce the amount of energy spent upfront in the creation of solar cells. Thus, we’ll end up with some bankrupcies and concentration processes in the industry but also solar cells that reach energetical break even earlier.

    Don’t bet on total eradication of solar cells – it’s a “hype – crash – steady growth” scenario. We’re in the crash phase now. Same for batteries – as it slowly emerges, noone wants to buy an electric car. Shares of battery companies start to suffer, and cries for subsidies get louder (but will not be heeded, as countries are cash-strapped and AGW turns out to be a non-problem).

  30. I use CFLs outside in my porch lights. They seem to be lasting 3-4 years. One has been there for 5. I never turn them off. They do get fairly dim when it gets really cold. <10 F. The incandescent lamps (60W) would only last about 3-6 months and I allowed the daylight switches to function with them.

  31. eadler says:
    December 7, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Great source you’ve provided there. But ignoring the maoist, anti-democratic undertones that only a fat comfortable rich westerner can espouse (“There actually are some big advantages with one-party rule”) let’s look at the specific facts.

    500 GW of “renewable” electricity capacity by 2020, most of which is hydroelectric, which is among the gazillions of things on the list that enviros hate. The 500 GW is from an existing “renewable” portfolio of about 215 GW.

    Let’s put that in perspective—

    “The Chinese government envisages thermal [i.e fossil fueled] installed capacity will reach 1,000 GW by 2020 up from 652 GW in 2009 and will represent about two-thirds of the total capacity. ”

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/China/Electricity.html

    So the “exploding” wind power going from 15 GW to 150 GW is dwarfed by the increasing use of fossil fuels, and even the increase in evil hydro will be outrun by the increase in evil coal.

    And your democracy hating pal has the balls to write: “If there is one country we climate hawks should be happy is not run like America, it is China. Because China is the world’s factory. And carbon emissions from the world’s factory are about to get lower. And that is a good thing.”

    Well, there’s one thing in China’s favor, using a fairly generous capacity factor of 30%, that “exploding” wind capacity won’t get anywhere near enough to disrupt their energy grid, especially since most of it will be built where there’s no power lines to feed it into the national grid.

  32. I think that the issuance of the death certificate for Green Energy is premature. The country that will soon have the world’s largest economy, China, is on a track to expand green energy production by an enormous amount.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2010/12/04/china-adding-500-gigawatts-of-renewable-power-by-2020/

    “China’s plan is to get a total of 500 Gigawatts of renewable energy on the grid by 2020. It explodes wind power from a mere 25 GW on the grid now, to a staggering 150 GW, a six-fold increase on the previous already ambitious plan.”

    Cue the “Beat the Clock” theme music…

    Start Narration:

    Let’s do the MATH on the Chinese plan and see how “real” it is. Northern States Power of MN (now “Xcel energy”) has had 100 MW of wind in the western part of the state for almost 20 years.

    Production figures show an average of 8.7 MW continuous.

    Barring arguments about availability, let’s take a 12 to 1 factor as the amount of wind turbines need to produce 1 unit of power.

    Thus 125,000,000,000 Watts would take 1,500,000,000,000 watts of installed capacity.

    Now at 1 MW per turbine, that’s 1,500,000 wind turbines.

    It so happens the going price is about $2,000,000 per turbine. Thus the cost of this effort will be: 3,000,000,000,000, THREE TRILLION DOLLARS !!!!

    It is quite obvious, therefore, that China intends to “call the debt” and insist we repay at once. WHOOPS, default and WWIII on economic grounds. Bad, BAD, BAAAAD environmentalists. Causing WWIII because of your wind power.

    By the way, every 1.414 mile by 1.414 mile (2 square miles) there will be a wind turbine. I’m absolutely CERTAIN there will be no cummulative effect, and stalling of the normal winds across China will not occur! (NOT!!!!!!)

    Some sneaking suspicion has me saying: “624 Major coal plants for the next 15 years, 100 nuclear plants for the next 20 years, and the 100 major GAS TURBINES on order from GE and Siemens being shipped TO China in the next 3 years, MIGHT, just MIGHT be the real plan?”

    Max

  33. eadler says: December 7, 2010 at 10:16 am
    I think that the issuance of the death certificate for Green Energy is premature. The country that will soon have the world’s largest economy, China, is on a track to expand green energy production by an enormous amount
    ——————————————————————————–
    Eadler. Get real – China is building coal fired power stations at the rate of 2 a WEEK!!

    It might have the world’s largest economy one day – but is won’t be powered by green energy. If you believe the crap in your reference the only thing green about your post is the writer.

    Douglas

  34. hell_is_like_newark says:
    December 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    ” Without SREC’s the millions in financing provided to put panels on homes will no longer have a revenue stream to pay back that financing. ”

    In Washington State the feed in subsidy on solar is ‘net’. I.E. To get anything you have to run your meter backward for the entire month. The result is that even with a 54 cent/KW feed in tariff almost no one gets any money but the solar panel company.

  35. “”””” PaulH says:
    December 7, 2010 at 9:57 am
    Don’t get too close to that broken CFL! A dose of mercury vapour was released into the surroundings, but at least you “saved” some electricity. ;-> “””””

    Well I doubt it. How much electricity was used to make that thing in the first place ?

    And I have it on good authority, that the vapor pressure of mercury is quite low; so unless the lamp was thoroughly warmed up by the time you shattered it, you are likely to get a tiny drop of liquid mercury. Better save it, just in case you need to dissolve some sodium metal in water to make your own Sodium Hydroxide.

    Much safer to do if you prepare a sodium amalgam first, and then you can toss that in the water with impunity. The nice thing about it is that you will get your mercury drop back again all nicely polished and shiny new; so you can re-use it.
    It’s pretty much the same recipe as making “Stone” soup; you know, you boil up the stone in nothing but water; and add accoutrements like beef and barley and carrots and garlic etc; jut to get the taste right mind you ! And then you can remove the stone and wash it so it is ready for next time.

  36. keith at hastings UK: re: “CFL useless for multiple short switchings. And CFL light colour is rather awful.”

    Flourescent light is, quite frankly, green. This can work nicely in a room if you have the right colors to blend with green light, but if not, it’s garish.

    I know this because I do photography as a hobby, and taking photos in ambient light, without the camera’s flash unit, has shown me a lot about lighting.

    The biggest surprise I got was when I took some pictures of some red-haired people under flourescent light. The color looked somehow “drained” to me, and when I zoomed in on the images, I saw GREEN streaks… olive green… in that RED hair! Green streaks in red hair are OK in abstract art. Not in photos of people. Lighting that can cause that much change in the spectrum is intrusive. I had to use a graphics app to correct the color in the pictures to resemble something more “normal”.

    This is the reason why, when you look into a mirror in a public bathroom with cheap flourescent fixtures, you look Night of the Living Dead. It’s because the lighting is green.

    Photos taken under incandescent light have ALMOST the same problem… the images turn out more “orange” than they should be. BUT the difference is that orange does not make you look like you should have been buried sometime last week. Orange is actually a pretty flattering hue on most skin tones. It’s the background stuff, like furniture, draperies, and other stuff that might be in the blue range that gets badly nailed by orange lighting. You just have to make a decision about whether you’re photographing the people or the room.

    I don’t have any experience with photographing under halogen lighting, but I’d be interested in seeing what comes out of it. :)

  37. eadler says: December 7, 2010 at 10:16 am
    I think that the issuance of the death certificate for Green Energy is premature. The country that will soon have the world’s largest economy, China, is on a track to expand green energy production by an enormous amount
    —————————————————————————
    Eadler. Get real – China is building coal fired power stations at the rate of 2 a WEEK!!

    It might have the world’s largest economy one day – but is won’t be powered by green energy. If you believe the crap I your reference the only thing green about your post is the writer.

    Douglas

  38. Gentlemen

    Lord. The Republican steering committee gave Rep. Fred Upton (Michigan) the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee. I can’t think of a worse choice. See announcement at: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46097.html#ixzz17TVlUeuP

    In much better news, POLITICO announced that the steering committee picked Rep. Ralph Hall (Texas) to become the next of the House Science and Technology Committee. Rep. Hall said at a hearing last month that the documents exposed a “dishonest undercurrent” within the scientific community.

    I think Ralph’s a good pick for four reasons: 1) He has a reputation for integrity; 2) he’s well liked by his peers; 3) He’s a good deal smarter than he lets on; and 4) He has more than enough experience to maneuver through the congressional maze. See announcement at: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46101.html#ixzz17TTrmXuN

    Regards,
    Kforestcat

  39. The economic value of renewable energy is usually less than its cost of production. Therefore, we will end it or it will end us. Also, I live in Upton’s district (Southwest Lower Michigan) he is in no danger. From everything I can tell, he is a scientifically, technologically illiterate politician…………just like most (all?) of them.

  40. Gentlemen

    In my post above the 2nd paragraph should have read:

    “…picked Rep. Ralph Hall (Texas) to become the next CHAIRMAN”

    and

    “Rep. Hall said at a hearing last month that the CLIMATE GATE documents exposed a “dishonest undercurrent” within the scientific community.”

    Sorry folks, I’ve got dyslexia.

    Kforestcat.

  41. Before ‘modern’ electronic ballasts, florescent lights had two dominant colors, red and green. You could wiggle a pencil in such light, at the right speed and see this. I have a 300 fps camera that does a great job of splitting old f.l.’s into their basic colors. New electronic ballasts ‘flicker’ at 20 kHz or so, much harder to separate color components. But the same applies. It ain’t white light.

    Not sure why y’all get such short life on CFL’s. Mine last 7+ years, at least the older ones. New ones, made in the PRC are another matter. Electronics quit. Made from the cheapest parts on the planet. That’s an indictment of the supplier, not the process. And the new ones take forever to warm up. Squiggley does not work as well as the original U-shape tubes. Probably cost less to produce, so that’s why they look stupid.

    Curiousgeorge: Check your line voltage. Above 120 (in the U.S.) incandescents die very quickly.

    Although it has been the Hottest Year in the History of the Universe, right now it is colder ‘n h— outside. Some good incandescents would help.

  42. As a child my father had a jar containing about 5 lbs of mercury that I used to stick my hands in and play on the floor with. My parents never objected. I use to play with it for hours.
    /sarc on
    My fingers didn’t start dropping off until I turned 60
    /sarc off

  43. The dirty little secret of CFL’s is that they can’t take the heat that incandescent bulbs take so many of your existing fixtures, especially ceiling fixtures, are unsuitable and need to be replaced with fixtures compatible with CFL’s. Of course, the various governments touting CFL’s to save electricity (money) are mum on this issue.

  44. latitude says:
    December 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Curiousgeorge says:
    December 7, 2010 at 11:47 am
    ==================================
    George, look for commercial or long life bulbs.

    I’ve seen them sold as “industrial” bulbs.

  45. Douglas says:
    December 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    If you believe the crap in your reference the only thing green about your post is the writer.

    A clever twist on “green” that ought to be employed more often.

  46. Replacing 5 100W incandescent bulbs with CFL lamps requires you to buy a space heater or turn up the thermostat on the furnace when summer has left the land. It isn’t necessarily so that during summer you need start up the air conditioner, so this is not a symmetric balance of energy.

    Has anyone done the math to show that the ability of incandescent lamps to cut heating bills in the winter without increasing cooling bills (in many climes) during summer reduces energy savings in expensive mercury-based CFL use to wishful thinking?

  47. “PhilinCalifornia says:
    December 7, 2010 at 11:15 am”

    I believe you have insulted a box and some rocks in the box in one sentence.

    In Australia the Federal govn’t has mandated that only CFL lights be sold after 2012. And in New Zealand some years ago, local authorities were concerend that broken CFL lights was in domestic waste at coucil landfill sites. Yeah, no kidding!

  48. Thanks to the posters who took the trouble to research and post excellent rubuttals to Eadler’s usual lunatic comments. Eadler does fulfil a useful function, however, as a totally reliable troll along the lines of John Cleese’s village idiot and is almost guaranteed to post irritating nonsense with a strong Green Comintern flavour on every thread.

  49. .
    Meanwhile, Green Dave wants Britain to invest more in Green Energy. Has this guy no sense or understanding of the issues?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/8185274/Cancun-climate-conference-Britain-should-lead-the-way.html

    .

    But what the government will not tell us, is that during this recent UK cold snap, the windelecs have all been stationary, and virtually no electricity was being produced. So if the UK had 30% of power generation by wind, as intended, we would have had rolling power cuts across the country and thousands dying every week. (Not much works, in our technical society, without power. No transport, no food production, no shops, no domestic heating.)

    The really disgusting thing, is the lack of information. If you search the wind farm companies, or the government wind departments, they will have plenty of ‘right on’ reports about installed capacity, new projects, health and safety, and the environment – but absolutely no information about how much electricity is being produced.

    I used to use the Liverpool observatory database, and emailed this to many people, to show that there was no wind when the weather was cold. So what have they done? Locked the database, of course.

    Since we are paying for these worthless windfarms though a subsidy, it is our democratic right to know whether they are actually producing anything worthwhile. Can WUWT start a campaign and a pressure group to force governments to provide real-time and historical data on how much energy is coming from each wind farm?

    .

  50. This from the British Wind Energy site:

    “No problems arise when the wind stops blowing. If nothing else, it is highly unlikely to have stopped blowing all over the country at the same time.”

    http://www.bwea.com/ref/stop.html

    a. Well, yes, there is a problem, because another energy supply has to take up the slack. It is only not so much of a problem if wind power represents only 1% of supply, but if that were increased to 30% of supply (as David Camoron wants), it would be a disaster.

    b. It is highly likely that the wind stops blowing all over the country. A large anticyclone can easily encompass all of northern Europe, and when it does so, the wind stops in the whole of the north of the continent – as the historical wind data clearly shows.

    This is not simply the wind fraternity being disingenuous, these are downright lies.

    .

  51. @ Ralph – if you visit the site in the link I posted earlier you will be able to see what’s actually going on in the UK electricity generating industry. It’s updated every 30 minutes, and is broken down by types of generation. You want the “Generation By Fuel Type (table)” page.

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

  52. >>Dave Ward
    >>@ Ralph – if you visit the site in the link I posted earlier you will be able to
    >>see what’s actually going on in the UK electricity generating industry.

    Yes, I visited this site, but all I get is “no information available” for each graph. I tried Safari and Firefox, but no luck.

    Any suggestions? (Apple user)
    .

  53. My home has four CFL bulbs — they’re the four freebies handed out by BC Hydro to all subscribers about seven or eight years ago. When I moved into my current home in April/2004, I took them out of their packaging and tried to screw them in somewhere. They didn’t fit a SINGLE light fixture in the home. Not one. Too large.

    So, they ended up in the two-car garage which, co-incidentally, had four ceiling bulb fixtures. Now, almost seven years later, they’re still there, and actually provide me with good light for when I’m tinkering in the garage. I notice in the winter it takes them 30-60 seconds or so to get to full luminance, but not a big deal. So, credit where due — they’ve lasted, give me good light, and were ‘free’ (yeah, I know, I paid for them in my hydro fees).

    However, I will never pay money out of my own pocket for one of these things. Ignoring the issue they don’t fit any other light fixtures, they just don’t make financial sense. You’re paying 5x or 6x more than a regular incandescent and, let’s face it, lighting makes up only a very, very minor part of a household’s electricity use. Savings will be pennies a day/week/month. I’ll save my money now, in one purchase thank you, rather than saving it piecemeal over a (very) long period of time.

  54. James Barker said “I use CFLs outside in my porch lights. They seem to be lasting 3-4 years. One has been there for 5. I never turn them off. They do get fairly dim when it gets really cold. <10 F."

    I have had the same experience. Judging from other comments above, the CFLs don't work well in heat (e.g. ceiling fixtures) but seem to be fine in the cold (both of mine have been on 24×7 for 4 years)

  55. Ralph says:
    December 8, 2010 at 11:50 am

    >>Dave Ward
    >>@ Ralph – if you visit the site in the link I posted earlier you will be able to
    >>see what’s actually going on in the UK electricity generating industry.

    Yes, I visited this site, but all I get is “no information available” for each graph. I tried Safari and Firefox, but no luck.

    Any suggestions? (Apple user)

    I am using Firefox. The graphs and table work fine for me, provided I turn on Java scripts.

  56. I was an early adopter of small fluorescents (even before compact, back when they were a 6 or 9 inch ring with a ballast in the middle… still have two of THEM in use…)

    They have “issues”. Lots of issues.

    First and foremost is mercury. Can’t use them in the fridge (also VERY slow to light due to cold) unless you don’t mind mercury in the food when someone whack it with a spoon diving for the leftover mashed potatoes. Really ought not be used anywhere food is prepared or consumed, IMHO. Yes, folks will eventually break one somewhere. Then exactly HOW LONG is that area mercury contaminated? An area near my dining table is in such a state…

    Second is lifetime. I’ve had several (as noted above with emphasis on Sylvania) that had very high “infant mortality”. Some DOA, some Dead In A Week. But also several that have lasted years.

    On / Off Cycles: You get 10,000 IF you are lucky. Take a 10 x a day light like the kitchen or bath, you get 2 years plus a bit IF lucky.

    Warm up time: Fast Light needs, like security lights? Nope. Fridge? Even if not a mercury problem, it won’t light up enough before you want the door closed. Closet? Hope you can wait a while for that towel. During the ‘warm up’ you are running a little incandescent heater in the bottom, so your energy efficiency is nowhere near advertized…

    Flicker: While much better with the 20 kHz electronic ballast (it was horrid with the 60 Hz magnetic ballast and I can’t imagine what it was like on Euro-50 Hz…)

    Headaches: Some folks get headaches from the flicker. I know of 2 personally.

    Color Rendering Index: On the bulb will be a CRI number if you are lucky. Over 85 gives OK color ‘trueness’, under that are the sickly green and strange yellow ones. Most cheap bulbs have a lousy CRI but you can pay $10 / bulb more and get decent. Incandescent has a 100 CRI (though a low, so redder, color temperature).

    Color Temperature: 5000 K bulbs are available. Good for security lighting that is on all night as it has a very blue cast that’s offensive to criminals. 2700 K is the common orange / yellow icky bulbs. 4200 K or so are the “ok” ones, but with a lousy CRI they can still look sort of greenish or pinkish.

    Exciting End Of Life: I’ve had several of these things reach End Of Life in ways that were, er, “Not Good”. VERY hot fixtures (as the incandescent glow bits were trying constantly to light the light – typically only in magnetic ballasted lights). Electronics frying with interesting displays of arcing and who knows what chemicals in the gases emitted when plastics and electronic bits bit the dust. Even a bulb fracture or two. Do not put in fixtures which can’t take a small fire without burning the house down.

    Lousy cold weather performance: At some low temperature, they simply will not start. Barn in Iowa in January? “Good luck with that”. Minnesota on the back porch in February? You must be joking… We won’t even talk about Alaska… Early on I had some that would not ‘start’ below freezing. Yes, in California I could not get them to start in an exterior fixture. I’ve now got cold rated exterior fixtures (high pressure sodium).

    Cant’ throw them away: I’ve got a nice collection of about a dozen dead bulbs. Can’t put them in the trash due to the Garbage Police. Not allowed in the recycle. I’ve heard rumors that you can turn them in as “Toxic Waste” at special disposal sites, but I’ve not found one of those yet. I may spend a few hours driving around and looking for one some day… (Wonder if anyone has figured in the cost of 2 gallons of gas driving each dead bulb across town to the “approved” disposal site?…)

    Don’t “dim” worth a damn. I’ve got dimmers in the bath and bedrooms for that “easy wake up” effect. CFLs, even the “dimmable” ones, don’t dim worth a damn. It’s more like a buzzy step function to 1/4 or 1/2 bright (often with flicker) then a ‘range’ then another step to full bright. And of 3 dimmable bulbs I’ve bought, 2 died in short order and the other one is in the spare bulbs box as it’s crap in the dimmer circuit.

    Useless for heat: There are large number of combined heat and light uses that are, well, useless with CFLs. Lizzard lamps. Chicken hatcheries. Toy stove / ovens. (And you can’t put a CRL in a real oven either as they are not temperature rated for 300 F…_) So all those “heat from a light” appliances are now garbage OR need to buy a dedicated nichrome heater, unless they need BOTH heat and light like chick warmers… then you have to re-engineer it…

    There’s more, but I think you get the picture.

    No, I’m not a hard core anti-Green (though they have slowly been driving me away…). I’ve got CFLs and efficient lighting in about 80% of my fixtures. I love the IDEA of the technology. It’s the reality of it that sucks.

  57. dave ward – thanks for the link..! Seems to work fine for me..
    Wind power achieved for the last 24 hours – 0.9%…
    Wow – Big Dave has nearly reached his target…

  58. >> windpower graphs
    >> dave ward – thanks for the link..! Seems to work fine for me..

    Ok, I got it working in Firefox, but not Safari.

    But cannot see a graph for historical data, to show a politician or two.

    .

  59. Douglas DC;
    “post-bubble industrial debris” indeed. There are already substantial graveyards of abandoned and busted windmills in CA, Hawaii, and Australia, e.g. You’d think there was already an opportunity for a decent recycling/scrap business, especially considering the REEs tied up in the rotors.

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