Why windmills won’t wash

Guest post by the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

Consider the Oldbury wind turbine, which WattsUpWithThat.com reveals was installed a couple of years ago at a primary school in the Midlands at a cost of £5000 sterling plus Vicious Additional Taxation at 17.5% (US $9694 in all).

In the first full year of the Oldbury White Elephant’s 20-year life it generated a gratifying 209 kilowatt-hours of electricity – enough to power a single 100-Watt reading-lamp for less than three months. The rest of the year you’ll have to find something else to do in bed.

Gross revenue for the year, at 11p (18 cents) a kilowatt-hour, was, um, almost £23 ($40). Assuming that there are no costs of finance, insurance or maintenance, and after subtracting 20 years’ revenue at last year’s rate, the net unamortized capital cost is £5,415.20 ($8,900).

Even this figure understates the true cost. The UK has hidden much of the cost of its climate measures behind a calculatedly complex web of levies, taxes, charges, and subsidies, and – above all – behind a furtive near-doubling of the true cost of electricity to pay vast subsidies (“yacht money”, as we landowners call it) to anyone connected with windmills. The website of the King Canute Department amusingly calls this obscurantist mish-mash “transparency”.

How much “global warming” will Jumbo the Albino forestall? While it is in operation, it will generate 209,000/365/24 or almost 24 Watt-hours per hour on average: just about enough to drive an electric toothbrush.

Mean UK electricity consumption, according to the Ministry of Transparency, is 43.2 GW. Electricity contributes one-third of UK carbon emissions, and the UK contributes 1.5% of world emissions. So the proportion p of global carbon dioxide emissions that the Worthless Windmill will forestall is 24 / 43,200,000,000 / 3 x 0.015, or 2.76 x 10–12, or, as Admiral Hill-Norton used to call it, “two-thirds of three-fifths of b*gger all”. Skip the next few paragraphs if mathematics makes your head hurt.

Today’s CO2 concentration is 390 parts per million by volume (less than 0.04%, though most people think it’s more like 20-30%). Instead of the 438 ppmv CO2 concentration that the IPCC predicts for 2030 on its A2 scenario, thanks to the Wonder Whirligig it will be 438 – p(438 – 390), or seven-eighths of a Hill-Norton below 438 ppmv.

IPeCaC, the UN’s climate panel says 8 Watts (no relation) per square meter of radiative forcing from CO2 and other bad things (p. 803 of its 2007 climate assessment) will cause 3.4 Celsius of “global warming” (p. 13, table SPM.3) from 2000-2100 (progress from 2000-2010: 0.0 Celsius).

That gives the “centennial-scale transient climate-sensitivity parameter”, which is 3.4/8 or 0.425 C/W/m2. Multiply this by 5.35, the coefficient in the CO2 forcing equation, to give the “centennial-scale transient global-warming coefficient” n = 2.274 C°. We don’t need to worry about warming beyond 2100 because, according to Solomon et al. (2009) it will take 1000-3000 years to come through, far too slow to cause unavoidable harm.

Multiply the logarithm of any proportionate change in CO2 concentration by the global-warming coefficient n and you get a central estimate of the warming that will occur (or be prevented) between now and 2100.

The Sandwell Sparrow-Slicer will only run for 20 years, not 100, so our value for n is going to be too big, overstating the warming the thing will actually forestall. But it’s Be-Nice-To-Bedwetters Week, so we’ll use the centennial-scale value for n anyway.

Let’s do it: 2.274 ln[438/(smidgen x tad <438)] is – well, put it this way, even my 12-digit-readout scientific calculator couldn’t do it, so I turned to Microsoft Excess. According to Bill Gates, the warming the Birmingham Bat-Batterer will forestall over the next 20 years will be rather less than 0.0000000000007 Celsius.

As the shopping channels say, “But wait! There’s more!!!” Well, there could hardly be less. How much would it cost, I wondered, to forestall 1 Celsius degree of warming, if all measures to make “global warming” go away were as hilariously cost-ineffective as this silly windmill?

You get the “mitigation cost-effectiveness” by dividing the total warming forestalled by the total lifetime cost of the project. And the answer? Well, it’s a very affordable £8 quadrillion ($13 quadrillion) per Celsius degree of warming forestalled. Remember, this is an underestimate, because our method tends to overstate the warming forestalled.

And that’s before we politicians ask any questions about whether IPeCaC’s estimates of climate sensitivity are wanton, flagrant exaggerations [cries of “No!” “Shame!” “Resign!” “I beg to move that the Noble Lord be no longer heard!” “What did I do with my expenses claim form?”].

Suppose it was just as cost-ineffective to make “global warming” from other causes go away as it is to make “global warming” from CO2 go away. In that event, assuming – as the World Bank does – that global annual GDP is £36.5 trillion ($60 trillion), what percentage of this century’s global output of all that we make and do and sell would be gobbled up in climate mitigation? The answer is an entirely reasonable 736%, or, to put it another way, 736 years’-worth of worldwide income.

This is an inhumanly large sum. So how much would each of the seven billion people on the planet have to cough up over the next century to forestall the 3.4 C global warming that IPeCaC hopes will happen by 2100? It will cost each of us more than £3.8 million ($6.3 milllion), and that’s probably a large underestimate. I’m going to have to sell the Lear ad go commercial. No – wait – what did I do with that glossy brochure about how many tens of millions I could make from the 30 250ft windmills I could put on the South Beat? Ah, here it is, under my expenses claim form.

“The Noble Lord,” the Canutists might say, “is deliberately taking a small, absurd and untypical example. Shame! Resign! Expenses!” etc. So here are the equivalent figures for the £60m ($100 million) annual 20-year subsidy to the world’s largest wind-farm, the Thanet Wind Array off the Kent Coast – that’s £1.2 billion ($2 billion) for just one wind-farm. KaChing! I think I’ll have another Lear. And a yacht, and a Lambo, and a bimbo.

The “global warming” that the Thanet wind-farm will forestall in its 20-year lifetime is 0.000002 Celsius, or two millionths of a degree, or 1/25,000 of the minimum global temperature change that modern methods can detect. The mitigation cost-effectiveness, per Celsius degree of warming forestalled, is £578 trillion ($954 trillion), or almost 6000 times the entire 296 years’-worth of UK peacetime and wartime national debt as it stood when Margaret Thatcher took office. That’s more than 1.7 million years’ British national debt, just to prevent 1 degree of warming.

Making IPeCaC’s predicted 3.4 C° of 21st-century warming go away, if all measures were as cost-ineffective as Thanet, would take more than half of the world’s gross domestic product this century, at a cost of more than £280,000 ($463,000) from every man, woman and child on the planet.

“The Noble Lord is still cherry-picking. Resign! Moat! Duck-island!” etc. So look at it this way. All of Scotland’s wind farms, which can in theory generate 10% of Britain’s electricity (actual output in that cold December when we needed them most: 0.0%), will forestall just 0.00002 degrees of warming in their 20-year lifetime – about the same as all of China’s windmills.

So there you have it. After the biggest and most expensive propaganda campaign in human history, leading to the biggest tax increase in human history, trying to stop “global warming” that isn’t happening anyway and won’t happen at anything like the predicted rate is the least cost-effective use of taxpayers’ money in human history, bar none – and that’s saying something.

The thing about gesture politics is that the politicians (that’s us) get to make the gestures and the proles (that’ll be you) get to get the bill. I think I’ll have another moat. Torquil, don’t you dare put that expenses claim form on the fire. Think of the carbon footprint!

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183 Responses to Why windmills won’t wash

  1. Roger Carr says:

    Viscount Monckton of Brenchley; world at large: My last, desperate try to restore Kind Canute to his rightful place as a realist.

    Viscount Monckton notes: “The website of the King Canute Department amusingly calls this obscurantist mish-mash “transparency”.”

    This implies the King was a fool. My reading of history was that King Canute understood the tide would not obey him and used seating himself on the beach below the highwater mark as proof to his foolish followers that he was man, not god.

    Take it away, Sam…

  2. Latimer Alder says:

    Uncle Latimer’s Helpful Hints about Wind Power for Investors, Politicians and The Public

    1. It does not do what its supporter’s claim and it will never do what its supporters claim. It is a waste of money.

    2. Do not give money in any form to anyone who tries to sell you wind power. Not for anything. They are charlatans

    Thank you for reading.

    You now know all you need to know on the topic. Do not spend any more of your valuable time considering the subject.

  3. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    Regardless of the Canutean History Details, and even if Lord Monckton were even 90% wrong, it’s still an impossibly high sum to save a degree that may or may not ‘warm’. Time to hire a Llama and go fishing for freshwater sardines, methinks.

  4. john edmondson says:

    I wonder what is going to happen when the ageing coal and nuclear power stations in this country are decommissioned in the next few years? That is the problem.

    Most likely the UK will be short by 10GW at least. Not good.

  5. Sean says:

    It seems reasonable to wonder if wind power is a net power consumer when you allow for manufacturing costs, install, laying cables in rural areas plus the repeated visits presumably by car to keep it going. Just in the power budget, not money.

  6. slow to follow says:

    I think it is worth noting that the supply of energy and power are in the available wind, the turbine is simply a conversion device. The challenges of matching this supply to the desired load are also noteworthy. This Poyry Consulting report is worth a read:

    “The challenges of intermittency in North West European power markets”

    http://www.poyry.com/Projects/Management_consulting.html?ReferenceId=221

    http://www.poyry.com/linked/services/pdf/143.pdf

  7. Eric Worrall says:

    Hilarious! I propose we all adopt the Bimbo measure of Climate Subsidies!!! :-)

  8. fenbeagle says:

    Well’s…. It’s been war…But will we win? ‘The War of the Whirls’, coming to a field near you soon….

    http://fenbeagleblog.wordpress.com/

  9. Jimbo says:

    I may have missed it but I did not read any mention of the co2 ouput during the production of the amove said windmills. C02 output will will also be incured during maintenance call outs.

    In regards to the Scottish example: Scotland purchased nuclear generated electricity from France this past winter because its windmills could not cope. I agree with Dr. James Lovelock and George Monbiot that we can’t avoid using nuclear power.

  10. Ralph says:

    Nice one, your battleship. Most entertaining.

    You might also mention Professor Mackay’s argument that even if Britain used every scrap of land and sea to generate wind power, this would still only equate to about 25% of UK energy demand. Plus, this wind energy would give up during the very time we most need it most, like all of January 2010, as you point out. The good professor went on to claim that we could store energy for windless days, but rather ignored the fact that he had just proven that such storage systems would only cover generation for a day or two, and not the month without wind-power that we experienced in 2010.

    Just one thing – did you mean to say “7.36 years’-worth of worldwide income” rather than “736 years’-worth of worldwide income” ??

    .

  11. Ralph says:

    Oh, and one other thing. Where was the Health and Safety Executive when that child-mincer was erected? To comply with UK law, it should have a 25m exclusion zone around it, comprising a 5m fence and razor wire. And the blades, which might fly off at any moment, should be shrouded in a cage using 7mm gauge steel. Plus, all children within 100m of the fan should wear a hard hat and safety goggles.

    Now re-cost the entire project…

    .

  12. Steeptown says:

    I hope the Viscount has informed HMG of these facts!

  13. Jimmy Haigh says:

    They’re cutting down all the trees I planted near Aberfeldy 30 years ago to make a bloody windfarm. Can one of you warmists out there tell me the sense in that?

  14. Verity Jones says:

    “Digging in the Clay” carried a guest post back in February that showed some great graphics on why trying to limit emissions is a waste of time: http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/the-futility-of-trying-to-limit-co2-emissions/

    Ed has sent me a couple of updates and I’ll try to add them as downloads.

  15. Verity Jones says:

    @Fenbeagle
    Very clever! I happened to drop by your site last night. How do you think of them?

  16. Arfur Bryant says:

    A humorous and light-hearted essay which cloaks a more serious and, in my view, accurate, underlying message.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

    The cAGW hype has never really been about science. After an initial honeymoon of ‘consensus’ based on a cadre of so-called scientists who either had an agenda or were just plain gullible, it is becoming increasingly clear that it is about political revenue, personal greed and false testimony.

    Meanwhile, the planet just trots along…

  17. Neil Jones says:

    Reply to Roger Carr says:
    April 30, 2011 at 12:27 am

    This is a sign of the north/south divide in the UK. In the Anglo/Viking north the story is of a wise Norse King Canute and his sycophant followers. In the Norman dominated south it is Canute the egomaniac who thought he was a god.

  18. John Marshall says:

    When I did Thermodynamics at university the tutor told us that this study was so when some smart inventor turns up trying to sell us some invention we would be armed with enough knowledge to tell if said invention was a load of rubbish.

    Wind power falls within the rubbish bracket, as does wind power, solar panel, hybrid cars, electric cars,—-.

    The estimate above of the UK’s output of CO2 does not state that the 1.5% is of the total output from fossil fuel use not the total CO2 production. The total from fossil fuel use globally is but 3-4% of the total production, the 96-97% being from natural producers over which we have no control.

    It is also good to note that since the theory of CAGW and the Greenhouse Effect violates the laws of thermodynamics so all the above math is meaningless I am afraid.

  19. Rick Bradford says:

    Instead of Canute (or Knut, properly spelt), maybe he meant Knut the polar bear, who died in Berlin Zoo of aggravated global warming brought on by Al Gore’s lifestyle.

  20. Andrew Harding says:

    The UK will have a feudal economy if the succession of governments we have had continue to believe the warmist claptrap that is currently the prevailing thought. I am currently sat at my computer in Southern Spain where it is p*****g it down with rain and has done for 12 days out of the last 16.The temperature is 17.7 celsius. We were last here in October when, as now, the dried-up river bed near our house was a torrent of water from the Sierra Nevadas. Just after we bought the house in 2006, the headlines in the press were talking about Southern Europe being uninhabitable due to drought caused by global warming. The building of a local desalination plant that was going to provide fresh water from seawater has been put on hold because all the reservoirs are full. Last January when we here, our flight back to the UK was cancelled because Newcastle Airport was closed due to snow. In Newcastle we have had the worst winter for many years with temperatures down to -11 (this is in a city!!) and 2 feet of snow. Meanwhile the lovely countryside in Spain and in the UK is being defaced with lots of hideous, useless windmills that provide minimal electricity when we don’t need it, and zero electricity when we do, at an eye watering cost.
    If the above does not satisfy our misguided eco-warriors here is something else for them to think about. The incidence of rickets, osteomalacia and MS is on the increase because badly advised parents are only allowing their children to go out in the sun in full body suits, hats with legionnaire style neck protection and total sun block, due to holes in the ozone layer. As a consequence their vitamin D levels are seriously depleted . Do these parents wonder why their kids are getting fat and getting avoidable diseases because they would rather sit in front of the TV than overheat and look ridiculous in stupid clothes?
    I will look forward to summer here when I can get a politically incorrect suntan, plenty of vitamin D and not have to worry about water rationing.

  21. David Socrates says:

    My good Viscount, here you are on very firm ground that every educated person should be able to understand. Your maths is sound and the issue is clear cut.

    I believe that the only way to get political change on the scale needed is to make a mockery of each and every politician in the eyes of his or her constituents. Your rhetorical style admirably suits that objective. So how about joining me in a grassroots campaign to relentlessly press home to each political representative just what a stupid course of action the investment in wind farms is? The maths is so straightforward that all but the dimmest of them will be forced to concede the truth. And in the case of the dimmest (and there are many), their constituents will be able to explain it patiently to them – at the ballot box.

    In the UK there is practically no distinction between any of the political parties. So at least here a campaign of the type I propose need not even be biased politically – and hence should have much greater power and effectiveness.

    Nor need such a campaign engage in the issue of whether the planet is warming dangerously due to mankind’s industrial sins. Whether it is or not, it makes no sense at all to use taxpayers’ money on useless technology that will never have a hope in hell of even scratching the surface of the (supposed) problem.

    You have exposed in your principal example, exactly the same economic illiteracy that leads politicians and others to claim more generally that investment in green technology is always good anyway, simply because it creates jobs. You bet it does – at the expense of all the rest of us who earn our living in non-green productive enterprises. No vested interests there then.

    So come on, this is a challenge. Let’s get organised!

    davidsocrates2010@gmail.com

  22. Bloke down the pub says:

    Am I right in thinking the photo above is of Dale Vince. If anyone has got rich on the back of idiotic government targets it’s him. I’m not sure what it says about him, but with all his millions when he wanted to buy a football team he ended up with Forest Green Rovers.

  23. Stirling English says:

    Another way to look at it is that in a whol year, Jumbo the Albino generated about as much energy as there is in 5 gallons (21 litres) of petrol. About 1/3 of a tank for a normal family car.

    Even with UK’s ridiculously high rates of tax and duty, that would set you back a little less than 30 quid (pump price) or about 12 quid pre tax and duty.

    Not a very good deal for a £5,000 ‘investment’. A gross rate of return of 0.24%.

  24. Matter says:

    You know perfectly well that not all measures are as ‘cost ineffective’ as Thanet, with offshore wind receiving twice the maximum subsidy of onshore wind and the way ROCs work meaning that this is an absolute maximum possible subsidy.

    You surely also know that the price of wind is declining relative to other forms of power and that its subsidy will decline markedly as time goes on and with its exponential growth, the average subsidy per unit of CO2 saved over the century will be much, much smaller. You read a lot, you must also know that economic analyses for current planned climate action suggest much smaller figures than you’ve suggested.

    So you’ve pulled off another one of your mathemagical sleights of penmanship. I hope some of your audience will be reasonable enough to see through their rage at renewable energy to deal with it properly.

  25. brian says:

    I notice the Huhnatics in charge of UK energy policy have been trying to reframe the argument lately talking more about alternatives to expensive and diminishing oil rather than preventing climate change.

  26. Roger Carr says:

    Neil Jones replying to me (April 30, 2011 at 2:19 am)
          This is a sign of the north/south divide in the UK. etc.. (Norse King Canute)

    Thank you, Neil! That is a clear explanation of the dichotomy I have encountered — and makes a whole lot of sense.

  27. Galvanize says:

    @john edmondson

    I wonder what is going to happen when the ageing coal and nuclear power stations in this country are decommissioned in the next few years? That is the problem.

    Most likely the UK will be short by 10GW at least. Not good.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    There are interesting times ahead with circa 3GW of gas recently shutting down or being mothballed in the UK, and various coal sites that opted out of LCPD starting to shut down from 2012. Under the LLD (limited life derogation) that they opted for, they were expected to last until 2015, but the market has resulted in a favourable running regime for coal, and they have used up their hours quicker than anticipated.

    A few more coal sites will also opt out of selective catalytic reduction too.

  28. Blade says:

    “In the first full year of the Oldbury White Elephant’s 20-year life it generated a gratifying 209 kilowatt-hours of electricity – enough to power a single 100-Watt reading-lamp for less than three months. The rest of the year you’ll have to find something else to do in bed.

    Pffffffttt! Sprayed soda over my nice LED monitor. That is instant classic funny. God I love this guy (you know, in a manly kind of way ;-)

    Mr. Monckton, please stay involved now more than ever. I have this gut feeling that the Warmie cult is more vulnerable at present than at any other time. Their exaggerations and over-reach is becoming obvious to more laymen I encounter every day.

    Good people like you and Sarah Palin tend to drive them (and all liberal socialists) mouth-frothing bat-crazy, which is in reality is a very good thing because they then make even more mistakes.

    Keep up the great work!

  29. gary says:

    what about all the co2 produced during the construction stage???, isn’t the producion of concrete one of the worst emitters of this trace gas, and i’m sure the base for this monstrosity would be huge??

  30. EternalOptimist says:

    Wind, an overly expensive, draconian, divisive and unimaginative solution to a problem that doesn’t exist

    EO

  31. Zorro says:

    It isn’t just the utter stupidity of wind farms it’s also the blatant corruption that goes with it, and when its your local council involved, its the end of democracy. Take a look at the contract we unearthed in our battle down under.
    http://www.palmerston-north.info

  32. R. de Haan says:

    As for the bigger picture listen to this interview with Lord Monckton
    The end of the Magna Carta

  33. EternalOptimist says:

    And much as I hate to disagree with the good Lord, that should be a pig in the photo , not a cow. And give the subject matter, it should be a squadron leader to boot

    EO

  34. polistra says:

    Yay! Monckton’s back!

    Seems to me the most persuasive non-numerical fact is that wind usually blows when you don’t need it. It’s the same here in Washington, where Bonneville Power has maintained a huge wind farm for a long time.

    You need the most power in the coldest and hottest periods, and those are almost always calm high-pressure times. The wind blows when fronts are coming through, and fairly steadily in spring and fall. Those are times of less extreme temperature, and Bonneville has had to ‘dump’ lots of electricity because it’s not needed then. (Can’t simply shut down all the bat-killers because California contracts require a certain amount of the power to be from wind.)

    Thus the wind power, supposedly a “peak helper”, is actually a “peak nuisance.”

  35. Colin says:

    Matter: “You surely also know that the price of wind is declining relative to other forms of power and that its subsidy will decline markedly as time goes on and with its exponential growth, the average subsidy per unit of CO2 saved over the century will be much, much smaller. ”

    You cannot substantiate any of this. Please demonstrate how “its growth is exponential”.

    And no, the price is not declining relative to other forms. Even a trivial glance at steel and concrete price indexes shows the falsity of this statement.

  36. Mike Fowle says:

    Marvellous! Excoriating, witty and devastating.

  37. HenryP says:

    I think Lord Monckton forgot something else to calculate
    1) there is some radiative warming caused by Co2 (deflection frm earth 14-15um)
    2) there is some radiative cooling caused by CO2 (deflection frm the sun at various places between 0-5 um)
    3) there is also cooling caused by CO2 by taking part in the photo synthesis. There is evidence that earth has become greener the past 50 years or so. I mean, did you ever see a forest grow where it is very cold? Greenery and forests take a lot of energy from their surroundings.
    It appears that the IPCC (and most other scientists) never considered either 2) or 3).
    My question was: what is the net effect of 1) and 2) and 3)?
    I suspect 3) is considerable compared to 1)?

  38. Roger Longstaff says:

    My Noble Lord,

    You are well aware that the science is settled, yet you continue to obfuscate using facts, logic and common sense. Please get back to what you were elected to do – fiddling your expenses, feathering your nest and getting your snout stuck into the globull warming gravy train.

    What, you weren’t elected….? OFF WITH HIS HEAD!

  39. Tom Harley says:

    Spotted here on Google ads:
    Australian Windmill
    Ornamental Garden Windmill A piece of Australia’s Heritage
    http://www.mailmaster.biz/catalog/c
    Probably a copy of the schoolyard one…

  40. Richard B says:

    Excellent article by the Lord M. and without pushing the fact that there is no evidence of any cAGW. I would much rather put my money in this system but main stream media will not touch this for some reasons – in operation in 97 locations in 4 countries 24hours/da­y – one been running for 6 years – 400 watts in – 15Kw out –
    http://Ros­siColdFusi­on.com

  41. Sheumais says:

    As we in Scotland are still inclined to use light bulbs when it’s not sufficiently windy to turn a bat botherer/sparrow slicer, shouldn’t you add the cost, both financial and in terms of CO2 output, of the conventional generator required to ensure a reliable supply as back-up?

  42. Bhanwara says:

    “trying to stop “global warming” that isn’t happening anyway and won’t happen at anything like the predicted rate”

    Make your mind up!

  43. Nik says:

    As metalworkers say, a file is the tool of tools because it can make another file.

    Can a windmill give enough energy to make another windmill?

    Nik

  44. Mariwarcwm says:

    Thank you your Lordship, very very amusing and much appreciated by the denier footsoldiers in this household.

  45. Matthew W. says:

    Just a little confused about the numbers:

    “it generated a gratifying 209 kilowatt-hours of electricity – enough to power a single 100-Watt reading-lamp for less than three months. ”

    For the past 5 years, I’ve averaged almost 400 KW of usage a month (1000 sq ft home, gas heated, near Chicago).

    is the 209 KWs really the correct number ?????????????

  46. Brent Matich says:

    Thanks Lord Monckton for putting things in perspective as usual!

    Brent in Calgary

  47. Sal Minella says:

    Lord Monckton:
    “How much “global warming” will Jumbo the Albino forestall? While it is in operation, it will generate 209,000/365/24 or almost 24 Watt-hours per hour on average: just about enough to drive an electric toothbrush”

    It may well drive your toothbrush but, will it be available to drive your tooth brush when you want to brush your teeth?

  48. Rod Everson says:

    Sean says:
    April 30, 2011 at 1:26 am

    It seems reasonable to wonder if wind power is a net power consumer when you allow for manufacturing costs, install, laying cables in rural areas plus the repeated visits presumably by car to keep it going. Just in the power budget, not money.

    Ah, but that’s the problem with all this. The subsidies obscure the money angle.

    If you just trust the market, and leave the market alone, it will add up all those costs you mention, including the maintenance cost of the “repeated visits”, the “laying cables” wherever, the “install” and the “manufacturing” costs as well as any other unseen out-of-pocket costs. It will then balance those costs against the price of the output times the amount of the output and yield a profit or a loss. And on that basis, investors will be able to decide whether to invest or not invest.

    The reason we get all these subsidies, and these unending discussions about the economics, is because of external costs like dead birds, obscured views, CO2 reduction considerations, etc., so “government” feels the need to intervene. Better that those interventions come in the form of explicit prohibitions, or tax levies, than subsidies, for with subsidies comes all this mass confusion about the basic economics of the issue.

    The national government that bans subsidies forever will save its taxpayers considerable expense and those savings would commence immediately, and be not just due to the savings in the form of the subsidies. All the other economic damage that subsidization yields, in the form of wasted and misdirected resources, would also be eliminated.

  49. Alan D McIntire says:

    I’ll believe wind power and solar power are sustainable energy sources when the factories BUILDING windmills and solar panels are able to rely solely on wind and/or solar power to operate. Until that point comes, you’ve got to factor in all the CO2 produced in building windmills and solar panels- making them even bigger white elephants than Monckton suggests.

  50. Rod Everson says:

    To add to my previous comment on the problem with subsidies, imagine if governing bodies everywhere took it as givens that:

    1. Subsidies are stupid policy and are to be avoided
    2. All capital investments have the potential to create external costs not borne by the investor, such as dead birds, noise pollution, eventual abandonment of a derelict structure, safety issues, etc.
    3. The best way to incorporate those external costs (really social costs) is to levy a tax on the investment sufficient to mitigate the costs or satisfy those affected by the external costs.

    Governing bodies could then collect taxes from the proceeds of the capital investment’s income to: restock birds?, reimburse those who objected to the noise in some way, build a sinking fund for eventual removal of the abandoned investment, etc., and the investor would price these into the project and be able to decide whether it still made sense to continue with it. Mistakes would certainly be made in the process, but it would make far, far more sense than the world created by subsidies.

  51. blastzilla says:

    I took an overnight train in China from Kungming to Dali and saw some of those wind turbines in action. The first bunch were not spinning but the second bunch I saw while leaving were spinning.

    Either way, my comment is simply this: the country side scenery really is ruined with those massive things there :(

  52. David L. Hagen says:

    Three cheers for Our Dear Viscount (a.k.a. M. of B.) for possibly getting within an order of magnitude of the costs of controlling climate (CCC).

    Unfortunately ODV’s estimate is low (by ~~~200%???) for failing to include the cost of “regulating capacity” (a.k.a. backup power) that must be added to provide power when the wind vanishes. (Where did that wind go?!)

    As an example of fast swings in power production from wind farms, NorthWestern Energy in Montana has reported that its farm at Judith Gap can ramp up from zero to 131 MW in 10 minutes – and ramped down from 121 MW to zero in a similar time. To mitigate against such variability, NorthWestern Energy has installed six Pratt & Whitney Power System FT8 gas turbines, each at 25 MW and a 38 percent simple cycle thermal efficiency, at the Mill Creek Generating Station as “regulating capacity,” which a call for power on a second-by-second basis. The turbines give the utility a backup support of 150 MW to the wind farm.

    . . . .Westar Energy in Topeka, Kansas, has a 665 MW gas turbine power plant at the Emporia Energy Center for year-round support of 800 MW of wind farms

    according to Bill Owen in the September-October 2010 issue of Gas Turbine World. Owen reported that as a general rule, Westar’s wind farms produce about 40 to 45 percent of nameplate power early in the morning, drop off to a little over 20 percent by mid-day, and rise back up again to about 40 percent in the late afternoon and evening. Lee S. Langston, Powering Ahead, Mechanical Engineering May 2011 p 33.

    By the way, how big is $954 trillion? ($954,000,000,000,000.00). If I pay $1/second for each of ~31,558,150 seconds/year (sideral) (~ Pi * 10^7), that will take about 30,229,908 years to pay off. (How long ago did “civilization” rise? When did it fall?)

    Dear Senator
    I just found out why my social security is so low.
    Will you please donate your guaranteed salary to pay down our “carbon debt”? . . .

    PS We first need $75 billion to provide for the most important humanitarian needs worldwide. (PS, mitigating global warming comes in dead last in that list in benefits/costs. See the Copenhagen Consensus.

    Or will most of the poor be dead if we try to control climate?!)

  53. David L. Hagen says:

    Errat

    . . .according to Bill Owen in the September-October 2010 issue of Gas Turbine World. Owen reported that as a general rule, Westar’s wind farms produce about 40 to 45 percent of nameplate power early in the morning, drop off to a little over 20 percent by mid-day, and rise back up again to about 40 percent in the late afternoon and evening.

    Lee S. Langston, Powering Ahead, Mechanical Engineering May 2011 p 33.

  54. ferd berple says:

    Windmills can make money

    http://www.grousemountain.com/Winter/The-Eye-of-the-Wind/Tour-Information-Attraction.asp

    A live a mile of two away from this windmill and can see it clearly from my deck. It rarely turns. When it does, the maximum rated output is $6 per hour at BC Hydro’s guaranteed buy-back rate.

    However, the secret to making money is in making the windmill into a tourist attraction. At $25 per head to visit the turbine, it makes considerable more as a tourist attraction that it does from energy production.

  55. David, UK says:

    Another fine post from the good Viscount. What often occurs to me is: if the Warmists honestly gave a flying you-know-what about globull warming as they claim to, they would be as up in arms about wind farms as the rest of us, given that these things have absolutely no effect (in any practical sense) on world temperature. But as so many have already said, it’s not really about that, is it.

  56. PaulH says:

    Gosh, here in Ontario, Canada, our florescent-green premier claims:

    “Just so we’re clear, in 20 years time only 14% of our electricity will come from renewables (like solar and wind) so it’s not as if we’re going to rush to 70%-80%- 90%,” McGuinty said.

    “Only” 14%? Riiiiight….

    http://www.stratfordbeaconherald.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3099633

  57. Nick says:

    I find this time in history fascinating and use all the examples of behaivour, actions and decisions to show that we are witnessing a decline of a civilisation as described in history class.

    We are either fortunate or not, but we are witnesses.

  58. Babeshamal says:

    Windpower (particularly Offshore) is INDEFENSIBLE, and I do mean this Militarily. Any nation stupid-enough to come to rely upon Wind for more than 10% of its Electricity simply offers a Prime Target to any hostile Navy capable of dragging an anchor across the cable connecting to the mainland, or targetting land-windfarms with Missiles.

  59. Kum Dollison says:

    California is getting a little over 19% of its electricity from Renewables (mostly wind.)

    Iowa is getting a touch over 20% from Wind.

    We’re building wind farms like crazy in The States. They seem to be working; no one’s really complaining. HVDC seems to be the next logical step.

    The cost of Thermal Coal is exploding.

    I think you folks are “runnin’ against the wind.”

  60. Bhanwara says:

    Babeshamal, in which case we should be profoundly relived that nuclear and fossil fuel power stations are such mobile, hard to hit, targets!

  61. Bhanwara says:

    blastzilla, you are right, they are visually intrusive.

  62. ew-3 says:

    Suggest that the cow be propelled by cow farts. ;)

  63. Hugh Pepper says:

    For a MUCH more accurate and descriptive analysis of the use of wind power, try reading Lester Brown. Power generation, using windpower, has become a lucrative business all over the world. [snip]

  64. Viv Evans says:

    IPeCaC – I shall soo steal this brilliant new label for the tyrant, ipcc!

    Anybody who’s ever had to take ipecacuana internally will immediately recognise why this excellent abbreviation created by Lord Monckton is so apt.

  65. Paul Maynard says:

    Any Questions BBC Radio 4 Listen Again

    For those who can use the listen again facility try from about 40 minutes in. Listen to Chris Huhne talking absolute cack, Nigel Farage getting straight to the point and doubts from the other two wimps.

    Regards

    Paul

  66. kbray in California says:

    [[[ Nik says:
    April 30, 2011 at 6:07 am
    As metalworkers say, a file is the tool of tools because it can make another file.
    Can a windmill give enough energy to make another windmill? ]]]

    Also:
    Can a solar panel make enough energy to melt the aluminum and melt the glass to make another solar panel ? It would take hundreds if not thousands of panels to produce the power to make just one more.

    Any living thing with that rate of reproduction would quickly become extinct.

  67. Jim G says:

    Jimbo says:
    April 30, 2011 at 1:39 am
    “I may have missed it but I did not read any mention of the co2 ouput during the production of the amove said windmills. C02 output will will also be incured during maintenance call outs.”

    I don’t think we need to worry much about the CO2 from maintenance on these contraptions as based upon all the non-fuctioning eagle choppers I have seen I do not believe maintenance is government subsidized as is the original construction. Too bad. That is, too bad about the subsidy for the original construction.

  68. Kum Dollison says:

    Of course it can. Electricity doesn’t care how it’s generated.

    The thing is, I could make steel using solar 200 yrs from now. I doubt you’ll be able to do that using coal (I know you won’t be able to afford to.)

    Some of you aren’t thinking about what coal, and gas are going to cost when these windmills, and solar panels are paid for – much less 30, 40, or 50 years from now.

  69. Smokey says:

    High Pepper says:

    “Power generation, using windpower, has become a lucrative business all over the world.”

    Lucrative for whom? If you took away the immense taxpayer subsidies, not one more windmill would be built, because they are not cost-effective.

    # # #

    Kum Dollison says:

    “California is getting a little over 19% of its electricity from Renewables…”

    I seriously doubt that, unless you’re including hydro power. Got a cite?

    And:

    “We’re building wind farms like crazy in The States. They seem to be working; no one’s really complaining.”

    That’s on your home planet. Here, plenty of folks are complaining.

  70. Patvann says:

    @ Kum
    “Wind energy plays an integral role in California’s electricity portfolio. In 2007, turbines in wind farms generated 6,802 gigawatt-hours of electricity – about 2.3 percent of the state’s gross system power.”

    http://www.energy.ca.gov/wind/index.html

    -Please supply real data, not the advertised numbers that include purchases from other states.

  71. Glad so many enjoyed this one. Here are some answers to readers’ queries.

    Ralph, 736% of 100 years’ global GDP is indeed 736 years, not the 7.36 years you suggest. One of the peer-reviewers of the paper that sets out the underlying climatic and economic calculations got hung up on this point too.

    Matthew W, 209 kilowatt-hours averaged over a (non-leap) year is indeed 209,000/8760=24 Watt-hours per hour, as I stated.

    David Hagen, always good to hear from you. To the local authority that used its taxpayers’ money to fund this absurd project, the cost of backup generation is an externality: their decision whether to buy or not to buy did not depend on it, and the district auditor, when he eventually has his attention drawn to this boondoggle, will not take it into account in his calculations. Properly speaking, costs of backup generation and suchlike fall to be considered at the macro-economic, not the micro-economic level. The underlying paper, which will be published in a few months’ time, does of course consider the overall cost-effectiveness of the UK’s climate-change measures at the macro-economic level, as well as those of the EU, the US and Australia.

    Matter, the mitigation cost-effectiveness of any project is defined as the cost of forestalling 1 Kelvin of “global warming” in the 21st century on the assumption – and it is an assumption – that all policies to make “global warming” go away are as cost-effective (or, with Thanet, cost-ineffective) as the policy under consideration. The mitigation cost-effectiveness accordingly serves as as convenient if rather simpliste metric to compare the imagined (and mostly imaginary) benefits of competing mitigation policies. I gave figures for the largest and smallest wind-projects in the UK, and both are hilariously cost-ineffective. Since the Betz limit on the efficiency of rotors capturing power from a medium in flux is non-negotiable, and since the ineffable stupidity of governments worldwide is great enough to have called production-line manufacture of these useless windmills into being already, they are not going to get a whole lot cheaper than they are now: and the purpose of my research has been to demonstrate that, however much cheaper they get, they will still make no measurable contribution to forestalling “global warming”. I quite understand that, as a beneficiary of the wind industry yourself, you have to keep the flagging flag flapping, but the game’s up, mate: the underlying scientific paper provides a devastatingly simple equation that will enable anyone, even the dimmest Huhnatic in the Department of Climate Change, to calculate the mitigation cost-effectiveness of any proposed project to a high degree of reliability on any cost assumption that is desired. Once that equation and a preliminary set of results (including the wind turbines mentioned here) is in the peer-reviewed literature, steps will be taken at the very highest level to see that heads of State and Government are informed directly. Many – though not all, for the stupidity of governments today is exceptional – will thereupon have all the evidence they need to start or accelerate the process of desubsidization of so-called “renewables”, eventually requiring your industry either to stand on its own massive carbon-emitting concrete bases without subsidy or go under. As they say on the New York metro when you try to get to go around again on a single token, “You had your ride!” – Monckton of Brenchley

  72. Tom T says:

    Thanks for a much needed laugh and for renewing my faith a little in the British. After seeing how much you chaps are willing to spend on a wedding for someone who may or may not inherent a ceremonial position, I was having my doubts about your country’s capacity to make rational decision.

  73. bubbagyro says:

    Patvann says:
    April 30, 2011 at 9:06 am

    And that is reckoned at peak output. Actual production is less than 2%, possibly closer to 1%.

    There are hundreds of years of coal, oil and gas. If we were to open these sources, and utilize them, costs would go down drastically, below $25 per barrel equivalent.

    And, if these are produced abiogenically, as is likely, there is an infinite supply of carbon and hydrocarbon fuels (let’s stop calling these “fossil fuels”. Did the vast oceans of ethane, methane, and higher hydrocarbons on Titan come from dinosaurs? ROFL; Think about it…).

    Also, since the lifetime of a windmill is more like <5 years before massive replacement or overhaul, let's stop buying into the 20 year lifetime nonsense. The foundations alone, not just the blades and bearings, have to be replaced because of vibration damage. They clearly need to be replaced and overhauled constantly.

  74. Cassandra King says:

    Kum Dollison says:
    April 30, 2011 at 7:54 am

    California is getting a little over 19% of its electricity from Renewables (mostly wind.)

    Iowa is getting a touch over 20% from Wind.

    I am afraid I must disagree with such statements. Wind farms sell a wildly unreliable product with a generous subsidy, if there was a level playing field then wind farms would actually selling a tiny fraction of that product. In California for example electricity companies are forced to purchase electricity from wind farms at inflated prices which denies them the chance to buy real economically viable electricity from real generation companies at real prices.

    The ONLY reason why wind farms are able to sell any of their rubbish over priced unreliable intermittent product is because they receive more for their product than it is worth, take away the subsides and remove the obligation to purchase wind farm generated electricity and every wind farm in the USA would close down. What the USA has done is introduce a USSR style subsidy model and it is doing incredible and lasting damage to the USA.

    Latest figure for US wind farms show they operate at less than 35% of capacity, can you imagine the economic cost of encouraging that kind of abysmal efficiency? The stunningly poor performance of wind compared to coal should be highlighted and showed clearly to the people who are forced to finance such a Marxist style mess.
    Stimulus money is being utterly wasted on a giant confidence trick, consumers are paying more and more money to support a political experiment, billions of dollars down the drain when for far less the consumer could have coal fired power stations delivering cheap reliable secure energy and as much as they want when they want it.

    Spiv carpet bagger flimflam merchants are flocking to wind NOT because it works but because the subsidies are attracting them like a shark is attracted to blood and just like the sharks around a bleeding kill, once the free money runs out the sharks will disappear, its a feeding frenzy. The only thing keeping wind alive are the subsidies, it is a gigantic fraud and the ultimate cost goes far beyond the billions of dollars going into the pockets of sharp carpet bagger speculators, every day that goes by further damages the US economy.

    What drives a successful capitalist industrial economy is cheap reliable plentiful energy, what kills that economy is expensive unreliable scare energy. The USA is wilfully killing the base of its own economy, the pitifully few jobs created in the wind farm scam are being dwarfed by the loss of jobs in the real economy but one thing is clear for all to see, sooner or later the free money pay off bribes showered on the wind farm speculators will have to be turned off and when it is all that will be left to show is a whole lot of carpet baggers with fuller bank accounts and a whole load of scrap metals littering the landscape.

    The real and ultimate aim of those behind the wind farm scam is wholly political in nature, the plan is simplicity itself. To make electricity so expensive that people will be forced to use far less by way of making it unaffordable, the aim is to restrict economic growth and vitality by bribing carpet baggers with subsidies to provide a method of electricity generation that will absolutely guarantee a choking off of economic power and growth.

    That is not a long term energy policy it is national economic sabotage, when all the inevitable damage is done, when the jobs are lost and the money is gone, when the economy is in ruins and the carpet bagger profiteers have retired to count their money then what will be left? The people responsible are in effect committing economic treason.

  75. Hank Hancock says:

    I visit a local state park regularly to hike the trails. I noticed a wind generator was installed prominently on a hill for all to see about two years ago. As many times as I’ve visited the park, I’ve never seen it turning. So I asked the park ranger what the story is on the generator, how much power it generates. He said it has never generated any electricity as far as he knows. But it does allow the park to claim that a portion of the park’s power comes from renewable sources. My tax money at non work.

    It’s sad that we live in a time where we erect useless monuments to green ideology that themselves glaringly epitomize the failure to accomplish anything that actually works.

  76. Kum Dollison says:

    Why wouldn’t purchases from other states count?

    That’s the whole idea of wind, and solar, to spread your wind/solar farms over a wide area.

  77. kbray in California says:

    Political Corrections:

    Then: “The Earth is flat.” “The Earth is the center of the universe.”
    wrong, wrong.

    Now: “The future is windmills.” “The science is settled.”
    wrong, wrong.

    “Stupid” from “top dogs” historically keeps repeating itself.

    The best new tool we now have to confront this is the internet.

  78. Smokey says:

    Kum Dollison,

    You’rve lost this particular argument. But keep digging if you like.

  79. Bhanwara says:

    Quite right Smokey, we should remove the subsidies.
    http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/docs/G20_Subsidy_Joint_Report.pdf

  80. neodsa says:

    Lord Monckton brilliant as ever we all owe him a debt of thanks. May I just add this non technical non political point , windmills have been around for hundreds of years , I have an antique set of volumes The Book Of Modern Engines And Power Generators circa 1907 which looks at them in detail . If there was any possible way of using windmills to produce useful economically viable power doesnt any one think that some entrepreneur would have siezed it long ago , before global warming was even thought of.

  81. Babeshamal says:

    Bhanwara: At least land-based coal and nuclear sites can be buried and surrounded by ack-ack facilities. Off-shore wind facilities are open to mini-subs, drifting mines, torpedos, bombardment, and commando raids. Or do you advocate Martello-tower installation of every wind-turbine, with the consequent garrison enhancement ?

  82. Bhanwara says:

    Question for a moderator.

    Why doesn’t the (a href=”” title=””) shown below the comment space work. (Obviously I was using > and < not round brackets)

    REPLY:
    No idea, we have others who use it OK – Anthony

    [Reply #2: Try just using the href command without any quotation marks. Just cut 'n' paste the URL. ~dbs]

  83. Bhanwara says:

    Babeshamal, yeah I noticed that worked for Saddam Hussein.

  84. bubbagyro says:

    Smokey says:
    April 30, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Kum is relegated to the last type of the flat-earther arguments: “If the earth isn’t flat, how do you explain the loss of ships in the Devil’s triangles? Hmmm?”

    But the last justification sent shivers of horror down my spine. Is there no place to go where we can be free of these eyesores? “How many more landscapes must be ruined, Mr. Speakuh? How many moah?”

  85. David L. Hagen says:

    The Dutch at least found windmills to be cost effective to grind grain and keep afloat. Both valuable propositions!

    Airfoil revolution
    The design of whale fins has revolutionized fans and wind turbines by incorporating whale fin “tubercles” (“bumps”) on the leading edge of airfoils (“aerofoils” across the pond).

    A typical large fan of this sort extends 24 feet in diameter and has 10 blades. “We can go down to five blades, and they produce 25 percent more airflow and use 25 percent less electricity while operating at the same speed,” Dewar said.
    During the first half of 2008, the Wind Energy Institute of Canada tested 5-meter tubercle blades on a 25 kW wind turbine. It found that tubercle blades reached full power at 12.5 m/s compared with 15 m/s for conventional blades, and would produce up to 20 percent more electricity annually, depending on wind speed.”

    From Whales to Fans, Alan S. Brown, Mechanical Engineering March 2011
    See WhalePower.com

  86. nc says:

    Here is some information up in British Columbia

    http://aeoliswind.ca/index.html

    Sure looks purty,,SARC.

    I can’t seem to find information on the presently installed generation. Seems that information is not available to the public but maybe its just me that can’t find it. Seems if they are doing so well the information would be front and centre.

  87. kbray in California says:

    When I fly over the San Francisco Bay Area, I get a good look at all the windmills near the Altamont Pass all at once.

    http://freelargephotos.com/000300_l.jpg

    When I visually compare all the buildings and homes and development against the tiny windmills, there is no way those windmills could ever physically supply all the power needed. There would have to be MILLIONS of them everywhere to provide 100% power, and of intermittent reliability at that.

    In spite of inherent dangers like Japan is now having, modern nuclear is the only good answer now, especially if one must have a “zero carbon” effect for the politics.
    If one could successfully remove the “carbon threat theory” from the picture, then fossil fuel is still king, and we could have “business as usual”.
    The current path is leading to a fiasco.

  88. Mark Alger says:

    @Kum;

    How was energy generated 200 years ago? How will it be generated 200 years from now? Do you have a clue?

    M

  89. bubbagyro says:

    David:
    That’s great! Now we can get the bats that have somehow made it through the three-blade system!

    Seriously, the main problem with turbines is that they are vertically situated. The bearings wear because the gravity forces always produce uneven torquing.

    If we had horizontal turbines, or ones with non-movings parts (Haha /sarc), then this could be mitigated somewhat.

  90. Lady Life Grows says:

    There may be yet another, more serious cost. All that racket next to a primary school: what happened to the children’s scores on national achievement exams?

    Were any children traumatized by sliced sparrows?

  91. Ralph says:

    >>Tom T says: April 30, 2011 at 9:19 am
    >>After seeing how much you chaps are willing to spend on a wedding for
    >>someone who may or may not inherent a ceremonial position, I was
    >>having my doubts about your country’s capacity to make rational decision.

    At least our ceremonial head of state does not own two 747’s and a couple of helicopters and use half the Marine Corps when they travel. Nor do they have to prove when and where they were born.

    .

  92. Richard S Courtney says:

    Kum Dollinson:

    It is bad form to repeat a post from another thread. However I write to conduct such bad form because
    (a) your comments in this thread pretend that I did not refute them earlier
    and
    (b) several commentators have mentioned the issue of my previous post.

    Please note that above (at April 30, 2011 at 9:12 am) the Noble Lord has pointed out that the matter is not directly pertinent to the analysis in his article above, but my previous post answers both your point and questions from several others.

    My previous refutation of your spurious assertions was in the thread at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/27/blown-promises/

    and it was as follows.

    Richard

    Richard S Courtney says:
    April 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Kum Dollinson:

    Wind turbines operate when the wind is sufficiently strong but not too strong. Hence, there are significant periods when they do not operate because the wind is not in the appropriate range of wind speeds.

    To date no country has managed to operate its wind turbines for more than 30% of a year, but at April 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm you assert;

    “Okay, when all else fails, do the research. It seems like Iowa generates about 52 Million Megawatt Hrs (According to EIA.)
    It looks like they’re producing 10.7 Million Megawatt Hrs of Wind, which would be about 20.6%.”

    OK. That suggests
    (a) the turbines are providing all – or almost all – of Iowa’s electricity at times
    or
    (b) the turbines are operating for significantly more than 30% of the time.
    Either of these performances by Iowa’s wind turbines is an amazing achievement: all countries with large numbers of wind turbines would be interested to know how it was achieved.

    Importantly, the wind power was an extravagant, expensive waste whatever the proportion of Iowa’s electricity was supplied by the wind turbines.

    The wind power displaced thermal power stations from the grid, but the power stations continued to operate – and, therefore, to burn their fuel and to make their emissions – while waiting for the wind turbines to stop providing electricity when the wind changed. That fuel would have provided electricity if the wind turbines were absent.

    Thermal power stations take days to start from cold so cannot be shut down while waiting for the wind to change. Therefore, they have to operate at reduced output or on standby while waiting for the wind to change.

    Thermal power stations usually operate at optimum efficiency. If a power station is required to provide less electricity then its efficiency reduces so it provides less electricity but consumes MORE fuel (this is like trying to drive a car at 10 mph in fifth gear: it can be done but it uses a lot of fuel). And a power station operates at optimum efficiency when on standby, so it then uses similar fuel to that needed for it to efficiently provide electricity (although it provides no electricity when on standby).

    In other words, the only effects of the wind turbines are to increase the fuel consumption and the emissions of the power stations which provide the electricity when the wind turbines don’t. And those power stations would have provided the electricity if the wind turbines had not. Also, it should be noted that the increased emissions from power generation are caused by the wind turbines although those increased emissions are from the power stations.

    So, the wind turbines provided no useful power but provided significant additional cost to the power generation and additional emissions from the power generation. This is true wherever wind turbines are used to provide electricity to a grid supply.

    Richard

  93. CDJacobs says:

    Bubbagyro, you adress some really key issues.

    Today the windies are touting the number 35%: that is, 35% of all new power generation being added in the US is wind. Of course, they mean 35% nameplate capacity; factor in capacity utilization and the number drops to under 12% (and that’s quite optimistic).

    The tragedy is that we are doing it at all. The craziness mounts when you add in all the “grid stabilization” actions needed to make the power marginally reliable: huge battery and/or ultracap banks, etc. Also part of the “job creation” mythology but oddly never factored in as part of the kW-hr cost.

    I have a request here that you might perhaps fulfill: what is the aditional CO2 produced because backup power (generally NG-fired) must essentially be “at idle”, awaiting near-instantaneous demand? It is a hell of a big number, I’d imagine. I don’t personally care about CO2, mind you, but it makes an interesting argument against the wind advocate.

  94. racookpe1978 says:

    David L. Hagen says:
    April 30, 2011 at 10:18 am (Edit)

    The Dutch at least found windmills to be cost effective to grind grain and keep afloat. Both valuable propositions!

    When the competing energy sources are slaves, donkeys, oxen, and horses …. Windmills can compete effectively.

    When the average lifespan of the people was 28 years, with 4 in 5 children dying before age 8, and mothers condemned to a 20 percent of dying during childbirth, and the rest “living” in hungry squalor eating rotting food over the winter months and competing with rats for the little grain that could be saved …. Windmills can compete effectively.

    When sewage disposal is the open water the next town drinks … Windmills can compete.

    But that is the life desired for all – except the enviro-friendly ruling class – by today’s enviro elites.

  95. pk says:

    except for hauling millionairs there are no sailing ships in serious commercial use at this time.

    if wind power is so glorius than why is this so.

    could it be erratic availability?

    could it be just plain wimpiness?

    could it be that the whole wind power thing is a fraud.

    C

  96. 3x2 says:

    M’lud,

    Came across this via a Bishop Hill thread, the table at the top of page ten is unbelievable. If implemented, we would be paying for this for the next ten generations. Even better, as I understood the report, meeting our “CC commitments” will still require “demand reduction”. (The phrase “demand reduction” appears 25 times in 32 pages)

    Demand reductions across all sectors of the economy will be essential
    through a combination of increased efficiencies and behavioural change.

    The Powerpoint presentation that started the thread even posits (slide 11)…

    Insights from Royal Academy of Engineering study ‘Generating the Future –huge investment needed –successfully meeting the 2050 CCC commitments will require a global command economy. (though I found no reference in the report)

    Then again (slide 3) …

    Cambridge is special, and we have a globally distinctive role to play in terms of reacting to the future.

    Talk about swimming out of your depth. Cambridge really is “special”

  97. tesla_x says:

    Kum Dollison: you’re WRONG.

    “Some of you aren’t thinking about what coal, and gas are going to cost when these windmills, and solar panels are paid for – much less 30, 40, or 50 years from now.”

    And YOU don’t consider the TRUE carbon footprint of this Quixotic Turbine Folly(QTF), let alone the UNSUBSIDIZED rebuild costs of these financially motivated conTRAPtions:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html

    Turbine overhaul and useful life? Probably 10-20years, which is less than solar, which is under 30 years for panels and under 10 for Inverters:
    http://guidedtour.windpower.org/en/tour/econ/oandm.htm

    Newsflash: like *site specific* sources of OIL, Coal and Gas, they don’t last forever, so to represent wind and solar as a ‘perpetual’ alternative is just DUMB.

    And NO you don’t know anything about the expense of using coal in 200 years…but anyone who can READ a history book or use Google knows Coal has been ‘affordable’ and used from everything from making hot bath water to metalworking as far back as 300BC (that is well over 2000 years for the mathematically and factually impaired)
    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/History_of_coal_mining

    And I further suspect there are thousands of years more worth of it that have yet to be mined, because the earth is a big place and VERY OLD. Rare Earth metals for magnets and Tellurium for thin film, on the other hand are much harder to find and refine than common COAL…

    So to summarize, I would recommend you drink less Koolaid from the Climate and Green Energy Bar before posting or just have the grace to be quiet.

  98. Dr T G Watkins says:

    Very enjoyable post as usual from C.M.
    The problem as we all know is how to inform the masses and politicians of the madness which is the UK’s energy policies.
    David Socrates in an earlier comment (2.37 am) has the right idea and I would certainly help if I knew how.

  99. Joe Public says:

    Semplice Energy who sold the “Birmingham Bat-Batterer” predicted it had the potential to produce around 1,400 kWh pa. It actually produced only 209 kWh.

    It’s a good job they used so many successive caveats.

  100. 1DandyTroll says:

    The high flying smart looking farting cow looking, crossed, down on that puny Don Quixote paranormal tin foil wrapped crazed climate communist hippie heartless gutless meek sleazy “human” says all.

  101. Kum Dollison says:

    Very nice, Tesla. When you’re finally through insulting me you reveal that your entire argument is based on “I Suspect.”

    That’ll get it.

  102. Bob White says:

    Taking water vapor into consideration and using the data and formulae from the 2007 IPCC report, the DOE, the EPA, several universities and independent climatologists, the global warming contributions (based on concentration and potency) of atmospheric constituents are:
    95% is from water vapor
    5% is from 5 green house gasses (GHG)
    Only 0.28% is from man-made GHG
    Therefore 99.72% of GW is natural
    Only 0.117% is from man-made CO2
    Only 0.066% is from man-made Methane

    (Reducing the 22% of US man-made GHG by 17% by 2020 as called for by the 2009 Waxman Markey bill would reduce GW by 22% of 17% of 0.28% or by 0.010472%, or about one part in ten thousand.)
    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html
    But NASA supported spectral calculations and many other scientific experiments show that the radiation absorption capacity of CO2 at its principal wavelengths is well above saturation levels, so an increase in CO2 will have little or no warming effect.

  103. Good stuff from Monckton, but please don’t insult good King Canute.
    King Canute (Knut, 1014-1035). He was supposed to have tried to stop the tide coming in. In fact, his story is more interesting than that. Canute had started his reign as a pagan, but converted to Christianity. His court was full of pagan sycophants whom he wished to be rid of but no longer felt it right just to execute them. When they tried to flatter him by saying he was so powerful that he could command the tide, he saw his opportunity. Down to the shore they went, but the tide came in as scheduled and Canute sacked the lot of them; a very astute man!
    (Extract from : ‘While the Earth Endures: Creation, Cosmology and Climate Change’)

  104. Whoops, sorry, just realised Roger Carr was way ahead of me by at least 100 comments!

  105. Julian Flood says:

    Lord Monckton,

    The correct expression, at least in the RAF, is ‘two thirds of three eights of f** all’.

    Do windmills really kill bats? If so, there is a legal remedy:

    quote
    The introduction of the CRoW Act, meant that; considering the potential any natural or manmade structure, or landscape feature has to contain a bat roost, or form part of essential foraging areas around a roost, has become an important part of all pre-work job assessments. When thinking about a planning application the possible presence of a protected species like bats is a material consideration of the planning process and dealt with within the Planning Policy Guidance Note (PPG9)

    The Habitats Regulations provided protection not only for the bat and it’s roost site (whether occupied or not), they also cover the habitat used by bats both for roosting and foraging. Where bats are concerned this could also included the flight lines they use between favoured roost sites and good foraging areas. This becomes an essential consideration when there is a proposal to reduce or remove an old hedgerow, or where clear felling of woodland is proposed. The preservation of a connective landscape is incredibly important.
    unquote

    Re Knut and his tide: it is a curious fact of history that King Knut sat and got his feet wet at almost the exact spot where the House of Commons passed the ludicrous Climate Change Act. He would have walked from his palace along the Roman road to the foreshore on the Thames where the new House now stands.

    As an aside, my attempt to re-open the right of way along that route was turned down by Westminster City Council on the grounds that no maps exist. They are going to be vert embarrassed when the archaeological evidence shows the road. I look forward to one day striding though the Members’ dining room and standing on the exact spot where a wise man showed that the world is bigger than mankind.

    JF

  106. Jeff Id says:

    And that doesn’t even begin to cover the problems when the wind stops. We need the energy when we need it, therefore without effective energy storage, we need to double the generation capacity.

    Wind is as bad as PV solar.

    And PV solar is really really bad.

  107. Jeff Id says:

    I’m not sure my comment was clear. We must build extra generation capacity to make up for wind or solar downtime because any ‘electric’ downtime for a community at all is a major inconvenience (read cost). Not that the anti-progress progressives care but it is what it is.

  108. Phil's Dad says:

    I was interested in the choice of the Thanet Array in this piece as I did some research on this myself. I looked for an averagely densely populated area of roughly the same acreage as the array and came up with the Borough of Luton.

    It seems the electricity consumption of this fairly typical area is about 1.5 times the total output of Thanet. In other words you need your wind array to be 1.5 times the size of the area you are powering – more for city densities.

    This, as others have said, is Professor Mackay’s argument made real, that even if Britain used every scrap of land and sea to generate wind power, there would not be nearly enough. Those who think the economic arguments will change in time still need to come up with an awful lot of space.

    I beg to move that the Noble Lord be restored to the House.

  109. If the effectiveness of your solution begins to approach Avogadro’s number as a percentage, your solution isn’t effective.

    Just sayin’.

  110. Er, the inverse of, my bad.

  111. Shanghai Dan says:

    Clearly Viscount Monckton is unaware of modern Governmental financing methods; such ignorance of display speaks ill of the Brits! If his lordship understood that the key is to simply print money, and borrow funds from another nation to cover such expenses, he would quickly realize that we can, in fact, easily produce those quadrillions of pounds and shillings! Nothing more than the turn of a press to create the monies demanded to counter the heinous and odious beast of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    /sarc

  112. Kum Dollison says:

    A Network of HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) will be the next step. You lose less Voltage with Direct Current than with Alternating Current – especially over long distances, and underground, or underwater.

  113. Phil's Dad says:

    But, Kum Dollison, what about the space issue?

  114. JM VanWinkle says:

    Slightly OT but seriously good news:

    WB-8 was designed to prove that the Polywell fusion device using deuterium scales according to theory (radius to the seventh power). WB-8 first plasma was six months ago, November 1, 2010, and is currently operating as designed. WB-8.1 is planned to use boron and hydrogen for fuel, with the project commencing in October 2011.

    From the government website:

    http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/RecipientR

    Quarterly Activities/Project Description
    As of 1Q/2011, the WB-8 device operates as designed and it is generating positive results. EMC2 is planning to conduct comprehensive experiments on WB-8 in the next 9-12 months based on the current contract funding schedule.

    Emc2 Fusion Development Corporation

  115. Mike Borgelt says:

    pk says:
    April 30, 2011 at 11:52 am

    “except for hauling millionairs there are no sailing ships in serious commercial use at this time. ”

    Yes and that’s “offshore” wind.

    Likewise, except for joyrides, there are no commercial sailplanes.

  116. Mike Fox says:

    The reason it’s a cow flying over the windmill is that a pig would be offensive to Islam!

    ;-)

  117. kbray in California says:

    RE: the picture…. Why windmills won’t wash.

    If the moo hits, they’ll wear it….

    then it will wash.

    cold water please.

  118. tesla_x says:

    Kum Dollison: Since you just keep asking for it…you’re WRONG….again.

    Just in the US alone we have over a 200 year supply that we can measure doing what we do TODAY:
    http://www.netl.doe.gov/KeyIssues/secure_energy2a.html

    If you consider many Coal plants are going to either natural gas (‘200 year supply’+, lower coal burn rate) or to coal gasification, which increases efficiency by anywhere from 50-80%, so a 200 year supply essentially becomes a 300 year supply, or a 2000 year supply becomes a 3000 year supply.

    Now consider the Clean Air Act based movement from Coal to NG, which decreases demand for coal:
    http://progress-energy.com/aboutus/news/article.asp?id=24342
    And another:
    http://powerservices.lakho.com/2011/03/28/dominion-looks-to-retire-738-mw-salem-harbor-plant-by-2014/

    I know of six just in the Great lakes neighborhood alone that are doing this, and it is part of a much larger trend that is adding natural gas based generation, measured in gigawatts. This curbs the use of coal based generation and extends reserves further.

    Then you have technology extending the reserves with 50-80% efficiency improvements with Coal gasification:
    http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/powersystems/gasification/index.html

    Lets also throw in the Coal export angle, which is always a dead giveaway for a cheap and abundant commodity:
    China says so:
    http://en.zgxu.com/2011_04__Chinese-coal-prices-rising-for-US-coal-exporters-muffled-fortune.html

    If we go back a bit further into the past of coal production ststistics, before it became fashionable to HACK government statistics to the ECO-NUT agenda, you get different numbers than just 200+years, such as those from USGS:
    http://www.npg.org/specialreports/bartlett_section3.htm
    Table IX (2/3 of the way down) indicates that USGS estimates could be as high as 2872 years, depending on how you count growth and supply rates….yet your brothers at the NPG Cult still see fit to spin it negatively to their nihilistic anti growth agenda.

    So you you and your ECO-Cult can keep on lying & scheming, and we’ll just have to keep on ‘correcting’ you…as there is PLENTY of coal very a very long time.

  119. Dan says:

    This is a real world example of a windgenerator working and saving money (a lot of money)
    http://www.antarctica.gov.au/living-and-working/stations/mawson/mawson-electrical-energy

    Note the fuel saving for this Antarctic Station 20,741 litres, to me that would seem worth the effort, the current market value of diesel here in Australia is ~$1.55 per litre, the usage figure is for just one month (March) if this unit were in Australia that would be a saving of $32.000 in just one month, over $300,000 per year. If this unit were in use in Australia it would completely recover it’s build cost 1.2m in ~4-5 years.
    I have used local fuel prices in the above, the cost of shipping that much fuel to Antarctica greatly increases it’s cost, not to mention it has to be pumped ashore which runs the risk of spills. I’m sorry but the argument that wind power doesn’t work is just hogwash, It may not be as efficient as fuel, but it is a viable supplement that can and will pay for itself. There is also something odd in the example used in this story as at a yearly output of ~200Kw i.e. that is just over 500 watts per day systems with that sort of output don’t cost £5000, a 400w home system would be around £500 pounds probably less, in other words in good wind conditions such a system can produce 400w in 1 hour. I see similar arguments used against Solar and they also don’t wash, I actually have a 1.5Kw system that feeds back to the grid it has reduced my total power bill ~60% at that rate in around 2 more years (a total of 6) it will have totally paid for itself.

  120. Douglas says:

    Kum Dollison says:
    April 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm
    Very nice, Tesla. When you’re finally through insulting me you reveal that your entire argument is based on “I Suspect.”
    —————————————————————————–

    Kum Dollison. Tesla’s argument was not based upon ‘I suspect’ It was reasoned well enough for most people to appreciate.. Nor was Tesla insulting you but simply pointing out the frailty of the argument you have attempted to put throughout this thread. Believe me, your argument is very weak.

    Regarding coal reserves (to which Tesla referred) read this:

    It has been estimated that there are over 847 billion tonnes of proven coal reserves worldwide. This means that there is enough coal to last us around 119 years at current rates of production..

    Coal reserves are available in almost every country worldwide, with recoverable reserves in around 70 countries. The biggest reserves are in the USA, Russia, China and India. After centuries of mineral exploration, the location, size and characteristics of most countries’ coal resources are quite well known. What tends to vary much more than the assessed level of the resource – i.e. the potentially accessible coal in the ground – is the level classified as proved recoverable reserves. Proved recoverable reserves is the tonnage of coal that has been proved by drilling etc. and is economically and technically extractable.

    So Kum you are not insulted.

    Douglas

  121. kbray in California says:

    And about those windmill blades hitting living things…
    The blade design needs an environmental “impact” study.

    I can foresee the following mandated environmental accommodations:

    1) 3 blades reduced to a single half blade for 1/3 the creature carnage.

    2) The single half blade will also be perforated with “bird sized” holes, further reducing impact effects, allowing most birds to pass through the perforated blade unharmed.

    3) In high traffic areas for condors, the single half blade will be constructed of soft “break-away” material, allowing the condor harmless passage through the machine.

    These above suggested mandates will greatly improve the windmill’s environmental performance and acceptance. And as our future source of electricity, one would want to “get this right”. sarc

    side note:
    A slight drop in rated electrical performance may occur, but would be negligible during low wind events.

  122. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From JM VanWinkle on April 30, 2011 at 6:48 pm:

    From the government website:

    Except that’s not the entire link. When you copied the info, possibly what showed was the “abbreviated” address, which was a link to the full address.

    Wikipedia had the full link at the Polywell entry, in the references:
    http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/RecipientReportedData/Pages/RecipientProjectSummary508.aspx?AwardIDSUR=46419&qtr=2011Q1

    Jobs Created: 11.00
    Description of Jobs Created: two full time plasma physicists. one full time equivalent electrical engineer.

    Sounds like government paperwork. Money getting spent, progress getting made so don’t cancel the contract. And because it’s “Recovery Act” money, Obama gets to say he “saved or created” eleven jobs, which must be the two physicists, and nine people who add up to a “full time equivalent electrical engineer.”

    Amount of Award: $7,855,504
    Funds Invoiced/Received: $3,216,826

    Almost halfway through nearly $8 million dollars, Project Status reported as “More than 50% Completed.” Yup, going great for government work. Which is great work if you can get it. ☺

  123. RockyRoad says:

    john edmondson says:
    April 30, 2011 at 1:12 am

    I wonder what is going to happen when the ageing coal and nuclear power stations in this country are decommissioned in the next few years? That is the problem.

    Most likely the UK will be short by 10GW at least. Not good.

    They will simply be replaced with cold fusion Energy Catalyzer devices, which have none of the objectionable characteristics found at coal and nuclear power stations. The timing for this transition couldn’t be better, unless, of course, the AGW/Eugenics crowd wants to somehow link nickel consumption to some other-worldly disaster in an attempt to thwart and prevent it. I think, however, they shall have great difficulty doing so.

  124. joe says:

    i think kum dollison must be including (for California) hydroelectric power purchased from the state of Washington? still don’t see how you’d get anywhere near 19% though and seems dishonest regardless….last i heard the most recent electric contracts by state of CA were with coal plants in Wyoming but our “greenie” legislators like to keep that on the down low…

  125. Dave Wendt says:

    Kum Dollison says:
    April 30, 2011 at 6:21 pm
    A Network of HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) will be the next step. You lose less Voltage with Direct Current than with Alternating Current – especially over long distances, and underground, or underwater.

    I suggest you go back and review the history of the battle between Edison and the Tesla- Westinghouse system at the dawn of the electric age.

  126. dp says:

    I trust, good Viscount, your story is also well told without the mirth and smirk such that the larger audience, less attuned to the blogosphere’s way with parody and snarky repartee, can appreciate it and gain from it. You have spoken to the choir, tossed red meat to the hungry skeptic, but have not said a single word which will land easily on the ear of the believer. Say it again, in the language of the believer, and convince them. As it stands you appear a court jester only, humorous, but not compelling. What you say can change minds save for the way you have said it.

    That said, I did enjoy the read.

  127. Mike Borgelt says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    April 30, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Kadaka, the 8 million dollars is peanuts for something with such a potentially huge payoff.
    Learn about Polywell fusion before criticising this. It all seems to be going to plan and last I heard it was the US Navy sponsoring this for ship power plants. If any kind of high energy fusion is going to work I think this is it(just my opinion). Thermonuclear fusion isn’t going to burn p- B11 ever. Polywell might, which means direct conversion with no thermal cycle and the waste is helium.
    For extras, it will make a great spaceship engine.

  128. Andrew H says:

    Kum, with regard to your idea to change power supplies from AC to DC, the main problems are:
    1) AC and DC generators and motors are totally different and cannot simply be interchanged. Likewise with flourescent lights and the bloody awful compact bulbs the EU has forced upon us. Incandescent bulbs would continue to work, I am not sure about LED’s. TV’s of any description would not work, neither would HiFis, blu rays, DVD, computers battrey chargers. The cost to change to DC would be astronomical and every electrical appliance bar incandescent bulbs would need to be replaced.
    2) If you hold a wire with 240 volts AC or 110 volts AC (in US) the body’s muscles go into spasm increasing the strength of the grip on the wire for 1/50th of a second (frequency of AC currrent being 50hz) allowing grip to be released. In DC this does not happen and electrocution would be the result.

  129. Kum Dollison says:

    California doesn’t count large scale hydro as Renewable, Dave. Nor Nuclear.

  130. If dp would be kind enough to let Anthony pass his email address to me, I shall be happy to send him the current draft of the scientific paper on which the calculations were based. The paper has already been read by eminent climate scientists and economists, and a few final comments are awaited before it is sent to a scientific journal. The paper will get its first public airing at a high-level conference on the climate – unusually featuring skeptics and true-believers on the same platform – at Cambridge University in 10 days’ time; then I shall present it in detail at a climate conference in Colombia. dp will be relieved to learn that the paper is entirely dull, except for the hilarious cost-ineffectiveness values. – Monckton of Brenchley

  131. Kum Dollison says:

    This site give a daily breakdown of the contribution of the various Renewable to California’s Total Demand.

    http://www.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20110430_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

    One thing to note: California imports a lot of wind. That is just lumped in under “Imports.” It looks like around 14% of California’s consumption the last few days has been “Domestically Generated” Renewables. Add in the “Imported Renewables” and, and a larger contribution from Solar in the Summer, and my 19% number (that came from a speech by Jerry Brown, but I can’t find it right now) looks fairly reasonable, I think.

  132. Kum Dollison says:

    Andrew, I’m just talking about the move toward Connecting large Solar, and Wind Farms to certain major destinations via DC. Not a wholesale reworking of the whole grid.

    For instance, LA, I believe, gets a substantial amount of “Wind” from Wyoming. It would probably make sense to run an HVDC line between that source, and destination. Possibly, an HVDC between the upper midwest, and, say, KC, or St Louis, or Chicago. I don’t know, I’ll leave that part to the Experts.

  133. Ziiex Zeburz says:

    Talking about WIND ! ( something that comes out the rear end )

  134. walt man says:

    Andrew H says: April 30, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    All off mainland interconnectors for the UK are already run at DC power in these interconnectors can flow in both directions.. I think this amounts to approx 6GW of dc input to/from the UK.

    The technology is mature, It has obviously greater installation costs but the removal of losses of AC in heat quickly make up the costs. No one yet suggests using DC in Homes. (although most home appliances convert the AC to smoothed DC at first entry to the unit – these DC-DC converters are more efficient than transformers and also cheaper to build!)

  135. John M says:

    Kum Dollison says:
    May 1, 2011 at 1:09 am

    This site give a daily breakdown of the contribution of the various Renewable to California’s Total Demand.

    Thanks for the link. Do those numbers already include “imported” energy.

    Also, interesting the huge change in wind one day to the next, as judged by the significant difference between 1 AM and 12 PM.

  136. racookpe1978 says:

    Kum Dollison says:
    April 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm (Edit)

    California doesn’t count large scale hydro as Renewable, Dave. Nor Nuclear.

    —…— This is because CA enviro-crats do NOT want renewable energy produced, but rather they prefer that no energy be produced. Politically speaking, they cannot let hydro be called renewable, or they would lose “credit” for blocking dams and cursing river projects, would lose political power to destroy those dams that are already built for water and power, and would not be able to force money into their chosen “green” politically-funded and politically-profitable (though economically disastrous!0 renewable energy projects.

    If they were forced to admit that hydro power IS naturally renewable, and is ALREADY paid for and installed, then your enviro-crats would have no reason to demand expensive solar and wind projects – which they oppose anyway based on right-of-way issues and REAL environmental damage.

  137. racookpe1978 says:

    What do you claim is the advantage of HVDC?

    It is good ONLY for (very expensive) point-to-point delivery of power from one location to another. At each end of the HVDC line – assuming you can get permits for construction and right-of-ways for the line in the first place – you need an elaborate, hard-to-build AC-DC and DC-AC conversion plant and HV transmission transformer yard.

    So, now – in addition to building 5 TIMES the number of windmills that you really need (since each windmill is effective only 20% of the time) you need to build a very expensive facility and collection transformer yard at the windmill farm, another at the HVDC AC-DC unit, the HVDC line itself, the DC-AC facility, the second HV transformer yard, and the distribution net at the other end to the existing lines where power is needed. One permit application for a single 150 mile HV line across West Virginia took ten years to go through. ….. How long will your HVDC lines permit cycle take?

    Instead, I “could” build ONE 700 Megawatt combined cycle GT facility with double today’s conventional plants’ thermal efficiency on 20 acres in a parking lot – right near the site where power is actually needed.

    Oh. Wait. I HAVE TO DO THAT ANYWAY! Your windmills drop off line regularly, no matter how spread out they are, and can’t be relied on to produce power when needed.

    HVDC is point-to-point ONLY. Every inch of every mile in between is isolated from the intermediate grid(s) because the DC can’t be tapped off or touched. (Without building a third, fourth, fifth, sixth DC-AC conversion facility – but then you get ground fault changes in the return current too.) It has its place in the national grid, but the “experts” have ALREADY “spoken” based on 120 years of HV experience: DC is NOT effective in the “hope-for-perfection/solve our problems” the way you describe it.

    Oh – By the way – there is NO problem to be solved either: Your CAGW “threat” does not exist as a problem/threat/crisis to be solved!

  138. Pamela Gray says:

    I love the comments related to green jobs being created. Pick pockets do this very well. They make you feel loved, embraced, and cared for while their slippery hand is deep inside your back pocket.

    Job creation that builds shining fields of cheerfully blinking windmills but then leaves ghostly fields of dead three-horned monster skeletons on the back end of the story is not job creation. It is vote garnering targeted for the next election. Then the cycle of love and pick pocketing starts again. Like a man intent on abusing each subsequent wife he woes.

  139. dp says: April 30, 2011 at 11:08 pm
    ..your story is also well told without the mirth and smirk …parody and snarky repartee…have not said a single word which will land easily on the ear of the believer.. you appear a court jester only…
    ********

    The good Lord Monckton’s discourse is in keeping with British politics. It is typical of the exchanges in the House of Parliament.

    My favorite example was an exchange between William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli. I believe (and would welcome correction if wrong) that it took place during a debate in a regular session of the House of Parliament:

    Upon being told by William Gladstone: “I predict, Sir, that you will die either by hanging or of some vile disease” Benjamin Disraeli replied: “That all depends, sir, upon whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.” As the other members would have said: “Hear! Hear!”

    Besides, if you can’t laugh at what’s going on, you would have to cry. During the last century Progressives imposed their various “..isms” on the world in order to create their visions of Utopia. They have all been failures from Argentina to Zimbabwe and England during Labor’s mis-rule between Churchill and Thatcher is no exception. Two of them, National Socialism and Communism, were particularly brutal. Their Socialist experiments resulted in the murder of between 145,000,000 and 200,000,000 civilians. These deaths were not “collateral damage” during warfare, but civilians deliberately murdered by their governments. The toll would be increased by tens of millions if you included the deaths of civilians in 20th Century wars, principally between National Socialist Germany and the Communist Soviet Union.

    The progressive New York Times newspaper, referring to the systematic starvation of millions in the Ukraine published: “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” –New York Times, May 14, 1933, page 18

    I enjoy the good Lord Monckton’s humor. It is a little bright spot in an otherwise bleak prospect. Progressives are at it again, trying to create some kind of pre-industrial utopia. I pray that our experience in this century will not repeat that of the last century.

    Regards,

    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  140. walt man says:

    National Grid 7 year UK plan
    http://www.nationalgrid.com/NR/rdonlyres/A2095E9F-A0B8-4FCB-8E66-6F698D429DC5/41470/NETSSYS2010allChapters.pdf
    National Grid’s responsibility in the Balancing Mechanism is to balance generation and demand and to resolve transmission constraints. The intermittent effect of wind (i.e. its output is naturally subject to fluctuation and unpredictability relative to the more traditional generation technologies) coupled with the expected significant diversity between regional variations in wind output means that, while the balancing task will become more onerous, the task should remain manageable. Provided that the necessary flexible generation and other balancing service providers remain available, there is no immediate technical reason why a large portfolio of wind generation cannot be managed in balancing timescales.

    In the longer term, we do not think it likely that there will be a technical limit on the amount of wind that may be accommodated as a result of short term balancing issues, but economic and market factors will become increasingly important, most notably the potential impact of both the interim and enduring connect and manage regimes.

  141. Pamela Gray says:

    dp, English humor is rich with scientific information and persuasiveness. In my opinion, the good Lord is at the higher end of oratory and debate techniques known to sway the day, and is tuned quite well to his audience. But to be sure dp is well qualified to offer suggestions, may we see your list of presentations?

  142. Grant Hillemeyer says:

    Not particularly hard to find out; 2009 California generated 11.6% from renewables including small small hydro. Large hydro another 9.2%. California has some of the highest electricity rates in the country, increases in percent of power by renewables increases those rates at a much higher rate than coal. Kim should follow what is happening in England, where fuel poverty endangers and indeed kills thousands every year.

  143. HenryP says:

    kbray frm Cal says
    In spite of inherent dangers like Japan is now having, modern nuclear is the only good answer now, especially if one must have a “zero carbon” effect for the politics.
    If one could successfully remove the “carbon threat theory” from the picture, then fossil fuel is still king, and we could have “business as usual”.
    The current path is leading to a fiasco.

    Henry@kbray
    It seems there are still those who still believe there is nothing wrong with nuclear energy, especially if you read the blogs here in the USA. But don’t ask any of them who still sing the praises of nuclear energy to go and volunteer to clean up the mess, either in Chernobyl or Fukushima. We are still sitting with two enormous problems there. You can read more of my take on the nuclear energy crisis if you read my comment that I left at the bottom, here,
    http://www.citizen.co.za/citizen/content/en/citizen/opinion-columnists?oid=187973&sn=Detail&pid=334&Nature%E2%80%99s-nuke-defence

    Another

  144. walt man says:

    Wind turbine life cycle All the stuff anyone could ask for:

    http://www.vestas.com/en/about-vestas/sustainability/wind-turbines-and-the-environment/life-cycle-assessment-(lca).aspx

    Try this one for most recent LCA
    LCA V112-3.0 MW

    This is also confirmation that not all turbines use neodymium (rare earth)
    ENERCON news ENERCON WECs produce clean energy without neodymium
    29.04. 2011
    ENERCON wind energy converters (WECs) generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way without the use of the controversial element, neodymium. The gearless WEC design on which all WEC types – from the E-33/330 kW to the E-126/7.5 MW – are based includes a separately excited annular generator. The magnetic fields required by the generator to produce electricity are created electrically. By design, and unlike the majority of competing products, ENERCON WECs do without permanent magnets whose production requires neodymium.

  145. Grant Hillemeyer says:
  146. HenryP says:

    Henry@those still in favour of nuclear energy

    in case you missed that argument (referred to in my comment above)
    here it is:
    I just wanted to point out that the Chernobyl incident is not yet finished. All of the people who were charged with encapsulating it (300?) have since died. But they have now found that the site is still not save. It leaks radioactivity from the cracks and needs to be re-encapsulated. Unfortunately, the country (Oekraine) does not have the money for it. Can you believe that? How much money are we talking about here??
    I am also pretty sure that we have not yet seen the end of Fukushima. Apparently they have the same problem as Chernobyl. However, unlike the uninformed workers at Chernobyl, the workers there already know what will happen to them if they go near that place. I am pretty sure that none of us here would be willing to volunteer to help clear up the mess there? That is the problem. If there is an accident at a nuclear plant, then nobody can or will be able to clean up the mess. From the beginning I had my doubts about nuclear energy, because of the waste problem. I am therefore hoping that any plans for more nuclear energy will be shelved. Some time ago, I discovered that the whole global warming scare due to our carbon footprint was just a big hoax. It appears there is now more greenery on earth than 50 years ago. Amazingly, I discovered that it is exactly our human carbon footprint that is responsible for this. You can check out my reports here: http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok
    Therefore, first price for making electricity would be if we could use natural gas. The emissions from the burning of natural gas are not harmful to the atmosphere in any way. Alternatively we have to use coal. I think if we use coal and carefully remove the impurities (sulphur oxides, carbon monoxide, heavy metals etc.) from the exhaust, coal would still be a much better option than nuclear energy.

  147. AJB says:

    Wind farms paid £900,000 to switch off for one night

    Wind farms operators were paid £900,000 by the National Grid to disconnect their turbines for one night because the electricity was not needed.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/8486449/Wind-farms-paid-900000-to-switch-off-for-one-night.html

  148. A big thank you to Viscount Moncton for another splendid article!

    I like Steamboat Jack’s assessment and defense of Lord Moncton’s seemingly peculiar style; the Brits do tend to be less tight-sphinctered than us North Americans when making a point. But, while I chuckle with the rest of you over the apt IPeCaC moniker, I would argue that it is far more important to repeatedly stress the UN connection, as in UN-IPCC, for example. This is mainly a battle for credibility and trust, qualities which the UN has justifiably lost for good on so many other issues, and a reminder of just who exactly is behind this massive climate scam puts things in sharper perspective.

    Also, as the unelected, unofficial and wholly self-designated representative/ombudsman for any science dunces like myself on this forum, I suggest that important climate facts and related finances in such articles and elsewhere, should include simplified graphic representations. Think of it as “assistive technology” for the scientifically challenged. And, I don’t mean more scary graphs and brain-freezing charts so ubiquitous here, but nice, bold, clear and colourful illustrations which can represent important points visually and at a glance. So, putting my proverbial money where my mouth is, I’m available for some fancy-shmantzy *pro bono* graphic work for or through WUWT. The latter proviso is a practical necessity; there are many folks with many hobby horses out there, some brilliant and some outright nutty, but since I’m unable to evaluate most, I’d rather go with WUWT’s judgement and recommendations. Of course, if the UN-IPCC were to be interested, I’ll cheerfully churn out mercenary illustrations of sad-eyed polar bear cubs, kittens, puppies and Pikas writhing, bleeding and bleeting whilst impaled on that big, scary spike in Mann’s hockey stick graph. For a “small,” UN-class fee, of course!

  149. dp says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    May 1, 2011 at 9:04 am

    dp, English humor is rich with scientific information and persuasiveness. In my opinion, the good Lord is at the higher end of oratory and debate techniques known to sway the day, and is tuned quite well to his audience. But to be sure dp is well qualified to offer suggestions, may we see your list of presentations?

    So speaks the choir – rather than ponder my specifics, how about you consider my point and show me where it is wrong. My qualifications are irrelevant and the question impertinent. By way of example, what are your qualifications to question my qualifications? Circular drivel, Pamela.

    I am a great fan of of Monckton but his tale will not be told to the believer masses as written because the venues they follow will not offer it to them. Such is the fate of red meat articles. Even if re-written it may still not earn an audience, but it will at least appear a serious piece of science.

    Note too that I have not suggested he abandon his wit and humor that we enjoy, but that he provide and alternate copy more likely to gain a larger, less friendly audience.

    Save perhaps for Sarah Palin, he is at the top of the list of people wrongly but widely assailed as a wonk, out of hand. His presentation style, while fun and thoughtful, is very polarizing. And you see a problem with suggestions to moderate that.

    This is an opinion – take it for what it is worth.

  150. harrywr2 says:

    HenryP says:
    May 1, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I am also pretty sure that we have not yet seen the end of Fukushima. Apparently they have the same problem as Chernobyl.

    Encapsulation isn’t the best long term answer. Concrete isn’t a terribly good thermal conductor and will crack over time. At Fukushima the primary containment vessels are for the most part still intact. The reactor and containment vessels will in all likelihood continue to be cooled by water until such time as the fuel can be safely moved to dry cask storage. A water filtration plant will be set up where the cesium will be filtered out and then vitrified.

    At the moment at Fukushima they are pumping minimum flow rate in order to minimize water storage…once they have the filtration plant in place they will increase the flow rate and go into ‘cold shutdown’ on units #1 and #3. Unit #2 has some leaks that need to be repaired.

  151. Larry Fields says:

    My stoopid question of the day: If we compare land-based windfarms with woodlots that take up the same acreage, which of the two land-use options would produce the most usable energy per year in the long haul? Given climate and soil conditions that are suitable for silviculture, is there any place on the planet where sustainable forestry would not trump windfarms?

    I’m asking this, because Sweden, with its relatively small population and large forests, is looking to the latter as an energy-security resource, and is encouraging the use of pellet stoves for home heating.

  152. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Mike Borgelt on April 30, 2011 at 11:10 pm:

    Kadaka, the 8 million dollars is peanuts for something with such a potentially huge payoff.
    Learn about Polywell fusion before criticising this. (…)

    Actually I researched different fusion methods months ago, which included Polywell. By the public releases of the research, the work had hit the stage where “All these problems will go away in a full size machine! And it’ll only take about $200 million to build it!” That was in 2007.

    Dr. Bussard took in a long stream of Defense-related funding, which went down to dribbles, then went dry in 2006. The publishing embargo ended, Bussard went public to solicit funding, formed the EMC2 Fusion Development Corporation as a non-profit to gather funds, touting how great Polywell was, how close to success, and it was publicly noted how stupid the government was to stop funding it!

    By August 2007 they had Defense money again. October, Bussard died. Dr. Richard Nebel and Dr. Jaeyoung Park went on leave from Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2007 to lead the team that would continue Bussard’s work. Between late 2008 and early 2009, Nebel was saying some promising things, that there could be a commercial plant as early as 2020. By the latest Recovery Act info, 1st Quarter 2011, Nebel is no longer listed as a company officer.

    In April 2009, the Department of Defense published a plan to get EMC2 $2 million of Recovery Act money, suggesting it was for domestic energy. September 2009, they got $7.8 million, contracted from the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, California. The lab was moved to San Diego. Information about the ongoing research is at the minimum required, and that little bit is only due to Recovery Act funds being used.

    When the Defense money ran out in 2006 and the research went public, they were ready to try a full size plant. After the Defense money resumed and Bussard died, the Defense cloak of secrecy descended once more, Polywell became a concept that still had to be proven, with a possible commercial plant by 2020, then came silence.

    Wake up and smell the napalm. Polywell was a Defense Department baby. They tried cutting it, were basically shamed into funding it again. Current funding comes from the Naval Air Warfare Center. The specs call for proton-Boron 11 (PB11), an aneutronic fusion reaction with low shielding requirements (thus less weight). Whatever the DoD is planning on doing with Polywell, commercial power doesn’t seem to be on the list.

    There are also doubts about Bussard, when it comes to obtaining funding. He spent decades promoting Tokamaks, first with the Department of Energy (Atomic Energy Commission) then later founded a private company researching a variant called a Riggatron. After that failed he moved on to the Polywell. Then in 1995 he announced in a letter to key members of Congress his support of Tokamaks was basically a sham, done for political reasons to maintain interest in fusion. This includes the admission of while he was at the AEC the budgets were inflated so they could skim off 20% for other work.

    Oh, he also asked for appropriate Congressional help “…so that we can achieve clean, safe and economical fusion power sometime in the next 5-10 years.” That was in 1995.

    I have very little confidence that Polywell will provide the economical nigh-limitless commercial power you dream of, ever. And that comes from just following the funding trail, before including the challenging technical and engineering aspects which had soured me on the concept when I studied it before.

  153. pk says:

    about the DC high tension lines.

    it seems to me that Westinghouse and General Electric fought out the battle over ac vs dc transmission wayyyyyy back when ~1900.

    as a result the united states is pretty much universaly 60 cycle ac at this time.

    the hype merchants have been beating the drum for DC transmission since the 50’s but don’t seem to be making much headway. probably has to do with the universal connections in the present system and an “oddball” not being able to connect to other sources/recievers in emergency or business change situations without additional equipment.

    might be one of those deals like aluminum house wiring. ok except for the connections. they corrode and tend to set the adjacent stuff on fire. that system got decidedly unpopular after burning a few houses down and is now banned in many cities. of course thats one of those “dumb little details” that the academics gloss over when advocating to the masses.

    C

  154. mike in Oz says:

    And then, a few days later, there is this BBC news story about the stunning sums of money paid to owners of wind installations in Scotland to turn them off!! Just a few days of ‘not running’ is way more profitable than actually bothering to generate a voltage.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-13253876

  155. Kum Dollison says:

    Admittedly, this article is from an advocacy point of view, but a lot of their stuff IS verifiable.

    AWEA figures show that the average wind PPAs are now being priced at about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, the same price for energy procurements from a combined cycle natural gas plant. The group says wind is actually about 2 cents cheaper than coal-fired electricity, and more projects were financed through debt arrangements than tax equity structures last year, a possible sign that wind deals are winning more mainstream acceptance from Wall Street’s banks….

    [AWEA chief economist Elizabeth] Salerno credits the breakthrough in cost to improved turbine design and performance, higher towers and longer blades, which have boosted the reliability and performance of wind power generation. Equipment makers can also deliver products in the same year that they are ordered instead of waiting up to three years as was the case in previous cycles, she said, calling it a sign of a mature supply chain.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2011/05/01/cost-of-wind-power-kicks-coals-butt-better-than-natural-gas-could-power-your-ev-for-0-70gallon/

  156. Richard S Courtney says:

    Kum Dollinson:

    Wind power is expensive and unreliable. This is because the world is the way it is and the Laws of physics are what they are. No amount of sales promotion can change that.

    If windpower were sensible then oil tankers would be sailing ships.

    And sailing ships use direct windpower with no mechanical losses from gear boxes, electricity generation, etc.

    The energy intensity in fossil fuels is so much higher than is available in normal winds that windpower will never be able to compete; not now, not ever. And that is why windpower was abandoned when the greater energy intensity in fossil fuels becamer available bu use of the steam engine.

    Face reality and cope with it.

    Richard

  157. John M says:

    AWEA figures show that the average wind PPAs are now being priced at about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, the same price for energy procurements from a combined cycle natural gas plant. The group says wind is actually about 2 cents cheaper than coal-fired electricity, and more projects were financed through debt arrangements than tax equity structures last year, a possible sign that wind deals are winning more mainstream acceptance from Wall Street’s banks….

    Great! That should mean there’s no longer a need for renewable mandates and special tax subsidies!

    Let the good times roll!!!

  158. Kum Dollison says:

    Richard, fossil fuels are getting more expensive, and Wind isn’t.

    Reality . . .

    Live with . . .

    Etc .. . . .

  159. Smokey says:

    Kum Dollison says:

    “Richard, fossil fuels are getting more expensive, and Wind isn’t.”

    Great! Then we can eliminate the subsidies for windmills. Heck, let’s eliminate all energy subsidies, and let the cards fall where they may.

    Are you game?

  160. Kum Dollison says:

    ’tain’t up to me, Smokey. I don’t even get a “vote.”

  161. joe says:

    come on, nobody likes coal but who’s gonna believe an article that says “cost of wind power kicks coal’s butt…” they living in fantasyland….

  162. kbray in California says:

    kbray response to:
    HenryP says: May 1, 2011 at 9:16 am
    HenryP says: May 1, 2011 at 9:28 am

    To Henry Pool in South Africa,

    I never said, “there is nothing wrong with nuclear energy”. Yes, there can be great danger with nuclear and as we all know both events you mention were/are very disruptive and tragic. Slowly most of the damage will be cleaned up and isolated. We learn as we go and will rebuild even better.

    However, like you, I also think that CO2 is actually “good for the planet” and the plants. Using fossil fuels is perfectly fine by me.

    But countering our free use of fossil fuels is a “draconian mind set” wandering the worldwide halls of legislation that consider CO2 as a poison to our planet, flora, fauna, and future climate, supported by idiot “researchers”… ie: “CO2 must be eliminated”.

    To appease the above mentioned clowns, a modern nuclear power plant design with multiple fail-safe enhancements could work out well and be magnitudes safer than a Chernobyl or Fukushima obsolete design. Windmills will just not do the job.

    Again, nuclear is not my first choice, fossil fuels are, as you also propose.

    To help influence the situation, I see that as a minister, you are in a powerful position to pray for a major mindset change and a return to sanity by our “leaders”. We could all benefit by a major worldwide pray for that. I’m on your side. kbray.

  163. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Kum Dollison said on May 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm:

    ’tain’t up to me, Smokey. I don’t even get a “vote.”

    Vote with your wallet.

    BTW, China pays price for world’s rare earths addiction.

    Enjoy your wind turbines with are getting more efficient using rare earth magnets, and high voltage DC transmission lines using pricey semiconductors.

  164. Richard S Courtney says:

    Kum Dollinson:

    Your response to me displays a complete ignorance of “energy intensity”.

    Wind power is several times more expensive than fossil fuel power and it always will be. So what if wind power is getting “cheaper” and fossil fuels are getting more expensive? Windpower is – and always will be – much, much more expensive than energy from fossil fuels.

    Please explain why you think oil tankers are not sailing ships.

    Richard

  165. Pete H says:

    “The SB700 is available in the UK for around £800 offering up to 700 Watts of power. Much larger applications could be served with an SB3000 or SB6000 inverter for powers of up to 3000 (£1500) and 6000 Watts (£2500) respectively.”

    Were the above Grid Tie Inverters or Battery Banks included in the costings? They often seem to be “omitted”!

  166. malcolm says:

    Steamboat Jack says:
    May 1, 2011 at 8:23 am

    The good Lord Monckton’s discourse is in keeping with British politics. It is typical of the exchanges in the House of Parliament.

    My favorite example was an exchange between William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli. I believe (and would welcome correction if wrong) that it took place during a debate in a regular session of the House of Parliament:

    Upon being told by William Gladstone: “I predict, Sir, that you will die either by hanging or of some vile disease” Benjamin Disraeli replied: “That all depends, sir, upon whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.” As the other members would have said: “Hear! Hear!”

    Ah! My favourite. I’ve always considered that to be the greatest putdown ever! Good to see it again. I always forget who said it, but after looking it up ten times over the years, the name John Wilkes left a faint imprint in my memory. FYI, Googling for
    loathsome disease principles mistress Wilkes
    serves up the goods: It was John Wilkes and John Montague.

  167. If 20% of America’s electric generation were replaced by wind power as proposed by Al Gore, the reduction in oil imports would be 0.292% and reduction in CO2 emissions would be 0.00948%.

    Wind power has an EROEI of 0.292 and is unsustainable.

    Game, set, match.

  168. Kum Dollison says:

    Not according to the Wall St. Journal. Wind Power makes electricity cheaper in Texas.

    But, you know what a Liberal, left-leaning rag that is. :)

  169. Laurence M. Sheehan, PE says:

    It is not difficult to turn garden waste or any vegetative matter into the equivalent of sweet crude oil. There have been two pilot plants put into production, the cost about 1990 was about $15 to $20 per barrel. The only matter to be dealt with is arranging to obtain the feed stock for the vegetative matter.

    CO2 is the trace gas that all green plants use, along with water, to construct themselves. Putting the green plants that are the basic source of all the food we and animals eat on shorter rations is about the stupidest concept I have ever seen proposed. Back circa 1945, a bumper crop of corn (maize) on a farm I lived on in NW Iowa was 90 bushels per acre. In recent years, crop yields of 145 bushels per acre are rather common, due to the mild increase of CO2 since 1945. Some trees have been measured for growth, and those trees measured are growing about 40% faster now as opposed to 1950 . . . due to the same minor increase of atmospheric (for above water green plants) and increase of CO2 dissolved in water (for underwater green plants).

    “Go Green” policies would (except that we humans produce so little CO2) in fact be counterproductive for green biomass growth. Any reduction in concentrations of CO2 would mean less green plant growth, and less in the way of food production on farms.

    The equation for photosynthesis is 6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy(sunlight) = C6H12O6 + 6O2. The basic source 0f both the food we eat and the oxygen we breath is carbon dioxide. More would be better, and all that much less would be a disaster for life on this planet.

  170. kim says:

    Not wind, Kum, biofuels. There we go.
    ===========

  171. Steven Schuman says:

    From that Wall Street article, “wind power works best when it’s not much needed.” From the Texas ERCOT report for the year- wind power capacity factor is about 8%. Basically, put up 100 wind turbines and get the use of about 8 of them when you really need it. I believe the gist of the article is that wind may lower the price of natural gas. Question, how much did it cost in wind infrastructure to lower the cost of natural gas?

  172. Kum Dollison says:

    Actually, we’ll fill that gap with Solar (which is, also, getting much, much cheaper.)

  173. Billy Liar says:

    Dan says:
    April 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    This is a real world example of a windgenerator working and saving money (a lot of money) http://www.antarctica.gov.au/living-and-working/stations/mawson/mawson-electrical-energy

    Not every windmill can rely on the katabatic winds generated by an adjacent 14 million square-kilometer, 3,000 meter high chunk of very cold ice.

  174. walt man says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    May 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Enjoy your wind turbines with are getting more efficient using rare earth magnets, and high voltage DC transmission lines using pricey semiconductors.

    ENERCON news ENERCON WECs produce clean energy without neodymium
    29.04. 2011
    ENERCON wind energy converters (WECs) generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way without the use of the controversial element, neodymium. The gearless WEC design on which all WEC types – from the E-33/330 kW to the E-126/7.5 MW – are based includes a separately excited annular generator. The magnetic fields required by the generator to produce electricity are created electrically. By design, and unlike the majority of competing products, ENERCON WECs do without permanent magnets whose production requires neodymium.
    Neodymium has made the headlines recently because its extraction partly involves significant environmental damage. China, where neodymium-containing rocks are quarried in mines, is the main supplier of this so-called rare earth element. According to investigations by Germany’s NDR TV station, separation of neodymium from mined rocks results in toxic waste products (Menschen und Schlagzeilen and Panorama television magazines aired on 27 and 28 April). In addition, radioactive uranium and thorium are released by the mining process. These substances find their way into the ground water, heavily contaminating plant and animal life. They are seen as harmful to humans. According to the reports, part of the locals at the neodymium production sites in Baotou in northern China are already seriously ill.
    ENERCON feels that these environmental and health aspects support its choice of WEC design. “We are a high-tech company that sets great store by environmental protection,” says ENERCON Managing Director Hans-Dieter Kettwig. “Our choice to rely on separately excited generators was the right one, not only from a technological but also from an environmental point of view.” According to Kettwig, renewable energies need to be viewed in their entirety in order to offer a convincing alternative. Producing clean energy is one thing; however, sustainability in production is just as important.

    Wind turbine life cycle:
    All the stuff anyone could ask for:
    http://www.vestas.com/en/about-vestas/sustainability/wind-turbines-and-the-environment/life-cycle-assessment-(lca).aspx

  175. Richard S Courtney says:

    Kum Dollinson:

    You persist in refusing to address any issue put to you but you throw out additional silly assertions instead.

    I have given up explaining your elementary errors because you ignore all information. I am posting obvious questions because your refusal to answer demonstrates you know you are spewing nonsense.

    Your latest silly assertion is at May 2, 2011 at 11:33 am and says;

    “Actually, we’ll fill that gap with Solar (which is, also, getting much, much cheaper.)”

    So, in addition to my previous question which you have yet to answer; i.e.

    “Why do you think oil tankers are not sailing ships?”

    I now also ask;

    What proportion of people do you think want to turn their lights on (and not off) when the Sun goes down?”

    Richard

  176. Kum Dollison says:

    Maybe a picture would help you understand, Richard.

    http://www.caiso.com/green/renewableswatch.html

    Click on the linky-poo, above, and you will see how wind, and solar fit together yesterday in California.

    And, I have no idea what “sailing ships” have to do with Electricity Generation.

  177. Slacko says:

    Dan says:
    April 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    “This is a real world example of a windgenerator working and saving money (a lot of money)
    http://www.antarctica.gov.au/living-and-working/stations/mawson/mawson-electrical-energy

    Note the fuel saving for this Antarctic Station 20,741 litres, to me that would seem worth the effort, the current market value of diesel here in Australia is ~$1.55 per litre, the usage figure is for just one month (March) if this unit were in Australia that would be a saving of $32.000 in just one month, over $300,000 per year. If this unit were in use in Australia it would completely recover it’s build cost ($)1.2m in ~4-5 years.”

    Hey Dan, I checked out your link. Very interesting.
    However, it occurs to me that we have no factories or anything in the AAT that would require a constant and highly stable supply of electrical power. So that fact alone may have helped to hold the build cost down to only $1.2 million for the two wind turbines. Or does that cost include the backup generator?

    Let’s see:
    Population, summer: 24
    Population, winter: 16
    Accommodation: Everybody lives in the red shed. (Heck, it’s bigger than my garage.)

    Anyhow, it’s great that it can knock $32,000 a month off their power bill. But I sure am glad I’m not paying it.

    Oh, wait a bit. Yes I am.

  178. Slacko says:

    Andrew H says:
    April 30, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    I’m not sure that Kum is advocating DC for domestic distribution, but rather for HT transmission lines such as the one that connected New Zealand’s South Island to the geothermal stations in the North Island. IIRC it operated at 600,000 VDC, and I don’t know whether it remained in use after the construction of the hydro station inside a mountain at Doubtful Sound.

    BTW, electrocution by DC should be avoided. Electrolysis of the blood may cause discomfort. And you’re right, it’s jolly hard to let go!

  179. Richard S Courtney says:

    Kum Dollinson:

    You persist in spouting nonsense. And the attempt at obfuscation you provide at May 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm proves you ignore everything put to you and you avoid every pertinent issue.

    It says;
    “I have no idea what “sailing ships” have to do with Electricity Generation.”

    I agree that your posts here show you “have no idea” about anything “to do with Electricity Generation”, but I explained the pertinence of oil tankers above at May 1, 2011 at 5:23. OK, you say you failed to understand it so I will repeat the point here in language a 5-year-old could understand.

    Windpower is expensive and unreliable. As I explained, sails on ships are the most efficient use of windpower that is possible because there are no mechanical losses from gearboxes, electricity generators, etc.. And oil tankers convey oil for sale but burn oil to do it. They would not burn their profits as fuel if windpower were cheaper and reliable.

    So, I yet again repeat my previous question which you have failed to answer; i.e.

    “Why do you think oil tankers are not sailing ships?”

    And windpower is unreliable is because wind turbines only operate when the wind is strong enough but not too strong. You asserted that wind power and solar power “fit together”. But solar power is also intermittent because the Sun does not shine at night (when the wind power is often not available because the wind is wrong). So, I asked you;

    What proportion of people do you think want to turn their lights on (and not off) when the Sun goes down?”

    Your response was to cite a link to a large web site which – you claim – proves they “link together”.

    No! That will not do!
    You made the silly assertion, and it is your responsibility to explain it. But you cannot explain it because you know your assertion is silly a not true. So, you set me some ‘home work’ in hope that would fool people.

    But that evasion fools nobody. Everybody can see that your refusals to answer the questions demonstrate you know you are spouting nonsense. So, I repeat them.

    “Why do you think oil tankers are not sailing ships?”

    and

    “What proportion of people do you think want to turn their lights on (and not off) when the Sun goes down?””

    Richard

  180. don says:

    Interesting perspective from a mathematical viewpoint. You don’t seem to take into account that any money spent on production of these technologies will show up as a pay cheque to someone else. Global economy is an interactive experience. Spending money on clean energy production is still better than supporting destructive energy production. Money still changes hands but it has a better intentional energy to it, if it is spent on progress.
    You are probably right in your appraisal of this installation. Others may have different stories and advantages. No single method of energy production will fulfill our dogmatic ‘energy needs’, diversification and R&D is important.

  181. Richard S Courtney says:

    don:

    At May 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm you assert:

    “Global economy is an interactive experience. Spending money on clean energy production is still better than supporting destructive energy production.”

    There is no such thing as “clean energy production”: all human activity has environmental effects.

    All energy production is productive (how could it not be?) but has some destructive effects (e.g. mining for iron ore).
    Renewables produce little and destroy a lot.
    Fossil fuels and nuclear power produced a lot and destroy little.

    Wasting money on renewables for power generation is economically very, very destructive.

    And I agree with a balanced energy policy which uses all sensible fuels (i.e. nuclear, gas, oil, coal, refuse disposal, etc.) so the lights stay on if the supply of any one fuel is interrupted. But that balance is disrupted by introduction of intermittent renewables because their supply is often interrupted (e.g. windfarms often stop providing electricity because they only supply it when the wind conditions are right)

    Richard

  182. Dan says:

    Slacko says:
    May 2, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Hey Dan, I checked out your link. Very interesting.
    However, it occurs to me that we have no factories or anything in the AAT that would require a constant and highly stable supply of electrical power. So that fact alone may have helped to hold the build cost down to only $1.2 million for the two wind turbines. Or does that cost include the backup generator?

    Let’s see:
    Population, summer: 24
    Population, winter: 16
    Accommodation: Everybody lives in the red shed. (Heck, it’s bigger than my garage.)
    ———————————————————————————
    Actually Slacko, The largest user of power is heating, each building has to be heated they keep it lower than offices in Australia (to save power) but it is still~18c but that is still 20-50c above ambient outside temp, there are also site services unlike Australia (or most other places) water pipes and pipes carrying less pleasant things also have to be heated and given the outside temp all main buildings have to be heated (even if they are not in use) as any water or ice inside a build can literally tear it apart, the heating alone gives Mawson the power consumption of a town of more than 1000 rather than the 24 that may be there in summer the station has a main power station (and that’s what it is) that could run a town of that sort of size ~6 generators this is the control room for it
    http://images.aad.gov.au/img.py/2d71.jpg?width=640&height=480
    Fuel storage (for diesel) is two separate fuel farms each with 5-6 black steel tanks with a total capacity of ~700,000 liters as this fuel has to keep every going right through winter till the first ship of the new season arrives, Nov-Dec (the previous season ends ~late Mar, for Mawson) so they are pretty much on their own for 8-9 months.

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