Guest post by Steven Goddard
The Telegraph has an article today
about the latest addition to the UK wind energy grid, described as “Europe’s largest onshore wind farm at Whitelee.
” The article says :
When the final array is connected to the grid later this week, there will be 140 turbines generating 322 megawatts of electricity. This is enough to power 180,000 homes.
Assuming the turbines are actually moving. The problem is that on the coldest days in winter, the air is still and the turbines don’t generate much (if any) electricity. Consider the week of February 4-10, 2009 in Glasgow.
The average temperature was -2C (29F) during the week, and there was almost no wind on most of those days. No wind means no electricity. On the coldest days, there is no wind – so wind power fails just when you need it the most. On the morning of February 4, the temperature was -7C (19F) and the wind speed was zero.
In order to keep society from lapsing into the dark ages, there has to be enough conventional (coal, natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear) capacity to provide 100% of the power requirements on any given day. Thus it becomes apparent that Britain’s push for “renewable” energy is leading the UK towards major problems in the future.
The belief that conventional capacity can be fully replaced by wind or solar is simply mistaken and based on a flawed thought process. People want to believe in renewable energy, and that desire blocks them from thinking clearly. The people of Glasgow were fortunate in February that there was still still enough conventional capacity available to keep their lights on. As the UK’s plans to “convert” to “renewable energy” proceed, this will no longer be the case.
Wind and solar can reduce the average load over a year, but they can not reduce the base or peak requirements for conventional electricity.
In the future, weather forecasts may have to include a segment like “No electricity from Wednesday through Friday. Some electricity possible over the weekend.”
BTW – You can purchase those nice fluorescent green jackets at the Claymore Filling Station in Ballachulish for about £12. I’ve got one just like it in the closet.