Indianapolis wind power contract canceled

In a statement made last Friday by EDF Energies Nouvelles (French Green Power Company), a power purchase agreement was terminated without explanation by Indianapolis Power and Light Company regarding the supply of wind energy by enXco,  a local EDF company. The contract was unilaterally terminated by IPL, and more than 10 days later, EDF has acknowledged it to the market.

The IPL wind power project web page is here

From the press release see here

======================

PRESS RELEASE

March 12th, 2010

Termination of the Lakefield PPA by IPL

On March 1, enXco, the US subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, received notification that the US utility Indianapolis Power and Light Company (IPL) would terminate the power purchase agreement related to the 201 MW Lakefield wind project currently under development (southwestern Minnesota).

The project received the approval of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) on January 27, 2010. The IURC’s order was consistent with similar past orders. IPL has purported to unilaterally terminate the power purchase agreement on the basis of this order without providing further specific reasons.

enXco is considering its rights and remedies within the framework of the PPA. In addition, the Company is currently analyzing several options, including re-marketing the project to one or several other utilities.

Consistent with EDF Energies Nouvelles policy, construction has not yet started.

The 2012 operational objective of 4,200 MW net and 2010 objective of EBITDA will not be impacted by the Lakefield project evolution.

================

big h/t to Ecotretas

Page 1

PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE
Paris, March 12, 2010 Paris, March 12, 2010
Termination of the PPA by Lakefield IPL Termination of the Lakefield PPA by IPL
On March 1, enXco, the U.S. subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, received On March 1, enXco, the US subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, received
notification that the U.S. utility Indianapolis Power and Light Company (IPL) notification that the US utility Indianapolis Power and Light Company (IPL)
would terminate the power purchase agreement related to the 201 MW would terminate the power purchase agreement related to the 201 MW
Lakefield wind project currently under development (southwestern Lakefield wind project currently under development (southwestern
Minnesota). Minnesota).
The project received the approval of the Indiana Utility Regulatory The project received the approval of the Indiana Utility Regulatory
Commission (iurc) on January 27, 2010. Commission (IURC) on January 27, 2010. The iurc’s order was consistent The IURC’s order was consistent
with similar past orders. with similar past orders. IPL has purported to unilaterally terminate the IPL has purported to unilaterally terminate the
power purchase agreement on the basis of this order without providing power purchase agreement on the basis of this order without providing
further specific reasons. further specific reasons.
enXco is considering its rights and remedies within the framework of the enXco is considering its rights and remedies within the framework of the
PPA. PPA. In addition, the Company is currently analyzing several options, In addition, the Company is currently analyzing several options,
including re-marketing the project to one or several other utilities. including re-marketing the project to one or several other utilities.
Consistent with EDF Energies Nouvelles policy, construction has not yet Consistent with EDF Energies Nouvelles policy, construction has not yet
started. started.
The 2012 operational objective of 4.200 MW and 2010 net objective of The 2012 operational objective of 4,200 MW net and 2010 objective of
EBITDA will not be impacted by the project Lakefield evolution. EBITDA will not be impacted by the Lakefield project evolution.
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262 thoughts on “Indianapolis wind power contract canceled

  1. Michael J. Trebilcock, professor of economics at Toronto University, says Denmark’s wind power is a con:
    There is no evidence that industrial wind power is likely to have a significant impact on carbon emissions… Denmark, the world’s most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity, has yet to close a single fossil-fuel plant. It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind power’s unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% in 2006 alone).
    Flemming Nissen, the head of development at West Danish generating company ELSAM (one of Denmark’s largest energy utilities) tells us that “wind turbines do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” The German experience is no different. Der Spiegel reports that “Germany’s CO2 emissions haven’t been reduced by even a single gram,” and additional coal- and gas-fired plants have been constructed to ensure reliable delivery…
    Industrial wind power is not a viable economic alternative to other energy conservation options. Again, the Danish experience is instructive. Its electricity generation costs are the highest in Europe (15¢/kwh compared to Ontario’s current rate of about 6¢). Niels Gram of the Danish Federation of Industries says, “windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.” Aase Madsen , the Chair of Energy Policy in the Danish Parliament, calls it “a terribly expensive disaster.”

  2. IPL figured out they’d have to have conventional back-up of 80% of the windmills capacity. Why not just build the conventional and not drive their load managers nuts?
    ==============

  3. With the number unemployed and the economic production leaving for China, I’d expect this to be one of many projects cancelled for lack of buyers of the power. Economic production and prosperity come from production that uses power. We are becoming poor and producing vastly less. So we need no new power. China can’t keep up, is growing about 9% / year in bad years, and is signing contracts to build any and all power plant types it can get. Pretty simple, really. Follow the coal as it leaves the mines in Wyoming, takes the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad to the port over near Seattle, and hops a ship to China. Where it meets the money leaving the USA for China (in exchange for all sorts of products) is where wealth is being created. At the places where the coal USED TO meet money in the American Mid-West (but does so no more…) we are creating poverty.
    Not really all that complicated a concept. You can “follow the money” in one direction, or in the other direction you can “follow the coal”.
    It really is Old King Coal…

  4. Good decision. In free markets, no reason needs to be given. I doubt EDF will give the real scoop.
    I had looked this up earlier and found the French utility relies on a lot of subsidies and peddles wind turbine energy with some very bold promises. I will look up their performance.

  5. Good riddance! We have a major wind turbine farm just west of where I live in Illinois, and a group of residents are suing over health effects.
    I viewed an online movie of the “turbine flicker” effect (strobe-light effect) that is generated, and realized that this might trigger seizures. BTW, I have epilepsy and am sensitive to flashing light triggers.
    Pleas see this if you are interested: http://www.magasbakony.hu/szeleromu/Harding_et_al_Wind_turbines_flicker_epilepsy.pdf

  6. He who sows the wind, reaps the brownouts that begat the Darkness.
    Forgive them for they meant well…..

  7. E.M.Smith (18:13:40) :
    Not taking an issue with your point, but I wonder if we really lose in that trade with China. A given set of Uber name brand tools costing $1000 (made in America) might be $100 in a comparable set made in china. If we receive a useful good, the money isn’t wasted. Mfg industry is diminished, but inflation is mitigated. Don’t have any wisdom to share on it, but I really wonder if we’re losing.
    There is another idea as to why they cancelled, however: Someone ran out of Koolaid, and they actually did the math. 🙂

  8. In other Indiana news… For the first time in ever, private sector employment has fallen lower than the government sector…
    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20103110387
    Big Government, Inc has everything in common with wind turbines. Big Government work doesn’t produce anything. Wind generators can’t support any meaningful level of industry. Big Government costs a lot. Wind generators cost a lot. And, finally, neither work very much, nor very well when they actually do. Oh, and… they’re both friggin’ dumb ideas.
    They’re practically twins!
    Now, that’s not to say wind can’t be used anywhere. There’s always going to be niche markets for the ideas that can’t work on a large scale. I’m just sick and tired of bad ideas getting the pat on the back while goods ones are not only ignored, but _slammed_ out of the fear of global warming and peak-everything.

  9. If these fools think that the same number of people would have survived this year’s NH winter had we gone solar and wind then they are not being genuine. Maybe this is how they plan to reduce the world’s population.
    We should all thank Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre and others that these scammers are being finally bought to book. They want to make billions from lies and they now realise the jig is up.
    We’re almost there. Just 90 years to go. :o(
    Windfarm problems:
    http://www.globalsubsidies.org/en/subsidy-watch/studies/wind-farms-criticized-costly-inefficient-report-renewable-energy-group
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/feb/26/sciencenews.renewableenergy
    http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2009/05/23/wind-turbines-inefficient/
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3608480/Wind-farm-claims-are-so-much-hot-air.html

  10. What did they expect? The economics of wind power were available to everyone before this contract was let out.
    IPL made their decision on the basis of “looking” green. They didn’t care what it would cost. They’d just pass the cost on to the users.
    Even more bizarre was WA state’s decision to mandate that all power was to be 20% renewable when over 90% already is hydro power.
    Oh, yeah, and they didn’t count hydro as being renewable.

  11. If only this would happen in NE Oregon before the Blue Mts. are covered in this
    post industrial refuse.
    “Split Atoms, not birds..”

  12. E.M.Smith (18:13:40) :
    Being that I am an investor, I have to put up with sinophiles quite often. And, oh, how they’re so quick to put out the propaganda that China is “light years ahead of us” because of all the wind, solar, and hydro dams they’re supposedly buidling. I’m aware of the one dam they built in the big river, but beyond that… I think all the talk of solar and wind is hype. Everyone and their grandmother knows by now that India and China sunk Coppenhagen even before the feel-good spend-fest began. They just want us to burn our bridges.
    And for all that coal we’re sending them, there’s recall after recall after recall. Such a waste. But that’s the point. Just keep pumping up the debt level, whilst repossessing as much of the producution as possible.

  13. http://www.puc.state.mn.us/puc/calendar/week/20100225_AGN
    we may be dealing with a dishonest wind farm operator. On Feb 25, they pulled their application for a hearing to get a permit to run the farm. I noticed they announced financing March 2. How did they break the news to the bank that they had ended their application for a permit 7 days before the loan approval?
    These smooth operators operate under bribes and kickbacks. Then they whine and get tax abatements.
    The frozen wind farm in Minnisota was a “symbolic” gesture. They want these turbines to be seen from the highways and leave a “green” pious feeling in the simple folks.

  14. It’s good to see that some economic sense is creeping into the debate. Why would anyone want to depend on anything so unreliable as the wind for something so vital as energy?

  15. For those who would like some wind performance data to crunch, visit this site:
    http://reisi.iset.uni-kassel.de/pls/w3reisiwebdad/www_reisi_page_new.show_page?page_nr=353&lang=en&owa=&owa_own_header=0
    It points to wind infeed data in continuous 15-minute raster for the Big 4 German Grid operators (e.on, 50 Herz [formerly Vattenfall], enbw, and RWE.
    The sites are in German and the data formats vary somewhat, but all can be imported to excel for analysis. Some have occasional missing data, but in the recent years there is a pretty complete record for all the grids. Data in “.csv” files are actually separated by semicolons and dates are in year-month-day format.

  16. Doug,
    Used to live around Puget Sound, lotsa water, dams (Grand Coolee is awesome) and trees everywhere. But the eco nuts want to knock down the dams to let the rivers run free. Don’t need the water behind them for irrigation in eastern Wash, cut down all them hopps and grape vines in the Yakima valley…
    Besides, the models say that the water will go away, it’s worse than we thought…look at Vancouver BC…
    OK sarc off
    I do miss the good people there and fresh salmon but Colorado is nice…
    Mike

  17. My reading suggests that investment in wind power has a business plan which ends when the government subsidies have been paid.
    There is no expectation beyond this.
    p.s. Wind power was brilliant and cost effective before engines were invented. How else would our forebears have powered the their war, trade, and explorative vessels other than by sail? But come the engine…

  18. I wonder what the carbon footprint of a wind turbine is?
    Lots of concrete, the generator and blades, power lines and pylons, the backup power plants. All created using fossil fuel. And a fair proportion of the wages and dividends will be spent on items created using fossil fuel.
    How long will it take a well sited turbine to produce more energy than it took to create?
    I am happy to be corrected, but my opinion is that if a ‘green’ technology needs a subsidy it is NOT green, as most of the costs are due to the amount of fossil fuel used.

  19. I agree with with Professor Trebilcock assessment of Danish Wind Power Assessment. Wind generated electricity is a “BIG SCAM”. The main reason for Denmark’s pushing of Wind Power is because of Vestas(a Danish Company –good paying jobs), which has been, and maybe today is the world’s leader in wind turbine design and production. I wonder what the Danish Policy will be when China takes over the global wind turbine business, and drives Vestas out of the wind turbine business.
    For the interested, a couple of good references are the series of analysis by Glenn Schleede (He is retired and out of the financial analysis), and the 2005 Wind Energy Report by Eon(German Utility), which can be downloaded from the web eon-netz(english)

  20. Here is an interesting report discussing just “one of the many” reasons that wind does not work.
    http://www.windaction.org/faqs/26050
    This is the easiest place to look at the output of a large scale operation. Ireland. The maximum output is about 1100 MW, probably about 700 turbines. Click the previous button to see the output. As you can see, just this week the output was less than 50 MW or less than 5% for quite a few hours. “Backup” is not really the correct term to use, because most of the time the output is less than 75% of its’ capability.
    http://www.eirgrid.com/operations/systemperformancedata/windgeneration/
    My nuclear plants which makes this computer works, has an output of 2400 MW, 24/7, only shuts down for maintenance twice per year or less.
    It would take 4,000 2.5 MW turbines with yearly output capacity of 25% to equal that the output of that nuclear plant, which is on about 60 acres of land. And even then it would not replace it, because the output is completely erratic. Wind turbines for commercial electricity are a fools idea.

  21. For all the wind freaks out there: can aby tell me when the last wind powered warship was built by ANY nation, and why they stopped ?

  22. re: Benjamin (19:00:31) :
    “In other Indiana news… For the first time in ever, private sector employment has fallen lower than the government sector…”
    No, the article you refered to said “…workers in Indiana plants numbered 430,800 in January, while government at all levels, including schools and publicly owned hospitals, employed 442,800 workers.” There are lots of private sector jobs that are not “workers in Indiana plants.”

  23. Another component that isn’t mentioned is that industries looking for cheaper resources including cheaper power will move off shore to places that don’t have such high energy rates which will essentially transfer the carbon output to those countries and the country with the green energy achieves economic suicide with no reduction.

  24. Sorry about the reference, change eon to e.on. About the e.on database (Person of Choler 19:25:25) this data is based on 24 hour future forecast, and actual wind power produced. The forecast is about 90% accurate. However one must evaluate the forecast with the requirements of grid reliability 99.99%.

  25. Michael J. Bentley (19:28:27) :
    Moved here from Vancouver in the 90’s. Can’t move back north now as I’ve invested in iron and gunpwder that aren’t allowed up there. Colorado is OK, but Wyoming looks better. All I need to do is find a good position in the water biz and I’m gone -too many loons here.

  26. “A consortium led by Samsung C&T Corporation and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) will invest $7 billion to generate 2,500 megawatts of wind and solar power. These projects will triple Ontario’s output from renewable wind and solar sources and provide clean electricity to more than 580,000 households. ”
    “Thanks to today’s announcement, we will be delivering more green energy for Ontarians to use — and more green energy products for North America to buy. With this step, Ontario is becoming the place to be for green energy manufacturing in North America.”
    – Dalton McGuinty
    Premier of Ontario
    Ummm- shouldn’t someone say something…

  27. Readers may wish to comment on the very latest related blog by Paul Hudson of the BBC on this very topic!

  28. For those who are doing the analysis, think in terms of supply, and demand. The major defect of wind generated electricity is the SUPPLY side variability of wind power. This variability can further be subdivided in predictable, and non predictable variability. The risk of predictable variability is expensive to the grid, and the risk of non predictable variability is very, very expensive to the grid. For a one day forecast the predictability is about 90%. For a three day forecast the esimated predictabity drops to about 40-50%. For a month ahead forecast, the predictability drops to less than 10% (think weather forecast).
    The demand side variability is predictable to about 99% for day ahead, 3 day ahead, and one month ahead!!

  29. Rascal (20:11:47) :
    ”For all the wind freaks out there: can aby tell me when the last wind powered warship was built by ANY nation, and why they stopped ?”
    Last US Navy Wind powered ship was, as I recall the USS Constellation…
    Steam was coming on by then, and everything changed with the screw propeller…

  30. The aging of wind turbine systems is more than 5 times faster than the expected depreciation. It is ridiculous. And if you have ever been any where near a wind farm, you realize that everyone involved was paid to destroy the planet as well as the locality. Talk about pollution. Visual, mental, sonic, etc. Move every one of the proponents to a close house. Make them stay there….for life. Which will be short indeed. Suicide is the better option.

  31. Doug in Seattle:
    Didn’t they tell the folks up there that hydroelectric produces carbon dioxide and dreaded methane when the dams flood the forests and create ombotrophic bogs? Such a convenient way to turn a stable carbon sink into our favorite atmospheric gasses.

  32. As a utility resource planner, wind is not perfect but is economic in most cases, even without the subsidies. Wind has a capacity factor of 30% on an annual average which is very close to the projected CF when we negotiated the contract. Our production curve varies from 6% CF in winter to 50-60% in summer. The annual MWH are very close to the 30% for the last six years. Scheduling is day ahead so by the real time interval the wind may not be there, or generating greater than scheduled. In our case, we have hydro power that can follow load at about double the cost of the wind power. Load following means that the hydro needs to be ramped up, or backed down, in real time to meet the wind output. The biggest issue of our wind is that it drops generation during the hottest part of the afternoon; which isn’t a problem for us because we don’t peak at that time.
    Combined cycle natural gas plants have a capital cost of $1,200 to $1,500 per kW. At a capacity factor of 30%, the $3,000 per kW capital cost of wind (without subsidies) is in the ballpark of combined cycle without the cost and risk of natural gas prices. A 7,000 heat rate (very efficient) combined cycle will range in gas cost from $35/MWH to $90/MWH (at NG prices ranging from $5-13/mmBTU over the last few years). With the cost of the wind being free, load following by hydro, combined cycle, or other quick ramp up resources usually pencils out.
    Having said all this, the issue of how much wind a balancing authority (ISO) can handle is under serious review. In the Pacific Northwest, there are apparently times that 33% of the generation is coming from wind! There are real issues of integrating this amount; but it doesn’t mean that wind is not a viable resource. Boone Pickens plan of replacing imported oil with natural gas and using wind to fill in the gap was not that crazy of an idea.
    While global warming is a crock of …, renewable resources that utilize wind, geothermal, landfill gas, biogas (not ethanol), and solar have a place in weaning the US off of oil and making the balance of payments positive. After geothermal capital costs are paid off, the 90% capacity factor is comparable to nuclear in output and costs without the issues of security and disposing of the waste. There are even times that solar at its high capital cost pencil out if you need afternoon energy and want to avoid transmission costs.
    Finally, this contract may have been canceled for reasons unrelated to the wind. Our contracts have off ramps to back out without penalty if the counter party isn’t meeting the terms of the contract.

  33. It makes me weep to see energy cost stupidity repeated. We were doing detailed economic analyses in the mid 1970s that had about the same ratio of electricity costs as today’s, from hydro to nuclear to coal to oil to LNG … then the big gap to solar, wind, wave and other ideas that were restricted by the physics of inherent energy density.
    Two main changes. Gullible people became prepared to pay hugely for “green” labels, as if that made any more difference than a label can make. Second, the greens who did not like competition worked for years to push up compliance & social costs of efficient production methods like nuclear, to the stage where they now believe their home-made propaganda.
    It’s simple, as always. Blame the green ideology. It’s usually wrong. If it had a chance of being right, conventional industry would have made it mainstream decades ago.
    Regarding the head article here, EDF is the main operator of France’s huge nuclear power operations. My guess is that they make windmills with green labels for suckers who do not do due diligence. That would be the French way – to have an industrial joke, while demonstrating the cost benefits of nuclear.

  34. On basically the same subject, I posted this today:
    http://algorelied.com/?p=3904
    A Bonneville Power Administration (in the Pacific NW) admitted that wind farms are “creating emissions”. Basically, because the coal plant has to be left idling (like a car idling at a red light waiting for a green), just in case the wind dies down.

  35. “enXco is considering its rights and remedies” suggests that they think they may have a claim for breach of contract. Such an action would no doubt raise the question of how the plaitiff represented his product to persuade the defendant to enter the contract. If these included science which has been since discredited by Climategate, interesting questions might arise, such as where the duty of diligence lay, whether it was breached, and how. Could be an interesting source of legal precedent, if it ever happened – which, regretfuly, I doubt.

  36. Anticlimactic (20:03:35)
    I’ve had a similar question, and have been waiting for a thread like this to pose it for our better informed friends. Months ago a TV “public service” ad touted wind turbine manufacture as a great “green jobs” source. It said a single post-and-turbine assembly took 250 tons of steel. That’s a LOT of steel.
    My question (for passers-by with engineering background) is a two parter:
    1) What is the carbon footprint of 250 tons of steel?
    2) How long will it take for a turbine to generate enough energy (@~12% productivity, based on Irish and Spanish wind field experience) to replace itself with another 250 tons?

  37. Finally a subject I know something about since Lakefield is very close to where I live. Having been involved in local economic development in SW Minnesota for years I do know a fair amount about the windpower out here on the prairie. Most of these projects are dependant on two of the issues mentioned above, goverment subsidies and goverment mandates. I am not familiar with the State of Indiana policies on “green power” but many states have them. Similiar to the make believe benefits of cap and trade some states mandate green power in order to look good to the Greenies in their states. Most states have absolutely no hope of ever meeting green power mandates. Except for North Dakota, which has all the wind you could ever want and a substantial chunk of the coal reserves in the US. Ironic huh?
    These projects normally are used to meet state mandates even though not one single watt of it is likely to ever make its way to IPL. Chances are IPL found a cheaper way to meet its needs. Maybe everybody gets a free curly Q light bulb, who knows.
    It might have been local issues too, so I wouldn’t be too quick to blame the developer, there are just too many factors to look at in a deal like this. One thing that comes to mind is the uncertainty that surrounds a upcoming powerline project called CapX2020. The project proposed to run a new power line from Brookings County SD to Hampton MN. At least one power company has pulled out of the project which would have brought power from a COAL fired plant on the east border of South Dakota to the east border of MN.
    I have been told by managers of the local windmills around here (and there are hundreds already) there are issues with stepping up voltage enough to supply a major powerline. Not sure of the reasons but it is another issue that seldom gets mentioned when ever the issue of the grid comes up.

  38. Windpower would be more viable if it could be tied directly to an energy-intensive industry that could adapt to random and intermittent batch processing. The industry would also need fairly low capital costs for production equipment since utilization won’t be anywhere near 24/7. Along with that it needs to have low personnel requirements because people directly involved in production will be twiddling their thumbs more days than not.
    Additionally, it should have very cheap inventory costs (no air-conditioned buildings, etc) because the random nature of production will require much larger inventories of inputs and outputs to meet customer schedules.
    Making Portland cement or aluminum come to mind, but I think a better application might be running rock crushers to make gravel. The input is rock whose storage costs are zero, the output is gravel whose storage costs are zero, and you could hook the crusher to the windmills with a drive shaft instead of expensive electric generators and motors.
    You could probably adapt the technique to do other batch operations, such as grinding wheat into flour.
    Hey, haven’t we been down this road in centuries past?

  39. I have forwarded this post to my Ohio state legislators for consideration. My opinion is that no public funds should be used for wind/solar as they can only be counted on as supplemental power, on a municipal scale.
    Transmission/maintenance costs of wind/solar farms, and other costs, seem to make them undesirable.

  40. What it all boils down to is that a wind turbine generates no power when the wind is not blowing. And since the wind can and does bounce from zero to max or anywhere in between anytime the gremlins in charge feel like it while steam plants cannot just be turned on and off, but must be carefully warmed up or cooled down over a considerable time period, balancing a mix of them is a nightmare.
    To my mind, unless and until we get a compact, efficient, and economical way to store large amounts of power, the only practical thing to do with wind farm output is pump water back up hill behind power dams.

  41. Add-On to JiminIndy 21:44:15
    The carbon dioxide budget for the concrete footings for wind turbines should also be added. The footings weigh about 500 to 1250 tons per turbine. Portland cement has a large co2 budget (heat of cooking of limestone, and release of CO2 conversion from limestone to quick-lime).

  42. I believe our future lies in harnessing the millions of degrees of heat from the center of the earth to power steam turbines that will…

  43. Wouldn’t it make more economic sense to try and generate power with the waste heat from Al Gore’s mansion?
    If you put a tent-like structure over it with the top leading to a chimney and the sides open, the airflow could drive a small turbine.
    Another idea is to put smaller, less-invasive windmills at the ends of airports, gathering power from the exhaust of jetliners bound for climate meetings as they start their take-off runs.
    Every little bit helps.

  44. A lot of this nonsense can be explained by baby-boomers.
    As a certain demographic expands, it self-creates jobs for those who exist within that demographic. Logically, the more “executives” there are, the more likely idiots will eventually fulfill and attain positions of power.
    Observe corporate America as an example: How many “vice presidents (of whatever)” are there now compared to 30 years ago?
    Observe movie-making, where now there seems to be producers, assistant producers, co-producers, co-executive producers, associate producers, etc.
    Need I mention “directors”?

  45. heresy101 (21:20:18)
    Thanks for an insight into the real world. All this alarmism about wind energy is disturbing, coming from a bunch of sceptics who should know better.
    I know more than I want to about the subject as my step-father was chairmain of the BWEA (British) and set up the EWEA (European), so I know it is a practical solution. It is marginally cheaper than nuclear I understand, and there are ways to handle the load balancing. Solar seems poor in comparison yet.
    The large cost, as some have mentioned, is mitigated by very low maintenance costs. The main cost of wind is the interest on the finance for building it, effectively. The cost therefore depends on the interest rate, oddly enough.
    I am not going to get involved in an argument, however, as I am sure there are many far more opinionated and learned than myself.

  46. Mark (18:11:49) :
    Maybe this is part of the reason why?…
    Wind farms could raise temperatures
    ***************************************
    Think this one through…
    The ‘drag’ of a wind turbine unavoidably must remove a certain anount of wind force. Only a percentage (Possibly rather small) of this will be converted into electricity. The remainder turns into—-heat, which increases temperature!
    Geoff Alder

  47. The project received the approval of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) on January 27, 2010.
    So far, so good — next sentence, please.
    The IURC’s order was consistent with similar past orders. IPL has purported to unilaterally terminate the power purchase agreement on the basis of this order without providing further specific reasons.
    A permit to begin construction is not an order, and no company would terminate an agreement with another based on a permit to begin construction.
    Something is missing from this equation…

  48. I was just thinking the other day – I wonder what is the best way to short the global warming industry. Perhaps a combination of short green power companies, short carbon trading invested companies (invesment banks, maybe?) and go long coal and uranium companies. Maybe even look at a couple of shorts for news organizations heavily invested in the green space selling advertising to greenwashing companies.

  49. when my company started publishing Wind Engineering (journal on the technological aspects of wind power) in 1977, long before ‘green’ was fashionable, the Central Electricty Generating Board scoffed that wind could never make a serious contribution to national power needs.Quite right. No one then was claiming that. Then, correctly, the focus was on renewables as site specific -if you live on a windy Welsh hillside you’d be crazy not to have a turbine, just as if you’ve got a 1000 unit pig farm you’re crazy not to have an anaerobic digester to turn poo into power. And over 30 years later it seems to me still that renewables offer excellent local solutions but the idea that they can play a significant national role is fanciful – unless of course its politically expedient to adopt a ‘solution’ which is less efficient and more expensive than alterntives. The best policy option would be a national solution by default, by encouraging thousands of tiny local solutions. But serious progrss in battery technology is needed for that to move forward.

  50. “JER0ME (23:42:38) :
    […]
    is a practical solution. It is marginally cheaper than nuclear I understand, and there are ways to handle the load balancing. Solar seems poor in comparison yet.”
    The only way i know of is pumped storage energy. Are there others?
    “I am not going to get involved in an argument, however, as I am sure there are many far more opinionated and learned than myself.”
    This makes your argument (or the hint at an argument) look very weak.

  51. DirkH (00:52:01) :
    “The only way i know of is pumped storage energy. Are there others?”
    Oh i forgot, the other is to build so many gas powered stations that their peak performance equals the peak performance of wind power and letting them run constantly (idling when the wind blows and under full power when it doesn’t). JEROME, we already knew that. Still other solutions?

  52. Juraj V. (00:43:29) :
    “Green ” energy? There is nothing greener than chlorophyll, which is composed of 75% carbon.
    If you are my age, you might remeber the famous toothpaste commercial comment
    ”How reeks the goat on yonder hill
    Who feeds all day on chlorophyll”

  53. As an englishman living in Copenhagen I would like to see the real price of Wind energy (including all subsidies) made public in Denmark.
    That said, the fact that there is alternative energy sources (wind and water) should be seen as a positive element of any countries energy production.
    If one assumes the Danes know and accept the cost of the alternative energy, then having it is a GOOD thing IMHO. Especially with oil prices on the way through the roof.

  54. In U.S., Many Environmental Issues at 20-Year-Low Concern
    Worry about all eight measures tested is down from last year
    by Jeffrey M. Jones

    PRINCETON, NJ — Americans are less worried about each of eight specific environmental problems than they were a year ago, and on all but global warming and maintenance of the nation’s fresh water supply, concern is the lowest Gallup has measured.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/126716/Environmental-Issues-Year-Low-Concern.aspx
    The truth is now out, the global warming scandal has not only discredited those who deserve to be discredited: Climate forecasters, but the effects have spread out to other and real environmental problems. In the end all this evil lying campaign plugging planetry disaster to get environmental issues in the news is going to do is to make the public less interested in helping the environment, totally predictable and there are other things far too important to let the rubbish on global warming get in the way!

  55. Here is an interesting, recent report on Danish experience with wind energy:
    http://www.cepos.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/Arkiv/PDF/Wind_energy_-_the_case_of_Denmark.pdf
    The report has been strongly criticized by the Danish wind turbine industry and political proponents for ‘renewable energy’ {almost came under accusation of treason! :)} – but in my judgment it paints a pretty realistic picture.
    Here is an older one on same subject:
    http://www.ecolo.org/documents/documents_in_english/wind-Danish-Lessons-03.pdf

  56. From what I read and saw few months ago, China is keeping a firm hold on rare earth materials for its own uses and strickly limiting supplies to the rest of the world.
    Interesting vid. “You buy a Prius hybrid car and think you’re saving the planet.”

  57. As a wind energy professional (from Denmark), I am quite intrigued to read through the argument in this tread. Most arguments are not based on real knowledge of wind energy, on updated information or knowledge of how the electricity grid work.
    Wind energy is not THE SOLUTION to become independent of gas and oil, but it can be part of such a solution.
    Another thing to keep in mind is that no grid operator converts electricity production til 100% wind power over night.
    heresy101 (21:20:18) has a good and informative post.
    JimInIndy (21:44:14). The amount of steel used for a turbine varies with manufacturer, tower height and most importantly nominal effect. I’d say that 250 tones is about 1,5-2MW turbine. Steel in itself is a material and does not have a carbon footprint, so you first question is not valid. The second question is, because here we’re dealing whit how much energy it takes to produce the machine (and the steel and other materials that goes into such a thing). Depending on the site, between 3-8 months to generate as much energy as went into building it.
    An argument often heard is that it generates energy as the wind blows. That is of cause correct, but large operators have found out that if they know how much energy their turbines produces just a day in advance, they can sell the energy for a higher price. Hence they operate with wind forecasts, and these are about 90-95% reliable (predicting wind speed is a lot easier than to predict weather as a whole).
    But what to do when the wind does not blow? Obviously there are several ways to get around this. A small amount of hydropower can regulate a lot of windpower or provide intermittent power until conventional plants start up. Conventional power plants with short startup time and where the cost of fuel is the major part of the price plays well with wind power, such as gas turbines. Nuclear has very low fuel costs and high investment costs as with wind power, hence if these dominate the production mix, they do not play that well together. Lastly transmission grids with higher capacity across states can also play a role to level out the energy production (see the supergrid some companies are promoting in Europe), and at the same time provide a real free energy market across borders.
    The cost of a power plant is not interesting, but the cost pr. produced kWh is what matters.
    Solar is expensive still, but plays rather well with wind and other sources as it produces energy when most needed (daytime). Geothermal is also viable in places where the underground is hot enough or for heating. Wave power and other renewable sources are still in their infancy.
    Wind power has a high investment and low operating costs. That means that if the turbine is produced in the country, the money we pay for our electricity for the most part stay here. For fossil fuel plants, a high part of the electricity price is made of up of the cost of fuel, and this of cause goes to the country where that have been bought.
    I hope this clears up a few things.
    Troels

  58. I think everyone is too hard on windfarms. If correctly sited they can provide a useful cooling reflective coat of cloud over the sea when they are offshore.
    http://www.windaction.org/pictures/25251
    If millions are deployed they’ll produce enough salt particles to offset those lost by oil pollution on the sea surface and restore the status quo ante. They could even have their vanes lengthened so they pump out lots of CCNs whenever the wind is blowing, like Latham’s cloud ships.
    Or we could clean up the pollution.
    JF

  59. bill hughes (00:36:19) :
    Absolutely agree. I think a lot of people are unduly harsh on wind power, but it’s not surprising when politicians/environmentalists push it as a complete solution. It’s a local solution.
    There are a lot of technical limitations that the majority remain ignorant of. I’ve petitioned my local politicians and the local paper to stop following the hype of wind power. SC is currently following the notion that off-shore wind power can be a significant source of energy, but the practical considerations just don’t make it feasible.
    I received a retort from the Clemson University Restoration Institute: Clemson recently was praised for its push to implement a wind energy partnership in South Carolina.
    I can foresee wind power offsetting a total of 10% energy. But it is not a cost saving in the long term in either jobs or capital expenditure. As noted, you still need a regular energy generation to backup this 10%, even if its not used. Additionally, yes, ‘green’ jobs are created – this simply means the maintenance costs and manpower required are greater per megawatt than any other energy production source: saying it creates jobs is actually a bad thing in this case because these jobs don’t create revenue (contrast with, say, a retail store or factory).
    I foresee my states energy future in building windmills for export to other states (tee, hee, hee!) up until they realize the emperor has no clothes and quit buying the things, of course.
    As an engineer, I do see windmills as pretty cool machines: the design and construction can be pretty high tech. But then, so are space shuttles, warp drives and time machines. But this is no reason to go out and plonk them everywhere you can to please an ignorant populace.

  60. We will know the lesson has struck home when we see coal mining on a resurgence in the UK.
    Still a few years out yet – but coming.
    If you live in the UK it’s time to buy UK Coal.

  61. Our forebears would regard this as ridiculous. There were very good reasons to move up from using wind power for windmills, windpumps, sailing ships etc. We regarded the industrial revolution as progress – but not these Greens; oh, no.
    The UK government is trying to roll out small-scale hydro schemes on every stream in the country: 36000 of them. So every stretch of water will be dammed, fish imperiled, but landowners will get generous subsidies. Every unit of electricity generated will net the landowner around 8 times the wholesale rate for electricity produced by conventional means, courtesy of the UK taxpayer. That’s some expensive electricity, expensive taxes, and ecological damage.
    What will be the maximum contribution to the UK’s electricity requirements, for tens of thousands of installations and grid connectors, and phenomenal cost? According to government figures, maximum 0.5% . A lot less when there’s a dry season. Lets call it ‘nothing’, shall we?
    Now that is insanity, or it is religion. Just like the wind turbines, these will merely be highly visible shrines and offerings to the Green goddess. They are useless religious symbols as they have no instrumental value and require daily provisions of offerings from taxpayers to propitiate the wrath of the goddess.

  62. Wind turbines do not exactly fit the definition of “high reliability.”
    It’s always fun to revisit this video –
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3FZtmlHwcA&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

  63. ” Troels Halken (02:29:32) :
    […]
    Hence they operate with wind forecasts, and these are about 90-95% reliable (predicting wind speed is a lot easier than to predict weather as a whole). ”
    Maybe for times when there is little wind. On stormy days, you can never know the exact moment the wind suddenly strikes and sets thousands of wind turbines across North Germany in motion. A giant power surge sweeps across the grid and the fast reaction gas powered plants will have to shut down as fast as they can exactly in that moment or your grid is toast. Coal and nuclear are thermal base load, they could never react with the speed needed, you don’t want Xenon poisoning in a nuclear plant…
    So your 90-95% forecast precision, i think that’s a red herring.

  64. Christopher Booker had an excellent – and depressing – piece in last weekend’s printed Sunday Telegraph, about wind farms and their effects on the bird population. He states that the Altamont Pass wind farm, in California, has killed between 2000 and 3000 golden eagles in the past 20 years, about two every week. The problem is that these types of birds and wind farms tend to concentrate in the same areas where hills and ridges provide lift for soaring birds. In another example, wind farms in Tasmania have pushed a unique sub-species of wedge-tailed eagles close to extinction.
    As has been pointed out at WUWT, there is absolutely no evidence to support the theory that we’re in the midst of one of the great species extinctions in Earth’s history due to globalwarming – but these pointless windmills are certainly doing their bit.
    As Booker points out, one of the sad, sad aspects of this tragedy is that bird protection societies, including the RSPB, appear to have been bought out by the wind power industry. They are getting lots of money. Until recently the societies opposed wind power for the obvious reason. But no longer. Money talks, as they say. Utterly sickening.
    I just hope that I live to see all this AGW-inspired madness swept away. But I’m not very optimistic. The delusion is too wide, too deep and, for many, too profitable.
    Chris

  65. To Grant (20:52:33) : You say “Ummm- shouldn’t someone say something”
    I thought about it. Dalton McGuinty is my MPP. However, our Ontario government is on record that it wants to destroy all our nice cheap and efficient coal fired generating stations by 2017, or whatever the most recent date is. It might just be worthwhile Ontario wasting $7 bn, so as to convince our politicians that, at least with current technology, clean coal is still best for electricity generation. Cleaning up the real pollution (not CO2) from the coal fired stations is only about $1.5 bn.

  66. Can windturbines deliver electricity during storms?
    To my recollection, it is during storms most blackouts occur.
    So if all or most of electricity is to come from windturbines, how vulnerable will society be??
    Just asking.

  67. “this simply means the maintenance costs and manpower required are greater per megawatt than any other energy production source: saying it creates jobs is actually a bad thing in this case because these jobs don’t create revenue (contrast with, say, a retail store or factory).”
    I think you should tell Siemens, GE and all the other companies that provide O&M servies for the wind turbines, that O&M of wind turbines does not generate revenue, cause that will be new to them.
    Do you really think that companies does something for nothing and then you expect other people will believe that? Just how stupid do you think people are?

  68. JimInIndy (21:44:14) :
    1) What is the carbon footprint of 250 tons of steel?
    2) How long will it take for a turbine to generate enough energy (@~12% productivity, based on Irish and Spanish wind field experience) to replace itself with another 250 tons?

    ——–
    Also
    3) Coal or oil powered stations kept running in case the wind dies down.
    4) The electricity used to get the turbine started!
    5) All the other resources used to produce the wind turbine

  69. “Anticlimactic (20:03:35) :
    I wonder what the carbon footprint of a wind turbine is?
    Lots of concrete,…”
    And the creation/use of concrete in the UK, at least, amounts to more C02 emissions than any other source (SUV’s, energy etc etc) of C02. How many windmills do we need? I for one would like to run one on “my” patio, but I can’t as it would “look” errrmmm….”messy”, like hanging washing on lines. In Australia we can be fined AU$5000 for “hanging washing” viewable from the outside making the building “look messy” (In strata managed buildings) or even go to prinson for upto 12 months! I kid you not!
    So yes, as someone else mentioned the “lucky country” isn’t (Unless you have a shedload of cash. Read lawyers, corporates, politicians etc)!

  70. Power generation could be a great deal cheaper. The science and technology to be far more efficient and produce 18 times the current output is available.
    Subsities, politics, manufacturers profit, all conspire to hide this technology.
    This technology has passed engineers and CEO of a Hydro Electric producer in Manitoba, Canada.
    Current science has not realized that when dealing with a circular motion and speed, density changes of the mass and stored energy is created in the material. This changes with the speed of rotation.
    This is changing the center of balance in the material to compress mass at a molecular level.

  71. AdderW (04:18:38) :
    Can windturbines deliver electricity during storms?
    It depends on the speed of the winds in the storm. Wind turbines have a very narrow wind of wind speed to operate under. Too fast would generate a surge of too much electricity and could burn out the wind turbine so safety devices are installed to disconnect.

  72. @ Person of Choler (19:25:25) :
    hey, thanks for that link … 🙂
    I was trying, up to present in vain, to get some electricity-from-wind data for Belgium during the low wind months december, january, february … but nobody of the producers, nor the disributor was eager to “show off” and make the data available …

  73. George Turner (22:10:23) :
    Making Portland cement or aluminum come to mind, but I think a better application might be running rock crushers to make gravel. The input is rock whose storage costs are zero, the output is gravel whose storage costs are zero, and you could hook the crusher to the windmills with a drive shaft instead of expensive electric generators and motors.
    Nobel and good ideas but not viable to a work schedule waiting for the wind.
    How would you like to be the poor smuck who hasn’t worked all week because there was no wind?

  74. Layne Blanchard (18:59:16) :
    E.M.Smith (18:13:40) :
    Not taking an issue with your point, but I wonder if we really lose in that trade with China. A given set of Uber name brand tools costing $1000 (made in America) might be $100 in a comparable set made in china. If we receive a useful good, the money isn’t wasted. Mfg industry is diminished, but inflation is mitigated. Don’t have any wisdom to share on it, but I really wonder if we’re losing.
    OF COURSE YOU ARE LOSING!
    Someone rich pockets the profits and thousands, maybe millions of you are out of a Job, how can you win?
    Those that are left in work have to pay tax to support all the unemployed while the rich continue with off Shore accounts, pay very little tax and continue investing in China and India.

  75. “China Idles 40% of Windpower Turbine Output Capacity
    Businessweek ^ | March 11, 2010 | Ying Wang
    Posted on Friday, March 12, 2010 5:36:54 PM by NRG1973
    China is idling as much as 40 percent of its wind-turbine factories following a surge in investment driven by the government’s renewable-energy goals, the vice president of Shanghai Electric Group Corp. said.
    Prices of turbines have tumbled more than 30 percent from 2004 levels in the world’s third-biggest windpower market by generating capacity because there are “too many” plants, Lu Yachen said in an interview in Beijing today.
    China set a goal to increase its power-production capacity from wind by fivefold in 2020, spurring investment in turbine factories. There is a surplus of such plants, National Energy Administration head Zhang Guobao said in September, without giving figures.
    “The overcapacity in manufacturing is caused by slower growth in wind-farm construction due to power-grid constraints,” Dave Dai, an analyst with CLSA Asia Pacific Markets, said by telephone from Hong Kong. “The issues with the grid aren’t expected to ease in the near term but should improve with the development of smart-grid investment over time.”
    Currently, only part of China’s power grid is able to take delivery of the electricity produced by renewable energy. Grid constraints in China may leave as much as 4 gigawatts of windpower generation capacity lying idle, Sunil Gupta, managing director for Asia and head of clean energy at Morgan Stanley, said in November.
    (Excerpt) Read more at businessweek.com …”
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2469894/posts

  76. I would be willing to wager a small sum that the reason the contract was canceled was 1) They can’t afford it being that state and municipal coffers are empty and the populace is in no mood to take on additional debt.
    2) Since construction had not started I suspect there is some doubt that the entity could be got up and running anywhere near schedule.

  77. JustPassing (02:09:50) :
    From what I read and saw few months ago, China is keeping a firm hold on rare earth materials for its own uses and strickly limiting supplies to the rest of the world……………
    The YouTube vid is very informative.
    We had OPEC, now we can expect REEC [Rare Earth Exporting Countries]controlled by China.
    The whole thing is starting to REEK!
    The video does a good job of making China look bad environmentally.

  78. 60 AMPS is the capacity of home systems for both solar and wind power systems.
    The battery life guarantee of the huge 2 volt batteries is two years and must be in a vented area plus you need 12 of these. The technicians say you will get 5 years.
    So is the home system viable compared to the grid?
    At this time no, not until the batteries and technology changes more.

  79. The problem with most wind cost studies is that the problems and costs do not become apparent until one tries to integrate a significant amount of wind.
    ISO New England has a good study for adding 23% wind energy by 2030 (does only half the 50% CO2 reduction typically required by 2030) –go to iso-ne.com and search for “econ 2030”.
    23% wind requires 4200 circuit miles of dual 500-765 kv transmission encircling New England (a region about 400 miles long). The transmission capacity required by the intermittent wind is 6-12 times the present single 345 kv backbone. The transmission will likely encounter much opposition as the dual 500-765 kv transmission lines encircle the suburbs of Boston and Hartford and go through the mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine and the coastal region of Maine.
    The cost of adding 23% wind energy is:
    1. 12000 MW of wind generation- about 5-8000 towers $36B 100,000+ acres
    2. 4200 circuit miles- mostly dual 500-765 KV transmission $25B 100,000+ acres
    3. 5000 MW of pumped storage $20B 5 mountaintops
    4. 3000 MW Canadian DC transmission links $7B
    5. Total $88B
    6. Cost per kWh: 30 cents per kWh or 3-4 times present generation costs
    Since most pumped storage ponds can only store 8 hours of electricity, additional load management is required in the form of adding electric cars and electric heat:
    2.5 million electric cars at $20k premium $50B
    And $5+ B for smart grid.
    And conversion to electric heat in Maine- Cost?
    The same job could be done with 3500 MW nuclear (2-3 units) on existing sites with less emissions for $20B or ¼ the cost (or 1/7 the cost if you include the car premium).

  80. Troels
    “Steel in itself is a material and does not have a carbon footprint”
    Not true. The iron ore had to be dug up. The iron ore had to be loaded onto a ship and transported across the ocean. Then iron ore was melted using huge amounts of energy and processed into steel. The steel was then shipped a long way to the site. The entire process take a very large amount of energy, and none of that energy is ‘renewable’ and all of it was caused by burning stuff.
    These are the very same arguments used to highlight the ‘carbon footprint’ of cows as opposed to vegies grown in your garden.

  81. Wind “energy” is a pathetic fraud. Obscene subsidies for a weak, intermittent and unreliable source of energy that really isn’t “green”. In time, it will be looked at as one of the biggest mistakes of our era.

  82. AdderW (04:18:38) :
    Electricity blackouts during storms are not from loss of generation ; they are from loss of transmission, usually in leafy suburbs where people like to live and storms break branches and tress. My neighbour is an emergency powerline technician – he doesn’t have a single tree around his house.
    Coal fired , nuclear and hydro plants run no matter what the weather. Wind turbines have to be shut down in high wind.

  83. Yea! Good riddance. Wind power and the unsightly monstrous sometimes-waving-arms has been mostly a boondoggle. And yet there is a sadness when we must recognize that the most important reason is that the U.S. does not need new power — we don’t produce much. (See E.M. Smith 18:13:40) Time to change that.

  84. Troels Halken (02:29:32) : As a wind energy professional (from Denmark), I am quite intrigued to read through the argument in this tread. [ ]
    JimInIndy (21:44:14). The amount of steel used for a turbine varies with manufacturer, tower height and most importantly nominal effect. I’d say that 250 tones is about 1,5-2MW turbine. Steel in itself is a material and does not have a carbon footprint, so you first question is not valid.

    You did alright until “Steel itself is a material and does not have a carbon footprint”. Don’t know much about how ‘materials’ come to be do you?

  85. I am from Spain, so i can speak a bit about wind-power. Here we have more than 16,000 windmills (and growing). everywhere you go, you can only see wind-farms.
    our energy bill has grown about a 50% in only 4 years, and is more to come, thanks to all this “green energy”.
    Don’t follow our example, it is an economical suicide.
    We have days on summer where wind only produces 100MW (when the demand is more than 30.000MW)
    Sorry for my english

  86. @DirkH,
    Well, I did say I was not out for an argument, and I did say there were many more opinionated than myself. Case in point, I feel.
    But having said that, there are many many ways to store energy, or indeed create potential energy. None are very efficient. Pumping water up hills works well, although very inefficient, but the infrastructure is already there to both do it and take advantage of it, so overheads are low. Others I know of involve springs, although poor results have been had so far.
    No it’s not easy. No it’s not simple. But it is possible, it is just another technical challenge. I have seen proposals to melt salt to store energy in solar farms, for example. We will have to face such challenges in any case, so it is wise to consider them rather than just dismiss them out of hand.
    Still not looking for an argument!

  87. Suddenly the politicians in southern New England are balking when the electricity rates the wind farm developers want is 24 cents per kwh (and going up 3 percent per year for a decade) compared to the 9 cents per kwh currently supplied by natural gas, coal, and nuclear. And those numbers don’t include the addition delivery and other charges of about 6 cents per kwh. Not so attractive any more…

  88. “Joe (05:42:54) :”
    Joe, the crucial factor is matching generation with consumption. Yes, inverters are available, but the “energy loss” is massive converting DC to AC. For a fully “independently mains-grid system” to be deployed, in-home, would require fullscale change, ie, a (At the time I looked into it in NZ) NZ$12,000 fridge. Just the fridge! Let alone lights and heating.
    So, where do we get our energy from?

  89. heresy101 (21:20:18) :
    I think you are underestimating the Capacity Factor of Combined cycle gas plant to make the argument for wind turbines, 30% is too low.
    http://www.ceere.org/rerl/about_wind/RERL_Fact_Sheet_2a_Capacity_Factor.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacity_factor
    Wind farms 20-40%.
    Photovoltaic solar in Massachusetts 12-15%.
    Photovoltaic solar in Arizona 19%
    Thermal solar power tower 73% (predicted for 2020)
    Thermal solar parabolic trough (without thermal storage) ca. 15%
    Nuclear 60% to over 100%, U.S. average 92%.
    Base load coal plant 70-90%
    Combined cycle gas plant, about 60%
    Geothermal plant, worldwide average 73%, demonstrated 90%
    Hydroelectricity, worldwide average 44%

  90. Joe (05:14:34) :
    Cut in wind speed in the range of 3-4 m/s, max production is obtained between 10-15 m/s depending on type and design and cut out is 25 m/s.
    brc (05:46:53) :
    Sorry for using the word carbon footprint, as that is misleading. I should have used energy in stead. There are several ways to do the math, as you can contribute the energy used for processing each component of the turbine or all the energy used for all the components. The figures I provided above take the energy used for manufacturing all components and assembly and erection on the site.
    Steve Keohane (05:56:47) :
    See my comment to brc above.
    BR Troels

  91. Have Ya’ll seen this from NOAA?
    Stratospheric Water Vapor is a Global Warming Wild Card
    January 28, 2010
    A 10 percent drop in water vapor ten miles above Earth’s surface has had a big impact on global warming, say researchers in a study published online January 28 in the journal Science. The findings might help explain why global surface temperatures have not risen as fast in the last ten years as they did in the 1980s and 1990s.
    Observations from satellites and balloons show that stratospheric water vapor has had its ups and downs lately, increasing in the 1980s and 1990s, and then dropping after 2000. The authors show that these changes occurred precisely in a narrow altitude region of the stratosphere where they would have the biggest effects on climate.

  92. JER0ME (06:10:56) :
    No it’s not easy. No it’s not simple. But it is possible, it is just another technical challenge. I have seen proposals to melt salt to store energy in solar farms, for example. We will have to face such challenges in any case,
    Why will have to face such challenges in any case?
    Are you saying that Wind power will be the only technology left to provide power?

  93. JT (06:26:33) :
    The capacity factor is not of much interest, but price pr. kWh is.
    You can say that for most conventional plants the capacity factor is rather high, I’d guess about 90%. I wonder why the wiki states is as 60% for Combined Cycle, but I guess that it is not because of the technology or because they require more maintenance than other plant types, but because they are often used as backup capacity.
    Power plants where the fuel is limited, as in wind and solar the case is obviously different.
    Troels

  94. Emilio (05:58:53) : , thanks for the real life experience and I think your English is very good.

  95. @Patrick Davis The efficiency of converters is not as bad as you make out. The Outback Power 48V to 120V DC-AC inverters run at 93% efficiency. Yeah, you lose some. But then you lose some any time you have a transformer anyplace or wire connecting things.

  96. ” Richard S Courtney (04:15:31) : ”
    Richard, your paper contains a very good critic of wind power IMHO. But i think there’s a mistake in the section about solar power. Maybe you could explain how you compute this.
    “For example, using direct solar energy collectors to
    replace a single 2 GW coal-fired power station in the UK would cover 23% of the UK with the
    collectors.”
    Insolation tops 1000W/m^2 under ideal circumstances, but let’s just say that due to nighttime and clouds we end up with an average insolation of 200W/m^2 of visible light – just a wild guess by me. Let’s further assume a PV efficiency of 10% so we get on average 20W/m^2 electricity production.
    To replace 2GW we would then need 100 Million m^2 or 100 km^2.
    I end up with a very different estimate from yours… where is the mistake?

  97. Great thread. Input from Denmark and Spain and real case histories
    Input from engineers and utility people. Also several posts have a falsehoood or more.
    The carbon footprint of a tower is massive.
    It takes 5 tons of coal to produce each ton of the 200 tons of steel in a tower. The nacelle is 50 tons and means 250 more tons of coal. It takes 20 semi trucks to transport a 1 million pound crane to a site to erect a tower. The towers come on another 10 oversized semi trucks. I saw one recently that had over 40 wheels to support the weight of a section of tower.
    I appreciate the post above that tells us it takes 8 months for a turbine to generate the power that was expended in it’s own construction.
    I learn something every time i read informed posts. One post above mentioned the voltage coming out of the turbine was too low to go into the grid. That means even more energy wasted in transforming the power to higher voltage.
    Moving electric on long distance lines loses 15% of the power every 50-60 miles.
    A train load of coal is the same weight at delivery if it travelled 200 miles from Wyoming or 2,000 miles.
    The massive blades for the turbines are fiberglass. They create tremendous pollution in the course of molding the blades. The polyester resins also come from petrol products. It takes another set of oversized load trucks to ship the blades. Of course these oversized loads also require pilot cars with flashing lights ahead and behind the loads.

  98. OT but I am hoping to see the PNS thread re-opened with some caveat about not discending into religious debate. The processes by which decisions are made in the absence of both completeness of fact and analysis is germaine to the decisions being made regarding AGW and have the potential to change the human world in dramatic ways. History and religion alike provide examples which may inform the debate. Adult standards of tolerance and reasonable discussion should allow for these to be tabled without discending into religious rancor. Decisions being proposed in regard to AGW have the potential to change human history in dramatic ways. Understanding the mechanisms by which those decisions may be arrived at is as important as understanding the science.

  99. Troels Halken (06:34:10) :
    There is such a thing as max capacity that can take any amount of wind speed as this type of turbine has a housing that generates a blow back to any wind speed. This causes excess winds to funnel around when the max volume is reached.

  100. I wonder what the cost to the power company was, per kWH? Ever wonder why wind power advocates never talk about how much cheaper wind generated electricity will be? Is that a self answering question?

  101. We all know that many of the sources of renewable enegy are sporadic, and nobody has ever said they are the answer to an ecologist’s prayer. Even here in the UK, sometimes it just isn’t windy and often it isn’t sunny, but I don’t see why that means we should rubbish these energy sources.
    What we actually need is large scale electricity storage capacity. Once that “transforming technology” (great pun I did there!) is in place, all of these sources will make a lot more sense. I don’t know how long that might take.
    Wind farms might need oversized trucks to transport the blades, like, um, once each, and they might even be ugly, but if you use Google images to look at Didcot Power Station, my local blot on the landscape, you might think there are worse things to be looking at than windmills.

  102. ” JER0ME (06:10:56) :
    […]
    But having said that, there are many many ways to store energy, or indeed create potential energy. None are very efficient. Pumping water up hills works well, although very inefficient, but the infrastructure is already there to both do it”
    I am not out for a personal attack, Jerome, i myself am always interested in the economy of things because i think the cash a technology costs or makes is a very good objective way to rate it against other approaches. I have no ideological problems with any technology. I want to see how good it works. And that means, what does it cost.
    Pumped storage, contrary to what you say, is among the most efficient ways we have to store energy.
    “Taking into account evaporation losses from the exposed water surface and conversion losses, approximately 70% to 85% of the electrical energy used to pump the water into the elevated reservoir can be regained.[1] The technique is currently the most cost-effective means of storing large amounts of electrical energy on an operating basis, but capital costs and the presence of appropriate geography are critical decision factors.”
    from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped_storage
    And again, contrary to what you say, the very problem of pumped storage is that the infrastructure that is there – at least here in Germany – is not sufficient for our needs; we would simply need to blow off some mountain tops to build more of it, and blowing off mountain tops would be so unacceptable to the population here that not even energy companies would dare to even mention it.
    So we have different opinions or information there, but i’d like to thank you for your answer. After all, being wrong is not a sin, and if anyone around here proves me wrong, i’m always happy to learn. Thank you.

  103. Pofarmer
    A 10 percent drop in water vapor ten miles above Earth’s surface has had a big impact on global warming, say researchers in a study published online January 28 in the journal Science. The findings might help explain why global surface temperatures have not risen as fast in the last ten years as they did in the 1980s and 1990s.
    At 50,000 feet the air is very thin, and so cannot contain much water vapour. Therefore 10% of a small amount must be very small indeed, and so maybe here is where we can look for anthropic ‘fingerprints’
    Don’t suppose anybody has correlated this with the increase/decrease in high-altitude flight by the Military, plus Concorde, etc?

  104. Going from the housebuilder’s bibe 1 tonne of steel requires 7.5MWH. 1 tonne of concrete requires 0.5MWH. They assume 5MWH is approx 1 tonne of CO2.

  105. Troels Halken (06:34:10) : Sorry for using the word carbon footprint, as that is misleading. I should have used energy in stead.
    Thanks for your response, I am not sure I understand the difference in what you are saying. To my thinking, it is the energy use in manufacturing and transport that is the carbon footprint. What do you see as a MTBF in the field for these systems? What is the operating vs. downtime over the life of of a windmill, not lack of operation due to lack of wind? TIA

  106. I have been watching half hour power statistics for the UK over the past three months and it seems that over that period wind has provided less than one percent of the demand, a good proportion of the time it rounds out at 0.0% to one decimal place.
    Meanwhile, France is drawing an average of about 1,800/2,000 MW across the DC link and the Irish interconnector is drawing on average about 500MW.
    So every day for the last few weeks the equivalent of the output of five UK 500MW turbine-generator units is being sold-off so that the French and Irish can preserve their own plant from wear and tear at the expense of the UK’s ancient plant, remember most of the UK plant dates from late 1960s/early 1970s.
    At 14:30 UK time, 16 March 2010, the French are drawing just over 1,500 MW and over the last 24 hours, wind has provided 5169 MWh or 0.5% of the demand.
    So UK consumers are paying through the nose for the piddling amount of wind juice, and at the same time wearing out UK power plant to benefit the French.

  107. >>>Michael J. Trebilcock, professor of economics at Toronto
    >>>University, says Denmark’s wind power is a con:
    And so does Dr Hugh Sharman.
    http://www.thomastelford.com/journals/DocumentLibrary/CIEN.158.2.66.pdf
    In his report on the Danish ‘wind carpet’, he claims that Denmark has never used any of its wind energy, because it is too variable. Denmark sells it to Scandinavia instead, as it can be integrated more easily with instant hydro power.
    He also details the massive gaps in wind production, including 54 days in 2002 with less than 1% power, and 18 weeks with less than 10% power in 2003.
    Try running a 24/7 society with that kind of power system.
    .

  108. >>>“windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.”
    Windmills grind corn.
    Windelecs generate electricity.
    .

  109. Troels, You’ve already been called out on the steel doesn’t have a so-called carbon foot print statement.
    I have an extremely hard time believing that a single wind turbine can deliver enough energy to process and fabricate all of the steel, copper, concrete, etc in a 250 Ton (not metric tonne) wind mill in 3 to 4 months. Actually I’ll go out on a limb and say that I doubt that a windmill could ever generate enough power to do that in it’s serviceable lifetime. I’m not aware of any wind powered steel mills steel production being as energy intensive as it is.
    Also windmills don’t appear to be as low maintenance as you suggest. They’re mechanical just like any other rotating assembly.

  110. Two potential problems with wind power…
    1) Texas leads the nation in wind power production. The growth of wind power is displacing natural gas-fired plants rather than coal-fired plants…

    Here in Texas, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot) allocates our daily electricity generation. The utility companies will deliver a daily forecast to Ercot, outlining how much power they can deliver and the price per KwH. Ercot then matches up supply with its demand forecast and picks the least expensive combination of generation sources. If a utility company fails to deliver their promised KwH due to mechanical or maintenance issues, they have to pay for the cost of the backup…
    One grievance: Coal, nuclear and gas operators must pay for their own backup if an operational or maintenance problem prevents them from delivering power as promised. But if wind generators fail to deliver promised power because the wind doesn’t blow, the cost of backing up wind power companies is spread among all the generators, state officials say. This puts an unfair burden on nonwind generators, says the gas faction.
    The Wall Street Journal, March 2. 2010

    If fossil fuel or nuclear operators can’t deliver their promised power, they have to foot the bill for buying replacement electricity. If the wind generators can’t deliver, the backup cost is spread among all of the utilities.
    This process is resulting in a decline in the gas-fired generation capacity as the wind capacity grows. Wind, with its subsidies, is the cheapest source when the wind blows; so it is the preferred source. Coal and nuclear are the next cheapest. Then comes natural gas, particularly older gas-fired plants.
    If the goal is to deliver the “greenest” energy, wind should be displacing the dirtiest source: coal. If the goal is cheaper energy, wind power should not be subsidized.
    Wind power is very well established in this state. I don’t have a problem with it having been subsidized while it gained a foothold… But at some point the playing field will have to be levelled or we will be displacing a relatively green power source with wind and not displacing our least green source.
    2) Noise pollution…

    People living near turbines increasingly report sleep deprivation, headaches and vertigo. The wind lobby says there’s no proof…
    […]
    Doctors and acoustics experts from the U.S. to Australia report a raft of symptoms that they blame on wind turbine noise, including sleep disturbance, headaches and vertigo. Dr. Nina Pierpont, a pediatrician in Malone, N.Y., has studied 36 people affected by wind turbine noise since 2004 at her own expense. The people she interviewed were widely dispersed; they lived in the U.S., Canada, England, Ireland and Italy. She found that the collection of symptoms she calls “wind turbine syndrome” disappeared as soon as people moved out of their noise-affected homes and into new locations at least five miles from any turbines.
    Across the border, Ontario-based orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert McMurtry has been researching wind turbine noise for the past 18 months. Dr. McMurtry, a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, counts more than 100 people in Ontario he believes are experiencing adverse effects from turbine noise. “It has compromised their health,” he says.
    […]
    Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2010

    Wind power will increasingly become an important component of our electric generating capacity; but it is not a panacea.
    If the goal is “green” energy, wind power should be displacing coal rather than gas.
    If the goal is “cheap” energy, wind power should not be subsidized.

  111. We should use more wind power when it becomes an economically viable alternative and not before.
    It used to be innovation took place without government mandating it. Today, significant portions of the world’s population seem to believe innovation can only take place through government mandates and subsidies.
    Build a better product or create a better service and nobody will need to be compelled to use it.

  112. ” DirkH (07:24:04) :
    […]
    Pumped storage, contrary to what you say, is among the most efficient ways we have to store energy.”
    I made a mistake here – i should have said “Cost effective” instead of “efficient”. If we needed to optimize total efficiency, we could use for instance supercaps, that would have an efficiency of close to 100%, but it would become a rather big mountain of supercaps to store a few GWh and rather expensive as well.
    Sorry for any confusion caused…

  113. >>>A given set of Uber name brand tools costing
    >>>$1000 (made in America) might be $100 in a
    >>>comparable set made in china. Don’t have any
    >>>wisdom to share on it, but I really wonder if we’re losing.
    We are not losing if that is true trade (50-50 trade), and we keep plenty of high technology in the West. But if China takes over all production, and all the science and technology to make that production, then we become a Third World Nation and China rules the world.
    USA may be ok at present, with major high-tech industries. But the UK is slipping fast. We no longer do heavy industry, and we don’t know what electronics are, nor how they are made. Computers? Sheer magic, apparently, because we cannot make them.
    Put it this way, if China (and other technology producers) stopped shipping to the UK, because we are not paying our trade bills (and we are not), then the UK would become an outpost of the Amazon rainforest with a few neolithic tribes hanging on in the New Forest and the Scottish Highlands.
    .

  114. Joe (05:03:02) :
    Power generation could be a great deal cheaper. The science and technology to be far more efficient and produce 18 times the current output is available.
    Subsities, politics, manufacturers profit, all conspire to hide this technology.
    (…)

    Weren’t you the one who said at an earlier story that wind turbines could be 18 times more efficient? I spent quite some time looking for wind efficiency numbers online, which only left me impressed with how “breezy” the numbers being used actually were, summing to the Green assertion “Well it has to be better than fossil fuels, whatever the numbers are.”
    You’re starting to sound like those people who were saying Detroit is sitting on car battery technology that can yield lifetimes of many decades instead of (hopefully) around only five. Please supply some links about these “18 times” claims before you drift further into “conspiracy crackpot” territory.

  115. @JER0ME
    ‘But it is possible, it is just another technical challenge.’
    Yes, of course. It is also possible to ship tourists to Mars and beyond, it’s just a technical challenge…. because f all about the economical feasibility.
    Why is it that pro green energy people always claim the possibility of green this and green that, but it always seem to be someone else that has to do it and make it so and preferably with someone else’s money?
    And why not also factor in land lease cost, cost for subduing the people in the mediate vicinity, giving the city it’s “fair” share of the profits, reusing old almost closed down coal or oil power plants because other green nuts throws a legal fit if more water power is mentioned, et cetera…. in the next cost benefit analysis, i.e. basically the same stuff that goes in the cost benefit analysis of nuclear power plants.

  116. >>>If one assumes the Danes know and accept the cost of the
    >>>alternative energy, then having it is a GOOD thing IMHO.
    >>>Especially with oil prices on the way through the roof.
    No it is NOT a good thing – that is the whole point. If you have to provide backup power stations for each wind farm, you have just doubled your power infrastructure. And if the standby power station is on spinning-standby, you are hardly reducing fossil fuel demands (nor CO2 output). All you are doing is doubling or tripling the costs of electricity.
    Here is the wind speeds for the Irish Sea (big wind producer area) for the January cold-snap in the UK.
    http://coastobs.pol.ac.uk/cobs/met/hilbre/getimage.php?from=20091228&span=6&code=5
    Anything below 5kts is not producing significant power. So just when you want the electrical power – there is none.

  117. Ralph (07:53:25) :
    “>>>“windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.”
    Windmills grind corn.
    Windelecs generate electricity.”
    Ralph, what part of the word ‘ECONOMICALLY’ don’t you understand?

  118. Actual energy generation figures for the UK are fairly well hidden. But if you visit:-
    http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm
    and go to “Generation by Fuel Type (Table)” at the left side, you will get a snapshot of the current (last 5 minutes), last half hour and last 24 hour figures.
    This is quite neat but you need to take a screen capture of this and print it for the next step.
    Now go to “Generation by Fuel Type (Graph)” and click on Current / Historic under the graph at the lower left.
    Thius opens up a spreadsheet of the last three months and you can download a csv file (top right). You can save it as an Excel file if you prefer. You now use your screen capture to identify which fuel type is in each column.
    You now have a spreadsheet which identifies how much energy we use in the UK per half hour period (i.e. periods 1 – 48 every day) which comes from Gas / Coal / Nuclear / Wind / Hydro etc.
    I have all this saved to my hard disc since mid November. I guess it must be archived somewhere on the web but I haven’t found it.
    I have analysed the figures for the three winter months, December / January / February. (Remember this was the coldest UK Winter for a generation). The way I did it was to work out the percentage of total in each half hour period for Gas / Coal / Nuclear / Wind and for the rest.
    You can then produce some nice charts showing just how much wind actually generates rather than how much Big Wind, the greenies, the incompetent BBC and the lying politicians pretend. (“This latest wind farm will supply all the electricity needs of Glasgow” etc. etc.)
    Turns out that the absolutely top share of generation from the 2,700 installed wind turbines, in just one half hour period, out of a total of three months, was 3.69%.
    But for a total of 237.5 hrs (10 days), the share was less than 0.1%! The share was 0.55% or less for half the three month period! For more than 90% of the time the share was less than 2.0%. If you turn it into a chart you get (you guessed it) a hockey stick.
    And that’s not all. Because it tends to be more windy in the middle of the night when electricity use is at a minimum, the above figures overstate how much “useful” wind generation there is.
    But, as is now well known, our Government (the pretend one in Westminster, not the real one in Brussels) has committed to spending £100,000,000,000 over the next ten years in building 6,000 offshore wind turbines. The bill going to UK households and businesses. The Regulator has admitted that this (plus all the other madcap schemes) will raise domestic electricity bills to £5,000 per year by 2020. Around 100% of the existing state pension! That should see off a few pensioners!
    They claim that the 6,000 turbines will deliver “more than a quarter of the UK’s electricity”. (Not to mention that it “could” create 70,000 jobs.)
    Obviously this isn’t just an exaggeration. It is a bare faced porky pie.
    But the opposition political parties think it is magic! They promise to do even more and even faster!

  119. >>JER0ME (23:42:38) :
    >>I know more than I want to about the subject as my step-father
    >>was chairmain of the BWEA (British) , so I know it is a practical
    >>solution. It is marginally cheaper than nuclear I understand,
    >>and there are ways to handle the load balancing.
    Then your step-father knows very little about the realities of electrical generation and consumption.
    OK, a scenario.
    The UK is running 30% wind power as a percentage of output. A big winter anticyclone comes across the UK. Temperatures drop to -10oc, and wind drops to 2kts for four weeks (as it did in Jan 2010). The UK loses 30% of its electrical generation for four weeks.
    Ok, your choice. Do you cut power to:
    a. Pensioners.
    b. Hospitals.
    c. Traffic lights.
    d. Rail and Metro systems.
    e. Airports.
    f. Fuel stations.
    g. City centers.
    h. Light industry, including food manufacture.
    i. Distribution outlets, including supermarkets.
    Your choice – what will it be? 30% cuts, remember.
    .

  120. There is a lot of discussion about the “power not flowin’ when the wind’s not blowin’.” I attended a coal conference last year where Arizona Public Services (APS) demonstrated a unique solution to that problem for their solar demonstration plant.
    During the day, collected solar energy is used to fuel a hydrolysis reaction, generating oxygen and hydrogen, which is then stored. At night, the gasses are fed to a conventional IGCC system as a supplemental fuel. There is also a tie-in with an algae farm nearby to generate additional biomass which is fed to the gasifier.
    When asked if all of this was cost-effective, the APS presenter stated, “Of course not. But we’re having to do this to meet government mandates.”
    ‘Nuff said

  121. >>Troels Halken
    >>But what to do when the wind does not blow?
    >>Obviously there are several ways to get around this.
    >>A small amount of hydropower can regulate a lot of
    >>windpower or provide intermittent power until
    >>conventional plants start up.
    No hydro in the UK – no big uninhabited hills. And if you are starting up conventional power, you have doubled your infrastructure investments and doubled the cost of electricity (triple if you have hydro too).
    >>Conventional power plants with short startup time and
    >>where the cost of fuel is the major part of the price plays
    >>well with wind power, such as gas turbines.
    You think Russia and Libya are good, stable sources of power, that will not switch us off (like Ukraine every winter)?? Plus, you have doubled or tripled your costs again
    >>Nuclear has very low fuel costs and high investment costs as
    >>with wind power, hence if these dominate the production mix,
    >> they do not play that well together.
    Nuclear is a reliable base-load supply. If you have nuclear, you don’t need any windelecs.
    >>Lastly transmission grids with higher capacity across states
    >>can also play a role to level out the energy production
    The anticyclone that reduced the UKs wind in Jan 2010 reduced the wind across most of Europe. No power to transfer, no matter how long your cables.
    Wind power will destroy technological societies.

  122. If the other figures in this blog are correct my back of an envelope calculation the payback time for a 100% operating windmill would months not years in repaying the energy required for the steel. That may make it years in real use, but it would almost certainly repay the energy required in its lifetime.
    1.5MW windmill would take 52days to repay 250 tonnes of steel at 7.5MWH per tonne. At 10% average load that is comfortably under 2 years, and probably on a par with photovoltaics. Clearly there would be other emissions but I suspect if your only concern was c02 reduction a windmill would be a postive. One would also suspect that most of the steel was used to get the turbine high enough, so if after 15 years the turbine needed replacing, the steel and concrete could remain.

  123. Ralph: “Wind power will destroy technological societies.”
    Alternatively, you could turn this around and say that a society that has to resort to wind is in pretty dire straights.
    That is why I find is amusing to listen to people who say: “renewables will never be cost-economic”, because they are living in a world of make believe and fail to grasp the simple truth that as fossil fuels run out we will increasingly have to turn to renewables (not for eco-PR but because we don’t have a choice). So, it is pretty easy to work out what will happen to the cost of energy: it will rise until renewables are cost effective. And a society that has to use renewables is a pretty much basket-case economy.

  124. ” Troels Halken (02:29:32) :
    […]
    Hence they operate with wind forecasts, and these are about 90-95% reliable (predicting wind speed is a lot easier than to predict weather as a whole). ”
    ——————————-
    Complete NONSENSE. Just look at the Ireland grid, which shows us output of 1100 MW of wind turbines and the forecast wind. Click previous day, take any point on the graph and you can see that a 90% correct forecast is a mere coincidence, occurring only at a few points per day.
    http://www.eirgrid.com/operations/systemperformancedata/windgeneration/
    Note that typically the forecast is off by at least 30% and sometimes 50%. 10 years ago utilities would have never dreamed of burdening society with the environmental and economic costs of these wasteful monsters that overall are useless in providing our society with meaning amounts of electricity. Our utilities can’t “depend on wind” and take the chance of a 50% wrong forecast, when the power output of a turbine is based on the cube of the wind speed.
    http://www.nofreewind.com/2009/05/how-often-does-turbine-produce-power.html
    There is a dramatic difference between power output of a turbine at 15 mph and 20 mph, and the wind speed constantly changes. Just look at any turbine output graph and any imbecile can see how hard output is to predict 1 hr in advance, let alone 24 hours.
    http://www.nofreewind.com/2010/01/wind-turbine-out-graphs-part-i.html
    It is the same in North Dakota, the same in Oregon, the same in Ireland, the same anywhere. It is an enormous deception that no sane person would ever purchase, with their own money, only a Gov’t would be STUPID (or greedy) enough to impose this on their citizens. Of course, they have a higher goal, they are saving the world.

  125. On the Spencer light thread, someone posted this 1 minute plus clip from Algore. Algore is fearfull of our fragile electric grid. This tilting to wind mills will do nothing to make the grid more robust.
    http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/video.aspx?v=Xd8zSUkU4z
    Algore wants to draw attention to recent heavy rains in New England. Of course he doesn’t remember their cry was coming droughts. Actually the wind turbine schemes are not only expensive, but the wind farm folks want others to invest in the gathering grid and maintain it. A grid that is idle when the wind is is very wastefull.

  126. >>>ScientistForTruth (08:25:33) :
    >>>“windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.”
    >>>Ralph, what part of the word ‘ECONOMICALLY’ don’t you understand?
    Errm – I was not commenting on economics. All I was doing was trying to stop people calling these monstrosities ‘windmils’. They are NOT windmills.
    Windmills grind corn
    Windelecs generate electricity.
    .
    BTW talking of windmills, one good place for windelecs is Holland.
    The Netherlands use 25% of their power for pumping water out of dykes. It does not always matter when it is pumped, as long as it is, sometime. Thus the intermittency of windelecs does not matter for this function.
    .

  127. heresy101: “In our case, we have hydro power that can follow load at about double the cost of the wind power.”
    I’m having trouble understanding how hydro power can cost 2x wind power without subsidies.. Help me out here..

  128. >>>Veronica (07:23:21) :
    >>What we actually need is large scale electricity storage capacity.
    Another pipe-dream. HOW??
    Pumped storage is the only viable method at present, and the largest system in Europe – Dinorwig – will only supply 5% of UK demand for 5 hours. What we need is a system to supply the UK’s power requirements for 4 weeks. Not possible, my friends, not possible. Not enough hills, and the cost would be astronomic – 2,800 Dinorwigs – do you know that that would cost??
    .
    Perhaps I can refer you to this article:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/25/renewable-energy-–-our-downfall/
    .

  129. Henry chance (06:57:02) :
    “It takes 5 tons of coal to produce each ton of the 200 tons of steel in a tower. The nacelle is 50 tons and means 250 more tons of coal.”
    I never checked the calculation of energy used myself, but lets see if it fits the bill or I have dubious information. To make it easy we assume the turbine is a 2MW and 250 metric tons of steel and do the calculation in co2 (not that i matters, but is seems easy).
    250 tons of steel means that we need to burn 2 times the amount in coal as far as I can see (0,5 if an electric furnace is used according to Tokyo Steel, where did you get 5 tons from?), e.g. 500 tons. It’s of cause more, as we also need to machine the parts, paint them and a lot of other stuff, but the melting of the steel is by far the most energy intensive process. That alone gives us 1430 metric tons of co2 with coal of 78% carbon.
    The turbine being a 2 MW on a normal onshore site with a capacity factor of 0,22. For each kWh is produces, it saves 966 g of co2 compared to coal. So it has to produce electricity equivalent to 1.430.000 kg / 0,966 kg = 1.480.331 kWh before it has made the energy for producing the steel. If the turbine makes 0,22*2.000kW*1h it produces 440 kWh pr. hour and takes 3.364 hours to produce the same energy as went into producing the steel. Or 140 days or a little more than 4 months. This leaves little over 3 months to produce the energy needed to make the rest of the stuff that goes into the turbine. All in all that does not seem so far off.
    Troels

  130. Larry (09:06:17) :
    You haven’t factored in the cost Building & running the Backup that is needed for every Windfarm.

  131. Ralph (08:42:33) :
    That WILL be the scenario in the not too distant future if our useless politicians have there way.

  132. Mods, post this version pls.


    brc (05:49:37) :
    Electricity blackouts during storms are not from loss of generation ; they are from loss of transmission, usually in leafy suburbs where …

    o Substation to Neighborhood level = “Distribution System”
    Wooded poles, 7 to 14 KV Nominally
    o Power Station to Substation = “Transmission system”
    Those large gangly steel structures with overhead ‘static’ wires, 69 to 765 KV nominally
    .
    .

  133. E.M.Smith (18:13:40) :
    “… Pretty simple, really. Follow the coal as it leaves the mines in Wyoming, takes the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad to the port over near Seattle, and hops a ship to China. Where it meets the money leaving the USA for China (in exchange for all sorts of products) is where wealth is being created. At the places where the coal USED TO meet money in the American Mid-West (but does so no more…) we are creating poverty.”

    In a sense, we’re exporting American CO2 to China to be released. I wonder who the UN would propose to penalize for the end CO2 emission – us or China?

  134. @ Ralph (08:42:33) :
    Ah heck, I used to watch Good Neighbors on PBS (that’s the US title, The Good Life back in the UK). Mid to late 1970’s, and they were talking about apparently random power cuts back then. Will the UK be backsliding on the power supply improvements since then? There were improvements, right?

  135. “One post above mentioned the voltage coming out of the turbine was too low to go into the grid. That means even more energy wasted in transforming the power to higher voltage.”
    Most turbines are rated at 690V. The power from all the turbines in the park is then transformed into 32kV or whatever the grid needs. This does mean a loss from the transformer, but I fail to see the issue with this has to do with anything.
    “Moving electric on long distance lines loses 15% of the power every 50-60 miles.”
    If that is the case, we would not have electricity. The overall loss in the grid in Denmark amount to 5-10%. Closer to 5%.
    “A train load of coal is the same weight at delivery if it travelled 200 miles from Wyoming or 2,000 miles.”
    Yes, apart from the energy used to move in onto the train, moving the train and unloading the train. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
    “They create tremendous pollution in the course of molding the blades.”
    Not really. It is epoxy that is used together with fiberglass.

    Joe (07:15:46) :
    I am not sure what you’re getting at.

    Steve Keohane (07:35:56) :
    “What do you see as a MTBF in the field for these systems? What is the operating vs. downtime over the life of of a windmill, not lack of operation due to lack of wind? TIA”
    MTBF is not used in the wind industry. The manufacturers warrant a 95% availability (at least. Availability means that is will produce electricity if there is wind) and service is once a year and take less than a day. Turbines has a 20 year design life.

    Ralph (07:50:42) :
    “Try running a 24/7 society with that kind of power system.”
    Well, with 20% it runs fine here. And a lot of people know a lot about the Danish energy system it seems.

    Justa Joe (07:55:55) :
    “I have an extremely hard time believing that a single wind turbine can deliver enough energy to process and fabricate all of the steel, copper, concrete, etc in a 250 Ton (not metric tonne) wind mill in 3 to 4 months.”
    I think I wrote 8 months for a modern turbine.
    “I’m not aware of any wind powered steel mills steel production being as energy intensive as it is.”
    No cause today we have a grid that transfer and distribute electricity from producers to consumers, why the electricity a steel plant or you use can come from a variety of sources.
    “Also windmills don’t appear to be as low maintenance as you suggest. They’re mechanical just like any other rotating assembly.”
    Yes, and any mechanical assembly can be made such a way as desired.
    Then go to Vestas, GE and Siemens webpages and look at their product specification.

    Troels

  136. That´s really good news. That´s a signal reason and common sense is returning to the US, thanks to the big influence of Anthony´s WUWT (40 millions hits in any minute from now-that´s a lot, just compare it with msm-).

  137. Jerome (06 10 56)
    I’m not out for an argument either….But by all means come and show us, how we can pump water up the hills we don’t have, here on the Fens. To save the power that the wind farms (sited far too close to peoples houses) are not making much of. You seem to think it will work very well? Or at any rate, be just a technical challenge?

  138. …It is marginally cheaper than nuclear I understand, and there are ways to handle the load balancing.
    Not according to the EIA’s 2016 Levelized Cost:
    Wind (on shore) $149.3/MWhr
    WInd (off shore) $191.1/MWhr
    Advanced Nuclear $119.0/MWhr
    Hydro $119.9/MWhr

  139. I think this is one of the best threads I have seen in a while – interesting.
    It sounds like wind turbines can in theory produce useful amounts of energy BUT at the wrong time. While short term storage of less than a day is possible [though reducing overall efficiency] the main problem seems to seasonal – producing least energy in times of maximum demand, which no practical storage solution can solve. This requires close to 100% backup generating plant to cover shortfalls, with associated costs. Overall, wind turbines seem to be impractical.
    I would have greater confidence in wind turbines if generating companies chose to use them without political pressure, and without the need for subsidies.
    The [somewhat literal] impact on bird life needs to be addressed. Smaller birds could be warned off by silhouettes of birds of prey on the blades, but I am not sure what would deter birds of prey themselves – possibly plastic streamers on the trailing edges of the blades. I am sure it could be solved.
    The effect on humans needs to be verified. Many complaints about health effects from new technologies prove to be psychological. It would be interesting to take blind-folded sufferers round in a helicopter to test whether their perceptions are real or imaginary. If real then positioning these turbines will need careful planning.
    If they do end up as white elephants what do we do with them? If hydrogen fuelled cars take off then these turbines could be used to produce hydrogen at local plants – kind of nodding donkeys of the hydrogen world, where the random nature of power production is less relevant. Alternatively they could make good nesting sites for birds of prey!

  140. Doug in Seattle (19:01:46) :
    What did they expect? The economics of wind power were available to everyone before this contract was let out.
    IPL made their decision on the basis of “looking” green. They didn’t care what it would cost. They’d just pass the cost on to the users.
    Even more bizarre was WA state’s decision to mandate that all power was to be 20% renewable when over 90% already is hydro power.
    Oh, yeah, and they didn’t count hydro as being renewable.

    Bingo! These utilities are regulated. All they need to do is get approval from the regulators for a project and approval to pass the cost on to consumers. The utility doesn’t care power costs because consumers don’t usually have a choice.
    You can be sure every time some regulatory or legislative entity mandates green or renewable power, the utility will also get approval for a rate increase.

  141. This is all old news. Look up windmills in books during the 19th century at books.google.com You’ll find lots of economic and scientific discussions of the time why wind power will never satisfy demand and the new steam engines (running on gas, coal, wood, etc.) are far superior and the reasons why.

  142. Troels Halken (04:34:34) :
    “this simply means the maintenance costs and manpower required are greater per megawatt than any other energy production source: saying it creates jobs is actually a bad thing in this case because these jobs don’t create revenue (contrast with, say, a retail store or factory).”
    I think you should tell Siemens, GE and all the other companies that provide O&M servies for the wind turbines, that O&M of wind turbines does not generate revenue, cause that will be new to them.
    Do you really think that companies does something for nothing and then you expect other people will believe that? Just how stupid do you think people are?

    GE isn’t doing this for nothing. GE has lobbied heavily and continues to lobby heavily for subsidies, tax breaks, mandates, etc. Without government interference, their business plan falls apart.

  143. Anticlimatic 10 46 42
    The Davis family, whose house near here is 930 meters from the nearest wind Turbine, are no longer able to sleep in their house, and have to rent a property else were. Are you going to suggest to them, (to add to their troubles), they should be blindfolded and flown around in a helicopter to see if they are imagining it? I have an idea about the careful planning bit….How about, don’t put them too close to peoples houses? Or is it back to the helicopter and blindfolds

  144. Here’s a link to answer the question of installation and operating energy versus production payback for various energy sources. Wind turbines range from about 2% to 16% of their total energy produced needed to create the installation.
    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf11.html
    I live a few miles from one of the major US wind farms, Tehachapi Pass. It’s still growing, and there’s now a transmission line being run to the Castaic pumped storage lake near Los Angeles. In the summer, the difference between daily maximum and minimum grid demand (all of California) is almost a factor of two, at about 48,000 MW peak in the afternoon and 26,000 MW at night.
    “Wind farms supply energy, not power”

  145. Troels Halken (04:34:34) :
    “this simply means the maintenance costs and manpower required are greater per megawatt than any other energy production source: saying it creates jobs is actually a bad thing in this case because these jobs don’t create revenue (contrast with, say, a retail store or factory).”
    I think you should tell Siemens, GE and all the other companies that provide O&M servies for the wind turbines, that O&M of wind turbines does not generate revenue, cause that will be new to them.
    Do you really think that companies does something for nothing and then you expect other people will believe that? Just how stupid do you think people are?

    Um, I think you need to re-read for context: who said that manufacturers aren’t making money? The only way to make money is to *make* windmills, because people are buying them (or not, as the case may be). The tailor who made the emperors new clothes certainly made out quite well.
    In other words: SC buys a bucket load of windmills creating jobs. No wealth has been created, no economy has been bolstered. You have simply increased the cost of electricity to pay for those jobs: a net loss.

  146. A C Osborn
    I was doing an order of magnitude. I didn’t factor in a lot of things, material transport, power distribution etc etc – or volume of energy that could not be used because it had to be bought elsewhere because of false wind predictions. I just don’t believe you would ever be able to demonstrate that it would use more c02 than it produced. Frankly the c02 would be based on the type of fuel in the country of origin and a lot of other things, an order of magnitude is all you are going to get. The order of magnitude makes it hard to argue that extra c02 would be produced by installing windfarms, so I would stick to the economic argument. There are cheaper ways of reducing c02.

  147. Hi all,
    In reply to Veronica –
    I drive past Didcot power station on my way home, its not the prettiest sight, and it dominates the landscape because its rather flat apart from the ridgeway bump. Bt that subjective…all you see is the cooling towers…am sure some designers could make ’em look pretty.
    But lets, for aguements sake, knock it down and replace it with a windfarm.
    Now when I drive along and get my first sight of the windfarm that replaced Didcot, I know I’m prob still going to be driving past it 10min later…prob have to knock down Abingdon to makes space (so maybe there is an upside).
    the point you are missing Veronica is the vast space you need to produce comparable power…you may think a windfarm is pretty when its half a dozen on a hillside in Wales…….but just imagine gazing out over 1000’s of the things in one place. It would look like the most ghastly ecotravesty you could imagine.
    Oh….and I’d have to rebuild the ugly Didcot anyway to use when the wind does not blow…
    On another point, the Danes get away with thier variable load because they can bleed out into the euro net……….if every country increased the amount of wind power, the amount of ‘slack’ in the euro system gets harder to manage.
    It has its place I think, good windy sites in localised areas…large scale…I think not.

  148. Veronica (07:23:21) :
    We all know that many of the sources of renewable enegy are sporadic, and nobody has ever said they are the answer to an ecologist’s prayer. Even here in the UK, sometimes it just isn’t windy and often it isn’t sunny, but I don’t see why that means we should rubbish these energy sources.

    While what you say is true, it isn’t that, so much that most people are railing against. It is that those who want to supply and implement wind machines (sic) are simply lying to us. We (the people) are inferring a reduced cost, elimination of dirty coal, oil and nuclear, plus being completely renewable.
    You cannot displace the large quantities of energy required today with wind. We could displace perhaps 5-15% of our consumption, even though we may necessarily need backup sources. It will also consistently cost more (maintenance, personnel, etc.)
    The Denmark study is pretty much a best case scenario, since the Scandinavian hydro plants can mate with wind power as an energy storage device. Many places around the world do not have such luxury.
    I do think the manufacturing impact is an (almost) moot point, since everything we do has a negative environmental impact, and dismissing wind power because the manufacture and placement of wind turbines is environmentally unfriendly is a bit facetious. The costs, however are a factor.
    Most significantly, though, is the true running impact: it isn’t all tea and crumpets.

  149. Personally, I don’t have a big problem with wind contraptions, but then I’ve never had to live by them.
    Although I’m all for a flat rate pay for what you use, how about electric companies offer a tiered fee structure? They buy and install these turbines, then people have the option to sign up for ‘renewable’ energy produced by these turbines – since every one wants to be green, there will be lots of customers willing to do this (right?).
    When the wind blows, their cost is low, when it doesn’t the cost is high.

  150. Re: Wind power heats up the surrounding countryside.
    If you consider that a wind turbine is extracting the turbulent kinetic energy from the boundary layer wind flow across a given area of surface, then you are extracting whatever is delivered down the transmission lines minus whatever is eaten up with the efficiency of conversion of kinetic energy to electricity.
    The air flow past the surface tends to heat up or cool down the surface (think in terms of the wind chill chart we see during wintertime) based on the wind speed. If the wind is warmer than the surface temperature (think Chinook winds down-slope mountains), the active wind turbine will tend to keep things a bit cooler for a while. If the wind is cooler than the surface (usual circumstance) or simply less humid, the surface will remain warmer, longer.
    I don’t know of anyone who has actually measured this as yet. Given the politically correct status of wind worldwide, I doubt that any good data has been collected or disseminated. My guess is that whatever effect exists is very, very small and difficult to measure. Still, it does make a nice vehicle for chain yanking with our friends the greens.
    The last thing would be the size of wind farms vs other energy producers. For equivalent generation, the footprint of a wind farm including all transmission hooking them together is about 100X that of an equivalent coal, nuclear, natural gas, etc. fired plan. If lawnmowing the forests is a “bad” thing for loggers, why pray tell is it a Good Thing for the wind farmers? Inquiring minds want to know. Cheers –

  151. Ralph (07:50:42) : “Try running a 24/7 society with that kind of power system.”
    Troels Halken (10:29:50) : “Well, with 20% it runs fine here. And a lot of people know a lot about the Danish energy system it seems.

    Errr, ummm, isn’t that energy actually sold to … Scandinavia (AND they have a generating infrastructure composed of many more hydro-driven gens which are much easier to throttle for controlling the voltage and phase stability of the much-vaunted and so little understood ‘grid’ with a highly changeable supply like that obtained from wind-driven Windelecs)??
    Ref. Dr Hugh Sharman (from an erailier post): http://www.thomastelford.com/journals/DocumentLibrary/CIEN.158.2.66.pdf
    Eh Troll -er- Troels? (Do you guys post elementary contradictory stuff just to see if we are collectively awake?)
    .
    .

  152. Long term use of wind power could be entirely academic due to a shortage of rare earth elements, dysprosium and neodymium.
    There is a massive and increasing world-wide demand for high efficiency magnets all of which use rare earth elements. These magnets are key components of wind power generators, and incidentally all high efficiency motors such as those planned for electric vehicles.
    Currently 97% of rare earth elements are produced in China. The production of the refined products is incredibly polluting, but that never seems to worry the Chinese, especially when they are in a position to control the flow of these essentials to the rest of the world. And indeed there are signs that it is starting to strangle the supply to external buyers, and producing sufficient only for their indigenous industries such as wind turbine production.
    It would seem pretty risky to base future energy strategy on products that use raw materials for which there is no alternative source and pretty illogical (if not hypocritical) to use raw materials whose manufacture is so environmentally unfriendly.
    It is also going to look pretty daft promoting green projects as generating lots of new jobs for local economies if China monopolises the manufacture of wind turbines.
    Sources:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-an-elemental-challenge–for-china-and-the-world-1855408.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/concern-as-china-clamps-down-on-rare-earth-exports-1855387.html

  153. Steve Keohane (07:35:56) : “What do you see as a MTBF in the field for these systems? What is the operating vs. downtime over the life of of a windmill, not lack of operation due to lack of wind? TIA”
    Troels Halken (10:29:50) : “ MTBF is not used in the wind industry. The manufacturers warrant a 95% availability (at least. Availability means that is will produce electricity if there is wind) and service is once a year and take less than a day. Turbines has a 20 year design life.

    Really!!??
    One finds ‘MTBF’ and ‘wind’ power associated in a multitude of Google hits; a quick survey shows them to be substantive as well.
    On the subject of ‘service once a year’, ahem, a different story is portrayed in this report titled: Establishing an In-House Wind Maintenance Program depending on the service item there are 3, 6, 12 and 24 month service periods.
    .
    .

  154. Interesting tidbit from that report I linked to earlier:
    – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Staff Requirements
    The facility must consider adequate staffing when establishing its maintenance program …
    NPPD, although it has no union affiliation, recommends a staffing ratio of one technician for every six turbines, suggesting that LADWP should hire approximately 13 full-time technicians at the Pine Tree Wind Project for its 80 turbines.
    However, the Spearville, Kansas, Wind Farm employs eight technicians for operating its 67 turbines. This technician/turbine ratio of 1:8 is lower than NPPD’s 1:6 ratio. EnXco’s practice of staffing its projects with 8 to 12 technicians is based on the overall size of the project, turbine type(s), turbine size, availability goals set by the owner, and home office consolidation of support functions. Further, since the Spearville Wind Farm has GE turbines, it is subject to GE’s requirement that all employees be trained in the maintenance of 1.5-MW turbines.
    Similar to the practice of EnXco and NPPD, employing one technician for every six to eight turbines would be suitable for a utility’s in-house maintenance program.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    THAT ain’t going to be cheap …

  155. Re: kadaka (08:09:34)
    Next to last sentence should have ended with “…around only five years”, add the “years” on the end.
    Although apparently the fine readers here are familiar enough with car batteries they knew better, as it’s gone unmentioned.
    One of society’s new skills for the internet age, automatic fill-in-the-blank reading. Works well in conjunction with the automatic spelling-correction and substitute-the-correct-sound-alike-word reading skills.

  156. LarryD-
    I’m glad you highlighted the DOE study of 2016 costs. I use it myself as a starting point. Key point is that wind and solar are intermittent so making a cost comparison with 24/7 reliable nuclear is like comparing apples and oranges.
    Also the DOE numbers for renewables seem to pick the best sites in the country. The ISO-NE study referenced in my comment above shows that in New England in order to integrate wind into the system, it is necessary to add another $100/MWH for transmission and another $70/MWH for storage making the costs:
    Wind (on shore) $320/MWhr
    WInd (off shore) $360/MWhr
    Advanced Nuclear $119.0/MWhr
    Hydro $119.9/MWhr
    Oh–and don’t forget that you lose 25% when you do storage.
    I also find that the capacity factors are too high for the renewables in most part of the country. Solar PV in New England has about 12% Capacity Factor not 21.7% which almost doubles the cost per kWh.
    Solar PV at 12% CF- 692$/MWH ( I took out the 13$ for transmission)
    Note– divide $/MWH by 10 to get cents per kWH. So solar costs 69 cents per kWh compared to your present generation costs of 10 cents/kWh in New England and about 5-6 cents/kWh in the coal states.

  157. DirkH (06:49:47) :
    You ask me:
    “end up with a very different estimate from yours… where is the mistake?”
    I answer that you did not make any mistake. We used different assumptions.
    That part of my lecture was -as it said – providing providing a brief overview of analyses of all existing and potential renewables. And you are querying the calculations on potential for solar power in the UK. As the lecture says, removing solar power from one area to use it in another cools the collection area. Since the purpose of the introduction of renewables in the UK is to avoid climate change, my calculation assumed that the induced cooling should not be detectable and, therefore, should not lower temperature by more than 0.1 K.
    My assumption induces my result. Your result is also true, but ignores the need to avoid climate change.
    Richard

  158. Troels,
    Thanks for your posts which appear to be very informative. However, you describe yourself as a wind energy ‘professional’ so how am I to assess how unbiased you are in what you say?
    Would you state categorically that you have given a ‘realistic’ appraisal in your posts rather than an ‘optimistic’ one?

  159. Several commentators here have discussed if a wind turbine can recover its ‘carbon footprint’.
    No wind turbine can ever recover its ‘carbon footprint’ if used as a supply of electricity to a grid system because emissions from a power station providing ‘back up’ are properly attributed as emissions from the wind turbine.
    An operating wind turbine supplying to a grid system displaces electricity from a thermal power station. Either that thermal power station
    (1) reduces its output so it operates at reduced efficiency
    or
    (2) it operates spinning standby while waiting for the wind to change.
    Operating at reduced efficiency reduces its electricity output and makes little if any reduction to its emissions. Indeed, such part loading may increase (yes, increase) its fuel consumption and, therefore, its emissions.
    Spinning standby consumes fuel and produces emissions but provides no electricity.
    So, WINDFARMS PRODUCE NO USEFUL ELECTRICITY because they merely displace thermal power stations that continue to burn their fuel while waiting for the wind to change.
    And WINDFARMS DO NOT REDUCE EMISSIONS UNLESS NUCLEAR IS USED FOR NORMAL LOAD because the emissions from the displaced thermal power stations are properly attributed to the windfarms while the windfarms are displacing them.
    Richard

  160. John Galt (11:23:32) :
    “GE has lobbied heavily and continues to lobby heavily for subsidies, tax breaks, mandates, etc. Without government interference, their business plan falls apart.”
    As you can see from LarryD (10:40:31)’s EIA numbers, energy produced from wind is more expensive than coal, oil and gas.
    Rhoda R (12:54:44) :
    “How well would an off shore windfarm survive a hurricane or a nor’easter?”
    Most storms would not be an issue.
    _Jim (13:18:53) :
    “Errr, ummm, isn’t that energy actually sold to … Scandinavia”
    It does happens that there is too much wind. When the wind blows in Denmark it is usually also the case for Germany, southern part of Norway and Sweden. Germany also has a hih penetration of wind in their grid so they are not that keen on buying. Transmission capacity to Norway and Sweden is somewhat limited (I think two 600MW cables or something like that). These days the grid operator turns off some of the turbines, and at the same time the price of electricity goes down, why other producers might stop production (free market and all). This happens maybe three days a year, so it is not a situation encountered often.
    “which are much easier to throttle for controlling the voltage and phase stability”
    Most modern turbines have full scale converters. This means that the AC generated by the turbine is converted to DC and then back to AC by power electronics and controlled by a computer. The power electronic can vary the phase angle of the power produced and voltage, hence it works to stabilize the grid. The turbine can be throttled as the operator wants, and at the same time provide fault ride through capability. Even at standstill the converter can still provide a little under half of it’s nominal capacity as reactive power. So turbines act as stabilizers of the grid. Oh, and one turbine might vary a little in production, but 100 very little and 1000 not really significant.
    “(Do you guys post elementary contradictory stuff just to see if we are collectively awake?)”
    I’m sorry. My last comment that you quote was ironic.
    _Jim (13:39:53) :
    “One finds ‘MTBF’ and ‘wind’ power associated in a multitude of Google hits; a quick survey shows them to be substantive as well.”
    What terminology others use, is up to them. The manufacturers I know of does not use MTBF. MTBF tells less than availability, as it does not tell how long the turbine won’t produce energy, and hence it is pretty useless.
    “On the subject of ’service once a year’, ahem, a different story is portrayed in this report titled”
    Go to the manufacturer’s websites and check for your self: GE, Siemens, Suzlon, Vestas, Enercon. Check their product specs. Older turbines may have shorter intervals and I don’t know what turbines the LADWP department owns. They can be thirty years old for what I know. From GEs 2,5MW brochure: “Automatic lubrication systems for the grease-lubricated bearings
    are used to accommodate for a 12-monthmaintenance interval
    under normal operating conditions.”
    Troels

  161. So besides not being reliable enough, a major problem with wind power generation is it is most productive at night, when demand is low.
    Therefore balance it out with solar, which generates during the day. Problem solved.
    As can be clearly seen, in the Green Logic World this makes perfect sense.

  162. “Richard S Courtney (14:21:27) :
    […]
    Since the purpose of the introduction of renewables in the UK is to avoid climate change, my calculation assumed that the induced cooling should not be detectable and, therefore, should not lower temperature by more than 0.1 K.
    My assumption induces my result. Your result is also true, but ignores the need to avoid climate change.”
    Thanks for the clarification, Richard. The coffer dam concept sounds interesting, i didn’t know that one by now!

  163. Troels Halken (15:13:34) :
    “which are much easier to throttle for controlling the voltage and phase stability”
    Most modern turbines have full scale converters. This means that the AC generated by the turbine is converted to DC and

    Troll -er- Troels please save the lecture on elementary items for the likes of sites like Deltoid and/or RC.
    I think we have all seen enough of your ‘writing’ countered; it is a waste of time for both of us, for nearly every ‘point’ I can see a counterpoint (for, you see, WUWT is a collection of working professionals from a wide range of fields, and usually firmly grounded in the hard sciences).
    You may be acquainted with these (power – wind) issues on the surface, on a PR level, but I don’t think you have one actual hour of ‘O & M” experience let alone planning or engineering.
    .
    .

  164. mmmmmmm…..
    Seemed to have woken a few people up. Perhaps I should just make sarcastic comments and leave it at that next time.
    @DirkH I had no idea pumping water was up to 70% effective. I certainly did not mean it was the least effective, just that it was not very effective. As I understand it, there are just not may effective ways to store energy, pumping water up hills seems to be pretty good. As pointed out by another, unless you happen to have your wind farm on the fens, where there is a lot more wind, but then the National Grid should mitigate that issue (although at a loss of energy again).
    Others have asked why we will have to face this issue? Well, until we get solar in space, and solve the transmission problems (yet another challenge), get cheaper nuclear or tap those ‘millions of degrees’ of heat Al Baby tells us is there, we will always face the end of fossil fuels. The supply is limited, by its nature. Sure we don’t fully know how limited yet.
    So we will face some kind of challenge. We have to, that seems to me to be obvious. As I have been informed on another thread, the market will probably solve the issue as soon as fossil fuels become more expensive, be that through misguided taxation or rarity. But challenges we will have to face, whatever happens.
    Oh, and I certainly didn’t say that wind was the only answer. Frankly I am amazed that so many statements I did not make have been attributed to me over this one small and minor comment. I seriously pity those who have message of import and substance, as I can see how easily whatever they say can be misrepresented. Add that to minor mistakes in writing being completely misinterpreted, and Chinese whispers are the only possible result.

  165. Ralph (08:42:33) :

    >>JER0ME (23:42:38) :
    >>I know more than I want to about the subject as my step-father
    >>was chairmain of the BWEA (British) , so I know it is a practical
    >>solution. It is marginally cheaper than nuclear I understand,
    >>and there are ways to handle the load balancing.
    Then your step-father knows very little about the realities of electrical generation and consumption.

    Funny that, as he was to be the head of the former Central Electricity Research Laboratories (CERL) in the UK for many years. I assume however that you know more than him, so I shall bow to your better judgement…..

  166. Troels Halken (09:44:20) :
    Henry chance (06:57:02) :
    “It takes 5 tons of coal to produce each ton of the 200 tons of steel in a tower. The nacelle is 50 tons and means 250 more tons of coal.”

    I never checked the calculation of energy used myself, but lets see if it fits the bill or I have dubious information. To make it easy we assume the turbine is a 2MW and 250 metric tons of steel and do the calculation in co2 (not that i matters, but is seems easy).

    250 tons of steel means that we need to burn 2 times the amount in coal as far as I can see (0,5 if an electric furnace is used according to Tokyo Steel, where did you get 5 tons from?), e.g. 500 tons. It’s of cause more, as we also need to machine the parts, paint them and a lot of other stuff, but the melting of the steel is by far the most energy intensive process. That alone gives us 1430 metric tons of co2 with coal of 78% carbon.
    The turbine being a 2 MW on a normal onshore site with a capacity factor of 0,22. For each kWh is produces, it saves 966 g of co2 compared to coal. So it has to produce electricity equivalent to 1.430.000 kg / 0,966 kg = 1.480.331 kWh before it has made the energy for producing the steel. If the turbine makes 0,22*2.000kW*1h it produces 440 kWh pr. hour and takes 3.364 hours to produce the same energy as went into producing the steel. Or 140 days or a little more than 4 months. This leaves little over 3 months to produce the energy needed to make the rest of the stuff that goes into the turbine. All in all that does not seem so far off.
    Troels

    Trolls. You are either not doing you homework or are not educated.
    You are yammering about the energy used for smelting. People that are clueless on energy shine when they don’t know what they are talking about.
    Recipe for steel.
    Coal or Pet coke plus iron ore PLUS heat equals high carbon steel, slag and ash.
    Ore, coke and limestone are fed into the top of the furnace. The hot air blast and, if PCI is installed, the pulverised coal, are injected through nozzles into the base of the furnace. The pulverised coal injected in this way is used as a less expensive source of carbon and fuel. The molten iron or hot metal are periodically tapped from the bottom of the furnace and taken directly to the Basic Oxygen Furnace. Steel scrap and more limestone are added, and oxygen is blown onto the liquid metal, which is 93-95% pure iron at this stage. The reaction with the oxygen raises the temperature to 1600-1650°C and oxidises the impurities to leave almost pure liquid steel.
    Blast furnaces with PCI require 350-400 kg of coke, made from 525-600 kg of coking coal, plus 100-200 kg of cheaper PCI coal – around 700 kg of coal for each tonne of hot metal produced. Furnaces without PCI use more coke, also equivalent to some 700 kg of coal, but all of it the more expensive coking coal. As each tonne of steel uses approximately 90% hot metal and 10% scrap, about 630 kg of coal is used to produce 1,000 kg of steel.
    Here is where an electric arc furnace can provide the heat source. It can also be high grade coal.
    Limestone is
    CaCO3
    calcium carbonate.
    These wind folks don’t follow chemistry or electrical engineering.
    You do not need to be very strong in education to sell wind turbine energy sources to city commisioners, farmers and politicians. Taking ore thru the Bessimer and LD process to make lower carbon steel uses a lot of coal or pet coke coal substitute. The heat source is where non chemistry people get confused. I know the greenie weenies think wind turbine power is low carbon but they are blind to the steel making process.
    Obviously shooting O2 into the molten product to ignite the molten carbon mixed with the 1,700 degree iron ore gives off mind boggling amounts of CO2. When Joe Romm talks about dirty coal and clean wind energy, he is ignorant about how poluting and dirty the process is to make steel for the towers.
    I will do another post on the economics of down time and maintenance factors and the hidden costs of keeping wind turbines running.

  167. An Emergy Analysis for modern wind turbines reveals their EROEI is about 0.4 maximum, with the probability that it is much less, depending on how much power is required for auxilary systems, and how much power is sucked off
    the grid for free. A farm windmill is 0.03. Modern wind turbines, no matter
    how efficienct they are, cannot be much greater.
    This makes wind power much worse than solar which has an EROEI of 0.48 according to dieoff.org/pv.
    And why not! Any alternative energy scheme that has to be deeply
    subsidized – by definition – has an EROEI of much less than unity.

  168. Henry chance (16:18:09) :
    My field of expertise is not making steel and I never claimed it to be so. I found what i regarded as a reliable source of information (a report from Tokyo Steel) of the co2 produced by making steel, as it was easier that to find how much energy goes into making one ton of steel and made a calculation everyone could follow (and criticize), to see if it was credible that the turbine would make enough energy to be energy neutral within the first 8 months. As I would have liked to avoid all the co2 mumbojumbo. If you have data of how much energy is used, why don’t you provide the number and I’ll redo my calculation without the co2 crap.
    _Jim (15:36:12) :
    “for nearly every ‘point’ I can see a counterpoint ”
    Why haven’t you made them then?

    For both of you guys.
    You resort to ad hominem attacks. If that is the rule for participating in the discussion and trying to bring some knowledge into the wind energy discussion, I see no reason to participate. WUWT prides itself with being after the truth, with open discussion, that you go for the argument and not the man, but I fail to see it in this discussion.
    When people have a predetermined mind and refuse to listen to reason and facts, then there is no point in continuing this.
    Troels

  169. Troels Halken (04:34:34) :

    “this simply means the maintenance costs and manpower required are greater per megawatt than any other energy production source: saying it creates jobs is actually a bad thing in this case because these jobs don’t create revenue (contrast with, say, a retail store or factory).”
    I think you should tell Siemens, GE and all the other companies that provide O&M servies for the wind turbines, that O&M of wind turbines does not generate revenue, cause that will be new to them.
    Do you really think that companies does something for nothing and then you expect other people will believe that? Just how stupid do you think people are?

    Probably less stupid than you for your previous statement that STEEL is a material resource with ‘no carbon foot print’. (Not that that actually means anything)
    Steel is produced from iron ore, requiring 1st a coking plant where coal is converted to coke, then a blast furnace where the iron ore is converted to steel, the grade of which is determined by the amount of coke used in the process.
    I worked in a steel works BTW.
    DaveE.

  170. When people have a predetermined mind and refuse to listen to reason and facts, then there is no point in continuing this.
    Troels

    You do seem to have a predetermined mind. Can you explain if a person with a capacity to “reason” would fly an airplane that had a reliability factor of 20%?
    Would you give real money for a new car that was rated to do 100 miles per hour and sometimes wouldn’t run at all and other times topped at 20 miles per hour? Would you pay 4 million dollars for the biggest highest performing wind turbine and settle for it topping out at 24% performance under ideal conditions?
    I spoke with a friend reliability engineer in electrical at a refinery and they often run near optimal capacity. His electrical equipment runs 24/7 with great intervals between breakdowns.
    Do you know why the wind turbine industry is so reluctant to speak facts regarding actual performance, costs and maintenance?
    I can give you some numbers from Enron wind that was purchased by GE and became GE wind.
    Enron was famous for fudging facts and reports.

  171. That’s odd. This was announced four days ago. The only news coverage appeared 4 hours ago in the small Worthington Daily Globe. No other newspapers in the midwest noticed a power plant project being shutdown/put on hold.

  172. Interesting thread. I’m learning lots of useful info. Thanks to Troels, Henry and other experts for their comments.
    It would be good to get an accurate estimate of the notional time for the turbine to become energy neutral (even though as Richard points out, this is only a notional figure – since the hot standby backup plants will waste more energy than the turbine produces).
    So far we have Troels estimate of 3-4 months. Henry produced some figures that appeared to contradict this but he didn’t produce a revised estimate. Henry – by you’re calculations what will the energy payback period be?

  173. kadaka (08:09:34) :
    You will not find any reference to this turbine technology. I was the “crack-pot” that submitted this technology to Manitoba Hydro which did not go past the engineers the first time as it was thought to be too delicate for hydro power.
    This technology is actually an inverted turbine so that water is split by a slightly concave cone that has blades that turn energy from a verticle to horizontal plane at an agle of optimization. This center is fixed and does not move but it splits the energy and directs it at all 360 degrees. A turbine with 180 blades on the circumference of the circle picks up all the energy working together for the maximum amount of torque. I slightly modified this design when I discovered all the math and science as to why this is so powerful and why the current turbine are actually only 2% efficient at harnessing energy from water. I used “for every action there is an equal opposite reaction” as a guide and angles of deflection to get the maximum energy and efficiency. I could only achieve 78% efficiency of actually harnessing energy due to having to have some space for water to go to after using the energy. I resubmitted this and went past the engineers, CEO and right to the board. Although they were impressed with the technology, they are not in the manufacturing but would be interested when the technology is manufactured.
    I was also the smuck who submitted it to a German manufacturer who is the world supplier. The company stated that although the technology was extremely interesting, the company is content with the current customer base.
    This was 4 years ago and I still bug the Canadian and American government periodically.
    Learning from this turbine allowed me to understand rotation and how density of any mass when moving compresses and holds energy.
    Here is why the current turbines are terrible at picking up energy. As they rotate, the mass or center of balance moves on a molecular level.
    Take a wheel with spokes. On these spokes add a light spring on the spoke. Next add a weight on the side toward the center. When the wheel rotates, the spring compresses with the weight moving it forward. The faster it moves, the more compression and stored energy. When the wheel is allowed to relase on it’s own, the store energy keeps the wheel moving untill all the energy is used up.
    Why is it not patented? I did a patent check to see if anything was like this and there is not. I was also advised not to for two reasons. One China does not abide by patent laws and two India has been known to put blanket patents around a product in case of any new products or modifications.
    Now add this to our understanding of what the theories say how our planet slows and what had energized it. Also works on the sun too.
    So now every physicist and scientist try to ingnore what I have, which is a big piece of science is incorrect.

  174. Why is a prop plane not as fast as a jet?
    The capability is there that it can rotate much faster.
    At some point, the prop actually looses pulling thrust. If you rotated it fast enough, the plane would not move at all, just the prop creating it’s own space.

  175. Andrew F (19:08:45) :
    Interesting thread. I’m learning lots of useful info. Thanks to Troels, Henry and other experts for their comments.
    OK
    We are a long ways from break even. I can offer the numbers of cubic yards to create the base of the turbine for concrete. The steel reinforcement and weight are going very high since the towers are getting taller and heavier.
    Building a ROAD to each tower and preparing a surface to raise the million pound crane is a of of dirt work. More earthmoving equipment.
    http://blog.climateandenergy.org/2010/03/15/newton-ks-wind-turbine-base-manufacturing-possibility-of-400-jobs-by-2014/
    He said the Atlas CTB uses only 250 cubic yards of concrete, compared with standard tower bases that use more than 500 cubic yards of concrete, but Tindall’s design is even stronger.
    Palumbo said the Atlas CTB starts at about $200,000, but customers can recoup their investment over a relatively short period of time from increased profits. And by building up instead of out, they can reduce the amount of land needed for wind farms.
    Lot of money, steel and concrete on the ground. That means 100 truck loads of cement. Lot of diesel fuel to drive 40 miles into the country.

  176. Joe (19:17:43) :
    Interesting….. i dabble in gas expanders/compressors, and i have ideas as far as using centrifugal for lag less valving(its a constant force) But its energy is still coming from the expander… i can use it, but it does create losses(unless i never want the valves to close) I “think” what youre talking about is vibrational loses through imbalance?..and maybe talking about canceling through counter rotation? Or a torque converter style set up?
    Obviously there is a lot of stress on materials caused by it… its what sets the “red line” on spinning stuff in circles before its torn apart atomically(looks spectacular! at least yah know it works kinda when that happens 😉 ) And its the reason why running counter rotating cams etc help in efficiency(reduces loses through vibration) But its not free energy…
    Just with the fact that the wind cant be compressed(unlike hydro) i have problems seeing it getting much more efficient, just because of the material limits on the turbines, yah can only make em so big before they will tear themselves too pieces(and area increase exponentially to radius, so the the bigger the more efficient). But then again, i could well be wrong.

  177. Joe (19:17:43) :
    I do also have to ask if youve built one? It seems to me youve got your design running backwards… as you take energy from the flow of water it slows… but the area increases if you going outwards with the turbine, and the slower flow will work against the quicker speeds of the outter edges of the blades slowing it, causing drag… maybe im imaging it wrong from your description… but it seems to me you are describing a compressor/pump more than and expander.

  178. http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/03/wind-turbines-will-add-up-to-015-c-to.html
    Wind turbines will add up to 0.15 °C to global mean temperature
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics published a new paper by C. Wang and R.G. Prinn (MIT) called
    Potential climatic impacts and reliability of very large-scale wind farms (full text PDF)
    MIT press release
    They look at the effects of the wind turbines on the atmosphere. The wind speed is generally reduced which lowers both the horizontal and vertical heat exchange which is normally responsible for cooling of the surface. As a consequence, the wind turbines produce warming. How much is it?
    A red kite, one of approximately 1 million birds that die in Spain every year because of collisions with wind turbines.
    Their result is kind of impressive. Even if wind turbines produce only 10% of the electricity consumed in 2100, their effect will translate to 1 °C of warming locally but, because of the extended effect of the local changes, it will also add 0.15 °C to the global mean temperature….

  179. Henry Chance
    The amount of CO2 producing concrete used for Turbine bases will be dependent on the ground conditions, surely. The figures I have here submitted as a planning application for 6 Turbines (125m / 410 feet high) Build proposal on the Lincolnshire Fens. Includes 8 x 30 metre by 2 metre Piles (754.24 cu.m) per Turbine. and foundations of (450 cu m) each Turbine. Plus 55 Tonnes of steel per Turbine. Total of 1,204.24 cu m per Turbine (or 2,890 Tonnes, if calculated at 2.4 Tonnes per cubic metre). Not including tracks, additional roads, hard stands, sub station, and overhead cable requirements. Developer estimates 1,952 concrete truck movements. 24,734 diesel powered vehicle movements in total. To build 6x 2mw rated Turbines (12mw in total) area Operational Wind Farm figures suggest they will produce 24% to 26%. So assume 3mw averaged output.

  180. Re: Joe (19:17:43)

    Take a wheel with spokes. On these spokes add a light spring on the spoke. Next add a weight on the side toward the center. When the wheel rotates, the spring compresses with the weight moving it forward. The faster it moves, the more compression and stored energy. When the wheel is allowed to relase on it’s own, the store energy keeps the wheel moving untill all the energy is used up.

    Sounds like a speed control mechanism as applied to a flywheel. Works off the twirling ice skater arms-in arms-out model. On spin-up the arms (weights) are inward, you build up rotational speed. More energy gets stored (increased angular momentum), arms start moving outward, limiting the rise in angular speed. We’ll assume the springs don’t hit maximum compression (end of travel for the weights). On spin-down the arms move inward, allowing the angular speed to be maintained while angular momentum is lost. Finally the arms are completely inward, and the last bit of angular momentum goes away as the wheel slows to a stop.

    (…) This technology is actually an inverted turbine so that water is split by a slightly concave cone that has blades that turn energy from a verticle to horizontal plane at an agle of optimization. This center is fixed and does not move but it splits the energy and directs it at all 360 degrees. A turbine with 180 blades on the circumference of the circle picks up all the energy working together for the maximum amount of torque. (…)

    Ah, got it, sounds like you’re driving a squirrel cage fan attached to a generator. Normally the fan is driven by a motor, and the air sucked into the center where it is flung outwards by the blades and collected by the housing. For your design the cone diverts the flow coming into the center outward into the blades, generating torque that turns the fan and thus the generator it is attached to.
    I have to wonder how you calculated water turbine efficiencies. For example, among impulse turbines the Turgo operates at around 87% efficiency in real world use. For reaction turbines, a common Francis turbine is cited as 90% efficient. With designs such as these, the outflowing water has very little energy left.
    So if you’re going from water that is rushing into the turbine, to water that basically has to be pushed away from the turbine, how do you get 18 times more efficiency than that?

  181. “FYI, Denmark import-export in realtime:…” – it should be added, though, that export often implies (very) low prices, whereas the wind turbine operators are guaranteed a (minimum) production price per unit of electricity. The resulting deficit is paid by the consumers, with the so-called PSO (‘Public Service Obligation’) tax as vehicle.

  182. JEROME
    Sorry, I don’t wish to seem argumentative. But you say….’on the fens, where there is a lot more wind’
    Can you support that statement please? Operational figures for local Wind Farms on the Fens suggest they are operating between 24 and 26% Annually. I believe national average load figures for Britain are in the region of 29.4%? The last monthly figures for an operating Wind Farm Sept 2008 were 16.6%. My own daily records, taken from BBC windfeeds over 18 months locally suggest the wind speeds regularly are very low. And observations of operating Wind Farms daily, reveal them standing idle, very often. (Yesterday for instance.) What we do have though, on the fens, is wind sheer. Which, I understand leads to increased noise. Perhaps explaining some high profile noise complaints from local residents who’s houses are too close. Leading to concerns from many local residents who now find themselves threatened by new developments, equally close, but with larger machines. A proliferation problem (unregulated as to proximaty distances) that BWEA are eager to encourage. But for residents to complain, or object is to invite unfortunate, and less than polite comments. (Sometimes from people who are driving this process, and profiting from it.)

  183. ChrisP (01:30:41) : Plus Backup Generation when the winds not blowing, it sure does add up.

  184. Mike Ewing (20:21:55)
    There is no proto-type. What I did do was create angles of deflection(simular to pool angles to pockets). Pressure flow of water is straight.
    The center blades being fixed, split the flow and curves from horizontal to verticle (simular to the a wringer washer) but angles slightly more. Interestingly enough, at some point, the more you angle, the less effective as now all you are doing is a dog chasing it’s tail. Lining up the angles from a smaller circle(center) to the outer drum type turbine to pick up the energy has to be very close. As you leave more space, the energy lining up with the blades become more disperse and loose the maximum thrust to the blades. The drum type turbine blades have to also be in line with each other as you try to adjust these then, then problem with outer stress and friction would come into effect. So, what I did was concave the blades so that I did not have to cause any outer stress by adjusting the angle of the blades. This then could recieve maximum flow to torque and not drag any parts.
    kadaka (01:38:56)
    Power genertion and turbines have made 3 major errors.
    One. Most turbines use the radius of a circle and some use the diameter of a circle. This is fine when there is no motion involved but, as soon as they start to move, the dynamics are completely different. When rotation is invoved, it becomes a circle within a circle within a circle. Each point of the blade aroung going to the center have a different circumference.
    Two. All turbines have energy going in from the outside circumference. The deflection of the energy interferes with any energy actually hitting the blades.(See angles of deflection).
    Three. The molecular mass of the blades changes as well and becomes heavier to the outer edges with speed.( ie. spoked wheel display)
    Angles of deflection is when the turbine blade is 45 degrees, the angle energy deflects is 90 degrees. When you move the blade, the angles change but the fixed flow does not. The closer energy flow actually interferes with the next and the next. If you draw this on paper, it shows very clearly when you use many lines.
    The efficency rating I use is the direct flow to the angle of energy pushing at 90 degrees. So, 90 degrees of direct flow would be 100% effecient. I could only get 78% of actual energy efficiency.
    The turbine companies use whatever energy does not touch the blade is that efficient. So, a 8% space around the wheel must be 92% efficient.
    Now you can see why the wind turbines are garbage when you add in the angles of deflection along with idle turbine times, etc.

  185. kadaka (01:38:56)
    Have you ever seen the out flow at a dam?
    Massive amount of energy still flowing out.

  186. If the UK government spent the £100billion it currently wants to spend on wind on making the public transport system fast, efficient, cheap and a pleasure to use I am pretty sure they would reduce a lot more c02 than the 100billion on wind turbines and have something to show for it. Instead they put the £100billion on the table for windfarms without discussion and then try and sell a high speed rail link at £4billion. It seems the weightlifter’s mantra is the mantra of the day. If there’s no pain there’s no gain. It is impossible to quantify how much c02 anything saves because as soon as you try you have to make so many assumptions, and value judgements. If energy was lost is the gas backup or the windmill responsible? How much co2 does a tonne of uranium take to mine? Do I use the value of energy now, or do I accept that if I use more uranium today, tomorrow I will have to use lower quality ore which will take more energy, so the c02 footprint of todays mining should take into account tomorrow. Power distribution losses depends on how far from the source the customers are, and their usage patterns. Every component depends on the area where it was manufactured, how you calculate everything. 2 experts can take slightly different assumptions and get wildly different answers, and then argue about it until the end of time.

  187. Do you really think that companies does something for nothing and then you expect other people will believe that? Just how stupid do you think people are?
    The companies are smart enough to get taxpayers to pay handsomely for their folly that is for sure.

  188. I see little advantage in speculating on theories if what a wind turbine can or cannot produce along with it’s installation environmental cost.
    For the former we have numerous case studies and current installations which are (or are not, as the case may be) producing power. Theorizing on how turbines function and their peak efficiency for a given turbine is well established (not saying it couldn’t be improved). Given that, we can determine under what parameters a wind farm will operate and what it will produce – manufacturers, politicians, environmentalists, researchers and scientists are all, basically, lying by overstating the benefits when we have direct evidence to the contrary (this, I believe is the root objection to wind turbines as a viable, if partial, energy source).
    The latter (environmental impact of installation) is irrelevant. Whatever energy source we use – cola, nuclear, solar or wind – all have an installation environmental impact. Financing such an installation, of course, is not irrelevant to the financier, but the line items of installation verses operation need to be balanced essentially an environmental ROI. Again, while there may be a net environmental benefit to wind turbines, it’s hugely overstated, and the collateral environmental damage is downplayed or outright ignored.

  189. Troels
    “Steel in itself is a material and does not have a carbon footprint”
    Troels, that is both a false and unsupported assertion. 250 tons of steel in the tower. 50 tons in the nacelle. How many tons in the reinforsed base/platform?
    Shipping of Iron ore, steel and fabricated parts takes a tremendous amount of truck ton miles. Chemistry class tells us Fe in the form of iron ore is many steps away from steel. I also understand that dehydration of gypsum to make Portland cement is done by natural gas furnaces. 500 to 1,000 cubic meters of cement and aggregate in the base. Offshore sites even more.
    I am sure you are uncomfortible posting with people that see the massive flaws in the wind turbine proponent claims.
    I spend several hundred dollars an hour including set up time and treavel time to call out a mere 60 ton crane to lift my sailboat and put it in the water. It takes the capacity because of the reach. It is used to raise the mast also.
    Tell us what the costs are of 20 semi trucks transporting a 1,000,000 pound crane and assembling it to raise a tower.
    You may also not admit that many time, maintenance calls for a crane to remove a blde, nacelle or major component for repair and replacement. This of course is not only unscgheduled, but good math says we must include the opportunity cost of ungenerated and unsold electricity for the several weeks down time.
    In a coal fired plant or hydro plant, they build overhead trackways and install moveable cranes. Under a roof, they are not delayed by weather.
    Towers are off limits to crane services under many weather conditions.

  190. Troels Halken (15:13:34) :
    John Galt (11:23:32) :
    “GE has lobbied heavily and continues to lobby heavily for subsidies, tax breaks, mandates, etc. Without government interference, their business plan falls apart.”
    As you can see from LarryD (10:40:31)’s EIA numbers, energy produced from wind is more expensive than coal, oil and gas.

    Exactly, but I’m not sure you understand the point. GE spends millions lobbying politicians in order to get special favors, tax breaks, mandates for alternate energy sources, etc., and expects to profit billions from it.
    If wind energy were truly more valuable, why all the government compulsion?

  191. Wind energy ghosts
    Shutdowns
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/wind_energys_ghosts_1.html
    Condor cuisinarts:
    Altamont’s turbines have since 2008 been tethered four months of every year in an effort to protect migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit.
    4 months shutdown I don’t want to wait for 4 months to power up and do laundry. Would you settle for a Toyota in the shop 4 months of the year? Plus court costs?
    I am sure a rational mind would hessitate to deactivate a coal driven generator when all the facts come out.

  192. Siemens fined $10,500 for wind turbine tower collapse that killed worker
    By Shelby Wood
    February 26, 2008, 12:43PM
    The state has fined Siemens Power Generation $10,500 for safety violations related to the Aug. 25 collapse of a wind turbine tower in Sherman County that killed one worker and injured another.
    So little money. Big Wind is dangerous.

  193. Joe (05:05:10) :

    kadaka (01:38:56)
    Have you ever seen the out flow at a dam?
    Massive amount of energy still flowing out.

    No, it is not massive. You cannot get 100% efficiency with a water turbine, because the water has to leave the turbine. If you extracted 100% of all potential mechanical energy then the water would just lay there. But there is new water going into the turbine, the old needs to get out of the way.
    You can design a turbine that is so efficient that at some point as the water flows through it you can say 100% of the potential mechanical energy is extracted, and that would be true if at that point the water magically disappeared. But in reality it is still there and needs to be removed from the turbine, which takes energy, thus you do not hit that 100% mark. To get the most efficiency that point has to be in the turbine, otherwise potentially extractable energy is being allowed to escape. But once it is in, as you move it closer to the inlet you’re just adding unnecessary surface area thus increasing losses.
    With reaction turbine designs the unit is submerged, you do not want air bubbles impeding the water flow. So the old water gets pushed out, with the whole exit path often utilizing the principle of a common plumbing trap to keep the air out (example). With impulse turbine designs the unit does not require submersion, gravity alone can carry away the water provided the outlet is open enough there is no backpressure, however for that to be effective the turbine outlet needs to be higher than the level of where the water is being outputted, which represents a loss of potential energy.
    Of course, your arguments really fall apart with simple economics. A hydroelectric installation can be a huge investment. The investors would like to see that investment paid back quickly so they can rake in the profits. Thus they will go for the most cost-effective design, barring any other engineering concerns like environmental regulations. I’m seeing modern turbine designs with mechanical efficiencies cited around 90%, which are sturdy and require little maintenance. As stated in Joe (04:57:39), your design is calculated at 78% efficiency without a prototype for real-world measurements, and in Joe (19:17:43) you said it used 180 blades at the circumference. If I was an investor, I’d want to hear a lot more as to how your design is so much more superior, and something other than previous designs being somehow so completely wrong that I’d be foolish to invest in proven profitable designs over your own.

  194. Henry chance (06:09:32) :
    “I am sure you are uncomfortible posting with people that see the massive flaws in the wind turbine proponent claims.”
    Not really. There has not been much substantial fact to support such claim and hence it is only an opinion. Mostly wrong information postet by people who have already made up their mind, and does not want to know the real facts:
    EROEI of 0,4
    And GE and Siemems would invest in this, to promote a technology that cannot even make as much energy as goes into making it? And the utilities would keep silent about it, even if they where taking the loss?
    I cannot argue against such nonsense.
    Troels

  195. EROEI of 0,4
    And GE and Siemems (Siemens?)would invest in this, to promote a technology that cannot even make as much energy as goes into making it? And the utilities would keep silent about it, even if they where taking the loss?
    I cannot argue against such nonsense.
    Troels

    Bribes kickbacks and subsidies. Both GE and Siemens relie on massive bribes and inducements from the government.

    Siemens Energy, along with Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson, Hutchinson Mayor Bob Bush, Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce President Dave Kerr and a host of community leaders celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Siemens nacelle assembly facility in Hutchinson, Kansas, today. The 300,000-square-foot wind turbine nacelle facility is scheduled to become operational in fall 2010 and will employ approximately 400 green-collar employees. The plant’s annual planned output will be approximately 650 nacelles – or 1,500 megawatts. Siemens also announced that Gray Construction of Lexington, Kentucky, was selected as the general contractor for the project.

    650 nacelles weight 50 tons each. That is a massive carbon footprint for trucking to sites.
    How about over 20 million dollars from Stimulus spending, tax cuts, subsidies, rail spurs, revenue bonds and land plus construction.
    Exxon pays 100 billion in taxes and Siemens and GE get to spend it.
    Wind turbine power is extremely expensive.
    GE was the reciever of the largest chunk of Tarp spending. So they can finance these money losing wind farms. Wind energy is a bad investment. The problem is it is so highly subsidized, they have no incentive to become more efficient. The only efficiency is lobbying. Got to keep up with China.
    Jan 28, 2010 … Siemens has factories that make rotor blades and nacelles for wind turbines in
    Hutchison, Kansas, and Fort Madison, Iowa. … That plant has been selected by
    DOE for a loan guarantee of up to $2.5 billion. …
    Bad projects need guarantees. Siemens won’t risk their money on the deal.
    It takes a lot of booze and parties to impress the politicians.

  196. Widespread corruption was exposed at Siemens Investigations in more than a dozen countries revealed that the concern was operating a system of cash handouts totalling an estimated €1.3bn in return for contracts. Only last year the company agreed to pay more than $1.6bn to settle the US and German investigations.
    I understand the US DOE is sending this company 2.5 billion for new sources of power.
    Poor Charles the Moderator hasn’t told us if BIG OIL sent him a Birthday card.

  197. “Bribes kickbacks and subsidies.”
    Yeah. A big conspiracy between the big capital and the green and the liberals and the utilities and the engineers and the economists and the finance boys and the service personnel and the doughnut lady to raise taxes, extend government and exploit Joe average…
    I should have seen that coming.
    Troels

  198. Troels Halken (15:36:35) :
    OK.
    Let’s take away the subsidies!
    You and some others seem to think it’s economically viable, let’s find the truth!
    DaveE.

  199. kadaka (11:10:27) :
    You cannot get 100% efficiency with a water turbine, because the water has to leave the turbine. If you extracted 100% of all potential mechanical energy then the water would just lay there. But there is new water going into the turbine, the old needs to get out of the way.
    Yes, so you need an air space on the housing side of the turbine so no back friction can possibly slow the massive torque being created. But as soon as the energy is used, water will start to re-energize itself with energy by gravity as it falls.
    Now if one turbine has the capacity to replace 18 would you not think one part would be far cheaper to replace than 18? The life of the part should last the same as there is far less corrupted friction acting on this design. Mind you one chunk of debris would blow it apart so a debris screen would be needed.

  200. Joe (18:04:02) :
    (…) Mind you one chunk of debris would blow it apart so a debris screen would be needed.

    Then I look at the Wikipedia images of turbine runners that have endured decades of service despite the occasional debris chunk…
    So after many centuries of basic human greed trying to wring every last cent possible out of “free” water energy, you are asking me to believe: all these designers had the physics wrong; all the figures for mechanical efficiency are wrong; there is 18 times more energy available; and suddenly you have come up with an idea that is so revolutionary that it can make the hydroelectric operators tons of extra profits, yet none are interested.
    Plus, water turbine technology can readily be scaled up or down. You could have had made a benchtop prototype that you could have tested for real-world efficiency and had as a demonstration unit. Yet despite being so passionate about your design, so certain of its breakthrough game-changing potential, you never did. You do however have a design on paper that you calculated at 78% efficiency, while Wikipedia has articles on proven designs with real-world yields of over 90% efficiency.
    Thus I shall be compassionate, gracious, and only presume you have been deliberately leading me on with false figures and unreal-yet-scientific-sounding descriptions for some sort of personal amusement, just “yanking my chain.” I don’t want to play that game, so I am done here.

  201. Troels Halken
    You say in an earlier post…
    ‘Most storms would not be an issue’
    ….So, please tell me about the storms that would be an issue?!
    You say…
    ‘Wind power has a high investment and low operating costs. That means that if the turbine is produced in the country, the money we pay for our electricity for the most part stay here.’
    …So that will be Denmark then?
    and you say….
    ‘For fossil fuel plants, a high part of the electricity price is made of up of the cost of fuel, and this of cause goes to the country where that have been bought.’
    ….So, in Britain, that will mean burning coal, and gas made from coal?….
    ‘I hope this clears up a few things’
    ….Yes, I think you cleared that up very nicely, thank you

  202. kadaka (01:25:08) :
    You have not done your homework.
    How does the power generating companies come up with the efficiency figure?
    Power generating turbines are over 150 years old.
    Follow the time trail….
    My efficiency figure is simple with the direct correlation to “for every action there is an equal opposite reaction”. The figure are directly off of how much deflection on the angle to turn the turbine with direct energy.

  203. >>>Troels Halken (10:29:50) :
    >>Ralph (07:50:42) :
    >>“Try running a 24/7 society with that kind of power system.”
    >>Well, with 20% it runs fine here. And a lot of people know a
    >>lot about the Danish energy system it seems.
    No it does not. That was the whole point of this report on Danish windpower.
    http://www.thomastelford.com/journals/DocumentLibrary/CIEN.158.2.66.pdf
    Denmark has NEVER USED ANY OF ITS WINDPOWER – it sells it to Scandinavia instead, as they can integrate this unreliable, intermittent power with hydropower.

  204. Here is a quote from the ThomasTelford report just mentioned (08:39:00)
    “However, as this paper reveals, Denmark is exporting most of its wildly fluctuating wind power to larger neighbours while finding other solutions for supply and demand at home. “
    In other words, Denmark cannot use any of its unreliable windpower, and is resorting to greater use of fossil fuels to plug the gap.
    That is why Danish electricity is so expensive. Denmark is having to subsidise expensive windpower, that it then sells to Scandinavia for less that the price of fossil fuels. So the Danish pay three times for their electricity.
    They pay for the fossil fuel plants.
    They pay for windelecs that they never use.
    They pay for the windelec electricity to be exported to Scandinavia at way below production costs.
    To which the Swedes say ‘tack’ (thank you).
    .

  205. >>>Oh–and don’t forget that you lose 25% when you do storage.
    Its worse than that, he’s dead Jim.
    If you propose storage of windpower, you not only lose 25% of the energy, you have to pay for another complete storage/generating system (in fact two or more systems, to cover for extra days without wind). You also have to double or treble the number of windelecs, to enable the excess of supply that can be stored in the first place.
    Since the cost of a pumped storage system is about triple that of a conventional fossil fuel plant, and a windelec is also about triple, the total costs begin to escalate alarmingly.
    We need:
    Windelecs at 3x cost
    Extra wind elecs for storage at 6x cost
    Storage system at 6x cost
    Thus the power of a wind-storage system is about 15x the cost of a fossil plant (if you could find enough hills). And this would only supply us for two or three days without wind power, not the 30 days we may need to cover.
    .

  206. >>kadaka (15:17:19) :
    >>a major problem with wind power generation is it is most
    >>productive at night, when demand is low.
    >>Therefore balance it out with solar, which generates during the day.
    >>As can be clearly seen, in the Green Logic World this makes perfect sense.
    Not sure if this post was supposed to be ironic or not. But the main problem with Green Logic, is that during a winter anticyclone, there is often no wind and no Sun.
    Problem most certainly still with us.
    .

  207. Watch the electric being exported from Denmark
    http://www.energinet.dk/Integrationer/ElOest/ElsystemetLigeNu/energinet1.swf
    But the windmils satisfy the posers.
    I realize the Sierra Club and the enviro extremists will attack wind turbine power very soon. 4 months shut down per year in California during bird migrations. If Troels claims to be a wind turbine professional, he will have 4 months Holiday.
    Please enjoy this link. It covers the story of broken turbines and dead wind farms.
    As soon as too many fail, the operators leave the mess to rust and eventually they will fall down. For an expensive premium, the peddlers sell 2-5 year maintenance contracts on new equipment. In a few years, the breakdown raates start climbing. A non producling free wheeling tower looks just like a producing turbine.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/wind_energys_ghosts_1.html
    The gold rush was replaced with a wind rush and now we see a wind bust.

  208. Joe (03:29:05) :
    You have not done your homework.

    Well that’s a spurious charge. I’ve been studying up on water turbines for days now, starting with the main Wikipedia water turbine article, branching to the many additional articles on the numerous turbine designs, including water wheels which are not normally thought of as turbines, as well as sources outside of Wikipedia.
    How does the power generating companies come up with the efficiency figure?
    Very simply, you can read up on it yourself. It’s basic physics.
    We are examining primarily potential energy. For there to be potential mechanical energy as we are considering, there must be a force that is trying to accelerate a mass acting over a certain distance. Acceleration is distance over time squared. For surface of the Earth calculations we use a standard gravity for the acceleration. Energy units are mass times (distance squared) over (time squared), as is seen in the famous E=mc^2. Of the available energy that a turbine could extract, there could be a pressure difference as with dams, kinetic energy as in the flowing water of a river, or a height difference.
    Work done is denoted as the negative of the potential energy change, when you lower something you have removed potential energy therefore you have done negative work, but that is usually a “keep in mind” notation you ignore for simple calculations.
    Power is the rate that work is done, change in energy over time, how fast a block is lowered from a height for example.
    For a fluid you calculate with the rate of flow (volume over time), multiply by the density (mass over volume) to get mass moved over time. Multiply by a standard gravity. The last term multiplied in is head, expressed as distance. Head is a calculated value which incorporates the potential sources of energy, as in the incoming pressure, the natural speed of the water (applicable for waterwheels as opposed to dams drawing water from under the surface), and the distance the water will drop. It represents the potential energy available if a mass were to freefall in vacuum while acted on by a standard gravity, thus it is in the simple unit of distance.
    The final result is available power.
    At this point, the turbine becomes a black box. Design does not matter. Water of this amount of available power goes into the black box, from the black box this amount of power is generated, generated divided by available yields efficiency.
    Thus I know your claims of “18 times the power” are bunk, and do not care about how you determined how inefficient current designs are as that is all obviously nonsense. This amount of power is available, this amount is generated, from that we find modern water turbines are yielding efficiencies around 90%. And you are claiming a calculated 78% for your design without a prototype and real-world testing.
    Power generating turbines are over 150 years old.
    Even older than that. Human beings, greedy little buggers that we are, have been trying to wring out the maximum profit from water for ages. Marginal improvements are being made using computer modeling and similar state-of-the-art technologies, but otherwise it is a very mature technology based on long-standing time-tested scientific principles. Thus the possibility of breakthrough discoveries is very low, and “18 times the power!” is impossible for a mere mechanical turbine.
    If you are serious about your claims, then do what countless inventors have done for ages, take your own money, go get the benchtop model made (if you can’t do it yourself), and prove your claims. Until then you are just blowing smoke, and not moving water.

  209. Troels Halken:
    I genuinely appreciate your attempts to present the case for windpower here. A more balanced debate would have been more helpful to ‘uncommited’ onlookers. Without your input this would hve been a completely unbalanced discussion, and I regret that others have not supported you so the discussion could have been less one-sided than it has been.
    I especially appreciate your patience in debating some who have been less than courteous to you. Your responses to them display admirable forebearance.
    Thank you.
    However, the most severe argument(s) against windpower were from me. And you have not addressed them.
    I copy them here to avoid your having to find them above.
    I first presented them at
    Richard S Courtney (04:15:31) on 16.03,2010 :
    where I said:
    “Those with an interest in windpower – and other real and potential – ‘renewables’ for power generation may want to read my item at
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/courtney_2006_lecture.pdf
    Windfarms are expensive, polluting, environmentally damaging, bird swatters that make NO reduction to emissions from a grid-distributed power system and provide NO USEFUL electricity to such a system.”
    And I stressed my substantive point and explained it at
    Richard S Courtney (15:08:22) :
    saying:
    “Several commentators here have discussed if a wind turbine can recover its ‘carbon footprint’.
    No wind turbine can ever recover its ‘carbon footprint’ if used as a supply of electricity to a grid system because emissions from a power station providing ‘back up’ are properly attributed as emissions from the wind turbine.
    An operating wind turbine supplying to a grid system displaces electricity from a thermal power station. Either that thermal power station
    (1) reduces its output so it operates at reduced efficiency
    or
    (2) it operates spinning standby while waiting for the wind to change.
    Operating at reduced efficiency reduces its electricity output and makes little if any reduction to its emissions. Indeed, such part loading may increase (yes, increase) its fuel consumption and, therefore, its emissions.
    Spinning standby consumes fuel and produces emissions but provides no electricity.
    So, WINDFARMS PRODUCE NO USEFUL ELECTRICITY because they merely displace thermal power stations that continue to burn their fuel while waiting for the wind to change.
    And WINDFARMS DO NOT REDUCE EMISSIONS UNLESS NUCLEAR IS USED FOR NORMAL LOAD because the emissions from the displaced thermal power stations are properly attributed to the windfarms while the windfarms are displacing them.”
    I would greatly appreciate your explaining why you think windfarms have any economic, environmental or practical benefit for power generation when their only effects are
    (a) to displace thermal power stations to operate at reduced efficiency or onto spinning standby whilst waiting for the wind to change
    (b) to cover countryside in concrete for the turbines’ foundations and the roads to access them, and
    (c) to increase the costs of delivered electricity.
    Richard

  210. Ralph (09:04:29) :
    Not sure if this post was supposed to be ironic or not. But the main problem with Green Logic, is that during a winter anticyclone, there is often no wind and no Sun.
    Problem most certainly still with us.

    Sad part is, I really have read it suggested that the nighttime wind generation peak can be balanced with daytime solar.
    Just wait until we have the Whole World Power Grid, which will be brought to us, could only be brought to us, by the coming all-inclusive world government. Then we can go all-solar, as the sunny side of the planet can supply the power for the darker side, and all our power needs will be forever taken care of. I myself once proposed online the worldwide grid solar solution. I was taken seriously. It is worse than we thought.

  211. Joe (03:29:05) :
    In regards your design… you arnt taking into account line drag… by adding more blades you are increasing surface friction on the water, thats why water turbines have greater clearances than gas turbines… and i will also have to point out again you have your design running backwards… the outter edge on a disc will be moving faster than the inner part of a disk at the same rpm obviously… Now if you are taking energy from moving water/gas it will slow, thus if you are running it from the inside out, it will work against itself. You need to run the water in your exhaust and out your inlet.
    Inventing stuff is great fun…but the design is only a small part of it… its the build, and experimentation from there is where you learn from… You should get yourself a steel mill, with a rotary indexer, and a lathe. Its a lot o fun, you wont regret it.

  212. Oh also to put things in perspective, the biggest wind turbine in operation today is 7mw… the bigger hydro generators(not hydro station, but single generator) is 700mw… now im sure people understand how efficiency o scale works??? Yah looking at one hundred more bearings turbines and generators… to produce the same power… sometimes.
    Fast breeder reactors are the answer to all our problems, there is no doubt in my mind that they will be what humanity turns to in time for our baseload power generation, but at the moment we have the luxury to play with lil curiosities while we have fossil fuels really supplying us.
    im sure solar has great potential in some areas, but it is too dependent on latitude to be a blanket cure.

  213. Re: Ralph (08:59:17)

    (…)
    If you propose storage of windpower, you not only lose 25% of the energy, you have to pay for another complete storage/generating system (in fact two or more systems, to cover for extra days without wind). You also have to double or treble the number of windelecs, to enable the excess of supply that can be stored in the first place.
    Since the cost of a pumped storage system is about triple that of a conventional fossil fuel plant, and a windelec is also about triple, the total costs begin to escalate alarmingly.
    (…)

    At this point wind technology can overlap with water technology and possibly make wind profitable.
    After days of studying various water turbines I am quite familiar with the similarity between the runner of a reaction turbine and the impeller of a high-efficiency pump. Wikipedia cites a Francis turbine as being capable of pumping by running in reverse, for example.
    So first you have an existing hydroelectric dam using a suitable turbine driving a generator that can switch over and function as a motor, and relatively nearby you set up a wind farm. When the wind is blowing, at low levels you can start to offset the water power, reduce the dam’s output. When there is enough wind power to cover the load plus excess, then the dam goes into reverse and fills the reservoir.
    There may be problems with the pairing. The downstream river would be an important issue, at a certain draw the river will start running backwards and then go dry. That can be handled with a double-dam double-reservoir setup, have a small reservoir below the main one. You could even place turbines in that dam to catch some more energy from the big dam’s releases when the small one is full.
    Another would be responsiveness to wind changes. With large turbines, thus a lot of mass in the runner, it takes a while to slow them down and reverse direction, especially if you are trying to not stress the components by using the generator/motor for fast braking. Well, if it is a large enough dam that it has more than one turbine, and you’re throttling back the output anyway, you can have one or more on “Reverse/Standby” while the rest function normally. You can likely alter the turbine output quickly enough to respond to wind changes. Offhand it doesn’t seem to make sense to be filling and draining a reservoir at the same time, there will be losses, but it will yield a quick responsiveness whose expense could possibly be justified.
    Thus for relatively little additional cost, with very careful site selection, you can have wind power with pumped storage that will accommodate very long periods without sufficient wind.
    None of this really does anything to displace an existing fossil fuel plant that the dam itself doesn’t do, which will drive the greenies mad. However…
    Look! Over there! It’s cost-efficient wind power! Isn’t it shiny? Yes, you like the shiny, don’t you?

  214. If we’re talking pumped storage, why not have the wind turbine drive a pump directly?
    Losses have to be less than generating electricity to drive a pump electrically!
    DaveE.

  215. David Alan Evans (15:41:25) :
    If we’re talking pumped storage, why not have the wind turbine drive a pump directly?
    (…)

    Losses in the pumping, losses in using the previously pumped water for power generation. While as proposed is a simpler system, then you always have those losses. If power from the turbine is fed to the grid and also to the storage, then you only have the portion going to storage creating those losses.
    After a detailed cost-benefit analysis, figuring in the expected lifespan of equipment, maintenance, and how important a smooth flow of current as found using only the pumped storage generator would be… Ah heck, guess it could go either way as to which is preferred.
    Oh wait, scratch that. Now I get your meaning with the second part added in:
    Losses have to be less than generating electricity to drive a pump electrically!
    First question, where is the pump? Up on the tower, just the prop running a pump? Then the pump has to suction the water up there, a major effort. Losses over long reaches of piping, and the headache of piping period. Then there is the temperature. Pumped storage uses plain water, not an antifreeze mix. While “moving water does not freeze,” of course at some point the wind stops blowing. What then? It’s cold up there. Will you have pipe heaters running the length of the system? Or a system that keeps a minimum amount of heated water circulating?
    Is the pump on the ground? You can have a gearbox on the tower driving a vertical shaft. And as high as they mount those things, that’d be a major hassle, with many bearing units where many short shaft sections are loosely coupled together (probably splined sections to allow for vertical movement) as the weight of a whole shaft is too much to bear, it’d bend from its own weight. Many mechanical losses.
    Electric generator driving an electric pump really is best for those circumstances.

  216. kadaka (14:48:58) :
    You say:
    “Look! Over there! It’s cost-efficient wind power! Isn’t it shiny? Yes, you like the shiny, don’t you?”
    I agree.
    I have often said that windfarms have the same primary purpose as the Great Wall of China. People think I am joking when I say this, but I am completely serious about it.
    The Great Wall had a tertiary purpose of military defence. But anyone who has seen it recognises that the Wall is much more than was required for that.
    Its secondary purpose was military deterence: potential invaders seeing the Wall would wonder what resources they would face if they were to get past the Wall and meet those who could build, maintain and man something so immense as the Wall.
    Its primary purpose was political propoganda. The Great Wall is large, tall, covers hill tops over great distances and so can be seen from large areas. Every time those inside the Wall looked up they were reminded that the Emperor was so powerful that he could build the Wall, maintain it, man it, and take taxes off them to pay for all that.
    Windfarms are large, tall, cover hill tops over great distances so can be seen from large areas. Every time those inside a windpowered country look up they are reminded that their government is so ‘green’ that it can build the windfarms, maintain them, man them, and take taxes off those who see them to pay for all that.
    So, I genuinely think that governments will continue to subsidise windfarms until an alternative and equally obvious propoganda statement is found for governments’ to display their ‘green’ credentials.
    Richard

  217. PS There were three Chinese dynasties that built Great Walls. They each were overthrown because they were bankrupted by the costs of maintaining the Walls.

  218. kadaka (16:46:59) :
    Your second option, pump driven on the ground would be my choice. I would suggest that the mechanical problems you propose would be minor compared to the losses in converting mechanical energy to electrical energy & back.
    DaveE.

  219. kadaka (11:42:58) :
    You still did not find HOW they had created the efficiency of a turbine.
    All the rest you said is how much electrical power can be produced.
    Also your physics is incorrect if you do not add ALL factors to why the turbines we use right now are garbage.
    No use trying to show you things that you cannot comprehend as your mind is set on all answers come from wikapedia and it must be 100% correct.

  220. Scrub my previous.
    My brain is befuddled.
    The wind turbine obviously has to be at the TOP of the hill.
    Mechanical is a non-starter
    DaveE.

  221. Re: Joe (18:55:28)
    Ah yes, the lonely desperate cry of the wounded eccentric inventor. “You’re not even listening to my brilliant explanations! Forget it, you are incapable of understanding my sheer genius!”
    Build the prototype, take measurements, demonstrate how wonderful it is. And stop pitching it to the major hydro outfits, they get nervous with anything lacking a proven track record. The technology should scale, there are plenty of small applications out there (small hydro, micro hydro, even pico hydro). The big boys won’t touch it, but there are lots of little guys who can be persuaded, and from there you can build a record of proven performance that the large players will eventually notice as you scale up to larger projects.
    PS: Consider low to no maintenance a necessity, make sure your product has that.

  222. kadaka (22:28:16) :
    You still did not get it.
    Every Hydro Electric Turbine harness energy in balk and miss a massive amount of energy.
    I have split the energy and harness it individually.
    The turbine system I created is just 2 pieces. Split enery and focus it and harnessing.
    Since your laziness into actually wanting to really understand turbines by just using the web, you have missed a great deal of detailed information that a book from the library can bring.
    Do you think the engineers and CEO Brennan at Manitoba Hydro are idiots in their field?
    Just because you research a few days on wikapedia, you have become an expert.
    Also which micro hydro company is big enough to have an R&D budget?
    That is why they copy off the big boys. So no matter if I did a proto-type, I have no manufacturer to bring it to.

  223. Richard S Courtney
    I agree, like the great wall. Or possibly, like Menhirs and Henges? Particularly when they stand idle, and in that they seem to serve another purpose, not altogether obvious to non believers.

  224. >>kadaka (14:48:58) :
    >>At this point wind technology can overlap with water technology
    >>and possibly make wind profitable.
    Not feasible – not enough hills. What does Holland do? What does the UK do – especially in England?
    Britain has no hills left available for damming, without severe disruption to communities and loud complaints by the Green lobby (yes, them again). And even if we did create some more dams, their output would be piddling in comparison with our energy requirements. – – Especially, if the Greens want electric vehicles, which would treble our electrical demand.
    BTW, I have said this before, and will say it again – electrical vehicles plugged into a fossil-fuel powered grid burn more oil and create more emissions than a good European diesel car (not an American gas-guzzler, of course)
    .

  225. >>ChrisP (03:41:25) :
    >>(Windelecs) like Menhirs and Henges? Particularly when
    >>they stand idle, and in that they seem to serve another
    >>purpose, not altogether obvious to non believers.
    Ah, yes. Sacred totems to Mother Earth that we are supposed to dance around, naked. That is what they are for….
    .

  226. From Joe (02:21:05) :
    Do you think the engineers and CEO Brennan at Manitoba Hydro are idiots in their field?
    You must think so, since according to you they are passing up on a great opportunity to make many times their current profits.
    Also which micro hydro company is big enough to have an R&D budget?
    That is why they copy off the big boys.

    Water turbine technology scales up and down in size. Do you think the commercially-successful designs all had their very first working example ever made be a full-size unit that the entire success of a major hydro project depended on?
    So no matter if I did a proto-type, I have no manufacturer to bring it to.
    And without a working prototype to back up your claims, it’ll be tough finding a manufacturer who’ll even be willing to talk to you. Your theories matter less than a working example yielding real verifiable numbers. Investors can have only a passing interest in how something works, they care that it does work and it will make them money.
    Welcome to the world of the independent inventor. If you trust your design, you will build the prototype. If you cannot then locate a big investor, and you can successfully scale it down, go entrepreneur, build and sell it yourself until you can get an investor.
    Until you build it, I see no real evidence you yourself even trust your own work. And neither will any potential investors.

  227. Re: Ralph (06:16:40)
    It is possible, most practical with an existing hydroelectric dam near a good site for wind (around the rim of the reservoir perhaps)…
    Remember, we’re in Green Logic World. First you show that it might work, then you build it on the sure hope it will work…
    Then you decide it was not a colossal failure, likely has green healthy benefits for Mother Earth that make it worthwhile anyway, and build another!

  228. >>kadaka (08:16:06) :0)
    >>It is possible, most practical with an existing hydroelectric dam
    >>near a good site for wind (around the rim of the reservoir perhaps)…
    Do you know haw many hydro plants there are in the UK? They would not power one city.
    .

  229. Ralph:
    You make a sarcastic comment at (06:42:49) on 19.03.2010 in response to ChrisP (03:41:25) on 19.03.2010 .
    But ChrisP was supporting my post at (17:14:18) on 18.03.2010 that concluded:
    “So, I genuinely think that governments will continue to subsidise windfarms until an alternative and equally obvious propoganda statement is found for governments’ to display their ‘green’ credentials.”
    Other than sarcasm, I wonder if you have any response to the argument that provides that conclusion.
    Please note that the conclusion is in the light of my question to Troels Halken (that he seems not to have not noticed twice) and I summarised at (11:45:13) on 18.03.2010. I explicitly stated the point – having explained it – in that post when I wrote:
    “I would greatly appreciate your explaining why you think windfarms have any economic, environmental or practical benefit for power generation when their only effects are
    (a) to displace thermal power stations to operate at reduced efficiency or onto spinning standby whilst waiting for the wind to change
    (b) to cover countryside in concrete for the turbines’ foundations and the roads to access them, and
    (c) to increase the costs of delivered electricity.”
    Richard

  230. Ralph (08:05:10) :
    Do you know haw many hydro plants there are in the UK? They would not power one city.

    Yup.
    We’re not directly disagreeing on anything here. We both know the wind schemes are impractical. I’m just an inventive troubleshooting-type tech-minded person who automatically strings together things in ways that may make sense, even when not that obvious.
    I’m stating it is possible in principle to have profitable wind power that way. If you are really going to go ahead anyway, this looks like your best shot at making it work. And… that’s pretty much all I was saying.

  231. We are in Ontario and our provincial gov’t has sold our province out to turbines companies. 3 projects have been approved in our small community approx. 15 turbines. We are preparing for appeals. If you have any suggestions please forward your opinions. It would be a dream come true to have our projects cancelled.

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