Wind Energy Is Extraordinarily Expensive And Inefficient

 

Press Release
London, 6 August: The Global Warming Policy Foundations has warned policy makers that wind energy is an extraordinarily expensive and inefficient way of reducing CO2 emissions. In fact, there is a significant likelihood that annual CO2 emissions could be greater under the Government’s current wind strategy than under an alternative Gas scenario.

Professor Gordon Hughes (University of Edinburgh), on behalf of the GWPF, has also assessed the likely impact of wind power on household energy bills.

In his economic analysis, submitted by the GWPF to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee, Prof Hughes concludes that meeting the Government’s target for renewable generation would increase households electricity bills by 40-60% by 2020. 

The necessary investment for this Wind scenario would amount to about £124 billion. The same electricity demand could be met from 21.5 GW of combined cycle gas plants with a capital cost of £13 billion – the latter option is cheaper by an order of magnitude.
According to Professor Hughes, “the average household electricity bill would increase from £528 per year at 2010 prices to a range from £730 to £840 in 2020 under the Mixed Wind scenario. These figures amount to increases of 38% to 58% in the average household bill relative to the baseline under the Gas scenario. The equivalent ranges for the other scenarios are 29-46% for the More Onshore Wind scenario and 40-62% for the Future Offshore Wind scenario.”

“The key problems with current policies for wind power are simple. They require a huge commitment of investment to a technology that is not very green, in the sense of saving a lot of CO2, but which is certainly very expensive and inflexible. Unless the current Government scales back its commitment to wind power very substantially, its policy will be worse than a mistake, it will be a blunder,” Professor Hughes said.

The GWPF’s submission to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change public evidence session on the Economics of Wind Power Committee is available here: Gordon Hughes: The Impact of Wind Power On Household Energy Bills.
Professor Gordon Hughes

Dr Gordon Hughes is a Professor of Economics at the University of Edinburgh where he teaches courses in the Economics of Natural Resources and Public Economics. He was a senior adviser on energy and environmental policy at the World Bank until 2001. He has advised governments on the design and implementation of environmental policies and was responsible for some of the World Bank’s most important environmental guidelines. Professor Hughes is the author of the GWPF reports The Myth of Green Jobs and Why is wind power so expensive?

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The wind lobby will go to extraordinary lengths to dupe the public. There’s a ton of money to be made. http://nzwindfarms.wordpress.com/

oldseadog

I bet you anything that MSM will ignore this.

aquix

Great, another report concluding what we have known for years. How many reports are needed to end this non-sense is the thing I want to know.

Ken cole

At last someone talks sense but will the politicians listen? I doubt it
kayelsea

viejecita

I hate windmills, not only for the obvious economic and aesthetic reasons, but even more because anyone living near them is going to suffer all kinds of mental stress related illnesses, depressions etc, and have a great risk of going deaf.
I hope they get out of the picture for good.

Just what I said three years ago. Wind will be a huge mistake with lasting environmental consequences. Another “good” idea that does incredible damage until people wake up.

As a Swede I must say, this article is pure bullshit! 😉
Here in Sweden the costs for wind energy is very low, as most of the wind power plants are built besides, or very close to, where we already have water power plants. So, most of all around costs are already covered by that. It would be very stupid not to build wind energy plants here. Give me a good reason why Sweden should pay a lot of money to other countries for gas, when we can have cheap energy from our own resources? No, I thought so, you couldn’t. So, my bullshit comment was correct.

Maybe this will help them stop the wind farm scheduled for Long Island sound. Teddy Kennedy would be happy. The people in Nantuckette don’t want it either. Not in their backyard policy @ work in the North East. How hypocritical of those N.E. liberals though.

joeblack25

Subsidies for wind farms are currently being vigorously debated in the UK:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9453986/Clegg-confirms-Coalition-rift-over-green-policies.html

gallipolik

Just get Al Gore and switch steam engine–Gore has enough hot air to power the entire earth for centuries.

Gail Combs

And the “herding” of the Sheeple continues.
Put that article in perspective.
As one commenter stated Natural gas was discovered under the North Sea in the 1960’s and Fracking technology is also about that old.
Shell Oil wants to push natural gas. Ged Davis, the Shell Oil VP who wrote the Sustainability Scenarios for the IPCC shows this in the “Sustainable Development (B1)” part of the February, 1998 Climategate e-mail which asks for comments on the attachment: “Draft Paper for the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios” by Ged Davis
To quote from the Sustainable Development (B1) section:

“…The impact of environmental concerns is a significant factor in the planning for new energy systems. Two alternative energy systems, leading to two sub-scenarios, are considered to provide this energy:
1. Widespread expansion of natural gas, with a growing role for renewable energy (scenario B1N). Oil and coal are of lesser importance, especially post-2050. This transition is faster in the developed than in the developing countries…”
http://forkbomb.org/cmail/mail/0889554019.txt

No wonder Shell Oil (and BP) have been pushing global warming since day one when they provided the initial funding for the Climate Research Unit of East Anglia. It will be a real money maker. Tear out the old infrastructure and replace with Natural gas, Solar and Wind. Then get rid of Solar and Wind after raking in the government grants because they were never more than a blind to dupe the environuts out of their money. A new twist on ‘the broken window fallacy’ where the entire country has to shell out to pay for replacing the ‘window’ the energy sector is so busy breaking.
If you dig you find Enron, BP, Shell, the other oil/energy companies, the World Bank and financiers threaded through out the whole mess. It has been nothing more than smoke and mirrors to bilk the tax payers and consumers out of more wealth.

Drakvag:
Nice try, but you inadvertently proved the point of the article. First, define “expensive”. Are you counting how much money it takes to build and maintain the turbines which is covered by the government? In Sweden, does “paid by taxes” mean “free” like it does in the US? Important thing to know. Second, you are already using a renewable energy–we call it hydro. We don’t call it renewable here in the states because we can’t get government subsidies for it like we can for wind and solar. So your necessary backup for wind power is already a renewable. I suppose you really don’t understand that you just paid for two types of renewable power instead of one since you never actually see what it costs. So the wind covers when the water runs out??? If not, you are indeed buying two sources of energy where one was fine. Lastly, your assumption that people who oppose wind are all for coal and gas power is completely wrong and shows how little understanding you have of this issue. Opponents of wind do not believe there are no alternatives to gas and oil, only that wind and solar are such such alternatives.

Gail Combs

DARN, my computer is STILL dropping packets so to close

Peppe Eng

Drakvag – you really should catch up on your reading and understanding of how the windmills of our time is financed. And yes, I’m also from Sweden.

ursus augustus

In response to Drakvag, I can see your point and Sweden’s geography may be very wind friendly. In most other places that is not the case, wind plants are built in remote areas well removed from other energy infrastructure so a lot of additional infrastructure must also be built in remote/rural areas.That is the case in Australia and the overall capital cost is ridiculous. Wind power requires a lot more capital per KW capacity than Gas/Coal/Nuclear/Hydro and that capital is sucked away from other uses.

SanityP

Drakvag says:
August 6, 2012 at 6:23 am

There are only 92 (I think) water power plants in Sweden and the majority of those are found in the north situated on the large rivers, so what you say isn’t true at all. Here you have a list of the energy producing municipalities (2011) in order of produced effect. Numbers are number of plants.
Gotland, 181,4 MW, 177 st
Strömsund, 121,4 MW, 62 st
Malmö 114,4 MW, 50 st
Åsele 89,4 MW, 46 st
Dorotea, 68,0 MW, 34 st
Laholm, 66,4 MW, 63 st
Eslöv, 62,0 MW, 47 st
Mjölby, 61,9 MW, 60 st
Piteå, 60,3 MW, 28 st
Falkenberg, 59,3 MW, 48 st
Borgholm, 57,1 MW, 39 st
Vara, 56,4 MW, 43 st
Mellerud, 55,9 MW, 41 st
Malå, 52,6 MW, 27 st
Dals-Ed, 48,3 MW, 21 st
Nordmaling, 46,7 MW, 21 st
Tanum, 45,6 MW, 37 st
Falköping, 43,5 MW, 41 st
Krokom 42,7 MW, 21 st
Mönsterås, 41,4 MW, 20 st

Beth Cooper

A Dutch study criticizes the energy models that sold wind power to the Netherlands because the models neglected factors that increase fossil fuel consumption and C02 emissions.
http://www.clepair.net/windSchiphol.html
One factor is the process of ‘cycling’ or ramping up conventional plants connected to stand in when the wind isn’t blowing, and ramping down when it is. Both processes increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The study included an analysis of wind data at Schiphol Airport on an average windy day, 28/08/11, and found that back up ramping over 21.5 hours of low winds, increased gas imput by 47,150 m3, adding 117,9ton of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

SanityP

Addendum to my previous post. The energy comes from wind turbines only and the numbers are the amount of wind turbines.

Bloke down the pub

Drakvag says:
August 6, 2012 at 6:23 am
As a Swede I must say, this article is pure bullshit! 😉
I believe the report is in regards to the UK energy market. In the UK the strongest, most reliable winds are in areas of natural beauty such as the mountains of Wales and the coastal regions. These are mostly a long way from where the power is needed, so expensive power grids need to be built across some of our greatest natural treasures. The Swedes can do what they like to power their own country, just don’t try forcing me to have expensive wind power blot the country I love.

Vieras

Drakvag, you should do your home work before calling other peoples’ work bullshit.
You probably live in Sweden, where almost half of all electricity is produced with hydro and where less than 10% is generated using fossil fuels. There are few countries in the whole world, where the situation is that good. In Sweden you can basically build wind energy as much as you want and use hydro as backup.
However, even in Sweden it’s not economically viable. According to a report written by PWC (SKGS Vad kostar kraften?” April 29th 2010), wind energy in Sweden costs 65% more than hydro and 50% more than nuclear power. There’s no point in building more expensive wind power and pollute the beautiful countryside of Sweden.

Edohiguma

And that’s not even considering the full costs. With wind and solar we’ll need backup plants for the case when the weather will tell us to sod off. That, too, will add a significant amount to the costs.

Robert of Ottawa

OK I admit it’s just Wiki, but tjust google Sweden Electricity and you can see Drakvag’s bogocity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_Sweden

Kelvin Vaughan

21. On this basis the average household electricity bill would increase
from £528 per year at 2010 prices to a range from £730 to £840 in 2020
under the Mixed Wind scenario. These figures amount to increases of 38%
to 58% in the average household bill relative to the baseline under the
Gas scenario. The equivalent ranges for the other scenarios are 29-46%
for the More Onshore Wind scenario and 40-62% for the Future Offshore
Wind scenario.
Now read the report!

All still based on the silly nonsense that increasing CO2 is either bad or that we can/should do anything about it.

Kelvin Vaughan

Drakvag says:
August 6, 2012 at 6:23 am
As a Swede I must say, this article is pure bullshit! 😉
Here in Sweden the costs for wind energy is very low, as most of the wind power plants are built besides, or very close to, where we already have water power plants. So, most of all around costs are already covered by that. It would be very stupid not to build wind energy plants here. Give me a good reason why Sweden should pay a lot of money to other countries for gas, when we can have cheap energy from our own resources? No, I thought so, you couldn’t. So, my bullshit comment was correct.
Now read the report!

Resourceguy

This should be required reading for policymakers and ratepayers. It does a great job of disarming the industry advocates claims of affordability and financial sustainability. Another way of looking at the findings is that the wind lobby is a lot like the nuclear lobby in that they want to distract the public from the total cost picture and rational public choice with distractions of green arguments and selected cost components in isolation. Sounds familiar and so will the eventual cost push to ratepayers when its too late to stop it.

drakvag

Where is your sense of humour? Didn’t you see the blink I made behind bullshit comment. Of course I know that it’s different in other countries than in Sweden. One thing I don’t like is fundamentalists, and some of you really are that. You should look at your self in the mirror and try to laugh a little, it doesn’t hurt. That I love wind energy is because it’s so beautiful to see the wind mills. That some doesn’t see it my way, well they have their right to their opinion. But even I have my right…
And SanityP, thanks for proving my point, see were all your examples are from. Except the ones on Gotland, they are all very close to were we already have big power lines. For example, Mönsterås is very close to Oskarshamn, the ones in Skåne is very close to Barsebäck and so on… So, once again, thanks, even if it wasn’t your goal.
Unfortunately, Sweden can’t live on power from water energy. We could build more, and make us more self sufficient, but the environmentalists (and also the people living where the dams would be) is stopping that. So, we have to buy coal energy from Denmark and Germany. As I said above, I rather have wind energy produced in Sweden, then to pay extremely high prices for the coal energy.

This reality of how Wind is more expensive, environmentally damaging, inefficient and actually a totally useless form of generation has been around for many many years with thousands of reports and studies to back it up. WHY then, are announcements just starting to be made by Government officials world wide that this is the case…………could it be that this massive SCAM is now in it’s final “development” stages and now all the “scammers” (politicians) are trying to get “ahead of the claims” that will be made that they are “guilty of a criminal conspiracy” bigger than anything ever pulled on modern society?

commieBob

Reality check says:
August 6, 2012 at 6:39 am
Drakvag:
Nice try, but you inadvertently proved the point of the article.

Circumstances alter cases. If you already have hydro, supplementing it with wind can be a better choice than building other kinds of generation.
Hydro is about the only practical way to store wind power. Sometimes it even makes sense to pump water back up hill. On the other hand: Here’s a link to a great article where someone actually puts pencil to paper. link
In most cases, it would be foolish to rely on wind/hydro as the answer to our energy problems.

Gary

A local town just got the bill for replacing a defective gear box – $500,000. After only a few years of operation, they had “saved” less than a tenth that in electricity costs. And they’re not the only ones to discover this problem. Taking down the windmill will cost a huge amount as well.

Doesn’t change the fact that fossil fuels will run out one day and/or that burning them is damaging our environment. When you know you’re in a hole it is wise to stop digging.

ChE

Here in Sweden the costs for wind energy is very low, as most of the wind power plants are built besides, or very close to, where we already have water power plants.

However, for the other 90+% of the world that has little or no hydropower, it’s a completely different analysis.
In case you hadn’t noticed, this study was out of the UK.

EternalOptimist

Martin Lack says
‘Doesn’t change the fact that fossil fuels will run out one day and/or that burning them is damaging our environment. When you know you’re in a hole it is wise to stop digging’
True. We only have enough fossil fuels for a few generations. But a few generations ago the main energy problem was how to shovel out the horse manure from London left behind the coal carts.
A solution will be found, but beware of a snake oil salesman telling you to step up quick to buy the last bottle.
As far as CO2 is concerned, you may believe it is damaging the environment, but the evidence does not seem to support that view

Claude Harvey

The European record shows that off-shore wind costs in excess of 20-cents (U.S.) per Kwh, at the fence and for the life of the plant. That same record shows central, photovoltaic solar at 40-cents. To both those figures, you can add 8-cents for transmission and distribution fixed costs.
The current U.S. residential electric utility bill averages about 12-cents per Kwh. Of that total, 4-cents is the cost of wholesale electric power at the trading hubs. Do the numbers.

Alan Millar

“Drakvag says:
August 6, 2012 at 6:23 am
As a Swede I must say, this article is pure bullshit! 😉
Here in Sweden the costs for wind energy is very low, as most of the wind power plants are built besides, or very close to, where we already have water power plants. So, most of all around costs are already covered by that. It would be very stupid not to build wind energy plants here. Give me a good reason why Sweden should pay a lot of money to other countries for gas, when we can have cheap energy from our own resources? No, I thought so, you couldn’t. So, my bullshit comment was correct.”
You are the BSer mate.
One reason you might not want to use wind power is that it visually and audibl pollutes the environment and is 50% more expensive even in Sweden.
Alan

I will provide a very simple reason why an uncontrollable power generating source is more expensive than its supporters might claim. This applies to ANY uncontrollable power source, not
just wind. As the magnitude of those uncontrollable inputs to the grid grow beyond trivial amounts,
there must exist 100% backup for their power, which comes only from controllable sources. As these uncontrollable sources feed power, it means a conventional plant whose power is being displaced by that uncontrollable power, must produce less power. While proponents of the uncontrollable power technology will point out that fuel is saved, it is also true that power produced by the conventional plants now becomes more expensive, since it has suffered a loss in capacity. This is due to the fact that fuel costs are but part of the costs of operating those displaced plants. In the case of a nuclear plant, barely 10% of its operating costs are from the uranium fuel that it uses. In effect, your operating expenses have almost doubled, but are producing, and selling, the same amount of power. Regardless of the amount of power supplied by uncontrollable sources, it is unlikely that you could ever close down one single controllable power source (conventional plant), since that uncontrollable power can completely disappear. For solar,even if you could guarantee sun every day (perhaps in a desert), that sun only shines and produces appreciable power for 9 or 10 hours or so out of every 24. In non-desert locales, entire days or even weeks can go by without appreciable solar radiation.

jlurtz

Blame Edison and Westinghouse. Both of these made money pushing electricity! No electricity -> no problem. The simplest solution to the use of fossil fuels, and to correct the [supposed] CO2 problem is to use horses and oxen for transportation. All computers should be human powered. Ohhhhhh, that’s right, human’s give off CO2…..
/sarc/

I encountered a pumped storage facility on a bike ride up Guanella Pass out of Georgetown, Colorado. (39°39’19″N 105°42’30″W) It is called the Cabin Creek Generation Station, built in 1964-1967.

Power Production Capabilities: Cabin Creek has two units, each with a nameplate capacity of 162 megawatts (MW).
Cabin Creek has the ability to respond to increases in customer demand quicker than any other plant on our [Xcel] system.
Fuel Source: Water supplied from two reservoirs totaling 1,977acre feet, enough for full-load operation of both units for four hours.

Google Earth shows the upper reservoir at 11,235 ft, with the lower reservoir at 9974 ft.
The link to “Do the Math” supplied by commieBob @ 7:36 am is a good one to show the scale of the issue.

For example, to get the amount of energy stored in a single AA battery, we would have to lift 100 kg (220 lb) 10 m (33 ft) to match it. To match the energy contained in a gallon of gasoline, we would have to lift 13 tons of water (3500 gallons) one kilometer high (3,280 feet).

pat

Big Wind. Politicians and Warmists

Martin Lack says:
“Doesn’t change the fact that fossil fuels will run out one day and/or that burning them is damaging our environment. When you know you’re in a hole it is wise to stop digging.”
Doesn’t it take fossil fuel energy to manufacture and install wind turbines to begin with Martin? In addition, the raw materials extracted from the earth that are needed to make wind turbine components are finite as well, aren’t they?. The rare earth element neodymium immediately comes to mind—and it is quite polluting and destructive to mine them from the Earth. And finally, wind turbines (along with solar panels) leave us with toxic waste that requires disposal at the end of their useful lives. The last I heard, there was no system in place to dispose of that waste—although I could be wrong about that now. Guess we need to stop digging out the raw materials for wind turbines as well, huh?
There never seems to be any end to the number of wind power supporters who are unaware of all
of all of the environmental and other shortcomings that wind turbines suffer from. I just shake my head in dispair whenever I hear from another one.

Gary Palmgren

Dear Dratvag, Congratulation on having a profitable wind industry. I assume of course that this is operating in a free market and that there are no subsidies/mandates for this wind power. So what companies do I buy stock in to get part of these lovely profits? How are the dividends and how have the stock prices done? How much has the cost of electricity dropped as this new “cheap” source entered the market?
On a different note, I once looked at a few numbers from the UK and if one had a few billion pounds laying around and wanted to reduce CO2 emissions, one would get more CO2 reduction by replacing old coal plants with modern coal plants with greater efficiency then spending the money on windmills. But, of course, its not about actually reducing plant food emissions, its about appearances and giving money to the rent seekers. If they were serious, not one more windmill would be built until the coal plants are upgraded to high efficiency coal fired plants.

oldseadog

Drakvag,
How reliable are wind turbines compared to hydro turbines?
Here in Scotland there are some hydro tubines that I understand have been running since they were built in the mid 1920s without any major faults. What percentage of wind turbines have that sort of reliability, or indeed design life?

Reblogged this on The Next Grand Minimum and commented:
CARB has invested in wind power and has made it part of the renewable mandate, thus rate payers will have to accept the increased cost of wind energy, we are a capture audience. The only solution is to get rid of CARB and revoke AB-32. To do they we need an administration change and that if not likely anytime soon, in the mean time CA business become less competitive and will be seeking lower cost business locations.

Jim G

Here in the US the fact that these windmills are chopping up birds, including raptors, may be our best defense against the expansion of these economic boondogles given the extreme “environmental” indoctrination that has been laid upon the population by the leftist media and educational system.

Don K

Drakvag says:
August 6, 2012 at 6:23 am
As a Swede I must say, this article is pure bullshit! 😉
Here in Sweden the costs for wind energy is very low, as most of the wind power plants are built besides, or very close to, where we already have water power plants. So, most of all around costs are already covered by that. It would be very stupid not to build wind energy plants here.
==========
You have a point. With adequate energy storage buffers, the economics of Wind Power become a lot more attractive. The problem is that the only energy storage technology we currently have that is remotely capable of dealing with the eccentricities of wind generated electricity on a large scale is pumped storage. And in its current form, pumped storage probably is not all that great an answer. Energy is lost transmitting electricity to the storage facility even if it is only a short distance. More energy is lost in pumping. After all that work, Water is lost to leakage and evaporation. Yet more energy is lost in generation when the power is eventually needed. And you need a LOT of water — which may not be a problem in Sweden, but is in a lot of places. And not all that much of the world has damable high altitude valleys suitable for pumped storage.
I suspect, but don’t know for sure that the opportunities for pumped storage in Great Britain — which is the region under discussion — are quite limited.
I’d encourage you to spend some time researching actual costs, capacities, problems and benefits of wind power in Sweden. Then write it up. I expect Anthony will post it, and probably the folks at the Oil Drum http://www.theoildrum.com (they aren’t wild about wind power either) would be interested as well.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

Among the current darlings of the “clean renewable” crowd we have wind and solar. Both are unreliable in the sense they cannot be made to produce power on demand. Solar is at least reliably unreliable — that is for any given location and date you can calculate the maximum possible output, and know that you will get something less than that. And every day has at least some sunlight. Wind on the other hand is unreliably unreliable, as we can’t even predict a baseline. Wind can go to zero and stay there for days, or get so strong the turbines must be feathered to protect them from damage.
In addition to its “power when the Gods smile” property, wind has the additional problem that the energy density simply isn’t there. If it were, we would still be moving passengers and cargo by sailing ships. We gave that up roughly 150 years ago when fossil fuel efficiency was much lower that we can achieve today. In the same 150 years the wind hasn’t gotten any stronger or steadier.
The best use of solar energy is to grow plants and then eat them. Or feed them to animals and eat the animals. Or grow trees and harvest them for attractive wood so the Gibson company can make nice pretty guitars, which folk-singers can use to protest how capitalism is destroying the world.

Silver Ralph

.
Some of us have been saying this since 2004. Shame it took so long for the scientific and educational establishments in the UK to catch up with reality. It just shows how politicized and out of touch our state-run institutions really are.
Renewable Energy, Our Downfall – an essay….
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/25/renewable-energy-–-our-downfall/
P.S. Anthony added the question mark – I was much more certain.
.

The Danish Wind Industry has the longest experience record on wind turbines.
Their data shows that CO2 emissions actually increased as a result of leading the charge on using wind power to generate electricity.
But why let facts alter your belief in wind power as an alternative energy. Trust the religion, not the engineering.

fastkelly

Drakvag says: August 6, 2012 at 6:23 am
As a Swede I must say, this article is pure bullshit! 😉
Here in Sweden the costs for wind energy is very low, as most of the wind power plants are built besides, or very close to, where we already have water power plants. So, most or f all around costs are already covered by that. It would be very stupid not to build wind energy plants here.
Do they even account for/ or measure the energy consumption going into the plant, from the grid, to operate the windfarm? Most do not.

Kum Dollison

yeppers, Wind Energy is so expensive that TXU Energy is giving it away for free from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.
Jes don’ know how we can afford it.