16,000 Additional Wind Turbines Required to Power British Electric Car Fleet

Ardrossan wind farm in North Ayrshire, Scotland Credit: treehugger.com

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t JoNova – According to Professor Jack Ponton of Edinburgh University, an additional 16,000 wind turbines covering 90,000 square kilometres (35,000 square miles) will be required to charge Britain’s electric cars, if Britain converts to an all electric car fleet.

Wind farms would need to ‘cover whole of Scotland’ to power Britain’s electric vehicles

SCOTLAND would need to be entirely covered by wind farms in order to power all of Britain’s electric cars, according to a leading academic.

By PAULA MURRAY, EXCLUSIVE
PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sun, Oct 29, 2017

Jack Ponton, emeritus professor of engineering at Edinburgh University, said another 16,000 turbines would be required in order to replace petrol and diesel cars with electric vehicles.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to phase out the internal combustion engine by 2032 – eight years ahead of the rest of the UK.

But Prof Ponton said that, even if the issues of power generation and charging points were sorted out, the National Grid could simply not cope with the increased demand.

He said: “It is a nice idea as electric cars are much more efficient, cleaner and actually simpler devices than the current internal combustion engine vehicles.

“Technically, it is an excellent idea. But the problem starts when you begin to think, ‘Where are you going to get the energy to run them?’.

“I’ve seen three different estimates for the amount of new generating capacity that we would need if were going to have all the cars in Britain running on electricity.

“The most detailed calculation says we’d be looking at five Hinkley nuclear stations to run this. It would be the best way, the most efficient way to get electricity because nuclear power stations can run 90 per cent of the time.

“If you want to do this with wind turbines, you are talking about 16,000 more wind turbines, four times as many as we have at the moment, and I’ve estimated that would occupy some 90,000 square kilometres, which is approximately the size of Scotland.”

Read more: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/872470/Electric-vehicles-Wind-farms-Scotland-Nicola-Sturgeon-diesel-Britain

This isn’t the first time British academics have run the numbers and demonstrated that renewables are utterly impractical. Back in 2008, Professor David J C MacKay of the Cambridge University Department of Physics, who also holds a PHD in computation from Caltech, upset advocates by running a few numbers and demonstrating how ridiculously inadequate renewables are to the task of powering Britain.

The renewables juggernaut rolls on regardless. Years from now, historians will marvel at how such eyewatering sums of public money were squandered on such a useless energy solution, and how people who claim they care about nature were seduced into covering the landscape with bird and bat killing industrial monstrosities.

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308 thoughts on “16,000 Additional Wind Turbines Required to Power British Electric Car Fleet

  1. I have an idea.
    Why not put a windmill on every electric car and let them generate their own electricity.
    Just think, when the car gets up speed, the windmill would rotate faster and further change the batteries. Or maybe substitute the windmill with a wing sail and let every car have an America Cup performance!

    Cheers

    Roger
    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    • Someone I was once in discussion with about climate change suggested to do this with aircraft. I am serial!

    • Why not provide a generator for every home so people can run it to charge the cars overnight, and use all the spare petrol to run the generators!

      • Have you ever heard of domestic photovoltaic power generation? They are quite common here in the UK. You can actually use the power generated to charge your car batteries in the day time. Will wonders never cease?

      • Ah yes, Sunny London where you will have a whopping 9:40 of sunshine tomorrow and the sun will be 24° above the horizon at noon. Well, fortunately you can take the tube to work or school because your car will be home charging. Or did you leave oute the /sarc tag?

      • Except, Gareth, my car is with me at work during the day. You know – work. That place most people go just about every day to earn a living. But maybe you don’t know anything about that…

    • Believe it or not, there is actually a small wind turbine you can get for your car. You stick it out the window when going down the highway. It generates a small amount of power for your electronic devices. Somehow, idiots think this is using less energy than getting the power out of their auxiliary power socket, thus saving gas.

    • No wind today or yesterday, so car batteries can’t recharge. Time to take a day off as can’t get to work!

      • Exactly. Under current green schemes there would be times when peoples homes and factories were unheated and dark because of unreliable “renewable” power supply. This “improvement” would mean that their cars wouldn’t move either. They still just don’t get it.

    • don’t forget to point the headlights at the solar cells. You can save even more energy that way.

    • “Why not put a windmill on every electric car and let them generate their own electricity.”

      It’s been done. Again, China is leading the way!

  2. There will be a fair number of politicians who will claim that they never had anything to do with renewables, just like western politicians and eugenics after WWII.

    • As election time approaches, the rats are already moving in that direction. A politician that said “All of the above energy types” walks it back to “I’m pro oil and coal” because the state he allegedly represents is energy based. He voted for virtually every handout to wind there is every time one came up. Unfortunately, the state is probably stupid enought to reelect the lying twit. We get what we deserve, I guess. People want misery and vote for it over and over again.

    • The Daily Express, where the story comes from, is very much part of the MSM.

      (though it also regularly posits that Princess Diana was assasinated)

      • Yeah sure Griff it was reported in Guardian it would be the truth. Perhaps you should fact check “Griff + Charlatan”

  3. This is likely to be a vast underestimate of the amount of wind turbines required, given the intermittent and non despatchable nature of wind.

    • The intermittency of wind means that you can never rely on this as a source of energy. The mathermatics is simple: when you have no wind it doesn’t matter whether you have one windmill or an infinity of windmills you still get no electricity!

      • I agree, but their argument is that the wind always blows somewhere.

        That might be true, but somewhere can be a very very long way away, and there may even be no interconnect.

        It would appear that these guys did not learn from the two winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11 when a blocking high was sitting over the UK, and there was all but no wind for approximately 4 weeks. During this period, for the main part, wind produced less than about 8% of its nameplate capacity. But heck, the UK grinds to a halt when there is snow, so there will be no demand (or little demand) for cars, and of course, EVs perform badly in cold conditions (high demand on the battery, and battery performance is weaker in cold conditions). It has all been sussed out.

      • I agree. You have no electricity when ther is no wind. You also have no electricity when the wind is blowing too hard. The power of the wind goes up as the cube of the wind speed. A gentle zephyr quickly becomes a turbine destroying, raging monster.

      • richard verney
        October 31, 2017 at 3:27 am

        I agree, but their argument is that the wind always blows somewhere.

        Yes, and where it IS blowing will want to use the electricity generated. It is unlikely that there will be enough to share out around all the non-windy places.

        SteveT

      • No wind? Too much wind? A new business for the insurance wallahs: The Stormy Doldrums Underwriters are glad to accept any of these risks.

  4. Well at least academics are beginning to speak up. Their employers used to muzzle them. Even the most ridiculous statements by proponents were not challenged by cowed acads who were otherwise sane. It does say something about the kind of compromised life they are prepared to live. Few Soltzhenitsens or Sakharovs walking the halls of the once proud institutions of learning. Trump seems to be emboldening a few.

    • But it will cost a fortune to do so, and the concrete foundation blocks may be left in place to pollute the surrounding soil (the concrete leaches substances that change the pH and so affect native pH sensitive plants). Unlike nuclear generation decommissioning costs are not included in any costing for wind and solar generation.

      • One has to wonder what ‘native’ plant this dude is smoking.

        Concrete is insoluble which is why we use it as a building material.

        In the nuclear industry we look what happens to materials over the long term and locally after an accident such as pipe break. The NRC asked a question, I said no problem because the material was insoluble. The NRC found in one of our tests that we got 50 ppm. I said yes that’s right it is insoluble. We agree on a change in my wording from no problem to no significant problem.

        If you understand second order differential equations, you can understand that mixing high level waste from spent fuel into glass protects the environment. The radioactive material decays faster than it leaches from glass.

        Nuclear power has decommissioning costs because we do not want children playing with highly radioactive material.

        I am not too worried about plants.

      • Those foundation blocks would make nice foundations for new houses once the towers are gone. The wind farm owners can then do some construction that might actually be useful. House and view packages.

    • When power produced with natural gas is too cheap to meter.

      I have seen thousand of modern wind turbines and not one monster.

    • I expect it will die off with in a decade or so. But first they want to ruin the face of the planet. Then people will see what happened.

  5. Only the sodding SNP would make insane claims like replacing all ICE cars with electric ones, well, them and the rest of the UK’s Conservative government.

    Seriously, what are they all dreaming about other than getting re elected on a green ticket. Sturgeon is as mad as her predecessor, Salmond.

    Nor is this revelation news, as the article says, the late David MaCkay pointed this out long ago, and he was a self confessed green. But just highlight the insanity of all this bunkum, Matt Ridley did a nice article on it and the number of wind turbines required by the world simply to deal with the 2% growth in continuing energy demand is utterly staggering. It doesn’t, of course, include replacing the existing energy network; the numbers then get truly insane.

    “WIND IS AN IRRELEVANCE TO THE ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE” http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/wind-still-making-zero-energy/

    We sceptics are living amongst fools.

  6. Those big windmills juxtaposed against tiny houses remind me of the Martian invaders in “The War of the Worlds”

    • When covering a large area (like Scotland) there would be large areas like valleys where there would be little if any value in putting a wind turbine. That is what inflates the area figure.

    • Nick

      I’m guessing here, but I would assume the Prof has factored in that you cannot put turbines in all sorts of places, like built up areas, forested places, low lying/sheltered, and so on.

      Therefore, incl those areas, you would need 90,000 sq km to fit in 16000 wind turbines, though physically they would take up much less space themselves

    • You also need to look at the topography of Scotland – lots of hills, mountains and valleys – very stratified land and many places in natural wind shadow – i.e. wind will never come from more than a narrow part of the compass.

    • Nick you are forgetting the intake duct and exhaust duct that is needed for a windmill farm.
      You need a huge unimpeded area in front of the wind farm, and an equally big or bigger exhaust area, for the exhaust.

      It’s a “gas turbine” engine. You can’t obstruct the input or ouput areas. with any construction for other uses.

      G

    • Nick Stokes
      October 30, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      16,000 wind turbines covering 90,000 square kilometres
      ??? 2 square miles (8 sq km) per turbine?

      Fact checking the easy way: 90,000 / 16,000 = 5.625 on my planet
      Where do you inhabit?
      Perhaps I haven’t adjusted my calculation enough – if you have a suggested formula I’d love to see it.

      SteveT

    • 2 sq miles convert to 2,588 sq km. But, afaik there is a legal limit in how dense the chopping asparagus stems may be packed and the minimum distance they must have from populated areas or houses. Although that number of 90k sq km seems high, it is not improbable.

      • Non Nomen

        But, afaik there is a legal limit in how dense the chopping asparagus stems may be packed and the minimum distance they must have from populated areas or houses.

        No, there is no “legal” limit for the distance between windmills, but some locations (very few, unfortunately) set restrictions on how far the new windmills need to be from houses and schools. But, usually, the “glamor” of the windmill industry overrides everything, and they take the landscape for the remote tax-supported political donor company regardless of the local resistance. And, of course, until the things are built, nobody locally feels the problems. After they’re built, nobody remote from the windmills cares. They got their tax-break and their construction bonus/subsidy, now move on and do it again.

        However, there is a physics reason that ever-more area is required. For small towers it was thought 7 diameters between windmills was enough to avoid resonances and trubulence from the next tower upwind. After many failed due to swirls and stalling of the blades, that distance was moved to 10 diameters minimum. At the same time, the blade diameters got much, much larger as smaller towers and smaller blades proved inefficient – inefficient even by windmill standards.
        Now, 10 diameters for a windmill distance is too small, and 15 is the new standard so the newest huge blades can rotate in stable, steady air. The result is that today’s fewer but much larger 2-5 Megawatt turbines need just about the same ground area as yesterday’s 0.25 to 1 MegaWatt wind farms.

      • @ RACookPE1978
        Sorry, it wasn’t clear I was referring to standards in Europe. You do have considerable molestations from wind turbines as sound/noise, reflection of sun/light, animal life and disputable unesthetical landscapes plus serious safety issues in the vicinity of airfields. So, mostly local, councils set up the rules they think adequate for that particular situation their community is in. These rules were often and still are disputed in court and only some minima became some sort of standard. Unfortunately, the subsidies handed out by various government, be it federal or state, are far too attractive to stop these greedy turbine builders. If necessary, generous compensation is handed over to local councils and that’s that, then.

  7. In short the Brits are bound and determined to destroy all scenic views in the United Kingdom. They don’t need any foreign tourists anyway apparently.

  8. Since I live in the US let me predict where you will find a BEV in 3032 in the US.

    On a golf course, in a museum, collecting dust.

    Eric W must spend his days searching the internet for silly attention grabbing quotes.

    The only good reason to adopt BEV is for short commutes in a country with no fossil fuel resources and a heavy reliance on nuclear power. South Korea cones to mind.

    I have estimated that one large nuke would be needed for every million BEV. South Korea can build new nuke faster and better than anyone I can think of but getting and keeping a million BEV on the road is just a pipe dream.

    Here is an interesting article about the cost of importing fossil fuel in South Korea. https://www.reuters.com/article/south-korea-coal/s-korea-set-for-record-coal-imports-on-nuclear-outages-as-winter-looms-idUSL4N1N5234

  9. Now think of what it would take to power a hundred million electric cars in the United States.

    • By 2050 it will likely be closer to 300,000,000. Even more if you factor in Trucks, Busses, Ambulances, Fire Trucks, Police Cars, Motor homes, Airplanes, Jets, Motorcycles, etc..

  10. Aerodynamic research suggests 10-15 rotor diameters apart for optimum performance, i.e. less mechanical interference.

    • mechanical? you mean they can hit one another if they are closer than 10 rotor diameters?
      ???
      Do you mean aerodynamic?

      • Oh Beautiful for crowded skies, dead birds and bats in glades,
        For blighted mountain’s majesty below the Wind Mill’s blades,
        America, America we’ll cover all of thee
        And drown thy Dells with Solar Cells from sea to shining sea

      • Lets not forget that each turbine behind the first receives “dirty wind”, and each turbine behind it receives less wind and so on…

      • You were told earlier what factors drive the area scaling. Your reading comprehension matches your physical intuition – both are rudimentary.

      • andy, that first pic is surely photoshopped or manipulated.

        and we haven’t built any turbines like those in your second shot since the 1980s.

        In places like the EU/UK you have to provide for taking them down before they’ll let you put them up (the first offshore wind farm was dismantled this year after its planned 25 year life)

      • Nick you accuse everyone else of not reading or doing basic research and you can’t even get the number right. Last I did mathematics 90,000 sq km divided by 16,000 is 5.6 sq Km. Real Skeptic was a little better at least he gave 6 and Griff no doubt fact checked it (Yeah ok probably not).

        Now this is an error in the printed story and it isn’t from the professor and lets give you a hint 5.6Km … 560m.

        So lets see who can work out what the print error is first since you are all so good at fact checks.

      • If Nick had half a brain he would be able to work out the print error because he knows where he got the 560m number from.

      • LdB,
        “Now this is an error in the printed story and it isn’t from the professor and lets give you a hint 5.6Km … 560m.”
        Yes, it should be 5.6 km^2, not 8 (though 2 sq mi was about right). But I don’t get that hint. 560 m is the linear spacing in the Horn Rev array. It wasn’t a small issue though. The “big as Scotland” is the headline and leadin of the story, and it quotes the prof directly. And it seems at least an order of magnitude too high.

      • For Nick:
        So just do the obvious Power/Area and use Horns to check

        Horns:
        160MW at 30% factor = 48MW
        Area (5 km x 3.8 km) = 19 sqkm
        Power MW per square km = 48/19 = 2.52 (Makes sense we said 2MW/SqKm)
        Turbines 80 (10 x 8)
        Power per turbine = 0.6MW
        Turbines per square km = 2.52/0.6 = 4
        Spacing on turbines = 500m (0.25 sqkm per turbine)

        Proposed
        24GW = 24000 MW
        Area to generate 24GW = 24000/2.52 = 9523 square km (Out by 10)
        Turbines required = 9523 sqkm * 4 turbines per sqkm = 38000 (twice quoted)

        To get 160000 turbines each turbine must be bigger x2.375
        Power per turbine = 0.6MW * 2.375 = 1.425MW
        Turbines per square km = 2.52 / 1.425 = 1.76
        Spacing on turbines = 753m (0.567 sqkm per turbine)

        So easy to see the power numbers make sense the area is out by a factor of 10 …. QED

  11. Is there a ratio? “16,000 wind-turbines” to power how many electric cars? Say a gallon of gasoline = 34 kWh, or diesel = 38 kWh, how much “fuel” expressed in gallon-equivalent does one of these monster wind-turbines produce in an average month? Like if a small community were to consider investing in wind power, they would do it if they needed to buy 3, but wouldn’t if they needed to buy 30. Meaningful numbers can be used to make comparisons…that was a joke!

  12. “an additional 16,000 wind turbines covering 90,000 square kilometres”

    One turbine per 6 km2? seems a not as dense as what I see driving across the states.
    And the land can be used for anything, I mean, under the turbine. Cows, sheep, cheap housing…

    • “cheap housing…”

      Off you go, totallygullible….. cheap housing… I BET you wouldn’t go and live there.

      Inner city latte ghetto for you, correct.. Fossil fuel heating in winter.

      fossil fuel air-con in summer…. all the mod-CONs.

      • You didn’t read the first word you copied: it was “cheap”
        But you tend not to do any of that serious “thinking” stuff, do you?

      • Only mindless troll here is you, totallygullible..

        You just don’t like being called on it. ;-)

        It is noted that you don’t deny your inner-city ghetto living with all the fossil fuel electricity amenities.

      • reallyGullible calling other people trolls. The irony abounds with this one.
        Of course him telling other people to think was equally ironic.

      • I think the main risk is from throwing a big icicle, IIRC, or a blade.
        Maybe greenies wouldn’t mind living close to the turbines (the ones that don’t mind the hum). Win-win?

    • Cheap housing because the value of the real estate is close to zero (okay, not totally, but property values dive). Great idea. More government spending for substandard living areas.

    • As a golf course. Scotland taught Trump how vile the wind industry is. We thank them for it, though it doesn’t seem to have taken enough ending the blight in the USA.

  13. Book smart, but not street smart. That is why otherwise intelligent people do such stupid things. No common sense.

  14. Electric vehicles are fine as long as they are recharged with electricity that is generated by fossil fuels. (preferably coal). To the extent transportation electrification results in a decrease on CO2 emissions it will increase hunger, malnutrition and starvation because it will reduce agricultural productivity to a level below that which it would be in the absence of the decarbonization. This targets only the very poorest of the world’s people. This is hardly the sort of “virtue” that civilized people want to signal.

    When I see pictures of wind turbines like the one that accompanies this article, I don’t just see eyesore inducing bird blenders. I imagine a horror movie “The Pinwheels of Death”.

    • “it will increase hunger, malnutrition and starvation because it will reduce agricultural productivity to a level below that which it would be in the absence of the decarbonization”

      Why? because you can not drive your electric tractor over a field?

      • Trulygullible doesn’t realise that ALL food comes from CO2.

        He thinks CO2 is an atmospheric pollutant or poison..

      • Chris Riley says “CO2 is what plants eat. less CO2 = less food”

        Wow. And we have a problem with not enuf CO2 now?
        NOT.

      • We have enough CO2 to keep everyone on this site well fed. We do not have enough CO2 to properly feed the little girl in sub Saharan Africa who went to bed without dinner last night with no dinner and will walk to school with no breakfast this morning. I am far more concerned with the interests of the little girl than I am with the egos of first world collectivist “virtue” signalers such as reallyskeptical who want to spend my money on insane projects such as covering Scotland with the pinwheels of death.

      • Yes we do. The optimum for the current mix of plants is about three times the current concentration. Just the increase we’ve had in the last half century or so is responsible for about 15-20% increase in greenery.

      • “And we have a problem with not enuf CO2 now”

        Most certainly we DO have a problem with NOT ENOUGH CO2

        Are you REALLY that ignorant that you don’t know enough biology to figure out that current levels of CO2 are only a small amount subsistence level.

        WHY do you HATE plant life so much ?

        What a putrid mind you must have to deliberately STARVE the very thing that gives to ALL life on Earth.

      • reallyGullible, as has been pointed out many, many times. Greenhouses increase CO2 levels to between 1000 and 1500 ppm.
        Your belief that we have enough CO2 in the atmosphere already is refuted by reality.

      • There are places where they cannot farm within 300 ft of the turbines due to ice throw and the potential for blade breakage. Farmers lost large sections of land they were not told would be lost. The “you can farm all around these” isn’t really true.

      • Sheri, think for a minute. Why would “ice throw” prevent a farmer from raising crops? Did you know that crops usually don’t grow when it is cold enough for ice to form on a turbine blade? For example, you will not find corn growing in Iowa in the middle of January.

      • Rob: It doesn’t keep farmers from growing crops, but it makes a three-hundred foot circle around the turbine off-limits year round. Ice throw doesn’t reduce crop production, but it does mean the 300 ft zone is in effect year round.

      • Rob: Yes, you can let your cows under the turbines. If ice drops and kills the cow, it’s your problem. I give up trying to explain. No matter how much I document, explain, etc you will still consider 300 feet of land no longer available for its original use no big deal. Apparently, you don’t farm or you got a huge handout to “host” the monstrosities. Otherwise, I think you’d understand. Maybe not. Anyway, forget it.

      • Sheri: No matter how much I document………
        ….
        ???

        Document? I don’t see your documentation???

    • “I think the main risk is from throwing a big icicle, IIRC, or a blade.
      Maybe greenies wouldn’t mind living close to the turbines (the ones that don’t mind the hum). Win-win?”

      Or “The Whirligigs of Woe.”

      • Greenies don’t live next to the monstrosities or they probably would withdraw their support. Ranchers often love the turbines for the 5 figure “rental” fees and the rancher doesn’t actually live on the ranch, but in town. It’s surprising how many ranchers don’t really live on their ranches. They just hire workers to live there.

    • Chris Riley: I suppose you think the South American rainforests can’t be sustained without coal and oil burning industry? Or that the 70% of the worlds oceans are stealing CO2 from the atmosphere in order to starve the children? Can you identify a study that shows that less than 400 ppm CO2 concentrations are somehow preventing crops from growing? Warming oceans (and coal burning power plants) cause more cloud cover, which prevents sunlight from reaching crops – which has a MUCH larger inpact that changing from 280 ppm to 400 ppm.

  15. Building five new nuclear reactors is a much better idea than putting up 16,000 additional windmills.

    It’s a no-brainer.

      • The Greenies-of-death are not going to be a political force for much longer. It is now apparent to everyone with more than a single neuron that their intent is nothing less than the termination of all multicellular life on the planet with the grizzly deathscape leered over by billions of whirling mechanical monstrosities.

        This is what happens when ignorant people and their insane ideologies are allowed to rule unchecked. The Greens now resemble the Dark Lord Sauron and his hosts of orcs attempting to cover all the lands in darkness. With the obvious exception that they die along with everyone else.

      • “Except politically.”
        I agree! The real answer would be to build five big splendid coal-fired power stations. The electricity would be cheaper (very good politically) , no radioactive waste or melt-downs to worry about and the farmers will be delighted with all that free CO2 fertiliser wafting over their fields. Cheaper food! What’s there not to like!

      • Well, I think I am the original TA, at least for the last few years on WUWT. I don’t know what happened to the other person who used “TA” a few days ago, and as far as I know, that person only made one post. Perhaps they decided to choose another handle after seeing my comment.

    • In Australia, they should just build a new HELE coal fired power station in each of the 3 main eastern states.

      Sensible, practical, and politically a massive WINNER, except for the yelping of the far left ABC.

      Now, if only the stupid leftist politicians in the Turnbull Party would wake up to reality !

      • Please just one opportunistic politician listen to Andy and take the landslide victory!
        We have a thousand year + reserve of brown coal in Victoria alone.
        Electricity could be free up to the first 100 kWh no kidding.
        Thereafter 12c/kWh for domestic and 6c/kWh for industry (similar to China).
        Australian’s are certifiably insane and I’m surrounded by them.

      • As long as any candidate is not a dual citizen. How section 44 cannot have been checked on MP’s who have been in Govn’ for 9 years, that’s 3 terms, is crazy. But politicians are the best criminals anyway.

  16. It might be of interest to long-time readers that news has come through that Keith Briffa has passed away. Condolances to his family and friends.

    • Sad to hear this. He was a pioneer of dendroclimatology, a field that deserved better than Mike’s Nature Trick.

      Dr. Briffa stood up to Mann and NOAA’s Susan Soloman in one of the Climategate emails, when they seemed to be advocating retaliation against Anders Moberg. He struck me as a man of character, despite giving in to the use of Mike’s Nature Trick in an IPCC report.

    • RobR

      Are you sure? What is the origin of your news? Now, two days later, Wiki still has him as living (and they are usually very quick off the mark in updating their information); also Google didn’t turn up anything under news for his name.

  17. The accepted figure for windpower when David Mackay wrote his book was 2W/sq meter land surface. Sure you can pack the turbines closer, but they get less efficient. Perhaps with today’s supersized ones reaching into the stratosphere its 3W/sq m.

    If we take a capacity factor of 30% and the turbines are 5MW monsters, 16,000 turbines is 80GW installed capacity or around 24GW effective average capacity, which at 3W/sq m is 8,000,000,000 sq m or 8,000 sq km.

    Methinks the prof has got his sums wrong. By a factor of 10. Or I have :-)

    The number of turbines sounds about right, but the land or sea area is an order too big.

    • Yes Leo – he has his numbers wrong. I’m an EV enthusiast for reasons quite unconnected to CO2, and I dislike wind turbines and nuclear for different reasons. If we need extra power build some gas or coal stations and be done with it.

      The UK National grid (http://fes.nationalgrid.com/media/1264/ev-myth-buster-v032.pdf) concluded “…The recent government announcement on the ban of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040 has resulted in some of National Grids FES numbers being quoted out of context. …The scenario which best fits the government’s statement is Two Degrees….The additional peak demand from EVs in that scenario is not 30 GW but more likely to be 5 GW….Nuclear power stations would not be the best option for meeting peak demand.

      • Two degrees of what? They explain the scenario, but not the significance or meaning of ‘two degrees’. They also don’t explain the other three scenarios they modeled. In they one they favor, people will charge their cars not based on when the remaining charge of the vehicle, but when it is cheapest to do so. Since price is instantly variable based on current demand, cost would have the effect of smoothing out the daily demand curve. This assumes behavior contrary to human nature. When the remaining charge is low, people will want to charge their car immediately, not at some future time. The car is considered a necessity, and must be available for use virtually at all times. Perhaps you need to find a non-biased analysis.

      • So John where is the natural gas and coal going to come from?

        When you build a power plant you need to think of about a 60 year supply of fuel.

        “I’m an EV enthusiast”

        Me too! The only problems is every time I look at the cost of an EV, I decide I would rather spend the money on a new sailboat.

        Here is the problem with enthusiasm, When it comes to doing something, you have to pick. For most of us, there is not time or money to do everything.

        There lies the difference between a hobby and practical vocations. EV and residential PV are examples of hobbies.

        When it comes to the vocation of supplying electricity when and where people need it, there are only a certain number of ways of doing it.

    • Technology has moved on since then.

      8GW is a standard offshore turbine, where 30% is a minimum capacity factor around the UK. 13GW turbines planned.

      The article is meaningless as it does not quote a figure for EV demand, nor say what size of turbine was considered.

      and wind is not the only renewable energy source… even today UK was getting 4% of demand from solar in mid morning.

    • @Leo Smith you are the winner the professors initial calc is right the conversion to area is wrong. Whether he made the error or the media I can’t say but I am pleased to see at least someone on the forum can do basic checks.

  18. City and urban ‘renewables’ become obscene rural blight. The ‘environ-mentalists’ rant about clear cutting mature forests sections, that subsequently renew browse for elk, deer, beaver, rabbits, and support large and small predators…. and then applaud with-standing-ovation installation of ridge top raptor chopping, eyesore windmills. How they resolve the logical conflicts, I can’t fathom…. beyond ‘The Ends Justify The Means’ indoctrination.

    • J Mac

      And just try to build housing on the greenfield sites chosen for wind turbines. All of a sudden rare newts begin to appear.

    • Environmentalists in the early 2000’s decried oil and gas “destroying open spaces”. Yet wiping out thousands of acres with permanent 400 foot monstrosities is somehow okay now. They LIED. They always lie. They care not a whit about wildlife or open spaces. They want to destroy society. I see no other explanation for the behavior.

  19. The UK has a peak power generating capacity of 61 GW. According to the National Grid, the people who run the network, the additional peak demand to cater for an all-electric car market is 30 GW. The UK is building just one new nuclear power station (Hinckley Point C). Because of environmental, planning, capital and engineering issues it has been 20 years in development and is not due to come on stream until 2025 at the earliest). According to National Grid, we will need 9.6 of these plants (not 5) to sustain peak load for an all-electric car market.

    Look, it’s not going to happen. I have driven a plug-in hybrid for the last three years – the technology is excellent and it delivers confidence because it has a petrol engine alongside its electric motor. The battery for the electric motor is charged via the National Grid and fossil fuels. By the way, what if the wind isn’t blowing when those 16000 turbines are built? Does Britain just not go to work on that day?

    • John Wright – not 30, more like 5 and nuclear is not the best option (see my quote from the National Grid in my reply a couple above yours)

      By the way, what plug-in vehicle do you have?

      • John Hardy

        “and nuclear is not the best option”

        If the obsession with Co2 continues, nuclear might be the the only realistic option.

        From the horses mouth, so to speak. And can you sense the contempt for renewables dripping from this presentation?

      • Hi John – Sorry for this late reply. Interesting to see the National grid roll back on their initial figure. More likely they have had their fingers rapped for inadvertently telling the truth.

        I drive a Mitsubishi Outlander Phev. It’s a company car and the deal in the UK for buying and running one was unmissable good. They gave us £5k towards the purchase price, charge no road tax, BIK comes out at 2% as opposed to, potentially, 15% and we offset the entire purchase price against taxable profits in year one. And all because the UK Government has bought into the plainly ridiculous CO2isevil movement. At the same time, thanks to the EU, they encouraged people to buy polluting diesel cars over petrol-engine cars. There’s no cure for stupid. By the way, we love the car and it is very fuel-efficient. I believe in the UK that it accounts for some 50% of the whole plug-in market.

    • The power industry is always planning ahead. Just a few years ago there were 30+ new nukes in the planning stage in the US because we were building LNG terminals to import gas. Now we are turning the LNG terminals into places to export gas.
      The US will be happy to supply the UK with all the wood chips, gas, and coal you need. We also keep the sea lanes open for you.
      I suspect the reason to build new nuke in the UK is to avoid seeing how many jobs can be created in the US.

  20. There are some great photos above of densely packed turbines.

    any idea as to the effectiveness of those in the front rank of generating power, compared to those in the middle of the pack and at the back?

    tonyb

      • not half as manipulated as skepticalscience…

        Just shot with a telephoto

        packing tight reduces turbine output but maximises output per unit land area.

        Its been done, where land area was limited and subsidies were generous

  21. In my part of Wandsworth in London the council installed 3 charging points acouple of months ago

    They’ve never been used

    • Yes installing slow charge points in city centres is silly box-ticking. If you drive an EV you need fast charge on long distance routes and destination charging (hotels and maybe restaurants)

      • I suggest you check the stats on car journeys in the UK… the overwhelming majority of them are for short distances.

      • That is 56 km/day per car. Whether the number is right I have no idea but if you want to argue provide an alternative.

      • Griff “I suggest you check the stats on car journeys in the UK” That is a bit patronising: I am very familiar with these numbers – approximately 21 miles per day for private cars. My comments on charging stations are based on close to 5 years experience using an EV. Kerbside slow charge in city centres is a waste of space as most charging is done at home and you only need other chargers on long trips

      • dear griff. I suggest you check the stats for aircraft journeys. the vast majority of them are at less than 1.5g, so there is no need to spend huge amounts of money building aircraft that can withstand 4-5g

      • Then, John, I do not see why you are emphasising long distance charging… it is a minor part of driving for people most likely to consider an EV. And there is a roll out at service stations underway.

        Destination charging is surely coming too: in Norway, for example, where EV take up large, charge points are going in at IKEA stores.

        I can’t imagine hotels will pass up on this (though I find a lot of UK hotels don’t have much in the way of parking, strangely!)

  22. Hot Scot: “and nuclear is not the best option”. I was quoting the UK National Grid paper directly. If you look at the paper they say of one of their scenarios “The peak demand is met with a combination of more flexible electricity generation sources with the predominate one being gas.”

  23. Can someone explain why wind farms nowadays keep on replicating the vintage Dutch windmill design with propellers. What holds up the development of vertical axis wind turbines a bit further from this

    This should enable harnessing the already constructed urban wind tunnels, preferably in the proximity of the organisations sustaining the cAGW illusion e.g. banks in Canary Wharf:

  24. That figure of 16,000 wind turbines does not include the storage facility. You would also need several pumped starage systems, to go alongside these wind turbines. And since the wind can go offline for ten days or more, the pumped storage system would have to cover this span of time. It would have to be immense.

    To cover ten days of charging cars and trucks, the UK would need 12,000 gwhr of energy storage (50 gw for ten days). One of the largest storage systems is the UKs Dinorwig plant, which can store 10 gwhr. So we would require 1,200 Dinorwigs to cover ten days without wind. And since Dinorwig was one of the world’s most expensive power plants, building 1,200 of them would be impossible).

    And this is just for transport. We would require another 1,200 Dinorwigs for domestic electrical usage, and another 2,400 Dinorwigs for space heating). So that is 48,000 Dinorwigs, times 3 billion pounds each, or 144 trillion pounds. Prof McKay proposed reducing this figure by flooding many Scottish glens (valleys), and using quantity of water rather than height of water for storage. But that proposal would go down like a lead balloon in the Scottish parliament, as you might imagine.

    Something tells me that this is looking-glass technology, powered by rocking horse sh!t.

    Ralph

  25. What the UK needs to do is to gradually reduce its population so that it will not need so many electric cars. Going back to animal power will also help to reduce the number of electiic cars that will be required. However even if the UK cut CO2 emmissions to zero, the effort would have no effect on global climate. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific reasoning to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is really zero. According to the paleoclimate record and the results of modeling, the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no contorl. Even if we could somehow stop the Earth’s climate from changing, extreme weather events and sea level rise would continue because they are both part of our current climate.

  26. It is reported that Casey Stengel said, “You can look it up.” And that was before the internet.

    Land-Use Requirements of Modern Wind Power Plants in the United States
    https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy09osti/45834.pdf

    New study yields better turbine spacing for large wind farms
    http://www.gazette.jhu.edu/2011/01/18/new-study-yields-better-turbine-spacing-for-large-wind-farms/

    Although the internet tells us that it didn’t originate with Mr. Stengel …

    Randall Short credits “You could look it up” to Casey Stengel. It is true that Stengel often said it in monologue with those he called “my writers,” but it probably originates with James Thurber.
    http://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/03/books/l-you-can-look-it-up-577891.html

  27. Quick calcs using 5MW turbines at 20% of nameplate (land based, sea-going mills do better), 30 million cars doing 10,000 miles each per year and using 0.33kWh per mile – it works out about right energy wise.

    Area wise and considering Scotland…
    The wind blows from the south west mostly and Scotland is hilly.
    By definition, half the [place is on the wrong side of the hill.
    Then you have valleys, lakes (lochs), towns and cities, roads and railways, existing transmission lines, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Beauty, golf courses all reducing the available area.
    Then there are oddities like the Seismic people at Eskdalemuir (looking for earth tremors etc etc) and you’re not allowed a turbine within 50 kilometres of them.

    With regard spacing, lets imagine we want to build a shelter-belt for our houses, gardens, animals in a field or wherever.
    We might plant a hedge or build a wall and the general guidelines say that you ‘get shelter’ behind the wall for a distance equal 10 times it height. You even get shelter in front of the wall for a distance of 2 times its height.

    Of course folks look at windmills and see 3 big blades with huge space between them.
    What the wind sees is effectively a solid disc, just like a wall. It will ride over that disc even before it gets there and for a distance 10 times its height afterwards.
    At a guess and because the wind always comes from the same direction in Scotland, the ‘front of wall’ figure will apply sideways too

    *There* is you turbine spacing calculation.
    You very quickly run out of space.

    • This, I think, is their true agenda in the UK, i,e., figuratively banning cars to the middle and lower classes. If you look at all the pieces – growing population, growing number of cars, massive traffic problems, massive lack of parking, no plans to reinforce the grid, no plans for quick-charging points, variable and instantaneous electrical pricing made possible by the quasi-forced acceptance of smart meters, and no way for the millions who own cars, and rely on street parking, to charge their cars – I can only conclude that the ruling class has no intention of allowing others to own cars.

      An outright prohibition would be political suicide, but they can achieve the same goal by making car ownership cost prohibitive via electrical pricing. “Yes, electrical prices must be high, but that is so we can save the world from climate change. Think of the children! You can’t afford to charge your car? We’re sorry, but think of the children!”

      Notice they couldn’t get away with simply charging still more for petrol. Their intent would be too obvious when compared to petrol costs worldwide, but by making it AN UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE of pursuing a green energy policy, they can reclaim the roads for themselves and ‘drive’ us mere mortals away.

      • jtom,
        Certainly some London Borough Councils – I live in the London Borough of Croydon – seem to be strongly discouraging cars – and other vehicles, except cycles.
        We have had a proposal for new flats on our main town car park – formerly over 220 spaces.
        There will be ‘152 flats’ – mix of 1, 2, and 3 bed flats is to be determined.
        Also – mix of private sales, ‘affordable’ [in London – dream on!!!] and part-but, part-rent; and social housing to be determined, also.
        Now the architectural design of the new flats is actually – IMHO – very nice.

        But –
        Car parking – a BIG problem.

        The 152 flats – note, easy walking distance to either of two decent rail stations for commuting to London, and also several bus routes covering a decent part of Southern South London – will get 560 parking spaces.
        The public car parks will be restricted to – if no second storey is provided [per the plans] – at most 100, and probably <90.
        There are already issues relating to – amongst others – access to an electricity substation . . . .
        These issues will cut the provision.
        A decent methodology indicates that my town actually needs an additional 150-200 car parking spaces.
        And the Council intends to cut provision – already greatly reduced from 220 to 124 [at best] – by a further 30 or so [noted that a few extra spaces – four, six, maybe ; could be found by Dobles Close, and, possibly a handful more- three or four -in the town].
        Lesson – How to Kill a Thriving Town 101 – see Coulsdon.

        So – yeah – if you can't afford a chauffeur to drive your car whilst you go to the shops, doctors', dentists', restaurants, IFAs, you need to use public transport and walking.
        Public transport here is pretty good – but imagine doing the weekly shop- 5 Kg of potatoes, another 3 Kg of other veggies – rice; water, wine, etc., plus some luxuries like tampons – and some of the hills here – in the North Downs – are fairly long and steep.
        Of course folks will take the car!

        Auto – bemused at the ivory towers some politicians – as well as academics, obviously – live in.

      • Sorry – typo. My fault.
        “The 152 flats – note, easy walking distance to either of two decent rail stations for commuting to London, and also several bus routes covering a decent part of Southern South London – will get 560 parking spaces.”
        Should read –
        “The 152 flats – note, easy walking distance to either of two decent rail stations for commuting to London, and also several bus routes covering a decent part of Southern South London – will get 50 parking spaces.”
        A difference.
        A difference of 510 car parking spaces!
        Sorry

        Auto.
        Truth is, proof-reading what you, yourself, have typed – is very difficullt.
        I should have picked that up – but didn’t. Apologies.

      • “Auto October 31, 2017 at 5:21 pm”

        Sunny Croyinge (Croydon) going down the eco plug hole eh? Shame. Know the area well, North and South Downs too know it better than Sydney, Australia, I was born there after all. East Croydon station is very quick commute in to London.

    • which may not be unreasonable: young people drive less and car sharing (Zip car etc) and improved public transport in some cities is reducing use

      • Land use is something that governments have to plan for and manage. There’s literally no other way to adapt to increasing numbers of cars, roads, and people. This is a worldwide problem for cities, not just in UK.

  28. OR, they could build more Drax plants. After all, we in the US have millions more trees that could be chopped down, ground up, compressed into pellets, and shipped over, and just think of all the trees elsewhere, once those are gone. Problem solved!
    I know what you’re thinking – what will the ships be powered with? I’m glad you asked.
    Unicorn farts and pixie dust, of course.

    • Drax is cutting back and may convert some capacity to gas: UK govt is not in favour of Drax/wood chip currently

    • More birds of prey are shot in Scotland than are killed by wind turbines (very low figures, thankfully)

      More white tailed sea eagles have been killed by trains than wind turbines.

      wind turbines in the UK are only allowed after a year long survey of birds in the build area and are regulary refused permission where birds would be impacted.

      • What a load of ill informed tendentious nonsense from Griff. the figures on raptor deaths are a closely guarded secret, because although returns are made, they are collated by the RSPB who will not release them, citing “commercial confidentiality.” RSPB is of course hugely in favour of [turbines] as they are “green” — unless you are [talking] about a couple of offshore wind farms, where they have suddenly turned into the opposition because of feared sea [birds] deaths. there is a very major court case wending its way to the UK Supreme Court on this issue.
        I have tried repeatedly to get these numbers released, as we know full well turbines kill raptors in large numbers. And guess what? Birds like the red grouse have learnt this, and congregate in considerable numbers on upland wind farms — as i know from personal experience. One famous grouse shoot even has lines of butts (for the guns/ shooters) under the turbines of a very large wind farm in the Scottish Borders.
        There has been a survey done in Norway on sea eagle deaths. And guess what? It showed that one wind farm sited on an group of island with a major sea eagle population has killed 70 of them over a period of about 5 years.
        And as for wind farms being refused when birds will be impacted? Oh then RSPB says nothing — as with a local scheme here where developers want to put turbines on moor with 7,000 wintering geese. So much for birds being protected.

      • When griff says something, you KNOW that it is going to be at least 97% utter BS and arrant nonsense.

        Its as though he just makes up his own version of the truth as he goes. PURE FABRICATION.

      • I live in Scotland and see both on and offshore wind turbines every day. Do you live in Scotland? I certainly don’t recognize any of the crap you have been uttering above.
        You are a total twat pushing somebody’s agenda

      • “roger October 31, 2017 at 4:12 pm”

        Griff constantly comments on countries he does/has not lived in. A popular one for him is Australia, and in particular the state of South Australia in fact as that state is his poster state for renewables. They are building the biggest Li-Ion battery, supplied by Tesla!

      • heriotjohn

        The Times tells me RSPB doucumented 80 cases of verified raptor death in the UK last year from shooting and poison.

        The Norwegian site is an exception – all authorities, including the RSPB told them not to put it there. We would not site it in the UK like that.

        The RSPB has objected to multiple wind farms and got them cancelled/restricted (e.g. London Array extension)

        both points covered here:
        http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/rspb-warning-as-wind-turbines-kill-sea-eagles-6110557.html

  29. Remember the Kennedy family leading protest against off-shore wind-farm near their compounds? Their ancestors lived in Ayr (and Wigtown…) shire. Notify them so they can go back to protest there (and leave us free).

  30. Wind power is social virtue signaling that is limited by the environmental destruction that it causes. From the rare earth mining operations in China, to the cobalt mines in Africa, to the slaughter of millions of migratory birds and bats, to the toxic poisoning of landfills, wind power wreaks extreme environmental damage that would not be tolerated by any fossil-fuels operation.

    • Wind turbines do not use cobalt.

      Do you know the difference between a wind turbine an a battery?

      • Turbines with gearboxes don’t use permanent magnets.
        ..
        Permanent magnets can be made without cobalt.
        ….
        Googlists like you think you know something.

      • Not magnets that use cobalt?
        What do they use instead?
        Where does it come from?
        What are the living conditions where it’s mined?
        I haven’t noticed any my refrigerator magnets missing.

        Just what type of magnets do wind turbines use?

  31. There’s 400bn vehicle-km per year in the UK. That’s cars and taxis only, does not include commercial vehicles.

    I calculated an extra 80TWh per year needed for this without storage. With energy storage at say 70% efficiency you need up to 114 TWh per year.

    All new wind development in the UK will be offshore, where the capacity factor averages 37%. Larger turbines will increase this.

    It works out to an offshore area the size of Yorkshire.

  32. I don’t get it. 16,000 wind turbines would need 90,000 square kilometers? That’s nearly 6 square kilometers per wind turbine. Why so much space? You can fit wind turbines a lot more densely than that. This guys figures seem bogus to me.

  33. I just don’t get this religious fascination with wind. its not reliable, its not cheaper without subsidies or feed in tariffs or required wind energy requirements, its ugly, it is inefficient, it takes up a large amount of area, it consumes a large amount of resources to build and maintain. Are we competing for some award for “im spending more money for green energy than you are?” All for some false save the planet from more co2 game? Do people realize if we took all the money we put into green energy in say the last ten years and instead put that into feed the hungry and saving lives from various diseases, how much of a bigger impact on humankind we would have been able to accomplish. No, let the hungry and sick suffer so we can pretend we are saving the planet by installing more wind turbines….what a waste.

  34. So if IC vehicles are banned how will people be able to tow their caravans? While towing range will be drastically reduced.

  35. Wind energy reminds me of an Edsel owner that keeps fabricating parts, adding parts, repainting, rebranding and insisting that the car is the ‘best one ever made”. He keeps an SUV in the garage for those times the Edsel fails (which is over 50%) and yet keeps trying to sell everyone on the belief that his Edsel is the BEST ever way to travel. It’s some kind of delusion, unless you through in the government giving him huge checks yearly for preserving and promoting the car. It’s still wrong and the car is complete disaster, but his motivation of money at least is typical. Without it, it’s amazing the deal would sell to anyone. Yet, wind does, so who can tell?

    [Rather, a Model T? .mod]

    • Hey, stop picking on the Edsel. We owned one for a while (a couple years I think) when I was a kid. It was an excellent car, although there was the time we were driving down the highway, and the steering wheel came off. I was in the front seat, so my mother, who was driving, handed it to me.

    • Nameplate is the maximum output power it is an absolute all other factors including average capacity go down from there. The 2.5W/sqm includes the average capacity factor of 30% it’s basically what you expect to get. The easier way to express it is 2.5 Million Watts per square kilometer.

      • Thanks for clarifying that. But notice there is no more onshore wind allowed in UK, it will all be offshore going forward, and the capacity factor will be higher than the 30% or 25% some on here assume. The 2016 UK offshore average was 37%.

  36. Question. How many windmills will it take to stop clear cutting forests on other continents for British vanity and appearances?

  37. Similarly, after 1994, it as difficult to find a White person in South Africa who supported Apartheid. We should not be surprised by this. Paradigms die when support for it erodes from within, then comes the collapse. At present, there is less and less support for the Western consumptive way of life, in the West. The tolerance of “renewables” is part of a desire to get out of the current paradigm and enter “something different”, Frustrations about all sorts of things, but especially a loss of faith and trust in government, lead people to ‘try anything’ that looks different, even if it is accepted that it will not be better. Frustration is a combination of expectations and observations, in short, un-met expectations.

    Apartheid was stupid and most people knew it but feared any alternative and feared any loss of control. Consider how people feel about decades of government corruption in the communist and capitalist worlds. The average person is not content about it and does not plan to ‘join the system’ to ‘get ahead’. They want to live in a just and fair world and are not getting it, therefore: un-met expectations. So anything that comes along that has a modicum of reasonableness is grasped, one after the other, hoping for a better outcome.

    Renewable energy sounds like a really good idea. Who could be against something that is ‘renewable’ forever? What the public are generally denied is the information and tools needed to make a thorough analysis of whether the promise is matched by the reality.

    If we were all hunters for our food, and this poor bird was killed by a shotgun, what would we do? Ban hunting? Ban hunters? Ban birds? Ban food? It is surprising to me how many would vote for banning humans. That is true self-loathing.

  38. One shouldn’t attribute actions to malignancy when stupidity is a perfectly good explanation. In my experience politicians cannot handle numbers when it comes to physical quantities (not that they are that good with money on a large scale).

    I suspect that most of the politicians’ ideas are based on inumerate wishful thinking.

  39. “It’s manipulated because you don’t like it? Really, how foolish a comment is that?”

    Pictures are always being manipulated to present a positive or negative view. My favorite view of a nuke plant has a sail boat in the foreground.

    If you are promoting that you environmentally friendly you need a picture of a single wind turbine with a dairy cow grazing on green grass. If you look in the tables of a power company annual report, you would think they are in the business of making power with coal but not one picture of a coal pile. The picture of the coal pile and power plant stacks depicting water vapor as pollution are provided by Friends of the Earth.

    • Griff seemed to be implying that their was actual photoshop manipulation of the picture, which is what my comment addressed. I am well aware of how one photographs angles and lighting to make an area look better or worse. I have posted pictures on my blog showing just that—how to make turbines look naughty or nice with proper photographic techniques (no photoshopping). I have also had a person accuse me of lying with a photo because it didn’t look like the picture of the deer on the hillside under a wind turbine but rather it was on an open prairie area and that made it look bad. I should not use anything but nice photos or I was a bad person, I guess. The turbines really were on prairie land, but that did not seem to matter.

  40. They forgot to mention that windpower is increasingly put off-shore.
    Also forgot to mention it still costs about half of what nuclear costs. Not saying nuclear isn’t needed, but Wind could off-set the need for nuclear, especially if it is deployed with shared battery storage and solar.
    Actually the “professors” calculation neglects any kind of analysis of peak vs off-peak use, so grid loading during low-load periods doesn’t seem to enter the analysis. Funny, most electric cars are charged overnight – so his math is WAY off.

    Typical.

  41. The energy power required to charge a Tesla car “S” type is 100 KWh
    Usually people want to charge their electric car when they are sleeping, during night. Then the photovoltaïc panels are useless.

  42. Maybe instead if building all those new bird slayers to move cars without fossil fuels, they should build a bunch of trebuchets and nets along the roads to hurl the car from one spot to another. Maybe stick a windmill on top to rewind it?
    (Josh, you listening?)

  43. So petrol stations will disappear from Scotland because they will be uneconomical. Bad luck if you want to drive your gas guzzler from England, or anywhere else for that matter, for a tour of Sctoland

  44. Do birds die in oil and gas production or shipping? Seems like I’ve seen studies about the number of birds that die at drilling operations on land, and processing plants at tar-sands where there are large pits with toxic stuff…

  45. We need about 100TWh per year (as an order of magnitude) to run UK cars and taxis.

    At offshore wind output =2.5MW/sq km (this includes the capacity factor), we need 4566 sq km of offshore wind.

    That’s a square 68 km (roughly 42 miles) on a side.

    Calculation for people to check: (2.5E+06 W/km^2) x (24 h) x (365 d/yr) = 2.19E+10 Wh/km^2/yr

    Then (100E+12 Wh/yr) / (2.19E+10 Wh/km^2/yr) = 4566 km^2

    • 1. What are you assuming for a capacity factor on those windmills?

      2. Actual delivered electricity averages 17-19% for offshore turbines over their lifetime. But actual delivered power varies between 100% (3% of the tie) to 0.00% (20% of the time.) What will you do for transportation when the entire region is stagnant for 8-10 days and nights? People will starve, die for no medicines, no care, no food, no supplies and no work, no goods and services?

      • (1) The capacity factor is built-in already -in the power per unit area figure of 2.5W/sq metre.

        (2) The average capacity factor for all UK offshore wind was 36.9% in 2016. Are you saying 2016 was exceptionally windy?

        The stagnation factor: the wind is always blowing somewhere. Especially off the north west coast of Britain. Anyway, my figure of 100TWh per year includes a small allowance for electrical storage inefficiency (20 TWh). If you think it should be larger, it’s no problem we just scale up the area in in proportion.

    • Wind turbines must stand apart from each other for a certain distance not to interfere with each other. There are also legal restrictions as how close these turbines or parks may be to populated areas or even houses. So the space needed becomes larger than expected.

  46. In 1978, my mailman offered a recommendation to solve the energy crisis: instead of running electricity to ground after it powers a device, why not return it to a battery or the grid? Why do we just throw it away?
    I didn’t know where to start with a response. I’m not a good teacher – especially when one starts from such a deficit of knowledge.
    Hey, Griff, were you delivering mail in 1978?

  47. “SCOTLAND would need to be entirely covered by wind farms in order to power all of Britain’s electric cars, ”

    Might as well. We don’t need Scotland for anything else.

  48. Area of Scotland is 77,933 km^2 (Wikipedia)

    Wind power area required is 4566 km^2, let’s round that up to 5000 km^2. That is 6.4% the area of Scotland.

    On top of that, all new UK wind power will be offshore. It won’t be built on Scotland, it will be in the sea.

    There are some serious issues with the electric vehicle plans, someone said, correctly, we have chosen to go to the moon now all we need is the NASA to make it happen.

    These articles, with basic arithmetical and factual errors, do nothing for your cause, and in fact undermine it by exposing it to ridicule.

    For heavens sake start getting someone half competent to check the arithmetic and the facts before they are posted.

  49. How many cars on the streets are the basis of this calculation? Didn’t he consider taking in his calculation the amount of lithium required to build the necessary batteries? Is there enough Li availabe at all?

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