Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy

From The Spectator

We urgently need to stop the ecological posturing and invest in gas and nuclear

Matt Ridley

The Global Wind Energy Council recently released its latest report, excitedly boasting that ‘the proliferation of wind energy into the global power market continues at a furious pace, after it was revealed that more than 54 gigawatts of clean renewable wind power was installed across the global market last year’.

You may have got the impression from announcements like that, and from the obligatory pictures of wind turbines in any BBC story or airport advert about energy, that wind power is making a big contribution to world energy today. You would be wrong. Its contribution is still, after decades — nay centuries — of development, trivial to the point of irrelevance.

Here’s a quiz; no conferring. To the nearest whole number, what percentage of the world’s energy consumption was supplied by wind power in 2014, the last year for which there are reliable figures? Was it 20 per cent, 10 per cent or 5 per cent? None of the above: it was 0 per cent. That is to say, to the nearest whole number, there is still no wind power on Earth.


Matt Ridley and climate change campaigner Leo Murray debate the future of wind power:

Even put together, wind and photovoltaic solar are supplying less than 1 per cent of global energy demand. From the International Energy Agency’s 2016 Key Renewables Trends, we can see that wind provided 0.46 per cent of global energy consumption in 2014, and solar and tide combined provided 0.35 per cent. Remember this is total energy, not just electricity, which is less than a fifth of all final energy, the rest being the solid, gaseous, and liquid fuels that do the heavy lifting for heat, transport and industry.

Such numbers are not hard to find, but they don’t figure prominently in reports on energy derived from the unreliables lobby (solar and wind). Their trick is to hide behind the statement that close to 14 per cent of the world’s energy is renewable, with the implication that this is wind and solar. In fact the vast majority — three quarters — is biomass (mainly wood), and a very large part of that is ‘traditional biomass’; sticks and logs and dung burned by the poor in their homes to cook with. Those people need that energy, but they pay a big price in health problems caused by smoke inhalation.

Even in rich countries playing with subsidised wind and solar, a huge slug of their renewable energy comes from wood and hydro, the reliable renewables. Meanwhile, world energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years. Between 2013 and 2014, again using International Energy Agency data, it grew by just under 2,000 terawatt-hours.

If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.

At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area greater than the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels, which currently supply 80 per cent of global energy needs.

Do not take refuge in the idea that wind turbines could become more efficient. There is a limit to how much energy you can extract from a moving fluid, the Betz limit, and wind turbines are already close to it. Their effectiveness (the load factor, to use the engineering term) is determined by the wind that is available, and that varies at its own sweet will from second to second, day to day, year to year.

As machines, wind turbines are pretty good already; the problem is the wind resource itself, and we cannot change that. It’s a fluctuating stream of low–density energy. Mankind stopped using it for mission-critical transport and mechanical power long ago, for sound reasons. It’s just not very good.

As for resource consumption and environmental impacts, the direct effects of wind turbines — killing birds and bats, sinking concrete foundations deep into wild lands — is bad enough. But out of sight and out of mind is the dirty pollution generated in Inner Mongolia by the mining of rare-earth metals for the magnets in the turbines. This generates toxic and radioactive waste on an epic scale, which is why the phrase ‘clean energy’ is such a sick joke and ministers should be ashamed every time it passes their lips.

It gets worse. Wind turbines, apart from the fibreglass blades, are made mostly of steel, with concrete bases. They need about 200 times as much material per unit of capacity as a modern combined cycle gas turbine. Steel is made with coal, not just to provide the heat for smelting ore, but to supply the carbon in the alloy. Cement is also often made using coal. The machinery of ‘clean’ renewables is the output of the fossil fuel economy, and largely the coal economy.

Read the full article here.

HT/Jeff L

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Donald Kasper
January 10, 2019 2:10 am

Coal with supercritical boilers releases 35% less CO2. That is why it is called “clean” coal.

John
Reply to  Donald Kasper
January 10, 2019 2:46 am

CO2 is not even dirty.

Greg
Reply to  John
January 10, 2019 3:53 am

a land area greater than the British Isles, including Ireland.

Ireland is NOT one of the “British Isles” As it’s name would suggest, it’s Irish.

The official title is: The United Kingdom of the British Isles and Northern Ireland. So without taking sides on the issues of a divided Ireland, it is decidedly NOT part of the British Isles even according to Her Majesty’s government.

That the very British toff 5th Viscount Sir Matthew White Ridley pretends not to know that is disrespectful and insulting, not an accident.

I doubt the rest of his article is any more honest or accurate.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Greg
January 10, 2019 4:09 am

Greg, I think you misunderstood Matt. He knows what the British Isles comprise of: he was merely adding in (the Republic of) Ireland as an expended land mass.
Your obvious bias is showing.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Harry Passfield
January 10, 2019 4:58 am

Expanded (duh)

Stoic
Reply to  Greg
January 10, 2019 4:10 am

Greg at 3:53

Oh dear! Geography is clearly not your strong point. There was no disrespect. The island of Ireland is part of the British Isles.

Here is a brief tutorial from the (British!) Ordnance Survey.

The difference between UK, Great Britain and the British Isles

Ordnance Survey team
One of the most common mistakes people make when talking about geography in this country is to confuse the UK with Great Britain or the British Isles – a cardinal sin in the eyes of any true geographer!

So let’s clear this up once and for all…

The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (to give its full name) refers to the political union between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The UK is a sovereign state, but the nations that make it up are also countries in their own right.

From 1801 to 1922 the UK also included all of Ireland.

The Channel Islands and Isle of Man are not part of the UK, but are Crown Dependencies.

Great Britain

Great Britain is the official collective name of of England, Scotland and Wales and their associated islands. It does not include Northern Ireland and therefore should never be used interchangeably with ‘UK’ – something you see all too often.

Here at Ordnance Survey, we’re responsible for mapping Great Britain, which is why we don’t make maps of Northern Ireland.

British Isles

This is purely a geographical term – it refers to the islands of Great Britain and Ireland – including the Republic of Ireland – and the 5000 or so smaller islands scattered around our coasts. Remember this only refers to geography, not nationality, and while the Republic of Ireland is part of the British Isles, its people are not British – a very important distinction.

I hope that’s explained the very different meanings between UK, Great Britain and British Isles and why it’s important to use the right name at the right time. Geography really does matter!

We could go on to talk about nationalities but maybe we’ll save that for another day…

Photios
Reply to  Stoic
January 10, 2019 4:42 am

Great Britain is also the name of the biggest island in the archipelago – and is so named to distnguish it from Lesser Britain, or Brittany, which is a peninsula now in France

Sam Pyeatte
Reply to  Stoic
January 10, 2019 2:25 pm

I think we have veered off into the weeds…this is supposed to be about wind turbines not geography.

HotScot
Reply to  Greg
January 10, 2019 4:12 am

Greg

Pedantry.

Indeed, he may well be talking about N.I. as Southern Ireland is known as Poblacht na hÉireann or Éire.

However there is one big mistake, altered elsewhere, see if you can spot it.

Greg
Reply to  HotScot
January 10, 2019 5:24 am

I can spot that there is no such place as “Southern Ireland” if that is what you mean.

HotScot
Reply to  HotScot
January 10, 2019 7:12 am

Greg

Not even close, and it’s a whopper.

BillP
Reply to  Greg
January 10, 2019 4:23 am

Try again, it is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Whereas the British Isles is a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Continental Europe. It includes Ireland, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Shetland, Orkney, and thousands of smaller islands. It is a geographical term, not a political one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminology_of_the_British_Isles

SimonfromAshby
Reply to  Greg
January 10, 2019 5:45 am

The British Isles is a term coined by the mediterranean civilisations, first appearing in writing in about 500BC as Pritaigne, later changed by the Romans (possibley in error) to Britaigne. It encompasses all of these islands off the north west coast of mainland Europe.

The “official title” as you put it is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain being the largest Island of what we now call the British Isles.

sunderlandsteve
Reply to  Greg
January 10, 2019 6:04 am

Wrong (again)

Kenneth Allen
Reply to  Greg
January 10, 2019 6:08 am

Sorry Greg, but your anti-Brit bile has caused you to incorrectly state the name of the U.K. The correct name is: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Greg
January 10, 2019 7:02 am

Yes, I have a very thick book from the Oxford University Press about these islands, called “The Isles”. Its first 50 pages go into how difficult it was to actually name to book…

MarkW
Reply to  Greg
January 10, 2019 7:11 am

Any excuse in a storm.

Johanus
Reply to  Greg
January 10, 2019 7:31 am

Forget politics, Ireland is part of the British Isles. Geographically.

“The British Isles are an archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean off the north-western coast of continental Europe that consists of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man and over six thousand smaller isles”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles

Kenji
Reply to  Greg
January 10, 2019 8:35 am

Ireland recently legalized abortion … the country is dead to me now. As dead as the gestating infants they now … legally … destroy in-utero

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Greg
January 10, 2019 4:51 pm

Sorry Greg, but you are not doing yourself any favours here.

You write “I doubt the rest of his article is any more honest or accurate”, but people read “I have no valid argument I can use to debate the main thrust of the article”.

You are not currently disputing the claims being made, you are arguing over the comparison method. One can only assume that you have no ability to dispute the claims, secretly accept that they are indisputable, and are now simply attempting to distract the audience in hope that the original claims just fade away.

If I am wrong and you do have arguments to be made against the actual claims being made then please feel free to correct me. Until then I, and I am going to assume, many others are going to assume that you do not have valid disagreement with the main thrust of the article, and by extension largely accept its claims.

Also, hope you have a good weekend 😀

Craig Austin
Reply to  John
January 10, 2019 5:33 am

That has to be clear, CO2 is not an enemy, it is the gas of life. Each time that carbon is demonized and not rebutted, the error continues.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
January 10, 2019 12:21 pm

And if the technology of Carbon Capture Utilization is added, these coal fired power plants will be putting into the atmosphere less CO2 than a natural gas power plant.
https://youtu.be/RQRQ7S92_lo

MarkW
Reply to  Sid A
January 10, 2019 7:11 pm

Less CO2 at a much higher costs.
2 reasons to be against your money making venture.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
January 10, 2019 12:23 pm

Add to that a Carbon Capture Utilization System and the coal fired power plant will be emitting less CO2 than a natural gas power plant. https://youtu.be/RQRQ7S92_lo

griff
January 10, 2019 2:36 am

There is a difference between global electricity demand and global energy demand.

so far the biggest advances in renewables are in electricity, not heating or transport.

It is therefore convenient for those who want to run down renewables to focus on all energy rather than on electricity.

If you look at renewable electricity in developed nations and in India and China it is clear renewables and wind in particular are making a significant and increasing contribution to the electricity supply and they are both clean and green

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 2:45 am

Did you really say that Griff? Really?

Have you been to Holland recently? Stay off the cakes!

Cube
Reply to  Patrick MJD
January 10, 2019 8:26 pm

Hey its Griff! You’re back, spewing grammatically incorrect nonsense with a warmist bias! Where have you been, ole’ buddy? Getting higher rates for spamming other sites?

Ron Long
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 3:10 am

Griff, would you please do us all a favor? Please find a large wind-turbine complex, go to the turbines along a ridge top (where raptors like to ride the wave looking for prey below) and count the dead and mangled birds. Then come back to Watts… and explain how wind-turbines are so important to humans that they should be the only industry to get a pass on this type of carnage.

AWG
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 3:14 am

Did you even read the article? The author wasn’t trying to hide anything or continue to deceive as wind-power advocates must do.

“Remember this is total energy, not just electricity, which is less than a fifth of all final energy,” with the other four fifths being used for “heat, transport and industry”.

So with a wave of the hand, you want to completely dismiss 80% of the world’s energy needs because wind isn’t of any value in furthering the propaganda. It isn’t important that people can cook or heat their homes and factories, not at all relevant that people and things need to be moved around; that crops need to be grown, processed and shipped; that products need to be manufactured – none of all this matters, just that there is enough wind at the moment to power up your Apple products.

You probably also missed that the definition of “renewables” that includes burning of wood, peat and feces. Much easier to conflate and deliberately deceive others into thinking that wind is even a significant slice of the “renewable” pie by equating all renewable energy as either PV or wind.

It seems that you missed the entire point of the article.

Usurbrain
Reply to  AWG
January 10, 2019 6:58 am

And a very important point. I use a heat pump to heat my home. The economic crossover point is at 25 oF with todays gas prices. That means more than 75% of the time it is cheaper to heat my home with my HP than the high efficiency gas furnace. The only way every one in the USA can heat with electricity an not have CO2 emissions is when the majority of the electricity is generated from nuclear power.
Same applies to electric cars and other transportation.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Usurbrain
January 10, 2019 10:02 am

Usurbrain,
Insofar as most of the previous comments have been off topic**, I will do likewise.
The degrees sign [ ° ] that is standard in such things as 25 oF can be obtained in several ways. I use the ALT key and the numbers 0 1 7 6 ; hold the ALT down while typing the four numbers.
It is not that we do not know what you mean, but it does look better.

Ric Werme has provided a handy guide to using the WUWT site. The button for Ric’s page is on the right side, white letters over a blue background.HTML stuff is at the bottom of that long page.

**For all the pretend geographers in the above comments:
How long is the coast line of the largest island of the group mentioned, and how do you know, and to what accuracy?
And they think temperature is hard!

Phil R
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
January 10, 2019 10:46 am

For ASCII, you can also use ALT-248.

ALT-0176: °
ALT-248: °

Just sayin’…

Usurbrain
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
January 10, 2019 12:15 pm

There is NO ALT key on my Smart phone.

Usurbrain
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
January 10, 2019 12:33 pm

Worse than typing 20 oF instead of 20°F, which most people easily understand, is the constant brainless use of the word “bring” when “take” is the proper word. e.g. “When you go to the conference BRING the proposal with you.”

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
January 10, 2019 7:04 pm

With no spaces, try these 5 characters & d e g ; °

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
January 12, 2019 5:38 pm

…and if you’re on your dumb ol’ smartphone, just type out 25 deg F. Yeah, yeah, 2 extra thumbstrokes from thumbing “o”, get over it cuz it looks better.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
January 12, 2019 6:08 pm

As long as we’re off-topic anyway, and Usurbrain brought up smartphones, for the last several days, maybe even more than a week, my smartphone (iPhone XS) won’t load WUWT (using Safari). If I start typing the url and then hit “Enter” as soon as autocomplete shows the name, I get a blank screen. If I type in the complete url I get the home page showing the latest postings, but if I tap on a title to try to read the story, it gives a brief blue line and then stays where it was. If I try any of the links in an email, I get a blank screen. Every other website I have visited works just fines. When I go to my Windows laptop everything works just fine, so I suspect an Apple-centric problem, but does anyone have any idea what I can do to reset it? Where do I go to clear it? I have already tried turning the phone off and back on, what’s next?

Menicholas
Reply to  Usurbrain
January 13, 2019 7:06 pm

How about just 25F and everyone knows what it means from the context.

fred250
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 3:15 am

“advances in renewables are in electricity”

They are not advances.

Only “advance” is on price.!

They send countries backwards, environmentally and economically.

This is the aim, afterall.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  fred250
January 10, 2019 7:09 am

Going backwards economically by replacing reliables with unreliables at 2x to 3x the cost is a sure fired way to reduce funds needed to maintain a clean environment. Especially when the unreliables contribute significantly to the environmental damage.

Barbara
Reply to  fred250
January 10, 2019 6:17 pm

United Nations System

“UN-Energy”, Created 2004.
Re: Transition to sustainable energy.
http://www.unsystem.org/content/un-energy

United Nations System

Search results: Energy articles including renewables.
http://www.unsceb.org/search/node/energy

United Nations
UN-Energy
DESA

Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
http://www.un-energy.org
Also see UN-Energy Partners and Members sections.

Follow the links through these organizations for UN involvement in global renewable energy actions/activities.

Barbara
Reply to  fred250
January 10, 2019 7:19 pm

For additional information on UN-Energy:

UNFCCC
Articles on: DESA UN-Energy
https://unfccc.int/gcse?q=DESA%20UN-Energy

UNEP Document Repository
Search enter: UN-Energy
https://wedocs.unep.org/discover

Can just browse through the UN-Energy articles and publications.

Barbara
Reply to  fred250
January 11, 2019 12:33 pm

United Nations

“Partnership Data For SDGs”

“Collaboration between UN-DESA, UN Office for Partnerships and the UN Global Compact.” Launched in 2016.

Introduction and Background information:
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdinaction/pd4sdgs

Network?

In The Real World
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 3:27 am

Just the usual Bovine Scatology from Griff.

Looking at the Gridwatch figures for the UK at the moment .
Total demand is 45.5 GW , of which wind is producing 2.1 GW , [ or 4.7% ] .
And wind gets priority over all other generation types .

” Significant contribution ” , only in Griffs mind .

Bill Treuren
Reply to  In The Real World
January 10, 2019 9:56 am

If the price of the electricity in the UK was as it would have been without the “renewable s” the demand would have been higher.
So it saves both ways clearly.
Ultimately poverty is the greatest way to limit CO2 emissions.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Bill Treuren
January 10, 2019 10:20 am

As of 1:15 PM Toronto Time, January 10th 2019, for Ontario, Canada:

http://www.ieso.ca/en/Power-Data

Demand: 17,075 Mw

Output:

Nukes: 11,180 Mw
Hydro: 4,472 Mw
Gas: 679 Mw
Wind: 2,932 Mw
Solar: 173 Mw
Bio: 27Mw

BTW, there is a windchill of -12 C, so that’s -4 with wind of 31km/h, gusts to 46.

Sure, lets shut down nukes, gas and coal…

Tom
Reply to  Caligula Jones
January 12, 2019 3:44 am

…..And do you reckon that it just may be economic endeavors that are powered by traditional energy sources that are generating the money with which the taxes are paid so governments can then have money which can be used to provide the financial subsidies that produce the illusion of profitability for “renewables” powered operations?

AGW is not Science
Reply to  In The Real World
January 11, 2019 9:51 am

NEGATIVE contribution – because somewhere, there’s 2.1GW of fossil fuel powered generation running inefficiently on back-up in case the wind suddenly stops blowing or blows too hard. Redundant generating infrastructure, and the also needless additional grid management apparatus and manpower, IS NOT FREE.

Newminster
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 3:35 am

And equally convenient for those who want to push the case for renewables to ignore the fact that the plan is for renewables to supply all the world’s energy needs, primarily by eliminating as far as possible those energy demands that cannot be met by wind or solar. Neither wind nor solar are “clean” (whatever that means) nor “green” (you need to painfully selective in your thinking to come anywhere close to believing that).

The fuel may be “clean” but its intermittency makes it totally unsuitable as a provider of reliable energy for a civilised society. Perhaps griff would care to explain to us which aspects of civilisation he, personally, would be happy to sacrifice in order for this utopian dream to become a reality.

Kemaris
Reply to  Newminster
January 10, 2019 10:54 am

Oh that much is self-evident. All electricity will be supplied by wind and solar, that electricity will be used for the benefit of the ruling green priest class, and the restcpf us can burn renewable wood (as long as it holds out) or dung to cook the birds and bats killed by the windmills and thermal solar plants. This will provide a protein supplement to the subsistence farming we engage in for survival in the shadow of all those windmills. Once the raptor are gone, the rodent population will boom and we may be allowed to hunt those to add to our diet.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 3:43 am

griff – January 10, 2019 at 2:36 am

If you look at renewable electricity in developed nations and in India and China it is clear renewables and wind in particular are making a significant and increasing contribution to the electricity supply and they are both clean and green

Shur nuff, …… griff, ….. any place on earth that currently had/has NO, NADA, ZERO, ZILCH electrical power, …… then any form of electrical generating infrastructure that is installed “would make a significant and increasing contribution” to the electricity supply, ….. even if it was only a “hand-cranked” generator for charging Cell Phone batteries.

icisil
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 4:51 am

Ridley demolishes a misleading talking point, Griff has a sad.

ATheoK
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 4:56 am

“giffiepoo January 10, 2019 at 2:36 am
There is a difference between global electricity demand and global energy demand.
so far the biggest advances in renewables are in electricity, not heating or transport.
It is therefore convenient for those who want to run down renewables to focus on all energy rather than on electricity.”

Oh!?
Only electricity, not total energy?

Which is an alarmist desire to ignore that renewables utterly fail to provide the energy necessary for society.
e.g. Manufacturing, refining, mining, smelting, concrete production, fertilizer production, plastics production, transport by any vehicle, flight by any vehicle, building construction, etc. etc,; even including constructing, installing and maintaining wind turbines.

Instead, everyone is supposed to wear blinders so they can only view the pathetic wind and solar farms supplying trivial amounts of poor quality electricity sporadically.
All while consuming huge quantities of raw material, vast swaths of land, and unable to provide reasonable length of service.

Classic misdirection and false strawman with a desperate desire to avoid the actual topic and instead substitute a limited and controlled alarmist strawman. Pathetic.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  ATheoK
January 11, 2019 9:56 am

How eloquently put!

Sheri
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 5:29 am

Clear to the true believers, as is any fantasy or lie.

kakatoa
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 7:12 am

Griff,

Gail Tverberg had an insightful comment on non dis-patchable sources of generation last month-

“While intermittent wind and solar may sound sustainable, the way that they are added to the electric grid tends to push the overall electrical system toward collapse. They act like parasites on the system.”

https://ourfiniteworld.com/2018/12/20/electricity-wont-save-us-from-our-oil-problems

MarkW
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 7:16 am

So griff, have you and the other trolls given up on demanding that transportation, and just about everything else be electrified????

If not, then it is justifiable to include all forms of energy when calculating what fraction is being produced by renewables.

In other words, if you want to power everything using “renewable” energy, than it is correct to use all energy when calculating how much more energy renewables are going to have to create.

Sam Pyeatte
Reply to  MarkW
January 10, 2019 2:36 pm

Besides, coal, oil and gas are renewable resources as each is stored solar energy in a usable form, while direct solar and wind are useless as a base load power source.

Roger Knights
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 8:37 am

“If you look at renewable electricity in developed nations and in India and China it is clear renewables and wind in particular are making a significant and increasing contribution to the electricity supply …”

Look at this recent (12/21) thread by Willis Eschenbach: It has many graphs of fuel proportions in different countries. It shows the tiny percent devoted to renewables, and their puny growth rate.
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/21/another-look-at-the-fuel-mix/

dmacleo
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 11:09 am

you could have just typed “DERP!!” and saved yourself from some exertion from typing.

JohnB
Reply to  griff
January 10, 2019 3:54 pm

No they’re not Griff. If you look at the development plans for China they intend to have 25% renewables in the energy mix. However, of that 25% only 25% is to be from wind and solar, 75% is from Hydro.

So solar and wind are planned to be about 6% of Chinese electricity generation.

beng135
Reply to  griff
January 11, 2019 7:39 am

so far the biggest advances in renewables are in electricity

grifter, did you read the article? How can near zero percent be a big advance?

Bill In Oz
Reply to  griff
January 11, 2019 8:29 pm

Senator Stirling Griff, you are back again after being absent with out leave 6-7 weeks..
Where ever have you been ?

However I notice that you have not used the time to become better acquainted with the real world on how much renewable electricity is generated even here in Australia or South Australia where you live.

If you look at this link you will see a chart showing the sources of electricity for the Australian national grid last Thursday the 10/1/2019 here in Oz : https://papundits.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/australian-daily-electrical-power-generation-data-wednesday-9th-january-2019/?fbclid=IwAR0_UAcqX3VZbGUYPHDqaIRl2mM0U7iA1qJZKV9xPEbWKcVR-h-GV5JIe2w

The reality is that the total amount of solar & wind generating electricity for the AEMO area of Oz, is puny – absolutely puny.. And expensive.

January 10, 2019 2:39 am

“what percentage of the world’s energy consumption was supplied by wind power” and this is the only valid and relevant number. Any other statement with some numbers like capacity is pure propaganda.

richard
January 10, 2019 2:41 am

With total energy needs increasing at 2% a year what hope for wind and Solar. All the solar and wind ever built would have to be built every year- would there be enough land in the end?

Don K
Reply to  richard
January 10, 2019 9:09 am

All the solar and wind ever built would have to be built every year- would there be enough land in the end?

Wind? Probably not

Solar? Yes, although it would require paving much of the planet’s mid-latitude deserts with solar panels, and probably is NOT a good idea using current storage technology. Solar hot water heating incidentally is currently cost effective for a large percentage of the people on the planet and is — along with better insulated housing — something that is both green and worth supporting.

BTW, the percentage of world energy usage provided by wind in the 18th and early 19th centuries was much higher than today. It fell out of favor because it simply didn’t work very well. e.g. It took the Mayflower NINE WEEKS to make the relatively short trip from England to Cape Cod Bay. And that wasn’t all that unusual.

Reply to  Don K
January 10, 2019 6:17 pm

“Solar? Yes, although it would require paving much of the planet’s mid-latitude deserts with solar panels,…”

These squares don’t look like “much of” to me:

https://www.businessinsider.com/map-shows-solar-panels-to-power-the-earth-2015-9

Phil Rae
January 10, 2019 2:42 am

It’s an old article but still a good one. The whole renewables situation is a farce, funded by taxpayers’ money and by surcharges on electricity bills. Howevere, there’s no doubt that the mainstream media and governments along with so-called “green energy” promoters have done a great job in conning the general public. One of these days, people will finally wake up and put a stop to this scam.

BTW, I couldn’t get the link to the original article to work. Thanks!

Steve
Reply to  Phil Rae
January 10, 2019 3:09 am

You have to hit the link and as soon as it appears hit Ctrl A, then Ctrl C and paste it to Word or something to read otherwise, if you’re not a registered Spectator user, it goes to subscription status etc.

Phil Rae
Reply to  Steve
January 10, 2019 3:23 am

Thanks, Steve…..much appreciated!😃

HotScot
Reply to  Phil Rae
January 10, 2019 4:26 am

Phil Rae

It’s on Matt’s Blog.

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/wind-still-making-zero-energy/

It also includes the alteration that hasn’t been included in this report which I presume has been cut and pasted from the original Spectator article of some time ago.

The real number is half of Russia would be covered in wind turbines, not the whole of Russia.

Not that it makes much difference because it’s only dealing with the 2% annual growth, ignoring the existing energy mix which would still be churning out many tons of the non-pollutant CO2.

Griff, of course, jumps in with both feet waving his hands about wonderful renewables and misses the point of the article entirely, that merely keeping up with 2% growth would soon swamp the world in wind turbines and we would still need reliable energy from fossil or nuclear.

The other presentation I enjoy is from a committed green, the late Sir David MacKay, who did a TED talk on the futility of renewables. https://www.ted.com/talks/david_mackay_a_reality_check_on_renewables

It’s fun rubbing green faces in both Matt and David’s practical outlook of renewables.

Phil Rae
Reply to  HotScot
January 10, 2019 4:59 am

HotScot

Yes……I know that but wondered if there was something different in The Spectator article, hence my question. I already subscribe to Matt’s excellent blog and read every article. Thanks anyway, though.

AndyHce
January 10, 2019 2:58 am

Anyone interested in wind power, pro on con, should be aware of this research. Note (1) it is not about wind power per se but still very relevant and (2) there seems to be quite a bit of objective data.

Sommer
Reply to  AndyHce
January 11, 2019 3:12 pm

Thank you for posting this, Andy.
I’ve just received this link to Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira’s most recently published paper:

https://www.intechopen.com/online-first/acoustics-and-biological-structures

Russell Robles-Thome
January 10, 2019 3:24 am

If a wind turbine uses 200 times the materiel per unit capacity, how long does it have to operate before total CO2 emissions from construction and operation are below, say, a CCGT gas plant of the same output? How does that square with the recent article pointing out that Wind Turbine life is actually only about half the original 25 year expectation?

Boris
Reply to  Russell Robles-Thome
January 14, 2019 11:13 am

As an installer of Gas Turbine combined cycle units for 28 years I can tell you some facts about their output. Once they are commissioned the average for the reliability and output is 98% for a years worth of run time. I will concede 2% of the total output for regular maintenance and some upsets due to line conditions or unwanted shutdowns. That is running at the total output of the name plate rating regardless of the size of the unit. The newer Combined cycle units are low emission units that provide reliable power at 1/10 of the emissions that a unit from 1980’s would produce. The total payback on the units footprint depends on the rate given for the power sold but the average I have worked out is 7 years to zero out the emissions required to manufacture. Now a British study looked at the total output from all of the wind turbines installed in Britain over seven years and found that in that time the highest output from ANY wind turbine on any given day never went over 30% of name plate. So if the green crowd is spouting off about wind mills for energy then if they can not get them over 30% of name plate then the whole argument to install these bird choppers is a very unicorn like fallacy for reliable energy.

kent beuchert
January 10, 2019 4:23 am

Need to mention recent study that showed large wind turbine’s lifespan just half that promised, doubling costs of power produced.

Peta of Newark
January 10, 2019 4:34 am

Find the original non subscription article here:
http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/wind-still-making-zero-energy/

As a coal miner himself, its odd he doesn’t seem to know how steel is made.
Yes, you make iron, take all the carbon out of it then put just a little back in. And other stuff like vanadium, Chromium, Manganese, Obtainium whatever whatever..
(This is where Chinese steel recyclers go so badly wrong and thus produce Junk Steel – they don’t have any Obtainium. Junk is very apt doncha think?)

But you need the chemistry of carbon reducing iron oxide to iron primarily.
That’s where the coal goes, into the blast furnaces.
Iron Oxide + Carbon > Carbon Oxide + Iron

Adding limestone helps somehow but mainly in producing truly epic soil/dirt conditioner and plant-food in the shape of Basic Slag

How are the fusion reactors gonna work that I wonder?
Can you eat neutrons?

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 10, 2019 4:45 am

I forgot..
Neutrons taste like chicken and this is how its done:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/31/electric-food-sci-fi-diet-planet-food-animals-environment

Just like on The Enterprise – no wonder Kirk had such magnetism when it came to finding alien cougars.

At least the jellyfish will be safe from Aussie BBQ chefs.
Good result. I like that.

commieBob
January 10, 2019 4:45 am

I just heard Climate Barbie on the radio. She thinks that, if we keep working hard, renewable energy will become practical. She also calls life-giving CO2 pollution. That’s like describing water as pollution. She also keeps blaming bad weather on CAGW. Is there no truth in advertising legislation we can nail her with?

Sheri
Reply to  commieBob
January 10, 2019 5:34 am

You’re joking, right? Hasn’t been any such thing in the USA for decades. I think the last company nailed for that was Listerine. England may occasionally require truth if prodded, or that’s what I have read.

MarkW
Reply to  commieBob
January 10, 2019 7:55 am

Politicians have exempted themselves from those laws.

Cam_S
Reply to  commieBob
January 10, 2019 8:14 am

Catherine McKenna has degrees in law and international relations. She has no scientific education at all. Her job is to promote the Liberal Party’s social justice agenda.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Cam_S
January 10, 2019 9:48 am

Yes, but to liberal\progressives\leftist\greenist\etc., law IS science.

Or, as the newest political star in the US would have it, if you believe yourself to be morally right, you don’t have to be accurate about anything.

See: banning straws because you believe the US throws out 500 million straws A DAY.

Please keep these drips out of real science and engineering. BTW, any updates on that “feminist” bridge collapse in Florida last year?

commieBob
Reply to  Caligula Jones
January 10, 2019 12:20 pm

It sounds like the bridge collapse had more to do with good old fashioned corruption than with feminism. link

Harry Passfield
January 10, 2019 4:55 am

[…]a very large part of that is ‘traditional biomass’; sticks and logs and dung burned by the poor in their homes to cook with

It is disgustingly immoral that Greens would categorise life-threatening, Stone-age lifestyles as being ‘renewable’. They are anything but.

JVC
Reply to  Harry Passfield
January 10, 2019 4:48 pm

seems to me that burning all of that traditional biomass doesn’t do anything in the way of limiting CO2 emissions. I may be wrong, but isn’t CO2 created by oxidizing (burning) any carbon based material??

Harry Passfield
January 10, 2019 5:03 am

the proliferation of wind energy into the global power market continues at a furious pace, after it was revealed that more than 54 gigawatts of clean renewable wind power was installed across the global market last year’.

The only word missing- and it’s key – from that quote is: ‘unreliable’.

Ketill Jacobsen
January 10, 2019 5:53 am

350.000 wind turbines are needed, each 2 MW. Or 29.200 if each is 12 MW. Danish company Vestas has already produced more than 60.000 windmills! In Denmark windmills produce more than 43% of electricity!

MarkW
Reply to  Ketill Jacobsen
January 10, 2019 7:58 am

60K over how many years?
43% is what they managed to produce one time, one day. Denmark is connected to other grids that keep the system from crashing when the wind stops blowing unexpectedly.

Ketill Jacobsen
Reply to  MarkW
January 10, 2019 8:52 am

It is unbelievable that you express this without a questionmark! 43% is over the whole year of course. 60K is over the years, starting around 1970 I guess.

MarkW
Reply to  Ketill Jacobsen
January 10, 2019 9:08 am

Sorry, but you are delusional regarding wind power.
Secondly, so 60K over nearly 50 years. Big whoop.

Ketill Jacobsen
Reply to  MarkW
January 10, 2019 2:10 pm

Correct is ca 66.000 wind turbines and Vestas started in 1979. Not so many and small capacity windmills to begin with.

My first number was wrong. 58.400 wind turbines each of 12 MW. We have a big future in front of us with many windmill manufactures at similar size as Vestas. So within not so many years these wind turbines will be built. Some people will be annoyed by this.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
January 10, 2019 7:15 pm

As long as tax money isn’t being used to buy or operate them, why should anyone be annoyed.
As long as tax money is being used, why would anyone fail to understand why others are being annoyed.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Ketill Jacobsen
January 12, 2019 7:06 pm

In Denmark, 39% of the wind power in total electricity consumed in 2014 was responsible for only 5% of total energy produced. Notice that the units are different: consumption vs production.

So yeah, you’re still a long way away from “Net-Zero”.

Ketill Jacobsen
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
January 13, 2019 2:59 pm

How precise do you want to be? Energy produced as energy produced in an engine? In that case the efficiency is about 30%. Denmark produced 200 TWh (mainly oil and gas and wind power) in 2014, 13 TWh of this was from wind turbines. From oil and gas they got 187 TWh or net 56.1 TWh. The percentage of wind energy is then 18.8 % (13/69.1).

January 10, 2019 5:56 am

The public overestimates by a large degree the amount of renewable energy they consume, according to a recent Ipsos poll. Of course, they have been misled by all the hype in the media. But in addition, sources like the World Bank provide inflated statistics for wind and solar power production. Canada and the Netherlands are two examples showing the hypocrisy.

https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2019/01/03/exaggerating-green-energy-supply/

Hocus Locus
January 10, 2019 6:07 am

Overheard, 100 years ago: “We must break from this morbid fascination with coal long enough to modernize our society, and usher in a glorious future of clean energy supplied by beauteous, bountiful, endless oil and its many byproducts! 300 years hence our great civilization will still be purring along on this marvel. All we need do is make the oil derrick safe enough to reside in your town, and that means raising stacks over a hundred feet into the sky to carry that useless, dangerously explosive gas that accompanies the oil up into flares that shall burn day and night.”

Overheard, 50 years ago: “Well who could have possibly foreseen that? We’ve closed down almost all the wells now and capped them off so that useless, dangerously explosive gas does not escape. So now we must break with this morbid fascination with coal and domestic oil to consider the exciting prospect of meddling in the affairs of Middle Eastern governments to ensure a bountiful, endless supply of petroleum arriving on ocean tankers. Surely this prosperity and mutual cooperation will endure for 300 years! Long live the Shah of Iran!”

Overheard:“No nukes! No nukes!”

Overheard, 25 years ago: “Well shucks, who could possibly have known how much trouble the Middle East would become. It’s time to break with this morbid fascination with coal and Middle East oil long enough to modernize our society, and that means retreating into dreamland and proposing marvels of technology that will change everything. The 1990s will go down in history as the decade when fusion energy became closer than ever! Remember, fusion is not fission so it’s okay to talk about it. It’s been around the corner for a while now, that means it will be better than ever! Fusion ships, fusion plants, fusion cars, fusion pacemakers. Every other science story is about fusion, it’s that close! As soon as fusion pops into existence tomorrow it will become our kind’s energy miracle for the next 300 years! And the next.”

Overheard:“No nukes! No nukes!”

Overheard, 15 years ago: “Well it looks like fusion is still around the corner. Why not dispense with this morbid fascination with coal and fusion and put all our effort into solar and wind? Let’s manufacture in other countries countless delicate machines from toxic components and place them out into the elements where they will underperform and wear out quickly. Let us deceive the public and ourselves by failing to mention that all these things together, should we give over completely to them, would support a comfortable utopian modern civilization if we get rid of 95% percent of the people (through Population Control), with the remaining few descending into a Medieval lifestyle in the ruins as the regional grids finally shut down. By scrounging all available parts left over from the Golden Age, the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Wind might maintain a ceremonial electric light that will still be burning in 300 years…”

Overheard:“No nukes! No nukes!”

Overheard, 10 years ago: “Hey… remember that useless and dangerous gas byproduct? April fool! We’ve been using it all along despite that CO2 thing. Well it’s time to finally do away with coal and the nice gas will help us to hold on to that solar and wind dream a little longer. We can even use it to help eliminate those 95% of people who are still alive, another unsolved problem. Let’s uncap those wells, dig deep and extract even more of the gas, and crisscross our continent with explody pipelines until all modern civilization is hanging by a tiny thread! Let’s prove to the world that were are smart by changing over to use the gas completely, even spending more energy to compress it and sending giant explody-ships to sell it overseas! Let’s calculate… after more than 80 years of flaring off a terrifying amount of it, fracturing some rock to get a little more, using it almost exclusively for powering the grid, selling out what future we may have by mass exporting it overseas, accounting for leakage in the whole system which now has trillions of parts where it once comprised millions… that leaves us… [deletes result] 300 years! Yes — 300 wonderful years of gassy prosperity while fusion comes around the corner, we eliminate 95% or people (through Population Control) and do some other things, like mopping up the Middle East to obtain a little -surplus-…”

Overheard:“No nukes! No nukes!”

Overheard, 8 years ago: “I have a friend who’s trying to start a rare earth mine in Missouri. ‘Jim, how much thorium do you think you’ll be digging up a year?’ And he goes, “I think about 5,000 tons.” 5,000 tons of thorium would supply the planet… with all of its energy for a year. And he goes ‘And there’s like a zillion other places on earth that are just like my mine. It’s a nice mine, but it’s not unique, it’s not like this is the one place on earth where this is found.’ Every time mankind has been able to access a new source of energy, it has led to profound societal implications. Human beings had slaves for thousands and thousands of years. When we learned how to make carbon our slave, instead of other human beings, we started to learn how to be civilized people. Thorium has a million times the energy density of a carbon-hydrogen bond. What could that mean for human civilization? Because we’re not going to run out of this stuff. We will never run out. It is simply too common.”

Overheard:“No nukes! No nukes!”

Perhaps he read my letter.

Overheard, 2 years ago: [President Trump] “We will begin to revive and expand our nuclear energy sector — which I’m so happy about — which produces clean, renewable and emissions-free energy. A complete review of U.S. nuclear energy policy will help us find new ways to revitalize this crucial energy resource. […] the Department of the Treasury will address barriers to the financing of highly efficient, overseas coal energy plants. Ukraine already tells us they need millions and millions of metric tons right now. There are many other places that need it, too. And we want to sell it to them, and to everyone else all over the globe who need it…”

Overheard:“No nukes! No nukes!”

Too little, too late. Amidst the infantile hype about solar and wind and its insidiously deceptive crypto-advocation of natural gas as THE primary source for grid power generation… and the fusion delayers — no, not the scientists working on the problem, but the every day investors and people putting stock in an ridiculous and unaffordable dreams… they have all been useful idiots.

But in the end, might the least useful idiots of all have been within the industries who have been generating nuclear power from fission over the decades without much fuss.

Clearly more fuss was called for.

Nuclear Energy professionals are excruciatingly polite you see, tragically polite. It is an unfortunate side effect of their safety culture and utopian mindset. They believed that simple performance and demonstrated results would make their case for them, even amidst an ignorant public outcry. They believed nuclear energy would be embraced by neo-hippies who loathe CO2 as nuclear is an emissions-free resource that is guaranteed to succeed. It is maybe the first one that COULD last those ‘300 years’. They were fools.

So they went about their business, and neglected to do the one thing that might have changed the course of history… getting behind the pursuit of Alvin Weinberg’s vision of molten salt reactors and active processing that reduces necessary waste storage to a small volume and brief 300 year span, from a cheap and limitless fuel source.

Nuclear plant operators watched as the percentage of US nuclear feeding the grid rose (much too slowly) to around 20% even as it had reached as much as 70% in another countries, then they watched started dropping again. They have witnessed whole decades without new US construction, or even useful research into molten salts. They have been ‘playing nice’ with everyone, not stirring up much of a fuss. Years ago they became excited about the AP-1000. How many are there operating in the US, today?

The problem is, it’s actually a war and not some public relations challenge. And the modern lifestyle and abundant energy hangs in the balance. When ignorant and unworkable ideas become commonplace, it’s time to lose the politeness and call out the idiocy and engineering-stupids. Raise a fuss.

Overheard:“No nukes! No nukes!”

It’s time to say S.T.F.U. and show those people the door.

observa
January 10, 2019 6:43 am

Not a biggie. All it needs is more wind turbines or Elon with lots of his 2170 lithium lego bricks-
https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy/2018/december
Or perhaps some computerised massaging to turn it all into a hockey stick-
https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy/2018/october
This is merely Imagineering 101 and no pesky Luddites should apply.

MarkW
January 10, 2019 7:10 am

“50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms”

That is typical for current wind farms. As the best sites are used up, future wind farms will have to be placed in less optimal locations and as a result, average density will go down.

Ketill Jacobsen
Reply to  MarkW
January 10, 2019 2:22 pm

If we build floating wind turbines in a small part of the North Sea we could produce hundred times more electricity than needed during one year in Norway. That is quite much even seen from an EU perspective. And better still, the capacity factor will be 60+% (produced energy/max power energy).

JohnB
Reply to  Ketill Jacobsen
January 10, 2019 6:22 pm

And a rogue wave comes through and they all sink, except for the broken off fibreglass blades that pollute the shores and are a menace to navigation.

MarkW
Reply to  Ketill Jacobsen
January 10, 2019 7:17 pm

Once again, your made up numbers fail to come anywhere close to reality.
Filling the entire sea around Norway would only produce a fraction of the energy needed for Norway. 60% capacity is way above what real world numbers show.
Recent studies show that these things only last about half as long as originally claimed and require much higher maintenance until then.

Ketill Jacobsen
Reply to  MarkW
January 11, 2019 3:20 pm

So many false statements in a few sentences. As far as I know the five floating wind turbines outside of Scotland work perfectly with capacity factor larger than 60%.

RACookPE1978
Editor
Reply to  Ketill Jacobsen
January 11, 2019 5:45 pm

How many years have those five windmills floating off of Scotland’s shores been operating?

What site, what lat/long, what is their nameplate rating and what is their yearly production of kw-hours thus far?

How many million barrel of fossil fuel were needed for their ships to install them and maintain them? How many MegaWatt-hrs were needed to build them, mine their metals and plastics, and machine the parts?

Ketill Jacobsen
Reply to  Ketill Jacobsen
January 12, 2019 3:08 pm

I thought this net site was a serious place with serious discussions. Now I understand your comment after reading about this net site in Wikipedia, WUWT is a “blog promoting climate change denial”. So it is to be expected that you deny most facts of positive climate development! I hope I am wrong.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Ketill Jacobsen
January 12, 2019 7:15 pm

I found the “Hywind Scotland” floating wind farm. It was commissioned October 2017, so not even a year of operation yet. I can’t find anything about capacity factor.

But hey, Ketill Jacobsen, don’t get your nickers in a twist just because we ask you prove your grandiose claims.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Ketill Jacobsen
January 12, 2019 7:23 pm

Statoil and Masdar aim to reduce the costs of energy from the Hywind floating wind farm to EUR 40-60 (USD 50-75) per MWh by 2030.

Don’t get too excited, as an engineer I can tell you that cost is only the difference between keeping it running, or walking away from it when you still have to pay off the R&D and the construction loan. There is nothing in the article about how much government money they sucked up to get it built, nor how much to keep it operating.

@Ketill Jacobsen that’s all we’re asking, if wind is such a great idea, kill the subsidies and mandates, cancel the feed-in tariffs, if they’re the best thing since slice bread they don’t need ’em!!! So far, no wind project has been able to get off the ground without government putting its thumb on the scale somehow. Thus our instant skepticism.

Ketill Jacobsen
Reply to  MarkW
January 13, 2019 6:10 am

Hywind Scotland had a capacity factor of 65% in its first three months (November 2017 to January 2018). I have not been able to find newer data of production. One of the largest wind mill manufactures (maybe GE) is saying that they expect to obtain a capacity factor of 63% with their 12 MW floating wind turbine.

The EU countries have an electricity production of ca 2900 TWh per year. If the North Sea was built out with a wind turbine farm within a square with sides 950 km long, this amount of electricity can be produced. There is enough area to be used in the North Sea!

Ketill Jacobsen
Reply to  Ketill Jacobsen
January 13, 2019 6:19 am

Equinor (who built Hywind Scotland) expects a price of € 40 to 60 per MWh within 2030. This price is about the same as the market price at Nord Pool. No subsidies will be required in the near future (onshore windmill electricity is already the cheapest energy)!

n.n
January 10, 2019 7:29 am

The Artificial Green Blight is the CFL of niche energy converters normalized in collusion with Environmentalists and other special and political interests.

Greg61
January 10, 2019 7:31 am

I’m supposed to be simultaneously concerned that there is too many people, and we are going to run out of space to grow food, climate change will make it worse via sea level rise, drought etc, we need to plant more windmills and solar cells which take up an enormous amount of space per energy unit?

Ian Macdonald
January 10, 2019 9:16 am

Another way to look at this is that if we want to go ‘100% renewable’ using wind and solar, then taking the best case estimate of 2% of world energy replaced so far in 10 years, that would take 500 years at current installation rates. Current spend is about $350 billion a year.

So, if we wanted to go 100% renewable in 20 years (which some climate alarmists say is necessary) then we would have to up the expenditure by a factor of 25, to nearly nine trillion a year.

The overall cost would be in the region of $175 trillion. For comparison purposes, the Apollo project’s cost was about $270 billion in modern money. So, going 100% renewable would cost as much as 648 Apollo projects. Not allowing for economies of scale and assuming six missions with a 3-man crew per project, that would be just under 12,000 astronauts making a trip to the Moon and back.

Even this ignores the need for energy storage to make wind energy practical as baseload, also the R&D for a moon program only needs to be done once and then you just spend the rest on building rockets at much lower cost. So the actual cost comparison would be worse than this.

Basically, we could put a sizeable colony on the Moon for the same money. That’s how crazy the cost is.

Nippy
January 10, 2019 9:21 am

I thought it was Hibernia

Hoyt Clagwell
January 10, 2019 9:24 am

I’d be interested to know what the ‘net’ energy produced by wind turbines is. That would be their actual total output with the total amount of energy required to manufacture, transport, install, and maintain them subtracted.

ossqss
January 10, 2019 9:26 am
john wilbye
January 10, 2019 9:51 am

If they ban coal what will become of the poor dragons? It’s their staple diet.

Coeur de Lion
January 10, 2019 10:32 am

Read the article in the Spectator when it first came out and am therefore disappointed that this is only a re-run- it needs to be promulgated all over again in as many public places as possible . Some hope, but let’s hope

Ervin Gazy
January 10, 2019 12:44 pm

To those who believe the wind and solar and electric cars are our salvation, let me comment that while watching a California traffic cam of Donner Summit I80 during the latest snow storm, I would have not wanted to be in aa electric car crawling along with the head lights, wipers and heater (temps in the low 20,s) on.

Johann Wundersamer
January 11, 2019 2:36 am

Skip to content
Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy

tell this the tree house activists in Hambacher forest.

But maybe they are out of school because the weather.

https://www.google.com/search?q=hambach+forest+rwe+workers&oq=hambach&aqs=chrome.

Usurbrain
January 11, 2019 5:17 pm

The capacity-weighted average installed project cost within our 2017 sample stood at $1,610/kW. Using that number then using the number of 2 MW turbines turbines needed just to keep up with projected expansion [see article] “The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum.” Then, 350,000 times $3Million/ installation = $1,050,000 Million. About 20% of that $1Trillion would be for the USA, about $200Billion a year, 70,000 Wind turbines a year. Then there is the transmission line and substation construction, Backup generators, and New NG power plants.
Don’t forget, these Wind Turbines will be sucking off about 8 -10% of nameplate output for maintaining equipment operation within the WT. That means that the proliferation of wind turbines alone will increase the load on the grid. For example, if 50% of the power used in the USA was generated from wind turbines, then 4 – 5 % of that power is going back into the idle wind turbines just so they can operate.
Get ready for a whopping electric bill and much higher federal taxes to pay the subsidies.

Bill In Oz
January 11, 2019 8:40 pm

Matt Ridley’s article is good. But he misses another problem with wind turbines.

The steel used on them needs to be high quality tensile steel… And this also leads to a huge amount of Caron Monoxide being generated during it’s production..I recently heard from a former worker that the Wyalla steel plant here in South Australia when making this steel, generated 1500 ppm of CO wheres the health standard requires just 10 ppm.

What to do with all that toxic, invisible, odourless Carbon monoxide ?

Roger Walker
Reply to  Bill In Oz
January 12, 2019 11:52 pm

Roger
Keep out of it and wait until it oxidises to CO2.
I got “gassed” on the high tops of a blast furnace in the Newcastle Steelworks. I recognised the systems and descended to ground level and survived.
Incidentally, I worked on the commissioning of the reheating furnace of the Whyalla structural mill, but this was before the BOS steel making plant was built.

Richard Mann
January 12, 2019 3:07 pm

Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) have written about the difficulty incorporating intermittent wind and solar energy into the electrical grid. Our government failed to listen. Please read the both the report and the comments following.
https://blog.ospe.on.ca/featured/ontario-wasted-more-than-1-billion-worth-of-clean-energy-in-2016-enough-to-power-760000-homes/

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