Wind Energy in Scotland

Guest post by David Redfern, aka HotScot

I was invited by Charles the Moderator to write an essay with the emphasis on Scottish wind derived electricity.

I’m not a scientist, nor an engineer, in fact barely educated beyond high school, so, whilst you won’t get ‘shorthand’ scientific terms here, you will get something laymen can grasp, hopefully.

And that’s important as, whilst there are a small number of scientists/engineers etc. in the world, the majority of voters are like me, just plain old laymen and the subject of climate change is now political so every voter is vital.

Now, if you’re unfamiliar with Scotland, it’s wet and windy, with the North Sea, the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean all converging in one small spot on the planet with the Gulf Stream rushing past it bringing plenty of moist, warm air up from the South. Without it, Scotland (and England and Ireland) would be frozen solid for much of the year.

I paint a bleak picture but thanks to that warm moisture Scotland has some of the most beautiful countryside in the world, a great deal of it accessible. If you take a look on Google maps at, perhaps, the River Clyde, the term ‘river’ is a bit of a joke. It has mountains rising from it. It’s home to the United Kingdoms Nuclear Submarine fleet (Faslane) and they are to bee seen sailing to and fro, mere dots on the water.

And whilst we don’t do things on the scale of, say, the USA, the country is Gods garden when the sun shines.

So, an ideal spot for wind turbines, in fact, pretty well perfect. But the most obvious problem is the destruction of the landscape, the intrusion on a wilderness that’s jarring. No romantic thoughts of isolation or Crofters tending the land in peace, turbines are a stark reminder that nowhere is far from technology.

But it is, in fact, a power grab, and I’ll explain that: Oil was discovered in the waters around Scotland in the 50’/60’s I guess (Dave Middleton will put me right on this I’m sure) and it began pumping in the early 1970’s. A bonanza! But being part of the UK it was shared equitably, but not according to the Scot’s, many of them claimed it was Scotland’s Oil.

And I’ll mention here that the reputation the Scot’s have for being good with money is a myth. In the late 17th/early 18th Century Scotland spent approximately 20% of all the money circulating in the country on an ill-conceived lunge to colonise the Isthmus of Panama; the ‘Darien scheme’. It failed and England basically bailed Scotland out in 1707 and a Political Union was the cost.

Ever since, Scotland has basically stumbled from one financial crisis to another, latterly with the socialist Labour party dominant, but more recently, the Scottish Nationalist Party, another socialist organisation desperate for independence from the United Kingdom, but with a terrible economy.

Meanwhile, industrious individuals were beavering away: James Clerk Maxwell –  The second great unification in physics. Alexander Fleming – Penicillin. James Carnegie – Steel. Douglas Lapraik – Shipping magnate and founder of HSBC Bank (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) and many more.

I only mention these to highlight that governments are lousy at picking winners. But the Scot’s never seem to learn. Even today their mad dash to replace the now meagre Oil resources with the ‘miracle’ of wind power is largely a government decision, not that of the business community. If wind was such a great idea, why are governments required to shovel money into it at the expense of the taxpayer. And talk about putting all their eggs into one basket, in nearly 15 years of a devolved assembly, the SNP have notably failed to attract a single major industry to the country.

Wind might be considered that industry, but very little of the infrastructure is manufactured in Scotland. Despite SNP promises of an employment bonanza, with tens of thousands of jobs, barely a few thousand have materialised. Towers, Nacelles and Blades are mostly made overseas and transported to Scotland. The jobs thereafter are largely maintenance.

The whole thing is summed up well by Prof Tony Trewavas (Chairperson) Scientific Alliance Scotland:

“Throwing large amounts of money at unreliable sources of energy when others with much greater reliable potential are starved of investment is poor economics and will not be followed by any other country governed with good sense. This is gesture politics at its worst.”

OK, so now to the facts most readers of WUWT are familiar with but, as I said, it’s important the layman is furnished with basic, irrefutable facts, he/she can use to debate the subject with a degree of authority.

Many are derived from Matt Ridley’s excellent article Published on: Monday, 15 May, 2017 in the Spectator and available on his Blog: http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/wind-still-making-zero-energy/

“……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.” [Ridley] (My emphasis.)

The renewables lobby make wild claims that 14% of world energy is provided by them, but they are misleading themselves: “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.” [Ridley]

But this is the bit that really bowled me over. Global energy consumption is growing about 2% per year, and I’ll dispense with the detail here as it’s available from Matt’s article – with an area of about 50 acres of turbines to produce a Megawatt of electricity, it takes roughly 350,000 turbines installed every year just to meet demand, that’s an area half the size of UK and Ireland every year.

Over 50 years that would represent a land mass half the size of Russia (3,300,835 square miles) just to keep up with growth, never mind displacing mankind’s existing use. I did a rough beer mat calculation (before I drank the beer) and, very roughly, if we replaced what mankind already uses, that would be the entire land mass of Russia (6,601,670 square miles) or, put another way, almost wall to wall wind turbines across the USA (3,531,905 square miles) and Canada (3,511,023 square miles) Total 7,042,928. OK, Americans/Canadians get 44,1258 square miles all to themselves.

Then we have the thorny subject of batteries. How else are we to store all this energy for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. The concept of a continent wide wind infrastructure is fine, but at some point there will major climatic events that impacts the performance of turbines/solar arrays.

And if, as we are assured by the climate hysterics (but not the IPCC) that catastrophic climate events are to become so much worse, turbines are going to be operational far less than they are now. But that doesn’t seem to occur to the hysterics.

I’ll refer you to a report commissioned by the GWPF (Global Warming Policy Foundation) from Michael Kelly, the Emeritus Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge, formerly Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Department for Communities and Local Government, and a fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering: https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/05/KellyDecarb-1.pdf

Kelly discusses the practicalities of converting the UK from internal combustion engine reliant transport to electricity reliant transport.

“The power pack for a Tesla weighs half a tonne and occupies much of the floor pan of the car: for the same 600-km range in a petrol car, you would need 48 litres of petrol, weighing just 36 kg. And the size of the battery means that they require huge quantities of materials in their manufacture. If we replace all of the UK vehicle fleet with EVs, and assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation batteries, we would need the following materials:

  • 207,900 tonnes of cobalt – just under twice the annual global production;
  • 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate – three quarters of the world’s production;
  • at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium – nearly the entire world production of neodymium;
  • 2,362,500 tonnes of copper – more than half the world’s production in 2018.

And this is just for the UK.” [Kelly].

So what do we have left to produce all the batteries required to store the energy from wind turbines?

There are, of course, alternatives e.g. pumped storage, but I can’t think of a country which has sufficient to produce vast amounts of electricity during turbine down times. If a country had enough, it would almost eliminate the need for wind turbines, wouldn’t it?

Referring back to Matt Ridley’s article, wind turbines require “about 200 times as much material per unit of capacity as a modern combined cycle gas turbine.” [Ridley]

“A two-megawatt wind turbine weighs about 250 tonnes, including the tower, nacelle, rotor and blades. Globally, it takes about half a tonne of coal to make a tonne of steel. Add another 25 tonnes of coal for making the cement and you’re talking 150 tonnes of coal per turbine. Now if we are to build 350,000 wind turbines a year (or a smaller number of bigger ones), just to keep up with increasing energy demand, that will require 50 million tonnes of coal a year. That’s about half the EU’s hard coal–mining output”. [Ridley]

So now we are talking mind boggling numbers, enormous emissions, vast amounts of Coal/Oil/Natural gas etc. land and resources to mine/drill/excavate and transport materials to burn, just to produce wind turbines.

But of course the argument goes (by some daft enough to make it) that when the wind infrastructure is in place it’ll provide all the energy to manufacture more wind turbines.

If ever there was a Unicorn argument, that’s it right there. It demonstrates a staggering level of ignorance of physics by promoting the concept of perpetual motion. It’s just not credible.

This is the insane environment the Scottish assembly are hurling the country into. Germany’s creaking Energiewende policy should act as a warning, but it seems it’s being ignored.

See what I mean about us Jock’s being utterly useless with money. Common sense is also in short supply.

And just a wee thank you to the level headed, scientific community of WUWT especially, (obviously, Anthony) Charles, Willis, David Eric, and Chris Monckton etc.; and the forum contributors like Allan McRae, and the ever caustic MarkW 😊. I visited skepticalscience to understand climate change some years ago, ignorant of everything climate related. But it scared me, the level of aggression is unreal. Contrastingly I was welcomed at WUWT, people were/are patient and educated me, not in climate science, but how to hone my limited analytical skills. I still have to take my socks off to count but the debate has moved into the realm of politicians who have never bothered to take their socks off.

211 thoughts on “Wind Energy in Scotland

  1. Come on Nick Stokes, what is the plan to source the crazy quantities of raw materials required for the green revolution?

          • Yeah, I should have used a /sarc tag. My post was a bit of a joke. Where most people have enough iron in their blood to make one nail, I have enough to make a bag full.

        • “All our environmental problems become easier to solve with fewer people, and harder – and ultimately impossible – to solve with ever more people.”
          – Sir David Attenborough, Population Matters patron

          • Alba,
            Another infamous English man (well Greek actually) “Prince” Phillip said “in order to solve the ‘population problem’ I would wish to return as a killer virus’
            So now he is Chinese?

          • Consider the man in Tanzania who found Tanzania worth £2 million.
            Apparently he is the father of 30 children.

            And the population of Ethiopia has doubled since the famine that created the Band Aid appeal.

    • Excellent question Eric, precision targetting.

      Nick? Nick……? Ohh Nick…. are you awake sweetie…?

      It is very encouraging that a self confessed non STEM type person was completely across the fact that the renewables scam is not just justified by some puffed up figures like some speculative investment but is orders of magnitude off the planet in terms of actual capacity to deliver what is promosed.

      • Komrade Kuma

        Laymen like me probably make up 90%+ of the global population.

        Most switch off when presented with science as they don’t understand the subject. This is what the climate hysterics cottoned onto very early. The easy to recall 97% is neither scientific or believable, but it’s memorable for laymen who all love to win an argument, usually from the starting point of abject ignorance.

        As I pointed out, everyone (in the Democratic west) has a single vote. Even if we had every scientist on the side of scepticism, if they can’t communicate in simple terms with the layman, the best we can do is recruit 10% of the global voter base.

        • Ahh HotScott, once again thanks for the post. In regard to the vote, even though voting is compulsory in Australia and most people do or face fines, our major political parties are now all left wing. No choice now really. Career opportunities in Australia, language teachers, predominantly Mandarin.

        • The need for such huge resources becomes much smaller when you consider that the overall plan is to decrease world population to 0.5–1 billion. That vastly decreases power usage. And most of the remaining population is expected to be basically subsistence farmers with no machines, no weapons, and no livestock, being all vegans by fiat and living in isolated human settlement. The elite will be living high in the Capitol, supported effectively by slave labor—think of the society described in the districts in Hunger Games, in which the Capitol has access to a huge hydroelectric installation.

        • Hot Scot
          I’ve been a writer as a hobby since the 1970s, and I say your article was well written and interesting.

          Not having a college degree is an advantage for easy to understand writing … and knowing the difference between climate change scaremongering and real climate science.

          Well done.

        • Can I add my thanks for the article as well. I was interested in the mention of Tony Trewavas. (En passant, my wife taught one of his children, though she has forgotten which one! It was a long time ago!) He and I, in different organisations, were involved in opposing an early attempt by E-On for a wind farm on Auchencorth Moss south of Edinburgh.

          This was still in the days when the companies thought local organisations would roll over and play dead at the sight of 20 years of free cash! I actually got the company spokesman at their public exhibition to put a figure on it (I’ve forgotten what it was but the figure of £20k rings a bell). I also got him to admit that without the government subsidy they probably wouldn’t be considering the project.

          Which went down like a lead balloon with my companion who happened to be treasurer of the local Community Council who said he wasn’t about to recommend his colleagues support a project which would involve bribing the local community with its own money. A small enough victory, but we enjoyed it! The companies are a lot wiser now, worse luck.

          We need several dozen more scientists like Trewavas. Unfortunately the next generation is stuck with the idea that “science”=“computer models” and “success”=“getting published” which can only be achieved by not rocking the boat which to my mind is a complete negation of the meaning of science and scientific research.

          To add one small rider to your article. People tend not to live in those bits of the country where turbines are most efficient. (This applies in spades to offshore generation.) Added to all the other costs and problems is the need to transfer the electricity generated to where the consumer is which includes things like transmission and grid balancing and no doubt other things that I don’t understand. And yet, for some reason, small local nuclear power plants, which would surely overcome this problem, are anathema

        • HS – that correlates with Sturgeon’s Law, who as an editor, said “90% of this ‘slush pile’ is crud. Hell, 90% of EVERYTHING is crud!” And his casual statement has been proved out in the decades that have followed!

    • Come on Nick Stokes, what is the plan to source the crazy quantities of raw materials required for the green revolution?

      As one of the main authors on WUWT, it would probably be better to wait until someone comments rather than pre-emptively attacking something they haven’t said but which you think they might say.

      The in absentia pile this leads to is ugly.

      Nick? Nick……? Ohh Nick…. are you awake sweetie…?

      And, is Nick Stokes actually at a loss for words? Wonderful!

      Nick Stokes is one of very few educated commenters her who provides an essential other side of the argument preventing WUWT being to totally pointless echo-chamber for one point of view.

      He should be respectfully received and rebutted as and when necessary. Not mocked behind his back when he has not even commented.

      • What Nick comment am I pre-emptively attacking? Nice try Greg but no cigar. And Nick has plenty of opportunity to reply, if he wants to – he doesn’t need you fighting his corner.

      • Greg, to some extent I take your point. I did pile onto Nick and it was Eric’s comment that set me off. That said, Eric, Nick and I are all Aussies so its all in house in that regard and besides Nick really does set himeself up with some of the comments he makes.

        • And I genuinely am interested in how Nick thinks the world can sustainably source the billions of tons of refined high tech material required to create our glorious green future, without turning the entire planet into an open pit mine powered by coal.

          • “And I genuinely am interested in how Nick thinks the world can sustainably source the billions of tons of refined high tech material required to create our glorious green future”

            I think it is actually pertinent to ask Nick this question. If Nick can’t refute the claim that unreliables are unsustainable and impractical, then it probably can’t be refuted. And Nick can’t refute it. Trying to power the world with windmills and industrial solar is obviously an absurd idea.

            But if Nick can refute the claim, I would be very interested to see how that would be done, so I’m glad Eric asked the question..

    • Of course Scotland has industry!

      How about Bagpipe production and Tartan for kilts?
      🙂

      Cheers

      Roger

      PS Don’t be offended- my ancestors are from Scotland.

      • Geof Mead

        Never offended by a joke at the expense of my brethren. Displaying faux offence is the preserve of the PC and no one has ever accused me of being PC.

        • You’re not wrong there Coram. Once when I was struggling with a particular person and related this to my Scottish mother, she told me I needed to grow some! Balls that is, and I’m a woman.

      • How about putting wind turbines in the bag pipes? The bag could maybe even be considered as energy storage… Maybe it would be enough to power a led flashlight… just kidding.

        • Now now Eric,
          Don’t be mocking the pipes! ‘Tis a wonderful wailing sound from the next hill, but a dreadful assault on the ears when in the same room.
          Cheers
          Mike

      • Scotland does have industry – what about the bespoke kaber industry? Isn’t that the origin of the word “tosser”?

        I attended the CCAC’s international strategy planning meeting today. If you’re not sure what that is, look it up. It is a high end climate action group. Those guys have plans far bigger than covering little Scotland with wind turbines. Oh no, they are planning big with a capital B.

        They presented some model outputs which claimed to give economic analysis of where the best investment points are and how methane avoidance can be cost negative.

        Interestingly they said the model will soon be made public and they “invite comments”. I suggest it would be good to give them some.

        A week ago Dr Kirk Smith passed away, he of Berkeley Air fame who brought to public notice the concept of the “avoided disability adjusted life year”. The CCAC model calculates these aDALYs for you based on the idea that climate change will reduce crops a known amount, increase human deaths by a known number per country, and the extent to which renewables will extend life by reducing the global temperature by known amounts. Look up the Scottish numbers!

        In this grand plan little Scotland is a bit player, with two tasks: raising funds to subsidise necessary technology rollouts, and being a rich country, setting aside funds to do the same in some poor countries.

        Better start pinching pennies in the croft houses and stretching the haggis with oatmeal. If you think the madness is full blown, wait until 2030 rolls around. They are talking net zero at their command and your expense.

        Perhaps find a nuclear engineer who will invent a new generator in Glasgow.

        I read the book “How the Scots invented the modern world and nearly everything in it.” It is a wonderful tour of a wonderful people. It is time to recapture that spirit and dispense with the nonsense.

    • Eric,
      “Come on Nick Stokes, what is the plan to source the crazy quantities of raw materials required for the green revolution?”

      Taking Scotland as an example, in 2019 wind energy generated 22,251 GWh, about 65% of consumption. It is a smaller percentage of production, because Scotland is a net exporter. This did not blot out the countryside, or create a crisis in raw material supplies. Scotland is not far from having enough for domestic requirements; they could choose to expand further for export if they wish. But other places have wind too.

      • Excuse me, Nick Stokes, but the question posed was about obtaining the raw materials to construct the green revolution, not what Scotland is currently producing by wind energy. Try humming “Scotland the Brave” while you think about the actual answer, it might help.

      • Nick Stokes

        At what cost Nick?

        It’s all very well the Scottish industry bragging about the ‘huge’ amounts of electricity it produces, but as Matt Ridley pointed out, electricity is a small proportion of the energy mix.

        What is also deliberately neglected by renewables adherents is the baseload Gas and Nuclear required to supplement them, not to mention the interconnectors from England and the continent. There is no control whatsoever as to where their electricity comes from, very possibly evil coal; ever more likely as Germany starts bringing it’s new lignite burning plants online.

        If you’re going to debate the subject Nick, please debate the entire thing and not cherry pick the numbers that are convenient just to your ‘side’ of it.

        As for Scotland being a net exporter, on what planet does it make sense to produce 65% of domestic need, and export it? where does the balance come from? The numbers are accountancy fudges.

        Scotland exports it’s energy when turbines are overloading the grid, when the wind is blowing. There is nothing positive about that whatsoever – when the wind doesn’t blow, instantly they become importers.

        • My point refutes all your talk of wall to wall turbines, Earth covered with mines etc. Scotland is already most of the way to renewably generating its needs, and does not have wall to wall turbines, or any of the other disasters you imagine. And even if it chooses to produce the same or more again for export, it still isn’t wall to wall.

          • Nick Stokes

            Just because you say your points refute mine, doesn’t make it so.

            Scotland is on it’s way to spiralling energy prices, poverty and suffering because of wind farms, and an uncertain, unreliable, intermittent electricity supply.

            Nor did I suggest the earth would be covered in (mines?) wind turbines, I stated an arithmetical certainty, adopted by numerous informed scientists and mathematicians; that the land area required to meet annual global 2% electricity demand rise by 2050 would cover half of Russia.

            Why is that such a difficult concept for you to grasp? I mean, whilst I’m a dumb high school leaving layman, I get the Arithmetic. You on the other hand, present yourself as some mathematical whizz kid, but you are simply unable to get your socks and shoes off and count.

            Scotland is nowhere near “most of the way to renewably generating its needs”

            You’ve been reading the MSM again, haven’t you Nick.

            If Germany, with it’s industrial might and enormous wealth, can’t make renewables work without building lignite burning power stations, how can a country with no major manufacturing infrastructure, relying on tourism as their major wealth earner, and bordering on third world status, be expected to make wind work?

            They are practically building interconnectors faster than wind farms for Pete’s sake.

        • HotScot. Let’s says your right, Turbines are a wasted effort for your idiotic brethren. What’s the solution. It’s easy to find fault in things but what’s the actual solution for a long term sustainable energy supply. I work in oil and gas and I’m not stupid enough to think it’ll last forever and think that it’s many uses perhaps outweigh using it long term for bulk domestic energy production.

          It’s so boring listening to people complaining and moaning about why they don’t agree with things when they don’t pose an answer.

          Try posing a solution without just being abjectly negative, going on I dare you.

          • Why should he?

            I see nothing wrong with posting about stupidity. I say burn fossil fuels and continue to bring on nuclear, but people like Nick are too ignorant. They will die before admitting they are wrong or will just move the goal posts. This is a religion for them.

      • Go on, Nick, pray tell us where the huge quantities of cobalt, rare earth metals, copper etc are going to come from, let alone the enormous amounts of energy needed to extract and refine them.

        Don’t worry, we’ll wait.

        • I would first be interested to know where the energy for all steel and concrete comes from… besides fossil fuels. The fact is, for an equivalent amount of non-volatile gen4 nuclear power, much less resources are needed, and no backup power is necessary. There is so much spent nuclear fuel which could be reused, one wouldn’t even have to mine for it.

      • ROFLMAO!
        Scotland’s wind is only viable because of English subsidies and English thermal plant to fill in the gaps when the wind ain’t blowin’.

        Scottish independence would destroy the Scottish wind industry. England would no longer be under any compulsion to buy Scottish wind power at exhorbitantly inflated rates nor to sell thermal energy at cheap rates.
        As usual the stokes has cherry picked emotionally appealing ‘facts’ and ignored the real engineering and economic issues.

        Is he stupid? Or just a liar?

        • Leo,
          And that is true for Denmark too.
          Without interconnections to other grids with much larger loads, Denmark would have to curtail its wind big time.

          I am an energy systems analyst, but out friendly Scot hit the nail on the head

          Some years ago, I started to add up the various resources needed to build increasingly more RE systems to serve a growing world economy.
          After some very big spreadsheets, I began to doubt my numbers.
          I thought no one would believe this.
          Already, I could hear the ridiculing
          So I abandoned my spreadsheets.

          • Willem post

            Thanks Willem.

            As I tell my children, if it smells like bullshit, it probably is.

            I’m far too long in the tooth to be mugged over by marketing and accountancy scams.

      • As usual Nick you miss the point. The claim is wind solar & EV’s are sustainable because at the point of use they do not emit Co2. Fracking is castigated by greens with claims of industrialising the landscape. So carpeting the landscape with wind and solar farms is not industrialising the landscape yes or no? All manufactured products are not sustainable because they are 100% reliant on raw finite products dug out of the environment using the portability of oil. Turned into manufacturable products using coal and gas. You cannot choose which oil based products you get from the cat cracker fire up by huge volumes of methane as feedstock. You cannot pick and choose the items you need for PPE & medical products alone, you have to take it all including bitumen petrol kerosene aviation kerosene and for the 6,000 other products in daily use which allows civilisation and the NHS to function 24/7.

        Since 2004 the planet has spent $5 trillion predicated on the pretence that Co2 is a death sentence for the planet and methane of course. These two trace elements have been hijacked by every barmy leftist authoritarian regime on the planet which chooses to generate a tirade of meaningless gibberish to fuel the advancement of their own idiotic agenda.

        Wind and solar generated maybe 1 or 2% of total energy demand in 2019. Therefore I suppose you would justify raising subsidy to spend another $5 trillion to get to maybe 3 or 4% of demand. To I suppose engender the belief that this hugely inefficient rape of the planets raw finite resources scouring the oceans and the environment is justifiable and necessary to save the planet. This is bogus idiotic tripe.

        Colonialism is dead, really? Except when greens decide they need colonialism to rape and pillage the environment of the developing world to to export its raw finite resources to the developed world which has been educated to believe that carpeting it with wind and solar farms will influence they way in which their climate will change. So in effect we devastate the environment of the developing world by digging huge holes in it and then transport the stuff dug out of that part of the planet and transport it across the oceans to use it to manufacture products to carpet the environment of the developed world in the name of saving the planet. This is bone headed infantilism. Rate of warming for the lower troposphere 0.14C/decade or 1.2C by 2100. 4,000 ARGO buoys record ocean warming of 0.02C/decade or 0.16C by 2100.

        By the time the planet spends another $5 trillion on wind and solar farms the original $5 trillion worth will be redundant so the likelihood we will ever get more than 2% from wind and solar is negligible. Intellectually deficient in logic rational thought sanity and reason.

        IN 2017 the UK experienced 7 months of windless days. Even if there was a battery that could hold charge for 7 months the cost would exceed £32 trillion and would cover the remaining one third of the UK not carpeted with wind and solar. Needed in huge volumes to meet current demand and charge a battery with 7 months of GWh’s. And it still wouldnt have a chance of saving the planet or influencing the climate even if Co2 was an issue because the UK like Australia only emits 1.2% of global Co2.

        • David Wells

          Colonialism was the best thing that ever happened to many countries. Ask Hong Kong and Singapore, amongst many others.

          It came at a brutal price in some cases, but without it, most colonised countries would still be in the dark ages, which is even more brutal.

          Mugabe persecuted the entirely peaceful white farmers, murdered them and chased them from the country. The place went from being the Bread Basket of Africa, to the Basket case of Africa, very quickly.

          India is still floundering in the wake of Gandhi.

      • As usual Nick you miss the point. The claim is wind solar & EV’s are sustainable because at the point of use they do not emit Co2. Fracking is castigated by greens with claims of industrialising the landscape. So carpeting the landscape with wind and solar farms is not industrialising the landscape yes or no? All manufactured products are not sustainable because they are 100% reliant on raw finite products dug out of the environment using the portability of oil. Turned into manufacturable products using coal and gas. You cannot choose which oil based products you get from the cat cracker fired up by huge volumes of methane as feedstock. You cannot pick and choose the items you need for PPE & medical products alone, you have to take it all including bitumen petrol kerosene aviation kerosene and for the 6,000 other products in daily use which allows civilisation and the NHS to function 24/7.
        Since 2004 the planet has spent $5 trillion predicated on the pretence that Co2 is a death sentence for the planet and methane of course. These two trace elements have been hijacked by every barmy leftist authoritarian regime on the planet which chooses to generate a tirade of meaningless gibberish to fuel the advancement of their own idiotic agenda.
        Wind and solar generated maybe 1 or 2% of total energy demand in 2019. Therefore I suppose you would justify raising subsidy to spend another $5 trillion to get to maybe 3 or 4% of demand. To I suppose engender the belief that this hugely inefficient devastation of the planets raw finite resources – scouring the oceans and the environment – is justifiable and necessary to save the planet. This is bogus idiotic tripe.
        Colonialism is dead, really? Except when greens decide they need colonialism to devastate and pillage the environment of the developing world to to export its raw finite resources to the developed world. Which has been educated to believe that carpeting it with wind and solar farms will influence the way in which their climate will change.
        So in effect we devastate the environment of the developing world by digging huge holes in it and then transport the stuff dug out of that part of the planet and transport it across the oceans to use it to manufacture products to carpet the environment of the developed world in the name of saving the planet. This is bone headed infantilism.
        Rate of warming for the lower troposphere 0.14C/decade or 1.2C by 2100. 4,000 ARGO buoys record ocean warming of 0.02C/decade or 0.16C by 2100.
        By the time the planet spends another $5 trillion on wind and solar farms the original $5 trillion worth will be redundant so the likelihood we will ever get more than 2% from wind and solar is negligible. Intellectually deficient in logic rational thought sanity and reason.
        In 2017 the UK experienced 7 months of windless days. If there was a battery that could hold charge for 7 months it would cost at least £32 trillion. Then you would need to triple or quadruple the number of turbines to generated enough electricity to meet current demand and charge a battery with 7 months of GWh’s. But as we will never know exactly how much electricity will be generated by a weather dependent source the belief that we can survive on 100% renewable sources of electricity is fallacious.

      • Nick does not have any answer because the isn’t one. Politicians and environmentalists have been promising worlds and funds in terms of energy transition to so-called green technologies. However, no one has remembered that nothing comes by spontaneous generation and huge resources are needed for generation by sun and wind to work. Environmental liabilities are hardly compensated at the end of the cycle of using this type of exploitation. Moving to about 10% of energy use generated by wind and sun or to 10% of electrical mobility implies an unimaginable amount of mineral resources that we do not yet have the capacity to produce with the current exploitation sites. We will have to look for other sites of exploration of mineral resources and sooner or later the impact will reach everyone’s yard. Then you can see how accepted this transition is and whether burning fossil fuels was not, after all, a lesser evil.

      • 22 GWh generated, 65% of total consumption. Consumption of what? How about all transportation, personal, business, shipping (exports), steel, concrete, etc.?

      • Yes good point Nick Stokes. Scotland’s wind industry is parasitic on the rest of the UK and makes a fortune in constraint payments, it doesn’t work (financially or as a practical power source) when everyone has windmills – oops, as everyone has too little or too much at the same time.

        https://www.ref.org.uk/ref-blog/358-why-have-windfarm-constraint-payments-spiked-in-2020

        If I were a potato farmer and Nick was running a crisps factory, I doubt he would sign a contract to pay me 5 times the market rate for my potatoes, have to take every potato I can produce or pay me compensation, and every morning he has to phone to check if I can be bothered to get out of bed to actually deliver him any potatoes at all.

        Then there is the nearly 14 million trees cleared for the turbines so far.

        https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2020/02/29/14m-trees-have-been-cut-down-in-scotland-to-make-way-for-wind-farms/

      • I can definitely confirm that the wind turbines in Scotland are a huge blot on the landscape. They horrify me whenever I’m there; uglifying the Solway Firth coastline which used to be so beautiful and so many to be seen visually polluting the landscape on the way to Glasgow from Cumbria. There is an enormous area of them to be seen on the approach to GLA, not all turning by any means.

    • Eric you just have to believe!!!
      Some say I’m foolish for my belief in a creator God and his redeemer son but I think it shows a greater level of understanding than those that want to destroy civilisation because they believe what they’re told without question.
      God made man as the pinicle of creation but listening to the warmistas you’d think mankind was a cancer that needs to be removed to make everything wonderful again.

      James Bull

  2. Thanks HotScott for this informative essay.
    I presume The Guardian is bidding for permission to re-publish globally?

    • Now here’s a plain thinking, straight speaking bloke that we commoners can understand. How refreshing. Not that I am complaining about the brain stretching essays from you brilliant types- you make our reach exceed our grasp, and that is a good thing.

      And, is Nick Stokes actually at a loss for words? Wonderful!

    • Mr.

      If you have signed the petition to have the Guardian toppled, like many monuments around the world, because it was founded by a slave trader, sadly, I suspect the invitation will be a long time coming. 🙂

      • That’s so funny. Not ‘blue on blue’ but ‘woke on woke’. I sort of half want to sign it to heap pressure on them but then half don’t as it legitimises the BLM anarchists.

        • Gerry, England

          Please sign it.

          I’m pretty certain it’s not been done by the WOKE/BLM/antifa mob.

          It was someone exposing their hypocrisy.

      • The Green Revolution, Resource Depletion and conservation of the environment:
        • Each EV battery weighs at least one tonne
        • To get one tonne of batteries you need to dig 50/100 tonnes of raw materials
        • 1.3 billion EVs equates to 97.5 billion tons (Minimum) of raw materials every 8 years
        • 520 billion tons per generation
        • One tonne of batteries equates to 74 tonnes of waste material
        • Every 8 years planet would need to recycle 1.3 billion tons of toxic materials, how?
        • UK alone would need 16,000 new 2MW wind turbines to meet the demand of 32 million EVs
        • The annual output of Tesla’s Gigafactory, the world’s largest battery factory, could store three minutes’ worth of annual U.S. electricity demand. It would require 1,000 years of production to make enough batteries for two days’ worth of U.S. electricity demand. Meanwhile, 50–100 pounds of materials are mined, moved, and processed for every pound of battery produced.
        • Supercharge 1 Nissan Leaf for 30 minutes consumes enough electricity for 10 homes
        • Supercharging 32 million Leaf’s for 30 minutes – inadequate – would consume enough electricity for 320 million homes
        http://www.uniteconomics.com/files/Tesla_Motors_Is_the_Model_S_Green.pdf
        https://www.nextgreencar.com/view-car/62806/bmw-5-series-saloon-530d-m-sport-sport-auto-diesel-automatic-8-speed/
        https://ride.tech/electric-and-hybrid/evs-responsible-for-more-emissions-than-diesel-engines/
        • The batteries for a fully loaded Airbus A320 would weigh 5.5 times more than a fully loaded A320 or 440 tonnes.
        • 440 times 75 (median) = 33,000 tonnes to dig out of the ground for each aircraft.
        • Predicted 63,220 aircraft flying by 2037. 63,220 times 33,000 = 2,086,260,00 tons of stuff dug out of the environment
        • China will build 136 new airports by 2025
        • 50 million flights a year will double by 2050
        • Greta’s carbon free transatlantic Malazia II is made from carbon fibre which started life as oil
        • Malazia II took 40,000 man hours, 14 times more energy than steel
        • Carbon fibre, Oil boiled in cat cracker, methane feedstock, 5 stage process at temperatures of 300C to 3000C, provided by fossil fuels
        • UK renewables provide less than 5% not 50% of energy
        • National Grid spends £1 billion of our money on hot spinning backup consuming precious finite methane to cope with rabid wind turbine intermittence
        • We are wasting precious finite raw resources to pretend the UK and the planet can be Zero Co2, absolute madness.
        • Every MW generated by wind consumes 200 times more raw finite materials than CCGT or Coal
        • One MW generated by wind needs 50 acres of land, WT and Solar are neither clean or green
        • UK paying £12 billion each year in subsidy.
        • If cheaper than CCGT, Coal & Nuclear why before sign up to 6GW’s of new offshore are the participants arguing about subsidy?
        • WT are 24% efficient at birth declining to 11% at 15 years just before they die
        • Germany has spent $800 billion on appearing to be green resulting in 3.4% of their energy coming from wind and solar 84% from fossil fuels
        • Germany has 56GW’s of wind connected to its grid.
        • Germany Co2 emissions have not reduced because more weather dependent capacity connected to their grid has increased the level and range of unreliability
        • Having 56GW’s of unreliable and intermittence capacity connected to the grid results in the need for higher levels of hot spinning backup to jump in and out of supply when the wind speed changes or dies completely. This is the reason why German emissions have not reduced or been mitigated by the imposition of wind and solar at great cost to German consumers.
        • German homes paid Euros 27 billion in green subsidy in 2018. They bear the full cost because German industry threatened to move production out of German if lumbered with the cost of pretending to be green.
        • Germany industry has invested billions in batteries to act as a buffer between transient grid supply causing microscopic frequency changes which if left unabated would flip their micro sensitive safety systems needed for continuous production systems. That would cause mayhem if left to the strictures of wind and solar.
        • Since 2004 the planet has spent $6 trillion at least on wind turbines which in 2018 generated 1.3% of global electricity
        • Electricity generation equates to 0.0052% of global Co2 emissions, insignificant
        • Planet could spend another $4 trillion to reach 2.6%, $8 trillion to reach 5.2% or $16 trillion to reach 10.4%. But they only last in reality 15 years. So increasing expenditure would have no purpose because you would just be replacing new with old for no benefit whatsoever
        • Increase in energy demand was 2.9% in 2018 which if satisfied by wind would demand the imposition of 525,000 new 2MW wind turbines every year from now till eternity
        • Which equates to 52.5 million acres of habitable land being consumed every year or 525 million acres every decade.
        • Germany has 13,500 first generation turbines redundant sitting on 41 million tons of concrete and steel foundations going down 20 metres, recycling cost zero because no one will pay
        • Germany has spent Euros 150 billion on solar panels which if alarmist predictions are correct might avert a climate catastrophe by 1 hour. Therefore I suppose the you and the CBI would recommend that the planets spends Euros 25 trillion to avert the supposed climate apocalypse for one week, Yes or NO???
        • The Wall Street Journal article notes:
        • “Germany has developed a reputation as a green-energy superpower, but in many respects it isn’t. Of all the energy used in Germany in 2016, 34% came from oil, 23.6% from coal, 22.7% from natural gas, 7.3% from biomass, 6.9% from nuclear, 2.1% from wind power, and 1.2% from solar. Waste, geothermal and hydropower accounted for the remaining 2%. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/25/u-s-becomes-global-fossil-energy-giant-feeding-hungry-world-energy-markets/ All told, Germany derived more than 80% of its total energy consumption from fossil fuels.
        • Baseload quantification. For wind and solar to perform in line with dispatchable coal oil and gas storage is required which at this time can only be batteries. http://euanmearns.com/the-real-strike-price-of-offshore-wind/#more-19641
        • Initial wind farm investment = £3.9 billion: I factored the Hornsea Project 1 cost (2,759/kW installed) up in proportion to the increase in installed capacity (1,396 MW for Hornsea 2 vs. 1,218 for Hornsea 1). This gave a total project cost for Hornsea 2 of £3.85 billion, which I rounded up to £3.9 billion.
        • Cost of battery storage = £35.4 billion: 95,800 MWh of lithium-ion batteries at current prices of around US$500/kWh – £370 at current exchange rates – gives a total cost of 95,800,000 kW * £370/kWh = £35.4 billion.
        • Cost of wind + battery storage = £3.9 + £35.4 = £39.3 billion
        • Strike price with batteries included = £579.42/MWh: The strike price increases in proportion to the increase in total investment, i.e. from £57.50/MWh to 39.3/3.9 * £57.50 = £579.42/MWh.
        • 25 minutes in Brian Cox interviews a scientist and wind farm operator Saul Griffith who put the whole green buffoonery into explicit perspective. https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3rg7x0
        • The cost of mitigating 1C of global warming by 2100 is estimated at $3.94 Quadrillion
        • The Paris Accord if fully implemented – it is not – is estimated to cost between $70 and $140 trillion might trim the global average temperature by 0.048% by 2100
        • AOC’s Green New Deal is estimated to cost $93 trillion but would have no effect on the global average temperature because America is emitted less and China, India and the developing world continue to emit more Co2 to bring 1.3 billion poverty stricken people out of their mud huts. And reduce the 6 million mostly children and women who die each year from toxins inhaled by cooking their food over dried animal dung.
        • The UK emits 1.16% of global Co2 emissions of which 3.4% relates to the entirety of human behaviour in the UK including our consumption of fossil fuels.
        • Being Zero carbon would make no difference whatsoever to our weather, the global climate so what exactly is the purpose of butchering peoples lives in the UK for trying to lead the rest of the planet to behave in a similarly stupid way. The infantilism is endemic, ignorance exploiting ignorance.
        • Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening the Earth, Study Finds. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/07/05/global-greening-is-happening-faster-than-climate-change-and-its-a-good-thing/ https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth Results showed that carbon dioxide fertilization explains 70 percent of the greening effect, – in the last 35 years – said co-author Ranga Myneni, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. “The second most important driver is nitrogen, at 9 percent. So we see what an outsized role CO2 plays in this process.” Co2 is already producing a better world. Deserts are receding because of Co2 fertilisation and the tree population despite deforestation has increased by 750% to 3.04 trillion trees. We now have an accurate idea of exactly what happens because of satellite technology which makes wind turbine Neolithic contraptions redundant.

        • I read Honest John’s Q&A motoring column each week in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph. A few weeks ago he had an interesting question. Someone wrote in to say that they had an electric car (I cannot remember the make) that was 8 or 9 years old and the battery when recharged only charged to 30% capacity what should he do? HJ answer was to run the car until it was no longer fit for purpose or if it was needed for long journeys scrap it. Apparently the £2500 cost of a new battery cost more than what the vehicle was worth. A new battery for a Tesla costs £40,000. My car is a 2003 Mercedes E500 with plenty of years left in it and only 70,000 miles on the clock, which is better for the environment? I think the answer is obvious!

  3. A very fine article Scotty. I’ll buy you a dram if we ever meet. If you need a laugh, have a look at the Orkney hydrogen scheme and all that it involves in terms of multiple processes, storage and transportation costs and, last but not least, its scalability. It depends on “spare” energy from wind farms- what could go wrong?

    • Arguably, if The Sweaties ever get independence, they’ve got far too much installed wind, so unless they can sell it to us, they’re stuck.

    • I think there is quite a lot of time when Scottish wind production is well in excess of the grid’s capacity to distribute it since the grid was not designed to transport massive production off the north of Scotland down to points of use in England. So producing hydrogen would be a form of rather inefficient energy storage, which is all it can ever be.

      • And the British then have to pay the scammers to disconnect from the grid. Huge sums of money pass to the scammers for not producing electricity

    • Ian Magness

      I have a nice bottle of Malt put by to share with Chris Monckton. I daresay he would welcome more of us to partake, in which case I’ll buy another. 🙂

  4. Nice article. The only quibble I have is that you keep saying “climate events”. What are those exactly? Shirley you mean weather events.

    • Jeff Alberts

      There is no such thing as a ‘global climate’. Climate was a convenient means by which to teach children (me) about different continental weather phenomena.

      So you are quite right, it is weather events, but nothing wrong with calling them climate events, we just have to be careful people understand the concept of climates and their regional properties.

    • but at some point there will major climatic events that impacts the performance of turbines/solar arrays

      I think he means major, unpredictable events like nighttime.

  5. “The power pack for a Tesla weighs half a tonne and occupies much of the floor pan of the car: for the same 600-km range in a petrol car, you would need 48 litres of petrol, weighing just 36 kg. And the size of the battery means that they require huge quantities of materials in their manufacture. If we replace all of the UK vehicle fleet with EVs, and assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation batteries, we would need the following materials:”

    But you see, the goal is to get people out of their cars (except for the elites, of course). None of those numbers matter when you’re stuffed into a smelly bus powered by unicorn farts.

      • Ian Random

        “…..giving the car unprecedented stability.

        Great, on a Formula One track, but meaningless when used in a suburban environment. Average speed in London traffic is around 11mph.

      • That weight also impedes the ability of the Tesla to motivate in snowy conditions. It also makes the Tesla into much more of a deadly missile in an accident than a lighter, fossil-fueled vehicle.

        Automobile stability is highly dependent on weight, not just center-of-gravity. Center-of-gravity certainly impacts roll-over tendency but little else. In changes of direction it is the grip of the tires that is the controlling factor in stability. That grip has to be able to overcome Newton’s Laws of Motion . First Law – a body in a straight line motion remains in motion unless acted upon by an external force. Second Law – the momentum of a mass is a vector whose size is the mass times the velocity. In order to change the vector direction of the motion an external force is required. On a vehicle that force is represented by the grip of the tires to the surface being traveled. The higher the mass of the body the higher the force required to convey a needed acceleration to change the momentum vector to a specified direction.

        Tesla’s don’t have out-sized tires to compensate for the weight of the batteries. A Tesla weighes abut 4000lb to 5000lbs. A similar size Ford sedan weighs about 3500lbs. For similar size tires the Ford sedan will be more maneuverable than the Tesla (by about the weight of the battery pack).

        Don’t be taken in by marketing hype about the Tesla.

      • And where I live it means the Tesla is limited to a very few, paved, roads. And on some of them there are places it better be tipped toed across (like a Corvette) or the pavement heaves will rip the underpinnings out.

  6. Wind mills will never make Scotland independent.
    And it seems the Scots run around causing mayhem if independent:)
    A bright side of such enslavement.
    But hmm, got do something about these ugly noisy wind monsters.
    A good thing about them is they have a short life. And if anyone can figure out what with all these broken down wind mills, maybe, the Scots will figure it out.

    • In Ontario, the largest wind project has been found to have more than half of its turbines non-compliant for audible tonal noise. This finally happened after four years of residents reporting both audible noise and harm from LFN and infrasound.
      A year later, the Ministry responsible for protecting peoples’ environment has still failed to enforce the derating. The tonal noise, as well as the swooshing and whomping noise and the sub audible acoustic emissions continue.
      If these turbines are not seriously derated or turned off altogether, this could go on for another 15 years because the Liberal government signed 20 year contracts.

  7. The real problem is that wind turbines do not produce any of the legally required 50Hz energy, the very energy essential to our homes and industry. They simply do not work. They produce useless harmonics above 50Hz which through smart meters are fraudulently added to consumers power bills. A wind turbine cannot boil a jug. Added to this is they are not synchronous besides there is nothing to synchronize.
    Some electricity generation engineers know the truth. They are afraid of going whistle blower. Afraid of losing their jobs.
    The scam is huge and a full investigation is warranted.

  8. Totally agree, and awesome country. I have Scottish/Irish ancestry. I also work in Redfern, Sydney, Australia.

    • Patrick MJD

      The Redfern’s hail from Bolton in Lancashire (from memory) and are landed gentry. Not that Iv’e ever seen a bean. 🙂

  9. It is worth noting that Scotland is on track to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources in 2020 and it generated over 95% of its electricity from renewables in 2019. Scotland is one of the few places in the world where wind power makes sense. It has a small population and lots of coastline plus mountains where there is ample wind. On top of which the mountains means that it is possible to build dams and then pump water uphill to store excess wind energy.

    Wind energy might not make sense globally but it does in some places, Scotland is one.

    • The thing of it is Izaak, no one has a choice in the matter. I am presuming that you don’t live in amongst them, if that’s the case I’m sure you can pick up cheap property next to a wind farm just about anywhere in the world that has them. But would you?

    • Izaak,

      that comment is disingenuous. (I also suspect your figures are optimistic)
      The small amount that Scotland produces and it’s consequent small consumption is tied to the U.K. grid, Should that grid disconnect you would, sooner or later find yourself in the dark and remain that way for days or more. You cannot restart a grid with wind power. You cannot run a stable grid with wind power.

      Scotland’s wind farm operators benefit from large constraint payments as, at times, Scotland’s wind generation exceeds the grid capacity to export it to England and farms have to shut down. The operators are paid more than if they were actually generating and selling their power. Good idea?

      The reason we have pumped storage plants is not storage in the sense that it is used when the wind output drops but to bolster grid frequency when sudden peaks in demand or sudden drops in output as they start and come on line in seconds (Which is what the Musk battery in Australia is for). It is unfeasible to build sufficient storage to compensate for low renewable generation times.

      Scottish politicians are simply virtue signalling and unfortunately the vast majority of the population do not know the truth, partly due to media misinformation or lack of critical assessment of what is happening.

      • Ian,
        any sensible energy solution requires a mix of power sources. Scotland is no different but has the ability to generate a significant fraction of its energy needs from wind power. The reason for that is that it is a large country that is sparsely populated and with access to lots of coastline and the north sea. Most other a countries don’t have those advantages and so wind power is not a viable option for them.

        Other countries have different options. Iceland can generate signifcant amounts of geothermal energy. New Zealand gets most of its electricity from hydroelecticity schemes. Both countries also
        have small population densities which makes it possible. In contrast countries like Monaco or Singapore are never going to be able to generate enough renewable energy.

        • “…any sensible energy solution requires a mix of power sources.”

          Blatantly untrue. And, besides, being sensible rules out wind.

        • Izaak, you stated that Scotland generated 95% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2019. Of course, this is utter nonsense. You have misunderstood what the Scottish government has actually said about wind energy. The Scottish government has claimed that Scotland generated the “equivalent” of 95% of its electricity from renewable sources (mainly wind) in 2019. Most of the electricity generated by wind power in Scotland is exported to England. Scotland is being despoiled by thousands of detested bird mincing monstrosities for no benefit to Scotland. How on Earth did you believe an intermittent power source like wind could possibly generate all of a country’s electricity?

        • Agree energy requires a mix of sources, however until affordable and long lasting batteries become available, wind and solar can never be part of that mix.

        • Izaak,

          No, any sensible energy solution, foremost, requires reliable sources of power, a source that does not make the system it supplies less stable. It is also sensible to place the sources close to where that energy will be used otherwise it is expensive as an expansion of the infrastructure is required and less efficient as transmission losses increase.
          Be aware that wind is not suited to large scale grid supply and for it to be incorporated is challenging for the operator and is costly. A cost that the consumer pays but worse a liability to business and industry and their competitiveness.
          Wind and solar also have short lives relative to normal power plants so again adding cost, and it would seem with few benefits.

          Hydro and Geothermal, to a lesser degree, are useful to countries fortunate enough to have the right geography and climate. Wind and solar are completely different.

      • Iain:
        pumped storage is not for frequency control. Only batteries or spinning mass can do that over a period of seconds.
        Pumped storage is a way of smoothing out peak to mean ratios in demand. It acts of minutes and hours, with gas providing the hours to days periods of flexibility.
        Te effect of intermittent renewable energy is to increase peak to mean ratio in demand as seen by the kit that stabilises the grid. It is a massively undesirable addition to the grid.

    • They have made Great Leap Forward already?

      Anti-Rightist Campaign very successful after clever Hundred Flowers Campaign to flush out right-deviationists.

    • How do answer his point of dthe despoilation (pollution) of a beautiful countryside? “

      • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Lots of people like the look of wind turbines. Others think
        they spoil the view. Still others look at the scottish countryside and see a virtual desert caused by
        over grazing, mass deforestation, and deliberate burning of heather so that rich idiots can shoot grouse for a few days each year. Scotland’s landscape is not natural but caused by centuries of farming and politics such as the highland clearances. And still we love it.

        • Izaak,
          The majority of deforestation in Scotland was as a result of climate change and that’s why most of the peat in Scotland has tree stumps at the bottom of a layer of peat 3 or 4 metres deep. Scotland has been warmer, drier and with a much more diverse environment than currently seen in blanket peat bogs.
          Some people think that the annualBBlack Grouse Lek takes place in what we’re once forest clearings..
          Heather burning and sheep grazing are a modern, last 150-250 years after people had been cleared from the land.

          • As was Sweden and Canada. And both these countries and Scotland want the climate to cool.

        • Once again, only the opinions of our new energy masters matter.
          Izaak finds them beautiful. If you don’t, tough.

    • “Izaak Walton June 21, 2020 at 10:48 pm

      It is worth noting that Scotland is on track to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources in 2020…”

      Is on track to.

      • Izaak

        So on the shortest day of the year as night falls, the light levels diminish and the wind drops all the electricity will be generated by renewable energy? Is there some huge wood chip burning power station to achieve this?

    • We might generate 95% sometimes when the wind blows, but there are plenty of times when it is calm or it is blowing so hard that they have to feather the turbine4 blades otherwise they would spin to destruction.
      Having demolished the perfectly good coalburner at Longannet we are left with nuclear and gas.
      And HotScott (like Matt Ridley) makes the point that there isn’t room for enough windmills anyway.

      Great paper Mr. Redfern.

      It might be of interest that the recently installed Robin Rigg windfarm in the Solwat Firth, where the bases are piled into sandbanks, is having severe problems with tidal scouring. One turbine has been removed and several are in danger of falling over. A bathymetric survey is under way as we speak. We told “them” before it was built that this would happen but “they” knew better.
      Well, they ken noo.

      • Oldseadog

        Interesting information about the Solway Firth.

        It’s not so much there isn’t room for turbines, as much as, that there’s no room for people. That wouldn’t happen to conform to the Malthusian desires of The Club of Rome perhaps?

        The destructive capacity of the low frequency emissions from turbines on the human body are truly horrifying.

    • Izaak
      If the going rate for energy is say $0.20/kwh and your local good fortune location, say Scotland is able to build wind turbines and infrastructure plus connections to supply its only available market in the south i.e. England at $0.80/kwh, please advise why anyone in England would want to buy it?

    • Izaak Walton

      Well you bought that one hook line and sinker with no critical analysis – 95%? Perhaps over a matter of a few hours, as an SNP accountancy exercise, but in real life? No.

      You would also have an extremely difficult job introducing any more Hydro into the country. The land destruction required for it is enormous. You can’t just dam a river and not expect consequences. It’s one of the few things I agree with the greens on.

    • Misleading to quote renewable component of electricity generation and then act as though iwind was the major component. The problem is that the requiremnts for electricity will increase gigantically with th eadvent of EVs and the need to convert all of those fossil fuel powered HVAC unbits to electricity. Wind cannot come close to provind that needed power. Scotland remains ignorant of modern low carbon, reliable power generation technologiess. Wind made sense in the days of sailing ships. Electricity costs in Scotland are almost twice the U.S. average.

    • I see the warmunists are still trying to pretend that it doesn’t matter when the energy is produced, so long as it is produced.
      If your production curve does not match your demand curve, you either have to sell the energy, or store it.
      There is no storage, and for the most part you can’t sell renewable energy. Most of the time you have to pay people to take it.

      Then there are the times when renewables don’t meet demand, and you have to buy electricity, at a steep premium, from those who aren’t so stupid as to make renewables their main source of electricity.

    • Izaak,
      Scotland is merely an electricity generator, a production node, for the much larger UK grid.

      The Scotland grid is a mere appendage of the UK grid, electrically speaking, just as the Denmark
      grid is a mere appendage of the NorGrid.

    • David Roger Wells.Wow wow! Seriously,could you please send your third (longest) comment to Jackson Carlaw ,leader of the Scottish Conservative Party.You could also try Boris but….
      Anyway,many thanks!

  10. And let’s not even think about or mention all the birds, bats and other life forms killed by this form of energy production.

    • I think that began a few centuries ago. To the immense benefit of America, thank you very much. What’s left is a rump of the lazy and the dim. Sad. (Full disclosure: I’m part Scot myself, and proud of it.)

  11. I have always said, big oil didn’t beat wind, big nuclear didn’t beat wind, big coal didn’t beat wind, an excel spread sheet did. If you can use a spreadsheet, it doesn’t take long to figure out it will never pay or produce enough.

    • So let’s imagine a long line of traffic stuck on a motorway in Scotland during a snowstorm.It’s 2040 and Scotland is free of fossil fuels.All the vehicles’ batteries have run down( need to run heaters) and wer’e all waiting for Nicola Sturgeon(Scotland’s First Minister ) to rescue us in her electric helicopter .
      Oh! Sorry.I forgot.We won’t have snow by 2040.

  12. Great post HotScott! I came across WUWT toward the end of last year. Like you my knowledge has expanded enormously thanks to the posts themselves and additionally links supplied by those who comment. My knowledge in the areas of climate change, the truth about renewables and politics has been invaluable to my personal growth.

    I have found it difficult to share my newfound knowledge with others who are a little resistant to a point of view that’s different from their own. Often the excuse was that they didn’t understand the information I was sending them. Your post will be more ‘user friendly’ to such people, arm them with some facts and figures and will hopefully induce them to do some further research of their own.

    Thanks David

    • Megs

      It’s impossible to debate with a climate alarmist, no matter how persuasive you are or how much information you come armed with.

      My hope is that sceptics talking in plain English can influence open minded journalists (I know, I know) to, at the very least, present the other side of the argument occasionally.

      Few of them understand the science either.

      • I hope you have some success with journalists HotScott. Australia is in a particularly bad place right now and I am so despondent. I cannot fathom that the world has arrived to this dark and ugly place.

      • Hotscot, if it was possible to reason with a climate alarmist, there wouldn’t be any.

      • One technique I’ve found useful is to probe the Alarmist’s understanding of the “science”. Don’t merely offer facts. Ask him or her to explain why temperatures were higher during the Middle Ages than today, despite lower CO2. Ask him or her how Polar Bears survived these warm periods. Alarmists are clueless and simply don’t know about these facts.

      • An important element of Western education is missing: Debate.
        As a communication form, the ability to assemble a telling argument should be taught at an early age, but the Internet is tearing away the coherency with which we explain complex ideas to each other.
        Even worse, the tendency to cherry pick, a sure sign of a losing Debater, is endemic.
        The (old) Wall Street Journal was famous for providing both sides to a story. You lose points if you cannot provide a clear picture of your point without leaving out all the (negative) aspects.
        HotScot is right (correct) and he encourages others to leave in the details–which most won’t read..and I recommend –footnotes.

      • Thanks, HotScot

        Professor Michael Kelly’s brief essay Electrifying the UK and the Want of Engineering packs it all in a nutshell. If I were lecturing scientists and engineers, I would use his essays as examples of good, clear and interesting writing.

        Kelly concludes with a bold invitation:
        I issue a direct challenge to anyone to comprehensively discredit my report by pointing out errors of facts, data, or logic in coming to my conclusions. GWPF will publish a serious takedown, but not any marginal quibbling.

        This is an example worth following: do your homework properly; present your position clearly; challenge climate alarmists to discredit the work by pointing out serious errors. Then call them out for being cowards if they do not responding or for being dishonest with disingenuous marginal quibbling and irrelevant personal attacks.

  13. I think you missed Adam Smith. For mine, Maxwell provided the maths to formulate Faraday’s work, and Fleming jumped on the bandwagon really done by Florey and others. To quote wikipedia. “but Fleming largely abandoned penicillin work, leaving Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford…” But when you read Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations”, what a stunning achievement for its time and place, and from the rest of your article, I would say a few of your legislators should do the same.

    • There was the Scottish Enlightenment when Scots made a disproportionate contribution to the world’s science and culture. The level of education among the Scottish made the rest of Europe look like grovelling troglodytes. It took them quite a while to catch up.

      Did you know that people of Scottish descent in North America outnumber their brethren still living in Scotland? link The contribution of Scots to Canada and America has been huge.

      • The departure to the new world was triggered by the Clearances indeed the departures were often involuntary. This was the forced depopulation of the highlands to replace tenant farmers with sheep.
        “It has been said that at the height of the clearances as many as 2,000 crofter cottages were burned each day, although exact figures are hard to come by. Cottages were burned to make them uninhabitable, to ensure the people never tried to return once the sheep had been moved in.”
        https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofScotland/The-Highland-Clearances/

        Further south the large population of Irish in the NE USA is more due to Oliver Cromwell’s forced depopulation of Ireland and sale of the Irish to Virginia and other colonies and to the Caribbean.
        https://theirishslaves.blogspot.com/2013/03/oliver-cromwell.html

    • I always find it strange that the Scots Nats are so utterly ignorant of Adam Smith and his great work. I just wish they would read it. The governance of Scotland would improve hugely.

      • Graeme, please understand, the Scottish Nasty Party, SNP’s natural reading level is the Beano. A childrens comic originally produced in Dundee, its readers are now of the age that represent the SNP mindset perfectly.
        Adam Smith is an unexplored alien level of thinking to the fishy leaders of the SNP.

        • True that. My former accountant in Edinburgh knew several SNP politicians personally. He was amazed by their ignorance and stupidity, describing them as “numpties”.

    • peterg

      I thought about Adam, but his contribution was intellectual rather than physical. He remains a giant and a favourite read of mine, but for the purposes of illustration I preferred to stick with but a few scientific/engineering/financial contributors to the world. Some more follow:

      Wha’s Like Us – Damn Few And They’re A’ Deid

      The average Englishman, in the home he calls his castle, slips into his national costume, a shabby raincoat, patented by chemist Charles Macintosh from Glasgow, Scotland. En route to his office he strides along the English lane, surfaced by John Macadam of Ayr, Scotland.

      He drives an English car fitted with tyres invented by John Boyd Dunlop of Dreghorn, Scotland, arrives at the station and boards a train, the forerunner of which was a steam engine, invented by James Watt of Greenock, Scotland. He then pours himself a cup of coffee from a thermos flask, the latter invented by Dewar, a Scotsman from Kincardine-on-Forth.

      At the office he receives the mail bearing adhesive stamps invented by James Chalmers of Dundee, Scotland.

      During the day he uses the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell, born in Edinburgh, Scotland.

      At home in the evening his daughter pedals her bicycle invented by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, blacksmith of Dumfries, Scotland.

      He watches the news on his television, an invention of John Logie Baird of Helensburgh, Scotland, and hears an item about the U.S. Navy, founded by John Paul Jones of Kirkbean, Scotland.

      He has by now been reminded too much of Scotland and in desperation he picks up the Bible only to find that the first man mentioned in the good book is a Scot, King James VI, who authorised its translation.

      Nowhere can an Englishman turn to escape the ingenuity of the Scots.

      He could take to drink, but the Scots make the best in the world.

      He could take a rifle and end it all but the breech-loading rifle was invented by Captain Patrick of Pitfours, Scotland.

      If he escapes death, he might then find himself on an operating table injected with penicillin, which was discovered by Alexander Fleming of Darvel, Scotland, and given an anaesthetic, which was discovered by Sir James Young Simpson of Bathgate, Scotland.

      Out of the anaesthetic, he would find no comfort in learning he was as safe as the Bank of England founded by William Paterson of Dumfries, Scotland.

      Perhaps his only remaining hope would be to get a transfusion of guid Scottish blood which would entitle him to ask “Wha’s Like Us”.

  14. My granny was a MacLeod. She told me that the Scots invented copper wire when 2 Scots were fighting over a penny.

  15. A man once told me, “There are only two races in the world. The Scots and those that wish they were Scots”.

    [Needless to say, he was a Scotsman].

    • The same bloke told me. When a Scotsman, or woman, Moves to England the average IQ of both nations rises.

  16. “I did a rough beer mat calculation (before I drank the beer)”

    But the only time you can access the beer mat is WHILE you are drinking the beer.

    If you hadn’t drunk the beer, it would be sitting on the beer mat, so how could you do the calculation. 🙂

    Apart from that apparent inconsistency… great article. 🙂

  17. But of course the argument goes (by some daft enough to make it) that when the wind infrastructure is in place it’ll provide all the energy to manufacture more wind turbines.

    If ever there was a Unicorn argument, that’s it right there. It demonstrates a staggering level of ignorance of physics by promoting the concept of perpetual motion. It’s just not credible.

    You need to try to express that as a logical argument, instead of just asserting it is a “staggering level of ignorance”.

    You could try to apply the same argument to coal. How did we ever get to a stage where there was enough coal powered electricity to make new coal driven power plants? Did we need to achieve perpetual motion to do that?

    • The argument is very simple. If your only source of energy is wind-generated electricity, and the production of wind-generation infrastructure consumes more energy than said infrastructure generates, where does the energy shortfall come from?

    • Greg, the leftists claim to want to shut down the coal mines. The truth is that wind and solar renewables are built using large amounts of coal as an essential material in their production, in addition to the coal we use to power the manufacturing plants that make them! And all for very little return, and all from tax payer subsidies.

      Renewables are not clean, green or free in any way, and they are certainly not sustainable! We would have done less damage to the planet if we had never jumped on the roller coaster of renewables and all this is not even about saving the planet. It’s about totalitarianism and control! And they are quite happy to destroy the planet to do it.

      But wait there’s more! Why is it that no one seems to care about the ‘end of life’ of renewables? Most of it is not recyclable! On what level is it ecologically sound to bury it? Someone else’s problem?

      And they say that coal is a bad thing? BS

    • “You could try to apply the same argument to coal. How did we ever get to a stage where there was enough coal powered electricity to make new coal driven power plants? Did we need to achieve perpetual motion to do that?”

      You clearly haven’t thought this through, have you? One man with a pick and shovel can easily mine a tonne of coal in a day, equivalent to over 8 MWh of energy. How much energy is required to make and build a wind turbine?

    • Greg

      Fossil fuels provide many time the thermal efficiency of wind energy. Mankind can determine how much fossil fuel can be mined and burned to meet his needs.

      Wind can’t be mined, improved, or managed. And if, as I pointed out, the climate worsens (which it’s showing no signs of) the world will have more wild weather, hurricanes, typhoons etc. during which periods wind turbines (and solar for that matter) won’t work. Fossil fuels do.

      So the argument you make that fossil fuel is, by the same comparison, self perpetuating is nonsense. We manage and use a resource as we deem necessary. Wind manages us.

  18. To play Devil.s Advocate for Mr Paterson and the Darien Scheme the idea was ahead of its time, cut out sailing round South America by crossing the Isthmus Of Panama. This was met by open hostility by the Spanish and financial and trade boycotts by the English, neither of whom wanted Johnny Comelately Scots getting a cut of the action. Scotland’s historic allies, the FRench, were nolonger available for support after the Union of The Crowns in 1603. History proved the concept of cutting through Panama right 250 years later. England could afford Roanoke, Scotland couldn’t afford Darien. Paterson founded the Bank of England and the concept of national/central banks (I think he was involved in trying to create one Europe, perhaps France).

    Paterson would have been at home with the Grand Schemes at play now, in France there are plans to have referenda (referendums?) on allsorts of climate/environment things from maximum speeds on motorways and in towns to anything the public wants. This is a great get out of jail card for President’s: when a scheme crashes and burns the answer is “Well it’s what YOU wanted”.

    I expect any statues of William Paterson at the BoE will be quietly moved to a store room fairly soon, as he had what has become an unacceptable background in the West Indies early in his career.

    • Ben Vorlich

      Everything you say is true.

      That being the case, in what world was it sensible or financially prudent to spend 20% of Scottish wealth when all the odds are stacked against you?

      • Perhaps Patterson was influenced by Montrose:

        He either fears his fate too much,
        Or his desserts are small,
        Who dares not put it to the touch,
        To win or lose it all!

        James Graham, 5th Earl of Montrose (1612 1650)

        Alas, Patterson could not avail himself of Adam Smith’s insights (Wealth of Nations was published almost a hundred years later. Smith observed that people everywhere overestimate the changes of success and underestimate the risks of failure and cited a support the universal success of lotteries everywhere they are tried.

      • Any scheme founded on the idea of maintaining an open overland route through the Darien Gap was doomed to failure, without any other opposition… It hasn’t been done yet…

      • Hot Scot
        No with the benefit of 300 hundred years of hindsight it wasn’t a great plan.
        I wasn’t taught any great detail at school but since I’ve come to the conclusion that for many Scots it was the last throw of the dice.
        After the Union of The Crowns Scotland had made an enemy of its former Allies. But was suffering from economic sanctions by England, Scottish merchants and entrepreneurs banned from English colonies and such like, although Scottish troops were welcome to join in wars with the Dutch, French and Spanish . So there were two options agree to a union or try to go it alone.
        Only success would keep Scotland independent, but the union still took bribery, corruption and political chicanery to achieve.

        Who knows what would have happened they’d known then what we know now. Cook didn’t reach the East Coast of Australia until 1770.

  19. As a retired electrical machines engineer researching e.g. more electric aircraft, I asked one of my Scottish colleagues what Scotland’s electrical back-up plan was for the days when the wind does not blow. He advised me that it is the electrical connections to England that will come to the rescue – presumable only if England has juice to spare!

    On related matters, professor Sir Jim McDonald (electrical engineering, Strathclyde University) was on BBC Radio 4’s, ‘The Life Scientific’, about a month ago and said, IIRC, that Scotland’s energy future would include nuclear energy.

    Also, does anybody have an explanation as to why wind turbines, AS CURRENTLY DESIGNED, are allowed anywhere in countries such as Scotland which are rich in bird life since they are excellent bird mincers. Hen Harriers and Red Grouse on the moors, plus Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots, Shags, Cormorants, Sea Eagles, and Gannets (to name but a few) are vulnerable to the rapidly spinning blades. I have asked the RSPB but have not yet received a reply to my letter of well over a year ago.

    In short, wind turbines are expensive, resource-intensive, unreliable and dangerous to birds/bats/insects. So why are we in the West using so many of them … unless we want to drive up electricity prices in order to make rich people (the investors) richer?

    Regards,
    John Cullen.

    • You just about summed it up John, and in regard to the risks to birds there is no justification, they simply don’t care.

    • “John Cullen June 22, 2020 at 12:38 am

      As a retired electrical machines engineer researching e.g. more electric aircraft, I asked one of my Scottish colleagues what Scotland’s electrical back-up plan was for the days when the wind does not blow. He advised me that it is the electrical connections to England that will come to the rescue – presumable only if England has juice to spare!”

      Actually, no! They plan to power Scotland on wind, and supply the excess to the UK. But when the wind does not blow they plan to use fossil fuels, and sell whatever wind they have to the UK. Errrmmm….

  20. A wise man once told me that “The French drink a little wine every day. And kill their livers’. The Scots drink a lot of Whisky occasionally. And kill their neighbours.”
    Best they stay North o’ the border I reckon!

        • Oldseadog

          We all have our cross to bear. 🙂

          Mind you, every Hogmanay in our village in Kent, I hear one of our neighbours piping in the New Year.

          It may have happened somewhere in Scotland but I couldn’t hear it above the vomiting and fighting.

  21. The author is correct to identify the Act of Union between England and Scotland as a bail-out ‘with strings’. Not many people realise excatly how utterly broke Scotland was by 1700, and it wasn’t just the waste of the Darien scheme. The end of the seventeeth century was a time of starvation here, with estimates of 10% of the population lost overall , and losses of up to 25% in rural Buchan. Aside from trade issues , a major cause was a number of failed harvests with a cluster of them in the late 1690’s. That decade was of course the low point of the Little Ice Age.
    I can sympathise with the Scots of 1690, imagining that there had to be somewhere better and warmer, where food would grow abundantly. Now we face a different issue. The ‘problems’ excitedly and persistently described in the press are imaginary , not real. The apocalyptic predictions of the demise of the Arctic ice cap etc. simply fail to materialise, but people have been brow-beaten into accepting that ‘electric cars are good for the environment’ , ‘coal power is bad for the climate’ and so on.
    I try to get my disgareement with the climate orthodoxy into conversations when the topic drifts close enough, but I have to be careful. I have been called a ‘climate denier’ more than once.
    On bad days I think of getting a t-shirt printed with ‘coal = biomass’ on the front and CO2 = plant food’ on the back. That should wind them up.

    • What is wrong with being called a climate “denier”? I’ve been called it many times in arguments with CAGW True Believers. Don’t let them shame you into silence. Tell them you’re proud of the label, and watch their shock!

  22. Masterly. But it’s a discussion limited to the pampered ‘West’ pumped up on comfortable access to fossil fuels. In the real world it’s over 600 new coal fired power stations to add to the 10,000 already existing which will lift their people out of poverty.
    Should the globe cool, it’s going to get very embarrassing.

  23. Terrific article HotScott . When will the penny drop with the public that they are being taken for fools ?
    Prof Anthony Trewavas is the real hero here .
    The energy mess / scandal in Scotland needs wide exposure .

  24. Thank you, HotScot, a very clear and simply written article.

    And in reply to Matt_S, “When are we going to wake up from this self deluded fantasy,” my answer is “One by one.”

  25. Nice article Hot Scot.

    I was thinking about Scotland just a couple of days ago as we went for a summer solstice walk on Nearby Dartmoor. We were reminded that exactly 30 years earlier my wife and I were seated on the vey northernmost tip of mainland Scotland, a few miles north of John o’ Groats watching puffins and waiting to see if there was indeed eternal twilight on that day, which there was.

    Scotland has in parts achingly beautiful landscapes and it is this that contributes so much to the economy as well as providing great spiritual pleasure to locals and visitors alike. It shapes the country and its people.

    You don’t save the environment by trashing the countryside, but unfortunately Scottish leaders seem to have ignored this with the vast scale of many wind farms destroying the very reason people visit.

    If it were cost effective to build and run them and wasn’t so environmentally destructive to mine the materials then erect the turbines it might be more acceptable. Even more acceptable if they were actually effective-but they aren’t. So a sort of madness reigns as it did with the Darius gap adventure. I wonder what the final cost to Scotland’s soul and economy and political affiliations will be as they cast around for alternatives to North Sea oil..

  26. As well as all the many profound technical arguments against wind power set out above we need to recognise the vast costs of the inter-connectors needed to deliver the intermittent supply from Scotland to the market place that is going to be forced buy it, namely England. As the turbines desecrate more & more remote beauty spots the overhead of getting the product to market becomes a larger & larger proportion of the infrastructure costs. Green politics does not a well-engineered system make.

    • Human civilization only advanced because the cost of producing energy fell. If wind or any other form of energy production makes the end product more expensive, today’s civilization will collapse.
      But somehow it seems that’s what they want.

      I just wonder how the Climate Jugend and Green Shirts will react when the light switch stops working.

      • “Robertvd June 22, 2020 at 3:43 am

        Human civilization only advanced because the cost of producing energy fell.”

        No. It was glass and lenses.

        • Patrick MJD

          Go down that route and it could be argued it was the candle; which could be burned relatively cheaply, allowing people to continue to work beyond dusk, at which point lenses are useless without candlelight.

          • Yes, all true however, while there was light, without glasses/lenses, no-one could read or write text.

  27. It would not surprise me in the least, if we were to use 10% of the monies spend on trying to engineer climate to adapt to and even seek to benefit from climate change, that we would see a handsome return for our investment. On top of that we should eliminate the remaining 90% of wasteful climate spending. Perhaps we could also use some of this savings to clean up the worst environmental pollution. A win-win-win path.

  28. Two hundred years ago the publisher William Collins was founded in Glasgow. It not only lifted many city residents out of poverty but in the next 150 years grew to become one of the great publishers of the world. Then in the mid seventies its fortunes turned and it ended up incorporated in the US publisher Harper. A sad story about what should have still been one of the greatest publishers today. What were the decisions that led to this loss and can to learn from them? Perhaps there is a parallel here: decisions taken by Collins management without thinking through their wisdom and possible consequences. The same with wind energy in Scotland.

  29. Just imagine how many bagpipes could be powered by all that wind. The sound would be incredible. No further need for national defense either. No would-be invader would dare go against that.

    • Bruce Cobb

      Much of the reason pipers were often point men during WW1 & WW2. The haunting sound of the pipes could be heard for miles and induced anxiety in the enemy.

  30. Globally, it takes about half a tonne of coal to make a tonne of steel.

    More like three quarters of a tonne of coal. I don’t have the reference handy but I got a figure from a steel industry site of either 768 kg./tonne or 786 kg./tonne for new primary steel. The lower figure Ridley cites may be including recycled steel when can me made using electricity produced from less that 200 kg. of coal per tonne of steel (assuming coal-fired electricity). Lumping primary and recycled production would account for Ridley’s figure. Roughly 15% of coal mined worldwide each year goes into primary steel production. Wind can’t replace coal to make new primary steel no matter how cheap it is.

    • Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

      Matt Ridley invariably errs on the conservative side when quoting numbers.

      His are horrific enough, and I have little doubt you’re correct.

    • Wind can’t replace coal to make new primary steel no matter how cheap it is.

      Well in theory it can. Sort of. iron oxide needs energy to turn it into iron, and will release oxygen in the process. The normal way to do that of course is to use carbon both as the source of energy and to absorb the oxygen.
      see https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10800-017-1143-5

      Of course steel needs a bit of carbon in there as well as iron, but you might get that from atmospheric CO2.

      Massively expensive and inefficient but theoretically possible.

      Which statement should be applied to all green technology.

  31. In the late 17th/early 18th Century Scotland spent approximately 20% of all the money circulating in the country on an ill-conceived lunge to colonise the Isthmus of Panama; the ‘Darien scheme’.

    Been reading about the Darien for years, but this is new to me. Time to do some more research. If there were a contest for the worst place on earth to colonize, the Darien would be a contender. Today you can drive from Alaska to Panama City on the Pan-American Highway. If you can somehow get your car into Colombia you can drive on, to the southern tip of Argentina. But you can’t drive through the Darien.

  32. It is no great surprise that no major industry would invest in Scotland all the time the SNP and Jimmy Krankie are pushing for independence. The disruption that would cause in enough to put anybody off. A closer examination of the economy of an independent Scotland certainly would since it would be a basket case from day 1. The currency would be a major problem since while they could use sterling or the euro, or anything else, they would have no control over it or have any lender of last resort.

  33. There is something wrong with your copper production number. World production is over 15 million per year, so 2.4 million is not half. However, it is a big chunk and would massively affect the price.

    • Gerry

      Not my numbers mate. I’m far too thick to figure those out.

      But thanks for the head’s up.

  34. The problem with green enthusiasts are:

    1) Anything that works is an anathema.
    2) They are completely innumerate.
    3) Anything that might prevent breakdown of society, which would usher in a new totalitarian age, is to be resisted to the hilt.

    #3 is the greatest problem.

  35. I had the pleasure and honor to live in Scotland in the late 80’s/early 90’s. As far north as you can get. On a clear day, I could see the Old Man of Hoy from my kitchen window. Rode the A-9 from Thurso to Inverness and back many times, and a more desolate and beautiful landscape is difficult to imagine. Even then, the blight of windmills was starting to appear. I fear to think what that ride would look like now.

    • TomB

      Progress in Scotland means speed cameras, as well as wind turbines.

      Far less of an exhilarating ride these days.

      Assuming, of course, you were riding a Motorbike.

  36. Production of hydrogen is an alternative to batteries to absorb electricity from wind systems.
    Why is it always assumed that production of alternative energy components requires carbon-based energy? All energy must move to zero carbon to meet climate goals. Then manufacturing, mining etc. will also be zero carbon.
    However, I believe nuclear is an essential contributor.

    • Ian Kerr

      I suspect the generation of Hydrogen would soak up far too much of wind derived energy to make it useful for anything else, far less boil a kettle.

      Now, to go down your route, we are entering the realms of perpetual motion. Build a wind turbine to produce a wind turbine. That just doesn’t work.

      Build a wind turbine, to produce Hydrogen, to build a wind turbine, works even less.

      Even my limited knowledge of cumulative loss along the way tells me this is Unicorn thinking.

      Sadly, the Unicorn is the National emblem of Scotland.

      Which should tell us all something.

  37. This article highlights that the global push for renewables and more particularly wind power makes no economic, commercial, social or environment sense and a laymen like you and myself prepared to do a minimum amount of research will reach that conclusion . I think we can fairly describe that the push by countries like UK, Australia , Germany to go down this path as some sort of economic suicide which will not work out well.
    What I can’t understand is how such illogical insanity can be instilled countrywide into democracies who every few years have the opportunity to throw out those who seek to implement such obviously flawed policies. The insanity of the policies are so clear that I sometimes wonder whether I have suddenly woken up in an alternative universe where everything doesn’t quite make sense and I’m the only one who has a proper sense of perspective.
    Only on forums like this do I actually find people who speak my language but it is the results of the US , UK and Aussie elections that have given me hope that there are way more of us than I realised only that most people are either too disinterested or too afraid to state what is obvious ( the emperor has no clothes). I feel that the massive indoctrination of a whole generation by a compliant media and academe could in the near future swing opinion against us such that even the silent majority will not be able to stop the carnage that will flow if the wrong people get into power.
    As one of our more colourful leaders said ( well almost).
    “ Global warming (policy) is one of the Greatest moral issues of our time”
    We have reached a tipping point. If it can’t be halted in the next one to two years it may be too late to do anything about it and the influx of indoctrinated voters and the death of elderly conservatives will swing the balance so that true capitalist democracies as we know will be controlled by those inflicted with this insanity. Obviously this will not be a problem for dictatorships like China who will be beneficiaries of the craziness that is climate change policy.

    • The author Sir Terry Pratchett had his own opinion on “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. He suggested that the Emperor’s (armed) guards would go up to the bystanders with “You didn’t hear that did you? Did you?” And, given the reactions of the Powers That Be (and their MSM) to any opposition – it seems like that’s the way that things go!

  38. Great article. Scots today are heading for a cliff and appear to have no-one to head them off.

  39. Nice level-headed article.

    If you want to see the nightmare called Wind Turbine Farms, just visit us here in Texas. It isn’t so bad when they are just blotting out some square miles of corn fields, but when they cover the once beautiful colorful ridges of west Texas (near to New Mexico) it is sickening.

    Then you have all the new high power transmission lines I helped to pay for through my electricity prices and taxes that traverse endless miles to transport the intermittent electricity they produce.

    And finally, you have the brown outs (probably soon to be blackouts) that too much reliance on wind generation brings to us.

    I keep hoping that Texans will wake up and fight back against the Green Mob, but there are too many liberals moving here for the jobs – Austin is already becoming a “lost city”, with Houston and Dallas not far behind.

  40. The only description of wind power is that it is dumb, expensive, impractical, stuipid and fails to reduce carbon levels in the atmosphere. It wouldtake many paragraphs to certify the negatives of this 18th century tevchnology,, which somehow has been hyped as a solution to something. Or other.
    Just take costs : it is certifiable that a molten salt small modular reactoers of aproximaely 350MW requires a land area that is a tiny percentage of the vast amounts of land required bt wind turbines
    that can produce the same amount of power (nameplate capacty of turbines would have to be on the order of 1200 MW) . Wind power is low quality unreliable power that causes undue grid peregrinationes to make use of the power generated by sloppy wind turbines. The side effect costs of any unreliable generator such as wind are very substantial and to top it all off, wind turnbines have been estimated as unable to reduce atmospheric carbon levels and no proof rejecting this has ever been put forth by wind hypsters. Wind turbines , especially large versions, have ben shown to have lifespans a fraction of that promised by wind hucksters, making the costs of the power far greater than it already is, which is far and away the most expnsive methods of producing electricity. We know for certain that small modular molten salt nuclear reactors can be built to porduce levelized costs of 4 cents per kWhr. Compare that to the 20 something cents per kWhr produce dby wind. Wind is dumb all over the place : costs, effects, grid unfriendliness, etc
    Only the clueless Scots have convinced themselves that their wind turbines are the future. They have thus shown themselves as dumb as the technology itself.

  41. Great article HotScot, a lot of good comments but not enough time to read them all.
    I’m still giggling over the thought that copper wire was invented by two Scots squabbling over a penny! 🙂

  42. How did we ever get to a stage where there was enough coal powered electricity to make new coal driven power plants? Did we need to achieve perpetual motion to do that? – Greg

    Your comment demonstrates a “staggering level of ignorance”.

    You might want to read a little of the history of coal particularly in the UK. For example: heating & smelting (Both came before the invention of writing), lime burning (concrete and mortar), iron, coke (Not the drink), steal, James Watt, gas lighting (Town gas / coal gas), the steam engine, the industrial revolution, cotton mills, steamships, steam trains, steam turbines… !

    I think you’ll find it’s not “turtles all the way down” but coal!

    *Exposed seams on the surface and sea cole (sea coal).

  43. One point in the discussion that never seems to be mentioned: It is looked into like when these wind turbines are built they will supply electricity forever. My estimate is they will run for a maximum of 30 years. (see also “Planet of the Humans”). So every 30 years they have to be replaced! That compares unfavourably to coal and nuclear factories that usually last 60 years. (please excuse my English)

    • You are correct Heinrich, but I wouldn’t think there would be too many turbines that would last thirty years. There aren’t enough raw materials on earth to fulfill their dream of making the world 100% renewable once over let alone call it a sustainable source of power.

Comments are closed.