Messing With The Environment “To Fight Climate Change”… Wind Farms Are Altering The North Sea

From the NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin on 26. February 2022

Before their approval, largescale projects in Germany – almost without exception – have to be studied to determine their impacts on the surrounding environment. This step seems to be ignored for North Sea wind farms.

Hat-tip: Die kalte Sonne.

Wind farms are altering the North Sea

Atmospheric wakes extending from the bottom to the top of the picture [contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (Sentinel 2A-MSI 29/03/2021), processed by ESA & Hereon/ Dr Martin Hieronymie]

A team of researchers led by Nils Christiansen from the Helmholtz Center Hereon has published a study on the impact of offshore wind farms on ocean dynamics. The focus was on weakening wind and the accompanying changes in the physical conditions of the affected North Sea areas.

Turbines sap energy out of the wind

Wind turbines pose obstacles to water and air. The effects are of great importance with regard to the planning of future offshore wind farms. The study appeared in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

The imposing images of offshore wind farms in the North Sea overlooking the glittering water are firmly etched in people’s minds. But what are the effects associated with this important building block of Germany’s energy transition?

The study of the Hereon Institute for Coastal Systems – Analysis and Modeling simulates a weakening of the wind speed on the leeside of the parks. Evidence for the phenomenon was recently provided by a Hereon team whose study appeared in the journal Nature (Akthar et al., 2021).

The turbines weaken the wind as they extract kinetic energy to generate electricity. Downwind of the wind turbines, so-called atmospheric wake vortices develop. These are characterized by reduced wind speed as well as by special pressure conditions and increased air turbulence. Under stable atmospheric conditions, the wind speed deficits can propagate up to 70 km behind the wind farms.

When the wind dies

Using high-resolution hydrodynamic computer simulations, the team analyzed the effects on the southern North Sea for summer 2013 (May to September). The analysis shows a connection between wake vortices and changes in the momentum-driven exchange between the atmosphere and the water. This in turn could affect the horizontal currents and stratification of the water.

The effects of wake vortices are strong enough to redirect the existing currents, which results in a shift in the mean temperature and salinity distribution in the areas of the wind farms. “The changes that occur remain within the range of inter-annual variability. Nevertheless, they show similar magnitudes to the presumed mean changes due to climate change or year-to-year variability,” said Nils Christiansen, of the Hereon Institute for Coastal Systems, who was lead author on the study.

Altered re-layering of the North Sea

Another consequence of wake vortices is the mitigation of shear-related processes at the sea surface. In other words, the turbulent mixing of the water surface caused by the winds is reduced dozens of kilometers around the wind farm. Water is usually stratified, for example, a layer of warmer water lies on top of a layer of colder water. Wind farms disrupt this natural stratification. Because of the reduced mixing, a more stable stratification of the water is favored. This was particularly noticeable during the decline in summer stratification.

Natural stratification of water is particularly prominent in summer and decreases toward fall. However, in the wind farm’s area, more stable stratification was calculated outside of the seasonal variation.

Impact on plankton production and food system

“The magnitude of the induced mean changes does not indicate severe local effects, but far-reaching structural changes in the system do occur,” Christiansen says. “The changes in flow and mixing are likely to affect plankton production and food system, and may influence how protected areas work.

It is thus important to consider these consequences when developing marine protection concepts,” says Hereon Institute Director Prof. Corinna Schrum. A modification in this exchange potentially affects regional atmospheric conditions and ecosystem dynamics, and will be the subject of further studies.

Original publication: Christiansen N, Daewel U, Djath B and Schrum C (2022) Emergence of Large-Scale Hydrodynamic Structures Due to Atmospheric Offshore Wind Farm Wakes. Front. Mar. Sci. 9:818501.

doi: 10.3389/fmars.2022.818501

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February 27, 2022 2:10 am

In order to solve small imaginary problems, the Greens like to create large real problems.

In The Real World
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 27, 2022 2:45 am

The whole Green idea is not about solving problems . It is about inventing fake ones to take money off the people .

In the UK the unreliables generation has to be subsidised by about £12 billion per year because it is so inefficient it could not exist without all of that extra public money .
Then there has been huge increases in carbon taxes on fossil fuels which make the cost of gas / oil / coal generation much higher , [ offshore wind now only costs 2 or 3 times as much as CCGT generation when it used to be about 5 times as much .]

So the whole thing is all about taking as much money as possible from the people .

mark
Reply to  In The Real World
February 27, 2022 3:14 am

so inefficient it could not exist without all of that extra tax payers money

That’s better…..

Joao Martins
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 27, 2022 5:29 am

Best comment of the day, IMHO.

Congratulations!

Last edited 2 months ago by Joao Martins
Brad-DXT
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 27, 2022 10:26 am

The Greens live in the world of What If instead of What Is.
Unfortunately, they are well funded by leftists, Marxists, and con artists looking to profit off of the degradation of the western economies.

Philip Mulholland
February 27, 2022 2:13 am

In order to save the planet we had to destroy it.

Steve Case
February 27, 2022 2:29 am

Someone posted this one the other day:

Greens are also keen to restore wetlands. Bogs and marshes are active emitters of … methane.

Vuk
February 27, 2022 2:30 am

The north-easterlies across North Sea in the winter bring cold continental weather to SE of UK. Those wind farms take energy out, slow down the wind, hence the effect of cold wind is smaller and here we will benefit from warmer winters.
When south-westerly blows that brings warm winter weather to West Europe, the N sea find farms take energy out slowing down warm air reaching West Europe’s continental part, making their winter more severe.
European Union (EU) wan’t like this one single bit.
s/c

Vuk
Reply to  Vuk
February 27, 2022 5:04 am

apologies for the typo:
for  ‘wind farms’ read ‘the birds shredders

Gregory Woods
February 27, 2022 2:47 am

Climate change you can believe in…

czechlist
Reply to  Gregory Woods
February 27, 2022 8:44 am

and it is self serving- it is anthropogenic !!

Bob K
February 27, 2022 3:18 am

It’s all modeling and AI. Not very impressive..

“In our work, we use coupled complex mechanistical models, statistical models and state-of-the-art AI methods.”

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Bob K
February 27, 2022 3:43 am

Yes I saw that. But I find that a localised change to climate and sea conditions due to energy extraction quite believable. In the way UHI affects cities and urban areas. Energy once available for creating waves is now (sometimes) keeping the lights on. In the same way the solar energy once used by plants is now powering a Tesla on the M25

Jit
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 27, 2022 3:59 am

Ben, I recently discussed a paper with real world data on turbine wakes on cliscep: https://cliscep.com/2022/02/20/the-turbine-wakes/

MarkW
Reply to  Bob K
February 27, 2022 7:10 am

Just because climate models are being mis-used, is not evidence that all models are crap.

TheSagaciousOne
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 10:53 am

The purpose of climate modeling is to develop a value for Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS). ECS is defined as the increase in temperature on the earth’s surface and in the Troposphere when the CO2 content is doubled.

The original 3 models by Plass, Manabe, and Rowntree & Walker, in the 1950s, 60s and 70s gave ECS values from 2ºC to more than 4ºC; a 2X+ spread. The latest set of models are the CMIP6 group that are being used for the IPCC AR6 report. CMIP6 consists of around 100 models in 49 different modeling groups. The data published so far indicates ECS values of 1.8ºC to 5.6ºC; a 3X+ difference.

After some five decades of climate model development there is still not a standard climate model with an unambiguous ECS value. Rather there are some 100 models with a wider ECS variance.

Normally, science looks for convergence to verify a hypothesis. In the “settled science” of Climate Change, divergence is considered verification of the hypothesis.

Last edited 2 months ago by TheSagaciousOne
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 10:57 am

“All models are wrong. Some are useful.”

fretslider
February 27, 2022 4:26 am

The green fraternity care not if they destroy environments or animals, such as bats, birds etc. It’s a price worth paying to save the planet don’t you know.

And if you slap high enough [Carbon] taxes on coal etc you can make unreliables seem almost competitive. So, most people can’t afford energy anymore and in Guardian world that’s a good thing.

Fortunately they never went ahead with the tidal scheme in the Severn estuary. That really would have done some damage.

Dave Fair
Reply to  fretslider
February 27, 2022 10:51 am

The warmunist’s stated goal of making FF energy much more costly has arrived. Now, however, they deny that was the goal and blame those evil FF companies.

Drake
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 27, 2022 5:35 pm

It is not about making FF more expensive, it is about using less FF.

Just ask Brandon’s press secretary Jen, ROOTS Psaki, as stated during an interview with George Stephanopoulos.

Yes, I am being sarcastic, They ARE making FF more expensive so the plebes will use less because they can’t afford more.

Willem post
February 27, 2022 4:32 am

The wind systems (NEVER CALL THEM FARMS) in the North Sea and in the Baltic will slow down the prevailing winds, AND ALTER THE CLIMATE.

That is equivalent to slowing down the Atlantic Gulf Stream

This means electricity PRODUCTION will decrease per installed MW

This physical outcome has been predicted by numerous people over the past 20 years.

NUCLEAR HAS NONE OF THESE “BENEFITS”

RE FOLKS HOLD HIGH-LEVEL MEETINGS REGARDING WIND AND SOLAR BRINGING WORLD PEACE
https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/re-folks-hold-high-level-meetings-regarding-wind-and-soal

Vuk
Reply to  Willem post
February 27, 2022 5:00 am

how about just ‘birds shredders’

Willem post
Reply to  Vuk
February 27, 2022 6:31 am

Infrasound generators, noise makers, visible obscenities, sea life confusers, but never farms.

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
Reply to  Vuk
February 27, 2022 1:57 pm

“Industrial electric generators driven by corporate welfare and (sometimes) wind”

Ric Werme(@ricwerme)
Editor
Reply to  Willem post
February 27, 2022 5:06 am

Given that we refer to nuclear power plants, hydroelectric plants, etc. We could call them wind turbine plants. 🙂

BTW, no need to shout.

Willem post
Reply to  Ric Werme
February 27, 2022 6:41 am

A 500 to 1000 MW coal, oil, gas plant usually is located on a few hundred acres

One 8 MW offshore wind turbine requires at least one square mile of sea area (640 acres)

I prefer sprawling wind systems. They are taking over entire weather systems, as shown in the article

PS. I used the bold button, because my throat was getting sore from shouting.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Willem post
February 27, 2022 2:57 pm

Here south of calgary they installed a 560mw solar gathering system on 6 square miles of land that on January 1 produced 26mw at noon.

Or as they say, overperforming

ihfan
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
February 27, 2022 6:27 pm

26mw

26 milliwatts sounds about right.

Willem post
Reply to  Willem post
February 27, 2022 6:28 am

Removing energy from the air flowing through wind turbines will cool it, and the water vapor will condense, if the temperature is close to the condensation temperature, per Physics 101

Last edited 2 months ago by Willem post
DCE
Reply to  Willem post
February 27, 2022 12:57 pm

People seem to think the wind turbines don’t sap any energy from the winds, not understanding that the electrical energy generated by those turbines had to come from somewhere. Extract energy from the wind to generate electricity and the kinetic energy that is the wind is diminished. It was converted from one form of energy to another, with energy lost from that conversion. So many think we can extract endless energy from wind without any effects. (I have had more than a couple conversations with wind energy proponents who couldn’t seem to understand simple physics, particularly regarding the physics behind wind turbines.) They couldn’t grasp the idea that the winds won’t be as strong once a wind turbine has extracted some amount of energy.

Willem Post
Reply to  DCE
February 27, 2022 1:27 pm

The theoretical max efficiency, i.e., extraction of energy, of wind turbines is about 59%, per Betz law.

Betz assumed a uniform velocity field entering the rotor, which is not a reality in the real world.

On annual average, the offshore big ones, say 5 MW and up, extract about 40%

Have fun thinking

DCE
Reply to  Willem Post
February 28, 2022 11:47 am

Willem, thanks for the info.

TonyG
Reply to  DCE
February 28, 2022 1:21 pm

People seem to think the wind turbines don’t sap any energy from the winds, not understanding that the electrical energy generated by those turbines had to come from somewhere.

I see this often: there is a profound lack of understanding of thermodynamics among the true believers.

Peta of Newark
February 27, 2022 4:56 am

Aw c’mon people – you’re clutching at straws here. Feigning concern for The North Sea is verging on Milankovitch Sunspot Desperation as something that controls climate

The North Sea is the coldest bleakest most god-forsaken stretch of water on this Earth.

If anybody wanted to do any geoengineering anywhere, first thing they’d do is drain that miserable and grey ice-bucket.
It’s never very deep and has some of the most fertile silt and dirt under it as you’d find outside of a commercial glasshouse.

At very least, plant a forest there and undo the damage Henry 8th did when he chopped most of NW Europe’s trees and set off a mini ice age. (That is why all the good dirt is there, under that cold & grey water)
Simply because, as the sugar addict Henry was, he couldn’t get along with either the church, the pope or womenfolk.

There is A Lesson there and the 60% of contemporary married women who now walk into lawyer’s offices to level charges of unreasonable behaviour have it etched into their genes.

Last edited 2 months ago by Peta of Newark
Willem post
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 27, 2022 6:45 am

The previous glaciation period drained the North Sea and a lot of other water areas, and deposited the water, minus salt, on a very large land area.

The Netherlands, Denmark, the UK and Ireland were all connected by land.

The remaining sea water must have been a lot more salty than at present.

Greytide
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 27, 2022 7:07 am

You have obviously not crossed Drake’s passage to Antarctica.

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 27, 2022 9:41 am

Funny!

Redge
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 27, 2022 11:09 pm

LMAO, Peta, I think someone has been spending too much time in Doggerland 😉

Ric Werme(@ricwerme)
Editor
February 27, 2022 5:00 am

I’m intrigued that the water current has “tracers,” but the article didn’t mention them. Are the tracers sea foam created by wave action against the tower structures?

MarkW
February 27, 2022 7:02 am

It never ceases to amaze me how wind and solar always get a pass when it comes to environmental regulations.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 2:02 pm

It is always permissible to destroy the environment if you are saving it.

And no, there is no inconsistency in that statement

Willem Post
Reply to  MarkW
February 28, 2022 4:42 am

Follow the subsidy money

MarkW
February 27, 2022 7:08 am

If there is reduced mixing, won’t that reduce oxygen levels in the deeper waters?

Mike McMillan
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 4:25 pm

Mixing could be helped by installing underwater vortex generators on the turbine columns, angled plates on the side of the coumns that stir the water as it goes past. Aircraft have sets of small angled vanes ahead of the ailerons and certain problem areas of the wings to re-energize the boundary layer and keep it from separating off. Large steel plates, several feet across, would generate turbulence at the stratification levels.Water has enough mass and inertia that the turbulence would last quite a while and do a good deal of mixing.

Drake
Reply to  Mike McMillan
February 27, 2022 6:04 pm

Wow, you sound like BigOilBob. Coming up with a costly solution to a problem caused by something that should not even exist.

BTW, how would you vary the intensity of the effects of the “vortex generators” so as to counteract the disruptions caused be the bird blenders in all wind, wave, current, temperature, both air and water, salinity and season. I am sure others here can come up with other variables I didn’t think of.

The studies to determine what WAS the actual “natural” state of the North Sea in all of possible variations of the above listed variables should make a new batch of “Climate Scientists”. They can make models that can “hind cast” what the natural state was before the turbines were installed.

OR, we could just make the clowns that put them up take them down and return the seabed to its original configuration within 1 mm throughout, take 30 years of measurements to analyze the natural state because, you know, 30 years is climate, then let them put them back up with the “vortex generators” designed and programmed to counteract the reduce mixing.

BUT after 30 years society as a whole will know the CAGW bs to be bs.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Drake
February 27, 2022 7:54 pm

Not very expensive. Big (a few feet) steel plates underwater jutting out into the flow to stir things up. Don’t need to vary the intensity. Underwater welding is tougher than dryland welding, granted. The polar bears and corals will thank us, assuming there really is a problem.

One would think sticking big columns into the sea flow would increase turbulence since we can see they leave a wake, but I’m sure these scientists know what they’re pushing talking about. I mean, science, you know?

Kevin kilty
February 27, 2022 7:09 am

Two thoughts and one speculation here:

1)

Before their approval, largescale projects in Germany – almost without exception – have to be studied to determine their impacts on the surrounding environment. This step seems to be ignored for North Sea wind farms.

In the U.S. we usually have a local political office (county commissioners, say) look over the application for wind farms with the help of a planning office. No one has much technical background, so some of the examination process becomes like cows looking at a new gate. What takes precedence is the question of how much tax revenue will flow into the coffers. The application will go on to other offices for examination, but the issues are the same. The whole process is often pro forma with uneven thinking about the impacts of a large wind project on the environment or residents. Some of the analyses offered by developers are not even appropriate to the issue and present uncertainties. Until recently wind farm applications were rarely turned down anywhere, but Robert Bryce has claimed that some 31 projects nationwide were scuttled last year.

2) Are wind turbine farms slowing one another down? The answer, is of course they are. There is no such thing as a free lunch. I have a group of senior design students this year working on a lease bid for a wind turbine farm in the Gulf of Mexico. They have simulated the turbine layout for the prevailing winds, and have found losses of 5%-20% of the available wind energy depending on spacing and layout. So, a wind farm interferes with itself and neighboring farms will just as surely interfere with one another.

3) Speculation: The Denver metro area has some air quality issues at times, winter especially, and I have observed that the problem is ameliorated to some degree by air being drawn north near ground level and then taken east in the fast west-to-east air flow beginning around Ft. Collins and into southeast Wyoming. As we continue to build one large wind farm after another in southeastern Wyoming (oh, they’ll never build any along the mountains of northern Colorado, of course) this little ventilation system will be upset. I have wondered if air quality in the metro area may eventually suffer from excessive wind energy development. Maybe?

Last edited 2 months ago by Kevin kilty
Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Kevin kilty
February 27, 2022 8:38 am

If it interferes in the mixing of the winter AM inversion layers, then the answer could be yes (the inversion layer can be very pronounced, with 20F down in the Platte valley at ~5000 ft elevation but over 40F at ~6000 on top of the North and South Table mountains just 10 miles west near Golden).

You can’t do road construction/repair in the Denver area if there is the slightest chance of disrupting Bald Eagles while nesting, but a big bunch of wind turbines that can kill them—no problem.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Kevin kilty
February 27, 2022 11:02 am

No one has much technical background, so some of the examination process becomes like cows looking at a new gate.

That made me guffaw and chortle. No mooing, though.

Drake
Reply to  Kevin kilty
February 27, 2022 6:12 pm

As to #2. Isn’t that why racing sailboats try to disrupt one another’s wind, to reduce the POWER they can use, thus their speed? I watched America’s cup races in the 60s where that was much spoken of.

I sure am glad these geniuses are starting to figure that out!

Harry Passfield
February 27, 2022 7:23 am

More than five years ago I raised this on a UK blog to say that, if turbines take energy out of the wind what is the knock-on effect? Seems I had a point….

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Harry Passfield
February 27, 2022 7:47 am

We knew all this in general two generations ago. A citation from the study which actually used data. Even cited Sverdrup,1953. Lissaman, P. B. S. (1979). Energy Effectiveness of Arbitrary Arrays of Wind Turbines. J. Energy 3, 323–328. doi: 10.2514/3.62441

Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 8:05 am

And the fact remains that wind and solar are BY FAR less harmful to the environment than any thermal energy solution. And they’re drastically less expensive to boot.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 10:18 am

I think, for your mental health’s sake, you forgot the /sarc tag.

MarkW
Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 10:42 am

Every day, Barry is becoming more like griff junior.
Naked assertions, devoid of fact and logic.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 11:04 am

Except for being more verbose, I thought that he was like griff right out of the gate.

ihfan
Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 6:31 pm

And the fact remains that wind and solar are BY FAR less harmful to the environment than any thermal energy solution. And they’re drastically less expensive to boot.

Wow – wrong on both counts. Good job!

griff
February 27, 2022 8:23 am

you’ll be telling me next tidal power sucks energy out of the moon causing it to crash to earth….

czechlist
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 8:48 am

…submit comment and remove all doubt.

MarkW
Reply to  czechlist
February 27, 2022 10:45 am

I’m guessing that it comes as a complete surprise to griff that wind turbines take power from the wind.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 11:06 am

Anything that doesn’t show up in the Gruniad or the Independent probably comes as a surprise to griff.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 10:44 am

And once again, griff charges to the front in order to prove to all present that he is a total idiot without out a functioning neuron in his head.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 8:01 pm

That’s right. It’s intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer that restricting the tides would Increase the momentum transfer to the moon, eventually causing it to spin off into the void.

Last edited 2 months ago by Mike McMillan
Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 1:58 pm

Griff
Your moon/tide analogy is pretty ridiculous

Extracting energy from the tide can’t affect the moon any more than wind turbines effect the sun, the source of weather systems that generate wind.

But removing expect “normal” amounts of energy from tides or wind then affects the earth beyond that point.
Don’t need any training to understand that.

For sure that geothermal removes heat from the core of the planet hastening the day it solidifies, collapsing the magnetosphere and destroying all life on earth.
Don’t get me going on that

MarkW
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
February 28, 2022 6:35 am

Actually the tides do affect the moon. The tides are the reason why the moon is slowly spiraling away from the earth. In a nutshell, the moon causes tides (let’s ignore the impact of the sun.). The spin of the earth pulls the tides ahead of a line between the center of the earth and the moon. Because the mass of the tidal bulge now leads the moon, it pulls on the moon speeding it up, while the drag of the tidal bulge slows down the spin of the earth.

If tidal energy were to slow down the tidal bulge, then the tidal bulge wouldn’t lead the moon by as much, then the rate at which energy is being transferred from the earth to the moon could be slowed down and the rate at which the moon spirals away will slow down, but that is the most that can happen since there is no mechanism by which the tidal bulge could ever trail the moon.

Olen
February 27, 2022 9:49 am

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Can here be a good solution to a non problem?

Clyde Spencer
February 27, 2022 10:52 am

What are wind turbines doing to the reflectivity of the oceans? Are they impacting photosynthesizing phytoplankton?

main-qimg-62e68baf799f53198684193285836cc5-c[1].jpg
Last edited 2 months ago by Clyde Spencer
Drake
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 27, 2022 6:16 pm

I don’t know and YES!

Nashville
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 27, 2022 7:12 pm

That is a great photo to show the chemtrail crowd.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nashville
February 28, 2022 9:24 pm

Isn’t it obvious that the government is injecting chemicals into the turbine blades? /sarc

On a trip to Greenland, the plane I was flying in landed in Goose Bay, Labrador, to refuel before the last leg of the flight, over water that one probably had a life expectancy of a couple of minutes if one survived a ditching in the water. I was sitting near the wings and was fascinated by all the condensation vortices coming off various projections on the wings as we came in for the landing.

Mike Jonas(@egrey1)
Editor
February 27, 2022 11:42 am

Evaporation cools. Reduced wind gives less evaporation. Reduced wind speed therefore warms. These offshore wind farms are adding to global warming.

Mark D
Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 27, 2022 6:00 pm

In the above photo it appears more solar insolation be reflected cooling the earth possibly into the next ice age ahead of schedule?

Sal Minella
February 27, 2022 11:46 am

Whodda thunk it. It’s not free magical energy that comes from subspace or somewhere? These things aren’t ZPMs ya know.

Michael in Dublin
February 27, 2022 12:29 pm

I believe that there may be justification for small scale wind energy production when it involves people living and farming far from the electricity grid but cannot see the economic sense of huge areas covered with turbines. Perhaps every form of energy can find a particular area where it is most appropriate but that the solution is not an either or but a both and with cost factor primary with no selective subsidies.

Last edited 2 months ago by Michael in Dublin
Drake
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
February 27, 2022 6:20 pm

Small scale wind energy used to fill a stock tank. Yep, that was justified for a couple of hundred years.

Small scale wind energy to pump water in the Netherlands, yep, good use.

Small scale wind energy to grind grain, good idea and good use.

All of the above work well despite intermittency. Electrical energy production without sufficient battery backup, not so much.

MarkW
Reply to  Drake
February 28, 2022 6:40 am

I’ve read of ranch hands having to go out during periods of low wind in order to manually turn the pumps in order to bring up enough water for the cattle.

Pat from kerbob
February 27, 2022 1:51 pm

There is no free lunch, wind turbines take energy from the environment therefore altering it.
It’s also not an infinite resource as any particular weather system is driven by the climate and the sun, energy removed is going to alter the system.

On the principle that everything humans do is bad and nothing is ever good, wind turbines are bad

IanE
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
February 28, 2022 1:53 am

Don’t worry: the greenies are on top of this comment. YOU are human, therefore your comment is bad!

Duncan MacKenzie
February 27, 2022 2:34 pm

Senator Collins: Well, the turbines are placed outside the environment.
Interviewer: In another environment?
Senator Collins: No, no, no, they’re placed beyond the environment. They’re not in the environment.
Interviewer: Yeah, but from one environment to another environment.
Senator Collins: No, they’re beyond the environment, They’re not in an environment. They have been placed beyond the environment.
Interviewer: Well, what’s out there?
Senator Collins: Nothing’s out there!
Interviewer: Well there must be something out there.
Senator Collins: There is nothing out there – all there is is sea and birds and fish.
Interviewer: And?
Senator Collins: And the turbines.
Interviewer: And what else?
Senator Collins: And atmospheric wake vortices.
Interviewer: And anything else?
Senator Collins: And some plankton, I imagine. But there’s nothing else out there.
Interviewer: Senator Collins thanks for joining us.
Senator Collins: It’s a complete void.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Duncan MacKenzie
February 27, 2022 4:09 pm

Got a source for this? Not that Collins isn’t on an intellectual par with Brandon, but it rises to Waxman level unless you forgot the /sarc tag.

waxman3.jpg
Duncan MacKenzie
Reply to  Mike McMillan
February 27, 2022 4:51 pm

should have put “with apologies to Clarke & Dawe”.

adapted from this episode of their comedy show

Drake
Reply to  Duncan MacKenzie
February 27, 2022 6:25 pm

Thanks for that, never heard of them but well done.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Duncan MacKenzie
February 27, 2022 8:46 pm

That’s hilarious!

Michael S. Kelly
February 27, 2022 7:50 pm

I’ve often remarked on the unintended consequences of wind power generation, noting that wind is a major transport mechanism of heat, water, biological matter, and minerals. Interrupting wind must have an effect on the environment. What that effect is cannot be assessed unless we study it. But proponents of wind power never seem to even think about it. Nor do the supposed “environmental activists” who “demand” wind replace our fossil and nuclear fueled sources immediately, no questions asked or answered.

The effects of wind on bat and bird populations are often cited as criticisms of wind power. But there is a vast number of variables not even listed among the things which might be of serious concern. We really have to consider these things, and I’m glad to see that someone is doing so.

MarkW
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
February 28, 2022 6:44 am

For most environmentalists, just questioning whether wind and solar might have negative consequences is enough to prove one to be a fossil fuel shill.

kim
Reply to  MarkW
February 28, 2022 8:08 am

And a silly shilly shally shill at that.
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kim
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
February 28, 2022 7:39 am

Note that the whole world is downwind from an energy stealing windmills and suffer the damages inherent in the stealing of energy.
That’s a large class of potential litigators seeking to be made whole.

If there had been a market for wind energy near the mountain passes east of the African desert from which fertilizing dust is wafted across the Atlantic, and had that energy been harvested for use in Africa, then the Amazon Basin would be dying of malnutrition.

Such a state could cause intercontinental dissension, even war over ‘dust rights’, or ‘wind rights’. This will become ever more pertinent as the interconnectedness of everthing on Earth becomes ever more obvious.
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kim
Reply to  kim
February 28, 2022 8:38 am

The Bodele Depression, from whence the dust.
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Gary Pearse
February 28, 2022 7:04 pm

“The focus was on weakening wind and the accompanying changes in the physical conditions of the affected North Sea areas.”

Scientists are great folk but are myopic by training. The researcher appears to be a marine biologist and even the first two words in the quote dealing with a problem is an admission of myopia.

Looking at the “changes” holistically opens the door to other problems, one fundamental to the efficiency of such a wind farm itself and others affecting the weather more broadly. I commented on these effects in recent weeks.

Obviously, a site is chosen that is known to be windy. Let’s examine a very common choice, a mountain pass (we can relate it to an offshore situation afterwards).

First let’s start with simple fundamentals. Wind essentially is a body of air moving from a high pressure region to a low pressure one. You can look at the low pressure area as the one demanding to be supplied with a volume of air that cannot be refused. Setting up windmills results in a damming effect, the more mills erected, the greater the damming effect.

So, what is happening in the low pressure area? Well, with the air restricted from it’s normal source, the inexorable demand for air results in air being drawn from other diections to fully satisfy the low pressure’s demand. Effectively, this reduces the pressure gradient between the high pressure and low pressure areas. This actually alters the weather in the broader area of the system. Although less obvious in the offshore case, the mechanics are essentially the same. The air makes an end run around and over the wind farm.

How sophisticated and holistic is wind farm design? We know that Germany has ~70GW ‘rated’ capacity of wind energy and we know energy demand is about 80GW, but actual delivery for wind has been around 20GW although output is quite variable (not a good thing!).

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