Monday, 10 December 2007

Throwing Money To The Wind. (The Great Wind Farm Swindle).

The Great Wind Farm SwindleThis is a post I wrote a while ago, and now seems like a good time to put it back up:

The government has blown (excuse the pun) half a billion pounds subsidising the wind turbine industry. "So what, it's a worthy cause" I hear you say. Well, it turns out that it is anything but worthy and more worryingly, it is a total waste of our tax money. It is alleged that energy companies are receiving subsidies for wind farms that will never make any money, because they have exaggerated the potential of sites with not enough wind.

The government are miles away (or kilometers as our EU friends prefer) from achieving the target of providing 20% of our energy from renewable sources by 2020. Despite blowing (there I go again - sorry) half a billion pounds of our money, the energy companies have failed to provide even 0.5% of our requirements. For a wind farm to be viable it must have a load factor of 30 per cent. But Jim Oswald, an engineering consultant, found that the average across the country was 28 per cent.

Michael Jefferson, policies chairman of the World Renewable Energy Network believes that the subsidies are encouraging energy companies to exaggerate the amount of potential wind energy a farm can supply. Mr Jefferson said: "We should be putting our money where the wind is and that is quite often not where the development pressure is."

In a previous post about nuclear power’s life-cycle emissions it turned out that the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions for nuclear plants are lower than that of wind farms. Now it turns out that on average these farms are not even financially viable.

For God's sake (and ours) let's stop pandering to the green brigade, and get some nuclear power plants built.


Robin said...

Protests outside fuel depots against high duty will take place this Saturday.

Daily Referendum said...


Hopefully it will get the media attention it deserves. I'll post about myself nearer the time. If you have any information can you email me?

robin said...

Thers info on Transaction 2007 website.

I wonder if it`s too near Christmas though.

Daily Referendum said...

Cheers Robin.

Chris said...

Wind farms are being proposed more for political reasons than to generate our Electricity.
The statement that all our electricity can be generated by wind turbines is ridiculous, what do we tell everyone when the wind drops, oh! sorry no power today.
So each wind turbine has to be backed up with a conventional power source. See the following article about Danish wind farms

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Hard to credit in Britain, home of wind. How can it be? Did they put the turbines in the local village?

The Laughing Cavalier said...

Wind energy would be uneconomic were it not for the Renewable Energy Certificates energy producers sell to industry, which is forced to forced to buy them in a market fiddled by the government. They account for about half the revenue. If all these turbines come on stream there will be such an excess of RECs that either the market will collapse or the government will disort it so much that industry will be harmed.

It is also worth noting that experience on the Continent of turbines has shown that they are not as reliable mechanically as was first thought. Some turbines, which should have a useful life of 20 years and more, are failing after 5 years.

The principal reason for government's obsession with windpower is implicity. Even a politican can see and understand what a wind turbine is. The pity of it is that tey cannot understand the economic or engineering complications.