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Wind farms will be a monument to an age when our leaders collectively went off their heads
Mail on Line ^ | 14 July 2009 | Christopher Booker

Posted on 07/14/2009 7:17:21 AM PDT by thinking

Let us be clear: Britain is facing an unprecedented crisis. Before long, we will lose 40 per cent of our generating capacity.

And unless we come up quickly with an alternative, the lights WILL go out. Not before time, the Confederation of British Industry yesterday waded in, warning the Government it must abandon its crazy fixation with wind turbines as a way of plugging this forthcoming shortfall and instead urgently focus on far more efficient ways to meet the threat of a permanent, nationwide black-out.

There are a few contenders for the title of the maddest thing that has happened in our lifetime.

But a front-runner must be the way in which politicians of all parties have been seduced by the La-La Land promises of the wind power lobby.

If you still haven't made your mind up about wind power, just consider some of the inescapable facts - facts which the Government and the wind industry do their best to hide from us all.

So far we have spent billions of pounds on building just over 2,000 wind turbines - and yet they contribute barely one per cent of all the electricity that we need.

The combined output of all those 2,000 turbines put together, averaging 700 megawatts, is less than that of a single, medium-sized conventional power station.

What's more, far from being 'free', this pitiful dribble of electricity is twice as expensive as the power we get from the nuclear, gas or coal-fired power stations which currently supply well over 90 per cent of our needs - and we all pay the difference, without knowing it, through our electricity bills.

But despite its best efforts to conceal the fact that wind turbines expensively and unreliably generate only a derisory amount of electricity, the Government keeps ....

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: energy; environment; renewableenergy; windenergy; windfarms; windnergy

1 posted on 07/14/2009 7:17:21 AM PDT by thinking
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To: thinking

Governments aren’t stupid (although the GOP is), they know what they’re doing.

Creating shortages is the goal. Destroying the “fossil fuel” industry is the goal. Enriching their “environmentalist” supporters, at the expense of ordinary people, is the goal.


2 posted on 07/14/2009 7:20:09 AM PDT by Boiling Pots (Barack Obama: The final turd George W. Bush laid on America)
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To: thinking

Wind turbines—the New Lightrail Trains.


3 posted on 07/14/2009 7:20:49 AM PDT by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: thinking

Wind and solar both have their place in the grand scheme of things. Advanced energy storage techniques will make them both profitable in the long run. However, nuclear fission power should still be considered the state of the art for baseload until we have cracked the nut that is fusion. “Spinning reserve” and peak load will continue to be fulfilled by nat gas, oil and coal plants for the near future.


4 posted on 07/14/2009 7:22:10 AM PDT by AntiKev ("Within the strangest people, truth can find the strangest home." - Great Big Sea - Company of Fools)
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To: randog

Light rail also has its place when properly designed. But most of the systems in the US have been VERY poorly designed and therefore have low ridership. This means they become boondoggles.


5 posted on 07/14/2009 7:23:21 AM PDT by AntiKev ("Within the strangest people, truth can find the strangest home." - Great Big Sea - Company of Fools)
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To: thinking

In Central Illinois, there is a huge wind farm with over 500 large windmills. The few times I’ve gone past them, no more than one out of every ten or twelve are even moving. Don’t ask me why. You would think basically all would move a little if one did.

They look bad and are the biggest waste of tax dollars I’ve ever seen in a country setting.


6 posted on 07/14/2009 7:23:42 AM PDT by ConservativeMind (The UN has never won a war, nor a conflict, but liberals want it to rule all militaries.)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Boiling Pots

Gotta agree with the “GOP is stupid” idea.

Virtually none of the green idiot ideas can withstand even the most simple back of the envelop math analysis, and we expect the dim-bulb-crats to pursue it anyway.

However, I do NOT expect repubs to do so.


8 posted on 07/14/2009 7:25:32 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: thinking

Methinks a serious foray into building wind farms as a viable alternative power source - and I mean hundreds of gigawatts of power production - will have such an environmental impact that those who insisted on their use will insist on their dismantling.

100GW, enough to power England, would require a quarter-million turbines. Optimistically assuming 100 turbines per square kilometer (probably much fewer), that’s close to 3000 sq km, or 2% of England’s surface.


9 posted on 07/14/2009 7:26:26 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (John Galt was exiled.)
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To: thinking
I work in the power industry.

The reality is, at least here in the western US, that wind farms are draining the grid almost as much as they add to it. In order to maintain them in sync with the grid, when the wind is not blowing they are drawing power to keep a minimum threshold so that when the wind does blow they come up on the grid in sync.

In addition, in certain areas of the Cascades, where they are putting these wind farms up on forested ridges, they are clear cutting forest (but what about the spotted owl?) in order to improve wind flow to the units. In one case for Rocky Mountain Power this involved clear cutting 14,000 acres.

These things are being heavily subsdidized. They are not going to be profitable in the forseeable future.

It's not about profits and its not about more power. It's about transformation, regulation, and control.

10 posted on 07/14/2009 7:26:26 AM PDT by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: ConservativeMind
The huge blades are still coming from somewhere. I see them being trucked through Houston. I saw T. Boone Pickins say he was not still building wind farms but someone must be.
11 posted on 07/14/2009 7:26:40 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: AntiKev

agree


12 posted on 07/14/2009 7:26:58 AM PDT by babble-on
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To: thinking

What’s never said about these ‘wind farms’ is what a devastatingly ugly impact they have on the landscape they occupy. The same environmental fruitcakes who would scream if someone relocated a single tree from an area, give their full approval to a thousand stupid-looking structures destroying the view for as far as the eye can see. What a joke.


13 posted on 07/14/2009 7:27:00 AM PDT by raptor29
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To: ConservativeMind
I've had the same experience while driving through the wind farms in southern CA. Hundreds of windmills standing idle while only a handful were turning.
I wondered if someone needed to shimmy up there with a can of WD-40.
14 posted on 07/14/2009 7:27:35 AM PDT by Malone LaVeigh
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To: thinking

Dutch tulip economy.


15 posted on 07/14/2009 7:28:12 AM PDT by Rebelbase (Obama--POtuS.)
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To: thinking

It still makes more sense than ethanol... (which is saying less than none...)


16 posted on 07/14/2009 7:31:39 AM PDT by GOPJ (Still waiting for journalists to ask Obama how he'll heal a deeply divided nation-FreeperOldDeckHand)
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To: Rebelbase

The liberal obsession with windmills is, dare I say, quixotic.


17 posted on 07/14/2009 7:33:22 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Malone LaVeigh
lol that's pretty funny.

The irony... the windmills have to be lubed with OIL !

18 posted on 07/14/2009 7:35:14 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009
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To: thinking

Driving into Palm Springs from the west is a monumental eyesore.


19 posted on 07/14/2009 7:36:59 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: thinking

Tilting at Windmills

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_of_La_Mancha


20 posted on 07/14/2009 7:37:27 AM PDT by edcoil (If I had 1 cent for every dollar the government saved, Bill Gates and I would be friends.)
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: ConservativeMind
The few times I’ve gone past them, no more than one out of every ten or twelve are even moving.

That's because the dirty little secret of windmills is that they are horribly unreliable. They break. A lot.

All of this stuff is a joke. We should be funding basic physics until we can get a gigawatt out of something the size of a brick.
22 posted on 07/14/2009 7:44:47 AM PDT by BikerJoe
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To: AntiKev

This is utterly ridiculous and shows the total craven attitude of our political leaders.

This “energy gap” crisis in the UK has been building for years. Everybody knows it is coming. Its not hard to figure out. Some of the current generating plant is getting old and will have to be closed down. Just like everything else it wears out eventually. Everyone knows that new power plants will have to built and everyone with any knowledge of the industry knows they will have to be nuclear. But the green lobby is so strong now that nobody wants to take the tough decision to give them the green light. So they just do nothing, and hope the problem will go away.

I agree, and I think most sensible people do, we need a mixed energy generation policy. I dont mind dabbling in wind and wave and solar power. All the indications are that all three will be (locally) important in the near future as the technology improves, but they are never going to be able to generate the sheer quantity of energy that will be required, and all but the most committed (and I mean like they should be locked up somewhere safe) enviro nut believes otherwise.


23 posted on 07/14/2009 7:48:21 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: Uncledave

Ping


24 posted on 07/14/2009 7:48:52 AM PDT by BenLurkin ("A new Dark Ages made all the more terrible and prolonged by the sinister powers of science.")
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To: thinking

In the news recently here in Europe - BBC, Sky, and Euronews - has been a huge solar farm to be built in the Sahara, to supply electricity to Europe, Germany in particular. Siemens and several other large German firms are behind it. What I want to know is how they are going to get that power from Africa to Germany, and what percentage of what is generated in the Sahara will actually make it to, say, Frankfurt.


25 posted on 07/14/2009 7:49:56 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Jeff Head

“I work in the power industry.

The reality is, at least here in the western US, that wind farms are draining the grid almost as much as they add to it. In order to maintain them in sync with the grid, when the wind is not blowing they are drawing power to keep a minimum threshold so that when the wind does blow they come up on the grid in sync.”

Excellent point...are you saying the alternators have to be driven as a motor to maintain speed/sync, when there is no wind power to drive in the generating mode...never realized that.... simply put, the rotor has to be moving, regardless of the available wind, and so requires power from other sources....


26 posted on 07/14/2009 7:52:48 AM PDT by thinking
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To: ctdonath2

Ah but to be fair, most wind turbines in the UK are built out at sea, where the wind is much stronger and the “eyesore” factor considerably less.


27 posted on 07/14/2009 7:54:00 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: thinking

I have no problem with well placed wind farms. What I do have a problem with is running our cars on NG. No thanks.


28 posted on 07/14/2009 7:54:19 AM PDT by mysterio
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To: Boiling Pots

The abolition of independence is the goal.

Slavery is the goal.

When you turn a blind eye to evil for as long as we have, this is what you get.


29 posted on 07/14/2009 7:55:56 AM PDT by WhistlingPastTheGraveyard
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To: thinking

They article mentions 2,000 windmills barely producing the electricity equal to that of one power station.

I seriously doubt windpower will help us do anything except “feel good” about ourselves.

We should be flat-out building nukes instead of covering thousands of acres of landscape with windmills and solar grids.


30 posted on 07/14/2009 8:00:34 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (ABC-AP-MSNBC-All Obama, All the time.)
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To: thinking
My unsolicited $0.02....

Alternative fuel sources will never go anywhere until people give up on solar and wind power. Solar power is self-limiting....the amount of power able to be derived from the sun is roughly enough to power a 100W light bulb per ft^2 of area. That's it. No more, no less. We can improve the efficiency, we can make the tech cheaper...but we'll never get more energy than that out of it. Period.

Wind power is too irregular, and frankly, the technology to harness it is the same principle that was in place 400 years ago. Efficiency has improved, but a windmill is still a windmill.

I won't deny that Solar and Wind power work very well on a localized basis. Unfortunately, politicians (and many people) have fallen for the fallacy that if an idea works very well on a small scale, then it will work equally well on a large scale. Ain't the case, at least not in this situation.

SO, IMHO, until we stop throwing money blindly at self-limiting technologies, or tech that's hundreds of years old, we're never going to get anywhere. It's time to start thinking out of the box. What about wave technology? Or wind turbines attached to balloons that float in the jet stream? Or quick recharge batteries attached to some sort of device that catches lightning bolts? Or some other "new" ideas?

31 posted on 07/14/2009 8:00:38 AM PDT by wbill
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To: Vanders9

Interesting. I’d expect costs be considerably higher then, having to deal with pounding waves & corrosion - not trivial when dealing with hundreds of thousands of them.

Begs the question of wave energy collectors: hinged barges using wave-induced flexing to pump hydraulics thru generators. Much simpler than trying to stand a wind turbine.


32 posted on 07/14/2009 8:02:53 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (John Galt was exiled.)
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To: ConservativeMind

***In Central Illinois, there is a huge wind farm with over 500 large windmills.***

You should see the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas. Large electric windfarms everywhere.


33 posted on 07/14/2009 8:08:30 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (La commedia e' finita!. Now it's serious!)
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To: Jeff Head

When they cease to be profitable, what do you think will happen to the existing windmills? They are a big source of revenue for landowners, taxing entities and I wonder what will happen when they are no longer used. There are groups trying to get windfarms in our area. They say to put in your lease agreement terms for dismantling and removing the windmills if they are abandoned. My BIG concern is that they money will run out and you cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip. If a company has goes out, where is the money supposed to come from to clean up an ugly unused monstrosity like even just one windmill. Imagine how grotesque the landscape will be with unused, dilapidated, unkept windmill locations. Those things are so huge that it won’t be an easy task to remove them and dispose of them.


34 posted on 07/14/2009 8:16:31 AM PDT by outinyellowdogcountry
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To: thinking
Wind farms will be ARE a monument to an age when our leaders collectively went off their heads.
35 posted on 07/14/2009 8:48:36 AM PDT by Iron Munro (If you cannot be a good example you can serve as horrible warning - like Obama.)
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To: thinking

On Saturday I attended a conference on energy efficiency in Lewisville, Texas. The conference was hosted by Rep. Michael Burgess (R-26th District) and keynoted by Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams (R). In Texas, the Railroad Commission has nothing to do with railroads. It manages energy.

Both Burgess and Williams were practically giddy about the huge windfarms in west Texas, even though Williams acknowledged that wind power falls off in the summer months when we have peak energy demands and that when the wind does blow in the summer, tends to blow in the morning and stop during the hottest periods. He also acknowledged that huge investments were being made in the grid to bring power from west Texas where a few cotton farmers and prairie dogs live to populated parts of the state, but failed to note how much this would cost ratepayers.

During the Q&A I asked Williams why we were pursuing higher cost, less reliable energy when the state has an abundance of low cost lignite and abundant natural gas. I got a bunch of double talk about needing to pursue all of the above.

Burgess may have voted against cap & trade to keep his job (this is Dick Armey’s old district), but he kept referring to a windmill plant near Gainesville and a solar plant in Keller without mentioning the fact that each subsidized green job kills 2.2 real jobs according to the Juan Carlos University study of Spain’s experience.

I can’t believe how useless this is. We’ve got hundreds of years worth of reserves of natural gas and are finding more all of the time. We’ve got billions of barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf, in the Arctic, in ANWR, and who knows how much of federal lands. We’ve got hundreds of years worth of western shale oil and will soon know how to extract it if we can. We export nuclear waste to France who reprocesses it (are you telling me the French can figure out the nuclear option and we can’t?).

The entire green movement is built on one big lie after another. We are the most self-destructive people in history. I’m so fed up, I’d leave and go Galt if I could figure out where.


36 posted on 07/14/2009 9:09:13 AM PDT by Entrepreneur (The environmental movement is filled with watermelons - green on the outside, red on the inside)
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To: wbill
Or some other “new” ideas?,,,

How about Nuclear energy? what with all the modern computers and safe guards, I say N-power as the way to go....

Smaller N-plants and then use the heated cooling water as a source of energy, rather than wasting the cooling water by dumping into oceans or rivers...

37 posted on 07/14/2009 9:59:00 AM PDT by thinking
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To: thinking
How about Nuclear energy

Sure! Why not? Or geothermal? Or wave energy? Or something that changes cow flatulence into electricity?

As an EE, I find it bothersome when people say, "Nah, we can't do that." then pour their energy into tech that won't accomplish what's needed (ie, solar).

38 posted on 07/14/2009 10:40:48 AM PDT by wbill
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To: thinking

If not in coastal areas, most nuke plants use natural draft cooling towers which only return water vapor to the environment.

But you’re right, the waste heat could be used for such things as district heating, powering absorption refrigeration systems, desalination units...


39 posted on 07/14/2009 11:01:38 AM PDT by just a dude
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To: ctdonath2

I think they are thinking of putting wave barrages out to sea as well.


40 posted on 07/14/2009 1:14:58 PM PDT by Vanders9
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To: just a dude
You may want to rethink the cooling towers...in essence cooling towers heat the local air...what happens is the heat generated by the N-plant is dissipated into the atmosphere, by use of cooling tower air flow...cool air in and hot air out...it is a characteristic of water that when vaporised sucks up heat units big time
41 posted on 07/14/2009 3:55:50 PM PDT by thinking
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