Thursday, December 28, 2006

Farcical Wind Farms

Bob Graham, Chairman of Highlands Against Windfarms, posted this comment to the Telegraph

Sir – Once again the public are being misled by the wind industry. These windfarms, which are going to cover over 100 square miles of the approaches to the Thames Estuary, will never power one third of London homes.

If as suggested the installed capacity of the 400-plus turbines is 1.3 Gw (1300Mw) then even with a generous load factor of 30 per cent the average output will only be 390Mw. This would in fact be enough to provide 5Kw to 78,000 homes, about enough to power an electric kettle and a toaster. If, as there frequently is, a high pressure system is sitting over south-east England , then there will be zero output from these windfarms. The claims about carbon dioxide savings are equally dishonest. Using widely accepted data the annual, theoretical savings of CO2 for these turbines would be approximately 1.46 Mt and would reduce global levels by a farcical 0.005 per cent

What your readers really need to know is that these windfarms will receive approximately £160 million per year in subsidies, paid for by them. This windfarm scandal has gone on long enough and needs to be exposed for what is. We are destroying our landscapes and now our seascapes for nothing more than green tokenism, and are being expected to pay for it as well.

What? £160 million per year. Ok lets do the sums again. £160 million is equivalent to AU$400 million, and for just $468 you can provide a child in africa or bangladesh water, education, food, shelter and medicine.

0.005 per cent of 0.6 degrees per centry increase means that the wind farms will be saving at most 0.00003 degrees per year, or we could give that money to the poor and give 854,700 children things that we in the western world take for granted.

That's almost a million children could be given food, shelter, medicine, education and fresh water every year for the rest of their lives.

The environmental motives of rich people in western countries are killing people in the worlds poorest nations.


Count Iblis said...

These are flawed arguments against the wind farms. There are other arguments against wind farms that have more merit, i.m.o.

E.g. you could argue that nuclear power will do a better job in lowering CO_2 emissions. Or that wind energy is not always available, so wind farms don't really replace conventional powerplants, so the savings are far less than what you would naively expect.

I don't buy the arguments like "we could save all these children in Africa" and "we'll only reduce CO_2 emissions by a tiny amount". Let me start with the last argument first.

The goal is eventually to produce all our energy with far less CO_2 emissions. You have to start doing that. And the first wind farm will then indeed only m,ake a negligible contribution toward meeting that goal. It's like writing a book the first day you may write just a few senteces and that's only a small fraction of the whole book.

The first argument about children in Africa is simply nonsensical. We don't give money to Africa in this way. If the government spends less on energy then the money saved does not go to Africa.

Thing is that in the rich West, we have too much wealth. We use too much energy. To reason like there is a shortage of resources is wrong. It's like an obese person who always thinks of eating as much as possible. In a world where everyone is like that you'll have a shortage of food in the macro-economic sense no matter how much food you produce. :)

Tom Collins said...

We've had foot and mouth disease, blue tongue disease, fears about obesity, cigarettes being banned, terrorists, global warming, carbon emissions, landfill fines, rumours and threats of war, Real Wars, increase in gun crime and crimes of violence,sexual diseases on the increase, vaccinating 13 year old girls against contracting VD. Now, to cap it all, they intend swamping the country, and the sea around us with wind farms - the most inneficient and costly scandal of all.
We must be daft to take all this on board - and still hope to listen to The Archers ! !
Scams, fears, lies and statistics. What next, a giant asteroid ?