Wind doesn't blow, it sucks… big time

And when they do work, they shred birds, or catch fire…

That’s wind power we’re talking about. And it’s total shite. As anyone with half a brain has always known. Repeat after me: wind power sucks. And here it is confirmed, in the key conclusions of a report by the John Muir Trust, “a leading UK charity dedicated to the protection of wild land for both nature and people”:

1. ‘Wind turbines will generate on average 30% of their rated capacity over a year’
In fact, the average output from wind was 27.18% of metered capacity in 2009, 21.14% in 2010, and 24.08% between November 2008 and December 2010 inclusive.

21.1% of rated capacity in 2010? That sucks.

2. ‘The wind is always blowing somewhere’
On 124 separate occasions from November 2008 to December 2010, the total generation from the windfarms metered by National Grid was less than 20MW (a fraction of the 450MW expected from a capacity in excess of 1600 MW). These periods of low wind lasted an average of 4.5 hours.

Total generation less than 20MW? Hardly enough to power a small town? That really sucks.

3. ‘Periods of widespread low wind are infrequent.’
Actually, low wind occurred every six days throughout the 26-month study period. The report finds that the average frequency and duration of a low wind event of 20MW or less between November 2008 and December 2010 was once every 6.38 days for a period of 4.93 hours.

Once every 6 days for nearly 5 hours? That really, really sucks.

4. ‘The probability of very low wind output coinciding with peak electricity demand is slight.’
At each of the four highest peak demand points of 2010, wind output was extremely low at 4.72%, 5.51%, 2.59% and 2.51% of capacity at peak demand.

Less than 5% of capacity at peak demand times? That really, really, really sucks.

5. ‘Pumped storage hydro can fill the generation gap during prolonged low wind periods.’
The entire pumped storage hydro capacity in the UK can provide up to 2788MW for only 5 hours then it drops to 1060MW, and finally runs out of water after 22 hours.

Let’s face it – wind power sucks big time. And yet this is what the UK is planning on relying on for its electricity generation? Oh. My. God. Last person to leave, please turn out the lights.

Hang on, they’re out already.

Read it here.

Comments

  1. Great article – throw this into the mix – Spain is broke why? take a look
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125193815050081615.html
    If Dim Flannery has his way we will go the same way.
    I was sickened to here the climate panels lies in Ipswich
    saying what a great job germanies doing, they just closed 7 nuclear reactors, lets see how that effects there targets or japan now that it has lost a similar number, without nuclear you cant reduce CO2 period,

  2. Baldrick says:

    Wind power sounds good – but in reality, looks bad – is bad. It doesn’t work. You still need backup nuclear or coal generators to take up the slack when the wind stops, unless of course we accept the greenies attitude and go without, until the wind starts up again!

    Personally give me coal anyday. We have an abundance in Australia to make cheap efficient energy – if only the Labor/Green alliance will allow it. We sell our coal cheaply to countries overseas so they can make cheap energy, but our Government wants to tax us for the privilege. Go figure!

  3. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2011/02/spain-and-portugal-lead-the-way-on-renewable-energy-transformation

    Spain Portugal Ireland all the countries that have gone green and cant count BROKE bob are you listening Its brought down there governments. Julia the numbers dont add up.

  4. The Loaded Dog says:

    It’s not all bad.

    Have a look at that picture.

    You’d have to admit they are quite impressive when they blow up!

  5. SOYLENT GREEN says:

    Another awesome headline, Simon.

  6. Kevin R. Lohse says:

    Periods of low wind velocity invariably occur at times of extremes of temperature.

  7. Kevin R. Lohse says:

    Sorry, finger trouble. Periods of low wind velocity invariably occur with extremes of temperature, which result in maximum demand on electricity supply. Reliance on wind power will inevitably lead to an increase in death rates from cold or heat. As there is a section of the water-melon community that looks upon humanity as a deadly virus attacking Gaia, it is not impossible that this outcome would be welcomed in certain circles.
    On Germany. The Germans are now importing electricity from France – predominently a nuclear – based electricity producer, and the Czeck Republic, a third of which is nuclear generated. Green hypocrisy at national level but then you’re used to that in Oz.

  8. At the heart of every wind turbine is an alternator. Alternators require a certain amount of power in order to generate electricity. When a wind turbine is stationary, it becomes a net consumer of power, or is there clever electronics to shut down the circuit that energizes the alternator ?

  9. So what expats in Australia think? Sadness at the madness? Happy with their move?

    If I was from England I would be apoplectic about the direction of the country. It has a conservative government that seems anything but.

  10. I’m an expat Brit, and all I can say is, I ain’t going back. The Conservatives are worse than useless, with idiots like Huhne in charge of climate and energy policy… Whatever happens here, it won’t be as bad as what will happen there.

  11. Putting it in perspective, the same report states

    Indeed, for numerous extended periods of time all the wind turbines in Scotland linked to the National Grid muster less than 20MW of energy – that’s enough power for a mere 6,667 households

    (about the size of, say, Griffith NSW)

    to boil their kettles for a cup of tea!

    Toys.

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  1. […] and by the way, Obama’s pipe-dream energy economy is exactly that: At each of the four highest peak demand points of 2010, wind output was extremely low at 4.72%, […]

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