I’ve lost count of the number of times ACM has reported on the total uselessness of wind farms as a way to mitigate GHGs.
Added to which, they are inefficient, hugely expensive and ugly. And they kill birds and bats. None of this matters to the Green zealots who see the wind farms as monuments to Gaia, rather than monuments to incredible stupidity.
The Australian reports that Victorian wind farms, for all their hype and subsidies, have eliminated virtually zero GHGs, thanks to the need for backup coal power stations to keep running at full speed to cope with the fluctuations in wind generation:
The early signs are that a $23 carbon tax has displaced some marginal high-cost generation in South Australia and Queensland, but it is too soon to say whether this is a trend or coincidence.
But any gains are swamped by the findings of a two-year analysis of Victoria’s wind-farm developments by mechanical engineer Hamish Cumming.
His analysis shows that despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from green energy schemes driven by the renewable energy target, Victoria’s wind-farm developments have saved virtually zero carbon dioxide emissions in the state.
A forensic examination of publicly available power-supply data shows Victoria’s carbon-intensive brown-coal power stations do not reduce the amount of coal they burn when wind power is available to the grid.
Cumming says surplus energy is wasted to make room for intermittent supplies from wind.
Cumming’s findings have been confirmed by Victoria’s coal-fired electricity producers and by independent energy analysts who say it is more efficient to keep a brown-coal power-station running than turn it down and then back up.
Without gas or some other form of peaking power supply the Victorian electricity system is not equipped for the vagaries of wind power.
Even in SA, which uses gas, not coal, for base-load power and makes much greater use of wind, Cumming estimates the cost of greenhouse gas abatement at $1484 a tonne.
Cumming used data published by the Australian Energy Market Operator, which tracks power sector generation every five minutes.
The results showed fossil fuel generators, in the same periods when wind turbines had been operating, fluctuated their output to match demand but did not reduce their rate of coal consumption.
In an email to Cumming, electricity generator IPR-GDF SUEZ Australia confirmed his findings.
“Given that the power stations mentioned are all ‘baseload’, their generation output is relatively constant 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, other than due to minor fluctuations depending on market demand and/or shutdown of generation units for maintenance or repairs,” a company spokesman said.
Cumming says his investigation demonstrates how green energy theories do not always match the facts. (source – paywall)
Gee – you don’t say…
How many times do we have to hear this kind of indictment of wind power before anyone takes any notice?