Senate to investigate damaging effects of wind farms


The best thing that can happen to a wind farm

Wind farms are, as we all know, inefficient, expensive and ugly. And that’s just their good points. They are also a scandalous waste of money, generating pitiful amounts of electricity, and rarely running at more than 25% of their rated capacity. And back-up traditional power stations are still required for when the wind isn’t blowing, or isn’t blowing hard enough (which is most of the time). Not only that but there are other concerns too:

URGENT research should be undertaken into the potentially damaging health effects of wind farms on nearby residents, says a landmark Senate report released yesterday.

In a dramatic win for residents’ groups who have raised widespread concerns about the impact of wind farms on rural communities, the committee recommended that noise measurements be expanded to include low-frequency noise, or infrasound.

Campaigners welcomed the report and said there should be an immediate halt to wind farm developments until the potential health impacts were better understood.

According to the Clean Energy Council, there are 53 wind farms operating in Australia, with 1089 operating turbines that can reach the height of a 45-storey building and have blades up to 50m long.

The majority Senate report yesterday called for tougher rules on noise, new rules to govern how close wind farms can be built to houses, and an independent arbitrator to hear complaints.

It said arbitrary setbacks – the distance that a wind farm must be built from a residence – may not be adequate and each situation may need to be considered on its merits.

But the most dramatic findings were in the area of potential harm from low-frequency noise.

The committee said the commonwealth government should initiate as a matter of priority “thorough, adequately resourced epidemiological and laboratory studies of the possible effects of wind farms on human health”.

It doesn’t matter what route we take, as long as we put a stop to the wind farm madness.

Read it here.

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.

Why wind won't work


Monument to green stupidity

Wind farms are expensive, inefficient and ugly. And that’s just their good points. They are also a monument to green naiveté and stupidity. The UK is heading down a path to catastrophic energy shortages, as Chris Huhne plugs wind for all its worth, whilst reliable baseload generation falls into disrepair (see here and here for example). Australia isn’t anywhere near this (yet), but given half a chance, Bob Brown and his ilk would be in there like a shot, and the lights would steadily go out…

There is currently a Senate inquiry into the social and economic impact of rural wind farms (see here), and the Carbon Sense Coalition has recently published its submission, which is awash with common sense:

Why are governments still mollycoddling wind power?

There is no proof that wind farms reduce carbon dioxide emissions and it is ludicrous to believe that a few windmills in Australia are going to improve global climate.

Such wondrous expressions of green faith put our politicians on par with those who believe in the tooth fairy.

The wind is free but wind power is far from it. Its cost is far above all conventional methods of generating electricity.

Tax payers funding this “Wind Welfare” and consumers paying the escalating power bills are entitled to demand proof.

Not only is there no climate justification for wind farms, but they are also incapable of supplying reliable or economical power.

It is also surprising those who claim to be defenders of the environment can support this monstrous desecration of the environment.

Wind power is so dilute that to collect a significant quantity of wind energy will always require thousands of gigantic towers each with a massive concrete base and a network of interconnecting heavy duty roads and transmission lines. It has a huge land footprint.

Then the operating characteristics of turbine and generator mean that only a small part of the wind’s energy can be captured.

Finally, when they go into production, wind turbines slice up bats and eagles, disturb neighbours, reduce property values and start bushfires.

Wind power is intermittent, unreliable and hard to predict. To cover the total loss of power when the wind drops or blows too hard, every wind farm needs a conventional back-up power station (commonly gas-fired) with capacity of twice the design capacity of the wind farm to even out the sudden fluctuations in the electricity grid. This adds to the capital and operating costs and increases the instability of the network.

Why bother with the wind farm – just build the backup and achieve lower costs and better reliability?

There is no justification for continuing the complex network of state and federal subsidies, mandates and tax breaks that currently underpin construction of wind farms in Australia. If wind power is sustainable it will be developed without these financial crutches.

Wind power should compete on an equal basis with all other electricity generation options.

The full report can be downloaded here (30 page PDF).

Wind power hit by renewable energy certificate crash


Up in smoke

Another disaster for the green energy brigade, as the price of renewable energy certificates, essential for investment in wind power, sinks to a new low:

AT least $1.5 billion worth of investment in wind farms is in limbo after a collapse in the price of renewable energy certificates.

There is also uncertainty about when a revamp scheduled for next month will restore prices to viable levels.

And the nation’s biggest baseload renewable energy generator, the NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative, faces receivership by February unless the price paid for RECs almost doubles in the next three months. RECs effectively subsidise renewable energy projects such as wind farms and solar schemes, which receive one certificate for each megawatt of power they produce above a baseline set by the Office of Renewable Energy Regulator.

And what has caused the dramatic price drop? Oh noes, it’s another “green energy” scheme:

The low prices have been caused by a glut in RECs issued to households that have taken advantage of government-subsidised solar-panel installations. The collapse triggered a revamp of the entire RET scheme in February and prompted Climate Change Minister Greg Combet to wind back the solar credits program earlier this month. Uncertainty over the future of the RET comes as the new Victorian Liberal government takes a tougher line on planning approvals for wind farms, increasing the buffer between houses and turbines and declaring several mountainous and coast areas “no-go zones”. (source)

Bravo to the new Victorian government for slowing the wind farm nonsense, at least. And in other news, it’s heartwarming to see two lefty environmental action groups at each other’s throats:

The Greens candidate for the seat of Clarence says she is surprised and disappointed by a campaign to help Wooli residents deal with erosion.

The national advocacy body Get Up has launched campaign to try and block the Clarence Valley Council’s proposed strategy of a ‘planned retreat’.

Local candidate, Janet Cavanaugh, says the council’s policy to relocate residents to other areas of the village is the only ‘realistic’ approach.

“I would have expected from Get Up that they would have actually consulted with their local members before taking on what is a very complicated issue,” she said.

“I disagree with the fact that they are criticising the planned retreat as a legitimate form of climate change adaptation.

“They’re calling for alternatives, though the campaign is extremely vague on what those alternatives should be.”

Ms Cavanaugh says Get Up’s stance is misguided and will further confuse residents affected by erosion. (source)

Keep it up – saves us the bother.

UK: Wind farm hell


Replace “wind” with “solar” and you have the carbon-priced future in Australia, except Australia doesn’t have a nuclear power backup for when it all goes horribly wrong. A truly enlightening, and shocking, video entitled “Europe’s Ill Wind” lifts the lid on the European wind farm fiasco. Thanks to the almost incomprehensible idiocy of politicians like Chris Huhne and Ed Miliband, the UK is heading towards deep Green oblivion. Last person to leave, please turn out the lights … no wait, they’ll be out already.

[hana-flv-player video=”http://blip.tv/file/get/Europesillwind-EIWfinal720993.flv”
width=”480″
height=”300″
description=””
player=”4″
autoload=”true” autoplay=”false”
loop=”false” autorewind=”true”
/]

Also, pay a visit to the web site: Europe’s Ill Wind, and leave a comment to show your support.

UK Climate madness: build more wind farms!


Freaking useless, and expensive

The UK is way ahead of Australia in the climate madness stakes, having already enacted crippling legislation that will hamstring its energy policy by requiring 15% of its energy to be generated from “green” [i.e. useless] sources by 2020, and committing itself to a massive 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. But unfortunately, not everyone wants ugly wind farms in their back yards, and the planning system is grinding to a halt:

The planning system must allow more wind farms or Britain will fail to meet key climate change targets, Government advisers have warned.

The UK is committed to generating 15 per cent of energy from green sources like wind and solar by 2020.

But at the moment only 3 per cent of energy comes from renewables. [Only 12% to go in less than a decade – good luck with that!]

Lord Adair Turner, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), said the UK is likely to miss the target unless there is massive investment in wind, wave and solar.

In a strongly-worded letter to Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Minister, he called for the Government to “ramp up” efforts to build turbines both on land and at sea.

He said the average wind farm is stuck for more than three years in the planning system. In the last year planning approval rates fell from 68 per cent to 53 per cent.

Despite concerns about wind farms in beauty spots, he said planning permission needs to be given faster so that three times as many turbines can be installed every year. (source)

I guess common-sense will eventually prevail at some point, when the utter lunacy of all this is too obvious to ignore, but how supposedly intelligent people can be so freaking dumb is quite frankly staggering.

Until that happens, however, it’s a case of “Adios”, Great Britain.

(h/t EU Referendum)

Electricity prices "set to soar"


Freaking useless, and expensive

Thanks to feel-good Green policies, such as the renewable energy targets, which mean that electricity will have to be generated by useless wind turbines rather than plain-old efficient coal. Power bills are already creeping up, and it will only get worse, good people of Australia:

THE chief executive of one of the country’s biggest energy retailers has warned that power prices are set to increase dramatically.

Origin Energy boss Grant King said that complying with the mandatory renewable energy target (RET) and network spending would put upward pressure on energy prices.

“That’s not of our making, or anybody other than policymakers,” Mr King told The Australian.

“That’s just the inevitable and logical consequences of the policies” that governments are implementing.

His comments follow both federal Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson and his opposition counterpart Ian Macfarlane warning in separate interviews with this newspaper that power prices were likely to double in the next five to seven years.

Mr King said that estimate was “possibly conservative” and added that many consumers of utilities faced “a real come to Jesus moment” as suppliers were forced to re-price energy, water and other essential services.

The RET seeks to ensure that 20 per cent of Australia’s energy consumption by 2020 is derived from renewable sources.

Wind farms would cost between $100 and $125 per megawatt hour, compared with $30 to $40 per MWh for coal.

Moreover, the intermittent nature of wind means that it would need to be backed up with big-ticket investment in gas turbine power plants.

Mr King said he suspected that policymakers “didn’t truly know the cost” of policies that had been introduced.

Really? You don’t say.

Read it here.

%d bloggers like this: