Wind Power

  >From a New Zealand engineer think tank :“While some of the security of supply risks associated with a high renewables scenario can be reduced by adding lots more thermal back-up power stations, the costs per unit of output from thermal back-up plant are much higher than modern highly efficient base load gas fired combined cycle power stations”

Comment : apart from making energy even more expensive ( by duplicating the costly windfarm investment with back-up plants ), and from being poorly efficient, back-up plants will also emit more C02 than CCGT generation. That’s unless CCS ( carbon capture & storage ) is practiced ; but in that case the windfarms will be redundant, won’t they ?

In short : 1)  when backed-up by dirty fossil fuel plants, windfarms cause additional C02 emissions.
2) when backed-up by clean plants using CCS, windfarms become dedundant. Indeed, why displace clean energy ? why not use the CCS plants 100% of the time, and dispense altogether with the costly investment in windfarms , which makes our economy less competitive ?

Either way, the need for back-up turns windfarms into white elephants.

Full media release from NZ :

Wednesday, 26th March 2008                                                                                                                                                              

Media release by the Major Electricity Users’ Group (MEUG)

Electricity security being compromised

“The latest report concluding that security of electricity supplies will be compromised by Government policies should be of concern to all Ministers,” said Ralph Matthes, Executive Director of the Major Electricity Users’ Group (MEUG).

He was commenting on the release today of a report by the NZ Centre for Advanced Engineering  (CAENZ) analysing the effects of the renewable energy targets in the electricity sector on the gas industry prepared for the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of NZ.

“Not only does the report conclude that the moratorium on thermal generation will put supplies of electricity at risk; CAENZ also forecasts electricity prices will rise more quickly than would have occurred with a balanced approach to new generation.  The CAENZ report fills in some of the analytical work that government should have done. 

“The message is clear – persisting with the renewable generation targets and a ban on new thermal power stations will be costly for all consumers because of higher and more volatile spot electricity prices plus higher transmission costs.  The difference between an all renewables target and a more balanced mix of new generation will add another 2 c/kWh, or in aggregate approximately three quarters of a billion dollars per annum to consumer power bills.

“Security of supply will also be at risk because some renewables are significantly less predictable than conventional thermal power stations.  While some of the security of supply risks associated with a high renewables scenario can be reduced by adding lots more thermal back-up power stations, the costs per unit of output from thermal back-up plant are much higher than modern highly efficient base load gas fired combined cycle power stations such as the existing Taranaki Combined Cycle plant (TCC), Otahuhu B, the new e3p plant at Huntly and proposed Otahuhu C and Rodney power stations.

“Petroleum exploration and development investors will on the one hand see a relatively reasonable regime to explore but on the other hand see government intervening to eliminate gas power stations as possible customers when new gas discoveries are found.  The failure of the NZES to take a strategic view and detailed analysis of the risks to the viability of the gas market is appalling.

“The CAENZ report is a further nail in the coffin of the NZES and clearly exposes the shortcomings of the politically mandated renewables targets and proposed moratorium on thermal power stations” concluded Mr Matthes.  It is time the Government took the moratorium proposal off the table and a strategic approach designed to protect electricity supplies and keep costs competitive was put in place.



 Windmills that kill birds, bats get a pass




SIR – From my Welsh hillside home I have a perfect view of the Burbo Bank offshore windfarm in Liverpool Bay. The British Wind Energy Association list Burbo as “operational” with the capacity to power 80,000 homes but I have yet to see all 25 turbines turning.

For the last two days, nine of the 25 turbines have been static and sometimes none turn due to becalming.

We are told we need wind power to save the planet yet no conventional power stations can close due to the need for constant back-up in case the wind drops!

What we are not told is that all four methods of measuring the planet’s temperature show no warming at all in the last 10 years.

Greens told us 30 years ago industrial pollution was causing the next ice age. Wrong.

Then they told us it was causing the planet to overheat. Wrong.

Realising the facts are against them, some now use the term: “global climate disruption”.

What a costly and dangerous myth this man-made global warming scare really is.

It is pushed by those with an anti-capitalist agenda and aided by useful idiots in government who ensure that junk science is used to tax and control us into misery.





by Professor David Bellamy and Mark Duchamp

Birdies bye bye

We have received the following message from Israel :”Following a press release last week it seems that several of the leading industrial companies in Israel are going to enter the wind business. These are deeply connected to leading politicians.
Our ministry of environment is quite hopeless. The future seems bleak.”From Gibraltar, from Sicily, from the US, Japan, Australia, New  Zealand, Mexico, and now from Israel, day by day more bad news come in from the main bird migration flyways of the world. For windfarm developers think nothing of erecting their wind turbines in migration bottlenecks. Wind speed and maximisation of profit is their main concern.

Birds are killed by the large blades, whose tips revolve at speeds exceeding 100 mph while deceiving the victims by an appearance of slowness. In Sweden, one wind turbine is reported to have killed 895 birds in one year – ref : California Energy Commission, A Roadmap for PIER Research on Avian Collisions with Wind Turbines in California, Dec. 2002, quoting Benner et al. (1993).

They also get killed by their powerlines, which are built next to each windfarm to carry puny amounts of this very expensive, intermittent electricity to the grid en route to your homes. According to the report “Protecting Birds from Powerlines”, high tension lines may kill over 500 birds per km per year in migration zones – ref : Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats – Birdlife International (2003). Smaller windfarms may not require high tension lines, but overhead cables are still needed to connect to the distribution network, and they too maim and kill birds that collide in the fog, or at night, or while fleeing some danger. 

In short : if someone wanted to set about exterminating the world’s migrating birds, placing windfarms in migration hotspots would be looked upon as best practice.We are not doing any better in the UK. For instance, the “Bird Sensitivity Map to Provide Locational Guidance for Onshore Wind Farms in Scotland” designates practically the whole of the Western Isles as highly sensitive ; except for two areas, one of them being the site where a windfarm project is seeking approval (Pairc). 

Yet the Pairc environmental statement predicts the possible death of 66 -165 golden eagles as a result of collisions with the giant blades. No other project in Scotland declares that it may kill so many eagles ; and the subject of migrating birds is poorly addressed.

The applicant for the Pairc windfarm is Scottish and Southern Energy.

The same map marks the whole of the Shetlands as highly sensitive, except for a few tiny yellow spots – presumably where Scottish & Southern Energy plans to erect more wind turbines. How on earth will migrating birds be able to avoid the giant rotors when adverse winds push them towards one of these “yellow spots” ? or when they fly or make landfall at night ? 

Yet a bird society is actually supporting a large windfarm project on Shetland. Don’t they know the island is a crucially important staging post for migrating birds ?

Until these and many other pertinent questions are answered by the ornithological fraternity we ask that all those who cherish Britain’s heritage of migratory and other birds ask their favourite bird society why windfarms are allowed in migration corridors, e.g. in the Hebrides or in the Shetlands ? Also ask your electricity suppliers how much of the electricity supplied to your homes comes from wind. Details from BWEA’s web site indicate that windfarms only supply 1.5% of Britain’s electricity.  Then ask yourselves if the slaughter of our birds is really necessary, and join the thousands who are already campaigning against the erection of these wind monsters across Britain.

Co-signed on March 26th 2008 by :

Professor David Bellamy,      
and Mark Duchamp.


 Blowin’ in the wind 


Home wind turbines dealt a blow

The energy from some micro power equipment would not operate a lightbulb, says official study


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