Debunking the Myths
OK. This is a long post. To sweeten the task there is a windtoons cartoon at the end. No cheating.
Perhaps the most obscene aspect to the whole of the wind turbine fiasco is the way the carpet-baggers make up the "facts" to fit their own tawdry little aims. Especially when the truth is somewhat inconvenient. Wide eyed they then go into rant mode in an attempt browbeat everyone into believing their propaganda.
Take this site HERE for example. It is funded by the EU. But look at the bottom of any web page and notice it proudly states it is "co-ordinated by the EWEA" That is the European Wind Energy Association in case you did not know.
To me that sounds a bit like like having NHS Direct run by Glaxo-Smith-Kline-Beecham. Although to be fair to GSKB, I think they would be far more honourable than the average carpet-bagging wind-turbine cartel. But I digress.
On this site they have that favourite set of web pages you find on any of the carpet-bagging websites these days, proudly labelled "Myths". Evidently our carpet-bagging friends want to enlighten the public by "Debunking the Myths" and show us all how wind energy is not only cheap reliable and non-intermittent but will probably cure cancer and teach you child to read as well.
What you actually get is the usual sad self serving deception and hypocrisy one has come to expect from the bureaucratic elite that runs this farce. When Sir Robert Armstrong used the phase "Economical with the truth" during the spy catcher trial of 1986 he really had no idea how the wind industry would take the meaning of the phase to a much higher level.
So let us look at the first myth they want to debunk. The myth which we all so mistakenly believe i.e.
"Wind power is expensive". Their answer to this "myth" is: (exactly as written:)
Wind power ... can compete with other power generation options at good sites.
Now I suspect that a good site to the average carpet-bagger is anywhere they have got planning permission. To the rest of us I suspect a good site would be a windy site. One where, say, the turbine output would meet their often hyped 30% average capacity factor.
Now as you know there are some clever blokes about who love to debunk the debunk. One is called Professor Jefferson who did some research on the whole of the English turbine fleet that was operational for all of 2009 (See pdf Here).
He found that an annual 30% capacity factor was only reached by 7.6% of the turbine fleet. While 74% of the fleet failed to even reach 25% capacity factor. In fact the same percentage (7.6%) of turbines failed to manage 10% as managed to reach 30%.
So, the first deceit here in our "Debunking the Myths" is the "good site" deceit.
If you limited Wind turbines to only "good sites", and assuming that means a site that reaches the often quoted "30%" capacity factor then perhaps they could compete. They forget to mention that this would junk 92% of the turbine fleet in England straight away. Clearly MOST (almost all) wind turbine power generation cannot compete with other power generation.
But it gets worse. They want to elaborate. (Ugh!)
First off they state the bleeding obvious
Wind cannot compete with the cost of producing electricity from an existing power plant that has already been depreciated and paid for by taxpayers or electricity consumers.
Uh yes I would go along with that. Unfortunately though wind will never be free of its subsidy. It needs it to survive. If you did away with the ROC all wind farms would close down over night. Consequently wind will never be able to compete on a level playing field. It will always be cash hungry and require subsidy.
Then they contradict their first statement about how competitive wind is and admit that even at "good windy sites" is is not fully competitive, opting for a half way house "increasingly competitive".
At good windy sites, however, it is increasingly competitive with other new-build generation technologies, especially given the dramatic rise in oil and gas prices. Oil, which influences the price of gas, has increased from an average of $14 in 1998 (in real terms) to around $100 in 2008.
Whatever you think about fracking we do now know that in the USA gas is now trading at a 50% discount to Europe. So even the spiteful little hope of other energy source prices rising so high they make wind competitive is history.
But that's just the start. I could go on... and on... But you would get bored as would I.
When you hear about Wind turbine carpet baggers and their brown nosing friends ranting on about "Debunking the Myths" you know that what they really mean to do is ply you with their own deceptive propaganda and half truths.
Always listen to the arguments then ask yourself what is in it for them.
With Professor Jefferson, the CPRE, the John Muir Trust, Country Guardian and many others the answer is a desire to protect countryside and the people who live there.
With our deceptive band of turbine carpet-baggers the answer is money - your money.
Anyway after that rather depressing analysis lets finish with another excellent cartoon from windtoons.com