The Myth of Wind Power Distribution.
Sometime back I came across the pie chart below on the REF website. This chart is formed from the analysis of OfGem wind power data for December 2010. ( Link HERE )
Nearly 50% of UK wind generated power in that month was produced by just 16 wind farms. Almost all of those were the stupedously expensive offshore variety. The other half was left to the remaining 268 wind farms across the country.
Remember, December 2010 was the month that notoriously showed wind power up for what it was, unreliable, intermittent and failing to deliver. This pie chart also clearly nails the wind industry propaganda lie of energy distribution.
Not much distribution here is there? (Not much power either!)
Actually though there is nothing wildly unusual about this graph. A turbine built in a windy site (there are a few) will produce much more energy than the ones (i.e. most of them) built
simply to cash in on the subsidy scheme (ROC).
Over a year, very few on-shore wind farms would actually produce enough energy to be regarded as anywhere near self sustaining without the current massive subsidy known as the ROC.
These poor performing wind farms are all locked into the subsidy system for ever. There is no possibility that they can ever compete without the crutch of the ROC. Yet because of the ROC, the owners turn profits even from the utterly, desperate poor performers.
Meanwhile the very few turbines running with a Capacity Factor of about 30% are raking it in.
Instead of potentially breaking even, they are hugely and scandalously profitable - all at the expense of the consumer.
Nothing will ever get better about this. The poor performers will remain so. The good performers will continue to be grossly overpaid.
Wind turbines are capital intensive. The cost of running one of the few turbines that could just about compete, is much the same as the cost of running one of the very many dogs. Even Renewables UK used the caveat of "a good windy site" when it describes on-shore turbines as "becoming increasingly competitive". Clearly then, from both the above pie chart and even the words from RenewablesUK, if it is not a good windy site then (without the ROC) the turbines are uncompetitive. De Facto.
Nearly all on-shore turbines in the UK and especially England and the South West are uneconomic without subsidy and will always remain so.
But because of the ROC, there are huge profits to be made from on-shore wind. Profits that are usually distributed among the rich, the landed gentry, the politically aware and large faceless corporations. They all gain at the expense of the average consumer.
The wilful abuse of ROC by building turbines that can never hope to be free of subsidy is little more than a rich mans version of benefit fraud. It is a dirty little con trick that robs the deserving and stunts innovation while lining the pockets of people many would regard as fraudsters.
It is time it was stopped.
BilloTheWisp Sunday, May 20, 2012