Texas Offshore Turbines: 50% total loss in 20 years?

A article from the New Scientist (Here) reports on a major modelling exercise done by Carnegie Mellon University. This report aims to predict how offshore turbines would stand up to the weather off the Texas coast.

The modelling predicts 50% of the turbines will be destroyed within a 20 year period. Remember that is total loss. It is not going to cover the known gearbox reliability problems (See Here) or simply the massive maintenance costs faced by any offshore structure.

Over here in the UK assorted wishful thinkers dream of huge offshore wind farms far out in the North Sea, or crammed into the shipping lanes around our coast.

Galveston Bay is of course in Hurricane Alley, but it lacks the unremitting hostility of the North Sea. For comparison, the cost of oil extraction in the North sea is among the highest, if not the highest in the world. (Wikipedia Here). This high cost is mainly due to appallingly high maintenance and support requirements.

Meanwhile over in Galveston, they have been routinely extracting oil both on-shore and off-shore (especially in shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico) since 1924. It is only since they have ventured into deep water that they have had major technical problems as displayed by the Deep Water Horizon disaster.

This North Sea maintenance penalty is going to apply to any North sea offshore structure. Even in the less hostile environs along our south coast the cost is going to be prohibitively high (that is, without massive government subsidy). It is difficult to see that offshore wind farms anywhere around our coast are going to be any more practical than that Carnegie Mellon University  have found for Galveston Bay.

We have already seen one severe problem where most offshore turbines in Europe have actually shifted dangerously on their foundations (See Here) Although the wind industry has managed to (by and large) keep this major problem quiet, it bodes ill for the long term survival of these structures.

These offshore turbines, wherever they are built, are going to require enormous amounts of maintenance. This maintenance cost will far exceed the practical economic viability.  Offshore turbines, like their on-shore counterparts stand no chance of ever being free of massive government subsidy.

But offshore turbines take the cost and subsidy fiasco to a totally new level.

Without doubt, the minute the subsidy stops, so will they.

Wind Turbine Scam On Steroids

There are times when the stupidity of Her Majesties Government exceeds even the realms of fantasy we normally expect from these buffoons.

Believe me, Monty Python has nothing on what I am about to tell you. Terry Pratchet could
imagine nothing so absurd.

When it comes avarice and greed, Arthur Daly would have blushed at such a scandalously lucrative con.

If I tell you that this involves the current wind turbine fiasco will probably also come as no surprise.

But believe me, my grubby little Englander, this is the wind turbine scam on steroids. If you thought the carpet baggers in the wind turbine cartel were already ripping us all off to the limit of endurance then get used to being screwed some more. (See Spectator Here)

So how does this scam work?

Basically it revolves around the utterly hopeless capability of these absurdly large structures to generate electricity.

If you forget about intermittency, a 125m tall standard 2.0 MW wind turbine actually acts like a piddling 0.5 MW generator (albeit an unreliable and unpredictable one). In other words in England it has a capacity factor (CF) of around 25%.

Most of the time though it is running at significantly less than 25% CF. It relies on occasional and highly unpredictable high wind events to big up the CF to 25%

Now if you reduce the maximum rating of the generator attached to the turbine to less than 2.0MW, but keep the same horrendously large structure, you increase the capacity factor. But you decrease the maximum output as you can no longer exploit the high wind events. So over a year the total amount of electricity generated will be less. Even though the CF has been increased.

And here comes the rub.

If you keep the preposterous size but reduce the generator rating to 0.5 MW your subisdy per MW/hr rises from about £50 to £125.

So whereas nuclear, coal or gas get paid about £45 per MW/hr and a standard 2.0 MW turbine gets paid £95 per MW/hr. A 2.0 MW size turbine crippled to max out at 0.5MW gets paid £175 per MW/hr.

Bear in mind MOST of the time this turbine will be outputting well under 0.5 MW irrespective of whether it has a 2.0 MW generator or a 0.5 MW generator.

It doesn't take a genius to work out that the carpet baggers will be raking in even more subsidy by  running these monsters inefficiently. They don't care about losing even over half of the annual output of the thing, they still get paid more by crippling it

Here is the punch line: Your government is encouraging this. They think this is a "good idea".

Well, all I can say is: What do you expect from a government led by someone who is such a  technical incompetent that he believes you can use windmills to power cars? (See Here)


Residential buffer zones for wind turbines:The Real Evidence

This month sees the wind farm evangelists at RegenSW go into overdrive in an attempt to
derail any implementation of residential buffer zones (stipulated set-back distances)

The RegenSW report "Residential buffer zones for wind turbines:The Evidence" is Here.

While there are many aspects to this report that need challenging the most serious involves the health effects from building turbines too close to residential property.

Ironically only a couple of weeks ago I blogged (here) on a new paper published by a group of world leading scientists (including Dr Hanning BSc, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, FRCA, MD - the world renowned expert on sleep disturbance). This paper calls for minimum 2Km setback.

Here is the full citation for this new paper::
Nissenbaum MA, Aramini JJ, Hanning CD. Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health. Noise Health [serial online] 2012 [cited 2012 Nov 24];14:237-43. Available from:

This paper has been available in draft for months and was first presented at a major scientific conference in 2011. But, you will find no reference to it in the RegenSW  "The Evidence".

Maybe they missed it. Funnily though, you will not find any reference to these either:

Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health related quality of life by Daniel Shepherd, David McBride, David Welch, Kim N. Dirks, Erin M. Hill  Noise & Health, September-October 2011, 13:54,333-9 DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.85502

or this

Infrasound From Wind Turbines Could Affect Humans Alec N. Salt and James A. Kaltenbach
Bulletin of Science Technology & Society 2011 31: 296,  DOI: 10.1177/0270467611412555

or this

Properly Interpreting the Epidemiologic Evidence About the Health Effects of  Industrial Wind Turbines on Nearby Residents Carl V. Phillips Bulletin of Science Technology & Society 2011 31: 303, DOI: 10.1177/0270467611412554,

I could go on and on.

In fact, look at this sample - (Look Here) you will find 25 peer reviewed and published scientific papers on the ill effect of wind farms being sited too close to local communities. Almost all either directly or indirectly endorse a set back of 2 KM. They are all by world leading scientists and are published in world leading scientific journals.

None are even mentioned in RegenSW's "Evidence"

Regen SW do however, attempt to do a hatchet job on a case study series report by Dr Nina Pierpont. This report is now several years old and due to it's simplicity (it is a set of case studies not a paper) it is an open target. Dr Nina Pierpont is a highly qualified and much respected epidemiological scientist and practising paediatrician in New York. Her self published report, though using a small sample, was ground breaking at the time and  had a star chamber peer review.

In their attack, Regen SW cherry pick  from the NHS website (Look Here) The NHS actually does a fair evaluation of Pierponts simple case study. The points the NHS raise (about sample size etc.) Pierpont freely acknowledges herself. But this is old data. Even the NHS commentary dates back to 2009.

Just to even things up I'll do a little cherry picking myself from the NHS commentary. The NHS website's commentary on  [Pierpont] case study ALSO states the following:

" ..it is physically and biologically plausible that low frequency noise generated by wind turbines can affect people, and the author puts forward several possible theories regarding this."

"The author acknowledges some of the study’s weaknesses and states that the next step would be an epidemiological study. One possibility would be to compare "wind turbine syndrome" like symptoms in people who live near wind turbines with those who don’t. This would show how common these symptoms are in the different groups."

"she [Peirpont] also adds that “further research is needed to prove causes and physiological mechanisms, establish prevalence and to explore effects in special populations, including children”."

In fact the whole reason Nina Pierpont called this a "Syndrome" was exactly because she freely acknowledged that at that time (several years ago), more work was needed.

This is work that has now been done by the scientists referenced above. Work that clearly shows there must be a set back of 2 KM.

In their cherry picking of historical research, Regen SW also appear to have "forgotten" about an earlier case study report that triggered Pierpont to do her report.This report was by Dr Amanada Harry. (Available Here).

Of course Dr Harry is somewhat more problematic than Nina Pierpont (who is a remote New Yorker). Dr Harry is a highly respected and well known local Devon G.P and is known and respected by thousands of people in the South West.

Perhaps RegenSW  might also be somewhat embarrassed that the first detailed scientific study on the damaging effects of wind turbines on local communities was actually conducted in the SW England and  vigorously ignored and denied by wind farm camp followers from then on.

In their "Evidence" RegenSW are obsessed by terms like "legally binding commitments". They are though, apparently far less interested in the latest research into set back distance on the health of local residents.

Now, I have to ask why is that?

Could it be the piper calling the tune? (you know the ugly one - labelled Carpet Bagger)

Or perhaps even more disgracefully, could this simply be a group of obsessed fanatics putting their own political agenda before the health and safety of the local population?

You decide.

Vote Independent for Police Commissioner

You may or may not agree with the elections for police commissioner. BUT if you don't get out and vote for the independent candidates on Thursday you can guarantee that one of the puppets put up one of the three  main political parties will take the role. If that happens don't expect the the good of the locality to come before petty political considerations.

If a politico gets in, lots of nasty little agendas will be addressed at the expense of the community. The role of police commissioner will become one of either vacuous apologist or mindless opponent to government policy. The actual purpose of the role will come a very poor second to the imposed political agenda.

The only positive would be that you will know who is pulling the strings as local policing suffers in order to accommodate the ambitions of the apparatchik.

I have just listened to the four candidates from Dorset on the local radio. Except for the Independent candidate ( ex senior police officer Martyn Underhill ) the candidates sounded like they straight off the  Muppet show.

All three politically sponsored candidates were obviously and painfully politically ambitious. Two of them displayed a nastiness which would bode ill for any role demanding a level of diplomacy.

So like it or not, tomorrow is IS important. Unless you get out and stop the political parties imposing their ideology on your local policing, you will be sorry.

So go out and show two fingers to the dirty politicians - and their grubby little poodles.

Vote Independent.

If like me, you are in Dorset, that means:

Vote Martyn Underhill.

Saville McAlpine and the Secret 28

It would have been difficult for anyone to avoid the recent BBC controversies over the Saville cover up or the McAlpine slander.  But there is yet more that the BBC wishes to keep from your eyes.

This latest secrecy revolves around a 2006 editorial decision the BBC once bragged about in an in-house report. It is sadly just another shocking indictment of the arrogance of the BBC.
The 2006 editorial decision concerned removing the concept of even handedness on the reportage of climate change. The BBC declared that this decision was arrived at after consulting 28 "leading experts". However the BBC was rather coy about who exactly these "experts" were. Since then it has point blank refused provide any more information.

Climate Change, as you may have surmised, is one of the most important debates in living history. To remove the basic concept of even handedness from such a debate MUST have a verifiable and clear reasoning behind it. Instead the BBC is silent and is willing to go to court and spend a huge amount of licence payers money defending its position from a freedom of information request. (See Here) All this to simply defy a Welsh pensioner and his wife who wanted to know who these "experts" were.

You have to ask: What exactly does the BBC have to hide?

For obvious reasons, those who are not convinced by the climate change argument are smelling a rat and I don't blame them.

The only way people can be educated as to the effects of mass pollution is to allow the questions, however heretical, and allow fair dissent to the current mantra, even if that dissent contradicts current scientific knowledge.

Science, let alone democracy, is never served by denying debate. This current secretive BBC stance reduces their coverage of climate change to mere propaganda. Which is much more than a shame.

The uncaring, high handed and self serving ethos that IS the BBC has shown via the Saville affair, that children were and probably still are, unsafe in the hands of the BBC.

Similarly their bizarre trial by innuendo and deceit of a leading Tory shows that individuals cannot expect fair dealing from the BBC (I wonder how many lesser persons, without McAlpines resources have been ruined over the years by similar "investigations")

Now finally we have via the "Secret 28" the sordid display of the BBC apparently suppressing debate and taking a partisan position. Without any justification other than "Trust us - we are the BBC".

As every day passes, this self serving elitist bureaucracy get ever more corrupt, ever more divorced from the people who pay for it's excess.

With this latest, and so far low profile outrage, the BBC is seeking to hide from us the identity of those who helped it arrive at one of the most important editorial decisions of the last 50 years.

Such an arrogant secretive stance reveals the BBC as the enemy of fair scientific debate,  and so then, as the enemy of democracy itself.

This monster must be brought to heel.

Wind Turbines: A Major New Noise Report

Just a quick post about a new peer reviewed study, published in a leading academic journal on the effects of wind turbine noise on nearby residents. It has been written by three leading academics. (including Dr Chris Hanning - arguably the worlds leading expert in sleep deprivation)

The study (quicklink) is Here

Full Citation:

Nissenbaum MA, Aramini JJ, Hanning CD. Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health. Noise Health [serial online] 2012 [cited 2012 Nov 11];14:237-43. 
Available from: http://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2012/14/60/237/102961

Basically this study reinforces the the now well founded opinion that wind turbines should be no
nearer than 2Km to residential dwellings.

Needless to say, this report will be vigorously ignored and then denied by the money hungry wind turbine cartel and by their brown nosed apologist fashion loving followers. No doubt we will also hear the hysterical slurs and accusations against the researchers in due course. As has happened before.

Do you seriously think there is a difference between the wind cartel and the tobacco industry? Dream on. If there is one, it is as thick as a cigarette paper.

But at least there are signs that these greedy corporate monsters, who are imposing immense misery on an untold number of communities across our country are now meeting some resistance.

Wiltshire County Council has set a minimum setback distance of 2Km (3Km for large turbines).
(See Here). Good for them. Standing up for your community is exactly what local democracy should be all about. Wiltshire County councillors deserve out applause.

But most of all we should salute Dr Chris Hanning and his colleagues for having the courage to publish.

The opinions and scientific findings of Dr Chris Hanning, Dr Mike Nissenbaum and  Dr Jeff  Aramini should cause anyone with the slightest moral conscience to pause in of building these useless monsters anywhere near residential dwellings.

Will that happen?

Don't hold your breath.

BBC Whitewash: Matt or Gloss?

Dear Reader,

Tonight I am going to perform the magical feat of reviewing the BBC Savile documentary before it has even been broadcast. Why? It is on late and I have to go to work tomorrow!

Even so, am I jumping the gun? Being a little premature maybe?

Well, not as premature as this so called Panorama expose.

After all is this not all part of a C-R-I-M-I-N-A-L investigation?

It appears not. At least as far as this documentary is concerned.

This late night Panorama program cynically ensures the BBC can beat it's chest about Savile, without breaking the criminal investigation embargo. It concentrates on a side issue, the pulling of an earlier documentary about Savile. It is being broadcast late on, just as many people are going to bed so minimising the audience.

It is difficult to see this forthcoming Panorama broadcast can be anything other than a clever damage limitation exercise. The documentary can try and draw a little of the poison from the Savile affair and also get  pro BBC propaganda out even while the criminal investigation continues.

Here we have the BBC earnestly investigating the BBC. Then carefully orchestrating how and what is revealed.

No doubt there will be some tut tutting about a little corporate naughtiness, then they will grandly announce that there is nothing really rotten at the dear old auntie Beeb.

You know: Practices have been amended, lessons learned, staff re-trained etc. etc. Ra.. Ra.. Ra..

Of course it is likely that Savile was only the tip of the iceberg. Consequently  I expect email and data backups relating to other potential abusers are currently having a "deep clean" at dear old Beeb.

To me, it is difficult to see anything other than that the crimes of Savile were actively aided and abetted by BBC production and contract staff.  They must have known what went on. It was after all, done under their noses. It also appears to have been common knowledge in the BBC.

But still they rehired him. Again and again. Then quietly let it go on some more. For thirty years.

I am not a lawyer, but to me that sounds like a large number of BBC employees may be potentially "Accessories After The Fact" ( Wikipedia Here ) and possibly complicit in the crimes of Savile and others.

I would also expect that this superior "couldn't give a damn" attitude extended right to the top.

Simply, the BBC ruling elite just didn't care. Why should they?

The BBC regards itself as above the law. Normal rules that apply to the rest of us are suspended for the BBC. In many ways the BBC is a state within a state. Or at least as ruthlessly self centred as any large predatory corporation.

The BBC can and has broken governments. It has it's own poll tax. It is immune from competition and has a guaranteed multi billion income. So why should it care about some young girls, especially when some of their "stars" find them so enticing?

The BBC regulates what you see, like this documentary tonight. You would be naive to expect the truth.

Anyway later on, for those who can keep their eyes open, we will see how right or wrong I am.

Just one final thought:

We have all been appalled by the disgusting antics in News Corporation, but really for every criminal in News Corp it looks like the BBC probably has ten.

Will we be seeing any of them in court soon?

Dream on.

Gasland Purbeck and Propaganda

The Purbeck Film Festival is to present the film Gasland as one of it's features. For those who do not know, Gasland is a documentary about Fracking. (Natural Gas extraction by Hydraulic Fracturing).

As a film, Gasland  has been totally discredited by a number of sources. As a documentary it is laughably inaccurate and riddled with innuendo and make believe. Truth is most certainly not it's strong point. To say Gasland refuses to let the truth get in the way of a good fairy-tale would be the understatement of the century.

The fact that this grubby piece of propaganda, with so many inaccuracies, contradictions and outright lies should be shown as some form of "environmental" expose says a lot about the gullibility and narrow mindedness of those presenting it. I notice they couldn't wait to run up a poster with somebody in a bio hazard suite. No doubt their mates will be impressed.

The truth, as shown in the USA now over several years is very, very different from the childish paranoia as displayed by our local eco-warriors.

If you go and watch this preposterous lie of a film first of all read at least some of this detailed demolition of the film, (virtually minute by minute.) Here Or for a synopsis Here

Alternatively try this article by Liz Stelle at the Commonwealth foundation Here

Or maybe this demolition piece at the New York Times Here

 This film is so pitifully inaccurate I could go on and on with more exposé's. But I'm bored. Google "Gasland debunked" yourself.

So what is the truth about Fracking?

Let us start with a few undeniable facts (even by the eco-zealots)

  1. As fracking has become a mainstream source of natural gas in the USA, prices have fallen to one third of their 2011 price. In other words wholesale gas is, at most, the same price it was ten years ago.
  2. In the USA gas is now cheap enough to displace coal as an energy source for generating electricity. Consequently USA Carbon emissions have massively decreased. Please note: The vast majority of this decrease is due to the utilisation of natural gas NOT wind or solar (whose contribution gets buried in the noise).
  3. Fracking in the USA is now a very large industry employing many thousands of people, yet the paranoid depictions and claims of huge (or even small) water poisoning problems as made in Gasland have been shown to be utterly false.
  4. Because of fracking, the USA has for the first time in a 100 years, become a net exporter of oil products and is within sight of what most Americans regard as their holy grail - energy self sufficiency.
  5. In fact the USA is likely to become a large exporter of LNG in the next few years. They are also converting thousands of trucks to LNG so reducing their Carbon emissions even more.

The final irony on all this is that as gas has displaced coal in the USA, world coal prices have fallen. Because Russian and Norwegian gas is expensive we, in the UK, are now burning more coal. Our emissions have increased because we have not adopted fracking like they have in the USA.

So how does this directly affect us?

Purbeck has the largest on-shore oil field in Europe (ever noticed it?) Potentially there might also be a great deal of gas, the extraction of which will be about as noticeable as the extraction of the oil has been for the last 50 years.

While I hate wind turbines and would happily do without them, even my windy turbine loving readership must admit they need backup (aka gas) Either we can be held to ransom by Putin (or even buy US fracked gas at a large premium) or we can explore our own resources. That means exploring the potential of fracking in Purbeck as well as elsewhere. Wind turbines or not.

Sadly it looks like science and truth come a very poor second to fashionability for those promoting this junk film at the Purbeck Film Festival. They much prefer their self indulgent fashionable hysteria. After all, without the lies and ridiculous posters who else would pay attention to them?

The bottom line is that Gasland, is an irresponsible, inaccurate and unscientific piece of propaganda that would have made Joseph Goebbels proud. It is though, Oh-So fashionable.

Interestingly there is another film for release soon called FrackNation which puts the other viewpoint. But I don't expect our eco-fashionistas will be the least bit interested let alone promoting it at the next Purbeck Film Festival.

By all means, support the Purbeck Film Festival. Even go and see Gasland if you must. But don't be naive. Those showing this film have a political agenda to which the truth is very much a secondary issue.

Be Warned.

Wind, Bluster and Carbon Reduction

The IPPC commissioned Garrard Hassan to do a report on how effective wind power is at reducing carbon emissions. For those who don't know, Garrard Hassan are a leading consultancy engaged in the wind turbine gold rush. Commissioning them was a bit like asking the Jesuits to give an even handed account of Catholicism. But never mind. Here I'm going to expand on their main claim that in 2011 Wind power reduced Carbon Dioxide  emissions by at least 5.5 Million tonnes. I'll leave their comedic denialist style claims regarding intermittency and reliability to another post.

Their arrogantly titled report "Beyond the Bluster" is HERE. This "peer reviewed" report (peer review panel of one) bases a great deal of its gravitas on another (quite good) report "Empirical estimates of emissions avoided from wind power generation" (good quality copy available HERE)   Garrard Hassan interpret the results from this report  and then grandly come to the conclusion that in 2011 at least 5.5 million tons of carbon dioxide was mitigated by wind. Of course they cannot but help to gild the lily by then going on to claim that this figure could potentially save over twice as much if all the wind power was directly offset by cycling coal plant (which, of course, in the UK  it hardly ever is, and is frankly, absurd) So I think we'll stick to the optimistic 5.5 million tons and put the gilding down to a little over enthusiasm.

5.5 million tons of Carbon Dioxide. Sounds impressive. Unfortunately sounding impressive is not quite the same thing as being impressive.

Ideally wind will have displaced carbon intensive power production i.e. Coal. But in the UK it is unlikely that coal is ever directly replaced.  Gas displaces coal and then cycling the CCGT plant accommodates the intermittent wind supply. But let us be nice, let's assume all of the 5.5 million tons can eventually be reflected down to a shut down of coal plant.

Now coal is almost pure Carbon. In fact 27% of carbon dioxide by weight is Carbon. So our 5.5 million tons carbon dioxide equates to a burn of 1.5 million tons coal.

Now, what size power plant does that correspond to?

Well, one ton of coal roughly corresponds to 2 MW/hr of generated electricity. (See here) So our 1.5 million tons of coal correspond to 3 million megawatt/hrs. There are 8760 hours in a year. So we can work out what size power station could provide this in a year. (3000000/8760)

So our idealistic  reduction in coal burn equates to a continuous output of 340MW.

Now assuming a good coal fired power station operates with a capacity factor between 70% and 85% the 340MW equates to a single power coal fired power station of around 400 - 450MW.

So in 2011 (a windy year) the entire wind turbine fleet, at a subsidy cost of over £800 million managed to reduce carbon emissions corresponding to a single small to medium sized coal fired power station.

That is of course, if you believe the wind industry. Remember, this 5.5 million tonnes is NOT my figure it comes from Garrard Hassan - doyens of the wind industry!

This also means that the cost of offsetting that 1.5 million tons of coal comes out at well over £500 per ton in subsidy to the wind energy cartel. Every ton of coal saved from burning by wind costs us an extra £500 in subsidy on top of the actual cost of the power generation.

By chance an old clapped out, 50 year old Magnox nuclear power station in Oldbury was retired in 2012. It had been producing carbon free power for nearly half a century. Its rating? 430MW.

So every year for the last 44 years, this single small first generation nuclear power station reduced carbon dioxide emissions by roughly the same amount as the entire wind turbine fleet managed in a windy 2011.

Don't figures like that just knock you out?

Fiddling Wind Turbine Images

I had to smile when I read a comment from a local windy on one of my posts accusing the local action group (DART) of inflating turbine image size on one of their flyers. ( Comment 5 on this post )

Here is part of what the windy's comment:
I've seen the leaflets that DART circulated, with an image of turbines we estimated were 4 times bigger than the proposed ones. Who wouldn't be horrified by that and sign a petition?

Yes. I agree. But actually, I would bet that what the windy really meant was 4 times bigger than the propaganda images produced by their beloved developer .

As reported in ( This Article ), a prominent Scottish architect along with Stirling University has been conducting research into how various wind farm developers have been cleverly fiddling images to make their wind farms appear less intrusive.

Take these two example images taken from the same location (see the above article) that show the deception. Notice both images are the same width and you can see all of both images.

The top image uses a wide angle lens to give a panoramic view that is well outside the real  field of view of an observer. This is then presented as an image at close range, so then all of the panorama is seen by the observer. The consequence is that the turbines (and buildings for that matter) are reduced and appear much less consequential than in reality. The bottom image shows the view more realistically with a field of view similar to that of a real observer.

There are rules governing these photo montages, but there are loopholes. These loopholes are ruthlessly exploited by the carpet baggers, leading to results similar to that achieved in the top image.

Now, when I look at the example images above, to me, it looks like the bogus pro-wind like propaganda image presents the turbines at about a quarter size of the more realistic bottom photograph.

I don't know if the DART flyer actually did present the turbines a four times larger than the Infinergy images. I didn't see it. But if they did it looks like DART probably got it about right.

So maybe, in the future, perhaps my windie commentator should do as they suggested and "be horrified and sign the petition".

You know it makes sense.

Love & Kisses

Rotten to the Core

You would have thought that after the cash for questions scandal and the the expenses outrage, our Dear Leaders would have learned that Joe Public gets a bit pissed off about MP's fiddling the system.

But No. These arrogant, self serving buffoons are at it again.

Tim Yeo MP is Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. A role that demands even handedness and a level of technical competence. My last post was about how technically unsuitable he is for such a role. But really that is simply the tip of the iceberg.

The biggest scandal about Mr Yeo chairmanship is that he is in the pay of the renewables industry.
( See Here ) and ( Here )

Tim Yeo, The Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee is also the  President of the Renewable Energy Association ("The voice of the renewables industry in the UK" or so they say) and has directorships with an assortment of renewable energy companies that rake in about £140,000 a year.

Can you imagine the hullaballo that would erupt if the Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee was found to be a in the pay by (say) BP, Centrica and British Coal? Or that he was (say) president of the Oil & Gas UK? (the UK oil and gas trade body)

You can almost taste the rightous indignation that would spurt forth from the wind industry cartel. Actually I would be outraged too, just as I am about his current real "arrangments".

There is an old saying about who pays the piper calls the tune.  But whatever, it is a nice little earner for Mr Yeo all the same.

So is this outrage restricted to one morally challenged member of our ruling elite?

Dream on. ( See Here )

John Selwyn Gummer, now Lord Deben is now Chairman of the Climate Change Committe (CCC) he is also chairman of a company ( Forewind ) which plans to build hundreds of ultra subsidised offshore turbines. But Selwyn Gummer is a busy bloke, he also chairs a lobbying consultancy with a speciality in advising clients how to make money out of Global warming.

The logo of the CCC is "independent advisers to the UK Government on tackling and preparing for climate change".

Are they having a laugh or what?

So is that it? Two dodgy members of the Great and Good? Sorry no. It isn't. This article ( Here )  finds another THREE members of the CCC with questionable allegiences.

Then of course we have Cameron, who personally recommended Gummer for the post. His father in law rakes in around 300,000 a year by hosting a wind farm.

Cleggs wife is a director of a wind energy company.

It goes on and on.

Even after the fiddles, outrages and pocket lining of the last two decades our MP's are still falling over themselves to rake in the cash at the expense of their moral obligation to even handedness and the electorate..

No wonder Public confience in our political establishment is at an all time low.

Tim Yeo, Contraception and Energy Policy

It appears the Tory MP Tim Yeo has several nice little earners supplimenting his MP salary. ( See Here ) ( And Here ) He is paid considerable amounts of money for what appear to be nominal work load commitments to a number of renewable energy companies and trade bodies. Bearing in mind how self serving and morally challenged our MP's tend to be, it is unsurprising that he see's no clash of interests in also being the  Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee as well.

Dear old Tim is also an avid supporter of on-shore wind farms. Avid that is, until one is threatened to be imposed on his own turf, then all of a sudden the thing is "inappropriate". Do I detect the whiff of hypocrisy?

That is perhaps unsurprising as he was also an enthusiastic supporter of John Major's "Back to Basics" speech while also being the father of four children by three women, one of which he was married to.

But never mind. I'm not really interested in the whether Tim Yeo knows how to use a condom or not, and I am quite sure there are much worse examples of sexual proclavity within our noble leaders. But I am quite interested in exploring how technically competent he is. After all this is all about how our country will meet the technical challenges related energy supply for probably the next fifty years.

Now I know I being a little naive here, but I would have thought that someone occupying such a crucial technical position would be - well, an Engineer. Or a numerate scientist. A medic would suffice. But really, it would have to be someone who could claim several years of numerate technical competence. Someone who could see through the bullshit.

So, what qualifications for such a role has our swampie hero got? A Doctorate in Power Engineering? Maybe at least a degree in a numerate discipline. But I'm not obsessed by pieces of paper, has he alternatively got long term design experience in a technical subject?

Tim Yeo went to Cambridge. So far - so good. I know some awsomely capable engineers who went to Cambridge.

So what was it? Physics? Mechanical Engineering maybe? Sadly No. Tim Yeo, the man who is essentially in charge of guiding the technical development of our energy policy has a degree in....


Yes folks, the technical direction of our national energy policy in in the hands of a self serving hypocrite with a degree in history.

God help us all.

Doing the Right Thing by St Mabena

Billothewisp just blogged a poem regarding the potential desecration of a small village in North Cornwall. The poem was first published in St Mabyn Village News

I picked up on this some weeks ago and I have for various reasons been inactive for a while.
Tonight I was pleasantly surprised to find that the applicants for this Turbine have decided not to proceed. ( See Here )

Billothewisp would like to congratulate the ex-applicants. The wind turbine gold-rush must be hard to resist. It is good to find people who put their community before that of a Judas payment, however lucrative.

Morally, the wind turbine scam is inexcusable. At least, when the enquiries into this outrage start (and they will) the applicants in this case can legitimately claim they put their community before profit. They put personal honour before filthy lucre.

Good on them. Perhaps true environmentalists do exist.

St Mabena and the Beast

St Mabena and the Beast  

Stands tall Mabena`s proud church tower
Presiding o`er the village hours.
Congregation`s songs of praise,
Peals of bells its rafters raise.
Within its walls the history kept,
Births and Christenings, Marriage, Deaths.

Cross brooding, mystical, untamed Moor.
From Camel`s mouth and far from shore,
Trusted landmark, welcome beacon
Guiding those safe haven seeking.
Though now it seems in future time
You`ll bow to a cash cow wind turbine.
So bid your Parish congregation
Say NO to this Beast`s application.
(A poem by Derek Sturch)

Reproduced from the St Mabyn Village News

Good luck to the people of St Mabyn in their gallant fight against this travesty.

love and kisses

Wind and the Myth of Fossil Fuel Subsidies.

One of the latest little scams our wind turbines aficionado's are trying to pull is to justify their obscenely expensive and ineffective Wind Turbine generators (WTG's) by inventing fictional subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear. The latest and greatest of these has the carpet baggers claiming that that the massive ROC subsidy received by wind is on par with or even less than that received by gas, oil and coal.

Of course, this is a load of tosh. Just as it is a load tosh that wind is cheaper than nuclear (See this Post).

Here is a fine example of this bufoonery at The Guardian - Here  (where does the Guardian get their reporters from?). You have to ask: Do Guardian journalists ever read the documents they supposedly quote from? Or do they just do as they are told? 

According to our Guardian scribbler, poor hard done-by wind (which at best produces 1% total energy supply) "only" got £700M subsidy in 2010. Whereas (shock horror probe) the demon spawn of Satan (aka fossil fuels) received a whopping £3.63 Billion. 

He supposedly derives this from an OECD document available Here. Pity the journalist didn't read it first. I have to ask if Guardian journalist are just naturally lazy or so dedicated to spewing out propaganda they willingly subvert the truth to aid their carpet bagging friends in the wind industry.

At the end of this document from the OECD are three tables that summarize the subsidies received by coal oil and gas (produced at the end of this post)

Each of these tables itemise the folowing:
A "Producer subsidy" i.e. the subsidy received by the energy producer.
A "Consumer" subsidy which relates to the reduced VAT rate charged on all electricity and heating (however generated) 
Finally, a subsidy for inherited liabilities. (£8.5M - coal only)

These are the producer subsidies:
Coal: Nil (Coal provides approx 14% total energy)
Gas: £233M (Gas provides approx 40% total energy)
Oil: £301M (Oil provides approx 38% total energy)

These subsidies though are acknowledged by the OECD as for specific purposes, not like the ROC which simply lines the pockets of the shysters running the WTG scam.

What this ridiculous article includes in to order to get to £3.63 Billion is the Consumer subsidy. This of course, applies to all energy providers including wind and relates to consumers NOT providers. Wind (whose energy is also subject  to the same consumer VAT reduction from 20% to 5%) still gets an another £700M. All for their measly 1% annual contribution to the UK energy mix.

I can only see this as a fundamentally dishonest and decietful misuse of data in order to promote a mistruth. The fact that this appears in a supposedly  upstanding newpaper is absolutely unforgivable.

 You can guarantee ther wind industry and their pals will try and pull this trick again.

Just remember, even if you consider the consumer VAT tax reduction a subsidy, then it is a subsidy to consumers. It is a subsidy to people who use the energy NOT the producers. The reduced VAT tax on energy makes no difference to the wholesale sell-out price for that energy whatever it is derived from. It relates to fossil, nuclear, wind, hydro,  and any other energy generation technique.

This non existent fossil fuel subsidy just comes down to another self promotional myth from the wind industry and their sycophants.

One day they may start telling the truth. Just don't hold your breath waiting.

(tables follow)

East Stoke: Greed 4, Democracy 0

Some bad news has been handed to my friends in East Stoke.

The East Stoke Wind turbine appeal has been approved. The local council had refused planning for four huge but pitifully ineffective turbines. The rich multinational appealed. The end result was that the  government appointed apparachtik overruled the local council. Infinergy get to build their four useless money making machines right in the heart of ancient Purbeck. 

To top it off, Joe Public gets to pay the ROC subsidy to line the coffers of Dutch multinational KOOP (who own Infinergy). In return Infinergy will provide a small, intermittent and laughably ineffective source of electricity. But, as long as nobody cuts the ROC subsidy, it will be a nice little earner for our Dutch cousins.

Even though the appeal steamrollered the local democratic decision, I think we should congratulate DART, Dorset CPRE, the people of Purbeck and particularly East Stoke who so gallantly fought this travesty. Many Dorset families are today out of pocket because they personally helped fund the legal defence against this appeal. They could do no more. Their defence of Purbeck has gone way beyond what anyone should reasonably expect from any community. 

But really, the odds were always stacked against them. All over the country there are literally thousands of East Stokes all battling an unequal and unfair fight against greed and stupidity.

This crime against East Stoke forms a just a small part of what will probably be one of the greatest scandals of the 21st century.

Where do the people of Dorset and East Stoke go from here? I don't know. No doubt when the dust settles a strategy will emerge. But this hard fought battle against the rape and pillage of Dorset should be acknowledged and congratulated. Equally we should lament this latest greed fuelled assault on rural England and local democracy.

Fracking, Emissions and Energy Prices

Gas produces 60% less CO2 emissions than coal. It is also intrinsincally more versatile and far, far less costly to human society. The price of gas in the USA (due to an newly adopted extraction technique called fracking) is collapsing. This is the price of gas in the USA over the last year.
(Forbes article HERE - with graph for prev year from when you read this)

This is the graph on the day of the post

In fact due to a massive adoption of fracking, the USA has managed to markedly reduce it's carbon emmissions while simultaneously rebuilding it's economy. The USA is now, for the first time in 100 years a net exporter of hydrocarbons. They have made great strides to the American Holy Grail of energy independence. The USA is actually winning back industry due to it's low energy cost. The reduction in emission due to the adoption of gas for energy generation has buried any possible so-called "renewable" contribution in the noise.

Today, wind obsessed Europe, politically populated by fracking denialists languishes in perpetual economic crisis. Even Germany, which has been the biggest benificiery from the Euro Zone, (to the cost of just about every other Euro Zone member) suffers with a huge energy price penalty compared to USA. Although Germany at least, has managed to grow its economy,
it is significantly less than the USA. Just to rub salt into the wound the Germans are busily building Lignite burning coal power stations to replace their perfectly good (but highly unfashionable) nuclear plant. Emissions can go only one way.

Fracking can possibly provide us in the UK with similar cheap energy independence. It could provide us with the necessary backstop until someone in government gets enough balls to build the necessary nuclear infrastructure.

But until someone in authority actually gets up off their arse and starts getting a proper and detailed analysis of the fracking potential in the UK we will continue sliding down the slippery slope to where in a few years time there WILL be power cuts.

Looking at the bunch of comedians that pass for a government in this country, I think it is time we all started stocking up on candles.

So Who Supports Nuclear Now?

It is interesting to see exactly who has has changed their opinion on nuclear power.
(h/t to bravenewclimate HERE )

Here a subset from the Brave New Climate post. The BNC post is much more extensive than this but it includes many prominent people who are not seen as particularly "environmental".

I thought it might be interesting to dig the environmentalists and respected scientists out of the noise. (tell me if I missed anyone from the BNC post)

Why this subset? Simply because today many who see themselves as "environmentalists" are by default, anti-nuclear. They close their minds and blankly refuse to acknowledge the possibility that nuclear energy can ever be anything other than the demon of their nightmares.

They don't ever bother with looking at data. Their minds are closed.

Maybe the names below may trigger one or two of them to re-examine their position. After all, the luminaries below changed their position based on the evidence. Maybe their example may get others to examine their position and base their position on scientific fact rather than narrow minded hysteria or what they have been told to think.

Some of these folk are well known, other less so. All are influential and independently minded.

George Monbiot - World renowned environmental Journalist used to be rabidly anti nuclear. Started to see things differently in 2009 then became publicly (and vocally) supportative of nuclear in 2011.

Patrick Moore  Co-Founder of Greenpeace. (not the fat guy who studies the moon) I gather he is generally regarded as persona non grata by our green zealot friends now. Pro nuclear 2003.

Stephen Tindale Former Director of Greenpeace. About as popular with Greenpeace today
as Patrick Moore is. Pro nuclear 2009

Hugh Montifiore one of the founders of Friends of the Earth, FOE evidently regard him with
distinct unfriendliness today ( pro nuclear 2004)

Chris Goodall Green party activist, parliamentary candidate and author. Probably a ex-Green party activist by now.

Stewart Brand  Author of "Whole earth Catalog"

Mark Lynas author "Six degrees"

Chris Smith former Labour party chairman of the Environment Agency.

Prof James Lovelock FRS. Renowned environmentalist. Author giaia hypothesis

Prof David McKay FRS  renowned Physicist and author Sustainable Energy Without The Hot Air.

Dr James Hansen world famous climatologist

Prof Barry Brook renowned environmental scientist.

Jared Diamond scientist and author

So how many have gone the other way? i.e. pro/neutral to anti?

According to the BNC there appears to be only one ...

Prof Ian Lowe President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, although he reckons he changed his opinion back in the 1970's so personally I don't think that counts.

A Fitting Place for a Wind Turbine

That is (of course) - In the ditch

(full story here: In The Journal )

To be fair, the thing is just as useless in the ditch as it would be if erected, but at least in the ditch it has a lower profile.

Sadly, this is not going to stop the desecration of Northumberland with these huge ugly, ineffective and eye wateringly subsidised fashion statements.

It should though, be quite entertaining to see how they get it out of the ditch.

Either way, it is going to be expensive. I expect the crane hire boys are already booking their Caribbean holidays on the fees they will get.

One thing the average carpet bagger must appreciate is that Northumberlanders really like to ensure people know how they feel. Espcially after they see their democratic decisions steamrollered by organisations that can (and do) buy their way through the law.

So some naughty Northumberland wag decided they would make things a little clearer to the parasites.

Graffitti is a criminal offence. While it seems that desecrating Northumberland and ripping off the whole country is perfectly acceptable.

Funny that isn't it?

Kiva Micro Finance for Free!

OK My grubby little Englanders, love or hate me, HERE is a a free gift. It is not actually a gift to you. But it gives you a chance to get a handle on how Kiva micro finance works.

It is rare to get a free lunch, especially from Billothewisp, even if that free lunch is for someone else.

So give it a go. If you can - let me know what happens - even if you back out. Seriously, I do not actually know what happens next. I expect you get to sign up with KIVA but also get to loan out $25 (for free) out of an anonymous donation.

You choose who gets the money, Nobody in our government, or their government gets a look in.

Also remember, this is a loan not a gift. Expect it to be repaid. So it is not even really a gift!

OK. It's a gimmick. A way of attracting people into Kiva Micro Finance. Kiva arranges person to person loans for poor but honorable people.

In my humble opinion, if we are ever to get away from the filthy immoral debilitating and corrupt methods that currently define what is laughably known as Foreign Aid then Kiva or Kiva like solutions are the only way.

So do your own Foreign Aid.

To hell with Cameron Clegg and Milliband and their failed "Globalisation". And to hell with the the rest of the ugly face of graft, greed, and global corruption that defines modern inter-governmental Foreign Aid..

Do it HERE and do it (this time) for free.

Remember, this is not "charity" or a "gift" or a "donation".

This is a face-to-face short term loan to decent hard working people. But just this time, you get to finance  the loan for nothing.

Missed the link?  HERE it is!!

(post posting Note - Yes I finally did the sensible thing and clicked it myself to see what it looked like. here's a tip ...click on the link at the bottom of the featured load applicant, then you can see the rest of potential loanees. This is not just for one particular applicant! Front page on this offer could be better!)

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.

If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next

The obscene and depraved actions of a section of the immigrant community in Rochdale, who have been involved in gang raping vulnerable children has disgusted and appalled just about everybody in the land whatever their background.  I'm not going to address the  leniency of their sentences, but Thoughts Of John does a good job about that HERE.

But what I want to address now is the apparent craven appeasemnet to the self righteous god of political correctness that prevented this obscenity from being stopped in its tracks way back in 2002. (yes .. ten years ago) see Guardian Here and Telegraph Here

It would appear that from 2002 to today, the authorities have been less concerned about the abduction, rape and brutalisation of vulnerable children than they were about offending the harridan demands of a group of immigrants who have no wish or intent of adopting the basic moral concepts that epitomise this group of countries known as the UK.

I am not particularly religious, but one outstanding image from Christiantity is how Pontius Pilate washed his hands and so betrayed an innocent man rather than offend the political correctness of his day.

It would appear that today we have many Pontius Pilates, all willing to betray the innocent to appease the harridan cries from the persecutors.

This gangrenous boil must be lanced.
This must involve a public enquiry.

This inquiry must apportion blame where it is due, especially to those who were in high office and washed their hands for political expediency - or to meet a hidden agenda. The guilty are not only the rapists. But also includes those who when in government, for political expediency, have turned a blind eye and so aided and abetted these crimes.

In 1936 a Spanish Republican Civl war poster raged against crimes against children.

The bye line to this poster was later made famous by the great Welsh Rock band "The Manic Street Preachers"

The byeline was (of course)

"If You Tolerate this, Your children will be next".

Well, In Rochdale, it looks like it was tolerated.

And yes.

Our children, our poor vulnerable children in Rochdale, were next.

China Cools on Solar PV and Wind

It has been pointed out to me that China doesn't have many hippies. That's a shame. (I like hippies). The argument goes that, as there are a lack of hippies in this centrally planned bureaucratic dictatorship then their rapid adoption of wind and solar must be solely due to good sound green economic reasons.

Sadly there now appear to be some flaws with this argument.

True, last year the amount of deployed WTG's went up by a stonking 43%. Solar PV deployment actually tripled.

Impressive Eh?

Unfortuantely the Chinese prime minister has decided to ruin the illusion. In a recent, and utterly boring speech he sidelined future wind and solar deployment.

You can read ( The whole speech here ). Just make sure you remember to keep breathing.

Alternatively you can read ( Synopsis here )

It appears that while the installation of WTGs and Solar PV has been truly stupendous, the end result is that the average output of both technologies has fallen off a cliff.

The Chinese do not like failure. It looks bad. In future, the Chinese prime minister announced, progress in renewables will be focussed on hydro. Nuclear and coal will be given a higher priority.

Sadly this was bound to happen. The hopelessly optimistic ideal that you can actually just keep piling on marginal power sources like wind or solar PV, and it will somehow someway, come good, was doomed to failure.

If this is true for China, it is also true for the UK.

Maybe there is a lesson to learn here?

Wind Power: The Devil is in the Detail

 Take a look at this table from the USA Energy Information Administration (EIA). 

From a first glance it looks like the MW/Hr cost of on-shore wind is actually less than that for nuclear.

Meanwhile the price of off-shore wind is the same untenable basket case that it is over here.
This off-shore nightmare really needs no further discussion now. Maybe another day.

What about the on-shore figures?

The figures are full enough to give us a really good insight into the viability of wind turbine generators (WTG's) in the UK.

This table gives the levelised (or naked - no subsidy) costs and necessary charges.

It shows the obvious - that wind has no fuel costs.
It gives a viable price for each generation technology per MW/hr
It gives a price for the capital cost and running costs., including fuel where appropriate
Crucially it also gives the capacity factor needed for achieving this price MW/hr

This table is vitally important to understanding why almost all windpower in the UK is unviable without subsidy, and also why almost all on-shore as well as off-shore wind generation  in the UK is hugely more expensive than other generation technologies.

How come? It all comes down to the capacity factor (CF) used. Here it is a whopping 34%

We know from the table that almost all of the costs of running a turbine are fixed costs. This means that a WTG generating alot of electricity is going to have (as near as dammit) the same overall costs as a similar WTG generating much less.

Obviously the more productive turbine gets paid more. Remember - the running costs are fixed.

The amount of electricity generated over a year is directly related to the CF. Double the CF - double the amount of electricity generated. Half the CF then you halve the amount of electricity generated. Double the CF = double the income and vice sa versa.

We also know (from the table) the viable price for electricity MW/hr at the given capacity factor. (CF). After all, the whole point of this table is to provide price comparisons between generation technologies.

The table tells us that the system levelised cost for an on-shore wind turbine generator (WTG) per MW/hr to be viable  is $97 per MW/hr.

To achieve this price, according to the EIA, the WTG needs to operate with a CF of 34%

The costs are fixed. If the CF drops there is no fuel saving because there is no fuel. The potential loss of revenue has to be made up by increasing the cost per MW/hr.

If the WTG was to operate at 20% CF then the price needed to break-even rockets from $97 MW/hr to  $165 per MW/hr.

The rolling average UK CF is 27%. The English rolling CF is 25%. in the SouthWest this drops to 23%. East Stoke in Dorset, the CF would be about 20%. The Reading Turbine is around 15%. If I remember correctly, the highest individual on-shore English CF was in 2009 at Workington at 32%

Clearly without the double payment from the ROC subsidy there will be very few WTG's in the UK that are viable. Yet with the double payment even the utterly crap turbines can make a profit.

Nothing is going to get better about this.

There is no magic to increase the CF or wind speed. A turbine addicted to the ROC will always be addicted to the ROC

And you will pay for it.

Is Nuclear in Decline or Not?

A mantra may have no substance yet if it is asserted enough times, people start believing it. People are especially receptive if the mantra fits in with the pre-conceptions and beliefs.
On two comments (Here & Here) I recently recieved such a mantra. No doubt the author fully believes what he has written. He is not a liar. Just a receptive victim of misinformation.

This is what commentator said:
I would just say you should make note of what is happening in reality - long-term global decline in nuclear energy, exponential growth in renewable energy. 
Or you can just look at the reality of what is happening all over the world. Wind is growing at an exponential rate while nuclear power is in long-term decline. 

On the face of it, thanks to the propaganda, that sounds plausible. By chance I was doing some more research on Fukushima and I came across this.

Fukushima Impacts Global Nuclear Generation in 2011

In this article there was a graph (reproduced below). The rest of the article was an eye opener as well.

In fact since 1971 electrcal generation by nuclear (world-wide) has been on a continuous upward trend, with a small dip starting in 2007. This upward trend was restarted in 2010 but the Japanese and German shut downs have forced the 2011 figure down by 4%.

So, far from fading away over the years, nuclear electricity generation has been steaming ahead for the last forty years, and although it has levelled off for the past few years, it continues to do so. It is in fact about to resume this upward trend, and with a vengence.

New plant has been continuously coming on line. Even in 2011 (the year of Fukushima) there was an additional 4GW of new plant (at the average global nuclear capacity factor of 80% that is 3.2GW continuous) that incidentally is the equivalent of some 6400 2MW wind turbines (running at the average global wind turbine CF of 25%.), but of course, excludes the wind intermittency and gas backup the turbines require.

The Chinese have 25 nuclear plant in build. They did suspend issuing licences for a further three due to Fukushima but that has not stopped the others.

The global deployment rate of 5 new plants per year is about to double and should reach one per month by 2015. Others are leveraging their existing plant by upgrading their generation capacity.

In 2011 beside the panic in Japan and the hysteria in Germany only one nuclear plant shut down. That was Oldham - a clapped out Magnox reactor nearly 50 years old.

So, nuclear is very far from being in decline.

I could also argue that wind, while truly undergoing a very rapid expansion is hardly going up exponentially and is wholly driven by a long term unsustainable subsidy based culture. But maybe more on that in another post.

While our politicians dither or bend to hysteria (like they did in Germany) the rest of the world is embracing modern nuclear and shows no sign of retrenching, whatever the wind industry or the fashionable green cults like the WWF and Greenpeace like to say.

But sadly, for us in the UK, the future is less clear.

Unless someone in government gets a grip, there is the distinct possibility that in a few years the country that first pioneered nuclear generation (i.e. the UK) will be unable to provide its people with reliable and on-demand electricity.

The prospect of energy shortages and blackouts get closer by the day.

James Lovelock

Today it has been reported that one of the great environmentalists of the 20th century, James Lovelock, author of the Giaia Hypothesis, has changed his opinion on Global Warming.

While he still considers that that Global Warming is happening, he now has modified and moderated his viewpoint. He has expressed an opinion that his earlier cataclysmic views were wrong. ( See Here )

He will no doubt gather a great deal of flak from both sides of the global warming debate because of this change of opinion. But really we should be praising him for adopting a true scientific and evidence based approach to the subject. Lovelock is clearly someone who is willing to review and if necessary, change his opinion if the evidence demands such a change.

Lovelock has also gathered an enormous amount of hostility due to his considered opinion that nuclear power is a necessary and highly beneficial technology and should be embraced.

Clearly he is someone who is prepared to stand out from the crowd and be guided solely by the facts as he sees them - rather than the propaganda.

I have always respected Lovelock, even though I disagreed with Lovelock's original global warming viewpoint. But I am very pleased to find the considered opinion of such a famous scientist now roughly aligns with my humble lay-mans view. Any reader of this blog will also know I whole heartedly agree with his views on nuclear power.

But neither of these viewpoints are relevent to Lovelocks position as a true scientist. A true scientist, is one who is capable of reviewing and if necessary changing their opinion. They will also do this solely based on the available evidence, and irrespective of the baying and cat-calling of the surrounding mob.

Lovelock, much to the chagrin and hostility of those more politically motivated, has shown a beacon to us all.

That beacon though, has nothing to do with Global Warming or Nuclear Power.

But everything to do with evidence based science.

We should all take note.

Why Wind Turbine Capacity Factor Matters

My criticism yesterday of the Dorset Renewable Energy Strategy (DRES) focussed on the inflated Capacity Factor values used for wind turbines in a Dorset environment.

Why does this matter so much?

The standard Wind industry response to a  criticism  of a particular Capacity Factor (CF) is that you can increase the Capacity Factor by simply decreasing the size of the generator attached to the turbine. Like many of the wind industries statements this is, on a simplistic level, true. But they carefully avoid mentioning the affect this would have on the turbine output.

If you decreased the size of the generator on a given diameter turbine in a particular location  then you could increase the Capacity Factor. Unfortunately though, you would also significantly decrease the amount of energy generated by the thing over a year. There is an ever worsening trade off where the energy generation falls away as the generator size is decreased to force up the capacity factor.

This is simply because the energy in the the wind obeys a cube law. 2 x wind speed -> 8 x energy. So by decreasing the size of the generator you reduce the opportunity to exploit infrequent short term high wind events that actually produce most of the electricity generated.

The sad fact about wind turbines is that for most (60%) of their operational life they are either producing no electricity or an amount that is well below their annual Capacity Factor. When they do produce large amounts of energy is is at random and unpredictable times and essentially in relatively short bursts.

However, wind turbine Capacity Factors do provide an effective method of comparing relative productivity between wind turbines in different locations. But that is all.

Wind power is unique in being the only major power generation method that when operational, has a typical output that is significantly below its Capacity Factor. Consequently wind turbine CF inflates the perceived ability of turbines to produce power when compared with other generation methods.

Comparing wind CF with any "on demand" CF ( like the DRES laughably does with your gas boiler) is totally absurd.

Let us come back to Dorset. Why has there not been a rush to build turbines here before now? Why have they been built mainly in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Northern England?

The simple reason is that the wind speed is lower down south. The capacity factor for a given turbine is consequently lower and the southern turbines are actually even more dependant on rare high wind events to big up their CF.

Take two identical turbines in England. One in Workington (2009 CF 32% - the best in England) and a one in Dorset where the CF is going to be around 21% at best. The energy produced by the Workington turbine is 1.5 times as much as that produced by a Dorset turbine. It is also double that of the infamous Reading turbine.

All create similar environmental damage and yet all make a profit.

A turbine with a low Capacity Factor is by definition less productive compared to its peers. However such is the largesse of the ROC subsidy that even a turbine with a capacity factor of 15%
will make a healthy profit.

If the ROC subsidy was cut, many turbines in the UK would become unviable overnight. Cut it out completey and at least 90% would be shut down.

Nothing is going to get better about this.

There is no magic fix to increase the wind speed. There is no wondrous widget being designed that will allow installed wind turbines to generate more electricity.

The turbines and their operators are wholly dependent on the ROC (in perpetuity) to make a profit. Without it, all but a few are doomed.

As they get older they will get more unreliable and their CF will actually fall. Eventually, one day, sanity will return and the governemnt will be forced to cut the ROC.

Then you will see wind farms being sold on - and on - and on. Until one day they will mysteriously cease to operate.

When the bailiffs turn up we will find the final owner is a company operating out of a post office box in Belise.

We the taxpayers, will end up paying to have them pulled down.

Dorset Renewable Energy Strategy Seeks Endorsement

The Dorset Renewable Strategy Update received a mauling when it was first released for Public scrutiny. Particularly it was lambasted for its doctrinaire enthusiasm for covering Dorset with anything up to 360 huge and ineffective wind turbines. (the so-called "realistic" scenario was for 180)

The DEG (now renamed the Dorset Energy Partnership) have supposedly reworked this document. But really little has changed. Even the errors are still there. (more on that later). This reworked version has been released only to selected groups for "endorsement". I have yet to find any publicity for it anywhere for the general public.

So what about the errors?

I will limit myself to the section that is supposedly explaining Capacity Factors, otherwise this post would go on for ever. Below are the correct figures for UK Capacity Factors, taken from the RESTAT Site Here (Renewable Energy Statistics - Dept Energy and Climate Change - see bottom of linked page titled Load Factors there are a set of excel spreadsheets)

The Dorset Renewable Energy Strategy (DRES) is Here See Section 1.5 page 6

 First we have the 30% Capacity Factor Myth
 "wind power technology has a capacity factor of 0.3, or 30%"

 This is WRONG. At best, making such a statement shows a lack of basic research. At worst it is a deliberate attempt at misinformation.

Notice that from the DECC figures, the average CF for the whole of the UK has NEVER even reached 30% let alone become a typical average. For England it is worse. The 10 year rolling CF is less than 25%. The South West (i.e. including Dorset) it is even lower (23.5%) and has dipped to 17.7% in 2010. This document is supposedly about Dorset - right?.

This is not a matter of just  a "couple of per cent".

A 30% CF generator, over a year, will produce 150% of the energy of a 20% CF generator. So essentially this incorrect DRES statement inflates the energy generation we would expect from a Dorset wind turbine by around to 50%. (from high to low the SW CF is inflated by between 17% and 69%)

Some UK turbines DO make it to 30% - but only about 7% of the English fleet manage it. Even then, none are in the South West.

93% of the English turbine fleet have a CF below 30%.  Actually over 70% fail to even hit 25% nationally.  (See earlier post and prof. Jefferson report link Here).

The South West comes third from bottom of a very dismal English CF league.

 The table 1.5.1 in the DRES then uses the UK national CF average of 27%. At least that is an improvement on the mis-truth directly above it in section 1.5, but this is the UK average NOT the English average,  let alone the (worse) South West figure.

Again the figure is WRONG and grossly inflated - especially when related to Dorset.

As an aside, this table also states the off-shore CF as 35%. This is WRONG. In 2008 (the windiest year in the last 12) offshore NEARLY made it to 35% (34.9%). That is as high as it has ever got. Mostly  it has been around the late 20%'s to early 30%'s. Solar PV CF is given as 10% when it is more like 6 -8% in the UK. Then there is biomass and sewage gas. Laudible as these thermal plants are, they are still thermal plant. Even a  new CCGT plant would have difficulty getting a CF over 80% so, with no references,  the quoted 90% CF looks like a bit of extra and unnecessary guilding.

 2. Then we have "Full Power" myth:
 "a wind turbine will typically be generating electricity for 80% of the time, but will only be generating at full power for a smaller % of time, say 10- 15%."
 These are the power output curves for a Nordex turbine (P graph) and a GE (formerally Enron) 1.5MW turbine.

 A turbine only produces full power when the wind reaches about 12 m/s -  Beaufort Scale Force 6-7. A Force 8 is a full Gale.

 This is a graph of typical UK wind speed distribution over time from Here

Can anyone tell me when and how we manage to  get 10-15% at full power out of this? (i.e. 0.12 at 12m/s?)

Now the Bit that is almost (but not quite) a Myth

"producing power for 80% of the time"

There is a grain of truth in this - although it is a very small grain and that grain relates mostly to windy areas. It is almost certainly inflated and untrue for less windy areas - like Dorset.

But the real problem with this statement is that it obfuscates the simple and wholly damning fact that wind turbines operate at considerably below their CF for MOST of the time. This is because they only produce significant amounts of power during periods of high wind. MOST of the time they are producing very little (if any) power. This is accentuated in low wind areas - like Dorset.

This section in the DRES on Capacity Factors is  totally dissociated from the true figures you would expect in Dorset. The section grossly inflates the capabilities of Wind turbines that would operate in this area and so promotes potentially incorrect assumptions on the viability and practicality of building turbines in Dorset.

Essentially these figures in the DRES obscure the true worth (or lack of it) of potential Dorset Wind farms.

The DEP analysis of the data appears to extend solely to what they are told by their peers in RenewablesUK.

Any formal Strategy, especially a strategy that could promote a massive level of industrialisation of a rural area MUST be based on accurate figures and MUST remain impartial.  Unfortunately this document fails on both counts.

Yet it is supposedly good enough for "endorsement".

It will be interesting to see whether our councillors allow themselves to get railroaded by this travesty.