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Let’s copy Germany: 23,000 wind towers make 7% of its electricity to stop 0 degrees of warming

Steve Goreham describes how one of the leading Green economies works: Germany has 23,000 wind turbines, half as many as the United States but packed into one 27th of the area. Average turbines are producing 17% of their stated capacity. All up, they make 7 percent of the nation’s electricity but consume 2 percent of the nation’s energy. Crikey! There would be a PhD thesis in making sense of those numbers, because most of that consumption is in the construction phase and depends on assumptions about how long those towers will work. I’d like to see a lifetime calculation of a Joules in and Joules out. Here’s a part I can’t quite wrap my head around: total renewables share of energy consumption (so that includes oil, gas, coal, wood and the like) apparently rose from 4 percent in 2000 to 12 percent in 2012. I can see a most unfortunate meeting of two lines on a graph here…

The Big-Green-Government in Germany decreed that everyone had to pay a lot more for the holy electrons from wind and solar (those electrons have good intentions, after all). Thus and verily (and partly thanks to the angel of inflation), the poor sods in German houses now pay twice as much for electrons as they did in the year 2000. (In USD, it was about 18.5c per kWh then and 35c now.) Meanwhile the intermittent supply from renewables plays havoc with the wholesale electricity price, gas finds it hard to compete, and Germany is building more coal plants.

The best case scenario, if the IPCC is right, is that this pain-in-the-pocket will reduce global temperatures by 0.002C about 90 years from now.

And the Germans are good with numbers and machinery. What hope is there for the rest of us? – Jo

——————————————————————————————————–

Wind turbines clutter the north German countryside

By Steve Goreham

 

Originally published in The Washington Times

Earlier this month, my wife and I toured the scenic German countryside of Schleswig-Holstein. We drove northwest from Hamburg, the largest city in the North German Plain, to St. Peter-Ording, a small resort town on the North Sea. We traversed fields of sheep and cattle, vegetables, corn, and grain, and passed historic towns of quaint homes with thatched roofs. But towering over all was a vast number of giant wind turbines.

Thousands of wind turbines have been erected in northwest Germany to capture winds blowing in from the North Sea. Almost 23,000 wind turbines operated in Germany at the end of 2012, with more than 10,000 located in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony, the two states bordering the North Sea. Germany now has half the wind turbines of the United States, in an area much smaller.

These wind turbines dominate the countryside. Most reach more than 400 feet into the sky, taller than the Statue of Liberty. Newer, larger turbines stand more than 550 feet high to the top of the blade, higher than the Washington Monument. High voltage towers add to the disfigurement, constructed to transport electricity to populated areas of central and south Germany.

The turbines are part of Energiewende (Energy Transition), the German federal government’s plan to move the economy from hydrocarbon and nuclear energy to renewable energy. Renewables share of energy consumption climbed from 3.9 percent in 2000 to 12.6 percent in 2012. The plan calls for renewables to achieve a 30-percent share of energy usage by 2030 and a 60-percent share by 2050. Energiewende is an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an attempt to stop man-made global warming.

But all is not well with the Energiewende. According to figures from the German Federal Ministry, the 22,962 wind turbines operating at the end of 2012 provided only 7.3 percent of the nation’s electricity and about 1.8 percent of the nation’s energy consumption. Despite the location of many turbines on the windy North Sea, German wind turbines operated at a capacity factor (actual output vs. rated output) of only 17 percent in 2012.

The low capacity factor of German wind turbines makes wind electricity expensive. Driven by increased costs from renewables, household electricity rates almost doubled from 13.9 eurocents per kilowatt-hour to 26.0 eurocents per kilowatt-hour from 2000 to 2013. Today, Germany has the second highest electricity rates in Europe, more than triple U.S. electricity prices.

Wind energy generation receives major advantages from the German government. Land-based wind electricity is guaranteed a feed-in tariff that is double the wholesale rate of electricity and offshore wind gets more than three times the wholesale rate. Utilities charge the difference between the feed-in tariff and the wholesale rate to consumers in the form of the Renewables Surcharge, which exceeded 5 eurocents per kilowatt-hour in 2013, a subsidy equaling 20 percent of the residential electric bill.

Law requires grid operators to purchase all wind electricity produced at high fixed prices, even when consumer demand is low. When wind and solar output is high, operators dump excess power onto the grid, which depresses the wholesale price, even to negative levels. Natural gas plants have been reduced to a role of part-time backup for wind, making them unprofitable. Utilities E.ON and RWE have announced plans to close many hydrocarbon power plants that have recently become money-losers.

At the same time, Germany is boosting coal-fired electricity production. Electricity from coal-fired plants provided 44.7 percent of Germany’s electricity in 2012, up from 43.1 percent in 2011. Coal-fired plant output is expected to rise again in 2014 to replace declining output from nuclear plants that the German government decided to shut down after the Japanese Fukushima disaster in 2011. Due to the coal-fired ramp up, German greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2013 and will rise again in 2014.

So what has Germany gained by cluttering their idyllic countryside with wind turbine towers? Despite the recent rise in greenhouse gases, Germany’s CO2-equivalent emissions have declined about 25 percent since 1990. If we accept the climate model-predicted rise in global temperatures of 3oC for a doubling of CO2, the small German emissions decline will reduce global temperatures by a microscopic 0.002 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.

As Winston Churchill said, “However beautiful the strategy, occasionally you should look at the results.”

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the new book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism:  Mankind and Climate Change Mania.

 

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92 comments to Let’s copy Germany: 23,000 wind towers make 7% of its electricity to stop 0 degrees of warming

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    Safetyguy66

    “The answer ma frend is blooooowin in the wind… The answer is bloooowin in the wiiiiind” Tim Flannery from his post Woodstock era LP titled “Dreamland for Marshmallow Unicorns”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-27/wind-energy-generation-record/4914266


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    handjive

    James Delingpole has fun with our blowhard windy friends:

    Wind farms are a breach of human rights says UN. No, really.


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      Mark D.

      Great link! Thank you.


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      blackadderthe4th

      ‘Wind farms are a breach of human rights says UN’ and so is burning fossil fuels, now we know what excessive co2 is doing to the climate!


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        AndyG55

        1. We DO NOT have excessive CO2 in the atmosphere

        2. CO2 has near ZERO effect on the atmosphere.

        3. CO2 is HIGHLY BENEFICIAL to all plant life on Earth.

        The crime against society is the demonisation of fossil fuels, thereby forcing up costs unnecessarily with junk, unreliable, wind and solar !


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        Safetyguy66

        So all the technology that has been created by burning fossil fuels, which in every developed country has resulted in longer life spans, lower infant mortality, high education, better transport, better standards of living, better access to better quality food etc etc etc etc…. are all invalidated and are in fact “breaches of human rights” because they come from burning fossil fuels.

        What I would like to know is how you manage to post on this site??? Im boggled!

        Do you ask a friend to do it or something? I don’t know how you can hold the views you do yet still take advantage of the technology created and maintained by fossil fuels, mining and industry to spout the nonsense you vomit at us every time you touch the keyboard. Have the courage of your convictions man, be someone who lives their words rather than just dribbling garbage with no intention of following your own crap.

        Strip naked and go live in a small cave, then you can lecture others about how to live. Meanwhile, thank your lucky stars that people with backbones have created the life you enjoy today, so you can insult their legacy with your ill informed, poorly thought through and petulant tripe.


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        blackadderthe4th

        ’2. CO2 has near ZERO effect on the atmosphere.

        3. CO2 is HIGHLY BENEFICIAL to all plant life on Earth.’

        So on one hand it is responsible for all life on Earth, but it is so small an amount it can have no effect on the climate! This is an oxymoron.


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          In what way is that an oxymoron?

          Oxymoron

          noun
          rhetoric:

          1. An epigrammatic effect, by which contradictory terms are used in conjunction, as in “living death”, “open secret”;

          2. A figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness”; “make haste slowly”

          From Greek: oxys (meaning sharp) and moros (meaning stupid), thus the word itself is an illustration.


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      Maverick

      Lots of head-banging certainty in the ABC article:
      – could be explained
      – may be
      – did not fully explain
      – it is likely to
      – probability
      – could rise
      – devote little space to explaining
      – should not rise

      Woulda, shoulda, coulda!


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      Andrew McRae

      That second last paragraph of theirs is a small skeptical victory of sorts.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Even so, the pace of warming has slowed from the 1980s and 1990s even though greenhouse gas emissions have hit record highs.

        Now what was that rule about correlation not proving causation, again? Does that mean that a lack of correlation now proves causation? Shirly Knot. :-)


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  • #

    There’s something in this I find a little difficult to grasp at the moment.

    The article mentions that Wind in Germany is supplying 7.3% of Germany’s total electricity, and again, having some background with this, I’m leaning towards that data using Total Capacity and not actual power delivered for consumption, and I’ll show you why.

    Germany currently has close to a total wind Capacity of 29,000MW of Installed Capacity.

    The U.S. currently has 60,000MW of Installed Capacity, which is double that of Germany.

    The German Capacity Factor stands at 17%, and I’ve actually verifieid that from a second source.

    The U.S. Capacity Factor stands at 26%, verified from the EIA site, and only three months old, while the German data is from end of year 2012.

    It says in Steve’s article that German wind power supplies 7.3% of all Germany’s power.

    Yet, the U.S. with double the wind Capacity, and a considerably higher Capacity Factor barely manages 3.4% of all power being consumed in the U.S. coming from Wind Power.

    Now, why I mention this at all is that the 60,000MW total Capacity for wind in the U.S. is around 8% of total U.S. capacity.

    So, that’s why I have questions about the German data, not that I’m doubting Steve’s article, but just using what he has written to further indicate how whatever is written on the subject of Renewables can be, umm, massaged (usually by journalists who lack the real knowledge on what they understand the data to mean) to make data look better than it really is, if you can see the point I’m trying to make here. Data can be used in all innocence, and yet a different message can be imparted.

    Now, having said that, one thing that could explain this is that half the U.S. wind total Capacity is in Germany only spread over a much smaller area, and that could be a question that someone might raise.

    My answer to that is the Capacity Factor data.

    Germany 17%

    U.S. 26%

    So the U.S. wind performs considerably better and yet that electricity consumption data shows Germany with 7.3% of total power from Wind and the U.S. only 3.4%

    Now, as with everything about electrical power, it’s a complex thing to drill down into, because different sets of exact data can be used to mean completely different things.

    That is sometimes difficult to understand, and is also one of the most difficult things to explain correctly so people can actually understand what is being said.

    Tony.


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      Safetyguy66

      Not only that Tony as a former industry insider I can tell you there are many variables ranging from the efficiency of the particular generator hardware to the accuracy of the wind modeling and mapping that guided turbine placement on the ground, through to the version of the SCADA sofrtware and its ability to quickly direct the turbine to respond to changes in conditions to maximise output.

      Turbines are a lot like cars, the Subaru WRX or Mitsubishi Evo would be great analogies. Each year/model/generation they get better in some ways and less better in others. The Vestas V90 is a good example. It is currently in Mk 9 (or it was when I left the company) and is a highly developed product with pretty much all of its technical ducks in a nice row. The next model on however, the V112 (Macarthur Windfarm VIC) is only Mk 2 or 3 now and has a lot of variable degree issues in all of the areas listed above which can affect its output and efficiency.

      Frankly knowing what I know about turbines and windfarms, I would be surprised if the comparison could be accurately calculated because even if you had access to some of the data, a lot of it is design specific and commercial in confidence and would be unlikely to be made available by the manufacturers for scrutiny.

      Its a bit like Quantum Physics, anyone who say they understand it, doesnt.


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      janama

      Tony the full statement says:

      the 22,962 wind turbines operating at the end of 2012 provided only 7.3 percent of the nation’s electricity and about 1.8 percent of the nation’s energy consumption.

      so the 7.3% is percentage of German generated power whereas the 1.8% is percentage of all power consumed. In other words Germany is getting additional power from somewhere else such as France’s nuclear power.


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      • #

        janama,

        with respect, that is not right.

        Electricity consumption and energy consumption are two entirely different things altogether.

        Electricity consumption is just electricity alone in the three sectors of consumption, Residential, commerce and industry.

        Energy consumption is all that electricity consumption PLUS all natural gas consumption in the homes, businesses, and industry, (and here, just in the residential sector alone, think cooking and heating in your home) wood heating in homes, all fuels used in industry, all fuels used for rail shipping, air, and road traffic.

        There is a distinction between electricity consumption and energy consumption.

        Tony.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      When comparing countries (U.S. and Germany) you need to also look at the geography. I don’t remember Germany being flat. But I do remember Ohio being like a pancake that went on and on and on …


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      Graeme No.3

      Tony:
      2012 was a very windy year in Germany. Possibly something to do with the cooler weather.
      The capacity factor shows a jump also, from 15% a few years ago to 17% last year, also indicating a windier than usual year.

      The surges in wind supply (and PV solar) are destabilising the german grid and alternative suppliers, so a number of gas fired stations (some quite new) and various rapid response types e.g. pumped storage, have gone out of business or are only going for a short (unprofitable) time but are kept going by German Government subsidies so blackouts are avoided as much as possible. Increasing Germany is relying on brown coal, wind and imports.

      With rising imports the total german electricity generation is dropping, so the wind production will be an increasing percentage of a smaller amount. Wind gets absolute priority.

      The figures might also contain amounts of wind power exported from Denmark. Denmark has continued to install off-shore wind farms and is having to export more. The traditional markets, Norway and Sweden, are getting a little annoyed about the amount they’re expected to use, esp. Sweden where the government has decided to abandon nuclear in favour of wind. That means their hydro capacity will be increasingly reserved to balance their own wind farms.
      “Over the last eight years West Denmark could not use on average 57% of the wind power it generated and East Denmark an average of 45% and as a result this energy was exported”. (There are 2 separate grids in Denmark).


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        Numberwang

        Speaking of Denmark,I just got back from a lovely holiday there, and have some observations. Denmark has no nuclear power, and negligible hydroelectric. I visited the largest hydro station, which is now part of the “Energy Museum” outside of Viborg. It was built in 1920, has three small turbines, and a fall height of 10 metres. It produces enough electricity for 3,000 homes. Despite the huge investment in wind power, Denmark still relies on fossil fuels, including coal for most of its electricity generation. The participants in the recent Copenhagen climate summit could not have missed the huge Dong Energy thermal power station on their way to the city centre from the airport, except through massive collective cognitive dissonance.

        Finally, I passed several transports on the motorways that were carrying parts of new Vestas wind generators, including nacelles, rotor blades and tower sections. Oversized loads, all of them, the biggest rotor blades are around 40m long and require special bogie trailers. Passing them on curves was nerve-wracking. That’s a lot of CO2 emissions to transport and install those “green” symbols.


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        • #

          Don’t forget that if the installation is in an area with gravel roads, those huge oversized roads cause tremendous damage. I live on a gravel road that was used for a turbine installation route. Fortunately, the county had the foresight to include in the contract that the road would be maintained by the wind company and would be in as good a condition when they left as when they started. On my particular road, the turbine haulers took up both lanes on some curves, so no one could pass even if they wanted (except by driving in the road ditch). Add in all the supervisors and so forth driving from town out to the installation daily and I cannot fathom any CO2 being saved.


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      Carbon500

      Tony: you and others might be interested to know (apologies if you already do) that here in the UK the Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics (DUKES) publishes official data annually.
      The July 2013 version is out, and can be found online.
      On p133 (section 5.1 commodity balances continued) we see that the total energy production for the UK in 2012 was 360,869 GWh, with wind listed as a ‘major power producer’(about 4000 wind turbines) producing 16,884 GWh or 4.7%.
      I’d be interested in any views you have on the UK’s position.


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    • #

      Those are the average, annual capacity factors. The variability from month to month can be substantial. And there are periods of a week to 10 days when there’s not much air stirring, especially in the middle of winter and summer.

      E.On, a major operator of wind power in Germany foreshadowed the problems of wind power in its annual reports of 2005 and 2006, identifying not only the need for 95% of conventional shadow capacity, but also the need for a separated greid for “renewables” to preserve the stability of supply in Germany. That grid was never built. There was never money for it after the wind power subsidies sucked dry all investments.

      And the infrastructure on the existing grid has fallen into (East German style) decay. So much so that Wolfram Geier, the head of emergency preparedness, critical infrastructure in Germany’s Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance(BBK) warned of panic due to power failures brought about by “changing weather and privatisation” that have made the electricity supply system vulnerable. Especially larger cities should be prepared to prolonged blackouts.

      To avoid panic, people should prepare for blackouts! The BBK kindly offers advice and guidelines on how people should prepare.

      It seems that BBK suffers from organizational cognitive disonance. They don’t understand that the government giving priority to “renewable energy”, when it may be available, is forcing teh reliable operators out of business, and without that shadow capacity (aka spinning reserve), renewable energy means no energy a great deal of the time.

      It’s a bureaucrat’s wet dream: Creating crises in one department and then offering “solutions” via another for those affected. All the better if the solutions don’t work because that makes the people clamour all the more desperately for “assistance”.

      The best thing that Germany can do to prepare is to throw out their government on the 22nd of September, replacing them with e.g. the fledgling AfD and PDV which are (now) both “sceptical” of CAGW and very much in favour of small government to facilitate low taxes.


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    Russell

    Germany’s emissions may have dropped 25% since 1990, but that has nothing to do with renewables. In 1990, Communist factories were belching enormous amounts of CO2 with their inefficient machinery. Most of those factories have since closed down, and the remaining ones have been completely modernised. If you could remove the reunification effect from the past 20 years, Germany’s emissions have increased.
    And now that the German government is finally addressing the imminent risk of an earthquake and tsunami simultaneously hitting their reactors, it will get worse.


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      Eddie Sharpe

      And now that the German government is finally addressing the imminent risk of an earthquake and tsunami simultaneously hitting their reactors, it will get worse.

      Offshore wind turbines are immune to tsunamis :-)
      (so are hilltop ones, come to think of it )

      As for earthquakes, floating wind turbines would be fine.

      Why did Holland go to trouble of reclaiming all that land from the Zee. Didn’t it see the potential for pontoon barges of wind-turbine platforms ?


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  • #

    OK then.

    Note that the total U.S. Capacity for wind stands at 60,000MW.

    The total Capacity here in Australia from EVERY source is also (almost) 60,000MW.

    At their current U.S. Capacity Factor of 26%, that means wind is generating (on average) 15,600MW, and while some days that figure will be larger and some days smaller, that 15,600 is the average daily total.

    The average power consumption here in Australia is up around 25,000MW, and there are regular daily peaks, all year round at 30,000MW.

    The absolute minimum power consumption, and that’s power required for 24/7/365 is 18,000MW, so all that huge wind power does not even reach the absolute minimum daily requirement, in fact 2,400MW short of that.

    That U.S. total Capacity of 60,000MW is 23 times larger than what we have for Wind here in Australia.

    We could effectively cover Australia with wind plants and still not supply our needs, an immense cost, and still not even close to filling actual demand.

    Tony.


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    handjive

    Update: The Critical Decade 2010-
    Rainfall patterns are shifting.

    The southwest and southeast corners of Australia are likely to remain drier than the long-term average or become even drier.
    .
    22 May 2013: Wetter than average winter outlook (SE Aust.)
    BoM, 28 August 2013: Southeastern Australian rainfall outlook for September to November-

    A wetter than normal season is more likely for most of southeast Australia.
    .
    That would be a failure from the Climate Commission.


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      Safetyguy66

      My little piece of paradise in NE Tassie (Beauty Point) which SE Australia, the observable evidence is defying the models nicely. Source, Weatherzone for postcode 7270

      August rainfall
      wettest this month 27.4mm 10th
      total this month 180.2mm 19 day(s)
      long-term average 82.6mm
      wettest on record 178.2mm 2009
      driest on record 19.0mm 2006


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    AndyG55

    23,000 turbines..

    What is the life expectancy, and who has to clean up after them ?

    NOT the green entrepreneurs, you can bet they won’t be held liable for the clean up.


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    Eddie Sharpe

    And the Germans are good with numbers and machinery. What hope is there for the rest of us? – Jo

    That is a very telling remark, and so true.
    How could they get it so wrong, or did they ?


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    Large cities like Hamburg were only kept lit, because large energy intensive factories in it like the ArcelorMittal steel mill were persuaded to shut down. They did so but of course were compensated by the government and already, similar arrangements are being made across Germany for this coming Winter by large industrial concerns.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/examples-will-have-to-be-made-germany/

    Pointman


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    Meanwhile, in the UK -
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-un-ruling-puts-future-of-uk-wind-farms-in-jeopardy-8786831.html

    Margareta Pagano Tuesday 27 August 2013

    Plans for future wind farms in Britain could be in jeopardy after a United Nations legal tribunal ruled that the UK Government acted illegally by denying the public decision-making powers over their approval and the “necessary information” over their benefits or adverse effects.

    The new ruling, agreed by a United Nations committee in Geneva, calls into question the legal validity of any further planning consent for all future wind-farm developments based on current policy, both onshore and offshore.

    The United Nations Economic Commission Europe has declared that the UK flouted Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention, which requires full and effective public participation on all environmental issues and demands that citizens are given the right to participate in the process.

    The UNECE committee has also recommended that the UK must in the future submit all plans and programmes similar in nature to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan to public participation, as required by Article 7.

    The controversial decision will come as a blow for the Coalition’s wind-power policy, which is already coming under attack from campaigners who want developments stopped because of medical evidence showing that the noise from turbines is having a serious impact on public health as well as damaging the environment.

    Legal experts confirm the UNECE decision is a “game-changer” for future wind-turbine developments in the UK. David Hart, QC, an environmental lawyer, said: “This ruling means that consents and permissions for further wind-farm developments in Scotland and the UK are liable to challenge on the grounds that the necessary policy preliminaries have not been complied with, and that, in effect, the public has been denied the chance to consider and contribute to the NREAP.”

    The UN’s finding is a landmark victory for Christine Metcalfe, 69, a community councillor from Argyll, who lodged a complaint with the UN on the grounds that the UK and EU had breached citizens’ rights under the UN’s Aarhus Convention.

    She claimed the UK’s renewables policies have been designed in such a way that they have denied the public the right to be informed about, or to ascertain, the alleged benefits in reducing CO2 and harmful emissions from wind power, or the negative effects of wind power on health, the environment and the economy.

    Ms Metcalfe made the legal challenge on behalf of the Avich and Kilchrenan Community Council at the Committee Hearing in Geneva last December. She and the AKCC decided to take action after their experience of dealing with the building of the local Carraig Gheal wind farm and problems surrounding the access route, an area of great natural beauty.

    The retired councillor said she was “relieved” by the UN decision. “We were criticised by some for making this challenge but this result absolves us of any possible accusations of wrong-doing… The Government needs to do more than just give ordinary people the right to comment on planning applications; they deserve to be given all the facts.”

    A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesperson said: “We are aware of this decision and we are considering our response. Wind is an important part of our energy mix providing clean home-grown power to millions of homes. Developers of both offshore and onshore wind farms do consult with communities and provide generous benefits packages.”

    The Aarhus Convention: What is it?

    The Aarhus Convention, or the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, is named after the Danish city where it was first established by a UN summit.

    It sets up a number of rights for individuals and associations in regard to the environment. People can request to know the health risks linked to the state of the environment and applicants should be informed within one month of the request.

    It also ensures the public get a say in any environmental project such as a wind farm. Public authorities must provide information about environmental projects, and those affected by such schemes must be told if they are going ahead and why.


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      WhoDoesTheUNthinkItIs

      The new ruling, agreed by a United Nations committee in Geneva, calls into question the legal validity of any further planning consent for all future wind-farm developments based on current policy, both onshore and offshore.

      It should keep out of internal affairs, like it does with North African States gassing their populations.


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        Joe V.

        Prime Minister Cameron wimped out, going for a vote on a wushy washy ‘Principle’ of attacking Syria, knowing the house would never go for it without seeing the evidence. That lets him of the hook though, now he can blame the Socialists for whatever happens


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    I realise I must be thick as two short planks but how can any government still act as if the AGW fraud is in some way kosher? Kosher enough to still be penalising their economies to achieve unbelievably minute changes in temperature when the weight of science says “we are not sure any more”. Particularly now that a cooling trend is a real possibility and with it a greater demand for energy from increasingly unreliable sources. There must be a mechanism for charging those politicians with a form of treason in that they deliberately caused hardship to their people. It’s like Stalins attack on the people of Ukraine causing mass starvation. Sure they can be voted out but only if one side decide they have been duped and are honest enough to admit it.


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    [...] 2000 to 12 percent in 2012. I can see a most unfortunate meeting of two lines on a graph here . . .Click here to read the full article [...]


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    There must be a mechanism for charging those politicians with a form of treason in that they deliberately caused hardship to their people.

    Unfortunately none of our politicians’ have a sense of honour, and now we have a Ministry of Justice (MinJus) where “Justice” can mean anything politiciana and judges want it to mean (think Humpty Dumpty) this will not happen.

    In recent decades education has been so dumbed down that many in the UK believe that a politician resigning having been caught with his/her hand in the till (i.e. thieving to us lesser mortals) rather than face the consequences of their actions are honourable.

    It’s little wonder that many believe that CO2 (without which they themselves could not live) is a form of pollution.

    If it were legal, I would suggest a cull of politicians, (season from July and August) so that the kids can join in and maybe learn something useful, might focus the minds of these troughers.


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    Off-Topic:

    Has anybody else in Perth noticed the lack of mention of rainfall so far this month and the monthly rainfall average on the weather reports? It was all the rage in the first 10 days of August telling the public how much rainfall so far was behind average for the whole month.


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      AndyG55

      Oh, is it raining in Perth?

      I believe the current rainfall for August is now well above the August average (but I’m not sure what period that average is based on.)


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    Jo

    And the Germans are good with numbers and machinery. What hope is there for the rest of us?

    Actually, that’s the Bohemians.

    Austrians lack a sense of proportion.
    Prussians can’t survive a day without order(s).
    Bavarians love foreigners to remain abroad; especially the Prussians.

    Many years ago, a friend said it was sad that I didn’t have a German accent as it would lend credibility to my practice of Engineering. I can just imagine it:

    Ziss shcrew ist not tight innuff. Tighten it oontil zeh sread shtrips oondt back if off a quarter off a turn.


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    Bernd, the data on rainfall is here: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/
    Perth metro is station 9225. Perth Airport 9021. Midland 9025. Dwellingup 9538

    There are puddles in fields near us large enough to be lakes and they’ve been there for a few weeks. Yes, curious. I spoke to a farmer east of Narrogin and their dams are full. So were the ones all the way down to Balingup last weekend. Good signs.

    136mm so far in Aug. The average 117mm at Perth metro.


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      Good news about the small dams filling.

      Must be all that water from falling sea levels, were one to believe NCAR. :-)

      The lakes near where I have lived since 1968 are at about the levels of the mid 1970′s. They were very dry about 10 years ago with the wetter one showing puddles only during wet periods and the dry one increasingly covered by vegetation.

      I hope that the State government gets to grips with catchment management for the metro water reservoirs really soon. (My Army Reserve training lets me go without a proper shower for 2 weeks, but civilian society doesn’t approve. :-) ) As Warwick Hughes and others have noticed, Watercorp’s web site has become a comic strip, devoid of information about catchment levels, rainfall into catchments and streamflows.


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        AndyG55

        Flat terrain is always going to cause water storage issues in a warm climate, particularly with the natural high variability of rainfall and an increasing population.

        Lots of infiltration and evaporation losses.

        You need more storage, or better ways of utilising aquifer storage.

        I know for a fact that they are trying to find ways of better managing the aquifers, but the modelling is difficult because of lack of accurate information.

        Much harder to model than open reservoirs.


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          Flat terrain is always going to cause water storage issues in a warm climate

          Only if Civil Engineers are no longer allowed to “hurt Gaia”.

          The Darling scarp above the populated coastal plain in the SW is a convenient bit of geology. There are plenty of opportunities to build reservoirs; even fairly deep ones.

          What is often overlooked is that the catchment management policies changed in the mid to late 1970′s, resulting in a reduction of streamflows into the reservoirs. Only about a third to a half of the original streamflows remain today. The much of the rest of the water feeds weeds and fuel load for bushfires in the dry seasons.


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            AndyG55

            I’m a great believer in having good dams. :-)

            With Australia “on” or “off” natural rainfall patterns, you need them.

            Those who created the issue with stream inflow reduction should have restrictors put on their mains inlet valve.

            I must study Perth catchment in more detail when I finish what I am doing, hopefully in a couple of months.


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    Brian G Valentine

    Angela Merkel, a Doctor of Physical Chemistry, was the victim of fraud perpetrated by the likes of John Schellnhuber and the Potsdam Institute.

    That is the simple and short answer why this mess exists in Germany.


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      You have to keep in mind the state-control, authoritarian culture in which she grew up.

      Prima facie acceptance of statements by authority is de rigueur, even in the modern Germany, especially by those in the judiciary, public service and government. The modern Germany has in those aspects, become an expansion of the borders of the former GDR.

      That is one reason why it’s now on the brink of revolution; German style with physical, violent attacks on political campaigners and supporters who reject high-taxing, spendthrift, big governments in which officials have an institutional reputation for capriciousness and despotism in public dealings.


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    Joe V.

    Well wasn’t it Maggie, a trained Chemist, who started all this … To give her an edge over the largely scientifically illiterate World leadership of the time.
    Should they both have stuck to chemistry ?


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      Brian G Valentine

      It means they should have known better than to fall for voodoo science foisted on them by a collection of disgruntled socialists.

      Iron Filings Maggie and Iron Pyrite Angela. Nice legacy.


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    Gerry Van Hees (alias - gavanhe)

    Does anybody realise the footprint of 20,000 odd wind turbines, would that be equivalent to 2,500 sq Klm of land. And that is to provide approximately 30% of its rated output. The figures are mindboggling or are my calcs – done on the back of an envelope – wildly in error.
    Just wondering where we are off to.


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      Safetyguy66

      Macarthur for example one of the most recently completed and largest windfarms in the Southern Hemisphere. It is 140 3MW turbines over 55,000 hectares. You do the math, Im too dumb.


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        I know I bang on about this, but it’s probably the most important thing about Wind Power, and because it is technical, and has to do with electrical engineering, then, perhaps as high as 95% of the public cannot see it, and because of that the concentration on the attacks on wind power come from other areas.

        1. As shown with the Macarthur Wind Plant, it covers 55,000 Hectares, a huge coverage of land space.

        2. There is the loss of visual perspective, the blot on the landscape aspect of this.

        3. There is the health problem associated with the flickering.

        4. There is the health problem associated with low intensity noise.

        Now, while each of these problems is important in its own way, those arguments are easily countered, and you can see that in the usual responses.

        NIMBY. Health problems either anecdotal or psychosomatic. Those things are circulated to make those complainants look, well, you know, just complaining because they don’t like it.

        However, look at this, and you can see why I try to say that this is the most important thing about wind power.

        Macarthur Wind has 140 of these turbines, each topped by a 3MW nacelle. That gives it the Nameplate Capacity of 420MW, a seemingly large amount.

        Let’s then do a direct comparison then.

        If this were either a 420MW coal fired plant or a 420MW Natural Gas fired plant. That is ONE turbine driving ONE generator at both of these types of plant. If it were at a coal fired plant, it would be more cost effective to be one unit of two, three or four units, so for anything up to 50 years, you will always be getting 420MW (in fact much more) continuously. If it were a gas fired plant, these are typically used for peaking power periods when grid controllers ring up the plant, or schedule the plant to fire up at a certain time, and run for a set time, or until not needed, and the plant turns on the gas, fires up the turbine and the generator will deliver its full rated 420MW.

        (a) While ever coal is being fed into the pulverisers, the unit is in full operation. It is actually DELIVERING its full rated 420MW. Now, keep in mind that this plant operates, delivering that full power for all the time it is running, shutting down just for maintenance, and also keep in mind that at the Stanwell plant near Rockhampton, one unit (380MW) was in CONTINUOUS operation for almost 3 years. (1073 days) It will do this for anything up to 50 years.

        (b) While ever Natural Gas is fuelling the driving turbine, then a Natural Gas Fired Plant is delivering its full rated power. It will do this for anything up to 30 years or even more.

        Now here we have Macarthur with the same 420MW. Because of the variability of the Wind, it only delivers power while the wind is actually blowing, so that’s why the Capacity Factor is so important here, and that is calculated by the power delivered divided by the rated maximum power. For most wind plants here in Australia, that comes in at 30%. So, then when extrapolated down to a daily average that means Macarthur is delivering on average only 126MW. There will be some days when it is more, and some days when it is less, but that average is that 126MW.

        So in fact, Macarthur Wind is only delivering 30% of the power that would be delivered from an equivalent coal fired or gas fired plant.

        Now, that 30% Capacity Factor can then be used to compare the time.

        So, in effect, Macarthur Wind is only delivering its full rated power for 30% of the day, on average, or for 7 hours and 12 minutes a day.

        So, if 420MW is needed outside of that time, then it has to be found from somewhere that can supply that 420MW for when it is actually needed.

        Now that 7 hours and 12 minutes that Macarthur Wind is delivering its full rated 420MW is spread sporadically across those 24 hours, so here you see that virtually a constant backup is required.

        So, while the points above I mentioned are important, by far the most important thing is that wind plants like Macarthur just fail to deliver the power required for any form of constant consumption, and as shown here, they cannot replace either coal fired or gas fired power.

        Now, that is the reason that the above four points are the ones that people will concentrate upon, because the power delivery aspect is not well understood by the vast percentage of the populace.

        Those four points are easy points to counter.

        What is not able to be argued against is that power delivery aspect, and that’s the secret wind power plant operators have going in their favour.

        No one understands that aspect, so it’s in their interest not to even mention it in the first place, and because so few know about it, or understand it, then it never even gets raised in the first place.

        Tony.


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          Dave

          Thanks Tony,

          Good to get more info on the windmill farms.
          I know Tarong is only on about 1,500 hectares and I think it generates around 1,400MW so the environmental area impact is about 1MW per hectare.

          While the windmills are only 126MW over 55,000 hectares which works out at around 0.0023MW per hectare.

          How much money do they earn per MW each (income for coal generators and income from wind farms) to work out the economic viability in regard to other agricultural activities.

          So the windmills on area usage is less than 1/2 percent of the coal generators in relation to land area. The environment factors, the health factors, the visual impacts and the power capabilities of windmills, makes them almost less than useless.

          They should be banned totally.


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            Brian G Valentine

            makes them almost less than useless.

            They are not “useless,” they keep several thousands of lobbyists gainfully employed here in the US


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          Brian G Valentine

          Well Tony of course you can spread the wind farms out, and increase your capacity factors with the probability that the wind is blowing “somewhere” – then deal with the problem of corrupting the possible gains by the fact that the phases of the turbines are unmatched and possibly lowering the power factor to the point where the total benefit is lost


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        Dave

        Thanks Safetyguy66 for that link,

        It’s only 5,500 hectares so the figure changes to less than 0.023MW per Hectare on what I said above.

        Still a shocking yield for land use.


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      Graeme No.3

      Gerry Van Hees (alias – gavanhe):

      The practical limit for wind farms is 2.6MW per square kilometre, although a figure closer to 2 is better.
      NOTE: the Macarthur example above is 0.76MW per square kilometre for 55,000 hectares or 7.6 for the lower area. If the last is applicable then the turbines are too close together for efficiency, as the wind shadow effect will reduce the efficiency.
      ( Google Horns Rev 1 (or similar) images for an example showing the ‘fog’ created by turbulence from the blades).


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    old44

    One turbine per 15.5 square kilometres, evenly distributed you would never be more the 2,200 metres from one.
    Brought on by a bunch of nitwits that insist on the correct colour scheme for your Federation house so that it will not destroy the character of the neighbourhood.


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    thingadonta

    I agree with the non -efficiency of wind turbines, but they are largely a statement of hope, that one day nations can be run renewably without the pitfalls of dwindling fossil fuel supplies, the politics of where fossil fuels occur, and the fiasco of Fukushima where companies build nuclear reactors in earthquake and tsunami zones and then consistently lie about the dangers, and inadequately address safety issues for decades. All this does not detract from the fact that wind energy is inefficient, costly, and overall as ugly as most nuclear and coal power plants.

    But it seems that basic energy physics will trump human hope; the fact that ‘energy cannot be created or destroyed’, despite all human hopes to the contrary, will likely ensure that fossil fuels and possibly also nuclear energy-but hopefully better managed- will feature large in human societies for many years to come.


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      Brian G Valentine

      I feel as though your statement should be read accompanied by some grand sounding music.

      The poor appearance aspect of “coal and nuclear” needs to be considered together with the amount of space needed. The actual operation of the coal or nuclear facility requires only a couple of hectares for the plant, and maybe ten or twenty more for the cooling water diversion (if located inland). Compare this with the hundred hectares needed to produce a thousand megawatts of power from 1.5 megawatt wind turbines.

      This doesn’t take into account the mining operations for coal or uranium, the latter generally more compact than the former, unpleasant to some I suppose, although lovely to me, representing industry, employment that benefits others, and the gift to civilisation of keeping their lights on


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      Personally, I resent spending Billions on giant, bird-killing noisy “symbols of hope”. Of course, it’s so much better to spend the money mining, refining, manufacturing, and maintaining useless white symbols of hope than say, finance schools, reduce the Trillion dollar deficit, etc. Besides, all the mining and manufacturing for turbines are generally out of site, so you don’t actually have to look at the copper mine, the rare earth facility dumping radioactive waste, the thousands of acres of land in someone else’s country strip mined (where they don’t reclaim like the US does).

      Hope built on lies and the cost hidden overseas is not hope–it’s a criminal lie. Funny how people love lies hidden in other people’s countries that never touch the US, but nuclear power, which works and is no less damaging or dangerous than any other form of energy, is rejected out of fear. No one died at Fukushima from radiation. Only Chernobyl did have radiation released due to really bad design and no containment vessel. There are people living inside the evacuation zone today and the older women seem unaffected. Instead of learning from this all we can about radiation, we shut everyone out and say it was horrible. Maintain the fear at all costs, no matter how many we kill by learning from this. There’s more wildlife at Chernobyl than in Central Park. Radiation and all. Instead, we build shiny white alters to the God Gore and pretend everything is well while locking out all real hope for clean energy because we are afraid. We haven’t evolved past the terrified cave dwellers hiding from their Gods or sacrificing virgins in the hopes of gaining favor.

      Oh, uranium mining is usually in situ and you have to look really hard to locate where the mine is. You would drive past it if you did not know it was there.


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        Brian G Valentine

        You would drive past it if you did not know it was there.

        Sometimes. Sometimes they can be identified by piles of yellow ore.


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          Yes, and some buildings. However, just like reclaimed mines, unless you are familiar with the processes and the product, you may just wonder what that pile of ore is and why there’s no big hole in the ground (Reclaimed mine land looks different if you know what to look for). There’s an in situ mine for uranium about 60 miles east of my house and I really had to watch closely to see the in situ pipes out in the sagebrush. Actually, the reclaimed mine south of me probably evokes more reaction because while the hole i the ground is gone, the yellow radiation signs remain up (for 10,000 years or some insane number). That assumes anyone under 30 actually knows what the signs mean, of course. :)


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    Today, Germany has the second highest electricity rates in Europe.

    The highest rates are in Denmark, which has a higher proportion of it’s power from wind than Germany.


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    Paul s

    Let see them cover the north and south heads of Sydney harbour with wind turbines first. It’s always windy there. Can you imagine the uproar!


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    [...] Let’s copy Germany: 23,000 wind towers make 7% of its electricity to stop 0 degrees of warming [...]


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    Anton

    Don’t mention the w… wind!


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    Roguewave

    I’d like to see a lifetime calculation of a Joules in and Joules out.

    Since first reading the quote, “A windmill will never produce as much energy as it takes to make, place and maintain it,” I have searched for the math to support or refute the concept. Surely facts and figures have been assembled somewhere on the subject. Where are the overall energy balance figures on present day windmills?


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    Roguewave

    A wind will has far from an infinite useful life. A corollary query would be: How long must a windmill produce energy to equal the amount of energy to build, place and maintain it?


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    if Germany builds those birds killers; at-least they don’t have mountain of foreign deficit like Australia http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/climate/


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    [...] Let’s copy Germany: 23,000 wind towers make 7% of its electricity to stop 0 degrees of warming [...]


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  • #

    [...] Let’s copy Germany: 23,000 wind towers make 7% of its electricity to stop 0 degrees of warming [...]


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  • #

    [...] Let’s copy Germany: 23,000 wind towers make 7% of its electricity to stop 0 degrees of warming [...]


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  • #

    [...] Let’s copy Germany: 23,000 wind towers make 7% of its electricity to stop 0 degrees of warming [...]


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