JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Britain can have electric cars or turn Scotland into a wind farm, which will it be then?

Who wants to wait for charging? Instead, just dump the flat batteries, pick up a new set. (See the youtube below).

Having a nation full of electric cars is fine as long as you don’t want to drive them.

Wind Farms would need to “cover whole of Scotland” to power Britain’s electric vehicles

By Paula Murray

Jack Ponton, emeritus professor of engineering at Edinburgh University, said another 16,000 turbines would be required in order to replace petrol and diesel cars with electric vehicles.

“If you want to do this with wind turbines, you are talking about 16,000 more wind turbines, four times as many as we have at the moment, and I’ve estimated that would occupy some 90,000 square kilometres, which is approximately the size of Scotland.”

The academic – a member of Scientific Alliance Scotland, a group which promotes open-minded debate on issues such as climate change – believes the plan is “unworkable”…

The UK plans to phase out combustion engines by 2032. What happens when surges of holiday tourists arrive in a town without enough charging points? “Charge-rage” and long queues. Lets spend our holidays waiting for [...]

German wind industry “threatening to implode” as subsidies end wiping out half or more of new plants

In Germany as 20 years of wind subsidies comes to an end in 2020, half to three quarters of the industry may disappear.

So many parallels with Australia. The Germans have had wind subsidies for 20 years, but even after two decades of support, the industry is still not profitable on a stand-alone basis. In 2016, some 4600MW of new wind plants were installed, but that may drop to one quarter as much by 2019 as subsidies shrink. According to Pierre Gosselin (August 31st, 2017) there are more wind protests, electricity prices are “skyrocketing” and “the grid has become riddled with inefficiencies and has become increasingly prone to grid collapses from unstable power feed in.”

Pierre Gosslin writes that “Germany is more in the green energy retreat mode”.

German flagship business daily “Handelsblatt” reported … how Germany’s wind energy market is now “threatening to implode” and as a result “thousands of jobs are at risk“. José Luis Blanco, CEO of German wind energy giant Nordex, blames the market chaos on “policymakers changing the rules“. Subsidies have been getting cut back substantially. The problem, Blanco says, is that worldwide green energy subsidies are being capped and wind parks [...]

UK wind farms paid to not make sausages

OK, a wind farm isn’t making sausages, but it’s also not a farm.

Nothing about this makes sense, unless you follow-the-money.

John Constable and Matt Ridley outline the absolute rort that Scottish wind generators are screwing out of British electricity customers. Scotland already has 750 industrial wind plants (the scammers) in their best moments making a total of 5,700 MW which is more than the peak demand of the whole Scottish grid.  This is, at times, not just more than Scotland can use, but even more than it can safely absorb, so UK slaves were forced to spend £1.8 billion on giant interconnectors partly to send the excess down to England and whatnot, otherwise the profits of the unprofitable might suffer, and the weather might not be as nice in 2100 (or not).

If that’s not bad enough, these protected industrial plants sometimes produce a product when nobody wants it, and they still get paid. When it would be unsafe to dump it on the market. The geniuses who set this up promised the wind-generators that they would still be paid. And not only are they paid, but as Ridley and Constable document, before 2011 they were [...]

Wind disappears in South Australia, costing wind-industry millions, BOM blames climate change even though models predicted faster winds

The wind fizzled out over the South East slab of Australia during June. Predictably, that meant the wind industry lost millions, and wholesale electricity prices went up. When the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) was asked where the wind had gone, Darren Ray, expert climatologist, said it was due to a high pressure system over the bight, which, he explained, was linked to “climate change”. Thus, as the world warms, wind farms will be progressively more useless in South Australia. Perhaps the BOM should have mentioned that before SA became dependent on wind farms? I don’t think he had thought this one through.

Perhaps the BOM is hoping that the masochistic sacrifice of South Australia will stop global warming before global warming stops the wind farms?

You might think that if the global climate models could see this coming they would have suggested that wind farms weren’t a good idea. Or maybe, since climate models predict every equal and opposite outcome in unison, the models are always right post hoc, but not so useful in projections?

Climate models predict climate change causes faster and slower winds over Australia

In 2017, Darren Ray, BOM expert, said the decrease in winds was due [...]

Windy Clean Green Pollution

Looks like the halo is fading. Today-Tonight is a current affairs show in Australia. Today a few more Australians discovered that free energy is not just expensive but creates its own kind of pollution.

This hardly a surprise for anyone who can spell cost-benefit, but it’s healthy to see the prime-time media in Australia doing something other than singing the Clean-Green advertising jingle.

h/t Scott of the Pacific

China has giant unused wind farms — thousands of spinning white elephants

Wind farm in Xinjiang viewed from the Lanxin railway. | Image by “Train to Xinjiang Provnice” (sic)

The command economy strikes again. China is touted as the renewables leader, installing a gobsmacking one third of all the worlds wind towers. But with a recent economic slowdown, when push comes to shove, coal power is used and wind farms are not.

It Can Power a Small Nation. But This Wind Farm in China Is Mostly Idle.

[NY Times] — More than 92,000 wind turbines have been built across the country, capable of generating 145 gigawatts of electricity, nearly double the capacity of wind farms in the United States. One out of every three turbines in the world is now in China, and the government is adding them at a rate of more than one per hour.

But some of its most ambitious wind projects are underused. Many are grappling with a nationwide economic slowdown that has dampened demand for electricity. Others are stymied by persistent favoritism toward the coal industry by local officials and a dearth of transmission lines to carry electricity from rural areas in the north and west to China’s fastest-growing cities.

[...]

Wind turbine manufacturer admits liability for noise damage. If word gets out…

These are Enercon wind turbines in Germany, Lower Saxony. Image: Philip May

This could be a watershed — if word gets out that turbine manufacturers will not even contest claims of noise damage, there could be many more claims around the world. There are rumors these cases are often settled out of court with confidentiality agreements, but who would know?

In an update to the Irish court case we discussed last month, the latest news confirms that the wind turbine manufacturer has admitted liability without contesting it. The court will be deciding damages in April. As I deduced at the time, the wind industry was using desperate wordsmithing to minimize attention on the story. The news item related to it even disappeared from the Irish Examiner.  The turbine industry must be hoping no one notices this story.

Stop These Things has an update:

Wind company admits nuisance damage to neighbours Irish Farmers Journal Paul Mooney 5 January 2017

High Court to determine compensation for seven families in April hearing.

[...]

Victoria paying big to drive at breakneck speed to repeat South Australia’s blackout

Victoria is driving down Blackout Drive. They have reports from South Australia up ahead, they know where the road goes, but the state is paying for the first class ticket on a trip to RiskyGrid.

Victoria has 5.7 million people, over three times bigger than South Australia. Right now SA relies on the Victorian grid stability to keep running, and gets up to 800MW of reliable electrons from the state-next-door. But Victoria wants to add more wind power — theoretically the equivalent of a big coal fired plant (like Hazelwood).

Tom Quirk and Paul Miskelly looked closely at the numbers and patterns and see the writing on the wall. To help expensive, unreliable, intermittent green energy survive the government subsidizes it by around 9c per KWhr (bear in mind the wholesale rate for coal fired power is 3 – 4c per kWhr.) The government also demands retailers have a 12.5% mix of renewables, and that they accept most electrons from wind power whenever and wherever it is available. This strange anti-free market rule is called “nondispatchable” power, meaning the system can’t just throw it away if there is any demand at all. Whereas coal [...]

How much wind power can a grid handle?

Could Australia end up with synchronous failure across states?

When wind power is maxing out it’s bad for grid stability — it pushes out the reliable spinning inertia — the massive rolling turbines that relentlessly pull the grid back to 50Hz. Here’s a graph of SA and Victoria wind farms last month, and you can see that for all the thousand kilometers that might separate them, they are controlled by much larger common weather patterns.

Wind power in South Australia and Victoria often both max out or crash together.

Tom Quirk looks out our national grid in light of the SA blackout debacle. The message from South Australia is that wind power does not make for nice stable and synchronous grids. As I mentioned before the whole idea of alternating current (or AC electricity) is about the exact push pull of electrons at a set frequency. The grid lives and dies by its frequency. We can’t add a 53Hz current to a 47Hz one and get a 50 Hz average. When different frequencies meet we get interference patterns –  a mess of spikes and dips.  Say hello to Lumpy Electricity. Say goodbye to your computer.

Indeed when the frequency [...]

Wind power sucks money and electricity in South Australia

On a good day South Australia has more than 40% renewable energy. On a bad day, it’s -2 or something. Wind towers suck in so many ways.  They can even draw more power out than they bring in and best of all — their peak electron sucking power comes just when the state needs electricity the most.

Business blows up as turbines suck more power than they generate

The sapping of power by the turbines during calm weather on July 7 at the height of the ­crisis, which has caused a price surge, shows just how unreliable and ­intermittent wind power is for a state with a renewable ­energy mix of more than 40 per cent.

South Australia has more “renewable” wind power than anywhere else in Australia. They also have the highest electricity bills, the highest unemployment, the largest number of “failures to pay” and disconnections. Coincidence?

The emergency measures are needed to ease punishing costs for South Australian industry as National Electricity Market (NEM) prices in the state have frequently surged above $1000 a megawatt hour this month and at one point on Tuesday hit the $14,000MWh maximum price.

Complaints from business about the extreme prices – in normal times they are [...]

BBC finds wind farms have no effect on climate

For a moment I thought the BBC was tackling a very important question:

Wind farms’ climate impact recorded for first time

Most taxpayers want to know whether wind farms have an impact on our global climate. But the BBC are looking at whether wind farms cause warming on the square kilometer below them. A question hot on the lips of almost no people.

In the first study of its kind, scientists have been able to measure the climatic effect of a wind farm on the local environment.

The team said its experiment showed that there was a very slight warming at ground level and that it was localised to within a wind farm’s perimeter.

Data suggested the operation of onshore wind farms did not have an adverse ecological effect, the group added.

That will presumably reassure all three residents living under wind-farms who were worried about their house overheating, or the clothes not drying on the line.

It may not reassure the 99.9% of the UK people who pay for the BBC and hope to see it report something useful. Voters might have preferred to see a cost benefit analysis on the billion-dollar industry: [...]

Polish wind power suddenly not so popular

Another snippet for the next time a climate saviour tells you the “whole world” is moving to clean energy.

Last year Poland  installed almost as many new wind turbines as Germany (the Kingland-of-Wind-towers). Wind make about 13% of Poland’s electricity. This year,  according to the wind industry,  the  new conservative Polish government wants to regulate them out of existence.

Bill threatens Polish wind power, warns industry -  Financial Times

Poland’s thriving wind energy industry has warned that it faces bankruptcies, rapid divestment and an end to growth under a bill that threatens executives with prison.

“For some projects, it will be terminal . . . it will kill them,” said Wojciech Cetnarski, president of the Polish Wind Energy Association…

The bill will make it illegal to build turbines within 2km of other buildings or forests — a measure campaigners said would rule out 99 per cent of land — and quadruple the rate of tax payable on existing turbines — making most unprofitable.

This is what the voters apparently wanted from the new government:

[...]

German govt plans will “kill” wind industry

Sigmar Gabriel, the German Economy Minister, has announced they’d like to amend the Renewable Energies Act (EEG) in the next few months or so. The plan is for the total amount of renewable energy on the grid to be capped at 40 – 45% by 2025.  It was at 33% at the end of 2015 but was still climbing rapidly. Check out the eyewatering transition being planned now:

A study by consultants ERA on behalf of the Green Party’s parliamentary group concludes that under these provisions the development of wind energy will collapse fairly soon: A target of 45 percent would mean that only 1500 megawatts could be installed annually after 2018, according to the study. That’s less than half as the average of wind energy installed in the past five days.

Boom, meet Bust.

This would be such a turnaround, that not only would new wind turbines not be added, there would be less of them:

A 40% cap for wind energy completely stop the construction of new wind farms by of 2019, according to the ERA [consultants] study. Overall, this would reduce onshore wind power by almost 6000 megawatts compared to the [...]

It’s “irresponsible” to research health effects of wind-farms says Prof Chapman, USyd

Welcome to the cult of climate control where it’s responsible to spend $10 billion of Taxpayer dollars to change the weather with windfarms and such, but it’s irresponsible to spend $3.3 million to check if that harms anyone.

I hear that in houses kilometers away from a wind tower, the water in a glass can ripple, along with the water in the toilet bowl. Obviously since humans have no water molecules it couldn’t possibly …

Is it news that this research will finally be done? Not according to the ABC where the headline is about how much money is being wasted.

Millions in funding for research into wind farm illness criticized

IMOGEN BRENNAN: Sheep farmer Donald Thomas has lived near Waubra in Victoria for more than 50 years.

Since wind turbines were erected nearby about seven years ago, he says he and his family have had headaches, pressure in their ears and many sleepless nights.

DONALD THOMAS: It’s extremely frustrating. But the thing is, what the point they’re missing is the fact that yes, it is affecting us and it’s extremely unpleasant and so many of my neighbours have actually had to leave. It’s [...]

What Green Future? Spain adds solar tax, punishes the wind industry, loses “65,000 renewable jobs”

Remember, all developed countries are going Green, and Clean Energy is everywhere. It’s only (insert your country) that is falling behind. 

When you hear this, think of Spain. It is so green it’s just passed a tax on solar panel generation, so solar users finally pay for grid backup. This Spanish government has been building a renewable future with so much enthusiasm that their wind industry is described as “striken” and it’s estimated that the current government there has cost “65,000 green jobs”.*

That solar tax:

“The tax will be introduced in the next six months, according to a statement from the Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Tourism. It will apply to solar power systems with a capacity of over 10 kilowatts.

The Ministry said the tax is intended to ensure that solar panel users contribute to the cost of maintaining the country’s electrical grid, as they use it as a backup supply. “

They’ve been trying to get this tax through for a long time. It’s described as unpopular by the usual suspects and, improbably, as a tax on the “Sun” (but will the sun pay, I wonder?). Supposedly, I imagine, the indignation at solar [...]