In the latest news about wind-generators, The Australian reports that a new Australian study estimates we wasted $70m on RET* certificates last year because of losses the wind turbines put on the rest of the grid. About a fifth of the CO2 supposedly cut by wind-farms was emitted by the rest of the grid as it ramped up and down trying to cope with the erratic supply from the on-and-off whirly-gigs.
If we double our wind-farms the losses are proportionally even greater (every extra wind farm is even more useless than the one before). With twice as many, all of the wind towers would only be 70% effective. But this is all a wild fantasy overestimate, since the point of wind towers is not to reduce CO2, but to reduce global temperatures, stop storms, and hold back the tides. The 3.5% reduction in total Australian electricity emissions changed global temperatures by 0.00C, hence RET on wind is 100.00% useless, accurate to two decimal places. The Clean Energy Council said they had no answer at all, and wouldn’t talk about it, except to say that Australians like “renewables”.
In other news in from the UK, the new majority conservative government says local residents will soon be able to block new wind farms (which they should have been able to do all along). That will mean no new wind-farms on land in the UK. Hallelujah. Praise be to UKIP for shifting the political landscape there back to something more sane.
Emission cuts due to wind power ‘not so big as claimed’
Graham Lloyd, The Australian
Joseph Wheatley analysed the output of 256 generators connected to the national electricity market last year. His research, funded by private individuals through the Association for Research of Renewable Energy in Australia, found that while wind provided 4.5 per cent of national electricity generation, it reduced emissions by only 3.5 per cent.
“This represents a significant loss of effectiveness,” Dr Wheatley said. His research found the possibility that wind power was 100 per cent effective in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, as is the current basis for issuing renewable energy certificates, was not supported by evidence.
“The evidence in this study suggests that effectiveness in the national electricity market would fall to less than 70 per cent if the proportion of energy provided by wind is doubled from 2014 levels,” the report says.
Dr Wheatley is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin with a PhD in condensed matter physics from Princeton University. He has worked as a researcher at Cambridge University. A report of his findings has been submitted to the Senate inquiry into wind turbines and health issues.
The Clean Energy Council said it would not respond to the detailed findings in Dr Wheatley’s paper. But Clean Energy Council policy director Russell Marsh said “the vast majority of Australians support renewable energy and would be better served by objective scientific analysis rather than a group of grumblers brainstorming imaginary problems”.
h/t to Peter Lang, who wrote the post here last week on the effectiveness of CO2 abatement of Australian wind-farms and why they are an expensive, silly way to reduce CO2 (if you did want to do something so pointless). I estimate that wind turbines cost around seven times more than growing trees and using landfill gases — that’s roughly $100 per ton versus $14 a ton. For me the only point of discussing the cost of reducing a beneficial gas is to expose the hypocrisy. True greenies would placard and protest the bird-killing wind turbines, and demand studies on the effect of infrasound on spotted quolls. Where are they?
So it’s excellent today to get some good news from Big-Government UK. Congrats to the Brits.
UK Energy Minister Announces New Law Against Wind Farms
Date: 17/05/15 Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times
Local residents will be able to block all future onshore wind farms under new measures to be fast-tracked into law, the new energy secretary has announced. “It will mean no more onshore wind farm subsidies and no more onshore wind farms without local community support.”
Amber Rudd revealed she had “put a rocket” under her officials to “put the local community back in charge” of their own neighbourhoods.
No subsidies will be paid to operators of new onshore wind turbines under legislation to be included in the Queen’s speech. The legislation, which Rudd is “hopeful” will be law by the middle of next year, will ensure that consent for new wind farms will have to be given by a local council planning authority, which will be duty-bound to consult residents. Under current planning rules, big onshore wind farms are handled by a central government national infrastructure body that can ignore the wishes of local people. Rudd said: “It will mean no more onshore wind farm subsidies and no more onshore wind farms without local community support. – See more about the UK Energy Minister at GWPF.
Can anyone find a link to the original Wheatley report so I can add that, thanks?
UPDATE: Just-a-guy sends in “Wheatley’s Submission to the Select Committee on Wind TurbinesSubmission 348. Wheatley prepared his report for ARREA and he works at BIOSPHERICA RISK LTD. (The Biospherica link doesn’t work for me although listed in google!) I found the original copy on Wheatley’s web-site to be more readable than the one on the gov site which has likely been formatted for compliance with accessibility standards. H/T to National Wind Watch.
The wind-turbine locals are made,
To endure what their owners evade,
Like the droning of rotors,
And the humming of motors,
Plus the odd detachable blade.
*RET = Renewable Energy Target