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Wind Farms in Ireland, the latest scam?

category national | environment | news report author Friday January 21, 2011 08:22author by Brian Nugent Report this post to the editors

This story is just attempting to highlight a very important and shocking interview on the bad economics and science behind wind farms in Ireland.

Val Martin from Kingscourt in Co. Cavan has just given a shocking radio interview on windfarms that is surely worthy of some debate on this site and elsewhere in the national media. (He was interviewed here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/youngdan/2011/01/20/wind-e...artin .) David Bellamy, the well known environmentalist, says that 'wind power is a swindle' (1) and if you listen to the radio interview you might end up agreeing! And this is not an unimportant fact right now in Ireland because the government here have advanced plans to spend as much as 20 billion euro destroying the Irish countryside with these monstrosities, paid for via artificially increased ESB bills to pay the huge subsidies to the wind farm companies.

To give you some idea of the way that wind farms could end up costing us money, in maintanence and actually in using up electricity, rather than generating it, consider two simple issues:

a) Heat.
Obviously all power sources will have to use some power to generate power but in conventional ESB stations these are well known, accounted for, and generally not all that significant. Say for example you take the very simple question of heating the building that the power station is in, which is obviously necessary in case equipment freezes etc. Well while obviously your average power station, in say Ardnacrusha, is quite large its after all only one building and surely doesn't cost gigantic sums of money to heat. On the otherhand the largest wind turbine currently manufactured is said to generate 16,300 MWh (2) a year while Ardnacrusha for example produces 332,000 MWh a year which means that even if you install the biggest turbines possible you still need about 20 of them to correspond to one power station, at best. But you have to heat each one of the turbines as well - they have heating coils going through them, they cannot afford to have them freeze etc - and these are enornous things exposed on the side of mountains. You can imagine that that simple thing, while small for a normal power station is a major headache for the wind farms. During the recent bad weather in the UK it was found that the wind farms were using up more electricity than they were generating, because of this simple issue (3).

b) Maintenance of the Machinery.
Again there is always going to be a cost associated with keeping equipment running reliably but there are particular problems again for the turbines. In Ardnacrusha for example you have 4 turbines, being fed by water flowing through pipes of 6 metres in diameter, to maintain. It wouldn't strike you as an enormous headache to do that and don't forget they are set into artificially created concrete channels which are not likely to create unexpected conditions. Remember now that for the wind farm you have to multiply that maintenance by 20, because a very conservative minimum of 20 turbines corresponds to one power station, and the diameter of the blades on some of these 6mw turbines are 126 metres! (4) To keep very advanced esoteric equipment like that maintained obviously requires either huge over the top and very expensive engineering specs when they are built (they talk about, for example, 500 tons of concrete for the foundation for each turbine) or they use very unusual and, of all things, electricity intensive ongoing maintenance procedures. So for example the wind farm operators routinely turn the turbines, via electricity from the grid, when they would otherwise be static because they need to for maintenance reasons. Otherwise they would run into enormous problems with buckling and warping of the blades (due to their weight or the sun etc) if they remain static for too long.
Here is a quote on this serious long term maintanence issue:

"'In large rotating power trains such as this, if allowed to stand motionless for any period of time, the unit will experience "bowing" of shafts and rotors under the tremendous weight. Therefore, frequent rotating of the unit is necessary to prevent this. As an example, even in port Navy ships keep their propeller shafts and turbine power trains slowly rotating. It is referred to as "jacking the shaft" to prevent any tendency to bow. Any bowing would throw the whole train out of balance with potentially very serious damage when bringing the power train back on line.
'In addition to just protecting the gear box and generator shafts and bearings, the blades on a large wind turbine would offer a special challenge with respect to preventing warping and bowing when not in use. For example, on a sunny, windless day, idle wind turbine blades would experience uneven heating from the sun, something that would certainly cause bowing and warping. The only way to prevent this would be to keep the blades moving to even out the sun exposure to all parts of the blade.' So, the point that major amounts of incoming electrical power is used to turn the power train and blades when the wind is not blowing is very accurate, and it is not something the operators of large wind turbines can avoid.
'[Also, there is] the likely need for a hefty, forced-feed lubricating system for the shaft and turbine blade assembly bearings. This would be a major hotel load. I can't imagine passive lubrication (as for the wheel bearings on your car) for an application like this. Maybe so, but I would be very surprised. Assuming they have to have a forced-feed lubrication system, given the weight on those bearings (40 tons on the bearing for the rotor and blades alone) a very robust (energy-sucking) lubricating oil system would be required. It would also have to include cooling for the oil and an energy-sucking lube oil purification system too.'
--Lawrence E. Miller, Gerrardstown, WV, an engineer with over 40 years of professional experience with large power train machinery associated with Navy ships." (5)

So yes believe it or not folks you can actually end up with the wind farms becoming a net ongoing drain on the electricity system, even while ignoring the enormous cost of constructing them! To give you some idea of the heavy power supplies that are used by the wind farms here is a list from the same website as the last quote:
- yaw mechanism (to keep the blade assembly perpendicular to the wind; also to untwist the electrical cables in the tower when necessary) -- the nacelle (turbine housing) and blades together weigh 92 tons on a GE 1.5-MW turbine;

- blade-pitch control (to keep the rotors spinning at a regular rate);

- lights, controllers, communication, sensors, metering, data collection, etc.;

- heating the blades -- this may require 10%-20% of the turbine's nominal (rated) power;

- heating and dehumidifying the nacelle -- according to Danish manufacturer Vestas, "power consumption for heating and dehumidification of the nacelle must be expected during periods with increased humidity, low temperatures and low wind speeds";

- oil heater, pump, cooler, and filtering system in gearbox;

- hydraulic brake (to lock the blades in very high wind);

- thyristors (to graduate the connection and disconnection between generator and grid) -- 1%-2% of the energy passing through is lost;

- magnetizing the stator -- the induction generators used in most large grid-connected turbines require a "large" amount of continuous electricity from the grid to actively power the magnetic coils around the asynchronous "cage rotor" that encloses the generator shaft; at the rated wind speeds, it helps keep the rotor speed constant, and as the wind starts blowing it helps start the rotor turning (see next item); in the rated wind speeds, the stator may use power equal to 10% of the turbine's rated capacity, in slower winds possibly much more;

- using the generator as a motor (to help the blades start to turn when the wind speed is low or, as many suspect, to maintain the illusion that the facility is producing electricity when it is not, particularly during important site tours) -- it seems possible that the grid-magnetized stator must work to help keep the 40-ton blade assembly spinning, along with the gears that increase the blade rpm some 50 times for the generator, not just at cut-in (or for show in even less wind) but at least some of the way up towards the full rated wind speed; it may also be spinning the blades and rotor shaft to prevent warping when there is no wind. (6)

Also you must bear in mind that unlike normal power plants wind energy is very erratic which means that most of the time the wind turbines are not generating electricity for the grid. They only kick in when there is a significant amount of wind and actually they will then stop turning if the wind gets too high, so they are only useful for a short period. The point then is that you are drawing heavy ongoing electricity to permanently maintain them while only getting these bits and pieces of power from them.

Anyway if you listen to the above mentioned radio interview you might end up thinking that the phrase 'scam' is well applied to these wind farms!

Footnotes
1. http://windwisecapecod.com/resources.html .

2. http://www.iwea.com/index.cfm/page/technicalfaqs?#q25 .

3. http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/uk-wind-f...ated/ .

4. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/20...built .

5. http://www.aweo.org/windconsumption.html .

6. Ibid.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Jan 21, 2011 14:38Report this post to the editors

..of the economies of scale factor, diminishing returns with size of installation.

I've thought for a while that sticking them all over the landscape aint smart, as I'm sure tourist dependant sectors would agree.

Surely then it makes more sense to scale back, use smaller turbines, and locate them in urban areas.
This seems to have several advantages. Less power transmission as they could be installed in batteries on factory roofs and surrounds, i.e. generation at point of consumption.
And why not a rack of smaller units on domestic dwellings? There are arguments you need the scale and elevation for optimal production, but I dont think these efficiencies should override all others.
Smaller units also limits the chances of a major outage when a mega-generator goes down, as its unlikely there will be a catastrophic collapse of all units simultaneously.

I think part of the agenda for mega-units is the centralisation of supply control(always in the interests of corporate capital). A bit like the modern car that doesnt actually get you from Cork to Belfast any faster or in more comfort than the Morris Minor you could service yourself, but whose hood you cant lift without having high-tech diagnostic equipment that needs the capital leverage of motor companiers to supply. A variation on the built in obsolesence used to turn over artificial consumption.

No doubt there are arguments against my view, but I'd like to hear them.

author by Engineeer.publication date Fri Jan 21, 2011 18:37Report this post to the editors

Forget about your roof-top spinner.
It is a roof-top-flop.
(Your Windmill on your urban house might power your iPhone. If you are lucky.)

Go industrial.
Marine turbines can power Dublin for instance
It can be done,

Sea Based Turbines with real "meat"...tens of megawatts... will be able to supply Dublin.
And all of Ireland.

author by Buddingengineerpublication date Fri Jan 21, 2011 20:17Report this post to the editors

Ireland is installing hundreds of wind turbines each year. These are large industrial scale power generating devices, using heavy engineering. That's a just as well, because we have a large industrial scale problem on our hands. We are 90% dependent on imported fossil fuels, and we have no remaining hydro energy resource at a scale necessary, no fossil fuel reserves of scale, not enough forestry for a biomass byproduct, an aversion to nuclear. Wind is our oil well in the sky.

It is certainly to be encouraged that everyone does their bit for the environment. However to reaslise that if everyone just does a little bit, that's exactly how much we'll get, a little bit solved.. If everyone was very dilgent in turning off their mobile phone charger when its not in use, across millions of chargers, its a lot of energy saved. But it is absolutely miniscule compared to our total energy use. If you drove your car 3 less miles in the year, you'd save more energy. You wouldn't even save enough energy to have a one more hot bath in the year. We have a very large energy problem and if we wish to sovle it we'll need some pretty big solutions. Turn off the phone charger if you like, but don't get too comfy.

Anyhow, to the points in the article. Wind turbines use power to keep warm, keep the blades pitched correctly, circulate oil, cool generators and keep computers running. All this can mount up to enough power to heat an average domestic home over a year. Does this matter? No. Over the year, the wind turbine will produce enough energy to meet the demands of 600 homes. The "own usage" of a wind turbine is less than 0.2% of its energy output. These are the facts, and they are available to anyone with an hour or so who wishes to contact any of the wind developers or wind turbine manufacturers or technical journals or government policy makers who have direct understanding of how a wind farm operates.

I'm happy to respond to any other myths of interest, e.g.

Wind turbines require more energy to manufacture than they will ever produce ==> In fact the energy in making the steel etc, is paid back in the first 3-4 months of operation, of a life of 20 years.

Wind turbines need backup power stations ==> Ireland had already bought and paid for owned a power system that could cover our peak demand on a cold December evening. Those power stations now just run less often. Instead of starting up and shutting down day and night, they do so in windy and calm periods.

Wind turbines are innefficient ==> Wind turbines are 95% efficient inextracting the energy that's in the wind. They turn around 80% of the time, sometimes at full power, sometimes less. They produce as much energy as if they were at 35% power continuously, otherwise known as their capacity factor, and absolutely not a measure of efficiency. If you consider their fuel is free, why are people even concerned about efficiency?

author by Peadaarpublication date Fri Jan 21, 2011 21:20Report this post to the editors

If sensible people had not built the towns before the Greens the towns of Clifden and Rondstone would probably not exist.

The Greens would have stoped the building and they would would say that the famous Bog Road which connects Clifden and Roundstone harms the environment.

They would probably have stopped the building of Slyne Head Lighthouse.

author by Brianpublication date Sat Jan 22, 2011 00:44Report this post to the editors

Opus
Thanks opus, I think there are definite issues about the look of these things as well. They definitely spoil the environment, much like the motorways.

Engineer
Marine turbines can power Dublin for instance

But you couldn't supply most of Ireland's, or Dublin's, needs by wind because the wind simply doesn't blow hard enough most of the time. Its well known to be very erratic and yet people need a stable supply of electricity to draw on. Hence what they do with wind farms is that for every such farm they need to have a conventional power station set up to secure an even supply, as a kind of backup of the wind farms. Then what happens is that if you try and stop and start your typical oil fired power station, in order to match the erratic nature of the wind power you are backing up, you end up with a very inefficient power station, because the boilers etc need to be run constantly to be run efficiently, you cannot really heat up and then reheat up the huge furnaces. So in short you are making the rest of system inefficient to put a gloss of efficiency on the wind farms.

Buddingengineer
All this can mount up to enough power to heat an average domestic home over a year. Does this matter? No. Over the year, the wind turbine will produce enough energy to meet the demands of 600 homes

They are not at all the figures quoted above, or by many honest people who have been looking into this, for example: "the stator may use power equal to 10% of the turbine's rated capacity, in slower winds possibly much more." 10% of the capacity of the turbine just to draw power for this aspect of the turbine, if you are drawing some of this power 24/7 you are into serious figures for the amount of electricity they use up! If heating the turbines was such a small issue how do you account for the fact that the Daily Mail reported that the turbines used up more electricity in the UK during the cold snap than they generated, because they had to heat the turbines?

These are the facts, and they are available to anyone with an hour or so who wishes to contact any of the wind developers or wind turbine manufacturers or technical journals or government policy makers who have direct understanding of how a wind farm operates.

Its curious you should say that because actually Val Martin has been trying all routes in attempting to find out just even the basic information about these wind farms, mostly to no avail. For example he currently wants to know are the wind farms quoting a net or gross figure for the amount of electricity they contribute to the system, i.e. are they actually deducting the drain on electricity that they themselves create. He cannot find out and is thinking of going to law on the subject, just to get the information.

They produce as much energy as if they were at 35% power continuously, otherwise known as their capacity factor, and absolutely not a measure of efficiency.

Well you are giving the figure 33% but actually when Martin, and others, have looked at this they find that 24% is the recognised figure for that factor (i.e. the efficiency of wind power in general, the percentage that the turbines turn in relation to their maximum capacity) and they wonder where in Ireland people are bandying around this 33% thing. Anyway that figure is basically a reflection of how much wind you are likely to get, effectively the percentage time you will be using the turbine for. But that doesn't take into account whether the system needs the power at the given time. For example at night in Ireland, and actually all across the world, there is massive over capacity in the system so ESB do not require any extra power at that time and won't pay for it either. Hence the fact that the turbines might spin at night means nothing, the power is no use to anybody then. Consequently you have to discount that power completely from your calculations. So if we take it as an 8 hour night that means you must discount your 24% back by a third, giving you 16% as the only credible figure. But the thing is that at least some of the draw on electricity described above, like yaw and heating etc especially in cold weather, is a 24/7 drain on the electrical grid to keep working equipment which is only giving you at best a return 16% of the time. So the figures just dont add up, these things look like giant wastes of money.

Many thanks for all your comments anyways, at least we are beginning to open our eyes to what is really going on here!

author by Engineeerpublication date Sat Jan 22, 2011 08:12Report this post to the editors

Marine Turbines really can power Ireland.
The energy can easily be stored and exported.
(Pump excess energy uphill into highland lakes for gravitational storage.
Unlock the dams to provide Hydro power when needed.)

When the wind stops we can temporarily import Nuclear energy.
People who say that the wind blows only "one third of the time" live in dungeons in Dublin Four.

It is rare enough when an Irish flag is not "fluttering-in-the-wind" on the west coast of Ireland.
The west of Ireland is one of the windiest coasts on earth.
The Spanish Armada found that out.

author by Engineer.publication date Sat Jan 22, 2011 09:28Report this post to the editors

I fully understand people who don't like white windmills ruining the landscape.
That is the Arizona model.

In Ireland windmills are white and "in your face" on the side of a beautiful mountain.
Perfectly east to cure that.

You can build thousands of low profile windmils on the sides of mountains on the west of Ireland.
Covered with bracken.
None of them white.
Invisible from 20 metres.

author by john - knights who say 'ni'publication date Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:41Report this post to the editors

Blogger and wind-energy project financier "Jerome á Paris" has written detailed rebuttals of the various critiques of wind.

Anyone curious as to what the proponents make of these criticisms can read more here:

"Wind power - debunking the critics" (2006)
http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2006/5/14/102030/678

"lessons from the early years of offshore wind in Europe" (2010-Oct-17)
http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2010/10/17/8520/7847

Jerome's Wind-Energy Blog:
http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2008/6/5/172819/2079

energy cost trends by source:

http://www.eurotrib.com/files/3/101017_UKERC___compared...0.png

Related Link: http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2006/5/14/102030/678
author by Engineer.publication date Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:11Report this post to the editors

The power which smashed the Spanish Armada to pieces can be useful to us.
If we have the brains to use it.

author by Buddingengineerpublication date Sat Jan 22, 2011 13:38Report this post to the editors

OK, so Brian puts forward some numbers.

Firstly let's look at the 33% vs 24% figure. Some years are more windy than others, and its not unusual to find a year that's 10% up or 10% down on the long term average. Similarly some wind farms are better than others. A few on the coast in Donegal have capacity factors up to 45%, and parts of New Zealand and Egypt have capacity factors at 50%. Conversely Italy has not been blessed with a windy climate, and wind farms as low as 20% have been built.

Fortunately in Ireland, most wind farms have a long term average capacity factor of around between 30 and 36%. (All the stats are on the EirGrid website). I say fortunately because all turbines cost much the same to build, so when Irish wind farms produce twice as much as those in Italy or parts of Germany, the energy produced is half the price. Irish wind farms get paid around 7.5c per unit. Domestic unit rates are around 14c at the moment.

Brian raises the question of whether or not the power is actually needed all the time the wind blows. This is pretty straightforward, again I recommend a look at the power system operators website, EirGrid. Minimum demand is if I recall correctly around 2500MW in winter, maybe around 1800MW in summer. We only have 1400MW of wind installed on the system in Ireland, so when the wind blows, the other power stations turn down, but no wind is wasted. Bottom line, all the wind we produce is needed at all times. (In the future, by 2020, we may have 5000MW of wind on a system with a minimum demand of around 3500MW. There's no snappy calculation, but I can assure you that many different parties have modelled the power system at a half hour resolution and found that less than 5% of wind energy will be wasted due to there being no demand. And that may disappear if things like smart meters, electric vehicles, storage and interconnecters are developed as expected.

Finally on the question of own demand. The 33% is a net production figure. If a wind turbine is turning at all, its exporting to the grid. Yes, during a prolonged cold snap, the turbines will import quite a bit of electricity to keep warm, but over the year, the 0.3% number quoted stands. For the record no Irish turbines have heated blades, only very cold climate machines have that feature.

author by Engineer.publication date Sat Jan 22, 2011 17:20Report this post to the editors

You obviously live in a dungeon in Dublin Four Mr Buddingengineer.
Come west and be blown off your own feet on the west coast.

author by Sceptic . - None Whatsoeverpublication date Sat Jan 22, 2011 22:37Report this post to the editors

stick a few turbines on the roof of government buildings , we all know theres a lot of wind
blowin' around that kip at the moment .

author by Brianpublication date Sun Jan 23, 2011 03:55Report this post to the editors

Genuinely many thanks for debating with us here anyhow 'Budding engineer', but whether your pseudonym should rather read 'big shot well paid PR person' rather than 'budding' I will leave to the readers to decide!lol. While I am only teasing, I do think that your figures are well out of sync with what honest and trustworthy commentators like Val Martin are saying and hopefully I will be able to get more detail from them at some stage but in the meantime, without being pedantic, can I ask of you the same question again? If, as you say, the entire electrical draw of the turbines from the grid amounts to a mere 0.2% (in proportion to the power generated) then how could it be that during the cold snap in the UK the wind farms were reported, in the Daily Mail, to have used up more electricity than they generated? You would would have to multiply that 0.2 by an enormous factor for that report to be true, so there is something wrong with your figures. Also, intuitively, you can see that it must be an enormous undertaking to keep those giant machines warm during the many months of the year during which the exposed western mountain sides, where these are being built, are very cold. (Yes, even in Ireland. 'Engineer' recommends we go west and embrace the winds, but my advice is to bring your coat!lol)

Also the experience of people who have actually used wind power over the years in Ireland is not encouraging. Val Martin's father was into that and set up a wind turbine for his house, which Val himself used with a battery to attempt to light and heat a small building, and this on an exposed high up part of Ireland. They found that the wind just doesn't generate much electricity, and what comes is very erratic.

Another way of looking at this is that we are here rushing around trying to fix a supposed terrible problem that is actually not 'broke' in the first place! We have almost the cheapest and most reliably constant electricity in Europe. Countries like Denmark, which have big wind farms, have among the most expensive electricity in Europe, some say because they are continually paying for the wind farms via huge hidden subsidies. Also many of these countries with wind farms find that they have 'brown outs' and cuts in supply caused by the erratic nature of the wind electricity.

Also we have quite simply an excess supply of electricity already on the Irish grid, and the problem of this excess capacity is growing because of the huge downturn. Obviously there are firms and factories closing down at a huge rate all across Ireland which obviously gives you vacant factories no longer drawing on electricity. Not only that but there is now a growing number of Irish people who cannot afford electricity and are being cut off and also large numbers of vacant houses as, unfortunately, Irish people are emigrating in vast numbers and nobody can afford to live in the houses and hence run the electricity. This phenonomon will increase as the ESB bills get larger to pay for the wind farms, it will price Irish electricity beyond the means of most Irish people.

So if anything our next step is to close down some electricity supply, including wind farms, whereas these plans are going in the exact opposite direction, they are spending billions and billions increasing electricity which in this country nobody wants or at least can pay for! Then you hear vague talk of exporting it etc but the fact is that there is a downturn everywhere in this part of Europe, probably in the UK as well they will have excess supply and have nobody to sell it to! Would remind you of the hype behind the Irish hotel building boom, or even the motorways where they now have these gigantic expensive white elephants with only the odd stray car wanting to use them in the busted Irish economy.

Then you might say that this will at least give us energy security, because we wouldn't be dependent on foreign fossil fuels etc, except it wouldn't because wind just will not provide much net electricity, but anyway some of us denizens on this site are well aware of the fact that Ireland has large tracts of oil and gas off our coast so there is no reason to assume that in the future the Irish fossil fuel power stations will not in fact be using native fuel.

But its great to debate the thing anyway, and I don't mean to be too critical of any of the above commentators. And btw if you think I am the only one concerned about this you can read here where a guy was persuaded to change his mind on wind farms, having studied the facts as put forward by Martin et al: http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=6592 .

author by Engineer.publication date Sun Jan 23, 2011 08:15Report this post to the editors

Nobody claims that windmills will cure all our problems.
Nobody claims that the wind blows all the time.

Ignore this vast stored solar energy source?
Now that is being stupid.

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind.

author by American.publication date Sun Jan 23, 2011 09:19Report this post to the editors

By 2050 we Americans will source almost all of our energy from wind and solar power in Arizona.
Not subject to Arab instability.

We Americans know where the wind blows.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Jan 23, 2011 13:04Report this post to the editors


Would any of that be generated by European and US subversion, interference and warmongering?

Lotsa depleted Uranium blowing in your windy wake.

author by Americanpublication date Sun Jan 23, 2011 13:21Report this post to the editors

Americans make mistakes.
But:
American technology will sweep the world with clean energy.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Jan 23, 2011 13:45Report this post to the editors

America has no monopoly in that sphere. But some of us learn from them and try not to repeat them. American foriegn policy is wreaking havoc for several centuries now(coupled to its mother, imperial Europe), but little sign of the humility mistake-recognitioin generates in the healthy society.

As for technology, I think you will find China and the Arab cultures contributed more historically to 'western' science than jingoistic nationalists of any hue like to admit. japan played no small part in the electronic advances that kicked your technology up a gear.

Break out of your stars studded stripes and join the human race before you destroy it with your militarist expansion and fear of the people you are suppressing. Otherwise we are all getting caught in your fucking blowback. And I've lived and worked in the US and am aware of the positive things America has contributed, from music and cinema through literature and science, but your national politics has been hijacked by the pentagon. That adds up to fascism under a new flag. Ask your Latino neighbours. Better still, get your hands on Eduardo Galeano's 'Open Viens of Latin America' for an intro to the other side of your history's coin to the one you get in high-school.

author by Einstien's neighbour - EPAWpublication date Mon Jan 24, 2011 00:58author email valamhic at gmail dot comReport this post to the editors

Albert Einstein defined an idiot as someone who continued to conduct the same experiment over and over again expecting to get the adifferent result next time.

The Danish electricity grid and the German grid are saturated by wind energy, yet the green party in Ireland want to instal more turbines in Ireland and tell us they will get a different result than obtained abroad.

The way to measure a wind generating source is to count the fuel used in a system with no wind and check against one with wind and anounce the difference. The best efforts show that E -ON in Germany state the 19% of the grid which is wind is returning a credit capacity of 8% and that this will fall to 4% with increased wind power penetration. So wind is about one fifth of total that will mean 8 /5 = 1.6 . If penetration increases to 2/5 th then credit capacity will fall to 4% / 2/5 = 1.6 % saving on fuel and emissions. As you increase penetration the saving becomes less so you never save more than 1.6%. However it is more likely that more fuel is burned in practice.

Wind suffers from a number of problems that other forms of energy do not:

1) Intermittent fuel.
2) No co-relation between wind speeds and periods of high demand.
3) No way of knowing if there will be wind to meet particural demands.
4) Wind can turn into a gale and turbines must be suddenly shut down just when they would be expected to perform best.
5) Generating % time too short.

Conventional plant suffers from the following shortcomings:

1) The most efficient base plant is heavy and requires up to 8 hours to start and ramp up. Nuclear plant takes up to a day.
2) The starting and stopping of base plant (low merit plant) is a major task not to be resorted to at a whim.
3) The fuel used in shutting down and starting up base plant is wasted.

4) Mid merit plant ( gas cycle plant) takes about half the time to start and stop the base plant does.
5) High merit plant can be started and ramped up very fast (minutes)

Unfortunately: The faster plant is started and stopped, the less power it produces for a given amount of fuel. ( its less efficient).

When you try to marry wind @ 20% penetration with conventional, the operator is faced with a choice: Run heavy low merit plant hot but idle parellel with wind or shut it down. If its shut down and the wind ceases to blow or blows into a gale, there is a shortfall. This must be made up by starting mid or high merit plant such as diesel engines.

Either way, while wind is generating, other plant is dublicating it in the order of 95% or more. Fuel is wasted starting and stopping or because fast plant is less efficient. That is why the credit capacity is so low: less than 8%. Manufactures are trying to overcome this by building ever increasing turbines, they start generating at slightly lower wind speed but the difference is minor. The larger size is mainly to impress buyers.

author by Peadaar.publication date Mon Jan 24, 2011 17:41Report this post to the editors

"The Danish electricity grid and the German grid are saturated by wind energy."

What's wrong with that !!

On some windy nights Denmark gets almost all of its electricity from the wind.
The Danes will be exporting it soon enough.

Ireland is much windier and better placed than Denmark.

We dreamy artistic Irish seem hate modern machines so much we always seem to be last at everything.

Safe Nuclear Power is treated as if it were the Banshee herself.
Not to mention safe incinerators. (Found in the middle of Copenhagen.)

The Harbingers of Death to some people.

author by Buddingengineerpublication date Mon Jan 24, 2011 20:10Report this post to the editors

Brian, I'm glad you're open to debate. I fear however that when you refer to two remarkable conversions, you are making the assumption that it will be I that makes the conversion. The question is could a full U-turn be also achieved by your good self. If so, its worth continuing this discussion.

The Dail Mail and Val Martin, trustworthy though I'm sure both may be generall, are in this case simply ill informed and incorrect. There is no contradiction in wind farms consuming lots of energy during a cold snap, as long as they produce even more energy when the wind blows again. Play with some numbers. A (typical) 5kW own consumption for 30 days uses 3600kWh of energy (5x24x30). So yes, just one of these wind turbines has used half of what your own house would use in a whole year. But during the rest of 2010, a typical 2MW turbine at 35% capacit factor produced around 2 x 1000 x 365 x 24 x 0.35 = 6,132,000 kWh. Both numbers are large, I'll let you do the dividing to see which one is the important one.

This discussion should not really care about the personalities, but for the record and since you raised the question, I'm not a PR person. I've worked in the Irish wind industry for the last 8 years. I've personally project managed th econstruction of 3 wind farms, and I've modelled the financials on aorund 20 sites. I've technical specifications on wind turbines from Vestas, Siemens, GE, Nordex, Gamesa. They all say the same thing, the own consumptio nof a wind farm is absolutely miniscule. The tech specs are confidential (feel free to rub your hands and whisper conspiracy and self interest), so you'll just have to take my word on that.

There are many interesting and subtle debates to be had on the merits of wind energy, but own consumption simply isn't one of them.

P.s. For the record, we're completely in agreement on domestic scale wind turbines. These are over priced, under engineered for Irish wind conditions, give a very poor return on investment, and given their very high rotation speed as required by their small diameter, seem always to be thrashing themselves to bits. Anyone thinking of putting one up should just pick up the phone to Airtricity and make the big switch, its much better for the environment and will save headaches all round. (And no, I don't work for Airtricity).

author by Artic Blastpublication date Mon Jan 24, 2011 21:07Report this post to the editors

"The tech specs are confidential (feel free to rub your hands and whisper conspiracy and self interest), so you'll just have to take my word on that."

Nein Danke!

There's an old saying, it goes "Put up or Shut up" - "I have the figures but I can't tell you, but trust ME!!" is just a little toooo convenient. Make silly 'conspiracy' references all you like, but it won't change the fact that you are not willing to back your statements with actual data

Is there some vast conspiracy spanning the worldwide industry from manufacturers and developers to utilities and operators?

There doesn't have to be, if engineers all share an assumption that wind turbines don't use a significant amount of power compared to their output and thus it is not worth noting, much less metering.

Such an assumption could be based on the experience decades ago with small DC-generating turbines, simply carried over to AC generators that continue to metastasize. However errant such an assumption might now be, it stands as long as no one questions it. No conspiracy is necessary -- self-serving laziness is enough.

Could it be that at times each turbine consumes up to or even more than 50% of its rated capacity in its own operation?! If so, the plant as a whole -- which may produce only 25% of its rated capacity annually -- would be using possibly twice as much electricity as it produces and sells. An unlikely situation perhaps, but the industry doesn't publicize any data that proves otherwise; incoming power is apparently not normally recorded.

Whatever the actual amount of consumption, it could seriously diminish any claim of providing a significant amount of energy. Instead, it looks like industrial wind power could turn out to be a laundering scheme: "Dirty" energy goes in, "clean" energy comes out.

That would explain why developers demand legislation, and extra taxation, to create a market for "green credits" -- tokens of "clean" energy like the indulgences sold by the medieval church. Ego te absolvo.

One need only ask utilities to show how much less "dirty" electricity they purchase because of wind-generated power to see that something is amiss in the wind industry's claims. If wind worked and were not mere window dressing, the industry would trot out some real numbers. But they don't. One begins to suspect that they can't. - Certainly the person posting above is not willing to.

author by Anonymouspublication date Mon Jan 24, 2011 21:11Report this post to the editors

If you are posting anonymously, - which you very obviously are - then there would be no way that any manufacturer could pin it on you were you to actually back up your assertions

Without backing them up with figures they are nothing but worthless phrases posted by some anonymous dude on the intarwebz, - anyone could do that

author by Engineer.publication date Tue Jan 25, 2011 06:58Report this post to the editors

Strangely enough saving lots of energy can be inexpensive and simple.

All through winter I walked around my apartment with two pairs of socks on ,a tracksuit bottom on under my trowsers, 2 Tee -shirts on and 2 jumpers.

Never felt the cold in the unheated apartment.
As comfy and non energy-wasting as a well dressed Eskimo in an un-lagged Igloo.
(Cold weather?..No....Warm clothes for the weather....Yes.)

My energy bill for the winter is miniscule so far.

Turn off half the streetlights in the country.
Aim the light from the rest at the ground,not the sky.

Turn off ALL illuminated street advertising after midnight.(Or before!)
Neon-lit cities are a particularly ugly 20th century invention.

Anybody notice how all Government buildings are lit with powerful searchlights all night long?
And how lights and computers inside are still blazing away long after midnight?

"Floodlighting" is the right name for it..they are contributiing well to melting icecaps.

The list could go on and on.

Wind energy sure does have its place.
But not "toy" windmills,as mentioned above.

author by Buddingengineerpublication date Tue Jan 25, 2011 08:15Report this post to the editors

I'm posting anonymously because this is my first time dipping my toe into such a public discussion, and like many of yourselves, I want to keep my job, and my employer may not agree with everything I post.

However I've just been accused of self serving laziness, so I'd better keep going with this increasingly futile excercise.

If wind farms really imported large fractions of the energy they produced, then that imported energy would cost a lot of money. I'm glad you recognise that there may not be a vast global conspiracy amongst engineers. However I can assure you that engineers would not keep their jobs long if they "assumed" wind turbines don't have a large self consumption.

Wind farms are most definitely charged for importing electricity, just like every home and business in the country. Its the law, just like you can't throw cables over your nearest power line and take the power for free. Meters measure the flow of energy in both directions within an accuracy of 0.2%. You'll find the metering code on www.esb.ie.

Let's ignore the engineers for a moment and follow the money. If wind farms were really importing substantial amounts of energy, that would be metered, and more importantly it would have to ba paid for. The Irish government set up the REFIT scheme to give wind farms a minimum guranteed payment. In choosing this minimum payment, it had to justify to Brussels that it was not overpaying, and so it provided a calculation on page 5 of this letter (http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/NR/rdonlyres/060340AC-34ED-410E...7.pdf ).

As you can see, there are a number of operational costs (rent, insurance etc.). The own consumption is within the sub heading sundries. It is so small it doesn't deserve its own line item, its lumped in with paying the accountant and buying tea bags for the operators. The engineers couldn't cover this up if they tried. If there really was 20-50% own consumption, the accountants would see the own consumption and very quickly see that its not worth building wind farms under REFIT. However that is patently not the case, there are 1400MW of wind farms built in Ireland, and another 200-300MW likely to be built this year.

For your arguments to hold water, you need to assume that the Irish governmetn and Brussels (who approved the REFIT scheme) are self serving and lazy (along with myself).

Is anyone reading this open to persuasion even if I remain anonymous? If so I'll keep posting.

author by Feudal Castratopublication date Fri Jan 28, 2011 08:25Report this post to the editors

This is clearly part of the campaign to diss wind / wave energy and pump up the virtues of totally relying on centralised solutions such as nuclear energy, coal, gas and oil which are very profitable for corporate interests and their puppets in government.

Those in the know looking at the longer term realise that our future lies in energy diversity and a greater dependence on renewable sources not further centralisation and total dependence on limited fossil fuel or nuclear options.

The fact is, once in place wind / wave energy infrastructure will serve us in perpetuity and give us some energy price stability. When oil is at 200 dollars a barrel and we are literally "over a barrel" we will thank the heavens we invested in wind and wave power.

Currently gas is cheap but whenever speculators decide to, they can spike energy costs and harm our economy. Look at the recent spike in oil to 150 dollars a barrel and the current smaller spike, both due to speculation not supply. And remember due to the corrupt ray burke/bertie deal, we will get corrib gas at market rates. Do we really trust companies like shell and banker speculators like those in goldman sachs not to take full advantage of our total dependency on these energy sources in the future? Shouldn't we try to keep our options open to avoid a future scenario where there are more and more frequent spikes in the market by market manipulators and corporate energy giant vested interests and we are at the mercy of them all?

Wind and wave don't run out. EVER. Relying on short term solutions and putting ourselves at the mercy of large corporate and banking interests is just FF thinking and we all know where that gets us.

Sure there are some issues with wind but all options have their own issues. But it's not all about efficiency. The long term supply and stability considerations and the economic dependency considerations should also be brought into this debate (Also the pollution factor and, importantly in my opinion, the moral factor.)

We should strive to generate our own energy supply in so far as it is humanly possible. We have wind and waves. We should harness them, and in doing so we loosen the shackles of long term dependency on oil and with it, the moral straight jacket of silent complicity in all the dirty corrupt behaviour, pollution and underhand politics that travels in its filthy wake. Is that not an important consideration too?

author by Engineer.publication date Fri Jan 28, 2011 08:50Report this post to the editors

As usual the Americans are ahead of the game.
Aside from all politics.......

Oil and gas will run out sometime in this century.

The Americans are ready:

http://www.science.smith.edu/~jcardell/Readings/uGrid/S...8.pdf
.

author by Brianpublication date Sat Jan 29, 2011 06:52Report this post to the editors

budding engineer
Well I went to see that letter you recommend but genuinely I couldn't find the reference at first. So I went back to your post and was shocked to realise that you are just assuming that the figure for the drain on power that the turbines create is included under the heading 'sundries', no such figure is seperately listed. With all due respect that is hardly a persuasive piece of evidence to back up anything! I think we have gone into the sands on that debate because I have detailed what many engineers are saying about the energy drain that must be involved in running these huge turbines (e.g. the type of motor used, the routine yaw turns, the hydraulic systems and the heating etc) and you have replied by saying that the real facts are simply confidential (although earlier you were telling us how the industry was so open with its facts) so there is no way to progress that debate. Anyway just to raise some other points that haven't been thrashed out:

Speaking for myself I think the cost of these things alone should cause us to run away from this concept completely. I don't know whether all readers out there are aware of how bad things are here economically right now. We have just heard that a young mother of two died of hypothermia after her heating was cut off by the local authority in Dublin, presumably because of cost. We have major and important health care infrastructure collapsing, e.g. St Luke's Hospital, because of money running out. Vast numbers of Irish people are emigrating in many cases because they cannot make ends meet with the cost of living in Ireland, including the cost of disconnecting electricity for non payment of the bill which is the subject of a citizen campaign now to try and get them reduced because people just cannot afford it. And in reponse to that people will sink billions upon billions into these giant monstrosities? Money we just don't have? We will then have more and more debt, both private and public to pay for the madness.

Another point, that I only briefly touched on, is the terrible blight these things are to the quality of life of people living in rural areas. Thats what strikes me anyway looking at some of these proposals, they seems to look upon Ireland as a kind of empty Sahara desert where you put these things here and there to catch to wind. They don't seem to think that people actually live here! The noise level and visual impact are incredible and are reported to be driving people out of rural areas at a great rate all across the world. I don't think the general public, and the rural population particularly, have any real concept of how many turbines they intend rolling out in the next few years. They have huge plans, basically you will not recognise any part of rural Ireland by the time they are finished.

Anyway just getting back to the question of the real energy drain and the supposed genuine net benefits of these turbines in energy cost. As I see it of course there are always two sides to any debate, as there should be, but what is so noticeable is how many people who have looked into this question have concluded that the whole wind thing is a 'scam'. In otherwords they haven't just concluded that 'it costs so much' or is environmentally bad or whatever, when they did the figures it just struck them as a giant con. Many people around the world are saying that and I just thought I would leave you with some quotes on it:

Scotland:

"Stuart Young who runs Caithness Wind Information Forum analysed data from the Balancing Mechanism Reporting System website, which the national grid uses to measure output from over 1500 MW generated by wind farms in Scotland. His shock findings showed that while wind farms are known to have an average load factor of only around 30%, in other words they produce energy for just under one third of their active life, in fact this year they have barely managed to achieve 17% of their maximum installed capacity. Indeed there have been long spells when no electricity at all was produced by any of Scotland’s wind farms.
The great windfarm scam has now been cruelly exposed.
...
Each turbine erected in Scotland soaks up subsidies of over £100,000 a year paid for by electricity consumers like you and me. It is often said that wind power is free, but that is certainly not the case. In fact it’s very expensive, both in terms of hard cash, and in terms of the blight it has on lives, homes and communities. So far we have spent billions of pounds on building just over 3,000 wind turbines in Britain - and yet they produce barely one per cent of all the electricity that we need.
...
an over-reliance on wind energy is placing Scotland on the fast-track to disaster.
The day is not far off when we will face energy blackouts. If this happens, and we don't have an alternative, our kettles won't boil, our computers won't work and our country will face economic meltdown. But if and when our lights do go out, it will be important to remember just why we got carried away by such a massive blunder.
Left with our unique Scottish landscape bristling with rusting, redundant and useless windmills, we will be able to tell our children and grandchildren how in the early part of the twenty first century our political leaders collectively lost their heads and perpetrated the biggest energy scam ever known.
- Struan Stevenson MEP June 2010"
( http://www.struanstevenson.com/media/speech/the_great_w..._scam )

Ontario:
"If scientific methodology were applied, one would find out that wind is intermittent, unreliable, non dispatchable, inefficient (25% of nameplate capacity as the yearly avg. with 10% being delivered 50% of the time) I am a farmer who was approach to host turbines and I can assure you after 4 years of researching wind energy, it is a scam of the highest order. The contractual issues alone made me turn and run with details like first-rights-of-refusal and postponement of mortgages. Farmers do not seem to realize that these contracts represent full control over your land rights. Even things like rights over aggregates and and water can potentially be in the hands of the developer because these contracts end up being easements on ones land rather than a straight land lease agreement. Even ones own future development is now hampered. Now that I am living with neighbours turbines (24 within 5 km of my farm and home) the noise is disruptive and to those that find that there is no noise when they visit during the day, are not understanding that disruptions usually occurs at night when wind shears are the greatest. People in Bruce, Norfolk, England, Ohio, New York, Japan, and European countries as well have had to abandon their homes and if they are lucky the wind developer buys them out by imposing non disclosure, hence the reason why this is not generally known. Want to know more about wind development go towww.windconcernsontario.org and read the real story behind the Industrialization of our rural areas.
...
It is also important to understand that capacity factor is not an indication of the value that wind energy is providing the grid. The true capacity value of wind is generally less than 10% of it's nameplate capacity and often 0% or slightly above simply because, at the time of peak electricity demand, wind isn't blowing to allow generation. (Gleen R. Schleede,Electric Industry Terms Important in Understanding Two Critically Important Limitations of Electricity from Wind Energy).
...
As a resident living in among these giant fans on a stick, all I can say is when it comes time for turbines coming to your neighbourhood, as hard as you can Say NO!!! that means letting your council and this McGuinty gov't know you do not want to see turbines anywhere in this province.
...
He shows how renewables are a simple waste of time becauuse they are not worth the expense and cannot live up to the claims the industry makes regarding, C02 emissions, abundant clean energy, green jobs etc. Do you have the reference which indicates how the MI is funded by big oil? Did you also realize who develops many of these Industrial Wind projects? Do the names Enbridge, Epcor, Suncor, Acciona ring a bell? Why is it so difficult to accept the fact that things like Industrial Wind Energy is not an answer to our energy needs. I've spoken with Robert on the phone and he is very concerned about the direction we are taking towards renewables because other countries like Denmark have shown that despite 20% of the nameplate capacity dedicated towards wind, this on average is providing only 9.7% of that country's electrical needs at a huge cost to the taxpayer. Robert has been able to show that things like wind are receiving 200 times the subsidies that oil and gas or nuclear ever received. In these economic times, is this money well spent when wind can't even make a dent in the C02 issue nor provide us with a reliable efficient source of electrical generation? Your disconnect to the realities of wind is disheartening. I'm telling you from experience that people, environment and economies are being hurt by wind energy yet you and Matthew hold on to your myopic views. Ontario Wind ending in Dec/09 produced 80% of its capacity only 3% of the time with many times producing less than 5% for periods over 24 hours. 635

wind generators in Ontario last year produced, 2.3 TWh of electricity. Pickering produced 31 TWh; that is the equivalent of 84000 unreliable, fickle, inefficient wind turbines which would need to cover a land mass of

Bruce, Grey and Huron counties using the present Enbridge farm in Bruce county which covers 168 square km with 110 turbines. Is this the kind of Ontario you want to live in? Turbines and other green energy iniatives are only great visuals that trick us into believing something positive is being done. But this also leads to a reluctance to think critically, thus causing the benefits of wind to become widely and irresponsibly overstated. Ontario's gov't has created a gold rush with the microFit and FIT programs, rather than doing a proper cost benefit analysis. It never ceases to amaze me how so many continue to overlook the other side of Industrial wind development which has caused residents to abandon their homes, cannot prove that it can lower harmful emissions, reduce the mining and burning of coal, lower or stabilize electricity rates, wean us from foreign oil, nor provide a timely and reliable product needed in a modern society. Instead we let ourselves to be mislead by the renewable industry (especially wind) into thinking that the noise is no louder than a refrigerator, or that erecting IWT's will provide a new green economy and jobs. These turbines will do nothing other than provide a superficial feel good gesture, political move for the McGuinty gov't to appear environmentally conscious and an opportunity for developers to make a lot of money off the taxpayer's back. Renewables, especially Industrial Wind, are not proven, effective nor efficient. The industry's statements, which have induced these subsidies, constitute fraud in my opinion, and until proof of benefit can be quantified and verified (measured), and people can live safely within project areas, we need to stop rather provide more momentum as suggested by Matthew.
- Colette McLean
...
Colette, I’m quite familiar with the wind turbines in Ontario – specifically the problem on Wolfe Island and the uprising of residents to reject wind turbines on Howe Island. Going for a nighttime tootle on the St. Lawrence River is forever ruined by the green, overwhelming glow from Wolfe Island. My heart goes out to all of the residents there.

For those of you who don’t know about Wolfe Island, check out this website: http://wolfeislandresidents.ca/ They are a clear example of being accidentally misled – the turbines went up and the citizens and residents got stuck. Now, there is almost no opportunity to reverse the damage, remove the turbines, help the residents. There are no applicable citizen protection laws in this department, and now what?

I bet if we asked anyone who lives on Wolfe Island, they’d say GET THE REAL FACTS BEFORE YOU START. Sadly, that is proving sooooo terribly difficult to do!
- Emily Brooks
...
As a power plant operating engineer I worked in three different continents over forty two years on almost every kind of electrical power generation plant there is.
...
If fact anyone who thinks wind or solar power can make a significant contribution to your grid simply does not understand electrical generation period .
The wind does not blow all the time or even at the right time and the sun does not shine all the time -it's really that simple.
If it cannot produce power 24/7 it cannot become part of the grid or displace fossil fueled stations that don't care if the wind does not blow or sun does not shine. It is simply an expensive unreliable nuisance to the grid operators and yes as the author suggests it is a fully fledged scam."
( http://www.ediblesadvocatealliance.org/local-food---agr...-Scam )

England:
"A political class that depends on lies and deceptions, the so called department of climate change claims.... "The electricity system always has more generating capacity available than the expected demand. By having a diverse energy mix, we can manage the fact that some technologies are intermittent" There is the problem, a refusal to face reality and the tragic consequences of the windmill fraud and yes its a fraud because some people are getting very rich and they just happen by strange coincidence to be close to the political class. The windmills we are cursed with now are an expensive disaster, they will never pay back the cost to build them let alone the feed in tariff that enrich the carpet baggers. The wind industry fabricated false performance predictions, the windmills will never operate anywhere near their claimed levels and there was no quality control or oversight from the political class who signed away billions of our money.
- Cassie King, London"
( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1345439/Custome....html )

author by Machine-Man.publication date Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:24Report this post to the editors

People forget that all power stations are decommissioned periodically to service them.
Just like your car or your central heating system.
They all need backup.
(Be they Filthy Oil ,Filthy Gas, Filthy Nuclear,Clean wind,Clean solar or Clean Water.

Even our own Clean Water powered Ardnachrusha is taken off line periodically to service the turbines.
Saying that the wind blows periodically is like saying that your car only moves periodically.

Next time you bring your car in for a service they will usually give you a backup car if you insist.

The wind is always blowing.....usually somewhere nearer than you think!

author by valamhic - EPAWpublication date Tue Feb 01, 2011 02:19author email valamhic at gmail dot comReport this post to the editors

I heard a man with a degree in electircal engineering make the following statement.

"for every unit of electricity produced in a wind turbine, that one less unit that would otherwise be produced in a thermal power plant."

That statement shows an abismal ignorance about how wind power is accommodated on the grid. The true statement is as follows.

"At low loevel of wind, for every 100 unitsof electricity produced in a grid connected turbine, thats 1.6 units of power less that would otherwise have to be produced in a thermal plant. " At high levels, more than 100 untis of thermal power is needed so its carbomn negative"

The idea that one can feed raw wind power to homes is nonsense. Also the number of homes a turbine can supply is greatly exagerated . Its between 31 and 120 on average.

author by Electronics Engineer.publication date Tue Feb 01, 2011 21:00Report this post to the editors

"I heard a man with a degree in electircal engineering make the following statement:"

Why don't you get a degree in Electrical Engineering yourself and stop quoting "other" experts?

author by mary - nonepublication date Mon May 14, 2012 16:42Report this post to the editors

Wind turbines are larger and more intrusive now and I cannot understand how planning departments are allowing them to ruin our skyline and we actually listen to the government talking about promoting tourism! .. Every landowner and windfarm company should by law plant and maintain 100 oak or beech trees for every turbine they erect ,by way of compensation to the unfortunate home owners living close to them who have to look at these eye sores and listen to the noise they emit and not to mention the flicker. In fact they should be supplied with free electricity for the way the hood was pulled over them about the height and distance of the monsters. Hate them.

author by leftypublication date Tue May 15, 2012 06:18Report this post to the editors

I'd rather look at some rather aesthetically pleasing wind generators than have to eat radioactive food.

Talk to the residents of fukushima about the downside of "better" methods of power generation.

Talk to the chinese about the joys of coal fired power stations. They don't see the view very well through the smog and they are probably too busy coughing to appreciate it anyway.

Gas? well when your setting your tap water alight and drinking carcinogenic fracking fluid in your water supply then get back to me about aesthetics. Because FG have just given out 13 fracking licences.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Tue May 15, 2012 12:39Report this post to the editors

..about energy the first thing we need to address is the waste factor from private transport systems that leave gas-guzzling tins of dumb hominids stalled in gridlock burning the shit for no other reason than preservation of the illusions of power and spurious independence pumped by the oil/auto consumption indistry.

Usually its one hominid per tin, for maximal exhaust output and minimal milage.

We need to start with incentivising car-pooling and move towards public transport and planned conservation...but we're up against the biggest car-tel on the planet. The pun was unintended, but I'll leave it sit.

author by Eireannachpublication date Tue Nov 24, 2015 06:20Report this post to the editors

Haven't seen anyone discuss the health effects of wind turbines and the killing of birds and bats. The exact number of birds killed is open to debate but the Save the Eagles International organization claims it's in the order of a million every year in Europe This figure is supported by The Spanish Ornithological Society. See here: http://www.epaw.org/documents.php?lang=de&article=b6

Another rarely if ever discussed issue is the health effects of wind turbines which affect large numbers of people living withing 2-3 kms of wind turbines. Why are these issues not discussed in public forums? I've never read anything in the newspapers about the like of this I wonder why? This stuff should be put on the table and rigorously debated before wind farms are constructed. See here: http://www.epaw.org/documents.php?lang=fr&article=n12

Thanks.

A demoralized and disillusioned Irish ex-pat living in Taiwan where wind turbines are no longer welcome and for the most part not turning!

author by anonpublication date Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:31Report this post to the editors

Also there is little debate on the effects of offshore windfarms which are expanding rapidly. UK already has quite a few.

It is very likely that the turning blades are generating low frequency vibrations which are transmitted into the water since the towers are anchored to the seabed and this would be very similar to the effects of sonar which is well documented in the injury and deaths to marine animals like whales and dolphins and any other creature relying heavily on sound to function

author by phil - back up powerpublication date Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:20Report this post to the editors

Wind turbines are mostly connected to the national grid and only produce suitable power to the grid 30% of the time. If at these sites a bio fuel generator was installed to cover the down time and the fuel was supplied from bio waste like plastic containers waste tyres and food waste that is normally put into expensive land fill then they would become a viable system. It would also mean that no further wind farms should be built as with this amount of cheep energy no more are required to meet the Paris CO2 standards for Ireland. Read all of the website : www.powerhouseinnovationsltd.ie and view the video ABOUT PAGE on the first of this type of PAR bio fuel generator system first proposed and received planning permission in 2009 but blocked by officials. It was then built overseas and is now producing 110mega watts with sustained test period of 28,000 hours without fault. Your government ministers have been aware of this for years but failed to support it because of vested intrests in the fossil fuel natural gas industries.

Related Link: http://www.powerhouseinnovationsltd.ie
author by glugpublication date Tue Dec 15, 2015 08:31Report this post to the editors

windfarms killing the fish with sound??

burning tyres and plastic = biofuel plant???

is that another piss taking anonymous indymedia poster deliberately posting nonsense?? :-D

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