The Bollocks of Wind Power

David Farrar just loves wind power…he thinks the awful pylons and turbines blotting the landscape, howling up excessive noise and smashing birds to a pulp is cool.

There are many faults, fallacies, and failures with wind power, ones the advocates refuse to discuss:

The claim: Wind Power is free.

Wind power is not free. All natural energy resources such as coal, wind and sun appear “free” – no one has to incur costs to create them. But turning a “free” resource into usable electricity costs money for collecting, generating and distributing that energy. To consumers and tax payers, the real cost of wind power is very high, no matter how well it is hidden by politicians.

The claim: Wind power is reliable.

Wind power is not reliable. No one can make the wind blow when the energy is needed – in fact, wind farms produce, on average, less than 30% of their nameplate capacity, often at times of lower demand. 

The claim: Wind power is good for the environment.

Wind power harms the environment. Because of the large area of land needed to collect low-density wind energy, wind power requires more land-clearing, needs more transmission lines, kills more wildlife, lights more bushfires and uglifies more landscape per unit of electricity than conventional power. And the subsonic whine of the turbines drives neighbours batty and devalues local properties.

The claim: Wind power is unlimited.

Like hydro-power, wind power is limited, with few suitable sites. And every wind turbine slows the wind, thus reducing the wind energy available to any downwind turbines. It is “renewable’ but it is not unlimited.

The claim: Wind power reduces emissions.

Wind power is justified by claims that it reduces emissions and thus reduces global warming. However, when all the steel, concrete, construction, maintenance, replacement and rehabilitation are taken into account, wind power contributes nothing to reducing emissions or changing global climate.

The claim: Wind power helps with climate change.

However wind turbines DO change the local weather. Wind is the major component of weather. Winds bring moisture to the inland, clear pollution from the cities, and change air temperatures everywhere. Wind towers rob the wind of its energy, affecting local wind speeds and changing local weather patterns.

The conclusion:

Wind power is an expensive, intermittent and limited energy source that degrades the environment, kills birds, affects the local weather but does nothing to improve global climate.

It should be paid for by those who want it, not by captive taxpayers or electricity consumers.

 


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  • Andy

    Wind power is the biggest scam on the planet today

    • Macca

      Second only to Global Warming and the Greens saying they are in politics to save the planet!

    • Mediaan

      Silly remark.

    • MarkF

      Nah, its second behind the hybrid car!

  • Curious

    It also devalues properties. I have a property near Project West Wind (David’s favourite farm) the property has lost 14.95% in value in the last 3 years. I also own a property on the other side of Makara hill and this has not lost anything, the only difference proximity to West Wind.

    When I can catch the person responsible I intend to jam a turbine up their ass.

    • Video, please :-).

      • Curious

        Sure as soon as I find them

    • Andy

      Do you have issues with noise at your property? This seems to be a common complaint

      • Curious

        We were luck no noise at our house but further up the valley yes you can hear them, not as bad as before but you definently know they are there. Also double glazing makes it worse.

    • Mediaan

      What is the expectation of value change over the 10 year and 20 year period?
      Could this be related partly to all the fuss and fear-rousing?

      • Andy

        Do you have any evidence that the people who live next to Makara who have to go to town every few days to get some sleep are doing this because of the wind turbines? There are thousands of factors that affect sleep deprivation ,and the fact that this is a widely acknowledged issue across the world is irrelevant. Lots of trained engineers and scientists who work for windfarm companies have said it is not a problem

        • Mediaan

          Sounds like partly puffery to me.

          While in town, they could come sleep at my city house in a supposedly quiet suburb. See how well they sleep there.

          • Andy

            Here’s a video from Waterloo Australia describing these problems

            I have got lots of this stuff btw.

          • Curious

            Have to say I don’t have anything but I have friends very close to them and they said you get used to them in time but the whoosh is constant. It is like a tumble dryer in the hills that never stops.

      • Curious

        No it is not. The world over 20-25% drops are the norm (yes we have been lucky) and you don’t recover the value at all.

        • Mediaan

          Thanks for reply. The dilemma is one I understand well, having experienced it, not once from one utility but three times over. All far worse than a wind-farm.

          I asked because of the talk-sends-value-down factor.

          There are I think three sources of devaluing of these properties.

          1. Real physical effects.
          2. Neighbour and do-gooder alarmist talk spooks market.
          3. A long term effect where Council writes off the area and allows other filthy nuisance projects in.

          Sorry, but the alarmist talk is not your friend.

          I do know what I am talking about here.

  • johnbronkhorst

    I still believe transmission losses to be the most pressing problem. Power to the people will not be achieved until we can cost effectively generate power of our own, at our homes. Solar would be the obvious choice, BUT the technology to create electricity 24/7 at home, hasn’t been invented yet and doesn’t even appear to be close (within a generation {pardon the pun})

    • Mediaan

      A good strategy is to reduce electricity usage. Double-glazing is a big help. Triple-glazing is used in Sweden, as is triple roof insulation. Lighting technology has greatly reduced cost of lighting, if you design well.

      The biggest factor in high power bills is low intelligence.

      • johnbronkhorst

        Agreed, but you can’t pull down all the buildings in NZ and start again! It also requires that thing/animal…that I hate the most…govt. REGULATION….remember the greens and their light bulbs?

        • Mediaan

          Yeah, agree. And agree with your point about the distribution costs too.

          My double glazing, btw, was installed in an older existing house. Works a treat. They prepared to cut out the inner wooden frames of the wooden joinery, had substitutes made in a factory, then came in like a platoon of soldiers and whizzed around bunging them all in.

      • Andy

        Maybe “low intelligence” people either already have double glazing, or can’t afford it?

  • peterwn

    ‘Wind power is reliable’ – that has been properly addressed in the NZ context. It is not a ‘reliable’ energy source in the sense it may not produce energy precisely when needed, but it is a good provider of energy when working hand in hand with existing hydro stations – and significantly more wind turbines can be installed in NZ before there is ‘saturation’ with respect to hydro stations. Compare with other situations where 100% ‘backup’ diesel or gas turbine generation is required to support wind generation.

    • johnbronkhorst

      Personally, if we were to use extensive wind power, I wouldn’t develop wind farms in difficult to access places, where transmission is a problem, and the land has to be purchased.
      Why not put smaller scale units (they are available) in schools, hospitals, military base etc….land the govt. already owns and close to the consumer.
      After all, parliament grounds would be a good place and think of the comedic milage we could get out of it.

      • Mediaan

        Out at sea, on barges or higher rocky outcrops. That way it can also be closer to the major centres that use the power. Fish won’t hear it.

    • Andy

      So if wind is offset by hydro, does it actually add any value other than saving water? Does it actually increase generation capacity of the grid?

  • Andy

    I screen capped yesterdays output using em6live.com

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/48940782/NZWind12052103.pdf

    Wind output is the tiny bit at the top of each histogram. The issue was the large high over the country, hence virtually no wind.

    Hence, gas and coal have to pick up the slack, so you don’t get rid of any fossil fuel generation. However, if you increase the percentage of wind, then coal and gas makes less money and it becomes uneconomic to build them.

    This has become a problem in Germany where they now have to subsidise gas to make them economic

  • Mike

    Also no mention of the pollution and environmental damage that mining the rare earth metals that the generators of wind turbines require (about a tonne per turbine I understand).

  • Mediaan

    This is overstated and a bit stupid.

    Things like saying, wind power only produces 30% on average of its stated full capacity. This has been factored in to the designs from Day One. And it is paralleled by times of lesser capacity in all other forms of power generation.

    And yes, there will be times when the wind is not blowing. (Duh!) Again, factored in from the earliest planning.

    If you are thinking of putting a nice million dollar turbine on a windy hill on your own farm, (and selling your output to thirty or more neighbours as well hopefully), you might want to put in storage facilities, such as batteries, and the associated structures. And you would stay on solar and probably the national grid as well.

    Wind is good in that it has high output in the windy colder months, when demand is higher for power. Unlike solar. So it helps supplement solar.

    The noise thing is not convincing. 42 decibels is quite low. Try living in the city, dearie. Road noise, parties, drunks, trainsambulances can way outdo 42 db.

    • Andy

      “The noise thing is not convincing.”

      Then I suggest you buy up one of the properties that have been abandoned due to wind turbine noise. Much of this is subaudible and is acknowledged by doctors to cause depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and other symptoms.

      Of course the wind industry have their tame engineers and scientists who deny the problem

      • Mediaan

        Name one. A property abandoned as you describe.

        • Andy

          Here’s a site that might provide some information for you

          http://windturbinepropertyloss.org/site/

          • Craig

            I come from a rural Manawatu town which is surrounded by wind farms. The only time you can hear the wind turbine is when you are standing directly below it, an even then the noise is quiet “woosh” when the blades swing past. If it’s a particularly windy day the noise of the wind will surpass the “woosh” of the blade.
            Also I’ve never heard of cases of birds getting hit/killed by the blades

          • Andy
          • Mediaan

            A lot of problems with this site’s loose bunch of world-wide data.

            Example.

            People living near HVTLs, high voltage transmission lines have established a strong case objecting to these. They are adamant the same ill effects as quoted here are caused by the HVTLs, and the research on electromagnetic fields increasingly backs them. One notices the presence of high voltage transmission lines in this site’s examples.

            In other words, not sound.

            Still no firm NZ address to quote? Just one, with these claimed ill effects caused by the sound?

  • Wind can deliver all of a countries energy needs.

    But the UK would have to have half of it’s land covered in wind turbines.
    And then only when the wind was blowing.

    The Danes are heavily wind powered but they use pumped storage in Norway to achive this.

    And we also need to account for the fact that wind costs more than many other power types.

    • Andy

      The Danes dump their excess wind energy onto the Norwegian grid at very low prices. I don’t know if it PS because the Norwegians can just throttle back their hydro.

      Denmark has some of the highest power prices and the highest per capita CO2 emissions in Europe

  • BJ

    Wind power is ugly.
    Of all the manmade blots on our landscape wind turbines would have to be the most unforgivable.

  • johnbronkhorst

    Nuclear power!!!….In russel normans back garden!!!….If we stripped all the lead shielding, with all that radioactive contamination at his house, he may, in a few years actually evolve into a human being!!!

  • williamabong

    Why not tidal energy, four times a day massive amounts of water arrive and leave our coastal estuaries, It is cheap, dependable, invisible, and because it arrives at different points on the coast at different times seamless .
    For some reason totally ignored by the warmists, perhaps some vested interests at work here.

    • johnbronkhorst

      I think the trial is going on in Wellington Harbour (tidal generation). I think it was an area the size of a football field could generate enough for 4 houses. Not really viable yet!

      • LabTested

        Crest energy had one planned for Kaipara harbour in Northland. However the Taniwha are not happy & it may not go ahead

  • Big-Inja

    Wind farms were cool, especially for music videos or sci-fi movies..but the best long term plan is to reduce the reliance on the main electricity grid (residential solar, wind and gas comes to mind). Sadly however, at the you’d have to sell your eldest and maybe even the ginger for substantial system. I think we should be throwing some of that R&D dollars to get these more reliable and cheaper.

    Btw – I hate Hybrids, long live the internal combustion engine!!

  • kohibruce

    To keep it simple – wind-power’s costs exceed its benefits, in most every circumstance. Much the same hold’s true for electricity from solar panels.

  • Robin Hagen

    It is a great scam built for extracting subsidies from hapless politicians trapped in their cloaks of green dogma. Germany is the leader and Windpower there does not work economically. Often all their turbines are stopped at the same time with no wind or too much. The generation graph has extraordinary volatility. The grid is expensive as it needs to be able to cope with max output and that hardly ever happens. The silliness never stops. You can imagine if Labour and the Greens get in to power and subsidise more “free” power the bills are going to rocket in a cost-plus orgy.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    There seem to be a lot of references to wind power in the norther hemisphere.
    Gotta ask, why are those countries now broke and need a bailout?

  • Hazards001

    hahaha if wind power was free and reliable why the fuck did they invent steamships?

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