The Future of Energy: Wind Power


Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it is an in-depth analysis I divided it into six posts so that we could discuss each part separately.

62 Siemens wind turbines of the type SWT-2.3-101 turn here in the wind park West Wind near Wellington in New Zealand.?

Wind Power,

Wind power has been around for thousands of years. 200 years ago, the Fens in the UK were drained using wind-driven pumps. Because they were expensive to build and operate, and the wind often did not blow when needed, these were soon replaced by low-pressure steam driven pumping engines that, by today?s standards, were very inefficient and extremely expensive. The drive for efficiency and low cost led to their being replaced with higher-pressure steam engines, diesel engines and finally, by electric pumps.

Wind power today suffers from the same problems it did hundreds of years ago – expensive machinery, low average output and the vagaries of the wind.

Wind farms do not generate much in light winds and they must be shut down in strong winds. Typically, they generate less than 10% of their rated output for 30% of the time, and more than 80% for only about 5% of the time. A wind farm provides expensive electricity at unpredictable times – often when it is not needed.

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Can anyone beat this?

My grandfather was a cool cat…if he could have he would have been a beachcomber but my grandmother had other ideas.

He taught me to drive…amongst many other things. A panel-beater by trade he made me trolleys, army helmets, and loads of other toys and stuff.

Driving with him was hilarious, especially on long trips.

He hated mynahs. He thought they had a bloody cheek to be here in the first place and then when driving towards them they arrogantly just shuffled off to the side to avoid getting hit, when other birds get moving quickly and fly away.

He spent his lifetime trying to run the buggers down.

The other day my Hawkes Bay mate sent me this pic…he, like my grandfather and me, hates mynahs. He nailed this one.

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Photo Of The Day

Curse that new generation!


Being outsmarted by a bird

Chart of the Day

Rude Birds: