An end to the flawed technology of wind "farms"
Wind "farm" technology is flawed and has been disproven. It's "popular" because the huge corporations make vast profits from the subsidies available.
If no other fact persuades you, our coldest spells of weather coincide with no or little wind and thus windfarms are redundant at times of peak demand - as happened in December.
Fred Mathieu commented
There is an awful of misunderstanding about wind farm and what they actually can bring to the table when it comes to 'eal renewables energy. Following some supposedly political green agenda and in order to meet at any cost Kyoto 'green' targets, governments (including the UK) seem to be rushing into developing wind wind farm industry (both on and off-shore) in some desperate attempts to try and meet such green targets. It appears there is very little consideration to the unprecedented damages it irrevocably causes to the environment (for instance in mid-Wales where the Welsh Assembly Government TAN8 document does not address at all such critical issues).
Instead we are about to let huge and already highly profitable power companies rush with they best attempt to desecrate our fantastic and valuable countryside purely and greedily interested in making additional billions of £ of profit regardless of the environmental damages let behind.
This is a disaster which must be stopped before it's all too late! Who would realistically be willing to take full responsibility (whatever it means) for leaving behind us such a devastation to our future generations ?
This is total human madness on some totally unprecedented scale ! Have we all lost our mind !? Surely, there are other options available to us which should be explored!
I took the liberty of mailing the whole of this discussion to an Environmental scientist and asked for his observations & comments since I, not being of a scientific background, am unable to get into the technical intricacies of the subject but others have made claims which do need answering. I would challenge anyone to factually contradict these statements (comments may be made directly to his website).
"The facts are simple:
1. Whether we worry about fossil fuels running out or getting very expensive, and/or the changing climate – we must have as much renewable energy as we can possibly manage.
2. Our landscape is changing and is about to change at a greatly faster rate due to the warming climate.
3. CO2 is a greenhouse gas – there is hugely more of it up there than ever in recorded history – and it must warm the climate. The only issues are – By how much and when?
4. The anti-wind lobby is not well informed; clutches at straws, and is doing huge damage to advancing renewable supplies.
5. Ref reducing wind speeds – globally (as a matter of fact) wind speeds are increasing as a warmer atmosphere necessarily produces a more energy intensive atmosphere = higher wind speeds. Some of us are worrying about the wind resistance of many existing buildings! If in any one area the wind speed has declined then this will be a temporary phenomenon. I suspect the original wind speed was incorrectly measured.
6. I agree I don’t trust many wind farm applicants but landowners don’t get any subsidies for erecting turbines. The owner of the turbine gets 1 ROC or about £49/MW.hr in European subsidy and this can be varied. In contrast the owners of Solar PV get £430/MW.hr in similar subsidy and this is intended to be guaranteed for 25 years!!!!!!!!!! Farmers want PV not wind.
7. The argument that wind turbines are dangerous is frankly absurd and the sort of argument that degrades any valid issues they might have.
8. The average yield on an on-shore turbine is 28%; on offshore is 33%, and on PV is an absurd 7.1%.
9. If they argue that wind doesn’t produce the electricity when it is needed – tell them to THINK about PV or read my paper http://tranquilityhouses.org.uk/wordpress/2010/03/solar-pv-is-it-good/ which also compares it with wind.
10. I agree some wind turbines are on low wind land and they shouldn’t really be there but there are benefits in erecting close to a grid connection.
11. On-shore turbines in the right places lose only 1% of the power they generate in transmission. Off-shore loses about 11% as it has to go via the 400KV grid.
12. In order to get through the coming energy supply problems we all need to help drive as much renewable as we can.
13. There is much more, but interestingly I do have a new way of generating electricity from the wind."
Well, Solar has it's place but not everyone will be able to afford solar hot-water or be in the best location for it & Solar-pv is way too costly even with various schemes being touted by 'energy saving' groups/companies. I absolutely agree though, that those who can, should and those who cannot, should be trying to reduce their personal consumption and changing their mind-set toward future situations. Micro-generation (personal wind-power, GSHP's) is again fraught with complication & cost which is why group schemes yield a better pay-back.
Government is committed to reducing CO2 emission by 80% by 2016 (that's just five years away) and as mentioned previously, have raised the bar for new-builds to achieve a Code 6 standard. Currently, new-builds are about Code 3 or 4. Although I would like to see the Government assisting with retro-fit to existing housing stock, I think we'll run out of time before the apocalypse is upon us.
The concrete issue is again interesting inasmuch as there really isn't a substitute material available which does the same job, unfortunately. Pretty-well every construction uses concrete for the base or foundations, including every (contemporary) house built in this country, Power-station, Turbine-bases both on & off-shore.
Some things in life are inescapable every power-producing idea has a carbon-footprint whether visible or not ... we just have to get there with as low a carbon-cost & CO2 emission as possible. It's a tough call which ever way you look at it!
Paul-I installed solar panels 3yrs ago & my friend has recently got PV panels so I beleive we should all do our bit.Therefore I think the government should put PV panels on all new builds & existing houses(where feasible) increase insulation & energy saving devices so that these monstrous,useless turbines need not ruin our countryside.Another worry is that the concrete pads that have to anchor the turbines will cause water run off & flooding to areas downsream eg Shrewsbury.As we all seem to agree its just MONEY thats driving this not logical thought.
Tom - Absolutely nothing to do with the power industry whatever. I buy my electricity supply from a wholly sustainable resource which happens to be wind-orientated and whilst I have chosen this route (and reduced my kW/hr charge) I am also committed to reducing my overall consumption in power as well as living a rather frugal lifestyle. The nearest turbine to where I live is about five miles away.
I happen to believe that doing nothing, or opting for Nuclear or even worse, Coal-power, is just narrow-minded and thinking that considering either Nuclear or Coal as not being both monetary & environmentally costly too, is just plain silly. Many people on this forum are belting-out personal feelings but few have entered any indication as to what they are doing from a personal standpoint, in energy reduction/conservation.
I'm also long enough in the tooth to understand that money gets in the way of anything which man gets involved with and there's little anyone can do about that.
As I have said, I wouldn't subscribe to having these turbines in close proximity to existing housing stock, but doing nothing isn't an option either. In technology terms, hardly anything we invent is brilliant & without faults, straight out of the box but that shouldn't deter us from doing what we can for generations to come.
Paul Taylor - You are on a campaign forum where people are already aware of the drawbacks and fishy dealings going on in offices high up in the political strata.
Most here have done more than a cursory bit of research on wind turbines and have found that the cost (both monetary and environmentally) are not worth it.
The ones who seem to be in favour of wind power are those who are either:
a) in the industry (the manufacturers, suppliers or sellers),
b) getting government subsidies for putting them on their land or
c) those who haven't had direct experience with wind turbines or wind farms sprouting up close to where they live.
The more people find out about wind power and the effect they have on their surroundings (wildlife and communities they are next to) and pocketbooks, the more it is obvious to us that they are dangerous.
About myself: I am not in the industry but a friend of mine is in danger of having wind turbines going up around her home. Despite laws in her area that distinctly state that the surrounding community must be made aware of the proposals for these wind farms, neither she nor her neighbours were notified.
Paul, I am curious as to what your connection to the wind power industry is.
Beryl Agarwal commented
Apart from the damage done to our British countryside, has anyone considered the damage done to the people affected by wind farms? It damages their businesses, their way of life and their health, through stress and noise.
As long as wind turbines contribute to ill health and environmental damage in the UK and other parts of the world, it does not qualify as 'green'. Turbines require enormous quantities of concrete (permanent for all time), steel, copper, fibreglass and rare earth minerals like neodymium for the powerful magnets, the blades cannot be recycled. All of these involve substantial resource extraction, refining, smelting, manufacturing and shipping. Land and habitat impacts, rock removal and pulverizing, solid waste disposal, burning fossil fuels, air and water pollution, and carbon dioxide emissions occur on large scales during every step of the process. Most wind turbines start turning at wind speeds of around 5-6 metres per second (m/s), (8 miles per hour); generate maximum ‘rated’ power at around 15 m/s (30mph); and totally shut down to prevent storm damage at 25 m/s or above (50mph). If you see them running when there is no wind they are being run by the individual diesel engines which consume a large amount of fuel and hydraulic oil. This puts wind turbines in the list of dirty power sources and it is without doubt the most costly. That’s before we start talking about the giant pylons that will be needed if onshore wind turbines continue to take over the UK. We should learn from Germany, Denmark and Canada who have found out that this is not the way ahead.
Roy Milnes commented
For the past two years windspeeds have been lower than average. RWE and EON are reporting only a 20% utilisation factor instead of the target of 27%.
Windfarms are unsightly, unreliable and inefficient. If the same effort had be put into harnessing the tides e.g.
Severn and Morceambe Bay barrages, these two schemes alone would produce more power than all the wind turbines currently installed. Wales is particularly suffering - the horizon across Colwyn Bay and Llandudno is about to be blotted out with industrial turbines - and mid Wales already has too many turbines.
Wales is dependant upon tourism - industrialising the land and seascapes will not help the economy or the environment.
Roy Milnes Energy Consultant
Judi Stretton commented
Here in Mid Wales, the biggest issue is that construction of hundreds of turbines on the uplands will require digging up vast quantities of peat and peaty soils (the best carbon 'sink' by far) to replace it with concrete (cement is the 3rd largest man-made producer of CO2) Now does that make any sense!! And this area is the water catchment for the Severn, Dyfi and Wye, so watch out the Welsh Borders and Severn counties, all this concrete will lead to much more rapid run-off!
This maybe of interest to those of use who like to be well informed and not just thrust personal misinformation into the discussions here.
The hidden fuel costs of wind generated electricity.
If you are concerned that turbines will spoil our beautiful landscape, increase health risk from electro-magnetic radiation, damage tourism which is one of the main employment sectors, devalue properties and cause major environmental damage, you may want to sign this petition. I come from Fife in Scotland and we also are faced with misplaced wind turbine power stations. The University of St Andrews is currently about to apply to erect 6 X 328 foot wind turbines within 1km of our home. We are already surrounded by applications and erected wind turbines. As tourism is our major business here and this is a protected conservation area we are amazed that the University thinks this is a good idea. Of course the fundamental drive is to make millions at our expense.
6 metres per second is all that's required for most designs and since the world's temperature is increasing, windy periods are only going to increase in the future. Just look at the frequency of storms around the world.
'Anonymous' - The FiT tariff offered by the Government is good for 25 years but I still don't think Solar PV is the 'best bang for your buck' for most of us, unless you're early twenties and just setting-up in a new home. Few people or communities live close enough to a large body of water or even a river, to generate water-power. Solar Hot-water is achieveable and reasonably cost-effective but as Tom mentioned, air-tightness in housing stock is essential and the most cost-effective means to keep warmth in (or out!), is insulation. Tidal-power is a definite way forward but I understand that's some way off being a commercial proposition for the masses.
Although I am pro-wind, I definitely wouldn't support turbine in close proximity to existing homes, until the turbine designs alter to become quieter (and there are designs on the table, out there now).
It seems to me that most people object to the visual orientation and the 'destruction' of countryside in their building as well as varying claims about the turbine's efficiencies. Personally, I quite like the sight of them and I'd guess that if they were constructed more in the shape of a traditional Windmill, most people wouldn't object.
Regarding the 'filthy lucre' that certain quarters will be making from these developments, I suggest we all take a long hard look at why we're all in this situation to begin with! We've all been used to available power on tap and not given a moment's thought as to how we obtain power or from where it's generated.
The current technology might not be spot-on, but we have to begin somewhere otherwise when the lights go out, we'll all be having a candle-light dinner!
they are planning to put 40 turbines 606ft high (approx 200m) on the area that is now the Dyfnant Forest.But there won't be any trees left.
ET - "there is nothing at all bad about wind turbines! except when the wind stops - not very often in Wales!"
Your air-tight logic is irrefutable.
I would suggest actually reading at least a few of the posts, here, ET.
We must put an end to the national grid wind farm scam. But we have to suggest alternatives.In Germany the government would also like to introduce a national grid scheme, but many of the Laender (provinces) are against it. They encourage local communities to provide their own electricity. A combination of small local wind farms, water power, solar panels, PV electricity, and tidal wave power can provide enough electricity for a community between 30,000 t0 50,00 people. This is the way we should be going.
G Smith commented
Someone somewhere will make a lot of money and have no conscience to the ruination they will cause, I along with many others do not see the benefits only the destruction of a land we love. I do not want to see massive wind turbines and enormous pylons blighting our countryside. We need a Review
Stuart Owen commented
This is the people's fight to protect our landscapes for future generations. There are no NIMBY's here.
There is one major factor here and that's MONEY.
The wind farms would not be created unless someone was making a heap of money along the way.
The people will see little benefit from new wind farms / pylons and it's the people who will also pay for said developments in their Electricity rates for years to come.
I keep on hearing from those who are pro-wind turbine claiming those who are against it are "NIMBY"s.
When something is causing you and your family physical health problems, it's an insult to label those that are suffering from those side affects sinply as "NIBMBY"s.
The fight against wind farms is growing so lets unite & campaign to stop any futher turbines blighting our countryside
Phil Driscoll commented
Stuart, whilst I can't find the statement you referred to in either of the reports I've referenced, the two positions are hardly mutually exclusive given that we are discussing this in the context of a UK wide problem.
At this point I'm going to take Tim's excellent advice and leave the NIMBYs to it.