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Windy days

Bit windy here at the moment. I wonder how the windfarms are getting on?

Not too well it seems.

H/T Mrs Hill and commenters on unthreaded.

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Reader Comments (76)

"They were all off today due to the high winds"

Need one say much more?

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

NETA says that wind turbines produced 50,360 MWh in the past 24 hours - 4.9% of the total generated. Currently wind is producing 2.7% of grid power.

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

Is that a renewable fireball?

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

mmm...and we need to build more of them?

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

That is a very big carbon foot print. Somebody should report it to the IPCC.

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

That's correct Mike, but it was also forecast to provide a capacity of 3.8GW today, but in fact has been at 1.4GW since this morning; that's 2.4GW short. I'm not overly familiar with the patterns of the other data at neta, but it looks from the market imbalance and system prices graphs that there is more imbalance, and higher prices than yesterday. May or may not be related to the sudden lack of capacity. It'll be interesting to see if the wind is online tomorrow, as the forecast capacity is again high.

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

"Poland threatens German energy policy

Border blockade against green electricity: Because the Polish network operator fears an overload, it wants to prevent the import of wind and solar power from Germany. The head of the German Energy Agency is now using the pages of Spiegel to urge negotiations with the neighboring country."


The plans have alarmed, according to a report obtained by Der Spiegel, the German energy experts. "When excess wind and solar power can not be discharged abroad, then the German power grid gets destabilized," warns the head of the German Energy Agency (Dena), Mr Stephan Kohler.

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

MIght as will report it here, although off topic. I came across the EPP. Never heard of them, although they run the EU. Strange that.

While reading the Irish newspapers today, I came across this:

European centre-right leaders from the European People's Party - including Taoiseach Enda Kenny - earlier gathered in the French city of Marseille ahead of tomorrow's Brussels summit.

Most of the EU leaders are from the EPP.

Speaking at the event, French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned that Europe was facing an unprecedented risk from its debt woes and said tomorrow's summit was the last chance to solve the crisis.

Read about the EPP here

Looks like a cabal to me. Interesting thing is UK is not tied to the EPP very well at all.

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra


I should be interested to know if the forecast capacity includes the need for precautionary shutdowns when the machines' maximum wind speed limits are forecast to be exceeded.

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

I don't know Mike, but yesterday, and this morning the forecast capacity was just over maximum rated capacity, and it was delivering close to 3GW but then dropped off rapidly. My reading would be that the forecast did not include the likelihood of (well forecast) high winds, and the drop off was the shutting down of the turbines as the gales hit. I assume the 1.4GW that has been in place through the day is from the turbines down south.

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

we need volunteers to climb the tower and extinguish the fire...I wonder if L.Cpl Jones would volunteer!

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Nah, get BuffHuhne up there to put it out…

Dec 8, 2011 at 7:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterTux52

Yes, the wind forecast out-turn at shows how good they are at forecasting the wind. They always claim they do a good job. It wouldn't appear so.

Dec 8, 2011 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby


Cameron pulled the Conservative MEPs out of the EPP a couple of years back:

Dec 8, 2011 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

Whoops, the link in my post above can be reached via this:

Dec 8, 2011 at 7:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop
Dec 8, 2011 at 7:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

I hope that the EA are monitoring the plume that it is producing and analysing its contents.

Dec 8, 2011 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterSalopian

"it was struck by hurricane-force winds" (from the linked article).

Erm - if a wind turbine can't cope with a strong wind, it's not really a viable proposition, surely?

I'm still unclear why they have to be stopped above a certain wind strength - if the blades are variable pitch (which they would have to be, to be featherable) then why can the blade angle not simply be varied according to the windspeed, effectively gearing them to suit the conditions? Stopping them serves no useful purpose as far as I can see.

Dec 8, 2011 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Looks like a gearbox fire. Rare earths falling over Ardrossan. Sweet. Hopefully the area has been evacuated and a clean up is in operation by suitably protected persons.

Dec 8, 2011 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBob

The wrong kind of wind. Lovely, just lovely.

Dec 8, 2011 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

remember we'll all still be paying for them not producing

Dec 8, 2011 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered Commenteriain macleod

"I'm still unclear why they have to be stopped above a certain wind strength - if the blades are variable pitch (which they would have to be, to be featherable) then why can the blade angle not simply be varied according to the windspeed, effectively gearing them to suit the conditions?"

Because they work out the distribution of wind velocities in the local, then use blades that or optimized to generate power within this range; generally this means broad, fat blades. They cannot make blades that they can feather safely in the face of >150 mph winds and still be able to be efficient at normal wind velocities. The difference in velocity between the mean and normal upper speed is > 1 order of magnitude.

Dec 8, 2011 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDocMartyn

For those who find the image strangely uplifting, there's more:)

Dec 8, 2011 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Anything that exposes the big green lie usually outs a smile on my face and flaming windy mills fit the bill exactly!

Dec 8, 2011 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR


Thank you so much for the pointer about the EPP and the UK Coitus interruptus from the Gaia of Europe. It will be an interesting week end to see if the British Lion roars once again or pisses down it hindquarters like a cur.

For a very long time I have been wondering what was behind this bullshite of Global Warming and who was pushing it, along with several other issues, such as the economic issues of Europe. Until today, I did not know about the EPP, although it is obviously well known to many. My bad, but I am in America right now.

However, if you want to follow the money, go look at the EPP. It all seems to tie back to it, including the money being spent on being "Green" and the preoccupation in saving the "banks" whatever the cost to the average punter.

I quote from the EPP Manifesto – European Elections 2009

Read it here

Combating Climate Change
Global warming is a reality. Humanity’s future depends on our ability to develop more sustainable ways to deal with the earth’s resources. Moreover, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions makes us less dependent on gas and oil imports. The EPP is committed to reducing greenhouse gases and promoting more carbon-free energy sources.

A courageous and rapid move towards the most modern and efficient technologies will be good not only for our climate and pave the way for a global solution, it will also be good for our economy because it will make Europe a world leader in new technologies. The financial and economic crisis should not be taken as an excuse to do nothing—to the contrary: we should take it as a wake-up call to modernise our economies and create new, sustainable jobs. Market mechanisms can and should be used to reduce emissions.

•Europe should become the market leader in green technology based on more and better research
and development.
•The share of renewable energy must be increased to at least 20% of the energy mix by 2020.
•Nuclear energy should remain an option for Member States to reduce emissions.
•A functioning system of emissions trading as a market-based incentive to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions needs to be put in place.

So, if you are wondering where all this crap is coming from, you now know -- it's the EPP.

This is going to be a very interesting weekend. Hopefully Cameron has the same steel balls that Thatcher had 12 years ago. We all need the Iron Lady right now.

Dec 8, 2011 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

It's designed that way to provide an emergency emission of energy when the wind blows.......

'When the Wind Blows' there's an idea.......

Dec 8, 2011 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Three questions:

1. Can you obtain energy, reliably, from windmills by burning them?

2. Was the image above created by Fenbeagle?

3. Will the high winds be blamed on climate change?

Dec 8, 2011 at 9:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Playing devil's advocate here. Many of the technologies that we now take totally for granted were ridiculed when they were first invented.

Now out of DA mode, I would say that if a technology has real merit it tends to succeed without government subsidies. Windpower could possibly work if there was a practical way of storing the energy that it produces. If that could be done then periods of high winds could be taken full advantage of by turbines that were designed to work in those conditions. The unreliable nature of wind power would then be on the same level as the unreliable nature of water supplies, these only become a problem after a really unusual period of dry weather. The finite nature of fossil fuels will probably mean that economic reality will eventually make such technology a reality. Government subsidies, on the other hand, have an impressive record of failure.

Dec 8, 2011 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

high winds....must be question
low winds....must be question

Dec 8, 2011 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes


Apropos your comment about storage:,German_energy_giant_plans_to_bring_hydrogen_to_Fife.html

Apart from knowing that hydrogen is a bugger to store, I have no idea about how practical or economical the proposal is, but it does at least offer one way of storing windpower (apart from pumping hydro systems).

Dec 8, 2011 at 10:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

That link in full (doh!):

Dec 8, 2011 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

Under the Clean Air Act 1993:-

(1) “Dark smoke shall not be emitted from any industrial or trade premises and if, on any day, dark smoke is so emitted the occupier of the premises and any person who causes or permits the emission shall be guilty of an offence.”

(6) In this section “industrial or trade premises” means premises used for any … trade purposes

A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £20,000.

I suspect Osborne’s Treasury is due for a windfall!

Dec 8, 2011 at 10:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Which is better at surviving in adverse weather/climate conditions?

a) A windmill
b) A solar panel attached to a roof by a contractor looking to maximise profits
c) A reactor hall
d) Someone in fuel poverty
e) A rent-seeker with a noose around their neck attached to the blade of an aerogenerator?

Never mind Madame Guillotine, let them eat wind. I'm getting the feeling we're soon to be experiencing what life was like during the LIA, but with an energy policy that leaves us very ill equipped to deal with the consequences.

Dec 8, 2011 at 10:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

The Don says: Read about the EPP here

Looks like a cabal to me. unquote.

Dec 8, 2011 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Walsh

oops, ignore previous comment, I wasn't finished and thumped the wrong button on keyboard.

try again:

Don said : looks like a cabal to me:

Merkel and Sarkozy are a double act under the name MerKozy nowadays.

If you added Cam(eron) to the front of MerKozy would you get...

CamMerKozy...and is that what the EU is headed for?

Use your vivid imaginations on that one, but if you can't work it out look to Japan, 70 years sgo for a clue or inspiration!

Dec 8, 2011 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Walsh

"The science is settled", they say. And the engineering... settled too?

Dec 8, 2011 at 10:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves
Dec 8, 2011 at 10:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Haha yes. Saw that at the DT earlier today. Ironic photograph of the year!

Dec 8, 2011 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

Dec 8, 2011 at 9:16 PM | Don Pablo de la Sierra

The EPP is just one of the cross-border political groupings to which the national political parties represented in the Mickey Mouse European Parliament belong. The parties that belong to it are generally centre-right on the political spectrum. It just so happens that France currently has a centre-right president, and Germany a centre-right Chancellor. I doubt you'd find much difference in the centre-left equivalent's (the name of which escapes me) policies with regard to global warming.

Dec 8, 2011 at 10:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

I wonder if the turbine was the wrong way round when it got into difficulty or after failing. The other two in the picture are facing the opposite way.

Dec 8, 2011 at 11:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

There is this interminable discussion from the flock about this wind turbine busines. As right now for example. It demonstrates that the flock likes nothing but a good discussion to exhibit wit and experteese.

In fact wind generated electricity is what I call boutique technology. That you can generate electricity from a wind driven turbine is not the issue. But no serious country will contemplate it other than a sop to the greens. Like Hydro Quebec does.

That Britain and Germany are contemplating it demonstrates that they are not serious countries. The present economic crisis in Europe is a corrolary demonstration just how unserious they are.

But don’t let this bother anybody. The drain is wide open.

Dec 8, 2011 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Steiner

Hopefully not too OT - there was a surprisingly positive programme this afternoon (08/12/2011) on BBC Radio 4 about the development of the Bowland Shale in Lancashire. The programme was Open Country at 15:00 and it's here (for a while, at least) on iPlayer. Annoyingly, the last couple of minutes appear to be missing. Here's a quote from a local:

"We all need gas, and it's there for the taking. It needs to be used. I'd much rather see what's there [referring to a shale gas drilling rig] than a wind turbine."

Dec 8, 2011 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Windfarms could be installed at Coney Island and similar venues. When a windmill explodes, it will add to the usual entertainment. If the idea catches on, some faux windmills might be added just for the purpose of exploding.

Dec 8, 2011 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Can anyone think of any other power source systems that has to switch off becasue there is too much supply of what it uses to generate power ?

Dec 8, 2011 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

There is no rumour that wind turbines are to be part of the opening ceremony fireworks at the London Olympics next year - but I'm trying to start one...

Dec 9, 2011 at 12:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterMr Bliss

Since all of the turbines were shut down due to hight wind, is there any reason to believe that the wind had anything to do with this fire? Like the alarmists, are you stooping to suggest a cause-and-effect relationship between one random fire in a turbine and high winds?

PS I don't visit your site (and didn't buy your book) to hear innuendo and gossip.

Dec 9, 2011 at 12:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank


It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to hypothesise that the brake failed in the high winds, as opposed to the turbine randomly bursting into flames during a weather event which has an active effect on the blades.

Dec 9, 2011 at 1:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

Frank, are you suggesting wind turbines can burst into flame for no reason?

Wow. It's worse than we thought!

Dec 9, 2011 at 4:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterBruce


The EPP is just one of the cross-border political groupings to which the national political parties represented in the Mickey Mouse European Parliament belong. The parties that belong to it are generally centre-right on the political spectrum.

Most members of the MEP are members of the EPP. That tells me that our politicians are "Europeans" first and members of our respective countries second, and likely to act for the "good" of Europe and not our national interests. And from what I have seen out of Brussels, they really don't care about the member nations. I for one do not like what Merkozy are doing to the national sovereignty, nor do I like that the EPP are shoving a Green Agenda down our throats.

Maybe a Denier snuck up and set it on fire. Yeah, and also cut down the other one reported above. Must have used cutting torch to do it. Maybe he set the fire with it too. Yeah, that must be what happened.

Dec 9, 2011 at 4:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Don Pablo de la Sierra

"So, if you are wondering where all this crap is coming from, you now know -- it's the EPP."

Pardon the lame pun, but you're getting warmer. Who pulls the EPP's puppet strings?

Dec 9, 2011 at 5:04 AM | Unregistered Commenteredward getty

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