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« Markonis and Koutsoyiannis | Main | Ill wind »

They don't like Mondays

Those with interests in wind turbines are not having the best of times right now.

Yesterday's news that scientists have been able to demonstrate detrimental health effects on people living near windfarms - a finding that will surely lead the way to massive damages claims - was just the start of it.

Today it is being reported that there has been a wholesale collapse in orders for offshore wind turbines, as investors read the writing on the wall - as the Guardian reported over the weekend, behind the public recitations of the green catechism, government is moving decisively towards a gas-powered future..

This is hardly surprising, in the light of yet more proof that the cost of wind power is ruinous.

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... the first clear sign of a long-feared slowdown in renewable energy investment.

Feared by whom?


Caroline Flint, Labour's shadow energy secretary, said: "There is a real risk the government's dash for gas will blow a hole through our climate change targets, undermine investment in clean energy and leave households vulnerable to price shocks and rising energy bills."

Undermined in what sense? People are still free to invest in clean energy. They're just not guaranteed as much from the tax-payer as they once thought. Let's hope.

Even the idea the government should be backing a 'dash for gas' is wrong. Government should ensure no favourites at all in energy supply. There may be problems with the price of gas in the future, who knows. All we do know is that politicians will never get such decisions right, if even market experts get them wrong, again and again.

Behind the media's crocodile tears on behalf of some of the worst crony capitalists of our lifetime let's hope this Guy Fawkes day for a bonfire of all green subsidies that increase energy prices, whatever deceptive form they take.

Nov 5, 2012 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

The "wholesale collapse" of wind has been happening since 2009 as I've reported for some time on SCEF. In other words ever since Copenhagen-climategate, the world's investors have known that the global warming scam was coming to an end with the end of the Kyoto Commitment on the 31st December 2012.

Now, who is going to have a party on the 31st December?

See graph

See Articles on Kyoto

Nov 5, 2012 at 8:29 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

The first comment on the FT article puts it well. On the one hand:

These windmills are going to cause everyone who buys electricity in UK to pay significantly more for the next 20+ years as electricity suppliers raise tariffs to pay for the ROCs which windmills need in order to make them viable. Even the politicians now seem to have woken up to the fact that they cannot rely on wind power in calm weather ... Mr Hayes seems to have hit the nail on the head when he says enough is enough.

On the other:
Having said that, the commercial case for erecting a wind turbine is still persuasive - if you believe that ROCs [renewable obligation certificates] are rock solid. A £1.2m investment in a 500kW turbine in an area with 8 metres/sec windspeed should yield about £400,000 per year for 20 years, which is not to be sneezed at.

Nov 5, 2012 at 8:34 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Warmists like to say the weather is becoming more chaotic. At the same time they'd like us all to depend on wind power, ie on weather based energy generation.

Does anybody know how these two obviously mutually exclusive ideas can come from the same people?

Nov 5, 2012 at 8:34 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

only reuters point carbon, which is ground zero for the CAGW financial scam, is carrying this (for subscribers)...oh and Indian Express. such CATASTROPHIC news and the MSM aren't interested? is it too extreme(ly) silly even for the MSM?

5 Nov: International Business Times: Esther Tanquintic-Misa: Global Carbon Emissions Breach Threshold – PwC
In its latest annual Low Carbon Economy Index report, which analyses the developed and emerging economies’ progress in lessening their respective carbon intensity, or emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP), Price Waterhouse Coopers found that these global carbon emitters were only able to reduce emissions to a combined 0.7 per cent only in 2011, “a fraction what is required against the international commitment to limit global warming to 2°C.”
To achieve the 2°C limit, the world would need to reduce global carbon intensity by an average of 5.1 per cent a year – a barometer the PwC said was never achieved since 1950 when the records first began.
“Because of this slow start, global carbon intensity now needs to be cut by an average of 5.1 percent a year from now to 2050. This rate of reduction has not been achieved in any of the past 50 years,” the Low Carbon Economy Index report said…
“The risk to business is that it faces more unpredictable and extreme weather, and disruptions to market and supply chains. Resilience will become a watch word in the boardroom – to policy responses as well as to the climate,” Jonathan Grant, director, sustainability and climate change, PwC said.
“The new reality is a much more challenging future in terms of planning, financing and predictability. Even doubling our current annual rates of decarbonisation globally every year to 2050, would still lead to 6°C, making governments’ ambitions to limit warming to 2°C appear highly unrealistic.”
“This isn’t about shock tactics. It is simple math,” the report said…
China’s and India’s decarbonisation, meanwhile, seems to have stalled in the last decade…

Nov 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat


Nov 5, 2012 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

this is a long-running battle, but not one that concerns the CAGW "environmentalists":

4 Nov: Tulsa World: AP: Mexico's wind farms arouse ire of natives
The country is posting one of the world's highest growth rates in wind energy, and almost all of it is concentrated in the narrow waist of Mexico known as the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, where winds from the Pacific meet winds from the Gulf of Mexico, spawning places so wind-blown that one town's formal name is simply "Windy."
The largely indigenous residents of the isthmus complain that the wind farms take control of their land, affect fish and livestock with their vibrations, chop up birds, and pit residents against one another for the damage or royalty payments. They also claim they see few of the profits from such projects...
President Felipe Calderon has made the inauguration of wind parks one of the main focuses of his administration's ambitious pledge to cut Mexico's carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2020, and on Tuesday - as he has done before - he stopped by the state of Oaxaca to inaugurate a new clutch of wind turbines, praising the extra income they provide for some farmers...
***But as in the past, he did so under tight security, as local protesters threatened to mar the inauguration. The president's office normally publishes a detailed schedule of his planned activities but didn't do so with Tuesday's inauguration, keeping it under wraps until the event took place.
So far in 2012, Mexico has posted a startling 119 percent increase in installed wind-power capacity, more than doubling the 519 megawatts it had last year, the highest annual growth rate listed in the magazine Wind Power Monthly's "Windicator" index. Mexico had only 6 megawatts when Calderon took office in 2006.
Mexico, with a total of around 1.3 gigawatts of wind power, is still a tiny part of the world's estimated 244 gigawatt capacity, but it offers insight into what happens when the industry focuses overwhelmingly on large farms dominated by large companies that are concentrated in a small, desirable area.
It has been mainly Spanish firms like Iberdrola, Union Fenosa and Gamesa, and U.S. firms like Sempra Energy, that have built the huge wind towers that now crowd the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, leaving the local population feeling invaded. Only 4 of Mexico's 17 wind farms are located outside the isthmus...

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

The UK windiness has been falling over recent years. Future profits from the subsidies depend cubicly on windiness. Let's hope the windiness continues to fall and technological problems continue to rise.

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Robin G.quoted:

"Having said that, the commercial case for erecting a wind turbine is still persuasive - if you believe that ROCs [renewable obligation certificates] are rock solid. A £1.2m investment in a 500kW turbine in an area with 8 metres/sec windspeed should yield about £400,000 per year for 20 years, which is not to be sneezed at."

Is this true?

It is difficult to think of any legal, productive form of investment which could generate returns like that. Why would people take the risk of investing in the real economy when boondoggles like this are on offer? What a tragic misuse of scarce investment capital.

If it is true, no wonder the West's economies are going to hell in a handbasket.

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

5 Nov: The Bucks Herald: Opponent of village wind turbine brands applicant as ‘selfish’
An opponent to a wind turbine bigger than Big Ben which could be built near Aylesbury has labelled the applicant as ‘selfish and unneighbourly’.
Ford Action Group Against Turbines member Richard Vanbergen believes Jeremy Elgin’s proposals for a 101m turbine at Lower Waldridge Farm would ‘do an enormous amount of damage’ to neighbours and claims it would not generate as much electricity as predicted..
Mr Vanbergen does not believe climate change is greatly effected by human activity and described the Government’s renewable energy policy as ‘completely bananas’.
???He said he was encouraged by a meeting with secretary of state for energy and climate change Ed Davey MP. At this he was told subsidies will be cut and ‘government policy is now to promote renewable energy but only when it’s sensible to do so and when local people want it’. Mr Vanbergen said: “Clearly local people don’t want it here.”

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Does anybody know how these two obviously mutually exclusive ideas can come from the same people?
Or perhaps people who believe that Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a handbook rather than a piece of juvenile fiction.

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

That's a very good point. Just by coincidence I've watched Vahrenholt's lecture to the GWPF
About 15 minutes in he cites some work by Lockwood (1999) linking northern wind intensities to the NAO. The NAO has a strong link to the average pressure difference between Iceland and the Azores. At the present time, this is now falling. Vahrenholt points to RWE's discovering of falling windmill outputs over several years and correlates this with the NAO state. And of course, Stuart Young has also pointed out declining windmill output in the UK.

Shame really!!!

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

In 1981, Hansen et. al.of GISS claimed** atmospheric warming from gravitational potential energy, 'Lapse Rate', was a GHG phenomenon. The adiabatic lapse rate is g/Cp; neither parameter is GHG sensitive.This single false claim exaggerated the GHE by nearly a factor of 3. There are other major errors.

[Google '1981_Hansen_etal.pdf']

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

"UK windiness has been falling over recent years"

As a result of GW, no doubt. How delicious.

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"They claim that the statistics, buried in recently published government documents, will leave the country unable to meet its carbon emissions"

Not the dash to Gas,but the end of Coal Goal.

Whole point .Offsetting the Carbon by switching from Coal to Gas
Gas burns hotter than Coal .Coal wastes heat breaking down from a solid .Gas Atoms are free to move Gas is the most Combustible form of matter.Basic chemistry.

My old hobby horse Coal Bed Methane.

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Are we finally seeing an outbreak of sanity in the Government?

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Don Keiller; if you could only know the programming of these mid-40s, not very bright public schoolboys at Oxford, you would realise why it has taken 2.5 years to get them to think rather than play 'Angry Birds'. Their token intellectual was told 2 years ago that the 'consensus' had been faked. A year ago he came out against windmills. Only now do the rest realise power cuts with no CO2 saving lose more votes than no power cuts.

Nov 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

If one focuses on windmills, one can see the uselessness of the warmies' proposed 'solutions'. Not only that, they are seen as 'shills for the wind industry' too. I never thought the day would come when warmies would be shills for any industry, at all.

Nov 5, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Registered Commentershub

Yes a 33% return on investment for 20 years....where else can you get that? And of course there's every reason to believe that the figures will get better as technological/production advances lower the capital & maintenance costs of the windmills. Its not hard to see why everyone with £1.2m in their pocket is gagging to put one of these things up, and b*gger the consequences. Its only governments who would be wet enough to give investors these kind of extra special returns. I should imagine most pension funds would be more than happy with anything between 7-10%. Amongst other things, a classic example of how hopeless outcomes are when governments start involving themselves in industry. Though of course another possible outcome is that the government will by one cunning stroke or another, renege on the deal as they apparently have done to the solar industry, which of course means that in future trust is diminished so the bribe has to be higher (for some other 'similar' exercise) so there's greater likelihood of that deal being reneged on, so next time the bribe higher yet, and so on...the circle of incompetence.

Nov 5, 2012 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Come on Richard Drake. If we feared a possible future problem we dig a hole and pull it all in after us. Gas is cheap now and for the forseeable future. If prices do increase we should be able to afford them given a rising living standard.
What does Caroline Flint know about anything? The Green party cannot find a suitable leader without recourse to Australia for goodness sake.
We must start fracking now and forget wind.

Nov 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Caroline Flint, Labour's shadow energy secretary, said: "There is a real risk the government's dash for gas will blow a hole through our climate change targets, undermine investment in clean energy and leave households vulnerable to price shocks and rising energy bills."

Can anybody please explain to a humble engineer, what the daft bat is actually talking about - "clean energy" - what is that when it's at home, there is no such thing, & it's all relative! The very existance of life on Earth, Carbon, has become demonised to the extent of becoming nonsensical! We need to take these basket cases head on & get them to talk about Carbon, & what they know about it, if anything at all! Socialism met Greenism when the Berlin Wall came down, nothing has really changed if the world.

Nov 5, 2012 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Vent de Colère, a French anti-wind group, has asked the Constitutional Court to rule that the guaranteed price paid to wind generators is an illegal State subsidy. The court has referred the matter to the European Court of Justice, with a decision not expected until next year. In the meantime, banks and investment funds are refusing to invest in wind generation.

Nov 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM | Registered CommenterDreadnought

Bonne chance à toi
Vent de Colère!
Sois Vent de Joie

Nov 5, 2012 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Alan the Brit,

I can guarantee that if you want to know how much Flint knows the answer will be nothing of any use.

This is, don't forget, one of Blairs Babes who was Europe minister and confirmed that she had never even read the proposed EU Constitution/Lisbon Treaty.

Window dressing and not very attractive window dressing at that.

Nov 5, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRB

"Does anybody know how these two obviously mutually exclusive ideas can come from the same people?"


No, it's called Cognitive Disonance - the ability to simultaneously believe two (or more) mutually exclusive things.
It's a wonderfully useful concept, and explains much about the world we live in.

Nov 5, 2012 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonJ

Every Day will Feel Like Sunday if they continue closing off the economic methods of generation.

Meanwhile the BBC today takes delight in reporting two Korean Nuclear Reactors will be stopped to change some non-certified electrical parts described as "non-core" for safety purposes.
Presumably the BBC will give equal prominence when the reactors are re-started?

I've got a better idea. Why doesn't the BBC broadcast just using electricity from wind-power? It's a win-win situation as far as I can see

Nov 5, 2012 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

michael hart - 'Presumably the BBC will give equal prominence when the reactors are restarted..'
Not a hope.
This is the BBC you're talking about.
David Shukman's feature at the time, on the 'astonishing speed' with which Arctic ice was melting in September. Not a peep when it was reforming with equally 'astonishing speed' in October...
Big feature a while ago about a school which had persuaded the parents to part with their hard-earned to fund a wind turbine in the school grounds to - er - 'reduce its carbon footprint...' (remember those awful tv propoganda commercials..?)
Not a peep when the thing failed a few months later, along with the supplier (ironically called Proven Technology) - all the parents' money lost...
The BBC's 'environmental' credentials are as balanced as a ton weight on one end of a see-saw...

Nov 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

John Marshall: Your comment makes no sense to me. Caroline Flint is not from the Greens - I think you're mixing her up with Caroline Lucas. Flint is the Labour spokesperson dragged out by The Guardian and I wasn't agreeing with her - far from it. I was arguing for a level playing field in energy. I was also wondering why the party of the 'working man' should care about the disappointment of rich investors with their noses in the trough when suddenly the trough is no longer filled with free nosh, at least as much as it was.

Nov 5, 2012 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

michael hart: As with all reports from the BBC, it is totally misleading, not to mention wrong. The standard of certification required for components is determined by its safety classification, not whether it's "non-core". The commentator says they cannot use ordinary components anywhere in a nuclear power plant without special certification - that's complete nonsense.

Nov 5, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Michael H. I seem to remember some time ago, the BBC tried to broadcast a programme powered by the wind turbine at Reading but it failed due to there being no wind that day.

Nov 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom Mills

In 2010 just one ageing AGR nuclear power station (Hartlepool) generated more electricity than all of UK wind farms combined (including Scotland). Data from Digest of UK Energy Statistics.

Year Total Energy Net Power Source % of total
2010 7950 GWh 0.9 Gw UK WIND FARMS 2%
2010 72000 GWh 7.1 GW Total Nuclear 16%
2010 8100 GWh 1.0 GW Hartlepool 2%

Nov 5, 2012 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best


What a surprise.

Orders for examples of a 12th Century technology, largely obsolete since the early 19th Century, have dried up as it becomes obvious that the bribes (aka subsidies) compulsorily extorted from consumers by governments are unpopular with the voters!

Who'd ever have guessed?

Nov 5, 2012 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

No I don't like mondays!! Doing ths mobile and I was wondering why the topic had moved off subject and why my "it's on my website link had disappeared" ... it's cause it is the wrong article. Apologise Andrew.

Nov 5, 2012 at 6:49 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Nov 5, 2012 at 8:34 AM | Robin Guenier

There is NO area where the the wind speed is a constant 8m/s. Average output over the year will be 1/4 of 500 kW. And then, the wind turbine will probably NOT last for 20 years, 15 years is more likely. Thirdly, if many of these windmills will be erected, it will be necessary to find a way to pay for the 25% reduction of profitability of the conventional power plants. Not one of them can be missed during the time the windmills generate almost nothing (wind force 3 and below), but on average over the year the conventional generators can only be used for 75% of the time. Wind energy on the grid is a really crazy scheme. So, there is no " other hand".

Nov 5, 2012 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlbert Stienstra

Perhaps even more devastating for wind power is its "sustainability". Using the Industry own figures:
" A modern wind turbines will be designed to work for 120 000 hours throughout their estimated life-span of 20 years."

If this lunacy continues by 2030 we will be left with 10s of thousands of rusting concrete monoliths scattered all overt our once green and pleasant land. Does anyone remember how 1960s "town planners" destroyed our beautiful medieval town centres ? Does anyone remember Ronan Point ?

Power generation has to be concentrated such as nuclear stations. The UK will need about 500 TWh of energy per year in 2030 just to sustain current standard of living. Wind power density will always be less than 2 watts/m2. You don't have to be a genius to calculate that even covering al, available space with turbines, renewables could only support a maximum population of ~10 million in the UK.

What is really depressing is that in 2008 98% of our MPs from all parties were led by just like the Pied Piper of Hamlyn, to pass the 2008 climate change act. When if ever will they come out of their trance ?

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

Albert Stienstra: you say - "Wind energy on the grid is a really crazy scheme." I agree. At present, for example, our 4,000+ wind turbines are contributing 2.5% (1100 MW) to our power demand. Coal is contributing 48.8%.

Nonetheless, there is an "on the other hand". And it's this: the "crazy scheme" gives a lot of people the opportunity to make a lot of money. Not so crazy for them.

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:26 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

"I've got a better idea. Why doesn't the BBC broadcast just using electricity from wind-power? It's a win-win situation as far as I can see"


How can we suggest it to them?

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:35 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

graphicconception: it wouldn't work.

The BBC would have a complete answer: "good plan [they'd say], but obviously we cannot do it yet. Why? Because, as we keep telling you, we need a lot more wind turbines. And why haven't we got them? Simple: because you selfish, evil deniers are doing your best to make that impossible."

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:58 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:26 PM | Robin Guenier

I would not call "the other hand"as you describe it "making money". To me it seems to be legalised extortion, the law being made on false premises and false calculations.

Even the 2.5 GW you noted are not the actual savings, when you count cycling of conventional power plants and decreased profitability. And since the wind parks are extras, the lifecycle costs for installation, connection to the grid, maintenance and decommissioning should be counted in full.

The emissions associated with power plant cycling, running conventional reserve and the windmil lifecycle should also be taken into account, resulting in much lower emission reduction, for what that is worth.

Nov 5, 2012 at 10:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlbert Stienstra

Nov 5, 2012 at 9:58 PM | Robin Guenier

There is quite enough wind power for the BBC with all the transmitters they employ. And it does not matter how much more wind energy you install (it can never be more than 25% of maximum demand, otherwise the grid will explode when there is force 5 wind), there will be times of force 3 or lower for the whole of the UK, so that the BBC would be silent.

Nov 5, 2012 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlbert Stienstra

Windmills in the UK attached to the synchronous grid can't save any significant CO2 unless we install truly massive pump storage. This is the result of the efficiency curve of CCGTs. Make head room for wind in the grid by running CCGTs at 60% load and their efficiency falls from 60% to 50%, and every time it adjusts output, efficiency falls further.

So, windmills at low penetration cause fossil fuelled power to drop its efficiency by ~20%. Drop thar output to 20% to make room for the gust power and efficiency falls to 38%, that of an OCGT. Say 35% when you make load adjustments and the efficiency of the fossil fuelled system falls by 40%. So, windmills can't save CO2 unless you (a) buffer their energy in steady wind periods and (b) pump the reservoirs by nuclear plant at peak times so the 30% efficiency loss is CO2-free.

This is engineering fact not DECC dreams.

Nov 6, 2012 at 7:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

The Scottish Daily Express reports that the cost of the proposed undersea power cable to connect the Outer Hebrides to the mainland has risen to £700 million. How much will that add to our electricity bills, on top of all the feed-in tariffs for the expensive wind electricity it will be carrying? See

Nov 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterdougscot

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