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« Climate cuttings 61 | Main | US Government Climate Change spend 2011 vs Heartland - Josh 153 »


I came across this woodcut by artist Paul Bloomer and thought it told a story. Thanks to Paul for sending a high-res version.

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Reader Comments (53)

As to windfarms, here are the latest capacity utilization numbers for 2010 from

Total Global Installed Capacity 169703MW
Total Global Power Generation 297.34TW
Utilization of Global Installed Capacity 0.20

There are no indications that this utilization number will improve in the near future. I am skeptical of the US and Australian numbers which appear to be outliers.

Mar 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

He should title the work "Dying to be Green"

Mar 1, 2012 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Utilization of Global Installed Capacity 0.20

What units? 20%, .2% or what ever?

Mar 1, 2012 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Don Pablo de la Sierra
Actual power generated over a year is 20% of the face plate capacity of the installed wind turbines.

By country using the numbers in Table 3 plus my calculation since they avoid doing the calculation (I wonder why?):
Australia 31%
Austria 24%
Canada 28%
China 13%
Denmark 23%
Finland 17%
Germany 15%
Greece 26%
Ireland 23%
Italy 17%
Japan 20%
Korea 24%
Mexico 29%
Netherlands 23%
Norway 24%
Portugal 26%
Spain 24%
Sweden 18%
Switzerland 8%
United Kingdom 22%
United States 27%
Totals 20%

Mar 1, 2012 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

At least if you build them offshore they presumably won't chop bats.

Mar 1, 2012 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

It's a bit like "The Scream" meets "The Matrix".

Mar 1, 2012 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart


I'm not so sure of that. I seem to remember the odd story of evil, rabid Continental bats biting innocent English civilians on the south coast. Maybe offshore wind turbines are the 2010s' version of barrage balloons.

Mar 1, 2012 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil McEvoy

There's another interesting nugget in your data. Why does Switzerland have by far the worst figure for % of 'installed capacity' produced? Are their turbines worse? I would have guessed the opposite. So is there a problem with the locations in Switzerland, or were the claims for wind power exaggerated the greatest?

Mar 1, 2012 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I would have thought the same. However, if you look at the report you will see that the Swiss, being really smart, have not invested in wind - a grand total of 42 MW. They probably just have a few token research turbines. But I am sure they would be willing to make and sell turbines to whoever wants to pay!!
The amazing thing is how careful the proponents are not to draw attention to the actual utilization numbers. Of course, it allows unrealistic numbers to be embedded in comparative cost calculations.

Mar 1, 2012 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

Damian Carrington has an article in today's Guardian about a poll affirming that the popularity of wind has gone from almost universal down to a mere "very popular".

Mar 1, 2012 at 3:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurfew

The swiss turbines are old (from the 1980's) and the wind is usually slow or non-existent. That does not stop the politicians from wanting to erect more and bigger ones; but that would have to be agreed to by the people in a referendum. (For the same reason Switzerland is not a member of the EU, and thus does not have the €).

Mar 1, 2012 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexej Buergin

Thanks Alexej At least the Swiss keep their eye on the bottom line.

Mar 1, 2012 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

Mobile Swastikas on poles.

Mar 1, 2012 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Mar 1, 2012 at 2:34 PM Don Pablo de la Sierra
"Utilization of Global Installed Capacity 0.20

What units? 20%, .2% or what ever?"

0.20 = 2/10 = 20/100 = 20%

Mar 1, 2012 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Mar 1, 2012 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

The load factors will decline with time because climate change is causing wind speeds to fall. See
However climate models show that wind speeds will increase. Oh, who to believe?

Mar 1, 2012 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I looked at his website and thought many of his comments were so apt. I hear people saying that they would be better placed away from centres of population, in wild, uninhabited areas. I think that is awful too; part of the attraction of wild uninhabited areas is just that. As soon as man places a wind turbine there they are no longer wild and uninhabited and a place of desolate beauty is spoiled.

[They are also just as bad placed near villages, etc. but that could be because I hate the damn things and everything they stand for.]

Mar 1, 2012 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterbiddyb

His website is well worth the visit. In the windfarm series he has one called 'Money counters' which I find very apt. The 'Windy night' I think is an extra-ordinary picture. It reminds me of representations of calvary. Many layers to that painting.

What's very notable is that the windfarm series is from 2008, so he's captured important aspects of the windfarm scam well before most of us realised that it was so bad.

Mar 1, 2012 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

A Grauniad poll? That'll be accurate, then...

Mar 1, 2012 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Martin A:
Correct. But I think many of those international numbers need to be verified and double checked.

Mar 1, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie


It won't stop them chopping seabirds or migratory species. And given our limited knowledge of how the latter actually navigate we don't really know what will be the long-term effects of offshore windfarms on these species.

Mar 1, 2012 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterSalopian

Richard Black is reporting the Global Warming is killing baby lambs!.

Mar 1, 2012 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

Seems that Black is now a virologist and epidemiologist and well as a climate scientist. Being a cynic as well as a sceptic; on the basis of the past outbreaks of foot and mouth, I would be inclined to blame the current outbreak of SBV on spread by humans. And I will stick to that until an infected Culex vector that originated from Europe is positively identified in the UK. Please bear in mind that the majority of UK SBV cases have occurred in counties that employ most European casual agricultural labour in the UK - it's a biosecurity failure not AGW.

Mar 1, 2012 at 6:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSalopian

I visited the Glasgow Museam and Art Gallery last week on my visit home and went and saw the Dali.

This is very Dali-esque.

Mar 1, 2012 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

The Leapday edition of El Reg brought this to my attention;

Here's the money quote;
" Professor Sir John Beddington also commended CSAs for their work in the policy area, and said: “I do not believe there are issues that I have encountered anyway where policy is driving the evidence-base”.117 Box 2 below sets out examples of obstacles which CSAs can face in offering advice and challenge to departmental policy.
Examples of obstacles to CSAs influencing policy
The following examples demonstrate some of the obstacles CSAs can face in offering advice and challenge to departmental policy.
• Professor Collins, former CSA to BIS (formerly Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) and DfT, described offshore wind as an occasion when he had lacked access to decision makers and, as a result, had been unable to contribute engineering advice to the relevant discussions.118
In addition:
• Professor Sir John Beddington, GCSA, described continued DH and NHS funding of homeopathy as a failure and said it was “crazy”. He argued that there was no scientific basis for this funding and said that he had expressed this opinion publically on numerous occasions.120 "

Sounds like someone who should be heard, if I'm reading between the lines correctly.

Mar 1, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterRuhRoh

the woodcut is very realistic - none of the wind mills are turning

Mar 1, 2012 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMangoChutney

Schmallenberg virus was initially reported in November 2011, in Schmallenberg, Germany. It as yet has no official name, being too new.

Black reports that:

Schmallenberg virus affects sheep and cattle, and is probably carried by midges.
Until 1990, Europe's midge-borne viral diseases were found only in Spain and Portugal;

And that's it - the only link with climate is that Spain and Portugal are warmer that Germany, so it must be global warming to blame!

Mar 1, 2012 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk


Add to that, the fact that most UK cases of SBV are in Sussex, Kent, Norfolk and Suffolk, but the prevailing winds are from the South-West. So shouldn't be wind-borne from Germany, and where are the cases in SW England?

Mar 1, 2012 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterSalopian

It won't stop them chopping seabirds or migratory species. And given our limited knowledge of how the latter actually navigate we don't really know what will be the long-term effects of offshore windfarms on these species.

Absolutely. And then there are the happy sail boaters, Queen Mary II, oil tankers, and assorted other fishing and coastal craft.

And finally, I am waiting for "The Perfect Storm" with Beaufort force 12 or higher winds. I remember what Katrina did to the oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. Just how far will those windmills go?

Mar 1, 2012 at 7:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

"The load factors will decline with time because climate change is causing wind speeds to fall. See
However climate models show that wind speeds will increase. Oh, who[m] to believe?" --Phillip Bratby

Both, obviously. You really must learn the postmodern concept of doublethink. You can do it if you try.

Mar 1, 2012 at 7:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Are there any figures for capacity value? For ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas), a grid manager with very large wind farms, the number is close to 9%.

Mar 1, 2012 at 7:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Schuman

"...And finally, I am waiting for "The Perfect Storm" with Beaufort force 12 or higher winds...."

Mar 1, 2012 at 7:14 PM | Don Pablo de la Sierra

Absolutely. and it is bound to happen, especially given all this evil CO2 man is putting into the atmosphere making our climate so unstable...


Mar 1, 2012 at 7:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Capacity value? I am not sure of this term but it sounds like the proportion of the power generating capacity that is Wind.
When I look at the latest ERCOT Newsletter ( it appears that the % of utilization of capacity is an outstanding 33.9%. The wind must blow pretty hard and pretty constantly in Texas.

It is interesting again that they simply do not quote the utilization rates.

Mar 1, 2012 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

re: Schmallenberg virus seems Black is playing fast and loose with facts.

"Until 1990, Europe's midge-borne viral diseases were found only in Spain and Portugal;"

Schmallenberg was so named in 2011, so the above quote is spurious IMO. Is Black some sort of midge virus carrier expert? I think not.

"A new virus was identified in December 2011 as the cause of both conditions. This was named ‘Schmallenberg virus’ after the German town where the virus was first identified."

source =

Reported number of infected premises in Europe: 1,451

Netherlands - 135

Germany - 788

Belgium - 166

United Kingdom - 83

France - 277

Italy - 1

Luxembourg - 1

It was most likely imported into the UK via infected livestock, could have been here for two yrs.

Anything for the "noble cause" though, eh Richard.


Mar 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

Thank you Paul Bloomer.

Turbines are not signs of progress and, in addition to the bird mortality issue, appear to have deleterious health effects on human beings.

Mar 1, 2012 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarold Ambler

Paul Bloomers website is very interesting. Rekindled my interest in art.

Mar 1, 2012 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris S

I have checked the Australian figures to find out why them are so high. First, a few caveats on the data - they relate only to the south eastern electricity grid (South Australia, NSW and Victoria) covering a mere 24 wind farms. These are in locations that have been cherrypicked for the best conditions available while being reasonably close to population centres. It does appear that their average output is between 30 and 35%.

To put this in perspective, as of half an hour ago total demand on that grid was around 17 300 MW (that is the figure for 7.30 am on Friday). The installed wind capacity is around 2 000 MW. On average, it delivers about one third of that, ie 660MW, about 2.6%.

These are very rough figures done on a scrap of paper and rounded, but hopefully will provide some context and order of magnitude. It should also be noted that owing to the vast distances between these windfarms (the distance between Adelaide in SA and Sydney in NSW is about 1 100km or 720 miles) wind conditions across the grid are far from uniform. At any given moment, some arrays might be going flat out while others are stationary. Their impact on the overall grid is therefore minimal.

Links: - for info on location, capacity and average output of the farms, and - click on Electricity Data and note that Qld and Tas should be excluded from the demand figures for this exercise.

A passing comment - information like this, which I understand many countries now have available in real time on the net, is an invaluable aid to discussions about energy.

Mar 1, 2012 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna


"And given our limited knowledge of how the latter actually navigate we don't really know what will be the long-term effects of offshore windfarms on these species."

So you haven't modelled it then!!!

Mar 1, 2012 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

We all see different things in a picture like this and I can see wads of banknotes in the lower half of this woodcut. It may be just my imagination but they are definately there,
By the way, is everybody else thinking about their punctuation, I am.

Mar 2, 2012 at 12:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

should have been a full stop after "there"

Mar 2, 2012 at 12:22 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

I see it's evocative, but does there have to be a cross in the center?

Mar 2, 2012 at 12:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Paul Bloomer's Facebook Page has a bit of background to this picture.

Anyone who lives in Shetland will be aware of the proposal to build the largest onshore windfarm in Europe on Shetland --the Viking Energy. This has polarised the community with the vast majority of the populace against it. These pictures are my response to this oversized proposal. This is not an anti windfarm stance but an anti Viking Energy stance. I would support a sensible sized windfarm that was fit for scale and purpose. For more info go to Sustainable Shetland website where you will find an indepth analysis.

Mar 2, 2012 at 4:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterandy scrase

What am I talking about - Dali? It's Escher that this reminds me of.

Mar 2, 2012 at 6:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

You may recall Piers Corbyn calls them "prayer-wheels". Less vehement but very apt I think.

Mar 2, 2012 at 8:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn in France

John in France - I think it was Kim who originally coined the phrase 'prayer wheels', on a BH thread. "bird death prayer wheels" to be precise. It is one of my favourites too.

Mar 2, 2012 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Nice one Black! First Kill birds and bats now put the suffering of lambs and costs through the roof! More models and money down the tube! I notice you still have your comments shut down!

Mar 2, 2012 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

"Mobile Swastikas on poles", comments Mydogsgotnonose.

That would be a striking logo for any windfarm opposition groups.

Mar 2, 2012 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Nice woodcut.

Mar 2, 2012 at 12:22 PM | Registered Commenterequinox

Strangely reminiscent of both the Hazchem radioactivity sign and the V2 rocket...

Mar 2, 2012 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDR

Retired Dave:

Tried doing a bit of 'modelling' this afternoon using paper darts and my desk fan. Results - fan turned on, darts all crashed; fan turned off, darts all ok. Conclusion - the warmists argument that windturbines don't affect birds or bats must be that most of the time they aren't moving (the turbines, not the birds and bats).

Mar 2, 2012 at 6:20 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

thanks for checking Johanna on the alleged output from those blights upon the landscape.

To give one example of these farms there is one near my current location: Bungendore. These do not feed into the grid per se. In fact most of the time they are not operating. They are supposed to feed the desalination plant near Sydney.

Mar 2, 2012 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterMargaretO

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