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« Newsnight does Antarctic sea ice | Main | Dieter Helm on energy policy »
Wednesday
Oct292014

Maria McCaffrey on Radio 5

One more excerpt from yesterday's flurry of news pieces about renewables. This time it's Maria McCaffery of Renewable UK, who is someone whose public utterances generally have to be taken with a considerable pinch of salt.

It's no different this time.

Drive Power Cuts

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Reader Comments (15)

I don't want to listen, but based on past experience, this woman knows nothing about the electricity industry and is a serial liar on behalf of the subsidy troughers. There is no lie too big for the people at RenewableUK.

Oct 29, 2014 at 9:30 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Quite right, Philip, good decision, one minute and "the wind is always blowing somewhere" was more than enough before I switched off.

Oct 29, 2014 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

The wind may be blowing 'somewhere' but if that only produces a few % of the installed capacity then we'd sure better have some reliable generation available elsewhere. She sounded pleased that wind generation topped 25% of the total the other day, without realising that that is the root of the problem. The more energy that non-dispatchable sources put into the grid, the more back-up is required and the more unstable the grid becomes.

Oct 29, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

Why did I guess she would make the usual claim that "the wind is always blowing somewhere". As I've said, there is no lie too big.

Oct 29, 2014 at 10:57 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

BBC gives a platform to the loonies yet keeps off the sane, what kind of world is this ?
The public are entitled to get the truth, but what they get is people like Sally Uren & Maria McCaffery, Ed Davey etc unopposed with badly briefed presenters who don't know how to challenge properly to pin down the truth (* with a couple of honourable exceptions). Whereas if these greendreamers were put up against people like Carter, Lawson, The Bish, Patrick Moore, Matt Ridley they'd quickly crumble. But certain eco-warriors inside the BBC have succeeded in effectively banning such challenging by creating an atmosphere that challenging greendogma is false balance.. Note that the concept of "false balance" is a logical fallacy; as weaknesses in arguments can be exposed by challenging from anybody (especially the taxpayers who pay for policies based on them) not just authority figures.

This is serious while we are laughing at these jokers, the public are not getting the truth

Oct 29, 2014 at 12:13 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The statement that went along the lines of "the more wind power we connect to the grid, the more we will even out the peaks and troughs"

is a lie . . . and she knows it.

The more wind we connect, the greater will be difference between the power peaks and troughs; the more unmanageable it will become.

And surely not the "wind always blows somewhere" meme. As my paper shows, the statement is true, but only if you also accept that the firm capacity is less than 2 % of nameplate capacity of the entire wind fleet.

Oct 29, 2014 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Quite right, Philip, good decision, one minute and "the wind is always blowing somewhere" was more than enough before I switched off.

Messenger

This one phrase is the backbone of the EU renewable energy drive. They want to interconnect every windmill across europe onto a common "smart" grid (whatever that means). Like this they believe that wind and solar can provide power 100% of the time. Obviously they didn't speak to an engineer.

Oct 29, 2014 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

In the meantime, back in the real world, wind output is back where it belongs, bouncing along the bottom of the graph and producing a paltry total of 0.7GW...

So - Ms McCaffery - where is the wind blowing today..? Mmmmm...?

Oct 29, 2014 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

RuinablesUK has less credibility than the Mafia.
Deliberate and barefaced liars.
They should be prosecuted for Conspiracy to Defraud.
Maybe one day they wii be.

Oct 29, 2014 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

On BBC Cambridgeshire yesterday the Breakfast presenter (Dotty McCleod), reading from the recent report on wind farms, highlighted the statistic that the UK's wind farms only exceeded 90% of 'nameplate' output for SEVENTEEN MINUTES in the last year...
So, in future, when media presenters are reading autocues or computer screens announcing the approval of yet another wind farm, when the statement is made that they 'could power 17000 homes' or whatever, I expect the presenter to add the rider: 'For seventeen minutes a year...'

Oct 29, 2014 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

@sherlock1 on av turbines only deliver 20%-35% of nameplate power, everyone already knows this. So that new report is a bit disingenuous in saying "shock horror they hardly ever get above 90%" cos what counts is what they average.
- A 1.2GW gas plant delivers almost 1.2 GW all the time
- but A 1.2GW gasplant connected to a 1.2GW windfarm means that since the windfarm gives about 1/3 of it's nameplate we can reduce the power output of the gasplant by 0.4GW on average ..
- However A 1.2GW gasplant connected to 3X 1.2GW windfarms would still need to burn gas some of the time, cos in windless times all the windfarms would generate nothing and at some other times they might be generating flat out above 3GW.. and getting a subsidy to switch off
(I say 1.2GW windfarm, but none exist that big, London Array is only 0.65GW)

Oct 29, 2014 at 1:55 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Is it time for a wind myths buster web page?

Oct 29, 2014 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

You might as well add in Richard North. He made an extravagant claim today:

http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=85280

It turns out it is he who is misinforming the public. I did a detailed dissection of the Grid's Winter Report that showed their assumptions are dangerously optimistic. He doesn't seem to like it.

Oct 29, 2014 at 3:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

"...it is totally free and inexhaustible when it is available."

Oct 29, 2014 at 7:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

"...it is totally free and inexhaustible when it is available."

IOW, 60% of the time, it works every time.

Oct 29, 2014 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke in Central Illinois

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