I have been following this extraordinary story for ten years ever since, in 2002, I first began looking carefully at what really lay behind this deceptive obsession with the charms of wind power. It didn't take me long, talking to experts and reading up on the technical facts, to see that the fashionable enthusiasm for wind energy was based on a colossal illusion.
Compared to conventional shallow water offshore wind farms that cost about $2 million per MW installed, the fixed-pile foundation Talisman project at $5.8 million per MW is almost three times as expensive and prohibitively uneconomical in the near term.
The greens favour high oil prices because consumers use less of the stuff when it costs more, and because high prices for oil make other forms of energy more competitive. Nuclear power, solar energy, wind power or any of the other substitutes for fossil fuels can become more economically viable only if oil prices stay about where they are - and politicians stump up some generous subsidies, sceptics would add.
Meanwhile, the hunt for the proverbial free lunch is on. The most efficient way to cut the use of fossil fuels is to make them more expensive by taxing them, or the emissions they create. But politicians are as unenthusiastic about transparency in the cost of cleaning up the environment as they are about increasing the transparency of the funding of political parties. So most proposals to cut carbon emissions are built around a single proposition: hide their cost from voters. ...Even the emerging favourite in the United States and Europe, a cap on emissions followed by a trading of permits, is a hide-the-cost device: costs of compliance will be passed on as higher prices. So the blame will go to car makers, supermarkets, electricity utilities, and oil companies, the applause to politicians. All so politicians can avoid the transparent device of a tax on carbon or carbon emissions.
Besotted as the BBC is by wind turbines, BBC South last Monday chose to celebrate the go-ahead given to the world’s largest windfarm in the Thames Estuary with a special broadcast from Green Park, Reading, where millions of motorists each year see the 2 megawatt (MW) turbine erected by Ecotricity next to the M4. The BBC excitably announced that its programme would be powered entirely by electricity from the turbine. Bang on cue – no wind. The BBC had to fall back on a nasty CO2-emitting emergency generator......When will the BBC realise that this is one of the craziest fantasies of our age? Perhaps not until it has to close down all its broadcasts because there aren’t enough emergency generators to keep them going.
Do we really want an industrial landscape to be all we have in the UK?
How can the Government be so blind to the economic facts of wind energy?
And so it comes to pass that The Sunday Times is picking up that which anti-wind campaigners have been pointing out since the dawn of time - that "some treasured landscapes may have been blighted for only small gains in green energy." ...It is a real change to have Jonathan Leake write that an analyses of data released by Ofgem "reveals that more than 20 wind farms produce less than a fifth of their potential maximum power output."
In the future, historians will puzzle how landscapes, revered for generations, were destroyed by 100-metre-plus machines all over the country. ...Public relations for the wind industry has been magnificent in persuading conformists it is all right to erect machines in once valued landscapes.
The European Union's utopian scheme of transforming itself into a green energy powerhouse is faltering as its fantasy plan is colliding with reality. As the EU's economic and financial crisis deepens and unemployment continues to rise, what used to be an almost all-embracing green consensus is beginning to disintegrate.
Looking at onshore wind farms in England that operated all year in 2007, 2008, and 2009, under 15 per cent achieved 30 per cent capacity in 2007 and 2009 - and only 18.5 per cent in 2008.
If the Renewables Obligation Certificate subsidy system ...is to maximise electricity generation from onshore wind power then it should focus on helping turbine erection in the windiest places.
This week, industry, household, councils, environment and development groups were all trying to work out what the proposals mean. All that is clear for now is that the balance has shifted from development at any cost, and that the environment is now stage centre.
Inquiries by The Spectator have revealed a scam known as ‘de-rating'. Green businesses are modifying large turbines to make them less productive, because perverse government subsidies reward machines that produce less energy at nearly double the rate of more efficient ones.
In fact the virtues of these ‘low energy' bulbs are nothing like so wonderful as naïve enthusiasts like Ms Lucas imagine them to be. Indeed in many ways, the experts warn, by banning incandescent bulbs altogether the EU may have committed itself to an appallingly costly blunder.
It is a decision which will have a far greater impact on all our lives than most people are yet aware, presenting the UK alone with a bill which, on our government's own figures, could be £3 billion or more.
The result will provide a quality of lighting which in many ways will be markedly less efficient. Even Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor who put forward the proposal, admitted that, because the energy-saving bulbs she uses in her flat take some time to warm up, she often has ‘a bit of a problem' when she is looking for something she has ‘dropped on the carpet',
But even more significantly, because they must be kept on so much longer to run efficiently, the actual amount of energy saved by these bulbs has been vastly exaggerated.
History — of the U.S., Europe, the U.K. and its former dominions — repeatedly shows that environmental protection is a luxury good. ...This all splatters to a halt when economies go south. And the crash can be especially jarring if greenness is one of the causes. Thanks in no small part to the debacle in Europe, in a very few recent weeks, we have witnessed the great green crack-up.
Anyone impressed by the efficient way in which Britain has organised the Olympic Games might consider the stark contrast provided by the shambles of our national energy policy - wholly focused as it is on the belief that we can somehow keep our lights on by building tens of thousands more wind turbines within eight years.
It is six years since I first referred here to "the great wind scam" - the bonanza enjoyed by the developers of wind turbines, thanks to the hidden subsidy we all give them through our electricity bills. Under the Government's Renewables Obligation, they receive twice as much for such electricity as they produce as the owners of conventional power stations: a 100 per cent top-up which makes our wind energy the most heavily subsidised commodity in history.
As a nation, we are a pretty good lot. In a real emergency we respond constructively and courageously, but this relentless brainwashing whose only purpose seems to be to promote wind turbines must stop before serious damage is done to national morale.
If wind energy really is the energy of the future, as the developers claim, it must prove itself in the market without government subsidies. This has not yet happened anywhere; the projections are all based on artificial models with hidden costs -- costs for you and me, the taxpayers and consumers.
It is 20 months now since British Airways proudly announced a new scheme to deal with climate change: for the first time, passengers could offset their share of the carbon produced by any flight by paying for the same amount of carbon to be taken out of the atmosphere elsewhere. "I welcome warmly this move from BA," said the then environment minister, Elliot Morley.
And how much carbon has BA offset from the estimated 27m tonnes which its planes have fired into the air since that high-profile moment in September 2005? The answer is less than 3,000 tonnes, less than 0.01% of its emissions - substantially less than the carbon dispersed by a single day of its flights between London and New York. The scheme has been, as BA's company secretary, Alan Buchanan, put it to a House of Commons select committee earlier this year, "disappointing".
There are now 10 dead WTE found at Smola since August 2005.'’ (dated October 2).All soaring raptor and many large slow-flying bird are at serious risk, having no natural defence against 100mph blade tips.