Documents filed under Pollution from Europe

Geo-hydromorphological assessment of Europe’s southernmost blanket bogs

Esp.4927_bogs_and_wind_turbines_thumb This study examines changes in peat bogs resulting from peat extraction and grazing. The study also found that a far more significant impact to these land forms in the long term, with far greater and more rapid change has occurred as a result of windfarm construction. The authors write that "Although the installation of individual turbines over blanket bog often results in the extraction of peat in isolated locations, the associated infrastructure of tracks and electrical cable conduits has wider impact not only on the hydrology, but also on peatland geomorphology." According to the report "Windfarm installations have already significantly altered the functioning of some of these ecosystems, and without urgent protection some of the blanket bogs identified here may soon be lost. Action of a most urgent nature is needed from the governments of Cantabria and Castilla y León in order to retain what remains and restore these systems to important natural carbon sinks." The full report can be accessed by selecting the document links on this page.
6 Aug 2020

Geo-hydromorphological assessment of Europe’s southernmost blanket bogs

Esp.4927_bogs_and_wind_turbines_thumb This study examines changes in peat bogs resulting from peat extraction and grazing. The study also found that a far more significant impact to these land forms in the long term, with far greater and more rapid change has occurred as a result of windfarm construction. The authors write that "Although the installation of individual turbines over blanket bog often results in the extraction of peat in isolated locations, the associated infrastructure of tracks and electrical cable conduits has wider impact not only on the hydrology, but also on peatland geomorphology." According to the report "Windfarm installations have already significantly altered the functioning of some of these ecosystems, and without urgent protection some of the blanket bogs identified here may soon be lost. Action of a most urgent nature is needed from the governments of Cantabria and Castilla y León in order to retain what remains and restore these systems to important natural carbon sinks." The full report can be accessed by selecting the document links on this page.
6 Aug 2020

Less For More: The Rube Goldberg Nature of Industrial Wind Development

Less_for_more_thumb Rube Goldberg would admire the utter purity of the pretensions of wind technology in pursuit of a safer modern world, claiming to be saving the environment while wreaking havoc upon it. But even he might be astonished by the spin of wind industry spokesmen. Consider the comments made by the American Wind Industry Association.s Christina Real de Azua in the wake of the virtual nonperformance of California.s more than 13,000 wind turbines in mitigating the electricity crisis precipitated by last July.s .heat storm.. .You really don.t count on wind energy as capacity,. she said. .It is different from other technologies because it can.t be dispatched.. (84) The press reported her comments solemnly without question, without even a risible chortle. Because they perceive time to be running out on fossil fuels, and the lure of non-polluting wind power is so seductive, otherwise sensible people are promoting it at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history or grid operations. Eventually, the pedal of wishful thinking and political demagoguery will meet the renitent metal of reality in the form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (85) and public resistance, as it has in Denmark and Germany. Ironically, support for industrial wind energy because of a desire for reductions in fossil-fueled power and their polluting emissions leads ineluctably to nuclear power, particularly under pressure of relentlessly increasing demand for reliable electricity. Environmentalists who demand dependable power generation at minimum environmental risk should take care about what they wish for, more aware that, with Rube Goldberg machines, the desired outcome is unlikely to be achieved. Subsidies given to industrial wind technology divert resources that could otherwise support effective measures, while uninformed rhetoric on its behalf distracts from the discourse.and political action-- necessary for achieving more enlightened policy.
20 Dec 2006

Less For More: The Rube Goldberg Nature of Industrial Wind Development

Less_for_more_thumb Rube Goldberg would admire the utter purity of the pretensions of wind technology in pursuit of a safer modern world, claiming to be saving the environment while wreaking havoc upon it. But even he might be astonished by the spin of wind industry spokesmen. Consider the comments made by the American Wind Industry Association.s Christina Real de Azua in the wake of the virtual nonperformance of California.s more than 13,000 wind turbines in mitigating the electricity crisis precipitated by last July.s .heat storm.. .You really don.t count on wind energy as capacity,. she said. .It is different from other technologies because it can.t be dispatched.. (84) The press reported her comments solemnly without question, without even a risible chortle. Because they perceive time to be running out on fossil fuels, and the lure of non-polluting wind power is so seductive, otherwise sensible people are promoting it at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history or grid operations. Eventually, the pedal of wishful thinking and political demagoguery will meet the renitent metal of reality in the form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (85) and public resistance, as it has in Denmark and Germany. Ironically, support for industrial wind energy because of a desire for reductions in fossil-fueled power and their polluting emissions leads ineluctably to nuclear power, particularly under pressure of relentlessly increasing demand for reliable electricity. Environmentalists who demand dependable power generation at minimum environmental risk should take care about what they wish for, more aware that, with Rube Goldberg machines, the desired outcome is unlikely to be achieved. Subsidies given to industrial wind technology divert resources that could otherwise support effective measures, while uninformed rhetoric on its behalf distracts from the discourse.and political action-- necessary for achieving more enlightened policy.
20 Dec 2006

A guide to calculating the carbon dioxide debt and payback time for wind farms

Hall-co2payback_thumb It is broadly accepted that wind turbines do not emit CO2 at the point of generation. However, in common with all types of power station, it is emitted during their construction and, through damage directly inflicted on the construction site, over a much longer period. The total debt will vary from site to site but will comprise some or all of the following; • Emissions arising from fabrication (steel smelting, forging of turbine columns, the manufacture of blades and the electrical and mechanical components); • Emissions arising from construction (transportation of components, quarrying, building foundations, access tracks and hard standings, commissioning); • The indirect loss of CO2 uptake (fixation) by plants originally on the surface of the site but obliterated by construction activity including the destruction of active bog plants on wet sites and deforestation; • Emissions due to the indirect, long-term liberation of CO2 from carbon stored in peat due to drying and oxidation processes caused by construction of the site. It is important to recognise that peat is a major store of carbon accumulated from dead plant remains over many millennia. It is held in perpetuity because the bog’s wetness and acid conditions prevent the access of oxygen and inhibit the growth of bacteria which would otherwise rot the vegetation. Draining peat for construction reverses both these long-term processes: the soil is exposed to the air, the carbon is converted to CO2 and released slowly to the atmosphere. Several papers from the wind industry in Denmark and the UK have addressed the first two points with estimates of payback time ranging from about six to 30 months. However, the industry rarely, if ever, considers the last two. This is a fundamental omission as their contribution to the overall CO2 debt, in particular the last, can be far greater than all the others put together. This paper outlines a procedure for quantifying it. The guide has been prepared to enable anyone with access to the Environmental Statement (ES) that forms part of a Planning Application (PA) for a wind farm to estimate its CO2 debt. (If some of the requisite information proves to be unavailable, this ought to provide grounds for postponing consideration of the application and the commissioning of further assessment.) The results of the calculations described should be submitted to planning authorities or Public Inquiries as part of the arguments used in assessing the merits and demerits of an application.
1 Aug 2006

Reduction in Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Estimating the Potential Contribution from Wind Power

Renewable_energy_foundation_thumb In the UK, the parallel objective is to generate 10% of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources by 2010. Renewable electricity has become synonymous with CO2 reduction. However, the relationship between renewables and CO2 reduction in the power generation sector does not appear to have been examined in detail, and the likelihood, scale, and cost of emissions abatement from renewables is very poorly understood. The purpose of this report is to analyse a wide range of technical literature that questions whether the renewables policy can achieve its goals of emissions reduction and power generation. To some, renewable energy has the simple and unanalysed virtue of being “green”. However, the reality of this quality is dependent on practical issues relating to electricity supply. ......In conclusion, it seems reasonable to ask why wind-power is the beneficiary of such extensive support if it not only fails to achieve the CO2 reductions required, but also causes cost increases in back-up, maintenance and transmission, while at the same time discouraging investment in clean, firm generation.
1 Dec 2004

Estimation of real emissions reduction caused by wind

Liik-emissionsreduction_thumb The aim is to show that the fuel economy and emissions reduction in the power systems consisting mainly of thermal power plants are not proportional with the electricity production of wind turbines. Participation of thermal power plants in the compensation of fluctuating production of windmills eliminates major part of the expected positive effect of wind energy. A method for calculation of real fuel economy and emissions reduction is described and a calculation example basing on Estonian and Danish data is given. Editor's Note: A worthwhile read in its entirely (attached pdf file). Selected extracts appear below.
24 Jun 2003

Why cement-making produces carbon dioxide

Why_cement_thumb Cement manufacturing is the third largest cause of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. While fossil fuel combustion and deforestation each produce significantly more carbon dioxide (CO2), cement-making is responsible for approximately 2.5% of total worldwide emissions from industrial sources (energy plus manufacturing sectors).
1 May 1993

Wind Power: Capacity Factor, Intermittency, and what happens when the wind doesn’t blow?

Rerl_fact_sheet_2a_capacity_factor_thumb Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in moving air into rotational energy, which in turn is converted to electricity. Since wind speeds vary from month to month and second to second, the amount of electricity wind can make varies constantly. Sometimes a wind turbine will make no power at all. This variability does affect the value of the wind power……Editor’s Note: This ‘fact sheet’ is, on the whole, a comparatively fair report. The definitions provided for capacity factor, efficiency, reliability, dispatchability, and availability are useful. Its discussion of back-up generation, marginal emissions and Germany & Denmark, however, is disingenuous as is, to a lesser degree, its discussion of capacity factor and availability. IWA's comments (updated October '06) on these issues follow selected extracts from the 'fact sheet' below.
1 Jan 1970

Wind Power: Capacity Factor, Intermittency, and what happens when the wind doesn’t blow?

Rerl_fact_sheet_2a_capacity_factor_thumb Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in moving air into rotational energy, which in turn is converted to electricity. Since wind speeds vary from month to month and second to second, the amount of electricity wind can make varies constantly. Sometimes a wind turbine will make no power at all. This variability does affect the value of the wind power……Editor’s Note: This ‘fact sheet’ is, on the whole, a comparatively fair report. The definitions provided for capacity factor, efficiency, reliability, dispatchability, and availability are useful. Its discussion of back-up generation, marginal emissions and Germany & Denmark, however, is disingenuous as is, to a lesser degree, its discussion of capacity factor and availability. IWA's comments (updated October '06) on these issues follow selected extracts from the 'fact sheet' below.
1 Jan 1970

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Europe&p=2&topic=Pollution&type=Document
back to top