Library from Germany

Energy Not Quite As Free As the Wind

CAPE Town has, with much fanfare, just embraced wind power, that green panacea of sustainable and clean energy. But we are most unlikely to hear of its cost, its inefficiency and, indeed, its damage to the environment. We will hear that wind power helps curb our greenhouse-gas emissions, makes the country less dependent on fossil fuels and energy imports and -- the icing on the cake -- also creates jobs. Surely this is the solution to many of the world's biggest problems? To see if these alleged benefits actually stand up to closer scrutiny, let us look at a country held up as a shining example: Germany.
23 Aug 2006

“Straws in the Wind”

Most shocking of all is new evidence that the need to switch on and off base load fossil fuel power plants, to provide back up for unreliable wind turbines, actually gives off more carbon emissions than keeping them running continuously, thus negating any carbon savings from wind. Alas, only when our governments have allowed thousands more turbines to disfigure Britain’s countryside, not least by their grotesque bending of the planning rules, will the futility of the ‘great Wind Scam’ finally be recognised.
13 Aug 2006

Wind Power Report Shows Facts Instead of Myths

The most important findings of this report highlight studies that raise critical concerns challenging some of the claims made for wind power. Badly needed evidence is now available after three years of large scale operation of wind turbines in five countries..... These studies are the first real evidence showing how wind actually works, as opposed to what has been claimed, and come from some of the most authoritative voices on energy in the world......ABS Energy Research’s report does not relegate wind power to the dustbin. But it does show how essential proper analysis is to establish what renewable energy can and cannot deliver and how it must be accommodated within a total electricity generation system. Objective analysis is essential. Nearly every one of the points described in the study has been labelled a "myth" by a lobby group.
8 Aug 2006

A site for eyesores

Most of the power emanating from the Ruhr these days is generated by wind farms dotted across the landscape. There is one just by the campsite, vast turbines the size of the Eiffel Tower rising out of the fields and casting a shadow over caravan and camper van alike. As an advert for the site, the windmills don't do much. Oddly, none of them was turning when I arrived. Like the site owner, they were clearly rising above the flap and bustle going on all around them.
1 Jul 2006

Wind parks: a hot power lines dispute

A number of wind park operators in the northern German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein have filed an action for damages with the district court in the town of Itzehoe against the power grid operator E.ON Netz. They are accusing the company of using superficial or specious technical difficulties as an excuse for preventing the use of wind-generated electricity, which is unpopular with energy utilities.
23 Jun 2006

Germany's wind farms challenged

However, some observers are now questioning whether all the investment in wind power makes economic sense....Alsleben's new wind farm is designed to supply electricity to 30,000 homes, but when the wind stops blowing, the blades stop turning and the power output falls to zero. Critics say this underlines one essential drawback: you can't depend on wind for energy. Even if you build wind farms you still need conventional power plants in case the wind fails.
29 May 2006

Bird migration studies and potential collision risk with offshore wind turbines

Birdmigrationoffshorewind_thumb This report published by the British Ornithologists’ Union provides an important look at bird migration behavior over water and the potential for collision with offshore wind energy turbines. The authors recommend "abandonment of wind farms in zones with dense migration, turning off turbines on nights predicted to have adverse weather and high migration intensity, and actions to make wind turbines more recognizable to birds, including modification of the illumination to intermittent rather than continuous light, as the most appropriate mitigation measures." An excerpt of the Executive Summary appears below. The full report can be downloaded from this webpage.
31 Mar 2006

International Experience With Implementing Wind Energy

Implementingwindenergy_thumb International Experience With Implementing Wind Energy examines the relative costs, advantages and disadvantages of wind generation. In addition, the report explores infrastructure issues, public attitudes toward wind development, and the various policy instruments used to support the development of wind energy in countries that are leaders in implementing wind energy.
1 Feb 2006

Wind not the answer to our energy needs

Dr Johannes Teyssen and Martin Fuchs, authors of a 2005 report into wind energy in Germany, also uncovered some disturbing truths. There are three points that resoundingly debunk the myth that wind energy is efficient and practical. First, the more wind farms Germany installs, the less effective it becomes in displacing other generators. Second, there are massive subsidy costs, extensive new power lines, back-up and cost requirements. Third, comments that 48,000 megawatts of wind energy will only effectively replace 2000 megawatts of conventional generators.
30 Dec 2005

Don't ignore the experience of others

The subsidies for wind are a misuse of public money. The "benefits" from industrial wind are a fantasy and an escape from our energy problems. For me, believing that industrial wind will solve our energy problems is a little like believing the Tooth Fairy will pay my heating bills this winter.
15 Dec 2005

German Experiences with Wind Power

"In order to guarantee reliable electricity supplies when wind farms produce little or no power,e.g. during periods of calm or storm-related shutdowns, traditional power station capacities must be available as a reserve. This means that wind farms can only replace traditional power station capacities to a limited degree."
11 Dec 2005

GE Energy Financial to Acquire Wind Farm

"This latest addition to our growing wind power portfolio is further evidence of our commitment to the European renewable energy market," said Andrew Marsden, managing director of GE Energy Financial Services' European operations.
6 Dec 2005
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