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“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.

Just when our English, Welsh and Scottish governments (as we must now call them) are more than ever going overboard for wind power, a shocking new report shows just what make-believe this is based on. A London-based consultancy, ABS Energy Research, cites new studies from Germany and Denmark, Europe’s two leading wind generators, which vividly illustrate the inefficiency and unreliability of wind power, not least because the very times when electricity demand is at its peak, in very hot or cold weather, are when the wind is least likely to blow.

A report from German energy giant E.On quotes an estimate that, although by 2020 Germany plans to have 48 gigawatts of ‘installed wind capacity’, the vagaries of the wind mean that in practice this will equate to only a pitiful two gigawatts of stable fossil fuel capacity. Germany is also having to build an additional 1700 miles of costly high-transmission lines to connect turbines to the grid, because most are in geographically inconvenient parts of the country.

As for Denmark, where wind accounts for 20 percent of electricity production, the highest percentage in Europe, only six percent, thanks to the mismatch of supply and demand, could in 2004 be used by the Danes themselves. 84 percent had to be exported to Norway, which relies so heavily on carbon-free hydro-electric power that it represented no carbon savings.

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Just when our English, Welsh and Scottish governments (as we must now call them) are more than ever going overboard for wind power, a shocking new report shows just what make-believe this is based on. A London-based consultancy, ABS Energy Research, cites new studies from Germany and Denmark, Europe’s two leading wind generators, which vividly illustrate the inefficiency and unreliability of wind power, not least because the very times when electricity demand is at its peak, in very hot or cold weather, are when the wind is least likely to blow.

A report from German energy giant E.On quotes an estimate that, although by 2020 Germany plans to have 48 gigawatts of ‘installed wind capacity’, the vagaries of the wind mean that in practice this will equate to only a pitiful two gigawatts of stable fossil fuel capacity. Germany is also having to build an additional 1700 miles of costly high-transmission lines to connect turbines to the grid, because most are in geographically inconvenient parts of the country.

As for Denmark, where wind accounts for 20 percent of electricity production, the highest percentage in Europe, only six percent, thanks to the mismatch of supply and demand, could in 2004 be used by the Danes themselves. 84 percent had to be exported to Norway, which relies so heavily on carbon-free hydro-electric power that it represented no carbon savings.
 
 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.


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AUG 13 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/3961-straws-in-the-wind
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