New Greens

Victoria University of Wellington is to quit its modest investments in fossil fuel.
“The University recognises that the world is still reliant on the fossil fuel industry and the intent of this decision is not to vilify responsible companies in the sector. The University [wants to align] its investment decisions with the results of its scientific research and its public stance on climate change,” said vice-chancellor Grant Guilford.

In other news
Continue Reading →

Wind alone cannot keep the lights on

Len Mills sends us a study of wind farms reported in the Daily Mail. It emerges that their real production history falls a long way short of the breathless claims some make for them.

I too wish to save the world, but not by using wind turbines, because they’ll ruin us first. They’re expensive, ugly, short-lived, noisy to the point of ill-health, ugly, kill bats and birds, they stop generating if there’s too little or too much wind, they demand lots of rare metals and they’re ugly.  Continue Reading →

Our money just blowing in the wind turbines

• Guest post •

Wind energy produces costly, intermittent, unpredictable electricity. But Government subsidies and mandates have encouraged a massive gamble on wind investments in Australia — over $7 billion has already been spent and another $30 billion is proposed. This expenditure is justified by the claim that by using wind energy there will be less carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere which will help to prevent dangerous global warming.

Incredibly, this claim is not supported by any credible cost-benefit analysis Continue Reading →

Wyndham on wind farms to the bishop

Sent to me three days ago from Outside The Beltway Group (thanks!) – You can link here to Rupert’s MS Word document for distribution.

14 June 2012.

Rt. Rev. Michael Langrish
Bishop of Exeter
The Bishop’s Office
The Palace
Exeter, EX1 1HY

Dear Bishop Langrish

Earlier in the week I listened to what you had to say following the welcome decision to withdraw the diocese’s application to erect wind turbines in Devon. I see that your remarks have now been republished in The Daily Telegraph. In particular, it is striking that you consider that you and your staff were subjected to abuse by objectors. Well, I was not part of any such exchanges and do not condone, in your own words, ‘bullying tactics’. On the other hand, I cannot help pointing out – to a churchman and so an ethical standard bearer, most especially – that such tactics are an absolutely routine component of the dialectical arsenal favoured by climate change proselytisers, Continue Reading →

Saving lies in the wind

The New Zealand Wind Energy Association commissioned a report from Infometrics which was released a few days ago. It claims that New Zealanders could be $390 pa better off with 20% more wind energy than at present.

However, Bryan Leyland has some harsh things to say about it, including that it is “riddled with flaws” and makes a number of “very dubious assumptions”.

The Climate Science Coalition might (probably will) produce a press release with more detail, but watch this space; if they don’t, we will.

UPDATE: The press release from Terry Dunleavy has been published on Scoop.

Our headline says “saving lies” with good reason; when an insider organisation gives out such misleading statements as this economic nonsense (I mean assuming ridiculously high prices for “carbon”) they do so not from ignorance but deliberately.

They lie.

Monday, 28 November 2011, 12:50 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

28 November 2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Continue Reading →

Dutch treat

Owen McShane draws our attention to a report from the Netherlands showing that wind farms are a net cost to human society and the environment.

Who would have thought?

The report is titled Electricity in The Netherlands – Wind turbines increase fossil fuel consumption & CO2 emission, and the author is C. le Pair.

He says the models commonly used to calculate the economic and environmental benefits of wind farms are incomplete and overstate the expected savings.

The conclusion is stark:

The wind projects do not fulfill ‘sustainable’ objectives. They cost more fuel than they save and they cause no CO2 saving — on the contrary, they increase our environmental ‘footprint’.

A decision to invest billions (thousands of millions) of Euros in the construction of wind projects ‘to save fossil fuel and to reduce CO2 emissions’ is irresponsible. There are no savings, THERE IS LOSS!

We do not consider it likely that more knowledge of the factors influencing the present outcomes would change our results appreciably. It is more likely that including the factors we identified as not having sufficient data on, would actually increase the loss.

So far, our New Zealand windfarm operators are happy to go it alone with no overt subsidies, only hidden ones. This post from December 2010 reveals how we help our fledgling wind operators.

But if they start to whinge about losing money, now you know that it’s the nature of wind turbines to cost money and degrade the environment, you won’t let the government waste our money in subsidies, will you?

Wind farms v. radar

This one’s really off the radar.

Wind farms, along with solar power and other alternative energy sources, are supposed to produce the energy of tomorrow. Evidence indicates that their countless whirring fan blades produce something else: “blank spots” that distort radar readings.

Now government agencies that depend on radar — such as the Department of Defense and the National Weather Service — are spending millions in a scramble to preserve their detection capabilities…

Read more at Fox News.

Wind shifts

wind turbines in New Zealand

A happy coincidence this week revealed at once the folly of Britain’s growing reliance on wind turbines and the wisdom of the NZ government’s apparent preference for fossil-fuelled power generation.

First, a new study sheds light on the failure of British wind farms to live up to expectations. Second, a leaked report shows the National-led government apparently plans to go all out for oil, coal and mineral wealth, not wind farms. Hurrah.

In James Delingpole’s article “Official: wind farms are totally useless“, we learn the facts of two years of British wind generation. James explains that there are five oft-repeated claims by wind operators and Government representatives that:

“Wind turbines will generate on average 30% of their rated capacity over a year.”
“The wind is always blowing somewhere.”
“Periods of widespread low wind are infrequent.”
“The probability of very low wind output coinciding with peak electricity demand is slight.”
“Pumped storage hydro can fill the generation gap during prolonged low wind periods.”

But statistics from two years of operation, analysed by Stuart Young using publicly available data, reveal alarming discrepancies between these slick promises and the actual performance of the British wind farms: Continue Reading →

Why wind won’t work

quill pen
To the Editor
Climate Conversation

13th February 2011

Why are governments still mollycoddling wind power?

There is no proof that wind farms reduce carbon dioxide emissions and it is ludicrous to believe that a few windmills in Australia are going to improve global climate.

Such wondrous expressions of green faith put our politicians on par with those who believe in the tooth fairy.

Tax payers funding this largess and consumers paying the escalating power bills are entitled to demand proof.

Not only is there no climate justification for wind farms, but they are also incapable of supplying reliable or economical power.

It is also surprising those who claim to be defenders of the environment can support this monstrous desecration of the environment.

Wind power is so dilute that to collect a significant quantity of wind energy will always require thousands of gigantic towers each with a massive concrete base and a network of interconnecting heavy duty roads and transmission lines. Then when they go into production, they slice up bats and eagles, disturb neighbours, reduce property values and start bushfires.

Finally, to cover the total loss of power when the wind drops or blows too hard, every wind farm needs a conventional back-up power station (commonly gas-fired) with capacity at least twice the design capacity of the wind farm to even out the sudden fluctuations in the electricity grid.

Why bother with the wind farm – just build the backup?

There is no justification for the continuation of mandates, subsidies or tax breaks favouring wind power over reliable and cheaper electricity generation options.

Wind power should compete on an equal basis with all other electricity options.

Viv Forbes


The above statements

are supported and expanded in a recent submission to the Australian Senate entitled: “Why Wind Won’t Work – It’s as Weak as Water.”

See a summary of the submission.

See the full report with pictures and all the gory and depressing details.

Cold facts crush green dream

Wind power fails freezing Britons

Richard Littlejohn, of Climate Realists, describes Britain’s alarming winter which has exposed the practical impossibility of ever relying on wind turbines for electricity generation. Three days ago, their 3150 turbines were contributing only 1.6% of the nation’s power supply; some days it’s been zero. But Richard says:

It gets better. As the temperature has plummeted, the turbines have had to be heated to prevent them seizing up. Consequently, they have been consuming more electricity than they generate.

So it was just a bad day for them? No, because, sadly:

Even on a good day they rarely work above a quarter of their theoretical capacity.

The combined output of all 3150 of these landscape despoilers is equal only to that of a single, medium-sized, gas-fired power station. And they cannot even replace that power station, because they need constant backup — that means constant running, because you have seconds to react when the turbines (which are exempt from forecasting their production) shut down. Consider the myth that wind turbines eliminate emissions of carbon dioxide destroyed.

What more does Nick Smith need to know?

The British Government still clings to plans to erect 12,500 of these “War Of The Worlds windmills” in the sea and across the land. The evidence was already available from power engineers before the turbines were proposed by misguided, starry-eyed greenies — but this winter alone proves the desperate folly of believing that the nation’s power supply could ever depend upon them.

More than desperate — it’s dangerous, because cold weather is dangerous. It will kill people. Does Nick Smith care? If he does, he will stop this nonsense from occurring in New Zealand.

It’s different if you’re installing small turbines to give the gift of electricity far from population centres. Catering for a tramping hut or beach resort, where people don’t mind occasionally doing without, is a completely different kettle of fish.

Listen to the good sense of this, Nick — don’t sink a king’s ransom into wind turbines and stop trifling with our energy security.

Finally from Mr Littlejohn:

According to the BBC, Town Halls across the country have been appealing to owners of 4x4s to offer lifts to ‘essential staff’ during the cold snap.

These would be the same 4x4s which these very same councils want to ban, because they cause global warming and kill polar bears.

You couldn’t make it up.

I couldn’t agree more.

Read more here…

King Coal and Mighty Nuclear

We all know that the becalmed wind turbines produced a derisory trickle of power during this wicked northern winter.

But who is climbing up to clean the snow off the solar panels so they can collect another derisory trickle of energy, around midday only, from the pale winter sun?

Meanwhile, quietly, efficiently and unseen by the green dreamers, King Coal and Mighty Nuclear are keeping the lights on and the heaters glowing.

Viv Forbes

NZ wind farm subsidies

NZ wind turbine

Subsidies? In New Zealand? For wind power?

 

A conversation was under way here, sparked by my post on Germany’s “new dark age”. A reader (Andy) posed the question:

“I am intrigued by the NZ wind industry, because it seems, on the face of it, to be just about the only example in the world that is not surviving on subsidies (other than the ETS, of course). Am I missing something here?”

Now Bryan Leyland provides the startling information that NZ wind turbines do enjoy substantial public subsidies. He laid them out for me. I’ll start with the smaller ones and shock you with the biggest at the end.

First, they don’t have to predict in advance what the output will be. Of course, this would be a practical impossibility, like predicting the exact rainfall next month. But we are immediately alerted to one of the most serious drawbacks of wind generation. Continue Reading →

Nick Smith: heed German dilemma

German wind turbine

This account is the more arresting for being written by a man clearly well-informed about and sensitive towards environmental considerations. If even he is questioning the wisdom — financial and environmental — of wind turbines, we should take notice. It is also instructive that this is the experience of the largest and strongest economy in Europe; if they cannot solve the problems even with their enormous resources in both research and manufacturing, then New Zealand cannot. You’ll read below how German consumers are grossly overcharged for the generation AND DISTRIBUTION of electricity — surely the only financial reason these behemoths can survive. If you want energy now, don’t rely on wind generation. I’ve said before that the only sensible use for wind power is for digging a big hole you don’t need yet.
Richard Treadgold

      

A new dark age for Germany?

published at CFACT Europe December 1, 2010 – h/t Roger Dewhurst

Offshore wind power projects pave the way to frequent blackouts

Newspapers

This is an adopted article.

Thousands of bureaucrats are preparing for another cushy climate confab in Cancun — while U.S. Senators Bignaman, Brownback and Reid are contemplating how to ram renewable energy standards through a lame-duck session of Congress. If they’re wise, American voters and congressmen will pay extra careful attention to the awful dilemma of German climate and energy policy, as exemplified by recent events, and make sure their country doesn’t make the same “green” mistakes Germany did. Continue Reading →

Will sanity secure UK power supply

Rupert Soames.

Harsh reality threatens misty-eyed green dreams

excerpted from The Scotsman 13 November 2010 – h/t Andy
Newspapers

This is an adopted article.

THE “lights could go out” over Scotland unless new power stations are built in the next two years to ward off a looming electricity crisis, the head of one of Scotland’s most successful companies has warned Alex Salmond.

Rupert Soames, chief executive of power supply firm Aggreko, told the First Minister that the National Grid will lose a third of its capacity by 2018 as a string of nuclear, gas and oil-fired power stations across the UK are retired – including several in Scotland.

Mr Soames claimed that no other industrialised country in the world is at risk of losing so much of its energy supply at the same time – and without a realistic back-up plan.

Wishful thinking

He urged both the Scottish and UK governments to postpone green energy targets by a decade. Unless “the concrete is poured” on a new fleet of power stations within the next two years, Mr Soames warned, “we will be in serious danger of the lights going out”. Continue Reading →

Windmills increase CO2, pollution & costs

An ugly windfarm near Palm Springs, California.

A good man learns from experience; a wise man from the experience of others. The following story describes actual experiences with modern windfarms. It has a Canadian focus, but can instruct us too if we listen. Let us do what we can to prevent these mistakes from occurring in New Zealand.

This story is about windmills proving a disaster, both financially and for energy security, but they are disasters in the literal sense, too. These monstrous machines in our landscapes can cause enormous damage when they fail, which they do quite frequently, adding even more to their great expense, not to mention that people have died. We have pictures of some of the failures. Here’s a site that actually supports wind power, claiming they reduce “carbon footprints”, whatever they are, but loves looking at accidents. It makes chilling viewing. Here’s a sample failure:

windmill failure

See more on our new page of wind turbine failures.


Wind power is a complete disaster

[subheads, emphasis, added]

There is no evidence that industrial wind power is likely to have a significant impact on carbon emissions. The European experience is instructive. Denmark, the world’s most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity, has yet to close a single fossil-fuel plant. It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind power’s unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% in 2006 alone).

Flemming Nissen, the head of development at West Danish generating company ELSAM (one of Denmark’s largest energy utilities) tells us that “wind turbines do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” The German experience is no different. Der Spiegel reports that “Germany’s CO2 emissions haven’t been reduced by even a single gram,” and additional coal- and gas-fired plants have been constructed to ensure reliable delivery.

Indeed, recent academic research shows that wind power may actually increase greenhouse gas emissions in some cases, depending on the carbon-intensity of back-up generation required because of its intermittent character. On the negative side of the environmental ledger are adverse impacts of industrial wind turbines on birdlife and other forms of wildlife, farm animals, wetlands and viewsheds.

When the government picks winners look out for havoc

Industrial wind power is not a viable economic alternative to other energy conservation options. Again, the Danish experience is instructive. Its electricity generation costs are the highest in Europe (15¢/kwh compared to Ontario’s current rate of about 6¢). Niels Gram of the Danish Federation of Industries says, “windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.” Aase Madsen, the Chair of Energy Policy in the Danish Parliament, calls it “a terribly expensive disaster.” Continue Reading →

Destroy the countryside? What, climate change or the windmills?

The Telegraph says:

Ed Miliband, the [UK] Energy Secretary, last week announced that planning rules would be relaxed to make it easier for an extra 3,500 onshore turbines to be built as part of a £100 billion plan to generate more energy from wind power by 2020.

That’s a lot of windmills—and they’re just the extras. Including offshore windmills, he’s planning to build a total of 10,000 of them. You won’t be able to miss them. No way.

But then, in what could become the quote of the decade, Mr Miliband clarified matters:

“We need to change the default position so that people will come to understand the dangers of climate change to our beautiful countryside.”

The only danger is the unholy havoc Miliband plans to wreak upon the countryside and the drastic weakening he will achieve in energy security. And all for the sake of a tiny reduction in emissions of a minor greenhouse gas which won’t affect the climate.