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 →