Let’s take the wind from their sales



Gigantic wind turbine: engineering nothing short of majestic, but profit-making? Not on your Nelly, they require compliant politicians to authorise fat taxpayer subsidies. They wreck your power grid — as they just did in South Australia — and despoil remote wilderness. It’s time to demolish them.  (click to enlarge)

Even after 30 years of huge subsidies, wind power provides about zero energy

from Matt Ridley’s blog on the futile numbers behind wind power

No comments from me, just a series of extracts from Matt’s latest blog, wherein his unerring discernment dismantles the case for wind turbines as a cure for the climate endangerment craze. I strongly recommend you read his original piece. You won’t hear this from the world-saving Greens, for these are the facts behind their fantasy. One key fact: Wind turbines (icons for ‘clean’ renewables) are necessarily produced by filthy fossil fuels, largely coal. You read it here first.  – RT

The Global Wind Energy Council recently released its latest report, excitedly boasting that ‘the proliferation of wind energy into the global power market continues at a furious pace, after it was revealed that more than 54 gigawatts of clean renewable wind power was installed across the global market last year.’

… [Wind power’s] contribution [to world energy] is still, after decades — nay centuries — of development, trivial to the point of irrelevance.

Even put together, wind and photovoltaic solar are supplying less than 1 per cent of global energy demand. From the International Energy Agency’s 2016 Key Renewables Trends, we can see that wind provided 0.46 per cent of global energy consumption in 2014, and solar and tide combined provided 0.35 per cent. Remember this is total energy, not just electricity, which is less than a fifth of all final energy, the rest being the solid, gaseous, and liquid fuels that do the heavy lifting for heat, transport and industry.

… Their [solar and wind] trick is to hide behind the statement that close to 14 per cent of the world’s energy is renewable, with the implication that this is wind and solar. In fact the vast majority — three quarters — is biomass (mainly wood), and a very large part of that is ‘traditional biomass’; sticks and logs and dung burned by the poor in their homes to cook with. Those people need that energy, but they pay a big price in health problems caused by smoke inhalation.

If wind turbines were to supply [just the growth in world energy demand of 2 per cent per year] but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.

At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area [half the size of] the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area [half] the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels, which currently supply 80 per cent of global energy needs. [para corrected from original.]

… There is a limit to how much energy you can extract from a moving fluid, the Betz limit, and wind turbines are already close to it. Their effectiveness (the load factor, to use the engineering term) is determined by the wind that is available, and that varies at its own sweet will from second to second, day to day, year to year.

… Mankind stopped using [wind power] for mission-critical transport and mechanical power long ago, for sound reasons. It’s just not very good.

As for resource consumption and environmental impacts, the direct effects of wind turbines — killing birds and bats, sinking concrete foundations deep into wild lands — is bad enough. But out of sight and out of mind is the dirty pollution generated in Inner Mongolia by the mining of rare-earth metals for the magnets in the turbines. This generates toxic and radioactive waste on an epic scale, which is why the phrase ‘clean energy’ is such a sick joke and ministers should be ashamed every time it passes their lips.

It gets worse. Wind turbines, apart from the fibreglass blades, are made mostly of steel, with concrete bases. They need about 200 times as much material per unit of capacity as a modern combined cycle gas turbine. Steel is made with coal, not just to provide the heat for smelting ore, but to supply the carbon in the alloy. Cement is also often made using coal. The machinery of ‘clean’ renewables is the output of the fossil fuel economy, and largely the coal economy.

A two-megawatt wind turbine weighs about 250 tonnes, including the tower, nacelle, rotor and blades. Globally, it takes about half a tonne of coal to make a tonne of steel. Add another 25 tonnes of coal for making the cement and you’re talking 150 tonnes of coal per turbine. Now if we are to build 350,000 wind turbines a year (or a smaller number of bigger ones), just to keep up with increasing energy demand, that will require 50 million tonnes of coal a year. That’s about half the EU’s hard coal–mining output.

… it is utterly futile, on a priori grounds, to think that wind power can make any significant contribution even to world energy supply, let alone to emissions reductions, without ruining the planet. …

the idea that renewable energy could power the UK is an “appalling delusion” — for this reason, that there is not enough land.

The truth is, if you want to power civilisation with fewer greenhouse gas emissions, then you should focus on shifting power generation, heat and transport to natural gas, the economically recoverable reserves of which — thanks to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — are much more abundant than we dreamed they ever could be. …

And let’s put some of that burgeoning wealth into nuclear, fission and fusion, so that it can take over from gas in the second half of this century. That is an engineerable, clean future. Everything else is a political displacement activity, one that is actually counterproductive as a climate policy and, worst of all, shamefully robs the poor to make the rich even richer.


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Mike Jowsey

Many moving parts. Friction. Maintenance. And results are zero, except for the negatives; frustration, contempt and laughter. Or is laughter a positive? Perhaps that’s the benefit of wind “power”.


Speaking to an energy company insider (one that doesn’t do wind). They hate these things because the spot rate crashes when they are generating. They cannot “store” so when the wind blows they have to sell. Buyers know this so the price is always lowest when they are turning, losing even more money!


Hi Bulaman,

That pricing scenario seems intuitively obvious. Are there any stats to back it up?

We see various of cost of production estimates of electricity from different sources but I don’t think I have seen average spot prices from the various production methods. The assumption usually taken is that all sources produce electricity worth the same dollars. Clearly that is not true.

Ian Cooper

Off topic, but I can’t help commenting on the irony of two things I have seen on TV 1 over the weekend. The first was a news item about the plight of the Yellow Eyed Penguins at Oamaru. A leading scientist, who’s name I can’t recall sorry, studying the decline of these iconic birds claimed that there are three major contributing factors in this decline. Habitat change due to human activity which includes introduced predators, fishing practices and you guessed it, “Climate Change!” Thanks to the fact that we have been recording in detail the temperatures in the area involved, and that includes the sea south of Oamaru, scientists can assert with confidence that one third of the decline is down to climate change. They have no quanta for the other two factors but they are certain about how much impact climate change is having! On Sunday night (May 21st) Country Calendar did a story on a couple farming at Port Levy on the northern side of Banks Peninsula. It turns out that there is another lesser known breed of Penguin there that is endangered. Thanks to a concerted effort by that couple… Read more »

Dennis N Horne

Total nonsense from the obfuscator Lord Ridley of Coal, member of GWPF with Lord Monckton of Loony and Lord Lawson of Blaby. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_the_United_Kingdom The United Kingdom is one of the best locations for wind power in the world, and is considered to be the best in Europe.[1][2] Wind power contributed 11% of UK electricity generation in 2015, and 17% in December 2015.[3] Allowing for the costs of pollution, particularly the carbon emissions of other forms of production, onshore wind power is the cheapest form of energy in the United Kingdom.[4] In 2016, the UK generated more electricity from wind power than from coal.[5] … Wind power delivers a growing percentage of the energy of the United Kingdom and at the end of May 2017, it consisted of 7,520 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of almost 15.5 gigawatts: 10,128 megawatts of onshore capacity and 5,356 megawatts of offshore capacity.[6] This placed the United Kingdom at this time as the world’s sixth largest producer of wind power (behind 1. China, 2. USA, 3. Germany, 4. India and 5. Spain), having overtaken France and Italy in 2012.[7] Polling of public opinion consistently shows strong… Read more »


Wind power is a scam and people who promote it are either crooks or delusional fools


This looks like this will take the wind from the wind industry’s sales. China’s flammable ice containing methane means abundant cheap energy from fossil fuels:


Also, another article of interest. Ben Santer tries a pathetic hit job on Scott Pruitt in an especially weak paper. As Dr. Roy Spencer says:

‘Of course, the authors know full well that the reason the pause/hiatus/leveling-off ended was due to a NATURAL event (El Nino). You can’t build a case for human-caused warming by relying on natural warming! (But, they did anyway.)’



So for comparison sake, New Zealand total installed electricity capacity is 10,000 MW and lets say a capacity factor of 60% vs UK installed wind capacity of 15,000 MW with a capacity factor of say 25%.

So UK wind generation output is less than New Zealand total electricity output.

Population 4.5m vs 65m.


Another way to look at it is one large coal, natural gas or nuclear plant of 5,000 MW would produce as much electricity as the total 7,500 monstrosities combined.

Correction to above – 35% capacity factor judging from Renewable UK.

Dennis N Horne

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm-tKEpJs7I What has Lord Baron Christopher von Monckhausen said now? https://bbickmore.wordpress.com/lord-moncktons-rap-sheet/ Climate Asylum. A Republican Scientist Advocates Sane Energy Policies 1. Monckton claimed that he has developed a cure for Graves’ Disease, AIDS, Multiple Schlerosis, the flu, and the common cold. This is no joke–he actually filed applications to patent a “therapeutic treatment” in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Bluegrue speculates that Monckton is likely filing his applications and then letting them lapse after a year without paying the fees necessary to have the Patents Office take the process forward. That way, he can claim he has filed for a patent, but never has to have the Patent Office determine whether his “therapeutic treatment” is patentable (or pay any fees). Is it homeopathy? Massive doses of vitamin C? The world waits with bated breath. 2. The list of diseases cured by Monckton’s miracle tonic expands from time to time. At one point he claimed, “Patients have been cured of various infectious diseases, including Graves’ Disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex VI.” At another time he said, “Patients have been cured of various infectious diseases, including Graves’ disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza,… Read more »

Dennis N Horne

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/may/11/more-errors-identified-in-contrarian-climate-scientists-temperature-estimates More errors identified in contrarian climate scientists’ temperature estimates [John Abraham] A new study suggests there are remaining biases in the oft-corrected University of Alabama at Huntsville atmospheric temperature estimates Human emission of heat-trapping gases is causing the Earth to warm. We’ve known that for many decades. In fact, there are no reputable scientists that dispute this fact. There are, however, a few scientists who don’t think the warming will be very much or that we should worry about it. These contrarians have been shown to be wrong over and over again, like in the movie Groundhog Day. And, a new study just out shows they may have another error. But, despite being wrong, they continue to claim Earth’s warming isn’t something to be concerned about. Perhaps the darlings of the denialist community are two researchers out of Alabama (John Christy and Roy Spencer). They rose to public attention in the mid-1990s when they reportedly showed that the atmosphere was not warming and was actually cooling. It turns out they had made some pretty significant errors and when other researchers identified those errors, the new results showed a warming. To provide perspective,… Read more »


Dennis dear boy, Don’t you know that the UAH issues mentioned in your pathetic guardian articles were all fixed decades ago – orbital decay, 1986-1988. You and your author really are more than a bit thick and informationally retarded dear boy. The new UAH V6 is not a beta anymore and has between published in a peer reviewed article: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/03/uah-version-6-dataset-paper-published-online/ As for UAH not matching RSS, let’s just have a look shall we: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss-land/plot/uah6-land OOOPS!! Looks like a near perfect correlation to me. Your guardian author is either a complete ignoramus or a dishonest greenie activist – i.e. a stock standard alarmist. Weak minds are so easily led by whatever rubbish they read in the papers. The land based datasets, however, are still ‘adjusting’ their ‘adjustments’ of their ‘adjustments’, etc. for the temperatures over the entire 20th century every time they update, which shows how useless they are. As for NOAA, let’s just have a quick look at their inadequate ‘global’ coverage of thermometers shall we: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/file/integrated-surface-database-station-distribution-mapgif Both poles, the oceans, Greenland, Nth Africa, Canada, Nth Russia all have bad to pathetic coverage, i.e. the majority of the Earth, something that is simply… Read more »

Dennis N Horne

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/may/11/more-errors-identified-in-contrarian-climate-scientists-temperature-estimates Comments: 596 John Abraham. Thursday 11 May 2017 11.00 BST https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Abraham_(professor) John P. Abraham is an American engineering professor, known for his interest in climate science. Abraham is professor of thermal and fluid sciences at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering, Minnesota.[1][2] His area of research includes thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid flow, numerical simulation, and energy. After gaining his doctorate at the University of Minnesota in 2002, he joined St. Thomas as an adjunct instructor, later becoming a full-time member of the faculty. He has published over 200 papers in journals and conferences, and since 1997 has also been an engineering consultant working on industrial research in aerospace, biomedical, energy and manufacturing industries. He works on clean and renewable wind and solar projects in the developing world, and has also produced numerous books, such as a 2014 text on small-scale wind power[3] and a 2010 groundbreaking text on laminar-to-turbulent fluid flow.[4][5][6] Abraham felt it was necessary to respond to a talk given to the Minnesota Free Market Institute in October 2009 by a well-known skeptic of human-caused global warming, Christopher Monckton. He thought “this guy is a great speaker and… Read more »

Dennis N Horne

Indeed, Magoof. Over the years Christy and Spencer have mostly corrected their ongoing schoolboy-howlers — under the supervision and watchful eye of climate scientists (and others), 99% of whom accept the consensus of publishing climate scientists: human activity is warming Earth and destabilising the climate.

Climate Misinformer: John Christy

Climate Misinformer: Roy Spencer

Oops, how could one forget the third of the miserable trio of climate science misfits:
Climate Misinformer: Judith Curry

Dennis N Horne

Magoof, you suffer confirmation bias, motivated reasoning and Dunning-Kruger. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but you are delusional. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

Preeminent satellite expert Carl Mears, of Remote Sensing Systems, sides with surface thermometers as consistently providing a generally more reliable record. “I would have to say that the surface data seems like its more accurate,” Mears said.

According to Zeke Hausfather, a regular Yale Climate Connections expert author and a doctoral candidate working with Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, “We’ve tried using just the raw data . . . globally, you get pretty much the same warming. The necessary and routine ‘adjustments’ to surface temperature data sometimes attract disproportionate general circulation media attention,” Hausfather says, but those have had very little significant impact over the last 30 years or so. “The satellite records historically have been subjected to much, much, larger adjustments over time,” according to Hausfather.

Maggy Wassilieff

If anyone wants a laugh…. check out this reply to Dennis Horne (Wiiliam of Ockham) who has posted on the Dunning-Kruger effect on Kiwiblog this morning.


Haha! That’s very funny Maggy. Dany’s reply to Dennis is very funny also. 😉


Almost as funny as Dennis’ use of the Guardian, skepticalscience.conjob, and Zeke ‘El Nino’ Hausyafather to justify his rants and froths of willful ignorance.

DENNIS dear boy, the UAH satellite record is verified as the most accurate when compared to the independent radiosonde record – the land based record shown is the least accurate:


Sorry Dennis dear boy, but them’s the empirical facts.

Mike jowsey

“And please, to save us the trouble of guessing, specify the particular assertions you consider to be “total nonsense” from the good lords Ridley, Monckton and Lawson. If it’s not too much to ask.” Brilliant! Hahahaha.

Dennis N Horne

US wind generation reached 5.5% of the grid in 2016
5 Heartland states now more than 20% wind-powered
March 6, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma and North Dakota all sourced more than 20 percent of their electricity generation from wind power during 2016, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). It shows wind supplied over 5.5 percent of electricity nationwide, up from 4.7 percent in 2015.
With 99 percent of wind turbines located in rural areas, wind power’s steady growth as a share of the nation’s electricity supply has been accompanied by a surge of investment in rural America. The industry invested over $13.8 billion in new turbines last year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), in addition to operating a fleet now over 52,000 turbines.
“Wind is now cheaply and reliably supplying more than 20 percent of the electricity in five states and is a testament to American leadership and innovation,” said Tom Kiernan, AWEA CEO. “For these states, and across America, wind is welcome because it means jobs, investment, and a better tomorrow for rural communities.” [continues]

Dennis N Horne

Magoon you goof … people live on the surface. (Yes I know you have your head in the clouds… ) Satellites don’t measure surface temperatures. In fact it is very difficult to construct any sort of useful temperature series from their data. They measure temperatures throughout the atmosphere, all over the place. Religious freaks Christy and Spencer have been cooking the cake for years.

I thought I already told you Carl Mears of Remote Sensing Systems has explained surface thermometers give a truer indication of temperature.

But hey, a Con’s not interested in the truth.

Dennis N Horne

Richard Dawkins Interviews Creationist Wendy Wright (Complete)

Exactly the same arguments in science denial of atmospheric physics and Earth science as evolution.

Thinking you know better than the experts … insanity.

Dennis N Horne


The common misunderstanding about the Paris accord is its impact on business and investment. Opponents fret about costs and economic change, but achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals will unlock capital investment at a rate no other policy initiative can match.

Here’s why:

Right now, an unprecedented amount of actual wealth is “sitting on the sidelines,” awaiting the next wave economy—the transformational moment of world-building investment potential.

More than $8 trillion tied up in negative yield bonds, along with another $5 trillion in corporate cash holdings, are waiting for a go sign. All that capital is looking for reliable growth and secure returns.

Climate-resilient investments, high-efficiency new energy technologies, and services that build value in local communities, hold far more growth potential than any old-style industrial production standards.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that $5.1 trillion per year in direct and indirect assistance to high-carbon energy is not only a waste of public resources, but qualifies as “destructive spending” that undermines value across whole economies.

The opportunity to move that money into the building of a new economy of sustainable prosperity open to all is what the Paris Agreement is designed to activate.


Wind energy is a scam. Wind energy requires huge amounts of fossil fuel backup. Wind energy kills many birds, including golden eagles. Wind energy causes health problems in humans and animals. Wind energy is a blight on the landscape

Only scam artists like Dennis support wind energy.


Dennis dear boy,

LOL! But the whole point of AGW is that greenhouse gases are supposed to warm THE ATMOSPHERE, remember? That’s where the CO2 & water vapour are supposed to go once emitted & where they’re supposed to warm. Duh!

Jeez you’re thick Dennis. I’ve met some ignoramuses in my time, but I have to say you really do take the cake dear boy. 😉


Apparently the Christchurch City Council think that rapid acceleration of sea levels is about to happen any day soon, because they are forcing coastal residents to build one metre high foundations on any new house builds.

This is the real cost of AGW madness – pointless and expensive rules that just make life more difficult for everyone


There is a boardwalk by the estuary in South Brighton, it has been unusable and broken since the 2011 earthquakes

The council refuse to repair it because they would have to build it one metre higher than before, because of the catastrophic sea level rise that will happen in the next 100 years. As it is over one metre above ground, they would have to put handrails on it, rendering the project too expensive.

I’m so glad I left


The headline on Stuff this morning was “US Stiffs World”

(in response to pulling out of the Paris agreement)

I think the headline has been changed now.

Alexander K

Trump has kept his promise and reversed the USA out of the totally silly Paris deal and I am very pleased that at least one politician in the international arena can spot a fraud and act accordingly.
I am now waiting for our resident loon to go into full head-banging mode.


Lomborg calculates that if all the countries adhere to the Paris agreement, and the models are right, then the world will be 0.05 deg C cooler by 2100

At a cost of $100 trillion, I’m told

Alexander K

Sorry to disagree with you, but my wife and I moved to Papamoa a couple of years ago and I have a long association with the area, going back to 1955. The new subdivisions in Papamoa are properly engineered and are raised considerably above the original peaty swampland, with very considerable safeguards in the form of properly-designed swales and wetlands to protect all flora and fauna, including the human species.
During the recent very severe rain events (my rain guage actually overflowed in one 24 hr period despite holding 300 mms of rainwater), the swales and wetlands coped admirably, with very little excess surface water anywhere in the newer parts of the suburb. The buildings are all constructed on concrete “rafts’ which encapsulate a thick and impervious layer of polystyrene to ensure no damp rises up through the concrete. Such is our confidence in the engineering, we will be shifting into our brand new home in the newest development sometime before Christmas.
Alexander K


On the sea level topic, since we are discussing that on a wind thread, the MfE guidance on sea levels has been inadvertently leaked and it’s not good news.

The guidance is for no new building consents within 1.9m of high tide


Dennis N Horne

http://www.chalquist.com/climatechangedenial.html Are warnings about global disaster waking people up–or numbing them out? Craig Chalquist, PhD A few years ago, when I spoke about ecotherapy at Bioneers, I was asked during the question-and-answer period, “What is stopping people from waking up to the threat of climate change?” Surely it’s not the complexity of the problem. Earth has gone to a lot of trouble to remove enough carbon from the atmosphere to allow life to proliferate. Reverse that cycle and the Greenhouse Effect overheats the planet, a trend evident despite the occasional cool winter. Scientists have warned us about it for a century; the handful who disagree are paid to, usually by petroleum front companies bearing lucrative grants.* According to the International Energy Agency, every year we delay action costs us $500 billion, so the business reasons alone make action urgent. If we go on as we are, we will make this planet uninhabitable, even for business. When the Black Plague broke out in Europe, the Lord Mayor of London ignored those who observed that homes and neighborhoods stricken by the plague were overrun with rats. In fact, the holdouts kept insisting nothing was wrong… Read more »

Dennis N Horne

Why Do People Refute Climate Change? Grant H. Brenner M.D. Posted Apr 17, 2017
New research sheds light on how threat to the status quo shapes beliefs.

The finding that socioeconomic threat is associated with avoidant coping (denial) is telling because it is another disturbing example of how people can sacrifice long-term health and safety in order to prevent short-term losses. Avoidant coping is generally considered to be maladaptive, for example, and acceptance and reappraisal, forms of active coping, are generally more effective.

Research like this from Clarke et al. is crucial because we need to understand how and why people deny climate change in order to effect positive changes. By understand how various facets of conservative ideology drive climate change denial, we may be able to develop communication and intervention strategies to combat climate change denial, and precipitate greater efforts to embrace comprehensive change across political divides. [continues]


Why Do People Refute Climate Change?

Why do people ask meaningless questions?

No one “refutes” climate change

Why are there so many idiots in the world, is a more pertinent question

Alexander K

Climate change is a recognised and verifiable fact but is it caused by Homo Sapiens? We may be having a very tiny effect on climate but if one accepts the premise that giving up producing CO2 will reduce warming by a very tiny amount over many years, this would suggest that the benefits of better crop yields and the current greening of Africa during rising CO2 levels is a far better option.

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