1. What are people’s objections to windfarms?
People’s first objections to wind farms are the despoilment of British natural heritage and fantastic scenery, the noise and nuisance during and after construction and effects on tourism and house prices. However, objectors soon learn that wind farms simply do not work as they are intended. They do not reduce CO2 emissions or provide a reliable electricity supply.……………..read on!
2. Do windfarms produce a reliable electricity supply?
No. Wind turbines have rated maximum power outputs, typically 1.8 MW, but because wind is variable, the output of wind turbines also varies according to the wind speed (measured in m/s).
|Description||Turbine output as
%age of installed capacity
|25 +||storm||0 — shutdown|
It is claimed that the wind supply will not be interrupted because it is always blowing somewhere, but this is not the case. Often areas of high pressure cover the entire of Western Europe, meaning there is very little or no wind.
3. Do windfarms reduce CO2 emissions?
No. Their construction and manufacture causes CO2 as they are anchored in concrete containing cement, and access roads are needed to transport heavy construction machinery to the site, which is often very remote. On average about 500kg of CO2 are released for every 1000kg of cement.
Furthermore, because wind farms do not produce a reliable supply of power, a constant back up from conventional sources is required, known as ‘spinning reserve’, meaning that it is constantly burning fuel and emitting CO2. For instance, a coal fired Power Station emits 10.8 tonnes of CO2 per year, per gigawatt-hour of electricity, as balancing partner it still emits 7.8 tonnes of CO2 per year per gigawatt-hour. The wind industry itself admits that ’power stations with capacities equal to 90% of the installed wind power capacity must be permanently online in order to guarantee power supply at all times’. In high winds and with a large wind turbine contribution, sharing becomes unmanageable. In Germany they have to shut down wind turbines in this situation, but official UK Government sources do not reveal this.
4. Doesn’t Denmark have a reliable and functioning wind energy network?
No. Although wind power appears on paper to meet 20% of Denmark’s electricity, as much as 70% of this is not usable and is sold cheaply or at a loss to neighbouring countries. Because wind is intermittent and unpredictable, wind turbines cannot replace reliable ‘base load’ generators without destabilizing the grid, and so often produce excess electricity when it isn’t needed and cannot be used.
5. So why do people build wind turbines if they don’t work?
A system of subsidies (the Renewable Obligation scheme) has been put in place to make them financially viable for investors and wind energy companies. The money comes from your electricity bill. Without the Renewable Obligations system, wind turbine developers would not see a return on their investment. By forcing suppliers to provide electricity from renewable sources, the government guarantee an income for wind power companies.
6. So why is the UK investing so heavily in wind power?
The current and previous governments have failed to plan for the replacement of Britain’s ageing energy infrastructure. Meanwhile, a loud global warming lobby have demanded dramatic CO2 reductions, and scare stories have poisoned public opinion against nuclear power. Windfarm developers and environmentalists have convinced the government that wind power can meet the UK’s energy demands, and help to reduce CO2, but as we have shown, the potential of windpower to deliver clean, reliable energy has been greatly exaggerated. Instead of responding to criticism of wind, wind power advocates and the government have instead complained about NIMBYism.
7. So what will happen?
If the UK continues with its wind power scheme and subsidies, energy costs will continue to rise. This has even been admitted by the government, although they underestimate by how much. There is also the possibility that in the medium term the national grid will be unable to cope with demand. High energy costs will result in a loss of competitiveness for the UK economy, a loss of jobs, a huge reduction in public and essential services and continuing escalation of prices for all other goods and services.
 Paper, Why UK Wind Power should not exceed 10GW,Hugh Sharman, principal of international energy consulting and broking company Incoteco (Denmark)
 Substantiated by Rick Bohan PE, FACI, Fellow of the American Concrete Institution, Director of Manufacturing Technology, Portland Cement Association
 Paper, UK Power, by Robert J Bass and Dr Peter Wilmot, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University
 E-on Netz ‘Wind Report 2005’ www.windaction.org/documents/461
 Wind power in Denmark. Dr V.C. Mason . December 2008. Download Essay from the Country Guardian website www.countryguardian.net
 “A Briefing Note & Comment on the UK Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy” found on the Renewable Energy Foundation website www.ref.org.uk/(ref.on.re.strategy.27.07.09.pdf)
 http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Sustainability/Environment/RenewablObl/Pages/RenewablObl.aspx http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/uk_supply/energy_mix/renewable/policy/renew_obs/renew_obs.aspx