Wind energy is an engineer’s nightmare. To begin with, the energy density of flowing air is miserably low. Therefore, you need a massive contraption to catch one megawatt at best, and a thousand of these to equal a single gas-or coal-fired power plant.
If you design them for a wind speed of 34 miles per hour, they are useless at wind speeds below 22 mph and extremely dangerous at 44 mph, unless feathered in time. Remember, power is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. Old-fashioned Dutch windmills needed a two-man crew on 12-hour watch, seven days a week, because a runaway windmill first burnt its bearings, then its hardwood gears, then the entire superstructure. Continue reading →
Dalton McGuinty’s government has chosen to ignore empirical evidence that strongly suggest serious health problems do occur with the installation of industrial wind turbines.
Consider, if you will, that gasoline engines will be a memory in the not too distant future. Ethanol is another pie in the sky fuel as it takes fuel to produce it, therefore defeating its very purpose. Continue reading →
Hamilton Spectator by Andy Frame, P.Eng., consultant in the electrical power industry and formerly Senior Adviser, Electric Utilities, Ontario Ministry of Energy, and past Municipal Hydro Chairman and Chair of the Utility Association.
The McGuinty government is spending the Ontario electricity revenue to encourage investments in wind and solar green-power generation, without any chance of a benefit to the system or to the customer.
The big corporate investors in wind farms and maybe solar farms will reap rich rewards for 20 years, while the customers pay higher and higher prices for electrical energy.
This push for more green power while at the same time delaying decisions on extending the Darlington nuclear plant, could result in a power shortage within four to five years, and be a major blow to the Ontario economy and the need for more jobs. Continue reading →
Last week T. Boone Pickens, the Texas billionaire, ditched the “Pickens Plan”, a scheme to build 4,000 MW of wind capacity in Texas.
The same week “Deep” Dalton McGuinty announced plans for Ontario, with Samsung to build 2,000 MW of wind capacity and a few fabrication plants in this province.
Why are these contradictory decisions so interesting? T. Boone abandoned his plans because no financier thought building wind turbines made any financial sense. But Ontario taxpayers are ponying up $7 billion smackeroos for the privilege of doing what no one else in North America will. Continue reading →
I have a confession to make. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping a straight face while I listen to our elected politicians debate certain issues.
On January 18 I was almost bursting at the seams listening to Meaford council debate wind turbines.
The issue was simple. Some councillors wanted to pass a resolution telling the province and federal government that they need to do more research into the growing concerns about negative health effects being experienced by people living near wind turbines. The resolution also asked, based on that research, for the upper levels of government to implement new policies governing the location of industrial wind turbines.
As I said, the issue was simple. Meaford council defeated the resolution in a 4-3 vote. The message is clear: the Municipality of Meaford is now wide open for the provincial government and big business to pave over our countryside to build as many of these massive contraptions as possible.
During the debate, virtually every single member of Meaford council prefaced their comments with this: “I certainly support wind turbines…” Each time they said that I felt like screaming: “Why?” Continue reading →
In a signing ceremony Thursday for a $7-billion deal with Samsung to build wind and solar facilities, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said: “This means Ontario is officially the place to be for green energy manufacturing in North America.”
Quite right. Texas lost that title last week when billionaire T. Boone Pickens abandoned his plan to build 4000 MW of wind capacity in Texas — twice as much as the Samsung wind plan — when no financier could see how building the things made any financial sense. Other jurisdictions have also seen plans for wind vanish, along with plans for solar and other forms of renewable energy. Stock prices of most players in the wind industry, such as Broadwind Energy, GE’s supplier, are heading south. Continue reading →
Something is rotten: Despite wind power, fossil fuels still dominate electricity production
Denmark oozes green.
Its capital, Copenhagen, won the moral right to host next month’s climate change summit in good part because Denmark seems to have found the winning balance between growth and carbon reduction. Wind power is coming on strong. Its citizens are willing to pay sky-high electricity prices to encourage conservation. Its hot-water-based district heating system is considered a marvel of energy efficiency. Continue reading →
Access to affordable energy is essential to our way of life, making the upcoming gathering of world leaders in Copenhagen profoundly important. Yet few Canadians possess the level of “energy literacy” needed to understand what’s at stake. Here are a few questions that will help test your own energy literacy.
What is the fastest-growing form of global energy use?
If you said electricity, you’re right. And because coal is the major fuel for electricity, power generation contributes about 21 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, compared with land, sea and air transportation at 11 per cent, according to International Energy Agency data. Continue reading →
The article in the Thursday, Oct. 27 edition of The Daily Observer, ‘Energy solution blowing in the wind,’ is an example of alternative energy propaganda funded by wind farm companies and promoted by environmental lobby groups.
Mr. Berton has nothing but praise for Spain and its supposedly 13 per cent production figure, but what he doesn’t tell you is that although the wind is free, the means to produce power from it is twice as expensive as conventional power plants. Furthermore, Spain is now realizing how inefficient wind power is.
England is on the brink of a blackout in about seven years because of its commitment to wind power. The British have spent billions of pounds installing 2,000 wind turbines that barely produce one per cent of the power needed. Continue reading →
Editor note: This post will be followed by Part II on additional technical documentation. Mr. Hawkins’s study is presented to increase the interest in this highly important, politically sensitive issue of incremental pollution from firming up industrial wind power.
Integrating random, highly variable wind energy into an electricity system presents substantial problems that subvert wind technology’s ability to offset the use of fossil fuels–and avoid air emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2). Measuring this accurately is important because many believe that wind projects significantly reduce such emissions. Continue reading →
This is in regard to the ‘Green Energy Bandwagon’ and the media’s comments that go something like, “It’s not as if wind power is controversial.”
Wrong, wrong, wrong. More than 4,000 (some say as high as 7,000) of these massive, noisy, 400-foot high industrial behemoths are being erected in the backyards of people living in developed communities throughout south central Ontario, for no practical reason whatsoever. Continue reading →
Natural gas will need to be burned in gas-fired power plants whether the demand on the grid is high or low and whether or not the wind is blowing. Gas is replacing coal, to be burned to provide base and intermediate load. It also provides load-following and back up to the wind generators because the nuclear plants cannot respond quickly enough, and stored water is a valuable commodity not to be wasted. Continue reading →
The Samsung Group is a multinational conglomerate headquartered in South Korea
Toronto Star – A controversial deal between the province and Samsung Group will not die just because its main champion, George Smitherman, is leaving Queen’s Park, insists Premier Dalton McGuinty.
As first disclosed by the Star, McGuinty’s cabinet is split over the provisional agreement with the South Korean industrial giant to manufacture renewable energy equipment like wind turbines and develop wind and solar farms here. Continue reading →
When Toronto Hydro announced on Oct. 23 it had approved building a wind research platform on Lake Ontario, it was supposed to be a vital step toward the development of sustainable energy in the province.
But since then, opposition and uncertainty have left these accomplishments up in the air. The gang-up on Deputy Premier George Smitherman by Ontario cabinet ministers in a meeting last Wednesday prevented a bid by Samsung to build wind turbines in Ontario. This has not only disrupted building progress, which was slated to begin last week a few kilometres off the Scarborough Bluffs, but it has also exposed the lack of legitimate planning in the entire project. Continue reading →
In the PR war over subsidies, the wind industry appears to be waging a dirty war.
When industries look for government subsidies for money-losing propositions, a common business model these days, one of the most important strategic elements is to make sure you have a well-oiled public relations machine to keep the facts from getting in the way. Voters don’t like to back money-losers, which means keeping them steadily misinformed or at least confused. Continue reading →
Excerpts: If, as some believe, wind replaces baseload then economics of wind should be compared to baseload, which makes wind very expensive. Typical average capacity factor for wind is ~20%-25%, while nominal cost is about $2,000/KW. Equalizing for capacity factors, wind actually costs ~$8,000/KW vs. ~$3,500/KW for super-critical coal and geothermal plants, ~$1,000/KW for CCGTs, and ~$5,000-$8,000/KW for nuclear.
We believe plans for sourcing 20%-30% of electricity from wind is foolish. The reasons why the Danes have 20% of their power source from wind are multiple, but one that sticks out is the fact that they are willing to live with interruptible power. [North] Americans, in general, aren’t: asking an [North] American to turn off their air conditioner in the middle of July or August isn’t going to win anyone votes.
Wind isn’t as clean as it’s portrayed by advocates. Part of the back-up power to wind has to be spinning reserves: power plants that burn fuel (typically natural gas), but are not generating electricity. Spinning reserves would typically account for some 25% of the make-up of the back-up power.
In our view, wind makes for good investments, in our view, but not so good for consumers and grid operators.
Owen Sound Sun Times
The front-page story headlined “Turbines part of green plan” (Sun Times, Oct.10/09), is a perfect example of how our provincial government is misleading the public with regard to the issue of wind turbines.
Amy Tang, identified as the spokesperson for Energy Minister George Smitherman, is quoted as saying “We have to remember why we entered into renewable energy in the first place, which was our commitment to get off coal.”
Unfortunately she neglected to explain just how wind turbines get us off coal. I suspect her omission was deliberate, because in reality there is no practical way that wind turbines can replace coal fired thermal units. Continue reading →
Buy it Today from Amazon.ca
“Eventually the obsession of our politicians with tower blocks was seen to be one of the greatest follies of the age. In time to come – it may be sooner than we think – the obsession with wind power will likewise come to be seen as an even greater folly”
Recently released, in The Wind Farm Scam, Dr. John Etherington argues that wind farm technology is a wholly counter-productive and undesirable response to the problems of climate change and electricity generation. Dr. Etherington is a former Reader in Ecology, Thomas Huxley Medallist at the Royal College of Science and former co-editor of the Journal of Ecology. Continue reading →
Wind reduces CO2 emissions at a subsidy cost of about $124 per tonne — one of the most expensive plans in the world
By Michael Trebilcock
Ontarians take note. A detailed new Danish study shatters most of the myths that the Danish-based wind turbine industry has been propagating in Canada and around the world as to the virtues of wind power. The study, Wind Energy: The Case of Denmark by the Centre for Policy Studies in Copenhagen, strongly reinforces reservations that I have noted in previous op-eds in this newspaper. Continue reading →
All of which means that when the greens call for wind, they are really calling for natural gas. When Ontarians read newspaper headlines in 2015 saying that provincial GHGs are as bad as they ever were, they will wonder how they were so badly fooled by those who said wind is the answer to climate change. Continue reading →
Simply and damningly: If you don’t ask the question, if you don’t do the analysis, you won’t come up with the ‘wrong’ answer.
If you do, you find that not only does wind fail as a power source. Not that that’s a surprise to anyone who’s prepared to ‘look’. When the wind don’t blow, the power don’t flow. Even more devastatingly, as this analysis shows, the wind not only don’t blow an awful lot of the time. It tends to not blow ‘everywhere’ at the same time.
* They deliberately omit the destructive consequences of wind turbine construction sites, needed service roads and power corridors, especially in wooded environments.
* They deliberately omit the permanent destruction of aquatic habitats and fish migration routes, besides obstructing navigation, at sites where “in-stream” electric generators are installed. Continue reading →
(A shorter version of this article appeared in the Canadian Nuclear Society’s BULLETIN magazine, 2009 June edition)
This article is intended to show how Ontario’s nuclear power plants interact with the grid and how they will be affected by wind generation. Hopefully it will get readers to raise questions about the risk wind poses to the availability of the nuclear units and to the reliability of the grid. Continue reading →