THE first detailed study of Britain’s onshore wind farms suggests some treasured landscapes may have been blighted for only small gains in green energy.
The analysis reveals that more than 20 wind farms produce less than a fifth of their potential maximum power output.
One site, at Blyth Harbour in Northumberland, is thought to be the worst in Britain, operating at just 7.9% of its maximum capacity. Another at Chelker reservoir in North Yorkshire operates at only 8.7% of capacity.
Both are relatively small and old, but larger and newer sites fared badly, too, according to analyses of data released by Ofgem, the energy regulator, for 2008.
And to find out how poorly Ontario wind farms perform on any given day, visit here
See also Wind power is unreliable, expensive and doesn’t result in lower CO2 emmissions
Industrial wind technology is old technology. Windmills probably reached the peak of any industrial efficiency many decades ago when they ground the grains from harvested crops to increase the supply of flour. To pretend they can produce any viable alternate source of energy in the 21st century is something the wind energy lobby has never even attempted to substantiate.
What is not in doubt is, regardless of the billions governments are planning to spend on wind power and the thousands, if not millions of wind turbines it will mean, wind energy can only exist totally dependent on all the current energy sources — fossil fuels, bio fuels, nuclear fuels — being there to produce the overwhelming percentage, probably in excess of 90%, of the energy the world still demands.
By Ben Eisen
Frontier Centre for Public Policy
During the last federal election, the Conservatives skewered then Liberal leader Stephan Dion’s proposed carbon tax as a “tax on everything.” The Tories argued such a policy would place a significant strain on household budgets, curb economic growth, and contribute almost nothing towards the stated goal of the policy – to combat global warming.
In all this, the Conservatives were correct. Unfortunately, their alternative of a “carbon market,” some details of which were given recently, will produce all of the same negative consequences as a carbon tax, with a few additional problems on top.
WASHINGTON D.C.: Repeating past mistakes has long been a part of Washington’s energy policy, but Congress used to wait a while before making the same blunder again. Not anymore. New legislation requiring wind energy closely resembles the ethanol mandate that sparked a backlash just last year.
While there is growing commercial interest in green energy, aspiring wind producers — ranging from international industrial-sized operations to small co-operatives — still face a host of regulatory hurdles in Canada, including a gauntlet of environmental assessments, municipal bylaws, requirements of electric utilities and the demands of community activists that differ from province to province.
Although Canada’s Constitution Act does not consider wind to be a natural resource as it does with forests, water or minerals — nobody can claim to own the wind-it does give the responsibility for electricity to the provinces, all of which have taken different approaches.
These days, being a corn ethanol booster is a little like cheering for the Detroit Lions. The industry is on a heck of a losing streak. Not only have profits left the industry, but there’s mounting scientific evidence that it’s not the environmental godsend some would have us believe it is, and that it uses more water than our rural areas can afford to give up.
By David Seymour
Senior Policy Analyst
Frontier Centre for Public Policy
Three movements which have made the news lately – the stop-selling-bottled-water movement, the switch-the-lights-off-for-an-hour movement, and the choose-locally-produced-food movement – reveal several misguided trends in modern environmentalism.