The Wind Industry is based on a Central, Endlessly Repeated Lie


Chris Booker: “the whole case for wind farms
is based on a central, endlessly repeated lie.”


Lunacy on sea: As Ministers agree to the world’s biggest wind farm off Brighton, has Britain ever succumbed to a more catastrophic folly?
The Daily Mail
Christopher Booker
2 August 2014

What should be our reaction to daft stories like the one recently reported in the Daily Mail about the 60ft wind turbine put up by the Welsh government outside its offices in Aberystwyth to proclaim to the world just how ‘green’ it is?

Erected at a cost of £50,000 to the taxpayer, it turned out that this turbine was so absurdly inefficient it was providing only £5 worth of electricity a month. It would take more than 750 years to make the money back.

In recent years, we have seen plenty of little tales like this, showing how often those who build these mini-turbines just to promote the wonders of wind power seem to get horribly caught out.

There was, for instance, the windmill put up next to a school in Portland, Dorset, which had to be switched off because it was killing so many seagulls that the headmaster had to come in early every morning to remove their corpses, so the children wouldn’t be upset.

There were the turbines built next to the playgrounds of 16 schools in the north of Scotland, which had be shut down for ‘health and safety’ reasons after the blades of one flew off in a mere 40 mph wind – when, fortunately, no children were in range.

caithness turbine

School kids told to “duck” during “component liberation” event.


Then, of course, there was that babyish little windmill David Cameron wanted to put on the roof of his £2.7million Notting Hill home in West London. It would have provided enough current to power four low-energy light bulbs – but, fortunately, it provoked such protests from his neighbours that it was never heard of again.

On one level, we may find stories like this darkly comical. But it is time we stood back to take a more grown-up look at the very much larger and more serious picture of just where we are being taken by this infatuation with wind turbines, which lie at the very centre of our national energy policy.

Today, we already have more than 5,000 giant turbines, with 25,000 smaller versions.

They are proliferating so fast that from Cornwall to Caithness, East Anglia to Cumbria, hundreds of local protest groups have sprung up to say ‘enough is enough’.

But the crucial objection to this obsession with wind farms is not just that they disfigure our beautiful countryside or kill shocking numbers of bird and bats.

In purely practical terms, the real issue must surely be that they are so astonishingly useless at achieving what they are supposed to do. Put all those 5,000 giant turbines together and their combined output still averages less than that of our single largest coal-fired power station.

The obvious reason for this – though our politicians will never admit it – is that the wind is the most inefficient means of producing electricity ever devised, because it blows so variably and unpredictably.

In fact, the whole case for wind farms is based on a central, endlessly repeated lie.

This is the way in which its propagandists invariably talk about them only in terms of their ‘capacity’, by which they mean the amount of electricity they could produce if the wind was blowing at optimal speed 24 hours a day.

We are told about ‘capacity’ all the time – by the wind industry, politicians such as Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, the BBC and even the pages of Wikipedia.


Ed Davey signals his grand capacity for “green” fantasy.


But the truth is that, thanks to the wind’s unreliability, they will produce on average only between a quarter and a third of their ‘capacity’.

Often, indeed, when we need electricity the most, on freezing, windless days in mid-winter, they produce virtually no electricity at all.

Furthermore, far from providing us, as we’re told, with unlimited clean, green, free, planet-saving energy, wind farms are not just inefficient. They are also so ludicrously impractical that if we weren’t all forced to subsidise them to the tune of billions of pounds through our electricity bills, no one would ever dream of building them.

A cursory glance at the economics of the ‘smaller’ 100 ft-plus windmills and the giant turbines in massive wind farms illustrates my point.

When I looked at one of these smaller ones the other day, near where I live in Somerset, I was astonished to discover that, though it is 120 ft and would have cost at least £250,000 to install, it only has the ‘capacity’ to generate a maximum of 50 kilowatts at any given moment.

But allowing for the vagaries of the wind, its actual output will average a mere 13 kilowatts – barely enough to boil four kettles – at any one time.

Yet, for this, the owners can expect to receive £24,000 a year, of which a staggering £17,500 will be subsidy, paid for by all of us through our electricity bills.

The sums for giant turbines are just as shocking. Earlier this month, Mr Davey gave the go-ahead to his latest monster project, to build the largest wind farm in the world just off the Sussex coast, right opposite Brighton.

Davey gave the German energy firm E.on the green light to spend £2 billion on building 100 or more colossal turbines up to 700 ft tall, nearly 200 ft higher than the Blackpool Tower.

The ‘Rampion’ wind farm (so named, in yet another propaganda exercise, by the children of a Sussex primary school) will cover more than 60 square miles of the English Channel.

As even its developers say on their website, it will be visible all the way from Beachy Head to the Isle of Wight.

This mighty forest of turbines, we are told, will supply to the national grid ‘700 megawatts’ of power, enough to heat and light ‘450,000 homes’.

Yet, in truth, thanks to the vagaries of the wind, their actual output – as E.on’s own website admits in very small print – will be lucky to reach 240 megawatts, a third of that figure.

Even for this, E.on can hope to earn £325 million a year. Yet, shockingly, more than two-thirds of that sum, £220 million a year, will be paid by all of us in subsidies.

To see just how crazy this is in money terms, we can compare E.on’s wind farm with our latest large gas-fired power station, opened two years ago by another German firm, RWE, at Pembroke in south Wales.

Its capital cost was £1billion, half that of the wind farm. But, in return for that, the gas-fired plant can be relied on to generate nearly ten times as much electricity, 2000 megawatts, 24 hours of every day.

For that constantly available supply of power, even taking into account the price of gas compared with wind power which is free, the cost is £50 per megawatt hour. While for the wildly unreliable supply we shall get from Mr Davey’s monster wind farm, it is £155 per megawatt hour, more than three times as much.

This is the kind of mad mathematics I come across all the time when taking a hard look at the price we are increasingly having to pay for what I have called the great wind scam.

It’s this weird delusion that we can base more and more of our national electricity supply on subsidising ever more grotesquely expensive wind farms.

It is a course we first seriously embarked on in 2003 under Tony Blair. In 2008, Gordon Brown boasted that he wanted us to spend £100billion on wind farms.

It was a claim echoed by Chris Huhne, Davey’s Coalition predecessor as Energy secretary, who talked of how we would need to build as many as 30,000 turbines to achieve a government target, six times as many as we have now.

The reason why all our politicians feel they must aim for such recklessly ambitious targets is that, in 2007, Tony Blair agreed with his EU colleagues that Britain would, by 2020, be producing 15 per cent of our energy from ‘renewables’, such as wind power.

But Blair was so technically illiterate in making this pledge that he did not realise what he was letting us in for.

Because much of our energy, such as the gas we use to cook and heat our buildings, cannot be sourced from renewables, he was committing us to produce nearly a third of our electricity – 32 per cent – from renewables. And most of it had to come from wind power.

This was a far greater jump than that required from other EU members, which were already producing much more of their power from renewables such as hydro-electric schemes.

In practice, there is no conceivable way we could hope to achieve Huhne’s plan for 30,000 turbines. It would mean building 11 giant ones every day for the next six years, which is completely out of the question.

But that has not prevented Mr Davey and his colleagues from trying. And, in doing so, they are offering the mainly foreign-owned firms that build those wind farms subsidies which are higher than those available anywhere else in the world.

For onshore turbines, Davey is prepared to give wind farm owners a subsidy of nearly 100 per cent on top of the market rate for electricity.

However, subsidies for electricity provided by offshore wind farms is now more than twice as much – which is why firms from Germany, France, Sweden and other countries have been rushing to cash in on Britain’s unique subsidy bonanza.

But all this creates yet another huge practical problem that Mr Davey does his best to keep from public view. This is the fact that the more wind farms those subsidies call into being, the more we must look to conventional power stations to provide back-up for whenever the wind speed varies.

At the moment, by far the cheapest source of electricity is coal, still providing more than a third of our power and costing six times less than what we get from Mr Davey’s subsidised offshore wind farms.

But Mr Davey and his predecessors have been steadily closing down what they see as those dreadful, polluting, CO2-emitting coal-fired power stations – and the ones that remain are not flexible enough to provide the instant back-up needed to keep our lights on whenever the wind drops.

The more wind farms we build, the more we will need gas-fired power stations to provide that instantly available back-up, not just to keep our lights on but to keep our computer-dependent economy running at all.

And guess who is going to have to pay to keep those gas-fired plants permanently and expensively running on stand-by for when they are needed, chucking out more of Mr Davey’s hated CO2 than is saved by all his wind farms? We are, of course, through our electricity bills.

We are looking here at the makings of a national catastrophe: one that will not just push our electricity bills through the roof, but could well lead to major power cuts and blackouts.

This will be the price we pay for a bout of collective insanity over renewable energy, for which it is hard to think of any historical parallel. It truly is time we woke up to the reality of where this crazed obsession with wind turbines is leading us.

Rather like the mammoth new Rampion offshore wind farm, when it comes to our policy on wind farms, Britain really is all at sea.
The Daily Mail


Dangerous delusion: insanely expensive & utterly pointless.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Jackie Rovensky says:

    The world is at last realising their governments signed up to these ridiculous mandatory targets for use of renewable energy WITHOUT first researching and checking how they would achieve the targets, what it would cost financially and socially and more to the point what renewable system would be the best to use, or indeed if any of them could manage it whether as a single industry or as a collective of renewable industries. Governments were fooled by Masters of the con and assisted by delusional ‘Greenies’.
    These companies have been laughing all the way to the bank, while nations and their citizens flounder under the weight of debt. It’s amazing it’s taken them so long to see what should have been obvious.
    The question is how many of them will ‘take the bull by the horns’ and withdraw from these agreements to mandatory targets? Hopefully the end of the Australian RET will be the beginning of a domino effect around the world. At least this is one way in which Australia could lead the world.

  2. Russia is laughing. They get to sell more gas for backup power.

  3. Terry Conn says:

    How many times has Paul Miskelly told us that wind farms are not ‘fit for purpose’? But who is listening? Certainly not the current insipid NSW government who want to outperform California and Scotland. If being the ‘most insane’ was the benchmark than the NSW government would win hands down (or maybe get pipped at the post by the South Australian government). We are being ‘ruled’ by people so disconnected that it gives new meaning to the song ‘This is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius’ (performed in the musical ‘Hair’).


  1. […] STT has pointed out – just once or twice – that that claim is nothing more than a central, endlessly repeated lie. […]

  2. […] has pointed out – just once or twice – that that claim is nothing more than a central, endlessly repeated lie. Because wind power fails to deliver at all hundreds of times each year, 100% of its capacity has […]

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