A Fine Irish Take on the Great Wind Power Fraud

irish flag15n-1-web
Irish ‘support’ for wind power is flagging, for some reason?

Five reasons why it is folly to adopt wind power as an energy source
The Irish Examiner
23 January 2015

While the arguments for wind power seem straightforward and compelling, Wind power would reduce our dependency on foreign oil, wind power is clean and would allow for the shut down of dirty fossil fuel fired power plants.

Wind power would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Investment in wind power quickly pays for itself.

These arguments sound all too powerful and all make sense. Or do they?

First, there is the notion that somehow wind power will reduce our dependency on foreign oil. This hope is hinged on the prospect that wind power will somehow replace fossil derived electric power.

The problem with this theory is that wind is so unpredictable that anywhere from 80% to 100% of whatever new wind power generation is brought on line, must still be backed up with standard generation facilities that can be counted on for their reliable power.

In the event there are not enough existing standard generation facilities in place, new ones would have to be added. Otherwise, the level of reliability of power availability would be jeopardized. Thus, we would be paying for two power generation facilities – the good, old-fashioned, dependable, dispatchable power plants, and the new, unpredictable, undispatchable wind power plants that may or may not operate, depending on how much wind is blowing.

Second, clean wind energy will be able to replace or retire dirty power plants. This too is not borne out by experience. Since the dirty reliable power must remain on standby to backup the new unpredictable wind power, there is virtually no reduction in the use of dirty power plants or the dirty fuel they burn.

In fact, when fossil-fired power plants have to be backed off to permit wind power as the primary generation mode, fossil plants burn their fuel less efficiently. In addition, when fossil plants must cycle wildly in response to erratic wind powered electric generation, they produce even more emissions, because non-steady-state operation is inherently less efficient, producing more emissions than steady-state operation.

Third, there is the prospect that wind power would reduce the effects of global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This prospect falls apart when you look at the facts.

Nature produces more than 29 times more CO2 than does mankind. Water vapor produces more than 26 times more of a greenhouse gas effect (GGE) than does CO2 (methane, nitrous oxide and CFCs account for less than half of the GGE of CO2). Fossil fuel burning accounts for 40% of all electrical generating power.

Thus, if 20% of our electrical power was replaced with wind power, the reduction in greenhouse gases would be of the order 0.00948%.

Fourth, wind energy is free. Well, not exactly. Wind turbines are always consuming electrical power to keep their own auxiliary systems functioning, whether the wind is blowing, or not.

All the publicity regarding wind power concentrates on the power it produces, if it is producing any at all. Few people are aware that wind turbines consume electricity, whether they are operating, or not.

Fifth, is the claim that wind power pays for itself. If this were the case, then why do they require subsidies to be brought to market? The only reason these things get built is upfront tax benefits for the developers.

After these benefits are exhausted, developers have no incentive to hold onto these projects, and cannot wait to unload them.

All of the above five points set out clearly the folly of adopting wind power as an energy source.

Patrick L O’Brien M.Sc (NUI) FCIWEM (UK) CEnv (UK) CSci (UK) CWEM(UK) MIChemE (UK)
Senior Environmental Consultant
Lower Woodlands, Kerry Pike, Co Cork
The Irish Examiner

No wonder 10,000 stormed Dublin in April last year …

6 thoughts on “A Fine Irish Take on the Great Wind Power Fraud

  1. Well written accurate and a story that is repeated time and time again around the world. The question is wh,o is listening other than those who already accept this truth?

    We need to ensure this message is set ‘in stone’ in the minds of those who make the decisions about these things.

    We all want clean air; whether you believe Climate Change is brought about by human interference, by a natural evolutionary process, or a mix of factors.

    However, what is needed is for the message to reach those in the cities who believe they are doing the right thing by supporting this useless, dangerous and minimal energy production.

    We need to get the truth to them about its inefficiency, its dangers to the environment and human life, to ensure they know and recognise the lies they are being told by those poor delusional people who have been used by the industry, who’s only intent is to secure money from the public purse, without ever having to prove their claims are true.

    This industry has no desire to resolve Climate Change issues, it just wants the money.

    The problem is, there have been too many working in the media who have been suckered in, who have seen a chance to become voices for the industry while ignoring the pain suffered by many, rising power bills and how this affects industry and employment, and the outstandingly evident uselessness of this industry to do anything but make money for investors at the cost of less being available to support more important things like hospitals, education etc.

    If they have nothing but agreement to report, then they have no jobs, they revel in controversy to survive as media commentators. They are being ‘worked’ by an industry which knows the value of the media and its strength to mislead.

    Many media commentators have fallen into the hands of this industry and are more than willing to assist it spread its propaganda. So many commentators have been silenced or persuaded to support one side of the coin, while believing they are doing the world a favour.

    Slowly, some are coming to realise there is another side to the coin, slowly some, but not all, are coming to realise they have stifled the controversy which they thought they were maintaining, and in doing so are now realising their mistake and are coming to accept they must recognise what they have ridiculed, demonised and belittled is a story that needs to be told.

    They are coming to see how they have been used as provocateurs by the industry and its most valued co-conspirators.

    How we’ll welcome the day they stand tall and help the truth to reach out in our cities to enable those who have listened to and read the propaganda realise there is a world outside of city limits, where intelligent, hard working people live and work, where this falsely termed thing referred to as ‘Free’ Wind energy production is recognised as being nothing more than a dangerous beat up, a lie, a falsehood, a money sucking fraud.

    And when they do realise it how grateful they will be for those who have stood tall in the wilderness for a long time searching desperately to be heard.

  2. A well written piece from Ireland but applicable worldwide.

    In the UK, we have 5,874 industrial wind turbines with a total capacity of 12GW (see http://www.renewableuk.com/en/renewable-energy/wind-energy/uk-wind-energy-database/index.cfm/page/2/ ).
    + Solar = 5 GW ( see http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/guest_blog uk_solar_pv_industry_reaches_5gw_installed_capacity_346 )

    A total of ≈ 17GW of ‘Green energy’ capacity, for which we have paid £billions…


    As I write this on a cold, windy, snowy, winter evening, the UK electrical demand is 52 GW
    (see http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ ).

    Wind is currently supplying just 2.4 GW _ Solar = 0 …..
    So where’s the other 14.6 GW that we’ve paid for ???
    Oh, I forgot Wind is like Goldilocks’s porridge, it has to be just right to work – & Solar,…well that only gives an annual average 8% of its capacity & never on a cold dark night !!! _

    • For sustainable energy production… (to use a technical term)…they’re CráÞ; ….but great for subsidy farming !!

  3. Brilliantly written Patrick L O’Brien! Still, the ignorant across the planet think ‘wind power’ is a great idea (and I’m not talking just about the South Australian, Victorian and Queensland ‘general’ electorate). Only when fossil fuel, hydro and nuclear power generators stop ‘backing up’ these ridiculous wind farm operators will the penny drop. The time is ripe to lobby these operators to refuse to allow the fraud to stay ‘under the carpet’.

  4. And the cabling!

    Having crossed much of Spain on foot, I have learned to hate the cabling as much or more than the turbines and towers. The stuff is drooping and dangling everywhere. On the brighter side, it will be easier to get rid of the cabling than the concrete and embedded wiring when it all has to be junked. Dismantling wind power is going to be an industry where massive demand far outstrips funding or enthusiasm.

    Needless to say, Spanish people do all kinds of things to cope with the high cost of power and shrinking of industries…including burning whatever they can get their hands on in non-urban areas.

    My god I love the smell of Aussie Permian Black in the morning.

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