UK’s Wind Power Nightmare Hits High Farce: Having Wrecked Everything, Wind Industry Now Says ‘Britain Not Windy Enough’

kites

Wind is an occasional ally in all sorts of recreational pursuits: sailing, kite surfing, puffing on a ready-to-burst dandelion and watching their parasol seeds drift skywards, and the childish delight of sending kites aloft. But it’s taken a special breed of Muppet to turn a source of sporadic fun into a ridiculously expensive, sometime source of electricity.

In our recent post on the comparative debacles of South Australia and the UK we picked up on the line dropped by Britain’s head wind spinner, Hugh McNeal (RenewableUK) who – now that the subsidy trough has been emptied – says there is no chance of any more of these things blighting Blighty as: ‘The wind speeds don’t allow for it.’

After that (stating the bleeding obvious) admission, the few among Britain’s journos that get it had a field day.

After years of being fed a myth about the wind ‘powering’ Britain for ‘free’, the Emperor now stands alone; in all his naked glory.

Earlier this week, STT Champion, James Delingpole let loose in an absolute belter of a piece. Slim Jim, however, was not alone in his justified fury, at what a band of shiny suited rent seekers have done to Britain, its economy, its wildlife and, worst of all, its people.

Here’s the Daily Mail joining Jim, hot on the trail of the absurdity that is, and will always be, the idea of trying to run economies on bluster and breezes.

Monuments to utter folly: As the wind farm industry admits that England’s not windy enough, these abominations serve only to mock our leaders’ gullibility
The Daily Mail
Max Hastings
7 June 2016

West Devon last week basked in sunshine, with glorious views from the uplands behind the coast towards Dartmoor … marred by a glittering, twirling, silver turbine, visible for 20 miles in all directions.

The same scene was repeated on Sunday in Herefordshire, where again I saw a swathe of natural beauty blighted by a giant windmill.
For years, some of us have campaigned against the despoiling of our landscape by these eyesores. Suddenly, belatedly, an unexpected and authoritative voice has made it official: they are a nonsense.

Hugh McNeal, chief executive of the wind industry’s trade body Renew-ableUK, no less, says onshore turbines in England do not add up because there is insufficient wind to keep them turning.

‘We are almost certainly not talking about the possibility of new plants in England,’ he says. McNeal twists his language like a turbine blade, but his punchline is plain enough: ‘The wind speeds don’t allow for it.’

His admission comes after a quarter-century of subsidy lavished on wind power. Remember David Cameron saying almost six years ago, soon after he became prime minister, that Britain could become the world leader in turbine construction?

Before that, there was Ed Miliband as Energy Secretary denouncing objectors to turbines as contemptible Nimbies: ‘The Government needs to be saying “it is socially unacceptable to be against wind turbines in your area — like not wearing your seatbelt or driving past a zebra crossing”.’

For five happy years, I was president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, which has campaigned untiringly against wind farms.

They inflict devastating damage on the landscape, and make financial sense only for landowners who have reaped a rich harvest of taxpayers’ money by providing sites for them.

No reasonable person can oppose the ideal of conserving energy and developing non-polluting electricity sources. But sensible governments strike a balance between green policies and their cost to industry, consumers — and the landscape.

The Blair regime instead embarked on a programme to drive Britain into green energy, heedless of cost. Turbines erupted like plague spots on the landscape.

Satanic

I doubt whether even the citizens of Reading would claim loveliness among their town’s virtues, but in recent years things have got worse. Every driver who passes the place shudders at the huge, satanic turbine that stands beside the M4, often motionless and always signalling that no sensitive human being should exit there.

Much worse things have been done in northern England. In Cumbria, the wind farms in the hills represent crimes against natural dignity and tranquillity.

When David Cameron became leader of the Coalition government in 2010, I suggested here that one of his rashest acts was to place the energy portfolio in the hands of the Lib Dems, so green that they would like to see us all lighting our homes with pedal-powered generators. But Cameron himself succumbed to wind power fever, putting a ridiculous little turbine on top of his own house in Notting Hill.

The Lib Dems’ tenure of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which lasted until 2015, cost every inhabitant of these islands dearly.

Billions of taxpayers’ money was poured into onshore and offshore wind farms, research on ‘carbon capture’ technology, solar energy and wave power.

What was not done, however, was to order a new generation of gas and coal-fired power stations, which are critical to keep our homes lit as old stations are shut down.

Cameron in 2010 claimed that the renewables industry was ‘a triple win. It will help conserve our energy supplies, protect our planet, and the Carbon Trust says it could create 70,000 jobs’.

In reality, between 2002 and 2009, every new renewables job cost the taxpayer £200,000, and even thereafter the tariff was £57,000. Many of the statistics published by the renewables lobby to justify wind farms — and much else — are simply untrue.

I am not a Luddite about new energy technology, and for that matter about the need for us all to get greener. But economic logic must have a role in decision-making. Such lobbyists as Greenpeace and Friends Of The Earth campaign relentlessly and sometimes irresponsibly for us to adopt renewables at any cost.

The rest of us would say: yes, but we must keep the economy going and our houses heated, while credible new technologies are allowed to mature.

For one household in four, fuel bills account for almost 10 per cent of income. The supplements forced on electricity providers to fund green policies represent a real burden on many families.

Offshore wind turbines, for instance, are likely to become an important energy source in future. But it was madness to commit hundreds of millions to building offshore farms while the technology is still at an evolutionary stage.

Likewise, the fungus-growth of wind farms in England flew in the face of common sense. A quick glance at the statistics showed that many were built — and allowed to enrich their creators — in places where the accustomed gentle breezes scarcely rustle the leaves on the trees. Thousands of such follies blot scores of landscapes.

Slashed

Last year, the Government saw sense and slashed subsidies for turbines, as promised in the Tory election manifesto. More-over, changes to planning law now make it necessary for local authorities to heed the views of the community before dumping wind farms in their midst.

The Scots will continue to build windmills on their own hills, and since these lands are their birthright, we cannot stop them.

And in case you had not noticed, the wind blows much harder up north than down our way. An economic case — albeit an imperfect one — can be made for turbines in Scotland which has never existed south of the border.

For too long, governments — not only in Britain but across Europe — have danced to the tune of vociferous green campaigners, pursuing policies based on a sheep-like wail of ‘Green good, carbon bad’. Yet real-life, sensible energy policies must be based on more hard-headed calculations, which take heed of the needs and interests of human beings, their families and homes.

Futile

Much of the information proclaimed by the green fanatics — for instance, that the means already exist to enable us to power our entire economy from renewable sources, if only governments embraced them — is simply untrue.

In recent years new technologies, especially solar, have made big strides. They will continue to do so. Our children and grandchildren will be able to exploit all manner of power sources that are today only gleams on the horizon.

But not ourselves, and not yet. The big mistake made by Blair and then Cameron’s Coalition government was to pile into wind because it had the green seal of approval, without asking the hard-headed questions about whether turbines made sense everywhere, for everybody.

After squandering billions of pounds they have seen the light, thank heavens. England’s great landscapes may be spared more futile despoliation at taxpayers’ expense.
But the turbines that already exist will stand to mock us for years to come, most of them generating scarcely enough electricity to power their manufacturers’ production lines.

There are 6,846 across Britain, plus another 15,000 private installations. Each one is a monument to the follies a government can commit when given a green flag to squander our cash.
The Daily Mail

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About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    When will the people who approve the subsidies stop throwing money at these vastly overrated toys?

  2. Crispin Trist says:

    Could the end of BIG wind finally be in sight at long last? We can but hope. Another great article STT.

    One area that has to my mind largely escaped our sights is the way the wind industry have gotten their sticky fingers into our schools in an effort to both brainwash and indoctrinate the next generation behind us to accept industrial scale wind turbines into their lives. Whilst this generation is starting to make some headway in the fight against the Global Wind Industry, the next generation are being schooled behind our backs as we speak. Whilst their parents are out at work, the wind industry are also out there visiting schools with toy wind mills and bags of leftover novelties from some previous expo event. They are also installing mini wind turbines at schools as a part of this process. Has one appeared at your local school lately?

    For a wind company with the local school(s) on side, you can always guarantee a crowd at your next wind farm event!

  3. Max Hastings has in one sentence changed the laws of physics and meteorology. The wind does not blow stronger in Scotland. This is a fallacy promulgated by the King Salmond and the Wind Industry. Wind is movement of air from an area of high pressure to one of low. It follows no borders. The difference in Scotland was the belief of Salmond that Scotland could become the Saudi Arabia of Wind and with it bring that country’s great wealth. Check the performance of wind in Scotland and you will see it runs from 13% to 23% of capacity for onshore. Virtually the same of the rest of the UK. I remember well when Charles Hendry was Minister he told me that we could carpet Scotland with wind farms as no one lives there. So I am a figment of my imagination? It does though show that the chattering classes, and I will include Max Hastings in that body, consider wind farms in Scotland are out of sight, out of mind. That ignores the high cost of interconnection, the energy losses over long distances of transmission and the high cost of constraint payments due to too much generation at the wrong time and at the inflated cost of wind. What it also ignores is that the major industries of Scotland are Tourism and food production. Wind Farms desecrating our marvellous scenery, identified as the No.1 reason to visit Scotland, defies logic as does replacing arable fields with solar farms. We have in Scotland an industry under siege. The Oil and gas industry. The skills available in that industry are easily transferrable to the Fracked Gas industry. So what does the Scottish Government do. First introduce a moratorium whilst they take until 2017 to bring forward a report and then before said report is produced ban fracking totally. Lemmings and cliffs come to mind! Sorry Max, good start but ignore Scotland at your peril!

  4. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “After squandering billions of pounds they have seen the light, thank heavens. England’s great landscapes may be spared more futile despoliation at taxpayers’ expense.
    But the turbines that already exist will stand to mock us for years to come, most of them generating scarcely enough electricity to power their manufacturers’ production lines.

    There are 6,846 across Britain, plus another 15,000 private installations. Each one is a monument to the follies a government can commit when given a green flag to squander our cash.”

    James Delingpole’s ever-pertinent maxim once again: “Greens – Killing the Earth (and people’s lives and livelihoods) to ‘save’ it.”

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