Urgent Newsflash! Wind Power Utterly Dependent on the Wind: Texan Summertime Output Collapses (Again)

For STT followers the news that wind power critically depends upon the er … ahem … wind is hardly news, at all.

Year after miserable year, Australia’s most notorious wind power outfit, Infigen (aka Babcock & Brown) whinges and moans that its pathetic financial performance is all due to malicious meteorological forces: Shock, Horror! Wind Power Output Depends on Wind: Infigen Blames ‘Lack of Wind’ for Losses

The continued malevolence of the Wind Gods has reduced the wind cult to chanting mantras about giant mythical mega-batteries that will, apparently, resolve the daily chaos delivered by their beloveds in a pixie’s eye-blink.

Meanwhile, back on earth, the fact that wind power output is always and everywhere determined by the weather has hit home in the US of A.

Texans are renowned for tall tales, however this one is thoroughly true. Why? Because it’s a story as old as the dawn of time (ask any old salty dog who has ever attempted to tackle the seven seas under sail).

Texas wind power: Can’t handle the heat? Get out the kitchen
12 July 2017

As Britain faces one of its rare heatwaves, it’s hard to imagine that there’s anywhere hotter. But that’s just the case in Texas and its proving disastrous for the state’s wind farms.

Thanks to wind power’s fundamental reliance on the weather, high summer temperatures in the Lone Star state are causing their wind farms to produce over 66% less electricity.

Energy coming from wind power in Texas already fluctuates massively between the winter and summer months.

It all comes down to how the heat affects wind currents on land, which just goes to show how unreliable these turbines are.

The end result is the same as it always is with intermittent renewables: when they stop working, for whatever reason, coal and gas plants are forced to step in to fill the gap at the expense of the taxpayer.

It’s incredibly unlikely that it will ever get hot enough for this problem to affect the UK, but we have enough problems of our own to deal with — like not having enough wind in the first place!

Tale of the Ages: progress halts as Wind Gods conspire (again).


The ever optimistic wind worshipper would ordinarily retort that the Texan tale above was an unlucky, one-off.

STT, always happy to rain on the parade, is able to dig into the archives to show that it’s a case of déjà vu all over again.

Here’s Robert Bryce from 2011.

The Wind-Energy Myth
Robert Bryce
National Review Online
12 August 2011

The claims for this “green” source of energy wither in the Texas heat.

Hot? Don’t count on wind energy to cool you down. That’s the lesson emerging from the stifling heat wave that’s hammering Texas.

Over the past week or so, Texans have been consuming record-breaking quantities of electricity, and ERCOT, the state’s grid operator, has warned of rolling blackouts if customers don’t reduce their consumption.

Texas has 10,135 megawatts of installed wind-generation capacity. That’s nearly three times as much as any other state. But during three sweltering days last week, when the state set new records for electricity demand, the state’s vast herd of turbines proved incapable of producing any serious amount of power.

Consider the afternoon of August 2, when electricity demand hit 67,929 megawatts. Although electricity demand and prices were peaking, output from the state’s wind turbines was just 1,500 megawatts, or about 15 percent of their total nameplate capacity.

Put another way, wind energy was able to provide only about 2.2 percent of the total power demand even though the installed capacity of Texas’s wind turbines theoretically equals nearly 15 percent of peak demand.

This was no anomaly. On four days in August 2010, when electricity demand set records, wind energy was able to contribute just 1, 2, 1, and 1 percent, respectively, of total demand.


Over the past few years, about $17 billion has been spent installing wind turbines in Texas. Another $8 billion has been allocated for transmission lines to carry the electricity generated by the turbines to distant cities. And now, Texas ratepayers are on the hook for much of that $25 billion, even though they can’t count on the wind to keep their air conditioners running when temperatures soar.

That $25 billion could have been used to build about 5,000 megawatts of highly reliable nuclear generation capacity, or as much as 25,000 megawatts of natural-gas-fired capacity, all of which could have been reliably put to work during the hottest days of summer.

The wind-energy lobby has been masterly at garnering huge subsidies and mandates by claiming that its product is a “green” alternative to conventional electricity. But the hype has obscured a dirty little secret: When power demand is highest, wind energy’s output is generally low. The reverse is also true: Wind-energy production is usually highest during the middle of the night, when electricity use is lowest.

The incurable intermittency and extreme variability of wind energy requires utilities and grid operators to continue relying on conventional sources of generation like coal, natural gas, and nuclear fuel. Nevertheless, 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, now have renewable-energy mandates.

Those expensive mandates cannot be met with solar energy, which, despite enormous growth in recent years, still remains a tiny player in the renewable sector. If policymakers want to meet those mandates, landowners and citizens will have to learn to live with sprawling forests of noisy, 45-story-tall wind turbines.

The main motive for installing all those turbines is that they are supposed to help reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, which, in turn, is supposed to help prevent global temperature increases. But it’s already hot — really hot — in Texas and other parts of the southern United States.

And that leads to an obvious question: If the global-warming catastrophists are right, and it’s going to get even hotter, then why the heck are we putting up wind turbines that barely work when it’s hot?
National Review Online

And the intervening years were no kinder – this post from October 2014 tells the very same tale: Texas Blames Wind Power Slump on (you guessed it) … the Wind

Wind power: costly, pointless and a nightmare for neighbours, what’s not to like?

turbine collapse 9

Temps Up? Then it’s down tools …

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Rob Leviston says:

    There was a recent report coming out of the EU, that if they have enough turbines scattered throughout the EU, that if it is windless somewhere, if will be windy somewhere else, and therefore, they will be able to smooth out the power output! They really don’t get it, do they?

    • Jackie Rovensky says:

      They say the same here in Australia, however the Eastern Grid which covers Qld, NSW, ACT, TAS, VIC and SA there are many occasions when that claim is false. June 2017 was a month where there were days when next to nothing was being produced across the Eastern Grid.
      Everything this industry and its acolytes say is a lie. But Governments are willing to listen to a lie than accept they made a mistake.

  2. Jackie Rovensky says:

    While the Lone Star State in America always rejoices that it has the biggest and best of everything, SA is catching up fast and our Government is not slow in coming forward and claiming we can do things better than anyone else – that we are the World leaders in this and that – and they are sure to be happy to claim they are the best at telling porky’s where this industry and its capabilities are concerned.
    The thing is are we, the people, of SA happy to be able to claim we have the best Government for being sucked in by an ideology fomented by those who saw a way to make a quick buck?
    Personally I don’t wish to be associated with such a dill brained Governments claims.
    I would rather see this State achieve what it has done in the past, to have a reliable and affordable energy supply, enabling industry, business and families to flourish, a State to be proud of without a Government screaming out like Wailing Banshees trying to convince us everything under control when it is far from it.
    SA is Great the problem is the Government isn’t.
    Unfortunately is the other States of Australia follow the path SA has they too will be blown away by the Winds of a greedy
    That this industry cannot meet its claims at any level and in anyway no matter where they have infested around the world, is something every Politicians and every Wind ideologue needs to re-think their mutterings.
    They need to accept the weather is a force of nature and cannot be controlled and manipulated to work to our wishes – we maybe more scientifically advanced than those in times gone by but we still need Wind to fill the sails of a sailing ship to get us to where we want to go. The only difference is today we have something else that can help our societies to flourish and to drive our economies and that is electricity produced by sources nature has provided us with.
    This energy is created in a steady controlled way to meet our needs and enables us to produce, build, perform and live in better conditions than in the days when wind turned the mill stones and wind blew into the sails so ships could travel the world allowing trade and communication between countries.
    We have advanced but we are still at the mercy of the weather.

  3. What they need are some good whistlers.


    Imposing in there hundreds,
    Such an army on display,
    Those alien grey metal monsters
    I saw while on my way.
    Aliens on our shores have landed,
    So tall, backs straight and true,
    At night they watch through flashing eyes
    Of red, at me and you.

    Some have scaled the mountains,
    Others near schools and homes,
    Of one thing I am certain,
    Those aliens have no souls.
    No “whispering” from their ranks at all,
    An unearthly sound they make,
    It envelops each and everyone,
    No more can humans take.

    Three giant arms revolving,
    Enveloping all around,
    They’re here to ‘save the planet’,
    The biggest “con” I have found.
    Such hideous tall grey monsters,
    Invade green and pleasant lands,
    To stay for generations,
    Unless the people make a stand.

    These aliens feed on power and wind,
    Without either, they will die,
    They’re NOT environmental friendly,
    They’re for profit, (at a cost), that’s WHY.

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