For Peat’s Sake: CO2 Emissions Rise as Wind Turbines Destroy Europe’s Ancient Bog Lands

Endless subsidies for wind turbines are said to be justified by the CO2 emissions they purportedly save. Europe’s peat bogs – natural CO2 sinks – are being ripped up, drained and destroyed to make way for these things, all in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions.

Gouging 30m deep pits and filling them with 400-500 m³ of steel-reinforced concrete to provide the bases for thousands of wind turbines across Europe has upset the delicate ecological balance, turning bog lands from carbon sinks to CO2 emitters; oh, the irony.

The wanton and pointless destruction appears to be irreversible and, therefore, criminal.

The team at JoNova dig into a new turf war breaking out across Europe.

Windfarms threaten peat bogs and turn them into carbon emitters
Jo Nova Blog
Jo Nova
6 August 2020

More ironies.  One fifth of all soil carbon is stored in peat bogs.  Unfortunately when industrial wind turbines are built on them, the damage turns them from carbon sinks to carbon sources thus neutralizing the point of building the wind farm.

The headline evokes some supernatural power:

Wind farms built on carbon-rich peat bogs lose their ability to fight climate change

As if the magical whirly totem stick loses the gift of weather control when placed on a peat bog?

But the real damage is not just to wallets for another pointless windfarm. Peat bogs are so much more than carbon sinks — they are also an archive of paleohistory and the ancient climate. Indeed, even though cattle, wind and rain can damage the bogs, the researchers now say the wind farms now pose the “most serious risk” of all. Apparently the vehicle access tracks create artificial streams that drain the peat. The drainage changes are pervasive and “affect the whole peatland” not just the part near the track.

The “blanket bogs” are rare, but occur from Spain to Norway in Europe as well as in Canada, New Zealand and Korea.

The paper is a thinly disguised plea from bog experts to save the peat wilderness from industrial development. Sadly, they seem to think the headline “carbon emissions” will attract more help than the intrinsic scientific and biological value of the peat, which says something very screwed up about environmentalists.

Wind farms built on carbon-rich peat bogs lose their ability to fight climate change
Guaduneth Chico, Ben Clutterbuck, Nicholas Midgley, The Conversation

In our recent study, we found that wind farms in Spain are being built on rare peat bogs that store vast quantities of planet-warming carbon. Because these habitats are so poorly mapped, there’s a good chance that this mistake is being replicated in many other places throughout Europe, including the UK.

Peatlands are a natural carbon sink and, despite covering less than 3% of the Earth’s land surface, they contain 20% of all the carbon stored in soils worldwide.

Although peat is naturally eroded by wind, rain and ice, blanket bogs grazed by livestock can lose four to six times more carbon than protected bogs. But the most serious risk to these habitats today is wind farms. Unprotected blanket bogs often cover mountain peaks, where there is also great potential for generating wind energy. During wind farm construction, vegetation that helps to trap the carbon is removed to create turbine bases and vehicle access tracks. These tracks create artificial streams that drain the peat and reshape the terrain.

This release can be so significant that the climate benefit of generating clean energy is likely to be neutralised.

Chico et al (2020) Geo‐hydromorphological assessment of Europe’s southernmost blanket bogs,
Jo Nova Blog

And the point was???

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Andreas Demmig says:
  2. Colin Megson says:

    Nothing’s worse than Whitelee Windfarm! 850,000 cubic metres of ancient (6,000 to 9,000 years old) blanket peat bog dug up and spread around.

    Search for: whitelee windfarm how professionals polish

  3. Peter Pronczak says:


    Things are heating up with the Wind Commissioner coming in September if the border is open, and yesterday the Qld Premier referring to renewables as “we’re in the fight of our lives”. Amazingly accredited detailed map of state forests that doesn’t seem to exist elsewhere

    And toward me…
    “Lauren_GB · Gympie 11 hours ago

    PETER_PRONCZAC: Lucky for you, as a scholar, I’m adept at research and I’m happy to share the benefits of this with you. I’m all for a more informed community.

    The key findings of a German report from 2019 (that’s last year), titled “High-Priced and Dangerous: Nuclear Power Is Not an Option for the Climate-Friendly Energy Mix” are:

    • Private economy investment was unprofitable in the past, and this also applies to new investment
    • Due to danger of radioactive emissions and proliferation, nuclear energy technology is high-risk
    • Policy makers should reject nuclear energy as an option for sustainably supplying energy

    I invite you to read the abstract and download the report for more detail. It’s very easy to read and there are references provided throughout:

    The better informed we all are, the better decisions we will make as a society.”

    It must have been something I said. This is the coming election front with the implementation based on personal digital data mining that got Trump elected in 2016. Who owns the data owns the future.

    • Andreas Demmig says:

      DIW Berlin was a good address for correct science. Today, I know it as a sink of taxpayers money, as they provide political suitable studies., Good connections to the left – green dominated TU Berlin and TUM ( AGW alarmistic Prof. Lesch)

      See the above authors of the linked “study”
      Ben Wealer,
      Technical University Berlin, Anti-nuclear activist, working on studies to decommissioning nuclear power plants,
      Simon Bauer, M.Sc.
      PhD student at Chair of Network Architectures and Services, green activist, Technische Universität München
      Leonard Göke
      Technische Universität Berlin. Fachgebiet Wirtschafts- und. Infrastrukturpolitik
      He worked for a study: Die Beendigung der energetischen Nutzung von Kohle in Deutschland (The end of the energetic use of coal in Germany) … Nutzen des Kohleausstiegs übersteigt Transformationskosten deutlich (The benefits of phasing out coal significantly exceed transformation costs)
      Prof. Christian von Hirschhausen
      A totaly AGW activist, who claims the emergency of climate change.
      Prof. Dr. Christian von Hirschhausen, 55, is head of the Department of Economic and Infrastructure Policy at the TU Berlin and Research Director “International Infrastructure Policy and Industrial Economics” at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) Berlin. The economist has been working regularly on energy policy issues for years. He is an climate activist as well, claiming that nuclear power is not carbon free at all.
      Prof. Dr. Claudia Kemfert
      She claims herself that she is an expert for energy – however, I have had the pleasure, to see and hear her life at an presentation in Aachen (University)
      She is a quote professor, what for itself is not bad, however, she is head of the DIW institute, and often tell just the opposite of DIW experts, just to please the agenda of the Renewable Energies. She is also together with the PIK in Postdam, Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf – so she may told as an climate activist as well.
      Funny: Why the transformation to RE is not expansive:

      Some more questions, about the above mentioned “Study” ?

  4. Peat is a better source of heat and also contains many archeological treasures that won’t be found if they are flooded with concrete. Bog bodies and gold objects/jewellery has often been found in peat bogs giving us an idea of what life was like hundreds if years ago. It would be inane to destroy the bogs for ecologically unsound nasty turbines. How many species of flora/fauna/ insects and small animals will be wiped out if this habitat is destroyed?

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