This is a controversial subject – but, given the varied sources and views we have researched, we have always been a little cynical of the claims of those who advocate wind energy as clean and cheap. The evidence of the negative effects of large wind turbine factories is growing…

  • ~ illness and loss of wellbeing due to 'wind turbine        syndrome'
  • ~ shadow flicker – like living with a stroboscope
  • ~ constant low frequency noise
  • ~ impact on tourism, property devaluation and plain      aesthetic intrusion

…yet these effects have always been justified on the grounds of an alternative 'renewable' source of energy that is cleaner and cheaper than conventional power generation. We would just have to put up with these 'side effects' for the sake of the greater good.

 

But wait – it turns out, according to 2 recent studies using measured, real-time operations data of the Colorado, Texas and Irish grids, all with significant wind penetration, wind turbine generation is neither cleaner nor cheaper than 'combined cycle gas tubines' or 'open cycle gas turbines'

 

Well – you may say – we are running out of gas so wind is still a good alternative. Unfortunately we need to keep our gas turbine generators working to provide backup for unpredictable wind. Wind is very variable – especially in the UK – and can provide only a small fraction of what we currently need – let alone what we'll need in the future.

 

Here's the interesting finding – ramping up gas fired turbines to cope with wind energy unpredictability turns out to use MORE – NOT LESS – energy  and produces more CO2, than keeping the gas turbines going all the time. Most of  us know that if we accelerate and decelerate a car wildly it uses more fuel than if we maintain a standard speed. That's what 'cruise controls' were invented for. It's no surprise then – that the same physics applies to large scale power generation.

 

What James Lovelock (he of Gaia fame) warned us of is becoming increasingly clear…

Wind turbines will desecrate the landscape pointlessly

The full article can be found at the Energy Collective's web site.The studies show increases of CO2/kWh due to adding wind energy to electric grids.


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