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Eminent Oxford Scientist Says Wind Power “Fails on Every Count”
Professor Allison’s dire warnings are contained in a short paper recently published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. He notes that the energy provided by the Sun is “extremely weak”, which is why it was unable to provide the energy to sustain even a small global population before the Industrial Revolution with an acceptable standard of living. A similar point was made recently in more dramatic fashion by the nuclear physicist Dr. Wallace Manheimer. He argued that the infrastructure around wind and solar will not only fail, “but will cost trillions, trash large portions of the environment and be entirely unnecessary”.
In his paper, Allison concentrates on working out the numbers that lie behind the natural fluctuations in the wind. The full workings out are not complicated and can be assessed from the link above. He shows that at a wind speed of 20mph, the power produced by a wind turbine is 600 watts per square metre at full efficiency. To deliver the same power as the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant – 3,200 million watts – it would require 5.5 million square metres of turbine swept area.
It is noted that this should be quite unacceptable to those who care about birds and other environmentalists. Of course, this concern does not seem to have materialised to date. Millions of bats and birds are calculated to be slaughtered by onshore wind turbines every year. Meanwhile, off the coast of Massachusetts, work is about to start on a giant wind farm, complete with permits to harass and likely injure almost a tenth of the population of the rare North Atlantic Right whale.
When fluctuations in wind speed are taken into account in Allison’s formula, the performance of wind becomes very much worse. If the wind speed drops by half, the power available falls by a factor of eight. Almost worse, he notes, if the wind speed doubles, the power delivered goes up eight times, and the turbine has to be turned off for its own protection.
The effect of the enhanced fluctuations is dramatic, as shown in the graph above. The installed nominal generating capacity in the EU and U.K. in 2021, shown by the brown dashed line, was 236 GW, but the highest daily output was only 103 GW on March 26th. The unreliability is shown to even greater effect in the second graph that plots the wind generated offshore in the U.K. in March last year.
For eight days at the end of the month, power generation slumped, presumably, says Allison, because the wind speed halved. The 8.8 GW daily loss over the period was noted to be 1,000 times the capacity of the world largest grid storage battery at Moss Landings in California. When it comes to the enormous batteries needed to store renewable power, Allison notes the problems with safety, as well as mineral shortages. Batteries will never make good the failure of offshore wind farms, even for a week, and he points out they can fail for much longer than that.
Others have recently looked in more detail at the costs of battery storage. The American lawyer and mathematician Francis Menton, who runs the Manhattan Contrarian site, reviewed recent official cost reports and found that “even on the most optimistic assumptions” the cost could be as high as a country’s GDP. On less optimistic assumptions, the capital cost alone could be 15 times annual GDP. Last year, Associate Professor Simon Michaux warned the Finnish Government that there were not enough minerals in the world to supply all the batteries needed for Net Zero. Michaux observed that the Net Zero project may not go fully “as planned”. Meanwhile, Menton concluded, with an opinion that some might consider unduly charitable: “It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the people planning the Net Zero transition have no idea what they are doing.”
Professor Allison has done his sums based on basic physics and freely available information. “Whichever way you look at it, wind power is inadequate. It is intermittent and unreliable; it is exposed and vulnerable; it is weak with a short life-span,” he concludes.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.
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The C1984 scam has now, thanks to Dr Mike Yeadon reached the point where the whole basis of the story has unravelled and just as many thought we now realise that Covid is simply re-branded ‘flu. I predict the same will eventually happen with the net zero con. At some point realisation will dawn that the agenda has nothing to do with climate and saving the world; net zero will be revealed in all it’s naked glory for what it is really about – net zero people.
Another good article from Chris but I am afraid TPTB are so far down the net-zero/climate rabbit hole that they just, close their eyes, put their fingers in their ears and go la la la when presented with this sort of information. It just seems to be a question of what comes first, net zero disaster, financial collapse or war? or perhaps they will all come together in a dramatic finale? Of course this disaster scenario just applies to the ‘western’ countries, the rest of the world will look on with amusement and then set about establishing the new world order.
It would be wonderful if your prediction is correct, but I’m not hopeful. The percentage of people who still believe all the covid nonsense is still very high and I fear that the belief in man-made catastrophic climate change is even more embedded in most people’s minds. Few seem to link high electricity and fuel prices to the obsession with “renewable” energy and demonisation of fossil fuels. There is almost total acceptance amongst politicians, media, big business and the general population that this is a good thing.
All of this bollocks relies on the premise that carbon dioxide is the primary driver of climate – which most people seem to accept as being factually correct rather than a questionable theory. If general acceptance of the link between CO2 and climate is shattered, the climate change industry and gazzilions of cash that are being pillaged from people might be stopped.
Good comment. But it is actually “Worse than you Thunk”. Or rather, worse than you said.
The Uniparty politicians and academia and the media have persuaded people that not just the Climate is controlled by mankind’s “Carbon” emissions, (Climate normally being trends over at least 30 years), but that any notable “Weather” event is actually “Climate”.
So a spike in temperature measured at Coningsby air base, next to a concrete runway on which Typhoon jets were taking off, a spike lasting a couple of minutes, was used by the MET Office and the BBC to claim a 40°C “record” proving (no doubt “The Settled Science”) that naughty Mankind had messed up the “Climate” and must expect to be punished and that the economy and people’s lives have to be junked.
People actually suck up this sh1t.
How long this bullshit on stilts will go on before pitchforks start getting sharpened, I cannot imagine.
“we now realise that Covid is simply re-branded ‘flu”
Do any of the other big-hitters on our side of the argument agree with this conclusion? I am not aware of anyone other than Mike Yeadon, and even he is not entirely conclusive on that position.
Where does this leave all those positing a bioweapon or lab leak theory, and would doctors such as Pierre Cory, Ryan Cole, Peter McCullough, etc not have argued that the symptoms are exactly the same as those of flu?
I believe Sasha Latypova is of this view (see here) and also Nick Hudson tends to this position (their site is down so I couldn’t provide a link) I think the majority of those with clinical experience feel there was a new virus circulating, but personally I think it is possible that this was a version of a mass delusion where people are lookng for a novel phenomenon, so find one – see, for example, the Seattle Windscreen Pitting delusion.
This debate (Gain of Function Virus, or normal Flu) reminds me of the US Democrats defence of Biden’s election victory. “No, No, No. Nothing to see here – the Democratic outcome!”
To which my response is that, if it was possible to believe that, in actual fact, the election was NOT stolen, then sure as shit, it was not for want of the Democrats trying to steal it.
Make of that, what you will.
Yeadon&Delingpole at TCW this week and off guardian today have penned three very convincing articles around that thesis.
I started out as a believer in the lab leak story.
I have stated since a while, that it was either man-made and set free deliberately or doesn’t exist, favouring the former.
Having read those 3 articles, I must say that I now favour the latter.
The rabbit hole one must not go into here is the virus isolation possibility/importance one. In truth, no one can judge this either way.
The other arguments, anecdotes, evidence and lack of evidence surrounding all this are just extremely convincing now.
Thanks, Jaybee. I read all 3 articles you recommended, and find myself now slightly favouring the “rebranded flu” line. It would be good if other big-hitters on our side of the argument would comment.
I thought the Off Guardian piece was particularly good.
40 Facts You NEED to Know: The REAL Story of “Covid” – OffGuardian (off-guardian.org)
Is this supposed to be some kind of revelation? We’ve known this for decades
Damn, those politicians have form.
They ask us for power.
We give it to them.
They call it democracy.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Wind power is a 2 thousand year old horse that’s still being flogged!
Solar is a 30%(at best) 40 year old horse that is still being flogged!
Hydrogen is a horse that’s been flogged without mercy since the second world war! and still no viable profit!
It would be more efficient to just use a horse!
Horses fart and that also detroys the atmosphere, you’ll walk and like it – YOU are the carbon that they wish to reduce
Hydrogen used in power supply systems are more like a battery, i.e. it is not a source of energy – just a temporary storage medium. At present, most of it in production is an offshoot of methane (reformation), but could be produced via renewable electric supplies from water. However, the overall thermal efficiency isn’t very nice. Generally better just to use the electricity supply directly, when available.
Specialised use of H may be OK in some situations – such as some types of railway rolling stock in some areas, but even then it’s a financial calculation c.f. proper electrification.
Yes, and when it is knackered, you can eat it.
Policy makers know this. Hence the big push for smart meters and the plan for rolling remote enabled blackouts by region. The madness is baked into the plan.
Love the headline picture btw! It looks like a disillusioned Mars invader from war of the worlds!
History and technological innovation can give us some pointers here.
Sail powered commercial and military ships were at their ultimate levels of development by the mid 1800s , but throughout the rest of that century innovation produced very effective steam power which was quickly taken up so by the end of the century sail power was in decline /death .The remaining commercial vessels only trading on price .
Whats not to like about a ship that is faster , can be run 24/7 and is reliable unlike the wind .
Today how many sail powered commercial and military ships are there ???
What is it the idiots cannot see unless of course there is more behind it …..
Exactly. Many of these ships and submarines have little nuclear power stations inside. Wonderful!
But no, the lunatic fringe shouts “CHERNOBYL!!!”
Lunatic fringe speaking! I don’t mind nuclear but it can never be 100% safe, nothing is, but, if a coal/gas plant explodes it doesn’t take most of the country with it! Poisoned, never to be used again! That’s my slight worry
Only “never to be used again” if you subscribe to the GangGreen ” Linear No Threshold” approach to the health effects of radiation.
Consider that Hiroshima and Nagasaki have long been successful, thriving cities.
Consider that wildlife has thrived around Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Consider that a number of very successful and popular health spa town have been openly advertising the health benefits of bathing and drinking their mildly radioactive spa waters since the 1920s. And have a mountain of properly conducted scientific studies to back it up. Look at Badgastein and Hofgastein in Austria.
Obviously high levels of radiation can be extremely damaging ( hence the theatre when you have a simple X-Ray). But that is NOT the case for low levels, as any non GangGreen person who has flown on holiday or enjoyed a Brazil nut or a banana will confirm.
Yet again GangGreen has run an extremely effective ‘drown them in bullshit’ campaign.
The first accounted steps into wind and solar electricity generation is noted as being about 1883, 140 years. Would it not be sensible to recognise that if the efficiency of this generation type was of any note, we would have been using it a 100 years ago.
This is the greatest folly man has pursued in the entirety of its evolution and existence; you may add to the notion that man is thought (by some) the most intelligent animal on the planet, it appears he is the most stupid as well.
Similarly with electric cars which were around at the start of the 1900s then replaced by ICE cars .Our forefathers knew a thing or two !!!
Quite right. There were also electric boat, hire fleets on the Thames about 1890, and like EV cars only the rich could afford them and they very restricted in the operational area, and were subsequently replaced with ICE.
Wind is a HUGE SUCCESS. ————It succeeds in lowering living standards and removing affordable energy, which is why UN lackeys in western governments want so much of this dumb energy. They pander to this idea that the wealthy west has used up more than it’s fair share of coal and gas in the ground and should now fob it’s citizens off with unreliable expensive niche technologies like wind and sun. To get away with that you need a very plausible excuse, and that excuse is “Climate Change”. ——–Yesterday on GB News I saw Patrick Christys allow some silly activist to claim billions are going to die because of global warming. Despite having not a shred of evidence for that or any of his other nonsensical claims, Patrick allowed him to spout this nonsense. All Patrick had to do was to ask “Where is your evidence that billions will die”? He would not be able to provide any evidence because there is NONE. ——–There are speculative un-validated climate models, but those are not evidence of anything. —–When these brainwashed imbeciles get away with spouting nonsense like this unchallenged on National TV channels it leaves an unsuspecting public thinking it must all be true. ———-Dear Patrick. You do a good job on GB news but you need to learn something about this issue very quickly and stop caving in to these dreamers.
And further evidence:
It’s not just wind. Other renewables score badly on many sustainability metrics such has EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) land use and critical mineral consumption. And of course, wind and solar are intermittent. Biomass only scores well because they pretend burning wood doesn’t emit CO2.
He shows that at a wind speed of 20mph, the power produced by a wind turbine is 600 watts at full efficiency.
Nope. He shows that it is about 600 watts per square swept metre. The swept area of a turbine is roughly 3*r^2 where r is the length of the blade. A modern turbine with 100 metre blades has a swept area of about 30,000 square metres. So in theory about 18MW. In practice modern turbines can generate about 10 MW at 10 mph wind speed which means about 320 turbines to match Hinckley Point C. It is all explained here.
Of course there will be times when the wind speed is lower (and on occasion when it is too high) but 10 mph is not a particularly high wind – particularly off-shore. Both wind and solar are intermittent sources and can only be part of an overall energy strategy.
“Matching Hinkley Point C”. When the wind is blowing. Of source nothing at all when the wind isn’t blowing as happens frequently when we have high-pressure systems over us when its cold. A battery to provide 3GW for a 7-day cold, calm period would cost about £150bn using the South Aus Megabattery as a yardstick. That’s enough for 5 Hinkley C’s. And Hinkley C will last 60 years, whereas the battery will need to be replaced every 10 years or so.
Wind is low density, low EROEI (particularly when buffered with batteries, or heaven forbid a gas-fired power station), has high critical mineral consumption and is of course, intermittent. Not something we can run a modern economy on.
The South Aus Megabattery is a poor guide to storage costs. It is not designed to do that. It is role is “grid-stabilisation” – helping with very short term fluctuations over minutes or hours.
Long term energy storage is still a problem to be solved. The solution may well not be batteries. Pumped-storage hydroelectricity is currently by far the largest source of grid energy storage and there are several alternatives being explored. Until a cost-effective solution is available it will be necessary for most economies to have non-renewable capacity (nuclear, gas whatever). But having the capacity doesn’t mean you have to use it, so renewables will still be saving on the use of alternatives and it looks like more cheaply.
I see the Ruinable Energy shill is back with us.
“Both wind and solar can only be part of an overall energy strategy”. But unfortunately that strategy is designed to take abundant affordable energy away and replace it with unreliable expensive energy in renewables. All part of the Sustainable Development and Net Zero political agenda’s. ——-So, the “strategy” you talk of is a means to lower living standards because it is deemed at UN level that the “living standards of the affluent middle classes is unsustainable”, as the Socialist think tank “Club of Rome” were telling us 50 years ago.
There are plenty of useful idiots who are also true believers, of course, and for them this serves the main purpose to replace the people in power with themselves, plus a bit of personal enrichment along the way.
They realized that in the big scheme of things, and in particular in an era where people believe in and can practice MMT, it simply doesn’t matter what objectively useless sector makes up or drives GDP.
If objectively useless or obsolete luxury goods, sports cars, City banks and fundmanagers or military spending can fulfil that role and has been milked to the fullest, so can wasting funds on wind and solar energy and subsidies until that has run its course and is replaced with the next folly.