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Sunday, November 20, 2005


I have said all sorts of stuff about windmills being insane, an expensive way of generating power, an eyesore (well thousands of eyesores) & only working 25% of the time. I have been to kind, except perhaps about the insanity. Professor Singer of SEPP found in German power company EON's report shows that not only doesn't it work but it even more doesn't work when you start producing a serious amount of it. In their case their windmills only get 18% usage. This drives a coach & horses thru' the Scottish Executive's plan to replace our 55% nuclear with a renewable target of 40% (obviously already somewhat artimetically challenged) (to be fair 10% of that is hydro but 10% of what we already have is hydro).

Scots should note that EOn is the company trying to take over Scottish Power.
The electric power company E.On operates over
40% of the wind power in Germany (more than the
entire installed USA wind capacity). In its 2005
Wind Report:
E.On states that in 2004 it had an installed wind
power capacity of 7050MW and an average feed-in
capacity of 1295MW (or 18.4% capacity
factor). Figure 7 of the E.On report, entitled
"Falling substitution capacity", states: "The
more wind power capacity is in the grid, the
lower the percentage of traditional generation it can replace."

"In concrete terms, this means that in 2020, with
a forecast wind power capacity of over 48,000MW
(Source: Dena grid study), 2,000MW of traditional
power production can be replaced by these wind farms."

As re-stated by Allan MacRae:
[Predicted 2020 traditional power actually replaced by wind]/[Predicted 2020
total nameplate wind capacity] = only
4%! Germany is now at 8%, which is bad enough,
but will decline to 4% if all goes according to plan.

So an analysis by a German industry leader says
it will install 12 to 24 times more wind power
capacity than the conventional power that the wind power replaces.

On this basis, I suggest they would have to give
away a wind turbine free with every Bratwurst to make wind power economic.

The more wind power capacity is in the grid, the lower the percentage of
traditional generation it can replace. Allan MacRae’s suggested new slogan:
"Wind power, it doesn't just blow, it sucks!"
At 18 times installed capacity to replace Hunterston & Torness would need over 12,000 windmills assuming the economy isn't growing.

I was on a train across the North German Plain a few months ago. It was forested with wind turbines, all stationary except for a few which give the odd spasm of rotation. The penny dropped; the spasms were caused by the breeze created by train going past. Therefore, the wind turbines were actually drawing power from the conventional power stations!!!!!
That really tickled me.
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