3,149 UK Wind Turbines – Produced Less Than 0.5% Of UK’s Electricity Needs

During the cold snap, the 3,149 UK wind turbines were nearly useless. At times delivering less than half of a percent of the UK’s electricity needs.

Maybe 1,000,000 wind turbines would do the job, as long as there aren’t any calm days?

Would there be any birds or tourists left in the UK?

 

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50 Responses to 3,149 UK Wind Turbines – Produced Less Than 0.5% Of UK’s Electricity Needs

  1. Edmh says:

    As to Green solutions now being realised consider this:

    If the capital cost of Nuclear power is ~£1.4 billion / gigawatt (according to Prof David MacKay) and the newly commissioned array off Thanet cost £0.78 billion and is rated at 0.300 gigawatt but even using a generous load factor of 35% is only capable of producing on average 0.105 gigawatt , it appears that in capital cost terms alone offshore wind costs ~£7.5 billion / gigawatt or more than 5 times the cost of the equivalent nuclear production.

    This of course ignores all the additional costs of the essential, continuous, CO2 emitting, parallel backup generating capacity as well as the costs of continuing feed-in tariffs, estimated at about a further £1.2 billion over the 20 year life of the project. Paying for starters more than 5 times as much for an unreliable energy source must make utter economic nonsense.

    And to add to the nonsense, Carbon Capture and Storage can only increase electricity costs and deprive the planet of a source of increased plant fertility.

    It is one of many suggestions, which might reduce CO2 emissions. All are expensive and all are pretty well pointless.

  2. Andy Weiss says:

    There is no realistic way yet to cut emissions without greatly reducing our standard of living. So before we try, we better make sure we know what we are doing.

    • forthurst says:

      Don’t the French derive most of their electrical energy from nuclear power stations? Have you been their recently?

      • Les Francis says:

        Your right Andy.
        The die hard environmentalists want us to ride bicycles and live on sustainable communes. – All 6 billion of us.

      • DEEBEE says:

        Les –they do not care a whit about most of the 6 Billion. As long as they can drive the first world to the third world status. That would be a reachable goal to them than lifting the nearly 5 billion

    • slp says:

      Of course, there is no reason to cut CO2 emissions anyway.

  3. suyts says:

    Well, I guess some people have to find out by experience. This was horribly stupid, and many people(including myself) can say, “I told you so!”.

    Wind turbines only work in ideal conditions. It is under poor conditions when you need the most energy. Worse, because of the duplicity required, when the turbines don’t turn, one is forced to use the more expensive fuels generate electricity.

    Fortunately, even T. Boone recognizes there is little value in these Quixotic ventures. One day, we may recognize the error and properly use these machinations in a more economically viable manner. Windmills can never be efficiently used for any thing other than to augment demand load. This would occur as a natural economic reaction, not mandated production forcing taxpayer subsidy.

  4. R. de Haan says:

    Wind power is no power at all.
    http://www.masterresource.org/2010/09/wind-not-power-iii/

    Wind power is in permanent need of back up by coal or gas power plants.
    The back up capacity needed is 100%.

    Because wind power fluctuates due to the variation in wind these conventional plants have to increase or decrease power constantly.

    A good comparison can be made by driving a car.

    If you drive it at the highway with constant speed you get the best milage.
    If you drive it in urban area’s with lots of stop and go traffic you increase the fuel efficiency.

    The same goes for the conventional power plants used for back up of wind power.
    Not only do we have to deal with the increased costs of wind power but also with the increased fuel costs (and emissions) from conventional power plants that constantly fluctuate their power output to maintain the bases load on the gid.

    It would be much better for the environment to power a grid with conventional power based on constant base load performance of the plants compared to a mix of wind and conventional power.

    Wind power therefore is no serious alternative power.
    It’s obsolete and we should tear down every single wind mill to serve the best of our interests and kick any politician pushing the green hoax out of office.

  5. That’s the problem with so-called green energy. You give the power back to Mother Nature. And unlike the chestnut (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia-ixPk73wY), Mother Nature really is a fickle beast. Wind turbines give us less flexibility to live our lives, and while I’m inclined to think that perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing in some ways (certainly we wouldn’t be able to maintain our current population, which is bad), wind turbines put us on Mother Nature’s schedule.

    • Edmh says:

      Wind energy is great for grinding corn and pumping water when you can store the results and it does not matter too much when you do it.

      It ain’t no good for running a country on electric power where those options don’t exist.

      • Les Francis says:

        You can only grind enough corn and pump water for a very small amount of people with wind and water power Ed.

        If you want a lesson in water power have a look at the Roman empire era. They were masters at it. However they undertook massive, expensive infrastructure projects to provide for a relatively small population. But, those infrastructure projects were meant to last for a millennial – Some are still standing 2000 years later

      • Chris says:

        Has nobody here heard of BATTERIES ??????????? Wind power prices will also come down the more we use it ! Also bear in mind that average wind speeds year round should be calculated before erecting these things for them to be profitable in the long term – which they can be ! Nuclear needs constant refuelling of radioactive materials and the cost of the safety mechanisms involved in enormous. Wind is free once the initial investment in the technology pays off. Solar panels are becoming more and more efficient and also much cheaper the more are mass produced. Besides all this why do we want to be dependent on state owned or privatised power monopoloy giant who derive our power from nuclear (or any other technology – even wind or solar) ? They will send the prices through the roof like all other monopolies. You can only trust yourself and I believe small scale residential, citizen owned wind turbines and solar cells are the only long term solution. Solar can be made up photovoltaic or solar water heaters that heat water directly. Solar water heaters are cheaper, more efficient & better when it comes to heating bath and shower water. Photovoltaics when it comes to lighting etc. A mix of all these is the long term solution although more expensive in the short term. Its virtually free power when paid off.

      • suyts says:

        Wow Chris, reading your post, you’ve managed to read BS material without learning anything about the material you were reading. You were wrong on ever point you tried to make.

        Batteries……. The windmills referenced in the article are wind generation farm windmills. There is no battery that exists to store that sort of power. More, even if one did, the conversion loss is so much that it wouldn’t be worth the effort, or money. Check AC vs DC and conversion costs.

        Average wind speeds have little to do with anything. Bearing in mind, THAT ONE CAN’T STORE AC POWER, the pertinent wind speed is the speed of the wind when it is necessary to have energy. “Average” doesn’t have squat to do with it. If the wind is still, then no energy is generated. If the wind is in excess of 50mph, then no energy is generated. Energy is most required in extreme weather conditions.

        Wind energy IS NOT free after the initial investment. It isn’t a perpetual energy machine. Is it maintenance free? Do you know the average life expectancy of such a machine? Do you know the payoff point? Do you know the initial investment? I do. Is there any additional line maintenance required?………. I’d give you the numbers particular to the size you are referencing, but seeing that you think we can store this energy in a battery, it seems you are referencing a windmill about the size of a yard gnome. Sorry, I don’t have the information on a 2 ft. tall windmill.

        Your reference to solar panels are a bit off topic, but you need to research REE. (You freaking twit!)

        State owned or privatised. Uhmm, I’m assuming, because of the spelling, and your assertion, you’re not American. If you were American, and current on energy issues specific to the U.S. then you’d know it isn’t the case that it is either state owned or monopolized. Odd, I get the feeling that you are American and simply don’t know how to spell and that you aren’t current about energy or the energy markets here. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I will tell you that I work for a non-profit electric cooperative that serves just over 3000 meters. Is that small enough for you? There are literally thousands of such cooperatives. Check NRECA or other similar organizations. And then check the meaning of cooperative. We cost significantly more to our consumers than the municipalities(and IOUs) in our area. Again, we are non-profit.
        (IOU in this case = Independently Owned Utilities)

        Sis, you must live alone. Usually, in my house, there are 4 people that shower either at night or in the morning. No, it doesn’t warm the water at night, nor does it warm the water quick enough in the morn.

        With solar, again, look up REE, then look up power conversion, then see how one cannot create energy. Regard maintenance and cost of delivery. Understand that we still cannot store AC power. And then come back and tell me about virtually free. It is simplistic thoughts such as this that causes mankind great difficulties. Laws get enacted because of this sort of sophomoric idiocy, the cost is great in capital and lives. It is incumbent upon all of us to educate ourselves before we become advocates.

        Sorry for the rant, hope you don’t take it personal. Merry Christmas.

      • DEEBEE says:

        So Chris, the French are just idiots to get almost 80% of their electricity from nuclear power plants, even though it is uneconomical. Or are they cutting corners and putting all of us at risk of a nuclear holocaust?

  6. Justa Joe says:

    Wind “energy” is a joke. These WHITE monoliths are neo-pagan monuments for liberals kinda like a latter day Stonehenge although Stonehenge may have actually served some purpose.

    • Chris says:

      Excess wind energy can be stored in batteries for the days when it performs terribly. Then theres solar as well which can be used as backup. We dont need expensive fossil fuels as backup either. What are you smoking. I understand this all comes from government distrust, but be logical here. See my above comments too…. ps…..Small scale residential wind turbines are less efficient than large scale turbine farms – until those farms become monopolies, or near monopolies. Do your really trust the goverment or large private corporations to keep nuclear (or anything) “cheap” ?

      • slp says:

        If one defines a battery as something that stores energy, fossil fuels fit that need remarkably well and are renewable, albeit on a long timescale.

      • DEEBEE says:

        I will trust the private sector to make cheap energy available any day over government inefficiency.
        Chris, you are just a muddled bundle of cursory information.
        If we depleted our cheap sources of energy to the point the prices of said cheap sources increase enough to make alternatives possible. Any sooner they are just exercises in self-titillation, allowing per folks like you to to preen their green

      • Justa Joe says:

        Chris, You’re confused. So-called wind power is already the most expensive form of electrical generation on the planet. Now you want to add batteries to the mix. We all accept batteries as ubiquities of everyday life, but they are quite expensive. Your bar battery cost $50 – $100. Think about it. Now think about the battery capacity needed to store GIGA WATT Hours worth of electricity for indefinite periods. It’s quite the technical hurdle.

        My skepticism over the efficacy of wind “power” isn’t based on any prejudice towards governments or corporations. My lack of enthusiam is based on the fact that wind is a demonstrable failure in terms of the applications at issue.

        Also the much maligned carbon energies are the cheapest on the planet and most efficient (save nuclear). That’s why they proliferate.

        Here in the Good Ol’ USA. We power our big navy vessels with nuclear. We gave up on sails more than a century ago. Think about it, please.

    • Chris says:

      Judging by your guys arrogance and addiction to crude I’m sure YOU probably ARE American ! Dont get me wrong I’m not sure I believe in CO2 beiong the cause of global warming either. If you want to say, “why did France spend so much on nuclear if it wasnt worth it ?” Then you can also say “why did they spend so much on wind if it wasnt worth it ?” When we first started using fossil fuels it started out expensive and the costs gradually came down over time to the point where they are now doing the opposite and going up DUE TO MONOPOLIES ONLY anf not any shortages (just yet). When I spoke of batteries it was actually referring to residential wind/solar use. Pure electric vehicles that use BATTERIES are already starting to be mass produced at close to reasonable costs. For example India’s REVA electric car and in response you yanks can only produce your overpriced HYBRIDS, with the exeption of the overpriced Tesla pure electric. I am not Indian either. If the average residential citizen took a monthly REPAYMENT PLAN (LOAN) on a solar water geyser and wind turbine which included batteries and used all their electricity bills they save to repay the loan after a few years you would have covered the startup costs and would only need to buy new batteries once every 5-7 years or longer. If I am wrong, then we are not very far from that point at all. Do research for example on how much the price of lithium ion batteries have come down in price in the last 5 years due to pure demand and mass production. Research CIGS solar technology on wikipedia or anywhere else – unbelievably efficient. There are residential solar and wind success stories you can even read about on Popular Mechanics. Home made is the cheapest though. You can even buy proffessional plans. Get real people.

      • Chris says:

        ps. I am implying that if we (individually or nationally on grid) invested what we spend on fossil fuels and nuclear ALL into clean energy. Clean energy technologies, die to mass priduction would become affordable. Yes not as affordable as the other methods, but affordable – even now they are in the long term. Many people on the internet have descibed their residential green energy success stories and boast of what they save.

      • Chris says:

        You cant compare per watt prices of small scale spending on wind to mass scale spending on nuclear. Scale them both up to the same size and get a true reflection of the costs of wind or solar when mass production is taken into account.

      • Chris says:

        Do your small scale co-operatives you mentioned also GENERATE power ? If not we get power generating monopolies. Small scale use of solar and wind and the use of batteries IS being done efficiently – despite conversion efficiencies. I dont hear people who use it complaining or tearing up their solar panels, etc. DO YOU ? Research the internet for these people. They dont all liuve on “ranches” either cowboy. How can you call someone a twit and think that they would not take it personally ? What a dumbass you are !

      • Chris says:

        Dont forget goverment subsidies or rebates for small scale residential use ! If it were up to people like me we would promote research into these technologies to even further reduce their price and efficiencies. However if it were up to people like you we would spend nothing on even improving or researching these technologies and carry on with the Enron’s and the continued banking bailouts at your expense and the messy BP’s of this world.

      • Justa Joe says:

        Chris, You’re living in a dream world. Carbon based power started out cheap and remains relatively cheap. It would be even better without the Govt’s taxation and over regulation.

        ““why did France spend so much on nuclear if it wasnt worth it ?” Then you can also say “why did they spend so much on wind if it wasnt worth it ?” – Chris

        France’s Nuclear is doing something that wind never could anywhere, which is produce an abundance of reliable electricity. You don’t seem to get it. You can’t power society on good intentions.

        “When I spoke of batteries it was actually referring to residential wind/solar use. Pure electric vehicles that use BATTERIES are already starting to be mass produced at close to reasonable costs.” – Chris

        What about people who don’t live in an area that get’s sufficient wind and solar, which would include the majority of humanity? You’re ignorant about batteries. No cost effective battery including Li-Ion exists to solve Solar & winds’ shortfalls on a residential or grid wide scale, and there is no battery chemistry/technology that is anywhere near forthcoming that will.

        The REVA car is a joke. It is no where near an adequate vehicle. It has a short range and a very limited capacity to carry cargo or people. It’s at best a niche vehicle but actually it will just be a novelty. Would you want one? I don’t. It’s also not cheap. No electric vehicles are cheap as compared to their gasoline powered counterparts.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/REVA

        “REVA electric car and in response you yanks can only produce your overpriced HYBRIDS, with the exeption of the overpriced Tesla pure electric. ”

        As stated previously electric cars are a joke in general. Also you’re wrong GM competes with REVA in India selling it’s own electric cars (the Spark). So much for your anti-American BS.

        Chris feel free to build your alternative powered cottage if that’s what you’re into. Maybe Ed Begley Jr. can give you some tips. Just leave everyone else alone. You’re driving up everyone else’s electric bills with this Follie.

  7. Produced Less Than 0.5% Of UK’s Electricity Needs

    And they’re so unsightly. Other than that……

  8. Edmh says:

    Wind energy is great for grinding corn and pumping water when you can store the results and it does not matter too much when you do it.

    It ain’t no good for running a country on electric power where those options don’t exist.

    • Chris says:

      Judging by your guys arrogance and addiction to crude I’m sure YOU probably ARE American. Dont get me wrong I’m not sure I believe in CO2 beiong the cause of global warming either. If you want to say, “why did France spend so much on nuclear if it wasnt worth it ?” Then you can also say “why did they spend so much on wind if it wasnt worth it ?” When we first started using fossil fuels it started out expensive and the costs gradually came down over time to the point where they are now doing the opposite and going up DUE TO MONOPOLIES ONLY anf not any shortages (just yet). When I spoke of batteries it was actually referring to residential wind/solar use. Pure electric vehicles that use BATTERIES are already starting to be mass produced at close to reasonable costs. For example India’s REVA electric car and in response you yanks can only produce your overpriced HYBRIDS, with the exeption of the overpriced Tesla pure electric. I am not Indian either. If the average residential citizen took a monthly REPAYMENT PLAN (LOAN) on a solar water geyser and wind turbine which included batteries and used all their electricity bills they save to repay the loan after a few years you would have covered the startup costs and would only need to buy new batteries once every 5-7 years or longer. If I am wrong, then we are not very far from that point at all. Do research for example on how much the price of lithium ion batteries have come down in price in the last 5 years due to pure demand and mass production. Research CIGS solar technology on wikipedia or anywhere else – unbelievably efficient. There are residential solar and wind success stories you can even read about on Popular Mechanics. Home made is the cheapest though. You can even buy proffessional plans. Get real people.

  9. Brian G Valentine says:

    It isn’t that the wind mills had “no effect.” They converted tens of thousands of migrating birds to pulp.

  10. It is I only says:

    Never mind! The poms can always dismantle all the windmills & ship them down under.
    Joolia & Bobby will buy them. & all the Aussie watermelons will be humming “kumbaya…kumbaya”………………

  11. Justa Joe says:

    Chris, You’ve got your work cut out for you. 73.3 million new cars were sold worldwide in 09′ So far about 3500 REVA’s have been sold. Also a whopping 55 total electric vehicles were sold in the UK in 09′. So I guess that makes 55 people in the UK who aren’t arrogant.

  12. Chris says:

    “So I guess that makes 55 people in the UK who aren’t arrogant.” No it makes major car companies arrogant, like those featured in “Who killed the electric car”. The rest of people are just ignorant – because they believe these car companies propaganda. Like you do !

  13. Chris says:

    “REVA Electric Car Company (REVA) announced today the REVA NXR price as the car will go into production next year. The REVA NXR, which will be sold as a 2011 model, is lithium-ion powered electric car which falls in the M1 category. The REVA NXR is a three-door, four-seater hatchback family car that is optimized for city driving. The REVA NXR has a range of 160 km, a top speed of 104 km/h and needs eight hours to be fully re-charged. However, with 90 min re-charges, the REVA NXR can offer an effective way to do 320 km per day. A 15 min re-charge will offer you 40 km of driving. The REVA NXR price for the Intercity version starts at 14,995 Euros excluding batteries……….Prices of the NXR will vary across Europe depending on taxes and subsidies. Customers will be offered the option of purchasing the car and batteries separately, or at an all-inclusive price. If bought separately, the benefit will be a lower purchase price, with the batteries paid for on a monthly basis – just like petrol – as part of a monthly mobility fee, which could also include electricity, telematics and other services. Average prices in Europe, excluding batteries, will be around 14,995 euros for the lithium-ion NXR Intercity version.”

  14. Chris says:

    Comon guys, I would have expected a far more scientific answer than that. There are factors that make batteries and who dont pollute the environment and there are those who make batteries who dont pollute the environment. Its got nothing to do with whether the batteries end up being used for green technologies or not. Like I said near the top of this page I dont know if I believe in the whole green concept (ie CO2 causes global warming). My only point is to say electricity is more efficient to power cars and for all applications it works oyut cheaper than fossil fuels when you combine wind, solar, hydro-electric etc, etc. Petrolium is only going to rise is price and is only “reletively constant” in price due to the current economic crisis. Cast your mind back to before the crisis and then start to think about when demad picks up again.

    Yes there are places that arent good for wind or solar, esp in winter. Those places can still, at least temporarily use fossil fuels. However CIGS solar technology works pretty well even in cloudy conditions. Things are getting even better. So what if only a handful of people own electric cars. That proves nothing. How many people owned a regular petrol car in 1920 ? Electric is only now starting to take of due to improvements in battery technology. The latest REVA NXG and NXR electric cars have good enough permormance and range to meet the average persons needs for example.

  15. Chris says:

    How can you expect to compare 2 technologies, when the one has a 100 year headstart over the other when it comes to mass production, advertising, competition, etc. and as a result say we must give up on the one. The fact that the REVA already can boast of the reasonable performance and range I mentioned above shows how much better things will get !

  16. Chris says:

    Take all the money spent on fossil fuels, nuclear, etc and spend it all – the same amount – on solar, wind, hydro, etc. THEN compare the cost per MWh !

  17. Chris says:

    Where are the daily mail articles exposing nuclear waste sites in China ? or putting just as much emphasis on other “regular” fossil fuels pollution in China. You cant compare China to the West when it comes to any form of technology and the pollution they create in general. Chinese standards are far lower, as are their labour law that allow their textile sweat shops to continue operating at breakneck speeds, etc, etc, etc. Another biased propaganda article to aid the biggest car companies to continue selling fully or partially fossil fuel vehicles. Wonder just how many oil companies own shares in car companies as of 2011.

  18. Chris says:

    Carry on laughing at green technologies and carry on forking out more for fuel each year and see where it gets you….

    • Paul H says:

      Chris

      It really could not be simpler.

      Once so called “green technologies” become competitive compared to conventional fuels, consumers will change over automatically.

      This is called the Market Mechanism. Have you ever heard of Supply and Demand? It is one of the first rules of Economics.

      I am sure that sooner or later energy sources will change. The process is a logical one.

      After all why did we progress from horse to cars? Not because of govt diktat and subsidies.

      In the meantime, the best way to avoid fuel price rises is to let the Oil Companies explore and develop new reserves.

      • Chris says:

        The newer REVA has already reached this stage Paul. Not as good as rugular cars, but good enough !

      • Paul H says:

        You will go out and buy one tomorrow then!

        Paul

      • Chris says:

        Yes Paul, if I had the money. 14,995 Euros is not that much. Thats as much as the average “NORMAL” car costs where I come from. However, I dont have the money for even a normal car at the moment, that’s why I’m just browsing for the next year or so.

  19. Chris says:

    The average United States driver travels 29 miles per day and is driving a total of 55 minutes per day. (This is an average vehicle speed of 32 mph.) – US Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics. REVA’s ability to do 15 charges will help when you need “beyond average” range.

  20. Chris says:

    Electric cars are virtually maintenance free compared to regular cars – so you save money there too. Then there are government rebates as well.

  21. Chris says:

    “In the meantime, the best way to avoid fuel price rises is to let the Oil Companies explore and develop new reserves.” NOT TRUE ! Thats exacly what they are doing and is it helping prices in the long term ? No !!! Why not – because of greed (speculation and artificial limmiting of supplies by the miners and the refiners, aka middle men.)

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