A article from the New Scientist (Here) reports on a major modelling exercise done by Carnegie Mellon University. This report aims to predict how offshore turbines would stand up to the weather off the Texas coast.
The modelling predicts 50% of the turbines will be destroyed within a 20 year period. Remember that is total loss. It is not going to cover the known gearbox reliability problems (See Here) or simply the massive maintenance costs faced by any offshore structure.
Over here in the UK assorted wishful thinkers dream of huge offshore wind farms far out in the North Sea, or crammed into the shipping lanes around our coast.
Galveston Bay is of course in Hurricane Alley, but it lacks the unremitting hostility of the North Sea. For comparison, the cost of oil extraction in the North sea is among the highest, if not the highest in the world. (Wikipedia Here). This high cost is mainly due to appallingly high maintenance and support requirements.
Meanwhile over in Galveston, they have been routinely extracting oil both on-shore and off-shore (especially in shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico) since 1924. It is only since they have ventured into deep water that they have had major technical problems as displayed by the Deep Water Horizon disaster.
This North Sea maintenance penalty is going to apply to any North sea offshore structure. Even in the less hostile environs along our south coast the cost is going to be prohibitively high (that is, without massive government subsidy). It is difficult to see that offshore wind farms anywhere around our coast are going to be any more practical than that Carnegie Mellon University have found for Galveston Bay.
We have already seen one severe problem where most offshore turbines in Europe have actually shifted dangerously on their foundations (See Here) Although the wind industry has managed to (by and large) keep this major problem quiet, it bodes ill for the long term survival of these structures.
These offshore turbines, wherever they are built, are going to require enormous amounts of maintenance. This maintenance cost will far exceed the practical economic viability. Offshore turbines, like their on-shore counterparts stand no chance of ever being free of massive government subsidy.
But offshore turbines take the cost and subsidy fiasco to a totally new level.
Without doubt, the minute the subsidy stops, so will they.
There are times when the stupidity of Her Majesties Government exceeds even the realms of fantasy we normally expect from these buffoons.
Believe me, Monty Python has nothing on what I am about to tell you. Terry Pratchet could
imagine nothing so absurd.
When it comes avarice and greed, Arthur Daly would have blushed at such a scandalously lucrative con.
If I tell you that this involves the current wind turbine fiasco will probably also come as no surprise.
But believe me, my grubby little Englander, this is the wind turbine scam on steroids. If you thought the carpet baggers in the wind turbine cartel were already ripping us all off to the limit of endurance then get used to being screwed some more. (See Spectator Here)
So how does this scam work?
Basically it revolves around the utterly hopeless capability of these absurdly large structures to generate electricity.
If you forget about intermittency, a 125m tall standard 2.0 MW wind turbine actually acts like a piddling 0.5 MW generator (albeit an unreliable and unpredictable one). In other words in England it has a capacity factor (CF) of around 25%.
Most of the time though it is running at significantly less than 25% CF. It relies on occasional and highly unpredictable high wind events to big up the CF to 25%
Now if you reduce the maximum rating of the generator attached to the turbine to less than 2.0MW, but keep the same horrendously large structure, you increase the capacity factor. But you decrease the maximum output as you can no longer exploit the high wind events. So over a year the total amount of electricity generated will be less. Even though the CF has been increased.
And here comes the rub.
If you keep the preposterous size but reduce the generator rating to 0.5 MW your subisdy per MW/hr rises from about £50 to £125.
So whereas nuclear, coal or gas get paid about £45 per MW/hr and a standard 2.0 MW turbine gets paid £95 per MW/hr. A 2.0 MW size turbine crippled to max out at 0.5MW gets paid £175 per MW/hr.
Bear in mind MOST of the time this turbine will be outputting well under 0.5 MW irrespective of whether it has a 2.0 MW generator or a 0.5 MW generator.
It doesn't take a genius to work out that the carpet baggers will be raking in even more subsidy by running these monsters inefficiently. They don't care about losing even over half of the annual output of the thing, they still get paid more by crippling it
Here is the punch line: Your government is encouraging this. They think this is a "good idea".
Well, all I can say is: What do you expect from a government led by someone who is such a technical incompetent that he believes you can use windmills to power cars? (See Here)
This month sees the wind farm evangelists at RegenSW go into overdrive in an attempt to
derail any implementation of residential buffer zones (stipulated set-back distances)
The RegenSW report "Residential buffer zones for wind turbines:The Evidence" is Here.
While there are many aspects to this report that need challenging the most serious involves the health effects from building turbines too close to residential property.
Ironically only a couple of weeks ago I blogged (here) on a new paper published by a group of world leading scientists (including Dr Hanning BSc, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, FRCA, MD - the world renowned expert on sleep disturbance). This paper calls for minimum 2Km setback.
Here is the full citation for this new paper::
Nissenbaum MA, Aramini JJ, Hanning CD. Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health. Noise Health [serial online] 2012 [cited 2012 Nov 24];14:237-43. Available from:
This paper has been available in draft for months and was first presented at a major scientific conference in 2011. But, you will find no reference to it in the RegenSW "The Evidence".
Maybe they missed it. Funnily though, you will not find any reference to these either:
Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health related quality of life by Daniel Shepherd, David McBride, David Welch, Kim N. Dirks, Erin M. Hill Noise & Health, September-October 2011, 13:54,333-9 DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.85502
Infrasound From Wind Turbines Could Affect Humans Alec N. Salt and James A. Kaltenbach
Bulletin of Science Technology & Society 2011 31: 296, DOI: 10.1177/0270467611412555
Properly Interpreting the Epidemiologic Evidence About the Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines on Nearby Residents Carl V. Phillips Bulletin of Science Technology & Society 2011 31: 303, DOI: 10.1177/0270467611412554,
I could go on and on.
In fact, look at this sample - (Look Here) you will find 25 peer reviewed and published scientific papers on the ill effect of wind farms being sited too close to local communities. Almost all either directly or indirectly endorse a set back of 2 KM. They are all by world leading scientists and are published in world leading scientific journals.
None are even mentioned in RegenSW's "Evidence"
Regen SW do however, attempt to do a hatchet job on a case study series report by Dr Nina Pierpont. This report is now several years old and due to it's simplicity (it is a set of case studies not a paper) it is an open target. Dr Nina Pierpont is a highly qualified and much respected epidemiological scientist and practising paediatrician in New York. Her self published report, though using a small sample, was ground breaking at the time and had a star chamber peer review.
In their attack, Regen SW cherry pick from the NHS website (Look Here) The NHS actually does a fair evaluation of Pierponts simple case study. The points the NHS raise (about sample size etc.) Pierpont freely acknowledges herself. But this is old data. Even the NHS commentary dates back to 2009.
Just to even things up I'll do a little cherry picking myself from the NHS commentary. The NHS website's commentary on [Pierpont] case study ALSO states the following:
" ..it is physically and biologically plausible that low frequency noise generated by wind turbines can affect people, and the author puts forward several possible theories regarding this."
"The author acknowledges some of the study’s weaknesses and states that the next step would be an epidemiological study. One possibility would be to compare "wind turbine syndrome" like symptoms in people who live near wind turbines with those who don’t. This would show how common these symptoms are in the different groups."
"she [Peirpont] also adds that “further research is needed to prove causes and physiological mechanisms, establish prevalence and to explore effects in special populations, including children”."
In fact the whole reason Nina Pierpont called this a "Syndrome" was exactly because she freely acknowledged that at that time (several years ago), more work was needed.
This is work that has now been done by the scientists referenced above. Work that clearly shows there must be a set back of 2 KM.
In their cherry picking of historical research, Regen SW also appear to have "forgotten" about an earlier case study report that triggered Pierpont to do her report.This report was by Dr Amanada Harry. (Available Here).
Of course Dr Harry is somewhat more problematic than Nina Pierpont (who is a remote New Yorker). Dr Harry is a highly respected and well known local Devon G.P and is known and respected by thousands of people in the South West.
Perhaps RegenSW might also be somewhat embarrassed that the first detailed scientific study on the damaging effects of wind turbines on local communities was actually conducted in the SW England and vigorously ignored and denied by wind farm camp followers from then on.
In their "Evidence" RegenSW are obsessed by terms like "legally binding commitments". They are though, apparently far less interested in the latest research into set back distance on the health of local residents.
Now, I have to ask why is that?
Could it be the piper calling the tune? (you know the ugly one - labelled Carpet Bagger)
Or perhaps even more disgracefully, could this simply be a group of obsessed fanatics putting their own political agenda before the health and safety of the local population?
You may or may not agree with the elections for police commissioner. BUT if you don't get out and vote for the independent candidates on Thursday you can guarantee that one of the puppets put up one of the three main political parties will take the role. If that happens don't expect the the good of the locality to come before petty political considerations.
If a politico gets in, lots of nasty little agendas will be addressed at the expense of the community. The role of police commissioner will become one of either vacuous apologist or mindless opponent to government policy. The actual purpose of the role will come a very poor second to the imposed political agenda.
The only positive would be that you will know who is pulling the strings as local policing suffers in order to accommodate the ambitions of the apparatchik.
I have just listened to the four candidates from Dorset on the local radio. Except for the Independent candidate ( ex senior police officer Martyn Underhill ) the candidates sounded like they straight off the Muppet show.
All three politically sponsored candidates were obviously and painfully politically ambitious. Two of them displayed a nastiness which would bode ill for any role demanding a level of diplomacy.
So like it or not, tomorrow is IS important. Unless you get out and stop the political parties imposing their ideology on your local policing, you will be sorry.
So go out and show two fingers to the dirty politicians - and their grubby little poodles.
If like me, you are in Dorset, that means:
Vote Martyn Underhill.
It would have been difficult for anyone to avoid the recent BBC controversies over the Saville cover up or the McAlpine slander. But there is yet more that the BBC wishes to keep from your eyes.
This latest secrecy revolves around a 2006 editorial decision the BBC once bragged about in an in-house report. It is sadly just another shocking indictment of the arrogance of the BBC.
The 2006 editorial decision concerned removing the concept of even handedness on the reportage of climate change. The BBC declared that this decision was arrived at after consulting 28 "leading experts". However the BBC was rather coy about who exactly these "experts" were. Since then it has point blank refused provide any more information.
Climate Change, as you may have surmised, is one of the most important debates in living history. To remove the basic concept of even handedness from such a debate MUST have a verifiable and clear reasoning behind it. Instead the BBC is silent and is willing to go to court and spend a huge amount of licence payers money defending its position from a freedom of information request. (See Here) All this to simply defy a Welsh pensioner and his wife who wanted to know who these "experts" were.
You have to ask: What exactly does the BBC have to hide?
For obvious reasons, those who are not convinced by the climate change argument are smelling a rat and I don't blame them.
The only way people can be educated as to the effects of mass pollution is to allow the questions, however heretical, and allow fair dissent to the current mantra, even if that dissent contradicts current scientific knowledge.
Science, let alone democracy, is never served by denying debate. This current secretive BBC stance reduces their coverage of climate change to mere propaganda. Which is much more than a shame.
The uncaring, high handed and self serving ethos that IS the BBC has shown via the Saville affair, that children were and probably still are, unsafe in the hands of the BBC.
Similarly their bizarre trial by innuendo and deceit of a leading Tory shows that individuals cannot expect fair dealing from the BBC (I wonder how many lesser persons, without McAlpines resources have been ruined over the years by similar "investigations")
Now finally we have via the "Secret 28" the sordid display of the BBC apparently suppressing debate and taking a partisan position. Without any justification other than "Trust us - we are the BBC".
As every day passes, this self serving elitist bureaucracy get ever more corrupt, ever more divorced from the people who pay for it's excess.
With this latest, and so far low profile outrage, the BBC is seeking to hide from us the identity of those who helped it arrive at one of the most important editorial decisions of the last 50 years.
Such an arrogant secretive stance reveals the BBC as the enemy of fair scientific debate, and so then, as the enemy of democracy itself.
This monster must be brought to heel.
Just a quick post about a new peer reviewed study, published in a leading academic journal on the effects of wind turbine noise on nearby residents. It has been written by three leading academics. (including Dr Chris Hanning - arguably the worlds leading expert in sleep deprivation)
The study (quicklink) is Here
Nissenbaum MA, Aramini JJ, Hanning CD. Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health. Noise Health [serial online] 2012 [cited 2012 Nov 11];14:237-43.
Available from: http://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2012/14/60/237/102961
Basically this study reinforces the the now well founded opinion that wind turbines should be no
nearer than 2Km to residential dwellings.
Needless to say, this report will be vigorously ignored and then denied by the money hungry wind turbine cartel and by their brown nosed apologist fashion loving followers. No doubt we will also hear the hysterical slurs and accusations against the researchers in due course. As has happened before.
Do you seriously think there is a difference between the wind cartel and the tobacco industry? Dream on. If there is one, it is as thick as a cigarette paper.
But at least there are signs that these greedy corporate monsters, who are imposing immense misery on an untold number of communities across our country are now meeting some resistance.
Wiltshire County Council has set a minimum setback distance of 2Km (3Km for large turbines).
(See Here). Good for them. Standing up for your community is exactly what local democracy should be all about. Wiltshire County councillors deserve out applause.
But most of all we should salute Dr Chris Hanning and his colleagues for having the courage to publish.
The opinions and scientific findings of Dr Chris Hanning, Dr Mike Nissenbaum and Dr Jeff Aramini should cause anyone with the slightest moral conscience to pause in of building these useless monsters anywhere near residential dwellings.
Will that happen?
Don't hold your breath.