Let taxpayer funded wind power subsidies end now

The exaggerated claims of wind power efficiency is at last getting some scrutiny in the mainstream media, recycling the arguments that have appeared on blogs for several years.

In the last two days the Barclay Brother Beano has finally caught up with the blogosphere and published two articles that question the misplaced fetish for wind power that exists in the corridors of government.

On New Year’s Day, little Lou was forced to report that breaking news (ok, a hint of sarcasm) that wind farms were becalmed just when power they produce was most needed. One can almost visualise her typing with gritted teeth before scrabbling around for the excuses she carefully included from the wind industry in an attempt to hold the line.

Then yesterday a John Muir Trust (JMT) report (mentioned here on 5 Star Blogging) which was also covered by The Times, showed wind turbines were only producing 22.07% of their installed energy generating capacity, despite industry claims that turbines produce around 30% – or as they usually say ‘around a third’.

There is a big difference between the 3,881,900MW hours actually generated and the 5,275,800MW hours that would have been produced had 30% of capacity been delivered. The industry is claiming energy generation more that 26% greater than is actually produced. That is not a rounding error, it is a whopping great lie. In the Times today there is yet another story about wind not delivering the goods, a repetition of the 30% generating performance lie and news that National Grid is now to begin detailed forecasts of wind strength because of the huge fluctuations in the supply of electricity from wind farms.

The reason these stories are important is not just that they validate what attentive bloggers have been arguing for so long. The readers of the articles may not have been aware of anything but the government and wind industry spin, and not realised how taxpayers’ money is being forked over to the wind producers to put up turbines that are clearly a huge expense for a tiny return.

If the Telegraph and the Times were worth their salt their next logical step would be a campaign to end taxpayer subsidies of the wasteful machines, that require 100% coal, gas and nuclear back up in any case, blight our countryside and harm our wildlife. We are being ripped off and it must stop.

The question is, do they have the backbone to do this in the face of special interest groups? Namely the deluded green lobby who lie about the benefits and those super wealthy who are making/will make a fortune in rent payments for siting turbines on their land, and who earn excessive feed in tariffs through laws that force the energy companies to buy all wind turbine energy produced regardless of the elevated price.

7 Responses to “Let taxpayer funded wind power subsidies end now”


  1. 1 Christine 03/01/2011 at 4:36 pm

    Okay, let’s cut the wind subsidies right after $312-billion (U.S.) annual subsidies to Big Oil! They’ve been at the trough for a whole lot longer, and for trillions of dollars more, than any wind-power has!
    For more:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/iea-urges-g20-to-end-fossil-fuel-subsidies/article1792514/

  2. 2 Autonomous Mind 03/01/2011 at 5:00 pm

    The Americans can do what they like Christine. I’m only concerned with the way my taxes are being spent. In any case, oil works because you burn it or you don’t and the US isn’t being told by the EU what fuels it can use, whereas the UK is.

  3. 3 GCooper 03/01/2011 at 10:01 pm

    Idly browsing my local newspaper last week, I noted that the ‘grants’ available from our local subsidy farm are being offered again this coming year.

    Since the monument to eco-lunacy was fist mooted, these sweeteners have been doled-out quite nakedly to bribe local do-gooders into supporting the scheme.

    These are, of course, exactly the same people who suck their teeth and shake their heads at the high cost of energy and its effect on the needy.

    I am at a loss to know how one forces these people to join the dots.

  4. 4 peter geany 03/01/2011 at 10:39 pm

    The more one looks into wind generation the worse it looks. Most of the becalmed turbines were consuming power during the recent cold spell, this to stop them freezing up. Another issue that is not getting much publicity at present is the mechanical reliability of the turbines. There are several designs out there, some using gearboxes, others using cleaver electro magnets to control cycle speeds. Problems with both types are increasing and as the turbines get bigger and bigger in an attempt to make them more effective, the reliability issues increase. And with increasing size comes complications with carrying out this maintenance. Move the turbines off shore and the problems of maintenance increase dramatically.

    It’s my feeling that many of these turbines will not make it to the end of their design life, and that none of them will recoup the capital investment required to build them. We will increasingly see the countryside dotted with failed turbines that are uneconomic to repair. I guess we the tax payer will have to pay to have them removed and the countryside returned to its former beauty.

  5. 5 AJC 03/01/2011 at 11:39 pm

    Should there not be provision for a decommissioning fund?

  6. 6 Christine 05/01/2011 at 10:19 pm

    @Autonomous –

    I’m guessing you didn’t read the article. The U.S. dollar amount is used for the amount of subsidies the oil industry receives GLOBALLY.

    If you’re interested in what Canada is doing, it’s also in the article – we give over 4 billion (that’s billion, not million) dollars annually to fossil fuel producers.

  7. 7 Autonomous Mind 05/01/2011 at 11:10 pm

    I would prefer it to go to nuclear power producers, but recognise that the world still relies on oil for energy and manufacturing. The issue, as I referred to previously, is that subsidies to an unreliable and inefficient energy generation type is a waste of our resources. If there is to be any subsidy it should be spent on something that actually works.


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