Turbine power has Gone With the Wind

In April 2011, the UK’s total installed wind power capacity was 5,204 MW.

As of 3.30pm this afternoon, with the temperature around the country varying between 2 degrees and 6 degrees celsius and most people at home using power to stay warm, those wind turbines were delivering less than 11% of their stated capacity, contributing a mere 1.3% of the UK’s energy supply.

Is there any more clear a demonstration of the folly of the government’s plans to spend billions of pounds adding more wind capacity, when it cannot come close to replacing the amount of energy generated by coal-fired and nuclear power plant that will be decommissioned?

What compounds this folly is that additional gas-fired power will have to be built just to act as back up for the wind power on days like this.  There is no economic sense to paying twice to install capacity, particularly given the extent of taxpayer subsidy being devoted to wind turbines to make them more ‘affordable’ – code for helping generators make money from them at our expense.

If this doesn’t convince those who favour wind of their nonsensical folly, what will?

17 Responses to “Turbine power has Gone With the Wind”

  1. 1 Oldrightie 05/02/2012 at 4:31 pm

    None so blind as stand to gain, AM.

  2. 2 A K Haart 05/02/2012 at 4:35 pm

    And if we build more wind farms they have to be built on less favourable sites because the most favourable tend to be used first.

    If that wasn’t enough, conventional back-up power runs less efficiently when unpredictable sources such as wind are in the mix. Nothing is gained.

  3. 3 Joe Public 05/02/2012 at 5:13 pm

    And Solar panels generate little electricity covered in snow.

  4. 4 Brian H 05/02/2012 at 7:22 pm

    National energy debasement is the aim, wind turbines are the game. “Folly” is circumlocution, and “realization” isn’t the cure. Exposure and de-commissioning and dis-assembly are closer to the mark.

  5. 5 dave ward 05/02/2012 at 7:51 pm

    Actually 570MW is quite good. Here’s a screengrab from 2 winters back: http://i41.tinypic.com/2e2176g.jpg
    I know the installed capacity is greater now, but even an infinite number of turbines will still be useless during a 10 day long period of calm. Incidentally the 0.1% figure is an overstatement, as the BM site doesn’t appear to be capable of showing 2 decimal places…

  6. 6 ProgContra 05/02/2012 at 8:59 pm

    AM, which site are you using to get the charts?

  7. 7 Autonomous Mind 05/02/2012 at 9:59 pm

    ProgContra, it is a smartphone app called Grid Carbon. It has a link to the iDEaS project and it uses data supplied under licence from ELEXON.

  8. 8 David Jones 06/02/2012 at 6:55 am

    Well right now the wind contribution is 0.3%!

  9. 9 ProgContra 06/02/2012 at 7:21 am

    Thanks, AM. Looks like a useful little app…

  10. 10 Jack Savage 06/02/2012 at 7:50 am

    “If this doesn’t convince those who favour wind of their nonsensical folly, what will?”

    What is required is continual banging on by all of us so convinced that this policy is one of the most egregious wastes of money ever undertaken by a government.
    I try and send such information to my MP of a regular basis, but hopefully not too often that he thinks I am a “green ink” one-issue lunatic.
    Oh, and tell your friends, relatives and neighbours at every suitable opportunity.
    A couple more winters like the ones we have been having recently help as well. Whilst scientifically they do not do a great deal to either support or undermine the “catastrophic man-made global warming” theory….they (wrongly, but hey, this is war) reinforce the idea that it is all a load of cobblers in the minds of the general public….or as politicians would say…the voters!

  11. 11 David Jones 06/02/2012 at 9:13 am

    And now it’s 0.1% even with the added capacity. If the wind is not blowing, it doesn’t matter what the installed capacity is.

  12. 12 ChairmanofSelectors (@ChmofSelectors) 06/02/2012 at 9:34 am

    NOTHING will (in answer to your last question). Those who support wind farms now do so blindly. There is NOTHING you can say or do, no evidence you can show which will convince those who hold onto the AGW myth that wind farms are the ridiculous waste of money (and more importanly, environmentally disastrous) they clearly are. They have made their bed and will lie in it. I have had a number of arguments on this with my brother in law, bless him. He thinks wind farms are fantastic. He thinks those opposed to them are rich NIMBYs and deserve all they get (rather like those who support the outrageous HS2). He argues coal and nuclear also receive gov subsidy and also dont work at capacity. Then he says wind is an important “part of the energy mix”. He says this because the endless websites, funded by ME, on wind energy TELL him to say this. Our children are indoctrinated and lied to. How else do you explain how otherwise intelligent (he may be a vicious hateful bastard, but he has a brain) Monbiot continues to extort the lies of AGW and the myth of renewable energy technology. The argument has long since been killed. Its now about ideology. This is why, regardless of the simple fact that the world is not warming, the warmists will put their fingers in their ears and go “lalalala”. These stats are indeed shocking. But they will do nothing to change the minds of the fanatics. The fanatics who dominate the utter socipaths who now seem to run this country. While Gideon and those absolute psychos in the LibDems and that utter buffoon Cameron worry about meeting ridiculous self imposed ruinous “renewable energy” targets (I lie awake wondering why GB is the only country IN THE WORLD to have these targets, like our emissions affect ANYTHIHG), we watch our fleet of power generation cough and splutter. We are a sorry country, run by idiots and single interest lunatics. Our leaders hate the country and despise the idiots who vote for them. Truly, this is a shithole.

  13. 13 vince richardson 06/02/2012 at 9:24 pm

    “If this doesn’t convince those who favour wind of their nonsensical folly, what will?

    Quite……I mean, its not that hard to look up and work out the figures,now that madman Huhne has gone maybe the next guy in will be numerate as well as literate.Though I am not holding my breath.

  14. 14 Big Bert 07/02/2012 at 10:40 pm

    Many guests to this blog may have already signed this petition. It is very well crafted but getting it advertised and Tweeted to a wider audience is not easy. So anyone reading this please pass it on to your email address book, Tweet and facebook account, websites etc Thank you!


    Responsible department: Department for Energy and Climate Change

    Electricity bills have soared, and more increases are in the pipeline. This punishes the 6 million people already in fuel poverty, restricts economic growth, and makes British industry less competitive. A key factor in this increase is the Renewables Obligation, which indirectly provides more than 40% of the income of wind-farms. These complex and covert subsidies (most of which go to foreign companies) are paid not by the government, but instead are ENTIRELY financed by increasing the price of our electricity bills. Climate-change policies have already increased household electricity by at least 14%, and have increased the electricity bills of business by at least 20%. Even worse, these tariffs are forecast to escalate. By reducing or ending the subsidies for wind-farms, we would benefit the poorest members of society, boost our manufacturing exports and, while doing so, would help protect what remains of our precious countryside. Please vote for this petition.
    You can click on this direct link,

  1. 1 Turbine power has gone with the wind « Autonomous Mind | Wind Power Trackback on 05/02/2012 at 6:28 pm
  2. 2 A insanidade eólica | Total Blog Trackback on 05/02/2012 at 9:20 pm
  3. 3 Coal takes the load | My Blog Trackback on 07/02/2012 at 12:36 pm
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