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Give up on Wind Farms they are useless Watch

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      (Original post by Drewski)
      There was a time when the car was deemed utterly useless and a waste of time and money.

      I think that since proved a decent invention.
      That doesn't wind farms will be as well.

      Oh there was a time when a magical talking unicorn was deemed utterly useless and a waste of time and money...

      Stupid argument for wind farms.
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      (Original post by Peel)
      If you were actually in the know you would realise the "trick" that caused the media sensation was ironically (given your name) a mathematical trick (read: mathematical method) used to replicate environmental conditions accurately, i.e. if they wanted to get any data vaguely correct then you have to use these methods. The UEA data was fine, the method in which it was presented to the public, wasn't. Look up the Method of images, it's also a mathematical "trick" that's perfectly valid and commonly used.
      well I might suggest that if you were in the 'know' rather than being consumed by, what the other peson who quoted me described as, "this political propoganda" then you may realise that the amount that these models predict that the Earth will warm up is simply not much, and can easily be explained by other things. Now rather than defend an ideology that has clearly manipulated you beyond all logical thinking, explain why the governmant seem to keep pushing a stanstead expansion, etc, rather than make a real effort with this rather than tax the hell out of people etc.
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      (Original post by mathperson)
      well I might suggest that if you were in the 'know' rather than being consumed by, what the other peson who quoted me described as, "this political propoganda" then you may realise that the amount that these models predict that the Earth will warm up is simply not much, and can easily be explained by other things. Now rather than defend an ideology that has clearly manipulated you beyond all logical thinking, explain why the governmant seem to keep pushing a stanstead expansion, etc, rather than make a real effort with this rather than tax the hell out of people etc.
      Nice strawmen. If you look back at my post, I didn't say anything about Stanstead, nor did I comment on an ideology so you're arguing against an argument you've prescribed me ... that's not logical thinking is it? Did you actually look up the method of images? I suspect not otherwise your post would be quite different.

      To reiterate where we stand: you took issue with UEA's "manipulation" of data, I responded saying the "manipulation" is necessary to model actual conditions, you replied talking about Stanstead and global warming / climate change. An appropriate response would be to actually addresses my point. I don't really want to waste my time here and I can already tell what kind of response I'll get, so I'll just say do you own research instead of blindly listening to the media.
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      I'll do my best to answer quickly...

      Wind farms produce very little electricity
      First point is 1.6% as measured from the bmreports website is that the date there measured is transmission connected wind (stuff straight to the national HV grid), where as there is the same amount of capacity again which is embedded, that is connected to the distribution lower voltage grid. The distribution grid of course stretches into much remoter places where generally there are higher wind speeds (Highlands, Cornwall etc..) so the turbines here will generally generate more electricity overall than the same turbine connected to the national grid in say East Anglia or even an offshore farm.

      Wind farms use up electricity from the grid to heat themselves when its cold
      Reference to this specific example? Of course the machines will have some sort of parasitic load, the same way coal, gas or nuclear will do. And this load is always increasing for fossil fuel stations as more stringent pollutant scrubbing comes into action.

      Wind farms cannot be operated in high winds
      Yes they don't but the energy in the wind increases cubicly with speed so a doubling of wind speed yields 8 times the energy. Thus almost all large turbines will cut out at around 25m/s, that is 56 mph, you have to ask the question how often does the wind speed go above 56mph? I have wind speed data for one of the best turbine sites in Cornwall (thus England) where there are 2 850kw machines and I can tell you the wind speed only exceeded 25m/s for less than an hour in 1 year.

      Wind farm electricity cannot be stored for later use
      This is the stupidest statement in this thread. 'Wind farm electricity' is no different once it enters the distribution or transmission grids than electricity from coal, hydro, nuclear or gas. The fact is that electricity can be stored,
      Dinorwig is the largest UK pumped storage facility and takes cheap electricity at night, pumps water uphill and then releases it to generate electricity during times of peak demand. However even this very large scheme can not even store 10GWh of electricity, 1% of daily UK winter demand. As with any storage process there is efficiency losses so you only get back 75% of what you put in, hence why it is always better to use the electricity when you generate it.

      By the statement I presume you were meant to be referring to the intermittent nature of production. This National Grid report into having ~32GW of wind grid connected in 2020. They surmise that it is technically realistic at an economic cost which is again realistic.

      Wind farm subsidies make electricity more expensive for everyone else.
      Absolutely true, but these subsidies try to incorporate externalities which are not taken into account when paying for generation via fossil fuels or nuclear. For example the security costs of protecting oil supplies worldwide, nuclear decommissioning costs and pollutants (other than CO2). The ultimate goal of course is to have the technology develop the stage where it is fully competitive with fossil fuel sources and wind is provably the closest to this stage at the moment.

      Wind farms are a blot on the landscape
      This is of course entirely subjective and I perfectly accept the viewpoint that people do not like the look of turbines in the same way I would not appreciate a CCGT/coal power station being built in view of my house.

      Wind farms kill birds including rare Eagles
      In this report
      'The study estimates that previous termwindnext term farms and nuclear power stations are responsible each for between 0.3 and 0.4 fatalities per gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity while previous termfossilnext term-fueled power stations are responsible for about 5.2 fatalities per GWh'

      Ignoring of course the 10million birds killed annually by cars in the UK. There is also a criticism of various things in his report on the same website and the author addressing the issues raised.


      A note: Renewable energy is my career choice so it is/will be my job to know. If you are not a supporter of anthropogenic climate change - of which I am somewhat skeptical - then there are still good security of supply reasons - peak oil etc... - to be pursuing indigenous renewable energy production. IMHO we should be investing in nuclear significantly while expanding renewable energy generation as is happening.

      Also watch the news relating to gas shortages, gas storage is currently at the same point it was at the beginning of February last year, if it stays cold and current trends continue we will run out of gas in storage before the winter is out
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      (Original post by M_E_X)
      Why are wind farms useless? The stat you provided about 1.6% to the grid is meaningless, because lots of power generated by wind never sees the grid.
      That is not true for Wind Farms ... because they are useless like that. Stick a rotar on your roof... it may contribute to the heating of your water. Stick a bunch of them on top of a hill or out in the North Sea and connected it to the grid, useless. When it gets cold they suck in energy from the grid to de-ice themselves - worse than useless.


      Soon the coal, gas and oil will run out and we need to find new ways to generate electricity. Wind is a sustainable way to do this. What other ways do you propose?
      Not happening. More gas has been found to last hundreds of years. In Britain we already have hundreds of years of supply of coal. Also, there is such a thing as nuclear power and other sources of non-Wind power.

      I believe that large scale wind power farms are a significant part of our energy solution over the next 50 years.
      That can only be a religious belief as all the facts show them to be useless. You can't "up-scale" wind energy. So Wind Farms are useless even if the wind is not useless for producing energy.
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      (Original post by twl)
      Not happening. More gas has been found to last hundreds of years. In Britain we already have hundreds of years of supply of coal. Also, there is such a thing as nuclear power and other sources of non-Wind power.



      That can only be a religious belief as all the facts show them to be useless. You can't "up-scale" wind energy. So Wind Farms are useless even if the wind is not useless for producing energy.
      Wait, so you don't believe that coal, oil and gas are running out? That assumption is fundamental to why wind power is useful. If they were unlimited (most people don't think they are) then we would not need wind power, I agree.


      What facts show wind power to be useless? Why are they useless if you connect them to a grid? The article you quoted from was from the Daily Mail, not a reputable source.

      Why can't you upscale wind energy? The more turbines you have -> the more power you generate, that is upscaling. Do you not believe wind turbines generate any electricity at all?


      Sorry for all the questions, I am trying to get to the bottom of why you think they are so bad. As I said I studied them for my junior honors project last year (studying physics) and as the non-renewable energy sources start to run out I think they will become an important part of our energy solution.

      e: specifically, what sources of non-wind power do you think we should use? If coal, oil and gas do start to run out, what should we do?
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      (Original post by Captain92)
      Most of the problems that you list are ones that are currently being worked on and are fixable. Most technologies don't just jump into being "perfect" there is a long trial-and-error period. That is where wind-farms are currently. There isn't a renewable or eco-friendly fool-proof way of producing energy yet, and the more feasible projects we have going at once the better IMO.
      If Wind Farms on your own admission aren't yet perfect, why are we spending billions on them enriching the already rich, the big land owners like the Royal Family, the big bankers Carbon Trading, and the industrial steel magnates of this world when those billions could be put towards something more progressive? We didn't drive cars until they had wheels; when Wind Farms start producing electricity at an affordable rate, put them out there, not before.


      (Original post by M_E_X)
      Wait, so you don't believe that coal, oil and gas are running out? That assumption is fundamental to why wind power is useful. If they were unlimited (most people don't think they are) then we would not need wind power, I agree.
      It's not a question of "belief" it is what the data shows. Research shale gas - Poland, UK, United States have very large deposits.

      They were saying oil was running out 50 years ago but the term available "oil reserves" is dependent on price, not the amount found - the amount potentially out there is more than we need for hundreds of years. Peak oil kept being pushed back because not only were more fields found but when the price rises more fields become economically viable.

      What facts show wind power to be useless? Why are they useless if you connect them to a grid? The article you quoted from was from the Daily Mail, not a reputable source.

      Why can't you upscale wind energy? The more turbines you have -> the more power you generate, that is upscaling. Do you not believe wind turbines generate any electricity at all?
      Read the article.

      1. Wind is too variable and so is fundamentally unsuitable as a form of energy for the grid - it cannot be relied upon.

      Wind can be used for individual consumption (e.g. on the roof of a house) because the individual is flexible. The grid cannot be flexible like an individual because it is electricity for mass consumption, multiple uses.

      If you understand weather systems and patterns - you need to - you'll know the wind blows more when we get low pressure than high pressure. You'll also know when we get weather patterns dominated by high pressure we get cold weather, and when we get weather patterns dominated by low pressure we get mild weather.

      In cold winters dominated by high pressure Wind Farms don't produce any electricity and suck energy from the grid to heat themselves so they don't ice-up and break.

      2. Wind Farms only produce decent amounts of electricity in Goldilocks Weather, when it is blows at a medium speed. If the wind is too fast they have to switch off the rotars because if they spin too quick the system breaks, if it blows too slow, they are as good as useless.

      This is why a Wind Farm's actual output is only - if lucky - a paltry 25% of installed capacity!
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacity_factor

      3. Another problem with Wind Farms due to weather variability is they cannot provide base load for the grid - that will have to be provided by something more reliable, like gas, nuclear or coal. And when the wind suddenly blows strong if you have a lot of wind farms you'll get a great surge of electricity onto the grid causing other electricity suppliers to have to shut down their power plants in a matter of hours. That's not easy to do. It's a recipe for power cuts.

      Sorry for all the questions, I am trying to get to the bottom of why you think they are so bad. As I said I studied them for my junior honors project last year (studying physics) and as the non-renewable energy sources start to run out I think they will become an important part of our energy solution.
      e: specifically, what sources of non-wind power do you think we should use? If coal, oil and gas do start to run out, what should we do?[/QUOTE]

      You're smart enough to think up alternatives. Just ignore the financially motivated hype. Not wind. It's useless.
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      Wind farms aren't actually all that bad if strategically built in very windy areas. Using wind for energy is great because there is an endless supply of wind and of course it is renewable. A bit of work might be needed on the execution of harnessing wind for energy, but I think it is one of the ways forward.
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      I personally agree that wind farms are useless, however, I do think we should be moving towards more sustainable energies. Let's assume anthropogenic climate change is complete nonsense, we would still need to move off of fossil fuels because they are not sustainable! They won't last and thus we need an energy source that will last much longer.

      So even when ignoring anthropogenic climate change, this "propaganda" is correct. We need alternative energy production and we need it now.

      We should be looking at thorium based nuclear power plants, waste incineration, anaerobic digestion and the other various inventive energy technologies until we can develop fusion.
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      Because of the unpredictable intermittency of wind, and the very long time required to bring 'cold' generating capacity into production, it is necessary to keep a substantial reserve of spinning backup. This is usually arranged by keeping turbo-alternators at less than peak output so that an instant increase of generation is possible. This causes a significant amount of extra CO2 emission from such plant.
      E.ON Netz, the company controls a high-capacity transmission grid that reaches from Scandinavia to the Austrian Alps, admitted that every megawatt of installed wind power required 0.8 MW of backup from thermal, more reliable, PowerStation’s thus, even when not generating, wind turbines are still causing some CO2 emission. The Irish National Grid did a study into wind power for Ireland and discovered the same thing:


      The red line represents the capacity for an all thermal system. With increasing amounts of Wind capacity the total plant raises significantly but the amount of non-wind plant only falls off by a relatively small amount. In fact the amount of non-wind plant reaches a saturation level. Meaning once it’s reached a certain point you cannot reduce the amount of thermal power capacity no matter how much wind power capacity you have. Unfortunately it is very hard to calculate the actual amount of Co2 saved from wind farms, but here are some comparisons:
      Boeing 747 airliner: Each aircraft carries a 150-170 tonne full fuel-load which is burned within a 24 hour operations cycle. It combines with a larger weight of oxygen to produce CO2. Jet fuel contains 86% carbon. Thus 160 x 0.86 = 138 t carbon/24 h. This converts by molecular weight ratio 44/12 to the weight of CO2.
      Thus a 747 emits, on average, more than 138 x 44/12 = 506 t CO2/24h
      The installed capacity of Cefn Croes is 58.5 MW. Allowing a generous 30% load factor, the 24 hour saving will be: - 58.5 MW x 0.3 x 24 h x 0.86 t CO2/MWh = 362 t CO2/24 h. This means that only one Boeing 747 produces more Co2 that Britain’s largest wind farm can save. Therefore the Co2 that wind farms takes out of the atmosphere is pitiful by comparison to that produced.
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      (Original post by twl)
      If Wind Farms on your own admission aren't yet perfect, why are we spending billions on them enriching the already rich, the big land owners like the Royal Family, the big bankers Carbon Trading, and the industrial steel magnates of this world when those billions could be put towards something more progressive? We didn't drive cars until they had wheels; when Wind Farms start producing electricity at an affordable rate, put them out there, not before.




      It's not a question of "belief" it is what the data shows. Research shale gas - Poland, UK, United States have very large deposits.

      They were saying oil was running out 50 years ago but the term available "oil reserves" is dependent on price, not the amount found - the amount potentially out there is more than we need for hundreds of years. Peak oil kept being pushed back because not only were more fields found but when the price rises more fields become economically viable.



      Read the article.

      1. Wind is too variable and so is fundamentally unsuitable as a form of energy for the grid - it cannot be relied upon.

      Wind can be used for individual consumption (e.g. on the roof of a house) because the individual is flexible. The grid cannot be flexible like an individual because it is electricity for mass consumption, multiple uses.

      If you understand weather systems and patterns - you need to - you'll know the wind blows more when we get low pressure than high pressure. You'll also know when we get weather patterns dominated by high pressure we get cold weather, and when we get weather patterns dominated by low pressure we get mild weather.

      In cold winters dominated by high pressure Wind Farms don't produce any electricity and suck energy from the grid to heat themselves so they don't ice-up and break.

      2. Wind Farms only produce decent amounts of electricity in Goldilocks Weather, when it is blows at a medium speed. If the wind is too fast they have to switch off the rotars because if they spin too quick the system breaks, if it blows too slow, they are as good as useless.

      This is why a Wind Farm's actual output is only - if lucky - a paltry 25% of installed capacity!
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacity_factor

      3. Another problem with Wind Farms due to weather variability is they cannot provide base load for the grid - that will have to be provided by something more reliable, like gas, nuclear or coal. And when the wind suddenly blows strong if you have a lot of wind farms you'll get a great surge of electricity onto the grid causing other electricity suppliers to have to shut down their power plants in a matter of hours. That's not easy to do. It's a recipe for power cuts.



      e: specifically, what sources of non-wind power do you think we should use? If coal, oil and gas do start to run out, what should we do?
      You're smart enough to think up alternatives. Just ignore the financially motivated hype. Not wind. It's useless.[/QUOTE]
      I have read the article, but as I said it is from the Daily Mail and not a reliable source. To answer your points:


      1. This is true of lots of renewable energy sources. The answer is to not have wind power as our whole energy solution but as a part of it, and to use it when available. There are also ways to store the energy to use when we need it.

      "In cold winters dominated by high pressure Wind Farms don't produce any electricity and suck energy from the grid to heat themselves so they don't ice-up and break."

      That is factually incorrect: in winter we have higher average wind speeds and wind turbines generate more power.
      Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_po...tration_limits
      There are good sources on there describing why, it is to do with the higher temperature gradient. I studied this as part of my junior honours project last year, I can assure you that wind turbines generate more power (and definitely positive net power!) in winter.


      2. Wind power produces an average of 30% capacity factor, I found during my project last year. This isn't really a problem, it doesn't matter if you have 100% of a 1MW turbine or 30% of a 3MW turbine, so I don't see the problem here.


      3. Yes, wind power cannot be our only power source. That is why I have said they are a part of our energy solution, an important one at that.


      They definitely do not run at 'negative energy' or anything like that. They are more expensive to produce energy than from coal, but as are most energy sources.

      I'll ask again, what sources of non-wind power do you think we should use? If coal, oil and gas do start to run out, what should we do? Peak oil may be being pushed back but it is coming, we need to be prepared.


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      (Original post by edd360)
      Wind farms aren't actually all that bad if strategically built in very windy areas. Using wind for energy is great because there is an endless supply of wind and of course it is renewable. A bit of work might be needed on the execution of harnessing wind for energy, but I think it is one of the ways forward.
      Yeah, I agree with this . Wind, tidal, solar and nuclear are all important energy solutions for the future. I definitely think wind can provide a good chunk of our energy needs once the non-renewables run out.
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      (Original post by Renner)
      Because of the unpredictable intermittency of wind, and the very long time required to bring 'cold' generating capacity into production, it is necessary to keep a substantial reserve of spinning backup. This is usually arranged by keeping turbo-alternators at less than peak output so that an instant increase of generation is possible. This causes a significant amount of extra CO2 emission from such plant.
      Hey,
      before I start to try and understand all your graphs etc, I need to try and understand this first.

      I understand that wind power is intermittent and we need other power-sources to provide power for when it's not windy, but why is this extra CO2?

      The power from these generators is useful and is being used to power houses etc, so it's not really "wasted" CO2.
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      (Original post by M_E_X)
      I'm a physics undergrad and I did my junior honors project on wind power technology, so I know a little bit about it.

      What better ways are there to generate electricity?
      1.6% isn't that small of a proportion, and 3150 wind turbines is a relatively small number.

      Importantly, that 1.6% is the fraction of power supplied to national grid. A lot of wind turbine power goes directly to being used, and so never sees the grid, so they have a lot more effect than this 1.6% makes it sound. Other power sources (eg coal) always go all through the grid, whereas lots of wind power doesn't go through the grid, so looking at 'percentage of power supplied to grid' is misleading.



      Tidal power isn't "totally clean". You have to mine the metal to make it out of, use carbon to transport the turbines around, use carbon to plant them in the ground, to maintain them, etc. No energy source is "totally clean" or "totally free" like I see some people saying in this thread.
      The big disadvantage is it stops shipping in that area, and it is difficult and expensive to install and maintain them, since they are out at sea. I do think that the sea and wind (you can put wind turbines off-shore as well, remember!) are probably the best truly natural resource Britain has, and we should use them more.

      I wondered what would be wrong with the thread, as soon as the only source I saw was the daily mail I knew key bits of information would be left out, thanks for filling (at least some, if not all of) the gap.

      The only point I'm very unsure about is talking about something as 'natural'. It's hard to pin down it's definition. I think your argument would gain a fair amount if you just said at the end "the best resources Britain has to offer in at least terms of electricity and we should use them more".
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      (Original post by Peel)
      Nice strawmen. If you look back at my post, I didn't say anything about Stanstead, nor did I comment on an ideology so you're arguing against an argument you've prescribed me ... that's not logical thinking is it? Did you actually look up the method of images? I suspect not otherwise your post would be quite different.

      To reiterate where we stand: you took issue with UEA's "manipulation" of data, I responded saying the "manipulation" is necessary to model actual conditions, you replied talking about Stanstead and global warming / climate change. An appropriate response would be to actually addresses my point. I don't really want to waste my time here and I can already tell what kind of response I'll get, so I'll just say do you own research instead of blindly listening to the media.
      I think you will find that my op did mention stanstead, so I think you need to answer my point, as it happens.
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      The UK has one of the best potentials for offshore wind power. If this were appropriately taken advantage of it would indeed be beneficial.
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      (Original post by Peel)
      If you were actually in the know you would realise the "trick" that caused the media sensation was ironically (given your name) a mathematical trick (read: mathematical method) used to replicate environmental conditions accurately, i.e. if they wanted to get any data vaguely correct then you have to use these methods. The UEA data was fine, the method in which it was presented to the public, wasn't. Look up the Method of images, it's also a mathematical "trick" that's perfectly valid and commonly used.
      At least someone isn't ignorant, positive rep for you
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      you do realise that the technology to store energy from wind/solar power and the like is becoming developed? Its the area i hope to get rich in, and is also something im very passionate about. Sure, wind might not produce much individually, but out at sea, in tandem with wave and tidal sources, the amount of kWh's they produce does add up. Better still, link it to a continental network of localised renewable power systems, has the double effect of equalising power and making it less susceptible to weather variations across the continent, and allows us to hoard our fossil fuels, increasing our ability to sell at a higher price. Energy produce can be used for desalination, too. You really arent too intelligent, are you?
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      (Original post by M_E_X)
      That is factually incorrect: in winter we have higher average wind speeds and wind turbines generate more power.
      Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_po...tration_limits
      There are good sources on there describing why, it is to do with the higher temperature gradient. I studied this as part of my junior honours project last year, I can assure you that wind turbines generate more power (and definitely positive net power!) in winter.
      Winter has higher mean wind speeds than summer but not high wind speeds when the winter is dominated by high pressure.

      Once you understand the different weather systems (do you know what the NAO is?) you will know enough to adequately assess the viability of wind farms. Your course on the subject didn't cover meteorology, I take it.
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      (Original post by twl)
      Winter has higher mean wind speeds than summer but not high wind speeds when the winter is dominated by high pressure.

      Once you understand the different weather systems (do you know what the NAO is?) you will know enough yet to adequately assess the viability of wind farms. Your course on the subject didn't cover meteorology, I take it.
      I study physics, and nope, haven't studied any meterology.

      Average wind speed is higher in winter, and power generated goes as wind speed cubed (v^3).

      Just to clarify, do you think wind turbines generate more power in summer than in winter? Can you explain why? I think they produce more in winter, and wind and solar panels are often referred to as 'complementary power sources', as solar peaks in summer and wind in winter.,
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      (Original post by M_E_X)
      I study physics, and nope, haven't studied any meterology.

      Average wind speed is higher in winter, and power generated goes as wind speed cubed (v^3).

      Just to clarify, do you think wind turbines generate more power in summer than in winter? Can you explain why? I think they produce more in winter, and wind and solar panels are often referred to as 'complementary power sources', as solar peaks in summer and wind in winter.,
      The reason why people believe (rightly or wrongly) that the wind farms produce less is that they cannot operate when the wind speeds are too high coupled with a belief that in winter those wind speeds tend to be too high too often.
     
     
     
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