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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    They are expensive, no doubt, but as I said before, there is a price for reducing carbon intensiveness of energy generation.
    They don't work. You're not doing anything other than taking money from the poor and giving to the rich.

    Do you know how much energy it takes to produce one of these monsters?
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    It is pushed in Southern Europe and also through Desertec.
    It was pushed in Spain and has been a total failure.

    Now Vilimelis and more than 50,000 other Spanish solar entrepreneurs face financial disaster as the policy makers contemplate cutting the price guarantees that attracted their investment in the first place.
    Note: this thread is specifically about the uselessness of Wind Farms.
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    (Original post by daytona01)
    Again, please give me a credible source that shows that wind farms use electricity from the grid, and also please cite something which shows that electricity usage from the grid in this situation is worse than if the wind turbine had not existed. Is it beneficial?
    It's pretty obvious really, aerofoil sections (wings, turbine blades etc) don't work very well if at all with ice deposits on the surface, so windfarms in cold countries (like the UK for at least a few months of the year) have to have heating elements in the blades in order for them to work effectively when it's cold.
    If the wind conditions aren't great, they may need more power for heating than they produce.

    (Original post by daytona01)
    Why can't they be operated in high winds? Forgive me, but if that were a problem, it would be easy to correct this problem.
    They can't, once wind speeds get too high they have to shut down to avoid damage.
    You see it all the time in shetland, where I live when I'm not at uni. Once you get to about force 9 the turbines shut off.

    (Original post by daytona01)
    There are a few solutions to the lack of storing ability in the pipeline.
    Yes, but on the TWH scale? and affordably?

    (Original post by daytona01)
    Prove that wind farms increase general electricity bills. And if so, does that not encourage people to change over to renewable energy?
    Well they have to be subsidised to keep them profitable. So if they're not increasing energy bills, they're increasing taxes, which has the same effect at the end of the day.

    (Original post by daytona01)
    I'm sure we can protect birds from being caught up in the turbine by installing mesh casings. That might also control the amount of wind which gets through.
    The sort of mesh which would reduce airflow would also make the air inside relatively turbulent, which would risk damaging the turbine. It'd also be very expensive and would get in the way of repairs.


    I can't understand why we're not investing in thorium nuclear. Less dangerous byproducts, a more available fuel, and steady, reliable power.
    Seems crazy to me.
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    (Original post by twl)
    They don't work. You're not doing anything other than taking money from the poor and giving to the rich.
    They do work in that they do generate electricity. Like I said before, wind can be successfully integrated into the grid provided that production is balanced. I don't see how paying to build wind farms is more unethical than paying to build other forms of large-scale generation - in all cases the customer has to pay for the capital costs through increased bills and the shareholder has to pay through rights issues, etc.

    Do you know how much energy it takes to produce one of these monsters?
    Yes. The carbon intensity of wind farm construction isn't any worse than nuclear or coal with CCS. It takes a lot of energy to produce large-scale generation assets, regardless of type. CCGT's are lower in construction energy demand, but that is reflected in their much reduced plant lifetimes.
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    (Original post by twl)
    It was pushed in Spain and has been a total failure.



    Note: this thread is specifically about the uselessness of Wind Farms.
    But let's look at the issues in Spain - are they techonological? No. Are they political? Yes. This is extremely relevant to the wind argument in the UK.

    The reasons for failure is Spain was a government proposing an unrealisitically high feed-in tariff to attract investment that was unsustainable and ultimately unachievable in the economic climate. A much reduced feed-in tariff would have produced a more sustainable, but slower growth in solar energy. Generally, all new technologies need nuch a fillip (for example mineral oil received significant state subsidies during its early days, as does nuclear) so that's hardly an argument against it. Also, all technologies must be judged on the backdrop of the regulartory framework they are to operate in. A failure to maintain carbon prices is another significant issue, however it is extremely likely that the EU will begin to act on CO2 emissions in the relatively near future, given their increasing regulation of other emissions.
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    (Original post by TShadow383)
    I can't understand why we're not investing in thorium nuclear. Less dangerous byproducts, a more available fuel, and steady, reliable power.
    Seems crazy to me.
    Thanks for that example of an alternative. Makes Wind Farms look, as they are, useless.


    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    They do work in that they do generate electricity.
    Not when the wind doesn't blow. And when it does blow there are lots of caveats. Ultimately it's only affordable via taxation and hidden subsidies in energy bills paid by everyone: including grannies, students and the poor who are most threatened by cold winters.

    Like I said before, wind can be successfully integrated into the grid provided that production is balanced.
    The farts of a badger colony can be harmonized with the grid network. Doesn't me that they should.

    I don't see how paying to build wind farms is more unethical than paying to build other forms of large-scale generation - in all cases the customer has to pay for the capital costs through increased bills and the shareholder has to pay through rights issues, etc.
    Wind Farms aren't economical: they can't pay their own way. Thus you have to subsidise them and rob grannies, poor, students in a regressive tax system to do that. What's ethical for greens, who are rich, is not necessarily ethical for the rest of us.

    The carbon intensity of wind farm construction isn't any worse than nuclear or coal with CCS. It takes a lot of energy to produce large-scale generation assets, regardless of type. CCGT's are lower in construction energy demand, but that is reflected in their much reduced plant lifetimes.
    You need energy to make a Wind Farm. A lot of energy. That's the least of the objections to the useless Wind Farms.

    But let's look at the issues in Spain - are they techonological? No. Are they political? Yes. This is extremely relevant to the wind argument in the UK.
    If by "political" you mean Wind Farms are a popular con that is unaffordable to mass constituencies the government is supposed to protect... then yes, it is very political.


    The reasons for failure is Spain was a government proposing an unrealisitically high feed-in tariff to attract investment that was unsustainable and ultimately unachievable in the economic climate. A much reduced feed-in tariff would have produced a more sustainable, but slower growth in solar energy.
    Well spotted that the "feed-in tariff" was unrealistically high. Why doesn't that surprise me?

    Solar is another subject for another thread.
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    I feel this video is needed in this thread
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqEccgR0q-o

    Slightly more on track this thread is riddled with errors (I'm an engineering graduate and I've studied power generation and wind turbines in a reasonable level of detail). Wind turbines aren't the be all and end all, but then they're not as useless as the OP makes out. However a couple of points worth remembering when jumping on the green technology bandwagon is that turbine blades are normally made from fibreglass, and the resins for that are oil based and pretty nasty. Also there's a substantial payback period for the carbon cost of setting them up - one report I read suggested that the largest may never even become carbon neutral (unfortunately I can't find it at the moment).

    (Original post by wn4)
    p.s. twl is right about gas being the most efficient form of energy production, and before you say learn some engineering about available thermal energy and average produced power, I am studying engineering at cambridge and wind turbines only extract about 27% of the potential energy from the wind.
    Source for that figure? I'm highly dubious - I don't have my notes to hand but the Betz' Limit is 59.3% and while that's the maximum theoretical I'm fairly sure that modern turbines can get rather closer than 27%.
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    I feel this video is needed in this thread
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqEccgR0q-o



    Source for that figure? I'm highly dubious - I don't have my notes to hand but the Betz' Limit is 59.3% and while that's the maximum theoretical I'm fairly sure that modern turbines can get rather closer than 27%.

    Most modern gas power stations are ccgt power stations, they do operate at over 50% efficiency, not just the theoretical maximum, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_cycle,
    I know wikipedia isn't always correct, but seeing as this agrees with what my lecture notes say on the subject, i'm pretty certain that it is correct in this case.

    Also your point about the resins in manufacturing is important as it means that the only advantage of windturbines is lost as they are not saving any CO2 compared to traditional power generation.
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    (Original post by twl)
    Wind farms kill birds including rare Eagles
    LMFAO
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    (Original post by jimimick)
    LMFAO
    RSPB Blames Deaths of Rare Eagles on Turbines

    Rare red kite found dead at wind farm

    Sea eagles being killed by wind turbines

    Wind farm 'hits eagle numbers'

    Golden eagle's safety puts energy plans in limbo

    There's the door...
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Source for that figure? I'm highly dubious - I don't have my notes to hand but the Betz' Limit is 59.3% and while that's the maximum theoretical I'm fairly sure that modern turbines can get rather closer than 27%.
    The turbines generally only produce 20-30% of their peak output on average year-round.
    I know this because I live (when not at uni) just down the road from the most efficient wind turbines on the planet, in Tingwall, Shetland. I think they have the record as the only turbines anywhere on the planet to average more than 50% of their maximum output year-round. They get about 49-51% most years apparently.
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    (Original post by twl)
    Not when the wind doesn't blow. And when it does blow there are lots of caveats. Ultimately it's only affordable via taxation and hidden subsidies in energy bills paid by everyone: including grannies, students and the poor who are most threatened by cold winters.
    Well, all energy systems are regulated based on a range of issues; cost, supply, environmental, etc. I don't really see ROCs and feed-in tariffs as any different to environmental permiting for coal and gas stations - they are a regulatory framework that makes more expensive, but more environmentally friendly generation economic. I detect an underlying current in your posts that you don't really see the need to reduce carbon intensity in our generation network - if you don't accept that then you won't accept any of the methods for achieving that.



    The farts of a badger colony can be harmonized with the grid network. Doesn't me that they should.
    Do you want a serious debate or not?



    Wind Farms aren't economical: they can't pay their own way. Thus you have to subsidise them and rob grannies, poor, students in a regressive tax system to do that. What's ethical for greens, who are rich, is not necessarily ethical for the rest of us.
    Whether wind farms are economical or not is dependent on the regulatory framework they operate in, as is the case for all generation technologies. Nuclear isn't really economic in the terms that governments have always had to cover risk for nuclear build in the UK in the past and the fact is that the government's statements on not doing that in the future has caused nuclear development to grind to a halt.

    As for your strange link between government tax policy and feed-in tariffs I'm not sure what you want people to say? Do feed-in tariffs lead to a regressive tax system? No. Can you have feed-in tariffs and progessive taxation? Yes. Why bother raising that point?

    As for energy prices - we have the lowest in Europe and prices are in real terms lower than they were during nationalisation. People just aren't really aware of the massive imbalance that causes in the system. Energy companies can't invest in other generation technologies because they can't leverage capital and can't justify them in the current market. Stopping building wind won't mean that we build more of other technologies at all.


    You need energy to make a Wind Farm. A lot of energy. That's the least of the objections to the useless Wind Farms.
    You need a lot of energy to make any large-scale generation asset, it can't be used as a reason to bash wind alone. The simple fact is that wind is going to come a hell of a lot closer to carbon neutrality than coal or gas ever will. We have to take advantage of that benefit in a balanced generation mix.


    If by "political" you mean Wind Farms are a popular con that is unaffordable to mass constituencies the government is supposed to protect... then yes, it is very political.

    Well spotted that the "feed-in tariff" was unrealistically high. Why doesn't that surprise me?

    Solar is another subject for another thread.
    The comparisons with solar are valid and important in this discussion. To be honest it is really telling of your lack of understanding of how a regulated market works that you seem to think that wind is something special when it is just the last technology that is given government support in order to promote its use (after mineral oil, nuclear, etc. etc.).

    Like I've said before, wind can be a part of a lower carbon energy mix for the UK. We need to ensure that we have the right balance so that we can maximise on the benefits of wind whilst not suffering too much from the disadvantages (i.e. intermittancy and the need for back-up generation). I've seen a range of business models that can achieve this in the future, however none of them have anywhere near the very large 38% renewables target that the UK has obligated itself to within the EU.
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    (Original post by TShadow383)
    The turbines generally only produce 20-30% of their peak output on average year-round.
    I know this because I live (when not at uni) just down the road from the most efficient wind turbines on the planet, in Tingwall, Shetland. I think they have the record as the only turbines anywhere on the planet to average more than 50% of their maximum output year-round. They get about 49-51% most years apparently.
    I think we need to make sure we aren't confusing load factor and process efficiency.

    The figures quoted for CCGT are process efficiency of turning fuel into electricity. The figures quoted for wind turbines are the general load factors achieved, i.e. the total power output compared to the maximum rated power output. They are not comparible figures. The relatively low load factor for wind turbines tells us nothing about the process efficiency.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    I think we need to make sure we aren't confusing load factor and process efficiency.

    The figures quoted for CCGT are process efficiency of turning fuel into electricity. The figures quoted for wind turbines are the general load factors achieved, i.e. the total power output compared to the maximum rated power output. They are not comparible figures. The relatively low load factor for wind turbines tells us nothing about the process efficiency.
    I understand that, was just trying to explain where the other poster was getting their figures from.
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    ChemistryBoy, you keep banging on about Carbon reduction being so key, but you have nothing to say in reply to the fact from CurlyBen that some wind turbines will never become even carbon neutral, which means they aren't helping to reduce carbon problems in anyway.
    If your saying the key advantage of wind turbines is reduced carbon how is not more beneficial to do carbon sequestration until a new range of nuclear power plants is ready?
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    Yes Sir!
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    (Original post by wn4)
    Most modern gas power stations are ccgt power stations, they do operate at over 50% efficiency, not just the theoretical maximum, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_cycle,
    I know wikipedia isn't always correct, but seeing as this agrees with what my lecture notes say on the subject, i'm pretty certain that it is correct in this case.
    Eh? The Betz' Limit defines the maximum power that may be removed from the wind by a turbine. It's got nothing to do with thermal power generation (it's not even directly applicable to the turbines used in those, as they have stator vanes as well as the rotor). In any case, the efficiency of a wind turbine doesn't matter a huge amount, in that you're not paying for the input or dealing with waste output, so the only benefit of increased efficiency is reduced number of turbines required. Availability of wind turbines is their biggest downfall from a power generation point of view.
    (Also someone mentioned earlier the wasted heat from thermal power stations - one of the Didcot stations uses the cooling water to provide central heating in the local area, and microgeneration expands on this possibility)


    (Original post by TShadow383)
    The turbines generally only produce 20-30% of their peak output on average year-round.
    I know this because I live (when not at uni) just down the road from the most efficient wind turbines on the planet, in Tingwall, Shetland. I think they have the record as the only turbines anywhere on the planet to average more than 50% of their maximum output year-round. They get about 49-51% most years apparently.
    I guess I wasn't very clear - the Betz' Limit describes the maximum power that may be removed from the wind by a turbine. A turbine with a fixed efficiency of 50% (efficiency = output/input) will still vary substantially in output compared to it's rated output, as the wind speed (and thus the power in the wind) varies. It's not surprising that they rarely produce their rated power output, as the rated output is only obtained under a fairly specific range or windspeeds. Find an area with a near constant windspeed and optimise a turbine for those speeds and you'll get close to the rated power output. The problem is such an area doesn't exist, although offshore the breeze is much steadier (I'm also a very keen sailor so I do know a little about the wind :p:)

    From my point of view one of the main things that needs to be addressed is the waste of energy. Shops are a great example - lights blaze 24/7, and in the winter they're heated, despite constantly opening (or even propped open) doors, to the point where the staff wear T shirts. It's stupid, especially as those dressed for being outside (i.e. the customers) will normally then be too hot, irritable and leave! (Oxford Street this year was a prime example of this).

    As for carbon emissions, I'm still sceptical about anthropological climate change (and more to the point, even if we are accelerating it and somehow stop, we're only delaying the inevitable) but a lot of the principal emitters aren't well known. For example cement production is responsible for more emissions worldwide than the entire aviation sector!
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    (Original post by wn4)
    ChemistryBoy, you keep banging on about Carbon reduction being so key, but you have nothing to say in reply to the fact from CurlyBen that some wind turbines will never become even carbon neutral, which means they aren't helping to reduce carbon problems in anyway.
    Just because a generation source isn't carbon neutral doesn't mean it doesn't offer a reduced carbon intensity compared to other types of generation. Let's not forget that all generation sources will require a significant amount of energy (and therefore CO2 production) in their construction, but wind, unlike fossil fuels doesn't produce CO2 when generating. We are unlikely to be able to completely decarbonise generation, but we can reduce the amount of CO2 emitted per kWh.

    If your saying the key advantage of wind turbines is reduced carbon how is not more beneficial to do carbon sequestration until a new range of nuclear power plants is ready?
    Well there are advantages and disadvantages to both wind and CCS. Clearly reducing CO2 production of fossil plant means you get the advantage of an on-demand generation source with flexibility. However, CCS technology will dramatically increase the costs of generation, still emit some CO2 and reduce plant flexibility it is likely that during the next 10-20 years, when CCS is in its infancy, that plant will be very expensive and restrictive. As such, using such a measure as a stop-gap for new nuclear (10-15 years) is unlikely to make economic sense as you are really going to want to have a productive lifetime of 30 years to achieve pay-back. Consenting such new coal and gas plant seems also to be a significant issue due to public acceptance and political inaction. Wind is not on-demand and it is expensive too, but it doesn't emit any CO2 during generation, it is a proven technology and it is subsidised and consent to build is being granted. Overall the costs are likely to be similar. It would be better to have a mixture of both to reduce risk, but I think there are much bigger barriers to CCS application in the UK than for wind.

    Your question also seems to presuppose that we can always substitute one form of generation for another, which isn't always the case. Nuclear is not a peaking plant technology, it is a base-load technology and something that I see as essential for the UK's energy mix. Fossil and wind (when available with the right modifications) can be used as peaking plant and in that application you can't replace that with nuclear (ccs may actually stop fossil plant being able to bid in for the high flexibility markets).
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Well, all energy systems are regulated based on a range of issues; cost, supply, environmental, etc. I don't really see ROCs and feed-in tariffs as any different...
    Maybe they're not worse than some other regulation, but ROCs and feed-in tarrifs pick "winners" that are politically favoured, rather than the most cost-effective way of reducing carbon emissions, so they're definitely sub-optimal.
 
 
 
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