Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Windmills of Doyle's Mind That You'll Pay For...

The experience of Great Britain is not exactly encouraging.

This is the season for quizzes. So ­fingers on buzzers, here’s your starter for ten. In percentage terms, how much electricity do Britain’s 3,150 wind ­turbines supply to the ­National Grid?

Is it: a) five per cent; b) ten per cent; or c) 20 per cent? Come on, I’m going to have to hurry you. No conferring.

Time’s up. The correct answer is: none of the above. Yesterday afternoon, the figure was just 1.6 per cent, according to the official website of the wholesale electricity market.

Over the past three weeks, with demand for power at record levels because of the freezing weather, there have been days when the contribution of our forests of wind turbines has been precisely nothing.

It gets better. As the temperature has plummeted, the turbines have had to be heated to prevent them seizing up. Consequently, they have been consuming more electricity than they generate.

Even on a good day they rarely work above a quarter of their theoretical capacity. And in high winds they have to be switched off altogether to prevent damage.

At best, the combined output of these monstrosities is equal only to that of a single, medium-sized, gas-fired power station.

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has granted a rate-increase to WE Energies to allow construction of more windmill farms.

Before your grandchildren assassinate you for passing this crap on to them, be sure to mention that you knew better, but didn't resist. I'm sure it will help.

HT: BayouRenMan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More hot air blown in my direction.