Wind Power ? Go Ogle !

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/10/google-puts-its-weight-behind-extensive-offshore-wind-system.ars

“Google funds 6,000MW mid-Atlantic wind farms, transmission grid : 12 October 2010…

http://www.kansascity.com/2010/10/12/2303007/google-to-invest-in-offshore-wind.html

“Google goes deep with offshore wind project”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iRtGE7BeqRzaQEUSaa5USI994_Eg?docId=CNG.20fe53daed8c4958f5d453da7169df2b.461

“Wind could supply fifth of world energy”

The future is breezy.

Rattle, Rattle, Little Turbine

So, what happens when you put a number of small wind turbines on houses and tower blocks and start measuring the power output and other statistics ?

People complain about noise and get the things turned off :-

http://www.warwickwindtrials.org.uk/resources/Warwick+Wind+Trials+Final+Report+.pdf

Wind Power : Material Fatigues

Image Credit : Cape Cod Living

James Delingpole follows in a long line of commentators with zero engineering experience in pouring scorn on a technology that could quite possibly save our skins :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100056158/wind-farms-yet-another-brewing-disaster/

I don’t know what he harbours in his heart against wonderful wind turbines, but he seems to be part of a movement who delight in their failure. Just ask the Internet to show you “exploding wind turbines”.

For example :-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKkTUY2slYQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nSB1SdVHqQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkGXoE3RFZ8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOfHxINzGeo

Clearly, you need to be in full protective fatigues when battling this kind of bad press…in fact “fatigue” is exactly the right word to come back at Mr Delingpole’s cracked warning (of cracks in wind turbine bases).

Continue reading Wind Power : Material Fatigues

Tu Me Manques, David Miliband

I don’t know about you, but I’m missing David Miliband from the political fish-eat-fish top table already.

If he were to ask me, which he won’t, but anyway, if he did, I would recommend that he starts reading up about Energy production and supply, over the next 18 months or so before he gets invited, acceptingly, back into the Shadow Cabinet of the UK Government.

If he were to spend his time on the train between South Shields and Westminster looking into energy security matters, into crustal petrogeology, the Middle East oil fields, Wind Power, solar and marine options, he could make a strong comeback into the limelight – as opposed to the “lemon” light he’s been cast into, thrust into, so far.

If he becomes acquainted with the ways and wiles of engineering and fossil fuels over the next few years, the viability of Renewable Energy solutions, the transport explosion phenomenon and how to control it, then he will be able to offer solid assistance to his younger brother Teddy – who appears to be mistakenly sold on the idea of new nuclear power.

And if Ed Miliband were to ask, (again, which he won’t), I’d say – atomic energy cannot save us; carbon capture technology cannot save us; algae biodiesel can only trickle, even Frankenstein GM algae biodiesel; Peak Oil is almost definitely here; efficiency of use alone cannot save us. We have to go right out for a non-combustion, Renewable Energy future.

FIT for Purpose

Image Credit : Marrickville Greens

Everywhere in the world that Renewable Energy subsidies, grants or guaranteed unit price contracts have been set, there has been a gradual, or sometimes even rapid, development of new Renewable Energy assets. Which seems like quite a good reason for the State to partly finance the development of Renewable Energy systems, if you take the long view. (Note : I’m using the word “asset” in its proper, original sense here – something that has value long after it has been created, and long after it has been paid for.)

By the end of the lifetime of German roof-top solar panels, or British wind turbines, the economic signal to assist the deployment of these technologies will have long since vapourised, leaving behind a functioning electricity supply that runs without the use of expensive fuel and doesn’t run the risk of major failures and huge drops in power output – unlike large centralised power stations.

The need to invest in long-term non-fuel widely-distrubuted generation assets plugged into the electricity network is essential for its future stability – the more reliable Renewable resources of all scales the National Grid can call on, the cheaper it will be to guarantee a solid supply for all.

The large energy companies most likely consider investment in small- and medium-scale Renewable Energy by individuals and communities as a threat to their monopoly on electrical generation. And so they should. It is time for big changes in the way energy is supplied and managed in this country.

New, large, centralised power plants that the large energy companies want to build will cost their customers dearly in the form of higher energy prices – and there have been continual battles over the planning for and the financing of large new energy plants.

This is why the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme in the UK is so important to keep – a stimulus to create small-scale Low Carbon power resources that will still have value in 20 or even 30 years time with very low maintenance schedules.

The threshold level of the economic stimulus for small-scale Renewables is comparatively low when compared to other forms of investment. The incentive scheme to install principally solar resources can work with funds much lower than those required to underwrite a new fleet of Nuclear Power stations, for example, and yet create a resource that could rival the new reactors without all that cost of nasty radioactive clean-up at the end of a nuke plant’s life.

But, being Great Britain, the Government have had their heads turned by the large energy companies yet again, it seems, as there are rumours that the FIT will be scrapped :-

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/339acf30-c757-11df-aeb1-00144feab49a.html

“Solar power subsidy under review : By Fiona Harvey, Environment Correspondents : Published: September 23 2010 : The recent mini-boom in solar power could be in jeopardy, as the government has privately indicated that new feed-in tariffs that have fuelled the industry could be slashed. If such cuts are adopted, renewable energy experts fear that it will scare off investors – with repercussions throughout the industry. “To change the subsidy system just when you can see the success it has had beggars belief,” said one. “Renewable energy investors . . . will lose faith in this government.” Industry insiders also accused the government of hypocrisy. They say that while Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, was promising the Liberal Democrat conference 250,000 green jobs as part of a “revolutionary” deal to cut emissions, government advisers were holding meetings in back rooms at which they flagged up potential cuts to the feed-in tariffs (FITs)…”

Don’t blame me or anybody in the Green Party or Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth or a number of other Non-Governmental Organisations or independents if in 15 years time there is still not a significant Renewable Energy resource in the United Kingdom. We have expended a lot of personal energy calling for sensible levels of sustainable funding for the renewables revolution. We can do without the limitations of a stop-start regime.

If you want new energy systems, you need to pay for them. It’s called investment, and we need to do it because our current energy systems are decrepit and high carbon. The large energy companies are not prepared to put their own capital into small-scale Renewables, so it falls to the taxpayer to fill the gap. Why not pay the least for the most by directly incentivising small-scale Renewable Energy with a long-term Feed In Tariff scheme ?

What Germany Says, Germany Means

Unlike the United Kingdom, where political sensibility can quash the most logical enactment of energy policy, plans for progress voiced so tentatively you can bearly feel a ripple, or hear it over the whispering swoosh of a new wind turbine blade, over in Deutschland, what they say, they intend to happen, and they’re making serious proposals about how that’s going to be done :-

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,716221,00.html

“09/07/2010 : Green Visions : Merkel’s Masterplan for a German Energy Revolution : By Stefan Schultz : Giant windparks, insulated buildings, electric cars and a European supergrid: the German government on Monday unveiled an ambitious but vague blueprint to launch a new era of green energy for Europe’s largest economy. SPIEGEL ONLINE has analyzed the plans…”

It appears to be time to wave bye-bye to German coal, incidentally, even as a strong commitment to renewable, sustainable energy is put on the table.

I wish the British Government could take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror of the future and realise what a bunch of dithering duffers they appear to be.

What we need is a proper Energy Policy, chaps, and since you’re in the hot seat you better come up with it. Elected or not, our ministers and officials need to get up out of their deep leather chairs, extinguish their pipes, don their working breeches and get digging for Britain, and I don’t mean Shale Gas or Old Coal.

Continue reading What Germany Says, Germany Means

James Delingpole : Yours, Unfactually

Seemingly without knowing anything significant about energy, or the systems used to produce it, James Delingpole makes several key blunders, in my view, in his latest rant :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100048905/we-need-to-talk-about-wind-farms/

“We need to talk about wind farms…” : By James Delingpole : July 28th, 2010

I know the cure for his error-riddled beliefs ! Send some real live energy engineers to his office to talk to him about their industry.

I’m sure the thought of several serious and strangely bearded, slightly obsessive individuals coming to actually talk to him about wind power might be a cue for him to actually start doing some research.

Continue reading James Delingpole : Yours, Unfactually

Christopher Booker : Sniping Smearduggery

The Liberal Democrat and Conservative Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom spent almost an entire week crafting a political framework for power-sharing after the “hung” General Election.

Those considered the most appropriate people were appointed to positions in the central Cabinet, people from both political parties, with the aim and ambition of working together closely and fraternally.

Back room agreements were painstakingly forged, deals were clearly made, and explained publicly in a transparent fashion. In the day-to-day operation of Government, it is made clear who is speaking on behalf of themselves, their party or the Coalition.

This is probably the best example of cooperative, progressive politics since…I don’t know when. But all Christopher Booker seems to want to do is snipe, moan and smear, and appears to throw in as many factually incorrect allegations and fake statistics about wind power as he possibly can.

I certainly wouldn’t pay him to write such divisive, unreferenced, unverified stuff. What’s he trying to do ? Split public opinion ? :-

Continue reading Christopher Booker : Sniping Smearduggery

Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Image Credit : Gilbert & George, “Nettle Dance”, White Cube

I’m in the Climate Union. Are You ?

Soon we could all be, if the expansionist plans of a group of social campaigners come to fruition.

Taking in the unions, faith communities and the usual rag-tag bunch of issues activists, the Climate Union aims to establish itself as a political force for Low Carbon.

First of all, however, it has to tackle the uneasy and prickly problem of the exact name of the movement, and the principles under which it will operate.

The flag has been flown : a set of principles has been circulated for discussion amongst the “Climate Forum”. I cannot show you the finalised document yet, but I can offer you my comments (see below).

If you want to comment on the development of this emerging entity, please contact : Peter Robinson, Campaign against Climate Change, mobile/cell telephone in the UK : 07876595993.


Comments on the Climate Forum Principles
Jo Abbess
28 June 2010

I am aware that my comments are going to be a little challenging. I made similar comments during the review of the ClimateSafety briefing, which were highly criticised.

I expect you to be negative in response to what I say, but I think it is necessary to make sure the Climate Forum does not become watered-down, sectorally imprisoned and politically neutered, like so many other campaigns.

Continue reading Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Windlings

Methods of electricity storage are considered essential in grids that have large proportions of wind capacity. This is because, surprisingly, winds have been known to quieten down a bit from time to time.

Some people take this fact too far. For example, there is the “Northern European Winter High Pressure” lobby, who continue to insist, in a number of forums, that low aerial flow entirely compromises wind energy expansion, just because there are several days in December or January that might be a little flat.

Continue reading Windlings

James Delingpole : Recycling Silliness

I think somebody should take James Delingpole quietly to one side and have a little word in his ear about the ineptitude of recycling silly stories :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100028631/what-dave-and-his-chum-barack-dont-want-you-to-know-about-green-jobs-and-green-energy/

“What Dave and his chum Barack don’t want you to know about green jobs and green energy : By James Delingpole Politics : March 6th, 2010 : Green jobs are a waste of space, a waste of money, a lie, a chimera. You know that. I know that. We’re familiar with the report by Dr Gabriel Calzada Alvarez of the Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain which shows that for every “green job” that is created another 2.2 jobs are LOST in the real economy…”

Here Mr Delingpole, you are on the shakiest of grounds from my point of view. Your writing suggests that in the field of Energy Engineering you have even less knowledge about the technological and economic data than you do about Climate Change Science, and what you have acquired is apparently deeply misinformed. With only the briefest of Google searches, you could have discovered what the Huffington Post uncovered on 2nd May 2009 :-

Continue reading James Delingpole : Recycling Silliness

Speak Freely, Children

Lots of shouting young people clamouring for Green Energy “in the USA” in Copenhagen. How sweet and cheerful ! Let the Free Speech continue, children, even if someone steals your banner :-

http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/2009/12/09/us-youth-crash-climate-denier-live-webcast-in-copenhagen/

Continue reading Speak Freely, Children

OPEC Compensation

You can bet your bottom petrodollar that there will be some bailouts at Copenhagen.

There will be the obvious benefactors, in the form of the Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, which will be set up to get money flowing from the industrialised countries to the developing countries, to enable the developing countries to buy technologies from the industrialised countries, to save the developing countries from Global Warming.

But behind the headlines, there will be some other deals being cut, in fact, one in particular may already have been sliced, judging by this article (OPEC = Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) :-

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article6926219.ece

Continue reading OPEC Compensation

Wind Turbines Give You Spots (3)

I haven’t noticed any of the major medical agencies coming out with statements of their own regarding Nina Pierpoint’s theories about the health disbenefits of wind turbines. That rather leads me to suspect there’s not much to this supposed problem that she documents :-

http://www.grist.org/article/2009-11-16-nina-pierpont-quest-to-sound-the-alarm-on-wind-turbine-syndrome/

Continue reading Wind Turbines Give You Spots (3)

Some People Never Change

So I’m talking to some people and someone says that people don’t care about the fact they’re wasting Energy, that people just don’t think.

Even though they know about Global Warming and the risks of dangerous Climate Change, and they know about the connection between burning Fossil Fuels and Global Warming, they just don’t care about how much Energy they’re using.

And I know this is heresy to say so, but I said that people shouldn’t have to think about Energy, that they shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about using Energy. I said that the Energy that is provided to them should be Carbon-free and responsibility-free. People shouldn’t be forced to act against their nature. Energy is effectively free at the moment. It’s way cheap, even cheaper than food for a lot of people. So people use it. People love using Energy.

Continue reading Some People Never Change

Save Vestas

Received by e-mail


Dear Friend,

Again, could you circulate this as widely as possible, especially to people in London and on the South Coast. Apologies for cross posting.

If you possibly can, please join a rally to save the Vestas wind turbine plant, this Saturday 11 July 2009, 12 noon, St James Square, Newport, Isle of Wight (outside Millets)

PDFs OF LEAFLETS, POSTERS AND PETITION SHEETS AVAILABLE BY EMAILING INFO@CAMPAIGNCC.ORG
Continue reading Save Vestas

An Essential Holiday Read

Ah yes, time to pack up your trusty, dusty suitcase and head for the beach.

I hope you’re not thinking of flying.

And I trust you’ll take with you the Synthesis Report from the Copenhagen Climate Change science conference that took place between 10th to 12th March 2009 :-

http://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/files/synthesis-report-web.pdf
Continue reading An Essential Holiday Read

DO-Tech, NOW-Tech

To answer Climate Change we must have strategies for new Low Carbon Energy investment.

The technologies we need to deploy are those that are already proven, and can be installed in the fastest possible time. What we can DO, and DO NOW.

This is DO-Tech, NOW-Tech : and it effectively rules out new rounds of Nuclear Energy, which is slow-to-grid. It also rules out the almost entirely hypothetical Carbon Capture and Storage.
Continue reading DO-Tech, NOW-Tech

Never Mind the Wind Rush

Jonathan Leake, writing in the Sunday Times on 29th March 2009 betrays a certain ignorance, and casual disregard for sound European Renewables policy :-

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article5992864.ece
“Consumers beware the costly spin of wind turbines”

Continue reading Never Mind the Wind Rush