Very safe and reliable these renewables

A 328-foot tall wind turbine worth more than ÂŁ2 million has buckled and collapsed on a mountainside in Northern Ireland.

Unconfirmed reports suggested the blades of the turbine had spun out of control – despite only light wind speeds – before the structure came crashing to the ground on Friday.

Locals claimed the sound of the turbine hitting the mountain could be heard up to seven miles away from the Screggagh wind farm, near Fintona in County Tyrone.

Some people compared it to an explosion while others claimed to have heard the sound of metal grinding throughout the day.

No-one was injured in the incident, which left debris scattered across the wind farm site.

Ahem.

33 thoughts on “Very safe and reliable these renewables”

  1. They slaughter birds and bats, require vast quantities of cement and spoil the landscape. Post-modern Green.

  2. I’m curious about this. It sounds like it was sucking power from the grid and attempting to pull NI closer to the US when the mast failed. Is that a failure mode?

  3. bloke (not) in spain

    All very dramatic.
    But it’s the non dramatic failures are more interesting. Which there seem to be quite a lot of.
    The whole rational behind these things is marginal, isn’t it? That the benefits of building them are greater than expense of building them. Too many failures. Too much down time eats into that margin.
    It looks remarkably thin. If it exists.

  4. Take away all the state handouts, tax breaks etc and then see how long they will continue building the pieces of shite.

  5. The decendants of those campaigning against the building of wind turbines will be campaigning for the preservation of them in 100 years time.

    I bet people complained originally about windmills as ‘ugly and spoiling the landscape’

  6. Left Outside,

    “Meh, compared to coal mining.”

    Very true, which is why we should all be thankful to Margaret Thatcher for closing down the pits in the 1980s.

  7. bloke (not) in spain

    @TomJ
    I’ve had to do some real world work on this sort of thing. Costing off-grid generation against the expense of getting the grid in for remote properties. It’s not always obvious.
    For instance: You can work out what sort of generating capacity you can get with wind/solar then calculate battery capacities to balance production/demand. Cost all the kit.
    Except.
    You have to be careful what figures you’re working with.
    Deep cycle batteries have a characteristic, the deeper you drain them – the less charge/discharge cycles you’ll get in the life of the battery. Graphed, it’s a marginal effect at low discharges but gets steeper the greater the discharge. At high levels of discharge & that’s anywhere greater than 50%, it runs towards 90% cycle reduction. 100%, you’ve killed the battery. Batteries are damned expensive. So it’s balancing front end cost of increased storage capacity against long term cost of battery replacement against the costs/inconvenience of fluctuating power availability. And whether the increased storage capacity will need increased generating capacity to charge it.
    You have to go a long way down into the numbers to get what you’re actually going to need against what the product labels imply you’re going to need.
    There’s going to be similar things with macro-generation. Ratios of servicing cost/failure rates/repair costs in hard to get at locations.

  8. Andrew C
    Any examples of traditional windmill farms comprising 20 windmills each over 300 feet high?

    I’m amazed to see how much concrete is required to anchor them. Making cement creates huge amounts of CO2.

  9. I don’t live down in the Great Wen, but in view of the huge amounts of energy demanded by Londoners, they should do their bit for energy production instead of being purely parasitic. I know there are parks there, and one area known as Hampstead Heath which appears to be well-suited to being home to a couple of wind turbines at the very least.

  10. bloke (not) in spain

    “in view of the huge amounts of energy demanded by Londoners, they should do their bit for energy production instead of being purely parasitic.”
    Too true. And I do know ‘ampstead ‘eath so very well.

    Joggers.

    Treadmills. And whips. Problem solved. No need for windmills.

  11. Andrew C: John Ruskin was very upset about the building of the Monsaldale viaduct in Derbyshire, complaining about how the valley had been scarred by a horrible red-brick monstrosity that had entirely destroyed the natural beauty of the area.

    Nowadays of course it’s the centrepiece of the valley, and the main reason tourists and artists visit… 🙂

  12. @trofim At Schiedam in Holland there were 20 windmills, built in the 19th century, around 33m in height……

    And people were shorter in those days….

    @Pellinor ta for that info. I’m setting up the ‘save our historic wind turbines’ society now, so I get in first.

  13. “we should all be thankful to Margaret Thatcher for closing down the pits in the 1980s.” Hmph; she closed fewer than Harold Wilson.

  14. If this had happened in the oil business, people would be going apeshit, and rightly so. Catastrophic failure of this sort shouldn’t happen, and when it does somebody ought to be making a stink. Either the design is wrong or the construction/fabrication/installation wrong. This shouldn’t be swept under the carpet.

  15. Trofim

    That is a fantastic idea.

    I’m going to have a little think about that. What a brilliant way to highlight the complete hypocrisy of middle class greens, than to start an online campaign for a 300ft eco-tower to be erected on Hampstead Heath; the ground-zero of well-off Urban ninnies.

    It’ll be a joy to compare the signatures opposing it to a list of well-heeled activists.

  16. Ruskin was a socialist who, like many intellectuals, despised the proles and couldn’t see why they should be able to travel from Bakewell to Buxton and spoil his view. Would be happy in the modern labour party.

  17. Stuck-Record, you’ll find many activists against one thing are also against everything else. They aren’t NIMBYs, they’re BANANAS – Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. They are also CAVEmen in wanting to live back in the stone age (Citizens Against Virtually Everything).

  18. Interested,

    Are you sure? In actuality, rather than pop culture?

    Disclaimer – I have actually kept watches in a live nuclear power plant. And taken critical a nuclear power plant in Central London.

  19. Those really at fault for us being infested with these hideous things are those who give support to the green agenda by “assuming AGW is a problem that needs a solution.”

  20. bloke (not) in spain

    TimN
    ” Catastrophic failure of this sort shouldn’t happen,”

    Went through my mind, when I saw the other one that burned & crashed. As an engineering prospect, these things look like they have catastrophic failure built in as design feature. They have all the structural elegance of a sea lion balancing on its nose.

  21. This is silly.

    Power stations burn down, oil lines tankers burst/leak, radiation, various toxic wastes. A few falling over windmills is peanuts.

    Stick to the argument they don’t produce enough power (I dunno) I think using these examples as arguments against it just looks desperate.

  22. Fake

    As I understand it the margins are so slim that one falling over destroys the profitability of the whole farm. How long will it take the rest to save 2 mil?

  23. “a few falling over windmills is peanuts.”

    Of course it’s peanuts. They fall over in rural areas, where no one lives , so who cares? (I’m not being ironic – I don’t care.)

  24. RlJ: What margins? We know they are already more expensive than traditional generation methods, or they wouldn’t need subsidy.
    Wind turbines are inherently more maintenance intensive than, f’rinstance, gas tubrines – the fluid flow is much less energy dense, so you need more, bigger turbines. More turbines would mean more maintenance even if all else was equal, as well as transport cost for the technicians across the winfarms which cover much larger areas than power stations. But, of course, all else is not even…

    Bigger turbines means more structural stress. And, rather than being tucked up safe and warm in a purpose-built station with flows controlled to avoid damage, they are subject to rain, frost, ice and snow as well as unpredicable rapid changes of operating speed (aka gusts). Not to mention perforce being the highest structures in the vicinity and so literally inviting lightning strikes. On top of which you still need to maintain the gas station you need to keep the power on when the wind’s not a-blowing in the fairly narrow range of speed that will produce usable amounts of power. Why anyone thinks all this is going to be cheaper than the fuel for fuelled stations is beyond me…

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