Now they tell us. England not windy enough for bird choppers

England is not windy enough to justify building any more onshore wind turbines, the chief executive of wind industry trade body has admitted.

16 thoughts on “Now they tell us. England not windy enough for bird choppers”

  1. Bloke Not in North Dorset (in Falmouth marina)

    This could be fun, shades of the Skeptical Environmentlist. Note to self, check popcorn stocks.

  2. Would his conclusion be different if the planning system allowed them to be erected in England’s windiest places?

  3. Interesting that such a conclusion should be reached just at the point when the subsidy gravy-train is starting to dry up.

  4. That still leaves Scotland, Wales, and Norniron; which together account for nearly half the landmass of the UK. No idea whether wind subsidies are a devolved matter.

  5. The stupidest windmills I’ve seen are the one’s by the Ford plant by the A13. Anyone knows, Dagenham doesn’t do wind. It’s noted for its fogs. It’s sea level, downwind of the thermals rise from London & block the prevailing westerlies. Drive past & you might see one turning. If you look at it long enough.

  6. Drive past & you might see one turning. If you look at it long enough.

    If you see a turbine that only rarely turns, it is likely that when it is turning it is being spun by running the generator as motor to prevent the drive shaft from developing a slight permanent bend from being loaded in the same direction.

  7. @ Henry Marsh
    The economics of building a windmill at top of Sca Fell don’t stack up – too many days when the wind is too strong so the windmill cannot be operated, too many days when there is no wind, too little demand for electricity on the hillside, too expensive to link it to the grid as well as the massive cost of building one there that would stand up to peak gusts.

  8. However, he suggested the economics could potentially be better for projects that involved removing small old turbines and building bigger, more powerful replacements on the same site.

    So we are going to fix the economics of wind by tearing out all the old windmills and putting in larger ones. There are so many things wrong with this I don’t even know where to start.

  9. @bis,

    You mean the ones in the Ford works, which, being owned by Ford, I couldn’t care less about

  10. Agreed that Dagenham is a poor place to put windmills, but Ford did it of their own accord, and added a third windmill when they needed more power. They say that the windmills meet all their electricity needs. (That must be on average, feeding to the grid and drawing from it as necessary.)

    If it makes economic sense for Ford to do this in Dagenham, there must be many other factories which could do the same.

  11. @ SJW
    What Ford say, if you read it carefully, is “Ford used 23,650 kWh of direct (or self-generated) renewable energy and we purchased 936,291 kWh of indirect renewable energy in 2012, which is enough electricity to power seven assembly plants for one year” so the windmills produced 2.5% of Ford’s energy consumption. This is clearly less than 14.3% which is the amount required to power one out of 7 assembly plants.
    So nobody numerate has actually checked their PR release.

  12. John77: it says that the windmills produced all of Ford’s electricity consumption at Dagenham (which is not a vehicle assembly plant). No doubt that’s a small part of its consumption globally: is that relevant?

  13. @ SJW
    23,950 kWh = 23.95MWh =< 1 day's output from a 2MW windmill operating 100% of the time.
    But that 23,950 kWh includes 1 MW of solar array in Merkench (installed part-way through the year) as well as the two older windmills and the photovoltaic array at Bridgend and the photovoltaic array at the visitor centre in Michigan and the Michigan assembly plant.
    Maybe they omit to mention the storage battery at Dagenham which stores 99.8% of their monthly electricity needs in between the gusts of wind that operate the 2MW windmill or just possibly I was right to say "So nobody numerate has actually checked their PR release.".

  14. Good point, those numbers don’t make sense. I’m fairly sure all the energy units should be MWh. And as you say no one properly checked the numbers in the press release.

    Elsewhere, Ford claims that the Dagenham turbines “generated just under 10 million units (kWh) of electricity in 2013”. Just under 10 million units would be about 19% of nameplate capacity – confirming that it’s a poor site for windmills.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *