Monday, 12 December 2005

A skeptical eye on wind energy

National Wind Watch is a new site "casting a skeptical eye at wind energy."

Visual pollution by enormous bird guillotines that produce bugger all power for all the effort involved may excite people opposed in principle to power generation -- the lifeblood of industry and modern civilisation -- but they don't do it for me. This site shares my own skepticism.

The site does have an Australian/New Zealand section, so feel free to keep them informed of local developments.

Linked Site: National Wind Watch [Hat tip Commons Blog]
Related topics: Energy Environment


  1. Wind farms are a lemon. I have seen them in California despoiling the landscape on a scale that would outrage green groups if they were power pylons. The ones that were working [about 25%, the rest had siezed and clapped out] made a bloody awful wopping noise. The local wildlife agency had shipping containers full of bald eagles that had failed the blade synchronisation flight test. The power generated was uneconomic and would not pay for the maintenance. It is about time the country looked at geothermal heat pumps for individual homes. Germany is well advanced in this field. It reduces power usage big time, you put 1 watt in and get 4 out. You dont need a geothermal steam field, just a backyard in which a well or two can be sunk or pipes laid in the ground. It puts the heat on power generator companies that screw NZ over every winter.

    Wind generation is another way the greens will panic us to a fiasco

  2. Not to say that wind turbines per se are worthless, but as you say, George, with some types of geothermal energy, the best use of them is probably not a battery of large centrally planned mega-turbine wind farms, but small privately-owned turbines that people put up for their own use, or for small clusters of houses to use as a supplement to grid power.

    That even these uses are uneconomic suggest that wind turbine technologty has still to improve a lot before considered useful.

    Having said that, the central-planning mentality always assumes that if something is good, then it will be even better if centrally provided and on an enormous scale.

  3. I was present at the opening of the wind farm in the Manawatu a good 5+ years ago. Ruddy impressive things to stand under. I'm inclined to agree though, pointless for large scale power generation, but probably quite useful for small communities who might want some independent power production.

  4. I think this is largely correct, the EROEI equation for all alternatives bar burning barrels of oil is highly dubious. Nevertheless probably worth building now while we've got cheap fossil fuels - as competition and scarcity increase on the fossil fuel side of the coin these will necessarily become more expensive to build. As for visual pollution - yep, I agree nothing pisses me off more than someone wanting to destroy my view of gorse and scrub covered hills with wind turbines.

  5. Keep up the good work


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