Sunday, January 06, 2008

More lying from enviro-mentalists

Via Timmy, I see that these green nutjobs will lie about the smallest things—tiny turbines, in this case.
Home wind turbines are significantly underperforming and in the worst cases generating less than the electricity needed to power a single lightbulb, according to the biggest study of its kind carried out in Britain.

An interim report revealed that homeowners could be being misled by the official figures for wind speeds because they are consistently overestimating how much wind there is - sometimes finding that real speeds are only one third of those forecast. In the worst case scenario, the figures indicate that it would take more than 15 years to generate enough ‘clean’ energy to compensate for the manufacture of the turbine in the first place.

Ah, so they don’t work and the reason they don’t is because those pushing them upon us have been lying. What a surprise.
Matthew Rhodes, Encraft’s managing director. ‘There is no doubt that microgeneration as a whole has a critical role to play in delivering a low carbon and secure energy future for the UK.

Eh? we’ve just found out that microgeneration is both an economic and environmental disaster, yet it’s still vital? Might we not be putting the ideology before the facts here?

That's the AGW case in a nutshell, actually. But are you surprised? Not I.

Although, one thing is correct: if we could find a viable way of generating electricity as locally as possible, this would be a good thing. Something like 60% of all power is lost through its transportation through the power lines, so the nearer the source of generation, the better. Unfortunately, there is no viable way of doing this at present.

However, it is on the way: solar power is going to become very cheap in a remarkably short time. Timmy summarises that rather long post.
Solar PV at less than $1 per Watt. Panels at less than $2 per Watt.

Plus a variation of Li batteries that provides 10 times the storage.

That’s cheaper than electricity from coal for the capital costs. Plus, of course, no fuel costs, nor CO2 while running.

They’re actually shipping such cells, started last week.

Technology will save us from the AGW myth. The only question is, what the hell will the fucking Green loons adopt as their next big scare story?


Alan Douglas said...

"The only question is, what the hell will the Green loons adopt as their next big scare story?"

I'm fully expecting that, once they get all ICE transport banned, they will campaign about the "unacceptable" amoung of horse-manure on the streets ....

Alan Douglas

View from the Solent said...

Off-topic, a small point. Can you change the format of your posting date to non-USA, i.e. dd/mm/yy ?
(After all, in corporeal form you do have a .uk existence)

Roger Thornhill said...

Food, water, pollution, mining, colonialism - whatever they can get their dirty collectivist fingernails into.

Devil's Kitchen said...


As a matter of fact, I can't. I could remove the date entirely, or remove the time entirely, but I cannot have date and time in UK format.


Rob said...

"generating less than the electricity needed to power a single lightbulb"

Is this an evil modern lightbulb or the brave and very dark future lightbulb?

Rob said...

Caveat emptor. Latin for "fuck 'em, the idiots".

mitch said...

How much power do the machines used to make the parts for these silly little windmills consume? I pro gramme and use said machines and they are huge consumers of power.I read somewhere that 50years was the break even point but do they last that long? I doubt it very much.

haddock said...

Losses are not the 60% quoted, more like one tenth of that;
from wikipedia;

"Figures are again from the 2005 SYS.

* Joule heating in cables: 857.8 MW
* Fixed losses: 266 MW (consists of corona and iron losses; can be 100 MW higher in adverse weather)
* Substation transformer heating losses: 142.4 MW
* Generator transformer heating losses: 157.3 MW
* Total losses: 1423.5 MW (2.29% of peak demand)

Although losses in the national grid are low, there are significant further losses in onward electricity distribution to the consumer, causing a total distribution loss of about 7.7%.[6] However losses differ significantly for customers connected at different voltages; connected at high voltage the grid losses are about 2.6%, at medium voltage 6.4% and at low voltage 12.2%.[7]

The whole point of the grid was to do away with the inefficiency of small generating schemes and to allow electricity to be provided wherever it was needed at any given time!
If engineers were allowed to sort things then it would be sorted....
all it needs is people to make decisions based on fact and not pie in the sky tree hugging theories or political expediency.


Why is there never any mention of geo-thermal power?beneath our feet is an unlimited supply of squeaky clean energy,all it requires is a bore hole deep enough,the introduction of water, which would probably occur naturally,and a generator at the hot end,and it can all be community sized,eliminating much of the loss through leakage,plus with unlimited power ,electrical vehicles become very attractive,dispensing with the need to be held to ransom by middle eastern loonies,this form of power is already working in some countries,but it could be universal,and the technology is simple,the japanese have managed to drill a bore hole ,seven kilometers deep,where the heat is more than enough to boil a kettle,which is all that we require,but i suspect that some vested interests are sitting on this to preserve thier massive profits,when the whole world could have free electrical power.

Evil Clanger said...

To my mind it makes no sense to talk of dollars per watt as it rather assumes a photocell that lasts for ever. More meaningful statistics would be dollars per mega-joule and watts per metre squared.

Another thing, do people not realise that by coating upward facing surfaces with these cells will change the albedo of urban landscapes radically, significantly reducing the urban heat island effect and the urban heat island effect is behind a large portion of the change in global average temperature?

Devil's Kitchen said...

"... this form of power is already working in some countries,but it could be universal,and the technology is simple,the japanese have managed to drill a bore hole ,seven kilometers deep,where the heat is more than enough to boil a kettle,which is all that we require..."

You are overlooking the shared geographical oddities of those countries that can harness geothermal power, such as Japan and Iceland: they are very volcanically/tectonically active.

In other words, they have magma floating (relatively) close to the surface and they also have natural faultlines to aid the bore.

Britain does not have these features at this time. How deep should we go? We could easily find ourselves having to go down hundreds of kilometres before reaching a suitable vent.

"... but i suspect that some vested interests are sitting on this to preserve thier massive profits..."

The "vested interests" are the ones who have the money to invest in this technology. The oil companies are some of the biggest investors in new tech: they know that oil isn't going to last for ever and, if they are to maintain their dominance, then they need to find new power sources.

"... when the whole world could have free electrical power."

It is not free. Someone has to pay for the capital costs of boring the hole, building the powerstation and the grid connections. Then someone has to pay to maintain and staff that powerstation, etc.

There really is no such thing as a free lunch, you know.


Anonymous said...

"There really is no such thing as a free lunch, you know."

I beg to differ become an MP or a lord.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Surely there is such a thing as economies of scale that apply to windmills and much as anything. It is frankly inconceivable that lots of silly ten foot high windmills can generate pro rata as much as one big one that's hundreds of feet high (where windspeeds are dozens times higher) that uses the same amount of metal. Even assuming that wind power is economically viable at that scale, as long as we have these mad subsidies we'll never find out ...

PS - Since when do you have spellchecker in the comments? That's rather cool

chris said...

As DK points out we don't live on a plate boundary which makes geothermal a lot more difficult than in say Iceland. The closest there is in this country is mining hot aquifers as happens in Southampton. The problem there is the amount of heat you can mine is limited because unlike the heat source at a plate boundry it is not being constantly topped up with more energy. The current borehole in the southampton scheme, for example, will run out of hot water after 20 years and another, expensive, borehole need to be sunk.

verity said...

Haddock - And we all trust Wickipedia, of course. I believe some uncovered the fact that a large proportion of the editing is done by BBC employees. That means Wickipedia is as impartial as the BBC.

Ed said...

I'm sure I read somewhere recently that it is 30% that is lost in transmission. We would still need a national grid even if we generated a lot of our electricity locally, because we still need power when it's not windy/sunny etc. so we would still need coal stations on standby.

There is no easy solution which is why we have to expose the ridiculousness of the Wind Plan before it's too late. DK is doing a grand job so far.

verity said...

I saw one of these "windfarms" (such a friendly name for such a statist project) in the Pyrenées when I lived in the south of France and they are absolutely hideous. They totally wrecked the grandeur of the mountain they'd been placed on.

haddock said...

The entry in wilipedia was about what I guessed;
I think it was St Paul who said we should test the truth like we taste our food... BBC tastes disgusting but I don't think even the BBC have enough of our money to edit every entry in wikipedia.

from Hansard;

Electricity is lost from both the National Grid's high voltage transmission system, and the distribution networks...... losses from the transmission system were equivalent to approximately 1.5 per cent. of total electricity available, and approximately 6 per cent. of electricity available was lost via the distribution network. In addition, around 0.5 per cent. is accounted for by theft or meter fraud and accounting differences making about 8 per cent. losses in total.
Hansard 26 Nov 2007 : Column 121W

verity said...

Thanks for the Hansard, Haddock.

Well, Wikipedia is edited by dozens of Beeboids, you know. And then there's the Guardianistas and quangocrat lefties like Liberty - the Chatterjee classes.

Kay TIe said...

In future when we talk about losses we should quote the easy-to-remember stat of "less than 10%".

In answer to the question "what will the econutters go after next" you can be sure it ain't anything that really emits CO2. Like milk-producing cows. I did some calculations and in a year the average milk cow emits methane equivalent to the CO2 from TWO Land Rover Discoveries on average annual mileage. Do you see greenie nutters telling us to stop eating cheese? No. Instead they tell us to stop driving Land Rovers. Twats.

The Remittance Man said...

Mr Englishman,

Sorry to burst your enthusiasm, but this was been tried some time ago in Cornwall (one of the hottest spots in the UK, geologically speaking) by the chaps from Cambourne School of Mines (pause for ritual hissing and booing by Royal School of Mines alumnus). Since Cornwall is geologically hot they only had to go down 3000m.

I won't bore everyone with the technicalities but suffice to say that in order to do what you propose successfully requires a pair of holes (one to pump liquid down and one to retreive it). These are linked at the bottom by cracks in the rock caused by blasting.

The first problem as cost. Drilling to that depth is incredibly expensive. Especially as Cornwall is made of granite.

The second problem was getting the two holes to stop in the right place ie close enough for the blasting to effect cracks between the hole bottoms.

Drilling through rock to depth was once likened by a professor of mine to trying to push a ten metre strand of spaghetti through ten metres of parmesan cheese. Even if you don't break the spaghetti (usually by twisting it too much), keeping it on course is well nigh impossible.

Even when the chaps did get holes close enough they founf there was no return on the investment. The amount of energy recovered didn't justify the cost. Further the best medium of heat exchange the CSM chaps came up with was some pretty noxious metallic salt in liquid form. The greenies and more especially the locals found the idea of dangerously long named chemicals being pumped underground to seep throuh cracks in the rocks a little disturbing. Apparently they thought it would increase the number of kids with six toes or something.

Finally when they did get all this to work, the resulting heat recovered wasn't sufficient to pay for the scheme.

The last I heard (admitedly a few years ago) the Cambourne experiment was heading for the great book of heroic failures. They had made some serious advances in drilling science, but unfortunately hadn't proved the viability of the concept.

The Remittance Man said...

Er Ed,

Coal Stations on standby? Probably not. Like nukes, coal stations need quite a lot of time to come to the boil. I think in most systems coal stations are used as steady state generators. The standby instalations that can be switched on and off pretty much at will are either gas turbine driven or, more greenly, pumped storage stations like that one in Wales.

Pranay said...

Do have a look at encrafts software tools. They are really impressive and are free.