Sunday, January 06, 2008

You are winding me up

There is an excellent article about wind power over at Spiked. Here's the moneyshot...
By 2015, Germany will have 36GW capacity from wind, but only six per cent of that capacity can be considered as guaranteed coverage of maximum seasonal load. And traditional power stations (coal, nuclear, gas) with capacities equal to 90 per cent on the installed wind capacity must be permanently online (7). If that six per cent figure holds true for Britain, Hutton’s 33GW worth of new British wind power would represent only 1.64GW of actual electricity capacity – or about the same as two advanced nuclear power plants.

On rough calculations, building a 33GW offshore wind capacity will use as much concrete and steel as building 78 medium-sized nuclear power plants, which would produce 62.4GW of reliable electricity (opposed to 1.64GW from wind) - not far short of the UK’s entire 75GW demand.

Rob Johnston's article also neatly skewers the Danish wind farms, showing their wind capacity to be a total myth (as your humble Devil has mentioned before). Thanks for emailing the link, Rob...

3 comments:

Henry North London said...

The plain fact of the matter is that we but electricity from France all the time. Reason being they have extra capacity because they have so many nuclear power stations and no one makes any bones about the environment on that front. Electricity is cheap in France because they saw the problems coming and dealt with them instead of burying their heads in the sand or shutting down their coal mines.

Their rail network is way beyond ours and thousands of British people live in France now

Henry North London said...

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FlipC said...

Once again I'd like to point out that the flaws in wind-generation are from storage. Both articles you quote point out that at times wind turbines produce over-capacity which has to be stopped or dumped.

If you want to look at from a commercial point of view there is currently no need to produce any means of large electricity storage, because we control the entire chain of generation - generating too much, reduce the fuel intake and slow it down or vice versa.

If the turbines are built then in theory companies may begin to invest in large-scale storage methods which might have a knock-on effect in small-scale electricity storage like mobile phone and laptop batteries.