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Topic Title: Can It Be True? Is the great windfarm scam finally coming to an end?
Topic Summary: Onshore at least
Created On: 31 October 2012 01:40 AM
Status: Read Only
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 31 October 2012 01:40 AM
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Ipayyoursalary

Posts: 265
Joined: 21 November 2009

In a statement yesterday Energy minister John Hayes indicated a stop to further onshore windfarm developments. Some newspaper reports:

Minister signals end of onshore windfarms

Good riddance to windfarms

However, the rip-off continues offshore and via existing onshore farms.
 31 October 2012 02:06 PM
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JonathanHill

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Just an internal spat

http://www.guardian.co.uk/poli...gy-policy-row-ed-davey

-------------------------
Jonno
 31 October 2012 09:33 PM
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jcm256

Posts: 1861
Joined: 01 April 2006

Gratified in the morning and disappointed in the evening, what sort of country do we live in. What sort of Government do we have when one party says down the other says up.

Well at least the IET is worried about the consumer paying for all this.




UK Electricity Market Reform: The Engineering Perspective'.
 31 October 2012 11:00 PM
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alancapon

Posts: 5760
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Originally posted by: jcm256
. . . What sort of Government do we have when one party says down the other says up. . .

Isn't that a feature of a party political system?

Regards,

Alan.
 04 November 2012 08:04 PM
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Ipayyoursalary

Posts: 265
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> just an internal spat

So it seems. But at least this is progress. At the last election all three establishment parties were enthusiastic supporters of plastering the British countryside with thousands of ugly industrial wind subsidy farms and hundreds of miles of ugly new pylons to carry the intermittent leccy from the ruined beauty spots to the cities where it's needed. At last sanity appears to be returning. Albeit slowly. Shale gas extraction may even get the go ahead after years of foot dragging and bogus scaremongering.
 05 November 2012 09:09 AM
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amillar

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I used to live in a beautiful village in the Cotswolds where the view was spoilt by the sight of Didcot power station (even though it was several miles away). By comparison I personally think windfarms, of which there are a lot where I now live in Cornwall, are rather elegant.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 06 November 2012 04:32 PM
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acsinuk

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We need to consider tidal energy but not produced in expensive kaplan turbines but rather on a low head floating water wheels which only requires a metre head and once developed, I am sure will cause the minimum of environmental disruption.
CliveS
 13 November 2012 03:07 AM
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Ipayyoursalary

Posts: 265
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Originally posted by: amillar

I used to live in a beautiful village in the Cotswolds where the view was spoilt by the sight of Didcot power station (even though it was several miles away). By comparison I personally think windfarms, of which there are a lot where I now live in Cornwall, are rather elegant. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

When making the comparison did you consider how many wind turbines would be needed to match the output of Didcot?

Didcot can generate a total of 3.4GW with 90% uptime. So you would require 5600 x 2MW turbines operating at 27% average to generate the same power. That's five thousand six hundred turbines!! Of course you'd still need to keep Didcot on standby for the days when the wind blows too soft or too hard so it's not really a question of 'either or' - you'd need both the 5600 turbines *and* Didcot to provide 3.4GW on demand. Or you could just have Didcot on its own and save some money by not having the wind turbines.

As for the visual environmental impact: Didcot occupies a site of about 1.5Km2. By contrast a 5600 x 2MW windfarm requires a land area of:

80m rotor diameter x 6 diameter spacing = 0.2Km2 per turbine, x 5600 turbines = 1100Km2. ( an area almost as big as that enclosed by the M25 - rendered uninhabitable due to turbine noise and flicker ).

So the windfarm takes about 750x the land area of Didcot. As you say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder (or the landowner / subsidy farmer).

Edited: 13 November 2012 at 03:16 AM by Ipayyoursalary
 13 November 2012 06:05 PM
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aroscoe

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True, but in this debate you would need to also account for the area and impact of the coal mines, gas wells, and transport infrastructure to get these fuels to Didcot from places such as Russia, Norway, Columbia, USA etc.

http://www.edfenergy.com/energ...e-energy-gap-security

Of course, then we start talking about pylons or, if you protest loudly enough and want to pay for it, cables, but probably both types of scheme are equally guilty of impact.

-------------------------
Dr. Andrew Roscoe

http://personal.strath.ac.uk/andrew.j.roscoe
 14 November 2012 12:45 PM
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Ipayyoursalary

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Good point Andrew. But the good news is shale gas wells have a very small footprint on the surface. This from Cuadrilla:

Drilling new wells does not mean populating the countryside with ever increasing drilling locations. Horizonal wells can radiate from the same well bore in several directions..up to 3km. Because the Bowland shale is unusually thick, this can be repeated at different vertical levels.. One pad can manage 36 horizontal wells using current technology.. Alot of development can thus take place from a single pad hence our view that the UK offers a low density development opportunity.

Article on 'No hot air' site.

This caught my eye too:
I estimate we could be seeing as much as 1BCM from a single football field sized well pad, which after 6-to-9 months will shrink to something the size of a tennis court... Cuadrilla could need as little as 2 or 3 rigs at one time leaving a couple of dozen tennis courts in a 1200Km2 licence area.
 14 November 2012 02:58 PM
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westonpa

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Maybe we should have considered the impact before we closed our own coal mines!

Actually we would need to consider the impact if the 5600 turbines stopped because the wind speed was too high or low because I tend to think that would be more significant for businesses and families. I can see the sense in hydroelectric or tidal power because they are more reliable......re the latter the moon is not predicted to dissapear any time soon.

Wind has a part to play, but its part needs to be proportionate to its reliability.

Regards.
 14 November 2012 10:40 PM
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Ipayyoursalary

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> Wind has a part to play...

I'm not so sure. It's very costly compared to gas and coal power, requires 100% 'backup' for the 70% of the time the wind's not blowing at the right speed. Requires inefficient fast ramping OCGT backup to smooth its erratic output, therefore provides minimal CO2 savings ( supposedly the main benefit ), CO2 savings which are insignificant anyway compared to the annual increase in Chinese & Indian CO2 emissions. CO2 savings which appear to have no effect on the global temperature which has not warmed this century despite 7% increase in atmospheric CO2, requires hundreds of miles of ugly new pylons, is environmentally destructive, ruins landscapes, massacres thousands of rare birds of prey and bats, ruins property values, low frequency noise causes sleep disturbance and illness, destroys tourism and small businesses that rely on tourism, and involves massive transfers of wealth from the poorest energy bill payers to wealthy landowners and green subsidy farmers.

I guess you could say I'm not a fan of big wind - and would prefer not to be forced to pay for it via the hidden surcharges added to my bills.
 17 November 2012 07:13 PM
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ArthurHall

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I work in the offshore wind sector so am biased as it pays my mortgage but I dont wind on its own is the long term solution.
I was traveling about in an area Linconshire recently and there were a lot of signs up protesting about a new windfarm, Certain amount of irony as almost every village had a wind mill that was a listed building/ heritage centre.
I wonder if generations to come will be turning our wind farms into heritage centres?
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