Obama passes wind for clean energy [Reader Post]


Clean Energy Fail Pictures, Images and Photos

Last week Barack Obama visited a wind turbine plant in Pennsylvania touting his goals for clean and secure energy. There are times I simply cannot fathom what passes for thought in Obama’s mind and this was one of them. While there, he said

“I think that what you do here is a glimpse of the future, and it’s a future where America is less dependent on foreign oil, more reliant on clean energy produced by workers like you.”

Less dependent on foreign oil.

In Obamaworld we will become less dependent on foreign oil by shutting down domestic exploration and promising to be Brazil’s best oil customer.

Or perhaps we can become less dependent on foreign oil by purchasing hybrid vans, or other imaginary vehicles. I understand that such vehicles are now available in the 57th state- Barackofornia.


One energy source that is going to disappoint Obama mightily is wind. Over at WUWT we learn that wind power in Britain is somewhere between highly unreliable and totally useless.

Among the findings from the John Muir Trust:


in respect of analysis of electricity generation from all the U.K. windfarms which are metered by National Grid, November 2008 to December 2010. The following five statements are common assertions made by both the wind industry and Government representatives and agencies. This Report examines those assertions.

1. “Wind turbines will generate on average 30% of their rated capacity over a year.”

2. “The wind is always blowing somewhere.”

3. “Periods of widespread low wind are infrequent.”

4. “The probability of very low wind output coinciding with peak electricity demand is slight.”

5. “Pumped storage hydro can fill the generation gap during prolonged low wind periods.”

This analysis uses publicly available data for a 26 month period between November 2008 and December 2010 and the facts in respect of the above assertions are:

1. Average output from wind was 27.18% of metered capacity in 2009, 21.14% in 2010, and 24.08% between November 2008 and December 2010 inclusive.

2. There were 124 separate occasions from November 2008 till December 2010 when total generation from the windfarms metered by National Grid was less than 20MW. (Average capacity over the period was in excess of 1600MW).

3. The average frequency and duration of a low wind event of 20MW or less between November 2008 and December 2010 was once every 6.38 days for a period of 4.93 hours.

4. At each of the four highest peak demands of 2010 wind output was low being respectively 4.72%, 5.51%, 2.59% and 2.51% of capacity at peak demand.

5. The entire pumped storage hydro capacity in the UK can provide up to 2788MW for only 5 hours then it drops to 1060MW, and finally runs out of water after 22 hours.

OTHER FINDINGS have emerged in the course of this analysis in addition to the Principal Findings which related to the testing of five common assertions. These Other Findings are listed below.

1. During the study period, wind generation was:

* below 20% of capacity more than half the time;

* below 10% of capacity over one third of the time;

* below 2.5% capacity for the equivalent of one day in twelve;

* below 1.25% capacity for the equivalent of just under one day a month.

The discovery that for one third of the time wind output was less than 10% of capacity, and often significantly less than 10%, was an unexpected result of the analysis.

2. Among the 124 days on which generation fell below 20MW were 51 days when generation was 10MW or less. In some ways this is an unimportant statistic because with 20MW or less output the contribution from wind is effectively zero, and a few MW less is neither here nor there. But the very existence of these events and their frequency – on average almost once every 15 days for a period of 4.35 hours – indicates that a major reassessment of the capacity credit of wind power is required.

3. Very low wind events are not confined to periods of high pressure in winter. They can occur at any time of the year.

4. The incidence of high wind and low demand can occur at any time of year. As connected wind capacity increases there will come a point when no more thermal plant can be constrained off to accommodate wind power. In the illustrated 30GW connected wind capacity model with “must-run” thermal generation assumed to be 10GW, this scenario occurs 78 times, or 3 times a month on average. This indicates the requirement for a major reassessment of how much wind capacity can be tolerated by the Grid.

5. The frequency of changes in output of 100MW or more over a five minute period was surprising. There is more work to be done to determine a pattern, but during March 2011, immediately prior to publication of this report, there were six instances of a five minute rise in output in excess of 100MW, the highest being 166MW, and five instances of a five minute drop in output in excess of 100MW, the highest being 148MW. This indicates the requirement for a re-assessment of the potential for increased wind capacity to simulate the instantaneous loss (or gain) of a large thermal plant.

6. The volatility of wind was underlined in the closing days of March 2011 as this Report was being finalised.

* At 3.00am on Monday 28th March, the entire output from 3226MW capacity was 9MW

* At 11.40am on Thursday 31st March, wind output was 2618MW, the highest recorded to date

* The average output from wind in March 2011 was 22.04%

* Output from wind in March 2011 was 10% of capacity or less for 30.78% of the time.

The nature of wind output has been obscured by reliance on “average output” figures. Analysis of hard data from National Grid shows that wind behaves in a quite different manner from that suggested by study of average output derived from the Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) record, or from wind speed records which in themselves are averaged. It is clear from this analysis that wind cannot be relied upon to provide any significant level of generation at any defined time in the future. There is an urgent need to re-evaluate the implications of reliance on wind for any significant proportion of our energy requirement.

As theblogprof points out, windmill farms are springing up too often and in poorly considered locations because of heavy government subsidies and not because they make any economic or energy sense.

For the moonbat, however, science need only give a good fuzzy feeling. The rest is superfluous. Except that science bends to no one, and not heeding its objective opinion, or worse yet not seeking it at all, leads to waste of effort, money, and to the tarnishing of the image of the technology. Case in point today, ladies and gentlemen, is Britain’s push for wind turbines, minus the necessary feasibility studies. … As I have said many times in this blog, heavy government subsidies are ruinous to the industry. Wind turbines are going up where they never would under pure free market conditions. Worse yet, the artificial demand has dramatically increased turbine prices to the point that it has created a bubble propped up right now by the government, but one that will pop one day and suddenly, overnight, the wind turbine industry will be reduced by about 50%. This is what government interference does.”

As the above point out, neither wind nor solar are the answer, but rather are supplemental only.

This is only one more unicorn in the Barack Obama Arsenal of Imaginary Solutions.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

There are always unintended consequences to everything.
Before the advent of automobiles the ”futurists” of the turn of the 20th century said our biggest worry was going to be what to do with all the horse manure!

Now Obama wants more and more wind turbines.
Many problems with them.
I’ll just touch on one.

Bat deaths.

Insect-eating bats are worth at least $3 billion — perhaps as much as $54 billion — per year to U.S. agriculture alone.
Wind turbines actually suck little insect-eating bats into their blades.

By 2020, wind turbines will kill about 60,000 bats each year in the mid-Atlantic states alone.
For perspective, a study of a little colony of 150 brown bats showed that they ate almost 1.3 million potentially damaging insects a year in Indiana.
Every dead bat means more insecticide on our crops that we didn’t use before.

what to do with all the horse manure!
Vote this Fool and His Lackies out of Office, out of Power and restore Common Sense to the Republic.

New technology? Cervantes wrote of jousting with windmills in the latter 17th Century. Let’s be serious, windmills are nearly as old as horses walking and turning a grist mill and that is what they did when the wind wasn’t blowing. It’s true they turned grinding stones instead of generators and alternators, but there wasn’t much need for electricity when we were emerging from the Dark Ages.

Obama is parading an old technology as something new. We waste time and fortunes while his cronies become fabulously wealthy off of three hundred year old technology and we are supposed to accept the past as the wave of the future. Don’t allow yourselves to be regarded as simpletons by this technological moron or if you prefer to act as if you are in awe of this ancient and inefficient technology you might qualify as an Obama Useful Idiot or just a lemming, either way he has a myth for you and all it costs is a vote of stupidity.

@Skookum: #3

Skook, you raise a rather significant point in this cloud of insanity coming from Washington. The promotion of Windmills by Obama is another brick in the wall of proof that this man just isn’t intellectually up to the task. ANY task other than betting on basketball games.

Nevermind where he might have been born, the American public has yet to be given ANY shred of evidence that he think, or that he can write a coherent document. The evidence is quite to the contrary. He can smile and gladhand, but can he do any thinking, critical or not. The worse part of it is that he’s President. Sigh.

In order to do a half-arsed job powering a city, a wind farm needs to be about twice the size of that city. A nuclear plant, occupying a few acres can do the exact same thing. And, as already pointed out, it kills less birds and bats.

Gas prices have risen and are approaching new highs, just as Obama wanted. Ostensibly, Obama wanted the high prices to force us into alternatives.

Where are they?

Even at this price break, they aren’t affordable. Some don’t even exist.

I’m wondering just how many MW could be generated by using the thermal exhalations of the entire city of Washington, DC.

Do you know that the Bakken Shales in N. Dakota have been upgraded to half a trillion barrels of recoverable oil according to the US Geological Survey? Look it up.

I’ve seen a field near palm springs, it has windmills as far as the eye can see. Always felt sorry for the poor people of California, having to look at that ecological failure during the daily commute. Unfortunate..

One barrel of oil equals 25,ooo hard earned man hours. I mean that, no shit.

I look at those windmills along the I10 and during a day of hard wind I would judge a minimum of 15% aren’t turning, sometimes it is much worse. I think they forgot to factor in the abrasive power of the fine desert sand blowing into the bearings on those big windmills. They wear, they break, and they must be repaired. The repair trucks can’t begin to keep up with the maintenance and replacement.

Wind Farm Fail.

The cold weather has been accompanied by high pressure and a lack of wind, which meant that only 0.2pc of a possible 5pc of the UK’s energy was generated by wind turbines over the last few days.

The shortfall in power generated by wind during cold snaps seriously undermined the Government’s pledge on Friday to build nine major new wind “super farms” by 2020.

“If we had this 30 gigawatts of wind power, it wouldn’t have contributed anything of any significance this winter,” he said. “The current cold snap is a warning that our power generation and gas supplies are under strain and it is getting worse.”

The Telegraph 2011: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/6957501/Wind-farms-produced-practically-no-electricity-during-Britains-cold-snap.html

Nan, the bat deaths are significant. The Left is always promoting their concerns for the environment, ie the Delta Smelt, but the real issue will be the loss of animals like the bat and the Purple Martin that consumes an astronomical amount of mosquitos.

In the Seattle are they have an antibiotic resistant staph infection, I’m sorry I can’t recall the name, but it is a lifestyle disease among the unwashed. It started in the IV Drug community, but now it has spread to the non-drug users. It is identified by a large boil that is five to ten times larger than the boils of the past and the only treatment is to lance and drain the boil. Now if we have a bumper year for mosquitos and we have destroyed their predators, the chance of a vector from a disease of this staph infection getting started and unleashing the plague of Job on our population is multiplied. The infection starts with an M, I was working for an MD yesterday and we discussed the disease at length. While we make great provision for the smelt and arrange to dump irrigation water into the ocean and allow California’s agriculture to go bankrupt, we may be creating a real disaster with our meddling. The clock is ticking, but don’t worry the Delta Smelt is alive and doing well.

One thing about liberals is that their fantasies are protected from reality. They so desperately want it to be true, that evidence showing it doesn’t work or has the opposite effect is ignored and/or explained away. They need it to be “true” in order to feel good about themselves.
This is why they keep trying the same things over and over.

Something to think about:

Stoners are Destroying the Planet

Stoners are helping destroy the planet.
Not by excessive snacking, but thanks to the high-energy demands of indoor marijuana cultivation. So says a US Government policy analyst, Evan Mills, who works at Lawrence Livermore Labs but conducted the study in his own time, estimates that indoor pot growing accounts for 1 per cent of energy usage in the United States,
with each spliff representing two pounds of CO2 emission.

We had a takeover robbery in our condo complex a year or so ago.
The man was ”growing his own.”
The gang that sells nearby found out and wanted to confiscate the grass and cut out the competition, if he was selling.
They also beat up the cancer-striken man, raped his wife, stole all the family valuables and scared them into moving away that very afternoon.

I could not believe the electric bill they ran up when growing.
$1,200/ month while we pay ~ $45/ month!

Dr J I have noticed the ones that are not turning, one has to wonder about the cost of repairing them.

Btw, DJ, best title for an article.

@Gary Kukis: Thanks, Gary!

@Skookum: I believe that would be MRSA, Skook.

@Skookum: Keep in mind that some, if not all of the turbines you see are not yet hooked up to a transmission line, due to the eco-weenies crying about some “endangered” lizard, (as if the lizard cannot move-), and as Nan, #1 said about the bats, you also have about 40,000 migratory bird deaths, including Hawks and Eagles.
The people who are touting wind energy are those who have a great financial interest in seeing that it is installed- they do not care if it works, and they do not care about the Earth- They DO care about their bottom line.
Why do you think Gore has a fleet of gas guzzling SUVs? His own private jet? Because he knows NOTHING ELSE WORKS.

@Hard Right: You’ve hit the nail on the head here. I can’t remember all the times I’ve tried to explain this to greenies and they just roll their eyes and say “They’ll make it work”, or blame it on “Big Oil” trying to keep “free” energy from the people. Feh! (Sorry for depleting the scare quotes aquifer)