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UK wind record
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biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: UK wind record Reply with quote

A new record of over 4GW was set on Friday:

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2205647/uk-breaks-4gw-wind-energy-record

11% of total.
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mobbsey



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:22 pm    Post subject: Re: UK wind record Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
11% of total.

Yeah, but we're still in the relatively low half of the annual consumption cycle -- that figure will less in December!
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

every little helps.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/sep/26/myth-wind-turbines-carbon-emissions

Not that the NIABYs will listen.
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extractorfan



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RalphW wrote:


Not that the NIABYs will listen.


I came accross another anacronym the other day, BANANA's:

Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. Made me chuckle.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RalphW wrote:
every little helps.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/sep/26/myth-wind-turbines-carbon-emissions

Not that the NIABYs will listen.


That is a seriously good article.
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mobbsey



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
RalphW wrote:
every little helps.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/sep/26/myth-wind-turbines-carbon-emissions
Not that the NIABYs will listen.

That is a seriously good article.


Lynas and Goodall onanising about wind again... I disagree. Let's take the opening statement --
Quote:
The assertion that wind turbines don't reduce carbon emissions is a myth

The only people who state this sort of thing are the dead-head/Country Guardian types who don't like wind turbines because they're not as British as sending children down coal mines or up chimney flues. They're living a deluded view of reality anyway, so can you expect them to make sense on other more topical matters? Rolling Eyes

I mean, assuming someone like Christopher Booker or Matt Ridley would give a balanced view of the technical and economic details of carbon abatement is like asking dodgy US/Egyptian film-makers to give a balanced view of Islam!! This article is biased because it's using extremists as an exemplar for the nature of the whole argument, and so misses the many valid points against large-scale wind which are made by those with the less iconoclastic positions than climate deniers.

By tarring everyone who opposes industrial-scale wind power with this same label invalidates all that follows in the article -- because in fact there are a stack of arguments which support that position, especially if you start to build-in issues such as resource depletion, societal complexity and energy/resource consumption, etc. The authors of this article are, in my view, highly compromised individuals who are taking a blinkered view of the environment because that's "what people want" -- rather than taking a hard, rational view of all the factors which are creating the problem (e.g., affluence and the middle-class lifestyle, over which Lynas certainly has a myopic propensity) and the whole range of possible remedies which exist to deal with problem (e.g. changing the ideological principles which drive the growth/debt-based economic process).

If we're really serious that climate change is "public enemy no.1" then we should be doing all that we can to address the causes of the phenomena. Wind power does not do that. Based on the cost per unit of carbon saved -- a.k.a. using the marginal abatement cost method -- there are far cheaper ways to reduce energy consumption/carbon emissions. E.g., McKinsey did an analysis a couple of years ago (original not on their site -- see figure 1 here instead), and there are other similar graphs. The problem with this approach is that it involves changing those sectors which actually produce the greenhouse gases -- most significantly agriculture, not just the energy sector.

Perhaps the greatest flaw in this debate is that, in terms of the energy economy, electricity is only a minor part of energy consumption -- about a fifth. Globally the mix of electricity in the economy is about the same, and when we look at carbon emissions the transport sector is just as significant (or in states with higher electrical efficiency, more significant) than electricity generation. Likewise, if we take the average person's lifestyle in the UK it's food supply/dietary choices that's the largest single source of carbon emissions, not the emissions from the power they consume.

Basically, in order to make their assertions valid you have to deliberately ignore many other complex factors in the average person's lifestyle pattern -- and these are often more significant than the impacts of fossil fuelled power production when it comes to their effects upon the global environment (flying, greenhouse veg. out of season, the latest hi-tech gadgets, etc.).

The reason why national energy/economic policy doesn't chase the largest/cheapest ways to abate carbon is because that involves changes that would impact economic growth. It means accepting a lower or negative level of GDP growth in return for "saving the planet" -- and fundamentally our neoliberal-leaning politicians are not prepared to do that. As a result we see those options which reduce carbon whilst boosting economic activity -- industrial-scale wind being a prime example here. Industrial wind is not the cheapest, nor is it the best, way to cut carbon emissions, but it does work within the restrictions that the political-economic dogma places upon development options.

So, gas-fired power plant utilisation falls as wind-power production increases... duh! That's a no-brainer. Given that nuclear plant power as well as renewable sources are required to be bought by the market, that's no surprise. Likewise, given that gas-fired generation capacity is the largest source of power, and outside of the Winter months coal doesn't make a large showing in the stats., displacing gas with wind is an obvious function of how the market functions -- but just because the rules of the electricity market cause gas to be replaced with wind doesn't make that the best or most effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As I highlighted earlier, what's driving the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions today is not increasing wind capacity, it's economic contraction. High energy prices are doing far more for the environment than many years of environmental lobbying and renewable energy development has ever achieved. Those who promote industrial-scale wind take as an assumed truth that the economy is-as-it-is and that other options are not available. In that sense this article is as dim-witted and ideologically biased as the anti-wind groups who Goodall and Lynas target in the opening paragraph. Unless you assess all options, and openly debate them, then you will never create an effective solution to the difficulties at hand; and Lynas, but perhaps not to the same extent Goodall, are blind to the consequences of ecological limits, and their likely effects upon the economic process which they clearly hold to be sacrosanct by the structure/nature of their pro-wind arguments.

No, that article is a crock of anaerobic digestion feedstock -- it's as biased as those is seeks to vilify because is accepts as fact certain extant realities for which there is a great deal of contestational evidence to the contrary. For example, if you accept the "limits to growth" argument, then no amount of large-scale wind will provide a solution because the causative mechanism of the problem operate at a higher level than energy supply -- it is in fact the core assumptions and policies of economics which are at fault, not the technologies we choose to "solve" the externalities created by those economic choices.
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mobbsey, as far as I can summarise your post, you seem to be saying we shouldn't build wind turbines because they are less effective at reducing CO2 emissions etc. than targeting global agricultural practice, dietary choices and transport technolgies. I would say that in terms of the impact I personally can have on global emissions beyond my personal dietry and transport habits (vegetarian, grow some food/eggs, cycle most places, very efficient car, no flying) is to promote a technology which is demonstrably reducing CO2 within the current economic model with the sphere I am likely to have any influence over, ie UK energy policy.

Maybe I also take the view that globally CO2 emissions are a lost cause. They will only decline significantly when the global economy collapses, and with it global population is going to be basdly effected as well. So my motivation is to preserve what is preservable and to soften the blow for those around me, primarily my family. In those terms, UK renewable energy infrasrtructure is a good thing every time, because a little electricity goes a long way to making modern life livable, and will give society more time to adapt.

And for every Mobbsey that argues that grid based wind power is futile attempt at continuation of unsustainable industrial society, I can find a thouasnd rabid nimbies decrying turbines as the spawn of the devil/communism/view despoilers/bird killers/futile waste of money/net energy losers etc. etc.
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mobbsey



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RalphW wrote:
Mobbsey, as far as I can summarise your post, you seem to be saying we shouldn't build wind turbines because they are less effective at reducing CO2 emissions etc

No, it's the industrial/large-scale ones that's the problem. It's a globalised system of production and servicing, based around proprietary technologies and fully liberalised economic/manufacturing processes, that's going to collapse along with the rest of the globalised economy -- making those turbines more difficult to integrate into whatever comes after. Small(er) turbines are more sustainable because, irrespective of the changes to the society around them, their hardware has a more likely change of reuse in the scaled-down economic process that must inevitably succeed from the growth-based economy -- and small turbines have a more likely viability during the transition period because they don't rely on systems such as satellite telemetry to enable their operation.

E.g. all turbines over a few tens of kilowatts require a grid connection to function as a viable power system -- and who is to say that the current grid system will survive the economic rationalisation that will come with humanity shifting back within ecological limits once more? We regard "the grid" model as an essential component of the energy system, when in fact it's been in operation in the UK for less than 80 years (established 1933, it only covered the largest urban areas).

If you ask the question, "how can the consumer economy generate renewable energy", then wind and industrial-scale biomass are the obvious answer. But that doesn't mean that they're the most ecological/sane option to choose because the inference that the "consumer society" is normal/sustainable is itself open to argument. That's the flaw in a lot of Chris Goodall's writing, and certainly in Lynas' -- they cannot personally confront the unsustainable aetiology of the "green consumer" lifestyle they seek to promote through their work.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mobbsey wrote:
So, gas-fired power plant utilisation falls as wind-power production increases... duh! That's a no-brainer.


You know that and I know that but the average bloke down my local has, for the purposes of this discussion, no brain. For that reason this is a good article as it counters the argument that I hear whenever wind turbines are discussed.

At the level of discussion that we can have here, then yes Paul, we're in agreement. Smile
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know how accurate the figures for electricity produced from wind are ?
This website contains a wealth of data http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/index.php

But it appears to contain a significant error, the figures on the dial and the chart do not agree. Wind is shown as about 4.8GW on the dial and has been fairly steady at about this figure for some hours. The chart however shows only about 3.8GW.

If the higher figure is correct then I think that we are heading for another record for total production in a week.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
, the figures on the dial and the chart do not agree. Wind is shown as about 4.8GW on the dial and has been fairly steady at about this figure for some hours. The chart however shows only about 3.8GW.


I think they do agree most of the time. Maybe there are different time-lags in updating but they are pretty much in sync at the moment.

Between 10 and 15% of our electricity has been wind generated by wind for the past five days, maybe as much as 20% if you add in the ~1GW of Dutch wind-generated electricity that we are importing.

It saves a lot of gas and, bar the Dutch, a lot of foreign exchange.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Dutch are all right Very Happy They are (allegedly) distant RenewableRelatives. And they're going to sort our flood defences out.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The figures on the dial and on the graph are in agreement now.

And at a most impressive 5 GW again.
This is saving significant gas, and possibly a little coal.
It could reasonably be argued that wind power not only reduces gas imports but also saves the capital cost and running costs of natural gas storage.
It is generally accepted that our natural gas storage is inadequate, as was demonstrated by almost running out in a slightly colder than average winter. Building more storage is expensive.

If instead we doubled the installed wind power capacity, that would almost eliminate gas burnt in power plants during windy weather, and noticeably reduce consumption in calmer weather.
The gas storage presently existing might then be sufficient, thereby avoiding the capital cost of building more.
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Tarrel



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:12 pm    Post subject: Re: UK wind record Reply with quote

mobbsey wrote:
biffvernon wrote:
11% of total.

Yeah, but we're still in the relatively low half of the annual consumption cycle -- that figure will less in December!


You could say that we are "storing" some of the wind energy generated now by being able to channel a greater proportion of our natural gas purchases/production into storage, rather than into power stations.

(And boy, do we need to).
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Tarrel



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mobbsey wrote:
RalphW wrote:
Mobbsey, as far as I can summarise your post, you seem to be saying we shouldn't build wind turbines because they are less effective at reducing CO2 emissions etc

No, it's the industrial/large-scale ones that's the problem. It's a globalised system of production and servicing, based around proprietary technologies and fully liberalised economic/manufacturing processes, that's going to collapse along with the rest of the globalised economy -- making those turbines more difficult to integrate into whatever comes after. Small(er) turbines are more sustainable because, irrespective of the changes to the society around them, their hardware has a more likely change of reuse in the scaled-down economic process that must inevitably succeed from the growth-based economy -- and small turbines have a more likely viability during the transition period because they don't rely on systems such as satellite telemetry to enable their operation.

E.g. all turbines over a few tens of kilowatts require a grid connection to function as a viable power system -- and who is to say that the current grid system will survive the economic rationalisation that will come with humanity shifting back within ecological limits once more? We regard "the grid" model as an essential component of the energy system, when in fact it's been in operation in the UK for less than 80 years (established 1933, it only covered the largest urban areas).

If you ask the question, "how can the consumer economy generate renewable energy", then wind and industrial-scale biomass are the obvious answer. But that doesn't mean that they're the most ecological/sane option to choose because the inference that the "consumer society" is normal/sustainable is itself open to argument. That's the flaw in a lot of Chris Goodall's writing, and certainly in Lynas' -- they cannot personally confront the unsustainable aetiology of the "green consumer" lifestyle they seek to promote through their work.


I wonder what will happen to the grid in a post-collapse scenario? I don't know enough about its structure to comment, but could it morph into a series of regional "mini-grids"? Or does its structure mean all or nothing? If it could fragment, then mid sized grid-connected turbines could still be functional and productive could they not?
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