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Another setback to wind power

 
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject: Another setback to wind power Reply with quote

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-36842758

3 of the 4 wind farms were entirely commercial and not subsidised.

It is not clear from the report what harm RSPB thought the farms would cause.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most regrettable IMO.
The RSPB seem to more or less automaticly oppose the building of wind farms on the grounds that birds are killed by the rotating blades.
This is no doubt true to an extent, but a more balanced view would suggest that the losses are small compared to roadkill, habitat loss, and poisoning by agrochemicals.

The slow moving blades of large wind turbines are less of a risk as most birds can see them and take evasive action.

A seagull was killed by my small and high speed Rutland turbine in London, I was more concerned by the damage to the wind turbine, than about a seagull of which there was a plague.

Wind power is not the complete answer to our energy needs as the weather might be calm at times of high demand.
It could however make a greater contribution than at present, at least another 5GW.

Elsewhere on these forums, considerable concerns have been expressed about natural gas supplies and the inadequate storage thereof.
Another say 5GW of wind turbine capacity would help a lot since every GWH of electricity from wind is about 2.5GWH of gas not burnt and therefore still in the limited storage for later use.
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got my windfarm share certificate yesterday.
Cool
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would seem to be only a delay caused by a political cockup rather than an outright ban. Let's hope that is the case.

I would have thought that marine wind farms are good for the environment all round as the size of the turbines means relatively slow rotation as Adam said above and the presence of the turbines and their rock armoured bases means that fishing within the wind farm is not possible or severely limited; they are, in effect, no fish sanctuaries. Then there is the obvious fossil fuel saving.

Wouldn't wind power save more fossil fuel energy than the amount it generates due to the 33% to 60% max efficiency of gas generation?
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, electricity from wind saves more FF than the actual generation figure.

My estimate is that 1GWH of electricity from wind would save about 2.5GWh of natural gas. No great accuracy is claimed in this since the efficiency of natural gas into electricity varies a lot with the design of the plant and for how long it runs.

If we built another 5GW of wind turbine capacity, then the average output in winter would probably be about 1GW. If we reckon on "winter" being about 2,500 hours then that is 2,500 GWH of winter electricity generated, or about 6,250GWH of natural gas not burnt.

Therefore the building of wind turbines not only generates needed low carbon electricity but also REDUCES THE AMOUNT OF GAS STORAGE NEEDED and the admittedly small costs of operating that storage.

It is in my view reasonable to state that building another 5GW of wind turbine capacity does IN EFFECT provide about 6,250GWH of natural gas storage at no extra cost.
6,250GWH is very roughly one quarter of our present stocks, so a useful addition.
The wind turbines would of course produce saleable electricity outside of the winter season and would thereby reduce natural gas imports, but in lesser quantities, and with little if any impact on gas storage.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, Adam, I misread your original post on gas turbine outputs.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has a truly independent study of the effects of wind turbines on wildlife been carried out? Not one by the RSPB or any other vested interest but a thorough scientific and peer-reviewed one?

Many on this forum - including me - would be sympathetic with both sides of the argument!

Although naturally sceptical of claims of 'huge' impacts on birdlife of these wind farms, I'm quite open to be convinced one way or the other by sources I could trust.
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