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WWF’s Wind Power Claims

February 5, 2015

By Paul Homewood  




A couple of months ago, WWF were bragging off that Scottish wind farms had supplied enough electricity in November to supply all Scottish homes.

I am not quite sure what “Scottish homes” has to do with anything. The wind power is there to supply the whole of the UK, and I am quite sure Scottish householders would not want to pay all of the subsidy for their wind farms, though the English bill payers would be quite happy!

WWF also misleadingly refer to “households”, without explaining that domestic demand is only about a quarter of total demand, when industry and other users are factored in. This is a trick commonly used by renewable interests, to make it sound as if wind power is producing more than it really is.



The Scientific Alliance has now produced a detailed reply, putting the WWF claims into perspective, and it can be seen here.

What really caught my eye, though, was this bit.




This, of course, is the crucial point. The go on to show this graph of just how much wind power fluctuated during the month. 




Even though total wind output during November was relatively high, there were still many days when it was low.

To make matters worse, the sizeable fluctuations in demand during each day necessarily needs a supply which can be increased and decreased at short notice easily and at low cost. This is something that cannot be done with wind power.

In short, the number of minutes when wind power supplied the right amount of electricity when it was needed can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand.

  1. February 5, 2015 3:37 pm

    “In short, the number of minutes when wind power supplied the right amount of electricity when it was needed can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand.”

    It is just those few minutes when the peaks of the red line are above the trough of the blue line.

    • February 5, 2015 5:36 pm

      The trouble is they can also supply too much, and then we still have to pay for it whether we want it or not!

  2. February 5, 2015 3:39 pm

    It’s a good job there are grid lines to England to get rid of the surplus and makeup the shortfall. WWF’s claims are simply fraudulent. But so too are those of RenewableUK, DECC, all developers; the list of organisations deceiving the public goes on and on and on…..

  3. mkelly permalink
    February 5, 2015 3:56 pm

    They admit the they supply was only good for “eleven out of the 30 days in Novembe”. So for 2/3 of the time you are without. That is not something to brag about.

  4. February 5, 2015 5:29 pm

    From David MacKay (FRS) ‘Sustainable Energy – without the hot air’:-

    Annoying units

    There’s a whole bunch of commonly used units that are annoying for various reasons. I’ve figured out what some of them mean. I list them here, to help you translate the media stories you read.

    The “home” is commonly used when describing the power of renewable facilities. For example, “The £300 million Whitelee wind farm’s 140 turbines will generate 322 MW – enough to power 200 000 homes.” The “home” is defined by the BritishWind Energy Association to be a power of 4700 kWh per year []. That’s 0.54 kW, or 13 kWh per day. (A few other organizations use 4000 kWh/y per household.)

    The “home” annoys me because I worry that people confuse it with the total power consumption of the occupants of a home – but the latter is actually about 24 times bigger. The “home” covers the average domestic electricity consumption of a household, only. Not the household’s home heating. Nor their workplace. Nor their transport. Nor all the energy-consuming things that society does for them.

    [My bold]

    • February 5, 2015 5:37 pm

      Has Prof Mackay joined us on the dark side?

      • February 5, 2015 6:04 pm

        Looking through his book, maybe so. He disagrees with much of the hype on sustainable, renewable sources.

    • February 6, 2015 4:58 am

      Second that
      .. If you make an argument, you should do it honestly.
      But the ‘green’ side has a propensity for using misleading figures.
      – and their own side never step in to correct the blurring …that’s why I don’t trust these pseudo Greens

  5. February 6, 2015 12:21 pm

    Reblogged this on the WeatherAction News Blog and commented:
    If the WWF are so confident then their adverts about ‘endangered ‘ polar bears should only be shown when wind can actually meet the electricity demands of users.

  6. Retired Dave permalink
    February 6, 2015 1:11 pm

    “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

    ― Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    • February 6, 2015 2:46 pm

      This is the same statement the global warming people use against skeptics. I think all it has done is water down the definition of “facts”.

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