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Assel Valley Wind Farm

November 22, 2016

By Paul Homewood 

 

falck-renewables-wind-farm-scotland-assel-valley

Assel Valley Wind Farm

 

I mentioned the Express article earlier which exposed how much UK bill payers are paying to Scottish wind farms to switch off when it is too windy.

The report used the example of Assel Valley wind farm in Ayrshire, which only opened last month.

Checking out Assel Valley, I find that it is owned by Falck Renewables, an Italian company based in Milan.

So, far from benefitting the local economy, these constraint payments are simply going abroad.

 

There is no database that I am aware of, which lists ownership of onshore wind farms, but I suspect that many others are foreign owned.

I did do an analysis of the offshore industry  last year though, which found that only 17% of current and planned projects were UK owned.

 

It is often claimed that renewable energy schemes bring jobs and revenue to local economies. But apart from the initial construction phase, it would appear that local communities see little benefit at all.

33 Comments leave one →
  1. HotScot permalink
    November 22, 2016 2:13 pm

    My son in Ayr has a job with an Italian wind turbine company that supplies smaller turbines to farms and businesses. Not terribly demanding but at least it got him out his dead-end job in high street retail and it’s a ‘long term’ job, whatever that is these days.

    • manicbeancounter permalink
      November 22, 2016 10:45 pm

      It is great that your son has some sort of job. I holidayed near Girvan last year and realize that whilst there might be some prosperous parts of Ayr (there is a lovely new housing estate to the South of the town) there is much of the area that is run down. Girvan, to the south, is a town of hospitable and friendly Scottish folk, and would make a great retirement place if the climate were a tad more hospitable, but is hardly a boom town.
      But how many other jobs do wind farms provide? Take Caithness for instance, where my Mother comes from. My late uncle worked for about 30 years at the Dounreay 250 MW fast breader research reactor. Nuclear power was a boon for the local economy, particularly for Thurso where the population more than doubled. Not only that, by the 1990s Thurso could boast being the town with the highest proportion of graduates in the country.
      Since then we have the wind turbines. According to Caithness wind farms website, there are well over 200Mw of turbines in Caithness, 170Mw+ approved or under construction, along with much more approved or under construction offshore. http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/index.htm
      There are some jobs, especially in the construction phase. There is also some useful income for private individuals who build the odd turbine. But the general economy is in steep decline. Look at the rightmove website. Particularly hotels that can be bought for little more than the UK average house price, or 4-5 bungalows at around £200k. Wind turbines have not replaced nuclear power in terms of jobs.

  2. November 22, 2016 2:19 pm

    The saddest aspect this subsidising heavily and making the plant abroad is that our politicians and para-“scientists” keep crowing that the UK is a world-leader in wind power. We are the leading mugs of renewables as at least Germany and Denmark make them (to sell to us).

  3. November 22, 2016 2:37 pm

    The three big wind farms in Devon have all been sold on by the original developer. Selling on a wind farm to an unsuspecting or gullible buyer often occurs, particularly when there are big noise issues (e.g. those at Fullabrook Down, Cotton Farm and Batsworthy Cross).

  4. 1saveenergy permalink
    November 22, 2016 2:49 pm

    “There is no database that I am aware of, which lists ownership of onshore wind farms, but I suspect that many others are foreign owned.”

    Only the one held by ‘RenewablesUK’ & they wont divulge.
    lots of info at –
    http://www.variablepitch.co.uk/
    This website has details for 8,019 renewable energy stations
    ownership, outputs & much more,

    then it’s a long search to find the company that owns – the company that owns – the company that owns- the company that you are interested in…..tedious.

    • November 22, 2016 5:50 pm

      If you contact David Reid at VariablePitch he may be able to provide a link to the source of his data.

      There is a basic search facility at RenewablesUK which was more open to non-members a few months ago when I used it to collate information for our local wind farm campaign. The link I used then is now broken but the basic search can be found here:

      https://renewableuk.site-ym.com/page/UKWEDSearch

      It is tedious to use as each site needs clicking individually to see the details including operator.

      There doesn’t appear to be anything to prevent one signing up as a member in order to get access to the advanced search which may be more flexible.

    • Joe Public permalink
      November 22, 2016 7:00 pm

      Thanks for that link, 1stSE, it’s a mine of information.

      Particularly that it’s possible to sort/rank by average capacity factors (in a particular month).

  5. tom0mason permalink
    November 22, 2016 2:59 pm

    There is one sure way to break the economies of the West — destroy their electrical grid!
    One sure way to break a grid — put too much unsustainable, unreliable wind energy on it. Just look what it did to South Australia.

    The electrical power grid is one of Western civilization’s greatest assets. Without this vast, finely regulated, reliable communal resource all that is left are disparate communities reliant on local resources. Without a correctly functioning power grid, nations will crumble to chaos. Without reliable electrical power modern Western life ceases — no personal/national communication, no reliable food, water, gas supply, no heating, and only the very basics in medical resources; little or no personal, community, or national security.

    So why are we allowing our elites experiment with this essential part of our infrastructure? Why are we not questioning any and every argument that espouses we compromise the grids integrity? Experiments that are being done by foreign companies far from the people affected.

    These windfarms are an advert to ignorance by the gullible clowns that advocate them.

    • November 22, 2016 3:04 pm

      “So why are we allowing our elites experiment with this essential part of our infrastructure? Why are we not questioning any and every argument that espouses we compromise the grids integrity?” I have been opposing these changes to the grid integrity for about 10 years now, through a huge range of methods – consultations, HoL evidence, inquiries, my MP etc etc. Do you have any other suggestions to get the elite to see sense and reality?

      • tom0mason permalink
        November 22, 2016 3:18 pm

        Yes, you are quite correct we have to keep trying.
        That is part of a longer piece I wrote about 3 years ago and sent to some newspapers. Was it acknowledged? — no.
        I doubt that it was read.
        I will however endeavor to persist…

      • November 22, 2016 7:00 pm

        Yes! Don’t you have lawyers and courts of law? SUE THE BASTARDS!!!

    • Robin Guenier permalink
      November 22, 2016 10:43 pm

      This is utterly mad. As I’ve said many times – here and elsewhere – even if (a) these devices reduced GHG emissions and (b) such reduction was essential to “save the planet”, their deployment would be pointless. Why? Because a year ago, at a UN “summit” in Paris, nearly 200 countries signed an agreement that specifically exempted “developing” countries – responsible for over 65% of such emissions – from any obligation, legal or moral, to take action to reduce them. And, as two “developed” countries (Russia and Japan) have no intention of making such reductions either, essentially only North America and Western Europe (together responsible for only 25% of emissions) are left to do anything. And, given the inevitable growth in fossil fuel power throughout the rest of the world, even closing their economies down altogether would be insufficient to make a difference.

      LINK: https://ipccreport.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/cop-21-developing-countries-_-2.pdf

      If, as seems increasingly possible, the US were to abandon this nonsense, only Western Europe would be left – and Western Europe is only responsible for a (shrinking) 10% of emissions.

      • manicbeancounter permalink
        November 22, 2016 11:27 pm

        Robin
        The actual picture for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions is even worse than you make out. I looked at the total GHG emissions from the EDGAR dataset. Just over 100% of the growth in GHG emissions from 1990 to 2012 was from the developing countries that were from the specifically exempted “developing” countries.

        The IPCC AR5 Synthesis report SPM has a graphic SPM11(a) showing the “No Action” RCP8.5 emissions scenario and the RCP2.6 2C warming scenario. I have stuck on a large arrow to show the difference global mitigation policy will need to make. Problem is, that most of the future emissions growth will come for the exempted “developing” countries, which incidently have 80%+ of the world’s population. Even if the OECD and Russia eliminate all their GHG emissions, global emissions in 2100 will still be double what they are today.

      • 1saveenergy permalink
        November 23, 2016 12:20 am

        This is a red herring;
        you are assuming that climate change is caused by man-made CO2.
        Please feel free to show any actual scientific evidence of man-made global warming, & explain the definite mechanism that produces that unique effect.

        BUT…Do not include any –
        Computer model predictions.
        Theory’s that ignore the basic laws of physics & chemistry.
        News paper & TV claims.
        Quotations by politicians.
        Or any thing that contains the words
        – can, clearly, could, conjectured, considered, expected, may, might, perhaps, possibly, projected, robust, unprecedented
        – “Experts suggest…” “It has been said that …” “Research has shown…” “Science indicates …”
        “It can be argued…” “Scientists believe….” “A high level of certainty” “Models predict….” etc,

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        November 23, 2016 8:29 am

        “This is a red herring”

        I’m sorry 1saveenergy, but you’ve completely missed the point. Oppose the march of “renewable” energy by questioning the assumption that climate change is caused by man-made CO2 and you’ll get sucked into endless, tiresome, fruitless and often insulting argument. In contrast, present the argument – based on the facts to which I and manicbeancounter refer (thanks BTW) – that, whatever the science, the whole exercise is, in any case, utterly pointless and you’ll have your opponents floundering. Try it and see.

      • November 23, 2016 9:05 am

        1savenergy I agree with Robin. I recently presented our case against a local wind farm development at a public enquiry and it would have been pointless to stand up and argue the “science”. I believe this is why the GWPF take this line. Of course the earth will eventually refute the overall this nonsense, so we’ll just have to be patient. Even Trump is starting to take this line, I hope it is for similar reasons, if not…

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        November 23, 2016 10:04 am

        Robin, it is interesting (I read somewhere) that the UN legally defined China as being a ‘developing country’ and that this legal status cannot be overturned. Therefore, China remains a developing nation in perpetuity and can claim developing nation status and treaty offsets at will.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        November 23, 2016 5:01 pm

        Harry Passfield – “China remains a developing nation in perpetuity …”

        In effect that’s probably true. Copenhagen (COP-15) failed essentially because China, India etc. refused to accept emission constraint. The West (the US and EU) were determined they should do so at Paris – see the Ed Davey and John Kerry quotes in the article to which I provided a link above. But their efforts to insist on this were so feeble they were easily swept aside by China. Anxious to avoid another Copenhagen, the West weakly acquiesced. And now the Paris Agreement is set in stone as a treaty at international law – and, with it, China’s status as a developing country. I suppose China could unilaterally opt out of that status. But I don’t think that very likely.

        It’s completely absurd of course. Yet people go around extolling the virtues of the Paris Agreement and bleating how dreadful it would be if Trump’s US were to back out.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        November 23, 2016 8:45 pm

        manicbeancounter:

        The data you provided above is most interesting and useful. Thank you. However your reference to the Annex I / Annex II distinction is incorrect. The matter is determined by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change signed at Rio in 1992. Here’s the text: https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/conveng.pdf. Go to pages 23 and 24 – you’ll see Annex II is a subset of Annex I. The developing countries are not listed and are best described as “Non-Annex I countries”. Apologies for the nit pick – I’m a lawyer and cannot help it.

      • manicbeancounter permalink
        November 24, 2016 12:47 am

        Robin
        You are quite right. Annex II countries are the rich developed countries – the richer OECD countries. Annex I, but not Annex II are mostly former communist countries in Europe. In the 1990s they were transitioning. Curiously little Liechtenstein is included in this group as well. I will amend the graph sometime, but not tonight.😉

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        November 24, 2016 7:23 am

        manicbeancounter
        Yes – Annex II are the richer developed countries and Annex I all the developed countries. Thus the developing countries are best called Non-Annex I Countries. No rush about amending your otherwise excellent graph. Any possibility of data beyond 2012?

  6. AlecM permalink
    November 22, 2016 3:07 pm

    Falck Renewables, Chairman Lord Oxburgh who led the non-investigation into the CRU data tampering fraud.

    Subsidiary of Falck Gruppe of Milan, investigated a few years ago by the anti-Mafia police for their Calabria windmills, where the subsidy is for building, hence they do not operate. The proof is from airline pilots who can see these subsidy scams from the air.

  7. Dave Ward permalink
    November 22, 2016 3:16 pm

    “There is no database that I am aware of, which lists ownership of onshore wind farms”
    Paul – if you go to this page: http://www.ref.org.uk/generators/searchquery.php
    And select “Wind” & “On-shore Wind” in the appropriate boxes at the top RHD side you’ll get a multi-page list. Each column is clickable to further sort the list, with each entry having its own ID. These give (where known) details of developer, operator and owner. Assel Valley doesn’t appear, but that’s probably because it’s so new?

    • Joe Public permalink
      November 22, 2016 7:13 pm

      Thanks Dave.

      I went ‘up’ a page, and landed on their Renewable Generators page – the far-right column shows ROCs.

      At £44.33 each, this correlates with Paul’s “Sheringham Shoal” posting, the subsidy farms generating 2x as much revenue generating ROCs compared with generating electricity!

      http://www.ref.org.uk/generators/index.php

  8. Ian Innes permalink
    November 22, 2016 3:25 pm

    You would have to plough through these individually am afraid.

    http://www.thewindpower.net/windfarms_list_en.php?country=8

  9. November 22, 2016 5:54 pm

    Of possible related interest is the demise of the Endurance E3120 manufactured in Canada:

    http://www.windbyte.co.uk

    Apparently 900 of these operating around the UK – for the time being anyway.

  10. November 22, 2016 6:51 pm

    all

    FYI all the renewables stuff run by Ofgem is now in a “data warehouse”

    It is my (possibly flawed) interpretation that any electricity generator that has FIT accreditation has their output tabulated there ….

    It is tiresome to click and configure a query every time – rather then running a saved query … and some data appears to be obfuscated by the complex interface…

    It’d be useful if Ofgem expose a data API which allows query tuning….

  11. November 23, 2016 12:11 pm

    Phillip Bratby

    yup… I did that for a while…. a bit of perseverance pays dividends. I suspect that variablepitch either screen scrapes or has raw access to the database. The setup for running a query isn’t intuitive and is very fiddly / time consuming to do repeatedly.

    If the database schema is publicly available and “raw” access is available then some really insightful queries can be made.

    I doubt the intent is to obfuscate – it is simply a database implemented in a government computing environment.

    Given the comprehensiveness of the data I think it worth asking if public programmatic read only access is available – whereby some really “not a lot of people know that” stuff can be got hold of🙂

  12. Gerry, England permalink
    November 23, 2016 2:03 pm

    I don’t believe that many UK people are even involved in the construction of off-shore windmills. They bring their own crew. They spend a bit of money in the local economy but it hardly amounts to the gold rush the idiots claim.

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      November 23, 2016 4:22 pm

      Correction ..they are not idiots, they are canny business people.

      WE are the idiots for voting for the tw@s that ( for some nice kickbacks ) have let them take all our money.

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