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BBC Weather World’s Advert For Wind Power

December 23, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t stewgreen





You would be entitled to think that the BBC’s Weather World programme might concern itself with weather. But this is the BBC we are talking about !

In this special Christmas edition, they have decided to start the programme with a slavishly fawning segment on the Whitelee Wind Farm near Glasgow.

(I probably don’t need to add that the introduction to the other items on the programme talks about “floods that rage with almost unbelievable force”, “cyclones that transform a coastal paradise into piles of rubble” and “ amid warnings of climate catastrophe to come, wildfires that reach new scales of size and devastation”. Later on they even show David Attenborough’s preposterous “We’re all going to die” speech at Katowice)

The Whitelee piece begins with a mention of “cleaner, greener renewable power”, so we are left without any doubt about the lack of objectivity that will follow.

When this segment is filmed, it is a windy day, allowing Whitelee’s site manager to brag that it was generating enough to supply 300,000 homes. It did not occur to the presenters to ask him what these 300,000 homes are supposed to do when it is not such a windy day.


There are many other things that the BBC omitted too.

Colin Megson takes up the story on the Scotland Against Spin Facebook page:

Dear BBC News 24 Editor,

Tonight at 9:30 pm, you will be presenting Weather World from Whitelee Windfarm, proclaiming a performance of supplying electricity to 300,000 homes.

To leave viewers with this impression will be a travesty of news reality, which may be unparalleled in BBC peace-time broadcasting.

Since 2010, Whitelee has been paid a total of £96 million to shut down – not generate electricity.

Throughout 2017 and continuing into 2018, Whitelee has only generated enough electricity to power, on average, 166,000 homes; that’s a reduction of 45% on the figure you will state as fact.

Without question, the BBC wholeheartedly support technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all platforms. You would probably concur with the reduction of GHGs being ‘the name of the game’.

Would you please take into account the following factors regarding the construction, of Whitelee Windfarm:

850,000 m³ of ancient [6,000 to 9,000 years old] blanket peat bog were excavated and spread about, releasing enormous quantities of methane gas.

Methane has 30X the potency of CO2 as a damaging GHG.

2,250,000 [9 km²] non-native conifers were removed.

3 km² of spruce trees were removed.

40,000 m³ of concrete was needed.

2,500,000 tonne of stone was quarried.

Whitelee has a lifespan of 25 years at the most. Being paid to shut down and operating as it does, it would not be unreasonable to say that Whitelee Windfarm would not pay back its carbon-dept if it operated for 100 years.

This completely negates its raison d’être – cutting GHG emissions. It makes a mockery of ‘green investment’. It may well make a mockery of your presentation too, if you do not make these facts known to your followers.

Kind regards,


And as Colin’s own website, Idiocy of Renewables shows, the output from Whitelee is extremely erratic: 


Whitelee apparently extends over about 10 miles. If this sort of environmental destruction of wild areas occurred for any other purpose, there would rightfully be loud objections, not least from the BBC itself.

As well as the issues raised by Colin, I would also point out that the BBC forgot to mention how much subsidies are paid to Whitelee.

For every unit of electricity generated, they receive Renewable Energy Certificates (ROCs) worth £47.22/MWh, on top of the market value of the power itself. According to their website, Whitelee produces 1.27 TWh a year on average, meaning that subsidies amount to £60m each year. Not a bad return for a scheme that cost £300m to build.

And who benefits?

Whitelee is ultimately owned by Iberdrola, the Spanish energy company, whilst Siemens and Alstom supplied the turbines. In return, the UK is stuck with high electricity prices and environmental devastation.


Cheapest form of energy?

The Whitelee segment finishes with two utterly fake claims:

1) The girlie presenter, in conversation with Mark Gailey of Scottish Power Renewables, the owner of Whitelee, baldly states:

“Already about 30% of the UK’s power is produced by wind energy”

The real figure is 15%.

Gailey then tells us that “onshore wind is the cheapest form of energy, of course”, without any hint of a challenge from girlie.


Another complaint to the BBC? Well, it is Christmas!

  1. Arturo permalink
    December 23, 2018 11:52 am

    Well done to Colin (and Paul) for highlighting yet another example of reporting bias at the BBC.

  2. Ben Vorlich permalink
    December 23, 2018 11:52 am

    Whitelees is a favourite go to for the BBC, it’s almost as if BBC Scotland has been taken on as an advertising agency. Earlier this year i had the misfortune to listen to a piece which extolled the visitor centre as a great day out for the family.

  3. Harry Passfield permalink
    December 23, 2018 11:56 am

    If they paid me £12M a year I’d be very to not provide any electrical energy.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 23, 2018 3:43 pm

      The £12m is because it has not been economic to invest in additional transmission capacity to route their power output to areas where there is demand. Transmission is of course one of those added bills that is never factored into the cost of windfarms, as it is simply allocated to consumer bills pro rata. Grid costs have doubled to deal with renewables, and will rise sharply as penetration of renewable generation increases. Included too should be the expensive subsea links that are supposed to allow surplus wind to be exported to other markets, and provide some sort of alternative when the wind isn’t blowing.

  4. Jon Scott permalink
    December 23, 2018 12:03 pm

    Lying is totally acceptable in the brave new world of the climate zealots for whom the PCBBC are flag wavers. I would recommend everyone to spend 5 minutes writing to your MP demanding questioning be asked in the Houses of Parliament regarding the bizarre state of affairs and lack of impartiality in the ever so left wing BBC.

  5. December 23, 2018 12:22 pm

    The couple pictured looked rather miserable.

  6. Henning Nielsen permalink
    December 23, 2018 12:27 pm

    “To leave viewers with this impression will be a travesty of news reality, which may be unparalleled in BBC peace-time broadcasting.”

    But it is not peacetime. It is climate war, planet-saving war. Truth is neither to be expected nor encouraged.

  7. Colin Megson permalink
    December 23, 2018 12:27 pm

    Thanks for the mention, Paul.

    The 1.27 TWh per annum average mentioned on Whitelee’s website works back to the 27% capacity factor also mentioned. But you can see from the graph that they were heading for 15% throughout 2017.

    There’s got to be some element of contravening the trade descriptions act here. But the duplicity of renewables’ lobbyists and NGOs has been there, and has remained undiminished, for decades.

  8. December 23, 2018 12:37 pm

    Please, please, please could journalists stop using “number of homes serviced” to indicate capacity. The figure is KwattHrs. but of course if the “homes serviced” figure is challenged it would lead to a lot of complicated explanations which would be boring on the box; so I suppose letting it ride is the lazy option.

    However this “number of homes” concept is little more than a trick to confuse the reality of intermittent power problems. The calculation of this conceptual figure is shrouded in mystery; but I suspect hops around the difficulties in the interests of convenience and propaganda support.

    Are there any journalists willing to take up this challenge. They would need to do their homework of course; but it could lead to an interesting article revealing the truths of the matter.
    Hint: A good question to ask is: “ 300000 homes you say. So how many homes when the wind doesn’t blow?”. A bit of embarrassment on the box is good entertainment.

    I suspect I will be waiting in vain.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      December 23, 2018 12:56 pm

      It’s not that mysterious, it’s based on the official average amount of electricity a house uses, which of course excludes heating mostly – gas being the largest household energy usage.

      Also ignores industry/commerce/transport…………

      So it’s a few domestic light bulbs and sundry white goods!

      It’s deliberately misleading.

      • December 23, 2018 2:44 pm

        Ah yes; but is it Kwatts or KwattHrs.? and what is the figure? And does it relate to labelled capacity or actual output? It is only mysterious for those who do not bother to work it out which is the vast proportion of the population. And that is why it is being used to confuse.
        Yes deliberately misleading as you point out.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        December 23, 2018 3:34 pm

        The official amount of electricity used per household is a moveable feast, reassessed using somewhat suspect methodologies at frequent intervals, and also differs across the geography. In Scotland, because it is colder and darker in winter, consumption is higher than in SW England.

        Far better to stick to kWh, MWh, GWh and TWh.

      • Colin Megson permalink
        December 23, 2018 7:26 pm

        “…Calculated using the most recent statistics from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) showing that annual UK average domestic household consumption is 3,781kWh…”:

    • Lezz permalink
      December 23, 2018 3:48 pm

      I hope that Christopher Booker picks up the baton.
      Hopefully the Sunday Telegraph will one day give Christopher’s section more prominence (ie. not relegated to the back page of the ‘Sunday’ section). Its the first page I go to each week.

      • George Lawson permalink
        December 23, 2018 5:07 pm

        It’s the first page I go to too. Without the Booker column I would cancel my Sunday Telegraph. They have insulted a brilliant writer who is not afraid to speak the truth by relegating his column to the back page of the magazine section.

    • Colin Megson permalink
      December 23, 2018 7:22 pm

      There is a figure quoted by BEIS in kWh per annum and it does change from time to time – unlike websites using the ‘homes’ figure. You can find the current figure on the renewbleUK website.

    • December 26, 2018 2:34 pm

      “Homes served” is a PR trick ,
      When there is a town of 20,000 homes and the local windfarm claims an output of 20,000 homes
      do you think that region has it’s electricity supply covered ?

      NOPE cos most UK electricity is used OUTSIDE the home
      .. in commerce/industry/gov/charity/education etc.
      To power that lot the “homes served” has to be 80,000 homes and to power the whole UK 100 million or something
      and the actual capacity has to be bigger than that cos the demand doesn’t come evenly through the day/year , but has big peaks like on a winter’s morning.

  9. Bidefordcamel permalink
    December 23, 2018 1:15 pm

    This unbridled enthusiasm of the BBC to shamelessly promote renewable energy is symptomatic of its alignment with left wing, World Government agenda politics, masquerading as environmentalism. Another point that could have been made is why such mind boggling subsidies have resulted in such high energy costs for our economy.

  10. December 23, 2018 1:53 pm

    The Whitelee Wind Farm is the biggest ever man-made environmental disaster in the UK.

    However, it is strange that the BBC considers The Donald’s golf course to be an environmental disaster.

  11. December 23, 2018 1:58 pm

    Visitors can use their own energy weaving around the 215 turbines as there are ‘more than 130 kilometres of trails to explore’ at ‘the UK’s largest onshore windfarm’. What fun :/

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 23, 2018 3:48 pm

      Beware flying turbine blades. Or perhaps the trail is only open when it isn’t windy.

  12. Margaret Tregear permalink
    December 23, 2018 2:19 pm

    Similarly in its latest report on the national scandal that is the Hendy Wind Farm construction the BBC repeat the statement, “Hendy Wind Farm Ltd said all it had done so far was deliver machinery and carry out pre-commencement surveys.” Yet videos and pictures taken in the last few days show that the pad for the first turbine is almost complete! Clearly the developer’s statement is untrue – yet the BBC have accepted it. Consequently this huge wind farm, on the beautiful Llandegley Rhos Common in mid-Wales, races ahead, entirely unlawfully – racing to beat the expiry of the ROC subsidy deadline on 31st January 2019 (with the support of Powys County Council, who have a vested financial interest in the farm, who say that it is ‘expedient’ for them not to enforce planning law)!

  13. Bitter@twisted permalink
    December 23, 2018 3:12 pm

    What else can you expect from the Biased Bull$hit Cartel?🤢🤮

  14. December 23, 2018 3:24 pm

    Possibly ‘Witless’ would be a better name for this travesty. A vigorous complaint would be very much in order!

  15. It doesn't add up... permalink
    December 23, 2018 3:51 pm

    Was this programme co-sponsored by the Extinction Rebellion? Or are they just droning on…?

  16. Jret permalink
    December 23, 2018 5:40 pm

    It would be interesting to know what the damage to the local bird and bat population has been. Is this monitored?

  17. John F. Hultquist permalink
    December 23, 2018 5:42 pm

    Waaay over here in the left coast State of Washington we have a nuclear facility that runs (mostly) 24/7 with an output of 1,200 MW.
    I’ve linked to the chart previously, pointing out the intermittent wind (green line). Today, note the purple line across the lower part of the chart.

    A proper comparison of wind and/or solar ought to be something such as our
    Columbia Generating Station.

    The Columbia Generating Station nuclear facility is the third largest electricity generator in Washington, behind Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams. Its 1,207 gross megawatts can power the city of Seattle, and is equivalent to about 10 percent of the electricity generated in Washington and 4 percent of all electricity used in the Pacific Northwest.

  18. Rudolph Hucker permalink
    December 23, 2018 6:54 pm

    I am so confident the Government and the BBCs ongoing push for more and more wind turbines and solar panels will insure our power needs, I am making preparations to install a generator to power the whole house and outbuildings.

  19. Thomas Carr permalink
    December 23, 2018 8:34 pm

    And see Julie Birchill’s column on page 18 in today’s Sunday Telegraph re a smug BBC.

  20. Philip Butterfield permalink
    December 23, 2018 10:23 pm

    Why not put in a complaint to Ofcom? They have responsibilities under their broadcasting license and are clearly breaching them.

  21. Gamecock permalink
    December 24, 2018 12:45 am

    ‘it was generating enough to supply 300,000 homes’

    Work equivalents is not actual work. I’d ask them which homes were being supplied. Name some, dammit.

  22. December 24, 2018 11:37 am

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

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