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Wind Power Is No Use Today

November 30, 2019

By Paul Homewood





We are now entering a few days of cold, anti-cyclonic weather. According to the forecasts, it could be Thursday before wind conditions return.

Currently wind power is contributing little more than 4% of UK power, with fossil fuels supplying more than half.

It will be interesting to see how things progress in the next few days.

Heaven knows what we are all supposed to do when they have taken away out gas boilers!

  1. November 30, 2019 12:57 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  2. Pancho Plail permalink
    November 30, 2019 1:02 pm

    Of course, the media will focus on the lack of wind power and start to question the wisdom of scrapping fossil fuels – and that will be celebrated by a flyby of the RAF’s No1 Squadron of Gloucester Old Spots.

    • H Davis permalink
      November 30, 2019 8:02 pm

      And the Gloucester Old Spots will be burning some sort of bio-fuel I presume???

      • Mack permalink
        November 30, 2019 10:32 pm

        In God’s own country, the land of the flying haggis, it’s been a wee bit chilly for the past few days. When I got up this morning, Jack Frost had again left his mark on the lawns. Not a breath of wind brushed my cheeks as I skated down the hill to the village shop and surveyed the monstrous haggis choppers in the distance, slowly turning to prevent their bearings icing up – ‘taking it, not giving it’. Electricity wise, that is, although the phrase seems rather apt for most U.K. renewables looking at today’s outputs from the unreliable sector. Thank God for carbon neutral biomass is all I can say. (Do I really need to put a sarc tag on the end of that sentence?)

        Anyway, wishing to catch up on the news of the latest visitation of an emissary from the religion of peace in old London Town, I purchased the last paper on the shelf, The Times (Scottish edition, naturally). My usual tipple, The Morning Star, hadn’t turned up, delivery driver on strike apparently. It’s been a while since I purchased an edition of the paper and I must admit I hadn’t realised how far down the climate emergency drain their journalists had descended. Article after article foretelling climate gloom and doom with the unquestioning rigour one would expect from a wide eyed toddler not a representative of Fleet Street’s finest. Anyone would think that there was a major climate conference coming up.

        First out of the blocks was a piece screaming ‘Rising sea levels to submerge landmarks in 30 years, scientists warn’, by scientists they mean the kamikazes from ‘Climate Central, an independent organisation of leading scientists’. Not.

        Moving swiftly along we had a hilarious article entitled ‘Clogging biofuel leaves tractors and trucks stranded as cold hits’. Obviously, not hilarious for the poor farmers stranded by their fuel filters clogging in the cold, nor for the fact that I thought cold like snow was going to be a thing of the past in UK winters, but for this gem, ‘The Uk government requires diesel fuels to be blended with a minimum of 7 per cent biofuel. The regulation was brought in to encourage drivers to think more carefully about the environment (i.e. limiting diesel use). Biofuels are made from a range of materials such as oil, fat and grease waste…however, when biofuel is cooled below a certain point some of the molecules aggregate…as temperatures drop further, biodiesel gels and solidifies which prevents it from passing through engine filters,’ leading to filters being damaged and having to be replaced. The NFU in Scotland has had more than 380 reports of failing machinery in the recent cold snap. Where’s all this bloody global warming when you need it, heh?

        Moving swiftly on, and skipping over a quick obituary of Npower biting the dust because it can’t make any money in the upside down new energy Wild West, and the ‘Clean Air for All’ section, celebrating how landlords and landowners will be ‘forced’ to reveal if their poperties linger under clouds of ‘high pollution’, there was a double whammy of ‘be careful what you wish for’ articles. The first was entitled ‘Deer in crosshairs of conservationists’. Poor old Bambi. Yup, for many years conservationists were devoting their energies to protecting deer from being shot by all those awful posh people. Since when, deer numbers in Scotland have more than doubled and they have been merrily chomping their way through newly planted woodlands and ancient peatlands causing carnage to native habitat restoration. Who new? This article sat aside a little mention of another boo boo by our environmental custodians, the seriously inept Scottish Natural Heritage. The title of the piece says it all, ‘Green Group says sorry for killing trees’.

        Last, but not least, there was a great little hit piece on Boris Johnson for failing to appear in the Ch 4 tv debate on climate change. No lesser mortal than the great oracle himself, Sir David Attenborough, was quoted stating that the Prime Minister’s non-appearance was ‘shameful’ because ‘in 70 years time the world would be facing civil unrest and mass migration as large areas became uninhabitable’. Obviously, that would be Boris’ fault.

        I don’t know about the ‘climate crisis’ but there is certainly a crisis in the journalistic credibility of The Times.

      • Pancho Plail permalink
        November 30, 2019 10:40 pm

        Pig-swill or whatever the modern equivalent is.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        December 1, 2019 1:15 am

        Much more entertaining than reading the original, Mack. Perhaps you should submit your piece to the Editor?

      • Gerry, England permalink
        December 1, 2019 11:08 am

        What is Attenbollox on about – 70 years? I thought we had 18 months to save the world, or was it 12 years, or, or…..

        Back in an earlier life I designed road sweepers and it was not uncommon for the build spec to include a heated fuel filter or even heated fuel lines to prevent waxing of the diesel in cold weather.

  3. Pancho Plail permalink
    November 30, 2019 1:05 pm

    More seriously, I hope it will make people think more carefully about the ability of electricity storage schemes to ensure continuity of supply for up to a week.

  4. November 30, 2019 1:30 pm

    No need to panic. The BBC has investigated all this green power and we are guaranteed a reliable electricity supply based on green energy coupled with lots of new technology. No mention was made of the costs though.

    One wonders how the BBC manages to employ so many people who go out and make these programmes, who do not understand what they are talking about, who believe everything they are told and who never ask the obvious questions.

    • November 30, 2019 2:29 pm

      Is that true, or did you hear it from the BBC ?

    • Dave Ward permalink
      November 30, 2019 3:52 pm

      “No mention was made of the costs though”

      It doesn’t matter what the cost – there is simply NO WAY, either now (or in the foreseeable future), that “green energy coupled with lots of new technology” will keep the lights on.

      We can but hope that BBC studios are first on the rota to be cut off when supply doesn’t meet demand…

      • November 30, 2019 8:00 pm

        Don’t be silly. They’ll have plenty of standby diesel generators in their basement.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 1, 2019 2:11 am

      I note this has been put out while the final E3C report into the August blackout remains unpublished due to the election. A case of getting retaliation in first, I suspect.

    • John of Cloverdale, WA permalink
      December 1, 2019 10:02 am

      Why Australian Labor lost the “unlosable election”. This video was before polling day when Labor said it doesn’t matter what the cost. Get ready for a big laugh.

  5. November 30, 2019 1:32 pm

    “Heaven knows what we are all supposed to do when they have taken away out [our] gas boilers!” Get yourself an oil-fired boiler, a wood burner and a generator – simples.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      November 30, 2019 3:11 pm

      Gove is already coming for your wood-burner.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        November 30, 2019 10:37 pm

        Gove is insane.

      • bobn permalink
        December 1, 2019 1:23 am

        I have 2 wood burners heating the house at the moment and in 2 weeks receive a wood fired kitchen stove (aga style). So getting set for the coming blackouts but worried about the supply of fuel for my chainsaws. Thinking of getting a wood fired Still so i can refine the alcohol i produce (mastered that part) into machinery fuel.

  6. fretslider permalink
    November 30, 2019 1:35 pm

    “Heaven knows what we are all supposed to do when they have taken away out gas boilers”

    In the glorious USE (United Socialist Earth) we’ll all be equally miserable, cold, hungry and in the dark

    • H Davis permalink
      November 30, 2019 8:04 pm

      Not all will be equally miserable, cold, hungry and in the dark. I’m sure you know that in the new USE some of us are MORE equal than others.

      • Saighdear permalink
        November 30, 2019 8:40 pm

        hmm so am I LESS More equal than others? – we cannot get piped gas, bottled gas is too dear – so we go out into the woods and gather up broken & Dead trees – much to the annoyance of local greeny Foresters – we need to leave them for the Birdz n Beez to live off- for a varied ecology !! I’d rather stay warm and look ot at a tidy Forestry plantation. IF we should have a drought + Forest fire, there should be LESS Impact my way in the tidy forest.

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      November 30, 2019 10:47 pm

      Well in my stately home we will just throw another serf on the fire.

  7. November 30, 2019 1:37 pm

    Will the lights go off in January when we tend to see peak electricity demand?

    And we just replaced our old gas boiler, perhaps Jeremy would like to refund me?

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 1, 2019 1:35 am

      They are scrambling to get the next French connection up and running for an extra 1GW (IFA2). With the benefit of the carbon floor price ensuring that our wholesale prices are above French and Dutch ones for now, they hope to scrape through. They are being much more cautious about gas in storage, so hoping to have enough to keep CCGT running.

  8. roger permalink
    November 30, 2019 1:41 pm

    it would appear that up here in the magical uplands of Scotland, ten years of SNP rule and unintelligible incantations and utterings by the fishwife, perpetual motion has been discovered, sufficient for fifty percent of the turbines that sully my views to be turning despite the complete absence of wind.
    A manifestation of sustainable energy enough to gladden even Greta’s surly heart.
    Scotland leading the world – into the abyss.

  9. Gamecock permalink
    November 30, 2019 2:21 pm

    ‘Heaven knows what we are all supposed to do when they have taken away out gas boilers!’

    “NO!, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”

  10. November 30, 2019 2:23 pm

    Friday night

    • Gerry, England permalink
      December 1, 2019 11:16 am

      And don’t forget that the Dutch connection is for more coal power at presumably a higher cost than if we produced it ourselves.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        December 2, 2019 12:30 am

        I think the Dutch coal stations have a competitive advantage. Maasvlakte can take the biggest carriers which means cheap freight, and the coal is discharged immediately into the power station coal yard, so there are no extra handling costs or inland freight trains. MPP3, the main power station feeding BritNed next door to it, was completed only in 2016, and thus operates at modern efficiencies (47%, which is a vast improvement on UK coal power stations). Then of course, it doesn’t pay the UK’s carbon floor price tax, which makes it very competitive. Coal is currently about 60 $/tonne CIF Rotterdam for 6,000kcal/kg quality, which gives a fuel cost for electricity of $18.23/MWh, to which must be added EU ETS, and other operating and financing costs. It’s seriously cheap. But the Dutch government have promised to close it by 2030. Of course, there is the cost of the interconnector itself, and the losses in transmission. Of course the alternative is to sell their output locally. If you look at the chart here

        you will see that Treasure Island consistently has higher wholesale prices, down to the carbon floor price, so we are the preferred market, perhaps with the exception of peak local rush hour. Statistically we get to claim it’s carbon free, because it’s on Dutch (reclaimed) soil.

  11. November 30, 2019 2:26 pm


    • Saighdear permalink
      November 30, 2019 8:01 pm

      DON’t FIX them ….. it’s a throwaway Society! throw them out. They are NOT made of plastic AND they are recyclable ( hopefully the recycled / upcycled version is of better quality!)

  12. jack broughton permalink
    November 30, 2019 2:29 pm

    Sorry to be pedantic, but the last column in the current summary is MWh not MW.
    I find battery claims usually mix the two up .

    Irrespective, windmills are no use without winds, as the victorians found!

    Do the simple engine back-up units provide data for what they have to provide to back-up the wind failures, I note that the OCGTs have been used.

  13. November 30, 2019 2:32 pm

    The PR war continues @BritishQuakers tweeted 22h ago
    We are proud to be co-signatories of this letter in @thetimes
    , calling for #climatejustice for people worst affected by the #climatecrisis.
    We hope to see a breakthrough on climate-disaster debt relief come about at the #COP25 negotiations

    On Friday The Times frontpage strap said
    ” Climate Action now
    The Times Christmas Charity appeal pg 24-25″
    ..cos they chose 3 charities & that day they chose to do na promo for “Possible” a charity that sends Solar panel arrays to villages like Balcombe, the place which was beseiged by anti-frackers even though there was no fracking.
    Deep within the editorial on pg 39
    “*Possible under its old name 10:10*”

  14. November 30, 2019 2:42 pm

    After 2 years the Times #dieselsRpaedos campaign mentions the particulates on the tube network
    which I think are iron dust.
    The problem with raw counts, is that it does depend what the particles are.
    “The London Underground is the dirtiest metro in the world with levels of pollution up to 15 times higher than at street level.
    A study found that some deep-level Tube lines had a far higher concentration of fine particles than networks in Beijing, Los Angeles, New York, Seoul, Sydney and Barcelona

    .. Yes well modern metros have been built with lower dust
    eg by using rubber tires, and stronger extraction fans.

    • November 30, 2019 2:53 pm

      Their metric was PM2.5
      and the stats are thrown out by the older underground networks
      like the Northern Line … and the Victoria which is double again
      6 lines they quote have figures lower than street level.

      As ever the only thing that counts is the particulates that reach your lungs.
      Not the reading in the worst corner of a station.

      • Dave Ward permalink
        November 30, 2019 3:57 pm

        I believe that there are also significant levels of Ozone present, due to the sparks from motor brushes and control gear.

  15. November 30, 2019 3:00 pm

    #1 BBC News – Bristol council adds diesel vans to fleet despite plan to ban ALL even the cleanest diesel cars from city centre.

    #2 BBC News – Bristol diesel ban: Council halts £6m new van rollout
    Marvin Rees makes hand brake u turn on vans.

  16. Ian Wilson permalink
    November 30, 2019 4:09 pm

    Wasn’t the Channel 4 debate utterly depressing? Five party leaders trying to outdo each other about how much of our taxes they will waste on a non-problem. Not once (unless it was while I was nodding off) did I hear the host ask for evidence of a climate emergency. Even the supposed ‘experts’ parroted the party line.

    The only mitigation was that we were spared Michael Gove whom it seems the Conservatives wanted to represent them. Sometimes the Party seems to have an electoral death wish.

  17. Robert Christopher permalink
    November 30, 2019 5:14 pm

    O/T – but a vision of things to come if the Climate Crisis Myth continues (H/T:
    New York Feud Over Gas Hurtles Toward a Utility’s Expulsion

  18. Robert Christopher permalink
    November 30, 2019 5:25 pm

    Another O/T – but showing the Chinese have politicians that have their heads screwed on correctly (Another H/T:

    Premier Li Keqiang has re-emphasised coal as China’s primary source of energy security, and toned down the urgency of the low-carbon transition

  19. LeedsChris permalink
    November 30, 2019 6:42 pm

    The other point is that on each and EVERY day of the year it is gas powered generating stations that provide the ‘heavy lifting’.. It is only by burning gas that means we can meet the morning and daytime demand peaks. Earlier this morning we were also importing about 11% of our electricity, solar was nil and wind about 5%….This despite the billions it has cost so far and the billions more we are pouring into renewables.

  20. November 30, 2019 6:48 pm


    Down here on the sunny south coast I keep a weather diary and the number of dull days during november, the number of no wind days and the number of windless AND no sun days is astonishingly high so no power of any sort could have been generated. I would say there have been a couple of days sunny or bright enough to generate a little solar power and a dozen days of breezy or breezy at times days.

    so all in all it would have been a miserable month for power generation and in general its been pretty chilly, so just the time when you need some heat and light.

    Never mind, with these super duper heat [umps Jeremy will be fitting to all our houses there will be enough cheap power for all. Just hope the 2 billion new trees don’t get in the way of the wind turbines.

  21. Thomas Carr permalink
    November 30, 2019 7:25 pm

    Thus far in Comments the better informed have not produced or seen the stats. for the installed generating capacity of existing wind farms and those known to be commissioned in the next 18 months or so. Can we be told what % of the installed/prospective capacity the wind farms are delivering as a sub set of the data at the top of this column?
    I guess that we are all sick of being told that a wind farm shortly to come on line has the capacity to power X0,000 homes when it is never likely achieve this on a dependable basis.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 1, 2019 2:02 am

      BEIS told me the following about the recent CFD round:

      the figures for expected energy production in homes powered were calculated based on the capacity of projects that secured a Contract for Difference (CfD) in Allocation Round 3 (AR3), BEIS estimates of technology-specific load factors, which were published in Table J of the AR3 Standard Terms Notice (enclosed, see the ‘derivation of values’ table at the end of the document) and data for mean electricity consumption per household of 3,900kWh per annum published in National Energy Efficiency Data-framework report: The figures also take into account the assumed Transmission Loss Multiplier (TLM), published in Table N of the CfD Standard Terms Notice (included in calculations by multiplying by (1- TLM)). These are BEIS’s own estimates.

      Offshore and Remote Island Wind load factors estimated for specific known projects in the pipeline using BEIS internal models generating power curves (the relationship between the power output of a turbine based on its size, and wind speed , and combined with site-specific wind speed distribution data from the Met Office (central values from the range across projects have been used).

      Table J: Assumed Load Factor
      Advanced Conversion Technology…83.2%
      Anaerobic Digestion (>5MW)…79.1%
      Dedicated Biomass with CHP…80.3%
      Offshore Wind…56.3%
      Remote Island Wind (>5MW)…43.3%
      Tidal Stream…35.0%

      Of course, it will be different next time – and it’s all assumptions, several of dubious quality. There is no requirement for wind farm ventures to use a standard definition in their communication with the public. OFGEM keep revising their data on average consumption used in assessing bills – trying to drop it to pretend that bills are falling.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 1, 2019 2:25 am

      REF have data on existing wind farms (and indeed other renewables if you remove the filter) that they update periodically

    • In The Real World permalink
      December 1, 2019 12:29 pm

      Overall generation from renewables in the UK runs at 23% of capacity .
      But the poor return from Solar probably means that wind has a slightly better figure by itself .
      But another factor is the sheer cost .Even ignoring the fact that renewables need 100% backup by conventional generation , onshore wind costs 6 times as much as gas powered turbines , & offshore wind is about 16 times the cost .
      Link to UK figures .

  22. swan101 permalink
    November 30, 2019 7:25 pm

    Obvious to everyone except those who are imposing our current energy policy and those guilty of wilful blindness over wind power. Check out the WHO latest Noise Guidelines where the impact of infra-sound from Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) has at last been acknowledged. Thousands are being harmed around the world and in the UK. Show me the politician or government official who would knowingly subject him/herself and their families to the clear risks involved with living in close proximity to ever larger turbines. Watch the reaction of developers when asked to indemnify all near neighbours to their developments against any future harm to their health….but make sure you are not trampled in the rush for the exit!

  23. swan101 permalink
    November 30, 2019 7:30 pm

    Reblogged this on ECO-ENERGY DATABASE and commented:
    Paul’s findings obvious to everyone except those who are imposing our current energy policy and those guilty of wilful blindness over wind power. Check out the WHO latest Noise Guidelines where the impact of infra-sound from Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) has at last been acknowledged. Thousands are being harmed around the world and in the UK. Show me the politician or government official who would knowingly subject him/herself and their families to the clear risks involved with living in close proximity to ever larger turbines. Watch the reaction of developers when asked to indemnify all near neighbours to their developments against any future harm to their health….but make sure you are not trampled in the rush for the exit!

  24. Saighdear permalink
    November 30, 2019 8:03 pm

    DIE !!! ..wold be the answer to. “Heaven knows what we are all supposed to do when they have taken away out gas boilers! ” if you believe these stupid Xtremists

    • December 1, 2019 8:58 am

      Just vote whoever orders it out of office.

  25. Jongo permalink
    December 1, 2019 2:05 am

    Off Topic – Ozone Holes revisited

    The attached paper on the Antarctic ozone depletion and its cause(s) being primarily related to eruptions from Mt Erebus illustrates the serious negative effects media driven political hysteria can have, and is still having, on our culture. It is by Russian scientists and dated 2015 and I cannot recall it ever being mentioned in any media. (The Abstract covers the issue well for us laymen)

    This cause was proposed many years ago by a New Zealand based private weather forecaster whose name now unfortunately escapes me.

    I raise it now because a politician here in Oz has recently boasted ‘… we fixed the Ozone Hole…’ by making legislating forcing removal of CFC’s from refrigerators, presumably.

    It serves as a warning of what will inevitably happen when the current media-driven climate change hysteria finally reaches its’ denouement. The usual suspects will then claim similarly that the wholly unnecessary expenditures of public monies they have gleefully engaged in have ‘fixed’ the problem.

    No doubt by then the real reason for their change of emphasis will be some other new hysteria dreamt up by a new crop of Marxist inspired ‘journalists’ in order to have an easy daily story which the pollies can then use to distract voters attention.

    • dave permalink
      December 1, 2019 11:52 am

      I had never heard that Mount Erebus was producing so much SO2 and HCl that it could be at least partly responsible for the Ozone Hole. There is quite a lot of continuing interest in the permanent lava lake at its summit, although the on-site observatory has recently closed.

      So far as I can see from satellite data, the outgassing continues; but, indeed, nobody is connecting this with ozone in the stratosphere.

      I have been a little puzzled by the “slow” recovery of the Ozone Hole. Perhaps the answer does lie in a partial misattribution of the hole to CFCs.

      All very confusing.

  26. dave permalink
    December 1, 2019 9:32 am

    This, concerning SpaceX, is interesting.

  27. December 2, 2019 12:47 am

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

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