Kevin Myers posts “Energy policy based on renewables will win hearts but won’t protect their owners from frostbite and death due to exposure”. He tells us that the early February cold and blizzard that swept across Europe resulted in the deaths of over three hundred people but it could have been worse. It seems that Gazprom the principle Russian natural gas supply company was not able to keep up with demand in Europe.
Myers asks: “Did anyone even think of deploying our wind turbines to make good the energy shortfall from Russia?” Which he answers:” Of course not. We all know that windmills are a self-indulgent and sanctimonious luxury whose purpose is to make us feel good. Had Europe genuinely depended on green energy on Friday, by Sunday thousands would be dead from frostbite and exposure, and the EU would have suffered an economic body blow to match that of Japan’s tsunami a year ago. No electricity means no water, no trams, no trains, no airports, no traffic lights, no phone systems, no sewerage, no factories, no service stations, no office lifts, no central heating and even no hospitals, once their generators run out of fuel.
Modern cities are incredibly fragile organisms, which tremble on the edge of disaster the entire time. During a severe blizzard, it is electricity alone that prevents a midwinter urban holocaust. We saw what adverse weather can do, when 15,000 people died in the heat wave that hit France in August 2003. But those deaths were spread over a month. Last weekend’s weather, without energy, could have caused many tens of thousands of deaths over a couple of days.
Why does the entire green spectrum, which now incorporates most conventional parties across Europe, deny the most obvious of truths? To play lethal games with our energy systems in order to honour the whimsical god of climate change is as intelligent and scientific as the Aztec sacrifice of their young. Actually, it is far more frivolous, because at least the Aztecs knew how many people they were sacrificing: no one has the least idea of the loss of life that might result from the EU embracing “green” energy policies.”
Myers uses Ireland as an example: “Wind power in Ireland actually produces only 22pc of its capacity: would you spend ¿100,000 on a car if it meant that ¿78,000 of the purchase price was wasted? It gets worse. On a really cold day, we actually need about 5,000 megawatts, but yesterday wind was producing under 50 megawatts: a grand total of 1pc of requirements. “
To read the whole of Myers’ posting, click here.
This is not untypical of wind farms. Basically windfarms are anathema to operators of the electrical grids that supply our electricity because they cannot depend on them being a source of power. Some times the wind blows and sometimes it doesn’t. Customers cannot accept an electrical supply system that is intermittent. See here, here, here, and here for more on the unreliability wind farms power.
Routinely temperatures in many parts of the US match or exceed those experienced in France during their August 2003 heat wave. Few deaths occur in these areas of the US due to the prevalence of Air Conditioning units. This is another example, echoing Myers, where our lives depend on a steady supply of electricity.
And what would this posting be without some comments by James Delingpole who weighed in on this topic as follows:
“Have a look at this debate between pro-renewables campaigner Jonathan Pyke and Mark Duchamp of the European Platform Against Wind Farms in The Earth Times and you’ll see what I mean:
Q: How accurate is the argument that wind turbines have to be ‘backed-up’ by alternative sources of power, eg nuclear or coal, due to the irregularity of wind?
Jonathan: It’s not accurate and I think it stems from a misunderstanding about what wind energy is for. It’s better to think of wind as the back-up for gas, allowing us to make much better use of our existing fossil fuel power plants than relying on gas alone. There’s no need to burn gas when the wind is blowing, which National Grid can predict extremely accurately. So comparing it to nuclear or coal is misleading because wind serves a different purpose; every time it blows there’s a substantial decrease in carbon emissions, volatile fossil fuel costs, water for cooling, manufacturing and pollution. The ‘back-up’ argument just isn’t valid.
R-i-g-h-t. So what you’re saying, Jonathan, is that the ONLY reason we’re carpeting some of the world’s most attractive wild countryside in horribly costly, economically inefficient, bird-liquidising, noise-polluting, view-blighting, rare-earth-metal-exploiting, property-debasing, horse-frightening, rent-seekers’ uber-horrors, is to save the odd tonne of CO2 emissions, as and when, despite the fact that the science increasingly suggests that the difference this will make to global climate will be so negligible as to be beyond measurement?
At first they said they would replace fossil fuel driven electrical generating plants, but as this has turned out badly for them they now want to convince us that what they really, really, really want to do is play the part of backup. Yikees, the windfarms were not economic as the primary units how on earth can they be anything but less economic as backup units and they will still be unreliable.
You can read the Delingpole’s article by clicking here.