Why more wind power won’t work: the killer periods with low wind

Cats are invited to view the Beta version of More Wind Power, Higher Electricity Prices, More Blackouts (and minimal reduction of emissions).

Work is required on subtitles, also pace of delivery and a few other things. Still the message is there with the numbers, without the distraction of science and politics to confuse and infuriate people.

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27 Responses to Why more wind power won’t work: the killer periods with low wind

  1. stackja

    Sydney strong wind created havoc. Turbines will create blackouts.

  2. Ubique

    Demand and its peaks not displayed on the graph yet.

  3. John Constantine

    The pollutant that windmills are designed to deal with is the pollutant that is the free folk of first world western industrial civilisation.
    The Tyrants of the world are bribing the Homo Davos Class of the West to deindustrialise and decivilise the free peoples because of the existential threat freedom poses to totalitarianism.

    De-electrification of western industrial settlements and imposing of windmill powered socialist bespoke compliance, dobbing, monitoring and bollard painting services is exactly the plan of the Tyrants and Juntas looting cartels.

    Not only do the traitor Class of the West blow up their own infrastructure, but they tax the proles of the West to buy the dynamite.

    And the medals to pin on the traitors chests for their unswerving craven treachery.


  4. flyingduk

    Content is good Rafe, but your writing has more gravitas than your direct to camera presence. I think it would have more impact with a more fluid presenter.

  5. RobK

    Good effort Rafe. A bit of background noise but good content, i thought. Demand graph display, as noted above needs to show peak. There are of course many other reasons why RE forcing is a bad idea but I think you are wise to keep it simple.

  6. DaveR

    Or the killer period with medium wind when the wind farm starts to compromise the grid 50Hz frequency stability.

    Or the killer period with high wind when the wind farm can no longer operate safely and has to be disconnected causing a sharp supply drop and all the different stability issues concerned with that.

    Quasi-religious madness.

  7. md

    I don’t want to be seen to be endorsing in any way the Left’s carbon dioxide scare (global regulation is needed to fix a global problem, Comrades) or the utterly absurd anti-Western, and particularly anti-American, ‘renewables’ scam (the renewables scam is actually an anti-mining, anti-capitalism agenda that has its genesis in the anti-Americanism of the 1970s, when American mining companies were omnipresent – there is an undercurrent of anti-Americanism in all of the Left’s agenda) but I would like to draw attention to an alternative to the expensive, uneconomic battery and pumped hydro schemes that are being tossed around. For a fraction of the cost of batteries and pumped hydro, dozens of these energy storage systems could be built, and what’s more they could be built on sites adjoining wind and solar ‘money pits’, thus obviating the need for additional transmission infrastructure:

    Stacking concrete blocks is a surprisingly efficient way to store energy.
    Energy Vault

    But, again, let me emphasise that I don’t want to be seen to be endorsing the Left’s anti-industrial agenda. Yes, the energy vault is a clever idea, but it still doesn’t make ‘renewables’ stack up (no pun intended) against cheap thermal base-load power.

    And let’s never forget the risks inherent in lithium-based batteries. For example:
    Would you want one mounted on the wall of your house?

  8. RobK

    Stacking concrete blocks is not a practial solution. The density of concrete is only about 2.4 times that of water. Lifting concrete on pulley blocks with a crane has losses and wear, wind and weather issues, volume issues. A non-runner in my book.

  9. BoyfromTottenham

    Rafe, I hope you mention that the WHO has just advised that infrasound from wind turbines is dangerous to people and farm animal’s health, in addition to the infernal machines destroying many of the birds and bats in their vicinity, and the things often catch fire and/or collapse, that they are an absolute blight on the landscape that , that the various national environmental agencies require the use of a type of sound level meter for measuring wind turbine noise that is designed specifically NOT to measure infrasound, that the nominal upfront costs used to demonstrate that they are ‘cheaper than coal and gas generation’ typically (always?) ignore the 100+% hidden subsidy via the RET and the huge and equally hidden cost of lengthy new power transmission lines and complex network upgrades. I could go on, but you get the idea I’m sure.
    PS – without wanting to endorse Al Gore’s infamous apocalyptic movie in any way, watching it’s presentation style could suggest some ways that ‘More Wind Power’ could be more ‘persuasive’, without Al’s lies and half-truths.

  10. Howard Hill

    True story. I was actually toying with building a weight generator to store energy for my farm about 15 years ago to negate using stupid batteries. Was going to use lead from old car batteries and have the lead hung in a huge hole in the ground for safety. After doing some sums came to the conclusion it was a loopy idea. Should have patented it so that other fruit loops couldn’t use .gov to steal more money from us.

    There’s another scheme on the web (can’t find it at the moment) that was toying with using water to lift a huge weight in the ground. Seems there’s no end to this madness.

    We came up with the best power generation method to move us on from the 18th century, it’s called nuclear. Imagine where we’d be if we had spent all this money on developing Thorium or even Cold fusion. I guess the TPTB only want to rid the world of a few billion people before humanity can move beyond the 20th century.

  11. The presentation is a bit boring-rather than someone speaking all the time need something happening like the size of wind farms, the noisey blades, maybe a wind turbine burning, a sub-station sparking and exploding etc.
    An error early on, -domestic charges are for kWhr not kW, a jug boiling for 5 minutes will be 1800 W for 5/60 hrs equals 0.15 kWhr ( @ 28c = $0.42). Some industrial users are charged for demand ie MW maximum for any 5 minute period. Demand can be very high when large motors are started. This can be double or even three times the rated power of the motor so devices need to be installed such as a geared starter motor, capacitors, resistors etc.
    Wind turbines and the control equipment need to be designed for a particular maximum wind speed eg 40 km/hr for maximum efficiency in the operating range. If the wind speed is above the maximum the turbines need to braked to reduce speed or even shut down (eg above 50 km/hr). The average wind speed is around 30-40% of the maximum The wind turbine thus has to be designed for much more than its normal output thus increasing the capital cost. If some all all power goes to storage (eg batteries or hydro) then available ouput is reduced which then requires additional capital for more output. Battery storage is DC. Most turbines (wind, gas, hydro) are now AC. So wind turbines feeding to batteries will need inverters so more capital plus extra system losses.
    Yes wind turbines are a stupid idea when one can have cheaper, safer and more reliable energy from nuclear reactors. In 2010 OECD and IEA produce a report which should that nuclear in Asia was the cheapest source of electricty generation around the world taking into account existing and future generation. That is where Australia should have gone rather than encouraging and subsidising expensive and unreliable wind and solar.

  12. md;
    I described something similar a few months ago, however it used rail tracks and a hilltop to work.
    The tracks ran down a large hill/small mountain.
    A coal hopper or something similar was filled with rock and dirt then allowed to roll down the hill. A cable connected to the wagon and the other end to a wheel would spin the turbine.
    A very large flywheel would supply rotational storage.
    The wagon would then be emptied and sent back up the hill via cable, and refilled.
    It seems similar in concept to your design by using potential energy of the mountain.
    The engineers here can work out the P/e of Mt Kosciusko.
    Betcha it’s lots.

  13. BoyfromTottenham

    Winston Smith and others: A certain Brit named William Heath-Robinson designed many whimsical, impractical and totally useless contraptions that were widely published as cartoons during and between WW1 and WW2. It appears that the CAGW crowd has found a collection of these and has mistaken them for designs for solutions to ‘Climate Change’. Obviously these folk are totally ignorant of the origins of these drawings and also ignorant of any form of engineering, and are determined to foist them on the world. What will they propose next – a dog exercising machine that generates power from candlelight and moonbeams?

  14. Fat Tony

    all these schemes to store energy so we can release some of it later……

    Millions of years ago, the sun stored huge amounts of energy in the form of coal.

    In the long term, this is truly renewable – we burn the coal, release the CO2, which then forms more vegetable matter which eventually forms coal.

  15. Chris M

    Thank you Rafe, it’s good and helpful.

  16. David Brewer

    To be fair to the Germans – though when did they ever give us a fair suck of the sauce bottle? – the main reason their emissions have not fallen since 2009 is not the ineffectiveness of wind power.

    It’s because they used to get 25% of their electricity from nuclear, but then panicked after Fukushima, and started closing down their reactors. They now only get 12% of power from nuclear and plan to phase it out completely in 2022. All that emissions-free power has to be made up from somewhere, and at least a bit of it has to be from reliable sources- e.g. coal.

    Of course the premise was nonsense – coal mining, wind farms and any other way of generating power kills far more people than nuclear power, and even at Fukushima no one actually died of radiation. But the Germans seem particularly prone to get sucked in by purity myths.

  17. egg_

    Rafe, I hope you mention that the WHO has just advised that infrasound from wind turbines is dangerous to people and farm animal’s health

    Better advise the blog host who scoffs at same as voodoo.

  18. Rafe Champion

    Thank you Cats! All comments noted for improvements. The next version will be shorter, key points clearer, unhelpful detail eliminated, delivery more animated, captions correctly located, etc!

    Of course there is a lot more to be said about the pathology of windmills but it has to be explained one step at a time for beginners.

  19. Fat Tony

    Rogue lettuce killed around 50 people in Europe at the time of Fukushima but gues what got all the publicity

  20. I think we are barking up the wrong tree.
    What is the purpose of all this ‘green’ energy madness?
    What is ‘global warming’ supposed to be? Whatever way you define it, the empirical evidence is that it is getting cooler, just as it has been for 8,000 years.
    Why does anyone think that CO2 has even the slightest connection with the weather? There is not a skerrick of evidence to suggest that such is the case.
    Why does anyone suggest that human activities affects the distribution of CO2 in the air and water, when Hook’s Law is at play on 70% of the panet’s surface?
    Why does the Orwellian Newspeak conflate ‘climate’ (which is a regional parameter used to compare the weather in one region with another) with ‘temperature’? Why is a fictitious ‘global average surface temperature’ frequently discussed when it is mathematically and thermodynamically impossible to determine?
    These are the artifacts of this insane green religion, which is the basis for the desire for unreliable and ridiculously expensive energy.

  21. Rohan

    The background noise sounds like a ground loop 50hz hum. One device connected to the same socket has a lower resistance to ground. Finding it might be difficult.

    But try turning off all other devicesfirst. If the hum is still there its you’re Audio Interface. If not turn on one appliance at a time until you fing the culprit.

    If your audio inteferface is the internal soundcard on the motherboard of your PC/Laptop, you might want to consider using an external USB interface. A Roland Duo Capture or similar will set you back around $150-200 and they double as a DI box which is whats used to eliminate ground loop hum in an audio chain.

  22. W Hogg

    Imagine where we’d be if we had spent all this money on developing Thorium or even Cold fusion.

    Yes, given infinite money, thorium does appear to be the most promising way to achieve “carbon neutrality” (other than of course for the 80% of energy used for transport rather than electricity, which is a little more problematic).

    Presumably the thorium guys aren’t donating as heavily to pollies as the Unreliables guys.

    As for cold fusion, bitch – please!

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