The chief Earthian is upset about a proposed wind farm in North West Tasmania. Apparently the 1,000 MW scheme will affect the pristine beauty of his island because the 200 metre tall structures, all 200 of them, will be visible “from 50 kms out to sea and elevated landlubbers will see it, like it or not, from greater distances on land”. I am no fan of wind farms, partly because they are a visual blight on the landscape but mainly because they are useless in providing reliable electricity.
Having lived for 2 years in Queenstown Tasmania I understand that there is some magnificent scenery to look at in Tasmania if you are lucky enough to be there on the day they have summer and that the place has a certain rustic charm if you can stand the sound of Banjo’s plinking in the background.
Another source of grief is the proposed transmission line that will be needed to connect the 200 turbines to the grid. The route takes it across Leven Canyon, another beauty spot, on its way to Georgetown substation to enable connection to the Basslink cable so Tasmania can be “the battery” of Australia.
I wonder if the Earthians have ever heard of the h word. I do not recall them making any noises about the plethora of unsightly wind farms that the “mainlanders” have to look at, or intervene in any of the cases where people opposed the siting of wind farms but were run over by “progress”. Think Waubra for one and perhaps Waterloo in SA amongst many others. I have never heard them ask about the recommendations from the report by the then senator Madigan, (which seems to have suffered the fate of all other senate “reports”), in fact they were against his recommendations. Nor do I hear them making any noise about the research into wind farm noise and its effect on people living nearby or raising any concerns about the death of birds shredded in turbine blades.
Also, if they are so concerned about the global environment, they might make a noise about the catastrophe in Batou China where environmental devastation has taken place as a result of refining rare earths that are vital to wind turbine manufacture or perhaps raise a protest about child labour mining cobalt in the Congo. Not a peep, but when the chief Earthian has his paradise threatened it is a different story.
In 2018 the 2 wind farms that call Tasmania home had a capacity factor of 40%, which is not bad for a wind farm. They operated at less than 75% capacity for 80% of the year, below 50% for 65%, below 20% for 34% and produced zero for 2%. If I am charitable and allow the 1,000 MW proposed wind farm a 40% capacity factor then its output in a year will be the equivalent of a 400 MW “conventional” generator, so it is two and a half times oversized but still unreliable.
It seems that it does not matter whether any “renewable” proposal makes sense just as long as some carpetbagger says it will “reduce emissions” and some dim witted and desparate politicians believe them.