Windfarms increase CO2 emissions - new papers mess Gillard's Green Energy Plans

A recent headline on skynews said  Gillard sees smiles in wind turbines.
New papers mess up Gillard's renewable plans
Image Wikipedia

She'd better have a re-think. 

In fact, she should have a re-think of all her Green Energy Future plans. Two new papers show wind farms are not as green as previously thought.

It is well known that wind turbines are a very costly inefficient form of power production. Some new papers have thrown doubt on wind turbines' ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  

A new paper by C. le Pair titled Electricity in the Netherlands and  subtitled Windmills increase fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

First we describe the models presently used by others to calculate fuel saving and reduction of CO2 emission through windparks. These models are incomplete. Neglected factors deminish the calculated savings.
Using wind data of a normal windy day in the Netherlands it will be shown that windparks of various size cause extra fuel consumption instead of fuel saving, when compared to electricity production with modern gas turbines only. We demonstrate that such losses occur.
Factors taken into account are: low thermal efficiency at low power; cycling of back up generators; energy needed to build and to install wind turbines; energy needed for cabling and net adaptation; increase of fuel consumption through partial replacement of efficient generators by low-efficient, fast reacting OCGTs. 

Le Pair, in summary, points out that conventional plants are capable of providing all electricity demands. He concludes: As they say in th

The windparks do not fulfill 'sustainable' objectives. They cost more fuel than they save and they cause no CO2 saving, in the contrary they increase our environmental 'foot print'.
A decision to invest thousands of millions Euros in the construction of windparks 'to save fossil fuel and to reduce CO2 emission' is irresponsible. There are no savings, THERE IS LOSS!
We do not consider it likely that more knowledge of the factors influencing the present outcomes would change our results appreciably.

As they say in the advertisements, but wait! There's more!  

A new paper from Ireland. Wind Energy in the Irish Power System by Fred Udo
This article describes the influence of wind energy on the CO2 output of the fossil-fired generation of electricity in Ireland. Where most available publications on this subject are based on models, the present study makes use of real-time production data. It is shown, that in absence of hydro energy the CO2 production of the conventional generators increases with wind energy penetration. The data shows that the reduction of CO2 emissions is at most a few percent, if gas fired generation is used for balancing a 30% share of wind energy.

These two papers bring a deal of doubt to Ms Gillard's Clean Energy Future plans which should be put on hold.



  1. A nice item to put in your bookmarks, an interactive graphing of windfarm outputs across Australia, reported daily, that allows you to put and take windfarm outputs from any or all turbines listed and compare that information against total electrical demand.
    From Australian Energy Marketing Operation (AEMO)
    You can separate the "spaghetti" by clicking off the various states or individual windfarm installations.
    Also the reporting date can be changed to see various previous weather and loading affects.


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