Here's a cautionary tale for all about the mad rush to replace eeeevil fossil-fueled power plants with those that will exhibit a much smaller "carbon footprint"....from Merry Olde England no less.
"The Thanet wind farm will milk us of billions"
Thus screams the headlines of an article by one Mr. Christopher Booker in today's online edition of the London Telegraph. It seems that the UK, with much fanfare and back-patting, opened the world's largest wind farm of the coast of Kent last week. Their Climate Change Secretary (!)
slobbered all over the knothole-rapist aspect of this endeavor in his speechifying.
Seems like there is a problem though. As is too often the case when policy is built around political correctness rather than solid fact, the hype far exceeds the actuality. The British government, who is set to pay over 1.2 billion pounds to the Swedish owners of the wind farm over then next several years, have been hoodwinked...flim-flammed....bamboozled. Instead of using facts, say by hiring their OWN engineers to look at the project, the government just based everything on the BUILDER'S claims. The builder, Vattenfall, claimed the wind farm's three 100 MW turbines would generate a total of 300 MW of electricity...roughly enough to power 200,000 to 240, 000 homes. And it will.....on the rare occasion that the wind is blowing at design velocity. Which, it turns out, isn't all that often. Data from last year shows that the farm's delivered power at 26% of rated capacity for the year.
Which is what I've been saying about these "alternative' power sources that the knothole-rapists have sold as the salvation of America's energy and economic future. They just cannot produce the amount of power required by a modern industrial, comfort-driven society reliably. The wind doesn't always blow as hard as the guys with the slide rules and pocket protectors decided it needed to blow for a plant to produce a given amount of energy. The sun doesn't shine as much as it needs to...you know..things like clouds, storms and that little period of absolutely no sunshine we like to call night! So any call to replace all of our fossil-fueled power with these sorts of sources is either woefully misinformed (stupid really) or disingenuous. They either don't know it's not feasible, or they don't care...since depopulation is the real goal off many of these jack-wagons!
For the cost to the British tax-slaves of this ONE wind farm, which will produce about a quarter of the power the government was counting on, they could have gotten an entire new nuclear power plant, which would have delivered 13 times the amount of energy that this plant can deliver on it's best day. And the nuclear plant would have been able to deliver it day-in, day-out, rain or shine, breezy or calm...in other words reliably! I know I'd be pissed if I was a British tax-payer.
The take-away is that we over here in the US need to learn from debacles like this, not repeat them. If it makes you feel better to supplement the reliable power provided by fossil fuels and nuclear with these costly, trendy, uber-chic "green" sources....go right ahead and do that. But leave the decision up to the consumer...not some functionally retarded "legisleech" (to swipe a phrase from my friend Nicki at http://thelibertyzone.com/). Mandating a certain level of "renewable" generation capacity only ensures that EVERYONE's electricity bill goes up. Make those who really want to put their money where their mouth is as far as saving our fragile little planet put up or shut up. Give them the option to pay the added cost of the "green" power, but don't make me subsidize their "Gaea-guilt". Betcha not too many are willing to pony up.
But...the article does shine light on one bright spot in this whole sorry mess. The Thanet Wind Farm will create jobs..."green" ones at that! Yessiree...a whopping 21 permanent jobs will be created. Wonder how many jobs that nuke plant would've created?
Do go read the article for yourself.