'Tis to laugh: Starry-eyed optimists think U.S. will notice British wind energy DISASTER

(AP Photo/Heribert Proepper, file)

Like a faint cry in the wilderness, the sound of lived experience carries over the vast Atlantic Ocean. The whispering, moaning, warning voice of a sibyl…and no one is listening.

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Last year, the Biden administration set an ambitious new goal for the USA: to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity by the year 2030, increasing US offshore capacity more than seven hundred times over. The UK already has 15 GW of offshore wind, more than 300 times as much as the USA: and our experience should be a terrible warning to Americans.

As if the charlatans invested in these Green schemes and the cultists who live and breathe them would ever look backwards or sideways at actual results from the implementation of any of their beloved projects. There are always the blithe assurances that The Science™ will prevail, that the technology is “constantly evolving” to meet every single challenge, the shrieks of “deniers” to silence critics, and – the always practical and usually prevailing – “you can’t stop us now, we’re on a roll.” Not to mention the money river, the endless money river. It can’t possibly be damned dammed.

The thing is, now, there really are hard numbers and indisputable facts flowing in about the massive waste, horrific effects on standards of living, and downright inefficiencies that were undersold or flat out lied about, particularly in the case of the U.K. rush to Greendom. It’s really coming a cropper recently, too, as the leading Labour candidate for Prime Minister is going hard down the Green road, and finding himself in a hornet’s nest of push-back that he might not have 4 or 5 years ago.

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No one in the country except the climate cultists are cheering his enviro-whacko-suicidal plan for shutting down all North Sea oil production. Not any more.

It doesn’t help that Labour head Keir Starmer also seems willing to throw wind farms up willy nilly to meet this goal of his if he gets elected. Don’t worry, peasants – he’ll give the little folks a say, he promises.

If you believe that, you’ll BUY THIS WATCH

…The ‘fast-track’ green scheme – set to be announced by leader Sir Keir Starmer later this month – would see national planning policy statements updated to promote clean power development.

…’Labour will bring down energy bills for the British people by backing clean, cheap home-grown power for all.’

The party plans to impose tough targets and a framework for decisions on plans to ensure construction can take place without delays.

But towns and villages – many in rural areas who overwhelmingly vote Labour – would not lose a veto on new developments, a party source insisted.

They told the Mail: ‘We want to do it in conjunction with communities – bringing them into the process early, working with local people, and making sure they get perks if infrastructure is built close to them.

We’re not looking to override communities or remove their ability to say no if there are concerns, but we do want to speed things up.’

Ah, so Labour IS going to blow you off after pretending to care that you DON’T want 1000 1000ft towers near your sleepy hamlet, looming over your cottage and driving the cows mad. But “you’ll get perks” if they pick your burg. Oh, lucky you!

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PERKS FIX EVERYTHING

…Last year Rishi Sunak ended a de facto ban on new onshore wind developments after a row with Tory backbenchers. However, researchers have warned that planning restrictions must be eased on renewable energy developers after the IPPR think-tank warned that at the current rate it will take almost 4,700 years for England to build enough onshore windfarms to help meet the UK’s clean energy needs.

Maybe that’s a sign from God you should slow down, no?

Green schemers don’t see it that way. They see it as the Luddites once again stomping all over vital progress which must be made saving the planet. Ignorant rubes.

Not to be rude, but how’s that going for them so far?

Surely there are metrics to be gleaned from billions upon billions of pounds expended, thousands of towers erected, and farmlands destroyed in the past ye…oh.

No wonder they’re in a rush. The jig’s up.

Half of the U.K.’s electricity still comes from Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGTs), which, thanks to the Ukraine War and shortsighted anti-fossil fuel policies, now have electricity prices at the highest they’ve ever been. Apparently, they’re pretty cost efficient to build, at £650m per GW and would normally produce electricity for about £40 per MWh. Thanks to the war premium, that is now £150MWh – a gaspingly yuge whale of a jump. But it’s not enough inflicted Gaia pain for British politicians to mete out on their citizens just yet.

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It seems what wind power the British government has built has added to the problem, and the planned wind farms are going to exacerbate it horrifically.

…As an example, the offshore wind farms Hornsea Two and Moray East were completed in 2022 with capital costs of £2.77 billion per GW and £2.75bn/GW, more than four times the cost of CCGT capacity. They’re expensive to maintain, which is not surprising since offshore windfarms have all their many generators mounted at the top of 200-metre tall masts far away from land. Estimates of maintenance costs are as high as £200m per GW installed, per annum. The nominal cost of offshore wind generation is £170/MWh – noticeably higher than that for CCGTs, even in these dire times of high gas prices.

The other factor to bear in mind is that not only is wind capacity extremely expensive to build, wind farms do not deliver anything like their rated capacity over time. This is bad news for the customer, because the higher the capacity factor – that is, the higher the percentage of the rated capacity the powerplant actually delivers over time – the cheaper the energy. In 2022 the UK’s onshore and offshore windfarms operated with a capacity factor of 33 per cent. In 2021 it was only 29 per cent.

It gets worse. Like most other renewable generation technologies, wind power is unpredictably intermittent and highly variable. Also, since wind turbines are not synchronously connected to the grid, they provide no “grid inertia” – more on that shortly. Wind turbines cannot be asked to deliver energy when it is required, and their output changes rapidly. These failings must be mitigated and costed, and users have to pay for these costs on top of the price of the electricity.

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…The problems and costs don’t stop there. Our transmission grid system was originally designed to link generation centres close to sources of fuel (coal, gas) and load centres such as cities. Now our generation sites are moving further away from load centres. Our grid transmission system has to be expanded to connect the new renewable generators, which is bad enough when they are on a remote hilltop and worse still when they are out at sea. The National Grid estimates that on current plans this work will cost £46 billion – £1,533 per household – to 2030.

What happens when all those Gigawatts are installed and the wind drops to zero? The U.K. is the poster child (I have to say Germany is a close second.).

…The world has been sold a faulty bill of goods, based on a pathetically simplistic vision of how renewable energy works. A US government website highlights the problem with this example: “The mean turbine capacity in the U.S. Wind Turbine Database is 1.67 megawatts (MW), At a 33% capacity factor, that average turbine would generate over 402,000 kWh per month – enough for over 460 average U.S. homes.”

Thus armed, bureaucrats and morons head straight to the promised land by multiplying the number of wind turbines by 460 and shocking-and-awing themselves with the results. Holy crap, we don’t need natural gas anymore (as they tell me in exactly those words).

So they all start dismantling the natural gas system – not directly by ripping up pipelines, but indirectly by blocking new ones, by championing ‘fossil-fuel divestment campaigns’, by taking energy policy advice from Swedish teenagers – and then stand there shivering in dim-witted stupor when the wind stops blowing, and the world’s energy producers are not in any position to bring forth more natural gas.

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Every last one of the metrics and problems encountered in the truly terrific Telegraph piece is playing out in California at this very moment, and in bits and pieces across the country.

California will fall 20% short of generating the necessary electricity to meet the state’s 100 percent electric vehicle mandates, according to a new report released by the California free-market think tank, the Pacific Research Institute.

California’s green energy mandates will require more energy from the electricity grid instead of fossil fuels, making it less likely that the grid can generate the necessary power,” Dr. Wayne Winegarden and Kerry Jackson, the study’s authors, said in a press release. “These policies jeopardize California’s energy security and, without a miracle leap in technology, are setting us up for future energy shortages.

The renewables cultists are always plunging ahead and they get so damned angry when a miracle doesn’t save them.

The Telegraph article is absolutely remarkable in it’s detail and resourcing, and I would very much urge you all to read it thoroughly when you have time. It will provide rich fodder for cohesive and coherent arguments against the projection you face every time you step into an “argument” with renewable cultists.

As they bring the #feelz and look for miracles, you can swarm with facts.

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Ed Morrissey 11:27 PM | July 13, 2024
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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
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