The Answer is Probably Not Blowing In the Wind

Now that Mr Huhne has resigned as Energy and Climate Change Secretary, his successor, Mr Davey, will be tested by a growing feeling that we are spending too much on subsidising wind farms. The one hundred Conservative Members of Parliament who have written to the prime Minister to argue that wind farms are over subsidised in these difficult economic time are right. The intermittency of the energy that wind turbines produces and the lack of any possibility of storing surplus energy makes it difficult to justify the present wind farm programme. Continue reading

Time to Put on your Thinking Cap, Mr Barker

Greg Barker, the United Kingdom’s Minister for Energy has been vigorously defending his government’s decision to cut the subsidy on photovoltaic solar panels which produce electricity. He point out that indexed linked at 43p per kWh for twenty five years the feed in tariff was too good to be true, although actually it was true and it is about time that the government curtailed the excesses of the electricity feed in tariff for an energy source which cannot be stored and which is produced when we do not need electricity, in daylight hours. Continue reading

Wind Turbines on Windy Days

When it comes to wind turbines, which rely on wind to generate electricity,you can have too much of a good thing.

In the past few days hurricanes have swept through Scotland causing much damage. There are many wind turbines in Scotland and wind turbines cannot operate in hurricanes, because the wind speeds are too high, so turbines have system of preventing the turbine blades operating when wind speeds exceed a certain level, which is much lower than hurricane level and lower than gale force wind levels.

Generally wind turbines do not produce electricity in winds above the range of 40mph and 80 mph, (depending on their design) and have a device, usually electrical brakes, to prevent the blades turning when the wind exceeds the limit for that particular turbine.

In the wind one turbine in the Adrossian wind farm which is 100 metres high caught fire when hurricanes struck it, the blades had been stopped by the brakes, but clearly the force of the wind was so high that friction on the brakes was too much to cope with and the turbine burst into flames.

You can see a picture of this at http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/news/national-news/122919-huge-wind-turbine-erupts-in-flames-as-165mph-winds-strike-scotland.html

What is the true carbon footprint of wind turbines?

There has been a great deal of taxpayer’s money pumped into subsidising wind turbines and a great deal of electricity consumers’ money spent on the same source of renewable energy. Generally, most environmentalists who think that climate change is a serious threat are in favour of wind turbines but many environmentalists oppose them on aesthetic grounds. Beauty is often in the eye of the beholder and we have many structures around us that are uglier than wind turbines. However on their carbon footprint most climate changers believe that wind turbines reduce the emissions and therefore help prevent greenhouse gas emissions. After all, if you produce electricity from wind, instead of coal, oil or gas there are fewer emissions, they argue, but things are not what they may seem at first sight. Continue reading

Climate Change Deniers – why am I wrong?

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,Newtontold us. With climate change writingNewton’s law does not invariably apply. I know that sometimes when I post some ideas about climate change, someone else posts on this blog some ideas which are opposite, but not necessarily equal. That is the fine thing about climate change writing. The opposite views are not necessarily equal. Continue reading

Climate Change Policy – the Curate’s Egg

The UK Treasury does not attach enough importance to climate change issues. Joan Walley, a labour MP has argued that by the Chancellor making statements that emissions will not be cut at the expense of British business the Treasury is undermining investor confidence in low carbon industries. Greg Barker talks about the need to review the system to ensure that we are not simply shipping emissions abroad and Mr Cameron wanted this government to be the greenest ever. These statements show the current muddle of British climate change policy. Continue reading

Aberdeen Plans to reduce Council Tax as a Renewable Energy Incentive

While Greg Barker, Minister at the department of Energy and Climate Change, struggles to get the Renewable Heat Incentive up and running in a logical and coherent form and struggles to respond to an enquiry from my Member of Parliament Mike Freer about the lack of certainty in the RHI, the Scots seem to be getting on with decarbonising heat and delivering a cleaner more emission from Scotland that puts DECC to shame. In particular the City of Aberdeen has managed, without much fuss and a great deal less angst and much more common sense than that has been displayed by the chaps at DECC. Continue reading