Cut the Green Crap

It is easy to lose the plot. Everyone does it to some extent. people in the United Kingdom have lost the plot about energy prices. Perhaps most of them never even knew that they were following a plot and genuinely believed that there was real, rather than fictional, competition between the energy companies who supply gas and electricity to the 22.5 million household across the United Kingdom.  Continue reading

Wind Turbines and the foolishness of subsidising them

About ten miles north of Ramsgate, in the middle of the Thames Estuary some 175 offshore wind turbines have been installed and are now operating, as wind turbines operate, in their own misunderstood fashion. If it is windy, and not too windy, the turbines generate electricity. The publicity claims that the wind turbines will generate enough electricity for 470,000 homes but the publicity is imprecise. There are only 22.5 million homes in the United Kingdom and to power them all will need another 50 arrays of similar turbines but unfortunately it is not as simple as that. Continue reading

For warmer soil, farm next to a wind farm

The world’s climate is created and influenced by heat which is a form of light. Heat energy, as the laws of thermodynamics show, moves from a hotter place to a colder place. When you do anything to stop or interfere with heat and light moving where it will, you potentially change the climate, even though the change may not be noticeable.

Texas has plenty of wind farms. It has many more turbines than are situate in Britain. Texas has a windy corridor and there are many turbines exploiting the energy that the wind can bring to us, in a relatively benign way. Those turbines, it seems, are making the neighbouring ground warmer, but only at night.

It seems that this warming is caused by the turbines pushing warm wind to the ground. The effect was noticed when data for Texas ground temperatures was examined for the years 2003 to 2005 and was compared with the years 2009 to 2011. All the ground temperatures in the second later period rose, compared with the earlier periods, but temperatures close to wind farms rose more. The rise over a ten year period was 0.72⁰C, although it is important not to extrapolate that across the whole world. Thermodynamics is, by its nature dynamic and a rise of temperature in one place may create a fall in another place, although that rise gives the lie to the claim that global temperatures have not risen for the past ten years; clearly things are much more complicated than that.

If you visit the Argos district of the Peloponnese in Greece, you will see poking out of orange groves what look like small wind turbines. In fact they are turbines that drive warm air downwards to protect the trees against the frosts of early spring. In the United States, where they have more money, orange farmers fly helicopters over the orange orchards to achieve the same effect.  The warming effect is well known.

We might be able to use this by growing crops which grow better with warmer night-time ground temperatures close to wind farms.