The Government-backed subsidy arrangement for wind turbines is seriously flawed and economically foolhardy.
The sole purpose intended by the Government/DECC is supposed to reduce carbon emissions.
Building more and more wind turbines will not do this. Above a 20% density level of wind turbines in our energy mix creates more carbon emissions. Above this level, for each 1MW of wind-turbine capacity, 1MW of conventional generation also has to be built, as well, to ensure security of supply (no power cuts).
This means that the carbon footprint build of each additional wind-turbine should have the carbon footprint of the supporting generator added to it. Furthermore, each additional generator supporting the wind-turbine now has its efficiency reduced, so it emits more carbon dioxide than it should.
Many "Greens" try to brainwash the genuine Power Engineers by saying that every Power System requires Operating Reserves for normal daily losses and therefore the additional carbon footprints of wind-turbine replacement plants should not be factored against them.
This is not true.
At best the average wind turbine capacity to output for the whole of the UK is 25% maximum but this is not a steady wind-turbine generation loss; these are erratic and on the coldest of days it is normal to have no wind turbine output at all.
The DECC are now refusing to include the carbon emission factors of the conventional plant replacement contributions. You might say that they are turning a blind eye to the facts.
Charles Hendry replied to my offer to analyse this situation by quoting that each 1MW generated by a wind-turbine is 1MW less carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
This is a deliberate untruth.
Building more and more wind turbines in far-away places is resulting in more inefficiencies which should be regarded as carbon emissions because they are wasting energy in the transmission losses. To build wind turbines in the Orkney and Shetland Islands for exporting power to the south UK will result in transmission losses of at least 10%; either heating the ground through power cables or the air through transmission lines.
Most of these transmission losses are charged back to the consumer with an inbuilt profit margin to National Grid and the Energy Supplier.
To summarise: increased wind-turbines capacity levels will NOT be reducing carbon emissions above a 20% density level. They will cause increased generation costs and transmission losses which will be levied back on the consumer, for no environmental benefit.
George Wood, retired Power Systems Manager
..........Meanwhile today we have lost another coal-fired power station, Didcot, which supplied 2GW out of the nation's requirement of approx 50GW.
It has been shut down without a replacement being installed. How's that for energy planning?