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Oxford Physics Professor/CERN Researcher Concludes “Wind Power Fails on Every Count”

Oxford Physics Professor/CERN Researcher Concludes “Wind Power Fails on Every Count”

Wade Allison crunches the numbers to highlight significant issues with the promotion of wind energy as epic green-energy solution.

We have covered issues and problems associated with wind farms, which eco-artists and media minions who adhere to climate change dogma ignore.

The lack of attention to the failures associated with wind power doesn’t make them any less real. Recently, Dr. Wade Allison, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) researcher, shed some bright light on those issues.

Allison, a reliable expert on this subject, wrote a brief review of calculations and assessments associated with wind energy projects for the United Kingdom that were published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. His conclusions were scathing.

British consumers should follow the example of Alice who, in negotiating terms with the White Queen, insisted on clarification of the day on which jam should be delivered. Evidently, they should not look to wind power for reliable energy, but elsewhere.

With general energy shortages, the war in Europe, high prices and the likelihood of failures in electricity supply, many popular scientific presumptions underlying energy policy should be questioned. Wind power fails on every count.

Allison delves into the mathematics of wind energy generation, so I will hit some of the highlights. A contrast with nuclear power, a potentially viable fossil fuel option, is made in one section. Allison also focuses on how relatively delicate the wind stations are in very windy conditions.

If the wind speed is 10 metres per second (about 20 mph) the power is 600 watts per square metre at 100% efficiency. That means to deliver the same power as Hinkley Point C (3200 million watts) [nuclear power station in Somerset, England] by wind would require 5.5 million square metres of turbine swept area – that should be quite unacceptable to those who care about birds and to other environmentalists.

But the performance of wind is much worse than that, as a look at the simple formula shows. Because the power carried by the wind depends on the third power of the wind speed, if the wind drops to half speed, the power available drops by a factor of 8. Almost worse, if the wind speed doubles, the power delivered goes up 8 times, and as a result the turbine has to be turned off for its own protection. This is not related to the technology of the turbine, which can harvest no more.

His observations are borne out by news reports. Last year, Scotland cut down 14 million trees to make room for wind turbines.

Scotland, site of the recent United Nations 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate summit, has cut down 14 million trees to make room for new wind power installations.

As reported in The Herald, the tree removal was for 21 wind turbine projects.

“The Scottish Government has moved to reassure that more trees have been planted, but it is unknown what proportion of these are mature plants that play a bigger role in turning carbon into oxygen.

Late last year, strong winds damaged wind turbines at the Lucelo wind farm in Spain.

The wind turbines of these wind farms represent the first generation of large wind production facilities built in the province of León, Spain, where the turbine manufacturer was the then Spanish company Ecotecnia, which was later acquired by Alstom Wind and in 2015 by GE – General Electric.

It was the first time, as far as we know, that a wind turbine has crashed in Lyon County.

This area is currently experiencing a new wind boom, with many orders for new wind power facilities scattered across the county, with some of these license applications near where this incident now occurred.

Also, in 2022, a wind turbine in Sweden collapsed…leaking up to 200 gallons of oil.

Allison also explores how unreliable winds can be and the challenges associated with wind farm battery storage capabilities.

…The wind blows somewhat more steadily offshore than onshore, as every sailor knows. Nevertheless, the unreliability inherent in ind energy persists.

…The green rectangle (added) illustrates that 8.8 GW was not available for this time, presumably because the average wind speed halved. That much energy, 1600 GWh, is 1000 times the capacity of the world’s largest grid storage battery (1.6 GWh at Moss Landings, California).

Battery technology has its own problems. It can provide for laptops and other portable applications, even car batteries at up to 75 kWh, but larger batteries have problems with safety and mineral shortages.

Batteries 20 million times larger are never going to be available and storage batteries will never make good the failure of offshore wind farms, even for a week. And the wind can drop for longer periods than that.

When planning to support electrical energy grids, every energy-producing option should be on the table. Scientifically valid assessments like Allison’s must be considered: Wind energy is not a universal energy solution, and thrusting it into places it does not belong (e.g., marine mammal habitats and bald eagle territories) is truly environmentally destructive.


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Morning Sunshine | March 27, 2023 at 10:52 am


E Howard Hunt | March 27, 2023 at 11:16 am

It is not surprising that the science is ignored. So-called conservatives ignore the science of intelligence (with the same insufferable moral preening as radical leftists), and then expect all to adhere to science on other issues. Conservatives are just liberals playing catch up.

    Your comment caused me to seek an alpha ordered listing of the branches of science. I had never heard of a branch of science designated “intelligence” and certainly would want to increase my scientific knowledge by acknowledging that branch of science.

    Imagine my consternation to find the list was devoid of any such branch of science! Here is the list of branches having names beginning with “I”:

    Iamatology – study of remedies
    Iatrology – treatise or text on medical topics; study of medicine
    Iatromathematics – archaic practice of medicine in conjunction with astrology
    Ichnography – art of drawing ground plans; a ground plan
    Ichnology – science of fossilized footprints
    Ichthyology – study of fish
    Iconography – study of drawing symbols
    Iconology – study of icons; symbols
    Ideogeny – study of origins of ideas
    Ideology – science of ideas; system of ideas used to justify behaviour
    Idiomology – study of idiom, jargon or dialect
    Idiopsychology – study of the psychology of one’s own mind
    Immunochemistry – study of chemistry of the immune system
    Immunogenetics – study of genetic characteristics of immunity
    Immunology – study of immunity
    Immunopathology – study of immunity to disease
    Insectology – study of insects
    Irenology – study of peace
    Iridology – study of the iris; diagnosis of disease based on the iris of the eye

    healthguyfsu in reply to E Howard Hunt. | March 27, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    I’m guessing you don’t understand how difficult it is to measure intelligence.

      E Howard Hunt in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 27, 2023 at 3:42 pm

      You simply compare IQ scores. Very easy. Of course, like global warming enthusiasts, you will reach for biased, junk science and subscribe to supposed different types of intelligence and the spurious claim of the unfairness of IQ tests; perhaps followed by an appeal to the old canard of societal and cultural factors. It comes down to not wanting your fantasy spoilt.

    Voyager in reply to E Howard Hunt. | March 27, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    Sir, this is a Wendy’s…

Store energy by winding up springs, keeping the whole thing in the word “wind.”

Ruh roh… Someone’s going to be attending re-edumacation camp.

Wind and solar power are farcical non-solutions for reliable electrical power. The laws of physics and economics ensure this is the case. It is the height of chimeric self-delusion and foolishness to believe that wind and solar represent viable means of producing electricity at scale. The only carbon-free electrical power solution that “green” advocates should be supporting — and, would be supporting, if they were honest — is nuclear power.

    MattMusson in reply to guyjones. | March 27, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    Intermittent sources like Wind and Solar guarantee we will always need Fossil Fuel backup power.

    daniel_ream in reply to guyjones. | March 27, 2023 at 3:21 pm

    The Green Energy movement (and the environmental movement generally) is what the anti-nuclear movement metamorphosed into after the fall of the Soviet Union. Neither were ever about the environment; they were covertly Soviet-funded agitprop designed to demoralize the West. Bezmenov laid all this out in the 1980s and the Venona intercepts confirmed it in the 1990s. The money from Mother Russia may have ended, but these groups are self-sustaining now.

    Stop assuming these people are well-intentioned but misguided, or just vain and selfish; they are engaged in a very deliberate, very effective campaign to destroy the West’s will and ability to fight off a revolution.

Our ‘other’ home is in Paxton, IL (for a few more weeks, anyway). Last month, following 4″ of rain in 24 hours, a wind turbine east of town began leaning and toppled over. We looked but couldn’t find it. It certainly raises questions about ground stability and geological (?) studies preceding installation. Maybe plopping a bunch of wind turbines in the middle of farm land – what was once a moraine / glacial till – isn’t such a good idea?

Here’s some of our quality local reporting on the event … the barbershop and cafe were abuzz with the news …

    MajorWood in reply to MrE. | March 27, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Hmmmm, looks like the Champlain Towers South virus is spreading. You’d think 6 ft of rebar would be enough to keep it in place. /s

      Wouldn’t be surprised if they used pole barn methods here. It’s always amusing on a back roads sunny day drive how many barns and old grain silos are in a collapsed state – how word spreads of a new casualty and rubbernecking ensues …

WHAT NONSENSE! Wind power (and solar too) has taken ordinary hucksters and made them into billionaires. Surely that must count for something,

    henrybowman in reply to LeftWingLock. | March 27, 2023 at 7:10 pm

    Measure THAT intelligence.
    Never forget: The Emperor Norton, a failure in life, lived the last portion of it in ease and adoration, on the backs of “successful” but stupider people who knew full well he was not an emperor.

Fat_Freddys_Cat | March 27, 2023 at 12:31 pm

Scotland, site of the recent United Nations 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate summit, has cut down 14 million trees to make room for new wind power installations.

I wonder what that did to wildlife habitat in the affected areas. Again, this is something that “environmental activists” used to pretend to care about. Even if Scotland did plant substitute trees, there’s a big difference habitat-wise between new trees and a mature forest.

And Windy has stormy eyes
That flash at the sound of lies

Iowa is a very windy state. Iowa is a national leader in wind energy, producing the highest percentage of electricity produced by wind – over 57 percent (2022) – of any state in the U.S. Iowa is also the first state to generate more than 57 percent of all of its electricity from wind power.

    CommoChief in reply to JR. | March 27, 2023 at 1:13 pm


    How much of the claimed 57% of electricity production by wind is reliably available on a 24/7/365 basis?

      The wind doesn’t always blow strongly. So we have nuclear and lp generated electricity as well. But 57% of our total electricity coming from wind makes a difference. My home electric bill averages $100 per month.

        CommoChief in reply to JR. | March 27, 2023 at 6:43 pm

        Cool. I got no problem with using it where wind power makes sense to generate locally consumed power. IA is a place that meets the criteria for wind better than most others. Same for Solar in the Southwest or Southeast.

        Both wind and solar as point of use application in areas where they are feasible make sense. My concern is in grid level commercial projects in marginal areas and in building more transmission lines. Then there’s the environmental impact both direct, birds hit/fried and the potential secondary impact of ‘stealing’ the power of the wind to generate power.

And Iowa is the first star to have no birds

texansamurai | March 27, 2023 at 1:23 pm

there’s a reason the days of sail came to an end

Ecologically unfriendly, renewable energy when the wind blows within a viable range, a veritable Green blight on the environment, a niche solution at best.

thad_the_man | March 27, 2023 at 2:29 pm

I wonder why no one is talking about the massive effects windfarms have on weather. Wind is caused n=by high pressure areas “pushing” air into low pressure areas. That process is slowed. How does that affect the weather?

    LeftWingLock in reply to thad_the_man. | March 27, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    My quick guess is no effect. The USA has roughly 6000 miles of coastline (ignoring Alaska). If you assume any effects must be close to shore (say, 5 miles) that’s 30,000 sq. miles. The few hundred square miles of wind turbines seems way too small to have any meaningful effect.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to LeftWingLock. | March 27, 2023 at 4:22 pm

      Micro-climate effects are real.

      thad_the_man in reply to LeftWingLock. | March 27, 2023 at 9:53 pm

      Who says that effects of a windfarm in Iowa or Kansas have to be close to a shore.?

      One thing is sure. front’s will be changed. Fronts drive wind and if the wind is being constrained, the way that fronts behave is changed.

      I also wouldn’t be surprised if storms on the East aren’t more violent.

      Weather is a very chaotic system.

      What we do know, is that the elements of “climate change” are at best second order, and wind farms are first order, directly affecting the weather.

    henrybowman in reply to thad_the_man. | March 27, 2023 at 7:18 pm

    This is just the wheel turning once again. When we discovered oil, well, there was just so much that “we’d never run out.” Before that, it was buffalo meat. Before that, the “free lunch” counter for long-haul sailors on Mauritius, home of the dodo.

    Where wind is so plentiful as to be “inexhaustible,” it will be exploited to exhaustion just like everything else ever has. The rules of economics are no more flexible than the rules of mathematics; politicians just perfer to pretend they are.

Not to mention slowing the planet rotation. /s

    BierceAmbrose in reply to MajorWood. | March 27, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    At least one of the public / new program briefings on Voyager sling-shot gravity acceleration covered how much velocity Jupiter would lose to fling the probe out into the universe that fast.

    Per their calculations, we need not worry about Jupiter crashing into the sun from at least several of these. Whether wind farms will tip over Okinawa is a different concern…

    henrybowman in reply to MajorWood. | March 27, 2023 at 7:19 pm

    This is actually a beneficial side effect. It causes fewer islands to capsize.

Suburban Farm Guy | March 27, 2023 at 5:54 pm

Not only that: a successful wind project needs 3 things. 1 lots of land with reliable wind flow; 2 access to transmission lines; and 3: Subsidies. Have to be propped up with taxpayer $$$. More Green Fraud.

It fails on every count, you say? Isn’t that the point?

One of Jerusalem’s landmarks is The Windmill. This was a project of the well-meaning 19th century philanthropist, Sir Moses Montefiore, who bears much of the credit for the development of Jerusalem in the mid 19th century. But this was not one of his better ideas. He spent a lot of money in the 1850s to build it, on the theory that it would create employment for local people and a secure food source for the local community, but it failed because Jerusalem only gets enough wind to operate a windmill about 15-20 days a year. The rest of the time it sat there looking pretty.

I spent several years recently buying electricity by the megawatt for a distribution electric company.

The first thing you notice about the market is that it is completely rigged – in favor of the most expensive electricity available. Normally, in a supposedly open marked with plenty of bidders, the most reliable, lowest price, supplier would get bought out first. Especially for electricity, where the product is the same across the board.

But, no. You have to buy a ‘package’, pre-set, from across the board. And, the way it works is that 100% of wind and solar that is produced is ALWAYS bought, every day, no matter what.

Then, the cost. At the time, nuclear averaged about $28/MWh, coal/nat gas were each about $65. Solar and on shore wind $115, off shore wind >$300.

This is an enormous HIDDEN cost of “green” energy. Most people have no clue that they are being forced to vastly overpay. The only thing that makes it feasible at all is that the green sources were such a small % of the market. Otherwise, rates would skyrocket.

The wind is more reliable off-shore, but the cost to put a turbine out there is enormous. Worse, the environmental conditions wreak havoc on the turbines – which fail early and often. Repairs are very expensive, and most of the time no turbines are producing at all.

But, the companies that own the turbines actually don’t care if they are producing or not. The main reason is that they get federal and state subsidies simply for each turbine’s existence – so long as it is connected to the grid. This can amount to >$500k per year per turbine – even if they are not producing any electricity at all. So, when they fail, they’re in no rush to make repairs. Repairs cost $$, and for the amount of electricity being generated it is often not worth it – especially for off shore turbines.

Best way to understand “green” energy is: It is a massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers and rate payers to the billionaires that own the companies that produce and operate it. Most of the $$ goes to China. Even when we were still producing turbines and solar panels in large quantities here in the US, China has >70% of the market in production of the rare earth minerals required to build both.

Forcing rate payers to subsidize it amounts to the most regressive tax in our entire economy.