Archive for the ‘wind’ Category

Windy Standard wind farm, Scotland [credit: RWE.com]

Ideas, opinions, feedback etc. are invited here. It could be said they’ve already had decades to think about this, but any negativity will no doubt be ignored. Existing uses include children’s play areas and bike sheds, but there’s only so many of those that would find a place.
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One wind farm company is looking for imaginative ways to repurpose turbines at the end of their lives, says BBC News.

When Windy Standard was built in Dumfries and Galloway in the mid-1990s, it was Scotland’s second largest wind farm.

Now it is coming to the end of its functional life and the old turbines are set to be replaced by more powerful machines.

But what happens to the original turbines? Owner Fred Olsen Renewables wants to find creative and sustainable ways to ensure they do not end up in landfill.

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North Wales coast wind turbines

Windy enough today?

Weather conditions can vary year on year, but ‘some of the poorest wind conditions in the North Sea for more than two decades’ probably wasn’t on anyone’s list of scenarios. As a result the not-so wondrous wind turbines are under-performing, and with less electricity to sell comes less profit so shareholders won’t be impressed either. What will next year bring? Place bets now!
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SSE’s renewable energy output over spring and summer was almost a third lower than planned, as low winds and dry weather combined with high gas prices to push up energy prices, reports the Financial Times (via Swiftheadline).

The FTSE 100 energy supplier said on Wednesday its wind and hydro output between April 1 and September 22 was 32 per cent beneath its target — equivalent to an 11 per cent hit to its full-year production forecast.

The summer was “one of the least windy across most of the UK and Ireland and one of the driest in SSE’s hydro catchment areas in the last 70 years”, the company said in a statement.

SSE’s update is the latest sign of how unfavourable weather conditions are hitting the renewables sector.

It comes as a global gas shortage, a rebound in energy demand after coronavirus lockdown restrictions and some of the poorest wind conditions in the North Sea for more than two decades have propelled UK and continental European energy prices this month to their highest ever levels.

Full report here.

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Prepare for more unrest if/when energy prices accelerate even more due to unworkable so-called climate policies, and what used to be reliable supply becomes problematic.

PA Pundits - International

By Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. ~

As if the continuing spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant and fears of being flooded by waves of Afghan refugees weren’t enough, Europe is facing another crisis: The wind isn’t blowing.

Steady, reliable northwesterly winds blowing in from the North Atlantic and the North Sea were supposed to be a key component of Europe’s low-carbon future. Private investment capital and lavish taxpayer subsidies poured into the wind energy industry. By the thousands, gigantic wind turbines – offshore and onshore – mushroomed into the skies. Western Europe’s picturesque coasts and charming countryside have been defaced by these monstrosities, but everyone was assured it’s for a good cause. Nothing less than the planet’s future is at stake. And besides, wind power, along with solar power, will produce reliable affordable electricity.

Or maybe not.

For weeks, the wind from the North Atlantic and the North Sea has been…

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Matt Ridley blasts the UK’s destructive so-called climate policies, and the clueless eco-fantasist outlaws, running rampant at the moment.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

image

But the root of the crisis lies in the monomaniacal way in which this government and its recent predecessors have pursued decarbonisation at the expense of other priorities including reliability and affordability of energy.

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billpay

Energy costs on the rise

Refusal to exploit their own reserves of coal and gas, strong reluctance to import any more than the bare minimum because of a professed fear of trace gases in the atmosphere, and over-reliance on costly renewables is making the countries in question look more and more foolish. No end in sight to this kind of economic pain.
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Depleted natural gas inventories and low wind speeds have led to a surge in electricity prices across Europe, putting pressure on governments as consumers protest against surging power bills ahead of the winter heating season, says OilPrice.com.

Electricity prices from the UK to Spain have jumped to all-time highs, people in Spain have taken to the streets, while prices across Europe so high could become a drag on the economic recovery from the pandemic.

In Spain, day-ahead electricity prices surged to a fresh record this week, which is “a huge political problem,” says Javier Blas, Chief Energy Correspondent at Bloomberg News.

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windmill20scamThe old question of where the electricity supply is supposed to come from when the wind doesn’t blow keeps coming up, and no satisfactory answer – if there’s any answer at all – is ever heard. Today could be a repeat as wind is currently (9:15 am) supplying a lowly 6% of demand, with similar weather conditions. Of course none of this should be a surprise, as climate dogma can’t overthrow reality. Soon enough coal burning will be history in the UK.
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Britain’s fragile electricity system is a national embarrassment and a warning to the world, says The GWPF.

The entire UK wind fleet was in effect completely absent for much of the day, only rising above a few percent of its theoretical output late in the day when the crisis was over.

As a result, conventional gas- and coal-fired generators had to be fired up. The UK’s creaking grid was therefore effectively being propped up by fossil fuels.

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Mars_NASA

Mars [image credit: NASA]

Researchers say this could open the door to prediction of dust storms, which can seriously affect the solar panels of devices sent to investigate distant bodies like Mars. They also suggest such patterns may be common to all planetary atmospheres.
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Annular modes explain much of the internal variability of Earth’s atmosphere but have never been identified as influential on other planets, says Sci-News.

On Earth, the regularity of storm systems in the middle latitudes is associated with what is called an annular mode — a variability in atmospheric flow that is unrelated to the cycle of seasons.

Annular modes affect the jet stream, precipitation, and cloud formations across the planet.

They explain up to one-third of the variability in wind-driven ‘eddies,’ including blizzards in New England and severe storm outbreaks in the Midwest.

In a new study, Yale University researchers Juan Lora and J. Michael Battalio found that annular modes on Titan and Mars are even more influential than they are on Earth.

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enlil1

ENLIL vertical axis wind turbine

Most of the traffic will be powered by the supposedly dreaded fossil fuels, but never mind. Natural wind can also play a part. It’s the impression of trendy modernity and conformity to prevalent climate theories that counts, presumably, as the amount of electricity produced will be limited, to say the least.
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Istanbul has installed wind turbines that generate electricity using the air turbulence generated by traffic, reports The Independent.

ENLIL is a vertical turbine developed by Istanbul Technical University and tech firm Devecitech have been placed on roadsides in Turkey’s largest city to harness the wind generated by passing vehicles, and to soak up solar energy at the same time.

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arctic-sea-ice

Arctic sea ice [image credit: Geoscience Daily]

‘New research is pouring cold water on once-hot theory’ – WashPo. Researchers refer to ‘overestimation’. (Weird in this context at least tends to mean something like ‘not well understood’).
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An influential, highly publicized theory — that a warming Arctic is causing more intense winter outbreaks of cold and snow in midlatitudes — is hitting resistance from an ongoing sequence of studies, including the most comprehensive polar modeling to date, says the Washington Post.

The idea, first put forth in a 2012 paper by Jennifer Francis, now at the Woodwell Climate Research Center, and Stephen Vavrus, at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, is that two well-established trends — Arctic amplification (intensified global warming at higher latitudes) and depleted sea ice — can force the polar jet stream to dip farther south, thus causing more intense bouts of winter weather than might have otherwise occurred.

Over the past decade, this hypothesis sparked widespread public interest and scientific debate, as various high-profile cold waves and snow onslaughts hit North America and Eurasia, including a deadly, prolonged cold wave in Texas last February.

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Thomas_Fire

Smoke from forest fires in Southern California [image credit: NASA]

Will this be the end of climate alarmists feeding their confirmation biases over these events, resulting in the usual hysteria against atmospheric gases generated by humans? Almost certainly not, as they can still cling to the notion that the summer fires aren’t mostly due to lightning, arson or faulty power lines. Another report says: ‘Further analyses suggested that large fires were not associated with higher temperatures’.
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A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in the U.S. and one in Canada has found that the increasing number of large fires in Southern California during the autumn and winter months is mostly due to the Santa Ana winds and power line failures, rather than rising temperatures, reports Phys.org.

In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their study of fires in Southern California going back to 1948.

Large wildfires in California regularly make the news because of their magnitude and ferocity.

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golden-eagle

Golden eagle in Scotland [image credit: argyllholidays.com]

Hardly surprising, but the destruction of the countryside will continue regardless.

H/T Windwatch UK
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Wind farms are shrinking golden eagles habitats as they are afraid of the blades, a study has found.

The birds of prey are eight times less likely to fly near turbines when they are rotating compared with when they are switched off, scientists from the ecological company Natural Research Projects have found.

It is thought the birds are avoiding areas where turbines are situated because the noise and movement makes them feel threatened.

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Feldheim village near Berlin, Germany.

Subsidies drying up. Public resistance to wind turbines in the neighbourhood. Is the climate steamroller running out of puff in Germany?
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The German wind power industry is suffering setback after setback, says The GWPF.

Hardly any new turbines are being built, and more and more old wind turbines are being phased out. Now wind industry lobbyists are calling for new subsidies and construction rules to be relaxed.

In the Free State of Bavaria there is almost nothing going on when it comes to wind power.

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German Chancellor Merkel surveys an offshore wind site [image credit: evwind.es]

Wind ‘farms’ are allergic to each other it seems, sometimes leading to sizable drops in output. Awkward when space isn’t unlimited, some of the best sites are already taken, and the plan is to multiply the existing fleets. Weather dependency is even greater than expected.
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The expansion of wind energy in the German Bight and the Baltic Sea has accelerated enormously in recent years, TechXplore.

The first systems went into operation in 2008. Today, wind turbines with an output of around 8,000 megawatts operate in German waters, which corresponds to around eight nuclear power plants.

But space is limited. For this reason, wind farms are sometimes built very close to one another.

A team led by Dr. Naveed Akhtar from Helmholtz Zentrum Hereon has found that wind speeds at the downstream windfarm are significantly slowed down.

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VAWT

One of many vertical axis wind turbine designs

Vertical axis wind turbines aren’t new, but early reliability problems are supposed to have been largely ironed out now. The gearbox and generator are close to the ground, and they require less land per unit, but there’s less wind lower down. Given that we’re stuck with the wind power obsession for now, they may be worth a try if the computer simulations are anything to go by.
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The now-familiar sight of traditional propeller wind turbines could be replaced in the future with wind farms containing more compact and efficient vertical turbines, says TechXplore.

New research from Oxford Brookes University has found that the vertical turbine design is far more efficient than traditional turbines in large scale wind farms, and when set in pairs the vertical turbines increase each other’s performance by up to 15%.

A research team from the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (ECM) at Oxford Brookes led by Professor Iakovos Tzanakis conducted an in-depth study using more than 11,500 hours of computer simulation to show that wind farms can perform more efficiently by substituting the traditional propeller type Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs), for compact Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs).

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big-greenSome electricity consumers may feel like muttering obscenities if they see the figures. Meanwhile the BBC insists renewables are now cheaper than coal.
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The Global Warming Policy Forum has condemned what it called the “obscenity” of windfarm subsidies and has called for a complete rethink of energy policy.

GWPF research has shown that just six offshore windfarms are now sharing £1.6 billion pounds in subsidies between them every year.

Three receive annual subsidies of over a quarter of a billion pounds each year.

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Credit: Vortex Bladeless


The makers say: ‘Vortex Bladeless is a vortex induced vibration resonant wind generator. It harnesses wind energy from a phenomenon of vorticity called Vortex Shedding. Basically, bladeless technology consists of a cylinder fixed vertically with an elastic rod. The cylinder oscillates on a wind range, which then generates electricity through an alternator system.’
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New tech developments are happening in the wind power sector, says ZME Science.

Wind power is mostly associated with sweeping white blades, taking advantage of the strong gusts that blow over the land or the sea.

But what if we could forget about the blades and even the wind and instead just have a turbine?

That’s the idea of a group of European companies, who have come up with new ways to expand wind energy without the limitations of a conventional turbine.

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The message hasn’t reached South Korea, now proposing a wind ‘farm’ *SEVEN* times bigger than anything yet seen.

STOP THESE THINGS

Oh yes, they’re the great pretenders: useless in calm weather or after the sun goes down, wind and solar can never really compete with coal, nuclear or gas.

And anyone trying to convince you otherwise, ought to be gently encouraged to seek psychiatric help.

Especially after America’s big freeze left millions of wind and solar ‘powered’ Texans freezing in the dark.

Comparing ever-reliable coal, nuclear or gas with never-reliable wind and solar is patent nonsense; and only an eco-loon or renewable energy rent seeker entertains that process.

In the latter case, it’s because the wind and solar rort depends upon the engineered pretence that wind and solar are cheaper than the rest.

Ever insightful, Donn Dears takes a look at the number games played by America’s wind and solar crowd in their efforts to pretend to be playing in the big league.

Distorting the Levelized Cost of Electricity
Power for…

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The UK and EU seem determined to make these obvious power generation
mistakes that will inevitably lead to much higher prices and blackouts, sooner or later.

STOP THESE THINGS

Sitting freezing or boiling in the dark provides a moment to consider where one’s electricity comes from. Californians, South Australian and now Texans have all enjoyed the experience, one way or another.

The common thread, of course, is an obsession with sunshine-dependent solar and/or weather-dependent wind power.

The belief that we’re just a heartbeat (and a few TWhs worth of lithium batteries) away from an all wind and sun powered future is not just delusional, it’s dangerous.

Modern, civilised society depends upon having power as and when we need it. Not merely those occasions when Mother Nature feels inclined to deliver it.

The temporary loss of electricity to provide light, heating or air-conditioning might be an irritating inconvenience. But for the aged, the infirm and those on life support it’s no laughing matter.

Then, behind the curtain, there are a raft of critical systems – including communications (think mobile phone…

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The global race to produce hydrogen offshore

Posted: February 13, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy, hydrogen, wind
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Offshore wind farm [image credit: Wikipedia]


Production will obviously be as intermittent and therefore as unreliable as the wind itself. And how does the hydrogen get back onshore? Yet more expense is implied. Or if the plan is to use ‘excess’ energy, that suggests power already being sent to the national grid, so why not produce the hydrogen onshore?
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Last year was a record breaker for the UK’s wind power industry, says BBC News.

Wind generation reached its highest ever level, at 17.2GW on 18 December, while wind power achieved its biggest share of UK energy production, at 60% on 26 August [Talkshop comment: cherrypicking].

Yet occasionally the huge offshore wind farms pump out far more electricity than the country needs – such as during the first Covid-19 lockdown last spring when demand for electricity sagged.

But what if you could use that excess power for something else?

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A New Form of Space Weather: Earth Wind

Posted: February 12, 2021 by oldbrew in moon, solar system dynamics, wind

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A water creation surprise here.

Spaceweather.com

Feb. 12, 2021: The sun is windy. Every day, 24/7, a breeze of electrified gas blows away from the sun faster than a million mph. Solar wind sparks beautiful auroras around the poles of Earth, sculpts the tails of comets, and scours the surface of the Moon.

Would you believe, Earth is windy, too? Our own planet produces a breeze of electrified gas. It’s like the solar wind, only different, and it may have important implications for space weather on the Moon.

“Earth wind” comes from the axes of our planet. Every day, 24/7, fountains of gas shoot into space from the poles. The leakage is tiny compared to Earth’s total atmosphere, but it is enough to fill the magnetosphere with a riot of rapidly blowing charged particles. Ingredients include ionized hydrogen, helium, oxygen and nitrogen.

Once a month, the Moon gets hit by a blast of Earth wind. It…

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