Australian Press Council Finds Against Climate Sceptic Columnists

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IT'S the new must-have accessory for any self-respecting climate science denialist commentator in Australian newspapers - their very own “Australian Press Council” adjudication showing exactly how they stuffed up the facts and misled their readers on their stories.

Whether they like it or not, serial climate science misinformers James Delingpole and Andrew Bolt are the latest News Ltd contributors to have their online articles furnished with freshly-added hyperlinks to APC judgements finding against them.

Earlier this week, the APC found that Mr Delingpole's article “Wind Farm Scam A Huge Cover-Up”, published in the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Australian back in May, had misled readers on several points.

Presumably to the shock of the UK-based columnist on The Daily Telegraph, it turns out that it's not OK to write that the wind farm business is “bloody well near a pedophile ring. They're f . . king our families and knowingly doing so,” as Delingpole did when quoting an anonymous sheep farmer. As the press council said in its judgement:

… the report of the anonymous remarks concerning paedophilia, a very serious and odious crime, were highly offensive. The Council’s principles relate, of course, to whether something is acceptable journalistic practice, not whether it is unlawful. They are breached where, as in this case, the level of offensiveness is so high that it outweighs the very strong public interest in freedom of speech. It was fully justifiable in the public interest to convey the intensity of feeling by some opponents of wind farms but that goal did not require quoting the reference to paedophilia.

Neither was it OK for Delingpole to write that law firm Slater & Gordon had sought to place “rigorous gagging orders” on landholders without offering any actual evidence and when the firm in question denied it.

Second, [the council] has concluded that the claim that a law firm sought gagging orders has been publicly denied by the firm and, in the absence of any supporting evidence, constitutes a breach of the Council’s principles concerning misrepresentation. The newspaper’s prompt publication of the law firm’s denials prevented aggravation of the breach but did not absolve it.

How about the bit where Delingpole wrote how a Government program to support the growth of renewable energy was a “kind of Government-sponsored Ponzi scheme”? Wrong again.

The REC scheme does not have an essential characteristic of a Ponzi scheme, namely criminal fraudulence, and is not reasonably analogous to such a scheme.

Besides professional embarrassment and the requirement to publish the press council's adjudication, The Australian is free to carry on regardless, as it has been doing for several years in misrepresenting climate science

Perhaps predictably then, rather than politely decline any further contributions from a writer adjudged to have been too offensive (a bar which you have to jump very highly to get over) and to have misled readers, The Australian has instead published another offensive rant from the same writer.

Writing again in The Australian, Delingpole says of the press council's judgement: “I stand by every word of the piece - especially the bit about pedophiles. I would concede that the analogy may be somewhat offensive to the pedophile community.”

And what of News Ltd blogger and columnist Andrew Bolt? Back in February (yes, the wheels of the APC turn slowly) Bolt wrote in a story headlined “Time That Climate Alarmists Fessed Up” that the UK's Met Office had issued data showing there had been no global warming for 15 years.

Bolt had failed to check back with the Met Office, which had two days earlier issued a statement saying such a conclusion was “entirely misleading”. The APC adjudication, delivered earlier this month, said

The Met Office description should have been mentioned in Mr Bolt’s print article and blog of 1 February, even if he then rebutted it as unconvincing. It was not sufficient in these circumstances to assert ignorance of the response or to rely on the reader’s previous posting to inform other readers about it.

The press council also concluded that statements made by Bolt about sea and ice conditions “were likely to be interpreted by many readers as indicating that the longer-term trends had ceased or were reversing” and that he “should have acknowledged explicitly that all of the three changes in question were comparatively short-term and were statistically compatible with continuance of the long-term trends in the opposite direction”.

While judgements such as these are welcome, the APC did stop short of finding against the writers with regard to other elements of the complaints.

For example, the APC decided it was acceptable for Delingpole to claim categorically that wind farms were causing people to fall ill, despite several scientific reviews finding no evidence for such links.

In a curious conclusion to the complaint against Andrew Bolt, the press council said ambiguously that its “adjudication neither endorses nor rejects any particular theories or predictions about global warming”.

“[The council] observes that on issues of such major importance the community is best served by frank disclosure and discussion,” it said.

One has to ask then, how the council aims to judge the merits of “frank disclosure” if it isn't able to accept that decades of peer-reviewed research on climate change has found the community isn't “best served” by ignoring the causes of climate change?

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Deligpole and Bolt are tired hacks saddled  with contractual obligations to lie, in the absense of any evidential support for their contrarian positions.

Mr. Delingpole personifies the definition and delivery of 'weasel words' with most of his nasty submissions to the Telegraph/Australian, although with his “paedophile” rant he should not even be accorded the dignity of being judged by his literary style. I believe it was three or four years ago, and George Monbiot chose to retract his comment, but in a Guardian blog (iirc) he accurately described JD as a “delusional fuckwit.” 

Wind farms are losing their appeal in the USA. Support is dying and it is only rich NIMBY folks like John Kerry and the Kennedys who promote these ugly inefficient monstrosities with a short lifetime of 10 to 15 years.  The wind industry corporations and lobbyists have misrepresented the value of wind turbines and they need to be held accountable. There will be a growing number of law suits to stop wind farms in the USA.

Let's focus on real solutions like solar pv and let's focus on an energy storage solution. People want to be free of the grid and wind is not available to most people especially in poor countries where there is no transmission infrastructure and where they will never be able to afford wind. In India they are already able to install solar pv at a cost of $0.50 US dollars per watt.

My review of engineering reports from EON netz are now being echoed by a report from the Renewable Energy Foundation. They find that wind is not living up to initial promise and that there a serious degradation issues emerging with the technology. Key excerpt from the report:

“As a consequence, any economic assessment of wind generation should not be based on an expected life which is longer than 15 years. In recent work reported in evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change I assumed that wind plants would have a residual value equal to 20% of their initial cost in real terms at the end of 15 years. The analysis in this paper suggests that this is too favourable an assumption. Given the costs of decommissioning old turbines the residual value is likely to be well below 10% of their initial cost and the decision point may be at 10 rather than 15 years.”


41. Wind power is a highly capital-intensive technology for generating electricity. Its merits rely entirely upon a substitution of capital for fuel inputs. The same is true for hydro or tidal or wave power. In comparison with hydro power, wind is a low quality resource because of its variability and because it cannot be stored. So, the economic case for wind power must rest on obtaining the most out of the wind that is available.

42. While the decline in the achieved performance of onshore wind turbines in Denmark is much less than that for the UK or offshore, nonetheless the decline in expected output under standardised wind conditions over 10 years is 10% unweighted and 13% capacity weighted. These declines accelerate after age 10 so that the reductions in performance are 17% and 20% respectively after 15 years. For UK onshore wind farms the reduction in performance due to age is much worse at 27% unweighted and 69% capacity weighted by age 10.

43. Evidence on the performance of Danish offshore installations is both restricted and so poor that there may be concern that the results are affected by a small number of outliers. Still, the sample contains a reasonable number of sites with at least 5 years of operating experience and the decline in performance by age 5 is 38% unweighted and 26% capacity weighted.

44. In addition to these results there is strong evidence that the average normalised load factor for new onshore wind installations in the UK has fallen significantly over the period from 2000 to 2011. This is consistent with a pattern in which the most favourable sites are developed first. Equally, it could mean that wind developers have been unable to keep up with the rate of new investment while maintaining the quality of development and operations. For example, the site design or selection of turbine characteristics may make less effective use of the available wind resources for the sites available than was the case in the past.

45. Whatever the reasons, the deterioration in initial performance means that the expected returns from the expansion in wind capacity, both for investors and in terms of the reduction in CO2 emissions, have been falling without a concomitant decrease in the private and social costs that are borne by customers and the general public. Clearly this is unsatisfactory at best and it suggests that the benefits claimed for current policies cannot be taken at face value.

The Renewable Energy Foundation is a deceitful organization which actually is set up to undermine wind energy.

“There have been critics of REF's agenda, in particular Juliet Davenport, chief executive of green energy provider Good Energy, and Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, who both accuse the organisation of using a deliberately “misleading” name. Vince says “They are not a Foundation for Renewable Energy, as their name says and as any reasonable person would conclude from their name – they actually exist to undermine Renewable Energy – in that respect their name is a deceit.”

Other critics such as Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK, a trade body that represents more than 600 wind and marine energy firms, says the Renewable Energy Foundation's true purpose is diametrically opposed to the interests of the wind energy industry. “It is an anti-wind lobbying organisation,” she told BusinessGreen. “I'd like to know where the renewable energy part of their remit is. They don't foster or promote or develop, they just try to undermine the case for wind energy all the time.”

“The Renewable Energy Foundation provides “strong support” for local objectors to planning applications for windfarms. Dr Constable is reported to tour the country to give speeches at local planning meetings opposing wind farms on behalf of the REF. One environmental activist described the organization thus “The Renewable Energy Foundation is a sham organisation; it has nothing to do with renewable energy. It is a front for industrial lobby groups which have interests in fossil fuels and nuclear power.”

Windy is afraid to post where he finds his dishonest assessments. He's afraid we will tear them to shreds again. Wind turbines have been going on their merry efficient ways for approximately 18 years in my part of the world.

Funny how people like windy can only find negative things about non fossil fuel energy projects. Mmm could it be that he only reads sources which he knows will reinforce his anti AGW psyche?

No one has ever claimed that in certain locations solar will be a better route than other forms of renewable energy. He is just setting up a strawman argument.

When I am soon able to install solar on my property at $1.00/watt installed and can generate my own energy for 2.5 cents/kWh, why would I want to pay a utility company for energy from a wind farm? When you consider all the limitations of wind with respect to location, cost, noise, bird deaths, ugliness, land use change, etc. compared to solar which can be blended architectualy into my house, doesn't kill birds doesn't make noise, etc. why would I or anyone else want wind power? If I go to a poor country with no infrastructure and no grid which will be the less expensive source of energy, solar or wind?  Do you understand why I see wind as a dead end now?

No one has ever claimed that solar will not play a major part in supplying energy. In places where it is suitable it will be developed and supported. windy would get a lot more support if he stopped his ridiculous attacks on wind farms. None of what he claims is true and is the product of dishonest fossil fuel propaganda.

As far as his comments about “ugliness” I guess he has never seen an open cast coal mine, a dirty coal fired electricity generating power station or even a nuclear powered one. These monstrosities are a complete eyesore and are far uglier than any wind farm I have seen.

for wind? You would have to be against them in order not to be a hypocrite for suggesting I want mining when I have said no such thing. I am not for coal power and you're desperately spinning tales to suggest that I am. What about all the people exposed to all the pollution from mined REEs and dying in mines extracting REEs used for wind?

You keep digging deeper and deeper.

Installed… with all the sun you can get in Southern Ontario, Canada. (Hint.. they have less sun than most of the US.)

For that reason solar is rolling out in the US unsubsidized.  (Now… as we speak…)

Here's the ad about that;  Folks who are switching are doing so to save money, and no other reason.

Now… as for intermittency.. and lets face it you're not home when the sun is out if you work for a living.  Most electric grids are required by law to buy back any excess energy you may be producing.

So it comes out in the wash.  You sell power by day, and buy back by night.  Your grid provider shuts off power plants because as you know… supply is infinitely more predictable than demand.

Too bad he only reads junk which always tells lies about wind energy. If he actually did a bit of digging and finding honest and balanced information he would find that the mining of rare earth elements (I wonder why he just called them REE, I bet he doesn't know what they are but just cut and pasted his usual junk) is not the reason that the area around Baotou is polluted. The area is full of mines and other industries with a history of pollution: iron and steel, coal, aluminium.

The production of the rare earth elements is as a by-product of the iron and steel industry. Only anti-wind energy zealots such as windy and the Daily Fail would attribute the pollution to wind farms. There are many uses for the rare earths besides the magnets in wind turbines. One of their most common uses is as phosphors in the making of the new TV and computer colour monitors, I wonder if windy, who is so upset by the pollution attributed to them, only watches a black and white TV.

Keep on digging windy but don't pollute us with your garbage and spoils from your pit of ignorance and arrogance.

Rare earth metals are key to global efforts to switch to cleaner energy – from batteries in hybrid cars to magnets in wind turbines. Mining and processing the metals causes environmental damage that China, the biggest producer, is no longer willing to bear.

China’s rare earth industry each year produces more than five times the amount of waste gas, including deadly fluorine and sulfur dioxide, than the total flared annually by all miners and oil refiners in the U.S. Alongside that 13 billion cubic meters of gas is 25 million tons of wastewater laced with cancer-causing heavy metals such as cadmium, Xu Xu, chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters, said at a Beijing conference on Dec. 28.

China supplied the world with very cheap and good-quality rare earths for more than a decade at the cost of depleting its resources and damaging its environment,” Wang Caifeng, who heads the government-affiliated China Association for Rare Earths, said at the conference. “The world should thank China.”

With China now shutting down unregulated rare earth mines and slashing exports, users from Toyota Motor Corp. to Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines, are concerned that supplies may be constrained. China provides more than 95 percent of global shipments of the 17 rare earth metals, also used in mobile phones, catalysts to reduce automobile exhaust emissions and energy-saving electronics.

The government cut export quotas for the first half of 2011 by 35 percent last month. That follows a 72 percent reduction in the second half of 2010, causing the price of some of the metals to more than double.

Lynas, Molycorp Leap

Mining companies including Lynas Corp. from Australia and Molycorp Inc. in the U.S. plan to make up the supply shortfall. Molycorp said Nov. 1 it restarted processing at a mine in Mountain Pass, California, that closed in 2002. The company’s shares have more than doubled since the end of November.

That mine had its own environmental problems, resulting in Molycorp, then a unit of Unocal Corp., paying $1.6 million to settle with state agencies after toxic wastewater leaks in the 1990s.

With rare earths in short supply, Molycorp shares more than tripled last year on the New York Stock Exchange. Lynas also more than tripled on the Australia Securities Exchange in 2010.

Vestas uses the rare earth neodymium in magnets for itsV112 wind turbine, which enters production next year, Michael Holm, a spokesman, said in a telephone interview.

Toxic Leakage

Rare earth metals aren’t rare. Cerium used in batteries and to cut auto emissions, is more common than copper in the earth’s crust, according to the U.S. Geological Survey Minerals Yearbook. The metals got the name because they are difficult to extract, unlike concentrated deposits of copper or gold ore.

The Baotou region in Inner Mongolia produces about half of China’s annual output of 120,000 tons of rare earths, with Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co. being the country’s biggest producer.

A four-story tailing dam containing radioactive waste 12 kilometers (7 miles) from Baotou has been “a serious problem”and polluted rivers, Chen Zhanheng, director of the academic department of the Chinese Society of Rare Earths, said in an interview.

Baotou Steel Group, which operates the Baiyun Ebo mine, has spent 500 million yuan ($75 million) with the local government to relocate five villages after seepage from the dam polluted agricultural land and drinking water, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported on Nov. 7.

Uranium Disposal

All rare earth ores contain uranium and thorium, which could pose a danger if not disposed of responsibly,” said Dudley J Kingsnorth, who managed Australia’s Mount Weld rare earths project for Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. for 10 years. He’s now an independent consultant on the metals.

Rare earths require more chemicals to separate than base metals such as copper, zinc and lead, said Bernd Lottermoser, a professor of environmental earth sciences at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia.

China toughened regulations in 2009 and set production quotas to bolster prices. Subsequent export restrictions combined with rising demand have caused the price of neodymium, used in Toyota’s Prius hybrid car, to surge four-fold to $80 a kilogram from $19.12 in 2009, according to Lynas.

The world excluding China will require 55,000 to 60,000 tons of rare-earth metals this year, of which as much as 24,000 tons will come from China, Molycorp’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith said in a Jan. 3 interview on Bloomberg Radio. The company may double its planned production to 40,000 tons in 2012 to help meet global demand, he said.

Sydney-based Lynas is building a A$550 million ($550 million) rare earths project at Mount Weld, Western Australia.

Devil You Know

Molycorp’s mine won a San Bernardino County permit in 2004 to operate for 30 years and passed another inspection in 2007.

Processing improvements at that California mine will almost cut in half the amount of raw ore needed to produce the same amount of rare earth oxides, Molycorp’s Smith said during testimony to the U.S. House Science and Technology Committee in March. Water recycling and treatment processes will reduce the mine’s fresh water usage by 96 percent, he said.

This is one that could be reopened with strong regulatory and environmental oversight,” Glenn Miller, professor of natural resources and environmental science at the University of Nevada-Reno, said in a phone interview.

A lot of these metals are used for environmental purposes that are really important,” Miller said. “It’s far better to reopen this mine, where you have a known geological deposit, than go into a new country.”

windy seems to be really lacking in logical ability. He seems to think that because some industries and countries turn a blind eye to pollution and that one of the products produced by these polluting companies is used in the manufacture of wind turbines then that means that wind farms are bad. What a load of BS.

As I said previously, there are many uses for the rare earth elements, not just in wind turbines. It just goes to show that AGW deniers will go to any extreme to promote the fuels produced by their sugar daddies.

windy seems to be upset that REE's are used in wind turbines, I wonder if he realizes they are also used in photo voltaics. Oooh the  hypocrisy!

“Rare earth metals are critical for clean energy technologies, such as PVs, as well as hybrid and electric vehicles, high-efficiency wind turbines, smart grid technologies, and even compact fluorescent lights that are targeted to replace energy-wasting incandescent bulbs in the United States.Other high-tech uses include: fiber optics, lasers and hard disk drives; defense guidance and control systems; global positioning systems; and advanced industrial, military and outdoor recreation water treatment technology.”

Its just Windy between the ears…

I happen to know that many of those toxic issues are slated to be dealt with in China.  Western Environmental technology is being sold in China by the bucket load, right now, as we speak.

Reading that article about seepage Baotou Steel Group mine made me laugh.  Maybe the communists just need to learn how to hire PR agents, Windy!  Its cheaper!  A few fake idiots to dot the information sphere, and some obvious balony and you've got it made!  (Perhaps the commies fear an asian version of Erin Brockovich?)

By the way Windy, we had an idiot around here earlier this year (Rosa?) saying that wind turbines emitted CO2.  I think you need to do some more studying on that… .  I'm sure Rosa's findings would be very convincing… to you.

in the wind scam and see her stock value drop by 90%.  I bet Ian lost his hiney on the wind scam and is desperate in hoping it will rebound. Did you? LOL

BTW Germany was dealt a major blow on wind and will no longer be able to dump excess wind energy on its neighbors. Watch the fallout. :-) Oh and when the Dutch are disappointed by wind turbines it's an omen that the writing is on the wall.

'Dutch fall out of love with windmills'

(Reuters) - When the Netherlands built its first sea-based wind turbines in 2006, they were seen as symbols of a greener future.

Towering over the waves of the North Sea like an army of giants, blades whipping through the wind, the turbines were the country's best hope to curb carbon emissions and meet growing demand for electricity.

The 36 turbines – each one the height of a 30-storey building – produce enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 100,000 households each year.

But five years later the green future looks a long way off. Faced with the need to cut its budget deficit, the Dutch government says offshore wind power is too expensive and that it cannot afford to subsidize the entire cost of 18 cents per kilowatt hour – some 4.5 billion euros last year.

The government now plans to transfer the financial burden to households and industrial consumers in order to secure the funds for wind power and try to attract private sector investment.


Notice how the burden will be shifted to the public?

I look forward… to your review of the steady degradation of coal and natural gas power plants.  As you have not done a comparison, you have not demonstrating anything, or even provided a useful perspective. (If you worked at an engineering firm, you'd be fired for providing useless work.)

As you know coal and natural gas plants degrade significantly over time.

Did you know that the first thing that coal power plants do with a coal shipment, is to analyze the coal to determine how efficient its burn will be? It seems that they need to analyze their losses in order to determine how much power they can put out.

I note that so far, your industry funded reports on wind state very clearly that wind is better than our existing coal\natgas solutions.  Care to comment on that fact?

so have fun debating yourself about coal. NG is a backup energy source in my view as I prefer solar as my primary energy source (see my reasons in commennt to Ian). There is enough energy provided by the Sun in one hour to meet the global energy needs for a year.

Let me know. TIA :-)


Someone needs to tell the politicians in Boston and Washington that Cape Wind, the long-stalled plan to cover 25 square miles of pristine Nantucket Sound with 130 massive steel windmill-turbine towers, is a rip-off. That someone is most likely to be the newly enlightened electricity ratepayers—and voters—of Massachusetts.

In the past few months it has become clearer than ever how much this giveaway of public property is going to cost them if Cape Wind is ever built. The numbers are staggering.

Vermont wants to take its nuclear plant off line and replace it with clean, green power from HydroQuebec—power available to Massachusetts utilities—at a cost of six cents per kilowatt hour (kwh). Cape Wind electricity, by a conservative estimate and based on figures they filed with the state, comes in at 25 cents per kwh.

In Massachusetts, the utility company NSTAR has fought off intense political pressure to commit to buying Cape Wind's power when and if it becomes available. CEO Tom May has repeatedly said such a contract would impose far too large a burden on his ratepayers.

Instead, and to meet the state's requirements that utilities purchase 3.5% of their power from “green” sources, NSTAR has contracted with several far less expensive land-based wind-power providers.

According to NSTAR's own filings to certify compliance with the green-power requirement, these contracts come in at $111 million below market averages over the standard contract period of 15 years. The price of Cape Wind power comes in at well over $1 billion above market averages, according to Cape Wind's own regulatory filings about its contract with National Grid, the utility company that has agreed to buy half its power.

If the sea-based wind farm off Nantucket did begin operating, it is safe to deduce that National Grid customers would be getting fleeced compared to their NSTAR neighbors. The land-based wind alternatives that have sprouted up over the last decade have given utilities far cheaper alternatives to the unbuilt Cape Wind.

Bluntly put: Whether you agree or disagree with the fishermen, homeowners and environmentalists who have fought Cape Wind for a decade, the fact is this project makes no sense for ratepayers and taxpayers. Vastly cheaper forms of energy, and not just wind, are now available.

Despite this, there are ominous signs that NSTAR, after years of fighting off pressure by the state of Massachusetts to jam its customers with higher costs, is being told to accept the higher costs after all. The state's leverage? A proposed merger of NSTAR with Northeast Utilities.

In only the latest example of how heavy-handed Cape Wind's backers are, Massachusetts has suddenly agreed to change the rules for utilities as they apply to mergers and the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions. In effect, the state administration is trying to hold hostage the proposed NSTAR-Northeast Utilities merger unless the two electric companies agree to buy Cape Wind's power.

Stopping Cape Wind is no longer merely about preventing the desecration of sacred Native American land, including land now under shallow waters in the Sound, where the turbines would also obstruct religiously significant views of the sunrise and sunset. It is no longer simply about protecting fish and fishing—which Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has moved to do for other areas of the state. Those reasons, along with protecting the safety of boats and planes while saving Cape Cod and the Islands from a devastating blow to tourism and property values, are still valid.

Stopping Cape Wind is now about preventing us from buying into a boondoggle: from investing desperately needed federal, state and ratepayer dollars in a single project, on public land, for the benefit of a private developer when better and cheaper renewable energy—from wind and water power—is abundantly available.

Mr. Kennedy is an environmental lawyer and president of the environmental group Waterkeeper Alliance.

The real reason that Kennedy doesn't want this project to go ahead is more to do with his NIMBYism. I can't vouch for his figures but AGW deniers are not the only ones to fudge figures for their own advantage.

I put Kennedy in the same camp as Trump who had no qualms about digging up a site of special scientific interest for his golf course but didn't want an off shore windfarm to “spoil his view”. Such hypocrites.

The report Windy cites was written by professor Gordon Hughes a so called environmental economist. He is the most anti wind farm commentator in the UK. Don't believe a word he says, he has fossil fuel and nuclear industry money written all over his fishwrap.

Unlike fossil fuels, wind power doesn't kill humans.

Wind power doesn't significantly contribute to global warming.

Wind power does not need to be decommissioned by the disingenuous method you suggest.  (Try keeping the tower, and putting a new generator on top.  Much cheaper and dramatically reduces carbon footprint.)

Poor performance… maybe… Why don't you compare that against the fact that 100% oil and gas wells eventually leak. This issue is permanent. And there is no plan in place anywhere in the world to stop leaky wells.  (And all the oil companies in charge of them having no money to fix it. We'll need a lot more public subsidy for the constant clean up required.  This is what we do in Alberta.)

Intermittence is a concern however its significantly more predictable than loading.   Furthermore.. the proper cure is to increase your gird size in order to take advantage of wind, where ever it may occur.  That levels your supply, and frankly is currently how the European grid functions.

As you know, we build power systems (including fossil fuels) for peak demand.  Which may be for say, 1 hour a year.  The cure is energy storage.  Look up Liquid Metal Batteries.   That solves intermittence, and allows us to remove fossil fuel energy plants at the same time.

In any case, I recommend you give this a good read.  It discusses all the same issues you're talking about… for COAL.  Did you know that a coal plant that is not operating at capacity is much less efficient?  But its cleaner?  Heck, we keep Coal plants on line just in case in Alberta.  Too bad we don't have Liquid Metal Batteries.

Wow… Coal gets 10% variation in efficiency just on fuels source alone.  Hmmm… UK is a bad choice Windy… their Coal efficiency goes down over time.

Lastly… According to the DOE… Efficiency is worse for coal have a read.

I have no idea of the quality of the work cited (or copied) in eaarleir comments on this thread.  My independent judgement is that wind turbines are not all that desirable for several reasons.  The primary one is intermittency.

That does not mean I am totally opposed to wind farms.

you can purchase solar at 50 cents a watt installed and pay less than 3 cents/kwh for power and maybe $0 if you are allowed to sell excess electricity that you produce from your solar installation, would you prefer paying a utility 11 cents/kWh for wind? Would your home be more valuable with solar panels providing free energy to prospective buyers vs being next to gigantic noisy wind turbines or having a view of gigantic wind turbines? Look at the link that Ian Forrester provided showing pictures of how ugly wind turbines are and how they ruin the beauty of the landscape. Who wants that? Certainly not any of the rich people like John Kerry of R. Kennedy Jr. who kill any such wind project that infringes on their properties with their NIMBY attitude (and who can blame them?). Like Kerry and Kennedy, I would fight against wind in my community too.

A small town in Scotland surprised windfarm developers. Large numbers of the residents turned up at a meeting put on by the developers informing them about a proposed windfarm in their area. The developers were expecting that they would bring a long list of negative comments. Instead the developers were surprised when the residents were in favour of the windfarm and asked that an extra turbine be installed at their cost so they could share the positive benefits.

The town is making substantial profits from their turbine and the money is paying for green energy projects for the town so that residents can save even more money.

The wind company is hurting and killing people. Read below.

Firm admits Earlsburn wind farm death safety failings

Earlsburn wind turbineMr Brazao died after falling 100ft while working inside a turbine at the Earlsburn wind farm

Related Stories

A wind turbine manufacturer has admitted a series of health and safety failings at a wind farm where a teenage worker fell 100ft to his death.

Basilio Brazao, 19, from Brazil, died instantly when he fell down the shaft of a wind turbine at the Earlsburn wind farm near Fintry, Stirlingshire.

Mr Brazao had been working inside the turbine at the time of the incident.

At Stirling Sheriff Court, manufacturer Nordex UK admitted a number of health and safety breaches on the site.

The Manchester-based firm admitted that between 1 November 2006 and 22 May 2007 it failed to ensure the health and safety of employees at the wind farm.

It further pled guilty to failing to provide a safe way of getting up and down from the 15 wind turbines on the site, all of which had been supplied and constructed by the company.

It also admitted that as a consequence of failing to provide safe access, Mr Brazao was required to ascend a ladder to access the main generator of the turbine on the day he died, 22 May 2007.

Ray Gribben, defending, said Nordex UK had been “practically insolvent” in the last two financial years, and posted a loss of more than £1.3m for the year ending 2011.

Sheriff Fiona Tait deferred sentence until 15 June as she said she needed to hear about the financial situation of the firm's German parent company, Nordex SE.

She said: “I see a difficulty in determining a significant financial penalty without the fullest knowledge of their finances.”

The Earlsburn wind farm in the Touch Hills was under construction when Mr Brazao died.

As usual stupidity either by the site owner or the worker was the cause;

At Stirling Sheriff Court, manufacturer Nordex UK admitted a number of health and safety breaches on the site.

At GE our health and safety officers loved to show us videos of fatal accidents for failing to perform proper safety procedures.

The biggest source of death in solar is falling, and for all of the same reasons.  Did you put your harness on?  Hint… shorter fall, but there are way more workers.

If you want to conclude something about the relative safety rates of an energy source you need to look at these things called STATISTICS Here's all I can find on the internet, but there are books on the subject.  (Rooftop Solar has 3X the death rate of Wind.)

In any case you now seem to be in the weeds arguing from a non technical point of view.  You need to compare all technologies.  Solar cells degrade over time as well.  Oh… you didn't evaluate that from an engineering perspective before jumping on your bandwagon.  Hmmm…  Sounds like a denier to me… bait and switch this time?

In My Opinion… no particular technology is superior.  It just makes sense to harvest energy in a means which is efficient for a location. The only caveat I'd add to that is that pollution must be taken into consideration.

In Alberta, most wind farms are built near a place called Windermere, so named because of the wind.  In Canada, we haven't got anywhere near the sun you have in the states.  Currently, building solar plants up here makes no sense.

In Hawaii, land is at a premium, so they are rolling out rooftop solar, since they appear to have plenty of sun.  They used to use coal, but operating a private railway on the islands and storing coal was too expensive, so they switched to pipes and petroleum.

Natural gas is reasonably efficient if its used to directly drive power plants. (However, natural gas is not used that way.  And lets not get into the risks of fracking.)

Hydro makes sense if you have rain, and valleys.  If we dammed Alberta, we'd flood the entire prairies…

The wind farm at Fintry is not having problems. I don't understand why anyone can confuse a mistake by the manufacturer who did not follow proper health and safety rules while assembling the turbines with problems in the running and the economics of the wind farm.

As for the comments about financial failure, again this is about the manufacturer and not the economics of the wind farm.

Using windy's failure in logic we should ban all cars since two manufactures in the states were essentially bankrupt and had to be bailed out by governments. Or banks should be shut down because of a bank failure in the UK. Well known AGW denier and strong libertarian Matt Ridley, had to get his bank bailed out by the UK government to the tune of 27 billion BPS. Just because people take chances and cut corners or in the case of Ridley's bank, bet on high risk investments, does not mean that the whole industry is in trouble.

The wind company is hurting and killing people. Read below. Mr Brazao died after falling 100ft while working inside a turbine at the Earlsburn wind farm

I'm not sure what the purpose of this post is Windy. Do you believe that no deaths have occured in the collective fossil fuel industry over the past 100 years? Has some story about wind turbines, led you to believe that occupational health and safety issues or deaths are impossible in the renewables sector?


The Dutch have already bailed on government support of wind and now the love affair with wind seems to be fading with the German government too. Die Welt a German paper is indicating that the German government has decided to shift all costs for wind directly onto the German energy using public.

Here is the RT version:


Now comes the time to pay for Germany’s green vision.

Despite technological advances, wind, solar, hydro and other green energy sources still remain an unprofitable investment in a fair market. The way to encourage their exploitation is through a set of feed-in tariffs, a policy where energy companies are forced to buy electricity from green generators at a price set by the government (which is usually legislated to remain the same for two decades).

The German government has passed the cost of the payment from the energy companies to the consumer. Every German on the grid pays something called Umlage, a special surcharge for supporting green fuels that covers all the green energy subsidies, however much energy is produced.

This week, energy companies announced that the charge would go up by 47 percent for next year. The average Germany household will now pay €250 a year to sponsor green energy producers, four times more than in 2009.

The overall value of the subsidy on green energy is likely to exceed €20 billion next year, about one percent of GDP.

At the same time, the government has relieved large exporting companies (who consume a fifth of Germany’s electricity) from paying Umlage, for fear of crippling them, thus leaving ordinary Germans to bear the burden.

That is on top of what are some of the highest electricity prices in Europe, which have already risen 44 percent since Merkel came to power seven years ago.

This is hardly the ceiling.

Faced with a scheme in which it seems almost impossible to lose money, German states, industrial giants and even enterprising individuals have all rushed to build wind turbines and solar panel farms.

Never mind 35 or 40 percent, at the current rate by 2020 more than half of Germany’s energy will be obtained from renewables – and all subsidized by the taxpayer.

It's out of control,” summed up Kurt J. Lauk, Economic Council president from Angela Merkel’s own Christian Democrats party.


The averge cost for electricity in Germany is 31.41 cents/kWh in US currency according to Wiki.

German electricity will surpass 40 cents/kWh soon. I wonder how long the German public will be raped and made to pay corporate welfare before they wise up? I sure feel good about the 4.54 cents/kWh that I pay for electricity. I would be paying $2,400.00/year in Germany in 2013 for the same electricity I now get for $274.00/year where I live in the USA. If I invest the $2,160.00 savings into a gas/oil stock paying a 9% dividend, I will have 32,300.00 in 10 years.

In Los Angeles it costs $0.211/kWh, which is 465% more than than I will pay in 2013 after locking in a $.0454/kWh rate in the Midwest. With Californians choosing to pay more for energy in the future the differencial will continue into the future and in 10 years I will be holding $19,234.25 and a Californian using the same amount of electricity as me will be holding his pecker. With 50 cent/watt solar (already available outside the USA) I will make even more money. So why would I want to be financially raped by paying the kind of energy rates that wind fanatics in California and Germany are paying for? Only ignorant people and fanatics fall for the financial rape offered by wind.

If he is switching to solar good for him. However, with windy's previous, I never know when he is being honest. There are places which are suited to wind energy and there are places suited to solar. Each area should use what is best for them.

A savvy Professor at University of Chicago taught me a great deal about personal economics and why you can't ignore it when dealing with people. You don't seem to want to accept the writing on the wall about the growing negatives of wind power. You can't possibly believe that if wind is being rejected in wealthy countries that it will be embraced in developing countries, where CO2 is growing most rapidly, but where there is no money to build expensive grids and infrastructure. Solar pv enhances property value because it lowers the cost of energy to consumers at a personal level which creates great motivation. No such personal motivation exists for wind power and in fact there is negative motivation with wind. Wind hurts property values and if you were an honest person you would realize that is why the Kennedy', Kerry's and all rich people with beautiful views don't want to see wind turbines as part of THEIR landscape.

So that you have no doubt, I am pro solar pv as this is the only viable solution I see to bring cheap clean energy to 2 billion people that have no electricity and still be acceptable to wealthier countries and that would motivate people from a personal economic level to convert to clean cheaper energy than they now have. I see very few negatives with solar and the quicker we get to solar pv under $1.00/watt installed the faster we can lower CO2e . My household per capita CO2 emissions are 5t/year and when I convert to solar it will drop to 3.5t/year which puts me very close to the 3.3t/capita needed in the USA to reduce US CO2 by 80% of 1990 emissions. I have 2,000sq.ft. near the Southern border of Wisconsin and use 6,000kWh/yr of electricity. When we eventually drop to $0.50/watt for solar it becomes costlier for home owners to use coal and oil based electricity and you bypass politics and government and motivate individuals to switch to clean energy rather than force them to switch.