A typical commercial turbine needs a wind speed of between 6-10mph to start operating – and automatically stops when the wind is more than around 55mph, to protect its mechanisms. Even when the wind is blowing between those speeds, it – and therefore the amount of electricity generated – is variable, and usually below the turbine’s full theoretical capacity.
According to government figures, the average wind turbine operates to just 27 per cent of its capacity – even the industry only claims 30 per cent – and there are some grounds for suggesting that even this is a significant exaggeration. Professor Michael Jefferson, of the London Metropolitan Business School, says that in 2008 less than a fifth of onshore wind farms achieved 30 per cent capacity.
One analysis of the government figures, albeit commissioned by wind farm opponents, suggested that Britain’s biggest wind farm – the 140-turbine installation at Whitelee, near East Kilbride – operated to just 7.3 per cent of its capacity that year….
…The rest of the answer appears to be subsidy. The Government pays an indirect subsidy, a “renewable obligation”, or RO – and putting up a wind turbine is the cheapest way to collect it. In contrast to better renewable technologies, a turbine is inexpensive to build, perhaps around £2 million, and it lasts at least 20 years.
The total RO paid to the wind industry last year was £400 million. So each of Britain’s wind turbines earned, on average, £138,000 in subsidy last year – more than Mrs Clegg’s husband makes. Add in the profits from selling the electricity they generate and after construction costs are cleared, you will be making nearly £300,000 per year per turbine, half of it courtesy of the Government.
Please do go read the whole article. It mentions many of the same problems I have been discussing since the early Pleistocene epoch of this blog. Wind does not work – except as a vehicle to siphon cash.
There is a lot of money in play – our money. The economics of wind power only work when a huge subsidy is involved – and that, of course, generates luxurious campaign financing for the politicians who bleed public funds to pay the developers.
And those who understand what is happening cheerfully dupe the unenlightened into publicly agitating for more wind – in order to get more subsidies to pay even bigger bribes to get ever more subsidy cash.
Wake up folks – they are not on your side. Or the planet’s. They are in it for themselves – and your money.