Have you got wind?

There has been some discussion on wind turbines on the forum recently, thought this would be of interest:

http://www.bwea.com/

A new campaign launched today shows that the majority of the population - 74% - agree that wind farms are necessary to help meet current and future energy needs in the UK, despite a vocal campaign against their expansion.

Ignoring the fact that Anita Roderick supports it, I think this is good.

Apparently we are the windiest country in Europe, with 40% of Europe's wind resources. This is enough to meet our current electricity needs several times over. By 2005, the wind projects in existance and currently being built will meet 1.3% of the UK's electricity requirements by producing 4.49TWh per year.

Personally, I would gladly pay a few pence extra per kWh if we were generating it all with wind, solar and tidal.

Annual electricity consumption here is 343.8TWh. According to the BWEA websitewe can produce several times our electricity requirements. So let's assume that means a wind-production of 1000TWh. Thus giving us a deficite of about 650TWh. What if we could use this to power cars? Well, a car uses about 7.5kW to drive along at a steady speed. This was a US website, thus probably referred to a large car. With regenerative braking you reclaim some of the energy used in acceleration. So let's say 8.5kW as an average power use. Cars drive on average 10,000 miles per year. At an average speed of 40mph, that is 250 hours. So, 250 x 8.5 = 2125kWh per year.

The energy overproduction we took to be 650TWh per year.

650 trillion / 2125 thousand = 305 million cars. This assumes 100% efficiency on everything, which obviously is rubbish. But still, provided the whole system is more than 10% efficient we can have electric cars (either through batteries or fuel cells, the electricity is used to electrolyse hydrogen out of water) as well as meet all of our electricity requirements including trains and factories!

I have just found that 1 cubic metre of natural gas contains 11kWh of energy. According to the CIA we use 92.85 billion cubic metres a year.

That is equal to about 1000TWh per year, i.e the whole wind production. So we will still need other sources for energy than wind, I wonder how much tidal and solar the UK has access to?

What fasinating figures. Where is the arguable wasted energy figure? I don't have it, but before building loads of wind turbines on remote areas to support the profligate waste of energy, wouldn't it be better to turn off all the crt vdus left on in offices overnight running nothing more pointless than a screensaver? Lots of street lights? All those lights stupidly floodlighting churches overnight?

You think these wind turbines are environmentally friendly? There' another point of view. Start off with a remote area and its current wildlife. It's probably there because there's little disturbance from people. So we build some turbines then let them run. Even if the wildlife is prepared to put up with that, if there are say 40 turbines on the site, it's likely there will be a permanent maintenance crew working on the site to keep the turbines running. So theres another wilderness destroyed, and for what? so we can carry on with our wasteful, "I'm all right Jack" attitude?

Adam, mate, in my case this is a silly question! Is the world round?

Ah, and of course, somebody called 'oilman' would not have any unfair bias commenting upon windfarms

I think that wind farms are needed, and also some other methods of energy production. I would like to see an end to restrictions for planning permissions even in most conservation areas for rooftop photovoltaics, etc.
I really think any danger windfarms pose to wildlife is quite minimal.

Methinks that we will also still need nuclear if we are to fight climate change. Modern plants are a lot safer than the older ones, though I do think they should all be state run.

Though I do agree that wastefulness with regards to energy does need to be counteracted.

I really think any danger windfarms pose to wildlife is quite minimal.

Well that's alright then.

Ah, and of course, somebody called 'oilman' would not have any unfair bias commenting upon windfarms

YOU don't know what bias I have. I earn money fixing peoples oil boilers, if they weren't there, I'd earn money doing something else. YOU can look up my posts to find out what sort of heating we have in our house and how much of it.

securespark said:
Adam, mate, in my case this is a silly question! Is the world round?

I believe it is actually slightly pear-shaped: the southern hemisphere is slightly fatter than the northern hemisphere.

David Bellamy (I can't help but hear his name without thinking Bellamy as "Beh-wah-meh", he does have a unique voice!), is against wind turbines. And he knows about wildlife.

You are definitely right on the wasting of energy, I am as bad as anyone else. I don't leave lights on or TVs on standby, but I probably waste a few hundred kWh of electricity a year, due to leaving my water heater on 24/7. For me it is a matter of convenience, never knowing what time I will be back from work or the gym, and not wanting to wait an hour for a tank of hot water. But if someone invented a 15-20kW instantaneous electric water heater then I would probably use one of those.

It's not just direct use of energy though, manufacturing processes use a lot of energy. So, recycling is a good idea. I am fortunate that my council has a kerbside collection scheme for paper, cans and glass.

I have heard it said that wind turbines take more energy to build than they will ever produce. This is in fact wrong, according to the website they pay off their manufacturing energy quicker than a fossil-fuel power station.

Perhaps the Severn barrage with hydro should have / be built ... make use of the enormous tide range, among highest in the world 7metres or so.
Would be better than Severn bridges ... solid, could have a great highway across to YakyDah land ....
I really have a gut feel about the wind farms, just do not look right .... More reliability going with the flow of tides.
One major problem would be managing the silt build up ... apparently, around some of the local resorts !! Surely would be a good payer though !!
Here Look at the figures for Severn compared by area and potential capacity.

P

Perhaps the Severn barrage with hydro should have / be built ... make use of the enormous tide range, among highest in the world 7metres or so.

Yes I agree, we must do all we can to support our continuing waste of power whilst destroying as much wildlife habitat as possible.

Estuaries are not uninhabited wastelands.

CAN NO ONE THINK OF ANYTHING BUT HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD UNFIT FOR ANYTHING TO LIVE IN BUT HUMANS?

Just think about this, if you destroyed all the insects IN THE WORLD, you would probably destroy the world. If you destroyed all the humans, the rest of the world would flourish.

Sort the problems out, don't work out yet another way of plundering.

oilman said:
Just think about this, if you destroyed all the insects IN THE WORLD, you would probably destroy the world.

You would also need a s**tload of insect spray, there's 5 billion trillion of them, according to one source.

Yes, humans are the most destructive animal ever to live on the earth, but I doubt very much you are going to ever convince 6 billion people that they have to return to the caves and forage for a living. So we have to be realistic. Solar power, wind power, tidal power etc. is realistic, and causes less damage than fossil fuel extraction and burning. Given a choice between

1)living in a cave,
2)having a few windmills spoiling the view for a few people
3)filling the skies with smog and having my knackers twisted by OPEC

Then it's an easy choice. Give me some windmills.

Silt on the beaches? Good thing too, the British Isles have been erroding for millions of years, time we put that into reverse.

I doubt very much you are going to ever convince 6 billion people that they have to return to the caves and forage for a living.
...so you haven't heard of the aims of the Green Party then?

So we have to be realistic.

Unfortunately this is a euphemism for "we aren't going to do much if at all possible".

Solar power, wind power, tidal power etc. is realistic,

I can't recall the figures, but what would be considered a maximum of all of these combined would amount to a few % of the total at current rates. Therefore it's unrealistic.

We have people who think they are entitled to walk around indoors in the winter in summer clothing. If they could be more thoughtful and reduce the temperature and wear winter clothes, that would save a lot. They have to have powershowers, a gross waste of water to satisfy an indulgence, and the water has to be heated. This is not satisfying a NEED. These are just a cople of examples, and yet we have people expecting this waste can continue and that we are justified in destroying any part of the natural world that suits us to fulfill this waste.

Oilman:
They have to have powershowers, a gross waste of water to satisfy an indulgence, and the water has to be heated.
Surely it's not a waste of water because it's recycled? Most of the water is heated by burning oil which is not doing any good left in the ground so why not use it?

Surely it's not a waste of water because it's recycled?

I agree, on a global scale it's recycled. I was thinking more of the resourses involved in treating it, getting it to a house and dealing with it when it's been used.

Most of the water is heated by burning oil which is not doing any good left in the ground so why not use it?

There's a huge amount heated by gas, and gas is used in this country to produce large amounts of electricity. The use of a large amount of water in baths was frowned on as showers would be so much less extravagent, but these powershowers can use more than a bath. Not much benefit.

Yes I should have said oil or gas but I think the same about gas. It's in the ground so why not get it out and use it. The gas and oil are doing nobody any good in the ground. This is different to cutting down the Amazonian forest to make toilet seats where the trees are important for converting the carbon-dioxide.
I thought that the encouragement for people to take showers was to keep their own electric bills down.

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