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Hydro energy is way ahead

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

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FURTHER to your readers' comments about wind farms, here are some interesting facts.

A perfect wind turbine made with no friction or drag or interference with windflow can only be 58 per cent efficient.

Most large wind turbines can achieve only 40 per cent of the 58 per cent.

The turbines can only operate in a narrow band of wind, too much and they are braked into the Y position to prevent them catching fire through over- heating, too little wind and they rotate but don't produce power.

Downwind of each turbine is a wind shadow, so if the wind direction is in line with the turbines the first turbine is effective and the rest progressively less. Therefore they can only be effective in winds from two narrow vectors.

To alleviate this problem they would have to be sited in big circles taking up even more space and resources as each has to have a track laid for construction and maintenance plus the extra cabling to the grid.

The energy generated is not predictable.

The energy generated can only be stored using hydro-electric generating facilities which use up the energy to pump water above a hydro electric generator which generates energy when needed by releasing the head of water.

The companies operating the wind farms (or rather cash cows, being a more appropriate name) apply for planning permission in Wales for large schemes direct to the UK government, which by- passes the Welsh Assembly Government protocols, once permission is granted they then construct small-scale farms which would have fallen within WAG remit.

Farmers receive very large payments to host the turbines, and with EU farming subsidies being reduced, these substantial payments are very appealing.

I would invite any operators or supporters of wind farms to provide actual costs to date for any farm in the UK including Burbo Bank and a breakdown of actual energy produced in its lifetime, and the true unit cost of that energy with or without the subsidy but also showing the size of the subsidy/grant/support that they receive.

Now compare these facts about wind with tidal/hydro electricity generation.

Hydro is the oldest and most successful way of producing energy. Hydro is reliable. Hydro is predictable.

Hydro can store energy to use when needed at peak demand.

Hydro is cost-effective. Hydro is proven technology with decades of figures to back up its efficiency.

The Bristol Channel has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, with potential tidal lagoons, underwater hydrofoils or large scale barrage.

The jobs created could be British, the companies involved could be British, the Income and profit and tax could be British.

I think our children in the future will wonder when the subsidies run out why we have derelict hulks blotting the landscape.

Justin Cotter

Uplands Swansea

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  • maxmin  |  January 11 2013, 3:58PM

    Neathboy CLM I've told you before I don't do hate, however if you want to feel sorry for me knock yourself out I give you my permission.

    |   1
  • Neathboy234  |  January 10 2013, 10:32PM

    maxmin in a way i feel sorry for you, everything that you hate about the world just will not go away. You hate the EU/climate change/devolution/immigration. I can only imagine that you also hated Blair and Brown. Oh how you longed for the Tories to kick them out, and what happened oh dear me the LD came alone and spoiled all your fun. ha ha. BTW how many posts is that, 8 or is it more by now ha ha ha

    |   -5
  • maxmin  |  January 10 2013, 7:48PM

    It's interesting that certain posters think wind farms should get bigger subsides - so in fact we will end up paying more and more for less and less. Neathboy CLM if you don't want people to answer your posts then I suggest you stop attacking people and just stick to the subject in hand.

    |   5
  • Neathboy234  |  January 10 2013, 6:14PM

    I note with interest that maxmin has made 7 posts today(since i came back). The same number of posts that he made in the whole of 2013 to date. Clearly maxim you are obsessed with me, akin to a 14 year old girl with a crush on a boy in her class. PS do not reply to this post or that will make 8, lol lol lol

    |   -6
  • Neathboy234  |  January 10 2013, 4:30PM

    maxmin it's a shame that know one is listening to either you or your mate John Davies. It does not come as much of a surprise mind you, to convince people you need an intelligent argument. Something sadly lacking from the pair of you!

    |   -6
  • maxmin  |  January 10 2013, 3:45PM

    johndavies, Yes precisely.

    |   5
  • Neathboy234  |  January 10 2013, 2:51PM

    maxmin capital P and T in NeathPTboy, silly boy lol

    |   -6
  • Neathboy234  |  January 10 2013, 2:20PM

    johndavies the only thing wrong with the subsidies that wind farms receive is that they are not big enough. You can never put a price on saving the planet. Besides the cost of wind and solar energy is falling all the time, unlike gas and oil which is only ever going to go up.

    |   -6
  • johndavies  |  January 10 2013, 1:48PM

    It is an unhappy fact that wind farms are almost entirely subsidised by a complex yet hidden regime of feed in tariffs, tax cuts and preferential tax credits. A typical turbine generates power that is worth around £150,000 a year, but attracts subsidies of more than £250,000 a year. These subsidies are of course added directly the bills of energy users. The cost to consumers of the Renewables Obligation scheme alone has risen from £278 million in 2002 to more than £1 billion in 2012. To see the eye watering amounts of our cash that's being given away have a look at these OFFGM figs- http://tinyurl.com/affaqep For instance Greater Gabbard offshore windfarm nr Felixtowe, 140 x 3.6MW turbines = 504 MW site. Between Jan-Sept 2012 Production Factor was only14.31 % It generated 472,105 MWh & was paid £63,495,768 = £134.10 /MW But the average system Buy Price = £51.74 /MW So WE made up the difference of £82.36 /MW a total of £38,882,568 over 9 mths. That's right WE paid £38.8 Million in subsidies to 1 site in 9 months !!! The high subsidies given to wind energy also take investment away from energy efficiency measures. We must get away from the philosophy that we must consume more and more energy. If instead of paying extra on our electricity bills to subsidise wind-energy, we invested the money in energy saving measures we would save as much CO2 and still have our landscapes and countryside to enjoy. This would also have clear benefits when the wind isn't blowing! As I write this, on a cold frosty day the UKs entire 4,158 wind turbine fleet is producing…just … 0.6% of demand !!! See - http://tinyurl.com/6ja8btf Not good value for money are they ???

    |   5
  • maxmin  |  January 10 2013, 1:44PM

    Neathptboy, Am I right in thinking that the other neathboy thinks I'm you? Sounds a bit paranoid to me. I would like to state categorically that Maxmin is not Neathptboy. Neathboy 234CLM AH I must admit I admire your fortitude in finding out where I live! PS Never got the Christmas card you promised me!