Friday, 24 September 2010

Wind Farms, whats the problem?

Yesterday the world's biggest offshore wind farm off the Kent coast was officially opened. There was plenty of news reports taking the wind farm in isolation. I do understand that this technology is expensive and that British ports can't handle the larger blades. Although in return for General Electrics £100million investment they want the government to enhance an existing UK port to handle the large blades used in offshore wind turbines. Once this is done then new wind turbine factories can be built near the port. The cost will come down over time.

I also understand that if the wind speed is too low or even too high then the turbines can not operate, but power projects are based on average wind not constant wind. There is also a plan to make it easier for people to produce their own electricity and sell it to the grid, like in Germany this will reduced energy consumption.

Wind farms are subsidised just as nuclear power plants are. The cost of decommissioning a plant is picked up by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Coal of course is cheap but it still has to be imported. Oil and gas have very large political issues attached and are not secure from the will of other countries such as Russia. The cost of fossil fuels is also based on current prices however this cost is likely to increase for oil and gas in particular due to the increasing hard to find supply.

So we need a mix of secure energy solutions for the modern world. Putting climate change aside why should we use such polluting power stations. Small particle pollution from power stations has an impact on our health and on such things as acid rain and plant growth. Britain should be leading the way in green technology, green jobs, reducing pollution and energy security.

Also whats all this about an eyesore, are other forms of power stations not an eyesore? beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Details of new power stations can be found on good old Wikipedia, England, Wales, Scotland these list include new coal fired power stations.


  1. I live near to Didcot Power Station and a new wind farm at Watchfield. I would much prefer to see more of the latter!

  2. Sorry. I have to strongly disagree with you Bracknell. Wind power is only viable because of the huge subsidies. Nuclear power is wholly self financing. Don't believe me? Just forget about the propaganda for a moment and look at France. France produces 79% of its energy by Nuclear. Their electricity is 25% (yes. one quarter) the price of ours. See this link

    Not only that, because we have allowed our power generation infrastructure to fall into decay and wasted our investment on fashionable dead ends like windpower, we actually import significant amounts of that French nuclear power through the channel interconnector. The interconnector was supposed to be bi-directional, but for years now it has only been one way traffic. The French make a fine profit from it.

    I live in Dorset near a now redundant small nuclear power station. There are also plans to build four huge turbines in the middle of rural Dorset blighting the countryside. The old nuclear station is screened by trees and is hardley visible from the road. Whats more (even though it was only a tiddler) it produced 100 times the power of the 4 grotesque monsters. A modern Power plant would produce 1000 times the power.
    If we go on with this wishful thinking, in a few years we will have an energy crisis and people will die. Mainly the old and vulnerable.

  3. all we are doing is making ourselves less competitive

    we ramp up the emmissions regs and make it too expensive to work here and hey ho the same process starts up in india, the pollution doesnt go down worldwide it just shifts to india and china, same on grander scale with power production, optical fibre production for one has largely moved to india and china cos we made emmissions regs far too expensive

    then we fly plane upon plane of workers from india here (on ICT visas working for the outsourcers) to displace brits from the workforce, ask mr cable how "green" it is to import large workforces from india via air?

    then we look at wind power which is just sucking money out of the poor taxpayers

    the only "green" agenda worth any salt is to go negotiate with india and china big time and get them to clean up the shit they pump into the air every day

    china and india start up more polluting power plants every day than the whole annual pollution production from the uk

    so its pissing in the wind, handing over our competitive position to india and china, and avoiding the real problem

    so complete bollocks really

  4. Com on Anonymous at least Billothewisp gave a good argument. France nuclear is not subsidied as it wont be here (apart maybe from the clean up). But im not arguing against nuclear. im going for a mix of power. Wind yes is expensive but it will improve. I would be happy for 25% Nuclear power!

    Also if you have read other blogs of mine you will see that im very much against so many intercompany transfer for non EEA countries where it can be justified and where they undercut the EEA employees. at the end of the day we cant compete on wages but we can apply EU law which should advertise UK jobs at UK rates. I know this does not always happen but it should be better inforced. I dont see this as an argument against wind farms.

    I doubt power station will be build by Indians in the UK anyway.

    I was also not talking about world pollution but local UK pollution, our own power stations do effect us here in the UK.

  5. yes but uk pollution policy is misguided

    take optical fibre production for instance (since i happen to know a fair bit about it) its very high tech, took the uk and usa a long time to build the ip of knowing how to do it well, australia joined in, and uk/usa/australia pretty well dominated world supply and made good profits on the back of that to the benefit of our balance sheets and workforces

    so whats happened? well the emmission regulations in the uk have been tightened heavily throughout the history of optical fibre production, pretty much demanding the most expensive and leading edge anti pollution technology possible, which actually disincentivises the leaders from inventing new cleaner technology because they know as soon as a cleaner technology is invented (no matter how expensive) it will be mandated - therefore its easier not to bother looking for cleaner ways, and it got so expensive to produce in the uk

    mixed with international commerce which forced the uk/usa/australian workforces to train up india and china passing over much ip which was actually funded by uk and usa tax payers

    and now we have much of the world production being produced in india and china and the plants are setup being pretty much as dirty as very early factories in the uk

    so all the ever tighter regs have only moved pollution AND JOBS to india, compounded by the multi nationals searching for the cheapest workers where ever with no regard for which workforce actually invented and perfected the processes

    its very similar to power production, we drive for lower pollution in our power supply at great expense, and all its doing is forcing commerce to produce more stuff in cheaper countries like india

    im fairly sure the IT depts of all the large power companies have hundreds of IT staff with indian passports here on ICT visas, i can tell you for sure they will be actively engaged both legally and illegally in moving ip to india, and i am convinced flying in multiple tens of thousands of workers from india for lower wages WHILE THERE ARE PLENTY OF QUALIFIED BRITS OUT OF WORK is not green!

    these things ARE all inter related

    most nuclear expense is tied up in the long term care of the waste and decommissioning, many of the costs of which all countries are essentially guessing at, so anyone who claims to know how profitable nuclear is should be questioned carefully

    advertise uk jobs at uk rates is a feeble reaction to massed commercial war on our whole way of life and ability to support ourselves, it demands a much wider and stronger set of reactions

    UK pollution without considering the impact of decisions on wider worldwide pollution is pretty counter productive


  6. by the way check out how many indian nationals are employed by

    here on intra company transfer visas (and other work visas, and indefinte leave to remain for being here a long time and so on) and subcontracted into uk energy companies

    you will find its many many thousands

    and they are not the only ones

    and they are not all IT staff either

    now again ask vince cable on what planet does he think there are not enough brits to do these jobs ? cos its bollocks

    its cheap labour, and appauling abuse of both indian nationals and the brits they displace

  7. Anonymous I dont really disagree re non Eu workers like Indians, they are exploited and in turn so are UK workers by big companies. I ahev written to MP's about it see



    I'm well aware of these problems and the rules in place already are should deal with it but the rules are not being applied or avoided.

    your preaching to the converted on that one.

    and im not a fan of too much regulation like say health and safety, and I accept this would not of helped with optical fibre. However sometimes these regulations are needed, looked what happen in China over baby milk .I doubt in this case Europe is behind china or india on wind turbines. Should we have more danergous metals and deaths simply because India and China allow this or should they be changing their rules?

    We are the west so all these countries operate under regulation that is needed(althought not as much is required). I dont think we should pollute more just because others do. China are chaning their ways because things are so bad in some place that people cant live their and are rebelling, do we really want to go back to victorian factories?

    Im willing to accept that regulation has effected