Sunday, 18 January 2009

Storms and windfarms

Yesterday evening. A very wild and wet affair. Just the sort of weather when a large swathe of this country's population would be glad to be indoors, to crank up the heating, to watch Saturday evening TV and to be boiling those kettles for numerous cups of tea. Which all means a spike in demand for electricity. Just as well then that we have all these wind farms up and running to add to the supply. Except of course it wasn't like that! With gusts of wind over 100mph in NW Scotland and even down here in the more southern latitudes anything up to 70mph it is fairly obvious that the windmills would have been deactivated down the whole of the western side of the UK for the duration of the storm.

It's much much quieter here this morning on the weather front and no doubt the wind farms will be churning out some power today. What I am trying to point out is that unlike other forms of generation the wind farms have a constantly varying output and that this is totally unrelated to the needs of the moment. I know I bang on about wind generation and I'm not saying that maybe a small turbine could serve a single dwelling in some remote breezy moorland spot but I will continue to flag up this matter as it's so important.

The thing that we should be shown is how the total output of this country's wind farms varies over say a year and how that variation relates to overall demand for electricity. I've stated before on this blog that when new wind farms are proposed their instigators talk about the size of population that they would serve. These people never qualify such statements by adding words such as "in optimum conditions". The way the mainstream media allow this to go unchallenged makes me so very angry. Investigative journalists need to wake up.

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