Capacity of Wind Turbines (and Solar Panels)

Beware! They always always quote the “CAPACITY,” not the reality.

The following was sent to the national newspaper of Wales, The Western Mail, by Mr Ioan Richard, who was the Lord Mayor of the city of Swansea four years ago. It concerns the Pen Y Cymoedd wind turbine complex. As of this date, the Western Mail has not published Mr Richard’s letter.

Capacity of Wind Turbines (and Solar Panels)

Wind turbines and solar panelshave become a new form of “religion”.

By Ioan Richard

You, and most journalists, just don’t understand (or choose to pretend you do not know) that :

(1) Renewable Energy Developers and Green Politicians always quote the “CAPACITY” of a Renewable Energy proposal. The Capacity in this case is the absolute MAXIMUM in the most favourable of conditions – for Wind a steady strong Wind at maximum (before shut down for safety in the event of a Hurricane) – and – for Solar Panels – during a cloudless sunny long day in early July at MAXIMUM solar again.

(2) These people cheat with the connivance of the Press / Media. It is simple FACT that there are many times of the year when the wind does not blow or is very weak not strong enough to turn the massive Wind Turbine blades – so the output is often NIL. Over a year it has been calculated as an AVERAGE that in Wales they are only about 25% EFFECTIVE. Off the shores of western Scotland they can be 35% effective whereas masses of them in Holland are only about 15% effective. So to a Wind turbine complex will power 188,00 homes means – yes it will in short bursts and for much of the time it will power NIL homes – and at an average – on and off it will equate for enough energy to power only 25 % which is 47,000 homes. Surely you can understand that!

As for Solar Panels, they produce NIL at night (not even under moonlight) and they produce far less under clouds in the day. Freedom of Information questions to Government proved that all the Solar Panels in Wales (masses of them) only produced an effective average of just 10% of the Capacity – but yet again the Press / Media and Developers and Green Politicians only quote maximum CAPACITY of 100% – a TEN fold exaggeration.

(3) You (journalists) cannot deny that a lot of the whole time of a year is windless or with mild breezes only, and lot of a year’s time is in darkness.

(4)Â We fought here for 25 years to preserve Mynydd y Gwair common land in north Swansea from a Wind Turbine development that they Developers & Press/ Media & Green Politicians said would have a capacity of 32 Mega Watts MW until they finally were forced to admit very publicly it would only be effective average of about 25% or just 8 MW !

(5) Now that I am about it – do you understand the terms of Power and Energy? Let’s start with Horse Power as defined by James Watt – it was a unit of Power decided on how one horse could raise up one old ton of coal from a coal pit. This was converted into the units “WATTS” in honour of James Watt. A thousand Watts is a kilowatt. A mega watt is a thousand kilowatts or a million Watts. An old fashioned light bulb is 100 W or one tenth of a kilowatt.

One decent electric kettle consumes over two kilowatts – but it’s only on for a few minutes. Five hundred kettles switched on will consume a thousand kilowatts or one Mega Watt – just as happens in a village at tea time. Our vast Mynydd y Gwair on average will produce 8 MW enough for 2,000 kettles – say a big village or a small township. The kettle is not a good example but it is easy to explain. The multi billion £ pound Swansea Tidal Lagoon proposal on average will only produce 60 MW – as four times a day it will be nil. Again this is being promoted to serve the interests of an old disused Cornish Granite owner! Yet Swansea Labour Party has had the virtual nod to approve using the Council’s Staff Pension Funds to help build it. Nobody examines these issues. It has become a new form of “religion”.

(6) I feel a bit awkward in saying what I say now :- “Where has David Attenborough been for the first ninety years of his life?” That’s a serious and unpleasant question. If we are to tackle Climate Change we need to do something serious and not play with Wind and Solar – the first step must be a massive, massive step to save energy in the UK – at a time just as the Japanese have announced they are to build 22 big new coal fired Power Stations – but the Wales Assembly Government believe that Wales can save us and the world from Japan’s folly and Japan’s new fear of Nuclear Energy.


Thanks to Lyn Jenkins for sending this letter to me.

6 thoughts on “Capacity of Wind Turbines (and Solar Panels)”

  1. For people outside Wales ,UK, it should be explained that PEN Y CYMOEDD is the name of a very large wind farm complex at the “Heads of the Valleys” .These are the hills at the north end of the old coal-mining Valleys of South Wales, north of the cities of Swansea and Cardiff. This “Valleys” area [as it is known] has been subject to very bad flash-flooding recently.
    Since the Pen y Cymoedd wind farm has been built on the moor-land/hill catchment area of the rivers that flow south through about 10 densely populated “Valleys”, the turbine bases and metalled roads must have contributed to flash flooding, because non-absorbent tarmac and concrete has replaced absorbent peat and grass-land over a very large area.

    MYNYDD Y GWAIR [ Welsh for Grass or Hay Mountain ] is another rounded hill just north of Swansea.That too has been covered in large 400 feet plus wind turbines. Mr Richard fought against this wind farm for about 20 years. As he says, the output of wind turbines is often exaggerated in the UK.The wind energy companies and politicians like to quote the full INSTALLED CAPACITY of a wind farm, instead of the actual electrical OUTPUT. UK onshore wind turbines generate about 25 per cent of installed capacity. To achieve optimum output, the wind would have to blow at a steady 30 to 40 mph at ALL times ! That is impossible in the UK. Check, the National Grid web-site for the UK.
    There are many periods, when the UK sits under an Anticyclonic High Pressure, when wind energy, from thousands of wind turbines, only contribute 2000MW to 3000MW…..or even less!
    The UK needs 45000MW at most times and 60000MW in cold weather !
    Now the UK Govt wants to scrap fossil fuel generated electricity ; PETROL [GASOLINE] AND DIESEL MOTOR CARS……..AND EVEN GAS CENTRAL HEATING………all in favour of RENEWABLE ENERGY !
    There is no SOLAR in the dark……..very,very little in winter [Wales is around 52 degrees North !] ……NO WIND under HIGH PRESSURE……..and our biggest coal-fired power station, called Drax, is now burning a great deal of WOOD FROM THE CAROLINAS IN THE USA !! How is that “green”?
    How on Earth can the UK rely TOTALLY on renewable energy?

    We only have about 65000MW in our National Grid…..yet we have an UK population of about 67 MILLION !
    30 million electric cars would require a further 30000MW in our National Grid. It does NOT EXIST!
    Then , it is intended to close ALL fossil fuel power stations in a few years time.
    Where will the electricity come from?

  2. Global warming? It’s too cold to breath in the Rockies, what is it that they want? Colder than too cold to breath? Why ?
    4 degrees at Jackson Hole , windy , ice fog. Try breathing ice shards.
    No viz the last two days, brutal arctic conditions.

    7 degrees at Breckenridge, 14″ new. You can’t buy better snow.
    No viz for two days, windy, snowing sideways. It’s too cold to breath !! What do they want ?

    Mid West freezing/snowing , farmers can’t plant because it’s too cold! Warming would be a GOOD thing !!

  3. Digging in the wrong place
    Extinction Rebellion claim carbon dioxide emissions, as a result of human endeavour, are quickly bringing the planet to a climate catastrophe! So I wonder if they will be hoping Thunberg will organise a protest to castigate the Japanese intent of building a total of 22 – yes that is correct – coal-fired power stations to replace its nuclear power plants. In the next five years coal-burning plants will be built at 17 different sites in Japan. It is claimed the 22 power plants would emit almost as much carbon dioxide annually as all the passenger cars sold each year in the United States. It would appear that only half the lesson has been learned whereby the Japanese have sensibly turned their backs on the nuclear option – but why coal when the modern efficient gas-fired power stations of the CCGT variety are relatively cheap and quick to build and emit half the emissions of coal-fired stations, especially when the world is awash with gas? This, of course, is not to forget the coal-fired power stations being built in Germany, China, etc! So why were eco-activists digging up the lawn in front of the Home Office and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on Thursday 13th February 2020 – were they looking for gold, or perhaps their geography matches their knowledge of science? It is also apparent that members of Extinction Rebellion have no sense of proportion either when UK emissions are less than 2% of global emissions – could it be they are innumerate as well?

  4. The reality of the situation is that there has to be a significant quantities of “back-up generating capacity” across the “UK and other countries”, as alternative electricity generating sources to wind-turbines and solar panel installations for the frequent occasions when the wind does not blow or is too strong, and when there is insufficient sunlight. THUS ALL this “so-termed” GREEN energy capacity has to have 100% PLUS back-up generating reserve capabilities or contracted “Demand Shut-Off” capacity.
    The CEGB, prior to the privatisation of the UK Power Networks in 1990, (and this meant generating capacity), was heavily criticised for holding 20% of additional generating reserves capacity as too expensive for the consumer to pay for !!!
    NOW what does this mean with over 200% actual generating capacity, AND additionally contracted “demand management” !!!
    What in reality is this costing the UK consumer ???
    AND what is the true reality of reduced CO2 emissions, if any, when all additional elements of manufacture, construction, energy losses in power transmission, and eventual scrappages are fully accounted for ???
    Nobody has DONE the actual calculations and predictions of the whole life cycles of generation and transmission of the electricity industry !!!
    Therefore there HAS NOT BEEN any full-proof analysis of the “Electricity Generation and Supply Industry” in its supposed 100% renewable claims by 2050 !!!
    AND YET our HM Government continues down the path of appeasing the dogmatic GREENS and we, the general public have to pay for the false GREEN claims !!!

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