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.