Tuesday, 21 September 2010

'Potential' - FFS!

Speaking at the Liberal Democrat Conference Chris Huhne, Coalition Climate and Energy Secretary mentioned the wind farm to be built at Gwynt Y Mor, off the coast of Llandudno, North Wales. 

This wind farm is costing £1.7billion and has the potential to power a third of Welsh homes, according to Huhne. Further details can be found here, although this site mentions 322,070 homes and the last census showed a total of 1,209,000 homes in Wales - so either Huhne was stretching the actualite - or he has a 'maths deficit'.

Unfortunately, one fact that would seem to show the illogicality of political economic thinking is that they are prepared to spend £1.7billion on a scheme which only has the potential to power less than one third of Welsh homes. In actual fact the figure of £1.7billion needs to be increased by £83.2million as that is how much the vessel is costing which will be used to install the 160 turbines at Gwynt Y Mor.

On the basis that alternative power stations will require building to provide cover when the wind turbines are unable to produce electricity, why on earth are we spending £1.7billion (plus £83.2million) on something which so obviously is not required?

1 comment:

EdmundTheBeekeper said...

A "home" is not a unit of power or energy.
As a general rule of thumb the energy you use in your home is about 1/3 of what you consume overall to sustain your lifestyle,
For example it isn't your "home" energy that produces, processes and delivers your food.
So, immediately a claimed "home" unit needs to be divided by 3.
Furthermore, due to the vagaries of the wind, even the best sited wind farms and best designed generators only achieve a capacity factor of about 30%.
i.e at a good moment you will get what it says on the nameplate, but on average it will only be a 1/3.
You can be as sure as houses that the "house" claim will be with the windmills all assumed to be going full tit.
Divide by 3 again to get real.
So if you must insist on using the "house" as your unit of energy at least divide whatever is claimed by 9 to get a feel for what the installation might achieve.
( and then be aware that wind isn't "on demand" so it may be producing some of that piffling average when no one wants it. i.e total useful production could be a big fat Zero)