Wind Farm planned for unsuitable site

A large offshore wind farm is planned for the Jurassic Coast, Dorset: 250 turbines, 450ft tall, across 76 square miles, about 10 miles from Bournemouth.

A survey by REF (Renewable Energy Foundation) about three years ago showed that turbines south of Hadrian's Wall do not receive enough wind to provide useful amounts of energy.

Nevertheless the press release asserted that 820,000 homes would be powered from these turbines.

19 Feb 2011

    UPDATE, May 2011 - There is no technical definition of how much power an average house uses, and people are free to quote whatever figure they like.

    It would be more truthful to say that at the current pool price of 33 per megawatt hour and a 30% effectiveness it will produce electricity to the value of 54 million per year.

    If it does that, the electrical subscribers (us) will pay a subsidy of 74 million per megawatt hour, making a total of 122 million per megawatt hour.

    Modern coal or nuclear generation provides electricity at about 40 per megawatt hour; one third of the price.

    However, even this does not give the whole truth. Recent figures from the National Grid reveal that windfarms are routinely delivering much less than 30% of their rated output.

    For Scotland, over a full year, the output was 17%; for England a figure of 7% was quoted. You can work out what this does to the relative price of wind energy.

    Add to that the fact that wind turbines do not work in the context of baseload generation and one must question the whole concept.

    This update is paraphrased from "Professional Engineering", May 2011, figures supplied by M.T. (Fife) and R C-S (Ayrshire).

    See also Renewables Obligation

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