Gransnet forums


Retiring wind farms

(62 Posts)
thatbags Thu 15-May-14 07:29:48

in Texas. I do hope all the materials will be cleared up and recycled. I suppose all the concrete will have to stay in the ground. As a commenter on the blog says: "Clean, green and free". Ah yes hmm

FlicketyB Thu 15-May-14 08:21:42

I quote a sentence from the first comment beneath the article
'Wind farms, the biggest scam in corporate history.'

and I would add in political history, the biggest scam since the South Sea bubble.

granjura Thu 15-May-14 09:10:57

1500 cubic metres of concrete for each base- and that will stay there forever.

We are voting here on 112 200m windturbines to be installed on the tops of our beautiful Jura mountains this week-end- and people are being bullied into this and lied to- as the only alternative to nuclear power in order to satisfy our energy bullimia. Tragic.

janerowena Thu 15-May-14 13:08:11

To be fair - they weren't that far short of their life expectancy, and no-one could have forecast an ice storm in Texas!

I love the tall graceful white ones, hate the short stubby dark grey ones - but maybe they are better able to withstand the high winds and storms.

Around here we are starting to see whole fields of banks of solar power cells. It's the strangest crop you ever saw. I believe one small field alone powers Red Lodge's sewage plant.

JessM Thu 22-May-14 07:55:22

Better than the legacy of coal mining I'd say - subsidence affecting property, whole hillsides trashed by open cast etc etc. Not to mention the death toll that still goes on, as we saw this week.
Are there any virtuous forms of energy generation?
Liverpool Bay (off the N Wales coast) is rapidly filling up with a giant offshore wind farm - or rather several. It looks spectacular. I think next extension will require another line of pylons to join the one we already have across Anglesey. But you can't keep the environment pristine if you want a 20th C lifestyle with warmth, light etc

janerowena Thu 22-May-14 10:03:25

Quite. It is hard to go anywhere now along our Suffolk coastline without seeing offshore windfarms. At first I didn't like it, I missed being able to see way out to sea with an uninterrupted view, although of course there are still plenty of places where you can do that. Once I spent a whole afternoon watching the progress of an engineer as he travelled from one windmill to another in a small motorboat, mooring up and then disappearing inside presumably to climb hundreds up steps to monitor each one. I bet he was extremely fit!

HollyDaze Thu 22-May-14 14:18:05

Anyone from Northern Ireland that can tell us how well the two underwater turbines are performing?

granjura Thu 22-May-14 17:17:41

It was accepted (:

see how it goes- not looking forward to it (them) I have to say.

durhamjen Thu 22-May-14 17:32:23

I have just been looking at energy with my grandson, as he loves wind turbines.
Living not far from Kielder Water, we looked at hydroelectricity.
Apparently the top five hydroelectric plants produce twice as much electricity as the top five nuclear power stations.
Kielder Water produces the most hydroelectricity in England.

janerowena Thu 22-May-14 17:51:23

I had heard that it did - but I didn't know that we had so many plants. Locally, I love our woodchip power station and our chicken poo power station! They always make me laugh when I drive past them in the forest.

This looks intriguing

durhamjen Thu 22-May-14 18:12:02

Sorry, jane, I meant in the world, not in this country.
However, we do have a lot of hydroelectric plants in this country.The annoying thing about Kielder is it is now owned by RWE.

janerowena Thu 22-May-14 18:24:59

A case of 'Extreme Outsourcing'.

JessM Thu 22-May-14 18:41:07

I will ask DH about the turbines in N Ireland.
Huge engineering costs to big scale hydro. The one near here is pumped storage involving hollowing out a whole mountain. People do get very cross about flooding valleys as well don't they.

janerowena Thu 22-May-14 18:48:34

Well yes, they would... Also about exploding nuclear plants, wind turbines killing seagulls, and houses falling down mine shafts. But they all want heating.

JessM Thu 22-May-14 20:28:15

Oh don't want fracking either. Or pollution. One thing about not fossil fuels, less air pollution.

janerowena Thu 22-May-14 21:17:04

They will all have to just starting saving up bacteria, then. My house should be fine, I have loads.

durhamjen Thu 22-May-14 21:38:28

Hydro costs a lot to build, but low maintenance and they can last for up to 100 years, longer than nuclear power stations. If they are affected by earthquakes, the results are not as dire as nuclear, either.

FlicketyB Thu 22-May-14 22:00:53

More people have been killed and injured by failing dams than by nuclear power.

FlicketyB Thu 22-May-14 22:02:21

....and killed building them

HollyDaze Thu 22-May-14 22:28:34

Hydro costs a lot to build, but low maintenance and they can last for up to 100 years, longer than nuclear power stations. If they are affected by earthquakes, the results are not as dire as nuclear, either.

The powers-that-be on the Isle of Man are talking about installing them in our offshore waters to generate electricity which would be an absolute boon here as utilities (all of them) are very, very expensive. I'm hoping the ones in NI are doing well and are prosperous for the local communities.

durhamjen Thu 22-May-14 23:34:24

Can you give figures, Flickety? I cannot find any.

JessM Fri 23-May-14 06:41:14

I would suggest that each individual big hydro project will have a different economic profile depending on geographical features and who has to get compensated for loss of their land and livelihood.
Here are some eye-watering facts about the world's biggest hydro scheme.
There are concerns about whether it should have been built - seismic stability and sediment.
We don't hear much about small hydro do we, which is something upland land owners could use. There is a mill near my sister's in Ireland that is now a pottery and uses the old mill race to generate electricity to fire their kilns.

Aka Fri 23-May-14 07:29:56

Yes, better than the legacy of coal mining and far better that the legacy of nuclear power.

As far as death rates, it's easy to count the dead in accidents like coal mining, far harder in nuclear. People are still dying today from the radiation emitted at Chernobyl and there will be a legacy from FukuShima too. We'll never have accurate statistics on these.

Aka Fri 23-May-14 07:32:01

nuclear death rates

FlicketyB Fri 23-May-14 07:34:23 and quoted in James Lovelock, 2006, The Revenge of Gaia, p130-133, Penguin.

The Paul Scherrer Institute is the largest research centre for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland.