Wind farms in the UK will create more atmospheric carbon than they will reduce:
Thousands of Britain’s wind turbines will create more greenhouse gases than they save, according to potentially devastating scientific research to be published later this year.
The finding, which threatens the entire rationale of the onshore wind farm industry, will be made by Scottish government-funded researchers who devised the standard method used by developers to calculate “carbon payback time” for wind farms on peat soils.
Wind farms are typically built on upland sites, where peat soil is common. In Scotland alone, two thirds of all planned onshore wind development is on peatland. England and Wales also have large numbers of current or proposed peatland wind farms.
But peat is also a massive store of carbon, described as Europe’s equivalent of the tropical rainforest. Peat bogs contain and absorb carbon in the same way as trees and plants — but in much higher quantities.
British peatland stores at least 3.2 billion tons of carbon, making it by far the country’s most important carbon sink and among the most important in the world.
Wind farms, and the miles of new roads and tracks needed to service them, damage or destroy the peat and cause significant loss of carbon to the atmosphere, where it contributes to climate change.
Heh. Just like we know about electric cars – the process and materials used to create them negate any benefit they might have:
ELECTRIC cars could produce higher emissions over their lifetimes than petrol equivalents because of the energy consumed in making their batteries, a study has found.
An electric car owner would have to drive at least 129,000km before producing a net saving in CO2. Many electric cars will not travel that far in their lifetime because they typically have a range of less than 145km on a single charge and are unsuitable for long trips. Even those driven 160,000km would save only about a tonne of CO2 over their lifetimes.
The British study, which is the first analysis of the full lifetime emissions of electric cars covering manufacturing, driving and disposal, undermines the case for tackling climate change by the rapid introduction of electric cars.
The Adam Smith Institute has a pretty even handed study that concludes that wind power, at least for the UK, does not successfully reduce carbon emissions due to the unstable generation and storage possibilities and if a level of saturation is reached that would overcome that issue, the cost per kilowatt hour is astronomically increased:
It is commonly held that wind power has zero or nearly zero CO2 emissions, with most of these emissions coming from manufacturing and installation of the wind turbines. Digging deeper, however, reveals that many other factors limit the amount of CO2 emissions that can be avoided when wind power is added to the grid. Among these are factors related to wind’s unpredictable nature, which in turn negatively affects grid reliability—requiring spinning reserves and storage, which also typically have other environmental impacts. For similar reasons, the costs of wind power increase dramatically with penetration.
This analysis of PJM data shows that it is possible to build more wind turbines in order to increase wind penetration, thus satisfying more of a grid’s demand using wind energy. In order to maintain grid reliability at high wind penetrations, it becomes necessary to build energy storage that fills when there is too much wind to supply demand, and empties when wind speed is too low to supply demand. Even with large amounts of available storage (18 weeks was the maximum in this study), there will be periods when storage is full and there is more wind than required to meet demands.
During these periods, wind dumping occurs. Conversely, at low wind penetrations, there can be prolonged periods when wind is insufficient to meet demand, and there is no available storage left. During these periods, conventional power reserves (usually natural gas plants) supply power to meet demands. Since natural gas generation plants generate CO2, their emissions are included in the accounting for wind power.
The analysis presented here demonstrates that there is a tradeoff. At low wind penetrations, there is very little impact on CO2 emissions. As wind penetrations increase, the grid requires increasing amounts of spinning reserves to maintain reliability. At high wind penetrations, even large amounts of power storage cannot prevent significant (and expensive) wind dumping. The already high cost of wind power increases with the construction of storage facilities, and the cost to construct extra wind turbines, which will be dormant during periods of wind dumping.
It is almost like you can’t trust Al Gore any more.