My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wind power is not the answer....

We've blogged many times about wind power, Colby Cosh in the National Post does a great job explaining the problems...
It is starting to look as though wind cannot meet more than a fraction of our energy demand even if other issues with the technology, like esthetics and wildlife impacts, are ignored. The problem, as engineers skeptical of wind power have been yelping for decades, is that power usage and production constantly have to be balanced in an electrical grid. Adding too much unstable, unpredictable power to the system creates a risk of failure and cascading blackouts. In fact, the EU is investigating the possible role of Germany's heavy wind-dependence in causing a Nov. 6 blackout that hit 10 million Europeans.

The depressing corollary is that even in reaching the modest limits now being laid down by the grid police, Alberta and Ontario are relying implicitly on the relative sluggishness of their neighbours in adopting wind technology, using interconnections with other provinces and states to off-load excess power and cover shortfalls. So the system operators' warnings aren't just a sign that wind has reached a dead end in their home provinces. They also mean that B.C., Saskatchewan and parts of the U.S. Northeast will never be able to get major wind projects off the ground if they are to continue to serve as an energy release-valve for their wind-harnessing neighbours.
Read the whole thing....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preachy environmental types should head over to Canadian Tire and buy themselves the larger of the two wind turbines they sell - good luck running a hair dryer though!

Very expensive, very little power - sometimes.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Sven Laptop said...

Wind power is the world's fastest growing energy source.

It adds just one more variable to electricity systems designed to cope with infite variation in demand and supply from a wide range of sources.

The arguments about intermittency are rubbish - every energy source is intermittent, like when a coal-fired power station crashes & goes from 100% to zero instantly.

Wind forecasting is making it easier to predict the inputs from wind energy and modern wind turbines are producing hundreds of times more power than their equivalents of 20 years ago.

Don't blame wind energy for the failings of a decades-old energy infrastructure. If the system needs updating - which it does - it should be done with renewables in mind.

It's not a black & white issue. Wind energy will never provide 100% of our power, but why not create the right conditions for it to provide the 20% it can produce, with no fuel, no pollution & no security issues to worry about?

12:46 AM  
Blogger cyberjacques said...

The main problem with wind power is This: one turbine, which is bigger than any aircraft powerplant known to man, is amazingly expensive, costly to maintain, and at its maximum output in optimal wind contitions, can barely compete with a 5hp gasoline generator you can buy at Home Depot for $200. It seemed like a great idea, and we learned a lot from trying to implement it, but we're beating a dead horse. Why not take those advances in generator technology and apply them to something that really is reliable, like water or geothermal power?

Oh, and by the way, comparing the intermittency of wind power to coal by saying that a coal plant can fail occasionally is like saying that a lightbulb is useless compared to a candle, since even though the candle flickers, the lightbulb may one day, several months from now, burn out completely. Do you see the absurdity?

3:20 AM  
Anonymous scruss said...

Um, cyberjacques, where'd you get this factoid? A 3.7kW gas engine beats a 2.3MW wind turbine? You = teh funny.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a fierce environmentalist and I am against Wind Power. One turbine barely cancels out the damage done by a single airplane. Why are we wasting money and effort on this? Conservation and gassification of existing plants are the only real alternatives at this time. Unfortunately people are so brainwashed with this "green" thinking, they can't see straight. Meanwhile, real solutions are being ignored in place of "feel good" windmills. THAT is the real crime.

3:24 PM  

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