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, September 29, 2009

A little secret about China's wind farms....

Oops...they come with coal-fired plants...
China's ambition to create "green cities" powered by huge wind farms comes with a dirty little secret: Dozens of new coal-fired power plants need to be installed as well.

Part of the reason is that wind power depends on, well, the wind. To safeguard against blackouts when conditions are too calm, officials have turned to coal-fired power as a backup.

China wants renewable energy like wind to meet 15% of its energy needs by 2020, double its share in 2005, as it seeks to rein in emissions that have made its cities among the smoggiest on Earth. But experts say the country's transmission network currently can't absorb the rate of growth in renewable-energy output. Last year, as much as 30% of wind-power capacity wasn't connected to the grid. As a result, more coal is being burned in existing plants, and new thermal capacity is being built to cover this shortfall in renewable energy.

In addition, officials want enough new coal-fired capacity in reserve so that they can meet demand whenever the wind doesn't blow. This is important because wind is less reliable as an energy source than coal, which fuels two-thirds of China's electricity output. Wind energy ultimately depends on wind strength and direction, unlike coal, which can be stockpiled at generators in advance.


Blogger Martin said...

No kidding. Someone should alert Dalton McGuinty and George Smitherman that the wind does not blow consistently. Plans to close Ont coal fired plants rely exclusively on the development of giant wind "farms".

1:33 PM  
Anonymous x2para said...

are "wind farms" really "green"; they're not made out of fallen leaves and neither are the batteries and transformers they need

10:12 PM  
Anonymous MadTrucker said...

And then there's that other 'dirty little secret' about windmills, namely the brutal efficiency in which they go about slicing n' dicing all our little feathered friends...

2:11 AM  
Anonymous DoorHold said...

And I've not heard anyone address this, but you can't shut that coal plant down while the wind is blowing, then fire it up when the wind stops. It has to be at some level of operation the entire time.

11:46 AM  

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