Dumb Energy: Tilting at Windmills
re: dumb energy
Green is the new brown.
Windmills kill (birds especially, perhaps whales). Windmills also scar vast areas of land or water, as I can attest to driving through the western US. All that might be OK if they made sense, which they do not.
The Inadequacy of Wind Power
by Wade Elllison, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford
...energy of the wind is that of the moving air.... such energy is 1⁄2Mv^2, where M is the mass of air and v the speed. The mass of air reaching each square metre of the area swept by the turbine blade in a second is M = ρv, where ρ is the density of air: about 1.2 kg per cubic metre. So, the maximum power that the turbine can deliver is 1⁄2ρv^3 watts per square metre.
If the wind speed is 10 metres per second (about 20 mph) the power is 600 watts per square metre at 100% efficiency.2 That means to deliver the same power as Hinkley Point C (3200 million watts) by wind would require 5.5 million square metres of turbine swept area – that should be quite unacceptable to those who care about birds and to other environmentalists.
But the performance of wind is much worse than that, as a look at the simple formula shows. Because the power carried by the wind depends on the third power of the wind speed, if the wind drops to half speed, the power available drops by a factor of 8. Almost worse, if the wind speed doubles, the power delivered goes up 8 times, and as a result the turbine has to be turned off for its own protection.
...Batteries 20 million times larger are never going to be available and storage batteries will never make good the failure of offshore wind farms, even for a week. And the wind can drop for longer periods than that.
...With general energy shortages, the war in Europe, high prices and the likelihood of failures in electricity supply, many popular scientific presumptions underlying energy policy should be questioned. Wind power fails on every count.
WIND: “Hinkley Point C” is a 3.3 GW nuclear power plant—reliable, green, compact, it keeps the lights on 24X365. Nuclear power is the only non-fantasy energy solution for humanity.
Here in California, the propaganda on “savings” from green power and impending end-of-humanity doom are at hysterical levels. The lies about “savings” rely on consumers not actually checking their power bill, ignoring the steep costs involved (cost is 50% to 75% higher than claimed and ignores massively unaffordable conversion costs).
Unlike my rich green-virtue-signalling neighbors, neither I nor most Californians can afford an $60K Tesla with $5K high-amp home charger along with $24K solar installation, $5K breaker box upgrade, $30K electric heating conversion, $6K heat-pump water heater, $3K stove replacement, etc. The cost is vastly more than, for example, a incredibly efficient and clean 1.5L gas-engine car along with natural gas heating. And that electric car is rarely driven far enough to even break even on its outrageous energy cost (twice that of a conventional car), making it a net loser. And then 5-7 years in, a $20K battery pack replacement.
'Green' is a massive browning of quality of life, bank accounts, and the environment. Anyone who actually cares about the future should be putting all their efforts into "Gen 4" nuclear power solutions.
Electrification increases fossil fuel usage
To heat air or water for homes, the most efficient approach is to burn natural gas in the home, capturing 98% of the energy as hot air or hot water. The morons running California tell us we should instead burn natural gas in a power plant at a 40% loss of thermal energy in order to convert that gas into electricity, losing additional energy in transmission, in order to heat air/water within homes. This approach is going to increase the burning of natural gas by 67% for heating (via electricity) air and water in the home, sending both electric and gas rates soaring in the winter, when solar and wind are worth jack shit.
The sun does not shine at night and the wind rarely blows. This effectively means power that doubles or triples in cost, because all those fossil fuel plants are required when the 'green' sources are unavailable. And even when available, grid instability is a major technical problem due to gyrating energy production by those 'green' sources.
See also: Dumb Energy, by Normal Rogers @AMAZON.