Is this the end of the Irish wind energy racket?

valamhic

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The subject of alleged man made climate change, wind energy, solar energy has been well discussed in the Media and on Politics.ie since 2010. I always claimed that the first mistake was the failure to assess the government plan for it and that there was a major flaw in how renewable energy's contribution was calculated. Energy is useless, we need power, not energy. Renewables don't produce power. Others (particularly those with leftist leaning views) thought otherwise. However, there was a most generous subsidy regime put in place which paid for energy, which together with other incentives lured investors. Notwithstanding these long term incentives, there were a number of serious flaws which were most evident in the case of industrial wind energy. The wind industry was driven by policy makers, not engineers.

The biggest flaw was that the load factor (actual output compared to potential output) was based on Eirgrid's Generation Adequacy Report 2010 - 2016 which claimed the wind blew at 33 MPH for 34% of the time. My immediate reaction was that this was false so I measured wind speed in 2008 and 2009 to find the real figure was 24.1% on high ground, but as low as 20% in Midland locations. Even at the high figure, income turned out to be only 70% of expectations, few businesses have a profit of 30%, there are costs. The business model of Mainstream Renewable Power was to obtain planning permission, construct the wind farms and connecting cables and sell as soon as possible. This showed no long term commitment, a warning sign. It worked once, would it work again?

Gaelectric raised debt of around a quarter of a billion euros building wind farms. They needed to sell this debt and they needed to acquire capital to continue in business. There were no takers at home and the political climate was changing faster than the real climate with Brexit and Trump. The Chinese were approached and sampled the goods. The type of leftism the Chinese do is tad more prudent than what western lefties do. The Chinese said OK, we will buy your debt, but if this business is sound, you will have no difficulty raising capital. Today's newspaper reports the Chinese are departed. Gaelectric is for sale. Lock stock and barrel.

A spirited campaign was mounted to stop it, to cut or block subsidies, to block planning permission and to counter all the hype. The next development was the entry into the marker of semi state Bord Na Mona and Coillte, both with large land banks. Ireland needs 6,000 mw of fossil fuel generation capacity, it has 10.500 mw and plans for 15,000 mw. There were plans to export subsidized electricity to the UK. Electricity prices rose from about 14 cent to 25 cent with 38 cent being a reasonable expectation in a few years. The wind industry called for more subsidies, all from consumers, but government was slow to respond.

Will Gaelectric get a buyer? I hope not. Will the EU investment bank buy it? Probably not. It looks like there will be no more new development from Gaelectric, just existing wind farms. If they are under performing to the tune of 30% and even 40% at some locations, who will buy? Its going to be a hard sell.

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/energy-and-resources/green-energy-firm-gaelectric-for-sale-as-chinese-investors-withdraw-1.3251532
 


rainmaker

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I remember reading about you in the tenth century, still passionately promoting the idea that the Earth is flat.

Nice to see your environmental concerns move with the times.
 

The Field Marshal

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The entire lie about humans radically affecting climate has been successfully sold to millions of fools.
 

Watcher2

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I remember reading about you in the tenth century, still passionately promoting the idea that the Earth is flat.

Nice to see your environmental concerns move with the times.
Are people not allowed question policy now? There is a distinction between the matters raised in the OP and belief in climate change. It does appear that wind energy is not delivering what it has been sold to deliver and the taxpayer is shelling out huge sums of money keeping the pup alive.

And then you come along and play the man big time. Any views on the concerns raised?
 

McSlaggart

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rainmaker

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Are people not allowed question policy now? There is a distinction between the matters raised in the OP and belief in climate change. It does appear that wind energy is not delivering what it has been sold to deliver and the taxpayer is shelling out huge sums of money keeping the pup alive.

And then you come along and play the man big time. Any views on the concerns raised?
You're absolutely right. As your beloved Trump once explained, climate change is a hoax being carried out by the Chinese to make American industry less competitive - I cannot understand why so few people take him seriously on this :roll:
 

Trainwreck

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This is the sort of crap politicians and Greens want to pour taxpayers’ money into.
 

wombat

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Nitrogen

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There seem to be two quite distinct issues raised in the OP

1. Is climate change real?

2. Do large industrial windfarms make sense?

Even if one accepts (as I do BTW) that the answer to question 1 is yes, it is still a fair question as to whether wind farms are part of the solution. There are half a dozen or so massive windmills on a hill top near where I live. I don't buy the objections on aesthetic grounds, I think they look grand, but a huge road had to be built up the side of the hill just to get the things up there. Now that too is grand as the owners don't seem to mind walkers, so it serves as a decent local amenity in it's own way and makes for a pleasant stroll on a fine day, or on a crisp winters day like yesterday. Nevertheless the energy, and CO2 release required just to build the infrastructure can't have been trivial. Am I right in thinking that it can take several years operation before a wind farm breaks even on CO2?
 

Clanrickard

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The subject of alleged man made climate change, ........................
I and no doubt other sensible people stopped reading at that point. Get up the yard you fool.
 

The Field Marshal

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There seem to be two quite distinct issues raised in the OP

1. Is climate change real?

2. Do large industrial windfarms make sense?

Even if one accepts (as I do BTW) that the answer to question 1 is yes, it is still a fair question as to whether wind farms are part of the solution. There are half a dozen or so massive windmills on a hill top near where I live. I don't buy the objections on aesthetic grounds, I think they look grand, but a huge road had to be built up the side of the hill just to get the things up there. Now that too is grand as the owners don't seem to mind walkers, so it serves as a decent local amenity in it's own way and makes for a pleasant stroll on a fine day, or on a crisp winters day like yesterday. Nevertheless the energy, and CO2 release required just to build the infrastructure can't have been trivial. Am I right in thinking that it can take several years operation before a wind farm breaks even on CO2?
The climate changes every day.
That is real.

What is not real is the assertion that earths climate is changing for the worse because of human activity.

This grotesque lie has been successfully peddled to millions of gullible fools assisted sadly by the anti Pope Francis.
 

The Field Marshal

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Err, that's weather

(as every school child knows)
Earths climate has varied wildly both short and long term over many geological epochs.
[as every school child knows]

The current grand lie is that increased temperatures are a sole consequence of human activity.

This lie is swallowed by you and millions of other gullible fools.
 

hollandia

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Sep 11, 2012
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30,149
There seem to be two quite distinct issues raised in the OP

1. Is climate change real?

2. Do large industrial windfarms make sense?

Even if one accepts (as I do BTW) that the answer to question 1 is yes, it is still a fair question as to whether wind farms are part of the solution. There are half a dozen or so massive windmills on a hill top near where I live. I don't buy the objections on aesthetic grounds, I think they look grand, but a huge road had to be built up the side of the hill just to get the things up there. Now that too is grand as the owners don't seem to mind walkers, so it serves as a decent local amenity in it's own way and makes for a pleasant stroll on a fine day, or on a crisp winters day like yesterday. Nevertheless the energy, and CO2 release required just to build the infrastructure can't have been trivial. Am I right in thinking that it can take several years operation before a wind farm breaks even on CO2?
The OP is unhinged. Climate change denier and conspiracy theorist extraordinaire.

Windfarm CO2 offsetting times largely depend on the difficulty of the construction and the efficiency of the turbines (which is improving, year on year). But a few years, seems a bit of a stretch to me.

Good information available here:

EirGrid Group plc - Smart Grid Dashboard
 

Nitrogen

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Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
1,016
Earths climate has varied wildly both short and long term over many geological epochs.
[as every school child knows]

The current grand lie is that increased temperatures are a sole consequence of human activity.

This lie is swallowed by you and millions of other gullible fools.
This is true, but the problem is that modern humans have existed for a period of time shorter than the geological epochs you describe, and human civilisation as we know it, for only a fraction of that again.

So I accept that talk of global warming being a threat to life on the planet per se is, to say the least, rather wide of the mark. Calls to "save the planet" are misleading. Life on earth is very resilient. What is under threat is the complex web of human civilisation which we has built up in recent centuries.
 

wombat

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Messages
33,318
The windfarm industry will continue so long as tax breaks and subsidies continue, same as blocks of flats in Longford.
 

redhead

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Messages
6,663
If you can keep your cakehole shut long enough...
 

raetsel

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9,099
The subject of alleged man made climate change, wind energy, solar energy has been well discussed in the Media and on Politics.ie since 2010. I always claimed that the first mistake was the failure to assess the government plan for it and that there was a major flaw in how renewable energy's contribution was calculated. Energy is useless, we need power, not energy. Renewables don't produce power. Others (particularly those with leftist leaning views) thought otherwise. However, there was a most generous subsidy regime put in place which paid for energy, which together with other incentives lured investors. Notwithstanding these long term incentives, there were a number of serious flaws which were most evident in the case of industrial wind energy. The wind industry was driven by policy makers, not engineers.

The biggest flaw was that the load factor (actual output compared to potential output) was based on Eirgrid's Generation Adequacy Report 2010 - 2016 which claimed the wind blew at 33 MPH for 34% of the time. My immediate reaction was that this was false so I measured wind speed in 2008 and 2009 to find the real figure was 24.1% on high ground, but as low as 20% in Midland locations. Even at the high figure, income turned out to be only 70% of expectations, few businesses have a profit of 30%, there are costs. The business model of Mainstream Renewable Power was to obtain planning permission, construct the wind farms and connecting cables and sell as soon as possible. This showed no long term commitment, a warning sign. It worked once, would it work again?

Gaelectric raised debt of around a quarter of a billion euros building wind farms. They needed to sell this debt and they needed to acquire capital to continue in business. There were no takers at home and the political climate was changing faster than the real climate with Brexit and Trump. The Chinese were approached and sampled the goods. The type of leftism the Chinese do is tad more prudent than what western lefties do. The Chinese said OK, we will buy your debt, but if this business is sound, you will have no difficulty raising capital. Today's newspaper reports the Chinese are departed. Gaelectric is for sale. Lock stock and barrel.

A spirited campaign was mounted to stop it, to cut or block subsidies, to block planning permission and to counter all the hype. The next development was the entry into the marker of semi state Bord Na Mona and Coillte, both with large land banks. Ireland needs 6,000 mw of fossil fuel generation capacity, it has 10.500 mw and plans for 15,000 mw. There were plans to export subsidized electricity to the UK. Electricity prices rose from about 14 cent to 25 cent with 38 cent being a reasonable expectation in a few years. The wind industry called for more subsidies, all from consumers, but government was slow to respond.

Will Gaelectric get a buyer? I hope not. Will the EU investment bank buy it? Probably not. It looks like there will be no more new development from Gaelectric, just existing wind farms. If they are under performing to the tune of 30% and even 40% at some locations, who will buy? Its going to be a hard sell.

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/energy-and-resources/green-energy-firm-gaelectric-for-sale-as-chinese-investors-withdraw-1.3251532
After that very long-winded opening post I then skimmed the IT article as well, and it seems that the Chinese conglomerate who pulled out of the purchase have done so for business reasons alone, and not because they expressed any doubt in renewables. This is a company which after all has bought "wind farms worth an estimated €400 million from the Irish company last year."
 


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