Hey, Megan; about those 4.5 windfarms per year …

A quick question for you, Minister of Energy and Resources: Does your calculation which results in New Zealand needing 4.5 windfarms (of unstated size and rating) take into account the turbines’ dismal performance after a few years? Quote.

YA new study of 3000 wind turbines in the UK has been reported in The Telegraph and it is not good news for the 4.5 windfarms per year as they are wearing out more rapidly that was first thought.

The analysis of almost 3,000 onshore wind turbines ? the biggest study of its kind ?warns that they will continue to generate electricity effectively for just 12 to 15 years.

The wind energy industry and the Government base all their calculations on turbines enjoying a lifespan of 20 to 25 years.

The study estimates that routine wear and tear will more than double the cost of electricity being produced by wind farms in the next decade.

Older turbines will need to be replaced more quickly than the industry estimates while many more will need to be built onshore if the Government is to meet renewable energy targets by 2020.

The extra cost is likely to be passed on to households, which already pay about ?1?billion a year in a consumer subsidy that is added to electricity bills.

The report?s author, Prof Gordon Hughes, an economist at Edinburgh University and a former energy adviser to the World Bank, discovered that the ?load factor? ? the efficiency rating of a turbine based on the percentage of electricity it actually produces compared with its theoretical maximum ? is reduced from 24 per cent in the first 12 months of operation to just 11 per cent after 15 years. […]

Prof Hughes said in his conclusion: ?Adjusted for age and wind availability, the overall performance of wind farms in the UK has deteriorated markedly since the beginning of the century.

?In addition, larger wind farms have systematically worse performance than smaller wind farms.? […]

He said: ?I strongly believe the bigger turbines are proving more difficult to manage and more likely to interfere with one another.

“British turbines have got bigger and wind farms have got bigger and they are creating turbulence which puts more stress on them.

“It is this stress that causes the breakdowns and maintenance requirements that is underlying the problem in performance that I have been seeing.? […]

The report, published last week by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a think tank that has campaigned against wind farms, will give ammunition to sceptics, especially within the Conservative Party, who believe the cost of subsidies to the wind industry is far too high and that the growing number of turbines are blighting the countryside. […]

?Bluntly, wind turbines onshore and offshore still cost too much and wear out far too quickly to offer the developing world a realistic alternative to coal.?

Prof Hughes said his analysis had uncovered a ?hidden? truth that was not even known to the industry. His report was sent to an independent statistician at University College London who confirmed its findings. […]

Dr Gordon Edge, the Director of policy at RenewableUK, the body that represents Britain?s wind farm industry, said: ?Wind farm developers only earn money for the clean electricity they actually generate, so it?s very much in their interests to make sure that their turbines are maintained? to an optimum level, which includes upgrading as the technology improves.

?Better turbines are being developed all the time, so it?s absurd to focus purely on the past as this report does, and pretend that that?s the way things are going to be in the future.? End quote.

Oh well, that’s all tickety boo then.

Minister Woods: How are the efficiency factors and load ratings performing for the 4.5 windfarms build in 2018? (Asking for a friend.)

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