back to article Another 0.03% of Blighty goes wind powered

The largest onshore windfarm in Europe goes fully on line today, and a massive offshore scheme in the Thames Estuary will now move ahead. But experts have warned that many hundreds more such projects will be required - at massive cost to electricity users - if the UK is to shake its dependence on fossil fuels. The onshore …


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thoughts above

gee, do you really think that everyone has a new efficient TV. I know that I don't.

I guess that the energy savings over say ten years could pay for the cost of a TV, but by your logic I'll have needed a new TV by then presumably paid for by energy savings.

To the guy who said that people who think that energy saving light bulbs don't save energy,

replace a 100w bulb with a 8w energy saving bulb see the amount of energy used per bulb over a course of perhaps 10 hours, the saving might be small, but it's an every little counts scenario.

and that's the only criticism I have of the article, it's just ignoring the fact that in truth, really every little thing that we can do to wean our addiction of carbon emitting fuels does count.

and I say carbon emitting fuels as I take the same stance as the author, burning coal or gas, whether it's in a power station or in your home is still burning coal or gas, so heating and cooking should be taken into account.

to the guy who posted that we could use a wood burning stove, well yes, but that's even less efficient than a stove sing refined gas to heat our houses, so if we're looking at fuels which we still burn, and don't care about emitting carbon etc, then why invest anything at all.

a massive wind farm might be an eyesore on the landscape, but that's (if you believe the global warming bumf) is just a price that we'll have to pay in order to keep the landscape. rather it was covered in metal poles with spinning bits on the end than covered by seawater.

as for having solar panels on your house, I agree, when either the energy prices rise so much that this is actually a good idea, or the technology and equipment to do this falls to a significantly low rate then I'll do it.

most people are going to be like me on this issue, if I save nothing, then what's the point in spending money to implement it? I may as well just keep paying for energy on tap from the grid rather than paying to generate my own.


windmills today...

There are a lot of decided opinions here. That is progress, but willingness to change will be needed. I'll restrict myself to new ideas in a following post.

While we are at it, a bit of praise is in order to those politicians who recently pushed through a legal framework to allow the owner to benefit from linking their windmill to the grid.

It doesn't have to be 100% wind power, 15% would make a difference. I promise to junk my pentium toaster and buy a wind-up netbook.

Jobs Halo

...nice windmills tomorrow

Having grown up within an oil refinery, I think I'd prefer to live on a wind farm. But the current windmills are expensive, have only recently become efficient, and they make a thumping great noise. So, we need Steve Jobs team to design the windmill everyone wants in their back garden. And then a friendly asian power to start mass production at the unit price of a bicycle.


The promise of the Atom

"Meltdowns is a made up fear just like climate change to scare people. In reality, with a modern nuclear reactor, you have a better chance of seeing a flying unicorn than seeing a meltdown."

So you're saying the danger of massive mutation is greater than the danger from meltdown? Perhaps we need to work on contamination containment issues then!

Just kidding... and to the guy who said that proliferation of nuclear power would lead to nuclear wars; please present a sustainable, logical, coherent argument to this effect. I doubt it can be done, since it doesn't actually make any sense. In fact quite the opposite is the case; the more nuclear powers try to withhold safe civilian nuclear power from non-nuclear capable countries, the greater the incentive for those countries to create their own nuclear programs (cf. Iran, N. Korea). And if they are making their own programs, then they may as well skip the more difficult steps of trying to make purely civilian use plants, and instead make themselves fully capable of producing every aspect of nuclear capabilities, ie weapons grade Pu and U in addition to being able to process and reprocess their own fuel, make medical isotopes, and do nuclear research in general.

Anonymous Coward

@ original AC - Wales quote...

I'm just reading the original BBC article and that quote about Wales is attributed to David Morris of "Ramblers Scotland" (as in the people who going walking over the countryside), and not Professor MacKay. I have no idea if he is correct in his assertion, but he doesn't strike me as being someone who is terribly qualified to be making it.


Gold badge

@A J Stiles , @S Larti

@A J Stiles

“can remember them saying there was about enough oil left for another 30 years -- and that was 30 years ago”

B2££%^&t then. B2££%^&t now.

Oil companies are big users of HPC to analyse geophone sounding to turn 2d geophone readings (c 13 bits or dynamic range) into a 3d volume model. The very big AIX boxes, (SP2?) were favourites for this. They typically only hold oil reserves for 10 years as a matter of course. If they start to get low they re-crunch the numbers or sometimes hire some people to actually go out and do a seismic survey. So when you hear “We only have oil for 10 years,” it means “That we know of and we are a few years away from going out to drill for any more stuff. And please note that the UK has coal for 200 years if we are prepared to use it. There are good reasons to phase out our use of fossil fuels but the immediate supply is not one of them.

@S Larti

Either gas fired (oops, still a fossil fuel)

Not necessarily. See the Reg report on making methane by anaerobic digestion of meat waste, with the estimate 50% of UK gas could be supplied by such projects.


Paris Hilton

Hmmm Wind Power

I'll tell you what..

Stick a wing on East Anglia and a wing on Wales

Stick a tail on Weymouth and crank up the breeze

If we EVER get this f*cking country off the ground again I'll drink much more beer!!

Maybe I missed aero-dynamics 101 but why are we looking for wind?

If there was less wind then there might be less rain and as a by product LESS COLD

We wouldn't need to heat our houses so much, therefore less energy needed

Lets put up 1000m high, transparant walls around the UK and close all the airports

That way we can kill loads of birds with one stone.

1... No one can get in.

2... No one can get out

3... The green party animals get to say "yeah"

4... Tories get to say "bugger"

5... NuLab get to say "What about our carbon expensis claim"

6... Libs get to say "there is a forcefield here, hail the new forcefield"

7... Swine Flu can't fly in from Mexico / USA / Europe etc etc etc

8... Wacky JS would be out of a job

9... Actually we'd all be pretty relaxed again, like it used to be in the 80's/90's

10.. I still wouldn't have any friends ( /me starts to cry ;-( )

Paris because well she's my friend, honest she is, I met her in a pub in Helston



I think wind farms are beautiful, and would be glad to have one on my doorstep. The landscape there was bleak before - now it's the opposite - a symbol of hope for the future. Yes it's a small step, but the symbol and intent is important too, so El Reg et al really shouldn't be running it down.



I live near Whiteless and I think all those fans are a waste of eletricity ......also East Kilbride is windy enough. It doesnt needs more

or am I missing the point


@ Twunts

For the love of god get down off your bloody high horses. The article is not anti-wind or anti-green, it is anti-bullshit, anti-greenwash, pro-realism.


@ Alex

From a technical point i find them fascinating and the scale of this site is impressive - but I like seeing undisturbed countryside (bleak or otherwise). Everyone's different.

Such things may have to happen, but what worries me is that it seems that windpower is sold as the solution to all energy problems and as a result we miss the key point (our energy consumption has to reduce) and other renewable opportunities..

Example would be sticking a turbine to the side of your house. Why? Spend the money on substantial insulation and see the difference.

lol at max ... ;-)



"Windmills do not work that way! Goodnight!"


Saw some yesterday.

Kite surfers all over the place but not an arc of movement on the wind turbines.


Biggest windfarm can power a village

So its all a damp squid; which any engineer already knew, but politics on green tech have no connection with reality.

Okay, chaps -stop fecking about and open a few decent sized nuke power stations; after 95% of France is run by the things and they have not been vapourised.



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