Thursday, 12 December 2013

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: Wind power vital part of our future

Looks like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is an eminently sensible chap. He reckons wind power is vital part of our future. Hear, hear! And about time windfarms are seen as "fundamentally normal". Perhaps Janet Street Porter (also mentioned in the article) will get the picture eventually?

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Wanlip turbine completion

An exciting new landmark at the northern outskirts of Leicester has just been completed – Severn Trent's wind turbine at Wanlip

According to an article published in the Leicester Mercury on 2nd December, some people haven't yet got over their 'fear of the new'. Perhaps they have never seen one of these majestic turbines in action? Based on the experience in other parts of Leicestershire, e.g. Swinford, one assumes that local residents will quickly get used to this new addition to the landscape and begin to appreciate it as a marvel of engineering that produces essentially carbon free electricity.

See further images of the completed turbine below, taken on 3rd December.
All photographs and captions kindly provided by Graham Stocks.
 Image above taken from a layby on the A6 at a distance of 570 metres.
Image above (zoomed) from another layby at a distance of 420 metres

 Both images above taken from the north west of the site at a distance of 1.72km.
The location is a plant nursery and adjacent road just to the north of Mountsorrel.

Images above taken from Castle Hill in Mountsorrel - a distance of 3.3 km.
The image at the top was taken at a standard focal length.

Images above taken from Dutchman's Wall (Rothley) near to the junction with Hallfields Lane. The distance from Dutchman's Wall to the turbine is approximately 1.2 km. The top image was taken at a standard focal length. The zoomed image at the bottom gives a clue as to where the turbine is. With summer foliage on the trees it would be very difficult to see the turbine. 

Saturday, 30 November 2013

No climate-change deniers to be found in the reinsurance business

Rod Janssen, an independent expert on sustainable energy, reports on a interesting very article by Eric Reguly of Canada’s Globe and Mail, which gives a detailed account of the context and implications of climate change for the reinsurance industry.

Image taken from here. Not sure about copyright etc.

Friday, 29 November 2013

UK sets new wind energy record

The news that UK wind farms have cleared the 6 GW mark for the first time made my day!

I can feel an extra drink at tonight's Skittles Match coming on!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Let's not forget the moral case for climate action

Excellent article by Craig Bennett, director of policy and campaigns at Friends of the Earth, at

His comments that "surely it would make sense for humanity to move, sooner or later, from dirty centralised old and fossilised energy to clean, decentralised new renewable energy, delivered by the sun, wind, waves and tides direct to point-of-use? Why remain chained to the limiting infrastructure of the past, when new technology allows extraordinary opportunities for the future?" reminded me a recent article under the heading: An electricity generation system the Victorians would be proud of.

On a related note, see also paper by Prof John Twidell under entitled The political and ethical case for renewable energy, available via
All in all, surely the conclusion has to be that the time-wasting and tedious ongoing debate about man-made climate change should be over? The sooner the media, including and in particular the BBC, stop wheeling out climate dinosaurs, the better!

Monday, 18 November 2013

An electricity generation system the Victorians would be proud of

Quote of the month, or perhaps even the year/decade!

It is time that we started thinking of renewable energy technologies as our primary source, with fossil fuels and nuclear as curiosities to be put in a museum along with the other exhibits from our industrial past.


See full article by Rob Such at

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Wind turbine manufacturer Evans of Loughborough to supply Scottish Water

The Leicester Mercury reports that Evance, of Loughborough, is providing three of its small wind turbines at Scottish Water's waste water treatment works at Broadford, on the Isle of Skye.
Another three turbines will be installed in the town of Portree, also on the Isle of Skye, and a further three will be sited at the water treatment works on the nearby Raasay island.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Nuclear outage

Amongst all the familiar anti-wind propaganda and wind power-related ignorance, one can't help wondering what proportion of the British population is aware of the recent/current nuclear outage?


I wonder what exactly caused it? A plastic bag, perhaps? Or maybe a flying pig of the 'nuclear power is cheap, safe and reliable' variety?

Anyway, for a reality check on 'but the wind doesn't always blow'-type stories, see

On a lighter note, looks like pigs can fly after all - see below (no need to watch the whole clip, unless you want to - just focus on the first 20 seconds).

Monday, 21 October 2013

Michigan's new tourist attraction? Like them or not, wind turbines

Good article at

Some quotes:

I was driving down the road when the sun was coming up one morning, and the sun hit the turbines and it was beautiful.

Some travellers see wind turbines as engineering marvels and symbols of energy independence.

Some see beauty in a sunset that makes the towers shine, or charm in a scene of a small house dwarfed by a turning blade.

Wind turbines are our new tourist attraction. We may as well make peace with them.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Thursday, 12 September 2013

67% of Brits favour local wind farms

More than two-thirds of UK citizens support building more wind farms in their immediate areas.


A green energy future

A team of University researchers have found that a large majority of the British public support moves to an efficient, clean, fair, and safe energy system but distrust remains a concern.

Transforming the UK energy system – public values, attitudes and acceptability brings together the findings from two in-depth phases of research carried out over a period of 30 months; a series of six in-depth deliberative workshops with members of the public held across England, Scotland and Wales, and a nationally representative survey of 2,441 members of the public.

Read the full article at

Monday, 9 September 2013

Power system reserve - No need to build wind back-up

Excellent article at

Key Points:
  • Back-up is always provided for all power plants on a system, with or without wind
  • There is no need to build back-up for wind; existing power plants in any system provide the required back-up for all plants
  • Wind generation displaces fossil-fuel generation and some of those plants can be taken out of operation
  • As the penetration of wind increases in any power system, the volume of capacity that is operated at part load, ready to ramp up or down according to peaks in demand or unexpected generation shortfalls, increases slightly to maintain a consistent probability of security of supply
  • Since the volume of extra reserve when adding wind is modest so is the additional cost. Savings from wind replacing other generation are likely to more than cover that extra cost
  • The emissions saved by wind displacing fossil-fuel generation are far greater than any extra emissions from increased spinning reserve.
Have added the info to the ProWA 'variability page' at

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Poll: UK energy policy is not green enough

BBC survey shows strong support for renewables and that the majority of the public would be willing to pay more for green energy. Read the full article at

Fukushima farce reveals nuclear industry's fatal flaw

Excellent article by Damian Carrington in today's Guardian at

"As the false nuclear dawn fades, a new brighter horizon may be revealed, where the intrinsically safe and therefore ultimately cheaper technologies of energy efficiency and renewable energy can used to build a power system fit for the 21st century, not one harking back to the 20th".

Hear, hear!

Villagers in push for wind turbine project

For another example of the renewable energy revolution that is underway in Britain see article at

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Germany in Transition

Interesting article at


"Will Germany be able to solve all problems and meet challenges that energiewende has thrown up? Can it meet all its targets?
I believe, it can and it will. The exciting thing about energiewende is not how much renewable energy Germany has installed so far, but how the German government, businesses and civil society are thinking about the energy transition. I believe the German society has crossed the hump."

Monday, 8 July 2013

The economics and culture of Murray’s Wimbledon triumph

Next time a British wind critic complains about 'foreign' companies in the context of wind power, I'm minded to send them this article under the heading: The economics and culture of Murray’s Wimbledon triumph.

UPDATE 5 March 2015:
Tennis ace Andy Murray urges Scots to switch off for Earth Hour, bless him.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Windfarm plan in Bristol Channel 'Catastrophic'

Catastrophic? Really? Who says? I note it is a Mr Steve Crowther from the Slay The Array campaign. Mmmm. Not so sure about that. I'm afraid the fact that the Atlantic Array will be visible from the shore isn't a valid argument against it. Bring it on! (subject to satisfactory Environmental Statement).

Lemming population explosion

This is a guest post from a ProWA sympathiser.

The nonsense filling the newspapers concerning wind powered generators these days is becoming more and more alarming.  The Government's recent decision to let people 'have more of a say' about this matter just breathes more life to uninformed opinions and the hysteria this generates.  This form of extremism is simply putting paraffin into the fire-buckets.  Here's a sample from today's trawl:

Returning from Melton on Friday evening I was struck by the rays of the setting sun across the landscape, seen from Paudy Lane, near Six Hills:


Of dear! What's that spoiling the view?  It's Ratcliffe Power Station - pity you can't actually see carbon dioxide as clouds of gas otherwise there might be an uproar!  Panning the camera a little to the right and we can see this:

A beautiful landscape and skyscape too - but wait a minute, what's that in the lower right-hand corner?

OMG! It's a wind turbine and it's utterly ruining the view and my enjoyment of the landscape.

When is normality ever going to return to this country?

Friday, 21 June 2013

Pro Wind Alliance celebrates 5-year anniversary

Triggered by news about a proposed windfarm between the villages of Swinford and Walcote, the Pro Wind Alliance was 'born' in spring 2008. Five years later, almost exactly to the day, the Swinford Windfarm Community Fund was launched, an interesting and happy occasion where a good time was had by all, as reported in the Leicester Mercury. See also letter to our so-called Environment Secretary and Mercury letter below.