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The Wind Farm Scam (Independent Minds) Paperback – September 15, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1905299836 ISBN-10: 1905299834 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Independent Minds
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Stacey Intl; 1 edition (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905299834
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905299836
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Etherington was a Reader in Ecology at the University of Wales, Cardiff. Since his retirement from the University in 1990, he has devoted himself to researching the implications of intermittently available renewable electricity generation, in particular wind power. He is a Thomas Huxley Medallist at the Royal College of Science and a former co-editor of the International Journal of Ecology.

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Customer Reviews

Wind power is very expensive to build and run.
Michael JR Jose
This is the reverse of robin hood - we are robbing the great numbers of the poor and middle class to reward the rich few.
Fredrick P. Wilson
Anyone interested in wind power should read this book as part of their education on the subject.
Mr WFJ Crozier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Jon Boone on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good for John Etherington who, in this work, marshals relentless evidentiary support for his thesis that wind energy is a scam.

Indeed, industrial wind technology is a meretricious commodity, attractive in a superficial way but without real value--seemingly plausible, even significant but actually false and nugatory. Those who would profit from it either economically or ideologically are engaged in wholesale deception. For in contrast to their alluring but empty promises of closed coal plants and reduced carbon emissions is this reality: Wind energy is impotent while its environmental footprint is massive and malignant.

A wind project with a rated capacity of 100MW, for example, with 40 skyscraper-sized turbines, would likely produce an annual average of only 27MW, an imperceptible fraction of energy for most grid systems. More than 60% of the time, it would produce less than 27MW and, at peak times, often produce nothing. It would rarely achieve its rated capacity, producing most at times of least demand. Whatever it generated would be continuously skittering, intensifying, magnifying the destabilizing effects of demand fluctuations, for wind volatility is virtually indistinguishable from the phenomenon of people whimsically turning their appliances off and on.

Moreover, the project could never produce capacity value--specified amounts of energy on demand, something that should be anathema to regulatory agencies, with their task of ensuring reliable, secure, affordable electricity. The ability of machines to perform as expected on demand is the basis of modernity, underlying contemporary systems of economic growth, wealth creation and well-being.
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43 of 53 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on June 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
This superb book shows the extreme folly of relying on wind power for reliable electricity supply.

In November 2008, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change said that gas-fired and coal-fired electricity cost £50 per megawatt hour (MWh) to generate and nuclear power cost £38. By contrast, offshore wind cost £92, onshore wind £72.

To keep the uneconomic option of wind power alive, the government has made us all pay huge hidden subsidies, through our electricity bills, to wind power companies. As the 2003 Energy White Paper admitted, "We have ... introduced a Renewables Obligation for England and Wales in April 2002. This will incentivize generators to supply progressively higher levels of renewable energy over time. The cost is met through higher prices to consumers. ... By 2010, it is estimated that this support and Climate Change Levy exemption will be worth around £1 billion a year to the UK renewables industry."

Yet by 2007, Britain's 2,400 wind turbines generated just 1.3 per cent of our electricity, and even this paltry supply was not reliable. The 2008 House of Lords Select Committee on The Economics of Renewable Energy said, "To make up for its intermittency ... back-up conventional plant will be essential to guarantee supply when required, to compensate for wind's very low capacity credit. Wind generation should be viewed largely as additional capacity to that which will need to be provided, in any event, by more reliable means; and the evidence suggests that its full costs, although declining over time, remain significantly higher than those of conventional or nuclear generation."

So wind power cannot replace coal, gas, oil or nuclear - it depends on them `to guarantee supply when required'. Wind power won't even save CO2 emissions.
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Michael JR Jose on September 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Given the controversial nature of this topic, the first thing to establish is the credentials of the author. Dr John Etherington was Reader in Ecology at the University of Wales, Cardiff until retirement in 1990. He is also a Thomas Huxley medalist (Royal College of Science), and a former editor of the Journal of Ecology.

He asserts that climate scares and EU targets drive the industry. Even basic independent research into the EU funding of wind power and enthusiasm for carbon taxes will back this up. Part of the EU agenda is to create a common power `super grid' using wind power as a Trojan horse to force change. In conjunction with EU 20/20 legislation and energy targets, Tony Blair bound the UK to energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets which may mean the UK will be forced to join a future European `supergrid' to prevent blackouts.

The 'ABS Windpower Report' (2006) noted that 'Wind power has been promoted for politico/environmental reasons and wind developers have benefited from substantial subsidies, leading to exaggerated claims. A reality check is needed.' (p.152) The frightening conclusion is that the UK will be at the mercy of European power supply if we join such a grid. Leaving the EU will be made economically highly dangerous and damaging for us if this occurs.

However, this in no way states the real objection to wind power, whether with modern generators or not. Wind power simply cannot supply predictable and reliable energy to the national grid: the reason being that the wind stops and starts, and sometimes blows too hard. Unless the wind is just right, there is no power generated. The electricity cannot be stored and must be used as produced and supplied to the grid, thus making grid regulation more complex, and in some cases dangerously unstable.
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