Eminent Oxford Scientist Says Wind Power “Fails on Every Count”
(...)In his paper, Allison concentrates on working out the numbers that lie behind the natural fluctuations in the wind. The full workings out are not complicated(...)He shows that at a wind speed of 20mph, the power produced by a wind turbine is 600 watts per square metre at full efficiency. To deliver the same power as the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant – 3,200 million watts – it would require 5.5 million square metres of turbine swept area.
It is noted that this should be quite unacceptable to those who care about birds and other environmentalists. Of course, this concern does not seem to have materialised to date. Millions of bats and birds are calculated to be slaughtered by onshore wind turbines every year. (...)
When fluctuations in wind speed are taken into account in Allison’s formula, the performance of wind becomes very much worse. If the wind speed drops by half, the power available falls by a factor of eight. Almost worse, he notes, if the wind speed doubles, the power delivered goes up eight times, and the turbine has to be turned off for its own protection
(...)When it comes to the enormous batteries needed to store renewable power, Allison notes the problems with safety, as well as mineral shortages. Batteries will never make good the failure of offshore wind farms, even for a week, and he points out they can fail for much longer than that.
(...) Professor Allison has done his sums based on basic physics and freely available information. “Whichever way you look at it, wind power is inadequate. It is intermittent and unreliable; it is exposed and vulnerable; it is weak with a short life-span,” he concludes.