Friday, January 08, 2010

Massive Windfarm planned in the North Sea - 80km off the Hornsea Coast

The Government has today announced plans for £100 billion project for off-shore windfarms comprising of up to 5,000 turbines; this includes a proposal for a 4,000 mega watt (MW) turbine site covering a large area of the North Sea approximately 80km off of the Hornsea coast. This could include up to 570 x massive 7 MW rated wind turbines. (By comparison Drax power Station’s 6 x 660MW steam turbines give a total of 3,960MW)

I broadly support the concept of off-shore wind generation and welcome this as a positive step, but I would like to see the potential for wave and tidal power moved higher up the Government’s agenda and for funding to be made available to fully exploit these more efficient and predictable alternatives.

Off-shore windfarms have many advantages over, and in my opinion ultimately more preferable than, on-shore windfarms as there is very little negative visual impact or noise issues for neighbouring communities, nor transportation of wind turbine components along narrow rural roads.

An off-shore wind farm can be of a sufficient size and scale to be economical, as the winds off-shore tend to be more constant and predictable, therefore the turbines will be somewhat more efficient than the pathetically low rates achieved by on-shore turbines.

Care must be taken in finding ways to connect the power to the national grid without the need for miles and miles of new pylons, it is essential that underground cabling is used or that existing pylons are utilised or upgraded wherever possible and any new pylons be placed in areas where they are least intrusive.


John in Gilberdyke said...

There is a major problem with wind power - you can only generate when the wind is blowing with sufficient force to produce the power! During the January 2010 cold spell the wind just hasn't co-operated. Take a look at the summary of generation by fuels on the following website where the actual outputs by fuel are continuously monitored.

The yields make a mockery of the whole thing and for sure the true economics (without "green" grants and subsidies) are very much in question.
We should stop chasing fairy stories and get our coal fired power back into action with replacement units coming on-stream as the present units wear out. Additionally we need to expand our nuclear power stations before we left behind and become an impoverished and broken country.

Anonymous said...

Its quite poetic that immediately following the failure to put all sorts of stupid global warming prevention promises onto the statutes by Gordon Bloody Brown we enter into record-breaking cold weather (along with most of Europe).

Cherie Blenkin said...

This announcement to progress the Offshore Wind Farms I hope will give the ERYC endorsement to have the refused Wind Farm planning applications within Roos Parish upheld at the forthcoming Public Enquiries.

These new proposals lie directly off the Roos Parish Coastline and would form a 360 degree Industrial View from Rural South Holderness as previously highlighted.

I have campaigned against the inappropriate positioning of onshore Wind Turbines for more than12 years now and have been very successful in my efforts as a representative of the community, the Chair of S.H.O.W.T.

However, recent Government intervention into local planning has seen Planning Policy in other areas of the East Riding overruled.

I sincerely hope these now will put an end to further adverse onshore and inefficient applications. Ironically, Offshore turbines and Under Sea Tidal Turbines where proposed by
S.H.O.W.T as a more efficient alternative to onshore back in 1998 when the Wind Companies could have obtained a 'double' grant. One for Offshore Renewables, the other for coastal erosion revention.

This has been a long battle, and still the war has not yet been won.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry the prime minister said "we will be world leaders in renewable technology". However whilst I jest about that I have to give the man credit because after a couple of days in Copenhagen he has got the climate back to where it should be.....what a guy

Anonymous said...

Since one of the main "reasons" given for venturing into windfarming is climate change and CO2 its worth reading the following which is cut and pasted from an engineering site.

Ice core records show CO2 always rises >800 years *after* temperature rise - so CO2 was the product of past warming, not the cause.
Temperatures have fallen this century while CO2 levels continue to rise - so clearly CO2 is not a dominant driver.
It was warmer during the Medieval Warm Period (800 - 1300 AD) when the vikings farmed Greenland. And colder during the Little Ice Age (1700's) when the Thames regularly froze over. So the Earth's climate has varied in the past *without* any man-made CO2, and the present temperatures are nothing special.
Sea level rise and glacier retreat rates have held constant as we emerge from the LIA - despite increasing CO2 levels.
Arctic sea ice is notoriously variable (Amundsen sailed the northwest passage in 1903 and Larsen in 1940). However the total ice mass (Arctic + Antarctic) has been constant since satellite measurements began in 1979.
The Earth's climate has been relatively stable over many millenia suggesting negative feedbacks dominate.
Any reasonable scientist would conclude there is no need to fear an imminent climate catastrophy caused by man