Most British Wind Farms Are Net CO2 Emitters

Large British wind farms will actually release as much carbon dioxide as fossil-fuel power plants, according to a study conducted by researchers from Aberdeen University

Large British wind farms will actually release as much carbon dioxide as fossil fuel power plants, conclusions of a new study conducted by researchers from Aberdeen University

Wind farms are another of the Greens zero CO2 mirages, naturally the emissions produced during the manufacture of the turbine are ignored, as are the emissions of the fossil fueled coal or gas power station that has to be on standby for when the intermittency problem happens.

A new study by researchers from Aberdeen University has uncovered yet another problem with CO2 emissions and wind farms, this time it is the land that wind farms are built upon that is the source of massive amounts of CO2 being released.

Around of 50% of English onshore wind farms are built on peat bogs or peat based land, in Scotland the total is even higher at 66%:

The source of the emissions is not the windmills themselves, but the land on which they are being constructed.

“Much of the cheap land being targeted by developers desperate to cash in on wind farm subsidies is peat land in remote wild land areas of the UK,” said Helen McDade of the John Muir Trust.

“This [study] is a timely reminder that we must have independent and scientific assessment of the effects of policy and subsidies.”

The problem with independent and scientific assessment of anything Green, is that the warming alarmists will immediately start chanting “denier“, “Big Oil“, “Koch Brothers” and the discussion ends there.

For example if you wanted to put up a large modern wind turbine on peatland, you would first need to dig a hole, about the size of 2 semi-detached houses should do it nicely, then fill the hole with the environmental holocaust known as concrete, concrete takes a lot of energy to produce, thus it produces large amounts of the much feared CO2 emissions.

Over time the peat will dry out due to the weight of the concrete and the bird chopper and start releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, there is estimated to be over 3bn tons of CO2 stored in peatlands and bogs, which makes these peatlands an important sink for CO2, and given that the warming alarmists blame CO2 for everything bad that has ever happened, you would expect them to be concerned and want wind farm development on peatlands stopped, immediately.

This will not happen because as usual with the AGW boondoggle inconvenient truths are ignored, especially when monuments to Green folly are at stake.

Peat retains its carbon only when kept in its natural damp, boggy condition. But the development that goes along with big energy projects, from roads and rails to the windmills themselves, damages the peat and disrupts the flow of water, causing massive carbon dioxide release.

And while the wind industry claims that it constructs “floating roads” (made of rocks piled atop fabric) to prevent just such degradation, scientists dismiss such measures as symbolic.

“Peat has less solids in it than milk,” Lindsay said. “The roads inevitably sink, that then causes huge areas of peat land to dry out and the carbon is released.”</blockquote>

Scientists dismiss floating roads as symbolic, oh the irony of Green symbolic infrastructure being used to erect monuments to Green symbolism, it is a crying shame that irony is lost on these people.

But the new report is even more severe, concluding that such wind farms will never produce carbon savings at all.

“This is a devastating blow for the wind factory industry from which I hope it will not recover,” said Struan Stevenson, a Scottish Member of the European Parliament.

“The Scottish government cannot realize their plans for wind farms without allowing the ruination of peat bogs, so they are trying to brush this problem under the carpet. This is just another way in which wind power is a scam.”

Back in 2008 it was reckoned that wind farms on peatlands would take 23 years to produce CO2 savings, this is far from impressive given at that time it was believed that the life expectancy of a wind turbine was 25 years.

However a recent study was carried out by Professor Gordon Hughes of the University of Edinburgh, one of Britain’s leading energy and environmental economists, using years of data from wind farms in both Britain and Denmark, which proves that service life of a wind turbine is only half that quoted by the manufacturers, typically 12 – 15 years.

So the peatland wind turbines will produce far more CO2 than they save, achieve nothing environmentally which is supposed to be their primary purpose, but once again the Green crony capitalists and rent seekers will clean up on all those tax payer funded Green energy subsiides, proving once again they only thing Green in this whole scam is the color of money.

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About Tory Aardvark

Climate Realist, Conservative and proud NRA member. I don't buy into the Man Made Global Warming Scam, science is never settled. http://toryaardvark.com @ToryAardvark on Twitter ToryAardvark on Facebook

Posted on March 15, 2013, in Anthropogenic Global Warming, Church Of Climatology, Climate Change, Global Warming, Green Lies, Renewables, Wind Power and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Great site. I just found it. Keep up the good work.

  2. This is astounding logic. So the emissions of land that windmills are built on contribute to the emissions of the technology? Do peat emissions count to windmills before they are constructed on them? Does every peat bog in the country count towards windfarm emission?

    And contrary to the lies in the article, yes the emissions/energy used in manufacture is counted towards turbines. This is commonly referred to as embodied energy/ emissions and subsequently paid back as energy/emissions payback. Typical energy payback of a windmill is less than two years. For a nuclear power plant it is more like 7-8 years.

    Also known as Energy Return on Investment, and summariesed here
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EROI_-_Ratio_of_Energy_Returned_on_Energy_Invested_-_USA.svg

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  6. harriettrichardson

    Could you tell me where you found the following information please?

    “Around of 50% of English onshore wind farms are built on peat bogs or peat based land, in Scotland the total is even higher at 66%.”

    Thanks

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