New Record: World’s Largest Wind Turbine (7+ Megawatts)

The world’s largest wind turbine is now the Enercon E-126. This turbine has a rotor diameter of 126 meters (413 feet). The E-126 is a more sophisticated version of the E-112, formerly the world’s largest wind turbine and rated at 6 megawatts. This new turbine is officially rated at 6 megawatts too, but will most likely produce 7+ megawatts (or 20 million kilowatt hours per year). That’s enough to power about 5,000 households of four in Europe. A quick US calculation would be 938 kwh per home per month, 12 months, that’s 11,256 kwh per year per house. That’s 1776 American homes on one wind turbine.

The turbine being installed in Emden, Germany by Enercon. They will be testing several types of storage systems in combination with the multi-megawatt wind turbines.

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These turbines are equipped with a number of new features: an optimized blade design with a spoiler extending down to the hub, and a pre-cast concrete base. Due to the elevated hub height and the new blade profile, the performance of the E-126 is expected to by far surpass that of the E-112.

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WiredForStereo of The Way explains the operation of these new turbines:

[The E-126]… has no gearbox attaching the turbine blades to the generator, in fact, the generator is housed just at the widest part of the nose cone, it takes up the entire width of the nacelle to generate power more efficiently, and provide longer service life with less wear.

Also like small turbines, these have inverters instead of synchronous generators, that is to say, a separate controller that converts the wild AC generated into something the grid can use. This means the rotor can run at more optimum and varied speeds.

Again like small turbines, this one does not shut right off at a predetermined speed due to gusts or just very high wind speeds. It simply throttles down by turning the blades slightly away from the wind so as to continue to generate power though at a lower production rate. Then the instant the wind is more favorable, it starts back up again. Many smaller wind turbines do something similar except have no blade pitch control, they use a technique called something like “side furling” where the whole machine, excepting the tail, turns “sideways” to catch less wind but continue operating.

Money, why else? Big things are cheaper per unit production. If you have 3 2 MW generators, you have to have three (at least) cranes to put them up, build three foundations, have to maintain three machines, and have three times the parts to fail. If you have one, it is larger and more expensive in itself to move, but not as expensive as having to move three smaller ones.

I don’t understand how people can be so concerned about birds becoming mush with modern wind turbines, especially ones this big. It only turns at 12 rpms. That means it takes five seconds to complete one revolution. That is slow but this is much bigger and easy to see compared to the whirring blades of old. The Altamont Pass turbines gave wind turbines such a bad name because they were built in the middle of the natural habitat of rare birds, the turbines were the small fast spinning type, and they were built using lattice towers, the kind birds love to nest in. These are slowly being replaced and all of the new ones are of the slower rotating kind. In the end, it comes down to this. Stationary buildings and moving cars kill literally millions of times more birds than wind turbines. And things like the Exxon Valdez spill kill millions of everything. So let’s go with the best option.

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A graph of the World’s Largest Wind Turbines.

465 thoughts on “New Record: World’s Largest Wind Turbine (7+ Megawatts)”

  1. Yes, OK, Wind turbines are part of a short term solution to mankinds future energy needs.
    But lets not bury our heads in the sand……..Fossil fuels WILL run out eventually……and until that happens we must strive to change our energy habits and develop new and novel solutions to our needs.
    I prefer Nuclear power, given that Mankind can get together and adopt a safe disposal method for the High level waste…….like burial in subductive tectonic regions.

    Any thoughts folks?

    Robbie.

  2. If only this issue was a Trivial Persuit to those of us who are impacted by the intrusion of these monstrous machines into our lives with their sleep depriving blade thump, reduction in value of our tourism business and value of our properties, and untold impact on wildlife habitat and wildlife mortality. What avian species stands a chance against a blade tip moving at 180 MPH? Wildlife protection has been reduced to counting dead animals in “post construction mortality studies”.

    In remote areas like Maine’s mountain regions it will cost the wind industry over $110 per MW to deliver electricity to the grid. Electricity is currently selling for about $35 per MW in the day ahead ISO NE grid in Maine. The difference is made up in subsidies.

    If the public monies being directed to wind power in Maine were instead directed to energy efficiency and conservation programs for Maine families, each household would be eligible for $15,000 for insulation, better windows, heating system upgrades, or a more fuel efficient vehicle. The budget this year is about $15 per household. Since conservation and efficiency are well known to be the most cost effective means of reducing fossil fuel consumption, aren’t these spending priorities completely reversed from what is intuitively obvious?

    Instead $4.75 billion of our tax dollars is being directed toward the deployment of 1800 1.5 MW turbines on over 200 miles of pristine ridgeline, plus hundreds of miles for access roads and hundreds of miles of new transmission corridors to reach remote wind projects. All for about 4.5% of the average daily demand of the New England grid. 2700 MW of installed capacity is 675 MW of actual generation using the 25% forward capacity factor assigned by the grid. The grid operates at an average daily demand of about 15,000 MW. 675 divided by 15,000 is 4.5% Am I missing something?

    President Eisenhower warned of the military industrial complex controlling government spending. It has n0w become the global warming industrial complex but the same players are in control – GE, Goldman Sachs, ex- Enron employees who know a good scam when they see one, retired politicians who are now industry lobbyists. Wind power is not about electricity production. It is about using global warming as an excuse to steal your money.

    God help anyone who lives within sight or earshot of the Enercon E-126. Their lives will never be the same from the day the blades start turning.

  3. Who is missing the point ?
    Indeed this monster will probably keep this web site and a thousand (probably millions) like it running for eons 8 hours per day with a capacity factor of 33% (By the way eons is a little too long, a mechanical contraption like this will probably fall to pieces in a couple of years) when the wind blows.
    But what do we do when the wind doesn’t blow ?
    Why tackle only 30% of the problem with futile, but ingenious, wind turbines and not tackle the complete problem.
    Therefore America should do the following:
    1) Burning coal in a cleaner way,
    2) Efficiency of energy use in the broadest sense of the word,
    3) Promoting a drastic change of life style (There are about 6.5 billion people, who all have the right to have some energy to their disposal),
    4) Put a 1 or 2 dollar tax on gas and use these revenues to force (or help) those dumboos in Detroit (I mean the CEO’s) to develop the most fuel efficient cars in the world. America has the technology and could lead again!,
    5) Super conductivity.,
    6) Plasma fusion.,
    7) Energy efficient housing. (Insulation, window planning and if you like put some solar panels and silly wind mill on the roof, but without subsidies and or tax breaks, but make it obligatory.),
    8)Rethink city planning, so you don’t need a car to move from shop to shop,
    Just a few ideas.
    Alexander

  4. Trivial Persuit

    Who are you people? YOU’RE MISSING THE ENTIRE POINT!

    And think of all the energy you all have collectively wasted by running your computers just to keep arguing about whether something is viable or not. A machine of the size described in this article would be able to provide enough juice (“capacity factor” included) to keep this web site and a thousand like it running for eons, at almost no additional cost once it’s built and flying.

    NONE of the other non-renewable resources that any of you clowns have mentioned falls in this class.

    Get over it and grow up.

    1. I happen to work in the power industry and those wind mills are way more expensive to maintain than ANY other form of power production equipment. They wear out like every other machine but are difficult to access because they are typically spread out on mountain ridges with poor access and they don’t have the foresight to all break down at the same time like a single 600MW steam turbine. That’s why most of them are “abandoned-in-place” once they have a serious failure. Typically 10-15 years. The wind consortiums are set up so the entity owning and operating the wind mills can go bankrupt once they have pumped all the available subsidy money out, leaving the task of cleaning up the mess to the landowners or the government.

  5. Unfortunately we have constructed super-megapolis population centers where tens of millions live clustered together under unsustainable conditions except for a massive energy, food, water and transportation lifeline to the outside. Well over half the population of the earth live at the mercy of the “infrastructure”. If we have to scale back to more natural living we first have to dismantle the urban civilization and then reduce the earth’s population by 2/3… A few 7MW windmills are not going to change the fact that there are too many of us and we are using up the world’s resources at a catastrophic speed.

  6. If you look at a map of the globe it is obvious that the cost of interconnecting everyone into a single grid would be an absurdly expensive, environmentally disastrous undertaking, and the line losses from such long transmission lines would be enormous. Much smarter is to think small. Self generation with small scale hydro, wind, solar, ground source, biomass makes infinitely more sense on both the impact on the planet from massive unnecessary infrastructure, and on more sustainable living. The inconvenient truth is that we are addicted to convenience and waste. We need to reconnect with living sustainably. Generating our own electricity at the home or community level is a step in the right direction.

  7. what’s the stator rated volatege of the generator? how many converter is there E126? are they series or parellel? where the transformer? what’s the lower voltage of the transformer?
    who know these message? thanks.

  8. H6 Len
    Hello everyone: H6, here, I am very impressed with the Knowledge and dialogue you’re having here. I am a back yard tinker, who has no back yard, yet, I have discovered a new and unique way to generate energy for power. It works and I believe it will do away with the need for these monstrous windmill turbines (bold, but you will see).

    Would love to work with some of you, on the technical aspect of my design; on electrical etc. This is serious, it’s a simple law of physics that everyone ignores, but with modern innovation, it’s shockingly amazing, at what is produced. My business plan is almost completed; then my invitation letter to Investors, it’s that close to finishing. This one principle utilizes five completely different designs that are phenomenal. Just waiting to secure all the patents needed to cover all areas. Email: osiimpactearth@yahoo.ca If you can contribute in any way, before I hire the big dogs: Welcome. You will be compensated in time. I am in London, Ontario at present, but eminent move back to Toronto soon. Just a hint of its power; the first Energy Structure, design #1, uses 40-60 already existing (wind) ‘turbine generators’ and can run three times as long with a high capacity factor of 96+%. I did not re-invent the wheel. It’s not new technology, but better use of technology.

  9. I think environmentalists should sit down and think seriously about what it is that they want to accomplish. First you want to stop the emissions of greenhouse gasses, which cause global warming. But when Wind Farms are installed to cut the emissions you complain about it disrupting the view! How about everyone that has issues with wind power hops on a bicycle with a generator attached to it… Then we can produce the power needed without disrupting the view.

    Whatever the way of producing power, it being wind, solar, wave, geothermal, hydroelectric or what ever else. There should be a global energy grid that can transport the generated electricity to wherever it is needed. Think about the power use during the day, most countries use more power during business/daytime hours than during the night, which requires alot of peaking plants to supply that power. If you have a global grid, the power can just be routed to wherever it’s needed. In total the use of power should not change much during the hours of the day, if you see it on a global scale.

    1. Environmentalists often skirt the root environmental problem; the one that keeps driving up demand for energy, water and food. That problem is OVERPOPULATION of the human species, at the expense of most others.

      We can’t keep adding 75,000,000 people annually to a finite planet and expect nature to supply every want, with no reduction in quality of life. There is no hypocrisy in decrying wind-turblight on the landscape if one also criticizes mindless population growth and rising energy demand. Environmentalists who think we can have it all (endless growth AND sustainability) are deluded.

      “Environmentalists” who see no limits to human numbers have no business using that term. They are just techno-apologists and greenwashers.

  10. yes this is a quite a machine i have worked on Re-Power 5 MW and Suzlon 2.1 and Gamesa Eolica 2.1 this would be quite an engineering marvel if this would actually become a product over here in the states 413 ft is ridiculous also thats another 100 FT then the ones im currently working on ….. has anyone on this site worked on or been around this turbine if so please reply thank you

  11. they’re not even that loud! has anyone actually ever been under one? id rather live next to a wind turbine then a neuclear power plant. And forget about this bird issue buisness, statistics show only one bird is killed per 10 years of each wind turbine, so possibly 3 birds for a wind turbine’s life span x the minimal amount of wind turbines we have (using reverse phycology so someone might build more turbines) more birds are killed by domestic cats then wind turbines. cats kill hundreds of millions a year worldwide. although this is alread more then the amount of birds wind turbines affect, i’l continue,
    between 100 million and 1 BILLION birds are killed by tall buildings, 60-80million from cars and turcks, pesticides, jet engines, smoke, homes and electricity distribution all contibute about 100 MILLION birds each for the U.S alone.
    i am a student, hoping wind power will be a possible solution for at least 25% of the worlds electricity in the next 10 years. it is completly possible. Just that some think its too expensive.
    with all the money being spent on the perfection of clean coal (which i think is the silliest solution for energy yet, pffft, putting it underground is just hiding it and will most likely affect the techtonic plates with the pressure of the gas and the digging down) it could be invested into alternative energy sources. i wish more people would understand that we don’t have all day to act and everyone can contribute by just telling others the benefits and what will happen if nothing is done.
    one last thing, already thousands of animal and plant species are extinct due to global warming, the earths biodiversity will never be the same. if you dont care about this, then i wonder how selfish you must be.

    if you disagree, i will be sure to accept you’re opinion, but i am extremely passionate about in not ducking up our world

  12. they’re not even that loud! has anyone actually ever been under one? id rather live next to a wind turbine then a neuclear power plant. And forget about this bird issue buisness, statistics show only one bird is killed per 10 years of each wind turbine, so possibly 3 birds for a wind turbine’s life span x the minimal amount of wind turbines we have (using reverse phycology so someone might build more turbines) more birds are killed by domestic cats then wind turbines. cats kill hundreds of millions a year worldwide. although this is alread more then the amount of birds wind turbines affect, i’l continue,
    between 100 million and 1 BILLION birds are killed by tall buildings, 60-80million from cars and turcks, pesticides, jet engines, smoke, homes and electricity distribution all contibute about 100 MILLION birds each for the U.S alone.
    i am a student, hoping wind power will be a possible solution for at least 25% of the worlds electricity in the next 10 years. it is completly possible. Just that some think its too expensive.
    with all the money being spent on the perfection of clean coal (which i think is the silliest solution for energy yet, pffft, putting it underground is just hiding it and will most likely affect the techtonic plates with the pressure of the gas and the digging down) it could be invested into alternative energy sources. i wish more people would understand that we don’t have all day to act and everyone can contribute by just telling others the benefits and what will happen if nothing is done.
    one last thing, already thousands of animal and plant species are extinct due to global warming, the earths biodiversity will never be the same. if you dont care about this, then i wonder how selfish you must be.

    if you disagree, i will be sure to accept you’re opinion, but i am a very strong believer in not ducking up our world

  13. The US is the Saudi Arabia of wind. ie: Lots of wind and open spaces to put turbines in proximity to population centers. If we can increase the efficiency of our electricity usage, the wind will become cheaper still.

  14. It’s very impressive but I imagine it’s just that bit too big for most applications and the industry will stick with the physical size used for current 2MW – 3MW turbines.

  15. I want one of these bad boys on the roof of my house!! Actually the base will just barely fit into my backyard! I could hook up the neighbors and make a fortune. To hell with the flight path of the planes coming into O’hare, they can go around this thing, a few dollars in an unmarked envelope will see to that! And, I’ll just close the windows to avoid hearing the whoosh. THis has potential, with this much powere generated I’ll have plenty of cash to pay off city hall and get the right permits!!

    1. Not true. The USA has more MW of operating wind power production capacity than any other country in the world…
      But it’s still a bad idea because there is no way to store the energy.
      Wind power plants have to be backed up with 100% capacity in conventional power for the times the wind is down (74% of the time on average). With the current technology a wind power plant has to pay for itself only through the fuel savings they allow the conventional power producing facilities to make by reducing load to a less efficient operating level. With the current US electric rates wind power cannot pay for itself without government subsidies.

  16. There is a cheaper and better way.

    PROPOSAL
    1. Wave Water Pump – WWP
    • Lifts a small quantity of water to a high head due to the Potential Energy of the incoming wave, collects it in a piping network and feeds it to a hydro-turbo generator to produce electric power
    • A set of pumps up to ten and a mile wide may be installed in line with the incoming wave to extract most of its energy.
    1. Wave Air Pump – WAP
    • Compresses air due to Kinetic Energy of the incoming wave, collects it in a piping network and feeds it into the air inlet of a turbo generator. Fuel is injected as needed to maintain turbo generator output irrespective of wave heights.
    • Utilizes an existing power plant, or a new power plant close to the shore.
    • Ideal for off-shore wind turbine farms, as it utilizes the off-shore wind turbine supporting structure as a Wave Air Pump at negligible cost.
    2. Wind Turbine Pump – WTP
    • Present design of wind turbines call for installing 3-blade turbines to directly drive a generator installed at the top of the wind turbine supporting structure.
    • One firm boasts that it had developed a 100 meter diameter wind turbine and installing a 5-Mega Watt generator weighing 403 tons at the tope of the wind turbine supporting structure. This is an engineering achievement, to provide the highway to transport the equipment to site, lift a 403 ton generator and install it at a minimum height of 70-meters above ground level. Many reasons make this as ridiculous: Cost, Frequency Stabilization, Operation and Maintenance, and dependability; since NO Wind NO Power Output.
    • A simpler way is to make the wind turbine directly drive a fluid pump installed at the tope of the mast, transmit the power down the mast to a ground based generator. This technology is known and developed.
    • Another method is to have the fluid power drive an air compressor at ground level, collect the compressed air from more than one wind turbine and feed the compressed air to the air inlet of a turbo generator. Fuel is fed according to power requirements and is used to stabilize frequency. This is a known and proven technology.
    • In this manner power is generated irrespective of availability of wind and is more economical than any other proposed systems.

  17. Harold Armitage

    The whole idea is complete nonsense, technically and economically. When the wind don’t blow, the thing don’t go. Ergo, conventional backup power has to be constructed and kept on line to meet the electricity demand when there’s no wind.. Or do without electricity.

    It says the thing generates DC which is then converted to AC. I can’t imagine how MW of power is inverted. Do they make electronic devices that big?

  18. It sure would have been nice if they gave us a few econimic facts.

    What does it cost?
    How much does it cost to set it up?
    What are the anticipated maintenance costs?
    What is it’s expected life?
    How much will they have to charge for the power it creates?

    I love the fact that it could easily coexist in most urban enviroments. If it was at oneone edged of a park it could easily be serviced.

    And about those birds, I see lots killed by buildings all the time, so a few more dead birds is a small price to pay for the CLEAN power this creates.

  19. lets get the facts on rotor tip speed done once and for all.
    GIVEN: Diameter is 126 meters. ( give or take a few decimeters)
    It Takes 1 blade, 5 sec to do 1 rev.
    distance traveled 1 rev: (126*2)*pi =791meters
    meters /sec: 791/5= 158m/sec, OR (158*3600) =570010 m/hr OR
    570kph. OR 570*.6 = 342mph.
    This equates to 1.256 Radians/sec ( 71.9 deg/sec)
    it doesnt matter, the rotational velocity is the same in radians or degrees per sec. however speed along any point along the blade will vary with the distance from the center from zero for center of the hub to +340mph at the tips.
    I WOULD rather have a roof covered in solar cells to supply my house with electrical power during the day, Use the grid power by night supplemented with wind power 24hrs a day when the wind is blowing. Yea, this may cut my demand for oil/coal/nuclear based power, but in the end, its green power.

    No matter what you do, you are always going to get “the butterfly effect”.
    ie. solar cells are dark in color, and absorb photons for electrical generation and more in the EM band generating excess heat and transferring it into the atmosphere.

  20. Wind Power 4 Ever

    Many people have commented saying we should build nuclear plants, and this may be fine for those countries with vast water supplies, but down here in Australia, where we have had a drought for the past 12/13 years, nuclear reactors require far too much water to cool their reactors. The other option is to place them near oceans or lakes, but then again this only kills the sorrounding fish and marine life, partly on whose behalf we are trying to step away from coal generation. If we are truley intent on ‘saving the world’ Australians simply cannot afford to do it through nuclear, leaving wind/solar/tide etc of which wind is the most efficent and cost effective.

    1. Your average city sky scraper is far bigger and more complex. This also pales in comparison to the size of suspension bridges. Why do you find this so alarmingly large?

  21. We have for years researched a unique verticle axis turbine design that incorporates the dyno into the turbine hub. Since the advent of ‘True-Turbine “Jet” propulsion, propeller designers have had to take a back seat except for helicopters till they could ply their clever craft to set up their Ponzi scheme with their Propeller Towers. It’s actually a perversion of the definition of ‘Turbine’ to call Propeller Towers Wind “Turbines.”They fought and argued long and hard against the ‘Jets’ and have carefully money funnelled all alternative wind energy R & D away from even considering looking into anything that is not a ‘Propeller Tower’for generating electric power from wind. But, like Wall Street Bankers, they know their inevietable demise will come when cheaper, more efficient, verticle axis turbines are even slightly developed for their potential, they revolve ‘with’ the flow of the wind, not against it, and can maximize wind force capture while gyroscopically stabilizing. Propeller Tower advocates know this and have had to lie and cover to get as far as they have while shutting out the whole truth about wind dynamics, just like building the “Spruce Goose,” its like giant scale prestige. Even though the Chevy might be a great car, they only want the BMW. Come to think of it, Propeller Towers do resemble Mercedes Benz emblems. They just are not the “ONLY” way to convert wind to electric power, and probably are not the best. They do need to research “New” alternative wind energy potential designs for cost effective benefit and not just for Fad, Trend, Prestige, and Profit. Propeller Towers are neither NEW or perfectable means of deriving electric power from wind.

  22. Green,
    Timing is everything. It makes no sense to invest in more expensive and less reliable generation before it is needed. CO2 is a poor excuse to stop using the cheapest forms of energy. The price of energy should drive the switch to non-fossil fuel, not some politically correct theory of global warming. Building wind farms before they are economically justifiable requires subsidies that only enrich wind farmers and make citizens poorer. Just because we know how to build huge turbines doesn’t mean its a good idea. Lets use that money on conservation, efficiency and to continue looking for real solutions to the end of fossil fuels, which will not happen anytime soon according to the US Energy Information Administration:
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/contents.html.

    1. By all means let’s let economics decide but TRUE economics; with ALL the costs factored in. This would include the truly terrifying costs of SCIENTIFICALlY correct global warming.
      As for EIA figures on future oil production, no geologist worthy of the name would endorse them.

  23. WORKERS ON OIL AND GAS PLATFORMS. THEY DONT LIVE ON THEM. ITS A BIG COST AND ADDS TO POLUTION. MUCH CHEAPER AND CLEANER INSTALLING AND OPERATING WIND, SOLAR, WAVE POWER ETC

  24. This is not about money its about reducing carbon emissions and eventually not relying on hydrocarbons for energy because we will run out of them and wind power is not being seen as the only solution, the solution is everything from solar, wave, biomass, etc. One big change will be more and more electric cars using hydrogen fuel cells. Think about the cost in materials, money and to the environment of oil and gas platforms and this cost is always there because most workers are transported by helicopters which burn fuel and cost money. Wind and other green energy is cheaper if you look at the bigger long term picture.

  25. HAWAII IS BUILDING WIND TURBINES ON ALL ISLANDS
    AND WILL BE TOTALLY OFF OIL SHORTLY CONTRACTS HAVE
    ALREADY HAVE BEEN SIGNED FOR ELECTRIC CARS FOR
    HAWAII AND IT WILL BE THE FIRST STATE TO GET OFF OIL!

  26. This windmill is cool and all, but you green energy people need to understand its limitations. It would take more than 20 of these things just to support 1 of the mills required to make the materials to build this windmill. That doesnt include the copper for the windings, and the maintenance parts required for sustained energy production. In fact after 10 years most windmills are more expensive to repair than to replace. so what are you really saving.

    1. That’s because they don’t know yet. It’s guarenteed that some parts will fail well before their estimated design lifetimes but that’s really the only way to find out. However the structural and wear aspects are very similar to the engineering required for high bridges, automobile vibration wear for same and a huge body of practical knowledge in the aeronautics and aeromechanics field. The thing will very likely work as planned for the most part with few nasty surprises.
      Given that your own calculations show that it could produce the energy required to manufacture, ship and assemble it in less than a third of a year, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect an energy payback in under five years. As for the financial aspects, it is, of course a prototype (a test bed in fact) and therefore was never expected to break even.
      Now a mass-produced model in the thousands or tens of thousands is another thing. Given that most power plants are replaced every 40 years on average and that power transmission technology has gotten cheaper in the form of DC transmission lines which make it easier to synchronize new incoming power sources with the existing grid via transformers, it shouldn’t be much of a burden to go this route. Especially if wind is given the same subsidies, tax breaks and favourable legislation that the fossil fuel industry is given,

      1. My bad!
        I missed the capacity factor you put in at the start of your calculation. Since you’re already estimating that the windmill’s average output is only a third of its’ maximum rating then the evergy payback time will only be the 102 days you estimated.

  27. AYM,
    Fact – Electricity generation accounts for only about 14% of worldwide energy consumption.
    Fact – Wind power cannot exceed 20% of electrical generation without grid reliability problems due to the well documented intermittancy issues. Only a cost effective storage solution can solve that problem. Got one?
    Fact – Therefore wind power cannot reduce fossil fuel consumption, which is primarily used for transportation and heating, by more than 2.8% (20% of 14%).
    Fact – Wind power, at full deployment will not extend the fossil fuel supply by more than 2.8 years per century at current rates of consumption, which are anticipated to grow as undeveloped countries become industrialized and burn coal and build nuclear reactors.
    Fact – Wind power, at full deployment will not reduce GHG emissions by more than 2.8%, so will have no measurable impact on climate change, as if we can actually control the climate in the first place. Al Gore notwithstanding the debate is far from being settled.
    Fact – If the money being used to subsidize wind power was spent on conservation, insulation, energy efficient lighting and heating equipment, and fuel efficient vehicles, the reductions in fossil fuel use would be many times greater than the benefits provided by wind power. An example from Glenn Scheede is a dollar spent on CFL light bulbs will save 5 times as much energy in 5 years as a dollar spent on a wind turbine will generate in 20 years.

    A 2.5 MW turbine is equal to a 3000HP engine and costs about $5 million.
    At 10% capacity credit that $5 million turbine is equal to a 300 HP Ford pickup truck which costs about $25,000.

    Wind power is a transfer of wealth scam. Nothing more. Utility companies build wind turbines because they make money for their shareholders from the ill conceived and unjustifiable but nevertheless real subsidies, not because wind power makes sense. No one who is in the electricity generating business will denigrate wind power because it is an attractive investment.

  28. There is nothing wrong with wind power. Looking at the total energy consumption of the human species, total energy consumption was around 0.5 ZJ (15TW) per year from of all sources. It is estimated that 72TW of wind can be commercially exploitable.

    At best coal technology only coverts to about 45% of it’s energy to electricity. It is limited by basic thermodynamic limitations. Arguments of the direct replacement of the equivalent BTU’s is a disingenuous argument since the only thing being replaced is the electricity generated.

    The EIA puts the production costs of wind electricity around 0.9 c/kwh. A Minnisota utility study put the additional costs of having 25% wind at less than an additional half cent to the cost of electricity. Adding capital costs does increase the overall costs of wind power, and this levelized cost is presently higher than coal and gas but lower than nuclear. Wind capital costs have gone steadily down though except for the last year or so because of explosive US demand which put in I think around 12 to 14 GW of capacity over the last 2 years. The equivalent to 4-5 1GW nuclear power plants for around the 20-25 billion US. Fairly cheap considering the equivalent figures for nuclear power being discussed by the utilities.

    According to a 2007 Stanford University study published in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, interconnecting ten or more wind farms allows 33 to 47% of the total energy produced to be used as reliable, baseload electric power, as long as minimum criteria are met for wind speed and turbine height. Confirmed in the DOE’s wind 2030 study.

    Clean coal has been bandied about for years. No private industry has tried it. Bush promised it before 2000. Zero. Latest foray by public/private consortium failed. The supposition that since wind cannot be used for total replacement of coal, it is a waste of money is erroneous. Although cost savings are slowing down for wind, it is still a maturing technology. Coal is a much more mature technology, and any improvements are more incremental and hence will not lead to larger cost savings, although tech improvements for various streams ie waste will be improved and you will only see small improvements. When cap and trade or any schema that internalizes cabron costs comes, the situation vis a vis coal will be even less favorable. Industry itself doesn’t believe in the absolute future of clean coal, in a very similar way that the US car industry didn’t understand the nature of high oil prices or hybrids and dragged it’s feet and the industry is dragging it’s feet on coal.

    Wind power has been installed world wide by all types of utilities. The market is growing in all types of markets in all types of utilities both private and public. The imputation that wind doesn’t have definable parameters is of course misinformation. The utility companies of the world aren’t that stupid. They would not build anything that they couldn’t justify. There are definite studies from the DOE on down on the advantages and disadvantages of wind. Wind isn’t the exclusive answer to our energy problems. There are distinct problems that require the implementation of solutions, some of which exist, some of which are in developement. But the implementable parts of wind to the energy needs of today and tomorrow are very viable and cost effective. They aren’t perfect but then no technology is ideal especially since it seems more of a value question and hence more qualitative than a quantitative question.

    Society has to build capacity for replacement and growth. We know about conservation and that should be maximized. But that will only go so far. We know how much we already have, pollutes and why. We need to diversify. We need to create green technologies that maximize our resources and extend our options. Wind power is a very viable and far better solution to that of coal which still hasn’t changed fast enough in this changing environment. Coal still has and probably alway will have a place. It will have to leverage it’s positive aspects and create/ameliorate it’s liabilities just like wind does. And wind does do this in a very transparent fashion. Coal still has no implemented solutions to it’s latest liabilities and no real timetable when they will be a reality.

  29. He He He, I DID NOTsay that it paid for itself! I only showed that a windmill of that size (smaller ones take much longer) recuperates the energy spent on the production of its steel and concrete in about 102 days. Nothing more. When you take everything into account then you’ll see that a windmill (also add on the subsidies, tax-brakes, adaptions to the grid, horrifying maintenance costs, back-up conventional powerplants (the wind doesn’t blow always 🙂 etc. the list is endless) will never be viable.

    I suppose you don’t believe
    Then try this: Ask any “serious” windmill manufaturer a serious quotation!.
    With a serious quotation I mean including:
    1. Guaranteed output
    2. Complete turn-key costs (I mean you make the last agreed payment when the contraption is functioning and delivering the energy to the grid, the connection to the grid and a sales contract with the local energy distrbution company.)
    3. A 5 year warranty on material failures and maintenance.
    4. A reasonable maintenace contract.
    I assure you, when you try that you will drown in a guagmire of irrelevant nonsense exuses. You will never get that quoationbecause those manufacturers know very well that their product isn’t viable.Windenergy is a green polical driven Ponzi Scheme.

  30. Alexander, thank you for your response to Bhavath’s question. 102 days and it’s paid for itself right? but the money isn’t really the issue, since in initial production, transportation, construction etc energy has already been used. Most probably from fossil fuels. So, even though the whole thing is paying for itself in an amazingly small period of time, we’re still producing green house gases and burning fossil fuels to make this thing.

  31. Wind turbines present an ecological paradox that must be dealt with. What sort of environmentalists would trash priceless vistas and say that it’s good for the environment? Nature is supposed to be easy on the eyes, not an acquired mechanical taste. Turbine pushers are busy wrecking wilderness acreage, historic landmarks and postcard rural scenery. Spinning white beams rarely fit the landscape, especially when placed on ridge-tops. Along with blighted horizons, many trees are cut for roads and clear-space around turbine bases. One can only hope that their favorite scenery is outside a “wind resource zone” and won’t end up resembling Coney Island.

    Low-profile (and hopefully quiet) turbines powering one home at a time are better aesthetically, and THEY should be subsidized, along with solar panels on existing rooftops. The idea should be to minimize impact on untouched lands and uncorrupted views. This is not NIMBYism. The world (with population growth of 75 million annually) has a finite supply of places on which to build spinning skyscrapers. The land and oceans have been trashed enough already.

  32. Godeon,
    Off course not!
    Please see the capacity factor of 0.33 I have taken into account.
    Please read my other comments in this blog, then you know exactly how I think about these futile wind contraptions.

    And because their total futility with regard to solve the worlds energy crisis and the dramatic climate change we have started to construct a webpage where all aspects of the worlds energy situation are highlighted and put into a proper perspective. Where we also invite everybody worldwide to contribute.
    At the moment this page is under construction, please have a quick look at Global Energy Crisis , just the get the idea. We hope to be up and running in a couple of weeks and we are looking forward to your future contributions.

  33. Bhavath,
    Part of the Energy balance of a 6 MW Wind Turbine,br/>

    Wind mill with a capacity of 6 MW produces per year:
    Watts installed: 6,000,000
    Capacity factor:0.33
    Days: 365
    Hours/day:24
    Sec/hour:3600
    Joule/year: 6.2+13 Joule

    The energy needed to produce the 680 tons of steel used in the 6 MW Wind Turbine.
    The Windmill contains 500 ton of steel in structure plus about 180 of steel re-enforcement bars in the reinforced concrete. That makes a total of 680 tons of steel.
    Now visit the following link:http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80841e/80841E06.htm

    Let’s take the US number of 23.9E+9 Joule per ton. That means to produce the 680 tons of steel necessary for the 4MW windmill you need 1.6E+13 Joule of energy.

    The energy needed to produce the 1500 M3 of concrete used in the 6 MW Wind Turbine.
    Let’s have a look at the Portland Cement Company’s information:
    Visit the fllowing link: http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/image.cfm?imageName=images/0202/ee4cc.gif&fileName=020201b.xml

    So, to produce, transport and pour 1.500 tons of concrete you need 1.500 x 2,345,824,341 = 3.51874E+12 Joules of energy.
    CONCLUSION
    For the 680 tons steel you need: 1.6E+13 Joule of energy
    1.6E+13 Note: The figure of concrete includes everything, production, transport and pouring. The figure for steel only includes the conversion of iron ore to rough steel. So the energy needed to convert the steel in plates, make a tower of it and erect the tower is not included. As far as I can find that represents another 25 % of energy.
    For the 1500 m3 of concrete you need: 0.351874E+13 Joules
    So a Wind Turbine with an installed power needs for its steel and concrete:
    (1+ 0.4 (25 % more) + 0.35)E+13 = 1.75E+13 Joule
    It produces: 6.2E+13 Joule per year.
    In about 1.75/6.2 = 0.28 year equals 102 days the WIND Turbine has produced the energy needed for its steel and concrete

    1. So 3 & 1/2 months to generate the energy for it’s concrete and steel? What’s the lifespan of the turbine? 5, 10, 25 years? Seems like it’s still a win.

    2. That is assuming the thing produces 6MW. In reality, a wind mill only produces about 18% of its installed capacity in a year. And the power it produces isnt helping anything. It just puts a coal-fire power plant on standby, still burning its fuel but not generating electricity. Then when the wind stops, it then generates the power. Wind does not work.

      1. do the same analysis for any other type of power generation, clean or not… of course you use energy to build the damn thing… the point is once its constructed there is no byproduct associated with operating it…

  34. To : The other guy.

    Sire, or old English for a distinguished gentleman like YOU!………..
    Please see the “Collins English Gem Dictionary”, Canker is a Noun and means the following……….eating sore, thing that eats away, destroys, corrupts.–v.t . = verb transitive infect, corrupt = verb intransitive.decay.– cankered a. = adjective, = canker-worm, n. = noun.
    If you do not know the meaning of a particular word or words…..please check a dictionary first before having a dig at me.
    You said in your letter, ” im for wind energy etc….”
    Good on you Mate, if you are an Aussie, but you meant I am which is spelt I’m you should have spelt it with a Capital “I”.
    I do use words that make sense, just check you dictionary first before insulting me, a German who has learnt the English Language since I was a child, and who is a teacher of the English Language as well.
    Cheers!

    Vimana Man.
    Vimana Man.

  35. hey Vimana Man, keep in mind that that has only happed once, im for wind energy but we really need to look into other alternative sources to. by the way wtf is a bloody canker. use words that make sense

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