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Shetland windfarm - Viking Energy


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Yes and every ton of carbon dioxide that is produced in constructing the windfarm and every ton of displaced peat that is destabilised is one more step down the ladder from neutrality

A fair point, however, building an equivalent sized nuclear power station or a tidal or wave generation plant would, I believe, produce just as much CO2. Whatever we replace our coal and oil fired plants with will require a load of concrete and the vehicle/machinery emissions from the building process would be roughly equivalent.

 

As for the emissions from the Peat, if you pick up a ton of peat and move it somewhere else, yes, you will release a few kilo's of CO2, but you would have to actually burn it to turn the ton of carbon that the peat is made from into the 3 tons of CO2 which could potentially be released. As I've said before, the peat will not magically evaporate into CO2. A few kilo's, maybe a few tens of kilo's will be released but I doubt it would total as much as 100 kilo's.

 

And as I've also said before, you have to count the degradation of the peat which will be caused by the more severe effects of climate change that will be a consequence of doing nothing.

Creating a micro-renewables utopia in shetland on a smaller scale and with deliberately engineered returns to public funds would be equally, if not more responsible.

I agree, I think we should do both.

Now then, birds, yes birds, we haven't heard that old chestnut for a while....

Yet another good point, however, let me counter with a quote from the RSPB, themselves in answer to Stuart Hills raising of this very point:

RSPB Scotland views climate change as the most serious long-term threat to wildlife in the UK and globally. Recent scientific research indicates that, as early as the middle of this century, climate change could commit one third or more of land-based plants and animals to extinction, including some species of British birds. Reducing energy demand and increasing efficiency are top priority but, to meet government targets for switching from the burning of fossil fuels, we believe that a mix of renewables, including wind power, is necessary.

There will be birds killed by the windfarm, of that I have no doubt, but I believe the impact will be a fraction of that to be expected from climate change. It is simply a case of choosing the lesser evil. Anyway, once the windmills have cleared the site, evolution will make sure no more stray into the windmills range (by killing any who do. The survivors will learn to avoid windmills.)

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I disagree, Every MW of power produced using renewable generating capacity is a MW that does not have to be produced by burning coal or oil.

 

Perhaps not. It is not a straightforward MW for MW swap, because the conventional power stations still have to be kept running to provide electricity when the wind drops. These standby generators are still producing CO2, and it could be argued that building more windmills simply results in construction of more conventional power stations to provide the necessary backup - hardly environmentally friendly!

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Balancing out the power loads will certainly become more complicated as the mix of sources expands, but you could look at things like using wind power when available to pump the water up in hydro schemes, which then might give you some room to drop the base levels of supply..... or it might not..... there are likely to be advantages, and they are not likely to be as large as the "headline" MW figures would suggest.

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I disagree, Every MW of power produced using renewable generating capacity is a MW that does not have to be produced by burning coal or oil.

 

Perhaps not. It is not a straightforward MW for MW swap, because the conventional power stations still have to be kept running to provide electricity when the wind drops. These standby generators are still producing CO2, and it could be argued that building more windmills simply results in construction of more conventional power stations to provide the necessary backup - hardly environmentally friendly!

True, up to a point. The real villain is coal. For every ton of coal you burn you get 3 tons of CO2 (C + O2) whereas with oil and more especially, gas, much of the energy comes from hydrogen (hence hydro-carbons). I can't remember the exact proportions involved but basically, the heavier the oil, the more of it is carbon and natural gas is the least bad. So it's the coal fired stations that are doing the most damage and are the first priority for replacement. Any back-up generating capacity required would, logically, be gas powered or, even better, nuclear or pumped storage hydro.

 

In a perfect set-up you would use a mix of wind, wave, tidal and hydro with a link to the continent for those perfect still days. After all, it is very rare that the wind isn't blowing at least somewhere in the British Isles. A link via Faeroe to Iceland to bring in some of their geo-thermal power would also make sense.

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Could the people opposed to the windfarm please try to come up with something that is at least believable. :roll:

 

Just had a look at the youtube clip. Apparently Flemming Nissen (head of development at West Danish generating company ELSAM) has said "Increased development of wind turbines does not reduce Danish CO2 emissions"

 

Do you believe that? Surely they wouldn't just make it up???

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Looks like it might be true...

 

"There is no CO2 saving in Danish exchange with Norway and

Sweden because wind power only displaces CO2-free generated

power. When the power is consumed in Denmark itself, fluctuations in wind output have to be managed by the operation

of fossil-fired capacity below optimum efficiency in order to

stabilise the grid (ie, spinning reserve). Elsam, the Jutland power

generator, stated as recently as May 27th at a meeting of the

Danish Wind Energy Association with the Danish government that

increasing wind power does not decrease CO2 emissions. Ireland

has drawn similar conclusions based on its experience that the rate

of change of wind speed can drop faster than the rate at which

fossil-fuelled capacity can be started up. Hence spinning reserve is

essential, although it leads to a minimal CO2 saving on the

system.8 Innogy made the same observation about the operation of

the UK system."

 

From http://www.aweo.org/White-DenmarkTooGood.pdf

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So , adding together the carbon usage in developing the big windmills, environmental damage and requirement for inefficient power station usage caused by them they are more of an environmental disaster, perhaps? :wink:

 

Here's and abstract i stumbled upon yesterday about hydrocarbons,out of interest, it's quite an intersting point, once you get your head around it, took me a minute or two (if i even understand it properly!).

 

Hydrocarbon fossil fuels can be considered as hydrogen ores for CO2-free energy, and carbon ores for carbonaceous construction materials. Hydrogen fuel can be extracted from fossil fuels by decarbonization, and used as an energy resource. The carbon byproduct can be used as a versatile construction material. Carbon materials would sequester carbon, and replace CO2-generating steel and concrete. Approximate comparison of the global consumption of energy and construction materials suggests a rough mass balance of energy and materials markets. The cost of foregoing the carbon energy content as a fuel can be easily offset by the value of the carbon-based construction material. The nature and properties of carbon materials and conventional infrastructural materials are compared.

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Apparently Flemming Nissen (head of development at West Danish generating company ELSAM) has said "Increased development of wind turbines does not reduce Danish CO2 emissions"
"There is no CO2 saving in Danish exchange with Norway and

Sweden because wind power only displaces CO2-free generated

power.

Of course there will be no saving if you use windpower to replace Hydro, and there will also be a problem if you limit your grid to a small country like Denmark where the wind doesn't blow all the time. But neither case is true in the UK. Wind generation in the UK will be used to replace coal fired power stations, with nuclear and pumped storage hydro as backup, and if that backup isn't enough then, yes, hydrocarbon burning gas power stations will be necessary. But compared to coal, gas power produces only a fraction of the CO2 output so there will be a saving. And while it might take some time to heat up the boiler of a coal fired station, or wind up the output of a nuclear reactor, Gas and hydro stations can be switched on and off within minutes.

 

Hydrogen fuel can be extracted from fossil fuels by decarbonization,

True, but the extraction process uses almost as much energy as would be produced by burning the hydrogen. It is a massively inefficient process.

The carbon byproduct can be used as a versatile construction material. Carbon materials would sequester carbon,

No it wouldn't, if you dig carbon out of the ground and then put it back, you haven't seqestered anything.

How long does it take to get a nuclear reactor up to capacity from cold? Probably several days, I'm guessing.

No, it can be done in an hour or so I believe, though there are risks involved. The Chernobyl accident was caused when the operators tried to go from standby straight to full power in one go. There was a known design flaw in the control rods which meant they produced a spike of heat as they were lowered when the temperature rose too quickly. The spike melted the core of the reactor preventing the rods from being lowered fully and leading to the runaway chain reaction which caused the accident.

how can anything be believable when people are just making educated guesses on both sides of the debate... ( I speak of the scientists not the people commenting in this thread )

Science is educated guesswork. The key word being educated, as in informed by the evidence. :wink:

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Quote:

The carbon byproduct can be used as a versatile construction material. Carbon materials would sequester carbon,

 

No it wouldn't, if you dig carbon out of the ground and then put it back, you haven't seqestered anything.

I should expand on this. I always thought that carbon sequestration was about removing carbon from the atmosphere and putting it back into the ground, i.e: Injecting CO2 back into disused oil wells. The process mentioned above seems pointless. Surely it would be better just to leave it in the ground in the first place. If you want to produce hydrogen, it would be far better to extract it from a non-carbon source such as water in the first place, thus completely avoiding the energy intensive carbon sequestration process in the first place.

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The truth is, regardless which side of the fence you sit on re the windfarm, the climate is changing and our input (or should I say output) only serves to hasten this trend. Okay, some may argue that it's a natural phenomenon, but that doesn't make it any less of a cause for concern.

 

The flaw I see here is that many people want to reduce carbon emissions, but keep up the lifestyle they are used to. If you want to be realistic about reducing emissions, then everybody needs to be responsible and make some concessions. It's quite simple really; people need to use less resources and use them more efficiently. This is something that can begin now!

 

I don't remember if it was in this thread or another, where Njugle mentioned installing a switch near the door which could switch off everything bar the fridge/freezer as you went out. I think this is a great idea, and small measures like these can make a big difference if enough people adopt them.

 

And do street lights need to burn 24/7? I suggest switching off street lights at midnight as used to be done in times of old.

 

Also, how many people take a birl arrond the toon in their car, just to see what's going on? And how many cars do you see driving into/out of town with one person in each? These are all things that need to be addressed. Car pools need to be organised, which will not only save on carbon emissions, but also substantially on the bank balance. People need to be less snobby about their cars and try and get a grasp on reality.

 

I am also in favour of embracing renewable energy sources including the use of wind power, but I think it should be done on a smaller scale in order to provide for Shetland, and it should be used in conjunction with other measures; solar panels, tidal, etc.

 

Incidentally, I see changes are possibly in the pipeline for obtaining planning permission for small scale wind turbines and suchlike:

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7276214.stm

 

Home green energy plans reviewed

 

A planning shake-up to make it easier for householders to install solar panels, wind turbines and ground heat pumps is being considered.

 

Energy Minister Stewart Stevenson is consulting on whether micro-generation equipment could be set up without the need for planning permission.

 

Micro-generation is a vital part of the government's plan to cut Scotland's carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

 

The planning regulations would make the systems easier to install.

 

Under the government's plans, solar panels and ground heat pumps would no longer need planning permission, provided they were not in a conservation area.

 

Wind turbines would need to be less than three metres tall and at least 100m away from the next house.

 

Mr Stevenson said it was a matter of balancing energy needs with the look of streets and houses.

 

The public consultation will be carried out over the next 10 weeks.

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Wind turbines would need to be less than three metres tall and at least 100m away from the next house.

 

 

That is very interesting. So working on the Scottish government proposal that a micro-generation turbine should not be more that 3m tall or closer than 100m to a neighbour, then scaling that up, a 130m turbine would have to be 4.3km away from a residential area.

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Of course there will be no saving if you use windpower to replace Hydro, and there will also be a problem if you limit your grid to a small country like Denmark where the wind doesn't blow all the time.

 

The only reason the Danes are able to produce so much energy from the wind is because they are part of the wider european grid - they have interconnectors with Sweden, Norway and Germany which can take the surplus electricity when the wind does blow, and provide electricity for Denmark when it does not. Where are all the pumped hydro stations in the UK? I can only think of a handful.

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