Ireland’s Power System: Ireland had an island grid with a minor connection with the UK grid until October 2012. Eirgrid, the operator of the grid, publishes ¼-hour data regarding CO2 emissions, wind energy production, fuel consumption and energy generation. Drs. Udo and Wheatley made several analyses, based on 2012 and earlier Irish grid operations data, that show clear evidence of the effectiveness of CO2 emission reduction decreasing with increasing annual wind energy percentages.


The Wheatley study of the Irish grid shows: Wind energy CO2 reduction effectiveness = (CO2 intensity, metric ton/MWh, with wind)/(CO2 intensity with no wind) = (0.279, @ 17% wind)/(0.53, @ no wind) = 0.526, based on ¼-hour, operating data of each generator on the Irish grid, as collected by SEMO.


If 17% wind energy, ideal-world wind energy promoters typically claim a 17% reduction in CO2, i.e., 83% is left over.


If 17% wind energy, real-world performance data of the Irish grid shows a 0.526 x 17% = 8.94% reduction, i.e., 91.06% is left over.


What applied to the Irish grid would apply to the New England grid as well, unless the balancing is done with hydro, a la Denmark. Europe is facing the same problem, but it is stuck with mostly gas turbine balancing, as it does not have nearly enough hydro capacity for balancing.



Natural Gas and CO2 Reductions Less Than Claimed: If we assume, at zero wind energy, the gas turbines produce 100 kWh of electricity requiring 100 x 3413/0.5 = 682,600 Btu of gas (at an average efficiency of 0.50), then 682600 x 117/1000000 = 79.864 lb CO2 are emitted.


According to wind proponents, at 17% wind energy, 100 - 17 = 83 kWh is produced by gas turbines requiring 83 x 3413/0.50 = 566,558 Btu of gas, which emits 566558 x 117/1000000 = 66.287 lb CO2, for an ideal-world emission reduction of 79.864 - 66.287 = 13.577 lb CO2.


However, in the real world, the CO2 reduction is 13.577 x 0.526 (see Wheatley URL) = 7.142 lb CO2, for a remaining emission of 79.864 – 7.142 = 72.722 lb CO2, which would be emitted by 621,560 Btu of gas, per this calculation 621560 x (117/1000000) = 72.723 lb CO2.


To produce 83 kWh with 621,560 Btu of gas, the turbine efficiency would need to be 83 x 3413/621560 = 0.4558, for a turbine efficiency reduction of 100 x (1 – 0.4558/0.50) = 8.85%.


Actually, Ireland’s turbines produce much more than 100 kWh in a year, but whatever they produce is at a reduced efficiency, courtesy of integrating variable wind energy.


This means the wind turbines have to operate less efficiently to deal with the variable wind energy. That leads to less CO2 and gas being reduced by the wind turbines than was claimed.


The above bold numbers are summarized in the below table.


Ideal World

Gas, Btu

CO2, lb

Turbine Eff., %

No Wind generation




17% Wind generation




Claimed Reduction




Real World




17% Wind generation




Actual Reduction




Turbine efficiency reduction





Lack of CO2 Reduction: The above example was for 100 kWh of generation. However, in 2013, natural gas was 2098 ktoe* of the 4382 ktoe used for all generation 2098/4382 = 48% of the energy for electricity generation; see SEIA report.


This likely included 2098 x (1 - 1/1.0855) = 171 ktoe for balancing wind energy, which had a CO2 emission of about 171 x 39653 million Btu/ktoe x 117/million Btu = 791.4 million lb.


This was at least 791.4 million lb of CO2 emission reduction that did not take place, because of less efficient operation of the balancing gas turbines.


*ktoe means kilo ton oil equivalent


Lack of Gas Cost Reduction: The cost of the gas was about 171 x 39653 million Btu/ktoe x $10/million btu (2013 price) = $67.6 million.


This was at least $67.6 million of gas cost reduction that did not take place, because of less efficient operation of the balancing gas turbines.


Cost of Wind Energy Balancing: In 2013, the fuel cost of wind energy balancing was 5,872,100,000 kWh of wind energy/$67.6 million = 1.152 c/kWh, which would become greater as more wind turbine systems are added. It is likely there were other costs, such as increased wear and tear.


Natural Gas Imports Greater Than Expected: Ireland imports its gas. The Irish people had been told building wind turbines would reduce gas imports. When the gas imports were much less reduced than promised, the government made an investigation, which proved the efficiency degradation of the gas turbines.


A similar outcome is in store for New England, if it builds out wind turbine power plants on ridgelines and offshore. The laws of physics apply on both sides of the Atlantic. See below section: Hydro-Quebec A Much Better Alternative Than Wind And Solar.


Irish People Disappointed: It must be a real downer for the Irish people, after making the investments to build out wind turbine systems and despoiling the visuals of much of their beautiful country, to find out the reductions of CO2 emissions and the cost of imported gas, at 17% wind energy, are only about 52.6% of what was promised*, and, as more wind turbine systems are added, that percentage would decrease even more!!


*Not included are the embodied CO2 emissions for build-outs of:


1) Flexible generation system adequacy

2) Grid system adequacy

3) Storage system adequacy to accommodate the variable wind (and solar) energy, plus all or part of their associated CO2 emissions; high wind and solar energy percentages on a grid could not exist without storage system adequacy. See URL.



NOTE:  Gas turbine plant efficiencies are less at part load outputs. If gas turbines plants have to perform peaking, filling-in and balancing, due to variable, intermittent wind and solar energy on the grid, they generally operate at varying and lower outputs and with more start/stops. Such operation is less efficient than at steady and higher outputs and with fewer start/stops, akin to a car. Operation is unstable below 40%, hence the practical limit is about 50%, which limits the ramping range from 50% to 100%. Here is an example showing efficiencies at low outputs.







Simple Cycle





Combined Cycle













Australia’s Power System: The Wheatley report states, with 4.5% wind energy on the grid, CO2 reductions were about 3.5%, which means the effectiveness was about 3.5/4.5 = 78% in 2014. The Wheatley report states, if wind energy were 9%, it would be about 70%. By extrapolation, if wind energy were 13.5%, it would be about 62%, and at 18%, it would be about 54%, i.e., the more wind energy, the less its effectiveness reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. This would be similar to the effectiveness of 52.6% at 17% wind energy of Ireland’s power system. The laws of physics apply to Ireland, Australia, etc.






Denmark’s Power System: About 50% of Denmark’s total electricity generation is by wind. Its wind turbines are connected to the national grid. The national grids of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark are connected in a grid called Norpool. During higher wind periods, Denmark’s wind turbines produce too much electricity; any excess is exported, mostly to Norpool. The hydro plants of Sweden and Norway merely pass less water through their turbines to perform CO2-free balancing of the system. In New England, that balancing is performed by CO2-emitting gas turbines, which creates operating inefficiencies, as above described. Denmark is in a uniquely beneficial situation, and should not be used as an example to follow regarding build-outs of wind turbines.


Hydro-Quebec A Much Better Alternative Than Wind And Solar: A much better alternative is shown at the end of the article. “Vermont has the option to purchase up to 200 megawatts, but Jessome said he doesn’t expect the state to take advantage of that option.”


Apparently, Green Mountain Power prefers to buy much higher-cost wind and solar energy from a variety of local suppliers. The 200 MW could provide about 1.3 million MWh/y (about 4.8 tines as much as the above SO projects, with no capital investments and subsidies), replacing most of what Vermont lost when Vermont Yankee was shut down in 2014.


Hydro-Quebec has about 5600 MW of spare hydro plant capacity, the excess water, now spilling over the spillways, could immediately be used to generate electricity. H-Q has under construction and in planning stages an additional 5000 MW of hydro plant capacity. See URL.

Here a list of the benefits of hydro energy:

- Clean (no particulates, no SOX, no NOx)
- Low-cost (5 - 7 c/kWh, plus 1 c/kWh for transmission), much less than wind and solar. See URL.
- Very low CO2/kWh emissions, much lower than wind and solar
- Steady, 24/7/365 energy, i.e., NOT variable and NOT intermittent, unlike wind and solar, which are weather dependent, variable cloudiness dependent, night and day dependent, and season dependent
- NO federal and state subsidies and investment tax credits
- NO capital outlays by Vermont’s government
- NO enriching of multi-millionaires and their lucrative, risk-free, tax shelters
- NO additional environmental impact in Vermont and Canada
- Private entities would own the transmission lines from Quebec to New England
- RECs would not need to be sold to out-of-state entities so they would be wearing the green halo, instead of Vermonters.
- Much less social discord than controversial wind on pristine ridgelines and solar in fertile meadows


Here are some URLs about increased hydro energy from Hydro Quebec.









Views: 98


You need to be a member of Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine to add comments!

Join Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine

First Prize

NE Book Festival


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?"  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

Not yet a member?

Sign up today and lend your voice and presence to the steadily rising tide that will soon sweep the scourge of useless and wretched turbines from our beloved Maine countryside. For many of us, our little pieces of paradise have been hard won. Did the carpetbaggers think they could simply steal them from us?

We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

 -- Mahatma Gandhi

"It's not whether you get knocked down: it's whether you get up."
Vince Lombardi 

Task Force membership is free. Please sign up today!

© 2018   Created by Eben Thurston.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service