Ireland’s Power System: Eirgrid, the operator of the grid, publishes ¼-hour data regarding CO2 emissions, wind electricity production, fuel consumption and total electricity generation. Drs. Udo and Wheatley made several analyses, based on operating data of the Irish grid in 2012 and earlier, that show the effectiveness of CO2 emission reduction is decreasing with increasing annual wind electricity percentages on the grid.


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)/(0.530, @ no wind) = 0.526, based on ¼-hour, operating data of each generator connected to the Irish grid, as collected by SEMO.


Wind aficionados claim: If 17% wind, the CO2 reduction is 17%, i.e., 83% is left over.


Real-time grid operating data shows: If 17% wind, the CO2 reduction is 0.526 x 17% = 8.94%, i.e., 91.06% is left over.


Ireland had an island grid with a minor connection with the UK grid until October 2012. As a result, it provides an ideal case for demonstrating the lack of CO2 reduction due to wind.


Providing the Irish grid with additional connections to the much larger UK and French grids (which have much lower percent wind on their grids) merely make Irish wind variations disappear in the noise of the data.


- What applied to the Irish grid would apply to the New England grid as well; it also has minor connections to nearby grids.

- Europe is stuck with mostly gas turbine balancing, as it does not have nearly enough hydro plant capacity with storage.



Natural Gas and CO2 Reductions Less Than Claimed


No Wind; Turbine efficiency = 50%; Production = 100 kWh

Required gas = 100 x 3413/0.5 = 682,600 Btu

Emitted CO2 = 682600 x 117/1000000 = 79.864 lb.


If 17% wind, wind proponents claim:

Required gas = (100 – 17) x 3413/0.50 = 566,558 Btu

Emitted CO2 = 566558 x 117/1000000 = 66.287 lb

CO2 reduction = 79.864 - 66.287 = 13.577 lb


If 17% wind, real-time grid operating data shows:

CO2 reduction = 13.577 x 0.526 (see Wheatley URL) = 7.142 lb

Remaining CO2 = 79.864 – 7.142 = 72.722 lb CO2.

Required gas = 72.722/(117/1000000) = 621560 Btu

Turbine efficiency = (100 – 17) x 3413/621560 = 0.4558, if producing 83 kWh with 621,560Btu of gas,

Turbine efficiency reduction = 100 x (1 – 0.4558/0.50) = 8.85%.


NOTE: Actually, Ireland’s turbines produce much more than 100 kWh in a year, but whatever they produce would be at a reduced efficiency.


This means the wind turbines have to operate less efficiently to deal with the variable wind energy.

That leads to a lesser Gas and CO2 reduction than claimed by wind proponents.


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 in 2013


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


This included 2098 x (1 - 1/1.0855) = 171 ktoe for balancing wind, 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 gas turbines.


*ktoe means kilo ton oil equivalent


Lack of Gas Cost Reduction in 2013:


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 gas turbines.


Cost of Wind Balancing/kWh


In 2013, the fuel cost of wind energy balancing was 5,872,100,000 kWh of wind/$67.6 million = 1.152 c/kWh, which would become greater as more wind is 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 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 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 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 is 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 variable wind (and solar)

High percentages of wind (and solar) 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 on the grid, they would 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, similar to a car.

Operation becomes 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 Electrical System


The Australian electrical system has no connections to nearby grids, i.e., it is an “island system”. In that respect it is similar to the Ireland electrical system. Dr. Wheatley made studies of the grid operating data of the Australian system. See URLs. His report states:


- At 4.5% wind, CO2 reduction was about 3.5%, i.e., the effectiveness was about 3.5/4.5 = 78% in 2014.

- The reports states, if 9% wind, CO2 reduction would be about 6.3%, i.e., the effectiveness would be about 6.3/9 = 70%.


By straight line extrapolation,


- If 13.5% wind, effectiveness would be about 62%

- If 18% wind, effectiveness would be about 54%


The 54% would be similar to the 52.6% at 17% wind of Ireland electrical system. Thus, the more wind, the less its effectiveness regarding reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. The laws of physics apply to Ireland, Australia, etc.






Denmark Electrical 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. Denmark is in a unique case, and should not be used as an example regarding build-outs of wind turbines.


- In New England, that balancing is performed by CO2-emitting gas turbines, which creates operating inefficiencies, as above described.



Hydro-Quebec A Much Better Alternative Than Wind And Solar 


“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 from a variety of local suppliers. The 200 MW could provide about 1.3 million MWh/y, with no capital investments and subsidies, replacing most of what Vermont lost when Vermont Yankee was shut down in 2014.


By means of plant upgrades and new plants, Hydro-Quebec plans to have about 5000 MW of additional 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, 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
- MINIMAL 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.









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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"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."



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 https://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?" https://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.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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