Tuesday, November 20, 2007

THIS is what I am talking about

Checking back on my recent posts to Newsnight, I find this more than interesting submission:

Germany has made progress on renewables, but it's not all jam. According to the article, gearboxes which were supposed to last 20 years have been failing in large numbers. There have also been other failures, including rotor blades flying off.
Now whilst the financial cost and percentage of generated power is often quoted, what never is quoted is the whole reason why these things exist in the first place - CO2. If these devices are failing and having to be replaced or repaired frequently, how much extra carbon does that generate and how does it affect the amount they save - in short - are they saving the planet or just another business opportunity?
It also leads to the question, if the UK rushes into more and more renewable before the technologies are mature, are we going to find costs rising on projects just as the Germans have?
Perhaps Newsnight should do a report on the reality of the German experience.
Spiegel Online - The Dangers of Wind Power

No one is saying we don't look around, or try, all manner of worthy solutions. But get the green-tinted glasses off! All we hear is what these things 'can' do at full tilt, 24/7. But as this shows, there are all manner of other considerations (it focuses on safety, but reliability is obviously bound in) that may mean they are not quite the solutions being claimed... especially on enviROI!


Dave said...

Jeez, imagine trying to put in an insurance claim after your car has been totally mashed by 3 tons of metal wind turbine arm as you drove up the M6?

I knew that they had had some problems with gearboxes, but with the things disintegrating, that's scary!

Peter said...

With the the ethics and morals of our profit-centric corporates and the competence of our authorities in monitoring them, I shall certainly approach London down the M4 a tad more circumspectly in future around Green Park.

Feel the envIROI, Luke! Let yourself go!

They need to deliver on spec, on budget and throughout design life.