Green Wind Farms Create More Carbon Than They Save

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


Not even Green Energy is actually Green.

Clearly the only way to make Green Energy is greener is by imposing a Carbon tax on it. And use that tax to fund truly low carbon solutions like living in a frozen home all winter or slowly walking to work, not to mention the always popular, eating things that you find growing in your own backyard.

The finding, which threatens the entire rationale of the onshore wind farm industry, will be made by Scottish government-funded researchers who devised the standard method used by developers to calculate “carbon payback time” for wind farms on peat soils.

Struan Stevenson, the Tory MEP for Scotland who has campaigned on the issue, said: “This is a devastating blow for the wind factory industry from which I hope it will not recover.

“This is just another way in which wind power is a scam. It couldn’t exist without subsidy. It is driving industry out of Britain and driving people into fuel poverty.”

Scotland’s SNP government has led a strong charge for wind power, promising that 100 per cent of the country’s electricity will be generated from renewable sources.

But even its environment minister, Stewart Stevenson, admits: “Scotland has 15 per cent of the world’s blanket bog.

“Even a small proportion of the carbon stored in peatlands, if lost by erosion and drainage, could add significantly to our greenhouse gas emissions.”

But that’s easily solvable. Just buy some Carbon Credit Indulgences from Al Gore. It’s what Green Celebrities do. Pay your Carbon Tax to the Flying Carbon Monster and the problem and the science goes away. Only ignorant fanatics don’t know that.

  • Loyal Achates

    Please read the article. The problem is not with wind power itself but where it is being constructed – in this case, on peatland, the disruption of which frequently releases carbon.

    In cases where turbines are not constructed on peatland, wind remains a far cleaner, more efficient alternative to fossil fuels.

    • Rifleman

      If wind power were anywhere near as efficient as fossil fuels it wouldn't need subsidies. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

      • Loyal Achates

        You gotta be kiddin' man. Fossil fuels receive massive government subsidies, mainly through tax credits, far more than alternative energies do.

        • Rifleman

          They get the same tax credits as any other business. Tax writeoffs are just someone keeping what's already theirs, not subsidies ( unless they are refundable, like the the EIC).

        • pagegl

          According to CNN, not usually known as a right wing bastion, renewable energy gets way more in federal subsidies than petroleum…
          http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/07/news/economy/ener

        • patron

          They receive lower manufacturing tax rates, because that is what they do. These low tax rates do not come close to paying the cost of regulation compliance, insurance, lawsuits, union deals and OSHA requirements.

          Green energy receives direct money, like loans which they default on after they sold their business built on taxpayer money to the Chinese communist party.

      • Bert

        This article is absurd on its face. When leftists try to use wind power they always make a mess of it and then phony conservatives blame the wind. Wind power worked very well for centuries on sailing ships and windmills to grind grain into flour. Wind power works fine when harnessed by engineers and the stupid leftists and phone conservatives keep their grubby hands off.

        • patron

          Sending 50 amps of 550V/60Hz electricity to run an MRI machine or power a steel forge is much different than running a grindstone or sailing a ship intermittently only when the wind blows.

    • patron

      So the only suitable places to build wind farms are in extreme climates, like deserts, the artic or in an ocean full of saltwater? Does the carbon emission include accurate projections of maintenance in those conditions including transporting parts and paying technicians?

      It's the law of unintended consequences. Mandating new infrastructure when perfectly working power infrastructure already exists will always be a horrible idea. We are better off by eliminating wasteful processes and then taking a leadership role in climate instead of wasting billions and indirectly killing millions in the third world.

      File wind farms in with the idea of a ten square mile solar panel and Tesla's orbital highway transversing the earth. If environmentalists want to make serious contributions, I suggest they stop doing so much drugs.

    • mymouths2big

      I take it you you know nothing of wind turbines? Firstly, they cannot power themselves, and believe me they need an awful lot of power, taken free from the grid in the UK, how much power? No one knows as the amount is not metered. Wind turbines need power to the heat the blades, and alter their yaw, and pitch to suit the wind. Their gearing and brakes are electrically powered, the turbine cowling has to be de-humidified. Unable to produce power on demand, or at all if the wind drops, the power they do produce can't be stored, and so has to be sold of cheap. Holland's neighbours get the surplus cheaper than its own people.
      They kill thousands of birds to and generate carbon dioxide from the heating systems. But CO2's not a problem, Al Gore reversed the science. It does not cause global warming, but follows 800 -2000 yrs behind identical rises in global temperatures, well it has done for the last 650,000 years, according to the ice-cores. That all changed when Al made his film, An Inconvenient Truth, and some idiots still haven't worked it out. If, as it was established in the British High Court, and agreed by the makers of the film, and our Government's scientists, that our existing CO2 levels must follow the pattern established over the 650,000 year period, and are the product of the global temperatures that existed around the time of the Medieval Warm Period. But hey, let's not allow facts to interfere with doctored IPPC data.

    • UCSPanther

      Question: When is a wind generator the most efficient?

      Answer: When it is being cut up, scrapped out and being hauled to the smelter in a railcar.

  • SuicidePrevention

    Owners of coal and gas burning electricity generators must be upset about losing business to
    solar and wind. I wonder how much they pay for smears (however far-fetched) against
    their renewable competion. And how much trickles down to the shills who actually write the smears. I bet
    it hardly covers their subway fare.

    • Loyal Achates

      Seriously, who paid for this article – Mr. Burns?

    • Rifleman

      It's not competive business if the government has to subsidize it and force us to use it.

    • JacksonPearson

      "Owners of coal and gas burning electricity generators must be upset about losing business to
      solar and wind. I wonder how much they pay for smears (however far-fetched) against
      their renewable competion. And how much trickles down to the shills who actually write the smears. I bet
      it hardly covers their subway fare."

      LMAO, so Suicide Prevention is still stuck on stupid, and still peddling green slimy wind/solar crapola? Please stay in your padded cell!

      If it weren't for the present on line coal, gas, and nuke turbines, you'd be living like an animal in a cave, and chopping wood to cook, and keep warm!

    • UCSPanther

      Your name is a real irony because if we listened to you, we would be condemning ourselves to a new dark age and in effect, committing suicide as a society.

    • UCSPanther

      BTW the best use for a wind generator, like all useless industrial equipment, is to be cut up and scrapped out.

    • mymouths2big

      As George Soros, has been quietly buying up coal stock at rock-bottom prices, thanks the the green scam, and apparently the Crown Prince of Green, Al Gore, is now getting involved with shale deposits. money money money.

    • Mary Sue

      um, it's not a question of losing business. Wind and solar are FAR more expensive per kilowatt/hour! That's not even competitive!

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    The green-eyed monster continues apace….as Al-the-fraudster can attest…look how engorged he has become – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/01/16/the-leftistti

    What a scam….

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • For Peat's Sake

    The left hoisted by their own petard.

    "on peatland, the disruption of which frequently releases carbon."

  • Independent

    @ Suicide Prevention

    Instead of trying to smear the author of this article, why don't you give us some factual challenge to the article's thesis? You probably can't do that. Therefore you attempt to smear. Typical leftist tactic.

  • http://twitter.com/karita_feliz @karita_feliz

    @ Suicide Prevention @ Loyal Achates

    The Wind Energy industry can only survive with subsidies, and it needs a backup (mostly coal), since it's not a reliable power source. In Germany, which is far ahead of Scotland, we're not only reducing the subsidies but also using more coal, our Co2 Emissions rose this year.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9559656/Germanhttp://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energ

  • UCSPanther

    For me, there is nothing more beautiful than an old diesel starting up, but for you environmentalists, watching those blasts of smoke must be painful:

    Fairbanks-Morse H 12 44: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExEYewvs3lU

    ALCO RSD 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3lzdaC8yQ4

  • Trickle

    The wind scam must stop; it's disgraceful.

    Please sign this to stop them being built in Scotland: http://www.change.org/petitions/first-minister-al

    Thorium and nuclear to the rescue.

  • Sussex Girl

    Maybe we should interview the pensioners in the UK who ride the buses all day in the winter because they don't want to stay in their cold homes. The UK has invested heavily in alternative energy, and the people are paying the price for it.

    As they discovered in Denmark, where something like 19% of the energy comes from wind power, not a single coal-fired plant has been taken off line. Why? Because when the wind doesn't blow, which is especially true on the very coldest of nights (one reason temperatures drop drastically on really bitter nights is a combination of a clear sky and no wind), there must be a backup system.

    Here's the irony: To keep the coal-fired backup system ready, the plants are being operated at an inefficient rate. These plants were designed to run at 85% capacity. Less than that means that they are producing MORE carbon than if they were simply operated at their designed running capacity.